Friday, April 12, 2013

The First Half of the First Draft of My New Article on the Jewish Marcion

Marcion is perhaps the most important and the least understood of the great heretics of the earliest period of Christianity.  He should be acknowledged as 'the most important' of the apocryphal list of names which have come down to us from the Church Fathers because he is most likely to be the first Christian believer to organize a canon of holy writings which excluded a great number of other texts deemed spurious or adulterated.[1]  Marcion should be designated as 'misunderstood' owing to the conflicting testimonies of our ancient sources and the disagreement that continues to this day among scholars who attempt to explain away these inconsistencies in order to put together a portrait of this heretical boogeyman.[2]

The place to begin any study of Marcion is to honestly admit that our sources are so much at odds with one another that they demand us to make fundamental choices - 'this source' or 'that source' - every step along the way of our reconstruction.  If Marcion was an airport runway and the Church Fathers were our only map to help us land, not a single pilot would survive the descent from high altitude.  With that said, to continue the analogy, it is enough for us to determine in what state, what city or even - if we are so lucky - what neighborhood this legendary airport is located.  This is the reality of the situation of Marcion.  All claims to greater certainty profoundly misrepresent the state of the existing evidence.

It is perhaps as a consequence of the nebulous state of our knowledge about Marcion that a recent effort by Sebastian Moll has sought to present Marcion as a radical dualist, distinguishing between two divine powers one good and one evil.[3]  Moll presented his work as a fundamental revision of the established opinion of Harnack who rightly saw the evidence as pointing to a Marcionite interest in two powers one good, the other just.  Moll develops his hypothesis mostly from the hostile testimonies of the Church Fathers and their repeated citation of scriptural material to disprove Marcion.  In other words, he has profoundly mistaken cause for consequence, in this case the methods the early Fathers chose to combat Marcionitism for the tradition itself.[4]  In this way, it is much like mistaking the nausea associated with chemotherapy as a symptom of cancer.

Nevertheless we should recognize that there great merit in Moll's thesis.  The question surely has arisen in the minds of anyone who has ever bothered to wade through Tertullian's Against Marcion or any of the other writings directed against there heresiarch - why did the Church Fathers feel the need to array an arsenal of scriptural passages to combat a supposed antinomian heretic?  Moll's answer is to argue that Marcion developed his ideas not from the gospel or the New Testament writings but the Jewish scriptures themselves.  To this end, the Church Fathers recognizing the foundation of Marcion's thought sought to make war with him 'on his ground.'[5]

As misguided and oversimplistic as Moll's overall approach is, he draws attention to an aspect of Marcionitism that has been traditionally ignored in previous studies - that is Marcion's relation to the Old Testament.  The implicit understanding that Marcion simply 'ignored' the Jewish writings because he felt they had been already eclipsed by the new revelation is all too convenient for New Testament scholarship.  The reality is that Moll is quite certainly correct that Marcion must have been centrally focused on Judaism and the Jewish writings in particular.  The difficulty with his approach is that completely misrepresents the reality of religious diversity within contemporary Judaism and so entirely fumbles the question of Marcion's relationship with Judaism.

Even if we accept a late date for Marcion it cannot be ignored that our earliest Christian sources identify Philo of Alexandria as the true representative of the Jewish religion.[6]  Philo's model for the 'god of the Jews' is to argue for a plurality of powers - indeed two powers in particular, kurios and theos, whose names appeared through the Greek translation of the Pentateuch that was used in his community.  Moll does not ever reference Philo a single time in his work.[7]  The reason for this should be self-evident - the idea of Marcion as a 'radical dualist' who posited his own 'invented god' in opposition to 'the Jewish god' simply won't work with Philo or for that matter what we know about Palestinian Judaism throughout much of the second century.

Moll's Jew hating - or Jewish god-hating - Marcion is an absolutely artificial creation which speaks more to recent historical events in his native country than with the actual reality of the historical period in which Marcion was active.  It is also often overlooked that the single most important witness against Marcion - the second century Church Father Irenaeus - had extremely radical notions of the indivisibility of the godhead.  While those Sabellian [8] views have to some extent clouded our own religious sensibilities owing to subsequent religious controversies, it is often forgotten that our portrait of the heresy of Marcion has to a great extent been shaped by the exaggerated by a radical - or a series of radical - lenses in the witness of our various Patristic sources.

In other words, to a Sabellian the idea of god manifesting himself in the world through two distinct or separate powers of mercy and justice would have seemed outrageous.  Nevertheless most of us can work our way through a particular work of Philo of Alexandria without feeling the need to throw it in the fire.  To this extent, if indeed as we will suggest most of the information about Marcion has been filtered in one way or another through the exaggerated lens of Irenaeus or his associates our inherited opinion about Marcion should likely be regarded as hopelessly skewed.  It would be akin to getting information about the merits of a particular steakhouse from an extreme vegetarian, or deciding which bordello to frequent on the advice of a monk.

Indeed in spite of this historical situation, the closest thing to what Moll is suggesting which emerges from the reports of Irenaeus about Marcion's view of the Creator is that he was responsible for 'making evil' (malorem fabricatorem).[9]  This charge does get passed on to the third century writer Tertullian,[10] nevertheless even Moll is forced to concede that his famous work Against Marcion still consistently represents the Creator god of the Marcionites as 'just' rather than 'evil.'[11]  To this end, it would be entirely hazardous to any attempt at fairness to follow Moll in skewing the evidence even further away from any semblance of historical reality by applying yet another subjective 'fun house mirror' to the problem of Marcion.

To the degree that the Church Fathers consistently used scripture to combat Marcion, it is probable that Marcionitism was a heresy rooted in contemporary Judaism.  Nevertheless in order to understand what contemporary Judaism might entail, it behooved Moll to actually engage contemporary scholarship on that subject rather than merely assuming outdated notions of perpetual Jewish monotheism.  The reality is that very age in which Marcion was active was one of profound religious diversity.  Whenever rabbinic texts reference the rule of Hadrian and the period leading up to the bar Kochba revolt they emphasize that even their most learned sages were engaged in combating heretical ideas which greatly resembled Marcionitism.[12]

Alan Segal's now classic work Two Powers in Heaven, Early Rabbinic Reports About Christianity and Gnosticism does an exception job bringing together a diverse collection of materials which underscores the fatal flaw in Moll's work - there simply was no monolithic 'Judaism' for Marcion to hate to such an extent to create a new religion.  In fact, as Segal himself concedes, Marcionitism even as defined by the most superficial reading of the early Church Fathers themselves would have felt itself right at home with the big tent of contemporary Jewish faiths of the period.[13]

For it is in Two Powers in Heaven that Segal demonstrates that early rabbinic reports reinforce the mystical understanding of the twin powers of 'mercy and justice' found in the first century Jewish exegete Philo of Alexandria.  If Clement of Alexandria and those after him could take inspiration from the Philonic notion of two distinct powers interacting with the Jewish patriarchs throughout the pages of the Pentateuch, why is reasonable to assume that the same couldn't be true for Marcion?  To be certain Clement does criticize particular inferences about 'the Lord' and his creation developed within Marcionitism. But at the same time Clement consistently identifies Jesus as the 'God' of the same Biblical narratives.[14]  Again, why couldn't Marcionitism be reducible to much the same interpretation?

Before we get too deeply involved in the Jewishness of the division of the Marcionite godhead, it might be useful for us to fill in the some of the gaps in Moll's research.  Let us ask - what was 'Judaism' like in the period that Marcion was acitve?  Could Marcionitism or Marcion have been wholly Jewish phenomena?  As Segal rightly points out in his Two Powers Marcion's exegesis of scripture is very similar to the rabbinic exegesis in some respects.[15] Yet perhaps even more interestingly - especially from the perspective of Moll's recent work - is that for Segal the literary reaction against Marcionitism  "exhibits many of the characteristics of 'two powers' heresy which offended the rabbis."[16]

In other words, in light of Segal's work we can argue that those traditions later defined as 'rabbinic Judaism' and 'Christian orthodoxy' not only both emerge out of a conflict with a pre-existent 'two powers' doctrine like Marcionitism in the second century - their tactics for combating the heresy appear remarkably similar. Both these normative forms of Judaism and Christian reacted against a heretical interpretation of a set of scriptures passages with a very similar appeal to other sets of scripture.  This historical reaction was very slow to develop and changed over time for both religions.  Yet it is interesting to note that when the rabbis preserve memorials to their combat with heresies they are often portrayed as Christian heretics, and at the same time when Marcionites are specifically referenced in the writings of the Church Fathers they are identified as Jewish heretics or heretics who have borrowed ideas from the Jews.[17]

Do the surviving writings related to the two powers doctrine amount to two monkeys touching two different parts of the same elephant?  Segal doesn't answer that question directly emphasizing the specific 'Jewishness' of the heretical throughout his investigation.  Nevertheless as Segal is quick to point out, this should not in itself discount the idea that the Marcionites should be included among the greater umbrella of 'two power' heretical groups.  Indeed Segal goes to great lengths to demonstrate how closely the Marcionites fit the description of the sectarian groups mentioned in the early rabbinic texts.[18]

To this end, as a tonic against taking too seriously Moll's conclusions about Marcion we present an encapsulation of Segal's chronological scheme for the development of later Judaism away from the two power doctrine.  It has clear parallels in the known writings of the Church Father insofar as we see a 'normative' form of the new religion only emerge with any confidence at the beginnings of the third century.[19]  According to Segal we see within Jewish sources the following:

  1. a second manifestation of God can be shown in Hellenistic mystical and apocalyptic Judaism as early as the beginning of the Common Era (e.g., Philo of Alexandria). 
  2. extreme varieties of this kind of speculation came to be opposed by the rabbis. 
  3. by the mid-second century, R. Akiba or his admiring successors in his name were using the doctrine of God's aspects of mercy and justice to counter the heresy.  Since the argument about God's justice and mercy is not consonant with the normative rabbinic doctrine, it seems probable that the rabbis were responding to opponents with a tradition associating justice and mercy with the names of God in a different fashion. 
  4. the Bar Kokhba Revolt (ca. 135 C.E.) is likely the setting for the growth of this consolation theme.
  5.  these initial arguments were strengthened in the early amoraic period (220 - 260 CE) by specific interpretative rules regarding the reading of scriptures (i.e.that the singular of any verse counteracts the dangerous implications of a divine plural). 

Since many early Christian writers saw Philo as the Jewish soil from which Christianity developed, it should not be surprising that very similar patterns emerge with respect to the rejection of the 'two powers' doctrine in Christianity in the same period.  Indeed one may argue that many of the original difficulties with respect to the proper interpretation of scripture continued until the fourth century struggles with 'Arianism'.[20]

While these discussions mostly lie outside of our present effort to properly define Marcionitism, it is important to remind ourselves of the process of 'purification' which led to monolithic interpretation of the presence of multiple divine names for the divinity in scripture. The natural way to interpret different names appearing on the written page is to assume multiple beings.  Irenaeus's attempted explanation of the many names in scripture is among the most awkward moments in Against Heresies.[21]  Nevertheless we 'forgive' Irenaeus's desperate attempt at interpreting Hebrew because we have inherited his theological suppositions; we are all Sabellians by instinct, Yahwehists by habit.

A careful reading of Irenaeus's work makes clear that the heresy of dividing the godhead was widespread at his time.  It is the one constant theme that runs through all of his writings.  One would need to write waste thousands of lines of text to combat an idea that had only limited acceptance.  To this end, we should view the struggles against the two powers doctrine to have been continued within two increasingly separate religious communities.  While it may have been very difficult to distinguish between what was 'Jewish' and 'Christian' before 135 CE - these very terms do not even seem to have had widespread use before this period - the struggle with the two powers doctrines helped to negatively define 'Judaism' and 'Christianity' individually and as distinct groups from one another in many ways divided along ultimately ethnic lines.[22]

If normative Christianity developed into the belief in one Almighty God among Gentile believers in the second half of the second century, it is fair to say that 'Judaism' came to be defined as very much the same assumption among Jews.  Our earliest reports about 'Marcionitism' and the 'two powers' heresy emerge in this very same period, being very consistently associated with a large body of Jewish proselytes - Gentiles who had already come over to some nominally 'Jewish' form of belief that had existed in previous ages but now fell outside the limits of religious orthodoxy.

Segal makes an extremely important statement on this very subject matter noting that from the perspective of later rabbinic sources noting that "the argument may have originated in the Hellenistic milieu with people who were who were interested in Judaism but had not yet become Jews according to rabbinic definition."[23]  While the heretics are often identified as 'Gentiles,' Segal repeatedly argues for the proper definition of this terminology to be 'proselytes.'  To this end, it is worth noting that the very same thing is said about the Marcionites in a source which can ultimately be traced back to Justin Martyr.[24]  For all practical purposes then, we are not dealing with two separate groups of heretics but one and the same tradition.

In Book Three of Tertullian's Against Marcion we hear an extremely important but overlooked statement about the contemporary composition of the Marcionite community.  The author, assuming that Paul's missionary call was directed to the nations declares:

Refuted however on the vocation of the gentiles, you (Marcion) now turn back to proselytes. You ask who they are from among the gentiles, that are passing over to the Creator, when those specifically mentioned by the prophet are proselytes, of a different condition, separate, by themselves: Behold, Isaiah says, proselytes by me shall come near unto thee,a showing that even proselytes were to come to God through Christ. Also the gentiles, which we are, likewise had their own mention, as people that were hoping in Christ: And in his name, he says, shall the gentiles hope. Proselytes however, whom you interpolate into the prophecy concerning the gentiles, do not as a rule hope in Christ's name, but in Moses' law, from which their instruction comes: whereas the promotion of the gentiles has come about in these last days. [Adv. Marc 3.21]

In other words, there is a clear, early and - as we shall see - consistent testimony with respect to Marcionite missionary activity, that it was directed at Gentile proselytes to Judaism rather than ignorant Gentiles.[25]

What stands in the way of the acceptance of this understanding in a large part is that Moll and others - on purpose seemingly - place Marcion at far too late a period to properly understand the context of the movement associated with him.  It is of course true, that Tertullian and other sources date Marcion to an appearance in Rome during the reign of Antoninus Pius (c. 140 CE).[26]  Nevertheless, as we shall see shortly, more reliable sources make clear that he was an established heresiarch from at least the time of Hadrian (117 - 138 CE).[27]  In other words, the period immediately preceding the Bar Kochba revolt and the beginning of the rabbinic reaction against the 'two powers' tradition.

One of the biggest flaws in Segal's work is his acceptance of the late date for Marcion.  As a result, he is forced to conclude that Marcionitism is not to be identified as the two power doctrine itself but something ultimately related to it - perhaps even its offshoot.[28]  It should be noted that Harnack and others assume a birth of 85 CE for Marcion, making it very possible to date the heretical movement to the earliest years of the second century based in part on the testimony of Clement of Alexandria.  Moll for his part, strangely, makes it seem as if the highly educated Clement is a less reliable source of information about Marcion than Tertullian - this, even though, it is absolutely certain that Tertullian is only copying and adulteration to information established by earlier sources many of whom he cites inaccurately.[29]

Indeed it would seem that Moll helps his argument for a late date of Marcion through his selective citation of the source material.   He cuts off Clement's testimony at a critical point.[30]  To this end, whereas Moll concludes Clement's testimony from Stromata Book Seven with the words "... for Marcion, who arose in the same age with them, lived as an old man with the younger" the actual citation continues for another sentence which is very inconvenient for Moll's claims.  Clement actually writes "... or Marcion, who arose in the same age with them, lived as an old man with the younger. And after him Simon heard for a little the preaching of Peter."  Who this Simon is plainly evident from the original passage making it clearly that Harnack's 85 CE estimation for the date of Marcion unnecessarily cautious.

For a careful examination of the context of the original statement makes plain that 'Simon' here can only be 'Simon Magus.'  In other words, Clement is saying Marcion preceded Simon Magus as the oldest and most original of the heresies.  Indeed his testimony is quite specific in the greater context of the passage as a whole.  Whereas that whereas the true Church was established from the time of Tiberius (= 'high antiquity'), Marcion and after him Simon Magus started a chain of innovation which diverted attention from the true word of Christ.[31]

Of course it must be acknowledged that this stands at odds with our other sources.  But it also be acknowledged that it would be improper to characterize Justin, Irenaeus and Tertullian as three independent witnesses to the same set of facts.  Instead Irenaeus recycles Justin in the same way as Tertullian recycles his two predecessors.  In the end we are dealing with two separate traditions - one which identifies Marcion as living only into the reign of Hadrian and another which claimed he lived on to the middle of the reign of Antoninus.

According to Clement then, Marcion was an influential Christian before Simon heard the preaching of Peter - an 'event' which is typically understood to have occurred in the late years of Nero's reign (c. 66 CE) - and lived on to the early years of Hadrian.  This is hardly an incredible claim.  Marcion would be understood by Clement to have had a lifespan comparable to the great twin poles of Jewish exegesis in the age - Akiba and Elisha ben Abuya.

Of course it is extremely difficult to reconcile these dates with someone who lived on to the period claimed by the Roman tradition.  Justin, writing during the reign of Antoninus Pius, claims that Marcion was "alive even at this day."[32]  He also contradicts Clement insofar as he establishes Simon as both Marcion's predecessor and his teacher.[33]  In spite of the fact that Irenaeus and Tertullian seem to go along with Justin's claims there are nevertheless difficulties with his testimony which cannot be ignored.

First and foremost is the plain fact that his information about Simon Magus is simply not very reliable.  Immediately before he claims Marcion 'has lived to this very day' he claims that a statue of the Etruscan god Sancus found in the Sabine's shrine on the Quirinal Hill was really devoted to Simon Magus.[34]  Not only is this factually incorrect, it is a mistake which one would presume a resident of Rome should and would have known unless he was the worst sort of historical witness.  When we couple this 'mistake' with Justin's appeal to the supernatural with respect to Marcion 'existence' - i.e. he is currently also 'aided' and 'inspired by devils' - it is simply hard to take him seriously.[35]  Clement makes so such egregious errors and so his testimony should not be summarily dismissed merely because it contradicts the testimony of three overtly superstitious witness.

The only additional piece of evidence which helps the claims of Marcion's existence in the middle of the second century is the story perpetuated by Irenaeus about Polycarp's meeting with Marcion at Rome around this very same time.  There are clear parallels with Justin's testimony.  Irenaeus claims Polycarp also saw the Devil in Marcion when he identifies him as 'the firstborn of Satan.'[36]  It is also the only place Irenaeus identifies Polycarp by name in Against Heresies; he is always referenced as 'the elder' in other parts of the text or left unnamed.[37]

Indeed it has been long been noted that Irenaeus fuses two distinct sources through his Against Marcion.  On   the one hand it is generally acknowledged that he used Justin's Syntagma especially in Book One, on the other he incorporated the Roman episcopal list of Hegesippus's Hypomnemata.  It is most interesting for our purposes to see that when we try to account for the origin of Marcion - especially in Book One - that it is one of the most unstable elements in the narrative.  When, for instance the Philosophumena augmented the original account of Irenaeus, it strangely chose an entirely different account of Marcion.  It would seem as if Marcion was not a part of Justin's original Syntagma despite Irenaeus's repeated insistence that Justin championed the fight against Marcionitism.[38]

The famous testimony in Book Three is even more unusual in many respects.  We have already mentioned that Irenaeus here uncharacteristically cites the tradition about Marcion in his master Polycarp's name. Nevertheless it has been established by Lawlor and many others that the context of the statement about Marcion appears as part of a direct citation of Hegesippus' Roman episcopal list from the lost pages of the Hypomnemata.  The unusual thing here is that we can be absolutely certain that Hegesippus's narrative specified that a female named Marcellina - not Marcion - came to Rome during the episcopacy of Anicetus.[39]

Is it possible that Irenaeus is misrepresenting who Polycarp confronted in Rome in the middle of the second century?  In fact Jerome confirms this understanding when he identifies Marcellina as the first Marcionite missionary to visit Rome.[40]  Moreover the very same mistake is made by the author of the Carmen adversus Marcionitas.[41]  What is causing all of these sources to confound Marcion for Marcellina?  The solution might well be that it was not entirely an innocent mistake.

As Lawlor has ably demonstrated, Epiphanius clearly preserves the original text of the Hypomnema verbatim when he references "a certain Marcellina who had been led into error by them [the disciples of Carpocrates] paid us a visit some time ago. She was the ruin of a great number of persons in the time of Anicetus, bishop of Rome, who succeeded Pius and his predecessors."[42]  The pagan writer Celsus of Rome either had access to this testimony or is the original source of the information only underscores the process of 'broken telephone' when relaying such information.  Whereas the 'Harpocratians' appear in Celsus and this group is apparently identified as a sect separate from the Marcellians (Μαρκελλιανοὺς) by the time of Hegesippus the two groups are conflated and Marcellina becomes the leader of a group with a corrupted name - the 'Carpocratians.'[43]

We must imagine that some information has gotten lost or corrupted between the mention of the Μαρκιανοί (Dial 35) in the best manuscripts of Justin and the Μαρκιανισταί (Eusebius Hist Ecc 5.15.21) elsewhere in Hegesippus to lead the Marcellians (Μαρκελλιανοὺς) to become Marcionites.  Indeed the very form used in one of the earliest surviving Greek testimonies of the Polycarp meeting with 'Marcion' seems to suspiciously resemble the Μαρκιανισταί of Hegesippus:

He [Polycarp] mentions this fact also, that when Marcion (Μαρκίωνος), after whom the Marcionites (Μαρκιωνισταί) are called, met the holy Polycarp on one occasion, and said 'Recognize us, Polycarp,' he said in reply to Marcion, 'Yes indeed, I recognize the firstborn of Satan. [Martyrdom of Polycarp Moscow Manuscript 23.4]

To this end, it is seems quite plausible to suggest that an original reference to the female figure named Marcia or Marcellina was corrupted into the Marcionites and Marcion.  The question now that remains unanswered is how and why this was accomplished.

A further suggestion pointed out by Hilgenfeld is that Marcion itself is likely to have developed from a Greek diminutive of the Latin name Marcus.[44]  The female form of this name is Marcia and it may well be that the insertion of the name Marcion in to the information gleaned from Hegesippus is a correction to obscure a hostile reference to a prominent Christian of this name and at the time Irenaeus was active - Marcia Aurelia Ceionia Demetrias, the concubine of Commodus.  The surviving account of her activity in the third century Philosophumena is highly complimentary and shows her in a very similar role as that of Hegesippus's 'Marcellina' - something very unusual for a woman in that period.  As de Ceuleneer notes her epithet "is not even synonymous with Christian" and which he notes is actually "used several times by pagan authors, and Aristotle and a Pollux, only in the sense of Dei amans."[45]

Indeed traditional interpretations of this epithet gloss over its significance.  Alexandrian sources make clear that it was used in conjunction with Moses and Abraham who are described as philotheoi after being prepared by God for the mystic vision of the divinity. Philo moreover says that Moses "with a few other men, was loved by God and was a lover of God, being inspired by heavenly love, and honouring the Father of the universe beyond all things, and being honoured by him in a particular manner."[46]  Clement of Alexandria develops these very same ideas within the context of the Christian mysteries and its goal of being totally assimilated with God writing that that "the godly man is the only lover of God, and such will he be who knows what is becoming, both in respect of knowledge and of the life which must be lived by him, who is destined to be divine, and is already being assimilated to God. So then he is in the first place a lover of God (philotheos). For as he who honours his father is a lover of his father, so he who honours God is a lover of God."[47]

To this end the idea that Hegesippus originally wrote disparagingly of the influence that Marcia had over the church as early as the time of Anicetus (157 - 168 CE) and then this understanding was obscured during the Commodian period when Irenaeus wrote Against Heresies is not at all implausible.  Clement of Alexandria's information about the dates for Marcion are again in no way inherently inferior to the sources marshaled by Irenaeus to support his claims about a visit by Marcion rather than Marcia or Marcellina.[48]  Given the uncertainty regarding the original appearance of a heretic in Rome under Anicetus - i.e. whether it was a man or a woman associated with a group named the Μαρκιανισταί or Μαρκιωνισταί - the wholly distinct testimony of Clement can be accepted more readily.

The idea that Marcion was an influential figure in the period immediately following the apostolic age suits the existing evidence quite well.  It certainly compliments Robert Eisler's re-punctuating the shorter anti-Marcionite prologue - which he ascribes to Fortunatian - to discover Marcion as the first century secretary for John's gospel.[49]  An earlier dating for Marcion also helps put J Rendel Harris's discovery of the beginning of the Marcionite Antitheses buried in the writings associated with Methodius.[50]  Yet most significant of all it helps us go beyond the limitations of Segal's interpretation of Marcion in Two Powers in Heaven.  The understanding of Marcionitism as a mere 'extension' of the the original Jewish heretical tradition suddenly disappears.  We are faced with the possibility that the rabbinic tradition and the Church Fathers were combating the very same or a closely related sect.[50]

Indeed we begin to approach the possibility that 'Paul' himself was a Catholic invention to disguise the original author of the Apostolikon was this very same Jewish heretic.  The words of Eznik of Kolb still ring in our ears - "And the Apostle says 'Inexpressible are the words which I heard' and Marcion says "I have heard them."[51]  Intimations of the very same idea - that the Catholic person of Paul was squeezed between Marcion and his corpus in order to raise questions about the heretical interpretation of the original material - can be found in another ancient sources as well.[52]  Yet before we get too carried away with our revaluation of Marcionitism it is useful for us to get back to our original problem.  How is it that we can use Philo to help us understand the original 'Jewishness' of Marcion?

[20] Indeed it is very important to note that there is little reason to believe that in the earliest period of Marcionitism, the concepts of 'Judaism' or 'Christianity' were that well defined before the second century.   The specific term Ιουδαϊσμός does not seem to have widespread use before the second century.  Justin Martyr writing at the middle of the second century notes that Marcionites were commonly identified as 'Christians' (albeit there is some ambiguity in the surviving manuscripts - the original root of the terminology may have been 'the kind one' rather than 'the anointed one').  Both Ιουδαϊσμός and χριστιανισμός derive from transcriptions of official Latin terminologies, thus unlikely to represent 'grass roots' self-identifications of the groups themselves.
[31]  We cite in full:  For the teaching of our Lord at His advent, beginning with Augustus and Tiberius, was completed in the middle of the times of Tiberius.  And that of the apostles, embracing the ministry of Paul, ends with Nero. It was later, in the times of Adrian the king, that those who invented the heresies arose; and they extended to the age of Antoninus the eider, as, for instance, Basilides, though he claims (as they boast) for his master, Glaucias, the interpreter of Peter.  Likewise they allege that Valentinus was a hearer of Theudas. And he was the pupil of Paul. For Marcion, who arose in the same age with them, lived as an old man with the younger And after him Simon heard for a little the preaching of Peter.

Such being the case, it is evident, from the high antiquity and perfect truth of the Church, that these later heresies, and those yet subsequent to them in time, were new inventions falsified [from the truth].  From what has been said, then, it is my opinion that the true Church, that which is really ancient, is one, and that in it those who according to God's purpose are just, are enrolled. For from the very reason that God is one, and the Lord one, that which is in the highest degree honourable is lauded in consequence of its singleness, being an imitation of the one first principle. In the nature of the One, then, is associated in a joint heritage the one Church, which they strive to cut asunder into many sects.

Therefore in substance and idea, in origin, in pre-eminence, we say that the ancient and Catholic Church is alone, collecting as it does into the unity of the one faith -- which results from the peculiar Testaments, or rather the one Testament in different times by the will of the one God, through one Lord -- those already ordained, whom God predestinated, knowing before the foundation of the world that they would be righteous.

But the pre-eminence of the Church, as the principle of union, is, in its oneness, in this surpassing all things else, and having nothing like or equal to itself. But of this afterwards. Of the heresies, some receive their appellation from a [person's] name, as that which is called after Valentinus, and that after Marcion, and that after Basilides, although they boast of adducing the opinion of Matthew [without truth]; for as the teaching, so also the tradition of the apostles was one. Some take their designation from a place, as the Peratici; some from a nation, as the [heresy] of the Phrygians; some from an action, as that of the Encratites; and some from peculiar dogmas, as that of the Docetae, and that of the Harmatites; and some from suppositions, and from individuals they have honoured, as those called Cainists, and the Ophians; and some from nefarious practices and enormities, as those of the Simonians called Entychites.[Stromata 7.16]  There is no other way to read the material.  Clement's point There are two lists of individuals and groups which fell from the truth and in each case 'Simon' and then 'the Simonians' appears last in a list of heretics and heretical groups.
[45]  to the Churches by John whilst he was still alive in the body,
as Papias, called the Hieropolitan, the beloved disciple of John, has reported in his five books of 'Exegetics'.
But (he who) wrote down the Gospel, John dictating correctly the true (evangel) (was) Marcion the heretic.
Having been disapproved by him for holding contrary views, he was expelled by John.
He had, however, brought him writings, or letters, from the brethren who were in the Pontus.
[48] Moreover there is great uncertainty with the existing manuscripts of Justin - which survive in a single corrupt exemplar. The original address to the Roman Emperor may have been from a previous period and then corrected as we see with the Second Apology.  Moreover, the tradition about Marcion does not seem to be part of the original Syntagma adapted by Irenaeus to develop Against Heresies and later the Philosophumena.

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