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Marcion, or Christianity Without History


The Gospel History and Its Transmission


Originally delivered as one of the Jowett Lectures for 1906, the contents of this booklet emerged during the first quest for the historical Jesus. Somewhat surprisingly, Burkitt discovered that historical criticism increased the historical credibility of the Synoptic Gospels in his estimation. This eighth lecture in the series addresses Marcion. Burkitt focuses on how this early Christian thinker remained ahead of his time while also falling out of the mainstream of what was an emerging Christianity.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-60724-121-8
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Series: Analecta Gorgiana 152
Publication Date: Feb 24,2009
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 39
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-60724-121-8
$39.00
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Originally delivered as one of the Jowett Lectures for 1906, the contents of this booklet emerged during the first quest for the historical Jesus. Somewhat surprisingly, Burkitt discovered that historical criticism increased the historical credibility of the Synoptic Gospels in his estimation. This eighth lecture in the series addresses Marcion as an example of how a Christianity without the need of a historical basis developed. Beginning with a brief synopsis of Marcion’s life and thought, Burkitt points out that Marcion, like other early Christians, did not share modern conceptions. Even in the ancient world Tertullian’s refutation of Marcion ran along very similar lines as his refutation of Judaism. While the mainstream church was ultimately correct as opposed to Marcion, the reasons often had to do with his negative sentiments toward various sacraments and their connection to the material world that he rejected. The discussion ends with a consideration of Marcion’s Bible and the priority of the canonical works of Luke and Paul.

Francis Crawford Burkitt (1864-1935) began his academic career as a student of mathematics. While at Cambridge University he moved to Divinity, becoming the Norrisian Professor. His interest in the text of the New Testament led him to study Syriac manuscripts and to publish widely in the field. He was a fellow of the British Academy.

Originally delivered as one of the Jowett Lectures for 1906, the contents of this booklet emerged during the first quest for the historical Jesus. Somewhat surprisingly, Burkitt discovered that historical criticism increased the historical credibility of the Synoptic Gospels in his estimation. This eighth lecture in the series addresses Marcion as an example of how a Christianity without the need of a historical basis developed. Beginning with a brief synopsis of Marcion’s life and thought, Burkitt points out that Marcion, like other early Christians, did not share modern conceptions. Even in the ancient world Tertullian’s refutation of Marcion ran along very similar lines as his refutation of Judaism. While the mainstream church was ultimately correct as opposed to Marcion, the reasons often had to do with his negative sentiments toward various sacraments and their connection to the material world that he rejected. The discussion ends with a consideration of Marcion’s Bible and the priority of the canonical works of Luke and Paul.

Francis Crawford Burkitt (1864-1935) began his academic career as a student of mathematics. While at Cambridge University he moved to Divinity, becoming the Norrisian Professor. His interest in the text of the New Testament led him to study Syriac manuscripts and to publish widely in the field. He was a fellow of the British Academy.

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F. Crawford Burkitt

  • CHAPTER IX (page 5)