Gospel of the Ebionites


Gospel of the Ebionites

The Gospel of the Ebionites is one of the Jewish-Christian Gospels, sharing an affinity with the Gospel of the Hebrews and the Gospel of the Nazoraeans. Jerome names it as being the same as the Gospel of the Hebrews, leading to much confusion. Like the other two, it survives only as fragments in quotations, and so it is difficult to tell how much it is an independent text, and whether it is in fact simply a slight variation on the others.

Epiphanius, whose writing is the main source for finding fragments of the Gospel of the Ebionites, emphasises the distinction between the Gospel of the Ebionites and that of the Nazoraeans. According to Epiphanius, the Nazoraeans were considered part of the Christian orthodoxy, whereas the Ebionites were considered heretics, and so it is clear that there must have been theological and doctrinal differences between the two gospels, possibly over the Virgin Birth which the Ebionites rejected.cite paper | author = Peter Kirby| title = Gospel of the Ebionites | url = http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/gospelebionites.html | accessdate = 2007-12-20]

The text appears, as far as can be determined, to harmonise the Synoptic Gospels into a single story. However, there are minor differences, specifically making John the Baptist and Jesus vegetarians, and rendering him in the adoptionist form. Many of these differences are found in subtle variants of Greek words, such as a meal of egkris ("cake"), rather than "akris" ("locusts") as in the Synoptic Gospels . Epiphanius considered the text to be forged and mutilated due to these textual differences and the lack of a genealogy and nativity story in the Gospel of Matthew - which may indicate that the Ebionites cut it, but may also be a testimony to an earlier, nativity free, version of Matthew, on which the Ebionite Gospel is based.

References

Primary sources

*

External links

* [http://earlychristianwritings.com/gospelebionites.html Gospel of the Ebionites at earlychristianwritings.com]


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