In the past couple of posts I have talked about early Christian “docetists,” those who were so convinced that Jesus was completely God that they denied he was a “flesh-and-blood” human being. In the early Christian centuries, no one advanced that view more than the “arch-heretic” Marcion.
Marcion had a huge following. In some parts of the Christian world at the end of the second century, there were apparently more Marcionites than other kinds of Christian. One could argue he his views are still broadly popular today, even among Christians who have never heard of him and among those who, if they have, would say that he was a “heretic.”
Do you know Christians who think that there is a difference between the God of Wrath in the Old Testament and the God of Love in the New Testament, and who think that the Old Testament does not really apply anymore? That is a weakened version of Marcion’s thought. Or do you know people who say Christ was God and so he wasn’t *really* a human – or if they don’t say that, then when they are pressed they say things that make it pretty clear they don’t really think he was human? For example, they don’t think Jesus needed to eat; that he didn’t need to perform bodily functions that every other human does; that he didn’t have human desires; that he actually did know everything and that he really could to anything? That would be Christ the God. But it’s not really Christ the human. And that was Marcion’s view.
No one I know today is *literally* a Marcionite. But I would say his views continue to be present, in less emphatic form. Here is how I explain his views in my book How Jesus Became God.
If you were a member of the blog, you could read all this. And much more! Five posts a week on interesting topics of all sorts connected with the New Testament and Earliest Christianity. There is a small membership fee to join, but every penny (about 55 a week!) goes to charity. So why not?