The Marcion Problem: Introducing Modern Scholarship

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence of the formation of the New Testament canon. The history of the modern interpretation of Marcion has been — not surprisingly — closely linked with general canonical research. In canonical studies in particular, there has been the tendency to formContinue reading “The Marcion Problem: Introducing Modern Scholarship”

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The Marcion Problem: Tertullian (Part II)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence on the development of the New Testament canon. From Tertullian’s writings emerge several implications for Marcion’s conceptions of scripture, canon, and authority. First, from his Prescription against Heresies it seems that Marcion in some way undermined the existing authority structuresContinue reading “The Marcion Problem: Tertullian (Part II)”

The Early Church and the Trinity

This past Sunday was Trinity Sunday for many Christians, very often the day of the year when the Trinitarian nature of God and Christian theology are most clearly discussed. This post reflects on how the early Church grappled with the complexities of Trinitarian theology. The doctrine of the Trinity–espoused by the Cappadocian Fathers as “GodContinue reading “The Early Church and the Trinity”

The Marcion Problem: Tertullian (Part I)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence on the development of the New Testament canon. In comparison to all other extant ancient works, the writings of Tertullian of Carthage against Marcion remain the fullest and most precise rejection of Marcion’s theology. Tertullian composed as least six worksContinue reading “The Marcion Problem: Tertullian (Part I)”

The Marcion Problem: Hippolytus and Eusebius

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence on the development of the New Testament canon. Hippolytus, who incidentally was the first anti-pope in the Roman church, wrote against Marcion in his Refutation of All Heresies sometime after the year 200 CE.[29] Hippolytus argued that Marcion relied uponContinue reading “The Marcion Problem: Hippolytus and Eusebius”

The Marcion Problem: Irenaeus

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence on the development of the New Testament canon. In some ways Marcion was a rather popular figure among Christians during the mid to late second century, as numerous writers and apologists made reference to his beliefs and churches. These treatmentsContinue reading “The Marcion Problem: Irenaeus”

Reflections on Mary: Theotokos

This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting on Mary and her role in Christian theology. I begin these reflections on the Marian topic with which I am most comfortable: calling Mary the “Mother of God” or (in the language of the early Church) the theotokos (God-bearer). There are several reasons for my affirmationContinue reading “Reflections on Mary: Theotokos”

Second Treatise of Great Seth

The Second Treatise of the Great Seth is one of the “G/gnostic” texts found at the Nag Hammadi Library in Egypt.[1] Generally dated in the third century by scholars, the name and origin of this text remain a mystery,[2] though it has been speculated that the name Seth originated from the son of Adam andContinue reading “Second Treatise of Great Seth”

Roman Catholicism in the Nineteenth Century

The nineteenth century posed a number of unique challenges to the Roman Catholic Church, among them the continued rise of Protestantism, the increasing influence of modernism, the development of historical and biblical criticisms, and the rise in understanding of numerous world religions. Roman Catholicism developed a number of responses to these challenges, most notably throughContinue reading “Roman Catholicism in the Nineteenth Century”

Christologies in Conflict: Cyril and Nestorius

The Christological controversies of the early Church are some of the most interesting and historically confusing events within the Christian tradition. The four great Councils of the fourth and fifth centuries and the writings of Early Christian leaders, both orthodox and heterodox, provide scholars with a wealth of information concerning the controversies concerning early beliefContinue reading “Christologies in Conflict: Cyril and Nestorius”