The Ebionite Community is the living continuation of the Jewish religious movement of Jesus. Christianity is the religion of Paul and others, and not part of the biblical faith and revelation of the God of Israel nor is it of Jesus. (Please note that we have used "Jesus" to clarify for our Christian readers. We call him Yeshua or Yahshua, and will use Yeshua from this point on in the site.)
We declare the man Paul of Tarsus, the false teacher against the mark of Covenant and God's Torah, to be outside of the Way taught by Yeshua, the anointed, son of Maria and Yosef. The Ebionite Community is the only real "mission to the gentiles." [...]
This is an unusual Jewish cult, not an unusual Christian one.
The modern Ebionite Movement began it's growth in 1978 with Shemayah Phillips while still a Christian, and disillusionment with that religion earlier still. Through a number of pivotal experiences I found Evyonut (Ebionitism). Originally studying history, language, and Bible to improve my Christian faith and to actually missionize Jews, I came to reject most of the teachings of Christianity and adopt Jewish practices, briefly joining the Assemblies of Yahweh formally in 1985.
Christianity was still forming into the cohesive and complete whole that it later became
I'm happy merely to stand on the point that the Pauline letters are doctrinally consistent with anything and everything in the Gospels; and if anyone can quote me one jot of inconsistency between the two, I'm all ears.
the church seems to have taken on the audacious and presumptuous task of not promulgating doctrines that are untrue.
This is an unusual Jewish cult, not an unusual Christian one.They call Yeshua "the annointed". Isn't that the very definition of "Christian"?
(and it is modern; I can't seem to find evidence anywhere of the rather pointed disdain toward him that I see constantly before about fifty years ago).
I point this out because St. Irenaeus died more than a hundred years before the Church even came close to gaining enough power to stamp out so much as a vicious rumor, much less heresy.
Why, therefore, should not the Church use force in compelling her lost sons to return, if the lost sons compelled others to their destruction?
Is it not a part of the care of the shepherd, when any sheep have left the flock, even though not violently forced away, but led astray by tender words and coaxing blandishments, to bring them back to the fold of his master when he has found them, by the fear or even the pain of the whip, if they show symptoms of resistance;
St. Augustine, The Correction of the Donatists
1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves
31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.
32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.
19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
Mohammed received from the Nestorians of Persia the impressions which decisively influenced his personal religious message.-- Mohammed, the man and his faith / Tor Andrae, p. 90.
Flunkie, sorry I wasn't clearer. The Thomas quote is not saying that God will literally turn women into men. It's saying that in a society where men are seen as superior, followers of Jesus will see women as the same as men, as equals, thereby "becoming" men, and women who follow Jesus's teaching will know they are the equals of men. It's saying that society's designation of who is "best" is a lie: men and women are both "best" and society's distinction is meaningless.
Simon Peter said to them, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life.” Jesus said, “I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Some scholars have recognized a similar sort of misogyny in other ancient and late antique sources, such as the Gospel of Mary and Pistis Sophia, while others have been more optimistic in sensing that the saying in Thomas advocates androgyny or even the elevation of Mary.
Further, within gnostic texts this theme of gender transformation, with the female becoming male, occurs quite frequently…. In these texts the female is typically depreciated—a better word may be demonized—and comes to symbolize perishability, corporeality, and all that characterizes this mortal world, while the male typically is glorified and comes to symbolize imperishability, incorporeality, and all that characterizes God and God’s world.
…it must be emphasized that in logion 114 the goal is not achieved by the removal of gender differentiation but by the transformation of female into male. Thus, in logion 114 salvation is defined by employing the patriarchal language patterns of the contemporary culture. It is important to realize that it is not only Peter’s statement which displays this attitude but also Jesus’ response. Although advocating Mary’s and all women’s right to attain salvation in terms equal to their male colleagues within the circle of disciples and the kingdom, Jesus does so by using language which devalues women.
Midrash minimizes the authority of the wording of the text as communication, normal language. It places the focus on the reader and the personal struggle of the reader to reach an acceptable moral application of the text. While it is always governed by the wording of the text, it allows for the reader to project his or her inner struggle into the text. This allows for some very powerful and moving interpretations which, to the ordinary user of language, seem to have very little connection with the text. The great weakness of this method is that it always threatens to replace the text with an outpouring of personal reflection. At its best it requires the presence of mystical insight not given to all readers.--"What is a Midrash?"
MASHAL (plural meshalim): In the Hebrew tradition, a mashal is a broad, general term including almost any type of figurative language from short riddles to long, extended allegories. It denotes "mysterious speech." Some of the Psalms, for instance, are designated as meshalim. The New Testament Greek often translates the term as parabole or "parable." This translation, however, causes some problem. In Greek, parabole are always allegorical and open to point-by-point interpretation. Parabole were often used as a simple method of teaching by example or analogy. The meshalim in Hebrew, however, was often intentionally confusing or deliberately obfuscating in nature--much more like the Greek enigma (riddle). We can see this confusion in the New Testament, where Mark interprets the purpose of the parables as Hebrew meshalim. In Mark, Jesus tells his disciples: "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise, they might turn and be forgiven'" (Mark 4:11-12). The common, modern idea that Christ uses parables for simple pedagogic purposes (i.e., "so that even a child could understand the secrets of heaven") is a creation of the medieval period, much later.--"Mashal"
In short; the theorization surrounding the Q gospel springs up not because of genuine questions about the historical provenance of the biblical documents, but because certain people simple can't believe that the ‘true Christian faith,’ which they view as completely arbitrary, could have simply appeared out of nowhere and then continue unchanged for two thousand years. Whereas, since I believe that the true Christian faith reflects an insight into the truth about the world, it's not difficult for me to believe that someone truly wise could certainly have written the gospel of John within a few months after the Christ died on the cross in 1 AD.
The Tao which can be expressed in words is not the eternal Tao; the name which can be uttered is not the eternal name. Without a name it is the Beginning of Heaven and Earth; with a name it is the Mother of all things. Only one who is ever free from desire can apprehend its spiritual essence; he who is ever a slave to desire can see no more than its outer fringe. These two things, the spiritual and the material, though we call them by different names, in their origin are one and the same. This sameness is a mystery — the mystery of mysteries. It is the gate of all wonders.--Tao te Ching, Chap. 1 (Translated by Lionel Giles, 1904)
6. His disciples asked him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?"
Jesus said, "Don't lie, and don't do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed."
22. Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, "These nursing babies are like those who enter the (Father's) kingdom."
They said to him, "Then shall we enter the (Father's) kingdom as babies?"
Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom]."
Now there are two kinds of poverty. One is external poverty, and it is good and much to be praised in people who take it upon themselves willingly for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he himself practiced it in the earthly realm. Of this poverty I shall say nothing more, for there is still another kind of poverty, an inward poverty, with reference to which this saying of our Lord is to be understood: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, or of spirit.” I pray that you may be like this, so that you may understand…for by the eternal truth I tell you that if you do not have this truth of which we are speaking in yourselves, you cannot understand me. Bishop Albert says: “To be poor is to take no pleasure in anything God ever created,” and that is well said. But we shall say it better and take poverty in a higher sense. He is a poor man who wants nothing, knows nothing, and has nothing…
The authorities say that God is a being, an intelligent being who knows everything. But I say that God is neither a being nor intelligent, and He does not “know” either this or that. God is free of everything, and therefore He is everything. He then who is to be poor in spirit must be poor of all his own knowledge, so that he knows nothing of God, or creatures, or of himself.
—Meister Eckhart, “Blessed Are The Poor”
"The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, 'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.'"
[There is a] tacit and mystical tradition maintained down to our own times and…a secret instruction that our fathers observed without discussion and which we follow by dwelling simply in the simplicity of their silence. For they understood how necessary was silence in order to maintain the respect and veneration due to our Holy Mysteries. And in fact it was not proper to make known in writing a doctrine containing things that catechumens are not permitted to contemplate.
Salvation is possible only for deified souls, and deification is nothing else but the union and resemblance we strive to have with God. The things that are bestowed uniformly and all at once, so to speak, on the blessed Essences dwelling in Heaven, are transmitted to us as it were in fragments and through the multiplicity of the varied symbols of the divine oracles. For it is on these divine oracles that our hierarchy is founded. And by these words we mean not only what our inspired Masters have left us in the Holy Epistles and in their theological works, but also what they transmitted to their disciples by a kind of spiritual and almost heavenly teaching, initiating them from person to person in a bodily way no doubt, since they spoke, but, I venture to say, in an immaterial way also, since they did not write. But since these truths had to be translated into the usages of the Church, the Apostles expressed them under the veil of symbols and not in their sublime nakedness, for not everyone is holy, and, as the Scriptures say, Knowledge is not for all.
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