Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Early Pauline Canons: Unity and Diversity

Marcion's canon list omits 1-2 Timothy and Titus, as well as Ephesians. Marcion is a well-known second century theologian/heretic. Here he includes the letter to the Laodiceans, which only survives in Latin and various translations from that. It was condemned in Nicea II circa 787CE. It is likely referenced in Colossians 4:16.

List --

Galatians
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Romans
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
Laodiceans
Colossians
Philippians
Philemon


P46 was written roughly 200-225CE. None of the Pauline epistles are complete, but it lacks 2 Thessalonians and Philemon, and adds Hebrews. Scholars think the papyrus included the texts but they fell off.

List --

Romans
Hebrews
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Ephesians
Galatians
Philippians
Colossians
1 Thessalonians


Muratori is of contested date of origin. It is a fragmentary Latin document translated (according to Pervo and others as 'incompetently' translated) supposedly around 200CE. Many scholars dispute this date. The canon rejected the letter to the Laodiceans as well as other texts.

List --

1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Ephesians
Philippians
Colossians
Galatians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
Romans
Titus
1 Timothy
2 Timothy
Philemon


Claromontanus' catalog is found in a sixth-century MS (D 06). The list doesn't include 1-2 Thessalonians, 2 Timothy and Philippians. The canon closes, after Jude, with Barnabas, Revelation, Acts, Shepherd of Hermas, the Acts of Paul, and the Revelation of Peter.

List --

Romans
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Galatians
Ephesians
1 Timothy
Titus
Colossians
Philemon


Gelasianum came to fruition in southern France (Gaul) during the sixth century. It includes the entirety of Paul's writings.

List --

Romans
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Ephesians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
Galatians
Philippians
Colossians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy
Titus
Philemon


Ambrosiaster is the name coined by Jerome, used within the latter part of the fourth century. Pelagius' commentary follows this list. The order of Ephesians and Philippians vary in many MS. The addition of Hebrews as Pauline corresponds to Origen's comment about Paul being the author, or as the goofballs say, "God only knows who wrote Hebrews, so it might as well have been Paul."

List --

Romans
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Galatians
Ephesians
Philippians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
Titus
Colossians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy
Philemon
Hebrews


Victorinus of Petau was an early Latin exegete who operated in what we now call Bosnia. The canon list is full.

List --

Romans
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Ephesians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
Galatians
Philippians
Colossians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy
Titus
Philemon


Augustine of Hippo worked from North Africa, circa 354-430. Arguably one of the most influential theologians of his -- our -- time. His canon includes every Pauline letter.

List --

Romans
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Galatians
Ephesians
Philippians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
Colossians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy
Titus
Philemon


The source of the Syriac catalog are the Catalogus Sinaiticus and Ephrem, who worked in 306-373CE. The list omits 1 Timothy, either due to oversight or by intent.

List --

Galatians
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Romans
Hebrews
Colossians
Ephesians
Philippians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
2 Timothy
Titus
Philemon


As we've seen, there are consistent Pauline epistles which appear in each canon. These include Galatians, 1-2 Corinthians, Romans, Colossians.

There are also variant Pauline epistles that don't appear in every canon list. These include 1-2 Thessalonians, Philippians, Philemon, 1-2 Timothy, Titus, Ephesians.

The addition of Non-Pauline epistles include Laodiceans and Hebrews.

--Nick

Data taken from Richard I. Pervo, The Making of Paul, especially page 29.

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