To recap from that thread (see EcLive: What is an Ebionaen? for the details):
I think I'll use this post to define the term Ebionean, so that I can keep this thread focussed. I'll just state things as given without trying to justify them so we can focus on the consequence of these assumptions.
After the murder of James by the Sadducees in ~63 AD, the remaining members of the church under James had the good sense to flee Jerusalem to Pella, in what is now Jordan, and what was then a part of the Roman Decapolis, a sort of set of 10 citystates outside of Palestina. Then we define the Ebionaens as that Christian sect, starting then, and they survived the sack of Jerusalem because they were outside of the area that was sacked.
The Ebionaens were known for several things, all very Christian from the book of Matthew:
- They clung to (and perhaps wrote) the book of Matthew, and carefully guarded a copy, in HAramaic in a library.
- The Matthew they clung to lacked the first 2 chapters of the current Matthew, and was therefore seen by later heresy hunters as "corrupt and mutilated".
- There was no virgin birth in their canon, so Jesus was a man of Joseph's Davidic line, who acquired his divinity at his baptism.
- They were monotheistic in the sense of the Shema, and nothing but God was worshiped.
- They were mainly Hebrews may have accepted converts (Pan. 1.30.11:10), and kept Christ's respect for the Mosaic law.
- They required circumcision as the Jamesian church did, perhaps only of infants (Pan. 1.30.2:2).
- They kept the Sabbath, but lightly as Jesus did (Pan. 1.30.2:2).
- The conformed to the Mosaic law ("all the other Jewish and Samaritan observances"), but like Jesus, may not have held to all of the Pentateuch: e.g. Jewish Supremacism.
- They rejected the idea of Temple sacrifices, which became a moot point with the fall of the Temple. (Pan. 1.30.16:5).
- They forbid celibacy and continence altogether (Pan 1.30.2:6).
- They may or may not have sympathized with the Zealots, but weren't zealot themselves (Matt. 22:17).
- They hated the Pharisees as Jesus did, and probably the Sadducees because of the murder of James.
- Jesus was a man, which implies that survived the Cruxifiction, probably with the help of Josephus and his friends.
- They rejected Paul as an apostate for teaching anti-Christian doctorines (unlike the Nazarenes, according to Jerome) rejected the Faulines.
- They clung to the book of Matthew as primacy, but are also said to have read Luke and/or Acts
As the Ebionaens rejected Paul and the teachings of the Faulines were not in it's canon: I try to distinguish between the "Paul in Acts" and the "'Paul' in the Paulines" (written by the MarcionOrLater). I accept that Acts was a trial brief for the Roman/Pagan trial of Paul, which the Jamesian Christans had a lot riding on. Mauck and del Tondo have brought out too many tiny details in Acts to read it otherwise, like the Pythia and Castor and Pollux. So I accept Paul in Acts, as an apostate who was rebuked by James, and didn't get along very well with the Jamesian church and the 12 apostles. (At the same time, I'm cognisant of small things in Acts that can be read as against Paul, but by Christians only).
Common points not useable to distinguish post-Jamesian Nazoraens from Ebioneans include:
- They may read Acts as history, and maybe even Luke (we're covering 250 years...)
- They may have been vegetarian
- They may have kept the festivals of Unleavened Bread, Tabernacles and Pentecost (Pan. 29.8.1-2).
- They may have liked women and marriage and sex and babies, and families.
- Their attitude towards sacrifices didn't make them any less Jewish or Torah-reverent.
- They were still devout Hebrews but may have lightened up on the conversion thing (a deal breaker for some adult males :-,)
- They may have been known as “the Way,” which referred to the two ways in the Didache, the Way of God, or the WayOfGodInTruth.
PS: I have switched to using Paul as in Acts, and Faul - False Paul - for the Faulines, for those knowledgable of contemporary English history.
PPS: we don't reply to posts in this thread by StephenGoranson,Ulan,SecretAgent as we do not see them.