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Tertullian's Treatment of Paul in Against Marcion of 207 AD 

In 2012, the host of Early Church 101 took on my quote from Tertullian's Against Marcion from 207 AD where Tertullian says Paul was "the apostle of the heretics." His article said I misquoted and accused me of misleading people on what it truly said. However, after a discussion where I proved I quoted correctly,  his page is now entitled as of March 2016 "Why Does Tertullian Call Paul the Apostle of the Heretics?" See this link. He is still trying to paint a more favorable picture of Paul in Tertullian's Against Marcion than is justified, but at least he backed down on my supposedly misquoting Tertullian.

The path to this was tortuous, and long. See this link on how we went back and forth. However in the end, the change in the title of his article speaks volumes.

Now Early Church 101 has changed the issue into whether Tertullian is as negative as he seems. In taking this fall-back position, the host of Early Church 101 is taking the same tact as the scholar who responded to his inquiry about whether I was correct that Tertullian actually called Paul the "apostle of the heretics."

Here, after examining that response next, this article is devoted to examining whether Tertullian meant "apostle of the heretics" as a negative reference to Paul, as even the pro-Paul scholar Lietzmann states is true. For Lietzmann said "the writings of Paul --- the haereticorum apostolos of Tertullian ---  were regarded suspiciously at Rome." (Hans Lietzmann,The Lord's Supper (Brill: 1979) at 282.)  

As Edwin Johnson, an English historian, likewise said in 1887 in Antiqua Mater:

"It is clear that Tertullian had no liking for Paul. He hints that Paul's censure of Peter and the other apostles for their Judaistic leanings with his own after-practices -- 'all things to all men.' He calls him the 'heretics' apostle.'" (Edwin Johnson, Antiqua Mater: A Study of Christian Origins (1887) at pages 236-237.)

Thus, Lietzmann, despite being a Paul defender, understood Tertullian's intention correctly when Tertullian called Paul the "heretics apostle." It was a negative.

Ironically, Early Church 101 initially defended that "apostle of the heretics" was not negative, and said I should read Lietzmann who would supposedly agree with Early Church 101. I then showed Early Church 101 what Lietzmann said, and I never heard why Early Church 101 does not respect Lietzmann for the same conclusion I reached.


To review, in 2013 when I wrote the host of Early Church 101 to correct his assertions, he conceded he was unfamiliar with Latin (in which I am trained), and asked another scholar who was familiar with Latin whether I was correct that Tertullian called Paul in Against Marcion the "apostle of the heretics." The host let me listen in on his request and the later response.

The Latin trained scholar admitted I was correct, but said if one looked at the entire context of Against Marcion, it was supposedly positive about Paul. Thus, the scholar said it would be proper to "interpret" Tertullian's "apostle of the heretics" as the "apostle whom the heretics try to adopt."

A thorough review of Against Marcion from 207 AD by the most prolific early church writer who lived in North Africa -- Tertullian -- will prove Early Church 101's view and his scholar friend is untenable .  

Tertullian on The Law Given Moses in Against Marcion

One of the clearest proofs that Tertullian had a low view of Paul was Tertullian's quoting of Matthew ch. 5 to prove Jesus reaffirmed the Law given Moses. I discuss these quotes at length in my article "The Early Church View on the Law Given Moses" at this link.

As I will show below, Tertullian initially in Against Marcion said Paul abrogated Sabbath,  but would not address the validity of it at this time. Then later Tertullian concedes Jesus affirmed the sabbath and that it continues. This is just your first indication of a problem that Tertullian was having with Paul.

Summary of My Re-Reading 2013 of Against Marcion on "Apostolus Haereticorum"

Any informed and competent reader can summarize Tertullian's statements. They read quite clear. My present analysis on re-reading Against Marcion in light of this scholar's comments is that one can see the rhetorical progression:

1. that Tertullian starts with stating that Paul "declared repealed" circumcision and sabbath as foreshadowed in the OT (without saying Paul erred in doing so) (Bk 1, ch xxi );

2. then Tertullian affirms Jesus upheld the Law and Sabbath (which steps on Paul), etc.

By the end, Tertullian must directly address Paul's authority because Tertullian's earlier admission that Paul taught against the sabbath contradicted what Tertullian later taught in Against Marcion about Jesus upholding the Sabbath's present validity (fighting Marcions' claim of its abolition). 

On Paul's validity, by Book 5, Tertullian clearly states that Acts 15 proves Paul needed validation from the 12 for his doctrine; Paul was not on par with them; and he was their inferior and they were his superior proven by Paul's submissive conduct in Acts 15. (Earlier in Against Marcion, Tertullian said there were only 12 apostles- - another sotto voce nick on Paul). Tertullian says a gospel only written by Paul would have no validity by itself, i.e, without the approval of the superior 12. Tertullian then says Paul cannot be his own self-witness to apostleship, which most scholars agree that Luke never calls Paul an apostle with a capital A in Acts. Finally, throwing up his hands in frustration, Tertullian says it is always possible Paul was a false prophet, as Jesus warned, and finally says "let your apostle (Paul) belong to your other god." Ouch! 

So no one can read the first part of Against Marcion which appears positive about Paul without seeing the middle problem that Tertullian created himself -- saying  Paul repealed Sabbath but then a few chapters later said Jesus did not do so.... a big conflict requiring a resolution. Tertullian must have felt the tension from such a lingering unresolved contradiction, and knew he had to solve it.

Just before he introduces that solution on Paul's credentials in Book 5, Tertullian calls Paul the "apostle of the heretics," showing a marked negative turn. (Book 3, ch. 5.)

Thus, Lietzmann in my view correctly sees "apostle of the heretics" as a negative. That is why I currently think the Earl Church 101 and his Latin-trained scholar critic friend are wrong to interpret Against Marcion "as a whole" means by Book 3 that "apostolus haereticorum" signifies that the heretics merely 'try' to make Paul their apostle. Instead, Tertullian is aware that Paul is indeed partly to blame.  He is the "apostle of the heretics," i.e., he carries the lawless and erroneous message of heretics on many points.  


Detailed Analysis

Here we will test whether indeed this Latin-trained scholar's view that "apostle of the heretics" should be interpreted differently than its literal connotation. Or can we truly regard Tertullian wants to be understood in a different sense than the literal sense ("apostle of the heretics") which implies Paul deserves some of the  blame? Or is the Latin-trained scholar bringing a presupposition in how one is reading the text to fit a preconceived notion that Paul's 100% validity was not being questioned by Tertullian?

To answer these questions, I have thoroughly re-read Against Marcion from 207 AD in several English translations as well as many sections in the original Latin (which I have been trained to do so). I have concluded that indeed the entire context of Against Marcion supports that "apostle of the heretics" was a deliberate slight on Paul.

While Tertullian never expressly says Paul is to blame for the heretics' positions, it is easy to see that is Tertullian's opinion by silence. One can also see that Marcion implicitly has said Paul's teachings are contrary to all the Prophets, and Tertullian tries to say this is not true -- but limits the extent to only Paul's remarks on circumcision and the Sabbath. Clearly Marcion gave it the far more extensive reading that all the Law and Prophets were done away with by Paul. See Kevin Madigan, Carolyn Osiek, Ordained Woman in the Early Church (2011), citing 5.8.11 ("Tertullian is here intent on demonstrating that the 'Apostle' (i.e., Paul) is in conformity with the Hebrew prophets--one of the points that Marcion was at pains to deny in the Antithesis....")

First, the final analysis of Tertullian expressed frustation that Tertullian could not line Paul up completely with Jesus. Thus, as quoted at length elsewhere, Tertullian in Against Marcion uses Acts 15 to prove Paul was not an apostle on par with the 12. See this link for fuller discussion. 

At one point, Tertullian even tells Marcion about Paul, "let your apostle belong to your other god!" Not too complimentary, is that? Id.

What I principally want to establish here is that Tertullian in Against Marcion prior to his passages where Tertullian says Paul lacks authority on par with the true Apostles from Acts 15 has already destroyed Paul's validity in a very clever manner.

Tertullian First Established There Are Only 12 Apostles

In Acts 1, the 11 apostles replaced Judas aided by the guidance of Jesus with Matthias, by means of drawing lots.

In light of this, Tertullian early on establishes beach-heads upon which he later can prove his case against Marcion who in turn relied upon Paul. In Book 1, ch. XIII, Tertullian is emphatic there are only 12 apostles.  And that there can only be 12 apostles due to its symbolic number:

"But why was it that he chose twelve apostles, and not some other numbers? ...For of this number, I find figurative hints up and down the Creator's dispensation in the twelve springs of Elfin; in the twelve gems of Aaron's priestly vestments; and in the twelve stones appointed by Joshua to be taken out of the Jordan, and set up the ark of the covenant. Now, the same number of apostles was thus portended."

Tertullian Limits Paul's Justification for Repeal of Two Laws

Early on, Tertullian apparently concedes Paul properly could do away with circumcision and Sabbath (in I:XX), citing disparagement of both in passages in the original Mosaic testament, but otherwise Tertullian insisted the Law given Moses continued. Otherwise, Tertullian repetitiously teaches Jesus merely repeated the Law and Prophets in simpler terms (with a thorough citation to the Law & Prophets to parallel almost every teaching of Jesus), supplementing it at various junctures with principles consistent with what preceded.

So let's give the Paul defender his due, and quote what Tertullian says. But one finds that Tertullian in this quote is not giving Paul any carte blance to eliminate the Law entirely. Tertullian's proofs are from the Law and Prophets on only circumcision and Sabbath. We should all concede Tertullian's proofs were invalid, for the Prophets' proclamation that a circumcised Sabbath observer who kept sinning is rejected does not mean circumcision or Sabbath is to be rejected as principles. But we are not here trying to prove whether Tertullian is right or wrong -- simply we are trying to understand in what sense Tertullian DEFENDED Paul, and at what point in Against Marcion Tertullian abandoned Paul. It is a very small and narrow island of 2 points over which Tertullian defended Paul. So here is the quote of Tertullian's limited defense of Paul, that Paul was not abrogating anything that the Law / Prophets had not already said would be abrogated - namely supposedly circumcision and Sabbath: 

When, again, he mentioned “certain false brethren as having crept in unawares,” who wished to remove the Galatians into another gospel,2558 he himself shows that that adulteration of the gospel was not meant to transfer them to the faith of another god and christ, but rather to perpetuate the teaching of the law; because he blames them for maintaining circumcision, and observing times, and days, and months, and years, according to those Jewish ceremonies which they ought to have known were now abrogated, according to the new dispensation purposed by the Creator Himself, who of old foretold this very thing by His prophets. Thus He says by Isaiah: Old things have passed away. “Behold, I will do a new thing.”2559 And in another passage: “I will make a new covenant, not according to the covenant that I made 286 with their fathers, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.”2560 In like manner by Jeremiah: Make to yourselves a new covenant, “circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart.”2561 It is this circumcision, therefore, and this renewal, which the apostle insisted on, when he forbade those ancient ceremonies concerning which their very founder announced that they were one day to cease; (AM 1:XX / Schaff 364.)

Incidentally, later Tertullian defends the continued viability of the Sabbath. So either Tertullian is inconsistent, or is implying later Paul got it wrong, or (most likely), there was the post-363 AD pressure to amend the earlier 'fathers' and insert doctrine they did not have such as abrogation of circumcision. More on that below on Sabbath.

I will assume, however, for sake of argument that everything we are reading is original Tertullian. One knows it is not, by the way, because Paul is often called "Saint Paul," which is a later Catholic practice and not one of 207 AD. Again, we are going to ignore the obvious and likely amendations that are invalid, so as not to be accused of being obstinate.

Tertullian's Warning on Contradicting Christ Comes Next

In the very next chapter Tertullian lays down a warning principle -- applied against Marcion and implicitly against Paul on Sabbath due to what Tertullian later says, that one who contradicts Christ's words is at risk: Tertullian noted Jesus taught "For whosoever," says He, "shall be ashamed of me, of him I will also be ashamed." (Against Marcion, Book I, ch. XXI.)

So then comes the challenge when Tertullian unveils near the very end of Against Marcion in whom Marcion's view all along found its source: Paul.

In the fnal book, Book 5, Tertullian mentions, but then says he does not want to comment about it, that Paul in Col. 2:16 abolished all the Law including the Sabbath: "We do not now treat of the Law, further than (to remark) that the apostle here teaches clearly how it has been abolished, even by passing from shadow to substance - that is, from figurative types to reality, which is Christ."  (Tertullian, "Against Marcion" 5, 19, ANF III, 471, 472.)

Tertullian did not want to discuss the validity of the point at that time. Yet, he conceded to Marcion he knew Paul said it but only after having destroyed the validity of that claim by Paul when in Marcion's mouth -- proven relentlessly from the words of our Lord Jesus through all of Book I.

So given that interpretation of Paul by Tertullian, which all Paulinists share that Paul abrogated the Law and Sabbath (see our article on "Paul Abolished Sabbath"), what had Tertullian to that point done with the identical view of Marcion?

Prior to That Concession About Paul's Abrogating the Law, What Had Tertulian Said On That Point?

Tertullian had thorougly disproven Marcion's claim by using Jesus' words in a scathing relentless attack.   Based on Jesus' remarks - without any effort to explain Paul in a compatible way, Tertullian specifically affirms that the Sabbath is still true for Christians, and none of the Law or Prophets was abrogated. (See viz., Against Marcion, Book I Ch. XXI "The Law of the Sabbath Day Explained.") 

In fact, I would say Tertullian disproves Marcion's view on the Law's abrogation through 90% of your first hour's reading. Tertullian does so by clearly and repeatedly exposing Marcion's view that the Law is abrogated is contrary to the words of Jesus.

As we proceed to review the key points below, be aware that Tertullian takes Jesus' words mostly from Luke's Gospel. Marcion apparently used Luke's Gospel with modifications, and thus Tertullian's scripture quotes came from Luke to use against Marcion's thesis. (Indeed, the true Gospel of Luke is very non-Pauline, and even anti-Pauline in many places. See our article "Luke's Gospel is A Legitimate Non-Pauline Gospel.")

There are numerous examples on the Law-issue in Against Marcion. For example, Tertullian mocks Marcion's view against the Law's continuity by showing how removed the true Jesus was from one who "was about to sever their words and writings [i.e., the Law and Prophets] from His Gospel." (Book I, ch. XXII.) Another time Tertullian offers proof that Jesus "rather than the demolition of the law and the prophets," we find them "thus far are found effected in Christ." (Book I, Ch. XXV, loc. 3377.) There are dozens of similar examples, as dozens of passages from Jesus are quoted to illustrate the point.

However, I will highlight the two most glaring which to this day are impossible for the Paulinist defenders to explain except to claim these are inauthentic words of Jesus. (For our article on this, see "Paulinism Examples.") 

For one, Tertullian faults Marcion for removing from Luke's Gospel the remark (which is in common with Matthew) that Jesus says "I did not come to destroy the Law or the Prophets." See Luke 16; Matt 5:17-21. As Tertullian puts it, Marcion "gagged his mouth on this word." (Against Marcion, Book I, ch. XII.) Tertullian adds on the Sabbath issue precisely that Jesus by His explanations that we can do good on sabbath was "restoring the works to the Sabbath which were proper for it." Id. Tertullian ends that "Christ introduced nothing new." Id. Hence, Tertullian clearly taught neither the Law nor Sabbath had been abrogated for the Christian. Simply as to Sabbath, Jesus explained what it always meant as to good works, versus One's daily labor.

The second most glaring example is that Tertullian tells us that Marcion recounts the young rich man's question, "what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" to which Jesus says obey the Law's commands - also putting the "very essence of the Law" before the young man in the command to Love God, but Marcion removes the word "eternal." Tertullian says: "In the heretical gospel life only is mentioned, without the attribute eternal." Tertullian says the implication of Marcion's alteration is that the Law-based answer was simply intended by Jesus to explain how to "prolong" this life. Tertullian proves that in context the young man was asking about "eternal life" even if the word "eternal" were not present. Thus, Tertullian concludes Jesus taught the obedience to the Law was the key to eternal life. (Book I, ch. XXVI, loc. 3432.)

Again, I could go on and on with examples. These two should suffice, as they continue to be thorns to the defenders of Paul's ability to abrogate the Law.

So was Tertullian's remark that Paul was the "apostle of the heretics" implying that something in what Paul taught is the cause of the heretics' doctrine? Or did it imply, as the historian challenges, that the heretics were trying to construe something heretical in Paul that was not truly present?

This discussion proves that when Tertullian later acknowledges Paul says the Law given Moses is abrogated, the validity of which principle 'I won't discuss here,' that unquestionably Tertullian admits this doctrine existed in Paul. Because that is true, the fault in the heretics' position against the Law and Sabbath, one must deduce, Tertullian found in Paul, and not in some misconstruction of Paul's words.

This Concession Thus Required Tertullian To Address Paul's Authority

Thus, because Tertullian in the end admitted Marcion had support in Paul, Tertullian was required to examine whether Paul's words could trump all the proofs from Jesus which Tertullian marshalled against Marcion. It thus is in this context that Tertullian demonstrates Acts 15 proves Paul was not an apostle on par with the 12, as Paul had to come to Jerusalem to get the 12's approval of his interpretation on the necessity of circumcision for Gentiles. Tertullian throws up his hands in the end and says if Marcion wishes to persist with Paul, then "let that apostle belong to your other god." Tertullian finally even suggests that Jesus' warnings about false prophets with signs and wonders could apply to Paul.

Was Schaff Anxious and Biased in Mistranslation Portions to Insulate Paul from Harm?

Indeed, yes he was.

Schaff mistranslated the "apostle of the heretics" as "the apostle whom the heretics adopt," in Against Marcion 3.5 See, Tertul­lian, Adversus Marcion3:5, “haereticorum apostolus."

Conclusion

Hence, without a doubt, Tertullian meant Paul was the "apostle of the heretics," i.e., Paul was their messenger on the abrogation of the Law, and was not the messenger of Jesus Christ for that point...the key point of Marcion. Likewise, Lietzmann, the famous scholar on Tertullian, agrees with me that Tertullian meant that Paul's words had to be read with distrust as his words made him the "apostle of the heretics." The case is overwhelming that Lietzmann's and my reading is the correct one once you read Against Marcion from beginning to end.

END


Study Notes

Tertullian Coping With Problem Verses regarding Paul in Scorpion's Bite

Tertullian in Scorpiacae (202 AD) does deal with the fact Paul teaches eternal security in 2 Timothy --  "if we are faithless....he will not deny you"in 2 Tim. 2:13. This interpretation of 2 Tim. continues today - Charles Stanley in Eternal Security at 93 defends 2 Tim. 2:13 teaches you can lose belief / be faithless, and be saved. Tertullian quotes Paul; recognizes the source; does not dispute its word-meaning; and finally states how some construe that Christians should not allow themselves to be martyred and should just deny Christ because Paul supposedly tells us that Christ cannot deny us later. Then in response, Tertullian then casts doubt this could be Paul's meaning because Paul spoke in favor of martyrdom, if necessary (Scorpiacae ch. XIII). Tertullian then quotes as the final rebuttal Jesus' warning about denial ("if you deny me...I will deny you") and Jesus' teaching "if you endure to the end, you shall be saved" from Matt 10:22. (See my JWOS ch. 5.) This was 5 years prior to Against Marcion. It was in that later work Tertullian finally addressed what authority Paul has -- and clearly he does not find Paul on par with the 12. But you can also see that Tertullian 5 years earlier was battling a verse that was relied upon by heretics which verse came from Paul that was used to justify denying Christ and still being assured you were saved.


"Marcion's god...is an enemy of marriage...." loc 3272. Compare Paul "If one is unmarried, it is better not to marry."

Bibliography

Portion on Paul, (Tertullian, Against Marcion (Oxford University Press, 1972) at 509, 511, reprinted online at  http://www.tertullian.org/articles/evans_marc/evans_marc_12book5_eng.htm .)

Tertullian, The Five Books of Quintus Sept. Flor. Tertullianus Against Marcion (trans. Peter Holmes) (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1868) page 364

Schaff, Ante-Nicene, etc. id., at 324 col. 2.T

Tertul­lian,Adversus Marcion3:5, “haereticorum apostolus”

Tertullian, Against Marcion (Kindle edition 2010)(translation source not identified but it is Schaff, as uses the same headings) 

Tertullian, Against Marcion - Latin and English translation in parallel sequence Book 1

Books focused on Paul in Tertullian's Works

Ed. Wilhite, Tertullian and Paul (2013) - Amazon link - $79

    The topics are the influence of Paul on Tertullian. See Ben Witherington synopsis.

     Geoff Dunn provides a chapter of Paul and Tertullian's view of Israel

This article assesses one aspect of Tertullian's appropriation of Paul when responding to Marcion's view of "the law." The article suggests that, by responding to Marcion's view on Marcion's terms instead of Paul's, Tertullian may have missed a critical opportunity to appropriate Paul more successfully to Christians of his day (and beyond)
This article is found in Tertullian and Paul (vol. 1 in the series Paul among the Fathers), edited by David Wilhite and Todd Still; pp. 247-258.


David Wilhite: “What Tertullian Learned from Paul

While Tertullian’s indebtedness to Paul is readily apparent and widely acknowledged by scholars, much of the rhetorical analysis of Tertullian’s work has been portrayed as an alternative to “exegetical…theological grounding” (Sider, Ancient Rhetoric and the Art of Tertullian [OUP 1971], 9, for e.g.)  By looking to the classical rhetorical handbooks, such as those by Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian, scholars who implement rhetorical analysis have been able to produce fruitful studies which retrieve Tertullian’s argumentative forms.  While rhetorical analysis and exegetical theory have not been said to be mutually exclusive, the two approaches to Tertullian’s work have rarely been formally incorporated into a single study.  This phenomenon is especially unsatisfactory in light of the fact that Paul’s epistles have now been thoroughly researched in light of rhetorical analysis (especially since Prof. Hans Dieter Betz’ seminal commentary on Galatians in the Hermeneia series [1978]), and they have been shown to consist of classical rhetorical categories and strategies.  Given Tertullian’s close reading of “the Apostle,” most explicitly in his interaction with the Marcionites, and given his own training and implementation in rhetorical strategies should we not expect Tertullian to betray some awareness of Paul’s use of classical rhetoric?  This paper intends to explore Tertullian’s awareness of rhetoric in Paul’s letter to the Galatians, and it is believed that a further awareness of the interplay between his use of Paul and his use of rhetoric can shed light on the question about the interplay between his theology and his rhetoric. 

Commentators on Against Marcion

Markus Vinzent understands that Marcion was claiming Paul was the author of the gospel Marcion was using. In his article, Tertullian as Witness to Marcion Claim as Author of the First Gospel (September 2011), we read:

Marcion held that,while Paul provided him with the true Gospel of the Apostle, which had no name attached to it, the Judaizers had given this Gospel the name of Luke and also ‘falsified it in respect of its title’ to make it ‘belong to the Apostles’ in the plural.[7] Rightly, Tertullian calls Marcion the one who ‘has put together’ the Gospel, ‘a new thing of his own’, or simply ‘Marcion’s’ (Marcionis) but – on the basis of the previous argument – calls this an absurd idea:[8]

 In another article, Vinzent highlights that Marcion claimed Luke was a corruption by Judaizers of the gospel that Marcion was using.  'If that gospel which among us is ascribed to Luke—we shall see <later> whether it is <accepted by> Marcion—if that is the same that Marcion by his Antitheses accuses of having been falsified by the upholders of Judaism ...' (Si enim id evangelium quod Lucae refertur penes nos (viderimus an et penes Marcionem) ipsum est quod Marcion per Antitheses suas arguit ut interpolatum a protectoribus Iudaismi...).

 The same author notes that there is a gap of no writings quoting the gospels that date prior to Marcion. (Thus is untrue due to a famous rabbi who died in 70 Ad being recorded quoting Matt 5:17-19.) While he obviously wishes to invest Marcion with authority, this can be explained due to a shift in orthodoxy  in the 300s that purged the older writings:

That the Gospels are not quoted or referred to in our early Christian literature prior to Marcion[6] is clouded by the boundaries between the disciplines of New Testament Studies and Patristics. The well-known reference work, Biblia Patristica, for example, covers texts ‘from the origins to Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian’ in its first volume, but excludes all writings that can be found in the New Testament. If these were included, it would become even more apparent that pp. 223-415 of this volume listing over 10,000 quotes (!) from MatthewMarkLuke and John for the period from Marcion onwards, does not provide a single one (!) for the time before Marcion. The first arguable cases are those authors who are sometimes dated to the beginning of the second century (Ignatius, Papias, Polycarp, Hegesippus),


Here is an excerpt of Against Marcion referencing Paul:

Take now from my point of view the apostle, in the same manner as you have received the Christ—the apostle shown to be as much mine as the Christ is. And here, too, we will fight within the same lines, and challenge our adversary on the mere ground of a simple rule, that even an apostle who is said not to belong to the Creator-nay, is displayed as in actual hostility to the Creator—can be fairly regarded as teaching nothing, knowing nothing, wishing nothing in favour of the Creator whilst it would be a first principle with him to set forth another god with as much eagerness as he would use in withdrawing us from the law of the Creator. It is not at all likely that he would call men away from Judaism without showing them at the same time what was the god in whom he invited them to believe; because nobody could possibly pass from allegiance to the Creator without knowing to whom he had to cross over. For either Christ had already revealed another god—in which case the apostle’s testimony would also follow to the same effect, for fear of his not being else regarded as an apostle of the god whom Christ had revealed, and because of the impropriety of his being concealed by the apostle who had been already revealed by Christ—or Christ had made no such revelation concerning God; then there was all the greater need why the apostle should reveal a God who could now be made known by no one else, and who would undoubtedly be left without any belief at all, if he were revealed not even by an apostle. We have laid down this as our first principle, because we wish at once to profess that we shall pursue the same method here in the apostle’s case as we adopted before in Christ’s case, to prove that he proclaimed no new god; that is, we shall draw our evidence from the epistles of St. Paul himself. Now, the garbled form in which we have found the heretic’s Gospel will have already prepared us to expect to find the epistles also mutilated by him with like perverseness—and that even as respects their number.


You Tube

EC3, Marcion, Against Marcion by Tertullian

 Marcion and OT