Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Fourth Chapter of My New Book

We have uncovered an important clue.  The Roman tradition seems to have changed, moved away from an original veneration of twin apostles to something, well, more monarchistic.  Peter and Paul seem to have been the first same sex couple in Rome, and then they were made to disappear.   Yet there is more to this discovery.  Most Christian denominations today like to pretend there was one rule throughout the history of the Church.  This is plainly false.  There were really two - one associated with Peter and another with Paul.  Even if it turns out that the bishops of St Peter always frowned on same sex unions - something which hasn't even been established - there is always the more spiritual tradition of the bishops of St Paul.

Yet for the moment we need only focus on the undisputed fact that the Roman see was not founded on a single apostle.  We can be absolutely certain that a same sex couple stood at the head of the tradition.  In the very beginning of the Roman Church the 'Peter and Paul' syzygy established the framework by which the Church was governed, its gospel was promulgated, and the very means that Christ 'spoke' to the community.  This opens the door to a number of intriguing possibilities.  Most interesting of all - why isn't this fact better known?  The answer to this question is surely found in the axiom - those who write history come out the winners - or if you will, this truth disappeared when one of the two episcopal lines was wiped out.  Peter and Paul were no longer a same, sex couple.

When exactly did this event take place?  Almost all of our information about the early Christianity and the Roman Church have come to be defined by the writings of one man - Irenaeus of Lyons.  Irenaeus is often  identified as a 'bishop.  Earliest evidence disputes that fact.  Yet the writings of Irenaeus writes are so authoritative he makes himself sound like a bishop, a Pope - even the very voice of God (albeit a most boring and repetitive divinity).  At the very least we'd all have to agree he embodies that saying - fake it 'til you make it.

Irenaeus convinces by his sheer conviction and determination.  The insane have this effect on people - or at least until their recognized for what they really are.  If fixation is the hallmark of a lunatic, Irenaeus's obsession with spelling out orthodoxy in the minutest detail certainly qualifies him as a madman.  With Irenaeus there is no alternative.  One is either with him or against him.  He never presents an alternative view.  Irenaeus wears down his readership by providing a seemingly never ending assault of examples in rapid fire succession.  To open a page in any of Irenaeus's works is to parachuting into an epic battlefield, a war between light and darkness, angels and demons, Irenaeus and all that came before him.

Most scholars go along with his madness.  Yet at least a few have some nagging doubts.  What if Irenaeus was really a heretic?   What if he's fundamentally misrepresenting the truth?  What if his supposed 'apostolic message' was really one colossal innovation foisted on to a vulnerable Christian world at the end of the second century?

Take something as simple as the syzygy of Peter and Paul.  There can be no doubt that this pairing is as old as Christianity in Rome.  All our earliest sources make reference to them as a pair.  Irenaeus even mentions them once.  Yet if Irenaeus was such a mouthpiece for traditional orthodoxy why doesn't he mention them more?  Why aren't they allegorized as some cosmic principle in the way he does with our fourfold gospel canon (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)?

Indeed instead of speaking about two powers in heaven Irenaeus vehemently attacks any trace of dualism anywhere in the Church.  Unlike other Church Fathers for instance he makes Father and Son appear in the burning bush with Moses.  This is commonly called 'monarchianism' or the 'principle of single rule' and would help explain why Irenaeus breaks up the twin thrones in Rome which go back to the city's first same sex couple.

Irenaeus establishes a single chain of bishops which will eventually be the line of St Peter.[1]  It shall be our contention that his monarcharian ideals weren't as abstract as many scholars like to pretend.  He was trying to subvert the established significance of the divine pair at Rome.  He could not do so directly.  Irenaeus could not simply abolish the veneration of the two holiest apostles, the Christian Romulus and Remus.  Instead he systematically assaulted all the various heads which came from this ancient hydra.  He attacked the established notion that there were two powers in the gospel, two gospels in the church, two churches in the world made up of two types of people, the psychic and the pneumatic.

In other words, the man who has been presented as being the greatest defender of Roman orthodoxy was in fact its greatest subverter.  This should have been obvious to anyone whoever took his writings seriously.  After all, he presents himself as the greatest student of Polycarp, the man who was vehemently rejected by the contemporary bishop of Rome Anicetus.  This alone should have made people suspicious.  

It should have been equally obvious by the manner in which Irenaeus trumpets the gospel of Polycarp's teacher John, which summarily rejected by another leading 'elder' of Rome, and likely the better part of the Roman establishment.  In all these things Irenaeus lines himself against tradition and yet he is counted among the 'conservatives.'  One would think misusing the label 'conservative' was only possible in America ...

The point of course is that Irenaeus really was changing the Roman faith.  All of what comes after him is something new.  Yet we can't there writings to gauge what the original beliefs of the Church were on any subject - let alone same sex unions.  Irenaeus was redefining orthodoxy and yet the contemporary scholarly world turns a blind eye simply because his writings provide them something which these modern vampires desperately need - blood.  At least they now have substantive to allow them to sink their teeth into, to flaunt 'expertise.' In the study of history, truth is decided by whose writings are allowed to survive.  As such, Irenaeus becomes the voice of orthodoxy by default.

When we eventually get back to the question as to whether it is at least possible that the example of Peter and Paul was used to join other men in some kind of same sex union.  For the moment it is important that we continue shattering the myth of a single rule in Rome.  This is Irenaeus's monarchian fable, born out of his relentless assault against 'the heresies' in his third work.  His chief purpose was to eradicate the teachings which he believed 'separated' the godhead - divided like the chief symbol of apostolic authority in the city.

Irenaeus opposes dualism in any way that borders on psychosis.  It is not surprising then that he reconstructed a single episcopal line. Peter and Paul embodied a divided authority, one bishop who looked outward to shepherd the greater Christian world and another whose duty was to govern the day to day operation of the Roman church.  This becomes clear with respect to the giant 'clusterfuck' which was the third century Church.  All that remains are subtle clues.  We have 'Victor,' 'Zephyrinus' and 'Callistus' identified as successors of Peter.  We have someone named 'Gaius' associated with the Pauline office of bishop of the nations.  Then a figure named 'Hippolytus' who vehemently attacked both his predecessor Gaius and the contemporary Petrine bishop Callistus.

It has been impossible to disentangle the ball of yarn which is the Roman Catholic episcopal hierarchy at the turn of the third century.  There are many reasons for this situation - perhaps most serious of all being the fact that few people even see a problem.  The Papacy has been a sensitive issue.  Catholics and Protestant scholars have lined up in predictable ways even with respect to the question of whether Roman primacy existed from the very beginning.  We shall assume that it did, or at least part of it did.  Yet that portion of the Church - the Pauline 'part' - was summarily cut off at the early third century.

We have clear evidence - in a very important statement buried within Eusebius's Church History - that a massive change that a massive transformation of Christianity was about to take place.  Eusebius's doesn't tell us who wrote these words, he doesn't tell us much about the context in which it was made yet it stands out nevertheless as one of the most important testimonies that has ever made its way down to us.

In the course of writing about contemporaries of Irenaeus, Eusebius brings forward an anonymous work directed against an otherwise unknown heretic tradition which alleged that:

all the early teachers and the apostles received and taught what they now declare, and that the truth of the Gospel was preserved until the times of Victor, who was the thirteenth bishop of Rome from Peter, but that from his successor, Zephyrinus, the truth had been corrupted.

In Book Three of his classic work, Irenaeus basically tells us that he came up with many of his nutty ideas during the reign of the bishop who proceeded Victor.  Eusebius also tells us that Irenaeus was actively counseling and advising Victor and is generally thought to have lived into Zephyrinus's reign.  The inescapable point now is that this anonymous testimony only confirms what is implicit in Irenaeus's writings - these new ideas were only taking hold at the beginning of the third century.

It was in the early third century that Irenaeus's seemingly laughable claim that four gospels 'could only' be read together as one complete gospel finally caught on.  So too his insistence on limiting the scope of the sacred writings and his obsessive fixation with spelling out, a firm, fixed creed among members of the faith.  as a sacramentum or a military oath.  There isn't enough space in this work to explain why it was catching on.  It is only important to recognize that these radical innovation of Irenaeus were spreading like wildfire at this time and displacing all that came before it.

The point here is that almost all studies of the period reinforce the idea - one might say faith - that things in the third century were essentially no different than they were in the distant past.  This is certainly a lie.  Irenaeus was waging war with tradition everywhere in his writings, yet he is careful never to mention the names of saints or the names of churches - 'Alexandria' or 'Rome' anywhere in his attacks.  While he makes a single reference to the twin apostles of Rome, it is noteworthy that he never echoes the idea found in other early authorities  that 'the Gospel' actually came from Peter and Paul.

Irenaeus instead - undoubtedly building on this pre-existent Roman notion - argues for a fourfold gospel.  Indeed all Irenaeus will allow himself to acknowledge is that "Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome" while the Gospel of Matthew was being promulgated in Hebrew and that two other gospels emerged separately from each apostle - i.e. Mark wrote Peter's gospel and Luke Paul's.[2]  Readers should be able to see that the original idea - the pre-existent tradition at Rome - was that the syzygy of the divine twin apostles established the gospel.  This is something that Irenaeus can't make completely disappear, it is so rooted in the Roman soil.  At Rome there were two original gospels associated with each apostle.  Irenaeus tries to distort, Irenaeus tries to distract and all he brings forward is mere innovation and novelty.

In the original formula, Peter first wrote a 'basic' gospel and then Paul developed a more mystical text.  This is clear from a closely related set of writings loosely translated into Latin from Irenaeus's original Greek at Carthage at the beginning of the third century.  According to this Prescription Against the Heresies we learn that the heresies claimed that Peter wrote the first gospel but that God saw "something was lacking" so he established the coming of a "fuller gospel of knowledge" through Paul or as it was originally formulated - "another form of Gospel was introduced by Paul beside that which Peter and the rest had previously put forth."[3]

This historical reconstruction is so utterly essential to the whole question of whether or not the early Christians accepted same sex unions, it needs to be examined in more detail.  The modern impulse to find truth in 'the gospel.'  Yet the original Roman Church raised the objection - which gospel?  Apparently we are told by the Church Fathers the Pauline gospel was hidden but that it was originally received sometime after Peter wrote the first narrative.  "Paul was caught up as far as the third heaven, and when brought into paradise heard certain things there and this secret revelation rendered him more qualified to teach another doctrine beside that which was originally revealed by Peter."[4]

Of course the writings of the Church Fathers are not scientific investigations.  They inevitably get bogged down in hyperbole and tangential questions as to whether the heretics were malicious claiming that Paul superior to Peter and the like. The inescapable fact from all of these reports is that there were two gospels originally at Rome and undoubtedly other early Christian centers too.  Irenaeus's objection of course was as always that two gospels divided the truth of the one God.  Indeed just as the gnostic god was 'hidden' above the god of the Jews, Irenaeus had issues with the implications of this system were that Peter and the apostles were ignorant of this other doctrine which Paul committed some things openly to all, and others secretly to a few.[5]

If same sex unions are to be found anywhere in the early Church it would be tied up in this secret doctrine of divine syzygies.  Unfortunately this knowledge has disappeared no less than the Pauline gospel.  What remains is the unsubstantiated claims of the circle of Irenaeus that the heretics were deliberately insulting Peter through this text.  Indeed as we have already noted Irenaeus is clever enough never to come out and attack the myth of Peter and Paul but instead makes a relentless case for orthodoxy only being associated with the number 'one' and 'two' being equated with heresy.  Yet the apostolic syzygy was his real target.  It was responsible for all the division in the Church.

The symbol of Peter and Paul wasn't just window dressing.  Irenaeus can't mention any significance for their twin apostleship.  He was firmly set against any expression of dualistic thinking.  This in spite of the fact that there is a great deal of evidence which suggests that the Roman Church was divided according to this original apostolic arrangement.

Take for example, the consistent symbolic representation of two churches of Rome associated with a certain Pudens (2 Tim 4:21).  The tradition appears in the ‘Acts of Pudentiana and Praxedis,’ or as it is sometimes called ‘the Acts of Pastor and Timothy.’  The story goes that a certain 'Pastor' known elsewhere as 'Hermas' is the brother of Pope Pius (142 - 157 CE).  The Pastor narrates the story of the founding of two churches in Rome which correspond to the two children of Prudens.  The first, named after the daughter Pudentiana (= 'modesty' or shame).  In the story, the church is ultimately transferred to the Pastor.  The second church associated with another layman named Novatus (= 'renewed') and associated later Prudens other daughter Praxedis (= 'active').

It is this second church which gives away the 'church within the Church' theme.  For 'Novatus' reappears as the head of a sectarian movement in the third century.  Not insignificant either is the fact that the Liber Pontificalis, the official 'book of Roman Popes, attributes a translation of the relics of Peter and Paul to the rise of this 'Novatian' heresy at the time of Cornelius (c. 251 CE).[7]  It cannot be coincidence that Irenaeus has recently been identified as 'Praxeas' and his student Hippolytus as a bishop of the church of Novatus.  The school of Irenaeus managed to spread its message throughout the world by taking over the very bishopric they helped destroy.

If we stick with the figure of the Pastor for a little longer we will stumble upon our second proof of the twofold division of authority in Rome.  For he is also said to have been the author of a work which bears his name, the Pastor Hermas, which was often included in the earliest collections of New Testament writings.  The reason the Pastor is so significant for our thesis is that this Roman work was recognized to have established the correctness of two gospels rather than one, an idea which once again must have developed from the twin pairing of Peter and Paul.  Even Irenaeus has to call the Pastor 'scripture,' although he only cites from the text once in his known writings.[8]

The Alexandrian Church Father Origen draws our attention the Pastor's ancient opinion regarding the orthodoxy of establishing two gospels, noting that just as there are two parts to man - soul (psyche) and spirit (spirit) - so also is:

sacred Scripture, which has been granted by the divine bounty for the salva­tion of man; which we see pointed out, moreover, in the little book of The Shepherd, which seems to be despised by some, where Hermas is commanded to write two little books, and afterwards to announce to the presbyters of the Church what he learned from the Spirit. For these are the words that are written: “And you will write,” he says, “two books; and you will give the one to Clement, and the other to Grapte. And let Grapte admonish the widows and orphans, and let Clement send through all the cities which are abroad, while you will announce to the presbyters of the Church.

According to Origen's exegesis Grapte, "is the pure understanding of the letter itself" established for those " who have not yet advanced to the stage of being joined to a heavenly Bridegroom."  Clement however represents the teaching for those "being built up by this means, have begun to rise above the cares of the body and the desires of the flesh; while he himself, who had learned from the Holy Spirit, is commanded to announce, not by letter nor by book, but by the living voice, to the presbyters of the Church of Christ, i.e., to those who possess a mature faculty of wisdom, capable of receiving spiritual teaching."

Origen was clearly emphasizing that the early Roman Church originally had two gospels in its canon.  This was certainly a very similar situation to what appeared in his native city of Alexandria.  Yet the city of Rome also originally had two bishops, the one represented by Clement who traditionally had an interest in communities outside of Rome and the other associated with Grapte and who strictly looked after the affairs of the churches under Roman jurisdiction.  It is interesting to note also that the very name Grapte of course means 'written' in Greek.  Is it too much to suggest that so we also have confirmation here of the heretic understanding of a gospel of Peter and Paul?

So far we have pointed out two examples of the divided nature of the original Roman Church.  Yet the most important - and likely the most controversial - is now upon us.  As my friend and colleague David Trobisch recently reminded me after the recent Society of Biblical Literature Conference in San Francisco Marcion is the hot topic right now.  Who is Marcion you say?  Marcion was an early conservative figure in the Roman Church who was branded a heretic for the first time by Irenaeus of Lyons.  Not surprisingly the brunt of the attack comes in Book Three of his Against Heresies which we have been taking in little bits and pieces here.

It has long been speculated that the heretic Marcion has had some profound relationship with the early Roman Church.  Over a hundred years ago it was suggested for the first time that the Marcionites (= the followers of Marcion) had the first Latin collection of the Epistles of Paul.  The Marcionite text and that this in turn was adopted by the Catholics, who assimilated it to their own Greek text without being quite successful in removing all traces of its origin.  In more recent times two of the most important studies of the Marcionite collection of Pauline letters was conducted by John Clabeaux and Ulrich Schmid.  Even though their work was done independently, they corroborated the original finding that the Marcionite New Testament must have been the original Rome recension prior to 144 CE.

Why is this significant?  The New Testament that Marcion used is even older than what is usually regarded as the "oldest" extant manuscript of Pauls writings.  The same is also undoubtedly true for the gospels too.  We say gospels quite deliberately because there is a great deal of evidence from Book Three again and other sources that the Marcionites used two gospels, a shorter version of our canonical gospel of Luke and a longer version of our canonical gospel of Mark.  We shall explain all of these details in due course but the important thing for us to concentrate on now is the idea that Marcionitism might well have been the original Roman orthodoxy and one which was ultimately displaced by Irenaeus's innovations with respect to the canon and doctrine.

As we have spent so much time here building up the significance of the dualism inherent in the early Roman Church the reader shouldn't be surprised to find that the same characteristics are present in Marcionitism.  All of our information about the sect comes from the writings of the hostile Church Fathers.  Nevertheless they all emphasize the dualistic tendency in Marcionitism.  The most famous anti-Marcionite treatise begins by declaring that Marcion "introduces two Gods, like the twin Symplegades of his own shipwreck: One whom it was impossible to deny, i.e. our Creator; and one whom he will never be able to prove, i.e. his own god."  The rest of the five books must reference the idea that Marcion divided the godhead, the gospel from the Law, the gospel from itself,  Jesus from Christ, and most significantly Peter from Paul.[9]  Irenaeus will say over and over again that Marcion's eyes have deceived him - there is only one God instead of two.

Marcion can hardly be criticized for counting a Father and a Son as two.  He is criticized for entitling his main treatise the 'Antitheses' or 'things set opposite one another.'  Yet this is the starting point for all created things - no less than Peter and Paul.  Christianity and Marcionitism in particular was centrally focused on bringing thing back together through love and reconciliation.  Another Church Father accuses Marcion of 'stealing' from the mystical doctrines of the philosopher Empedocles in this respect.[10]  He also makes clear that the Marcionite duality was not according to an opposition of good and evil god but rather merciful and just powers.  In short, something again totally in keeping with tradition Jewish mysticism.[11]

Irenaeus also tells us that the followers of Marcion 'divided' the gospel.  He is described as a "blasphemer of the only existing God, from those [gospels] which he still retains." (AH 3.11.7)  Professor Markus Vinzent has recently pointed to the fact that Tertullian makes reference to two versions of the Marcionite gospel.[12]  The same understand is witnessed in the writings of many other Church Fathers including Irenaeus.  He goes on to say after the last statement that "Marcion boasts that he has divided (partirer) the Gospel" (ibid 3.11.9)  It is the Marcionite emphasis on a divided gospel - one according to Peter and one according to Paul - which reinforces his carrying on the original doctrines of the Roman Church.

Indeed as we have already noted, it is impossible to get the sense that the syzygy of Peter and Paul somehow was originally a part of Marcionitism - an embodiment of its dualistic worldview. Professor Vinzent argues that "it seems that Irenaeus, who created the Peter/Paul-myth of Rome, did so to accommodate Marcion, but also to counterbalance him." Yet this is only partially correct.  Irenaeus is careful to cultivate a deliberate misrepresentation of Marcionitism.  All of our information about this sect has been distorted through the lens of a radical monarchist.

So it is that in 1992 Stuart George Hall, professor of ecclesiastical history at King's College London developed an interesting theory about a lost reference to Irenaeus a work called Against Praxeas among the writings of Tertullian.  Hall argued that Praxeas means 'fixer' or 'fraud' and that it may be a nickname Tertullian invented to disguise Irenaeus.  Apparently, Tertullian was angry that Irenaeus had actively worked to make his own sectarian tradition heretical in the eyes of the bishop of Rome.  He writes "Praxeas at Rome managed two pieces of the Devil's business: he drove out prophecy and introduced heresy; he put to flight the Paraclete and crucified the Father" (Prax. 1 — NE 168).

Tertullian alleges that Praxeas dissuaded a bishop of Rome some time ago from recognizing the leaders of his community, Montanus and Prisca as prophets and receiving their churches into communion.  He adds that Praxeas went on to teach a pernicious doctrine, which ammounted to crucifying the Father.  Praxeas asserts the 'monarchy' of God: God is single, and so Father, Son and Spirit are 'one and the same.'Tertullian argues that he rejects the oikonomia ('family principle' or perhaps 'economy').  In other words God is not best expressed through the concept of one but of a 'house' or family of beings.

It is very significant also that Irenaeus was said to be an author of a book with this exact title "On the Monarchy"  (Eus. Hist. Eccl. 5.20.1) and was responsible for at least a few letters to Victor.  We have already seen the church of Praxedis was related to the Novatian tradition of which Irenaeus's student Hippolytus was identified as a member.  Surely Hall's assumption that Irenaeus is 'Praxeas and Victor was the bishop who ultimately excluded Tertullian's sect from the Catholic tradition has important implications for our information about Marcionitism.

When taken together it is hard not to see that Marcion represented the traditional orthodoxy of the Roman Church before the reforms of Irenaeus.  This isn't just something which radical scholarship has come to suppose. No less an authority than the Catholic Encyclopedia repeatedly makes reference to the concept in its entry for Marcionitism:

Irenaeus states that Marcion flourished under Pope Anicetus (c. 155-166) [invaluit sub Aniceto]. Though this period may mark Marcion's greatest success in Rome, it is certain that he arrived there earlier (c. A.D. 140 after the death of Hyginus, who died that year and apparently before the accession of Pius I). Epiphanius says that Marcion sought admittance into the Roman Church but was refused. The reason given was that they could not admit one who had been expelled by his own bishop without previous communication with that authority. The story has likewise been pointed out as extremely unlikely, implying, as it does, that the great Roman Church professed itself incompetent to override the decision of a local bishop in Pontus. It must be borne in mind, however, that Marcion arrived at Rome sede vacante, "after the death of Hyginus", and that such an answer sounds natural enough on the lips of presbyters as yet without a bishop.  Moreover, it is obvious that Marcion was already a consecrated bishop ... and that according to Tertullian (De Praeser., xxx) he made the Roman community the gift of two hundred thousand sesterces soon after his arrival. this extraordinary gift of 1400 pounds (7000 dollars), a huge sum for those days, may be ascribed to the first fervour of faith, but is at least as naturally, ascribed to a lively hope. The money was returned to him after his breach with the Church. This again is more natural if it was made with a tacit condition, than if it was absolute and the outcome of pure charity. Lastly, the report that Marcion on his arrival at Rome had to hand in or to renew a confession of faith (Tert., "De Praeser., " xxx; "Adv. Mar.", I, xx; "de carne Christi", ii) fits in naturally with the supposition of his being a bishop, but would be, as G. Krüger points out, unheard of in the case of a layman ... His episcopal dignity has received mention at least in two early writers, who speak of him as having "from bishop become an apostate" (Optatus of Mileve, IV, v), and of his followers as being surnamed after a bishop instead of being called Christians after Christ (Adamantius, "Dial.", I, ed. Sande Bakhuysen).

Catholic scholarship has come to the very same conclusion about Marcion, albeit through a wholly different set of proofs.  His dualistic teaching must then have been rooted in the very symbol of the Church at Rome - the syzygy of Peter and Paul.

We have not yet reached the point that we can prove that same sex unions were performed within this early tradition, yet with the Marcionites we stand very close to our goal.  The Marcionites were fanatically opposed to allowing members of their presbytery to enter into heterosexual marriages - a trait which carries over to the Roman Catholic Church to this day.  Yet they also practiced ritual castrations and associated transvestism.  These things at least begin to hint at behaviors which might suggest homosexual inclinations to their pagan contemporaries.

We are told as early as the middle of the second century that "they love one another almost before they know one another. Everywhere also there is mingled among them a certain religion of lust, and they call one another promiscuously brothers and sisters, that even a not unusual debauchery may by the intervention of that sacred name become incestuous: it is thus that their vain and senseless superstition glories in crimes ... Some say that they worship the phallus of their pontiff and priest, and adore the nature, as it were, of their common parent."  Could it be that the mere symbolism associated with Peter and Paul in Rome suggested these outlandish stories and many more?  The truth sometimes is even stranger than fiction.


[1]     Indeed Irenaeus does the exact opposite - he fuses 'Peter and Paul' to a chain of single successors, and one which strangely begins with a disciple of Paul - "The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy." (AH 3.3.3)
[3]and if any heresy affirms that it is a follower of that revelation, then either Paul is guilty of having betrayed his secret, or some one else must be shewn to have been subsequently caught up into paradise to whom permission was given to speak out what Paul was not allowed to whisper. [4]
[5] This gospel presented Jesus as speaking mysterious indicating the existence of a hidden mystery which was passed on by word of mouth only.  The world for passing on a teaching by word of mouth is is catechesis, the very name associated with the Alexandrian tradition.  Tertullian reports that this original secret gospel was associated with Paul They hold up instances of Churches reproved by the Apostle. "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you ?" and "Ye were running so well : who hath hindered you ?" and at the very beginning of his letter, "I wonder that ye have been thus so soon removed from Him who called you in grace to another Gospel."  Likewise the words written to the Corinthians because they were still "carnal," and had to be fed on milk, not yet being able to take meat; who thought they knew something when not yet did they know anything as they ought to know it."
[6] An interesting side note is that legend says that Peter stayed at that the house of Pudens (the elder Pudens mentioned by St. Paul) was during his stay in Rome. The sella gestatoria, or St. Peter’s chair, the oak framework ornamented with ivory carvings of the Labours of Hercules and now on display in the Vatican is said to have been originally the senatorial chair of Pudens.
[9] The separation of Law and Gospel is the primary and principal exploit of Marcion," "which refused to contemplate any other god of the Law and the Gospel than that Creator against whom after so long a time, by a man of Pontus, separation has been let loose," "they allege that in separating the Law and the Gospel Marcion did not so much invent a new rule as refurbish a rule previously debased,"

Ir is said in one place that "instead of dividing, those antitheses [of Marcion] do rather combine into unity the two whom they place in such oppositions as, when combined together, give a complete conception of God."  Was this not the very purpose of the Marcionite understanding?  That is, to bring about the bring harmony to the godhead - a concept fundamental to all forms of Jewish mysticism.  As Tertullian notes, take away the external distractions and at bottom of the Marcionite dogma we end up with "neither more nor less than a description of one and the same God, in his supreme goodness and in his judgement— for these two conceptions are conjoined in God and in him alone."  Indeed we can already see the basis for the reconciliation of Peter and Paul in the very words of Ephesians 2:14 - 17 -that he might create the two in himself, his workmanship, created in Christ—into one new man, making peace that he might reconcile both to God.

[11] Marcion, therefore, himself, by dividing God into two, maintaining one to be good and the other judicial, does in fact, on both sides, put an end to deity. For he that is the judicial one, if he be not good, is not God, because he from whom goodness is absent is no God at all; and again, he who is good, if he has no judicial power, suffers the same [loss] as the former, by being deprived of his character of deity. And how can they call the Father of all wise, if they do not assign to Him a judicial faculty? For if He is wise, He is also one who tests [others]; but the judicial power belongs to him who tests, and justice follows the judicial faculty, that it may reach a just conclusion; justice calls forth judgment, and judgment, when it is executed with justice, will pass on to wisdom. Therefore the Father will excel in wisdom all human and angelic wisdom, because He is Lord, and Judge, and the Just One, and Ruler over all. For He is good, and merciful, and patient, and saves whom He ought: nor does goodness desert Him in the exercise of justice,(3) nor is His wisdom lessened; for He saves those whom He should save, and judges those worthy of judgment. Neither does He show Himself unmercifully just; for His goodness, no doubt, goes on before, and takes precedency.

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Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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