Manage episode 198899616 series 2079426
This week's episode is titled “Buy One, Get One Free.” In the last episode we touched briefly at a heretic named Marcion. He was one of the first to introduce a false teaching that would evolve into a major challenge to the emerging Christian Faith; that errant movement was known as Gnosticism. Marcion was the son of the pastor of the church in Pontus, on the Southern coast of the Black Sea. He was a ship-owner sailing passengers & shipping cargo throughout the Empire. Around AD 140, Marcion’s father disfellowshipped him from the congregation. This was the result either of Marcion’s seduction of a young woman, his increasingly heretical ideas, or both. Whatever the reason, he relocated to Rome where he was unknown & his reputation was untarnished. When he made a large contribution to the church at Rome, it greased the wheels of his acceptance as a member in good standing. But Marcion soon began espousing ideas that diverged from what the elders taught. In his previous travels, Marcion had been influenced by a teacher named Cerdo, an early advocate of what today is known as Gnosticism. Now, let me be clear, Gnosticism was more a religious trend than a united movement with a settled set of doctrines. While Gnostics held a common set of core beliefs, they interpreted them widely. This makes describing Gnosticism difficult. Generally, we can say it was a mash-up of à
- Greek philosophy,
- Eastern mystery cults, and
- Christian terminology.