Nazarene Space

1. Cerinthus, again, a man who was educated in the wisdom of the
Egyptians, taught that the world was not made by the primary God, but
by a certain Power far separated from him, and at a distance from that
Principality who is supreme over the universe, and ignorant of him who is
above all. He represented Jesus as having not been born of a virgin, but as
being the son of Joseph and Mary according to the ordinary course of
human generation, while he nevertheless was more righteous, prudent, and
wise than other men. Moreover, after his baptism, Christ descended upon
him in the form of a dove from the Supreme Ruler, and that then he
proclaimed the unknown Father, and performed miracles. But at last Christ
departed from Jesus, and that then Jesus suffered and rose again, while
Christ remained impassible, inasmuch as he was a spiritual being.
2. Those who are called Ebionites agree that the world was made by God;
but their opinions with respect to the Lord are similar to those of
Cerinthus and Carpocrates. They use the Gospel according to Matthew
only, and repudiate the Apostle Paul, maintaining that he was an apostate
from the law. As to the prophetical writings, they endeavor to expound
them in a somewhat singular manner: they practice circumcision, persevere
in the observance of those customs which are enjoined by the law, and are
so Judaic in their style of life, that they even adore Jerusalem as if it were
the house of God.

(Irenaeus; Against Heresies 1:26:1-2)

7. Such, then, are the first principles of the Gospel: that there is one God,
the Maker of this universe; He who was also announced by the prophets,
and who by Moses set forth the dispensation of the law, — [principles]
which proclaim the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and ignore any other
God or Father except Him. So firm is the ground upon which these
Gospels rest, that the very heretics themselves bear witness to them, and,
starting from these [documents], each one of them endeavors to establish
his own peculiar doctrine. For the Ebionites, who use Matthew’s Gospel
only, are confuted out of this very same, making false suppositions with
regard to the Lord. But Marcion, mutilating that according to Luke, is
proved to be a blasphemer of the only existing God, from those [passages]
which he still retains. Those, again, who separate Jesus from Christ,
alleging that Christ remained impassible, but that it was Jesus who
suffered, preferring the Gospel by Mark, if they read it with a love of
truth, may have their errors rectified. Those, moreover, who follow
Valentinus, making copious use of that according to John, to illustrate their
conjunctions, shall be proved to be totally in error by means of this very
Gospel, as I have shown in the first book. Since, then, our opponents do
bear testimony to us, and make use of these [documents], our proof
derived from them is firm and true.
(Irenaeus; Agaianst Heresies 3:11:7)

1. God, then, was made man, and the Lord did Himself save us, giving us
the token of the Virgin. But not as some allege, among those now
presuming to expound the Scripture, [thus:] “Behold, a young woman shall
conceive, and bring forth a son,” as Theodotion the Ephesian has
interpreted, and Aquila of Pontus, both Jewish proselytes. The Ebionites,
following these, assert that He was begotten by Joseph; thus destroying,
as far as in them lies, such a marvelous dispensation of God, and setting
aside the testimony of the prophets which proceeded from God. For truly
this prediction was uttered before the removal of the people to Babylon;
that is, anterior to the supremacy acquired by the Medes and Persians. But
it was interpreted into Greek by the Jews themselves, much before the
period of our Lord’s advent, that there might remain no suspicion that
perchance the Jews, complying with our humor, did put this interpretation
upon these words. They indeed, had they been cognizant of our future
existence, and that we should use these proofs from the Scriptures, would
themselves never have hesitated to burn their own Scriptures, which do
declare that all other nations partake of [eternal] life, and show that they
who boast themselves as being the house of Jacob and the people of Israel,
am disinherited from the grace of God.

(Ibid 3:21:1)

4. He will judge also the Ebionites; [for] how can they be saved unless it
was God who wrought out their salvation upon earth? Or how shall man
pass into God, unless God has [first] passed into man? And how shall he
(man) escape from the generation subject to death, if not by means of a
new generation, given in a wonderful and unexpected manner (but as a sign
of salvation) by God — [I mean] that regeneration which flows from the
virgin through faith? Or how shall they receive adoption from God if they
remain in this [kind of] generation, which is naturally possessed by man in
this world? And how could He (Christ) have been greater than Solomon, or
greater than Jonah, or have been the Lord of David, who was of the same
substance as they were? How, too, could He have subdued him who was
stronger than men, who had not only overcome man, but also retained him
under his power, and conquered him who had conquered, while he set free
mankind who had been conquered, unless He had been greater than man
who had thus been vanquished? But who else is superior to, and more
eminent than, that man who was formed after the likeness of God, except
the Son of God, after whose image man was created? And for this reason
He did in these last days exhibit the similitude; [for] the Son of God was
made man, assuming the ancient production [of His hands] into His own
nature, as I have shown in the immediately preceding book.

(ibid 3:33:4)

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Replies to This Discussion

Is there anymore writings that would present that Cerinthus actually had followers of his beliefs which would then prove the existence of a group of people we could call "Cerenthins"?  If yes, this arms us with another historical group of 1st century "theologians" we can present to unbelievers as a group who's history along with Ebionites, Essenes, and Nazarenes they need to be aware of in order to get a better understanding of the politics/religious beliefs at work in the 1st century ...possibly gaining a better insight into what they think they believe today.













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