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To: Hebraic Heritage Newsgroup <>, Hebraic Heritage Newsgroup 2 <>
Subject: The Ghost of Marcion
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 18:22:29 -0800
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From: Sara & Martin Sutherland <>
To: hebraic Heritage <>
Subject: Ghost of Marcion


I was wondering if any of you had this article. "The Ghost of Marcion"
in their archives. If you could e-mail to me. I had it, but with moving
and everything else I've misplaced . :(



From: Eddie Chumney
Subject: All about Marcion


"A figure of immense significance who is often,
though perhaps mistakenly, counted among the
Gnostics was Marcion, who after breaking with
the Roman Church in 144 set up a successful
organization of his own. Teaching that there is
a radical opposition between the Law and the
Gospel, he refused to identify the God of love
revealed in the New Testament with the wrathful
Creator God of the Old Testament. He set forth
these contrasts in his Antitheses, and his
adoption of a reduced New Testament consisting
of the Gospel According to Luke and certain
Pauline epistles, all purged of presumed Jewish
interpolations, had an important bearing on the
church's formation of its own fuller canon."
- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Many bible believing Christians are unaware that alot of the
law / grace doctrine within the church today was heavily influenced by
a "church father" named Marcion. Below is a quote from the New
International Dictionary of the Christian Church on page 629 regarding
Marcion. In his day, other "church fathers" regarded Marcion as a
heritic. In fact a book was written about the theology of Marcion
entitled, "Marcion and his lies".


About Marcion's heresy, The New International Dictionary of the
Christian Church tells us on page 629, "Marcion stressed the
radical nature of Christianity vis-^-vis Judaism. In his
theology there existed a total discontinuity between the OT and
the NT, between Israel and the church, and even between the God
of the OT and the Father of Jesus. Jesus came to reveal
the true God, who was totally unknown up to the Incarnation. The
God of the OT, the demiurge, an inferior being who created
the material world and ruled over it, was not exactly an evil
being, but he was not good in the same sense as the God and
Father of Jesus, a God of love and grace."


Marcion was born around 100 C.E. (A.D.) at Sinope, a seaport located
on the Black Sea coast of Asia Minor. His father was a leader in the church
of Sinope. Marcion grew up in a Christian home, but it was most
probably not the same type of Christianity known today. It appears
that Marcion remained in fellowship with the church as long as he
lived in Asia Minor. Many think that he shared his thoughts with
leading churchmen of that region, such as Polycarp of Smyrna and
Papias of Hierapolis. Sometime after 138 C.E., during the time of
Antoninus Pius, Marcion traveled to Rome, the imperial city. When he
arrived in Rome he made a generous contribution to the church.
Tradition says that he was a ship owner and very wealthy. He became
very active in the church and began to develop and teach his own
theology. We do not know if he originated this or if he simply taught
the Christianity of his home area. The Roman church leadership was so
disturbed by his doctrine that they not only actively rejected it, but
even refunded his contribution. However, their reaction didn't end
Marcion's influence.

As a devoted Christian, Marcion made his way to Rome
(c.140) and attached himself to the church there. He associated with
the Syrian Gnostic, Cerdo, who was in Rome, and developed unorthodox
views that brought him into conflict with the Roman church. Marcion
was excommunicated (c.144), but his beliefs continued to gain wider
and wider acceptance.

The main thesis of Marcion's system
was that the gospel of Yeshua (Yeshua) is entirely a gospel of love to
the exclusion of the Mosaic Law. He believed that the original gospel
of Yeshua (Yeshua) had been corrupted by Judaizing tendencies among
the earliest disciples and that the Old Testament had no validity for
Christians (let me remind you that this is the Bible Yeshua (Yeshua)
used). According to Marcion, only Saint Paul had correctly understood
the original teaching of Yeshua (Yeshua) . Marcion's distinction
between the Old Testament G-d of law and Paul's G-d of love has led to
his being called a Gnostic.

Marcion's Belief System

He regarded Paul as the only faithful apostle of Christ. In fact, he
maintained that the original apostles corrupted Yeshua' (Yeshua)
teachings by mixing it with legalism. This is the same message often
preached in the churches today when we hear "Replacement Theology" or
that we are no longer under the Law (Torah-teaching of G-d) but under
grace alone. I challenge you to reconcile that statement with Yeshua
(Yeshua) in Matt. 5:17 and following where he states that the Law will
never pass away until heaven and earth pass away.

Marcion rejected the Jewish Bible completely, and it is that
"replacement theology" that can be found in the majority of Christian
churches today. I find it rather amazing that shortly after the first
century the Gentile church in Rome rejected "anti-Semitism and
anti-Judaism" but would espouse it within another century! Marcion
distinguished the God of the Old Testament from the God of the New
Testament and the Gospels. Marcion, being influenced by Persian
dualism (two forces in the universe, one good and one bad, who are
constantly fighting it out for supremacy) believed that these were two
individual deities, each within its own independent existence. First,
there was the Creator God who created the material universe. This was
the God of Israel, which was a totally different God from the Father
spoken of in the Gospel of Christ. The Father God was the good and
merciful God and the God of Israel and the Old Testament was the bad

Marcion's understanding followed the same line as that of the Gnostic
schools. They taught that the God who made the material world was an
inferior deity. He was inferior in both status and morality alike. The
superior deity or the supreme God was pure spirit. This idea is
reflected in doctrines which teach that flesh is evil and spirit is

After being rejected by the church leadership in Rome, Marcion
withdrew from the Roman church and established a church of his own.
His church survived for several generations. A unique aspect of his
church was that it maintained its membership solely through
conversion. Celibacy was obligatory for every member. Another
interesting teaching of his was that there would be no discrimination
against female members in matters of privilege or function.

Marcion's Anti-Semitism

Marcion's new scriptures included no part of the Old Testament
(Jewish Bible) and were written in Greek. For Marcion the Old Testament had
passed away and was replaced by his "New Testament." Have you heard
this same thing preached in your churches before? For Marcion, the
church was to replace the synagogue, grace was to replace the Law
(Torah), pagan holidays were to replace the Holy Days of the Lord as
found in Lev. 23, spiritual Israel was to replace physical Israel, and
the church was Israel's replacement and was now to receive all that
had been promised to Israel. This is replacement theology at its best.