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Recovering a "Lost" Author: Marcion of Smyrna

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image of Horizons in Biblical Theology

The Martyrdom of Polycarp, traditionally treated as an anonymous document, is not: it was composed by Marcion of Smyrna. A writer of no small ability, he argues for a particular view of martyrdom on the basis of a sophisticated interpretation of the gospel narrative; portrays Polycarp as the embodiment of both Christian and Greco-Roman virtues and values; and subverts Roman claims to power even as he affirms Christian claims of divine sovereignty. His accomplishments earn him a spot on the roster of second century Christian authors.

Affiliations: 1: University Professor of Biblical Studies & Early Christianity Bethel University, St. Paul, Mn


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