Christianity and Anti-intellectualism:

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#64
Any Christian who believes Jesus came to demand our commitment to the old law (the Torah). I don't have to point them out. Even several notorious Vigilant members belong to this category.

And one doesn't have to be a Jew to be a Judaizer. Christian Judaizers are mostly non-Jewish. The proto-Catholics were Judaizers in the eyes of early Christians. Muslims and Protestants were Judaizers in the eyes of Catholics. The Judaization of the Christian faith has been a continuous trend since Christianity's inception. It is now culminating in the "Christian" support of the Jewish State, the ultimate paradox. But we're in the dusk of winter now. Christianity, as it was meant to be, will return like spring blossom.
 





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#65
Whichever ones had Easter and Christmas as their pagan festivals...
I read once that that’s what catholocism does, it lets people practice their religion but has them add their traditions to them which is how catholocism expands..it infiltrates. Sounded right when it brought up the Aztecs and how the Mexicans are catholics and celebrate the day of the dead as well. And they like Santa Muerte as a saint.
Cultural traditions don't disappear just because you have a new religion. If your society celebrated something around the winter solstice before it converted to Christianity , it's going to celebrate something after. And since now Christianity is the main religion, they are going to put a Christian face on it... Largely, because the festival is an excuse for people to get together and have a good time.
 





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#66
Any Christian who believes Jesus came to demand our commitment to the old law (the Torah). I don't have to point them out. Even several notorious Vigilant members belong to this category.

And one doesn't have to be a Jew to be a Judaizer. Christian Judaizers are mostly non-Jewish. The proto-Catholics were Judaizers in the eyes of early Christians. Muslims and Protestants were Judaizers in the eyes of Catholics. The Judaization of the Christian faith has been a continuous trend since Christianity's inception. It is now culminating in the "Christian" support of the Jewish State, the ultimate paradox. But we're in the dusk of winter now. Christianity, as it was meant to be, will return like spring blossom.
I'm not sure if "demand" is the most appropriate term, but clearly Jesus and the first Christians (who were Jewish) revered the Tanakh. Within the movement we know there were Judaic practices/beliefs that were rid of (such as animal sacrifice), but many that were kept. We can pull up multiple, multiple examples of the fact. As much as I might disagree with the Zionist author J.Tabor, the accepted facts surrounding the origin of Christianity cannot be refuted:

"This Ebionite/Nazarene movement was made up of mostly Jewish followers of John the Baptizer and later Jesus, who were concentrated in Palestine and surrounding regions and led by “James the Just” (the oldest brother of Jesus), and flourished between the years 30-80 C.E. Non-Jews were certainly part of the mix but the dominant ethos of the group was an adherence to what Paul calls ioudaizein–to live according to Jewish law (Galatians 2:14). They were zealous for the Torah and continued to observe the mitzvot (commandments) as enlightened by their Rabbi and Teacher. The non-Jews in their midst were apparently expected to follow some version of the Noachide Laws (Acts 15: 28-29)."

I'm not attempting to argue your personal beliefs or what Hellenic Christianity became. But for the sake of a coherent discussion there has to be some grounds of common truth. Ebionites, Sons of God, Sons of Light, those of the Way- whatever name the first followers of Jesus took on, they were Jewish and continued on with elements of Judaism. I don't see what the problem with accepting this is.
 





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#67
I'm not sure if "demand" is the most appropriate term, but clearly Jesus and the first Christians (who were Jewish) revered the Tanakh. Within the movement we know there were Judaic practices/beliefs that were rid of (such as animal sacrifice), but many that were kept. We can pull up multiple, multiple examples of the fact. As much as I might disagree with the Zionist author J.Tabor, the accepted facts surrounding the origin of Christianity cannot be refuted:

"This Ebionite/Nazarene movement was made up of mostly Jewish followers of John the Baptizer and later Jesus, who were concentrated in Palestine and surrounding regions and led by “James the Just” (the oldest brother of Jesus), and flourished between the years 30-80 C.E. Non-Jews were certainly part of the mix but the dominant ethos of the group was an adherence to what Paul calls ioudaizein–to live according to Jewish law (Galatians 2:14). They were zealous for the Torah and continued to observe the mitzvot (commandments) as enlightened by their Rabbi and Teacher. The non-Jews in their midst were apparently expected to follow some version of the Noachide Laws (Acts 15: 28-29)."

I'm not attempting to argue your personal beliefs or what Hellenic Christianity became. But for the sake of a coherent discussion there has to be some grounds of common truth. Ebionites, Sons of God, Sons of Light, those of the Way- whatever name the first followers of Jesus took on, they were Jewish and continued on with elements of Judaism. I don't see what the problem with accepting this is.
I agree with these origins of Christianity but not with the conclusions drawn from it. That the Ebionites were orthodox Jews who followed the Tanakh is definitely one of them. They were followers of John the Baptist, yes, but they were Gnostic Jews. We know they can be identified as Gnostics because the name of the descendants of John the Baptist's disciples identified themselves as Mandaens. The name 'Mandaean' is derived from the Aramaic word 'manda' which is the equivalent of the Greek gnosis, therefore Mandaean signifies Gnostic in Aramaic, and these Mandaeans are clearly connected to the Ebionites.

They were a Jewish heterodoxy, so when you say the progenitor of the first Christians had Jewish elements, then yes, I definitely agree. But the conclusion made by so many experts that they were orthodox Torah-abiding Jews is really preposterous. They infer this from a few characteristics about the Ebionites: that they lived seperately from non-Jews; they claimed Jesus was but a man born of Joseph and Mary (no virgin birth); they practiced sabbath and circumcision (the Mandaeans however, did not).

But they seem not to take into account the following Ebionite traits that disassociate them completely from orthodox Jewry of the time:

1. They cancelled animal sacrifice, like you said.
2. They were vegetarians because they had negative views of the flesh (like Gnostics).
3. They believed this world was governed by the Devil (like Gnostics / and Christian scripture).
4. They were baptised (unlike orthodox Jews) and took daily baths in the Jordan river.

Both the Ebionites and the Mandaeans were proto-Christian baptist sects, but that doesn't mean they believed as Jesus' disciples and later Christians did. Yes, there are Judaic elements in the traditions and belief systems of these Judeo Gnostic proto-Christian sects, but they are not Jewish orthodox, nor are they the same as the Christianity that was eventually forwarded by Jesus and His disciples.
 





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#68
Both the Ebionites and the Mandaeans were proto-Christian baptist sects, but that doesn't mean they believed as Jesus' disciples and later Christians did. Yes, there are Judaic elements in the traditions and belief systems of these Judeo Gnostic proto-Christian sects, but they are not Jewish orthodox, nor are they the same as the Christianity that was eventually forwarded by Jesus and His disciples.
I must say I've read very little about the Mandaeans. But honestly they are irrelevant to a discussion about Jesus, the apostolic succession of his brother James the Just, and James' followers the Ebionites/Nazarenes. You said, "the Christianity that was forwarded by Jesus and His disciples"...there is a major disconnect here. The Ebionites were the first "Christians", descendants of the Jerusalem church. Are you confusing them with the Essenes? A few quotes from wikipedia and and a couple other websites explain the history:

“Accordingly, James and his successors provide us our best historical link to Jesus and his original teachings. That we find no trace of Paul’s gospel, nor of Pauline theology, in the Q source, or in the letter of James, or in the Didache, should not surprise us. James and his successors represent an original version of Christianity, linked more directly to the historical Jesus, that has every claim of authenticity.

"The Ebionites regarded Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah while rejecting his divinity and his virgin birth and insisted on the necessity of following Jewish law and rites."

"They used only one of the Jewish–Christian gospels, the Hebrew Book of Matthew starting at chapter three."

"...much of what is known or conjectured about the Ebionites derives from the Church Fathers who wrote polemics against the Ebionites, who they deemed heretical Judaizers." :D

"Irenaeus was probably the first to use the term Ebionites to describe a heretical judaizing sect, which he regarded as stubbornly clinging to the Law."

Other groups mentioned are the Carpocratians, the Cerinthians, the Elcesaites, the fourth century Nazarenes and the Sampsaeans, most of whom were Jewish Christian sects who held gnostic or other views rejected by the Ebionites."

"After the end of the First Jewish–Roman War, the importance of the Jerusalem church began to fade. Jewish Christianity became dispersed throughout the Jewish diaspora in the Levant, where it was slowly eclipsed by gentile Christianity, which then spread throughout the Roman Empire without competition from "judaizing" Christian groups. Once the Jerusalem church was eliminated during the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135, the Ebionites gradually lost influence and followers. According to Hyam Maccoby (1987), their decline was due to marginalization and "persecution" by both Jews and Christians. Following the defeat of the rebellion and the expulsion of all Jews from Judea, Jerusalem became the Gentile city of Aelia Capitolina. Many of the Jewish Christians residing at Pella renounced their Jewish practices at this time and joined to the mainstream Christian church. Those who remained at Pella and continued in obedience to the Law were deemed heretics."

"The Ebionites believed that all Jews and Gentiles must observe the commandments in the Law of Moses in order to become righteous and seek communion with God."

@Artful Revealer it seems like you have some of the history backwards. I feel that you're reading too much of a "Gnostic" synthesis into the ministry of Jesus and the first church at Jerusalem. We all agree there were characteristics of esoteric instruction and experienced knowledge within the teachings; of course they were not orthodox. Some general gnostic concepts were held by the Essenes and other 1st century Jews, but I would argue that it was the writings of Paul and the Johannine works that launched Christianity down a foreign path into the exaggeration it became.

"Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven" - MATTHEW 5:19
 





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#69
Cultural traditions don't disappear just because you have a new religion. If your society celebrated something around the winter solstice before it converted to Christianity , it's going to celebrate something after. And since now Christianity is the main religion, they are going to put a Christian face on it... Largely, because the festival is an excuse for people to get together and have a good time.
As a Christian you repent from sin...a pagan celebration would count as something to repent from and not do. Unfortunately, people don’t consider that easter and christmas are pagan anymore..I don’t celebrate them anymore.
 





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#70
I must say I've read very little about the Mandaeans. But honestly they are irrelevant to a discussion about Jesus, the apostolic succession of his brother James the Just, and James' followers the Ebionites/Nazarenes. You said, "the Christianity that was forwarded by Jesus and His disciples"...there is a major disconnect here. The Ebionites were the first "Christians", descendants of the Jerusalem church. Are you confusing them with the Essenes? A few quotes from wikipedia and and a couple other websites explain the history:

“Accordingly, James and his successors provide us our best historical link to Jesus and his original teachings. That we find no trace of Paul’s gospel, nor of Pauline theology, in the Q source, or in the letter of James, or in the Didache, should not surprise us. James and his successors represent an original version of Christianity, linked more directly to the historical Jesus, that has every claim of authenticity.

"The Ebionites regarded Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah while rejecting his divinity and his virgin birth and insisted on the necessity of following Jewish law and rites."

"They used only one of the Jewish–Christian gospels, the Hebrew Book of Matthew starting at chapter three."

"...much of what is known or conjectured about the Ebionites derives from the Church Fathers who wrote polemics against the Ebionites, who they deemed heretical Judaizers." :D

"Irenaeus was probably the first to use the term Ebionites to describe a heretical judaizing sect, which he regarded as stubbornly clinging to the Law."

Other groups mentioned are the Carpocratians, the Cerinthians, the Elcesaites, the fourth century Nazarenes and the Sampsaeans, most of whom were Jewish Christian sects who held gnostic or other views rejected by the Ebionites."

"After the end of the First Jewish–Roman War, the importance of the Jerusalem church began to fade. Jewish Christianity became dispersed throughout the Jewish diaspora in the Levant, where it was slowly eclipsed by gentile Christianity, which then spread throughout the Roman Empire without competition from "judaizing" Christian groups. Once the Jerusalem church was eliminated during the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135, the Ebionites gradually lost influence and followers. According to Hyam Maccoby (1987), their decline was due to marginalization and "persecution" by both Jews and Christians. Following the defeat of the rebellion and the expulsion of all Jews from Judea, Jerusalem became the Gentile city of Aelia Capitolina. Many of the Jewish Christians residing at Pella renounced their Jewish practices at this time and joined to the mainstream Christian church. Those who remained at Pella and continued in obedience to the Law were deemed heretics."

"The Ebionites believed that all Jews and Gentiles must observe the commandments in the Law of Moses in order to become righteous and seek communion with God."
The Hyam Maccoby version of history is the typical Judaizing anti-Paul pro-Torah trend I'm talking about. There is still much historical confusion surrounding this topic. One being, the Ebionites did not use a version of the Gospel of Matthew. They had a Gospel of the Hebrews that had nothing to do with it.

the gospel displays no connection with other Jewish–Christian literature, nor does it appear to be based on the Greek rendition of the Gospel of Matthew[n 2] or the other canonical gospels of what is now orthodox Christianity.[16] Instead, it seems to be taken from alternative oral forms of the same underlying traditions.[17] Some of the fragments suggest a syncretic gnostic influence, while others support close ties to traditional Jewish Wisdom literature.[2] - Wiki
You give a citation of J. Tabor that says the Ebionites insisted on the necessity of following Jewish law and rites, yet the Gospel of the Hebrews, relayed by Epiphanius of Salamis, contains:

Jesus says: "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)
How do you reconcile this with strict obedience to Jewish law and rites?

Most church fathers claimed the Ebionite sects were Judaizers, which reinforces my position that according to early Christians, Jesus' teachings did not demand Torah observance. Others, like Epiphanius, claimed the Ebionites were breaking with Jewish law and rites. What we can get out of these two positions is that:

a) Christians opposed the Judaizers,
b) the "Judaizers" had already abandoned some or many Jewish laws and rites.

Therefore:

c) Christianity is a break from the Torah and Judaic law.

Even the most Judaizing historian cannot infer from any of this that the earliest Christians were ultra-orthodox Jews committed to observing the Torah, but quite the contrary.

it seems like you have some of the history backwards. I feel that you're reading too much of a "Gnostic" synthesis into the ministry of Jesus and the first church at Jerusalem. We all agree there were characteristics of esoteric instruction and experienced knowledge within the teachings; of course they were not orthodox. Some general gnostic concepts were held by the Essenes and other 1st century Jews, but I would argue that it was the writings of Paul and the Johannine works that launched Christianity down a foreign path into the exaggeration it became.

"Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven" - MATTHEW 5:19
Matthew is Jesus reinterpreting the old law. It's the old law's Antithesis. That was the name of the Sermon on the Mount for centuries.

"You have heard it was said ..." <-- old law​
"But I tell you ..." <-- antithesis​

Paul and John's works are the basis of Christian civilization. John 1:1-3, making the Christian concept of God known to the Greek world of philosophy in the form of Logos, changed human history forever, for the better.


Edit:

Also, the Mandaeans are relevant, because we're talking about the sect surrounding John the Baptist. The descendents of the Baptist sect are the Mandaeans.
 





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#71
The Hyam Maccoby version of history is the typical Judaizing anti-Paul pro-Torah trend I'm talking about. There is still much historical confusion surrounding this topic. One being, the Ebionites did not use a version of the Gospel of Matthew. They had a Gospel of the Hebrews that had nothing to do with it.

the gospel displays no connection with other Jewish–Christian literature, nor does it appear to be based on the Greek rendition of the Gospel of Matthew[n 2] or the other canonical gospels of what is now orthodox Christianity.[16] Instead, it seems to be taken from alternative oral forms of the same underlying traditions.[17] Some of the fragments suggest a syncretic gnostic influence, while others support close ties to traditional Jewish Wisdom literature.[2] - WikiYou give a citation of J. Tabor that says the Ebionites insisted on the necessity of following Jewish law and rites, yet the Gospel of the Hebrews, relayed by Epiphanius of Salamis, contains:

Jesus says: "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)How do you reconcile this with strict obedience to Jewish law and rites?
Yeah we're going around in circles. You obviously have bias and an agenda to distance Christianity from Judaism. Your obsession with the term "judaizing" is unsettling. I'm sure it burns you up inside to have to admit that the Essenes were Jewish, Jesus was a Jew, the 12 Apostles were Jewish, the first Church in Jerusalem was Jewish, and that the ministry was only intended for the lost Jews within Judea.

It's telling when, of all the mentioned theologians/historians of antiquity, you would highlight Epiphanius of Salamis. Yesterday I said to myself', "I wonder if dude will try to quote Epiphanius", sure enough you did haha:

"Thus, we may have to reckon with the possibility that, from very early on, there may have been at least two types of Ebionites: (1) Hebrew/Aramaic-speaking Ebionites who shared James the Just's positive attitude toward the temple, used only Matthew's Gospel and accepted all the prophets; and (2) Hellenistic-Samaritan Ebionites (Epiphanius' Ebionites) who totally rejected worship in the temple, used only the Pentateuch, and, carrying with them the memory of Stephen's execution, perceived Paul as one of their major opponents. The Jewish Christianity of Irenaeus' Ebionites involved obedience to Jewish laws (including circumcision), anti-Paulinism, rejection of Jesus' virginal conception, reverence for Jerusalem (direction of prayer), use of Matthew's Gospel, Eucharist with water, and possibly the idea that Christ/Spirit entered Jesus at his baptism. ... However, the explicit rejection of the temple and its cult, the idea of the True Prophet and the (selective) acceptance of the Pentateuch only, show that Epiphanius' Ebionites were not direct successors of Irenaeus' Ebionites."

There could be agreement between 15 or 20 academics about the subject of James the Bishop of Jerusalem, the Ebionites and the other first Jewish-Christians but I can read that you'd still find a way to dispute the accepted facts. And we get it, it's your love for Paul.

Most church fathers claimed the Ebionite sects were Judaizers, which reinforces my position that according to early Christians, Jesus' teachings did not demand Torah observance. Others, like Epiphanius, claimed the Ebionites were breaking with Jewish law and rites. What we can get out of these two positions is that:

a) Christians opposed the Judaizers,
b) the "Judaizers" had already abandoned some or many Jewish laws and rites.

Therefore:

c) Christianity is a break from the Torah and Judaic law.

Even the most Judaizing historian cannot infer from any of this that the earliest Christians were ultra-orthodox Jews committed to observing the Torah, but quite the contrary.
Do you realize you wrote "judaizer" 4 times in the above? So the later church fathers who detailed the first Jewish-Christians (did I mention they were Jewish lol) as clinging to Torah observances are somehow the real Christians? Their writings prove what the followers of James believed, and to the Hellenic churches they were heretics for not accepting Paul.

This discussion is pointless. All we have to do is read the Gospel according to Matthew and the reality is there. Jesus taught from OT scriptures and the Apocrypha, he taught in the synagogues, he kept sabbath and Passover. There are too many references he made to the prophets and the law to even bother quoting.

Not one person is stupid enough to think the Essenes or Jesus kept animal sacrifices, though the earliest Christians may have kept grain sacrifices just like the Essenes did. Jesus was a reformer but we know James and the first Church kept the rites of sabbath, orthodox feasts, circumcision, and dietary laws intact.

Paul and John's works are the basis of Christian civilization. John 1:1-3, making the Christian concept of God known to the Greek world of philosophy in the form of Logos, changed human history forever, for the better.
I don't believe you even care about the history of the Ebionites. Finally we get to the heart of what we're talking about:

"“It is obvious then that what is reflected here is a controversy within Christianity – between that stream of Jewish Christianity which was represented by James at Jerusalem on the one hand, and the Gentile churches or Hellenistic Jewish Christians who had been decisively influenced by Paul’s teaching on the other.” - James Dunn

This sums up Christianity as we know it. The Hellenic/Roman establishment supplanted the sect in Jerusalem, and through the christology of Paul built up what came to be the Holy Roman Empire. Protestantism and Evangelicism are further elaborations of the theology of Paul, mixed in with gnostic/esoteric writings of John.

Each unto their own. Your version of worship and study doesn't effect mine, and vice versa. I actually am enjoying learning about the Gnostic-Christians and the background behind the literature of John, etc. But if I want to know of Jesus the Messiah and the roots of Christianity, I'll be sticking to the synoptic gospels and the epistle of James.

“The disciples said to Jesus, ‘We know you will leave us. Who is going to be our leader then? Jesus said to them, No matter where you go, you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.” – Gospel of Thomas Saying 12
 





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#72
Yeah we're going around in circles. You obviously have bias and an agenda to distance Christianity from Judaism. Your obsession with the term "judaizing" is unsettling. I'm sure it burns you up inside to have to admit that the Essenes were Jewish, Jesus was a Jew, the 12 Apostles were Jewish, the first Church in Jerusalem was Jewish, and that the ministry was only intended for the lost Jews within Judea.
Yes, I am unabashedly trying to raise consciousness about the fact that Christianity and the perception of Christianity has been Judaized pretty much since the beginning. I’ve also consciously added emphasis on this aspect of Judaization because everywhere I go people tend to become more Judaized instead of less. It’s kind of you to throw antisemitism in the mix to discredit my view, but Judaism as we know it is a post-Christian religion conceived after the destruction of the Temple 70AD (Jochanan ben Zakai) in the wake of mass Judean conversion to Christianity. It is the religion of those who had rejected Christ / the Messiah / God and they’ve been in rebellion against Him (and Christianity / the Church) ever since by means of subversion. Israel is the rebel. The very name means "he who fights God".

That Jesus and His disciples were Judean is of no relevance to me because that was their national identity, not their religious or spiritual identity. The Jew, as a religious identity, didn't exist prior to, or at the time of, Jesus, but as mentioned, after the Christ had entered human history because that Jewish identity depends on one's reaction to the Word of God.

This is the historical dialectic of the Judeo-Christian world: the Jew (not genetic Jews, but the Jew as the archetypical antichristian whether religious or atheist) in conflict with the Logos of Christianity; the old law in conflict with the new.

It's telling when, of all the mentioned theologians/historians of antiquity, you would highlight Epiphanius of Salamis. Yesterday I said to myself', "I wonder if dude will try to quote Epiphanius", sure enough you did haha:

"Thus, we may have to reckon with the possibility that, from very early on, there may have been at least two types of Ebionites: (1) Hebrew/Aramaic-speaking Ebionites who shared James the Just's positive attitude toward the temple, used only Matthew's Gospel and accepted all the prophets; and (2) Hellenistic-Samaritan Ebionites (Epiphanius' Ebionites) who totally rejected worship in the temple, used only the Pentateuch, and, carrying with them the memory of Stephen's execution, perceived Paul as one of their major opponents. The Jewish Christianity of Irenaeus' Ebionites involved obedience to Jewish laws (including circumcision), anti-Paulinism, rejection of Jesus' virginal conception, reverence for Jerusalem (direction of prayer), use of Matthew's Gospel, Eucharist with water, and possibly the idea that Christ/Spirit entered Jesus at his baptism. ... However, the explicit rejection of the temple and its cult, the idea of the True Prophet and the (selective) acceptance of the Pentateuch only, show that Epiphanius' Ebionites were not direct successors of Irenaeus' Ebionites."
You can gather all the patristic writings on the Ebionites on half a page, and half of that is from Epiphanius. To then act as if your prediction of me dragging Epiphanius into this is insightful, tells me that you thought we possessed a grand body of early literature on them when we don't. Detractions on gnosis or Gnostics however, you can fill entire libraries with that, figuratively speaking. So I believe you're overestimating the Judaic aspect of the Ebionites here, not to mention that most criticisms against or accounts of the Ebionites were lumped in with criticisms against or accounts of other Gnostics due the commonalities in some of their beliefs (as previously mentioned).

Also, as far as I know, academia are still unsure, and your quote confirms this, about which Ebionite sects the detractors were writing of, or how many Ebionite sects actually existed in the region, or of the differences between them. Your quote also repeats the mistake that they had the Gospel of Matthew, when this should not be mistaken for Matthew’s canonical gospel.


There could be agreement between 15 or 20 academics about the subject of James the Bishop of Jerusalem, the Ebionites and the other first Jewish-Christians but I can read that you'd still find a way to dispute the accepted facts. And we get it, it's your love for Paul.
I believe you, like so many others, have a trendy predisposition towards Paul and the Catholic Church and an emotional attachment to the Jews and the Old Testament. I suspect this is likely the reason for this apparent, for lack of a better word, butthurtedness regarding my use of the term Judaization.

What consensus on James are we talking about?

Rather, anwer me these questions: if James and his congregation were Torah-abiding zealots persecuted by the Gentile Christians, why was James a Bishop, consecrated member of the Christian clergy, instead of a Cohen or High Priest according to Judaic custom? Why was his temple the Jerusalem Church and not the Jerusalem Synagogue? Why were all Christian scriptures at that time written in Greek instead of Hebrew or Aramaic? Why did James and the elders rejoice and praise the Lord at Paul's news of his successful ministry in the Gentile world when Paul returned to Jerusalem (Acts 21), when they knew Paul was teaching not to follow Moses and not to live according to Judean custom?


This discussion is pointless. All we have to do is read the Gospel according to Matthew and the reality is there. Jesus taught from OT scriptures and the Apocrypha, he taught in the synagogues, he kept sabbath and Passover. There are too many references he made to the prophets and the law to even bother quoting.
You give two examples to illustrate Jesus’ adherence to the law, the sabbath and Passover. Yet both examples prove the opposite: Jesus was condemned by the Judeans for healing a man on sabbath and in so doing breaking it. And Jesus changed the meaning of Passover forever from the celebration of infanticide to the commemoration of his own sacrifice and resurrection.

Not to mention that the gospel of the Ebionites explicitly describes Jesus as refusing to eat the Passover lamb.


I don't believe you even care about the history of the Ebionites.
I'd be surprised if you've invested as much time into this topic as I have. Or if you had written an article on this specific topic as I have and which I shared on the previous forum edition and which is still in my possession. The accusation of antisemitism was to be expected. The accusation of me being indifferent however, I take more personally.


Finally we get to the heart of what we're talking about:

"“It is obvious then that what is reflected here is a controversy within Christianity – between that stream of Jewish Christianity which was represented by James at Jerusalem on the one hand, and the Gentile churches or Hellenistic Jewish Christians who had been decisively influenced by Paul’s teaching on the other.” - James Dunn

This sums up Christianity as we know it. The Hellenic/Roman establishment supplanted the sect in Jerusalem, and through the christology of Paul built up what came to be the Holy Roman Empire. Protestantism and Evangelicism are further elaborations of the theology of Paul, mixed in with gnostic/esoteric writings of John.

Each unto their own. Your version of worship and study doesn't effect mine, and vice versa. I actually am enjoying learning about the Gnostic-Christians and the background behind the literature of John, etc. But if I want to know of Jesus the Messiah and the roots of Christianity, I'll be sticking to the synoptic gospels and the epistle of James.

“The disciples said to Jesus, ‘We know you will leave us. Who is going to be our leader then? Jesus said to them, No matter where you go, you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.” – Gospel of Thomas Saying 12
This 19th century dichotomy of the School of Tubingen between Gentile and Jewish Christianity bears little historical relevance. It is but a theory much to the delight of Jews and Judaizers who, for obvious reasons, are big fans. There is no such thing as Jewish Christianity for reasons mentioned above. That this would somehow oppose Pauline Christianity is a false dichotomy. Early Christianity was victim of its own universal message in a culturally and religiously diverse environment. To achieve unity among the congregation, proselytism by means of compromise was inevitable. But there was no discord between Paul and James. Poor interpretations of Acts have led people to this delusion.

I'll skip over your abstractions of the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical conceptions because they're quite absurd.

But I salute you for your open-mindedness to all Christian scripture (apocrypha included) and wish you well in your research.

Now that I've hopefully indoctrinated you with the concept of Judaization, I hope it'll help you in your interpretations of the birth of Christianity, for“He who has received something other than the Lord is still a Hebrew.” - Gospel of Philip
 





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#73
... but Judaism as we know it is a post-Christian religion conceived after the destruction of the Temple 70AD (Jochanan ben Zakai) in the wake of mass Judean conversion to Christianity... That Jesus and His disciples were Judean is of no relevance to me because that was their national identity, not their religious or spiritual identity. The Jew, as a religious identity, didn't exist prior to, or at the time of, Jesus, but as mentioned, after the Christ had entered human history because that Jewish identity depends on one's reaction to the Word of God.
With these theories I think you'd lose 95% of an audience. Judaism didn't exist before 70 AD? The temple culture and Hasmonean kingdom had already existed 200 years prior.

You don't come across as anti-semitic, that isn't my claim. Again my only gripe is against those who deny facts. It's inconceivable to separate Christianity from Judaism. Christianity was born out of Judaism; give respect where it's due.

I believe you, like so many others, have a trendy predisposition towards Paul and the Catholic Church and an emotional attachment to the Jews and the Old Testament.
I absolutely do have an attachment... to the facts surrounding this tradition. I revere God, the teachings of Jesus, and therefore his successors in Jerusalem. I have no interest in Paul of Tarsus, other than from a historical point of view. Trendy? Yeah I don't think so. Trendy is a cable TV series about the rapture, or 60 million US Evangelicals willing to vote for a pervert named Drumph.

This 19th century dichotomy of the School of Tubingen between Gentile and Jewish Christianity bears little historical relevance. It is but a theory much to the delight of Jews and Judaizers who, for obvious reasons, are big fans. There is no such thing as Jewish Christianity for reasons mentioned above. That this would somehow oppose Pauline Christianity is a false dichotomy. Early Christianity was victim of its own universal message in a culturally and religiously diverse environment. To achieve unity among the congregation, proselytism by means of compromise was inevitable. But there was no discord between Paul and James. Poor interpretations of Acts have led people to this delusion.
You can try to gloss it over but there was/is a tremendous discord within Christianity. The true message of the Christ was robbed and maligned by pagans. It doesn't bother you they erased the history of the Gnostics as well? The fraudulent idol they made their religion from is not Jesus. The filth, death, and inequality in the West is directly related to the dissonance caused by fake Christianity. I just read the Epistle of James- he mentioned the FAITH of Jesus and being a bondservant to him once, but acknowledged God 40 or 50 times! You don't think this world would be different if the religion of "the Poor" hadn't been co-opted? It becomes clearer why Islam had to rise: to uphold the authentic Abrahamic tradition honoring God the Father.
 





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#74
And that aside, you can't get away from the fact that, if you accept the Synoptics then Jesus confirmed the Shema in the following passage:

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

- Mark 12:28-34
This of course is a reference firstly to Deuteronomy 6:4-5 which is the centerpiece of Judaism (including pre-Rabbinical). And a quotation of Leviticus 19:17-18.
 





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#75
With these theories I think you'd lose 95% of an audience. Judaism didn't exist before 70 AD? The temple culture and Hasmonean kingdom had already existed 200 years prior.
To be precise, I said "Judaism as we know it", referring to rabbinic Judaism, which was founded by a Pharisee called Yohanan ben Zakkai. This isn't a controversial statement. The Hasmonean kingdom was a period of Judaic survival within an intensifying Graeco-Roman environment, in which the Judeans were conflicted between desire for Judean identity/autonomy and their inevitable Hellenization. I think, I hope, this is a fair abstraction of its official history. Their temple culture, yes, dominated by Pharisees and Sadducees vying for the political adaptation of their respective interpretations of religious law; which is what modern Judaism is, a religious and political system (like Islam). Rabbinic Judaism is merely the continuation of the mostly Pharisaic element of the Hasmonean dynasty. Christianity is something else entirely, first and foremost not a politico-religious law like Judaism, but a teaching that disassociated belief in God from political life or institutions. It's no surprise that this apolitical, and in some respects antipolitical spiritual revelation of Jesus provoked the ire of the local political authorities of the time, whether the Jewish priesthood or to a lesser extent, the Romans. It is also the reason why application of civil law in Christian societies has always been a complex exercise, because there was no scriptural or theological basis for applying different legal treatment between Christians and non-Christians (unlike Jews and non-Jews, or Muslims and non-Muslims), which is telling.

But I digress. The essence I'm trying to communicate is that the political nature, or lack thereof, of Judaism and Christianity is a significant element in understanding their relationship.


You don't come across as anti-semitic, that isn't my claim. Again my only gripe is against those who deny facts. It's inconceivable to separate Christianity from Judaism. Christianity was born out of Judaism; give respect where it's due.
"Born out" has a very broad meaning. Fear is born out of ignorance, but so is enlightenment. Surely the customs and beliefs of the Hebrews has had an effect on the origins of Christianity, but so too have other cultures. Christianity is born out of Zoroastrianism just as much, if not more, than pre-Christian Judaism. Christianity is born out of Greek philosophy, Platonism more specifically, just as much, if not more. You can trace John's use of he word Logos back to Heraclitus and the Platonists who had fertilized Greek soil for the Holy Spirit by their conception of the Logos as an all-governing principle of the cosmos. It meant "word", it meant "reason", it meant "principle", and it is completely lacking in Hebrew scripture or Judaic theology.

This concept of the Logos even existed in Zoroastrianism, where it was called "asha" (word) or "asha vahishta" (True Word). Even a trinity similar if not identical to the later Christian version, was embedded in Zoroastrian teachings:
Ahura Mazda (Father-Mother / Divine Wisdom), Vohu Mana (literally "Good Mind") and Asha Vahishta (Logos).
But this, again, is nowhere to be found in the Torah.

Credit where credit's due, I agree. But the scribes and Pharisees in the Hebrew scriptures have done more to obfuscate and remove the mysteries than anything else. Hence my justified preference for Hellas and Persia over Judea and incessant attempt at diverting the Christians' obsessive stare away from the Hebrew Bible.


I have no interest in Paul of Tarsus, other than from a historical point of view ...

You can try to gloss it over but there was/is a tremendous discord within Christianity.
Among Christian theologians there definitely existed argument. But if we're talking about the disciples and their first congregation, I would beg to differ.

If you want, bring up this alleged discord between Paul and James and we'll examine it together.


The true message of the Christ was robbed and maligned by pagans. It doesn't bother you they erased the history of the Gnostics as well?
It does. But they weren't pagans. They are the body who has cut off the head.

The fraudulent idol they made their religion from is not Jesus.
Don't know what you mean.

The filth, death, and inequality in the West is directly related to the dissonance caused by fake Christianity.
Do you mean Protestantism?

I just read the Epistle of James- he mentioned the FAITH of Jesus and being a bondservant to him once, but acknowledged God 40 or 50 times! You don't think this world would be different if the religion of "the Poor" hadn't been co-opted? It becomes clearer why Islam had to rise: to uphold the authentic Abrahamic tradition honoring God the Father.
Catholicism and Christian Orthodoxy (basically Christianity), contrary to the hypocritic ramblings and justifications of anti-clerical looters of church property disguised as theological reformers, was the religion of the poor.

Don't forget to read the Apocryphon of James.

Edit: By the way, our conversation should get a specified thread since it's not exactly addressing anti-intellectualism.
 





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#76
And that aside, you can't get away from the fact that, if you accept the Synoptics then Jesus confirmed the Shema in the following passage:

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

- Mark 12:28-34

This of course is a reference firstly to Deuteronomy 6:4-5 which is the centerpiece of Judaism (including pre-Rabbinical). And a quotation of Leviticus 19:17-18.
Confirming that God is One is not the same as confirming the Torah.
 





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#77
Confirming that God is One is not the same as confirming the Torah.
He did not merely state that God is one, he quoted from the book of Deuteronomy and Leviticus (as specified above). And as mentioned, this is the doctrine of the Shema. It means something specific. If you take Mark as a valid text, then naturally that has to be taken into consideration.
 





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#78
In comparison, when we piece together Deteronomy 6:4-5 then follow it with Leviticus 19:17-18, we result in the passage from Mark, albeit the Leviticus part is more paraphrased:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
“You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
 





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#79
He did not merely state that God is one, he quoted from the book of Deuteronomy and Leviticus (as specified above). And as mentioned, this is the doctrine of the Shema. It means something specific. If you take Mark as a valid text, then naturally that has to be taken into consideration.
Jesus quoted from the book of the people He was trying to convert. This is the context in which we should interpret this. The conversion part is essential. Highlighting the common ground in the oneness of God serves this purpose, just as John addressing the Greeks with the concept of Logos.
 





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#80
Jesus quoted from the book of the people He was trying to convert. This is the context in which we should interpret this. The conversion part is essential. Highlighting the common ground in the oneness of God serves this purpose, just as John addressing the Greeks with the concept of Logos.
I'll give you the credit that you've at least given a valid argument here, although I don't agree with your initial claims.

So as to your argument there, I'm intrigued to as whether you believe it to be (via the aforementioned) a doctrinal synthesis of the two (plus others) or a refutation of the two's contexts in which the quotations source from? via it's reference.
I could somewhat see it going both ways.