Sunday, March 15, 2015

Marcion

It looks like interest in Marcion is picking up as of late with the (soon to be) publication of scholarly works concerning this interesting figure in early Christianity. Harnack had attempted to recover Marcion's text more than a century ago, and as far as I know he still sets much of the agenda on the question of Marcion and his relationship to the NT. Check out these new books in chronological order with their respective descriptions:

Markus Vinzent, Marcion and the Dating of the Synoptic Gospels (Peeters: 2014)

Are the Synoptic Gospels at odds with Early Christian art and archaeology? Art and archaeology cannot provide the material basis 'to secure the irrefutable inner continuity' of the Christian beginnings (Erich Dinkler); can the Synoptic Gospels step in? Their narratives, however, are as absent from the first hundred and fourty years of early Christianity as are their visual imageries. 'Many of the dates confidently assigned by modern experts to the New Testament documents', especially the Gospels, rest 'on presuppositions rather than facts' (J.A.T. Robinson, 1976). The present volume is the first systematic study of all available early evidence that we have about the first witness to our Gospel narratives, Marcion of Sinope. It evaluates our commonly known arguments for dating the Synoptic Gospels, elaborates on Marcion's crucial role in the Gospel making and argues for a re-dating of the Gospels to the years between 138 and 144 AD.

Dieter T. Roth, The Text of Marcion's Gospel (Brill: January 2015)

In The Text of Marcion’s Gospel Dieter T. Roth offers a new, critical reconstruction of Marcion’s Gospel including various levels of certainty for readings in this Gospel text. An extensive history of research, overview of both attested and unattested verses in the various sources, and methodological considerations related, in particular, to understanding the citation customs of the sources set the stage for a comprehensive analysis of all relevant data concerning Marcion’s Gospel. On the basis of this new reconstruction significant issues in the study of early Christianity, including the relationship between Marcion’s Gospel and Luke and the place of Marcion in the history of the canon and the formation of the fourfold Gospel, can be considered anew.

Judith M. Lieu, Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century (forthcoming, Cambridge: April 2015)

A comprehensive and authoritative account of the 'heretic' Marcion, this volume traces the development of the concept and language of heresy in the setting of an exploration of second-century Christian intellectual debate. Judith M. Lieu analyses accounts of Marcion by the major early Christian polemicists who shaped the idea of heresy, including Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Epiphanius of Salamis, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Ephraem Syrus. She examines Marcion's 'Gospel', 'Apostolikon', and 'Antitheses' in detail and compares his principles with those of contemporary Christian and non-Christian thinkers, covering a wide range of controversial issues: the nature of God, the relation of the divine to creation, the person of Jesus, the interpretation of Scripture, the nature of salvation, and the appropriate lifestyle of adherents. In this innovative study, Marcion emerges as a distinctive, creative figure who addressed widespread concerns within second-century Christian diversity.

They all look to be fascinating studies on Marcion and I'm sure many scholars will benefit from these works.

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