Marcion

Around the year 85 Marcion was born, the son of a bishop. He traveled around the world as a merchant and moved to Rome around 135 where he became known in the church and began to teach.

Marcion observed the vast differences between the God represented in the Old Testament and the God of Jesus in the NT. His answer was to reject the God of the OT, seeing him as the evil craftsman (gk. demiurge) creator of an evil world.

Marcion constructed a list that represents the first recorded listing of NT texts, basically his personal canon – he excluded the entire OT, and included only Paul’s letters and Luke’s gospel.

He also excluded a few parts of Paul’s letters – anything where Paul refers to the OT in a positive way (Marcion claimed these had been tampered with by Jews) and references to hell and/or judgment (for example2 Thess 1:6-8).

It is this unorthodox canon that leads the church fathers to begin naming the “accepted” documents. Marcion’s influence was significant enough for his teaching to be argued against by several church fathers including Justin, Irenaeus, Clement ofAlexandria, Origen, and Tertullian.

He worked hard as an evangelist and the Marcionite churches spread throughout the Roman Empire. Marcionite churches held strong until the beginning of the fourth century.

Comments are closed.