The Marcionite Bible

The Marcionite Bible was assembled by Marcion of Sinope, sometime in the early/mid second century; a full 200 years before the compilation of the Bible we now have. The Marcionite Bible was not divided into "Old" and "New" testaments like the modern Bible, and was dramatically shorter. It was divided into two parts, the gospel (or Evangelion) and the epistles of Paul (or Apostolicon). The Marcionites only recognized one gospel as legitimate; it was called The Gospel of the Lord, and it was similar to Luke but significantly shorter. The Marcionite version of the Epistles of Paul was also significantly shorter than the version found in conventional Bibles.

The documents that make up the Marcionite Bible have not physically survived to modern times; all known copies were destroyed by the religious authorities when the Catholics gained political power in the fourth century. In spite of this destruction, the Marcionite Scriptures can still be restored. Many ancient Christian writers quoted from the extensively, described the differences between them and the official version of the scripture, and even wrote commentaries on them. By using these quotations and descriptions we can reconstruct the Marcionite text. We do not have quotations or descriptions of every verse. But, in most places the Marcionite Bible was identical to the corresponding text in the conventional Bible, and the ancient writers who quoted from it focused their attention mainly on the controversial passages where there were significant differences between the two versions. This means that in places where the Marcionite text is not known, it was probably identical to text of the conventional Bible, and so text from the conventional Bible can be used to "fill in the gaps".

The reconstruction work is a painstaking process, and many sections of the Marcionite text are not yet available online. I am working hard to resolve this. Meanwhile, details of texts which are available can be found on this page.

Above: Marcion(left),with the Apostle John, to whom he "brought scriptures from the Pontic brethren..." (10th century miniature from the archives of the Cathedral St.Bravo in Ghent).

The Gospel of the Lord

"O Wonder Beyond Wonders,
Rapture, Power, and Amazement is it,
That one can say nothing at all
[About the Gospel]
Nor even conceive of it,
Nor even compare it to anything."

- Marcion of Sinope

A hypertext version of "The Gospel of the Lord" by James Hamlyn Hill (1891),based on the 1823 reconstruction by August Hahn. The version presented here is specially revised to also reflect the reconstruction done by Theodor Zahn (1888), from his work "Geschichte des n.t. Kanons", vol.II., which places in doubt some of the material which Hahn-Hill allowed into their reconstructions. In addition, the text has been hyperlinked to two of the major hostile witnesses utilized for its reconstruction, Tertullian's "Against Marcion" (Adversus Marcionem), Book IV, and Ephiphanius' Panarion sect.42, "Against the Marcionites" (Dindorfus' Greek text, presented via 15 .jpg files with a few English notes). The entirety of the Gospel is divided into 6 sections.

Section I (corresponding to Lk.3:1-7:50)
Section II (corresponding to Lk.8:1-10:24)
Section III (corresponding to Lk.10:25-13:17)
Section IV (corresponding to Lk.13:18-17:37)
Section V (corresponding to Lk.18:1-21:38)
Section VI (corresponding to Lk.22:1-24:47)


Reconstruction and translation by D.J.Mahar:
Greek-English Interlinear (pdf)
English Translation & Notes (pdf)

1st and 2nd Corinthians

Reconstruction and translation by Stuart Waugh
1 Corinthians Interlinear (pdf)
2 Corinthians Interlinear (pdf)

Greek Text:
Green: words attested in quotes of Marcionite text by heresiarchs
Blue: words that differ in Marcion from the received text, and were deemed by me to likely be correct
// Marcion's text as reported has as many variants and errors as any then contemporary manuscript and must be treated as such
Red: LXX quotes

Blue: Greek words for clarity
Red: Latin words for clarity - specifically words that are quoting Marcion's text


Partial reconstruction of Romans by Melissa Cutler
Greek-English interlinear with full set of reconstruction notes (pdf)
English translation with full set of reconstruction notes (pdf)
General purpose English translation (pdf)

1st and 2nd Thessalonians

Reconstruction of Laodiceans by Adrian Cozad:
I Thessalonians (pdf)
II Thessalonians (pdf)

Laodiceans (Ephesians)

Reconstruction of Laodiceans by Adrian Cozad:
Laodiceans (pdf)


Reconstruction of Colissians by Adrian Cozad:
Colossians (pdf)


Reconstruction of Philemon by Adrian Cozad:
Philemon (pdf)


Reconstruction of Philippians by Adrian Cozad:
Philippians (pdf)