Among the Jews the preaching of the prophets had been a constant protest against the grosser forms of sacrifice, and there are indications that when Christianity arose bloody sacrifices were already beginning to fall into disuse; a saying which was attributed by the Ebionites to Christ repeats this protest in a strong form, "I.
2), and states that it was used by the Ebionites (Comm.
According to the most recent investigations we may conclude that the Gospel according to the Hebrews was current among the Nazarenes and Ebionites as early as 100-125, since Ignatius was familiar with the phrase " I am no bodiless demon " - a phrase which, according to Jerome (Comm.
It was used by the Ebionites, and was written, according to Zahn (op. cit.
13), used by the Ebionites and called by them the Hebrew Gospel.
14), as in the closely related system of the Ebionites in Epiphanius (Haer.
Among these we must mention the JudaeoChristian Gnostic Cerinthus, also the Gnostic Ebionites, of whom Epiphanius (Haer.) gives us an account, and whose writings are to be found in a recension in the collected works of the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions and Homilies; to the same class belong the Elkesaites with their mystical scripture, the Elxai, extracts of which are given by Hippolytus in the Philos.
The Marcionites, the Ebionites, or Judaeo-Christians of Palestine, the Montanists of Phrygia, Africa and Galatia, the confessor Alcibiades of Lyons, c. A.D.
ARISTO, of Pella, a Jewish Christian writer of the middle of the 2nd century, who like Hegesippus represents a school of thought more liberal than that of the Pharisaic and Essene Ebionites to which the decline of Jewish Christianity mainly led.
375), who, speaking of Ebionites or Judaizing Christians of various sorts, and particularly the Essene type, says (Haer.
Such may have been some of the pseudo-apostolic Acts to which Epiphanius alludes as in use among the Ebionites of his own day: and such was probably the nucleus of our Clementine writings, the Periodoi of Peter.
He tried to show, both from Scripture and extra-canonical literature, that the primitive church, so far from being an incorporate body of believers with the same creed and customs, really consisted of two schools, each possessing its "own gospel" - a school of Ebionites or Judaizing Christians, and the more liberal school of Paul.
12) divides the Ebionites into two classes according to their acceptance or rejection of the virgin birth of Jesus, but says that all alike reject the Pauline epistles.
Epiphanius with his customary confusion makes two separate sects, Ebionites and Nazarenes.
The origin of the Nazarenes or Ebionites as a distinct sect is very obscure, but may be dated with much likelihood from the edict of Hadrian which in 135 finally scattered the old church of Jerusalem.
Though there is insufficient justification for dividing the Ebionites into two separate and distinct communities, labelled respectively Ebionites and Nazarenes, we have good evidence, not only that there were grades of Christological thought among them, but that a considerable section, at the end of the 2nd century and the beginning of the 3rd, exchanged their simple Judaistic creed for a strange blend of Essenism and Christianity.
It is highly probable, too, that from these Essene Ebionites there issued the fantastical and widely read "Clementine" literature (Homilies and Recognitions) of the 3rd century.
Thus the idea of Peter at Rome really originated with the Ebionites, but it was afterwards taken up by the Catholic Church, and then Paul was associated with Peter in opposition to Simon, who had originally been himself.
After his Christianity not Mysterious and his Amyntor, Toland's Nazarenus was of chief importance, as calling attention to the right of the Ebionites to a place in the early church, though it altogether failed to establish his main argument or to put the question in the true light.