Luke 11

For a side-by-side English translation of this portion of the text of Marcion's Gospel of the Lord [Mcg], see Luke Chapter 11


From Ernest Evans on Adv. Marcion IV: Appendix 2In 11:29-32 he omits [the reference to Jonah]. At 11:42 he reads vocation instead of judgement, klh~sin for kri/sin: he omits also 11:49-51 [the reference to the Wisdom of God].


Luke 11:1-4 – The Lord’s Prayer

And it came to pass that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. [11:1]
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. [11:2]
Give us day by day our daily bread. [11:3]
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [11:4]

Epiphanius does not comment on these verses, indicating that what he saw here in Mcg was as he expected. However, Tertullian poses the following questions in his chapter 26, where he compares Marcion’s god to his own:

  1. To whom can I say, "Father?" [11:2] To him who had nothing to do with making me, from whom I do not derive my origin? Or to Him, who, by making and fashioning me, became my parent?
  2. Of whom can I ask for His Holy Spirit? [11:13?] Of him who gives not even the mundane spirit; or of Him "who makes His angels spirits," [Ps 104:4] and whose Spirit it was which in the beginning hovered upon the waters.
  3. Whose kingdom shall I wish to come [11:2] -- his, of whom I never heard as the king of glory; or His, in whose hand are even the hearts of kings?
  4. Who shall give me my daily bread? [11:3] Shall it be he who produces for me not a grain of millet-seed; or He who even from heaven gave to His people day by day the bread of angels?
  5. Who shall forgive me my trespasses? [11:4] He who, by refusing to judge them, does not retain them; or He who, unless He forgives them, will retain them, even to His judgment?
  6. Who shall suffer us not to be led into temptation?[11:4] He before whom the tempter will never be able to tremble; or He who from the beginning has beforehand condemned the angel tempter?

He then moves on, without suggesting that Mcg differed from what he saw in Luke, and with no further mention of these verses. All the questions above posed by Tertullian (which are unlikely to represent the actual form of the text of Mcg) correspond directly to requests that we see in the Lord’s Prayer in Luke, except for the second, which appears to be a reference to v. 11:13 instead. Baring-Gould suggests the following difference in Mcg:

The first petition in the Lord's Prayer differs in Marcion’s gospel from that in St. Luke. Marcion has, "Father! may thy Holy Spirit come to us. Thy kingdom come," &c., instead of, "Father! (which art in heaven - not in the most ancient copies of St. Luke) Hallowed be thy name," &c.

Lardner agrees, reading v. 11:2 as: “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Father, may thy Holy Spirit come to us. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.” He also notes that vv. 11:3-4 were unchanged.

In common with many other bibles, the NET has a variant of vv. 11:2-4 shorter than that given in the KJV (above), reading:

So he said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, may your name be honored; may your kingdom come. [11:2]
Give us each day our daily bread, [11:3]
and forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And do not lead us into temptation.” [11:4]

The NET then notes:

Most mss, including later majority (A C D W Θ Ψ 070 Ë13 33vid Ï it), add ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς (Jhmwn Jo en toi" oujranoi", “our [Father] in heaven”) here. This makes the prayer begin like the version in Matt 6:9. The shorter version is read by Ì75 א B (L: + ἡμῶν) 1 700 pc as well as some versions and fathers. Given this more weighty external evidence, combined with the scribal tendency to harmonize Gospel parallels, the shorter reading is preferred. [11:2]

Most mss (א A C D W Θ Ψ 070 Ë13 33vid Ï it) read at the end of the verse “may your will be done on earth as [it is] in heaven,” making this version parallel to Matt 6:10. The shorter reading is found, however, in weighty mss (Ì75 B L pc), and cannot be easily explained as arising from the longer reading. [11:2]

Or “Give us bread each day for the coming day,” or “Give us each day the bread we need for today.” The term ἐπιούσιος (epiousio") does not occur outside of early Christian literature (other occurrences are in Matt 6:11 and Didache 8:2), so its meaning is difficult to determine. Various suggestions include “daily,” “the coming day,” and “for existence.” See BDAG 376 s.v.; L&N 67:183, 206. [11:3]

Most mss (א1 A C D W Θ Ψ 070 Ë13 33 Ï it syc,p,h) add “but deliver us from the evil one,” an assimilation to Matt 6:13. The shorter reading has better attestation (Ì75 א*,2 B L 1 700 pc vg sa Or). Internally, since the mss that have the longer reading here display the same tendency throughout the Lord’s Prayer to assimilate the Lukan version to the Matthean version, the shorter reading should be regarded as authentic in Luke. [11:4]

Wikipedia expands on the statement in the NET regarding the end of v. 11:2:

“In Luke 11:2 it contains the unique variant ἐφ ἡμᾶς ἐλθέτω σου ἡ βασιλεία (Let thine kingdom come upon us). Comparatively, others read:
ἐλθέτω τὸ πνεῦμα σου τὸ ἄγιον εφ ημας και καθαρισατω ημας (May your Holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us) — 162, 700
ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου (May your kingdom come) — majority of mss
ἐλθάτω ἡ βασιλεία σου (May your kingdom come) — C P W Δ f13 1241 (p45 indistinguishable ἐλθάτω or ἐλθέτω)
omit — geo”

In a message to the Synoptic-L message board on 3-30-16, Jeffrey Gibson wrote:

I have been reading an essay Norman Metzler entitled " The Lord's Prayer: Second Thoughts on the First Petition" (in In Authenticating the Words of Jesus, 187-202) in which he takes up and defends a claim made by Johannes Weiss, that the customary view that there are seven petitions in the Matthean Version of the Lord’s Prayer and five in Luke’s is false, since in actuality the phrase "hallowed be your name" at Matt. 6:9//Lk. 11:2 is not petitionary in nature, but a doxology, a honorific qualifier of the Prayer’s opening address.

One of the arguments that Metzler uses in support of his contention is based in the observation that the verb for "may your name be hallowed" (ἁγιασθήτω) is aorist passive imperative, while the verb for "may your kingdom come" (ελθέτω) is aorist active imperative, and the one for "may your will be done" (γεvηθήτω) is an aorist imperative deponent verb – i.e., one that is passive in form but active in meaning. So this, he argues, along with the observation t [sic] that each of the verbs in the other petitions of the Prayer are grammatically active in intent (if not in form), not only indicates that "hallowed be your name" is different in kind from the petitions that follow it, but that "name be hallowed", "kingdom come", and "will be done" should not be construed, as is usually done, as in parallel with each other.

I'm wondering what should be made of this conclusion. Has it any validity? Does the fact that ἁγιασθήτω is aorist passive imperative while the verbs in the other petitions of the LP are active in intent really make the name clause different [sic] in kind from everything else that appears after it in the LP?

The evidence from Tertullian suggests that the answer to Gibson’s question is: Yes. Although the lack of citation of “Hallowed be thy name” by Tertullian is not in itself evidence of anything, the absence coupled with the different tense of the verb do suggest that it may be a honorific, and so may not have been in the original version of the Lord’s Prayer.

Overall, the version of the Lord’s Prayer reported by Tertullian matches closely the shorter text noted in the NET, although Tertullian suggests that Mcg had “may thy Holy Spirit come to us” in v. 11:2, about which the New American Bible suggests:

Your kingdom come: in place of this petition, some early church Fathers record: "May your holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us," a petition that may reflect the use of the "Our Father" in a baptismal liturgy.

Peake's Commentary on the Bible, 1976 edition p.833 expands on this information, commenting that as well as being found in 162 and 700, ‘May Thy Holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us’ is found in Gregory of Nyasa’s exposition of the prayer, and was also known to Maximus Confessor. Willker comments as follows:

Gregory and Maximus state expressly that Luke has "holy spirit" where Mt has "kingdom". The wording of the reading in Marcion (known from Tertullian) is not completely clear. It is possible acc. to Harnack (Marcion) that it was the same as that in 700...

Streeter ("Four Gospels", p. 277) writes: "Now in view of the immense pressure of the tendency to assimilate the two versions of this specially familiar prayer, and of the improbability that various orthodox Fathers should have adopted (without knowing it) the text of Marcion, the probability is high that the reading of 700, 162, which makes the Gospels differ most, is what Luke wrote."

Head comments that here Streeter is arguing that:

… we should follow those texts of Luke which are least harmonised to Matthew, not only B for the most part, but also 700 and 162 for the reading “Thy Holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us” (a reading known from Marcion and other Fathers). Once the differences between the Lukan and Matthean versions are recognised it becomes unlikely that they were both derived from the same written source; since in Matthew the Lord’s Prayer occurs within the middle of an M block; and since in Luke the Lord’s Prayer occurs within the middle of an L block, the most natural conclusion is that the different versions of the Lord’s prayer come from these special sources.

Based on the above it is likely that Mcg read (with possible variations shown in square brackets):

And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Father, may thy Holy Spirit come to us [and cleanse us]. Thy kingdom come.
Give us [day by day] our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses [/sins]; as we forgive those who trespass [/sin] against us. And lead us not into temptation.

As neither Tertullian nor Epiphanius give any indication that what they saw in Mcg differed from their copies of Luke, it would appear that this was the form of these verses that they knew. Baring-Gould believed so, and, continuing from his comment above above, he stated:

No purpose was served by this difference, and we must not attribute to Marcion in this instance willful alteration of the sacred text. It is apparent that several versions of the Lord's Prayer existed in the first age of the Church, and that this was the form in which it was accepted and used in Pontus, perhaps throughout Asia Minor.

Given the existence of several variants in Luke, plus a different version in Matthew, the evidence strongly suggests that the form of the Lord’s prayer seen in Mcg was not created by Marcion editing Luke, but was an earlier (and perhaps the original) variant. Klinghardt expands on this as an example of “where Luke seems to have a more primitive text than Matthew:”

The same is true for the Lord’s prayer where the Matthean version (6:9-13) is longer than Luke’s version with only five requests (11:2-4). Furthermore, the address also shows a particular Matthean addition (πάτερ ἡμῶν) ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. Thus the judgment seems inevitable that Matthew enlarged and re-edited the Lukan version.

But …this version is already attested for Mcn, which then would have contained the presumably oldest text of the Lord’s prayer. In his discussion of the Lord’s prayer, Tertullian does not provide exact quotations from his copy of Mcn but rather mere allusions to the text. Nevertheless, it is sufficiently clear that there is no trace of the second and seventh Matthean requests (on the fulfillment of God’s will and on the deliverance from evil)

As a side-effect, this reconstruction of the history of tradition provides the solution for the old textual problem of Luke 11:2, where Mcn’s first request did not ask for the kingdom to come but for the spirit. The invocation of the spirit, which is attested for the early church and in some medieval manuscripts, most probably represents the Lukan version, which later was corrected according to the Matthean version. Since a textual influence from Mcn on some medieval manuscripts is only imaginable if it was mediated through bible manuscripts, this textual problem further corroborates the priority of Mcn. 

Luke 11:9-10 – Asking and Receiving

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. [11:9]
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. [11:10]

Immediately following his questions above regarding vv. 11:1-4, Tertullian continues in the same questionning vein regarding Jesus’ words in v. 11:9-10:

In like manner, from whom must I ask that I may receive?  Of whom seek, that I may find? To whom knock, that it may be opened to me? Who has to give to him that asks,but He to whom all things belong, and whose am I also that am the asker? What, however, have I lost before that other god, that I should seek of him and find it?

He then answers these rhetorical questions as follows:

… In fine, if to receive, and to find, and to be admitted, is the fruit of labor and earnestness to him who has asked, and sought, and knocked, understand that these duties have been enjoined, and results promised, by the Creator.

Tertullian’s rhetorical questions appear to be in response to v. 11:9, except that he mentions receiving (rather than being given) from v. 11:10, perhaps suggesting that he saw both verses in Mcg. Although Epiphanius makes no direct comment on these verses at this point, in Scholion 24 (but not Elenchus 24) he does quote v. 11:9a “Ask, and it shall be given” as if it immediately preceded v. 11.11:

“And he said, “Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, asking three loaves?” [11:5] And then, “Ask, and it shall be given. [11:9a] If a son shall ask a fish of any of you that is a father, will he for a fish give him a serpent, or a scorpion for an egg?” [11:11]

Epiphanius’ comment seems to suggest that “Ask, and it shall be given,” and “Seek, and you shall find” (or “He who seeks will find”) may at one time have been separate sayings, and this possibility is supported by the Gospel of Thomas, in which the former is not present, but the latter appears in three different sayings:

Thomas 2: Jesus said: He who seeks, let him not cease seeking until he finds; and when he finds he will be troubled, and when he is troubled he will be amazed, and he will reign over the All.

Thomas 92: Jesus said: Seek, and you will find; but the things you asked me in those days and I did not tell you then, now I desire to tell them, but you do not ask about them.

Thomas 94: Jesus [said:] He who seeks will find, [and he who knocks], to him will be opened.

Despite the support from Thomas, given what we know of the way Epiphanius writes, it is more likely that he is just using both vv. 11:5 and 11 to make the same point. In addition, as Tertullian appears to know the whole of vv. 11:9-10, it is unlikely that Epiphanius only saw v. 11:9a. Instead, it is likely that this is just another example of Epiphanius only quoting the first few words of a whole passage when making at point.

This does still leave one inconsistency, which is that Tertullian appears to see these verses in the order vv. 11:9-10, 5-8, 11-13, while Epiphanius shows no indication that any verses were swapped. Tertullian’s order (putting vv. 11:9-10 directly after the Lord’s Prayer) certainly makes great literary sense, and would appears to be the ‘natural’ order of these verses. However, there is no other support for this order, so it must be regarded as an unresolved issue.

Luke 11:5-8 – Bread at Midnight

And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; [11:5]
For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? [11:6]
And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. [11:7]
I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. [11:8]

Tertullian mentions this passage in general terms only, but does so after having referred to vv. 11:9-10:

Accordingly, the preceding similitude represents the man who went at night and begged for the loaves, [11:5] in the light of a friend and not a stranger, and makes him knock at a friend's house and not at a stranger's… At His door, therefore, does he knock to whom he had the right of access; whose gate he had found; whom he knew to possess bread; in bed now with His children, [11:7] whom He had willed to be born… It is the Creator, who once shut the door to the Gentiles, which was then knocked at by the Jews, that both rises and gives, if not now to man as a friend, yet not as a stranger, but, as He says, "because of his importunity." [11:8]

Epiphanius refers to v. 11:5:

“And he said, “Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, asking three loaves?” (Scholion 24a)

When combined with the evidence from Tertullian, this indicates that in Mcg these verses were most likely as we see them in Luke. The possible small difference in v. 11:5 (the omission of the second “Friend”) is very unlikely to be the result of action by Marcion, as it makes no difference to the meaning of the passage. Instead, it is more likely to be either a small mis-quote by Epiphanius, or a later clarifying addition.

Luke 11:11-13 – Bread, Stones, Fish, Serpents, Eggs, and Scorpions

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? [11:11]
Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? [11:12]
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? [11:13]

Both Tertullian and Epiphanius appear to have seen in Mcg variants of vv. 11:11-13 that were significantly shorter than that given above, omitting the ‘bread … stone’ clause shown above. Following his references to vv. 11:5-8, Tertullian writes:

Him, therefore, whom you call the Creator recognize also as "Father." It is even He who knows what His children require. For when they asked for bread, He gave them manna from heaven; and when they wanted flesh, He sent them abundance of quails -- not a serpent for a fish, nor for an egg a scorpion. It will, however, appertain to Him not to give evil instead of good, who has both one and the other in His power. Marcion's god, on the contrary, not having a scorpion, was unable to refuse to give what he did not possess; only He (could do so), who, having a scorpion, yet gives it not. In like manner, it is He who will give the Holy Spirit, at whose command is also the unholy spirit.

Epiphanius provides us with two variants of vv. 11:11-13:

… And then, “Ask, and it shall be given. If a son shall ask a fish of any of you that is a father, will he for a fish give him a serpent, or a scorpion for an egg? If ye then, being evil, know of good gifts, how much more the Father?

Here Epiphanius is quoting from what he saw in Mcg, while in Elenchus 24j then he tells us what he saw in his copy of Luke:

“But the Savior refutes you, knowing more than you and giving the better teaching with such a saying as this: he says,
“Which of you, whose son shall ask for a fish, will give him a serpent, or, for an egg, a scorpion?” And further on, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father?”

Although Epiphanius states that Luke contains “the better teaching” he does not specifically identify any differences. For example, his quote from v. 11:11 does not contain “father,” as is the case in “one Greek manuscript, one OL manuscript, and the SSyr and CSyr” (BeDuhn) and also Adamantius 2.20:

“Would any of you, if his son should ask for bread, give him a stone? If he should desire a fish, would you give him a serpent? If he should want an egg, would you give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children…”

The parallel in Matthew also does not have “father,” but does have the ‘bread … stone’ clause, making it very close to the first part of the quote from Adamantius:

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? [Mt 7:9]
Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? [Mt 7:10]

Epiphanius’ quote from Luke is very close to what both Matthew and Adamantius would have had if the ‘bread … stone’ clause was not present, e.g:

… what man is there of you, whom if his son ask … a fish, will he give him a serpent?

The NET has a similar short variant of v. 11:11, although it does have “father”, as shown below:

What father among you, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish?

Most mss (א A C D L W Θ Ψ Ë1,13 33 Ï lat syc,p,h bo) have “bread, does not give him a stone instead, or” before “a fish”; the longer reading, however, looks like a harmonization to Matt 7:9. The shorter reading is thus preferred, attested by Ì45,75 B 1241 pc sys sa.

Tertullian does mention “Father,” but only as another name for the Creator, in reference to him giving the Israelites manna when they asked for bread. However, although he contrasts the giving of Quail with that of a serpent, he does not similarly contrast bread and manna with the bread … stone clause, so implicitly agreeing with Epiphanius regarding the lack of this clause both in Mcg and in their respective copies of Luke.

For v. 11:13 Epiphanius mentions giving “good things [or gifts],” but does not actually mention the final clause of this verse, which in Tertullian refers to giving the Holy Spirit. There are several different variants of v. 11:13 in old mss and versions of the Bible. For example, the Vulgate, Douay-Rheims, and Tyndale Bibles, and two copies of Beza’s, read “good Spirit,” and the Joseph Smith Translation and Ethiopic version conflate the two readings and have “the good gift of [or through] the Holy Spirit.” It is possible that Epiphanius saw one of these variants, but, from what we know of his methods, it is more likely that he simply did not need to quote the end of the verse to make his point. 

From the above, it seems likely that in Mcg vv. 11:11-13 read approximately as follows:

[Ask, and it shall be given.] But of which of you that is a father shall his son ask fish, and he instead of a fish will give him a serpent?
Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Given the mss and versional evidence, it is very unlikely that Marcion created this shorter form by editing Luke, and instead it is likely that this is the original pre-Matthew variant, with Luke later being harmonized to Matthew.

Luke 11:14-20 - The Beelzebub Controversy

And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. [11:14]
But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. [11:15]
And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. [11:16]
But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. [11:17]
If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. [11:18]
And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. [11:19]
But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. [11:20]

Epiphanius has no comment on these verses, while Tertullian writes near the end of his chapter 26:

When He cast out the "demon which was dumb" [11:14] (and by a cure of this sort verified Isaiah), [Isa 29:18] and having been charged with casting out demons by Beelzebub [11:15], He said, "If I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out?" [11:19]

… you are met at once by the preceding sentence, that "Satan cannot be divided against himself." [11:18] So that it was not by Beelzebub that even they were casting out demons, but (as we have said) by the power of the Creator; and that He might make this understood, He adds: "But if I with the finger of God cast out demons, is not the kingdom of God come near unto you?" [11:20]

A number of important mss (including P45, P75, 01, A*, B, (D), L) have “a mute demon” in v. 11:14, while the majority have “a demon, and it was mute” (or “which was mute”). Willker writes:”It is very probable that the txt [i.e. the majority] reading is correct. There is no reason for an addition. To the contrary, the omission is only natural, to improve style and understanding.” The translation above suggests that Tertulian sides with the majority, but in fact his Latin has “Cum surdum daemonium expulisset,” more accurately translated as “When he had driven out the deaf demon.” The reference to the demon being deaf rather than dumb may indicate that Tertullian actually saw text similar to that in Bezae, in which the Latin side (d) reads: 

haec autem dicente eo offertur illi daemoniosus surdus
but the latter offers them the possessed person a deaf man.

Although Tertullian does not refer to every verse of this passage, there is no evidence in what he writes that any part of this passage was different or missing in Mcg, indicating that he saw no differences here. 

Most of these verses have parallels in both Mark and Matthew, but vv. 11:17a, 19-20 have no parallels in Mark, suggesting that here Luke depends on Matthew, not Mark. However, in other places the text suggests that Luke (and so Mcg) is following Mark, not Matthew. For example, several mss (A, D, K, P, M, W, X, 346(=f13), 157, 579, 1071, al, a2, d, r1, Sy-H, aeth) add at the end of v. 11:15: 

He answered and said: How Satan can Satan drive out Satan?

This reply is not present in Matthew, but Jesus says the same words in Mk 3:23. Klinghardt also points out that: 

According to Matt. 12:28 the expulsion of the demons is the work of the spirit, whereas Luke ascribes it to the “finger of God”. Fortunately, Tertullian provides enough text to prove that Mcn had the “finger of God” as well.

These apparently conflicting indications of directionality are easily resolved if Matthew follows Mcg.

Luke 11:21-22 – The Strong Man

Tertullian continues: 

Well, therefore, did He connect with the parable of "the strong man armed," whom "a stronger man still overcame," [11:21-22] the prince of the demons, whom He had already called Beelzebub and Satan [11:15, 18-19]; signifying that it was he who was overcome by the finger of God [11:20], and not that the Creator had been subdued by another god.

He also refers to v. 11:21 in his commentary on Marcion's version of First Corinthians, where he writes that:

The parable also of the strong man armed, whom a stronger than he overcame and seized his goods, is admitted by Marcion to have reference to the Creator.

Epiphanius has no comment, and so there is no suggestion here of any difference between Mcg and Luke.

Luke 11:23-26 - Unclean Spirits

He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. [11:23]
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return into my house whence I came out. [11:24]
And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. [11:25]
Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. [11:26]

Theodor Zahn omits these verses from his reconstruction. This may due to Tertullian, who, after referring to vv. 11:14-22, makes no mention of vv. 11:23-26, but moves straight on to vv. 11:27-28. Epiphanius also makes no comment about vv. 11:23-26, which would suggest that he saw nothing of note at this point in Mcg. As these verses have parallels at Mt 12:30, 43-45 it is likely that these verses existed unchanged in Mcg.

Luke 11:27-28 – Bless the Womb

And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. [11:27]
But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. [11:28]

Tertullian quotes most of vv. 11:27b-28 almost word-for-word,

A (certain) mother of the company exclaims, “Blessed is the womb that bare You, and the paps which You have sucked;' but the Lord said, “Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”

Howwever, Tertullian’s Latin actually ends: “Immo beati qui sermonem dei audiunt et faciunt,” it appears that Mcg actually read “and do it” rather than “and keep it,” as is “also found in some Greek, OL, and Armenian manuscripts of Luke” (BeDuhn). Although these verses have no parallels in either Mark or Matthew, there is a close parallel in Thomas 79:

A woman in the crowd said to him: Blessed is the womb which bore you, and the breasts which nourished you. He said to [her]: Blessed are those who have heard the word of the Father (and) have kept it in truth. For there will be days when you will say: Blessed is the womb which has not conceived, and the breasts which have not given suck.

Epiphanius does not comment on either of these verses, so there is no reason to believe that these verses were different in Mcg than in Luke, except for the minor variant at the end of v. 11:28.

Luke 11:29-32 – An Evil Generation

And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. [11:29]
For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. [11:30]
The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. [11:31]
The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. [11:32]

There are three other places in the gospels that have parallels to this passage in which a generation seeks a sign: two in Matthew, and one in Mark. The first of the two in Matthew reads as follows:

Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. [Mt 12:38]
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: [Mt 12:39]
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. [Mt 12:40]
The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. [Mt 12:41]
The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. [Mt 12:42]

In comparison with vv. 11:29-32, this version swaps the queen of the south and the men of Nineveh, and adds the detail of Jonas in the belly of the whale. Willker comments as follows:

Mt has the same verse in identical wording. But the interesting fact is that Luke has the two verses reversed. Mt has the more logical order because in the preceding verses Jonah is the topic. It would be natural to end with "something greater than Jonah is here!" and then go on with the queen of the south.

The second parallel in Matthew is much shorter:

A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed. [Mt 16:4]

Here all the detail regarding Jonas, the men of Nineveh, and the queen of the south is omitted. The parallel in Mark is also very short, omitting the same details as in Matthew 16:4, but with other significant differences: Not only is “this generation” not referred to as “wicked, evil, or adulterous,” but also no sign at all is given to them.

And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. [Mk 8:12]

Both Tertullian and Epiphanius indicate that Mcg contained a variant of this passage shorter than the one we see in Lk 11:29-32. At the beginning of his chapter 27 Tertullian writes:

Behold how unequal, inconsistent, and capricious he is! Teaching one thing and doing another, he enjoins "giving to everyone that seeks;" [11:9] and yet he himself refuses to give to those "who seek a sign." [11:29]

Tertullian has no comment on vv. 11:30-32, suggesting he saw no difference here between Mcg and Luke, but instead follows with a discussion of v. 11:33. In his Scholion 25, Epiphanius also indicates that Mcg contained a different variant of v. 11:29, and then clearly states that vv. 11:30-32 were not in Mcg:

“The saying about Jonah the prophet has been falsified; Marcion had, ‘This generation, no sign shall be given it.’ But he did not have the passages about Nineveh, the queen of the south, and Solomon.”

Both Tertullian and Epiphanius point to Mcg having a variant of this passage in which the various details mentioned above were not present. In addition, both indicate that Jesus gave no sign, and neither mention ‘this generation’ as being wicked, evil, and/or adulterous. It therefore appears that this passage in Mcg closely follows Mk 8:12, perhaps reading:

And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, This generation, no sign shall be given it.

As Tertullian does not suggest that Mcg omitted any verses here, it appears that the text was as he expected, even though it was shorter than we see it. However, much later Epiphanius expected to see the longer version, and hence he commented that Marcion had falsified these verses.

Epiphanius’ reference to Jonah being “the prophet” shows that he knew the Byzantine addition to this verse, which is not found in P45, P75, Bezae, and many other mss. Uniquely, Bezae also does not contain v. 11:32, suggesting the possibility that it is a ‘transition’ text between that of Mcg and canonical Luke.

Given the very close relationship between Mk 8:12 and the text in Mcg as reported by both Tertullian and Epiphanius, it is perhaps surprising that in Elenchus 25 Epiphanius maintains that it was Marcion that altered this text, suggesting either that Epiphanius was not aware of this similarity, or perhaps that he was, but chose to ignore it and blame Marcion instead. However, the reality is that the similarity points strongly to Mark being the origin of this text in Mcg, and that it was not a change wrought by Marcion. On this basis it appears that the original text of v. 11:29 in Luke was the same that as seen by Tertullian and Epiphanius in Mcg, in other words very similar to that in Mk 8:12.

Luke 11:33-36 – The Lamp of the Body

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. [11:33]
The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. [11:34]
Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. [11:35]
If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. [11:36]

Epiphanius refers to none of these verses, so we assume that he saw nothing to note here in Mcg, while near the beginning of his chapter 27 Tertullian refers only to v. 11:33:

For a vast age he hides his own light from men, and yet says that a candle must not be hidden, but affirms that it ought to be set upon a candlestick, that it may give light to all. [11:33]

The NET identifies this variation in v. 11:33:

The phrase “or under a basket” is lacking in some important and early mss (Ì45,75 L Γ Ξ 070 Ë1 700* 1241 2542 pc sys sa). It is hard to decide in this case, since the inclusion of “or under a basket” is widely attested by some early and decent witnesses, as well as the overwhelming majority of mss (א A B C D W Θ Ψ Ë13 Ï latt). The parallel passage in Luke 8:16 does not include “under a basket.” If the phrase “under a basket” were added as a harmonization with Mark 4:21 and Matt 5:15, it is perhaps surprising that scribes did not add the phrase at Luke 8:16 as well. It seems somewhat more likely that a scribe copying Luke would be inclined to harmonize 11:33 with 8:16 by omitting the phrase here. Thus, the words “or under a basket” seem to have the marks of authenticity.

Tertullian may have seen this shorter form of v. 11:33, as he does not mention hiding the candle under anything specific. However, as it is included in Bezae it is more likely that it was present in Mcg. vv. 11:34-35 have parallels in Mt 6:22-23, but there is no parallel to v. 11:36, in addition there are significant variants in vv. 11:35-36, and in particular v. 11:36 is not present in D, it(a, b, d, e, ff2, i, l, q, r1).

As v. 11:36 has no parallels, is not present in Bezae, and is not mentioned by Tertullian, it is possible that it was not present in an early version of Luke, and hence was also not present in Mcg. It should also be noted that Tertullian quotes: “that it may give light to all” (c.f. Mt 5:15), and v. 11:33 in the Greek ms 579 ends the same way, rather than “that they which come in may see the light” in the majority of mss of Luke. The suggestion that v. 11:36 may not have been in an early version of Luke, together with the Matthean ending to v. 11:33 read by Tertullian and seen in 579, support the idea that Mcg may pre-date Matthew.

Thomas 33b contains the saying in a form close to that in the KJV, except that the references to the secret place and the bushel are reversed:

Jesus said, "Preach from your housetops that which you will hear in your ear {(and) in the other ear}.
For no one lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel, nor does he put it in a hidden place, but rather he sets it on a lampstand so that everyone who enters and leaves will see its light.".

Luke 11:37-44 – Woe Unto the Pharisees

And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. [11:37]
And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner. [11:38]
And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. [11:39]
Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? [11:40]
But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. [11:41]
But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. [11:42]
Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and the greetings in the markets. [11:43]
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them. [11:44]

Tertullian summarizes vv. 11:37-43, referring to all the verses. He does not quote directly from all of them, but it appears that what he saw in Mcg is close to the text in canonical Luke, although with some variations. Tertullian’s Latin shows that in v. 11:38 Mcg sides with Bezae, the Old Latin, and Sy-C in having the Pharisee question Jesus’ conduct within himself, instead of the more common variant in which he expresses surprise. He also refers to ‘Jesus’ in v. 11:39 instead of ‘the Lord,’ as also in Sy-S and Sy-S. Then, in v. 11:42 Tertullian refer to the “hospitality” or “vocation” of God, rather than “judgment:"

In like manner, He upbraids them for tithing paltry herbs, but at the same time "passing over hospitality and the love of God." The vocation and the love of what God, but Him by whose law of tithes they used to offer their rue and mint?

This translation refers to both the hospitality and the vocation of God, but Tertullian’s Latin has “vocationem (better translated as calling) in both places. In his only comment on these verses, Epiphanius agrees that Mcg had “calling,” instead of “judgment:

Instead of “Ye pass over the judgment of God,” he had “Ye pass over the calling of God.” (Scholion 26)

Because Tertullian does not note this as a difference, whereas Epiphanius does, their texts of Luke almost certainly read differently at this point. Tertullian then does not mention v. 11:42b, but as Epiphanius has no comment there is no reason to suppose that it was not in Mcg.

The NET notes the following variation in v. 11:44:

Most mss (A [D] W Θ Ψ Ë13 Ï it) have “experts in the law and Pharisees, hypocrites” after “you,” but this looks like an assimilation to the parallel in Matt 23:25, 27, 29. The shorter reading has earlier attestation from a variety of reliable mss (Ì45,75 א B C L Ë1 33 1241 2542 lat sa).

Neither Tertullian nor Epiphanius refer to v. 11:44, but as it has a parallel in Matthew, we assume that it was present in Mcg, and they both saw this verse as they expected, probably (given the mss evidence) following the shorter variant.

There is no obvious reason for Marcion to change the text of canonical Luke to the variants indicated above, so it is likely that these variants were present in whatever text he used as the basis of his gospel.

Luke 11:45-48 – And Let’s Not Forget the Lawyers

Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also. [11:45]
And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers. [11:46]
Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. [11:47]
Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres. [11:48]

Tertullian summarizes vv. 11:45-48, but in doing so only appears to refer specifically to vv. 11:46-47, with the next verse he refers to being v. 11:52:

He also inveighs against the doctors of the law themselves, because they were "lading men with burdens grievous to be borne, which they did not venture to touch with even a finger of their own;" [11:46] but not as if He made a mock of the burdens of the law with any feeling of detestation towards it… But why is a "woe" pronounced against them for "building the sepulchres of the prophets whom their fathers had killed?" [11:47]

Epiphanius quotes from v. 11:47 (but not to note any difference):

Woe unto you, for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. (Scholion 27)

There is no direct evidence that Tertullian saw vv. 11:45 or 48 in Mcg, but as v. 11:45 simply introduces the lawyers, and v. 11:48 re-states v. 11:47, their presence or absence has no effect on the meaning of the passage. It is also worth noting that in the parallel passage in Mt 23:13-36 there is no equivalent of v. 11:45, and so this may be an indication that this verse was also a later addition. However, as neither Tertullian nor Epiphanius make any note of these verses, and in the absence of more direct evidence, we should assume that these verses were in Mcg.

Luke 11:49-54 – The Blood of the Prophets

Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute. [11:49]
That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundations of the world, may be required of this generation. [11:50]
From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the alter and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation. [11:51]
Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. [11:52]
And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: [11:53]
Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him. [11:54]

From v. 11:47, Tertullian jumps straight to v. 11:52, without referring to any of the intervening or following verses. Epiphanius explicitly states that Mcg did not have vv. 11:49-51:

He did not have, “Therefore said the wisdom of God, I send unto them prophets,” and the statement that the blood of Zacharias, Abel and the prophets will be required of this generation. (Scholion 28)

Tertullian does not note the absence of vv. 11:49-51, so it is likely that they were not in his copy of Luke. Neither Tertullian nor Epiphanius mention vv. 11:53-54, but while vv. 11:49-52 have parallels in Mt 23:13-36, but vv. 11:53-54 do not, so they may have not been in Mcg. However, different variants of both verses do both exist in P75 and other mss:

When he went out from there, the experts in the law and the Pharisees began to oppose him bitterly, and to ask him hostile questions about many things, [11:53]
Plotting against him, to catch him in something he might say. [11:54]

Also, Bezae, the Old Latin, the Syriac, and a few other mss begin v. 11:53 with “And as He said these things unto them in front of all the people,” and read: “seeking an opportunity to get something from him, that they might accuse him” in v. 11:54. 

The existence of these variants suggests that these verses may have been a late addition to Luke, so we cannot be sure of what form they took in Mcg. However, given Epiphanius’ lack of comment, it is likely that they followed the variants in P75.

Next Chapter: Luke 12