Markus Vinzent's Blog

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

English translation of Marcion's Gospel

O wonderful wonder, delight, power and astonishment that we cannot speak about it [i.e. faith], think about it [i.e. faith], or compare it [i.e. faith] with anything.

1:1 <Beginning> of the Gospel of Christ.

1:2 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, 1:3 Jesus who had come down from above, appeared and began teaching in the synagogue. 1:4 And all were puzzled at the gracious words coming out of His mouth.
1:5 And they said, ‘Isn’t this Joseph’s son?
1:6 What have we to do with you, Jesus! Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are – the Holy One of God.’ 1:7 But Jesus rebuked him.
And he said to them: ‘No doubt you will quote to me the proverb, “Physician, heal yourself!”’
1:8 They got up, forced him out of the town, and brought him to the brow of the hill, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 1:9 But he passed through the crowd and went on his way.

1:10 As the sun was setting, <all those who had any relatives sick with various diseases brought them to him.> He placed his hands on them and healed them. 1:11 Demons also came out, crying out: ‘You are the Son of God!’ 1:12 But he rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. 1:13 <The next morning> he went to a deserted place. Yet the crowds were keeping him. 1:14 But he said <to them>, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too.’

1:15 <And> he saw <two boats by the lake, but> the fishermen <had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. He got into the one boat which belonged to a Simon, and asked him to put out only a little way from the shore. Then Jesus sat down in the boat and taught the crowds.>
1:16 He said to Simon: <‘Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch.’
Simon, however, replied and said to him: ‘Teacher, all night we have worked hard and caught nothing! Now at your> word <I will not neglect to follow.>’
As they had done it, they caught so many fish <that their nets were torn. So they motioned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they were about to sink.
1:17 But when> Simon Peter <saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying: ‘Go away from me’> For Peter was terrified about the catch of fish that they had taken, and <so were James and John,> Zebedee’s sons, <who were Simon’s business partners>.
1:18 Then Jesus said to Simon: ‘Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.’
1:19 So when they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

1:20 <While Jesus was in one of the towns,> a man came to him who was covered with leprosy. <When he saw Jesus, he bowed down with his face to the ground and begged him:
‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me> clean.’
1:21 <So he stretched out his hand and> touched him, saying:
<‘I am willing.> Be clean!’
<And> immediately the leprosy left him. 1:22 <Then> he ordered the man to tell no one:
‘Go and show yourself to a priest, and bring the offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, that it may be for a testimony to them.’

1:23 <Now, on one of those days, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the Law came together, but also people where there who had come from all villages of Galilee and Judea for being healed.> Just then some men <carried> a paralyzed man <on a stretcher. They were trying to bring him in and place him before Jesus. 1:24 When Jesus saw their faith he said:
‘Friend,> your sins are forgiven.’
1:25 <Then the experts in the Law and the Pharisees began to say to themselves:>
‘Who is this man <who is uttering blasphemies?>
Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
1:26 <When Jesus perceived their hostile thoughts, he said to them:
‘Why are you raising objections within yourselves? 1:27 Which is easier, to say,> ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or <to say,> ‘Stand up and take the mat’? 1:28 <‘But so that> you may know <that> the Son of Man has authority <on earth> to forgive sins’, <he said to the paralyzed man:
‘I tell you,> stand up, take your mat, <and go’,
and he went home’, glorifying God. 1:29 Then astonishment seized them all, and they were filled with> fear, <saying:
We have seen> incredible things <today.’

1:30 <After this, while Jesus went again along the sea, he taught the crowd that followed him. Passing along, he saw Levi sitting at> the tax booth and said to him: ‘Follow me’, 1:31 <And he got up and followed him, leaving everything behind.
1:32 Then Levi gave a great banquet in his house for him, and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others sitting at the table. 1:33 But the Pharisees and their experts in the law> complained to his disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors?’
1:34 But Jesus answered them: ‘Those who are well don’t need a physician, but those who are sick do. <1:35 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’>
1:36 Then they said to him: ‘Why do John’s disciples <and the disciples of the Pharisees> frequently fast and pray, but yours continue to eat and drink.’
1:37 But Jesus said <to them>: ‘The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them. 1:38 But those days are coming, and when the bridegroom is taken from them, at that time they will fast.’

1:39 He also told <them> a parable: ‘No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old garment. If he does, he will have torn the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 1:40 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the old skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 1:41 Instead one pours new wine into new wineskins <and both will be preserved.>’

2:1 <And it happened> on <the second-first> Sabbath, <that he was going through the grain fields, but> his disciples picked some heads of wheat, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. 2:2 But some of the Pharisees said to him: ‘Look, why are your disciples doing what is against the Sabbath, that is not allowed?’
2:3 But Jesus answered them: ‘Have you <never> read the passage what David did when he and his companions were hungry – 2:4 how he entered the house of God, took and ate the bread of the presence and gave it also those who were with him, <which was not lawful for them to eat but the priests alone?’>

2:5 <And on this very day, looking at someone working on the Sabbath, he told him: Man if you know what you are doing, you are blessed. If you don’t know, cursed and transgressor of the law you are.>

2:6 <And coming in again in the synagogue in which there was> a man with a withered hand, 2:7 the Pharisees were watching him, whether on the Sabbath, he would heal, so that they could find a reason to accuse him. 2:8 <But as he got to know their discussion, he said to the man who had the withered hand: ‘Get up and stand here.’ So he rose and stood there.>
2:9 But Jesus said to them: ‘I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or <to do evil>, to save a life or to destroy it?’ 2:10 <They, however, kept silent. And after having looked around at them all who were in anger, he said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ The man did so, and> his hand was restored <and looked like the other> and he said to them: ‘The Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath.’ 2:11 But they were filled with mindless rage <and began debating with one another who they could ruin him.>

2:12 <It happened> in those days that he went out to the mountain <to pray>, and he spent all night in prayer. 2:13 <When morning came, he called his disciples and> chose twelve <of them, whom he also gave the title> apostles: 2:14 <first> Simon (whom he named also Peter), <and his brother Andrew; and James, his brother John, whom he nicknamed Boanerges that means ‘sons of the sunder’, and Philip and Bartholomew, 2:15 and Matthew and Thomas, the one called Didyme, and James, the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 2:16 and Judas, the son of James, and> Judas <Scarioth, who also became> a traitor.

2:17 <Then he came down with them and stood on a level place. And a number of his disciples> had gathered along with a vast multitude from <all over Judea> and even from the seacoast of Tyre and other places. <They came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases, 2:18 and those who suffered from unclean spirits were cured. 2:19 The whole crowd was trying to touch him, because power was coming out from him and healing them all.>

2:20 <Then he still had his eyes fixed at the disciples and said:>
‘Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God belongs to you.
2:21 Blessed are you who hunger <now>, for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep <now>, for you will laugh.
2:22 Blessed are you when people hate you, and <when they> exclude and reject your name as evil on account of the Son of Man! 2:23 For their ancestors did the same things to the prophets.
2:24 <But> woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation already.
2:25 Woe <to you> who are well satisfied with food, for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.
2:26 Woe when people speak well of you, for their ancestors did the same things to the false prophets.

2:27 But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, <do good> to those who hate you, 2:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 2:29 <To the person who strikes you> on the cheek, offer the other as well, and from the person who takes away your coat, do not withhold your tunic either. 2:30 Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away. 2:31 In the way that you would want them to treat you, treat others. 2:32 <If you love those who love you>, what credit is that to you? <For even sinners do this and love those who love them. 2:33 And if you do good to those who do good to you>, what credit is that to you? <Even sinners do the same.> 2:34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to be repaid, what credit is that to you? <Even sinners lend to sinners, so that they may be repaid in full.> 2:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back and you will be sons of God, because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people. 2:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

2:37 Do not judge, so that you will not be judged; do not condemn, so that you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. 2:38 Give, and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down and running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive. 2:39 <He also told them a parable:> ‘Someone who is blind <cannot> lead another who is blind, can he? <Won’t they both> fall into a pit? 2:40 A disciple is not greater than his teacher, <but everyone when fully trained will be like his teacher. 2:41 Why do you see> the speck which is in <your brother’s> eye, but <do not recognize the beam of wood in your eye? 2:42 Or, how can you say to your brother, ‘let> me remove the speck from your eye’, <and see, the beam rests in your eye? Hypocrite! First remove the beam from your eye, and then you can see clearly> to remove the speck from <your brother’s> eye.

2:43 For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 2:44 <for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from brambles. 2:45 The good> person out of the good treasury <of his heart> produces <good, and the evil person> out of his evil (heart) produces <evil, for his mouth speaks from what fills his heart>. 2:46 Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do what I tell you?

3:1 <And it happened that after he had finished teaching all this he entered Capernaum.> 3:2 A centurion <there who had a slave whom he regarded highly, but who was sick and at the point of death, approached him and asked him:
3:3 ‘Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible anguish’.
3:4 And he [Jesus] said to him: I will come and heal him’.
3:5 But> the centurion <answered: 3:6 Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. 3:7 Instead, just say the word and my servant will be healed. 3:8 For I too am a man set under authority, having soldiers under me. I say to this one, “Go”,and he goes, and to another, “Come”, and he comes, and to my slave, “Do this”,and he does it.
3:9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him. He turned and said to the crowd that followed him, ‘Amen,> I tell you, however, even in Israel never have I found such faith!


6:1 The Lord, however, appointed seventy others and sent them on <ahead of him two by two> into <every place and> town <where he himself was about to go. 6:2 He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest. 6:3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs surrounded by wolves.> 6:4 Do not carry <a money bag, a traveler’s bag, or> sandals, and greet no one on the road. 6:5 Whenever you enter a house, first say, “May peace be on this house!” 6:6 <And if a peace-loving person is there, your peace will remain on him, but if not, your peace will return to you. 6:7 Stay in that same house, eating and drinking what they give you,> for the worker deserves his pay. <Do not move around from house to house. 6:8 Whenever you enter a town and the people welcome you, eat what is set before you. 6:9 Heal the sick in that town and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come upon you!” 6:10 But whenever you enter a town> and the people do not welcome you, <go into its streets> and say, 6:11 “Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off for you. Nevertheless know this: The kingdom of God has come.” 6:12 The one who rejects you rejects me, <and the one who rejects me rejects the one who sent me.’ 6:13 But the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name!’ 6:14 So he said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 6:15 Look,> I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions and on the full <force of the enemy, and> nothing will hurt <you. 6:16 Nevertheless, do not rejoice that> the spirits submit <to you, but rejoice that your names stand written in heaven.’> 6:17 <On that same occasion Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit> and said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven, because things hidden hidden from the wise and intelligent, these you have revealed to little children. <Yes, Father, for this was your gracious will.> 6:18 All things have been given to me by my Father. No one knows the Father except the Son, and no one [knows] the Son except the Father, and anyone to whom the Son reveals him.’

1 comment:

  1. You interesting argue that Tertullian (or his source) knows the correct order of the Marcionite gospel. I am not so sure. I think the text began with the appearance at Bethsaida (= Nazareth). This explains the name 'gospel' (= Jubilee cf. Isa 61.2). It is also worth noting that Clement of Alexandria cites an important variant. I think the scribe added the identification 'Luke' herein:

    And to prove that this is true, it is written in the Gospel by Luke as follows: "And in the fifteenth year, in the reign of Tiberius Caesar, the word of the Lord came to John, the son of Zacharias." And again in the same book: "And Jesus was coming to His baptism, being about thirty years old," and so on. And that it was necessary for Him to preach only a year, this also is written: "He hath sent Me to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." This both the prophet spake, and the Gospel. [Strom 1.21]

    For what it's worth I think this is closest we get to the actual order of the Marcionite gospel (which is really ur-Mark or the preferred gospel of Alexandria). Tertullian is just copying a Syriac text he doesn't fully understand. It reflects the order of Tatian's Diatessaron not Marcion's text just as Galatians is only the first epistle in the Syriac NT (cf. Ephraim) not the Marcionite NT.