When discussing theology, I've come to realize that not only is personal study of doctrine a necessary component to faith, but it is something that shouldn't be kept to oneself. I want to share my journey, both past and ongoing, into the realm of theology. Through this, I hope that you will gain insight into the Christian faith as a whole. Before reading anything else, I suggest you read the introduction and definitions (found in the pages tabs above) so you may better understand where I am coming from in everything I write. Because many of my posts are on heresies, there is also a page above with a family tree of heresies and links to all the posts I have so far on the topic.

02 September, 2013

Heresies of the Week: Ebionitism and Psilanthropism

A continuation of Adoptionism-related heresies...
Ebionitism (coming from a word meaning “the poor” in Hebrew) refers to a Jewish Christian heretical sect of the early church. They regard Jesus as the Messiah and insist that it is still necessary to follow all Jewish laws, traditions and rites (a Legalism heresy). They rejected the writings of Paul as “apostate”. As suggested by their name, they put a high premium on voluntary poverty. Some scholars differentiate Ebionites from groups such as the Nazarenes or Messianic Jews, other considered them the same. Ebionites believe in a Monophysitism-style angelology, claiming that Christ is a great archangel who was incarnated in Jesus and then adopted as the Son of God (quasi-Adoptionism and Psilanthropism). 
Psilanthropism is sometimes used to describe Ebionitism, and is considered part of the Adoptionism family of heresies. It teaches that Jesus is “merely human” and is the literal son of two human parents (coming from the Greek for “plain human” or “mere human”). Modern iterations of this heresy include the Unitarian Church (Unitarianism) and the Unification Church.

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