Gospel of the Ebionites

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Epiphanius of Salamis's book Panarion was also known as Against Heresies. It is our main source regarding the Ebionite gospel.
Epiphanius of Salamis's book Panarion was also known as Against Heresies. It is our main source regarding the Ebionite gospel.

Gospel of the Ebionites is the conventional name given to the description by Epiphanius of Salamis of a gospel used by the Ebionites. All that is known of the gospel text consists of seven brief quotations found in Chapter 30 of a heresiology written by Epiphanius known as the Panarion. The quotations were used as part of a polemic to point out inconsistencies in the beliefs and practices of the Ebionites relative to Nicene orthodoxy.[] The seven citations are numbered GE 1 to GE 7 in Schneemelcher's New Testament Apocrypha.[]

The original title of the gospel is unknown. Epiphanius mistakenly identifies it as the "Hebrew" gospel, believing it to be a truncated and modified version of the Gospel of Matthew. The text is a gospel harmony of the Synoptic Gospels composed in Greek with various expansions and abridgments reflecting the theology of the writer.[] Distinctive features of the text include the absence of the virgin birth and genealogy of Jesus, an adoptionist Christology in which Jesus is chosen to be God's son at the time of his baptism, Jesus' appointed task of abolishing the Jewish sacrifices, and an advocacy of the practice of vegetarianism.[] The gospel harmony is believed to have been composed sometime during the first half of the 2nd century in or around the region East of the Jordan River.[] The gospel text was said to be used by "Ebionites" during the time of the early church,[] however the identity of the group or groups that used the text remains a matter of conjecture.[]

The Gospel of the Ebionites is one of the Jewish-Christian Gospels, along with the Gospel of the Hebrews and the Gospel of the Nazoraeans, which survive only as fragments in quotations of the early Church Fathers. Because so little of the text is known, its relationship to the other Jewish-Christian Gospels and a hypothetical original Hebrew Gospel has been a subject of scholarly investigation. More recently, it has been recognized that the gospel harmony is a distinctive text from the others[] and it has been identified more closely with the lost Gospel of the Twelve.[] A similarity between the Gospel and a source document contained within the Clementine Recognitions (Rec. 1.27–71), conventionally referred to by scholars as the Ascents of James, has also been noted with respect to the command to abolish the Jewish sacrifices.[]

Contents

Background

Epiphanius is believed to have come into possession of a gospel that he attributed to the Ebionites when he was bishop of Salamis. He alone among the Church Fathers identifies Cyprus as one of the "roots" of the Ebionites.[] The Gospel survives only in brief quotations by Epiphanius in his heresiology Panarion Chapter 30. as a polemic against the Ebionites. His citations are often contradictory and thought to be based in part on his own conjecture.[][] The various, sometimes conflicting, sources of information were combined to point out inconsistencies in Ebionite beliefs and practices relative to Nicene orthodoxy,[] possibly to serve, indirectly, as a polemic against the Arians of his time.[]

The term Gospel of the Ebionites is a scholarly convention in use at least as early as the French priest Richard Simon (1689),[] however, no surviving document of the Early Church mentions a gospel by that name.[] Epiphanius identifies the gospel only as "in the Gospel used by them, called 'according to Matthew'" and "they call it 'the Hebrew [gospel]'".[][] The name is used by modern scholars as a convenient way to distinguish a gospel text that was probably used by the Ebionites from Epiphanius' mistaken belief that it was a Hebrew version of the Gospel of Matthew.[][] Nothing is known for certain about its place of origin. One speculation is that it was composed in the region East of the Jordan where the Ebionites were said to have been present, according to the accounts of the Church Fathers.[] It is thought to have been composed during the first half of the 2nd century, since several other gospel harmonies are known to be from this period.[]

Composition

Epiphanius is believed to have incorporated the text at a late stage in the composition of Panarion 30, primarily in chapters 13 and 14. As Epiphanius describes it, "The Gospel which is found among them...is not complete, but falsified and distorted" (13.1–2). In particular, it lacked some or all of the first two chapters of Matthew, which contain the infancy narrative of the virgin birth of Jesus and the Davidic genealogy via Solomon, "They have removed the genealogies of Matthew" (14.2–3).[]

The translations of Bernhard Pick (1908),[] with the sequence of four fragments arranged in the order of Wilhelm Schneemelcher from the beginning of the Gospel harmony are as follows:

It came to pass in the days of Herod, King of Judaea under the high priest Caiaphas, that John came and baptized with the baptism of repentance in the river Jordan; he is said to be from the tribe of Aaron and a son of Zacharias the priest and of Elizabeth and all went out to him.(13.6) And it came to pass when John baptized, that the Pharisees came to him and were baptized, and all Jerusalem also. He had a garment of camels' hair, and a leather girdle about his loins. And his meat was wild honey, which tasted like manna, formed like cakes of oil.(13.4) The people having been baptized, Jesus came also, and was baptized by John. And as he came out of the water the heavens opened, and he saw the Holy Spirit descending under the form of a dove, and entering into him. And a voice was heard from heaven: "Thou art my beloved Son, and in thee am I well pleased. And again: "This day have I begotten thee." And suddenly shone a great light in that place. And John seeing him, said, "Who art thou, Lord?" Then a voice was heard from heaven: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Thereat John fell at his feet and said: "I pray thee, Lord, baptize me." But he would not, saying "Suffer it, for so it behoveth that all should be accomplished."(13.7)
"There was a man named Jesus, and he was about thirty years old; he has chosen us. And He came into Capernaum and entered into the house of Simon, surnamed Peter, and He opened His mouth and said, 'As I walked by the sea of Tiberias, I chose John and James, the sons of Zebedee, and Simon and Andrew and Thaddaeus and Simon Zelotes, and Judas Isariot; thee also, Matthew, when thou wast sitting at the receipt of custom, did I call and thou didst follow me. According to my intention ye shall be twelve apostles for a testimony unto Israel.'" (13.2b-3)

The three quotations by Epiphanius in Panarion 30.13.6, 4, and 7, respectively, form the opening of the Gospel narrative, including the mission of John the Baptist, his appearance and diet, and the baptism of Jesus by John.[] The beginning of the Gospel (13.6) has parallels to the Gospel of Luke but in abbreviated form. The text shows a familiarity with the infancy narrative of Luke 1:5 despite lacking a birth narrative of its own. Quoting from the text regarding the diet of John (13.4), Epiphanius complains that the Ebionites have falsified the text by substituting the word "cake" (egkris ἐγκρίς[]) for "locust" (akris ἀκρίς, in Matthew 3:4). The similarity of the wording in Greek has led scholars to conclude that Greek was the original language of composition.[] In the narrative of the baptism of Jesus by John, the voice of God speaks three times in close parallels to the Gospel of Mark, Luke (Western text-type), and Matthew, respectively. The parallels to the Synoptic Gospels have led to the conclusion that the text quoted by Epiphanius is a Gospel harmony. The appearance of a great light on the water may be an echo of St. Paul's conversion or an additional harmonization to the Gospel of the Hebrews.[]

Epiphanius begins his description of the Gospel text (13.2b-3) with a quotation which has Matthew narrating directly to the reader. Jesus recalls how the twelve apostles were chosen and addresses Matthew in the second person as "you also Matthew". Although twelve apostles are mentioned, only eight are named. They are said to be chosen by Jesus, "for a testimony to Israel". The phrase "who chose us" has been interpreted as evidence that the text may be the lost Gospel of the Twelve mentioned by Origen. However, the identification of the Gospel text quoted by Epiphanius with this otherwise unknown Gospel is disputed.[] The position of this quotation was tentatively assigned based on a parallel to the Synoptic Gospels.[]

The fifth and sixth quotations (following Schneemelcher's order) are associated with a Christological controversy. The polemics of Epiphanius along with his quotations of the Gospel text are shown in parallel:

"Moreover they deny that he was a man, evidently on the ground of the word which the Savior spoke when it was reported to him: Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, namely: Who is my mother and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand towards his disciples and said: These are my brethren and mother and sisters, which do the will of my Father." (14.5)
"They say that he was not begotten of God the Father, but created as one of the archangels...that he rules over the angels and all the creatures of the Almighty, and that he came and declared, as their Gospel, which is called according to the Hebrews, reports: I am come to abolish the sacrifices, if ye cease not from sacrificing, the wrath will not cease from you." (16.4–5)

The fifth quotation (14.5) appears to be a harmony of Matthew 12:47–48 and its Synoptic parallels. However, Jesus' final proclamation shows a closer agreement to 2 Clement 9:11 than any of the Synoptics.[] The unity of this quotation with the Gospel text in Chapter 13 has been questioned.[] The command to abolish the sacrifices in the sixth quotation (16.5) is unparalleled in the Canonical Gospels, and it suggests a relationship to Matthew 5:17 ("I did not come to abolish the Law")[] that is echoed in the Clementine literature.[]

Referring to a parallel passage in Luke 22:15, Epiphanius complains that the Ebionites have again falsified the Gospel text "they destroyed the true order and changed the passage..."

"they made the disciples say, Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the Passover? To which He replied: I have no desire to eat the flesh of this Paschal Lamb with you.", (22.4)

thereby making Jesus declare that he would not eat meat on Passover. The immediate context suggests the possible attribution of the quotation to a Clementine source.[]

Christology

The baptismal scene of the Gospel text (13.7) is a harmony of the Synoptic Gospels, but one in which the Holy Spirit is said to descend to Jesus in the form of a dove and enter into him. This divine election at the time of his baptism is known as an adoptionist Christology,[] and it is emphasized by the quotation of Psalm 2:7, as found in the "Western text" of Luke 3:23, "You are my son, this day I have begotten you."[][] The Spirit entering into Jesus and the great light on the water are thought to be based on the prophesies of Isaiah 61:1 and 9:1, respectively.[] The absence of any reference to a Davidic son-ship in the Gospel text suggests that Jesus has been elected to be the end-time prophet, the Chosen One, sent to abolish the Jewish sacrifices.[][][] The Prophet-Christology of the Gospel text quoted by Epiphanius is more at home with the Clementine literature than the Christology of the Ebionites known to Irenaeus.[][]

Vegetarianism

The change in wording of the Gospel text from "locust" (akris) to "cake" (egkris) for John the Baptist's diet (13.4) has been interpreted as evidence of vegetarianism.[] However, the association of the diet of John the Baptist with vegetarianism has been questioned. Epiphanius gives no indication of concern for vegetarianism in this part of the Gospel text,[] and it may instead be an allusion to the manna in the wilderness of Exod 16:31 and Num 11:8,[] or to 1Kgs 19:6 where Elijah eats cakes and oil.[]

Further evidence has been found in the quotation based on Luke 22:15 (22.4), where the saying has been modified by insertion of the word "flesh" to provide a rationale for vegetarianism.[] The immediate context of the quotation suggests that it may be closely related to a Clementine source, the Journeys of Peter. Reading from the same source, Epiphanius states that the Ebionites abstained from "meat with soul in it" (15.3), and he attributes this teaching to Ebionite interpolations "they corrupt the contents and leave a few genuine items". Due to the close association of this saying with the Clementine literature of the 3rd and 4th century, the earlier practice of vegetarianism by the 2nd-century Ebionites known to Irenaeus has been questioned.[]

Relationship to other texts

Epiphanius mistakenly refers to the Gospel used by the Ebionites as the "Hebrew" gospel and the Gospel of Matthew, perhaps relying upon and conflating the testimony of the earlier Church Fathers. Jerome remarks that the Nazoraeans and Ebionites both used the Gospel of the Hebrews, which was considered the original Matthew by many of them. Jerome's report is consistent with the prior accounts of Irenaeus and Eusebius.[]

It is not clear if and how Gospel of the Ebionites is related to the Gospel of the Hebrews and the Gospel of the Nazoraeans. All the Jewish-Christian Gospels survive only as fragments in quotations, so it is difficult to tell if they are independent texts or variations of each other. Klijn concluded that the Gospel harmony composed in Greek appears to be a distinctive text known only to Epiphanius.[] It's putative relationship to the Gospel text known to Origen as the Gospel of the Twelve remains a speculation.[] as well as it's relationship to a hypothetical original Gospel of Matthew.[]

The Recognitions of Clement contains a source document (Rec. 1.27–71), conventionally referred to by scholars as the Ascents of James,[] which is believed to be of Jewish-Christian origin.[] The Ascents shares a similarity to the Gospel of the Ebionites with regard to the command to abolish the Jewish sacrifices,[] adding that a Christian water baptism is to be substituted for the remission of sins.[]

Inferences about the Ebionites

The Ebionites[][][] known to Irenaeus (first mentioned in Adversus Haereses 1.26.2, written around 185) and other Church Fathers prior to Epiphanius were described as a Jewish sect that regarded Jesus as the Messiah but not as divine. They insisted on the necessity of following Jewish religious law and rites and they used only the Jewish-Christian Gospel.[] The Ebionites rejected the epistles of Paul of Tarsus, who they regarded as an apostate from the Law.[]

In Epiphanius' polemic against the Ebionites found in Panarion 30, a complex picture emerges of the beliefs and practices of the 4th century Ebionites that cannot easily be separated from his method of combining together disparate sources.[] While scholars such as H.J. Schoeps literally interpreted Epiphanius' account as describing a later syncretistic development of Ebionism,<ref name="Schoeps 1969">Schoeps (1969) pp.1-37 Note: the English translation has no ISBN number.</ref> more recent scholarship has found it difficult to reconcile his report with those of the earlier Church Fathers, leading to a conjecture that a second group of Hellenistic-Samaritan Ebionites may also have been present.[] The rejection of the Jewish sacrifices and the implication of an end-time prophet Christology due to the lack of a birth narrative lend support for the association of the Gospel of the Ebionites with a group or groups of Ebionites different than the Ebionites known to Irenaeus.[]

Footnotes

1 Finley (2009) The Ebionites and "Jewish Christianity": Examining Heresy and the Attitudes of the Church Fathers pp.291-293, p.291 - "Unfortunately, Epiphanius' reliability as an historical witness is less than could be hoped. The statements he made about the Ebionites are relatively inconsistent, and cover a wide range of subjects. Epithanius did not make any statement about the Ebionites contrary to his strident sense of Nicene orthodoxy. Therefore, it seems possible that Epiphanius was merely using the Ebionites and literature that may or may not have been associated with the Ebionites to argue against all types of heretical views." p.292 - "Epiphanius' main focus in the chapter on the Ebionites was Christological, and because of Epiphanius' efforts in support of the Nicene Christology, we should regard his statements about Ebionite Christology as particularly suspect." p.293 - "It seems to me quite plain that Epiphanius was not attacking Jewish Christianity in Panarion 30, but instead Christological beliefs and Scriptural interpretations."

2 Vielhauer and Strecker (2003) "The Gospel of the Ebionites" in New Testament Apocrypha pp.166-171 Note: Schneemelcher's New Testament Apocrypha is considered the standard edition for new testament apocryphal writings. Three testimonies to that effect are as follows: 1. Christopher R. Matthews Philip, Apostle and Evangelist: configurations of a tradition 2002 " given the high visibility of Schneemelcher's assessment in the standard edition of the New Testament Apocrypha, ...", 2. Helmut Koester From Jesus to the Gospels: interpreting the New Testament 2007 p311 "The new standard edition of the New Testament Apocrypha in English translation is somewhat more cautious. Wilhelm Schneemelcher grants that some of the apocryphal writings “appear in ... ", 3. Michael J. Wilkins, James Porter Moreland – Jesus under fire 1995 "The standard edition is the two-volume work of E. Hennecke and W. Schneemelcher, New Testament Apocrypha, trans. R. McL. Wilson (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1965)"

3 Cameron (1982) The Other Gospels pp.103-106

4 Vielhauer and Strecker (2003) "The Gospel of the Ebionites" in New Testament Apocrypha p.168 – "Jesus' task is to do away with the 'sacrifices'. In this saying (16.4–5), the hostility of the Ebionites against the Temple cult is documented."

5 Kloppenborg (1994) "The Gospel of the Ebionites" in The Complete Gospels p.436

6 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus pp.457–61, p.461 – "To conclude, Epiphanius' portrayal of the Ebionites in Pan. 30 is a learned construction, based almost exclusively on written sources,... At no point is there any certain evidence that Epiphanius's knowledge is based on firsthand, personal contact with Ebionites who called themselves by this name."

7 Luomanen (2007) Jewish Christianity Reconsidered pp.92, 101-102, 115 pp.101–102 – "Thus, we may have to reckon with the possibility that, from very early on, there may have been at least two types of Ebionites: (1) Hebrew/Aramaic-speaking Ebionites (= Irenaeus Ebionites?) who shared James the Just's positive attitude toward the temple, used only Matthew's Gospel and accepted all the prophets; and (2) Hellenistic-Samaritan Ebionites (= Epiphanius' Ebionites) who totally rejected worship in the temple, used only the Pentateuch, and, carrying with them the memory of Stephen's execution, perceived Paul as one of their major opponents.", p.115 – "The Jewish Christianity of Irenaeus' Ebionites involved obedience to Jewish laws (including circumcision), anti-Paulinism, rejection of Jesus' virginal conception, reverence for Jerusalem (direction of prayer), use of Matthew's Gospel, Eucharist with water, and possibly the idea that Christ/Spirit entered Jesus at his baptism. ... However, the explicit rejection of the temple and its cult, the idea of the True Prophet and the (selective) acceptance of the Pentateuch only, show that Epiphanius' Ebionites were not direct successors of Irenaeus' Ebionites. Because it is not easy to picture a linear development from Irenaeus' Ebionites to Epiphanius' Ebionites, and because the Samaritans seem to link Epiphanius' Ebionites with the Hellenists of the early Jerusalem community, I am inclined to assume that Epiphanius' Ebionites were in fact successors of the Hellenistic "poor" of the early Jerusalem community, and that Irenaeus' Ebionites were successors of the Hebrews (see Acts 6–8) of the same community."

8 Klijn (1992) Jewish-Christian Gospel Tradition pp.27-30, p.27 – "we have to reckon with at least two different Gospels because we meet two different versions of the Baptism of Jesus, one referred to by Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.7–8 and another one by Jerome, in Es. 11,1–3. At present it is generally assumed that Epiphanius quoted from a Gospel that was known to him only."

9 Puech (2003) "Gospels Attributed to the Apostles" in New Testament Apocrypha p.374 – "the majority of critics today are inclined to identify it (the Gospel of the Twelve) with the Gospel of the Ebionites,"

10 Luomanen (2007) Jewish Christianity Reconsidered p.95 – "there is such a fundamental agreement among the Pseudo-Clementine sources (especially Rec. 1.27–71), the "Gospel of the Ebionites", and Epiphanius' description of the Ebionites that there has to be a connection between them. The idea that Jesus came to abolish the sacrifices and that the temple was destroyed because the people were reluctant to cease sacrificing is unique within the early Christian tradition, making its appearance both in Rec. 1.27–71 and the "Gospel of the Eboionites" hardly coincidental." (Also see, Bauckham (2003) "The Origin of the Ebionites" in The Image of the Judeo-Christians in Ancient Jewish and Christian Literature, p.168

11 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus, pp.451–52

12 Koch (1976) A Critical Investigation of Epiphanius' Knowledge of the Ebionites: A Translation and Critical Discussion of 'Panarion' 30 pp.366-7, p.366 – "It would seem that Epiphanius has composed Panarion 30 by combining various resources at hand. At several points he contradicts himself, which is largely occasioned by his method of composition – the juxtaposing of different sources." p. 367 – "One could choose to believe that Ebionitism in Epiphanius' day had become quite syncretistic. ... However, it should be underscored that this picture is presented only by Epiphanius, and once his literary method is recognized as a juxtaposition of sources, it is more difficult to accept this evolution of Ebionite thought as historical fact."

13 Williams (1987) The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Volume 1 p.XIX "In Epiphanius' view, then, the three bases of the Panarion are observation, documentation, and oral testimony. In some cases we should add a fourth to these: historical conjecture on Epiphanius' own part. ... In other words, Epiphanius may not without further investigation be assumed to be in possession of much historical information about the origins of the sects he discusses."

14 Klijn (1992) Jewish-Christian Gospel Tradition p.41 – "The Gospel according to the Ebionites was quoted by Epiphanius to show its absurdities. The selection of the references is, therefore, arbitrary and probably does not indicate the real contents of the Gospel."

15 Simon R. A Critical History of the Text of the New Testament 1689

16 Edwards (2009) The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition p.65

17 Vielhauer and Strecker (2003) "Introduction: The Testimonies of the Early Church regarding Jewish-Christian Gospels" in New Testament Apocrypha, p.140 "That the two cannot be identical and are not so for Epiphanius, is shown by another note on the Gospel of the Ebionites: "In the Gospel used by them,.."

18 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus, pp.457–58

19 Jones (2000) "Ebionites" in Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible p.364 - "Epiphanius connects his Ebionites with the Pseudo-Clementines, with the anti-Pauline Ascents of James, and with a gospel conveniently called the Gospel of the Ebionites by modern scholars."

20 Vielhauer and Strecker (2003) "The Gospel of the Ebionites" in New Testament Apocrypha, p.169 "The place of origin is uncertain. It was possibly composed in the region east of Jordan,"

21 Pick (1908, republished 2009) Paralipomena: Remains of Gospels and Sayings of Christ pp.14-18

22 Kloppenborg (1994) "The Gospel of the Ebionites" in The Complete Gospels (1994), p.437 – Note: Composition of the opening narrative with the first 3 quotations following Pick's order

23 Pape (1880) Handwörterbuch der griechischen Sprache p.710 - ἐγκρίς, ίδος, ἡ, eine Kuchenart, com. Ath. XIV, 645 d; Epicharm. Ath. III, 110 c; Suid. erkl. γλύκασμα ἐξ ἐλαίου ύδαρές.

24 Klijn (1992) Jewish-Christian Gospel Tradition pp.67–68 – "The quotation shows the influence of the LXX. This and the word-play with regard to ἐγκρίς and ἀκρίς definitely shows that we are dealing with an original Greek work."

25 Edwards (2009) The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition p.71, referencing E.B. Nicholson (1879), The Gospel according to the Hebrews, pp.40–42, on the great light on the water during the baptism of Jesus.

26 Klijn (1992) Jewish-Christian Gospel Tradition pp.6,28 Gospel of The Twelve Retrieved 2011-2-26, p.28 – Klijn follows Waitz and Zahn in tentatively assigning this text as the Gospel of The Twelve, ""At the beginning of this quotation there is a mention of us, viz. the twelve apostles, who also seem to be responsible for the contents of this Gospel. This would mean that the Gospel could be called 'Gospel of the Twelve', which is the name of a Gospel mentioned in a passage in Origen." (Origen, Comm. Matt. 1:1–10), p.6 – The Gospel of the Twelve is sometimes identified with the Gospel of the Ebionites mentioned by Epiphanius. If this were true, the Gospel could be called Jewish-Christian, but this identification is a matter of dispute.

27 Vielhauer and Strecker (2003) "The Gospel of the Ebionites" in New Testament Apocrypha p.166 "Despite the arguments advanced by Waitz, it remains questionable whether the fragment cited by Epiphanius is to be reckoned with the GE"

28 Edwards (2009) The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition p.73

29 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus p.458, referencing Alfred Schmidtke (1911), Neue Fragmente, p.223: Schmidtke speculated that the fragment may derive from Origen's commentary on John, (Comm. Jo. 2.12), which quotes from the Gospel of the Hebrews.

30 Edwards (2009) The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition pp.73–74

31 Kloppenborg (1994) "The Gospel of the Ebionites" in The Complete Gospels p.439, (Ps-Cl Homilies 3.51.2) "In saying, 'I did not come to do away with the law', and yet doing away with something, he indicated that what he did away with had not originally been part of the law."

32 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus pp.459–60, p.459 – "It is far from certain, however, that this saying derives from the Ebionite Gospel.", p.460 – "The probability that Epiphanius took this from the same source he is exploiting in the context – the Pseudo-Clementine Journeys – seems to me so great that attributing the saying to the Ebionite Gospel is the less likely hypothesis."

33 Kloppenborg (1994) "The Gospel of the Ebionites" in The Complete Gospels p.435 – "This belief, known as "adoptionism", held that Jesus was not divine by nature or by birth, but that God chose him to become his son, i.e., adopted him.

34 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus p.251 – "This Gospel's statement that the Spirit "entered into" Jesus is an important addition to the story. This Gospel also adds a quotation of part of Psalm 2:7 ("Today I have begotten you").

35 Ehrman (1993) The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture pp.49–51, 62–67, p.49 – "With respect to other New Testament traditions concerning Jesus' baptism, the earliest textual witnesses of the Gospel according to Luke preserve a conspicuously adoptionistic formula in the voice from heaven, 'You are my son, today I have begotten you' (Luke 3:22)." p.62 – "This is the reading of codex Bezae and a number of ecclesiastical writers from the second century onward."

36 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus p.461 – "The Spirit "going into" Jesus recalls prophetical endowment with the Spirit, cf. Isa 61:1: 'The Spirit of the Lord is with me, for he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor..'. The great light shining recalls Isa 9:1: 'The people wandering in darkness shall see a great light; those who dwell in the land and shadow of death, over you the light shall shine.'"

37 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus p.461 – "it does not seem far-fetched to conclude that the Ebionite Gospel understood Jesus' baptism as his being called and endowed to be the end-time prophet (rather than the Davidic Messiah)."

38 Klijn (1992) Jewish-Christian Gospel Tradition p.41 – "During his baptism, Jesus is chosen as God's son. At that moment, God generated him. ... He is the Chosen One, and at the moment that this becomes evident a light radiates."

39 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus p.461 – "It is clear, however, that he (Epiphanius) was quite mistaken in identifying the group authoring or using this Gospel with the Irenaen Ebionites. The Prophet-Christology of the Gospel would rather point to the group behind the Pseudo-Clementines Grundschrift as near theological relatives."

40 Luomanen (2007) Jewish Christianity Reconsidered p.92 – "The idea that Jesus, the True Prophet, came to abolish the sacrifices is central to the Pseudo-Clementines. In this regard, it is clear that the 'Gospel of the Ebionites' agreed with them."

41 Klijn (1992) Jewish-Christian Gospel Tradition p.68 – "John the Baptist is supposed to have followed a vegetarian life-style." with a reference to S. Brock, (1970) The Baptists Diet in Syriac Sources, Oriens Christianus, vol.54, pp.113–124

42 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus p.459

43 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus p.251 – "Linking John's wilderness food with the food the Israelites ate while crossing the wilderness and preparing for entry into the promised land may lend an additional element of restoration theology to the ministry and activity of John."

44 Koch (1976) A Critical Investigation of Epiphanius' Knowledge of the Ebionites: A Translation and Critical Discussion of 'Panarion' 30 pp.328–329, p.328 – "While it is not clear which version is older, one might perhaps see at work here an exegetical principle which was practiced in Judaism... – the change in meaning occasioned by the change of a syllable." p.329 – "On the other hand, one might argue just as convincingly that the Exodus-manna typology is older than the "locust" texts,... This would have the effect of identifying John the Baptist with the desert experience, perhaps conveying the impression that he was the new prophet like Moses."

45 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus p.253 – The saying may indicate that Christ is the Passover sacrifice, so that eating the Passover lamb is no longer required and a vegetarian diet may be observed.

46 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus pp.454–455, p.454 – "The 'Ebionite' reason for not eating meat seems to be based on a fear of eating souls, which was the main reason for Pythagorean vegetarianism." p.455 – "In summary, Epiphanius' report of the vegetarianism of the 'Ebionites' seems to be based on his reading of the Pseudo-Clementine Journeys of Peter (and possibly other pseudo-apostolic works)...which makes one hesitate very much in ascribing any of this to the Ebionites of Irenaeus and his followers."

47 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus pp.544–545, Jerome – "In the Gospel which the Nazoraeans and the Ebionites use which we translated recently from Hebrew to Greek and which is called the authentic text of Matthew by a good many, it is written..." Comm. Matt. 12.13; p.435, Irenaeus – "For the Ebionites who use the Gospel according to Matthew only, are confuted of this very same book, when they make false suppositions with regard to the Lord." Haer. 3.11.7; p.446, Eusebius – "These men moreover thought that it was necessary to reject all the epistles of the Apostle, whom they called an apostate from the Law; and they used only the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews and made small account of the rest." Hist. eccl. 3.27.1; p.457, Epiphanius – "They also accept the Gospel according to Matthew. For they too use only this like the followers of Cerinthus and Merinthus. They call it, however, 'according to the Hebrews', which name is correct since Matthew is the only one in the New Testament who issued the Gospel and the proclamation in Hebrew and with Hebrew letters." Panarion 30.3.7

48 Meyer and Meyer (1884) Critical and exegetical hand-book to the Gospel of Matthew, see remark on p.13

49 Luomanen (2007) Jewish Christianity Reconsidered p.93 – "Scholars also largely agree that one section of the Recognitions, Rec. 1.27–71, is based on an independent source, but there is no consensus about the possible original title of the writing. Some think that this section of the Recognitions (Rec. 1.27–71) may indeed preserve the Ascents of James, which Epiphanius ascribes to the Ebionites in Pan. 30.16.7 (Van Voorst 1989)."

50 Van Voorst (1989) The Ascents of James: History and Theology of a Jewish-Christian Community p.177 – "There is, in fact, no section of the Clementine literature about whose origin in Jewish Christianity one may be more certain." (quoting the conclusion of Martyn (1978) "Clementine Recognitions 1.33 to 71, Jewish Christianity, and the Fourth Gospel" in God's Christ and his People. Studies in honor of N.A. Dahl p.271)

51 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus p.395 – "The most striking parallel to this concept (Christian baptism as a substitute for sacrifices for purification from sin) is to be found in the Jewish-Christian source in the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions, 1.27–71. Here we read the following: '[The prophet like Moses] would first of all admonish them...to cease with sacrifices; lest they think that with the ceasing of the sacrifices remission of sins could not be effected for them, [he] instituted for them baptism by water, in which they might be absolved of all sins through the invocation of his name,...[so that] henceforth following a perfect life they might remain in immortality, purified not through the blood of animals but through the purification of God's wisdom'." (Rec. 1.39.1–2)

52 Luomanen (2007) Jewish Christianity Reconsidered p.88 – Much of what Epiphanius reports about the Ebionites is consistent with the accounts of his predecessors, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Origen, and Eusebius." p.314, notes: See Irenaeus, Haer. 1.26.2; 3.11.7; Hippolytus, Haer. 7.34.1–2; 10.22; Origen, Cels. 5.65; Hom. Gen. 3.5; Hom. Jer. 19.12.2; Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.27.1–6; 6.17.

53 Ehrman (2003) Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew pp.95-103 Ehrman offers a popular treatment of the subject.

54 Klijn and Reinink (1973) Patristic evidence for Jewish-Christian sects pp.19-43 Klijn and Reinink offers a rigorous academic treatment of the subject.

55 Kohler, "Ebionites", in: Isidore Singer & Cyrus Alder (ed.), Jewish Encyclopedia, 1901–1906.

56 Jones (2000) "Ebionites" in Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible p.364

57 Schoeps (1969) pp.1-37 Note: the English translation has no ISBN number.

58 Skarsaune (2007) Jewish Believers in Jesus pp.460–1 – "There is one more feature of this Gospel that clearly makes it distinct...it contained no genealogy of Jesus. According to Epiphanius, it began with a short version of Luke 3:1–3. ... This probably reveals something about the genre this Gospel was intended to represent. This is clearly the beginning of a prophet's book. We have seen repeatedly how important the Davidic genealogy was for Ebionite Christology; it was the importance of this Davidic lineage through Joseph that made them deny the virgin birth. For them, Jesus was the Davidic Messiah. For the author of the Ebionite Gospel this seems to have been no concern at all. Instead, he may have conceived of Jesus as the end-time prophet, endowed with the Spirit at his calling – his baptism by John."

References

Primary sources

External links

List of New Testament Papyri

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List of New Testament minuscules

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27 · 28 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39 · 40 · 41 · 42 · 43 · 44 · 45 · 46 · 47 · 48 · 49 · 50 · 51 · 52 · 53 · 54 · 55 · 56 · 57 · 58 · 59 · 60 · 61 · 62 · 63 · 64 · 65 · 66 · 67 · 68 · 69 · 70 · 71 · 72 · 73 · 74 · 75 · 76 · 77 · 78 · 79 · 80 · 81 · 82 · 83 · 84 · 85 · 86 · 87 · 88 · 89 · 90 · 91 · 92 · 93 · 94 · 95 · 96 · 97 · 98 · 99 · 100 · 101 · 102 · 103 · 104 · 105 · 106 · 107 · 108 · 109 · 110 · 111 · 112 · 113 · 114 · 115 · 116 · 117 · 118 · 119 · 120 · 121 · 122 · 123 · 124 · 125 · 126 · 127 · 128 · 129 · 130 · 131 · 132 · 133 · 134 · 135 · 136 · 137 · 138 · 139 · 140 · 141 · 142 · 143 · 144 · 145 · 146 · 147 · 148 · 149 · 150 · 151 · 152 · 153 · 154 · 155 · 156 · 157 · 158 · 159 · 160 · 161 · 162 · 163 · 164 · 165 · 166 · 167 · 168 · 169 · 170 · 171 · 172 · 173 · 174 · 175 · 176 · 177 · 178 · 179 · 180 · 181 · 182 · 183 · 184 · 185 · 186 · 187 · 188 · 189 · 190 · 191 · 192 · 193 · 194 · 195 · 196 · 197 · 198 · 199 · 200 · 201 · 202 · 203 · 204 · 205 · 206 · 207 · 208 · 209 · 210 · 211 · 212 · 213 · 214 · 215 · 216 · 217 · 218 · 219 · 220 · 221 · 222 · 223 · 224 · 225 · 226 · 227 · 228 · 229 · 230 · 231 · 232 · 233 · 234 · 235 · 236 · 237 · 238 · 239 · 240 · 241 · 242 · 243 · 244 · 245 · 246 · 247 · 248 · 249 · 250 · 251 · 252 · 253 · 254 · 255 · 256 · 257 · 258 · 259 · 260 · 261 · 262 · 263 · 264 · 265 · 266 · 267 · 268 · 269 · 270 · 271 · 272 · 273 · 274 · 275 · 276 · 277 · 278 · 279 · 280 · 281 · 282 · 283 · 284 · 285 · 286 · 287 · 288 · 289 · 290 · 291 · 292 · 293 · 294 · 295 · 296 · 297 · 298 · 299 · 300 · 301 · 302 · 303 · 304 · 305 · 306 · 307 · 308 · 309 · 310 · 311 · 312 · 313 · 314 · 315 · 316 · 317 · 318 · 319 · 320 · 321 · 322 · 323 · 324 · 325 · 326 · 327 · 328 · 329 · 330 · 331 · 332 · 333 · 334 · 335 · 336 · 337 · 338 · 339 · 340 · 341 · 342 · 343 · 344 · 345 · 346 · 347 · 348 · 349 · 350 · 351 · 352 · 353 · 354 · 355 · 356 · 357 · 358 · 359 · 360 · 361 · 362 · 363 · 364 · 365 · 366 · 367 · 368 · 369 · 370 · 371 · 372 · 373 · 374 · 375 · 376 · 377 · 378 · 379 · 380 · 381 · 382 · 383 · 384 · 385 · 386 · 387 · 388 · 389 · 390 · 391 · 392 · 393 · 394 · 395 · 396 · 397 · 398 · 399 · 400 · 401 · 402 · 403 · 404 · 405 · 406 · 407 · 408 · 409 · 410 · 411 · 412 · 413 · 414 · 415 · 416 · 417 · 418 · 419 · 420 · 421 · 422 · 423 · 424 · 425 · 426 · 427 · 428 · 429 · 430 · 431 · 432 · 433 · 434 · 435 · 436 · 437 · 438 · 439 · 440 · 441 · 442 · 443 · 444 · 445 · 446 · 447 · 448 · 449 · 450 · 451 · 452 · 453 · 454 · 455 · 456 · 457 · 458 · 459 · 460 · 461 · 462 · 463 · 464 · 465 · 466 · 467 · 468 · 469 · 470 · 471 · 472 · 473 · 474 · 475 · 476 · 477 · 478 · 479 · 480 · 481 · 482 · 483 · 484 · 485 · 486 · 487 · 488 · 489 · 490 · 491 · 492 · 493 · 494 · 495 · 496 · 497 · 498 · 499 · 500 · 501 · 502 · 503 · 504 · 505 · 506 · 507 · 543 · 565 · 566 · 579 · 585 · 614 · 639 · 653 · 654 · 655 · 656 · 657 · 658 · 659 · 660 · 661 · 669 · 676 · 685 · 700 · 798 · 823 · 824 · 825 · 826 · 827 · 828 · 829 · 830 · 831 · 876 · 891 · 892 · 893 · 1071 · 1143 · 1152 · 1241 · 1253 · 1423 · 1424 · 1432 · 1582 · 1739 · 1780 · 1813 · 1834 · 2053 · 2059 · 2060 · 2061 · 2062 · 2174 · 2268 · 2344 · 2423 · 2427 · 2437 · 2444 · 2445 · 2446 · 2460 · 2464 · 2491 · 2495 · 2612 · 2613 · 2614 · 2615 · 2616 · 2641 · 2754 · 2755 · 2756 · 2757 · 2766 · 2767 · 2768 · 2793 · 2802 · 2803 · 2804 · 2805 · 2806 · 2807 · 2808 · 2809 · 2810 · 2811 · 2812 · 2813 · 2814 · 2815 · 2816 · 2817 · 2818 · 2819 · 2820 · 2821 · 2855 · 2856 · 2857 · 2858 · 2859 · 2860 · 2861 · 2862 · 2863 · 2881 · 2882 · 2965 ·


List of New Testament uncials

01 · 02 · 03 · 04 · 05 · 06 · 07 · 08 · 09 · 010 · 011 · 012 · 013 · 014 · 015 · 016 · 017 · 018 · 019 · 020 · 021 · 022 · 023 · 024 · 025 · 026 · 027 · 028 · 029 · 030 · 031 · 032 · 033 · 034 · 035 · 036 · 037 · 038 · 039 · 040 · 041 · 042 · 043 · 044 · 045 · 046 · 047 · 048 · 049 · 050 · 051 · 052 · 053 · 054 · 055 · 056 · 057 · 058 · 059 · 060 · 061 · 062 · 063 · 064 · 065 · 066 · 067 · 068 · 069 · 070 · 071 · 072 · 073 · 074 · 075 · 076 · 077 · 078 · 079 · 080 · 081 · 082 · 083 · 084 · 085 · 086 · 087 · 088 · 089 · 090 · 091 · 092 · 093 · 094 · 095 · 096 · 097 · 098 · 099 · 0100 · 0101 · 0102 · 0103 · 0104 · 0105 · 0106 · 0107 · 0108 · 0109 · 0110 · 0111 · 0112 · 0113 · 0114 · 0115 · 0116 · 0117 · 0118 · 0119 · 0120 · 0121 · 0122 · 0123 · 0124 · 0125 · 0126 · 0127 · 0128 · 0129 · 0130 · 0131 · 0132 · 0134 · 0135 · 0136 · 0137 · 0138 · 0139 · 0140 · 0141 · 0142 · 0143 · 0144 · 0145 · 0146 · 0147 · 0148 · 0149 · 0150 · 0151 · 0152 · 0153 · 0154 · 0155 · 0156 · 0157 · 0158 · 0159 · 0160 · 0161 · 0162 · 0163 · 0164 · 0165 · 0166 · 0167 · 0168 · 0169 · 0170 · 0171 · 0172 · 0173 · 0174 · 0175 · 0176 · 0177 · 0178 · 0179 · 0180 · 0181 · 0182 · 0183 · 0184 · 0185 · 0186 · 0187 · 0188 · 0189 · 0190 · 0191 · 0192 · 0193 · 0194 · 0195 · 0196 · 0197 · 0198 · 0199 · 0200 · 0201 · 0202 · 0203 · 0204 · 0205 · 0206 · 0207 · 0208 · 0209 · 0210 · 0211 · 0212 · 0213 · 0214 · 0215 · 0216 · 0217 · 0218 · 0219 · 0220 · 0221 · 0222 · 0223 · 0224 · 0225 · 0226 · 0227 · 0228 · 0229 · 0230 · 0231 · 0232 · 0234 · 0235 · 0236 · 0237 · 0238 · 0239 · 0240 · 0241 · 0242 · 0243 · 0244 · 0245 · 0246 · 0247 · 0248 · 0249 · 0250 · 0251 · 0252 · 0253 · 0254 · 0255 · 0256 · 0257 · 0258 · 0259 · 0260 · 0261 · 0262 · 0263 · 0264 · 0265 · 0266 · 0267 · 0268 · 0269 · 0270 · 0271 · 0272 · 0273 · 0274 · 0275 · 0276 · 0277 · 0278 · 0279 · 0280 · 0281 · 0282 · 0283 · 0284 · 0285 · 0286 · 0287 · 0288 · 0289 · 0290 · 0291 · 0292 · 0293 · 0294 · 0295 · 0296 · 0297 · 0298 · 0299 · 0300 · 0301 · 0302 · 0303 · 0304 · 0305 · 0306 · 0307 · 0308 · 0309 · 0310 · 0311 · 0312 · 0313 · 0314 · 0315 · 0316 · 0317 · 0318 · 0319 · 0320 · 0321 · 0322 · 0323 ·


List of New Testament lectionaries

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 25b · 26 · 27 · 28 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39 · 40 · 41 · 42 · 43 · 44 · 45 · 46 · 47 · 48 · 49 · 50 · 51 · 52 · 53 · 54 · 55 · 56 · 57 · 58 · 59 · 60 · 61 · 62 · 63 · 64 · 65 · 66 · 67 · 68 · 69 · 70 · 71 · 72 · 73 · 74 · 75 · 76 · 77 · 78 · 79 · 80 · 81 · 82 · 83 · 84 · 85 · 86 · 87 · 88 · 89 · 90 · 91 · 92 · 93 · 94 · 95 · 96 · 97 · 98 · 99 · 100 · 101 · 102 · 103 · 104 · 105 · 106 · 107 · 108 · 109 · 110 · 111 · 112 · 113 · 114 · 115 · 116 · 117 · 118 · 119 · 120 · 121 · 122 · 123 · 124 · 125 · 126 · 127 · 128 · 129 · 130 · 131 · 132 · 133 · 134 · 135 · 136 · 137 · 138 · 139 · 140 · 141 · 142 · 143 · 144 · 145 · 146 · 147 · 148 · 149 · 150 · 151 · 152 · 153 · 154 · 155 · 156 · 157 · 158 · 159 · 160 · 161 · 162 · 163 · 164 · 165 · 166 · 167 · 168 · 169 · 170 · 171 · 172 · 173 · 174 · 175 · 176 · 177 · 178 · 179 · 180 · 181 · 182 · 183 · 184 · 185 · 186 · 187 · 188 · 189 · 190 · 191 · 192 · 193 · 194 · 195 · 196 · 197 · 198 · 199 · 200 · 201 · 202 · 203 · 204 · 205 · 206a · 206b · 207 · 208 · 209 · 210 · 211 · 212 · 213 · 214 · 215 · 216 · 217 · 218 · 219 · 220 · 221 · 222 · 223 · 224 · 225 · 226 · 227 · 228 · 229 · 230 · 231 · 232 · 233 · 234 · 235 · 236 · 237 · 238 · 239 · 240 · 241 · 242 · 243 · 244 · 245 · 246 · 247 · 248 · 249 · 250 · 251 · 252 · 253 · 254 · 255 · 256 · 257 · 258 · 259 · 260 · 261 · 262 · 263 · 264 · 265 · 266 · 267 · 268 · 269 · 270 · 271 · 272 · 273 · 274 · 275 · 276 · 277 · 278 · 279 · 280 · 281 · 282 · 283 · 284 · 285 · 286 · 287 · 288 · 289 · 290 · 291 · 292 · 293 · 294 · 295 · 296 · 297 · 298 · 299 · 300 · 301 · 302 · 303 · 304 · 305 · 306 · 307 · 308 · 309 · 310 · 311 · 312 · 313 · 314 · 315 · 316 · 317 · 318 · 319 · 320 · 321 · 322 · 323 · 324 · 325 · 326 · 327 · 328 · 329 · 330 · 331 · 332 · 368 · 449 · 451 · 501 · 502 · 542 · 560 · 561 · 562 · 563 · 564 · 648 · 649 · 809 · 965 · 1033 · 1358 · 1386 · 1491 · 1423 · 1561 · 1575 · 1598 · 1599 · 1602 · 1604 · 1614 · 1619 · 1623 · 1637 · 1681 · 1682 · 1683 · 1684 · 1685 · 1686 · 1691 · 1813 · 1839 · 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 2005 · 2137 · 2138 · 2139 · 2140 · 2141 · 2142 · 2143 · 2144 · 2145 · 2164 · 2208 · 2210 · 2211 · 2260 · 2261 · 2263 · 2264 · 2265 · 2266 · 2267 · 2276 · 2307 · 2321 · 2352 · 2404 · 2405 · 2406 · 2411 · 2412 ·



New book available with irrefutable evidence for the reading in the TR and KJV.
Revelation 16:5 book
Revelation 16:5 and the Triadic Declaration - A defense of the reading of “shalt be” in the Authorized Version

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