Author Topic: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism  (Read 2181 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline 786SalamKhan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
  • Faith: Muslim
St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« on: July 28, 2016, 11:25:27 PM »
Here's another one to refute. Basically the claim that St. Paul was really a Gnostic, in part due to the heretic Valentinus tracing his episcopal lineage back to him. Also the claim that the Gospel of St. Luke and the Acts of the Apostles were really derived from the works of the heretic Marcion.

I may be no expert in Scripture, but I think I can see right through the second claim claim, for example:

This touching incident, simply and beautifully told in the sixteen Greek words of Marcion (MARCION, 4, 30.), is spun out, by the author of Luke (LUKE, 7.37 and 38.), into more than three times the number, with no improvement in the story.
Source-http://www.marcionite-scripture.info/CW_2.htm

That could easily mean that Marcion edited the text to simplify and make it sound better. One similar example occurs in Apocalypse 18:2, where scholars believe a later writer omitted 'unclean beast' from the text to avoid repetition.

Anyway, leave your thoughts and refutations.

Thanks in advance and God bless.

Offline Porter ODoran

  • St. John the Beloved, pray for me
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,135
  • Monahos.net: "Lawful Evil"; OC.net: "Chaotic Evil"
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOAA
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2016, 12:06:01 AM »
Why do you want to "refute" this site?
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline RaphaCam

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,098
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2016, 01:41:56 AM »
On the contrary, the works of Marcion were derived from St. Luke. Also, we have many, many obvious non-Gnostics relating themselves to St. Paul, plus things from St. Paul's hands themselves. What else would you want to disprove his supposed Gnosticism? What Gnostic is in St. Luke's works?

Also, don't you think you may be paying too much attention to anti-Christian apologetics considering you're inquiring? I can relate to that from my own time of inquire, and believe me: it was anything but spiritually healthy. Go read something that edifies you, your angry doubts will eventually be suppressed by the acceptance of the truth of the Gospel. No apologetics can win over that.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 01:43:49 AM by RaphaCam »
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline byhisgrace

  • AOCB
  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,265
  • Memory Eternal to my Younger Brother
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2016, 02:00:01 PM »
Here's another one to refute. Basically the claim that St. Paul was really a Gnostic, in part due to the heretic Valentinus tracing his episcopal lineage back to him.
According to Fr. Clement of Alexandria, followers of Valentinus claimed that Valentinus was a disciple of Theudus, who was allegedly a disciple of Paul. There is no record of Theudus, other than this. Nor do we have any of Theudus's writings. A claim of succession based on some unknown disciple is hardly convincing.

That aside, it is worth bearing in mind that succession, in itself, is not proof of orthodoxy. Plenty of heretics had lines of succession that go back to the Apostles. 


Also the claim that the Gospel of St. Luke and the Acts of the Apostles were really derived from the works of the heretic Marcion.
Oral tradition was more highly valued in the 1st century than it is today, so two different writers recording similar stories is not proof that one plagiarized from the other. Even if Marcion was the first to record in writing the story of the sinful woman who anointed Jesus, that has no bearing on the authenticity of the story itself, nor does it have any bearing on the integrity of the author of Luke.


I may be no expert in Scripture, but I think I can see right through the second claim claim, for example:

This touching incident, simply and beautifully told in the sixteen Greek words of Marcion (MARCION, 4, 30.), is spun out, by the author of Luke (LUKE, 7.37 and 38.), into more than three times the number, with no improvement in the story.
Source-http://www.marcionite-scripture.info/CW_2.htm

That could easily mean that Marcion edited the text to simplify and make it sound better. One similar example occurs in Apocalypse 18:2, where scholars believe a later writer omitted 'unclean beast' from the text to avoid repetition.
My thoughts similar. I think that much of these conjectures are based on unwarranted assumptions about the writer's inner thoughts and motives, including why they did or did not include something.


Anyway, leave your thoughts and refutations.

Thanks in advance and God bless.
Hope I can help. :)
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 02:02:15 PM by byhisgrace »
Oh Holy Apostle, St. John, pray for us

Offline 786SalamKhan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
  • Faith: Muslim
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2016, 09:08:36 AM »
According to Fr. Clement of Alexandria, followers of Valentinus claimed that Valentinus was a disciple of Theudus, who was allegedly a disciple of Paul. There is no record of Theudus, other than this. Nor do we have any of Theudus's writings. A claim of succession based on some unknown disciple is hardly convincing.

That aside, it is worth bearing in mind that succession, in itself, is not proof of orthodoxy. Plenty of heretics had lines of succession that go back to the Apostles.

I see. Also, if that part about plenty of heretic having lines of succession going back to the Apostles is true, may I ask how orthodoxy was gauged?


Oral tradition was more highly valued in the 1st century than it is today, so two different writers recording similar stories is not proof that one plagiarized from the other. Even if Marcion was the first to record in writing the story of the sinful woman who anointed Jesus, that has no bearing on the authenticity of the story itself, nor does it have any bearing on the integrity of the author of Luke.

Makes sense.

Hope I can help. :)

That did help; thanks.

Offline byhisgrace

  • AOCB
  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,265
  • Memory Eternal to my Younger Brother
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2016, 04:57:38 PM »
Also, if that part about plenty of heretic having lines of succession going back to the Apostles is true, may I ask how orthodoxy was gauged?
Usually through councils, which consists of multiple bishops and clergy. One prime example is the First Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., where over 300 bishops from multiple regions gathered to settle the controversy about the Trinity.
Oh Holy Apostle, St. John, pray for us

Offline 786SalamKhan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
  • Faith: Muslim
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2016, 05:25:32 PM »
Also, if that part about plenty of heretic having lines of succession going back to the Apostles is true, may I ask how orthodoxy was gauged?
Usually through councils, which consists of multiple bishops and clergy. One prime example is the First Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., where over 300 bishops from multiple regions gathered to settle the controversy about the Trinity.

What about in the period between the passing of the Apostles and the Council of Nicea?

Offline RaphaCam

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,098
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2016, 05:36:57 PM »
Also, if that part about plenty of heretic having lines of succession going back to the Apostles is true, may I ask how orthodoxy was gauged?
Usually through councils, which consists of multiple bishops and clergy. One prime example is the First Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., where over 300 bishops from multiple regions gathered to settle the controversy about the Trinity.
What about in the period between the passing of the Apostles and the Council of Nicea?
The apostles (and the 72 disciples) occupied many, many ancient sees. Some of these sees have continuous records from that period to Nicea, and some less-ancient sees have records from when they were founded under another ancient see.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline byhisgrace

  • AOCB
  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,265
  • Memory Eternal to my Younger Brother
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOARCH
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2016, 06:05:50 PM »
Also, if that part about plenty of heretic having lines of succession going back to the Apostles is true, may I ask how orthodoxy was gauged?
Usually through councils, which consists of multiple bishops and clergy. One prime example is the First Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., where over 300 bishops from multiple regions gathered to settle the controversy about the Trinity.

What about in the period between the passing of the Apostles and the Council of Nicea?
There were many local councils, preceding Nicea. No bishop was an island; they were all held accountable to other bishops and clergy in their local regions. Oftentimes, when a heresy is taught by a clergyman, the other authorities quickly catch on and settle the issue on a local level (i.e. no ecumenical council necessary). In the 4th century, however, Arius became so influential and persuasive, that he influenced many bishops of the Church on a large scale. This made it necessary for the Church to call representatives from many regions in the East and West, hence Nicea.   
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 06:08:34 PM by byhisgrace »
Oh Holy Apostle, St. John, pray for us

Offline 786SalamKhan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
  • Faith: Muslim
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2016, 06:30:32 PM »
Also, if that part about plenty of heretic having lines of succession going back to the Apostles is true, may I ask how orthodoxy was gauged?
Usually through councils, which consists of multiple bishops and clergy. One prime example is the First Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., where over 300 bishops from multiple regions gathered to settle the controversy about the Trinity.
What about in the period between the passing of the Apostles and the Council of Nicea?
The apostles (and the 72 disciples) occupied many, many ancient sees. Some of these sees have continuous records from that period to Nicea, and some less-ancient sees have records from when they were founded under another ancient see.

I don't believe that answers my question as to how orthodoxy was gauged if plenty of heretics had lines that go back to the Apostles, but what exactly are these records you mentioned?

Offline 786SalamKhan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
  • Faith: Muslim
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2016, 06:32:07 PM »
Also, if that part about plenty of heretic having lines of succession going back to the Apostles is true, may I ask how orthodoxy was gauged?
Usually through councils, which consists of multiple bishops and clergy. One prime example is the First Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., where over 300 bishops from multiple regions gathered to settle the controversy about the Trinity.

What about in the period between the passing of the Apostles and the Council of Nicea?
There were many local councils, preceding Nicea. No bishop was an island; they were all held accountable to other bishops and clergy in their local regions. Oftentimes, when a heresy is taught by a clergyman, the other authorities quickly catch on and settle the issue on a local level (i.e. no ecumenical council necessary). In the 4th century, however, Arius became so influential and persuasive, that he influenced many bishops of the Church on a large scale. This made it necessary for the Church to call representatives from many regions in the East and West, hence Nicea.

I see. So following the example of the Council of Jerusalem.

Offline RaphaCam

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,098
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2016, 09:12:46 PM »
Also, if that part about plenty of heretic having lines of succession going back to the Apostles is true, may I ask how orthodoxy was gauged?
Usually through councils, which consists of multiple bishops and clergy. One prime example is the First Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., where over 300 bishops from multiple regions gathered to settle the controversy about the Trinity.
What about in the period between the passing of the Apostles and the Council of Nicea?
The apostles (and the 72 disciples) occupied many, many ancient sees. Some of these sees have continuous records from that period to Nicea, and some less-ancient sees have records from when they were founded under another ancient see.

I don't believe that answers my question as to how orthodoxy was gauged if plenty of heretics had lines that go back to the Apostles, but what exactly are these records you mentioned?
Oh, I see, I thought you were questioning something else.


As Orthodox Christians, we believe the Holy Spirit to guide the Church, guarding her from heresy. In that way, legitimate councils will always clarify evangelical truth.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 22,829
  • Excelsior
    • Archive of Our Own works
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2016, 10:37:43 PM »
It doesn't make sense that St. Paul would have been a gnostic; the gnostic sects were many and varied, and disagreed on many teachings. Given that, why would St. Paul have written a series of letters on uniform doctrine?
https://archiveofourown.org/users/Parakeetist/works Warning: stories have mature content.

"Some people only feel good when they are praising the Lord." - Coptic bishop

Mt. 21:31 Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you."

"Our Lord will *never* stop loving us." - Fr. Michael P.

Offline sestir

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 183
    • Weihos Bokos
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: independent
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2016, 01:18:28 AM »
Also the claim that the Gospel of St. Luke and the Acts of the Apostles were really derived from the works of the heretic Marcion.

I may be no expert in Scripture, but I think I can see right through the second claim claim, for example:

This touching incident, simply and beautifully told in the sixteen Greek words of Marcion (MARCION, 4, 30.), is spun out, by the author of Luke (LUKE, 7.37 and 38.), into more than three times the number, with no improvement in the story.
Source-http://www.marcionite-scripture.info/CW_2.htm

That could easily mean that Marcion edited the text to simplify and make it sound better.

Waite's book is from year 1900. There have been made several reconstructions of Marcion's version of Luke's gospel, yielding different results depending on what assumptions were made. So, you cannot take for granted that what he claims about Marcion's text will agree with more conservative reconstructions made after 1900.

In the case of Luke 7:38, Marcion, as reconstructed from Epiphanius, supports the reading ... τοις δακρυσιν εβρεξε τους ποδας αυτου ... in agreement with Codex Bezae and the Old Syriac, against ... τοις δακρυσιν ηρχατο βρεξειν τους ποδας αυτου ... that is read by Westcott & Hort, Robinson & Pierpont and many others. Since it often agrees with other early witnesses to the gospel of Luke, it seems more reasonable to me to think it was a copy of Luke's gospel.

Papyrus 4 is dated to around year 200 and Papyrus 45 to around 250. They contain a lot of Luke's gospel. Fragments of New Testament books usually show up around 100 years after the original was written according to tradition, so if Marcion wrote the originals, and he was 30 years old ca 115 CE (a little young to write scripture?), we would have to give a pseudo-Luke some time to create a derivative work and then Papyrus 4 shows up ca 50 years earlier than expected.

Wouldn't the gospel's canonicity have been even more challenged than that of Revelation or the letter to the Hebrews if it were written when Marcion was an adult?

Offline 786SalamKhan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
  • Faith: Muslim
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2016, 01:02:13 PM »
Papyrus 4 is dated to around year 200 and Papyrus 45 to around 250. They contain a lot of Luke's gospel. Fragments of New Testament books usually show up around 100 years after the original was written according to tradition, so if Marcion wrote the originals, and he was 30 years old ca 115 CE (a little young to write scripture?), we would have to give a pseudo-Luke some time to create a derivative work and then Papyrus 4 shows up ca 50 years earlier than expected.

How old did you have to be?

Offline sestir

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 183
    • Weihos Bokos
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: independent
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2016, 02:54:42 PM »
Papyrus 4 is dated to around year 200 and Papyrus 45 to around 250. They contain a lot of Luke's gospel. Fragments of New Testament books usually show up around 100 years after the original was written according to tradition, so if Marcion wrote the originals, and he was 30 years old ca 115 CE (a little young to write scripture?), we would have to give a pseudo-Luke some time to create a derivative work and then Papyrus 4 shows up ca 50 years earlier than expected.

How old did you have to be?

I have never written holy scripture, so I couldn't use my own experience to guide the calculation.

Offline 786SalamKhan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
  • Faith: Muslim
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2016, 08:58:08 PM »
Papyrus 4 is dated to around year 200 and Papyrus 45 to around 250. They contain a lot of Luke's gospel. Fragments of New Testament books usually show up around 100 years after the original was written according to tradition, so if Marcion wrote the originals, and he was 30 years old ca 115 CE (a little young to write scripture?), we would have to give a pseudo-Luke some time to create a derivative work and then Papyrus 4 shows up ca 50 years earlier than expected.

How old did you have to be?

I have never written holy scripture, so I couldn't use my own experience to guide the calculation.

I didn't mean you personally, I meant how old did you have to be back then to write scripture. Because you speculate that Marcion would've been too young at 30 years old.

Offline sestir

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 183
    • Weihos Bokos
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: independent
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2016, 12:54:15 AM »
 :)

It is necessary to make assumptions in order to arrive at a date. If you want to challenge the calculation based on different assumptions, you are supposed to suggest another minimum age, argue why it is more reasonable and show how it can change the conclusion into a likely Marcian authorship.

Offline 786SalamKhan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
  • Faith: Muslim
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2016, 10:59:48 AM »
:)

It is necessary to make assumptions in order to arrive at a date. If you want to challenge the calculation based on different assumptions, you are supposed to suggest another minimum age, argue why it is more reasonable and show how it can change the conclusion into a likely Marcian authorship.

I wasn't challenging you. I was enquiring merely out of curiosity, out of the assumption that you knew the answer. After all, there must be some basis on which you claimed 30 years of age would perhaps be too young. I simple wanted to know what the minimum age was during that time, unrelated to your point about Marcion authorship.

Offline sestir

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 183
    • Weihos Bokos
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: independent
Re: St. Paul, St. Luke, and Gnosticism
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2016, 01:58:59 PM »
In theory, since holy scripture is produced with aid from the holy spirit, the author could be very young. In practice, although we can't know exactly, authors of the books of the New Testament have been mostly middle-aged+.

A blogger named Jimmy Akin has tried to approximate the birth date of the New Testament authors:

Quote
Paul 8
Mark 20
Luke 8
Peter 1
Matthew 4
John 7
James 25 BCE

For the date of composition of the books, we could use Daniel Wallace's estimates:
Quote
Matthew 60-65
Mark ~50-62
Luke 61-62
John 65-66
Acts 61-62
Romans 56-57
1 Corinthians 54
2 Corinthians 55
Galatians 48-49
Ephesians 59-61
Colossians 59-61
Philippians 61
1 Thes 50
2 Thes 50
1 Tim 63-64
2 Tim 64
Titus 63-64
Philemon 59-61
James 44-45
1 Peter 64
1 John 68-69

Then, the authors would have produced their first books at an age of ca:

Quote
Mark ~30-42
Paul 40-41
Luke 53-54
Matthew 56-61
John 58-59
Peter 63
James 68-69

In the case of the date of authorship of Mark's gospel, it was impossible to suggest an earliest possible date under the assumption of Marcan priority. That's the meaning of the ~. Wallace concludes ``Sometime in the mid-50s is most probable.''