One of the more frustrating things about having a mild interest in Christianity is that it never really is a mild interest at all, as once you pick at that scab the desire to scratch never seems to go away.
Christians of all stripes fascinate me, while at the same time I am baffled by their credulity in accepting the sheer nonsense that is the Christian Doctrine.
Even more frustrating than their gleeful acceptance of the palpable stupidity of venerating a human sacrifices and all the garbage of penal substitution, is their willful ignorance of the history of their religion/faith, and an apparent disinclination to really get to the bottom of it.
And worse than this – my own frustrating ignorance of that history!
However, unlike the sheep, I am inclined to get to the bottom of it. Or at least to try.
It was several years ago I came across the name Marcion and his role in the fledgling Christian church.
At this stage in my reading, the Encyclopedia merely stated that Marcion had edited the Gospel of Luke to confirm to his beliefs and included the Epistles of Paul. It did not explain much more than this, or at least I do not recall if it did, and the most significant outcome of Marcion’s Gospel was the orthodox church of the day was spurred on to put out its own ”official” version.
I accepted this – it being the Encyclopedia – but there were one or two little nagging doubts that simply would not float to the surface.
But as I read more and became more familiar with views that were not quite so ”official” I was able to frame questions that I was unable to when I first read about Marcion.
Questions such as: Why would Marcion use only Luke and why did he not touch Acts?
Later, I discovered that it was Marcion who apparently collected all the Epistles of Paul and handed them over/bequeathed(?) them to the church.
This raised more questions: How come he was the one who ”found” Paul’s epistles? Where did he find them?
I was then able to build upon the nagging doubt I had initially.
Why didn’t the orthodox church have its own bible before Marcion?
Which eventually led to this thought: I’ll bet it was Marcion who wrote Luke and the Epistles and the church nicked them and expanded them.
Of course this flew in the face of the accepted scholarly view and it was not something I pursued.
Then, the other day I came across a piece of writing that expressed similar thoughts. In fact it is a belief held by a number of scholars who, unlike me have plenty of what we might call ”Street Cred.”
The belief being that, Marcion’s gospel was the precursor to the gospels and the New Testament. To my mind this makes much more sense.
So does the idea that the Church took Marcion’s Gospel of the Lord, expanded it, included the Epistles, and added Acts, declared Marcion a heretic and Marcionism a heresy.
Here are a few links you might like to read.
And if you want to add to this or come up with anything else, feel free to jump in an get your feet wet.