Brill, 1973. —323 p. — (Supplements to Novum Testamentum 36).This book is divided into two parts. The first half is a summation of theories regarding early Jewish-Christian sects. The second part consists of the actual passages from the early Christian literature, and each passage is given not only in English, but in the actual language it was written in.The fact remains, that, however fascinated we are by the early Jewish-Christian sects, the Ebionites, Nazoraeans, and others, the evidence we have about them is scanty at best. All we know, really, is that the Christian authors refer to them as heretical sects, never as a part of the Christian church as a whole.Even more maddening, although we have various documents that might have been derived from the early Jewish-Christian sects, the titles are hopelessly confused and it is difficult, if not impossible, to figure out which is which.What did they believe? Where, and how, did they derive their beliefs? Pseudo-Clementine talks about two aeons, an obvious Gnostic addition, which would suggest at least a 2nd century beginning. Epiphanius makes mention of an obligation of divorced person to "marry up to seven times" (p 35). And if they were Jewish, or originally came from Jews, why do they reject "David, Samson, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezechiel, Elia, and Elisa" (p 36), according to Epiphanius?And another thing--Epiphanius and many other later authors seem to talk about beliefs at variance from the early beliefs mentioned by Irenaeus and Origen. Were they all the same sects? Had their beliefs altered with time?
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