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Anti-Marcionite Prologues

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Estimated Range of Dating: 150-255 A.D.

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Information on Anti-Marcionite Prologues

Helmut Koester writes (Ancient Christian Gospels, p. 243):

Also with respect to the so-called Anti-Marcionite Gospel Prologues serious questions have been raised concerning an early date. These Prologues, originally composed in Greek, appear in several dozen Latin Bible manuscripts. Only Prologues for Mark, Luke, and John are extant; the Prologue for Luke is also preserved in Greek. It is very doubtful whether these Prologues can be considered as a unit. They must have been composed separately, and it is not possible to assign the same date to all three Prologues. While a date in the second half of the 4th century is likely for the Prologues for Mark and John and the second part of the Prologue for Luke, the first part of the latter may have been written much earlier.

Helmut Koester quotes the Anti-Marcionite Prologue for Luke (op. cit., p. 335):

Luke is a Syrian of Antioch, a Syrian by race, a physician by profession. He had become a disciple of the apostles and later followed Paul until his (Paul's) martyrdom, having served the Lord continuously, unmarried, without children, filled with the Holy Spirit he died at the age of eighty-four years in Boeotia.

[Since there were already other gospels, that According to Matthew written in Judea, that According to Mark (written in) Italy, he was urged by the Holy Spirit to write his whole gospel among those in the region of Achaea, as he indicates this in the preface that there were already other writings before him . . . ]

Koester assigns the first half of this prologue to Luke to the second half of the second century and the rest of the Anti-Marcionite Prologues to the second half of the fourth century.

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Kirby, Peter. "Anti-Marcionite Prologues." Early Christian Writings. <>.