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Marcion and His Influence
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Top Customer Reviews
1. Future readers should be aware that a fairly good grasp on Greek, Latin, and some French and German is necessary to digest the book in its fullness. Oftentimes the author quotes Greek and Latin texts at length (paragraphs at a time), while referring to certain French and German authors, quoting them in their original language.
2. This brings me to another point: the author assumes a general familiarlity with Harnack's work. It would be good to read that first, if you can find it.
3. Which brings me to yet another comment: many times the book seems like an extended journal review of many opinions regarding Marcion. This is not bad in itself, but sometimes makes for dry (and irrelevant) reading. In many places it seems like an extended revision of Harnack's work in particular. In fact, in a few places he skips some rather important discussions of Marcion's life and thought and simply refers the reader to Harnack.
4. I found myself frequently hesitant to accept some of his conclusions/observations because he seems to employ an unsettling combination of a critical method with an 'orthodox' bias. Some might not care about that. I am personally more concerned with historical issues, not an author's opinion of Marcion's 'untenable' theological positions.
I'm not sad I spent the time reading this book; it simply didn't reap the historical/intellectual harvest I had hoped. It should be read if for no other reason than that there are virtually no other thorough treatments of Marcion's life and thought available (not that Blackman's is what I would call 'thorough').