SSP: Confessio 7 and Matthew 12

This post is part of an ongoing series on the Scriptures of Saint Patrick of Ireland.

Confessio 7 & Matthew 12:36
Patrick O’Loughlin (145) ‘I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter’.
Bieler (61) & Conneely (30) Verbum otiosum quod locuti fuerint homines reddent pro eo rationem in die iudicii.
Matthew 12:36
Vulgate quoniam omne verbum otiosum quod locuti fuerint homines reddent rationem de eo in die iudicii
k (4th-5th c. Italy)[1] Quoniam omne verbum vacuum quod locuti fuerint homines reddent pro eo rationem in die iduicii
a (4th c. Italy)[2] Quonium omne verbum otiosum quod locuti fuerint  homines, reddent de eo rationem in die judicii
d (5th c. France)[3] Quoniam omne beruum vacum quod locuntur homines reddet pro eo rationem in de iducii

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SSP: Confessio 5 and Psalm 50

This post is part of an ongoing series on the Scriptures of Saint Patrick of Ireland.

Confessio 5 & Psalm 50:15
Patrick O’Loughlin (145) ‘Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify’.
Bieler (60) & Conneely (30) Invoca me in die tribulationis tuae et liberabo te et magnificabis me.
Psalm 50:15
Vulgate (49:15) Et invoca me in die tribulationis liberabo te et glorificabis me
b (5th c. Italy)[1] Et invoca me in die tribulationis et eximam te et glorificabi me
Anglo-Saxon Psalter (8th c.)[2] Invoca me in die tribulationis; eripam te, et magnificabis me.
Irish Psalter (8th-9th c.) Et invoca me in die tribulationis; liberabo te, et glorificabis me.

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The Scriptures of Saint Patrick: The Form of Patrick’s Bible

This post is part of an ongoing series on the Scriptures of Saint Patrick of Ireland.

Saint Patrick of Ireland

Saint Patrick of Ireland

In what constitutes the third part of this series, I examine the textual form of Patrick’s Bible. This type of study has not often been undertaken.[1] The situation is such that Marie de Paor has gone so far as to say that since “we do not now possess the actual version of the Old Latin Bible which Patrick probably used, the Latin text… in Jerome’s Vulgate, is the next best thing.”[2] However, this approach to the recovery of Patrick’s Biblical versions appears unnecessarily pessimistic and unfortunately simplistic. While we may not be able to recover the autographs which Patrick employed as his Biblical text, it does seem probable that extant manuscript forms can shed additional light on the form of Patrick’s Bible. Continue reading

The Acts of Paul and Pastoral Epistles

This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting upon Women and Gender in Early Christianity.

Catacomb image of Paul and (possibly) Thecla

Catacomb image of Paul and (possibly) Thecla

In his article “I Permit No Woman to Teach Except for Thecla: The Curious Case of the Pastoral Epistles and the Acts of Paul Reconsidered” (Novum Testamentum 54 (2012): 176-203), Matthijs den Dulk offers a reanalysis of the relationship between the Acts of Paul (hereafter APl) and Pastoral Epistles (hereafter PE), arguing that a) the APl rely upon the PE (contra MacDonald); 2) the author of the APl viewed the image of Paul from 2 Timothy as useful; and 3) the author of the APl rejected the authority of 1 Timothy and its attendant conception of Paul. Building from existing studies of the relationship between the PE and APl, den Dulk advocates an analysis of the interplay of these texts on an individual rather than collective level. Through structural, linguistic, and feminist analysis, den Dulk then argues that the APl agrees with 2 Timothy on a number of substantial points and perspectives. Continue reading

Book Review: How We Got the New Testament (Porter)

How We Got the New Testament (Porter)The question “How did we get the New Testament?” continues to underlie many contemporary theological issues, for rarely do we discuss the social concerns of our day without recourse to the words of Jesus, the Biblical narrative, or history of Christianity. Understanding the history of the New Testament, then, may not only demonstrate the integrity of the New Testament but may also include ramifications for how to understand the entire Bible-worldview more holistically and accurately. Whether you are Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Mainline Protestant, or Evangelical, understanding how the New Testament came into being perseveres as an important foundation for Christian faith today. In this vein, Stanley E. Porter has written How We Got the New Testament: Text, Transmission, Translation (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013. 222pgs.), a guide to how the Christian New Testament came into existence and how understanding this process can enliven contemporary expressions of Christianity. Continue reading

The Marcion Problem: Conclusions

This post is the final in the series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence of the formation of the New Testament canon.

Sacred ScriptureBy way of closing both our section on modern perspectives on Marcion as well as this series as a whole, I offer the following conclusions. First, upon the review of the various schools of thought concerning Marcion’s impact on the development of Christian views on scripture, canon, and authority, we may conclude that the Canon Refinement School appears to make the best sense of textual evidence and offer the most satisfying overall explanation of Marcion’s theology. This school argues that Marcion’s canon, while the first closed specifically Christian canon, neither formed the Christian ideas of scripture, canon, and authority, as in the view of the Canon Formation School, nor did he influence a major redaction of scriptural literature, as in the view of the Canon and Literature Formation School. Continue reading

The Marcion Problem: Canon Refinement (Part IV)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence of the formation of the New Testament canon.
Marcion of Sinope

Marcion of Sinope

Having examined the particular perspectives of the Canon Refinement School, we now turn to several concerns stemming from these works. First, we must consider the arguments of this school of thought concerning the impact of Marcion’s views on the formation of Christian views on scripture, canon, and authority. Taking into account the evidence espoused by the textual critics, it seems that this view on Marcion makes the best overall sense of his impact on Christian views of scripture, canon, and authority. Marcion’s canon, while being the first closed canon composed of specifically Christian literature, by-and-large followed the general second century pattern among Christians of scriptural collection. Marcion’s canon was unique in that he rejected the Jewish scriptures and placed a great deal of emphasis on the writings of the Apostle Paul. These emphases forced the Great Church to overtly consider the wider implications of new scriptures and their authority in relation to the older writings, eventually leading to the formal canonization of the Christian New Testament. Thus Marcion’s impact on the development of Christian scriptures, canon, and authority may be best described as canon refinement. Continue reading

The Marcion Problem: Canon Refinement (Part III)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence of the formation of the New Testament canon.
Lee M. McDonald

Lee M. McDonald

We now turn to two of the most prominent modern perspectives for the Canon Refinement School, those of Lee Martin McDonald and John Barton. In The Biblical Canon: Its Origin, Transmission, and Authority, McDonald writes that during the second century prior to Marcion, “the words gospel-apostle (sometimes Lord-apostle), representing the words of Jesus and letters of the apostles, began to be placed alongside the Prophets as authorities in the early church.”[119] McDonald argues that from the wider selection of Christian writings available to him, Marcion chose portions of both Gospel (Luke) and Apostle (some letters of Paul) that reflected his understanding of the distinctiveness between Christianity and Judaism.[120] For McDonald, Marcion believed that the love of the Christian gospel was incompatible with the legalistic and oppressive legal codes found in Jewish scripture, this being the type of teaching handed down by Peter and James.[121] Marcion rejected such perspectives, as well as those early Christians who interpreted the Jewish scriptures allegorically, instead emphasizing a simple and literal reading of the text, thereby stripping the church of her first scriptures and connections to antiquity.[122] McDonald concludes that while Marcion set forth a Christian canon, it remains too much to say that he created the idea of Christian scripture.[123] However, while Marcion did not delineate the need for a Christian canon, he did cause the church to consider carefully the scope of its authoritative literature.[124] Continue reading

The Marcion Problem: Canon Refinement (Part II)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence of the formation of the New Testament canon.

jesus_catacombRobert Smith Wilson also conceived of Marcion’s impact on the formation of a Christian canon as refining but not formative. Central to Wilson’s understanding of Marcion was his desire to understand fundamental questions about the character of God in relation to the world and his high Christology.[113] Wilson argues that the central place of Jewish scriptures in Christian circles, as well as Paul’s concerns with the law in Romans, likely formed the basis for Marcion’s early thinking about the connection between Judaism and Christianity, especially in relation to written authorities.[114] Continue reading

The Marcion Problem: Canon Refinement (Part I)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence of the formation of the New Testament canon.

NT CanonWe now turn to the third perspective on Marcion’s relationship with the notion of a specifically Christian canon, namely that while Marcion likely refined the idea and parameters of canon, he was basically following the example of previous collections of Christian writings. This I term the “Canon Refinement School” of thought. As this position best fits the evidence from textual criticism (as I argued for in last week’s post), this school of thought has become increasingly popular in recent decades. Continue reading