Early Christian Ebionaen Canon

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Re: Early Christian Ebionaen Canon

Post by Peter Kirby »

andrewcriddle wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 2:56 am Epiphanius accepted our Epistle of James.
...the catholic epistles of James, Peter, John and Jude...
The Ebionite work he refers to must be something different.

Andrew Criddle
Does this conclusion follow?

Epiphanius used, so he's not saying the Ebionites did?

E.g., Epiphanius used the gospel of Matthew also.

ETA - ah, I see what you're saying.

"23:1 They pretendedly accept the names of the apostles in order to convince their dupes, and have composed forged books in their names, supposedly by James, Matthew, and other disciples"

This comment is not saying that they use the Gospel of Matthew (even if they do, it's not saying that here). The comment says there are additional forged book(s) in his name.
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Re: James is definitely in the Early Christian Ebionaen Canon

Post by Peter Kirby »

ebion wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 1:29 am
Peter Kirby wrote: Sun Mar 03, 2024 6:05 pm
ebion wrote: Sun Mar 03, 2024 5:42 pm In case there was any doubt, Epiphanius (who hates us) includes James in the books the Ebionaens read:
Do we have a sense of whether the text of James here was the NT epistle, a non-extant Gospel, or one of the pseudepigrapha under the name of James that are extant?

I have in mind, for example, the gospel of the Hebrews, which some might have attributed to James?
Epiphanius is hard to read at the best of times, but I'd guess he's speaking of our Epistle of James. He cites books quite closely, which makes me think he's citing a copy of the Ebionaen NT he has at hand. For example he cites the beginning of the Ebionite Matthew as:
13:4 And, 'John came baptizing, and there went out unto him Pharisees and were baptized, and all Jerusalem. And John had a garment of camel's hair, and a girdle of skin about his loins. And his meat,' it says, 'was wild honey, whose taste was the taste of manna, as a cake in oil.'^[637]25
which is Matthew minus the first 2 chapters (including the geneaology and Virgin Birth). Compare this with our KJV:
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. (Matthew 3:1-4 [KJV])
Elsewhere in the Panarion Book 1 he clearly distinguishes Hebrews; in his section on Marcion he writes:
11:11 (There is no version) of First and Second Timothy, Titus, and Hebrews in his scripture at all, and even the epistles that are there have been mutilated, since they are not all there but are counterfeits.
So I'd guess his James is our Epistle of James. He calls the Ebionaen Matthew corrupt and mutilated:
13:2 Now in what they call a Gospel according to Matthew, though it is not the entire Gospel but is corrupt and mutilated
but offers no argument against the Ebionaen contention that their was the original, and it's ours that has been added to, with a geneaology that doesn't add up, and Virgin Birth that negates Jesus' Davidic lineage.

Do we have any idea if Epiphanius read Hebrew? He clearly says that his Ebionaen Mattthew was written in Hebrew (1.30.3:7). In which case he might have a Ebionaen Matthew in Hebrew in front of him, and his citations might be his on-the-fly translations from the Hebrew.
Ken Olson just recently quoted Origen:

"But some say, basing it on a tradition in the Gospel according to Peter, as it is entitled, or The Book of James, that the brothers of Jesus were sons of Joseph by a former wife, whom he married before Mary."

Which provides another non-extant text that could be the target here ("The Book of James").

I do not see in your reply any positive arguments to show that this is a reference to the epistle of James.
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James in the Early Christian Ebionaen Canon

Post by ebion »

andrewcriddle wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 2:56 am Epiphanius accepted our Epistle of James.
...the catholic epistles of James, Peter, John and Jude...
The Ebionite work he refers to must be something different.
I know he refers to our Epistle of James in the Panarion; the point I was making is that he says the Ebionaens used it in his chapter on the Ebionaens (30).

They are often said to have just used the gospel of Matthew, but I'm elaborating the other books they are also said to have used which includes Acts and now James. This is the first time I've seen James referred to as used by the Ebionaens, and theologically that rings true to me because it is decidedly anti-Pauline.

Epiphanius says James is a forgery, but he also says that of their Matthew, which he quotes quite exactly and shows that it is more or less our Matthew; I think he just calls anything Ebionaen a "forgery" to slander them instead of debating the substance, so I accept that the James referred to is our Epistle of James, even though he gives no extracts to show that this is a reference to our epistle of James. Iraneus says Ebionaens read Luke as well as Matthew

The importance here is that therefore James belongs in the Early Christian Ebionaen Canon.
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Re: Early Christian Ebionaen Canon

Post by Peter Kirby »

ebion wrote: Sat Dec 02, 2023 10:41 am 16:7 They lay down certain ascents and instructions in the supposed 'Ascents of James,' as though he were giving orders against the temple and sacrifices, and the fire on the altar—and much else that is full of nonsense.
Notice an earlier reference to an apocryphal 'Ascents of James' mentioned by Epiphanius as in use by the Ebionites.
ebion wrote: Sat Dec 02, 2023 10:41 am 23:1 They pretendedly accept the names of the apostles in order to convince their dupes, and have composed forged books in their names, supposedly by James, Matthew, and other disciples.
Notice that the claim is about forged books in their names.
andrewcriddle wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 2:56 am Epiphanius accepted our Epistle of James.
...the catholic epistles of James, Peter, John and Jude...
The Ebionite work he refers to must be something different.
Yes, it's an illogical assumption to claim that Panarion 30.23.1 refers to the Epistle of James.
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Re: Early Christian Ebionaen Canon

Post by Peter Kirby »

ebion wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 12:28 pm The importance here is that therefore James belongs in the Early Christian Ebionaen Canon.
The point being made is about creating a reading list for a modern canon with supposedly ancient origins.

Note that you could still have it in this canon without claiming it is being mentioned here in 30.23.1 as a forged book.
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Re: Early Christian Ebionaen Canon

Post by ebion »

Peter Kirbies wrote: Tue Mar 05, 2024 5:41 pm
ebion wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 12:28 pm The importance here is that therefore James belongs in the Early Christian Ebionaen Canon.
The point being made is about creating a reading list for a modern canon with supposedly ancient origins.
I'm not sure of what supposedly ancient origins material you are referring to; in this thread we are discussing an Early Christian Ebionaen Canon, and we draw on the writings of Ephiphanius, who is not supposed; in this thread we adhere to Good Faith.

As I pointed out upthread:
ebion wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 12:28 pm Epiphanius says James is a forgery, but he also says that of their Matthew, which he quotes quite exactly and shows that it is more or less our(modern) Matthew; I think he just calls anything Ebionaen a "forgery" to slander them instead of debating the substance, so I accept that the James referred to is our Epistle of James, even though he gives no extracts to show that this is a reference to our epistle of James. Iraneus says Ebionaens read Luke as well as Matthew

The importance here is that therefore James belongs in the Early Christian Ebionaen Canon.
Peter Kirby wrote: Tue Mar 05, 2024 5:41 pm Note that you could still have it in this canon without claiming it is being mentioned here in 30.23.1 as a forged book.
We have no need to take you up on your suggestion that we hide Epiphanius' slur of the book of James in our canon as he equally slurs the Ebionaen book of Matthew (see above): we invite anyone interested in the Early Christian Ebionaen Canon to read chapters 29 and 30 of his Panarion Book 1 so they can see for themselves how hard it is to make sense of his writings on the Nazarenes or Ebionaens, especially with all the FUD CRUD that is spread around here by some users of some accounts.
Last edited by ebion on Mon Apr 01, 2024 8:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Early Christian Ebionaen Canon

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Perhaps I need to clarify that I am assuming good faith.
ebion wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 11:46 am
Peter Kirby wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 6:32 am
ebion wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 3:57 am How are those anti-Marcionite?
Genuine question or an invitation to argument?
"(2) Assume Good Faith."
My expression contained a commonplace solecism. If pressed for an expression that would better hold up against uncharitable readings of it, that expression would be: "[Merely] a genuine question or [also] an invitation to argument?" I assumed your question was genuine on either horn of that dilemma.
ebion wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2024 1:44 pm
Peter Kirbies wrote: Tue Mar 05, 2024 5:41 pm
ebion wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 12:28 pm The importance here is that therefore James belongs in the Early Christian Ebionaen Canon.
The point being made is about creating a reading list for a modern canon with supposedly ancient origins.
I'm not sure of what supposedly ancient origins material you are referring to; in this thread we are discussing an Early Christian Ebionaen Canon, and we draw on the writings of Ephiphanius, who is not supposed; in this thread we adhere to Good Faith.
The writings of Epiphanius are ancient, and Epiphanius writes about books used by the Ebionites.

The point at which some kind of qualifier is appropriate is when we create a list of some particular texts with reference to what Epiphanius says, especially when that list of texts cannot be shown to be what Epiphanius meant. At that point, we are not confidently dealing with "the" ancient texts that Epiphanius had in mind here (or that were then in "an Early Christian Ebionaen Canon"). We are are dealing with an attempt at reconstruction of what texts are being referenced. That attempt involves some amount of supposition about the particulars of what is in it.

I agree that we can speak about the ancient Ebionites using various books. Pinning them down can involve some degree of speculation. For example, the idea that the letter of James is referenced here by Epiphanius involves some degree of speculation. What could be referenced here is the Ascents of James, for example. I am not arguing that your interpretation is impossible, but it would also be irresponsible for me to ignore the fact that it is speculative.
ebion wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2024 1:44 pm we invite anyone interested in the Early Christian Ebionaen Canon to read chapters 29 and 30 of his Panarion Book 1 so they can see for themselves how hard it is to make sense of his writings on the Nazarenes or Ebionaens, especially with all the FUD that is spread around here by some users of some accounts.
"FUD" is a pejorative term that can only cloud the matter under discussion, and your attempts to interpret it may not always be bringing us closer to the meaning here. Others have made valid contributions here.
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Re: Early Christian Ebionaen Canon

Post by Peter Kirby »

In a post that breaks the forum rules, the poster ebion says he wants to "justify" all the books in his version of an Early Ebionaen Canon, including the Epistle of James:
ebion wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 10:25 pm
andrewcriddle wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 2:56 am Epiphanius accepted our Epistle of James.
...the catholic epistles of James, Peter, John and Jude...
The Ebionite work he refers to must be something different.
Epiphanius's slur of the book/letter/epistle of James is coupled with his slur of the Ebionaen book of Matthew so I see them as just slurs of anything the Ebionaens had, and see no reason why they are not both some version of what we would regard as our James and Matthew. He writes of the Ascents of James in a much earlier part of the chapter, in a section surrounded by other Clementine notions not in the Ascents of James I'm using, so I see no reason to think the later reference to James in Panarion 30.23.1 refers to something other than our Epistle of James.

Not a big deal either way, I just wanted to justify all the books in the Early Ebionaen Canon.
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Re: Early Christian Ebionaen Canon

Post by StephenGoranson »

The phrase "Early Christian Ebionaen Canon," proposed by someone using the name ebion, raises questions, including:
Why write Ebionaen rather than Ebionite?
Did they--the people so-called--all agree with one another?
Did they, some of them, change over time?
Did they all call themselves this, or was it sometimes an outside designation?
Did they also call themselves "Christians" or some earlier version of that name?
Did they have a "Canon"?
Has the poster using the name ebion accurately represented them?
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Re: Early Christian Ebionaen Canon

Post by Peter Kirby »

Also written by Epiphanius, which is relevant to understanding what Epiphanius is saying here.

16:7 They lay down certain ascents and instructions in the supposed 'Ascents of James,' as though he were giving orders against the temple and sacrifices, and the fire on the altar—and much else that is full of nonsense.

Also written by Epiphanius, which is relevant to understanding what Epiphanius is saying here.

In the Gospel that is in general use among them which is called "according to Matthew", which however is not whole and complete but forged and mutilated - they call it the Hebrews Gospel-it is reported:

There appeared a certain man named Jesus of about thirty years of age, who chose us. And when he came to Capernaum, he entered into the house of Simon whose surname is Peter, and opened his mouth and said: "As I passed the Lake of Tiberias, I chose John and James the sons of Zebedee, and Simon and Andrew and Thaddeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the Iscariot, and you, Matthew, I called as you sat at the receipt of custom, and you followed me. You, therefore, I will to be twelve apostles for a testimony unto Israel." (Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.2-3)

And here is the text of Epiphanius again here.

23:1 They pretendedly accept the names of the apostles in order to convince their dupes, and have composed forged books in their names, supposedly by James, Matthew, and other disciples.

Andrew Criddle observes:
andrewcriddle wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 2:56 am Epiphanius accepted our Epistle of James.
...the catholic epistles of James, Peter, John and Jude...
The Ebionite work he refers to must be something different.
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