Gospel of the Ebionites

The Ebionites are considered some of the earliest followers of Jesus, with roots tracing to the early Jewish-Christians called the Nazarenes. The term Ebionite is derived from the Hebrew word אביונים (ebyonim), which means “the poor,” as they maintained a vow of poverty. As referenced by early Church fathers, this Lost Gospel is thought to have been written in the First or Second Century. Excerpts of this lost Gospel have been found among seven fragments as quoted in the writings of Epiphanius. The lost Gospel text indicates that neither John nor Jesus ate meat, and Jesus did not condone animal sacrifice. Please find the English translation of the fragments of the lost Gospel of the Ebionites below:




Fragment One

1. During the time of Herod, the Governor of Judea, during the reign of Chief Priest Caiaphas, John appeared and baptized with the immersion for a change of heart at the river Jordan.

2. He was considered to be in succession from the lineage of Aaron, and was the son of Elizabeth and Zacharias the priest. And everyone traveled out to see him.

Fragment Two

1. During the time when John was baptizing, the Pharisees approached him and were baptized – along with many from Jerusalem.

2. He wore clothing made of camels' hair, with a leather belt around his hips. And his food was wild honey prepared with oil cakes, which tasted like manna.

Fragment Three

1. Many people were baptized, and Jesus also came to be baptized by John. And as he came up from the water, the heavens opened and he saw the Holy Spirit descend in the form of a dove and enter into him.

2. Then a voice from heaven was heard, “You are my beloved Representative, and I am very pleased with you.”

3. He continued, “I have given you life on this day.”

4. Then suddenly a great light began to shine onto that place. Then John saw him and said, “Who are you, Master?”

5. Then a voice from heaven was heard, “This is my beloved Representative, of whom I am very pleased.”

6. Then John fell down at his feet and said, “I beg you to baptize me, Master.”

7. But he would not. He said, “Accept this, because it is appropriate in order for everything to be achieved.”

Fragment Four

1. Then there was a man named Jesus. He was about thirty years old. He has chosen us.

2. Then he went to Capernaum and entered the house of Simon Peter.

3. He opened his mouth and said, “While walking by the sea of Tiberias, I recruited John and James, the sons of Zebedee, and Simon and Andrew and Thaddaeus and Simon Zelotes, and Judas Iscariot; as well as you, Matthew. When you were sitting at the taxation desk, I called and you followed me.

4. “Accordingly, it is fitting that you will be the twelve messengers that will bear witness unto Judea.”

Fragment Five

1. “Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside.”

2. “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?”

3. Then he stretched out his hand towards his disciples and said, “These are my brothers, my mother and sisters – those who do the will of my Creator.”

Fragment Six

1. “I have come to abolish the sacrifices.

2. “If you don’t stop sacrificing, the suffering won’t stop weighing upon you.”

Fragment Seven

1. “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat for the Passover?”

2. To this, he replied, “I do not want to eat the flesh of this Paschal Lamb with you.”

Continue on to the Authoritative Teaching