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Although the Marcellians identified themselves as "gnostics", many modern scholars do not classify them as members of the sect of Gnosticism.A creed that may have been recited at Christian initiation ceremonies is quoted by the apostle Paul in Galatians : "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." 240) complained: "These heretical women—how audacious they are!Marcellina and her followers] to blaspheme the holy name of the church, so that the [pagan] people turn their ears from the preaching of truth when they hear their different way of teaching and think we Christians are all like them.Meeting your lover is only the first stage of dating.

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From among these also arose Marcellina, who came to Rome under [the episcopate of] Anicetus, and, holding these doctrines, she led multitudes astray. They also possess images, some of them painted, and others formed from different kinds of material; while they maintain that a likeness of Christ was made by Pilate at that time when Jesus lived among them.

Marcellina's community appears to have sought to literally implement the foundational Carpocratian teaching of social egalitarianism.

The Marcellians in particular are reported to have branded their disciples on the insides of their right earlobes and venerated images of Jesus as well as Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle.

According to David Brakke, the reason why Marcellina and the members of her school identified themselves as "Gnostics" was not as a sectarian identification with the branch of early Christianity known as "Gnosticism", Also, Hippolytus of Rome, who relied on Irenaeus as a source, references that the another sect known as the Naassenes "call themselves 'gnostics' in their own way, as if they alone have drunk from the amazing acquaintance of the Perfect and Good." 253) also briefly mentions Marcellina in his Contra Celsum, stating that "Celsus knows also of Marcellians who follow Marcellina, and Harpocratians who follow Salome, and others who follow Mariamme, and others who follow Martha." Anne Mc Guire states that, because all the other figures listed by Origen in this passage are figures who appear in the canonical gospels, it is possible that the Marcellians may have regarded Marcellina, not only as a teacher and religious leader, but as "an authoritative source of apostolic tradition".

Irenaeus also states, "Satan had set forth these people [i.e.

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