Theological Studies 33 (1972) pp.599-600

Edited and translated by Ernest
Evans. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon,
1972. Pp. xxiii + 658. $27.25.

        Perhaps the most influential of
the Church's Christian adversaries
in the second century, Marcion initi-
ated a world-wide, durable, ascetic,
uncompromising movement. His re-
jection of the OT Demiurge in favor
of the loving God embodied in Jesus,
his repudiation of the OT as lacking
Christian significance, his "authen-
tic" canon (Luke re-edited and
ascribed to Christ, and ten Pauline
epistles), his docetic Christ, his con-
cern with the problem of evil--all this
and more made an attractive theo-
logical package and forced early
theologians like Tertullian to pay him
serious attention.

        E.'s Introduction summarizes Mar-
cion's doctrine (of necessity, mostly
from his adversaries) and influence.
the contents of Tertullian's refutation,
its various editions and sources, T.'s
OT text, the manuscripts (twelve
extant) and editions. E.'s edition re-
tains Oehler's text "except where it
is unintelligible or where subsequent
critics have made suggestions which
are manifestly preferable" (p. xxi);

his own contribution "consists largely
of improved punctuation," with a few
conjectures (p. xxii). E.'s long famil-
iarity with Tertullian serves him
well in translating a writer whose
language has often been the despair
of patristic scholars and Latinists.
Much of the English version is grati-
fyingly contemporary; some of it gets
complicated by T.'s complexities. I
wish E. had found it possible to in-
corporate a richer commentary on the

Walter J. Burghardt, S.J

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