Ebionites - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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EBIONITES is the name given to a Jewish Christian sect that flourished during the early history of the Christian church. The origin of the term, a Hebrew word meaning poor persons, is obscure. It may have been an honorific title given to an original group of Christians who were Jews living in Jerusalem that needed assistance from Christians elsewhere in the Roman Empire (Rom. 15:25, 2 Cor. 9:12). It was first used by the Christian bishop Irenaeus of Lyons (Gaul) in the late second century to designate a Jewish Christian sect. Some later writers used it ironically to refer to the poverty of understanding of the members of the sect, who did not believe that Jesus Christ was the divine Son of God. There is no evidence to support the claim of some Christian writers that it derived from a person named Ebion, the supposed founder of the sect.

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This section contains 881 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Ebionites Encyclopedia Article
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Ebionites from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.