(Continued from Part 2)
Another early Christian evidence for the practice of baptism for the dead is from texts that reference the practice among a group known as the Marcionites. This group was a separate Christian body from the Church of Rome, who followed the teachings of Marcion (ca. 110-160) as their spiritual leader (sometimes referenced as Marcion of Sinope). The writings of Marcion are lost, so the information we have about him and his followers comes largely from the writings of others. Marcion was a Christian theologian, a ship owner, may have been the son of the bishop in Sinope, and was consecrated a bishop himself. He gathered a large following but was excommunicated from the Church of Rome in 144 as a heretic, apparently because his beliefs about the gospel clashed with the bishops of Rome. His following was strong, however, and continued to expand even after Marcion’s death for quite some time. Marcionism was a major rival to the Catholic Church.
So why do we use an example of a practice among a “heretical” group of Christians? Dr. John A. Tvedtnes has taught, [Read more…]