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A Christian heresy of the second and third centuries ad that rejected the Old Testament and denied the incarnation of God in Jesus as a human.

[After Marcion (died c. ad 160), Pontic merchant and heretic in Rome.]

Mar′cion·ite′ (-shə-nīt′) n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈmɑr ʃəˌnaɪt)

also Mar′cion•ist,

a member of a Gnostic sect of the 2nd and 3th centuries that rejected the Old Testament.
[1530–40; < Late Latin Marciōn-, s. of Marciō Marcion (died c160), founder of the sect + -ite1]
Mar′cion•ism, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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* We have been receiving photos of our grandson, James Nathan Williams, a former Marcionite, who is serving his country in Afghanistan with the U.S.
Finally, the terms "Jewish Bible/ Scriptures" and "Christian Bible/Scriptures" do not solve the problem because the latter can lead to a Marcionite view of the Christian canon (the older Scriptures are theirs; the newer are ours).
(So much, by the way, for the Marcionite "God of wrath" in the Old Testament who still seems to lurk in the Christian consciousness!) In few places in Scripture is the "now/not yet" of our faith so lucidly apparent.
You would be hard pressed today to find a self-described Marcionite, still less a functioning Marcionite congregation, but Marcion's ghost still walks, and exorcising that nagging spirit is an essential task for each new Christian generation.
Briefly, Rosenstock argued the superiority of Christianity over Judaism, though not in the crude supersessionist, Marcionite terms of the past, while Rosenzweig saw Judaism as the "star of redemption," with Christianity being the rays of the star, spreading its light to all humanity.
(1) Since the triumph of the "orthodox" Christian argument in the first few centuries CE for retaining the Bible as sacred Scripture over Marcionite and gnostic rejection, the dominant Christian position has been that the Bible is a Christian holy book alongside the writings eventually gathered in the New Testament.
Marcion's form of Christianity was very popular in the second century, with some scholars suggesting that for a short while there may have been almost as many Marcionite as non-Marcionite Christians.
According to Harnack, Marcion nevertheless made an essential contribution to the establishment of the foundations of the Catholic Church.(4) The oldest dated Christian inscription comes from a Syrian Marcionite `synagogue' (1 October AD 318).
Farkasfalvy thinks the original reference of `the elders', who said `the Gospels with genealogies to have been written beforehand', was to the Marcionite version of Luke and/or the Ebionite version of Matthew, both of which had cut out the accounts of the ancestry, birth and infancy of Jesus.
Jill Robbins claims that, "Christian hermeneutics, in its very inclusion of the Judaic, also excludes it." She, like Harold Bloom and Mark Taylor, is correct, up to a point.(52) The fourfold method of allegorical interpretation which dominated medieval hermeneutics began as a method designed to "save" the "Old Testament" from Manichean and Marcionite attempts to dismiss it absolutely.
He rightly points out that the OT and the gospel reflect the single work of God in Christ, thus refuting Valentinian soteriology by the complete revelation of Christ in the cross and the salvation of the flesh, and refuting Marcionite limits of the canon to the gospel by Irenaeus's emphasis that the gospel can only be understood in the light of the OT (139).
His challenge seems to be: prove that you are not a Marcionite by facing up to the military stories and images the Bible presents.