Friday, August 31, 2012

Accusations against heretics

A popular accusation against Marcion and others labeled heretics was the claim that they "seduced a virgin" meaning they corrupted the church, a claim that their "faith was shipwrecked" or they "went insane" were ways of saying that they either did not believe in the efficacy of water baptism or that they excised scriptures from the canon, or passages from the scriptures. The shipwreck accusation is a thinly veiled allegation that Paul was the source of heresy and it alludes to his shipwreck in the Acts of the Apostles. Interestingly, Paul never had a disciple named Luke but Marcion did. The accusation of seducing a virgin was applied to Thebuthis by Hegesippus and is recounted in the Church History of Eusebius before Epiphanius ever applies it to Marcion. Valentinus was said to have gone insane after a shipwreck. These are merely rhetorical insults.

Eisenmann in his book James the brother of Jesus brings to light the value of the so-called Pseudo Clementine literature which is likely authentic and original scripture of the Church of Rome in its early Ebionite days. It recounts arguments between Simon Magus (a literary standin for Paul) and Peter at Rome. Simon has many of Paul's beliefs. I believe that Simon Magus' beliefs are Pauls but that Peter was invented in order to hide his identity, because he is Simon the Jewish Magician and friend of Agrippa II.

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