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The Ebionites vs Paul and the Church


08-18-2016, 02:22 PM #1
KoncreteMind
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Just sharing something I came across the other day. Thoughts, opinions, detractions are all welcome.

Quote:  Ebionites (Greek: Ἐβιωναῖοι Ebionaioi, derived from Hebrew אביונים ebyonim, ebionim, meaning "the poor" or "poor ones"), is a patristic term referring to a Jewish Christian movement that existed during the early centuries of the Christian Era.[1] They regarded Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah while rejecting his divinity[2] and insisted on the necessity of following Jewish law and rites.[3] They used only one of the Jewish Gospels, revered James the Just, and rejected Paul the Apostle as an apostate from the Law.[4] Their name suggests that they placed a special value on voluntary poverty. Ebionim was one of the terms used by the sect at Qumran that sought to separate themselves from the corruption of the Temple. Many believe that they were Essenes.

Patristic definition: of or relating to the early Christian theologians or to patristics.


Quote:Since historical records by the Ebionites are scarce, fragmentary, and disputed, much of what is known or conjectured about the Ebionites derives from the Church Fathers, who wrote polemics against the Ebionites, whom they deemed heretical Judaizers.[6][7] Consequently, very little about the Ebionite sect or sects is known with certainty, and most, if not all, statements about them are conjectural.

So the "church fathers", wrote polemics (i.e. a strong written attack against someone or something) against the Ebionites, the early "Christians" who they deemed heretical JUDAIZERS. So theEbionites, who were probably of those who actually walked with "Christ", followed the law and thought He was a servant of the One they were supposed to be worshiping:

Quote:Acts 2
22 (Peter speaking)“Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[d] put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

On the otherhand The Church fathers/Paul deified "Jesus" into something He NEVER said He was Himself("God"), and said that people are not to live as He did (following Hebrew customs). Thoughts? Were Ebionites what James, John, and Peter were called? Or were the early church fathers (the ones who called those who did not deify "Jesus" heretics)  James, John, and Peter?
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08-18-2016, 02:40 PM #2
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(08-18-2016, 02:22 PM)KoncreteMind Wrote:  On the otherhand The Church fathers/Paul deified "Jesus" into something He NEVER said He was Himself("God"), and said that people are not to live as He did (following Hebrew customs). Thoughts? Were Ebionites what James, John, and Peter were called? Or were the early church fathers (the ones who called those who did not deify "Jesus" heretics)  James, John, and Peter?

It seems to me that when people use the term "Church Fathers" they are not referring to the original twelve disciples/Apostles that Jesus appointed.  More often they are referring to Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Origen, Augustine, Tertullian, et al.

I tend to believe, yet cannot prove conclusively that James, John and Peter may have been Ebionites.  Of course my view of Paul certainly lends me to be biased to that opinion.  I find it ironic that the writings of the "Church Fathers" often appear to carry more weight with Christians, then the writings attributed to the actual disciples that knew and walked with Jesus in the flesh!

I also find it very interesting that you brought up polemics in light of my discussions with one Mark Smith the last two days Big Grin .
This post was last modified: 08-18-2016, 02:40 PM by Todd.

Then shall the king say to those on his right hand, Come ye, the blessed of my Father, inherit the reign that hath been prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

And the king answering, shall say to them, Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as ye did to one of these my brethren -- the least -- to me ye did
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08-18-2016, 03:42 PM #3
Kung Fu
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It's also interesting how Ebionites and Muslims look at Jesus(pbuh) in the exact same manner. Looks like people that know the TRUTH all seem to be on the same page while others create lies, myths, and oppress the true "believers".

Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu alaihi wasalam) said:

"My similitude and that of the life of this world is that of a traveler who took a rest at mid-day under a shade of a tree and then left it."       (Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and al-Hakim)

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08-18-2016, 05:47 PM #4
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what proof have you James was an apostle...?

“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. 
If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them;
If I find them too obnoxious, I break them. 
I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for 
everything I do..."


Robert A. Heinlein
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08-18-2016, 11:17 PM #5
KoncreteMind
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@ Todd: It was actually a convo between you and I believe Serveto that inspired this thread. Both of you were talking about the nazarenes or followers of the way and it reminded me of something I came across some time ago. And yea modern day christians place way more faith in Paul's letters than the words of "Jesus" and the men He walked with in the flesh. So I can see why they'd follow the church fathers moreson than James and the like.

(08-18-2016, 05:47 PM)Renegade Wrote:  what proof have you James was an apostle...?

Im not trying to convince you of anything so if you dont believe him to be an apostle, then more power to ya... Undecided
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08-19-2016, 07:27 AM #6
Artful Revealer
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I made a thread on this a while back. Not surprised a bit that they keep spinning this Ebionite theory around to make it look as if they were "Judaic" Christians, with the emphasis on Judaic, against Paul, upholding the law and all that.

The entirety of the Early Church Fathers' detractions of the Ebionites are pretty much summed up in the link. About ten lines in total. They're rather meaningless in comparison to their detractions of Gnostic heresies which filled books upon books. Plus, their scarce criticism of the Ebionites was for similar reasons than their criticism of Gnostics, not because they were authentic "Judaic Christians".

Faith receives, love gives. No one will be able to receive without faith. No one will be able to give without love. Because of this, in order that we may indeed receive, we believe, and in order that we may love, we give, since if one gives without love, he has no profit from what he has given. He who has received something other than the Lord is still a Hebrew. - Gospel of Philip
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08-19-2016, 12:48 PM #7
KoncreteMind
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(08-19-2016, 07:27 AM)Artful Revealer Wrote:  I made a thread on this a while back. Not surprised a bit that they keep spinning this Ebionite theory around to make it look as if they were "Judaic" Christians, with the emphasis on Judaic, against Paul, upholding the law and all that.

The entirety of the Early Church Fathers' detractions of the Ebionites are pretty much summed up in the link. About ten lines in total. They're rather meaningless in comparison to their detractions of Gnostic heresies which filled books upon books. Plus, their scarce criticism of the Ebionites was for similar reasons than their criticism of Gnostics, not because they were authentic "Judaic Christians".

Do church fathers agree with Paul's interpretation of "Jesus"? Yes. Do they agree with James, John and Peter's? No. Its that easy. In fact, Paul's take on it fits right in with your gnostic take. Where everybody is taught one thing in public, yet one person gets a private teaching to actually tell the "public". As Im sure you already know, there are MANY gnostic texts that say that "Jesus" behaved in this manner where he taught his disciples one thing, then chose one to teach another doctrine in secret.  Paul's take goes right along with this. The people who actually walked with "Jesus", according to Paul, did not have the correct information. He did. Because he met "Jesus" secretly, to which "Jesus" taught him what he needed to know, which somehow turned out to be saying that the ones he walked with either were completely wrong, or did not get the "full story". Cant you see the things that make this hard to believe?

I used to believe this to be true, but since I never cemented it into my beliefs and kept questioning, I ultimately came to the conclusion that nah, it cant be true. It doesnt really make much sense that the people who WALKED with Him would be wrong, but someone who met a demon.... err.. I mean met Him "in the spirit" is the one who got the story correct. And thats really what the thread is about. Even the bible, the earliest known account of "Jesus" and His followers, mentions a disconnect between Paul and those who walked with "Jesus" in the flesh to which Paul, didnt believe in others following the law while the disciples did. If you want to paint ANYONE as a gnostic, start with Paul not John the Baptist or even worse, "Jesus".

Right in the bible it tells you that the disciples believed in following the law, while Paul did not. The early disciples, werent "gnostic" just as "Jesus" wasnt "gnostic". Sure the gnostic texts, that came out hundreds of years after his supposed life, try to paint the picture that way, but there isnt one thing that leads me personally to believe that I should take the gnostic account over the biblical one (which admittedly, has been edited). Hope that addressed your link....
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08-19-2016, 01:30 PM #8
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When the Quran tells us to take certain Christians as friends, I believe it was probably referring to people that had similar ideologies and tenets to the Ebionites and not these 3 in 1 or 1 in 3 gods.

Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu alaihi wasalam) said:

"My similitude and that of the life of this world is that of a traveler who took a rest at mid-day under a shade of a tree and then left it."       (Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and al-Hakim)

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08-19-2016, 06:11 PM #9
Artful Revealer
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(08-19-2016, 12:48 PM)KoncreteMind Wrote:  In fact, Paul's take on it fits right in with your gnostic take. Where everybody is taught one thing in public, yet one person gets a private teaching to actually tell the "public". As Im sure you already know, there are MANY gnostic texts that say that "Jesus" behaved in this manner where he taught his disciples one thing, then chose one to teach another doctrine in secret.
A secret doctrine that wasn't necessarily contradictory to His public teachings. You can speculate on that while I'll keep discerning from Paul's teachings that they were completely compatible by simply reading what they say.

Quote:Paul's take goes right along with this. The people who actually walked with "Jesus", according to Paul, did not have the correct information. He did. Because he met "Jesus" secretly, to which "Jesus" taught him what he needed to know, which somehow turned out to be saying that the ones he walked with either were completely wrong, or did not get the "full story". Cant you see the things that make this hard to believe?
There's nothing absurd or blasphemous to assume the disciples did not get the full story. I'm not going to overrule the disciples' judgment here, in fact, I think we'd all be surprised at their wisdom which would be shockingly un-Judaic unlike so many anti-Paulites here seem to believe, but the disciples were humans like you and me, with their flaws and errors, their sins and spiritual defects.

If you follow a course study, you listen attentively to what you're being told and even study it thoroughly, take an exam and see if you fully grasped everything. We're humans not invested by God. We make mistakes. Sometimes we don't understand things, but what's in our hearts is more important than what our brains can produce. But to go so far as to even suggest the teachings of Paul and some other disciples diverge so greatly that Paul was actually an antichrist or demon-possessed/inspired, while none of his teachings contradict Jesus', while none of his teachings teach evil, while he teached Jew and Greek they were all children of the Father, that they should not seek revenge but forgive, while he gave his entire life to the death for what he saw on the road to Damascus, ... well, calling it a stretch would be the understatement of the century.

Quote:I used to believe this to be true, but since I never cemented it into my beliefs and kept questioning, I ultimately came to the conclusion that nah, it cant be true. It doesnt really make much sense that the people who WALKED with Him would be wrong, but someone who met a demon.... err.. I mean met Him "in the spirit" is the one who got the story correct. And thats really what the thread is about. Even the bible, the earliest known account of "Jesus" and His followers, mentions a disconnect between Paul and those who walked with "Jesus" in the flesh to which Paul, didnt believe in others following the law while the disciples did.
So you're assuming Paul met a demon because Paul wasn't fully in lign with other disciples, or are you simply dismissing the possibility of Jesus appearing post-mortem?

There's a difference between being wrong and not fully grasping the totality. Did Jesus put everything down on a piece of paper for people to memorize or did He speak in parables containing multiple truths at once for those with the proper ears to hear? Did He say He was the Christ, or did He congratulate Peter for finding that out by himself, or by divine revelation, while the others were still guessing? Did He not foretell the disciples of His imminent resurrection and did or did not some of the disciples still doubt when they saw the risen Jesus before them? (which I find normal btw) If disciples continued to follow Judaic dietary laws (and no offense to anyone, but dietary laws ordained by a spiritual God are absurd) did they fully understand Matthew 15:11: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man: but what cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man? How can you possibly think, after reading this verse, that those continuing the Jewish dietary laws were right, unless you deny the authenticity of this verse? If you do not deny the authenticity of this verse, then I'll need to appeal to your basic honest common sense, because even a five-year old can figure this one out.


Quote:If you want to paint ANYONE as a gnostic, start with Paul not John the Baptist or even worse, "Jesus".
Of course Paul was a Gnostic. So was Jesus. Read my essay on the Apocalypse and rebut it if you can. Because every time people keep denying and denying while never once addressing my arguments presented there.


Quote:Right in the bible it tells you that the disciples believed in following the law, while Paul did not.
Which law? Be specific. It requires 613 laws to be a Jew. Did the Ebionites follow these 613 mitzvot? I think we can both agree that orthodox Jews have always adhered to these laws, yet rejected and still reject Jesus. Why would they do that if Jesus did not abolish any of these 613 laws?

Or do you mean the commandments? Thou shallt not kill? Not steal? Did Paul teach against those things?

By the way, a side remark to the topic, but probably something people aren't quite familiar with while it's pretty important to understand. Hebrew didn't have a word for religion. The closest thing is דָּת dath which means "law or decree". Judaism is about following laws, not about having faith in a supreme being. Christianity is about following your God-given conscience to discern between good and evil, the truth and the lie, regardless of some absurdly retarded man-made laws created to separate themselves from others and making them feel better about themselves. Laws and rituals are symbolic of a man-made cult, which is exactly what Judaism was before Christ, not a faith by divine revelation.

Quote:The early disciples, werent "gnostic" just as "Jesus" wasnt "gnostic". Sure the gnostic texts, that came out hundreds of years after his supposed life, try to paint the picture that way, but there isnt one thing that leads me personally to believe that I should take the gnostic account over the biblical one (which admittedly, has been edited). Hope that addressed your link....
The link I provided explicitly states:


The Judaizing theses regarding the birth of Christianity are often based on the supposed "fact" that the Ebionites were early Christians, who were Jews applying a strict Judaism.

Your addressing it in the very same Judaizing fashion that I've rebuked in the article, whose main point relies on the thesis that the Ebionites were ... *drum rolls* ... Gnostic Jews.
This post was last modified: 08-19-2016, 06:15 PM by Artful Revealer.

Faith receives, love gives. No one will be able to receive without faith. No one will be able to give without love. Because of this, in order that we may indeed receive, we believe, and in order that we may love, we give, since if one gives without love, he has no profit from what he has given. He who has received something other than the Lord is still a Hebrew. - Gospel of Philip
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08-19-2016, 07:53 PM #10
KoncreteMind
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You bring up the school setting but look at it like this. The students IN the class know better than the students outside of the class right? Or can a student OUTSIDE of the class, who never met the instructor in the flesh, say he knows what the teacher taught BETTER than those that were in the class? Again, Imma go with those who walked with "Jesus" in the flesh over someone who never did and went further and said that HE received a message in secret that was different than those who actually walked with Him in the flesh. You're taking the opinion of someone who wasnt even IN the class, over those who ate, drank, lived with,and had good and bad times with the teacher. Its ridiculous no matter how you slice it. In fact, why did they even disagree if it wasnt "necessarily" different? Why did they have contention? Why does the letter James wrote thats in the bible DIRECTLY address from some of the things Paul said if they "werent necessarily different"? At the end of the day, it has NOTHING to do with who is a better student or who listened the most. Its simply common sense. I trust those who walked in the flesh with "Jesus" over those who did not. Just as for your life story, I would trust your mom/friend/brother/sister or whoever was close to you over someone who after you died, said you came in the spirit and told them your story. And furthermore, that story they were told, DIFFERED from those who walked with you in the flesh? It (should be at least) common sense to put more credence into those who were there than those who were not. YOU have to explain (or again, ponder to yourself) why you dont follow that logical route to understanding.


Paul, by his own teachings, insinuates that he met a demon not me. He is the one who said he met a "bright light" that identified itself as "Jesus". He is the one that said he had a demon or satan as a thorn in his side. He is the one that said even SATAN can transform himself into an angel of LIGHT. He is the one who wrote about him differing from the apostles (and if I remember correctly, him being GREATER than the other apostles). Again, its on YOU, to explain (or ponder to yourself) why you're not following that logical route to understanding that MAYBE he saw satan on that road to Damascus. Especially since he was in contention with those who walked with "Jesu... well you should get the idea by now


As well, for whatever reason, you and alot of this board does not want to recognize that "Jesus" said that there are people PRETENDING to be "Jews" but arent. That is exactly what those guys in Israel (not the Palestinians) are. Pretenders. Falsifiers. Liars. They arent connected in ANY WAY, to the Hebrews of the bible. They say they are, but they're lying (Revelation 2:9/3:9). Thus, the religion they created (Judaism) and the book they created (Talmud) are false as well. So you speaking of "orthodox judaism" is speaking about fake jews who converted to the religion (while adding their own religion to it). NOT THE HEBREWS who "Jesus" was amongst. Whatever you say about Judaism, has nothing to do with what the Hebrews followed because there was no "Judaism" then. And look, you cant quote Matthew15:11 out of context to prove that it was speaking against the dietary laws, when of course, it was speaking against the belief that one HAS to wash their hands before eating.

Quote:Matthew 15
20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
Plain and simple and doesnt need any more attention. Taking ONE verse and trying to make it stand on its own is what people with an agenda do. Your agenda, just like Paul's, is to get people to NOT follow the commandments that guess what? "Jesus" followed! Thats another thing. Why was "Jesus" following Hebrew customs, festivals, laws, quoting from the God of the Hebrews when He was against it all? Oh yea! To "convert the people". No, He didnt try to convert people with the truth whether they liked it or not. No. Thats foolishness. He tried to convert them in a way they would accept it. In other words, He tickled their ears with quotes from the "false god" (without explaining it was false god) so as to convert them right?  Rolleyes


At the end of the day, you have admitted Paul was gnostic. Good! Now you need to explain why those who walked with "Jesus" were against him if according to your Ebionite gnostic theory, they were gnostics TOO.  I've already figured that out. Todd has already figured it out. Heck, even Muslims such as Kung Fu and Tarriko have figured it out. It seems like you're STILL out of the loop in regards to that and maybe thats by choice. Oh well, salvation is of the Jews Undecided
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