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Chapter Summary

With the help of testimonies in Patristic literature only it is impossible to give a full scale picture of Jewish Christianity in the early Church. The author is sure that the Jewish-Christianity ascribed to the Cerinthians is an invention of early Christian authors. He also shows that the Symmachians were a product of the imagination of early Christian authors. The best starting point for a study of the Ebionites is a scrutiny of the observations made by Irenaeus. Epiphanius describes the Ebionites with the help of some writings, the most important of which are: the Periodoi Petrou, the Anabathmoi Jakobou, and the so-called "Gospel of the Ebionites". It is important to bear in mind that the Elkesaites had adopted Jewish-Christian beliefs, especially with regard to Christ, before the time of Hippolytus.

Keywords: Cerinthians; Ebionites; Elkesaites; Epiphanius; Gospel; Hippolytus; Irenaeus; Jewish Christianity; Patristic literature; Symmachians



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