Monday, June 30, 2008

Who was Marcion?

I think Marqiyon in Aramaic is a back-formation from Marqîyônê meaning followers of Mark. The suffix –iyon is productive in Hebrew and Aramaic of the time. (Productive is a technical term of theoretical linguistics meaning used to make new words, as opposed to being recognised in existing words but not used to make new words). It does not make diminutives: it makes derivatives. PEOPLE don’t have names ending in –iyon in Hebrew or Aramaic, but THINGS named by relation to other things have the suffix. I think the Greek Markion is a combination of influence of the Aramaic and a conscious creation of a Greek diminutive. The Diatessaron was produced simultaneously in Syriac and Latin in Rome exactly when Irenaeus wrote, so Syriac/Aramaic contact is certain. Does the Greek or Latin name Markion occur before Irenaeus?

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