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Marcion: To the Galatians

From:  W. C. van Manen, "Marcions Brief van Paulus aan de Galatiers"
Theologisch tijdschrift, Vol 21 (Leiden, 1887), pp. 528-533.
Transcribed into English by D. J. Mahar (1998).


Marcion's text, as reconstructed by W. C. van Manen
Transcribed into English by D. J. Mahar


1 Paul, an apostle, not of men, nor by man, but by Jesus Christ, who raised himself from the dead;
2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia.
3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
6 I marvel that ye are so quickly changed, from him that called you in the grace unto a different gospel:
7 Which is not [another]; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8/9 But though we or an angel should announce to you a gospel contrary to what ye have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
15 But when [He] was pleased, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me unto (his) grace,
16 To reveal his Son in me, that I should announce him among the nations; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Cephas, and abode with him fifteen days.
19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.
20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.
21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;
22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ.


1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the nations.
3 But neither Titus (who was with me), being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.
5 Not for an hour did we yield in subjection, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
6 From those reputed to be something......... whatsoever they were, not to me makes a difference. A person God does not accept. For to me [they] conferred nothing.
But to the contrary, having seen that I was entrusted the gospel of the uncircumcision, and having perceived the grace that was given me,
9 James and Cephas and John, those reputed to be pillars, the right hands of fellowship they gave to me and Barnabas; that we should go unto the nations, but they unto the circumcision.
11 But when Cephas came unto Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For before that came James, with the nations he was eating. but when he came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Cephas before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not of the Gentiles......
18 For if what I cast-down I build again, I constitute myself a transgressor.
19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the God and Christ who loved me and gave himself up for me.
21 I do not frustrate the grace. For if righteousness come by the law, then Christ died for nothing.


1 O senseless Galatians, who hath bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been openly portrayed?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you .........
10(11) Learn that the righteous by faith shall live.
For as many as are under the law are under the curse: that accursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.
11,12 In the law no one is being justified.
13 But the law is not of faith: but the one that does these things shall live in them.
Christ has ransomed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:
as it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree,
14 That we might receive the blessing of the Spirit through faith.
26 For all of you are children of the faith,
3:15 (yet) as a man I speak.


3 When we were infants, we were held under the elements of the cosmos.
4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth his Son,
5 To ransom them that were under the law, that we might receive sonship.
6 And because ye are sons, he hath sent forth his Spirit into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
8 Since indeed then ye were in bondage to those [who] not by nature are gods .
9 But now, having known God, or rather being known by God, how do ye turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which again anew ye desire to be in bondage?
10 Days ye observe, and months and times and years ( and sabbaths, so I suppose, meagre suppers, and fasts and high days).
11 I am afraid of you, lest somehow in vain I have labored unto you.
12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
13 Ye know how through weakness of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.
14 And your temptation which was in my flesh...... ye despised not nor rejected with contempt; but as an angel of God ye received me, even as Christ Jesus.
15 Where then is your blessedness? for I bear witness [to] you, that, if possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.
16 So your enemy have I become, speaking truth to you?
17 They are zealous [of] you, not rightly, but to exclude you they desire,
18 (who....)......zealous at all times, and not only when I am present with you.
19 My little children, of whom I travail again until Christ be formed in you,
20 But I was desiring to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I am perplexed in you.
21 Tell me, [ye] who under the law desire to be, the law do ye not hear?
22 For as it is written, that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondmaid and one by the freewoman.
23 But he from the bondwoman after the flesh was born; and he from the freewoman was through the promise.
24 Which things are allegorized: for these are two covenants*; one indeed from mount Sinai unto the synagogue of the Jews, according to [the] law, generates unto bondage;
26 But [the] other generates above all powers ( power, lordship, and every name that is named not only in this eon, but also in that to come), which is [the] mother of us.
31 So then, brethren, not of the bondwoman are we children, but of the free.

* "two covenants" (Gal.4:24) - Zahn (Geschichte des n.t. kanons, vol.II, 1888) proposed "two promises", while Harnack (Marcion, 1925) "two exhibitions", or "revelations" (so rendered by E.Evans, Adversus Marcionem, vol.II). - D.J.M.


1 In the freedom wherewith Christ made us free, stand fast and be not entangled again [in] the yoke of bondage.
2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that, if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
3 But I testify again that a man that is circumcised, a debtor he is to do the whole law.
4 Exempt is he [with] the brand-mark of bondage. Whosoever in law are justified, [from] grace ye have fallen.
5 For we of the Spirit by faith await the hope of righteousness.
7 Ye did run well; who hindered you that the truth ye should not obey?
8 This persuasion comes not from him that calls you.
9 A little leaven corrupts the whole loaf.
10 I have confidence in you, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubles you shall bear the judgment, whoever he is.
11 But I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why yet am I persecuted? then has been abolished the scandal of the cross.
12 I would even that they castrate themselves which throw you into confusion!
13 For you, unto freedom were called, brethren; only [use] not freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve ye one another.
14 For the whole law in you is fulfilled : Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
16 But I say, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall in no wise fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: for these things are opposed to one another: that not whatsoever ye wish, ye should do.
18 But if of the Spirit ye are led, ye are not under law.
19 Now manifest are the works of the flesh, which are fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness,
20 Idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strifes, jealousies, indignations, contentions, divisions, sects,
21 Envyings, drunkenness, revels, and such like: of which I previously tell you even as also before, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 meekness, self-control: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, in the Spirit we should also walk.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.


1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
4 But the work of himself let [ him] prove and then unto himself alone shall he have boasting, and not in another.
5 For each shall bear their own burden.
6 But let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teaches.
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that sows unto the flesh from the flesh shall reap corruption; but he that sows unto the Spirit from the Spirit shall reap life eonian.
9 But in well doing we should not lose heart.
10 And as we have opportunity, let us do good, (9b) for in due time we shall reap.
11 Ye see how [in] large letters I have written unto you with mine own hand.
12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised;
13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
17 [For] the rest let no one give to me troubles: for I bear the marks of Christ in my body.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

W. C. VAN MANEN, "Marcions Brief van Paulus aan de Galatiers", Theologisch tijdschrift, Vol 21 (Leiden, 1887), pp. 528-533. Transcribed into English by D. J. Mahar (1998).