The First New Testament: Marcion’s Scriptural Canon
Many people think of the New Testament as a collection that came together all at the same time, a group of canonical texts to help guide the faithful of one of the world’s largest religions. In reality it was a loose collection, with rare agreement amongst the member churches, with little to no hierarchy to decide what was canon and what was not. In this book we get to explore the first canon as complied by Marcion, an early Christian convert in what we now call the Middle East. He combined some of the earliest texts of Christianity and put them together in a definitive collection. Many people disagreed with him, and many called him a heretic, but thanks to him we got the idea of a single canon. When the dust settled his canon was not chosen; but it laid the groundwork to develop a true canon for an enlarging church.
While it might make for some difficult reading, mostly trying to fill in the gaps, the author does a good job of placing this text in its context, and a wonderful job for bringing it to the attention of English speaking audiences.
Jason D. BeDuhn