Gospel, Heresy, Judith Lieu, Marcionism Judith Lieu: Marcion and the Corruption of the Gospel Date: October 14, 2013Author: Brian LePort Judith Lieu, “Marcion and the Corruption of the Gospel” (Source: CSCO) Rate this:Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInRedditPinterestTumblrPocketEmailPrintLike this:Like Loading... Related
Reblogged this on Sunday School on Steroids-The Seminary Experience.
It was very refreshing to hear a honest scholar on Marcion.
Marcion is (still) a heretic. That said, understanding his significance as part of a larger dialogue is important. He played a role in the larger (more interesting) historical dialogue about the relationship between ‘church’ and ‘Israel’.
The church did not understand it’s relationship to Israel. (It still doesn’t). People viewed Paul’s theology as an attack on ancient Israelite faith rather than on (modern (meaning contemporary with Christ) Pharisaism). Israel’s covenant with God exemplified in ‘the Law’ had been “fulfilled,” meaning terminated, surpassed, and for all practical purposes abrogated; replaced by the order of Grace that had come in place of that of the Law. In such an environment there was doctrinal saturation that the “Law” – which had been an adequate and divinely willed institution during this preparatory period – had now lost its validity; in Christ.
Accordingly Marcion suggested the Church should severe its ties to its Israelite antecedent and completely rejected the “Old Testament” and the “Jewish God” he was (in fairness) reacting to the early Church’s claim that it (the Church) fit squarely on Israel’s foundation (which now was crumbling): that it was the consummation of the biblical promise; which was at the heart of a tension between Christianity and Judaism.
Marcion may have been a heretic but not without a foundation. He took through to logical conclusion what some church fathers were already suggesting. He ‘said’ what many ‘thought’. If Marcion is to be blamed for any of this, the early Church fathers must also be held (somewhat) accountable – for they were the ones who mis-understood the Israelite basis of the Church and built up the basis for Marcion’s theology.
By what facts do you base your conclusion “Israel’s covenant with God exemplified in ‘the Law’ had been “fulfilled,” meaning terminated, surpassed, and for all practical purposes abrogated; replaced by the order of Grace that had come in place of that of the Law.”
The Covenant of Israel between an Israelite can only be fulfilled if all the promises are kept to every Israelite that took hold of the Covenant.
What has you confused is God of Israel also made a Covenant of Grace with Israel on behalf of Aaron. This was the Priesthood Covenant which Yahshua fulfilled by becoming the Lamb by perfection in the Law
and becoming the High Priest superceeding the Covenant of Grace that required an Aaronic Priest to continually offer sacrifices . This is the only Covenant Yahshua fulfilled.
Why do people think Grace was something new. Try rereading Hebrews and Paul with an open mind to understand the changes were only to the Priesthood and sacrifice and most of Pauls references to the law was to these changes or to the oral law of 2nd temple Judaism .
I also believe Marcion was a heretic but his beliefs are only important because the effect they played upon the Roman church who had developed a replacement theology which required the God of Israel to be THEIR own personal God. They then needed to counter act this by editing and adding proofs by corrupting Luke’s ,Matthew’s and creating John’s Gospels making Yahshua into somekind of half breed god then eventually into God. They used misquotes from greek ot and borrowed from pagan myths to achieve this.
All of which was inspired by hatred of jews based upon a select few edomite jews. Most real jews converted to christianity but were persecuted into fleeing into the wilderness by early 4th century
“Marcion is (still) a heretic.”
Not really. Marcion was clearly lied on to discredit his shorter canon, which of course did not even support docetism or ditheism that he was accused of editing it to support. He was obviously just a publisher from an earlier stage in the canonization process, not a heretic. The fact that he “retained’ in his canon so many verses that make against the doctrines he is accused of, ultimately proves he didn’t hold to any of the doctrines that he is accused of (!) and thus he was not heretical at all.
But Marcion’s shorter NT canon is not in the end so different from ours on the whole. A few omissions of verses here an there in Luke and the Pauline Corpus amounts to nothing. We have this in normal manuscript variants! The omission of the first two chapters of Luke amounts to nothing: we have this in Mark! What amounts to something is that in one and only one epistle Marcion “removed” a substantial amount of material, namely in Romans he omitted nearly the whole of chapters 3 – 11. Ah! There it is. He must be discredited and accused of heresy because Catholicism needs that material for something…just ask Augustine in his controversy with Pelagius over the same material! Marcion was the proof that the majority of the material in Romans 3-11 is interpolation, so he had to be lied on and discredited. That is all.
@Robert “Why do people think Grace was something new.” If you think that “grace” means “mercy” then you will never understand why. But the way Paul uses it in Romans 3/4, for instance, it means something more like “welfare” as in the welfare system, where the government does for you so you don’t have to do for yourself. “Grace” in the sense of mercy was not new. “Grace” in the sense of welfare was.
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