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Vexen Crabtree 2015


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Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

The Ebionites: Early Jewish Christians


Ebionite Christians had an early copy of the Gospel of Matthew; they did not have the two first chapters (including the virgin birth), which were added by later Christians. They strongly believed that all the Old Testament Jewish Laws had to be obeyed; including the Sabbath and circumcision for all males. As such, they considered St Paul to be the archenemy of Christianity as he taught that people did not have to obey the Law in order to be saved. Pauline Christians eradicated the Ebionites, burnt all their books (none survived), and wrote volumes and volumes against them.

"If we were to guess which group was the more austere, holy and godly, we would have to guess it was the Ebionites rather than the Pauline Christians who slaughtered, slandered and oppressed them. Unfortunately the victors get to write history, and it is Pauline Christianity that became the legacy of the Roman Empire. After the fourth century, the Ebionites were vanquished."

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Of course you are implying an assumption that being more austere makes one more holy or godly. Weather that is the case has been an on going debate in christianity since god knows when. for a while it was a noticeable devide between english catholic and english protistant.

I think that has pushed the autere=holy in to the british subcocience couple this with monks who were not meant to be a representation of how people should live in the wider world and one can see that it's not even the view of all christianity.

If one then steps back and looks at it from a neutral non-christian ethic and one has to ask what solid evidence is there that being austere makes one more holy at all.

I was more thinking along the line of "do not murder", "love your enemies", two of the 10 commandments, and from the NT when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is, he replied, "love your neighbour as yourself, there is no greater commandment than this".... that's just three *very* clear and completely undisputed hints that those who kill & murder people for believing different are indeed less godly.

The judgement isn't from a neutral, stood-back position but is solidly from a Christian point of view: Obviously, as an atheist or a moral person you also arrive at the same conclusion - the ebionites were more moral, because they were more peaceful and tolerant.

That I agree with but it totaly misses what I just said.
The point I was makeing was that you seemed to link the terms holy and godly with the word austere. It seems to display the implication that being austere makes one more Holy or godly. Where as I don't belive one reflects upon the other wheather or not it was a quality possesed by a particular group of people who might be concidered more holy than another.

One case in point is that austerity dose not make one less likely to be war like or to kill. Look in a thesurus under Austere and one would exspect that the word spartan might well be found near by. The Spartans were a very bloodthirsty lot all told (If history is to be belived).

The Spartans were definately austere, and were indeed very war-centric culture. Also, the Ebionites were very austere.

The judgement on godliness is seperate to the judgement on austerity.

On Austerity;

The Ebionites' name come from a word meaning "The Poor", as Jesus was poor. Living in poverty is a defining feature of austerity in all world-rejecting religious groups. Other early Christians were also very poor; it was a feature of Christianity that it caught on amongst the poor, as a result of it's principal teacher, Jesus, also being very poor.

The Pauline Christians were mostly roman converts, and were not poor. Saul of Tarsus was not poor, he was rich. Saul's continual harrassing and arresting of Christians was possible because he had many resources available to him. Emperor Constantine was the richest man in the Roman Empire, and when he converted (along with the Roman Army) to Pauline Christianity, the poor, austere Ebionites really did have absolutely no chance of fighting back. All their books were burnt, their followers arrested, tortured, murdered, crucified, and volumes upon volumes (not cheap to produce!) of anti-Ebionite books were produced by Constantine/Pauline Christians.

Also, Pauline Christians did not obey the Jewish laws. They were therefore less austere (which amongst Christians is a Jewish term). The Ebionites were also vegetarians, something which is also associated with austerity in history and in the present day. The Pauline Christians were not vegetarians.

I can't think of one way in which you could say that the Pauline Christians were 'more austere' than the Ebionites.

and in addition, being less godly (for reasons given) is also something that disassociates them from austerity, in Christian eyes.

I do not diagree that the Ebionites were austere. or the Roman Catholics in favor of living an opulent lifestyle (When possible). I would think it is other factors you mentioned earlier that made them holier or otherwise (Although who am I to sit in judgment).

It is my feeling that any austerity shown by jesus could have been a neccesity of being poor. Equaly so for the Ebionites. I am not sure it speaks well of thier holiness though that they seem to have declared being in a particular state of affairs a virtue, just because that is the situation they have found themselves in.

The poor have often been keen to make the state of being poor something noble; a thing to be proud of. I guess if one is poor theres nothing wrong with them coming to conclutions that make them feel better. As long as it dosn't hold them back.

Has this thing of austerity and povity been used over the years by the ritch to keep the poor in thier place?

Jesus' views

What Jesus said about the greatest commandments is not solidly from a Christian point of view but from a Jewish point of view. There was no Christianity during Jesus' lifetime.


No matter what you say or do to obliterate the God of the Bible, you WILL be able to and when you die you will get to be face to face with Him. I guarantee you that. I would not want to be you. You will say, "Why did I not listen to those "crazy" Christians!" Why do you hate God sooo much???? Afraid you might actually have to be "accountable" to a higher authority? That's usually the case. :>

Re: Christianity

Hahaha, this is very funny. If the God of the Roman Catholics exist I no on has anything to worry about cause all they have to do is believe that Jesus died a sacrificial death and they are saved. Personally I know God and you got the wrong idea.

When I consider the idea of a young woman having a child, I do not see that this is of such great importance that a prophecy would need to detail it. This is a common event and normal. Why would God have to tell his people to look for it. If so then you live in a different world than I do.
Now if a young girl is to have a child without a human father, that would be worthy of a prophecy.
You be the judge. It seem simple to me.
On a different idea, one has to question why God would need a special chosen people. What purpose would they serve. What was the plan. What do you think. I will give my ideas in the next round.

No-one was told to look out for it, and it wasn't initially a prophecy. If you read the story in Isaiah, it makes sense in the context of that story. But later Christians quoted it out of context to make it a prophecy.

Have you herd...

Have you herd of the Nazarene Essenes? If not you should look them up on the web. I think they are sometimes referred to as Ebionites. Hear is a really good site I know: http://www.thenazareneway.com/index.htm - They have the Gospel of the Nazarenes and other gnostic gospels as well as gospel Q. All around this is a good site to learn about different religions through their many links. There are actually many sites devouted to giving information about these ancient people. I have also stumbled across a couple mordern Nazarene movements in my searches. They claim that Jesus was in fact born Essene (ancient Jewish sect) in a community in Mount Carmel. They explain it on the site, you should check it out.

get your facts straight.

The Virgin birth is also recounted in Luke not just Matthew, your citation of Luke 3:22 "You are my Son in whom I am well pleased" which you say was altered is also testified by Matthew and Mark (now you could say those were also altered, but you didn't), and your paragraph: "In Pauline Christianity, Jesus died for rather mystical reasons ... know today struggles to explain why Jesus was sacrificed at all." is way off base-much of what you described of the Ebionites is how Christianity logically explains Jesus' death and ressurection. Please, if you are going to disect Christianity, at least do it in a scholarly fasion.


Did you see the Rueters photo of the ancient Scriptures found in Cyprus about 6-9 months ago? What is your research on the Aramaic Peshitta? Not all of them were distroyed. Perhaps the church started that rumor.

Have you researched: www.twelvetribetorah.org and www.natzraya.org

The Scriptures say a "remnant shall remain", but perhaps you do not hold to these writings. I am an x-christian and am researching Judaism and first century facts on Eesa (Quran); Messiah son of Joseph (Zech 7:10, Suk.52a); G-d' Salvation and his Natzraya Apostles.

Please help me, Tabitha

how convenient that your"original" gospels were all burned, those that would "predate" pauline gospels!

nice try, look at the mass of evidence...

Some were buried and found later; and some were quoted in other sources. I suggest you follow the links to my sources of information and check them out for yourself.

pauline edits of matthew

how do we know that pauline christians edited matthew and luke? i would figure there would be no evidence of this.

Re: pauline edits of matthew

BookBecause the earliest manuscripts that archaelogists have discovered all lack the edits and were used by various different groups of Christians - Ebionite, Gnostic, Theraputae, etc. But the version used by the Cappadocian/Paulines - who only emerged in the 2nd/3rd centuries with Roman support - were somehow different in a few essential places, as discussed on my page.

This well-written book lays out the historical evidence for such edits in a lot of detail, by Professor Ehrman who is the most respected researcher in this field:

Ehrman, Bart
"Lost Christianities" (2003 hardback).

Edited at 2011-01-28 10:11 am (UTC)

Article makes sense if one does not believe that God has a part in our history.

notice of replies?

Vexen, I just left a couple of comments but (1) I notice one discussion was from 2014 and one from 2006 and (2) there is no sign-up that involved sharing my email address. So since it's so old and no sign-in, is there any way I could receive email notification of and when someone responds to my comments?

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