What happened to the real followers of Jesus?
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11-05-2015, 04:18 PM (This post was last modified: 12-05-2015 06:02 AM by Mark Fulton.)
What happened to the real followers of Jesus?
I have a particular interest in the history of the origins of Christianity.

I thought I'd share with anyone interested what I've learned about what happened to the Nazarenes. They were the original genuine followers of Jesus. I'm well aware there are good arguments that Jesus never existed. I happen to think that he probably did, but that the real person bears little resemblance to the character in the gospels. I think Jesus, if he existed, was a fundamentalist Jewish zealot who got knocked off by the Romans.

It is interesting to discuss what happened to his family and followers after his crucifixion and after the first Jewish War of 66 to 70 CE.

Forget the tail spun in the book of Acts. Forget the nonsense that Peter was the first Roman Pope. It is just pro-Christian propaganda. Here is the real story.

What Happened to the Nazarenes?

The Nazarenes were Yeshua’s bona fide disciples. Much of their history is missing, probably because early Christians destroyed it. Yet their tale can be pieced together.

Hugh Schonfield points out the Nazarenes were not Christians.

“It is to the Nazarene records that we ought chiefly to look for our knowledge of Jesus, and we must regard Nazarenism as the true Christianity. As the Nazarenes throughout the period of personal recollection and down to the third generation, that is to say at least seventy five years after the death of Jesus, denied his deity and his virgin birth, we must recognize that these are alien doctrines subsequently introduced by a partly paganized Church, as Justin Martyr in the middle of the second century more or less admits. The Church, which received them, had no other course open than to belittle the Nazarenes and denounce them as heretics. The historian here has no difficulty in detecting the real heretics.”

It is probable that Paul, the founder of Christian theology, masqueraded as a Nazarene in the 50’s and early 60’s; at least he did so when he was associating with traditional Jews. Once Paul was accepted into Jewish communities, he tried to replace messianic Nazarene doctrine with his own pro government perspective.

To all true Nazarenes, Paul was a heretic and a traitor to Judaism. The cordial relationship between Paul and the Nazarenes described by the author of Acts was merely an attempt to connect Paul with an historical Jesus and was a fiction. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, (d. 236 CE) Tertullian, Origen, Epiphanius, (c. 310 – 403 CE, bishop of Salamis) and Jerome all confirmed that the Ebionites (as the Nazarenes were later called, see below) opposed Paul as a false Apostle.

The Roman Emperor Nero may have blamed and persecuted the Nazarenes in Rome for the great fire of 64 CE. Christians today often incorrectly call Nero’s casualties Christians. There is a Christian “tradition” that this was when Peter was crucified, but there is no contemporary evidence to confirm the claim.

Hegesippus, (c. 110 - 180 CE) a Christian chronicler of the early Church, who may have been a Jewish convert, writes that after the death of James, Jesus' brother, in 62 CE, the Nazarenes selected Symeon, (aka Simeon) son of Cleophas, to be their new leader. He was one of Yeshua’s relatives, possibly a cousin.

During the first Jewish war of 66 - 70 CE, some of the Nazarenes are said to have fled across the Jordan River to Pella. Yet many of them probably tried to defend Jerusalem and therefore perished. The survivors must have been bitterly disappointed by the defeat. The remaining rebels moved back to Jerusalem in 72 CE. They never regained their pre war status and influence.

Prior to 80 – 90 CE, the Nazarenes were still worshipping in synagogues alongside Pharisees. Yet many of their fellow Jews now viewed them as trouble causers, probably because of their nationalistic ambitions. The Pharisaic Jews referred to them as “minim” (Hebrew for heretic.) A heretic is someone who still remains within the faith, but believes in elements not acceptable to the orthodoxy, so mainstream Jews never considered the Nazarenes as Christians. A deep schism between the Nazarenes and other Jews formed, and by 90 CE, Nazarenes were excluded from some synagogues. It is likely that some Jews opted out of Nazarenism, and others were intimidated by it, because opposing Rome was dangerous.

In his “Ecclesiastical History,” Eusebius of Caesaria, the father of early Christian history, wrote of the grandchildren of Jesus’ brother Jude, who were living in Galilee during the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian, (81–96 CE, Vespasian’s son and Titus’ younger brother.) Eusebius says Jesus’ relatives became dynastic leaders of various “Christian” (a misnomer) churches, and continued to be so up until the time of the Emperor Trajan (98–117 CE.)

Kamal Salibi, at the time an Emeritus Professor at the American University of Beirut, Department of History and Archaeology, wrote that after Symeon’s death, twelve others followed in turn whose names are preserved down to 135 CE (the time of the Second Jewish Revolt.)

So there were fifteen leaders of the Nazarene sect after Jesus, all of who were circumcised Jews and relations of Jesus. The word “Desposyni” was reserved uniquely for Jesus’ blood relatives and literally meant “belonging to the Lord.” They governed the Nazarenes. Each carried one of the names traditional in Jesus’ family: Zachary, Joseph, John, James, Joses, Symeon, Matthias, and others, although no later Desposynos was ever called Yeshua.

Sextus Julius Africanus’ reference to the “Desposyni” is also preserved by Eusebius:

“For the relatives of our Lord according to the flesh, whether with the desire of boasting or simply wishing to state the fact, in either case truly, have handed down the following account...Herod, inasmuch as the lineage of the Israelites contributed nothing to his advantage, and since he was goaded with the consciousness of his own ignoble extraction, burned all the genealogical records, thinking that he might appear of noble origin if no one else were able, from the public registers, to trace back his lineage to the patriarchs or proselytes and to those mingled with them, who were called Georae. A few of the careful, however, having obtained private records of their own, either by remembering the names or by getting them in some other way from the registers, pride themselves on preserving the memory of their noble extraction. Among these are those already mentioned, called Desposyni, on account of their connection with the family of the Saviour. Coming from Nazara and Cochaba, villages of Judea, into other parts of the world, they drew the aforesaid genealogy from memory and from the book of daily records as faithfully as possible.

Whether then the case stand thus or not no one could find a clearer explanation, according to my own opinion and that of every candid person. And let this suffice us, for, although we can urge no testimony in its support, we have nothing better or truer to offer. In any case the Gospel states the truth.”
(Eusebius, Historica Ecclesiae, 1:7:11.)

Eusebius also preserved an extract from a work by Hegesippus, (c.110–c.180) who wrote five books of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church. The extract refers to the period from the reign of Domitian (81–96 CE) to that of Trajan, (98–117 CE) and includes the statement that two Desposyni brought before Domitian later became leaders of the churches:

“There still survived of the kindred of the Lord the grandsons of Judas, who according to the flesh was called his brother. These were informed against, as belonging to the family of David, and Evocatus brought them before Domitian Caesar: for that emperor dreaded the advent of Christ, as Herod had done.

So he asked them whether they were of the family of David; and they confessed they were. Next he asked them what property they had, or how much money they possessed. They both replied that they had only 9000 denaria between them, each of them owning half that sum; but even this they said they did not possess in cash, but as the estimated value of some land, consisting of thirty-nine plethra only, out of which they had to pay the dues, and that they supported themselves by their own labor. And then they began to hold out their hands, exhibiting, as proof of their manual labor, the roughness of their skin, and the corns raised on their hands by constant work.

Being then asked concerning Christ and His kingdom, what was its nature, and when and where it was to appear, they returned answer that it was not of this world, nor of the earth, but belonging to the sphere of heaven and angels, and would make its appearance at the end of time, when He shall come in glory, and judge living and dead, and render to every one according to the course of his life.

Thereupon Domitian passed no condemnation upon them, but treated them with contempt, as too mean for notice, and let them go free. At the same time he issued a command, and put a stop to the persecution against the Church.

When they were released they became leaders of the churches, as was natural in the case of those who were at once martyrs and of the kindred of the Lord. And, after the establishment of peace to the Church, their lives were prolonged to the reign of Trojan.”
(Eusebius, Historica Ecclesiae, 3:20.)

Eusebius also wrote that the Nazarenes did not fight in the second war (132-6 CE) against the Romans, as they considered Simon bar Kochba, the Jewish commander, to be a false messiah.

After this war, the fifteenth Nazarene leader was exiled with the remaining Jewish population when the Emperor Hadrian banned all Jews from Jerusalem.

Over the next few centuries, the Nazarenes headed by Yeshua’s relatives continued as a movement that some Jews joined. They were well respected in their own locales. They moved northeastward, eventually making their way to the Tigris-Euphrates basin, spreading throughout Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia.

The early Christians considered the Nazarenes a heretical sect, so ignored and later suppressed them. Justin Martyr denigrated their beliefs. The developing orthodox Catholic Church deliberately called them the “Ebionites,” “the poor ones” (although Jews did not consider this term derogatory; in fact they used the term to refer to the righteous.) Christians prior to Irenaeus did not use this term. Irenaeus wrote

“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.”
These men were Gnostics who believed Jesus was a very human teacher. Irenaeus continues:

“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” (Against Heresies 1:26.)

The Gospel according to Matthew that Irenaeus refers to was probably the same Gospel that Jerome (342–420 CE) and Epiphanius called the “Gospel of the Nazarenes/Hebrews,” which was written in Aramaic. Jerome mentions that he made translations of it into Greek and Latin. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, no significant part of this Gospel survives today. Some scholars believe that it was loosely linked to canonical Matthew, which fits with Matthew being the most pro-Jewish Gospel of the four. It is possible that this was how some facts about Yeshua the Nazarene insurrectionist made it into the Gospels.

Eusebius considered the Nazarenes heretics because

“... they regarded [Jesus] as plain and ordinary, a man esteemed as righteous through growth of character and nothing more, the child of a normal union between a man and Mary; and they held that they must observe every detail of the Law—that by faith in Christ alone they would never win Salvation” (Ecclesiastical History 3.7.)
Hugh Schonfield would say that it was Eusebius who was the real heretic.

Irenaeus and Eusebius, both fervent Christians, depicted the Nazarenes correctly as a Jewish sect.

Gentile Christians came to refer to the Nazarenes indiscriminately as “Jewish Christians” because of their link with Jesus, yet this was another misnomer, because they never were Christians.

By the beginning of the fourth century, the Roman Catholic Church was becoming dominant and there were confrontations with Jews, including the Nazarenes. With the Synod of Elvira, held in 306 CE, prohibitions against eating, marriage, and sex with Jews were enacted in the Roman Empire. Nazarenes were included in this ban, which in effect excluded them from all social and religious association with those in the growing Gentile Christian church.

The Emperor Constantine appointed Sylvester as the head bishop of the Catholic Church in 313 CE. According to the Irish Jesuit his- torian Malachi Martin,235 a meeting took place in 318 CE in Rome between Pope Sylvester I and the Desposyni. Sylvester provided sea travel for the Nazarene leaders as far as the Roman port of Ostia, thirty kilometers west of Rome. The fact that Sylvester thought it necessary to meet with them suggests that he was curious, yet it is obvious he initiated the meeting with the intention of exerting his pontifical authority over them.

The Nazarene leaders who appeared before Pope Sylvester quite rightly thought they represented Yeshua’s true legacy. They were, after all, his blood relations, part of at least three well-known lines of legitimate blood descent from Yeshua’s family. They were eight in number, and Joses, the oldest of them, spoke on their behalf. They bluntly refused to recognize the Roman church as having any authority, and made the following demands:
(1) That the confirmation of the Christian bishops of Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus and Alexandria be revoked;
(2) That these bishoprics be conferred on members of the Desposyni;
(3) That the Law be reintroduced, which included the Sabbath and the Holy Day system of Feasts, and
(4) That Christian Churches resume sending money to the Desposyni Church in Jerusalem, which was to be regarded as the “Mother Church.”

Such bold claims must have come as a surprise to Sylvester, who refused their demands. They were told that the leadership of Jesus’ church had moved to Rome, and that the Nazarenes had no jurisdiction.

Sylvester must have known his church was the impostor, but that did not concern him. The politics of power were more important than the truth. This was the last known formal dialogue between Christian and Nazarene leaders.

A few years later Nazarenes began to surface in southern Upper Egypt. In this remote locale, far from the center of Gentile Christianity, they continued to practice their beliefs.

In 364 CE, the Catholic Council of Laodicea decreed anathema on any “Jewish Christians” who continued to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. Historical references to Nazarenes became scarce thereafter. The few remaining believers petered out.

What is appealing about the real story of Yeshua and the Nazarenes is that modern people can relate to it. We all have major concerns about organizations, and the way the Catholic Church, as an organization, treated the Nazarenes some 1700 years ago is an ancient example of what many people dislike about institutions. Whether an organization is a university, a government department, or a Church, their members often put the survivorship, growth and social standing of the organization in front of any controversial facts, or interesting truths, that may emerge. The Catholic Church today, for example, always protects its power, finances, people, and profile above all else. Embarrassing truths are dealt with professionally so as to leave as little damage to the organization as possible. In the first few centuries of Christianity, the Nazarenes’ claims, and their legacy, were not seen as a real threat to the Church’s autonomy. The Catholic Church barely flinched to deal with the Nazarene’s concerns. Respecting an honorable group of people was not an ethic that drove the early Church when dealing with powerless minorities. That legacy and modus operandi is very apparent in understanding the way the Church has operated throughout history and still operates today, for example in the Vatican’s attitude to homosexuality, the way they continue to not totally respect women (half their congregation) and their attitude towards the victims of child sexual abuse perpetrated by their own members.

To summarize, the Nazarenes were a Jewish sect that, at least in the first century, had strong anti Gentile political ambitions. Christianity, something quite separate, rather ironically became a religion for Gentiles. Christianity stole Yeshua the Nazarene’s identity to create Jesus, and reinvented him, not only as its founder, but also as God incarnate and the savior of the world. Christians then suppressed the Nazarenes, who struggled on for about four centuries before they disappeared.

If Yeshua, his family, and his original admirers could speak today, they would be dumbfounded at the distortion of their legacy.

References:
Eisenman, Robert H. “James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to
Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls” Klinghoffer, D. 1965 “Why The Jews Rejected Jesus”. Doubleday.
United States Of America.
Lockhart, D. 1997 “Jesus The Heretic”. Element Books. Dorset. Lockhart, D. 1999 “The Dark Side Of God”. Element Books. Dorset Schonfield, H. 1969 “Those Incredible Christians”. Bantam. New York. Thijs Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon co-wrote “Operation Messiah” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4kTNS18ses
http://ia600401.us.archive.org/34/items/...shFollower sOfJesusPart1-Ebionites/Podcast3.7JudeanFollowersOfJesusPart1- Ebionites.mp3
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ebionites
http://douglaslockhart.com/pdf/THE NAZORAEAN SECT.pdf
http://www.yashanet.com/library/nazarene_judaism.html
http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/ebionites.html
http://www.yashanet.com/library/temple/nazarenes.htm for the above information.
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=b7bnvXrC47AC&pg= PA152&lpg=PA152&dq=Julius+Africanus,+desposyni,&sou rce=bl&ots=SKzFZ8tcXu&sig=cN-lLGGfHPzmMfpnjuvw- W2fqY4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VkzWUMmCEO6ViQePwIHQBg&v ed=0CF4Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Julius%20Africanus%2C%20 desposyni%2C&f=false
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=jVyz...AC&pg=PA29 6&dq=hegesippus,+symeon&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jU7WUICTJa-UiQ fp7oGICg&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=hegesippus %2C%20symeon&f=false
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_the_Hebrews http://www.conorpdowling.com/library/council-of-elvira http://www.askwhy.co.uk/christianity/0370Ebionites.php http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/te...ippus.html
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11-05-2015, 04:23 PM
RE: What happened to the real followers of Jesus?
(11-05-2015 04:18 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I have a particular interest in the history of the origins of Christianity.

I thought I'd share with anyone interested what I've learned about what happened to the Nazarenenes. They were the original genuine followers of Jesus. I'm well aware there are good arguments that Jesus never existed. I happen to think that he probably did, but that the real person bears little resemblance to the character in the gospels. I think Jesus, if he existed, was a fundamentalist Jewish zealot who got knocked off by the Romans.

It is interesting to discuss what happened to his family and followers after his crucifixion and after the first Jewish War of 66 to 70 CE.

Forget the tail spun in the book of Acts. Forget the nonsense that Peter was the first Roman Pope. It is just pro-Christian propaganda. Here is the real story.

What Happened to the Nazarenes?

The Nazarenes were Yeshua’s bona fide disciples. Much of their history is missing, probably because early Christians destroyed it. Yet their tale can be pieced together.

Hugh Schonfield points out the Nazarenes were not Christians.

“It is to the Nazarene records that we ought chiefly to look for our knowledge of Jesus, and we must regard Nazarenism as the true Christianity. As the Nazarenes throughout the period of personal recollection and down to the third generation, that is to say at least seventy five years after the death of Jesus, denied his deity and his virgin birth, we must recognize that these are alien doctrines subse- quently introduced by a partly paganized Church, as Justin Martyr in the middle of the second century more or less admits. The Church, which received them, had no other course open than to belittle the Nazarenes and denounce them as heretics. The historian here has no difficulty in detecting the real heretics.”

It is probable that Paul, the founder of Christian theology, masqueraded as a Nazarene in the 50’s and early 60’s; at least he did so when he was associating with traditional Jews. Once Paul was accepted into Jewish communities, he tried to replace messianic Nazarene doctrine with his own pro government perspective.

To all true Nazarenes, Paul was a heretic and a traitor to Judaism. The cordial relationship between Paul and the Nazarenes described by the author of Acts was merely an attempt to connect Paul with an historical Jesus and was a fiction. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, (d. 236 CE) Tertullian, Origen, Epiphanius, (c. 310 – 403 CE, bishop of Salamis) and Jerome all confirmed that the Ebionites (as the Nazarenes were later called, see below) opposed Paul as a false Apostle.

The Roman Emperor Nero may have blamed and persecuted the Nazarenes in Rome for the great fire of 64 CE. Christians today often incorrectly call Nero’s casualties Christians. There is a Christian “tradition” that this was when Peter was crucified, but there is no contemporary evidence to confirm the claim.

Hegesippus, (c. 110 - 180 CE) a Christian chronicler of the early Church, who may have been a Jewish convert, writes that after the death of James in 62 CE, the Nazarenes selected Symeon, (aka Simeon) son of Cleophas, to be their new leader. He was one of Yeshua’s relatives, possibly a cousin.

During the first Jewish war of 66 - 70 CE, some of the Nazarenes are said to have fled across the Jordan River to Pella. Yet many of them probably tried to defend Jerusalem and therefore perished. The survivors must have been bitterly disappointed by the defeat. The remaining rebels moved back to Jerusalem in 72 CE. They never regained their pre war status and influence.

Prior to 80 – 90 CE, the Nazarenes were still worshipping in synagogues alongside Pharisees. Yet many of their fellow Jews now viewed them as trouble causers, probably because of their nationalistic ambitions. The Pharisaic Jews referred to them as “minim” (Hebrew for heretic.) A heretic is someone who still remains within the faith, but believes in elements not acceptable to the orthodoxy, so mainstream Jews never considered the Nazarenes as Christians. A deep schism between the Nazarenes and other Jews formed, and by 90 CE, Nazarenes were excluded from some synagogues. It is likely that some Jews opted out of Nazarenism, and others were intimidated by it, because opposing Rome was dangerous.

In his “Ecclesiastical History,” Eusebius of Caesaria, the father of early Christian history, wrote of the grandchildren of Jesus’ brother Jude, who were living in Galilee during the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian, (81–96 CE, Vespasian’s son and Titus’ younger brother.) (232 book 3, chapter 20. Eusebius says Jesus’ rela- tives became dynastic leaders of various “Christian” (a misnomer) churches, and continued to be so up until the time of the Emperor Trajan (98–117 CE.)

Kamal Salibi, at the time an Emeritus Professor at the American University of Beirut, Department of History and Archaeology, wrote that after Symeon’s death, twelve others followed in turn whosenames are preserved down to 135 CE (the time of the Second Jewish Revolt.)

So there were fifteen leaders of the Nazarene sect after Jesus, all of who were circumcised Jews and relations of Jesus. The word “Desposyni” was reserved uniquely for Jesus’ blood relatives and literally meant “belonging to the Lord.” They governed the Nazarenes. Each carried one of the names traditional in Jesus’ family: Zachary, Joseph, John, James, Joses, Symeon, Matthias, and others, although no later Desposynos was ever called Yeshua.

Sextus Julius Africanus’233 reference to the “Desposyni” is also preserved by Eusebius:

“For the relatives of our Lord according to the flesh, whether with the desire of boasting or simply wishing to state the fact, in either case truly, have handed down the following account...Herod, inasmuch as the lineage of the Israelites contributed nothing to his advantage, and since he was goaded with the consciousness of his own igno- ble extraction, burned all the genealogical records, thinking that he might appear of noble origin if no one else were able, from the pub- lic registers, to trace back his lineage to the patriarchs or proselytes and to those mingled with them, who were called Georae. A few of the careful, however, having obtained private records of their own, either by remembering the names or by getting them in some other way from the registers, pride themselves on preserving the memory of their noble extraction. Among these are those already mentioned, called Desposyni, on account of their connection with the family of the Saviour. Coming from Nazara and Cochaba, villages of Judea, into other parts of the world, they drew the aforesaid genealogy from memory and from the book of daily records as faithfully as possible.

Whether then the case stand thus or not no one could find a clearer explanation, according to my own opinion and that of every candid person. And let this suffice us, for, although we can urge no testimony in its support, we have nothing better or truer to offer. In any case the Gospel states the truth.”
(Eusebius, Historica Ecclesiae, 1:7:11.)

Eusebius also preserved an extract from a work by Hegesippus, (c.110–c.180) who wrote five books of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church. The extract refers to the period from the reign of Domitian (81–96 CE) to that of Trajan, (98–117 CE) and includes the statement that two Desposyni brought before Domitian later became leaders of the churches:

“There still survived of the kindred of the Lord the grandsons of Judas, who according to the flesh was called his brother. These were informed against, as belonging to the family of David, and Evocatus brought them before Domitian Caesar: for that emperor dreaded the advent of Christ, as Herod had done.
So he asked them whether they were of the family of David; and they confessed they were. Next he asked them what property they had, or how much money they possessed. They both replied that they had only 9000 denaria between them, each of them owning half that sum; but even this they said they did not possess in cash, but as the estimated value of some land, consisting of thirty-nine plethra only, out of which they had to pay the dues, and that they supported themselves by their own labor. And then they began to hold out their hands, exhibiting, as proof of their manual labor, the roughness of their skin, and the corns raised on their hands by constant work.

Being then asked concerning Christ and His kingdom, what was its nature, and when and where it was to appear, they returned answer that it was not of this world, nor of the earth, but belonging to the sphere of heaven and angels, and would make its appearance at the end of time, when He shall come in glory, and judge living and dead, and render to every one according to the course of his life.

Thereupon Domitian passed no condemnation upon them, but treated them with contempt, as too mean for notice, and let them go free. At the same time he issued a command, and put a stop to the persecution against the Church.

When they were released they became leaders of the churches, as was natural in the case of those who were at once martyrs and of the kindred of the Lord. And, after the establishment of peace to the Church, their lives were prolonged to the reign of Trojan.”
(Eusebius, Historica Ecclesiae, 3:20.)

Eusebius also wrote that the Nazarenes did not fight in the second war (132-6 CE) against the Romans, as they considered Simon bar Kochba, the Jewish commander, to be a false messiah.

After this war, the fifteenth Nazarene leader was exiled with the remaining Jewish population when the Emperor Hadrian banned all Jews from Jerusalem.

Over the next few centuries, the Nazarenes headed by Yeshua’s rela- tives continued as a movement that some Jews joined. They were well respected in their own locales. They moved northeastward, eventually making their way to the Tigris-Euphrates basin, spreading throughout Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia.

The early Christians considered the Nazarenes a heretical sect, so ignored and later suppressed them. Justin Martyr denigrated their beliefs. The developing orthodox Catholic Church deliberately called them the “Ebionites,” “the poor ones” (although Jews did not consider this term derogatory; in fact they used the term to refer to the righteous.) Christians prior to Irenaeus did not use this term. Irenaeus wrote

“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.”
These men were Gnostics who believed Jesus was a very human teacher. Irenaeus continues:

“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” (Against Heresies 1:26.)

The Gospel according to Matthew that Irenaeus refers to was probably the same Gospel that Jerome (342–420 CE) and Epiphanius called the “Gospel of the Nazarenes/Hebrews,” which was written in Aramaic. Jerome mentions that he made translations of it into Greek and Latin. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, no significant part of this Gospel survives today. Some scholars believe that it was loosely linked to canonical Matthew, which fits with Matthew being the most pro-Jewish Gospel of the four. It is possible that this was how some facts about Yeshua the Nazarene insurrectionist made it into the Gospels.

Eusebius considered the Nazarenes heretics because

“... they regarded [Jesus] as plain and ordinary, a man esteemed as righteous through growth of character and nothing more, the child of a normal union between a man and Mary; and they held that they must observe every detail of the Law—that by faith in Christ alone they would never win Salvation” (Ecclesiastical History 3.7.)
Hugh Schonfield would say that it was Eusebius who was the real heretic.

Irenaeus and Eusebius, both fervent Christians, depicted the Nazarenes correctly as a Jewish sect.

Gentile Christians came to refer to the Nazarenes indiscriminately as “Jewish Christians” because of their link with Jesus, yet this was another misnomer, because they never were Christians.

By the beginning of the fourth century, the Roman Catholic Church was becoming dominant and there were confrontations with Jews, including the Nazarenes. With the Synod of Elvira, held in 306 CE, prohibitions against eating, marriage, and sex with Jews were enacted in the Roman Empire. Nazarenes were included in this ban, which in effect excluded them from all social and religious association with those in the growing Gentile Christian church.

The Emperor Constantine appointed Sylvester as the head bishop of the Catholic Church in 313 CE. According to the Irish Jesuit his- torian Malachi Martin,235 a meeting took place in 318 CE in Rome between Pope Sylvester I and the Desposyni. Sylvester provided sea travel for the Nazarene leaders as far as the Roman port of Ostia, thirty kilometers west of Rome. The fact that Sylvester thought it
necessary to meet with them suggests that he was curious, yet it is obvious he initiated the meeting with the intention of exerting his pontifical authority over them.
The Nazarene leaders who appeared before Pope Sylvester quite rightly thought they represented Yeshua’s true legacy. They were, after all, his blood relations, part of at least three well-known lines of legitimate blood descent from Yeshua’s family. They were eight in number, and Joses, the oldest of them, spoke on their behalf. They bluntly refused to recognize the Roman church as having any authority, and made the following demands:
(1) That the confirmation of the Christian bishops of Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus and Alexandria be revoked;
(2) That these bishoprics be conferred on members of the Desposyni;
(3) That the Law be reintroduced, which included the Sabbath and the Holy Day system of Feasts, and
(4) That Christian Churches resume sending money to the Desposyni Church in Jerusalem, which was to be regarded as the “Mother Church.”
Such bold claims must have come as a surprise to Sylvester, who refused their demands. They were told that the leadership of Jesus’ church had moved to Rome, and that the Nazarenes had no jurisdiction.

Sylvester must have known his church was the impostor, but that did not concern him. The politics of power were more important than the truth. This was the last known formal dialogue between Christian and Nazarene leaders.

A few years later Nazarenes began to surface in southern Upper Egypt. In this remote locale, far from the center of Gentile Christianity, they continued to practice their beliefs.

In 364 CE, the Catholic Council of Laodicea decreed anathema on any “Jewish Christians” who continued to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. Historical references to Nazarenes became scarce thereafter. The few remaining believers petered out.

What is appealing about the real story of Yeshua and the Nazarenes is that modern people can relate to it. We all have major concerns about organizations, and the way the Catholic Church, as an organization, treated the Nazarenes some 1700 years ago is an ancient example of what many people dislike about institutions. Whether an organization is a university, a government department, or a Church, their members often put the survivorship, growth and social standing of the organization in front of any controversial facts, or interesting truths, that may emerge. The Catholic Church today, for example, always protects its power, finances, people, and profile above all else. Embarrassing truths are dealt with professionally so as to leave as little damage to the organization as possible. In the first few centuries of Christianity, the Nazarenes’ claims, and their legacy, were not seen as a real threat to the Church’s autonomy. The Catholic Church barely flinched to deal with the Nazarene’s concerns. Respecting an honorable group of people was not an ethic that drove the early Church when dealing with powerless minorities. That legacy and modus operandi is very apparent in understanding the way the Church has operated throughout history and still operates today, for example in the Vatican’s attitude to homosexuality, the way they continue to not totally respect women (half their congregation) and their attitude towards the victims of child sexual abuse perpetrated by their own members.

To summarize, the Nazarenes were a Jewish sect that, at least in the first century, had strong anti Gentile political ambitions. Christianity, something quite separate, rather ironically became a religion for Gentiles. Christianity stole Yeshua the Nazarene’s identity to create Jesus, and reinvented him, not only as its founder, but also as God incarnate and the savior of the world. Christians then suppressed the Nazarenes, who struggled on for about four centuries before they disappeared.

If Yeshua, his family, and his original admirers could speak today, they would be dumbfounded at the distortion of their legacy.

References:
Eisenman, Robert H. “James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to
Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls” Klinghoffer, D. 1965 “Why The Jews Rejected Jesus”. Doubleday.
United States Of America.
Lockhart, D. 1997 “Jesus The Heretic”. Element Books. Dorset. Lockhart, D. 1999 “The Dark Side Of God”. Element Books. Dorset Schonfield, H. 1969 “Those Incredible Christians”. Bantam. New York. Thijs Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon co-wrote “Operation Messiah” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4kTNS18ses
http://ia600401.us.archive.org/34/items/...shFollower sOfJesusPart1-Ebionites/Podcast3.7JudeanFollowersOfJesusPart1- Ebionites.mp3
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ebionites
http://douglaslockhart.com/pdf/THE NAZORAEAN SECT.pdf
http://www.yashanet.com/library/nazarene_judaism.html
http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/ebionites.html
http://www.yashanet.com/library/temple/nazarenes.htm for the above information.
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=b7bnvXrC47AC&pg= PA152&lpg=PA152&dq=Julius+Africanus,+desposyni,&sou rce=bl&ots=SKzFZ8tcXu&sig=cN-lLGGfHPzmMfpnjuvw- W2fqY4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VkzWUMmCEO6ViQePwIHQBg&v ed=0CF4Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Julius%20Africanus%2C%20 desposyni%2C&f=false
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=jVyz...AC&pg=PA29 6&dq=hegesippus,+symeon&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jU7WUICTJa-UiQ fp7oGICg&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=hegesippus %2C%20symeon&f=false
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_the_Hebrews http://www.conorpdowling.com/library/council-of-elvira http://www.askwhy.co.uk/christianity/0370Ebionites.php http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/te...ippus.html

Very interesting! Thanks for posting Thumbsup

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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11-05-2015, 04:31 PM
RE: What happened to the real followers of Jesus?
(11-05-2015 04:18 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I have a particular interest in the history of the origins of Christianity.

I thought I'd share with anyone interested what I've learned about what happened to the Nazarenenes. They were the original genuine followers of Jesus. I'm well aware there are good arguments that Jesus never existed. I happen to think that he probably did, but that the real person bears little resemblance to the character in the gospels. I think Jesus, if he existed, was a fundamentalist Jewish zealot who got knocked off by the Romans.

It is interesting to discuss what happened to his family and followers after his crucifixion and after the first Jewish War of 66 to 70 CE.

Forget the tail spun in the book of Acts. Forget the nonsense that Peter was the first Roman Pope. It is just pro-Christian propaganda. Here is the real story.

What Happened to the Nazarenes?

The Nazarenes were Yeshua’s bona fide disciples. Much of their history is missing, probably because early Christians destroyed it. Yet their tale can be pieced together.

Hugh Schonfield points out the Nazarenes were not Christians.

“It is to the Nazarene records that we ought chiefly to look for our knowledge of Jesus, and we must regard Nazarenism as the true Christianity. As the Nazarenes throughout the period of personal recollection and down to the third generation, that is to say at least seventy five years after the death of Jesus, denied his deity and his virgin birth, we must recognize that these are alien doctrines subse- quently introduced by a partly paganized Church, as Justin Martyr in the middle of the second century more or less admits. The Church, which received them, had no other course open than to belittle the Nazarenes and denounce them as heretics. The historian here has no difficulty in detecting the real heretics.”

It is probable that Paul, the founder of Christian theology, masqueraded as a Nazarene in the 50’s and early 60’s; at least he did so when he was associating with traditional Jews. Once Paul was accepted into Jewish communities, he tried to replace messianic Nazarene doctrine with his own pro government perspective.

To all true Nazarenes, Paul was a heretic and a traitor to Judaism. The cordial relationship between Paul and the Nazarenes described by the author of Acts was merely an attempt to connect Paul with an historical Jesus and was a fiction. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, (d. 236 CE) Tertullian, Origen, Epiphanius, (c. 310 – 403 CE, bishop of Salamis) and Jerome all confirmed that the Ebionites (as the Nazarenes were later called, see below) opposed Paul as a false Apostle.

The Roman Emperor Nero may have blamed and persecuted the Nazarenes in Rome for the great fire of 64 CE. Christians today often incorrectly call Nero’s casualties Christians. There is a Christian “tradition” that this was when Peter was crucified, but there is no contemporary evidence to confirm the claim.

Hegesippus, (c. 110 - 180 CE) a Christian chronicler of the early Church, who may have been a Jewish convert, writes that after the death of James, Jesus' brother, in 62 CE, the Nazarenes selected Symeon, (aka Simeon) son of Cleophas, to be their new leader. He was one of Yeshua’s relatives, possibly a cousin.

During the first Jewish war of 66 - 70 CE, some of the Nazarenes are said to have fled across the Jordan River to Pella. Yet many of them probably tried to defend Jerusalem and therefore perished. The survivors must have been bitterly disappointed by the defeat. The remaining rebels moved back to Jerusalem in 72 CE. They never regained their pre war status and influence.

Prior to 80 – 90 CE, the Nazarenes were still worshipping in synagogues alongside Pharisees. Yet many of their fellow Jews now viewed them as trouble causers, probably because of their nationalistic ambitions. The Pharisaic Jews referred to them as “minim” (Hebrew for heretic.) A heretic is someone who still remains within the faith, but believes in elements not acceptable to the orthodoxy, so mainstream Jews never considered the Nazarenes as Christians. A deep schism between the Nazarenes and other Jews formed, and by 90 CE, Nazarenes were excluded from some synagogues. It is likely that some Jews opted out of Nazarenism, and others were intimidated by it, because opposing Rome was dangerous.

In his “Ecclesiastical History,” Eusebius of Caesaria, the father of early Christian history, wrote of the grandchildren of Jesus’ brother Jude, who were living in Galilee during the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian, (81–96 CE, Vespasian’s son and Titus’ younger brother.) Eusebius says Jesus’ relatives became dynastic leaders of various “Christian” (a misnomer) churches, and continued to be so up until the time of the Emperor Trajan (98–117 CE.)

Kamal Salibi, at the time an Emeritus Professor at the American University of Beirut, Department of History and Archaeology, wrote that after Symeon’s death, twelve others followed in turn whose names are preserved down to 135 CE (the time of the Second Jewish Revolt.)

So there were fifteen leaders of the Nazarene sect after Jesus, all of who were circumcised Jews and relations of Jesus. The word “Desposyni” was reserved uniquely for Jesus’ blood relatives and literally meant “belonging to the Lord.” They governed the Nazarenes. Each carried one of the names traditional in Jesus’ family: Zachary, Joseph, John, James, Joses, Symeon, Matthias, and others, although no later Desposynos was ever called Yeshua.

Sextus Julius Africanus’ reference to the “Desposyni” is also preserved by Eusebius:

“For the relatives of our Lord according to the flesh, whether with the desire of boasting or simply wishing to state the fact, in either case truly, have handed down the following account...Herod, inasmuch as the lineage of the Israelites contributed nothing to his advantage, and since he was goaded with the consciousness of his own igno- ble extraction, burned all the genealogical records, thinking that he might appear of noble origin if no one else were able, from the pub- lic registers, to trace back his lineage to the patriarchs or proselytes and to those mingled with them, who were called Georae. A few of the careful, however, having obtained private records of their own, either by remembering the names or by getting them in some other way from the registers, pride themselves on preserving the memory of their noble extraction. Among these are those already mentioned, called Desposyni, on account of their connection with the family of the Saviour. Coming from Nazara and Cochaba, villages of Judea, into other parts of the world, they drew the aforesaid genealogy from memory and from the book of daily records as faithfully as possible.

Whether then the case stand thus or not no one could find a clearer explanation, according to my own opinion and that of every candid person. And let this suffice us, for, although we can urge no testimony in its support, we have nothing better or truer to offer. In any case the Gospel states the truth.”
(Eusebius, Historica Ecclesiae, 1:7:11.)

Eusebius also preserved an extract from a work by Hegesippus, (c.110–c.180) who wrote five books of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church. The extract refers to the period from the reign of Domitian (81–96 CE) to that of Trajan, (98–117 CE) and includes the statement that two Desposyni brought before Domitian later became leaders of the churches:

“There still survived of the kindred of the Lord the grandsons of Judas, who according to the flesh was called his brother. These were informed against, as belonging to the family of David, and Evocatus brought them before Domitian Caesar: for that emperor dreaded the advent of Christ, as Herod had done.
So he asked them whether they were of the family of David; and they confessed they were. Next he asked them what property they had, or how much money they possessed. They both replied that they had only 9000 denaria between them, each of them owning half that sum; but even this they said they did not possess in cash, but as the estimated value of some land, consisting of thirty-nine plethra only, out of which they had to pay the dues, and that they supported themselves by their own labor. And then they began to hold out their hands, exhibiting, as proof of their manual labor, the roughness of their skin, and the corns raised on their hands by constant work.

Being then asked concerning Christ and His kingdom, what was its nature, and when and where it was to appear, they returned answer that it was not of this world, nor of the earth, but belonging to the sphere of heaven and angels, and would make its appearance at the end of time, when He shall come in glory, and judge living and dead, and render to every one according to the course of his life.

Thereupon Domitian passed no condemnation upon them, but treated them with contempt, as too mean for notice, and let them go free. At the same time he issued a command, and put a stop to the persecution against the Church.

When they were released they became leaders of the churches, as was natural in the case of those who were at once martyrs and of the kindred of the Lord. And, after the establishment of peace to the Church, their lives were prolonged to the reign of Trojan.”
(Eusebius, Historica Ecclesiae, 3:20.)

Eusebius also wrote that the Nazarenes did not fight in the second war (132-6 CE) against the Romans, as they considered Simon bar Kochba, the Jewish commander, to be a false messiah.

After this war, the fifteenth Nazarene leader was exiled with the remaining Jewish population when the Emperor Hadrian banned all Jews from Jerusalem.

Over the next few centuries, the Nazarenes headed by Yeshua’s rela- tives continued as a movement that some Jews joined. They were well respected in their own locales. They moved northeastward, eventually making their way to the Tigris-Euphrates basin, spreading throughout Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia.

The early Christians considered the Nazarenes a heretical sect, so ignored and later suppressed them. Justin Martyr denigrated their beliefs. The developing orthodox Catholic Church deliberately called them the “Ebionites,” “the poor ones” (although Jews did not consider this term derogatory; in fact they used the term to refer to the righteous.) Christians prior to Irenaeus did not use this term. Irenaeus wrote

“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.”
These men were Gnostics who believed Jesus was a very human teacher. Irenaeus continues:

“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” (Against Heresies 1:26.)

The Gospel according to Matthew that Irenaeus refers to was probably the same Gospel that Jerome (342–420 CE) and Epiphanius called the “Gospel of the Nazarenes/Hebrews,” which was written in Aramaic. Jerome mentions that he made translations of it into Greek and Latin. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, no significant part of this Gospel survives today. Some scholars believe that it was loosely linked to canonical Matthew, which fits with Matthew being the most pro-Jewish Gospel of the four. It is possible that this was how some facts about Yeshua the Nazarene insurrectionist made it into the Gospels.

Eusebius considered the Nazarenes heretics because

“... they regarded [Jesus] as plain and ordinary, a man esteemed as righteous through growth of character and nothing more, the child of a normal union between a man and Mary; and they held that they must observe every detail of the Law—that by faith in Christ alone they would never win Salvation” (Ecclesiastical History 3.7.)
Hugh Schonfield would say that it was Eusebius who was the real heretic.

Irenaeus and Eusebius, both fervent Christians, depicted the Nazarenes correctly as a Jewish sect.

Gentile Christians came to refer to the Nazarenes indiscriminately as “Jewish Christians” because of their link with Jesus, yet this was another misnomer, because they never were Christians.

By the beginning of the fourth century, the Roman Catholic Church was becoming dominant and there were confrontations with Jews, including the Nazarenes. With the Synod of Elvira, held in 306 CE, prohibitions against eating, marriage, and sex with Jews were enacted in the Roman Empire. Nazarenes were included in this ban, which in effect excluded them from all social and religious association with those in the growing Gentile Christian church.

The Emperor Constantine appointed Sylvester as the head bishop of the Catholic Church in 313 CE. According to the Irish Jesuit his- torian Malachi Martin,235 a meeting took place in 318 CE in Rome between Pope Sylvester I and the Desposyni. Sylvester provided sea travel for the Nazarene leaders as far as the Roman port of Ostia, thirty kilometers west of Rome. The fact that Sylvester thought it
necessary to meet with them suggests that he was curious, yet it is obvious he initiated the meeting with the intention of exerting his pontifical authority over them.
The Nazarene leaders who appeared before Pope Sylvester quite rightly thought they represented Yeshua’s true legacy. They were, after all, his blood relations, part of at least three well-known lines of legitimate blood descent from Yeshua’s family. They were eight in number, and Joses, the oldest of them, spoke on their behalf. They bluntly refused to recognize the Roman church as having any authority, and made the following demands:
(1) That the confirmation of the Christian bishops of Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus and Alexandria be revoked;
(2) That these bishoprics be conferred on members of the Desposyni;
(3) That the Law be reintroduced, which included the Sabbath and the Holy Day system of Feasts, and
(4) That Christian Churches resume sending money to the Desposyni Church in Jerusalem, which was to be regarded as the “Mother Church.”
Such bold claims must have come as a surprise to Sylvester, who refused their demands. They were told that the leadership of Jesus’ church had moved to Rome, and that the Nazarenes had no jurisdiction.

Sylvester must have known his church was the impostor, but that did not concern him. The politics of power were more important than the truth. This was the last known formal dialogue between Christian and Nazarene leaders.

A few years later Nazarenes began to surface in southern Upper Egypt. In this remote locale, far from the center of Gentile Christianity, they continued to practice their beliefs.

In 364 CE, the Catholic Council of Laodicea decreed anathema on any “Jewish Christians” who continued to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. Historical references to Nazarenes became scarce thereafter. The few remaining believers petered out.

What is appealing about the real story of Yeshua and the Nazarenes is that modern people can relate to it. We all have major concerns about organizations, and the way the Catholic Church, as an organization, treated the Nazarenes some 1700 years ago is an ancient example of what many people dislike about institutions. Whether an organization is a university, a government department, or a Church, their members often put the survivorship, growth and social standing of the organization in front of any controversial facts, or interesting truths, that may emerge. The Catholic Church today, for example, always protects its power, finances, people, and profile above all else. Embarrassing truths are dealt with professionally so as to leave as little damage to the organization as possible. In the first few centuries of Christianity, the Nazarenes’ claims, and their legacy, were not seen as a real threat to the Church’s autonomy. The Catholic Church barely flinched to deal with the Nazarene’s concerns. Respecting an honorable group of people was not an ethic that drove the early Church when dealing with powerless minorities. That legacy and modus operandi is very apparent in understanding the way the Church has operated throughout history and still operates today, for example in the Vatican’s attitude to homosexuality, the way they continue to not totally respect women (half their congregation) and their attitude towards the victims of child sexual abuse perpetrated by their own members.

To summarize, the Nazarenes were a Jewish sect that, at least in the first century, had strong anti Gentile political ambitions. Christianity, something quite separate, rather ironically became a religion for Gentiles. Christianity stole Yeshua the Nazarene’s identity to create Jesus, and reinvented him, not only as its founder, but also as God incarnate and the savior of the world. Christians then suppressed the Nazarenes, who struggled on for about four centuries before they disappeared.

If Yeshua, his family, and his original admirers could speak today, they would be dumbfounded at the distortion of their legacy.

References:
Eisenman, Robert H. “James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to
Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls” Klinghoffer, D. 1965 “Why The Jews Rejected Jesus”. Doubleday.
United States Of America.
Lockhart, D. 1997 “Jesus The Heretic”. Element Books. Dorset. Lockhart, D. 1999 “The Dark Side Of God”. Element Books. Dorset Schonfield, H. 1969 “Those Incredible Christians”. Bantam. New York. Thijs Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon co-wrote “Operation Messiah” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4kTNS18ses
http://ia600401.us.archive.org/34/items/...shFollower sOfJesusPart1-Ebionites/Podcast3.7JudeanFollowersOfJesusPart1- Ebionites.mp3
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ebionites
http://douglaslockhart.com/pdf/THE NAZORAEAN SECT.pdf
http://www.yashanet.com/library/nazarene_judaism.html
http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/ebionites.html
http://www.yashanet.com/library/temple/nazarenes.htm for the above information.
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=b7bnvXrC47AC&pg= PA152&lpg=PA152&dq=Julius+Africanus,+desposyni,&sou rce=bl&ots=SKzFZ8tcXu&sig=cN-lLGGfHPzmMfpnjuvw- W2fqY4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VkzWUMmCEO6ViQePwIHQBg&v ed=0CF4Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Julius%20Africanus%2C%20 desposyni%2C&f=false
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=jVyz...AC&pg=PA29 6&dq=hegesippus,+symeon&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jU7WUICTJa-UiQ fp7oGICg&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=hegesippus %2C%20symeon&f=false
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_the_Hebrews http://www.conorpdowling.com/library/council-of-elvira http://www.askwhy.co.uk/christianity/0370Ebionites.php http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/te...ippus.html

Excellent Mark.

Full marks. Very very well done.

Thumbsup

I will expand further in another post.

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11-05-2015, 04:32 PM
RE: What happened to the real followers of Jesus?
Excellent, most informative. Thanks for sharing.

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11-05-2015, 10:05 PM
RE: What happened to the real followers of Jesus?
Very interesting.

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
- my friend Marc
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12-05-2015, 05:58 AM
RE: What happened to the real followers of Jesus?
Thanks everyone for the likes and the nice comments. I appreciate it, particularly as the post was long. Big Grin
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12-05-2015, 06:36 AM
RE: What happened to the real followers of Jesus?
It was long, but very informative! Thanks for the education Big Grin I might link this to a couple friends/family members.

Atheism is the only way to truly be free from sin.
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12-05-2015, 08:30 AM
RE: What happened to the real followers of Jesus?
Very informative, as usual.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
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