Talk:Marcionism

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Fixed somebody's edit[edit]

It wasn't my edit but Marcions dualism was rhetorical not metaphysical. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.25.109.197 (talk) 15:29, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

I noticed that somebody added a link to Two natures of Christ on my mention of the schisms within Marcionism. Whoever did so, is ignorant of Marcionism and shouldn't be touching wikipedia. My mention of "two natures" in that context was the duality between the spirit and flesh. That is, Marcion taught that there were two natures: one that is spiritual and against the flesh (Jesus), one of the flesh that created the world (the LORD of the Jews). So whoever edited my edit, incorrectly assumed "two natures" meant "the two natures of Christ" when it was actually speaking of the stereotypical Marcionistic dualism.Glorthac (talk) 02:14, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

I [ SwissCelt 23:39, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)] am editing this page to make it less of a "rip and read" from the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, and to take a more neutral position between the official position of the Roman Catholic Church (as expressed in New Advent) and the position held by many Gnostic revivalists.

Disclaimer: Because I am one of those aforementioned Gnostic revivalists, I may be prone to bias. By all means, please check me on this, but also be careful not to let your own biases intrude upon your check. For the record, I consider New Advent to be an excellent source on this topic, but this wiki should go deeper, as Wikipedia always should strive to encompass more than one source of knowledge for every wiki.


Wesley: First edit is a good one. I missed changing that from New Advent; thanks for your eye on that! Second edit is a bit sloppy, and verges on NPOV issues. (It's akin to the "Some people claim..." pitfall.) I'm going to edit that to state that Marcionism is a heresy according to the Roman Catholic Church and other orthodox churches. Thanks again!

-- SwissCelt 16:28, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I'm reverting back to the last edit by Texture. The wineskin analogy is interesting, but 1) it doesn't seem to be encyclopedic in tone; and 2) it's unclear where the author was going with that edit.

-- SwissCelt 22:13, 7 May 2005 (UTC)



According to the historical record, Marcion took Luke 5:36 as his inspiration for his work. That tells you a lot about him, but feel free to ignore it. Marcion attempted to reconstruct what he called the authentic gospel by heavily editing the canonical Gospel of Luke, rather like the Jefferson Bible or the work of the Jesus Seminar.

Also, this sentence is incorrect: They rejected many of the writings of the Old Testament; specifically, the Law of the Covenant as expressed in the Talmud.

Marcion rejected the "Law and Prophets" which in his time was basically the Jewish Bible or in Greek translation the Septuagint. The Talmud is not the Old Testament and didn't exist in Marcion's lifetime.

  • Oh, and good point on the OT. I made an edit on your suggestion here. Be bold, though: You, too, can edit. Indeed, that's kinda the point. ;-)
    • I already did and you deleted it, so what's the point ;-)
  • That's a bit unfair, don't you think? I reverted the edit, and gave my reasons for doing so. My action was not directed at anyone in particular (indeed, how could it be?), but the edit itself. That's how Wikipedia grows, yes? Articles are refined by edit after edit to produce something that is truly informative and objective on the topic. -SwissCelt 05:10, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Articles don't grow by deletion.
    • Your edit was that the Old Testament didn't exist in Marcion's time? Yes it did, it was called the Law and Prophets. It's the Talmud that didn't exist and is irrelevent to Marcion and Marcionism.
  • My edit was that the OT did not exist per se, meaning that it wasn't called the OT. You agree it wasn't called the OT. If the language is still unclear, perhaps you'd like to edit in order to clarify? -SwissCelt 05:10, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
  • TALMUD didn't exist in Marcion's time. I get the impression you don't know what the Talmud is? Marcion specifically rejected the Septuagint or Law and Prophets as it was commonly called.

In case Luke 5.36ff needs clarification:

old wine in first century = "Law and Prophets" available in original Hebrew (TaNaKh) or Greek translation (Septuagint); new wine = personal beliefs that differ from "Law and Prophets"; attempting to put new wine in old wineskins means attempting to force the "Law and Prophets" to match your personal beliefs

Marcion, to his credit, did not attempt to put new wine in old wineskins, he rejected the "Law and Prophets" completely.

  • Sounds like you've got a good start on a great edit. Just make sure to cite something more than the Bible, so that we can track your research and understand the conclusions you've reached. For example, you write, "According to the historical record, Marcion took Luke 5:36 as his inspiration for his work." Well, which historical record? Where can we read more about Marcion's inspiration? This is interesting stuff, but we've got to be able to read it for ourselves, too. -SwissCelt 02:45, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
      • The "historical record" is Tertullian's vituperation essay, which I've made more prominent. --Wetman 21:12, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
    • I don't have the specific references, but here's a start:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/info/marcion-wace.html "The story proceeds to say that he asked the Roman presbyters to explain the texts, "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit," and "No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment," texts from which he himself deduced that works in which evil is to be found could not proceed from the good God, and that the Christian dispensation could have nothing in common with the Jewish. Rejecting the explanation offered him by the presbyters, he broke off the interview with a threat to make a schism in their church. The beginning of Marcionism was so early that the church writers of the end of the 2nd cent., who are our best authorities, do not themselves seem able to tell with certainty the story of its commencement."

NPOV?[edit]

Okay, so where does the article as it is currently written violate Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy? I discarded an edit that was unsubstantiated, and gave my reasons for finding the edit to be unsubstantiated. That's not the same as bias, even if I am a Neo-Marcionite. -SwissCelt 04:34, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

1. Why did you remove the request for POV check?

You'll have to ask Texture, as he/she was the person to make that edit. Please review the article history. -SwissCelt 00:41, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

2. Do you seriously consider a sentence such as this neutral: They rejected many of the writings of what is now the Old Testament; specifically, the Law of the Covenant as expressed in the Talmud.

The original source material, the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, states this: "They rejected the writings of the Old Testament and taught that Christ was not the Son of the God of the Jews, but the Son of the good God, who was different from the God of the Ancient Covenant." Successive edits from that were aimed at developing a more neutral article. Are we there yet? I don't know. -SwissCelt 00:41, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

3. Is this article about the Marcionism of Marcion or something you as a self-proclaimed Neo-Marcionite have determined?

Please review the article history. -SwissCelt 00:41, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

4. Who is the arbiter of neutrality? You?

Please review the article history. -SwissCelt 00:41, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

How about something like this for a more neutral start:

The premise of Marcionism is that many of the teachings of Jesus are incompatible with the Old Testament. Marcion, using Luke 6:43-45 (a good tree does not produce bad fruit) and Luke 5:36-38 (nobody tears a piece from a new garment to patch an old garment or puts new wine in old wineskins), set about to recover what he considered the authentic teachings of Jesus. The result was probably the first Christian Bible canon and it consisted of parts of Luke and the Letters of Paul and his Antithesis which contrasted the teachings of Jesus with the teachings of the Old Testament.

Sounds good! Flesh it out with some hard evidence, and I think you may be on to something. If you'll recall, that's what I said before. However, linking together random Bible verses while merely stating that this was Marcion's intent just won't cut it. -SwissCelt 00:41, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
Tertullian "Against Marcion" 1.2, 4.11.9 [cited below]
Also the text above from earlychristianwritings.com about the story of Marcion which I believe is from Epiphanius but I don't have access to the text.
Okay, I say go for it. Not that you needed my approval, of course.... -SwissCelt 18:38, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

References[edit]

http://www.tertullian.org/articles/evans_marc/evans_marc_04book1_eng.htm The unhappy man became afflicted with the idea of this wild guess in consequence of that plain statement which our Lord made, which applies to men, not to gods, the example of the good tree and the bad, that neither does the good tree bring forth bad fruit nor the bad tree good fruit— that is, that a good mind or a good faith does not produce evil actions, nor an evil mind and faith good ones.

http://www.tertullian.org/articles/evans_marc/evans_marc_10book4_eng.htm You are in error also about that pronouncement of our Lord in which he is seen to make a distinction between new things and old. You are puffed up with old wineskins, and befuddled with new wine, and consequently have sewn the patch of heretical newness upon the old, which is the prior, gospel.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church[edit]

As this article currently reads, there is the following sentence:

For example, on its web site, the Tawahedo Church of Ethiopia claims to be the only Christian church that is fully free of Marcionism.

I looked at the website for the Tawahedo Church, but I did not find any mention of Marcionism. While I find this statement is plausible, based on my limited knowledge of that religious group, I think we need a better source to confirm this with. -- llywrch 22:53, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

From the history, looks like Michael Hardy originated it. Maybe he knows where the link has gone.

I believe I was the one who added this, but I don't remember the URL or the verbatim statement. I'll see if I can find an email address on their web site at which I can inquire about this. Michael Hardy 20:42, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

found these, not sure if significant:
http://www.restoremagazine.org/volume%2014/53_22.htm
http://www.shiachat.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t57462.html

Marcionist revival?[edit]

If this exists, give the article some sound information. An anonymous passerby has removed the brief reference. --Wetman 02:44, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Anons have their uses. In fact, I can't believe I missed that. I'd have removed it on sight. Of course, if it could be verified, and shown to be more than a couple of Californian new-agers, that would be different. --Doc (?) 10:21, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

"shown to be more than a couple of Californian new-agers": And that right there shows the utter futility in using Wikipedia, with its American base, as an informative source for religious belief. How many of the editors of this article do you suppose are post-Nicene Christians? Do you think there's any chance in hell this could be NPOV? I don't think so. -- SwissCelt 19:44, 10 September 2005 (UTC) (a Marcionite revivalist, as noted at the top of the talk page)

Ah, there are more than just gnostic marcionite 'rivalists' around these days, marcionism is growing in religious towns of Denmark at least. I suppose that quite a stir is going to happen when new-marcionites roam about. - Anon. - Anon. sounds interesting, where can I get more info about " marcionism is growing in religious towns of Denmark at least" :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.81.141.8 (talk) 01:42, 19 April 2013 (UTC) im interested in more info about marcion revival as i am an independent study marcionite — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.81.141.8 (talk) 19:26, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

Would the merger proposer like to give some reasons?

ON the face of it I'd be reluctant. Marcionism was a hugly important movement that survived Marcions death by centuries (in nearly replaced Catholic Christianity in some places) - and no-doubt changed and developed. Although defunct today, 'marcionism' is still a lable used in Christian theology for those who would expunge its Jewish roots. Relegating 'Marcionism' to Marcion#teachings would be akin to redirecting Christianity to Jesus#teachings (well not quite - but you get the point). --Doc (?) 08:44, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

If Marcion of Sinope keeps largely to Marcion's career, with a section on Marcionism headed by a Main article: Marcionism heading, and Marcionism discusses the teachings with a v. condensed bio under a comparable heading— wouldn't that be quite suitable? --Wetman 09:38, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. --Doc (?) 09:46, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Sounds good, but as of now, Marcionism is only about the teachings of Marcion and thus redundant. Perhaps the lead to Marcionism should explain the article is meant to address Marcionism after Marcion and then the article content changed to address that?

The proposal is to change Marcion#teachings to refer to Marcionism and to cover the material only at Marcionism rather than in both articles?

That's a good idea with ample precedent (Nestorius/Nestorianism, Arius/Arianism, Calvin/Calvinism, Jansen/Jansenism. . .). I've updated the tags to reflect this. —Charles P. (Mirv) 14:34, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
Excellent. With no losses of information in the change, needless to say.--Wetman 22:10, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
Definitly merge them. The History is so short, it could just be a bio of him in Mariconism, although I think that any info about his life in the Mericonism article should be brought into the bio section. RideABicycle 20:40, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

I am opposed to the merger. There is nothing wrong with two articles, one about the man, with a nod to his teachings and the other about the teachings, with a nod to the man. --Blue Tie 01:24, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

POV dispute[edit]

As far as I can tell, SwissCelt disputes the neutrality of the following statements:

"It rejected the notion that Christianity had Jewish roots."

"Marcion set about to recover what he considered the authentic teachings of Jesus."

Is this correct SwissCelt? How would you rewrite these statements for neutrality? Keep in mind:

"The story proceeds to say that he asked the Roman presbyters to explain the texts, "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit," and "No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment," texts from which he himself deduced that works in which evil is to be found could not proceed from the good God, and that the Christian dispensation could have nothing in common with the Jewish. Rejecting the explanation offered him by the presbyters, he broke off the interview with a threat to make a schism in their church." (Wace) [1]

So in other words, keep in mind that this article has already been edited to cite "references" which are little more than anti-Gnostic screeds. Yeah, that point is obvious, Anonymous. Which brings up another point: This article has been edited by numerous anonymous editors. There's no accountability in anonymous editing. This puts other registered editors and me on an unlevel playing field, as our editing histories will be called into question if we were to attempt any major revisions of this article.
This article, frankly, needs a major revision. Point by point, little by little, it has become an apologetic for "orthodox" Christian sects. Did anybody think of approaching the subject of this article as someone's genuine belief? Obviously not, for as Doc writes, "Of course, if [Marcionite revivalism] could be verified, and shown to be more than a couple of Californian new-agers, that would be different." So instead, people have lined up to insert citations by such Christian apologists as Henry Wace. Could you imagine the outrage if we allowed Islam to be defined by C.S. Lewis? Why should this be any different? -- SwissCelt 13:45, 11 September 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Policies_and_guidelines#Key_policies Wikipedia:Cite sources (unattributed comment left by another anonymous user at 64.169.7.174, who ironically didn't see fit to cite his/her own comment. -- SwissCelt)
That's only part of it. Again, you can write an article on another religion citing all the Christian apologists you'd like, and that still doesn't mean the resultant article will pass the NPOV test. -- SwissCelt 18:46, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm working on the "major revision" I ordered above. The following sentence will not be included, as I can find no source for it:

Marcion apparently produced an early version of the Harrowing of Hell, in which the souls of Cain and others embraced the Christ, while Abraham and other patriarchs held back and were not saved.

Anyone doubting the POV of this article need look no further than this sentence, which is illustrative of the entire article. -- SwissCelt 00:41, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

A preview of this revision can be found on my user page. -- SwissCelt 01:34, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

I just implemented the major revision. The only part I removed outright was the part about the "Harrowing of Hell", which I hope most will agree was problematic to the article anyway. There were other sections that were removed, simply because they only restated what was elsewhere in the article. Most of the revision involved restructuring (including a new "Criticisms" section) and a few additions which I tried to document as best I could. -- SwissCelt 03:05, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Tweaks to a fine reordering[edit]

It seems carping to make suggestions, when SwissCelt has produced an exemplary article out of his labors. I fixed a couple of minor things in the article, but may I list these few further things ?

  • The article is currently still missing a brief biography paragraph, headed "Main article Marcion of Sinope, with just enough content to make references to Pontus, etc, clear. I figure this is coming anyway.
  • "the teachings of Marcion at Rome in the year 144 CE." The date is oddly specific. "In the 140s"?

>>144 is the official date of his excommunication by the Church of Rome. I assume it comes from the Catholic Encyclopedia and I assume it is based on something, but don't know what. My guess is it is when his donation was returned.

>>I found in the CE: "His final breach with the Roman Church occurred in the autumn of 144, for the Marcionites counted 115 years and 6 months from the time of Christ to the beginning of their sect." This assumes a crucifixion date of 29?

>>By CE above is meant Catholic Encyclopedia. It is possible their reference is Tertullian, http://earlychristianwritings.com/text/tertullian121.html , "Now, from Tiberius to Antoninus Pius, there are about 115 years and 6 1/2 months. Just such an interval do they place between Christ and Marcion."

Some modern scholars (for example, see article by Daniel B. Wallace) believe Jesus was actually born in 4 BCE, which would place the crucifixion at 29 if Jesus lived to age 33. -- SwissCelt 12:04, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
  • "Marcionism began with the excommunication" "Began" isn't the right verb for a process of teachings that created a divisive hubbub that eventually resulted in this action.

>>I guess the idea is that he was a Christian before he was excommunicated, and then a Marcionite afterwards? No doubt his actual views never changed. Compare to Luther.

I'm willing to change to "resulted from". What do you think? -- SwissCelt 12:04, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
  • "Messiah; the person to whom the ancient Jews" This obscures that these were a faction of contemporary Jews.

>>It should just be Jews; all Jews, past and present, since the fall of the first temple, look forward to the Jewish Messiah, restoration of Israel, restoration of the Jerusalem Temple, a return of the Davidic golden age.

I'll admit that's a weak point of my revision. I'm not hip to Jewish belief re: Messiah, especially since the Jews of my acquaintance are rather anti-Christian. Please feel free to revise. -- SwissCelt 12:04, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
  • "the Gnostics based their theology on secret wisdom said to be from Paul" Leaving out from Paul would be more accurate of Gnosticism, much of which wasn't even Christian.

>>How about narrowing it to Christian Gnosticism?

Problematic. As I said in an edit, it sets up a false dichotomy, implying that while most Gnostics believed in the Christ, Marcionites believed in... someone else? That doesn't appear to be true. Remember that it's the Mandaeans, and not the Marcionites, of whom it's claimed (perhaps incorrectly) that they worshipped John the Baptist. -- SwissCelt 12:04, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
  • "imposed a severe morality" This needs to be better.
Ditto that. However, that's what appeared in earlier edits, and I couldn't devise a good rewording. I considered tossing that altogether, but then I thought it's probably an important part of the criticism of Marcion & Marcionites. -- SwissCelt 12:04, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Using the {{TOCleft}} Template will "wrap" the table of contents, embodying it in the text as an illustration might be presented— until an Enforcer of Imaginary Discipline undoes it. Still, try it and see if you prefer the result. Great job! --Wetman 06:04, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Thanks! -- SwissCelt 12:04, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

orthodox sects??[edit]

"Marcionism is today called a heresy by the Roman Catholic Church and other orthodox sects."

I noticed my changes to this have been reverted - and I wondered why? Marcionism is considered a heresy by almost all Christians, certainly by RC's but also by Protestant theologians of all types (and I think by Eastern Orthodox too). 1. Why single out RC church from the rest - I prefer '...heresy by most Christian churches'? 2. If we must have have a reference specifically to RC here (and I would need a good reason for that) then we cannot list the rest of Christianity as 'orthodox sects' - that is POV and pejoritive. I don't want an edit war over what is in the end of the day a minor point, so does anyone have a reason to object to changing this to a reference to 'mainstream Christianity' today calling Marcionism a heresy? --Doc (?) 12:24, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Why? Because it's POV. First of all, the term "mainstream churches" has no practical application, instead representing someone's (usually an American's) POV. Second of all, "most" is not verifiable, unless you want to go through every church's doctrine to determine a majority. Even at that, as far as I know the United Methodist Church does not denounce Marcionism as a heresy, and I doubt the United Church of Christ does, either. The Roman Catholic Church does, ergo it's verifiable fact. If your objection is with the term "orthodox sects" (and I don't see why you'd object, as the term "orthodox", or "right thinking", implies your POV anyway), perhaps we can come up with a happy medium? -- SwissCelt 12:32, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

OK, (I'm not American btw, and I'm among the first to resist a N.American POV here) - I don't personally object to 'orthodox', but actually to lable something as orthodox is POV (I may think I am orthodox - but then so did Marcion, Pelagius etc). As to verifiability, any denomination which insists that the OT is part of their Scriptures, and identifies the 'God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ' with the God of 'Abraham Isaac and Jacob' by definition rejects Marcionitism as hetrodox. Any church that accepts the early ecumenical councils also recects Marcionism as heretical. So we can easily verify that the Reformed, Luthern, Anglican, Baptist, AOG, and Methodist traditions all reject Marcionism as heresy (hardly just N America). I'm also positive that Eastern Orthodoxy rejects Marcionism too. Perhaps there are one or two Christian denominations that can reconcile Marcionism with their beliefs (actually I doubt it) - but they would be exceptional (perhaps even worth mentioning in the article), not mainstream, and the expression 'most mainstream Christianity' would cover the exceptions anyway. I think we are agreed that 'sects' will not do as a description of major Christian denominations. --Doc (?) 12:59, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Agreed to "orthodox" being POV, but "mainstream" is essentially the same POV without the benefit of being connotative to a specific group of denominations. "Mainline" might work here, as it does refer to a specific group, but the UMC (and likely a number of other mainline churches as well) does not explicitly reject Marcionism as heresy. If we instead go to implicit "rejections" based upon variances in doctrine, then we have to admit that virtually every denomination would consider nearly all others to be "heresies"... thus rendering the term moot. Therefore, we should withhold the term only for those denominations which have outrightly stated that Marcionism is a heresy. The Roman Catholic Church has. -- SwissCelt 14:12, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
As far as "sects" goes, no, I wasn't aware there was a problem with that term. I'm using it in this sense: "A group of people forming a distinct unit within a larger group [i.e. Christianity -SC] by virtue of certain refinements or distinctions of belief or practice." I'm not married to the term, though, and will happily give it up. How about this: "Many churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, today consider Marcionism to be a heresy." This avoids a statement of whether these churches constitute a majority, while still implying a sizable faction. It also avoids statements of the validity of those churches which consider Marcionism a heresy. -- SwissCelt 14:12, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm OK with your proposed wording (in the end this is a fairly minor point), although I think it is self-evident that most Churches would regard Marcionism as heresy. It was denounced as such by an eccumenical council, so unless a denomination rejects those early councils (including Nicea) then they also view Marcionism as heresy. (As to 'sect', it can be used neutrally, but it is a bit loaded, no-one describes themselves as a sect - churches or denominations are more neutral terms). As I say, I can live with your wording - but if anyone else is reading this, I'd like some other opinions as to whether 'most churches' would not be better (I know of none that would not regard Marcion as a heretic - although some individual theologians, like von Harnack, don't. --Doc (?) 15:49, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

The mainstream/mainline thing is interesting. 'Mainstream Christianity' for me is not a POV term, it means those denominations that agree on core beliefs - Trinity, Nicea, incarnation, etc. Mainline is not a term I'm familiar with - it seems very common on Wikipedia, but it is not used in UK churches, or academic religious studies (unless I've missed it in years of involvement with both. But this is an aside. Cheers --Doc (?) 15:55, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Just for my own education, could somebody point me in the direction of these dictates from most Christian churches which name Marcionism as a heresy? Thanks. -- SwissCelt 13:06, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

You are asking the wrong question. Marcionism was denounced by the early church as heresy, that was never questioned by the Protestant Reformation (Show me any church that rejected that pronouncement?) Most Christian Churches do not have dictats of heresy - or lists of heretics, they interpret heresy as that which deviates from fundamental truth. I can point you to a hundred denominational websites which affirm the cannonicity of the Hebrew Scriptures and identify the God of Abraham as the God of Jesus Christ - those affirmations underline the rejection of Marcionism. However, a quick google does throw up a couple of explicit pronouncements [2] [3]. --Doc (?) 01:19, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

"Most other Christians"[edit]

"Most other Christians" won't do for determining heresy. Besides the problems with determining a majority (see "orthodox sects??" above), an individual Christian has no authority to proclaim something a heresy. I changed this to "many other churches". I also restored a link to the "Western world", but this was at a point later in the article from the one removed. I'm not reverting that edit at all. -- SwissCelt 22:18, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree that 'Churches' is better than 'Christians', but I still prefer most to many - I think that's patently true. However, I won't change the text, unless someone else here posts support. (No change without consensus). --Doc (?) 22:49, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Where do you see that, "No change without consensus?" I thought the guideline on Wikipedia was NPOV (along with WP:NOR and WP:V), not expressing the majority POV or waiting for an emerging consensus over content. -- SwissCelt 23:01, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
No, I simply meant that, since you and I disagree as to whether 'most' is factually accurate, I would not change anything unilateraly (edit wars are bad). I'd wait and see if anyone else agreed with me (or with you for that matter) as to whether 'many' or 'most' was most acurate. Are you suggesting I do otherwise? --Doc (?) 23:41, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
Ah, I understand now. No, I don't suggest you do otherwise... those three policies seem to be keeping both of us in check right now, so I think we're good. -- SwissCelt 00:54, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

To do list[edit]

Here are a few things we can do to improve this article:

  • Write a brief biography paragraph on Marcion, to link to Marcion of Sinope (per Wetman's suggestion).
  • Incorporate graphics, or perhaps an infobox of some sort.
  • Categorization: Is this article in the proper categories? Are there other categories to which this article also belongs?
  • Better citations. I'll be honest with you folks: I'm clueless on Wikipedia's manual of style when it comes to citations. If someone else wants to take charge of this, he or she would have my great gratitude.
    • I've made the Tertullian references more specific and identified the link to the text more directlt. --Wetman 21:12, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Feel free to add recommended improvements to this list! -- SwissCelt 01:12, 14 September 2005 (UTC)


  • "Marcion himself does not appear to be anti-Semitic." Since Marcion's texts have disappeared, isn't this confident assertion fatuous? --Wetman 18:30, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
    • What's a better way to word this? From the evidence, Marcion was a critic of the Old Testament, but was not critical of the Jewish people, unlike some of his contemporaries, such as Justin Martyr? Of course, this is more or less predictable: if you reject the Old Testament, there is no reason to be critical of the Jews, on the other hand if you accept the Old Testament but have a different interpretation of it than the Jews, then there must be something wrong with the Jews, how could a people not understand their own scriptures correctly? Wouldn't that be cultural imperialism?

well anti-semitism doesnt mean being critical of jews. it means looking down on them and discriminating against them. it is one thing to disagree with a religions' teachings and another to hate followers of the religion and persecute them. if marcion practices what he preaches, he would not be anti-semitic. Jesus taught against discrimination, bigotry, self-righteousness, or partiality and commanded to "love you enemy." So if marcion was an anti-semetist he was also a hypocrit.TheTruth12 00:53, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Marcion was an opponent of Jewish Christianity, ie. he opposed Judaising tendencies, and believed that Jewish law was completely overturned by Christ (Christ, not Jesus). He believed that the bible told him this. Specifically, the Gospel of Luke and the Pauline Epistles. He did not consider any of the other Gospels to be genuine (including Matthew, Mark, and John, as well as other Gospels floating around at that time). Since he was the first person to list the books in the bible (i.e. he produced the first New Testament canon), his claim was not rejecting parts of the bible, since they weren't in it by that point. His version of Luke differed from the version we now have. None of this could be construed as him being a hypocrit. Clinkophonist 19:30, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Link spam?[edit]

Why was the reference ([4]) that was given for the (still) unsourced assertion about John Knox deleted as "link spam"? I have nothing to do with that site and it is directly relevant. What gives?!? » MonkeeSage « 04:56, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Mea culpa. At first glance, it looked like just another hatchet job by yet another evangelical group. -- SwissCelt 13:29, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
No problem. I've re-added the reference and clarified that the Knox in question is not the Knox of the Scottish reformation (which is what I assumed until I found the reference), and added the ISBN for his book. » MonkeeSage « 20:21, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
It is not correct that John Knox's 1942 work was the "first to propose that Marcion's gospel predated Luke/Acts". Several 19th century theological writers had advanced the notion beforehand: http://ftarchives.net/cassels/sr/p2c07.htm#349:1
In fact even the article referenced (http://ontruth.com/marcion.html) doesn't actually state that Knox was the first scholar to suggest this. I've amended this statement accordingly.

118.93.173.146 (talk) 20:19, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Small change in "History"[edit]

Under the History section I changed the line:

for this reason, they are considered by the Roman Catholic Church to have been the most dangerous foe Christianity has ever known.

to: for this reason, they are considered by a Roman Catholic writer to have been the most dangerous foe Christianity has ever known.

The citation directs the reader not to an official Church pronouncement, but to the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1910 on New Advent's website. Neither the CE of 1910 nor New Advent is the official mouthpiece of the Roman Catholic church. In dogma they present official Catholic teaching, but their historical assertions represent the opinions of the particular author.

Gnosticism[edit]

There is a relatively huge mistake in general, that the "gnostics" were somehow different from early Christians. They were ALL gnostics -- relying upon knowledge, sometimes it was secret. The problem was not that some were gnostic and others were not (that came about later with the growth of the Church in Rome and the later Church councils) but that some had relatively true knowledge and others had relatively false knowledge. As Paul says "knowledge (gnosis) falsely called".

My point in bringing this up is that the discussion about how to label Marcion is fraught with invalid assumptions that should be abandoned. --Blue Tie 23:42, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Relatively false from whose point of view? Otherwise you're right, if you believe that the baseline definition of Gnosticism is a direct experience of the Divine - which I agree with. But when people speak of Gnostic and non-Gnostic Christianity they are referring to certain very different takes on Christ. So-called Gnostic Christianity has a very different cosmology to what we now call orthodox Christianity and a very different view of things such as the role of women and the validity or not of a hierarchy. Gnostic Christianity is much more individualistic and subjective than orthodox Christianity which by its very nature is doctrinal and group orientated. ThePeg 23:25, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Jesus vs Christ[edit]

Could someone explain how Marcion drew a distinction between Jesus and Christ? Did he refer to the pre-baptismal Jesus as Jesus and the post-baptismal as Christ or what? This is a very strange thing to say in an article without explaining. ThePeg 20:23, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

You raise a good question. I am unaware of any source that supports this statement in the article. There was a difference between the God of the Old Testament and some "new" God that Christ was from, but I do not know that there was a difference between Jesus and Christ. I suggest a request for citation and a request on the talk page of the person who put that in the document. If it goes uncited for, say, two weeks, then remove it. --Blue Tie 01:27, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
It might suggest Docetism, that Jesus was the flesh and the Christ was the spirit, common among nearly all gnostic groups, and a "heresy" within itself. I'm not sure if Marcion himself explained it thus, but hopefully this can help shed some light.
Given that at the Baptism, a spirit holy descended and remained with Jesus and only after this did he call his disciples, then one, and it appears from what little we know that Marcion would agree, could conclude that a this new spirit entered the body of Jesus. Paul tells us that we are body, soul, and spirit. The Logos, the Meaning of Humanity, the Spirit of Mankind, according to John became flesh and John begins with the baptism. The Logos is this spirit holy and over the next 3 years fully permeates the soul and body so that (a) God could become Man and experience death to overcome it. It appears that Marcion would agree that after Baptism Jesus is no longer Jesus, but now Jesus-Christ. Yet for Marcion, it is agape love that Christ brought to mankind that is the key to understanding why Jesus-Christ was the turning point of time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by UMinventor (talkcontribs) 21:24, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Zoroastrianism[edit]

What's the connection between Marcionism and Zoroastrianism? There's certainly similarity in their beliefs...matturn 07:38, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Christianity itself shares a lot with Zoroastrianism - Light imagery, a similar Creation myth, the idea of a Saviour, angels etc - probably via its influence on Judaism. In this sense there is a connection in so far as Marcionism is Christian. Don't know much more than that. ThePeg 23:20, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Excommunication[edit]

A helpful addition to this article could be to include why Marcion was excommunicated. If no reason is known, then the sentence could be reworded so it doesn't beg a question. Spunkiel 10:46, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Its pretty obvious isn't it? Presumably his views were too heretical for him to be allowed to stay within the Church. ThePeg 23:21, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Yeah. That, and he's obviously a Jesus-Nazi. 67.52.228.218 (talk) 18:18, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Baptism for the dead[edit]

The article states "Marcionites are known, from Biblical references (e.g. 1 Corinthians 15:29), to have practiced baptisms for the dead". This appears to me to be nonsense; nothing in the Bible is known to be a response to Marcionism, and it seems unlikely that anything in the Bible was written as late as Marcion. Maaaaybe the Pastoral Epistles, but surely not 1 Corinthians. Anyone want to defend this, or shall we rip it out? Gareth McCaughan (talk) 10:25, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

I ripped it out.Ekwos (talk) 07:34, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

neo-Nazi[edit]

A neo-Nazi esoteric Nazi Gnostic sect headquartered in Vienna, Austria called the Tempelhofgesellschaft, founded in the early 1990s, teaches a what it calls a form of Marcionism. They distribute pamphlets claiming that the Aryan race originally came to Atlantis from the star Aldebaran (this information is supposedly based on "ancient Sumerian manuscripts"). They maintain that the Aryans from Aldebaran derive their power from the vril energy of the Black Sun. They teach that since the Aryan race is of extraterrestrial origin it has a divine mission to dominate all the other races. It is believed by adherents of this religion that an enormous space fleet is on its way to Earth from Aldebaran which, when it arrives, will join forces with the Nazi Flying Saucers from Antarctica to establish the Western Imperium. [25]

doesn't seem related at all to Marcionism. Delete? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.145.243.18 (talk) 05:30, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Done.Ekwos (talk) 19:32, 1 August 2009 (UTC)


http://www.shoaheducation.com/marcion.html discusses marcionism and nazism (and links them) the claim that marcionism is antisemitic and somehow linked to nazism is a popular claim among some quarters.

Nazism material violates wikipedia NPOV and is outside the scope of Marcionism-- deleted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.145.243.18 (talk) 03:43, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Minor edit to fix links[edit]

This article contained links to the Center for Mariconite Research Library, and articles within that library. That site is part of Geocities, and will go offline tomorrow, so I have corrected the links. They now point to a mirror of the website which will remain online when geocities closes.149.254.58.10 (talk) 19:43, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Removal of irrelevancy[edit]

I have removed the sentence "However, the strictures against Marcionism predate the authority, claimed by the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and the Edict of Thessalonica of 380, to declare what was heretical against the State church of the Roman Empire." There is no "however" about the statement: more logical would be "thus", since this is an example of condemnation of a doctrine as heretical long before 325 and 380. Even that change would not save the sentence, which falsely suggests that the First Council of Nicaea was the first claimant to authority to declare certain teachings to be heresies. Irenaeus's Against Heresies is dated to about 180. The mention of the state church of the Roman Empire is quite irrelevant. There was no Christian state church of the Roman Empire in Tertullian's time. Esoglou (talk) 06:09, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Marcion as editor of the later canon is not NPOV[edit]

Many theologians would today agree that Marcion's version of the gospel (so-called "Gospel of Luke") is more original than our present day version and that he did not edit the later version, as church fathers condemning him would have it. The same goes for Marcion's 10 Pauline epistles. I think calling his views dualistic is also debatable, the Hindu philosophy of a totally benevolent Cosmic Consciousness (Shiva) and His Creative Counterpart (Prakrti of Shakti) in which there is "good" and "bad" is also deeply monistic because the latter depends totally on (exists within) the former. Perhaps Marcion merely objected to worshipping God in His creative aspect, because that would be a cruder way to address God. Brithnoth (talk) 10:35, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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