Thursday, November 17, 2016

Matthew, the Perverted Gospel of Galatians

Christ and Peter walk on water, 
Fresovo taken from Matthew 14:28-31 
Dura-Europos (mid 3rd century?)






Most scholars when they hear Marcionite priority assume this means that the first Gospel was Marcion's and all other are dependent upon it. But Paul is still regarded generally as before the Gospels. Both assumptions are wrong. Marcionite priority merely means the first publicly circulating Gospel was the Marcionite. The letters of Paul are in earlier form in Marcion's collection, but their relationship to the Gospel is less clear, as we shall see with Galatians. [1]

The entire purpose of the first Gospel was to spread the word of Christ throughout the Roman Empire. And not surprising it was sectarian, the Marcionite Gospel. Other main sect, the proto-Orthodox, quickly found themselves at a disadvantage in this new game of evangelism, where itinerant teachers (Apostles).

Galatians letter presents a picture if a divided movement. One where Paul finds his authority challenged, with rivals dismiss his teachings, and present a completely different version of Christ. This letter, even more clearly in Marcionite form, presents a scenario where the first teachings of Paul have been overturned. What then is this new Christianity Paul confronts?  How is it that this new and different message has become such a threat that it required such strong a response?

In Galatians 1:6-9, immediately following the opening greeting Paul launches into an attack on those preaching a new and different Gospel:
I marvel that you are so quickly turned away, from the one having called you by grace, to another Gospel (εἰς ἕτερον εὐαγγέλιον). There is not another, except there are those agitating you and desiring to pervert (μεταστρέψαι) the Gospel of Christ (εὐαγγέλιόν τοῦ Χριστοῦ). But even if we or an angel from heaven preaches a Gospel contrary to the one which we preached (παρ᾽ ὃ εὐηγγελισάμεθα) to you, let him be cursed (ἀνάθεμα ἔστω). If anyone preaches a Gospel to you contrary to that which you received (εὐαγγελίζεται παρ᾽ ὃ παρελάβετε), let him be cursed (ἀνάθεμα ἔστω).
The target of this missive has baffled scholars and readers alike for centuries. The Gospel here seems
very much to conform to our notion of a written Gospel, and in fact it is. But traditional scholars have been blocked by their own paradigm, presuming the written Gospel postdate the core Pauline letters, including this one, forcing them to speculate about an "oral" Gospel. The language is however consistent in the New Testament, Gospel means written Gospel, references to Paul's words mean references to the writings of Paul, and references to the Law and Prophets refer to the corresponding books of the Jewish Bible, our Old Testament, that is the Books of Moses and those of the Prophets. But dispensing with the traditional paradigm, we find there is no reason not accept that εὐαγγέλιόν means a written Gospel.

The clincher is found looking ahead in Galatians 3:1
O mindless Galatians! Who bewitched you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was written to see (προεγράφη) as Crucified;
The evidence Paul claims to present is from a written source (προεγράφη), which can only mean a Gospel book. And that is how it was seen and 1understood from the earliest commentators.

Tertullian in his Adversus Marcionem very much understood both that Paul's letter to the Galatians existed after at least the first Gospel, referring to verse 2:2, "the Gospel which Paul found" (evangelium quod Paulus invenit - AM 4.2.5) to a physical written Gospel he presented to the 'so-called pillars.' In AM 5.2.5 Tertullian gives the Marcionite interpretation, with a bit of his own sarcastic commentary, of Galatians 1:7-8
However, you will have it that it is the gospel of a new god which was then set forth by the apostle. So that there are two gospels for two gods; and the apostle made a great mistake when he said that “there is not another” gospel, since there is (on the hypothesis "cum sit") another; and so he might have made a better defense of his gospel, by rather demonstrating this, than by insisting on its being but one. But perhaps, to avoid this difficulty, you will say that he therefore added just afterwards, “Though an angel from heaven preach any other gospel, let him be accursed,” because he was aware that the Creator was going to introduce a gospel!
Tertullian, in this comment hits on the very point, there is a 2nd Gospel in circulation, preached by rivals to the Marcionites, which is in opposition to that Gospel. Tertullian, playing along with Marcion for the moment, accepts that the Gospel Paul brought with him[2] would be the one Marcion preached. For the second Gospel in view we  are given an outline, again from Galatians as Tetullian reports, in that it is preached by an angel from heaven, that is an angel of the Creator, the God of the Law and Prophets. This contrasts with the Marcionite Gospel which Paul says in Galatians 1:11-12
For I make known to you, brothers, the Gospel (τὸ εὐαγγέλιον) I have been preaching , that it is not according to man. For I received it not from man, nor was I taught (it), but through a revelation of Jesus Christ. (δι' ἀποκαλύψεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ)
and in 2:2
And I went up according to a revelation (κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν) and brought along the Gospel (τὸ εὐαγγέλιον) preached to the Gentiles.
This looks very much like an admission of authorship. The statement "those seeming to be something ... added nothing" is an indication the the Gospel in focus is not as expanded as the one complained about in Galatians 1:6-9. The rest of this letter [3] outlines a complaint about the direction these preachers, starting with Cephas, who want to co-opt Paul's Gentile congregation. It is clear in verses 2:11-14 that the new Gospel in view is a Jewish Christian one, as we can see in the Marcionite version of the passage
And when Cephas came, I stood against him to his face, because he had condemned (himself). For before coming he was eating with the Gentiles. But when he came he drew he drew back and separated himself, fearing those of the circumcision, and joining with him in hypocrisy the rest of the Jews. But when I saw they did not walk upright with the truth of the Gospel, I said to Cephas before all, ‘If you being a Jew, live as a Gentile and not as a Jew, how do you force Gentiles to live as Jews?’
So Cephas is not following the truth of the Gospel (τὴν ἀλήθειαν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου), that is the Gospel Paul said he brought with him to the pillars, which he preached to the gentiles. That this is the Gospel Cephas is not following, we know because Paul says in verse 2:5 that they (Titus with him) did not yield in subjugation to the false brothers, "that the truth of the Gospel" (ἡ ἀλήθεια τοῦ εὐαγγελίου) might be preserved in his followers. He then says that Cephas in fear of the camp "of the circumcision, joining himself in hypocrisy with the rest of the Jews." Cephas portrayed is trying to convert his Gentiles Christians (ἔθνη) to follow the life style of Jewish Christian (Ἰουδαΐζειν).

This other Gospel is a Synoptic Gospel, since Paul says that it is not really different (οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλο) in verse 1:7. But it is a Jewish, or Jewish Christian Gospel, a point reinforced through the rest of Galatians by way of Paul's opposition to the works of  Law (of Moses) in favor of faith in Christ. This is expressed in Galatians 3:1-3 which speaks of Paul's (Marcion's) Gospel presenting Christ in the spirit and Christ in the flesh by the perverse Gospel that is supported by proofs from the books of Moses (ἔργων νόμου).
O mindless Galatians! Who bewitched you? Before your eyes (ὀφθαλμοὺς) Jesus Christ was written (προεγράφη) to see as Crucified; This only I want to learn from you; from works of Law you received the spirit, or from hearing faith? So mindless you are; having begun in spirit (πνεύματι), now in flesh (σαρκὶ) you are being perfected?
Also implied in this passage is the first Gospel, which Paul says was brought before the Pillars, presented Christ in the spirit, thus they began (ἐναρξαμενοι πνεύματι). But the new gospel presents Christ in the flesh now (νῦν σαρκὶ). [4]

Galatians  3:5, 10-13 drives home the point that the Gospel by faith (Marcion's), which Paul preached first, brings life, but the Gospel, perverted by the Jews (Jewish Christians) based on works of Law, puts you under a curse, a curse  of the Creator God which Christ took upon himself.
The one who brought you the spirit and working the power in you; (is it) by works of Law or by hearing faith? ... Learn that the just by faith will live. For those under (the) Law, are under a curse. But the one having done these things (of the Law) will live by them. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law becoming a curse on our behalf, because 'Cursed are all those hanged from a tree.' [5]
So this is the Gospel we are to look for that is changed perversely (μεταστρέψαι) to portray Christ as supporting the Law, making those who follow such a Christ slaves the elements of the world (Galatians 4:3), which is to say the Creator's realm. We see again in Galatians 4:9 that Paul asks why they want to be enslaved after he had given them freedom though his Gospel. Finally it is the two Gospels, each representing a Testament, Paul's Gospel the new, and Cephas' the old, that are on display in the analogy of Abraham's two sons is told in Galatians 4:21-5:1, the key elements in 4:24ff
These things are allegorical; for these are the two covenants, one from Mount Sinai, in the synagogue of the Jews, according to the Law, gives birth to slavery: but the other, gives birth ~far above all rulers, [and] powers, [and] authority, and all names that have been named, not only in this age but also in the coming (one), who is our mother: Therefore brothers, we are not children of the maidservant but of the free (woman).

For freedom Christ freed us; therefore stand firm and never again be held to the yoke of slavery.
Further the oppose each other, we see in Galatians 5:16-17, as he tells them to follow his Gospel  and not the other
But I say, walk by the spirit and the desires of the flesh will not be completed in you.
For the desires of the flesh are against the spirit, and the spirit is against the flesh, for these oppose (ἀντίκειται) one another, so that whatever you desire, these things you are not able to do. But if by the spirit you are led, you are not under (the) Law.

Paul makes clear the works of the flesh ἔργα τῆς σαρκός) in Galatians 5:19-21, will not let you inherit the Kingdom of God (βασιλείαν θεοῦ οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν), which you get from the fruits of the spirit given in Galatians 5:22-23, included among them celibacy (ἐγκράτεια) - another unmistakable Marcionite marker.

This is sufficient analysis of the Marcionite text of Galatians to understand the complaint and identify the second Gospel, the rest of the continues much the same themes.

Survey of Gospels

It's very tempting to cheat here and jump to the prime suspect. But for the reader it is useful to survey the Gospels, briefly examining their content and theology to determine a fit for the perverted Gospel. The outline of the Gospel, as detailed in Galatians is one that presents Jesus as in the flesh, that is born of woman, defender of the Law, that is the covenant of Moses.It is also a Gospel that resembles the Marcionite, which is itself a shorter version of Luke, and thus Synoptic.

We can therefore quickly eliminate the Gospel on multiple grounds. Jesus is not born, but appears in this Gospel, willing himself to in the form of man (John 1:14). He openly opposes the Mosaic Law, seeing it as inconsistent, and other than his own (e.g., John 8:17, 10:34, "your Law"), and not applying to himself (e.g., John 12:34). Finally John is not a Synoptic Gospel.

The Gospel of Luke is a longer form of Marcion's Gospel, and does include almost all of the points of contention. Its primary focus is not on combating Marcion's position, but presenting an Adoptionist theology, albeit with correctives in the Marcionite stories. As part of Luke-Acts it concerns a more comprehensive restating of the Pauline letters, including Galatians. How could Acts know of Paul's trip to Jerusalem before Galatians mentions it? [6] But what disqualifies Luke is the very opening
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative (ἀνατάσσομαι διήγησιν) of the things which have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past , to write an orderly account (ἀκριβῶς καψεχης) for you, most excellent Theoph'ilus,
Luke out lines that he has compiled a narrative (ἀνατάσσομαι διήγησιν), from many sources ("eyewitnesses and ministers"), to put together what he deems a "correct account" (ἀκριβῶς καψεχης). This is not an immediate response to a single gospel but a work derived over extended time (παρηκολουθηκότι), and put together from many prior works. Marcion is but one, others seem to include elements drawn from common sources with other Gospels, such as the lost Gospel of the Hebrews, [7] and others we have not identified. In addition there are correctives to the gospel of Matthew concerning the birth story, the origin of John, and the genealogy of Jesus. Simply put Luke is from a world where many Gospels are already in circulation, a scenario long past the concerns of Galatians.

Like Marcion's and John's Gospels, Mark's Jesus simply appears on the scene without much explanation. Mary is never called his mother. There is also no post resurrection scene. Prior to his arrest (Mark 14:46) when he allows himself to be taken up in the hands of men, nobody is able to initiate physical contact with Jesus, although he does touch some people in healing episodes. Jesus' blood is only mentioned as the wine sacrament (Mark 14:24), and never mentions his flesh. There are is no scripture fulfillment like we see in Matthew and Luke. The only prophets mentioned are in connection to John. This Gospel lacks the strong defense of the old testament. Mark simply doesn't fit the profile of the Gospel outlined in Galatians.

Matthew and Marcion

The prime suspect for this perversely mutated Gospel, which is not really a different Gospel, is Matthew. It fits in that it is a Synoptic Gospel which presents Jesus as human (in the flesh), born of woman, and a defender of the Law. In a prior blog entry I already explored the relationship between Matthew and the Marcionite Antithesis, showing the dependence upon and opposition to the Marcionite Gospel, and that it drew from elements of Marcion's Antithesis. But now I will take a broader look into it's composition and purpose.

My working assumptions is that Matthew worked from a base ür-Gospel which is shared with Mark's Gospel [7], but is not the same one used to make the Marcion's Gospel and Luke. Further there is no Q source, rather Matthew drew such elements from the Marcionite Gospel, and added some elements of what is called Q, but not found in Marcion, which are likely his own. I am ambivalent about the M source [8] for some of Matthew's Material, as I feel that sells short Matthew's own creativity. I say this as disclosure, not part of the argument that proceeds or that follows.

Matthew's Gospel opens with the line
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham
What follows is a list 17 verses in length of some supposed forty-two generations from Abraham to David to Jesus. The purpose of is clear, as stated in Catholic Romans 1:1-4, to declare this book
... the gospel of God (εἰς εὐαγγέλιον θεοῦ), which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his son, who was born of a descendant of David (τοῦ γενομένου ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυὶδ) according to the flesh (κατὰ σάρκα) ... Jesus Christ our Lord
Matthew provides the proof text the author of Romans refers to. This is the Christ in the flesh Galatians argues against. [9] Matthew's Jesus has come to save Israel (Jewish Christians) not the gentiles. This identification starts before Jesus' birth when Herod he ask the Chief Priests where the Christ, future King of Israel, will be born
They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: 'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'
The prophecy of Micah 5:2, quoted above in Matthew 2:6, ties into the Davidic tree as following the quoted phrase Micah adds of this ruler who is "from of old, ancient days," (ἀπό ἀρχή ἐκ ἡμέρα αἰών), which can also be read "from the ruler of ancient days," i.e., David.

When Jesus sends the twelve out on their mission he makes clear he rejects the Gentiles and Samaritans, stating Matthew 10:5-6
These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles (εἰς ὁδὸν ἐθνῶν μὴ ἀπέλθητε), and enter no town of the Samaritans (εἰς πόλιν Σαμαριτων), but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἀπολωλότα οἴκου Ἰσραήλ).
For Matthew the Gentiles are stand ins for Christians who do not follow the Law. The word ὁδὸν in verse 10:5 is more properly translated metaphorically, "the way", as in a manner of thinking or course of conduct. [10] (The Catholic) Paul makes a statement in Acts 24:14 that illustrates
But this I admit to you, that according to the Way (κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν) which they call a sect (αἵρεσιν) I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law (κατὰ τὸν νόμον) and that is written in the Prophets;
Luke is identifying his sect ("heresy" or αἵρεσιν) as the Way (τὴν ὁδὸν), and that it is according to the Law (κατὰ τὸν νόμον), that is the Law of Moses (see John 1:17). Following the right or wrong doctrine is associated with going the wrong way, down the wrong path. 2 Peter 2:15 associates following first the right way (εὐθεῖαν ὁδὸν) then straying the wrong road with the story of Balaam (τῇ ὁδῷ τοῦ Βαλαὰμ) being tempted by money and so goes down a road contrary to the one approved and is stopped by an angel of the Lord(Numbers 22:5ff). This double meaning of "way" ὁδὸν is precisely what we encountered Matthew 10:5-6, where Jesus commands his disciples not to stray into the doctrines of the Gentile Christians

Matthew's Jesus shows these Gentiles and specifically Samaritans are almost beyond redemption, speaking with a certain contempt, as when he repeats his statement that he has come only for the lost sheep of Israel in the story of the Canaanite Woman
And behold, a Canaanite woman [11] from that region came out and cried, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon." But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." And he answered, "It is not fair to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.
Jesus here equates the lost sheep of Israel with children (see Matthew 18:3-4, 19:13-14, derived from the Marcionite story of Luke 18: 15-17) and the bread symbolism evokes the Eucharist. But what is striking is the comparison of the non-Jewish woman with a dog, contemptibly unworthy of even the scraps of the Eucharist. Just as with the Gentiles in Matthew 10:5-6, she represents those who follow a different way than Matthew's Jesus. But she begs in his name, accepting Matthew's Jesus as her masters -effectively becoming an obedient gentile (see Romans 1:5)- and so he relents and allows his name to have its healing power on her daughter. The symbolism is great here, it is not the woman who is saved but her daughter, who will be brought up in the correct "way."

The attachment of Jesus with Israel is sealed in the following story, simply vague healing of many, where the crowds in Galilee now "glorified the God of Israel." Jesus tells his disciples in 19:28
"Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Even when on the cross, although mocking, Matthew 27:42 has the High Priests, Scribes, and Elders say of Jesus "He is the King of Israel." For Matthew their is a strong  association of Christianity with the God of Israel and the leaders of ruling over this "new" Israel.

Bar Kokhba Coin: "Year 2 of the Redemption of Israel"
The Concept of Jesus as the Savior of Israel, which Matthew professes as a central point, is mocked by Marcion's Gospel in Luke 24:21 when two disciples unknowingly talk to Jesus, telling him of their disappointment after he was crucified, because they "had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel." This mocking by Marcion's gospel is particularly poignant in the reign of Antoninus, in the aftermath of the Bar Kokhba revolt, when Simon Bar Kokhba was who called himself prince or Nasi (נָשִׂיא), proclaimed the redemption (freedom) of Israel, as commemorated in the coins stamped by the rebels. In Marcion's Gospel, we see a parallel in doctrinal blindness and this Jewish Christ which even the disciples were expecting. This redeemer of Israel is the same Christ rejected by Paul, the one presented in a perverted Gospel.

The Law

Galatians 1:6 Paul says
I marvel that you are so quickly turned away, from the one having called you by grace (ἐν χάριτι), to another Gospel
Later in Galatians 3:2 he asks
This only I want to learn from you; from works of Law (εχ ἔργων νόμου) you received the spirit, or from hearing faith (πίστεως)?
The author of John 1:17 understood grace and Law as having separate origins
For the Law (ὁ νόμος) was given through Moses; grace (χάρις) and truth (ἀλήθεια) were realized through Jesus Christ.
Paul in Galatians clearly separates the concepts as well, Christ called you to grace, so why are you turning back to another Gospel based on the Law? And the Gospel where Jesus backs Law is precisely what Matthew claims in verses 5:17
"Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them"
This runs directly counter to the Marcionite position Galatians espouses as found in Romans 10:4
For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to all who believe (πιστεύοντι)
Romans 10:4 echos Galatians 1:6 in Christ being by faith (πίστεως). This ending of the Law brought about by Christ is precisely what Matthew 5:17 was written to counter. Matthew Jesus is one who promotes the Law more than any other as verses 5:18-20 attest
For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
This verse is the antithesis of Luke 21:33 and also Luke 16:16-17 in Marcionite form (Tertullian AM 4.33.9), [12] where the Law has ended and yet Christ's words will remain. Matthew instead says that Jesus is not the end of the Law, but rather it shall remain. In a further twist, Matthew has reversed Luke 7:28 (and Matthew 11:11), where those who follow the Jesus who ends the Law are above John. Here anyone, and by this he means Christian preachers, who teaches anyone to relax even the slightest of commandments of the Law "shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven." But any teacher who upholds the Law and teaches it "shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."  Matthew by saying you must be more righteous than the Pharisees to enter the kingdom of heaven is saying you must follow the Jewish Laws more than the Jews. This is precisely the position Paul reprimands Cephas (Peter) on in Galatians 2:14
But when I saw they did not walk upright with the truth of the Gospel (τὴν ἀλήθειαν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου), I said to Cephas before all, ‘If you being a Jew, live as a Gentile and not as a Jew, how do you force Gentiles to live as Jews?’ 
This truth of the Gospel opposing the Law is the same formula we saw above in John 1:17. Galatians opposition to the Catholic hero Peter clearly maps to the support of Matthew 5:18-20.

But Matthew's Gospel doesn't stop there in his transformation of Jesus into the great promoter of the Law.  Matthew in verse 7:12 recasts the Golden rule as the Law,  transforming Luke 6:31
And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.
into this
So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them;
for this is the law and the prophets (γάρ ἐστιν ὁ νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται)
Surprisingly there is no attempt at a proof text and nor even to  associate it with Leviticus 19:18 from which  Romans 13:9 and Luke 10:28 were derived, simply the declaration it is the Law, as the Law is what Jesus teaches. We can see this clearly in the adjustment Matthew 22:36-40 makes to the Marcionite text of Luke 10:26-28. Luke reads as follows
And He (Jesus) [13] said to him, "What is written in the law?" "How do you read?"
And he (the lawyer) answered, ... (quotes Deuteronomy 6:5, then Leviticus 19:18)
And he (Jesus) said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."
But Matthew reads, different
(lawyer asks Jesus) "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"
And He (Jesus) said to him, ... (quotes Deuteronomy 6:5).
This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, ... (Leviticus 19:18)
On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."
Unlike the Marcionite Jesus, Matthew's Jesus is the one who quotes and ranks the commandments. Jesus explicitly endorses the Law and Prophets.

Finally a comparison of Marcion's woes for Lawyers in Luke 11:46
Woe to you teachers of the Law (τῶν νομικων)! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers.
and then in Luke 11:52
Woe to you teachers of the Law (τῶν νομικων)! For you have taken away the key of knowledge (γνώσεως); you yourselves did not enter, and you block those who were entering.
Luke/Marcion is making the case that teachers of the Law ("lawyers" τῶν νομικων), whom we can recognize as representing Christian teachers of the Law, are placing a burden too difficult to bear, which these teachers themselves do not take upon themselves. This is precisely the charge Paul makes on Cephas in Galatians 2:14 about the burden placed on Gentiles by these supposedly Jewish Christians of the circumcision camp. But Luke goes even further, saying that by teaching the law they are denying Christians the knowledge (γνώσεως) to enter the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom these teachers themselves are not able to enter - because they are teaching a Jesus of the Law.

Matthew 23:23 recognizes this insult [14] changing Luke 11:46 to read
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier matters of the Law (τοῦ νόμου), justice (τὴν κρίσιν) and mercy (τὸ ἔλεος) and faith (τὴν πίστιν); these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
Matthew has turned this on it's head. Saying that Christian clergy -represented by Pharisees- while collecting their tenth (ἀποδεκατοῦτε) and making great ceremony (the spices representing the incense of service) have not paid enough attention to teaching the Law, Justice (κρίσιν), and mercy (τἔλεος), the very attributes of the Catholic God which are rejected by the Marcionites, as the basis for faith. There can be no question this is a different  Gospel (εἰς ἕτερον εὐαγγέλιον). 

So it is these clergy not teaching this Catholic God (i.e., the Marcionites) for which the Matthew 23:13, again turning Luke 11:52 is directed. It is thus the Marcionites and Gnostics who deny the Kingdom of Heaven.
But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in

The case has thus been made that the Christ Matthew presents is one who supports the Law and was predicted from the Scriptures. These are precisely the positions Paul opposes in Galatians. There is no other Gospel which fits the description so well, which asks Christians, who are not Jews, to follow the Jewish Law. Matthew is the contrary Gospel, the perverted Gospel.

Relationship of the Epistles and the Gospels

In closing, it is appropriate to consider the relationship of the Pauline letters - Marcionite form first- and the Gospels. And indeed to consider the relationship of the Gospels and the various doctrines.

For a few years now I have come to the opinion that the Marcionite Bible was no more fixed than the Catholic version. It appears to have evolved and even expanded some over time, probably throughout the entire 2nd century before stabilizing into the form taken up by Tertullian in the early 3rd century. Elements like the one cited above concerning the redemption of Israel in verse 24:21 seem more likely to have come about in response to Matthew than to Bar Kokhba, as the latter allusion strikes me as a stinging rebuke of the former. Similarly parts of the Antithesis appear to have been added later to counter proto-orthodox arguments, and are secondary to the original program.

This brings us to the letters of Paul. Tertullian voices his suspicion of the lateness of Galatians in AM 4.3.2,
Marcion, finding (nactus) the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians  (wherein he rebukes even apostles) for "not walking uprightly according to the truth of the gospel,"
It is an opinion I have come to share, that Galatians was indeed penned after the Gospel, and in fact after two Gospels, Marcion's and Matthew, were circulating. The conditions describe a world where a counter mission is underway and successfully converting the first missions flock to a new Gospel. Paul, the hero Marcion and his followers stake their claim, finds his authority challenged, such that he must declare it. And so this declaration document came to head the collection.

What this tells me is the time lines for the Epistles of the New Testament cannot be placed before or separated from the Gospels. The interaction between them indicates a back and forth, almost from the beginning. There could have been no μεταστρέψαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον Χριστοῦ, and no εὐαγγελίζεται παρ᾽ παρελάβετε for Galatians to talk about were there not a second Gospel in circulation, and were that Gospel other than Matthew.



Footnotes:
[1] The terminology in Paul strongly supports the literal interpretation of books. "The Law" refers to the books of Moses, "the prophets"refer to the books of the prophets such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah. And references to the Gospel refer to a written Gospel.
[2] Galatians 2:2 ἀνεθέμην αὐτοῖς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ὃ κηρύσσω ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν
[3] For reference use my reconstruction of the Marcionite Galatians
[4] Luke 24:38-39 (Marcionite form - Tertullian's more complete form below) was seen as a point of inconsistency in the Marcionite presentation, exploited by the Orthodox critics Tertullian and Epiphanius, where the resurrected Jesus says
Quid turbati estis? inquit, et quid cogitationes subeunt in corda vestra? Videte manus meas et pedes, quia ego ipse sum, quoniam spiritus ossa non habet, sicut me videtis habere.
Τί τεταραγμένοι ἐστέ, ἴδετε, καὶ διὰ τί διαλογισμοὶ ἀναβαίνουσιν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμῶν; τὰς χεῖράς μου καὶ τοὺς πόδας, ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι αὐτός· ὅτι πνεῦμα ὀστέα οὐκ ἔχει καθὼς ἐμὲ θεωρεῖτε ἔχοντα. (Greek text reproduced from the Latin)
"Why are you troubled, and why do disputes (διαλογισμοὶ) arise in your hearts? See my hands and feet, that it is I. Because a spirit (πνεῦμα) hasn't bones as you see (θεωρεῖτε) I have."
Note, Marcion's text (support arguably from D some Western texts) reads "a spirit hasn't bones" against  Catholic "a spirit has not flesh and bones", deleting σάρκα καὶ. Consistent with Marcion's Christ having no flesh. Also Marcion's text doesn't ask them to touch him, deleting ψηλαφήσατέ με καὶ, only reading θεωρεῖτε, to see him.
[5] LXX Deuteronomy 21:23 is quoted in Antithesis. "He who hangs upon a tree is the accursed of God" καταἀράομαι ὑπό θεός πᾶς κρεμάζω ἐπί ξύλον
[6] The counter argument is that Paul is legendary, and both the stories in his letters, including Galatians, as well as the telling in Acts, are build by different authors upon a common legend, with each presenting their version. If this is a correct view then it would be difficult to determine which was correcting which, Paul or Acts. My argument needs some help here.
[7] I have not systemically examined the content of this 2nd ür-Gospel. My unscientific first impression is that Matthew's source is a bit earlier than Mark's version of the source.
[8] M-Source supposedly consists of these parables
* Parable of the weeds among the wheat (13:24-13:30, note: Mark 4:26-29 is similar; )
* Parable of the treasure (13:44)
* Parable of the pearl (13:45-46)
* Parable of the net (13:47-50)
* Parable of the unforgiving servant (18:23-33)
* Parable of the laborers in the vineyard (20:1-16)
* Parable of the two sons (21:28-32)
* Parable of the ten virgins (25:1-13)
Possible additions
* Lament over Jerusalem (23:37-39 -> Luke 13:34-35
[9] Jesus is referred to once as the son of David in Marcion's Gospel, by the blind man near Jericho (Luke 18:38-39 see AM 4.36.9, P42.11.6.51, AD 5.14). However the paradigm of a blind man is that he incorrectly identifies Jesus as a Son of David, the Jewish Christ, is a theme the Marcionites taught. Jewish Christian teachers being blind to the true God, their interpretation of Luke 6:39. Tertullian goes on in great length from AM 4.36.10 well into the next chapter (4.37) attempting to refute this point of Antitheses (antithesim), leaving no doubt this was the Marcionite position. This is not unusual, sound doctrine and unsound doctrine were compared by all sides with health and affliction.
[10] Examples of ὁδὸν being used in the metaphorical sense include Acts 16:17, 18:25, 18:26, 19:9, 22:4, 22:14, Romans 3:17, 1 Corinthians 12:31, 1 Thessalonians 3:11, Hebrews 10:20, 2 Peter 2:15, 2:21 (Acts 26:13, Hebrews 9:8 can be read both ways).
[11] The Canaanite Woman is referred to as "a Greek, a Syrophoeni'cian by birth" in Mark 7:26 parallel account. This is an early clarification of the uncertain term, and the one I am going with. For background on the term see the wiki page discussion.
[12] Tertullian's report of Luke 16:16- in Marcionite form reads even more damning for the Law
(AM4.33.8) "The law and the prophets were until John; since that time the kingdom of God is proclaimed"
(AM4.33.9) "More easily, therefore, may heaven and earth pass away"----as also the law and the prophets----"than that one tittle of the Lord's words should fail."
I accept "my words" (λόγοι μου) in place of "the Law" (του νόμου) exactly as we find in Luke 21:33 and parallels, Matthew 24:35/Mark 13:31. However I think "as also the law and the prophets" is either a comment from Tertullian, or else a scribal gloss from the margin which found its way in the text. It is implied by the text and it's easy to see why a Marcionite scribe would have added it. And it is also easy to understand why Matthew wanted to counter it.
[13] Some texts read + Ἰησοῦς (f13 1424), finding it necessary to clarify who was speaking.
It should be noted Marcion's version of Luke 18:20 reads οἶδα for οἶδας, although this may simply be an erroneous textual error, although a Marcionite scribe would find it difficult to imagine Jesus speaking the words of the Law, even though in this passage he does not endorse them. But the same motivation is present as we see in Luke 10:26, to clarify who is speaking, and not to put the words of the Law in Jesus' mouth.
[14] Luke 23:45 can be seen as response to Matthew's woes to the Pharisees, since they represent the Orthodox in the Marcionite mind. Hence the Lawyers take offense, as they are the same camp. This to me is another sign of the fluidity of the Marcionite text as it evolved in competition with the proto-orthodox. This verse is an example of that legacy.

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