Marcion was born about 85 CE, at Sinope, which was in Pontus. He was the son of a bishop. Marcion died in 160 CE. After Marcion arrived in Rome, he became a student of Cerdo, a Gnostic Christian, who believed that there was a difference between the God of the “Old Testament” and the God of the “New Testament”. For accepting, developing and teaching such beliefs, he was excommunicated, from the Church, in 144 CE. Though excommunicated, Marcion continued to teach heresies and drew a large following; they came to be called Marcionites, after the founder.


Marcion rejected all that was Hebrew. He rejected the Tanak, calling it the Old Testament, making the first distinction as  Old” and “New”. He rejected the books written by MaththtiYahu [Matthew], Mark and Yahuchanan [John], because of Jewish influences. He accepted the book of Luke, but edited it, removing any Jewish influences. Marcion claimed that Paul was the only true “apostle”. He gathered 10 of Paul’s letters, excluding 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus and Ibriym [Hebrews]. Of the 10 that he selected, Marcion edited them, removing what he called, “Jewish corruptions.” As to the other sheliychiym [sent ones, “apostles”], Marcion claimed that they corrupted  the teachings of Yahusha` (he called him Jesus), by mixing in legalism. Marcion rejected Thorah [teaching, law] and replaced it with love and grace.


Marcion wrote his own “gospel” and presented it to the Church of Rome. He gave them 200,000 sesterces. After reading his gospel, the Church refused it and gave back the money. His gospel was corrupted and void of all Hebrew references. Due to the listing of “acceptable” books, by Marcion, the Church was forced to determine what books, circulating in the Church, would be authorized. This was the first attempt at an official canon of what came to be known as the New Testament.


First Apology of Justin – Chap. 26, “And there is Marcion, a man of Pontus, who is even at this day alive, and teaching his disciples to believe in some other god greater than the Creator. And he, by the aid of the devils, has caused many of every nation to speak blasphemies, and to deny that God is the maker of this universe, and to assert that some other being, greater than He, has done greater works. All who take their opinions from these men, are, as we before said,(5) called Christians; just as also those who do not agree with the philosophers in their doctrines, have yet in common with them the name of philosophers given to them. And whether they perpetrate those fabulous and shameful deeds(1)--the upsetting of the lamp, and promiscuous intercourse, and eating human flesh--we know not; but we do know that they are neither persecuted nor put to death by you, at least on account of their opinions. But I have a treatise against all the heresies that have existed already composed, which, if you wish to read it, I will give you.”


FRAGMENTS OF THE LOST WORK OF JUSTIN ON THE RESURRECTION, II, “And Justin well said in his book against Marcion, that he would not have believed the Lord Himself, if He had announced any other God than the Fashioner and Maker [of the world], and our Nourisher. But since, from the one God, who both made this world and formed us and contains as tell as administers all things, there came to us the only-begotten Son, summing up His own workmanship in Himself, my faith in Him is steadfast, and my love towards the Father is immoveable, God bestowing both upon us.--IRENAEUS: Heresies, iv. 6.”


Irenaeus Against Heresies, Chap. 27, “1. Cerdo was one who took his system from the followers of Simon, and came to live at Rome in the time of Hyginus, who held the ninth place in the episcopal succession from the apostles downwards. He taught that the God proclaimed by the law and the prophets was not the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the former was known, but the latter unknown; while the one also was righteous, but the other benevolent.

    2. Marcion of Pontus succeeded him, and developed his doctrine. In so doing, he advanced the most daring blasphemy against Him who is proclaimed as God by the law and the prophets, declaring Him to be the author of evils, to take delight in war, to be infirm of purpose, and even to be contrary to Himself. But Jesus being derived from that father who is above the God that made the world, and coming into Judaea in the times of Pontius Pilate the governor, who was the procurator of Tiberius Caesar, was manifested in the form of a man to those who were in Judaea, abolishing the prophets and the law, and all the works of that God who made the world, whom also he calls Cosmocrator. Besides this, he mutilates the Gospel which is according to Luke, removing all that is written respecting the generation of the Lord, and setting aside a great deal of the teaching of the Lord, in which the Lord is recorded as most dearly confessing that the Maker of this universe is His Father. He likewise persuaded his disciples that he himself was more worthy of credit than are those apostles who have handed down the Gospel to us, furnishing them not with the Gospel, but merely a fragment of it. In like manner, too, he dismembered the Epistles of Paul, removing all that is said by the apostle respecting that God who made the world, to the effect that He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and also those passages from the prophetical writings which the apostle quotes, in order to teach us that they announced beforehand the coming of the Lord.

    3. Salvation will be the attainment only of those souls which had learned his doctrine; while the body, as having been taken from the earth, is incapable of sharing in salvation. In addition to his blasphemy against God Himself, he advanced this also, truly speaking as with the mouth of the devil, and saying all things in direct opposition to the truth,--that Cain, and those like him, and the Sodomites, and the Egyptians, and others like them, and, in fine, all the nations who walked in all sorts of abomination, were saved by the Lord, on His descending into Hades, and on their running unto Him, and that they welcomed Him into their kingdom. But the serpent(3) which was in Marcion declared that Abel, and Enoch, and Noah, and those other righteous men who sprang(4) from the patriarch Abraham, with all the prophets,  and those who were pleasing to God, did not partake in salvation. For since these men, he says, knew that their God was constantly tempting them, so now they suspected that He was tempting them, and did not run to Jesus, or believe His announcement: and for this reason he declared that their souls remained in Hades.

    4. But since this man is the only one who has dared openly to mutilate the Scriptures, and unblushingly above all others to inveigh against God, I purpose specially to refute him, convicting him out of his own writings; and, with the help of God, I shall overthrow him out of those(1) discourses of the Lord and the apostles, which are of authority with him, and of which he makes use. At present, however, I have simply been led to mention him, that thou mightest know that all those who in any way corrupt the truth, and injuriously affect the preaching of the Church, are the disciples and successors of Simon Magus of Samaria.”


 Irenaeus Against Heresies, Chap. 28, “1. Many offshoots of numerous heresies have already been formed from those heretics we have described. This arises from the fact that numbers of them--indeed, we may say all--desire themselves to be teachers, and to break off from the particular heresy in which they have been involved. Forming one set of doctrines out of a totally different system of opinions, and then again others from others, they insist upon teaching something new, declaring themselves the inventors of any sort of opinion which they may have been able to call into existence.  To give an example: Springing from Saturninus and Marcion, those who are called Encratites (self-controlled) preached against marriage, thus setting aside the original creation of God, and indirectly blaming Him who made the male and female for the propagation of the human race. Some of those reckoned among them have also introduced abstinence from animal food, thus proving themselves ungrateful to God, who formed all things. They deny, too, the salvation of him who was first created. It is but lately, however, that this opinion has been invented among them. A certain man named Tatian first introduced the blasphemy. He was a hearer of Justin's, and as long as he continued with him he expressed no such views; but after his martyrdom he separated from the Church, and, excited and puffed up by the thought of being a teacher, as if he were superior to others, he composed his own peculiar type of doctrine. He invented a system of certain invisible AEons, like the followers of Valentinus; while, like Marcion and Saturninus, he declared that marriage was nothing else than corruption and fornication.(3) But his denial of Adam's salvation was an opinion due entirely to himself.”


Irenaeus Against Heresies, III, Chap. 12, “ For all those who are of a perverse mind, having been set against the Mosaic legislation, judging it to be dissimilar and contrary to the doctrine of the Gospel, have not applied themselves to investigate the causes of the difference of each covenant. Since, therefore, they have been deserted by the paternal love, and puffed up by Satan, being brought over to the doctrine of Simon Magus, they have apostatized in their opinions from Him who is God, and imagined that they have themselves discovered more than the apostles, by finding out another god; and [maintained] that the apostles preached the Gospel still somewhat under the influence of Jewish opinions, but that they themselves are purer [in doctrine], and more intelligent, than the apostles. Wherefore also Marcion and his followers have betaken themselves to mutilating the Scriptures, not acknowledging some books at all; and, curtailing the Gospel according to Luke and the Epistles of Paul, they assert that these are alone authentic, which they have themselves thus shortened. In another work,(1) however, I shall, God granting [me strength], refute them out of these which they still retain. But all the rest, inflated with the false name of "knowledge," do certainly recognise the Scriptures; but they pervert the interpretations, as I have shown in the first book. And, indeed, the followers of Marcion do directly blaspheme the Creator, alleging him to be the creator of evils, [but] holding a more tolerable(2) theory as to his origin, [and] maintaining that there are two beings, gods by nature, differing from each other,--the one being good, but the other evil.”




Irenaeus Against Heresies, III, Chap. 13, “1. With regard to those (the Marcionites) who allege that Paul alone knew the truth, and that to him the mystery was manifested by revelation, let Paul himself convict them, when he says, that one and the same God wrought in Peter for the apostolate of the circumcision, and in himself for the Gentiles.(7) Peter, therefore, was an apostle of that very God whose was also Paul; and Him whom Peter preached as God among those of  the circumcision, and likewise the Son of God, did Paul [declare] also among the Gentiles. For our Lord never came to save Paul alone, nor is God so limited in means, that He should have but one apostle who knew the dispensation of His Son. And again, when Paul says, "How beautiful are the feet of those bringing glad tidings of good things, and preaching the Gospel of peace,"(8) he shows clearly that it was not merely one, but there were many who used to preach the truth.”


Irenaeus Against Heresies, IV, 8, “1. Vain, too, is [the effort of] Marcion and his followers when they [seek to] exclude Abraham from the inheritance, to whom the Spirit through many men, and now by Paul, bears witness, that "he believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness."(14) And the Lord [also bears witness to him,] in the first place, indeed, by raising up children to him from the stones, and making his seed as the stars of heaven, saying, "They shall come from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south, and shall recline with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven;"(15) and then again by saying to the Jews, "When ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of heaven, but you yourselves cast out."(1) This, then, is a clear point, that those who disallow his salvation, and frame the idea of another God besides Him who made the promise to Abraham, are outside the kingdom of God, and are disinherited from [the gift of] incorruption, setting at naught and blaspheming God, who introduces, through Jesus Christ, Abraham to the kingdom of heaven, and his seed, that is, the Church, upon which also is conferred the adoption and the inheritance promised to Abraham.


Irenaeus Against Heresies, IV, Chap. 13, “1. And that the Lord did not abrogate the natural [precepts] of the law, by which man(2) is justified, which also those who were justified by faith, and who pleased God, did observe previous to the giving of the law, but that He extended and fulfilled them, is shown from His words. "For," He remarks, "it has been said to them of old time, Do not commit adultery. But I say unto you, That every one who hath looked upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."(3) And again: "It has been said, Thou shalt not kill. But I say unto you, Every one who is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment."(4) And, "It hath been said, Thou shalt not forswear thyself. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; but let your conversation be, Yea, yea, and Nay, nay."(5) And other statements of a like nature. For all these do not contain or imply an opposition to and an overturning of the [precepts] of the past, as Marcion's followers do strenuously maintain; but [they exhibit] a fulfilling and an extension of them, as He does Himself declare: "Unless your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."(6) For what meant the excess referred to? In the first place, [we must] believe not only in the Father, but also in His Son now revealed; for He it is who leads man into fellowship and unity with God. In the next place, [we must] not only say, but we must do; for they said, but did not. And [we must] not only abstain from evil deeds, but even from the desires after them. Now He did not teach us these things as being opposed to the law, but as fulfilling the law, and implanting in us the varied righteousness of the law. That would have been contrary to the law, if He had commanded His disciples to do anything which the law had prohibited. But this which He did command--namely, not only to abstain from things forbidden by the law, but even from longing after them--is not contrary to [the law], as I have remarked, neither is it the utterance of one destroying the law, but of one fulfilling, extending, and affording greater scope to it.”


Eusebius’ Ecclesiatical History, Book 4, Chap. 22, “Hegesippus and the Events which he mentiones. Hegesippus in the five books of Memoirs [1] 1 which have come down to us has left a most complete record of his own views. In them he states that on a journey to Rome he met a great many bishops, and that he received the same doctrine from all. It is fitting to hear what he says after making some remarks about the epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. His words are as follows: ‘And the churchIll of Corinth continued in the true faith until Primus [2] was bishop in Corinth. I conversed with them on my way to Rome, and abode with the Corinthians many days, during which we were mutually refreshed in the true doctrine. And when I had come to Rome I remained a there until Anicetus, [3] whose deacon was Eleutherus. And Anicetus was succeeded by Soter, and he by Eleutherus. In every succession, and in every city that is held which is preached by the law and the prophets and the Lord.’ 4   The same author also describes the beginnings of the heresies which arose in his time, in the following words: ‘And after James the Just had suffered martyrdom, as the Lord had also on the same account, Symeon, the son of the Lord's uncle, Clopas, [4] was appointed the next bishop. All proposed him as second bishop because he was a cousin of the Lord. Therefore, [4a] they called the Church a virgin, for it was not yet corrupted by vain discourses. 5 But Thebuthis, [5] because he was not made bishop, began to corrupt it. He also was sprung from the seven sects [6] among the people, like Simon, [7] from whom came the Simonians, and Cleobius, [8] from whom came the Cleobians, and Dositheus, [9] from whom came the Dositheans, and Gorthaeus, [10] from whom came the Goratheni, and Masbotheus, [11] from whom came the Masbothaeans. From them sprang the Menandrianists, [12] and Marcionists, [13] and Carpocratians, and Valentinians, and Basilidians, and Saturnilians. Each introduced privately and separately his own peculiar opinion. From them came false Christs, false prophets, false apostles, who divided the unity of the Church by corrupt doctrines uttered against God and against his Christ.’ The same writer also records the 6 ancient heresies which arose among the Jews, in the following words: ‘There were, moreover, various opinions in the circumcision, among the children of Israel. The following were those that were opposed to the tribe of Judah and the Christ: Essenes, Galileans, Hemerobaptists, Masbothaeans, Samaritans, Sadducees, Pharisees.’  [14] 7     And he wrote of many other matters, which we have in part already mentioned, introducing the accounts in their appropriate places. And from the Syriac Gospel according to the Hebrews he quotes some passages in the Hebrew tongue, [15] showing that he was a convert from the Hebrews, [16] and he mentions other matters as taken from the unwritten tradition of the 8 Jews. And not only he, but also Irenaeus and the whole company of the ancients, called the Proverbs of Solomon All-virtuous Wisdom. [17] And when speaking of the books called Apocrypha, he records that some of them were composed in his day by certain heretics. But let us now pass on to another.”