Fortress Press

Justin against Marcion: Defining the Christian Philosophy

Justin against Marcion

Defining the Christian Philosophy

Andrew Hayes (Author)


Interested in a gratis copy?

How do you plan on using your gratis copy? Review requests are for media inquiries. Exam requests are for professors, teachers, and librarians who want to review a book for course adoption.

  • In stock

In a period where Christianity was only beginning to form a definitive identity, Marcion played a remarkable and generative role. Andrew Hayes takes the measure of his impact on second-century Christianity through a close examination of the topics and structure of Justin Martyr’s writings, especially the Dialogue with Trypho, demonstrating that Justin repeatedly described Christianity in a contra-Marcionite fashion. Arguing that the early part of the Dialogue is in fact a contra- Marcionite prelude to all the major themes in the rest of the piece, Hayes claims that the chief task Justin took for himself was to seize back from Marcion the terms of Christian self-definition. Marcion is thus far more important for Justin’s work than the few places where he is explicitly named might suggest, and Hayes shows that these texts are far from anomalous: they reveal Justin’s deeper agenda of presenting Marcion as a demonic instrument. Students of the second century, of Marcion and of Justin alike, will find much to reevaluate in these pages.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506423449
  • eBook ISBN 9781506420400
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 270
  • Publication Date April 1, 2017



1. Who Are the “Christians?”

  • Persecution
  • Greco-Roman Perspectives
  • Teacher and Pupils

2. Reading between the Lines: The Conspicuousness of Marcion in the Dialogue

  • The Dialogue: Introduction and Commentary
  • Repetition of Themes in the Dialogue
  • Philosophies and “Christians”
  • Conclusion

3. Case by Case

  • Introduction
  • Politics
  • Who Are the Atheists?
  • Evidence of True Worship
  • Different Teacher, Different Confession
  • Conclusion

Ancient Literature Index
Author Index


Reviewed in New Testament Abstracts 61.2 (2017)


"Justin Martyr is not only the first witness to ever mention Marcion by name, he is also one of the few contemporary witnesses (if not the only) of Marcion’s activities. This factor alone justifies a more extensive investigation of Justin’s comments on the arch-heretic and his movement, an investigation hitherto missing from the scholarly world. However, Andrew Hayes provides more than that. He demonstrates that Justin’s preoccupation with Marcion exceeds the few direct references to him in his work. It is, in fact, a contra-Marcionite agenda that dominates much of Justin’s argument, particularly in his Dialogue with Trypho. Thus, with his study, Hayes manages to give the reader a better understanding of both the heretic and the apologist."

Sebastian Moll | author of "The Arch-Heretic Marcion"

"Today, Justin is seen as a milestone in the development of Christianity, an apologist toward the Roman state, Judaism, a writer against Heretics. Yet, this book shows that it was particularly in his critical reading and response to Marcion that Justin found his voice. At the same time, his fellow-teacher of Rome was a great inspiration for him who conveyed to him not only the so-called Gospel, but with it also the Pauline idea of novelty and the need for defining the new movement. As already Daniel Boyarin intimated, Justin's position with regards the heritage of Israel made him eventually create two new religions, Christianity and Judaism, and in this he conveyed to history what Marcion initiated."

Markus Vinzent | Kings College London