(D)Evolutionary Marcionism


Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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5 Responses

  1. Sounds like you're on the right track in several respects. If so, and you can deal with a lot of information usually elided and concealed from the general public, you'll find a wealth of well-documented information on the historical, Torah-teaching, 1st-century Pharisee Ribi at: http://www.netzarim.co.il Report

  2. Avatar Pithlord says:

    From what I understand, Wright thinks post-exilic Judaism also evolved from a narrowly tribal to a more universalistic approach, so I'm not sure the Marcionite label is correct. He's fairly mainstream to see Mark as ethnocentric in comparison with the Q sayings. Whether these more-or-less contemproaneous sources can be shoehorned into an evolutionary narrative is more questionable. Report

  3. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:


    (nice handler btw). Yeah, B Wright does mention The Books of Jonah and Ruth (and one could maybe also argue Esther?) as more cosmopolitan. But at the same those were written so was Ezra and Nehemiah arguing that Jews would had married non-Jews during the Exile had to divorce their wives/families. And again both of those strains have elements in the Pentateuch that support their view. In fact Ruth may be a direct response to Ezra.

    The whose in/whose out is a lot more complicated throughout the entirety of Jewish history it seems to me. I’m not quite sure it follows a linear line towards more inclusion. Because in part, again, I think there are many versions (or strands if you like) of Judaism and there was no normative one-kind of Judaism until at least the 4th century CE.

    And then Wright seems to me to suggest even if there was a momentary blip during the post-exilic period, by Jesus’ time its back to exclusion. That only works if you assume the Gospels tells us more about Jesus’ actual ministry then they do about the communities that wrote/read/followed the particular gospels in question. I tend towards the latter view.

    And on Mark/Q, that too is I think open to debate (namely that Mark is more ethnocentric than Q). Q is popular with the more, for lack of a better term, left-wing Jesus scholars (Crossan, and esp. Burton Mack). I think they are mostly interpreting Q in a kinda wisdom-hippe Jesus California style. The only leader Q mentions as the true heir to Jesus is his brother James, leader of arguably the most ethnocentric (if that’s the right word) of the early Jesus followers. Q could in fact be much more Ebionite–i.e. Gentiles would have had to convert (fully) to Judaism to follow a Jewish Jesus movement.Report