Leucius Charinus wrote: ↑Thu Jan 26, 2023 7:48 pm
As I mentioned before, I reasonably suspect that Epiphanius would have made reference to existence of 4th century Marcionism in his "Panarion" but any confirmation of this suffers from the fact I cant find the full text. I doubt whether there exists an online and freely available English translation of the "Panarion" IN FULL. There are extracts and some versions of some of its books.
If anyone knows of an online English translation in full of the "Panarion" please link to it. Many thanks.
The link below is for Book 1 of Epiphanius's Panarion, which has Chapter 42, his chapter on Marcion:
https://web.archive.org/web/20170916133 ... bk1.htm#42
I've quoted some passages that might be of interest:
1:1 Marcion, the founder of the Marcionites, taking his cue from Cerdo, appeared in the world as a great serpent himself and became the head of a school by deceiving a throng of people in many ways, even to this day.
1:2 The sect is still to be found even now, in Rome and Italy, Egypt and Palestine, Arabia and Syria, Cyprus and the Thebaid—in Persia too moreover, and in other places. For the evil one in him has lent a great deal of strength to the deceit.
3:1 But he took his cue from that charlatan and swindler, Cerdo.7 For he too preaches two first principles. But adding something to him, I mean to Cerdo, he exhibits something different in his turn by saying that there are three principles.8 One is the unnameable, invisible one on high which he likes to call a 'good God,'9 but which has made none of the things in the world.10
3:2 Another is a visible God, a creator and demiurge.11 But the devil is as it were a third god and in between these two, the visible and the invisible.12 The creator, demiurge and visible God is the God of the Jews, and he is a judge.13
3:5 He denies the resurrection of the flesh like many of the sects; he says that resurrection, life and salvation are of the soul only.17
4:2 And he says that Christ has descended from on high, from the invisible Father who cannot be named, for the salvation of souls and the confusion of the God of the Jews, the Law, the prophets, and anything of the kind.
4:6 As I indicated, Marcion says resurrection is not of bodies but of souls, and he assigns salvation to these and not to bodies. And he similarly claims that there are reincarnations of souls, and transmigrations from body to body.
6:8 But as to Marcion's third, evil god. If he has the power to do evil things and master either the denizens of the world who belong to the God on high or the ones who belong to the intermediate, just God—then this god must be stronger than the two whom Marcion calls Gods, since he has the power to seize what is not his.
10:1 I am also going to append the treatise which I had written against him before, a your instance, brothers, hastening to compose this one.
10:2 Some years ago, to find what falsehood this Marcion had invented and what his silly teaching was, I took up his very books which he had mutilated, his so-called Gospel and Apostolic Canon. From these two books I made a series of extracts and selections of the material which would serve to refute him, and I wrote a sort of outline for a treatise, arranging the points in order, and numbering each saying one, two, three (and so on).
Epiphanius then appends his treatise of refutation of Marcion constructed from Marcion's Gospels and Marcion's collection of Paul's letters. It takes a while to read.
The heretic Cerdo is mentioned a few times in the Church Fathers as Marcion's predecessor. The Cerdonians can be found in Chapter 41, just above the chapter on Marcion. It's quite short.
Here is part of Epiphanius's description of Cerdo in Chapter 41:
1:5 Cerdo, then, lived in the time of bishop Hyginus, the ninth in succession from the apostles James, Peter and Paul.3 Since his doctrine partakes of the other heresiarchs' foolishness it appears to be the same, but with him it is different and takes the following form:
1:6 He too has proclaimed two first principles to the world, and two supposed gods, one good, and unknown to all, whom Cerdo has called the Father of Jesus—and one the demiurge, who is evil and knowable,4 and has spoken in the Law and appeared to the prophets5 and often become visible.
1:7 Christ is not born of Mary and has not appeared in flesh, but since he exists in appearance he has also been manifest in appearance, and done everything in appearance.6 And Cerdo too rejects the resurrection of the flesh, and repudiates the Old Testament which was given by Moses and the prophets, as something foreign to God.
1:8 But Christ has come from on high, from the unknown Father, to put an end to the rule and tyranny of the world-creator and demiurge here, as many of the sects have declared of course.
1:9 After a short time in Rome he imparted his venom to Marcion, and Marcion thus became his successor.
Bishop Hyginus is traditionally dated to around 130s CE. Epiphanius was thought to have written around the 370s CE.
As I wrote on another thread: the question is around "Creator-as-God" vs "Creator-as-Demiurge". Both revolve around the Old Testament. For Marcion, the Old Testament was as important as it was to the proto-orthodox Christian. After all, it's safe to assume that Marcion didn't believe that Zeus created the world. It was the God of the Old Testament, and many of the stories in it about Adam and Eve, the prophets, were also important. He was as tied to it as many of the Christians.