He might, of course, had qualities which made the description appropriate. There is no doubt also that Ephrem and various Syriac writers of the fourth and fifth centuries SO CALLED the Marcionite god by this epithet. But let's actually look at the evidence from the earliest sources. The fact that von Harnack felt so strongly about the claim that he entitled his great book on Marcion with this title. But von Harnack wasn't much of an 'out of the box' thinker. Indeed all of this underscores IMO the flaw in most academic 'presumptions' which is that aspiring students are too heavily reliant on what moderns think rather than what ancient sources actually say.
I simply can't find a single instance where the Marcionites are acknowledged to give this as their god's title. Indeed any mention of his being a 'stranger' is extremely rather in the late second/early third century. Instead what I see is that the most common title in Tertullian is simply 'the other god' or the 'other.' In other words, his 'strangeness' IMO is likely to be a consequence or a development of the actual controversy (undoubtedly instigated by Irenaeus, the source of the material in Books Four and Five) that there can be one God - viz. Allen Brent's 'monarchian' overlapping in various religions with the Imperial cult in late antiquity.
To sum up I seem strong evidence that:
- Tertullian was clearly copying and rendering into Latin a more original anti-Marcionite treatise written in Greek (see below)
- That original treatise must have been Irenaeus's anti-Marcionite treatise mentioned in Adversus Haereses.
- Irenaeus had an obsessive interest in the 'sole monarchy' in heaven - i.e. that there was only one (not two) powers in heaven.
And indeed I do allow that one order did run its course in the old dispensation under the Creator, and that another (alium ordinem) is on its way in the new under Christ. I do not deny that there is a difference in the language of their documents, in their precepts of virtue, and in their teachings of the law; but yet all this diversity is consistent with one and the same God, even Him by whom it was arranged and also foretold. Long ago did Isaiah declare that "out of Sion should go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" ----another law, that is, and another word (aliam utique legem aliumque sermonem), [ibid 4.1.3, 4]
It was therefore your bounden duty first to have determined that the god of the light was another (alium deum luminis), and the god of darkness was another still (alium tenebrarum), in such wise that you might have been able to have distinctly asserted another to be the god of the law (alium legis) and the other the god of the gospel (alium evangelii). It is, however, the settled conviction already of my mind from manifest proofs, that, as His works and plans exist in the way of Antitheses, so also by the same rule exist the mysteries of His religion. [ibid 4.1.11]The text as it now stands starts off with a discussion of the so-called 'Antitheses' of Marcion and a juxtaposition between two 'others' which seems heavily influenced by Manichaeanism. As we shall see the original accusation leveled against the Marcionites was that they divided the godhead and posited two gods when there was only one. The radical monarchianism of Irenaeus strangely resembles the description of his arch-rival Florinus in the Arabic writer Agapius. In other words, Irenaeus does not allow for 'the Son' to have any real distinction from 'the Father' - even when such claims are wholly illogical and irrational.
The standard tactic of the text is to deny the Marcion 'assertion' of the existence of 'another' (i.e. another god beside 'the god of the Jews') and instead offer that Jesus was 'of the Father' whom the Jews already knew and that he only offered 'another' dispensation. That scholars go along with this rather insipid formulation is one thing. The fact that they assume that they assume that (a) Judaism only had one god - completely untrue or at least up for debate given the state of the 'two powers' debate and that (b) it seems 'natural' that the activities of Jesus as a god in the world can be supported by a radical 'one God' belief - something that, as I have just noted, doesn't make any sense at all. Jesus clearly distinguishes himself from the Father god in heaven in the same way that the original Exodus narrative (preserved in Samaritan sources) puts forward two voices (one in heaven, one in the fire) manifesting again two distinct 'beings' in two different places.
or if Marcion be actually an angel, he must rather be designated as anathema than as a preacher of the gospel, Galatians 1:8 because it is a other gospel which he has preached (citius anathema dicendus quam evangelizator, quia aliter evangelizavit). So that, while he amends, he only confirms both positions: both that our Gospel is the strange one (alterius MR), for he amends that which he has previously fallen in with [ibid 4.4.5]Holmes translates aliter/alterius by 'strange' when in fact it is 'another' as we see in the original text of Galatians ἕτερον.
But we now advance a step further on, and challenge (as we promised to do) the very Gospel of Marcion, with the intention of thus proving that it has been adulterated. For it is certain that the whole aim at which he has strenuously laboured even in the drawing up of his Antitheses, centres in this, that he may establish a diversity between the Old and the New Testaments, so that his own Christ may be separate from the Creator, as belonging to this rival god (dei alterius), and as alien from the law and the prophets (ut alienum legis et prophetarum). [ibid]
hence will arise also our rule (nostra praescriptio), by which we determine (defigimus) that there ought to be nothing in common between the Christ of the rival god (dei alterius) and the Creator [ibid]
For to whom else could He better have imparted it, than to such as were strangers (extraneis) to the Creator, if He especially belonged not to the Creator? [Tert Adv Marc 4.7]
It would not be admiration, but aversion, prompt and sure, which they would bestow on one who was the destroyer of law and prophets, and the especial propounder as a natural consequence of a rival god (alterius dei); for he would have been unable to teach anything to the disparagement of the law and the prophets, and so far of the Creator also, without premising the doctrine of a different and rival divinity [ibid]
What similar event could he then have put out (ediderit) a new deity (novae divinitatis), whereby he might betoken for "the holy one" of the rival god (alterius dei)? [ibid]
As therefore he could not by any means acknowledge him, whom he was ignorant of, to be Jesus and the Holy One of God; so did he acknowledge Him whom he knew (to be both). For he remembered how that the prophet had prophesied of "the Holy One" of God, and how that God's name of "Jesus" was in the son of Nun. These facts he had also received from the angel, according to our Gospel: "Wherefore that which shall be born of thee shall be called the Holy One, the Son of God; "and, "Thou shalt call his name Jesus" ... Thus he actually had (although only an evil spirit) some idea of the Lord's dispensation, rather than of any strange (alienae) and heretofore imperfectly understood one (et nondum satis cognitae). Because he also premised this question: What have we to do with You?— not as if referring to a strange Jesus (in extraneum Iesu but extraneum not in Junius), to whom pertain the evil spirits of the Creator. Nor did he say, What have You to do with us? [ibid]
Why else did He rebuke him? If it was because he was entirely wrong (in his invocation), then He was neither Jesus nor the Holy One of God; if it was because he was partially wrong----for having supposed him to be, rightly enough, Jesus and the Holy One of God, but also as belonging to the Creator----most unjustly would He have rebuked him for thinking what he knew he ought to think (about Him), and for not supposing that of Him which he knew not that he ought to suppose----that he was another Jesus (alium Iesum), and the holy one of the other god (alterius dei sanctum). [ibid]
If, however, the Creator's prophet Elisha cleansed Naaman the Syrian alone, to the exclusion of so many lepers in Israel, this fact contributes nothing to the distinction of Christ, as if he were in this way the better one for cleansing this Israelite leper, although a stranger (extraneus) to him, whom his own Lord had been unable to cleanse. [Tert Adv Marc 4.9]
Well, what then? Has He continued in his goodness (that is to say, in his permission of the law) or not? For if he has persevered in his goodness, he will never become a destroyer of the law; nor will he ever be accounted as belonging to another god (dei alterius), because there would not exist that destruction of the law which would constitute his claim to belong to the other god (alterius dei). [ibid]
The publican who was chosen by the Lord, he adduces for a proof that he was chosen as a stranger to the law (extraneum legis) and uninitiated in Judaism, by one who was an adversary to the law (adversario legis). [ibid]
For, just as nobody uses a physician for healthy persons, so will no one do so for strangers (extraneis), in so far as he is man from Marcion's God (homo a deo Marcionis), having to himself both a creator and preserver, and a specially good physician, in his Christ. [ibid]
Therefore Christ belonged to John, and John to Christ; while both belonged to the Creator, and both were of the law and the prophets, preachers and masters. Else Christ would have rejected the discipline of John, as of the rival god (dei alterius), and would also have defended the disciples, as very properly pursuing a different walk (aliter incedentes), because consecrated to the service of another and contrary deity (aliam scilicet et contrariam initiatos divinitatem). [ibid]
But as it is, while modestly giving a reason why "the children of the bridegroom are unable to fast during the time the bridegroom is with them," but promising that "they should afterwards fast, when the bridegroom was taken away from them," He neither defended the disciples, (but rather excused them, as if they had not been blamed without some reason), nor rejected the discipline of John, but rather allowed it, referring it to the time of John, although destining it for His own time. Otherwise His purpose would have been to reject it, and to defend its opponents, if He had not Himself already belonged to it as then in force. I hold also that it is my Christ who is meant by the bridegroom ... Deny now, Marcion, your utter madness, (if you can)! Behold, you impugn even the law of your god. He unites not in the nuptial bond, nor, when contracted, does he allow it; no one does he baptize but a caelebs or a eunuch; until death or divorce does he reserve baptism. Wherefore, then, do you make his Christ a bridegroom? This is the designation of Him who united man and woman, not of him who separated them. You have erred also in that declaration of Christ, wherein He seems to make a difference between things new and old. You are inflated about the old bottles, and brain-muddled with the new wine; and therefore to the old (that is to say, to the prior) gospel you have sewed on the patch of your new-fangled heresy. ... For new wine is not put into old bottles, except by one who has the old bottles; nor does anybody put a new piece to an old garment, unless the old garment be forthcoming to him. That person only does not do a thing when it is not to be done, who has the materials wherewithal to do it if it were to be done. And therefore, since His object in making the comparison was to show that He was separating the new condition of the gospel (evangelii novitatem) from the old state of the law, He proved that that from which He was separating His own ought not to have been branded as a separation of things which were alien to each other (et illam a qua separabat alienorum separatione non fuisse notandam); for nobody ever unites his own things with things that are alien to them, in order that he may afterwards be able to separate them from the alien things (quia nemo alienis sua adiungit ut ab alienis separare possit). A separation is possible by help of the conjunction through which it is made (Separatio per coniunctionem capit). Accordingly, the things which He separated He also proved to have been once one; as they would have remained, were it not for His separation. But still we make this concession, that there is a separation, by reformation, by amplification, by progress; just as the fruit is separated from the seed, although the fruit comes from the seed. So likewise the gospel is separated from the law (sic et evangelium separatur a lege, dum provehitur ex lege), whilst it advances from the law----a different thing from it, but not an alien one (aliud ab illa sed non alienum); diverse, but not contrary (diversum sed non contrarium). Nor in Christ do we even find any novel form of discourse. Whether He proposes similitudes or refute questions, it comes from the seventy-seventh Psalm. "I will open," says He, "my mouth in a parable" (that is, in a similitude); "I will utter dark problems" (that is, I will set forth questions). If you should wish to prove that a man belonged to another race (hominem alterius gentis), no doubt you would fetch your proof from the idiom of his language. [ibid]
Concerning the Sabbath also I have this to premise, that this question could not have arisen, if Christ did not publicly proclaim the Lord of the Sabbath. Nor could there be any discussion about His annulling the Sabbath, if He had a right to annul it. Moreover, He would have the right, if He belonged to the other god (alterius dei); nor would it cause surprise to any one that He did what it was right for Him to do. Men's astonishment therefore arose from their opinion that it was improper for Him to proclaim the Creator to be God and yet to impugn His Sabbath. Now, that we may decide these several points first, lest we should be renewing them (ne eadem ubique novemus) at every turn to meet each argument of our adversary which rests on some novel institution of Christ (nova Christi institutione), let this stand as a settled point, that discussion concerning the novel character of each institution (ideo de novitate institutionis) ensued on this account, because as nothing was as yet advanced by Christ touching any new deity (novitate divinitatis), so discussion thereon was inadmissible; nor could it be retorted, that from the very novelty of each several institution (novitate institutionis) another deity was clearly enough demonstrated by Christ (aliam a Christo demonstratam divinitatem), inasmuch as it was plain that novelty (novitatem) was not in itself a characteristic to be wondered at in Christ, because it had been foretold by the Creator. And it would have been, of course, but right that another god should first be expounded (alium deum exponi), and his discipline be introduced afterwards; because it would be the god that would impart authority to the discipline, and not the discipline to the god; except that (to be sure) it has happened that Marcion acquired his very perverse opinions not from a master, but his master from his opinion!
"Sion is my mother, shall a man say (dicet homo); and in her was born a man (homo factus est in illa)" - forasmuch as the God-man (deus homo) was born - and He built her by the Father's will; that you may know how Gentiles then flocked to Him, because He was born the God-man (deus homo) who was to build the church according to the Father's will— even of other races also. So says Isaiah too: Behold, these come from far; and these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of the Persians. [Isaiah 49:12] Concerning whom He says again: Lift up your eyes round about, and behold, all these have gathered themselves together. [Isaiah 49:18] And yet again: You see these unknown and strange ones (extraneos); and you will say in your heart, Who has begotten me these? But who has brought me up these? And these, where have they been? [Isaiah 49:21] Will such a Christ not be of the prophets? And what will be the Christ of the Marcionites? Since perversion of truth is their pleasure, he could not be of the prophets.
For even if you suppose that the promises of the Creator were earthly, but that Christ's are heavenly (Christi vero caelestes), it is quite clear that heaven has been as yet the property of no other God whatever (bene quod caelum nullius alterius), than Him who owns the earth also; quite clear that the Creator has given even the lesser promises, in order that I may more readily believe Him concerning His greater promises also, than [Marcion's god], who has never given proof of his liberality by any preceding bestowal of minor blessings.
For that is not a different thing which Christ enjoined to be done towards all men, from that which the Creator prescribed in favour of a man's brethren. For although that is a greater charity, which is shown to strangers (extraneos), it is yet not preferable to that which was previously due to one's neighbours. For what man will be able to bestow the love (which proceeds from knowledge of character, upon strangers? Since, however, the second step in charity is towards strangers (extraneos), while the first is towards one's neighbours, the second step will belong to him to whom the first also belongs, more fitly than the second will belong to him who owned no first. Accordingly, the Creator, when following the course of nature, taught in the first instance kindness to neighbours, intending afterwards to enjoin it towards strangers (extraneos); and when following the method of His dispensation, He limited charity first to the Jews, but afterwards extended it to the whole race of mankind.
He raised also the widow's son from death. This was not a new miracle (Non novum documentum). The Creator's prophets had wrought such; then why not His Son much rather? The Creator's prophets had wrought such; then why not His Son much rather? Now, so evidently had the Lord Christ introduced no other god (alium deum) for the working of so momentous a miracle as this, that all who were present gave glory to the Creator, saying: "A great prophet is risen up among us, and God hath visited His people." What God? He, of course, whose people they were, and from whom had come their prophets. [ibid] But John is offended when he hears of the miracles of Christ, as of another (alterius). Well, I on my side will first explain the reason of his offence, that I may the more easily explode the scandal of our heretic. Now, that the very Lord Himself of all might, the Word and Spirit of the Father, was operating and preaching on earth, it was necessary that the portion of the Holy Spirit which, in the form of the prophetic gift, had been through John preparing the ways of the Lord, should now depart from John, and return back again of course to the Lord, as to its all-embracing original. Therefore John, being now an ordinary person, and only one of the many, was offended indeed as a man, but not because he expected or thought of another Christ (alium Christum) as teaching or doing nothing new (nihil novi), for he was not even expecting such a one (qui neque unde speraret). Nobody will entertain doubts about any one whom since he knows him not to exist he has no expectation or thought of (Nemo haesitabit de aliquo quem dum scit non esse nec sperat nec intellegit). Now John was quite sure that there was no other God but the Creator (Ioannes autem certus erat neminem deum praeter creatorem), even as a Jew, especially as a prophet. Whatever doubt he felt was evidently rather entertained about Him whom he knew indeed to exist but knew not whether He were the very Christ. With this fear, therefore, even John asks the question, "Art thou He that should come, or look we for another? (Tu es, inquit, qui venis, an alium expectamus?)" - simply inquiring whether He was come as He whom he was looking for. "Art thou He that should come? "i.e. Art thou the coming One? "or look we for another? (Tu es qui venis, id est qui venturus es, an alium expectamus?) i.e. Is He whom we are expecting some other than Thou (an alius est quem expectamus), if Thou art not He whom we expect to come? For he was supposing, as all men then thought, from the similarity of the miraculous evidences, that a prophet might possibly have been meanwhile sent, from whom the Lord Himself, whose coming was then expected, was different, and to whom He was superior. And there lay John's difficulty (Atque adeo hoc erat Ioannis scandalum). He was in doubt whether He was actually come whom all men were looking for; whom, moreover, they ought to have recognised by His predicted works, even as the Lord sent word to John, that it was by means of these very works that He was to be recognised. Now, inasmuch as these predictions evidently related to the Creator's Christ----as we have proved in the examination of each of them----it was perverse enough, if he gave himself out to be not the Christ of the Creator, and rested the proof of his statement on those very evidences whereby he was urging his claims to be received as the Creator's Christ. Far greater still is his perverseness when, not being the Christ of John, he yet bestows on John his testimony, affirming him to be a prophet, nay more, his messenger, applying to him the Scripture, "Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee." He graciously adduced the prophecy in the superior sense of the alternative mentioned by the perplexed John, in order that, by affirming that His own precursor was already come in the person of John, He might quench the doubt which lurked in his question: "Art thou He that, should come, or look we for another? (Tu es qui venis, an alium expectamus?) Now that the forerunner had fulfilled his mission, and the way of the Lord was prepared, He ought now to be acknowledged as that (him) for whom the forerunner had made ready the way. That forerunner was indeed "greater than all of women born" but the reason why he is less than the least in the kingdom of God is not that there is a kingdom of another (alterius) in which every least person is greater than John, and a John of another (alterius Ioannes) who is greater than all born of women. [ibid]
Therefore it is of such a war as this that the Psalm may evidently have spoken: The Lord is strong, The Lord is mighty in battle. For with the last enemy death did He fight, and through the trophy of the cross He triumphed. Now of what God did the Legion testify that Jesus was the Son? Luke 8:28 No doubt, of that God whose torments and abyss they knew and dreaded. It seems impossible for them to have remained up to this time in ignorance of what the power of the recent and unknown god was working in the world, because it is very unlikely that the Creator was ignorant thereof. For if He had been at any time ignorant that there was another god above Himself (si enim alium supra se deum ignoraverat aliquando), He had by this time at all events discovered that there was one at work below His heaven. Now, what their Lord had discovered had by this time become notorious to His entire family within the same world and the same circuit of heaven, in which the strange deity (peregrina divinitas) dwelt and acted. As therefore both the Creator and His creatures must have had knowledge of him, if he had been in existence, so, inasmuch as he had no existence, the demons really knew none other (non alium) than the Christ of their own God. They do not ask of the other (ab alio), what they recollected they must beg of the Creator— not to be plunged into the Creator's abyss.
But if, on the other hand, he was thus ignorant, because he erroneously supposed that (Jesus) was their Christ, it is then evident that Peter, when previously asked by Christ, "Whom they thought Him to be," meant the Creator's Christ, when he answered, "Thou art the Christ; "because if he had been then aware that He belonged to the other (alterius), he would not have made a mistake here. But if he was in error here because of his previous erroneous opinion, then you may be sure that up to that very day no new divinity had been revealed by Christ, and that Peter had so far made no mistake, because hitherto Christ had revealed nothing of the kind; and that Christ accordingly was not to be regarded as belonging to another (alterius) than the Creator, whose entire dispensation he, in fact, here described.
For some inexplicable reason ἐπερχόμενος is rendered 'the Stranger' in English translations (undoubtedly to make it square with the frequency of 'Stranger' references in the Syriac texts related to Marcion) when in fact the terminology simply means 'the one to come.' This is very curious sloppiness on the part of scholars and sloppiness on the part of the Latin editor of what is now clearly an original Greek text. As we see again and again in Adv Marc, the Latin editor takes pains to preserve the original Greek terminology of his original source. Both here and in chapter 25 there is clear allusion to the Greek term ἐπερχόμενος. But where does it come from? Harnack was the first to connect it with the Marcionite use of the term 'Stranger' and argues (inexplicably) that the ultimate source was the 'Antitheses' which he presumes was already translated into Latin. Yet clearly the better solution is that Tertullian is copying out something written in Greek where he retained bits of the original whenever he can't quite find the appropriate Latin terminology. So we are left with 'the one to come' (ἐπερχόμενος) as a distinctly Marcionite terminology - undoubtedly their preferred term to 'Christ' (as the sectarians saw 'the anointed one' as a specifically warlike Jewish military figure:
I take on myself the character of Israel. Let Marcion's Christ stand forth, and exclaim, O faithless generation! how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Luke [9:41] He will immediately have to submit to this remonstrance from me: Whoever you are, O stranger (ἐπερχόμενε), first tell us who you are, from whom you come (et a quo venias), and what right you have over us. Thus far, all you possess belongs to the Creator. Of course, if you come from Him (ab illo venis), and are acting for Him (et illi agis), we will bear your reproof. But if you come from some other god (ab alio), I should wish you to tell us what you have ever committed to us belonging to yourself, which it was our duty to believe, seeing that you are upbraiding us with 'faithlessness,' who have never yet revealed to us your own self. How long ago did you begin to treat with us, that you should be complaining of the delay? On what points have you borne with us, that you should adduce your patience? Like Æsop's ass, you are just come from the well, and are filling every place with your braying. I assume, besides, the person of the disciple, against whom he has inveighed: O perverse nation! How long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? This outburst of his I might, of course, retort upon him most justly in such words as these: Whoever you are, O stranger (ἐπερχόμενε), first tell us who you are (prius ede qui sis), from whom you come (a quo venias), what right you have over us. Thus far, I suppose, you belong to the Creator, and so we have followed you, recognising in you all things which are His. Now, if you come from Him (Quodsi ab illo venis), we will bear your reproof. If, however, you are acting for another (Si vero alii agis), prythee tell us what you have ever conferred upon us that is simply your own, which it had become our duty to believe, seeing that you reproach us with 'faithlessness,' although up to this moment you show us no credentials. How long since did you begin to plead with us, that you are charging us with delay? Wherein have you borne with us, that you should even boast of your patience? The ass has only just arrived from Æsop's well, and he is already braying. Now who would not thus have rebutted the unfairness of the rebuke, if he had supposed its author to belong to him who had had no right as yet to complain? Except that not even He would have inveighed against them, if He had not dwelt among them of old in the law and by the prophets, and with mighty deeds and many mercies, and had always experienced them to be faithless. But, behold, Christ takes infants, and teaches how all ought to be like them, if they ever wish to be greater.
Who shall be invoked as the Lord of heaven, that does not first show Himself to have been the maker thereof? For He says, "I thank thee, and own Thee, Lord of heaven, because those things which had been hidden from the wise and prudent, Thou has revealed unto babes. (Gratias enim, inquit, ago, et confiteor, domine caeli, quod ea quae erant abscondita sapientibus et prudentibus, revelaveris parvulis) What things are these? And whose? And by whom hidden? And by whom revealed? If it was by Marcion's god that they were hidden and revealed, it was an extremely iniquitous proceeding; for nothing at all had he ever produced in which anything could have been hidden no prophecies, no parables, no visions, no evidences of things, or words, or names, obscured by allegories and figures, or cloudy enigmas, but he had concealed the greatness even of himself, which he was with all his might revealing by his Christ.
Now in what respect had the wise and prudent done wrong, that God should be hidden from them, when their wisdom and prudence had been insufficient to come to the knowledge of Him? ... and if we understand these to be meant in the word babes as having been once dwarfs in knowledge and infants in prudence, and even now also babes in their lowliness of faith we shall of course more easily understand how He who had once hidden "these things," and promised a revelation of them through Christ, was the same God as He who had now revealed them unto babes. Else, if it was Marcion's god who revealed the things which had been formerly hidden by the Creator, it follows that he did the Creator's work by setting forth His deeds.
But he did it, say you, for His destruction, that he might refute them. Therefore he ought to have refuted them to those from whom the Creator had hidden them, even the wise and prudent. For if he had a kind intention in what he did, the gift of knowledge was due to those from whom the Creator had detained it, instead of the babes, to whom the Creator had grudged no gift. But after all, it is, I presume, the edification rather than the demolition of the law and the prophets which we have thus far found effected in Christ.
All things, He says, are delivered unto me of my Father. Luke 10:22 You may believe Him, if He is the Christ of the Creator to whom all things belong; because the Creator has not delivered to a Son who is less than Himself all things, which He created by Him, that is to say, by His Word.
If, on the contrary, he is the notorious stranger (ἐπερχόμενος), what are the all things which have been delivered to him by the Father? Are they the Creator's? Then the things which the Father delivered to the Son are good, and the Creator is therefore good, since all His things are good; whereas he is no longer good who has invaded another's good (aliena bona invasit) to deliver it to his son (ut filio traderet).
If he teaches men to abstain from what is another's (docens alieno abstinere) he is certainly in extreme poverty in having nothing to enrich a son with except what is another's (nisi de alieno). Or else, if nothing of the Creator's has been delivered to him by the Father, by what right does he claim for himself the Creator's man (ecquomodo hominem creatoris sibi vindicat)?
Or again, if man has been delivered to him, and man alone, then man is not "all things." [the Marcionites interpreted the passage this way (i.e. that the 'all' which the Son received were mankind or 'man') notice the appeal to scripture which follows] But Scripture clearly says that a transfer of all things has been made to the Son. If, however, you should interpret this "all" of the whole human race, that is, all nations, then the delivery of even these to the Son is within the purpose of the Creator: "I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession."
If, indeed, he has some things of his own, the whole of which he might give to his son, along with the man of the Creator (homine creatoris), then show some one thing of them all, as a sample, that I may believe; lest I should have as much reason not to believe that all things belong to him, of whom I see nothing, as I have ground for believing that even the things which I see not are His, to whom belongs the universe, which I see. But "no man knoweth who the Father is, but the Son; and who the Son is, but the Father, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him." And so it was an unknown god (ignotum deum) that Christ preached! And other heretics, too, prop themselves up by this passage; alleging in opposition to it that the Creator was known to all, both to lsrael by familiar intercourse, and to the Gentiles by nature ...
For it was on this account that he inserted the clause that the Father is known by him to whom the Son has revealed Him, because it was even He who was announced as set by the Father to be a light to the Gentiles, who of course required to be enlightened concerning God, as well as to Israel, even by imparting to it a fuller knowledge of God. Arguments, therefore, will be of no use for belief in the other god (dei alterius) which may be suitable for the Creator, because it is only such as are unfit for the Creator which will be able to advance belief in the other god (dei alterius). [ibid]
This Christ also showed, when, recalling to notice (and not obliterating) those ancient wonders which were really His own, He said that the power of God must be understood to be the finger of none other (non alterius) than Him, under whom it had received this appellation. His kingdom, therefore, was come near to them, whose power was called His "finger." Well, therefore, did He connect with the parable of "the strong man armed," whom "a stronger man still overcame," the prince of the demons, whom He had already called Beelzebub and Satan; signifying that it was he who was overcome by the finger of God, and not that the Creator had been subdued by another god (ab alio deo).
Besides, how could His kingdom be still standing, with its boundaries, and laws, and functions, whom, even if the whole world were left entire to Him, Marcion's god could possibly seem to have overcome as "the stronger than He," if it were not in consequence of His law that even Marcionites were constantly dying, by returning in their dissolution to the ground, and were so often admonished by even a scorpion, that the Creator had by no means been overcome?
Accordingly, the preceding similitude represents the man who went at night and begged for the loaves, in the light of a friend and not a stranger (non alienum), and makes him knock at a friend's house and not at a stranger's (non ad ignotum). But more of a friend, even if he has offended, with the Creator, is man than with the god of Marcion. At His door, therefore, does he knock to whom he had the right of access; whose gate he had found; whom he knew to possess bread; in bed now with His children, whom He had willed to be born. Even though the knocking is late in the day, it is yet the Creator's time. To Him belongs the latest hour who owns an entire age and the end thereof.
As for the new god (ad deum autem novum), however, no one could have knocked at his door late, for he has hardly yet seen the light of morning. It is the Creator, who once shut the door to the Gentiles, which was then knocked at by the Jews, that both rises and gives, if not now to man as a friend, yet not as a stranger (extraneo homini), but, as He says, because of his importunity. [Luke 11:8] Importunate, however, the recent god could not have permitted any one to be in the short time (since his appearance). Him, therefore, whom you call the Creator recognise also as Father. [ibid]
"The kingdom of God," says He, "is like a grain of mustard-seed which a man took and cast into his garden (egnum dei, inquit, grano sinapis, quod accepit homo et seminavit in horto suo)." Who must be understood as meant by the man (Quis in persona hominis intellegendus)? Surely Christ, because although Marcion's he was called "the Son of man." He received from the Father the seed of the kingdom, that is, the word of the gospel, and sowed it in his garden----in the world, of course ----in man at the present day, for instance. Now, whereas it is said, "in his garden," but neither the world nor man is his property, but the Creator's, therefore He who sowed seed in His own ground is shown to be the Creator. Else, if, to evade this snare, they should choose to transfer the person of the man from Christ to any person who receives the seed of the kingdom and sows it in the garden of his own heart, not even this meaning would suit any other than the Creator. For how happens it, if the kingdom belong to the most lenient god, that it is closely followed up by a fervent judgment, the severity of which brings weeping? With regard, indeed, to the following similitude, I have my fears lest it should somehow presage the kingdom of the rival god (alterius dei regno)! For He compared it, not to the unleavened bread which the Creator is more familiar with, but to leaven. Now this is a capital conjecture for men who are begging for arguments. I must, however, on my side, dispel one fond conceit by another, and contend with even leaven is suitable for the kingdom of the Creator, because after it comes the oven, or, if you please, the furnace of hell.
A certain man made a great supper, and bade many. [Luke 14:16] The preparation for the supper is no doubt a figure of the abundant provision of eternal life. I first remark, that strangers (extraneos), and persons unconnected by ties of relationship, are not usually invited to a supper; but that members of the household and family are more frequently the favoured guests. [Tert Adv Marc 4.31]
And fairly enough, if the invitation came from the other god (ab alio deo), because it was so sudden (subito); if, however, the excuse was not a fair one, then the invitation was not a sudden one. Now, if the invitation was not a sudden one, it must have been given by the Creator----even by Him of old time, whose call they had at last refused ... Therefore He sent out to call others (ad alios vocandos), but from the same city [Luke 14:23]
My third remark is this, that although the place abounded with people, He yet commanded that they gather men from the highways and the hedges. In other words, we are now gathered out of the Gentile strangers (extraneis gentibus); with that jealous resentment, no doubt, which He expressed in Deuteronomy: I will hide my face from them, and I will show them what shall happen in the last days (how that others shall possess their place); for they are a froward generation, children in whom is no faith. They have moved me to jealousy by that which is no god, and they have provoked me to anger with their idols; and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people: I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation Deuteronomy 32:20-21 — even with us, whose hope the Jews still entertain. [ibid]
Who sought after the lost sheep and the lost piece of silver? Was it not the loser? But who was the loser? Was it not he who once possessed them? Who, then, was that? Was it not he to whom they belonged? Since, then, man is the property of none other than the Creator (Si igitur homo non alterius est res quam creatoris), He possessed Him who owned him; He lost him who once possessed him; He sought him who lost him; He found him who sought him; He rejoiced who found him. Therefore the purport of neither parable has anything whatever to do with him to whom belongs neither the sheep nor the piece of silver, that is to say, man. For he lost him not, because he possessed him not; and he sought him not, because he lost him not; and he found him not, because he sought him not; and he rejoiced not, because he found him not. Therefore, to rejoice over the sinner's repentance----that is, at the recovery of lost man----is the attribute of Him who long ago professed that He would rather that the sinner should repent and not die.
"Ye cannot serve God and mammon."1297 Then the Pharisees, who were covetous of riches, derided Him, when they understood that by mammon He meant money. Let no one think that under the word mammon the Creator was meant, and that Christ called them off from the service of the Creator ... When, therefore, He lays down the position that God is one, since He would have been sure to mention the Creator if He were Himself another (alius) to Him, He did name the Creator, when He refrained from insisting that He was Master alone, without another god (sine alio deo posuit). Accordingly, this will throw light upon the sense in which it was said, "If ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?" "In the unrighteous mammon," that is to say, in unrighteous riches, not in the Creator; for even Marcion allows Him to be righteous: "And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another's (alieno), who will give to you that which is mine? " For whatever is unrighteous ought to be foreign (alienum) to the servants of God. But in what way was the Creator foreign (alienus) to the Pharisees, seeing that He was the proper God of the Jewish nation? Forasmuch then as the words, "Who will entrust to you the truer riches? "and, "Who will give you that which is mine? "are only suitable to the Creator and not to mammon, He could not have uttered them as alien (alius) to the Creator, and in the interest of the other (alterius). He could only seem to have spoken them in this sense, if, when remarking their unfaithfulness to the Creator and not to mammon, He had drawn some distinctions between the Creator - in his manner of mentioning Him - and the other (alterius) - how that the latter would not commit his own truth to those who were unfaithful to the Creator. How then can he possibly seem to belong to another (alterius), if He be not set forth, with the express intention of being separated from the very thing which is in question.
Then, turning to His disciples, He says: Woe unto him through whom offenses come! It were better for him if he had not been born, or if a millstone were hanged about his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones, [Luke 17:1-2] that is, one of His disciples. Judge, then, what the sort of punishment is which He so severely threatens. For it is no stranger (alius) who is to avenge the offense done to His disciples. [ibid]
Whence also, astonished that one only out of the ten was thankful for his release to the divine grace, He does not command him to offer a gift according to the law, because he had already paid his tribute of gratitude when "he glorified God; for thus did the Lord will that the law's requirement should be interpreted. And yet who was the God to whom the Samaritan gave thanks, because thus far not even had an Israelite heard of another god (alium deum)? Who else but He by whom all had hitherto been healed through Christ? And therefore it was said to him, "Thy faith hath made thee whole," because he had discovered that it was his duty to render the true oblation to Almighty God----even thanksgiving----in His true temple, and before His true High Priest Jesus Christ. But it is impossible either that the Pharisees should seem to have inquired of the Lord about the coming of the kingdom of the another god (alterius dei), when no other (alius) has ever yet been announced by Christ; or that He should have answered them concerning another kingdom (alterius regno) than Him of whom they were in the habit of asking Him. "The kingdom of God," He says, "cometh not with observation; neither do they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." Now, who will not interpret the words "within you" to mean in your hand, within your power, if you hear, and do the commandment of God? If, however, the kingdom of God lies in His commandment, set before your mind Moses on the other side, according to our antitheses, and you will find the self-same view of the case.1420 "The commandment is not a lofty one,1421 neither is it far off from thee. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, `Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 'nor is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, `Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 'But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, and in thy hands, to do it." This means, "Neither in this place nor that place is the kingdom of God; for, behold, it is within you." And if the heretics, in their audacity, should contend that the Lord did not give an answer about His own kingdom, but only about the Creator's kingdom, concerning which they had inquired, then the following words are against them.
No other god (Alterius dei) do I find belonging any temple, any suppliants, under the authority of Christ - of approval or condemnation - except the Creator. Him does He enjoin us to worship in humility, as the lifter-up of the humble, not in pride, because He brings down the proud. What other god has He manifested to me to receive my supplications? With what formula of worship, with what hope - shall I approach him? - I trow, none. For the prayer which He has taught us suits, as we have proved, none but the Creator. It is, of course, another matter if He does not wish to be prayed to, because He is the supremely and spontaneously good God! But who is this good God? There is, He says, "none but one." It is not as if He had shown us that one of two gods was the supremely good; but He expressly asserts that there is one only good God, who is the only good, because He is the only God. Now, undoubtedly, He is the good God who "sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust, and maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good; " sustaining and nourishing and assisting even Marcionites themselves!
What will be the things which are God's? Such things as are like Cæsar's denarius— that is to say, His image and similitude. That, therefore, which he commands to be rendered unto God, the Creator, is man, who has been stamped with His image, likeness, name, and substance. Let Marcion's god look after his own mint. Christ bids the denarius of man's imprint to be rendered to His Cæsar, - His Cæsar I say - not the Cæsar of a stranger (alieno). The truth, however, must be confessed, this god has not a denarius to call his own! In every question the just and proper rule is, that the meaning of the answer ought to be adapted to the proposed inquiry. But it is nothing short of madness to return an answer altogether different from the question submitted to you. God forbid, then, that we should expect from Christ conduct which would be unfit even to an ordinary man! [Tert Adv Marc 4.38]
He foretells that persecutions and sufferings were to come upon them, which indeed were "to turn for a testimony to them," and for their salvation. Hear what is predicted in Zechariah: "The Lord of hosts shall protect them; and they shall devour them, and subdue them with sling-stones; and they shall drink their blood like wine, and they shall fill the bowls as it were of the altar." (Zech 9:15) And that you may not suppose that these predictions refer to such sufferings as await them from so many wars with ἀλλόφυλος (foreigners Lat allophylis cf. Zech 9:6) consider the nature [of the sufferings]. [ibid] But that you may not boldly contend that it was as announcers of another (alterius) that the apostles were persecuted by the Jews, remember that even the prophets suffered the same treatment of the Jews, and that they were not the heralds of any other (alterius) than the Creator.
But was it not because He had to be led like a lamb to the slaughter; and because, as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so was He not to open His mouth, Isaiah 53:7 that He so profoundly wished to accomplish the symbol of His own redeeming blood? He might also have been betrayed by any stranger (extraneo), did I not find that even here too He fulfilled a Psalm: He who ate bread with me has lifted up his heel against me. And without a price might He have been betrayed. [Tert Adv Marc 4.40]
I advise you therefore - willingly - to acknowledge the Creator in that god of yours, rather than against your will to be assimilating your excellent god (deum optimum) to Him. For in the case of Peter, too, he gives you proof that he is a jealous God, when he destined the apostle, after his presumptuous protestations of zeal, to a flat denial of him, rather than prevent his fall. The Christ of the prophets was destined, moreover, to be betrayed with a kiss, for He was the Son indeed of Him who was "honoured with the lips" by the people. When led before the council, He is asked whether He is the Christ. Of what Christ could the Jews have inquired but their own? Why, therefore, did He not, even at that moment, declare to them the other (alium)? You reply, In order that He might be able to suffer. In other words, that this most excellent (ille optimus) might plunge men into crime, whom he was still keeping in ignorance. But even if he had told them, he would yet have to suffer. For he said, "If I tell you, ye will not believe." And refusing to believe, they would have continued to insist on his death. And would he not even more probably still have had to suffer, if had announced himself as sent by the other god (alterius dei), and as being, therefore, the enemy of the Creator? It was not, then, in order that He might suffer, that He at that critical moment refrained from proclaiming Himself the other (alium), but because they wanted to extort a confession from His mouth, which they did not mean to believe even if He had given it to them, whereas it was their bounden duty to have acknowledged Him in consequence of His works, which were fulfilling their Scriptures. It was thus plainly His course to keep Himself at that moment unrevealed, because a spontaneous recognition was due to Him.
So far had He been from declaring Himself to them as another (nec alium se ediderat illis)! They could not, however, deem Him to be the Christ of the Creator; nor, if He was so deemed by them, could He have tolerated this opinion concerning Himself, unless He were really He whom He was supposed to be. Otherwise He would actually be the author of error, and the prevaricator of truth, contrary to the character of the good God (dei optimi). But at no time even after His resurrection did He reveal Himself to them as another (alium) than what, on their own showing, they had always thought Him to be. He pointedly reproached them: "O fools, and slow of heart in not believing that which He spake unto you." By saying this, He proves that He does not belong to the other god, but to the same God (Quae locutus non alterius se dei esse probat, sed eiusdem dei).
As I have demonstrated here quite clearly Tertullian's Greek source (Irenaeus) does not know Jesus to have been called 'the Stranger' by the Marcionites. Ignore what von Harnack and others have regurgitated. The issue between Irenaeus and the Marcionites was contradicting the monarchia.