Marcion

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Marcion

(mär`shən, mär`sēən), c.85–c.160, early Christian bishop, founder of the Marcionites, one of the first great Christian heresies to rival Catholic Christianity. He was born in Sinope. He taught in Asia Minor, then went (c.135) to Rome, where he perfected his theory. In 144 he was excommunicated from the church. He then formed a church of his own, which became widespread and powerful. Marcion taught that there were two gods, proclaiming that the stern, lawgiving, creator God of the Old Testament, and the good, merciful God of the New Testament were different. He considered the creator god the inferior of the two. Marcion also rejected the real incarnation of Christ, claiming that he was a manifestation of the Father. Though generally seen as one of the most important leaders of the somewhat loosely defined movement known as Gnosticism, he did not share some of the main premises of other Gnostic sects. He believed in salvation by faith rather than by gnosis; he rejected the Gnostic emanation theory; and he sought truth in his own truncated version of the New Testament, which included only 10 of the so-called Pauline Epistles and an edited version of St. Luke. He completely rejected the Old Testament. He explained in his Antitheses that since Jewish law was often opposed to St. Paul, all passages in the Bible that suggested the Jewish foundation of Christianity should be suppressed, even including such statements by St. Paul (see antinomianismantinomianism
[Gr.,=against the law], the belief that Christians are not bound by the moral law, particularly that of the Old Testament. The idea was strong among the Gnostics, especially Marcion.
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). Marcionism emphasized asceticism and influenced the developments of ManichaeismManichaeism
or Manichaeanism
, religion founded by Mani (c.216–c.276). Mani's Life

Mani (called Manes by the Greeks and Romans) was born near Baghdad, probably of Persian parents; his father may have been a member of the Mandaeans.
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, by which it was later absorbed. Its effect on orthodox Christianity was to cause a canonical New Testament to be assembled and promulgated and the fulfillment of the Old Law in the New Law to be clearly enounced.
References in periodicals archive ?
The danger ensconced in the christological concentration was evident early on in the proposals of Marcion of Sinope and Manichaeism that, while officially repulsed, still haunted Christian theology and preaching from time to time.
The first ecclesiastic of the first century Christian movement to compile an anthology sacred writings and advocate them as a canon of scripture for Christian study and theology, Marcion of Sinope (c.
This struggle apparently crystallised in the condemnation of Marcion of Sinope as a Christian heretic, for his belief that the Hebrew Scriptures revealed an altogether different and inferior God to that revealed in the New Testament.