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Old 12-23-2019, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ASL v2.0 View Post
I personally find the Farrer Hypothesis more convincing than the two-source/Q hypothesis because the former makes fewer assumptions. That is, it does not assume there was yet another "important historical document" that somehow found its way into canon indirectly through the other gospels and so was clearly important to early Christians and largely compatible with what eventually DID make it into canon, but somehow failed to be preserved itself, even as a great many more dubious sources (such as the majority of the epistles) were included in canon.
There is no factual answer.

I don't have my references with me at the moment but there are some references to the sky opening up and angels coming down out of the heavens - or something like that - at the start of one of the primary (synoptic) gospels or something that became one. I'll update later if I'm wrong but I think one was from Justin Martyr and the other is an Arabic work that describes an early version of the Diatessaron and also includes such a description. I am inclined to believe that this comes from an early version of Matthew AKA, the Gospel of the Hebrews, which is consistently described as starting around Luke 3, jumping straight to Luke 4.

The Gospel of Marcion also has this beginning - no angels, just that placement.

The historic record tells us that Mark was created after Matthew but the historic records of Matthew do not match what we see. As said, the beginning wasn't there and it seems to have had a bit about angels coming out of the sky near the beginning.

The historic record does tell us that the Gospel of Marcion was a chopped down version of Matthew, by a Roman who thought that they should just focus on Paul's religion and say the heck with the Jerusalem church. The Gospel of Mark does largely match what we would expect to see if we imagine a Gospel of the Hebrews and then cropped it down to remove anything overtly Jewish.

And, well, Mark <-> Marcion. Not a terribly fancy argument but ignoring it for being obvious is possibly being too clever by half.

My personal guess, based on one or two other things, is that the part that the historic record got wrong wasn't the order of the Gospels, it was that when they reviewed "The Gospel of Marcion", they were actually looking at Hebrew Matthew or an earlier version of Luke that the Marcionites had accepted that had built off of Mark.

I would also guess that Mark, the scribe of Paul, was in fact Marcion and that The Gospel of Mark was the official Gospel of the Roman church during and just after Paul's tenure.

Luke, as a Roman, would naturally work off of their trimmed down version, so he developed it out - possibly from a version that hadn't yet been chopped down quite so much as our Mark or, as said, was shorter than it is now at the point in time when the Marcionites split off.

But, meanwhile, the Roman and Eastern churches were negotiating a "shared" text that they would both agree to. There was an early attempt to fulfill the declaration of the Council of Jerusalem and to find a harmony between the different teachings of the two churches. Through that process of revisions, Hebrew Matthew was developed into what we see today - sufficiently revised by committees, haggling it out over a few years that it is scarcely connected to the original - but, still the most Jewish of the bunch since the church in Antioch and elsewhere had half a say in what went into it.

Hebrew Matthew - Marcion = Gospel Mark

Gospel Mark + Luke = Gospel Luke

Hebrew Matthew + Committees +? Gospel Luke = Gospel Matthew


Particularly if we take the idea that the Marcion created Mark but the Marcionites took an early variant of Luke that was based off of that, all of the historic record and dates line up.