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The Forgotten History of Apostle Paul and the Ebionites
During Christianity's Infancy Years
In the infancy of Christianity, followers of Jesus were Jewish. They were known as the Ebionites. Many of these Ebionites (before the death of Christ) were also known to the Jewish community as the Nazarenes. After the death of Jesus, it was an Ebionite man and biological brother to Jesus Christ, James that continued on with Christ messages. Some believe the Gospel of Hebrew was written by James, who is also referred as, James the Just. However, no one is entirely for sure if he did or did not write the Gospel, and indeed, many scholars think that the Hebrew Gospel was actually written by the Apostle Paul.
The Ebionites believed that in order to be a Christian, you first had to be Jewish. They were strict about wanting a Judeo-Christian co-existence in their fellowship. As the head of Christ's church in Jerusalem, James was very much in favor of this idea, and even at one point challenges the Apostle Paul on this issue as told to us in Acts. In one of his declarations, James tells the Gentile men they have to be circumcised in order to be a part of Jesus' following. St. Paul of course rejected this idea, and at that moment Christ's followers became deeply divided into two main groups.
Paul's rebuttal to this ideology was that he felt Christ's message was for everyone, even the Gentiles whether they were circumcised or not. Therefore, since Israel was a Jewish nation the other apostles of Christ thought it best to let James control Judea's worshipers, and to let Paul go East to preach to the Gentiles. As for the Jewish citizens residing in Judea, the only differences between one Hebrew person from their neighbors, was the belief in Jesus Christ to be the son of God. Those who leaned towards the view points of the traditional Sanhedrin, were known to be Zionists.
Zionists believed the prophetic vision of Isaiah wholeheartedly, and truly believed that the Messiah would appear here on earth, by directly coming from heaven in a chariot of fire, with one purpose, and that purpose was to smite all wicked sinners, right were they stood. However, many of the Zionists did considered Christ to be a prophet of God. He accompanied a host of revered prophets such as that of; Melchizedek, Daniel, Enoch, and Ezekiel.
When the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, (around Khirbet Qumran in 1947-1956) religious scholars were forced to rethink the humble beginnings of Christianity. They were forced to re-evaluate the core of the fellowship to its earliest known origin, and try to access the situation from the place in which they became so divided. For a thousand years, the original positioning of most biblical scholars, was that the original break between the two sects, came much later than it actually had. It really wasn't until the scrolls were uncovered, did we found out that the truth of the matter. Which was that the divide between being Jewish or not, came swift from the very beginning in Christianity. One might even go so far as to realize that the break up between Christians, was literally a power struggle between two stubborn minded men, St. Paul and St. James.
What many Christians today do not realize is that many of the early Christian symbols, were Jewish in origin. Take the symbol of the fish, which is known to modern-day Christians as a symbol of Christianity, was actually first used by the Ebionites. It was their sign they used to mark cave locations, letting other Ebionites know where the safe places of worship were located. It symbolized a call to worship, and it guarded against intruders such as the Roman guard, or Sanhedrin guards.
Sibling of Jesus
James the Just
James was the blood brother of Christ. He was also a very proud Jew and pragmatic leader. He was consider a warrior to some, and to the Romans..., a dangerous idealist and potential terrorist. Everyone would agree that James was not a pacifist like Christ, but rather, James was proud to take up arms in order to fight in his brother's name. This might come as a surprise to some, however James' Jewish ancestry holds the answer key. He believed in the old tribal ways of his communal ancestry and followed the literal letter of Torah law. An eye for eye and a tooth for tooth is how he led. He honored his religion faithfully, and often he fought back against the Roman dictatorship in the name of justice, just for the principal of it. He was no different than any other Hebrew in that day, in that, James felt persecuted and enslaved by Roman rule.
Because of these characteristics, James was a wanted man by his Roman oppressors, and the Roman authority wanted nothing more than for James to be dead. At one point in his life, James actually had a bounty on his head. With the discovery of some new archaeological findings, they have suggested that it was James, and a party Ebionite followers, who Saul the Taurus was tracking down that day on the road to Damascus, when he was blinded by the light of God, and he changed his name from Saul to Paul.
A Line From The Gospel of Thomas
Here's an interesting line in the Gospel of Thomas:
In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus' disciples ask, “We know you’ll leave us. Who’ll then rule over us?”
Jesus then answers them; “Where ever you arrive, go to James who is righteous because of whom, even heaven and earth came into existence; and, now tell me- to whom do I resemble?”
Of course that answer would be he resembled his brother James..., and not just physically either.
How Jesus and Paul Communicated
Paul never personally met Jesus. He did not know Jesus like the other disciples of Christ did. Moreover, Paul never spoke to Jesus Christ personally like James had. Christ spoke to Paul through visions and messenger angels.
Before that day on the road to Damascus, Paul was a bounty hunter for the Romans. His job was tracking, finding, and arresting followers of Christ to bring before the Roman Pontiff for persecution. He made his living this way. It is highly likely, that many of Paul's captives were sold back to the Romans, to later died in the Roman games at the Colosseum.
However despite that fact, the Pauline Doctrine is the bases of traditional Western religious dogma. It is the core of the Roman Catholic faith. In Paul's writings he is very detailed on all matters of the church, much like the five books of Moses are the bases of Judaism belief system. It is from these pieces of parchment scripted by Paul's own hand, which eventually St. Peter and St. John embraced as righteous doctrine and narrated over and over to their followers, while they too help spread the word of Christ. His letters, thus his doctrine helped form and establish the cornerstones of Christian faith.
Pauline epistles, some thirteen or fourteen letters in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, are believed by scholars to have been written by Paul directly.
You can find them in order on Wikipedia.com.
Learn Church History
- Approximately 97% of the world’s Christians believe and follow the Pauline Doctrine. Moreover, over seventy-five percent of Christians lack the basic knowledge stated here in this article. That is a disgrace, but whose at fault?
- As a lover of Jesus Christ, and once ousted Sunday school teacher for teaching my students that Luke was a Greek physician, I personally believe that there are many details to Christianity that should not be ignored. However, through the centuries Christians are still denied exploration into our beautiful religious history. What are they afraid we are going to find?
- Don't ever be afraid to free your mind, and explore Christianity's amazing history! Make it fun and exciting.
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