Marcion's gospel and the beginnings of early christianity

Markus Vinzent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The study of Marcion's Gospel has seen a renaissance over the past five years. While it was intensely discussed in the first half of the 19th century, in the 20th century it was heavily influenced by Adolf von Harnack's masterpiece Marcion: Das Evangelium vom fremden Gott (Leipzig, 1923, 2nd ed. 1924 = Darmstadt, 1960). Sparked by the work of Gerhard May and others, the long neglected question of the wording, content and authorship of Marcion's Gospel has resurfaced and been independently undertaken by a number of scholars (Matthias Kling-hardt, Jason BeDuhn, Dieter Roth, Judith Lieu) utilizing different hermeneutical approaches. In recent months, the debate has intensified and attracted scholarly attention around the world. In the present article, I set out my own perspective on this topic, suggesting that Marcion was not only the author of his Gospel (insofar as "authorship" is rightly understood, as he himself did not put his name to this text), but that this text also represents the start of the gospel genre and serves as the Vorlage for the canonical gospels and a number of later attempts to imitate it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-87
Number of pages33
JournalAnnali di Storia dell'Esegesi
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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