(d. c. 160)

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(d. c.160),

heretic. A native of Sinope in Pontus, he made his way to Rome c.140, and attached himself to the local Church; he was excommunicated in 144. He organized his followers in compact communities over a large part of the Empire. By the end of the 3rd cent. most of them had been absorbed in Manichaeism.

Marcion's central thesis was that the Christian Gospel was wholly a Gospel of Love to the exclusion of Law. He consequently rejected the OT, holding that the Creator God depicted therein had nothing in common with the God of Love revealed by Jesus. This contrast of law and grace, he held, was fully understood only by St Paul, the Twelve Apostles and the Evangelists being largely blinded to the truth by remnants of Jewish influence. Hence for Marcion the only Canonical Scriptures were ten of the Epistles of St Paul (he either rejected or did not know the Pastorals) and an edited form of St Luke's Gospel. His Christology was Docetic. See also the following entry.

Subjects: Christianity.

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