isis unveiled, vol 2: chapter iii (religious sects)

“If we are to believe Hilgenford, one of the greatest German biblical critics, then “From the critical standing-point one must…consider the statements of the Father’s of the Church only as expressions of their subjective view, which itself requires proof.”

We can do no better nor make a more correct statement of facts concerning Marcion than by quoting what our space permits from Supernatural Religion, the author of which bases his assertion on the evidence of the greatest critics, as well as on his own research. He shows in the days of Marcion, “two broad parties in the primitive Church” – one considering Christianity ” a mere continuation of the law, and dwarfing it into an Israelitish institution, a narrow sect of Judaism”; the other representing the glad tidings “as the introduction of a new system, applicable to all, and supplanting the Mosaic dispensation of the law by a universal dispensation of grace.” These two parties, he adds, “were popularly represented in the early Church, by the two apostles Peter and Paul, and their antagonism is faintly revealed in the Epistle to the Galatians.

Marcion, who recognized no other Gospels than a few Epistles of Paul, who rejected totally the anthropomorphism of the Old Testament, and drew a distinct line of demarcation between the old Judaism and Christianity, viewed Jesus neither as a King, Messiah of the Jews, nor the son of David, who was in any way connected with the law or prophets, “but, a divine being sent to reveal to man a spiritual religion, wholly new, and a God of goodness and grace hitherto unknown.”

The “Lord God” of the Jews in his eyes, the Creator, (Demiurgos), was totally different and distinct from the Deity who sent Jesus to reveal the divine truth and preach the glad tidings, to bring reconciliation and salvation to all. The mission of Jesus – according to Marcion – was to abrogate the Jewish “Lord”, who “was opposed to the God and Father of Jesus Christ as matter is to spirit, impurity to purity.”

Was Marcion so far wrong? Was it blasphemy, or was it intuition, divine inspiration in him to express that which every honest heart yearning for truth, more or less feels and acknowledges? If in his sincere desire to establish a purely spiritual religion, a universal faith based on unadulterated truth, he found it necessary to make of Christianity an entirely new and separate system from that of Judaism, did not Marcion have the very words of Christ for his authority? “No man putteth a piece of new cloth into an old garment…for the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish; but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.”

In what particular does the jealous, wrathful, revengeful God of Israel resemble the unknown deity, the God of mercy preached by Jesus – his Father who is in Heaven, and the Father of all humanity? This Father alone is the God of spirit and purity, and, to compare Him with the subordinate and capricious Sinaitic Deity is an error.

Did Jesus ever pronounce the name of Jehovah? Did he ever place his Father in contrast with this severe and cruel Judge, his God of mercy, love, and justice, with the Jewish genius of retaliation? Never! From that memorable day when he preached his Sermon on the Mount, an immeasurable void opened between his God and that other deity who fulminated his commands from that other mount – Sanai.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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