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Cerinthians

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Chapter Summary

Epiphanius was the first to mention the name Cerinthian. Before him only the name Cerinthus is met with, although Eusebius, following Dionysius, mentions Cerinthus as being the leader of a sect. If we bear in mind that Epiphanius took his testimonies from the New Testament we may be sure that he did not know any details about Cerinthus' early preaching. Epiphanius evidently wishes to make it clear that the Cerinthians, the Ebionites and Carpocrates used the same Gospel, the Gospel of Matthew. Epiphanius says that some people speak about Merinthians instead of Cerinthians. Filaster agrees with Pseudo-Tertullian when he describes Cerinthus as being closely akin to Carpocrates in their conceptions of the birth of Jesus and the creation of the world by angels. Irenaeus and Hippolytus, who depends on Irenaeus, describe Cerinthus as a Gnostic.

Keywords: Carpocrates; Cerinthians; Ebionites; Epiphanius; Gospel of Matthew; Hippolytus; Irenaeus; Merinthians; Pseudo-Tertullian

10.1163/9789004268401_002
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