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Gospel of the Ebionites

Excerpts from

The Gospel of the Ebionites

In the Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis,

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)


It came to pass that John was baptzing; and there went out to him Pharisees and were
baptized, and all of Jerusalem.
And John had a garment of camel`s hair and a leather girdle about his loins, and
his food, as it is said, was wild honey, the taste if which was that of manna, as a cake
dipped in oil.
Thus they were resolved to pervert the truth into a lie and put a cake in the place of locusts.
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.4-5)

And the beginning of their Gospel runs:

It came to pass in the days of Herod the king of Judaea, when Caiaphas was high priest,
that there came one, John by name, and baptized with the baptism of repentance in
the river Jordan. It was said of him that he was of the lineage of Aaron the priest, a
son of Zacharias and Elisabeth : and all went out to him.
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.6)

And after much has been recorded it proceeds:

When the people were baptized, Jesus also came and was baptized by John.
And as he came up from the water,  the heavens was opened and he saw the
Holy Spirit in the form of a dove that descended and entered into him.
And a voice sounded from Heaven that said:
"You are my beloved Son, in you I am well pleased. "
And again: " I have this day begotten you".
And immediately a great light shone round about the place.
When John saw this, it is said, he said unto him :
"Who are you, Lord?"
And again a voice from Heaven rang out to him:
"This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
And then, it is said, John fell down before him and said:
"I beseech you, Lord, baptize me."
But he prevented him and said:
"Suffer it; for thus it is fitting that everything should be fulfilled."
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.7-8)

Moreover, they deny that he was a man, evidently on the ground of the
word which the Saviour spoke when it was reported to him:

"Behold, your mother and your brethren stand without." namely:
"Who is my mother and who are my brethren?"
And he stretched his hand towards his disciples and said:
"These are my brethren and mother and sisters, who do the will of my Father."
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.14.5)

They say that Christ was not begotten of God the Father, but created as one of
the archangels ... that he rules over the angels and all the creatures of the
Almighty, and that he came and declared, as their Gospel, which is called
Gospel according to Matthew, or Gospel According to the Hebrews?,

"I am come to do away with sacrfices, and if you cease not sacrificing,
the wrath of God will not cease from you."
(Epiphanius,  Panarion 30.16,4-5)

But they abandon the proper sequence of the words and pervert the saying,
as is plain to all from the readings attached, and have let the disciples say:

"Where will you have us prepare the passover?"
And him to answer to that:
"Do I desire with desire at this Passover to eat flesh with you?"
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.22.4)

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Kirby, Peter. "Historical Jesus Theories." Early Christian Writings. <>.