Term used to designate two early Christian sects infected with Judaistic and
(1) Judaistic Ebionites upheld the observance of the Jewish Law;
denied the Divinity and virgin birth of Christ; considered Saint Paul an
apostate; and used only a Gospel according to Saint Matthew.
(2) Ebionite Gnostics taught that matter is external, and an
emanation of the Deity, that it conatitutes, as it were, God's body.
Creation, therefore, is but the transformation of preexisting material. God
thus "creates" the Universe by the instrumentality of His wisdom. They also
held that the universe is divided into two realms, that of good and that of
evil. The Son of God rules over the former, and the Prince of Evil over the
latter. Both teachings were confined to the East and made no definite
impression upon the philosophy of their time. Nothing is known of their