Sell Cambridge University Press, Read preview Overview. Horne University of North Carolina Press, Richard Gold Georgetown University Press, Public vs.
No wonder so many people have done this over the centuries. Let me show you how! A zealous convert, he was also a little impatient. He found it tedious and futile to try to harmonize the Old Testament and the New.
Marcion saw no reason to bother. They taught that whoever had created our world full of suffering, injustice, slavery and war was either actively evil or clearly incompetent.
To support his brave new idea, Marcion compiled his own canon of scripture. It snipped off like a foreskin the whole Old Testament, and much of the New.
He only kept the parts that seemed to him, well … inspiring. That matched his sophisticated theories, supported by modern scholars the Gnostics.
In response, the bishops excommunicated him, and drew up their own canon of scripture, which is still in use today. It went underground. His method has proved a handy, go-to tactic whenever a group of Christians wanted to free itself to think bold, exciting new thoughts. Uplifting, inspiring thoughts that the Church had already rejected. For instance, absolute pacifism, the rejection of capital punishment, and the end of private property.
The scholar Hans Urs von Balthasar wrote about how the secularizing thinkers of the Enlightenment wanted to win over Christians. They kept running up against orthodox takes on scripture that blocked their road to Utopia.
Such readings of the New Testament interpreted it through the Old. So those Enlightenment thinkers adopted the spirit of Marcion. They painted Jesus as a liberator from the harsh, inhuman norms … of His very own father. They weaponized anti-Semitism to help sell their case to the reading public.