Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ignatius and Polycarp

Before going into doctrinal details on the four letters of Paul I mentioned in my last post, I want to instead examine Ignatius' Epistles for information on Polycarp and the Martyrdom of Polycarp. Then I'd like to look at some quotes attributed to Polycarp by Catholics.

In The Apostolic Fathers vol. 1 (Ehrman; Harvard) we find information on the Martyrdom of Polycarp. Polycarp is described as the bishop of Smyrna and a Martyr. Irenaeus says the following:

"Polycarp also was instructed by apostles, and he spoke with many who had seen Christ. Not only that, but by apostles, in Asia he was appointed bishop of the church in Smyrna. I also saw him in my early youth, for he lived a very long time. When he was a very old man, he gloriously and most nobly suffered martyrdom and departed this life. He had always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the church has handed down, and which alone are true...It was he who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus, caused many persons to turn away from the aforesaid heresies of the church of God...And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, "Do you know me?" [Polycarp replied,] "I do know you, the firstborn of Satan!"...There is also a very powerful epistle of Polycarp written to the Philippians, from which those who choose to do so, and are anxious about their salvation, can learn the character of his faith, and the preaching of the truth." (page 526 Dictionary of Early Christian beliefs)
  What I find interesting about the quotation above is the claim that "he spoke with many who had seen Christ." Valentinus, Paul, and Marcion had all "seen" Christ to and many Montanists had as well. To have seen Christ did not mean to have seen Jesus for most people. We know from several sources that the early Fathers disagreed on whether John the Presbyter was John the disciple. Polycarp wrote many letters but the one we have via Irenaeus' library seems forged. The "aforesaid heresies" mentioned in the quotation are the errors of Marcion and Valentinus. Supposedly Polycarp met Marcion in Rome and called him the child of Satan right to his face. When we examine the Gospel of John we find this epithet applied to the Jews, and when we read the book of the Revelation of John we find information on the bishop and church of Smyrna.

"Jesus said to them, (John 8:42)...'You belong to your Father, the devil (slanderer), and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native tongue, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!...The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." (John 8:44-45, 8:47)
Jesus is portrayed as calling the Jews the children of the devil rather than Abraham or God. The devil is described as a murderer and a liar. The first murderer in the Bible was Cain who was thought by many Jewish sages to have been born of the serpent and Eve, while the serpent was inhabited by the spirit of Satan. In the Haggadah Satan and the Angel of Truth seem to be equated oddly enough.

"God in his wisdom (Sophia) having resolved to create man (Adama), he asked council of all around him before he proceeded to execute his purpose- an example to man, be he never so great and distinguished, not to scorn the advice of the humble and lowly. First God called upon Heaven and Earth, then upon all other things he had created, and last upon the angels.
The angels were not all of one opinion. The Angel of Love favored the creation of man, because he would be affectionate and loving; the Angel of Truth opposed it, because he would be full of lies. And while the Angel of Justice favored if, because he would practice justice, the Angel of Peace opposed it, because he would be quarrelsome."

(In effect the text is stating that mankind would be good and bad because he would double-minded. Having a rational and irrational brain that was layered.) 
 "To invalidate his protest, God cast the Angel of Truth down from Heaven to earth, and when the others cried out against such contemptuous treatment of their companion, he said, 'Truth (Aletheia) will spring back out of the earth.'"
Gabriel is next depicted as gathering dust from the four corners of the earth for God to form man. Keep in mind that in the Gospel of Luke's infancy chapters Gabriel impregnates Mary via his Word (Logos) and is one and the same as the soul of Jesus. The Souls of mankind are then described as being ready in a promptuary in which the Angel of the Night, Lailah, carries the sperm before God and a male or female soul is selected and the sperm is thus endowed with a soul. The soul is depicted as being separate from the body. Marcion could not have been a Docetist because he held to the view that souls went to heaven upon death, a view which Justin says makes one anti-Christ or a non-Christian. This view was a Jewish view found in the Talmud. Paul's letters show that he believed the soul was separate from the body. Many so-called Orthodox bishops such as Lazar Puhalo to this day claim that the ancient Jews believed the soul and body were one. One can look in the book of Genesis and see that this is erroneous and a lie to put it bluntly. The same word used for breath is used for soul in Greek: Pneuma. In Hebrew it is the same way. Genesis says:

"The Lord God formed the man (Adam) from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7)
Notice that God placed a soul in Adam by breathing. It is illogical and absurd to think he could place a human being into a human being. Therefore the soul is separate and invisible. The idea on the soul found in the Bhagavad Gita As it is, is rather satifying for the sake of explanation. It says that the soul of man is placed in the heart and is 1/1,000th the size of the point of a needle. (I cite this from memory as I do not have the text in front of me right now so the number could be inaccurate but the rest is correct). What is odd about Genesis is that chapter 1 has God speak man into existence. According the Wellhausen theory (the documentary hypothesis) this was the Levitical priesthoods creation story and belonged to the Apostate Northern kingdom of Israel. He concluded that chapter 2's creation account belonged to the Jahwist source which was of Jerusalem. The Haggadah shares an affinity with the Jahwist source and thus would be the dominant view of the city of Jerusalem between the writing of the Jahwist source all the way until the 4th century AD! God endowed man with a soul and this was the constant belief among Jews of the second temple period, in fact, it was the prevalent view shared by the earliest Christians!

For Paul and Marcion the soul and the flesh were in a cosmic struggle of good vs. evil. Before I get into that though I want to examine the book of Revelation, Smyrna is the second most important church according to the order it is mentioned, second only after Ephesus:

"To the angel (messenger, evangelist, apostle, bishop) of Smyrna write:
These are the words of him who is the Alpha and the Omega, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty- yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil (slanderer) will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by a second death." (Revelation 2:8-2:11)
What I find interesting about the letter to Smyrna is that it seems to equate bishops with apostles and angels, it uses the "Alpha and Omega" phrase applied first to Isis/ Serapis, it uses Marcionite language when speaking of being in poverty but rich, it says that the devil (slanderer) will put them in prison for 10 days and accuses fake Jews of being the slanderers of the synagogue of the adversary (Satan). Cerinthians were considered fake Jews but Marcionites were likely considered fake Jews by Cerinthians. The letter mentions a second death as well, implying the annihilation of the soul.

Moving onto Polycarps Epistle to the Philippians (in Macedonia) he appears to echo the sentiments of Marcion in which he echoes the belief that delivering the Gospel should be done 'free of charge'. Polycarp says that those who do not believe in the full humanity of Christ are the 'firstborn of Satan'. It is easy to see that this idea was transferred against Marcion by Irenaeus. What is funny here is that, the Agony in the garden that is cut out of Roman copies of Luke in the Western tradition of manuscripts, was cut out by Irenaeus in order to claim Marcion was a docetist. Tertullian is evidence that Marcion retained the passage, as is Epiphanius of Salamis. The Western church was so poor (hence the term Ebionite) that before Marcion evangelized it around 144 AD, they had no full copies of Paul's letters, no copy of Luke, etc. P46 and the Vetus Latina are evidence of a ten letter Apostolikon and Western copies of the Greek Bible are evidence that the passage was cut out while in the Alexandrian texts they were retained. Philippians by Polycarp evidences tampering by a Latin author in the late 2nd century who added all of chapter 13 (see The Apostolic Fathers vol. 1 Ehrman; pages 326-327).

The passage only appears in Latin and portrays Polycarp as unaware of Ignatius' martyrdom yet in chapter 9 he knows of the martyrdom. It is possible that both are interpolated but I doubt chapter 9 is. Some have adduced that the the letter was two letters combined into one, and this claim has been made about many of Paul's letters but appears to me to be the stupidest solution possible. It shows an extreme lack of literary understanding and the practice of scribes. Harrison is gullible to think 2Corinthians was several letters when I can show it is clearly one Marcionite letter with a minimal number of interpolations. Ehrman says of Harrison, "And the view would further explain why the heresy attacked in the early parts of the letter sounds so much like Marcion, who did not perptrate his views until the late 130s at the earliest, long after the death of Ignatius (For Harrison the heretical views sound Marcionite because they were Marcionite- pages 328-329)." This leaves Ehrman in a odd position in my opinion.

If Marcion were a docetist then Ignatius' letters would have been written at a time when Marcion was teaching, and would be written against Marcion and then the Latin chapter 13 would be the original and chapter 9 would be the interpolation. If Marcion was not a docetist then Ehrman is right but Harrison is still wrong, and chapter 13 is an interpolation forged by Irenaeus to make Polycarp seem to have visited Rome and combated Marcion who was in Rome during the time of Anicetus. It thus seems that Marcion was a follower of Polycarp and that Marcion was not a follower of Cerdon and both Polycarp and Marcion were Quartodecimans, chialists, and quite possibly anthropomorphists.

"For Valentinus came to Rome under Hyginus, flourished under Pius, and remained until Anicetus. Cerdon also, Marcion's predecessor, entered the Church in the time of Hyginus, the ninth bishop." (Eusebius Church History book IV chapter XI.1 via Irenaeus Against Heresies book 1)
"A certain Cerdon, who had taken his system from the followers of Simon, and had come to Rome under Hyginus, the ninth in the episcopal succession from the apostles, taught that the God proclaimed by the law and prophets was not the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the former was known, but the latter unknown; and the former was just, but the latter good. Marcion of Pontus succeeded Cerdon and developed his doctrine, uttering shameless blasphemies." (Eusebius Church History book IV chapter XI.2 via Irenaeus Against Heresies book 1)
The claim that Cerdon got his teaching on God and the Law from Simon is interesting. The so-called Clementine Homilies and Clementine Recognitions depict Simon Peter arguing with his seeming alter-ego Simon Magus about whether God is the Jewish God and whether there are men who are 'gods'. Many of these arguments are reflected in the Gospels. Other writers such as Hippolytus and Tertullian accuse Marcion of inventing this heresy but it appears Cerdon got it from Simon. He got it from Simon in Rome because Simon founded the Catholic church in Rome.

"The succession of Popes
St. Peter (-67)
St. Linus (67-76)
St. Anacletus (76-88)
St. Clement (88-97)
St. Evaristus (97-105)
St. Alexander I (105-115)
St. Sixtus I (115-125)
St. Telesphorus (125-136)
St. Hyginus (136-140)
St. Pius I (140-155)
St. Anicetus (155-166)
St. Soter 166-175)
St. Eleutherus (175-189)
St. Victor I (189-199)"
(As found in the NAB Bible from Rome)
The above list can be corroborated by Eusebius.

"2. At that time also Alexander, the fifth in the line of succession from Peter and Paul, received the episcopate at Rome, after Evaristus had held office eighteen years." (Church History book IV chapter I.2) ("About the twelfth year of the reign of Trajan" IV.I.1)
The Vatican list of the NAB Bible shows Evaristus ruling a short 9 years!

"In the third year of the same reign, Alexander, bishop of Rome, died after holding office ten years. His successor was Xystus (Sixtus)." (Church History book IV chapter IV.1) ("After Trajan had ruled for nineteen and a half years Aelius Hadrian became his successor in the Empire." IV.III.1)
Trajan ruled from 98-117 AD according to historian concensus. This would mean Alexander became bishop of Rome in 109 AD not 105 AD. Eusebius claims Trajan ruled for nineteen and a half years and this is quite accurate as his reign began on January 28, 98 and ended on August 9, 117 AD. Just one month over a half a year! Alexander recived his bishopric in the 12th year of Trajan according to Eusebius but the Vatican claims it was in 105, the 8th year. Alexander died after holding office for ten years and Sixtus succeeded him in the 3rd year of Hadrian. 117-138 AD was the time of Hadrians rule. 119 AD was the 3rd year of his rule. This means Xystus came to the bishopric in 119. The Vatican is off by four years again!!!

My list of the Popes reconstructed via Eusebius:
1. Evaristus- bishop of Rome for 18 yrs- died in the 12th year of Trajan
2. Alexander- bishop of Rome for 10 yrs- succeeded in the 12th year of Trajan, died in the 3rd year of Hadrian. (episcopate: 109-119)
3. Xystus- bishop of Rome for x yrs- succeeded in the 3rd year of Hadrian
This is just a little insight, so I will now focus on the bishops from Hyginus to Anicetus as this is the time period we care about most.

"Hadrian having died after a reign of twenty-one years, was succeeded in the government of the Romans by Antoninus, called the Pious. In the first year of his reign Telesphorus died in the eleventh year of his episcopate, and Hyginus became bishop of Rome. Irenaeus records that Telesphorus' death was made glorious by martyrdom, and in the same connection he states that in the time of the above-mentioned Roman bishop Hyginus, Valentinus, the founder of a sect of  his own, and Cerdon, the author of Marcion's error, were both well known at Rome." (Eusebius Church History book IV chapter X.1)
Hadrian is known to have died in 138 AD after a reign of 22 years (one month short of 22 years anyway). He died on July 10th of 138 AD and was succeeded by Antoninus Pius and in his first year July 138- July 139 is the time period that Telesphorus was martyred and Hyginus succeeded him and Valentinus and Cerdon were in Rome. Eusebius claims that Polycarp, Marcion, and Valentinus were all in Rome during the time of Anicetus. Eleutherus, Hegesippus, and Justin were all in Rome at this time, as was Ptolemy! This was a time of fierce debate over the diety of Christ and consubstantiality, the trinity, the humanity of Christ, the pre-existence of souls, apokatastasis, the nature of resurrection and how many resurrections it takes to get to the center of immortality (just kidding). This was also the time the canon was being argued for the first time. (see Eusebius Church History book IV chapter XI-XIV).

Hyginus died in the 4th year of his episcopate (book IV chapter XI.6) and Pius succeeded him in the "government of the church of Rome". In the 15th year as bishop, Pius died (book IV chapter XI.7)and Anicetus succeeded him. After 18 yrs Soter succeeded him. (book IV chapter XIX.1) Eleutherus was a deacon under Anicetus according to Hegesippus via Eusebius. Hegesippis accuses Thebuthis as being the one to defile the virgin church, which was later an accusation made against Marcion. Hegesippus is the first writer to mention Cleobius, a man found in the Epistle of the Apostles and various church orders, all of which seem to have quartodeciman, chialist, and anthropomorphist tendencies, and focus on the humanity of Christ, and unity of the soul and body, as well as carnal resurrection.

Telesphorus was martyred around 138-139 AD
Hyginus became bishop of Rome in the year 138-139
Hyginus died in 141-142
Pius became bishop in 141-142 and died in 155-156
Anicetus became bishop in 155-156 and died in 172-173 AD
Ehrman claims that because Marcion was in Rome between 155-173 AD that the 13th chapter of Polycarps letter makes no sense. The earlier chapter 9 mentions Marcionite errors, so by Ehrmans logic it had to have been written at a time when they were well known which would be around 155-173 AD, the time Polycarp was martyred. Therefore, the Latin interpolater seeks to make them look older. It is obvious why he does this: he wants to make it so Marcion is not the author of the martyrdom. Marcion was teaching between the time of the death of John the Presbyter to the time of the death of Polycarp, in all likelihood. The Greek letter of Polycarp to Philippi ends at 9.2 in the Greek and has parts of Barnabas attached to it. The longer versions are only in Latin. I believe many writings were interpolated in Latin and then retranslated into Greek, Polycarp, Irenaeus, and Ignatius being among the many.

Eusebius uses chapter 9 and 13 in Greek but takes them from a Latin copy, which proves my point. Polycarp knows of presbyters (elders) temporarily residing in Philippi which may mean they are itinerant ministers or that they believe in chialism doctrine. He uses the phrase 'Lord Jesus Christ' the same as Marcion. Jesus is depicted as dying for our sins. The phrase 'labor pains of Hades' is very odd. It seems to imply that child bearing is Hell and that Jesus sought to eliminate procreation. If labor pains mean working the soil then it means he freed men from doing work which makes little sense. He says 'even without seeing him you believe in him' which is reminiscent of the Gospel of John and the Epistle of the Apostles. This shows that Galatians when it speaks of Jesus being portrayed as crucified means written about and spoken of, not pictured on canvas or on paper in drawings and paintings.

Polycarp claims in chapter 3 that Paul was with the Philippian church and when he was not he wrote to them. Faith is the Mother rather than the Church in Polycarps letter. Whoever has love is far removed from sin, which seems quite bizarre and Marcionite. He speaks of deacons in chapter 5. The sentence I find most compelling up to this point is the following:

"So too the deacons should be blameless before his righteousness as ministers of God and Christ, not of humans." (Philippians 5:2)
The above sentence proves that Polycarp did not see the resurrected Christ as a Human. Ehrman gives a footnote that 1Timothy 3:8-13 supposedly corresponds to this passage.

Polycarp speaks of a present Aeon which is reminiscent of Luke 20:27 on the marriage at the resurrection, a passage Cerinthus sought to disprove with his book of Revelation. It also speaks of a coming Aeon like Luke 20:27. This passage is thoroughly Marcionite. Jesus didn't say anyone had to believe in a coming age, rather for Polycarp he made a promise that we would rule with him in the coming Aeon, not an earthly kingdom like Cerinthus proposed. So the interpolating scribe adds to "we would also rule together with him" the words "-so long as we believe." (Philippians 5:2) The Spirit is at war with the flesh for Polycarp as for Marcion. Purity as abstinance from evil thoughts and deeds is stressed as with Marcion. Effimanacy and male prostitution are a bane of contention for Polycarp as well strangely enough. Virginity is stressed and there is a presbytery in place of God and a deacons in place of Christ but no bishops. Polycarp says that "we are all in debt because of sin." (6:2) This accords with ransom or redemption theories. He speaks of a judgment seat of Christ which seems quite absurd and makes Christ a vainglorious hypocrite in that Pilate sat on the judgment seat and even Pilate did not judge Jesus yet Jesus tells people not to judge and suddenly he judges. This seems like Cerinthian hogwash from Revelation. It found its way into Romans 14:10-12 and 2Corinthians 5:10.

"For anyone who does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is an antichrist; and whoever does not confess the witness of the cross is from the devil; and whoever distorts the words of the Lord for his own purpose, saying that there is neither resurrection or judgment- this one is the firstborn of Satan. (7:1)
The phrase "-this one is the firstborn of Satan" is an interpolation by Irenaeus who first reports the story of Marcions confrontation with Polycarp who was actually his good friend. 1John 4:2-3 and 3:8 are alluded to. Marcion did believe Jesus Christ came in flesh and truly ate, slept, and bled. He confessed that Jesus died on the cross. The devil or slanderer here is the Jews who do not accept Jesus as Messiah. Those who distort the word are those who make it into allegory, which agrees with Marcion. Marcion never denied the resurrection. This passage is staunchly at odds with the pastorals as they claim that whoever says the resurrection is past is antichrist. Marcion did not deny the judgment either. This passage can only be against Sadducees or possibly Ebionites and Cerinthians. Ignatius, Zosimus, Rufus, and Paul are mentioned as martyrs or ones who endured for Christ. These men are said to have not loved the "present Aeon". When the universe or world is spoken of the word cosmos is used but when the concept of Aeons is employed it does not mean an age. It means a material existence versus an invisible existence. Marcions doctrine of two aeons has to do with a visible and invisible existence and a material creator and an invisible supreme God. In chapter 11, presbyter Valens of Philippi is accused of having taught the Gospel for a pension. This is something Marcion was against too. Love of money is seen as idolatry because to love money is to love the deified portrait of Caesar on the coin. In chapter 12 he openly claims he is not well trained in the scriptures!!! However this is only in Latin and is likely made to make Polycarp look stupid like the interpolations in Paul. Valens may be Valentinus and this part is only in Latin but does reflect Marcionite beliefs. The idea that Jesus Christ is God is found only in the Latin as well as the idea that he was "raised from the dead" which to Gnostics would mean they are saying Christ was at one time ignorant. It says to pray for kings and magistrates and rulers aka the antichrists of Irenaeus writings. (this is likely added to Luke 6:27 and this letter from Justin)

Chapter 13 is in Greek in Eusebius but does not seem to imply that Ignatius is alive in English, but maybe in Greek grammar it does. It seems that it is trying to give authority to the forged letter of the Smyrnaeans to support the idea of the fourfold gospel alongside Revelation. This was the invention of Cerinthus for sure. It does state that Ignatius is alive at the end of chapter 13, so there is the smoking gun! Crescens is mentioned too. Rufus and Crescens are mentioned in Pauline epistles and Ignatian epistles. The part about Crescens is in Latin and speaks of a letter of recommendation like the part of Romans about Phoebe the deaconness. Paul and Marcion denounced letters of recommendation in Romans and 2Corinthians.

Polycarp quotes the Gospels as follows:

"Do not judge lest you be judged; forgive and it will be forgiven you; show mercy that you may be shown mercy; the amount you dispense will be the amount you receive in return." (found in Luke 6:36-38, Matthew 7:1-2, and 1Clement 13:2)
"Blessed are the poor and those persecuted for the sake of righteousness, because the kingdom of God belongs to them." (found in Luke 6:20, Matthew 5:10)
"God's will be done" (found in Luke 22:42.)

Polycarp could not have died in Rome as he died in Smyrna. The line found in Thomas and the Prayer of Paul and 1Corinthians is in the Martyrdom of Polycarp: "which no ear has heard nor eye has seen, which have never entered into the human heart." It states that we become angels and are no longer humans at death and that we leave our bodies! Germanicus was a martyr with Polycarp. A proconsul of Smyrna is mentioned which ust have been the proconsul of all of Asia. Famous proconsuls included Celsus and Quadratus. (130 AD and 105 AD respectively). Polycarp is against turning ones self in because it can lead to offering sacrifice by being compelled to do so.

 The chief of Police was named Polycarp and a sloppy interpolator calls him Herod. Judas is the betrayer here as in Matthew which may be an interpolation as well. It is on the day of preparation that Polycarp is seized and a young slave is spoken of vaguely. They seated him on a donkey (hence the golden ass). Polycarp calls Christ his king. Romans 13:1 on rulers is employed. Polycarp sees the flesh as wicked and the spirit as right and this is his reasoning for letting the beats rip him to shreds. A Philip the Asiarch is mentioned, which seems to be the patriarch of Asian Jews. Jesus for these Marcionites had merely atoned for the past sins of the world, and they had to repeat the sacrifice like the blood thirsty Mayans. Jesus is a heavenly high priest. The Meletian cult of the martyrs is first found in the Catholic church of Marcion and Polycarp where they worshipped the flesh of the martyrs and were accused of eating it in magic rituals. Christ is the pilot of our bodies in this writing as in the Haggadah Christ is the first man, the spiritual Adam created on the first day, the soul, the angel Gabriel, the Logos, etc. There were 11 others from Philadelphia martyred. The kingdom is eternal not a coming future kingdom. Jesus Christ is the "unique one" a very Marcionite idea, which is slightly docetic. Evaristus wrote the letter as a report given to him by Marcion who was an eyewitness. If this is Pope Evaristus then it places the martyrdom in the year 109 AD!!! That is way before the time of Anicetus and it has a huge bearing on the dating of Ignatius and Polycarp, as well as Marcion's writings.

Philip the Asiarch is Philip of Tralles, the high priest. Statius Quadratus is said to have been proconsul. Caius of Rome, an enemy of the Cerinthians transcribed the letter. He claims to have been a disciple of Irenaeus, so Irenaeus must be the most interpolated writing. Polycarp died on February 23 at 2:00 in the afternoon supposedly. It seems to me Polycarp died in 109 AD and Ignatius likely died in 108 AD and Marcion may have passed around 160 AD. Gaius Iulius Quadratus Bassus was the proconsul of Asia in 105 AD. There was a Statius Quadratus serving in 142 AD but not in Smyrna or Asia for that matter. No matter what Polycarp died between 109 and 142 AD so he could not have met with Anicetus and Irenaeus is proven a liar hands down!!! Tertullian is so stupid that he makes the argument that Marcion believed the soul leaves the body at death yet turns around and criticizes Marcion for not believing that Jesus' soul/ spirit left his body at the death on the cross. He clearly relies on his readers to have a short attention span and is guilty of hypocrisy. Marcions Jesus bled and gave up his spirit.

"With what constancy has He also, in Psalm xxx., laboured to present to us the very Christ! He calls with a loud voice to the Father, "Into Thine hands I commend my spirit," that even when dying He might expend His last breath in fulfilling the prophets. Having said this, He gave up the ghost." Who? Did the spirit give itself up; or the flesh the spirit? But the spirit could not have breathed itself out. That which breathes is one thing, that which is breathed is another. If the spirit is breathed it must needs be breathed by another. If, however, there had been nothing there but spirit, it would be said to have departed rather than expired. What, however, breathes out spirit but the flesh, which both breathes the spirit whilst it has it, and breathes it out when it loses it? Indeed, if it was not flesh (upon the cross), but a phantom of flesh (and a phantom is but spirit, and so the spirit breathed its own self out, and departed as it did so), no doubt the phantom departed, when the spirit which was the phantom departed: and so the phantom and the spirit disappeared together, and were nowhere to be seen.  Nothing therefore remained upon the cross, nothing hung there, after "the giving up of the ghost;" there was nothing to beg of Pilate, nothing to take down from the cross, nothing to wrap in the linen, nothing to lay in the new sepulchre. Still it was not nothing that was there. What was there, then? If a phantom Christ was yet there. If Christ had departed, He had taken away the phantom also. The only shift left to the impudence of the heretics, is to admit that what remained there was the phantom of a phantom! But what if Joseph knew that it was a body which he treated with so much piety? That same Joseph "who had not consented" with the Jews in their crime? The "happy man who walked not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful."
(Against Marcion book IV ch. XLII- Tertullian)
Marcion believed Jesus was unique and this was taken by morons to mean he could change shapes and he was a phantom. Marcion never made this claim.

"Now Marcion was unwilling to expunge from his Gospel some statements which even made against him--I suspect, on purpose, to have it in his power from the passages which he did not suppress, when he could have done so, either to deny that he had expunged anything, or else to justify his suppressions, if he made any. But he spares only such passages as he can subvert quite as well by explaining them away as by expunging them from the text. Thus, in the passage before us, he would have the words, "A spirit hath not bones, as ye see me have," so transposed, as to mean, "A spirit, such as ye see me to be, hath not bones;" that is to say, it is not the nature of a spirit to have bones. But what need of so tortuous a construction, when He might have simply said, "A spirit hath not bones, even as you observe that I have not?" Why, moreover, does He offer His hands and His feet for their examination--limbs which consist of bones--if He had no bones? Why, too, does He add, "Know that it is I myself," when they had before known Him to be corporeal? Else, if He were altogether a phantom, why did He upbraid them for supposing Him to be a phantom? But whilst they still believed not, He asked them for some meat, for the express purpose of showing them that He had teeth." (ch. XLIII)
Tertullian applies his Latin grammar to Greek and thinks that Marcion believed Jesus was a phantom because of the grammar. He gets it all from the above passage in bold. This passage was actually not even in Marcions gospel. He is right that Marcion did not expunge some of the Old Testament references and the Agony of 22:44 but he is wrong that he expunged anything and also wrong that he avoided expunging certain things to pervert the meaning. Marcion denounced the other apostles for corrupting the gospel as Peter and James did. 1Timothy writes against the Anitheses (contradictions).


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. So why are you trying to vindicate Marcion? All the church fathers are in agreement that he committed the horrible blasphemy of denying that Christ came from the Creator.

  3. Do you personally think that the epistles of Polycarp were forged ?