Around 375 AD, a Catholic Bishop of Constantia called Epiphanius of Salamis wrote the book, Panarion. It consisted of three books cataloguing 80 heresies (ideas that were against the new and growing church). In particular, he describes a group of Jewish Christians known as Nazarenes. They left the city of Jerusalem and mainly settled on the eastern banks of the Jordan River in Peraea. He admits that these Jews existed before the birth of Yashua. Epiphanius uses the term “Judaic Christians” to describe Nazarenes in a derogatory manner, forgetting that Yashua himself was a Jew. He denounced them, called them heretics, and his work assisted in the extermination of these original followers of Yashua. He writes about the seven Jewish Sects and speaks of Essenes and Ossaeans, not realizing that these sects were all inter-related!
… the seven Jewish sects, none of which exist any longer … but no Essenes at all—as though they have been buried in darkness. And there are no more sects among the Jews except those of the Ossaeans, and a few isolated Nasaraeans. But Ossaeans have abandoned Judaism for the sect of the Sampsaeans, who are no longer either Jews or Christians. That will do for these. Right on their heels came the arrival in the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, which overtook these seven sects at Jerusalem; his power extinguished and scattered them.
“…and for this reason is called “Jesus the Nazoraean” in the Gospel—as the apostles say, “Jesus the Nazoraean, a man approved by signs and wonders,” and so on—they adopted this name, so as to be called Nazoreans. Not “nazirites”—that means “consecrated persons.” Anciently this rank belonged to firstborn sons and men who had been dedicated to God.
Samson was one, and others after him, and many before him. Moreover, John the Baptist too was one of these same persons who were consecrated to God, for “He drank neither wine nor strong drink.” (This regimen, an appropriate one for their rank, was prescribed for such persons.) They did not call themselves Nasaraeans either; the sect of Nasaraeans was before Christ and did not know Christ.
But besides, as I have indicated, everyone called the Christians Nazoraeans…
The “heretical” beliefs of the Nazarenes were:
- They believed that Moses was given the “True Law” in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament). However, unscrupulous and corrupt scribes altered these texts to suit their needs.
- They read from the Old Testament as well as the New Testament and followed Jewish Law regarding circumcision, the Sabbath and Dietary Law among other Laws.
- They claimed to have the original Aramaic New Testament from which the later Testaments written in Greek were derived.
- They followed a strict vegetarian diet according to the 6th Commandment to not kill. This attribute is corroborated in other historical documents. They rejected all animal sacrifices. (This is one of the misunderstood main stories that appears in all four gospels and helps to explain Yashua Nazarene-driven feelings in the temple regarding animal sacrifices in John 2, Mark 11, Luke 19 and Matthew 21.)
- They believed that Yashua was “created” by G*D. Whereas the Catholic dogma considered Yashua to literally be a part of the Creator G*Dhead trinity.
But these same sectarians whom I am discussing here disregarded the name of Jesus, and neither called themselves Jessaeans, kept the name of Jews, nor termed themselves Christians—but “Nazoraeans” supposedly from the name of the place “Nazareth.” But they are Jews in every way and nothing else. !!!
They use not only the New Testament but the Old Testament as well, as the Jews do. For they do not repudiate the legislation, the prophets, and the books which are called Writings by the Jews and by themselves. They have no different views but confess everything in full accord with the doctrine of the Law and like the Jews, except that they are supposedly
believers in Christ. For they acknowledge both the resurrection of the dead and that all things have been created by God, and they declare that God is one, and that his Son is Jesus Christ.
They are perfectly versed in the Hebrew language, for the entire Law, the prophets, and the so-called Writings—I mean the poetic books, Kings, Chronicles, Esther and all the rest—are read in Hebrew among them, as of course they are among the Jews. They are different from Jews, and different from Christians, only in the following ways. They disagree with Jews because of their belief in Christ; but they are not in accord with Christians because they are still fettered by the Law—circumcision, the Sabbath, and the rest.
Interesting how the Apostle Paul set up the ‘formal’ first Christian Catholic Church to be diametrically opposed to the original apostles who were taught by Yashua directly. It was one man’s imperfect understanding of the spirit of Yashua’s words. Yashua knew he was coming and John warned us about him in the Revelation.
The roots of Christianity.
The gathering of first church fathers (aka the Catholics) at Nicea.
And the Nicean Creed.
ALMOST EVERYTHING Christians believe AND reject – whether Catholic or Protestant or otherwise, boils back down to this historic parting of ways with “The Way,” under the guidance of Emperor Constantine.
11, 1 When this was over the emperor felt concerned for the church, because by now many members often differed with one another and there were many schisms. He therefore convened an ecumenical council of 318 bishops, whose names are still preserved. And they condemned Arius’ creed in the city of Nicaea, and confessed the orthodox and unswerving creed of the fathers, which has been handed down to us from the apostles and prophets. (2) After the bishops had signed this and condemned the Arian *sect, <peace *> was restored. They passed certain ecclesiastical canons at the council besides, and at the same time decreed with regard to the Passover that there must be one unanimous concord in the celebration of God’s holy and supremely excellent day. For it was variously observed by people; some kept it early, some between [the disputed dates], but others, late. (3) And in a word, there was a great deal of controversy then. But through the blessed Constantine God directed the right ordering of these things for the sake of peace.
Vol.2, p.331-2: Book II, Heresy 69, chapter 11. *Note that the translator tells us in the preface that he has chosen to render the word ‘heresy’ as ‘sect’.
He did say
that He came to fulfill the Law. AND He ALSO said, “”.
Could it be Yahshua was referring to two different kinds of Laws. If you regard the original language – the meaning is clear.
There was an Essene community at Mount Carmel.
In the 2nd century author Jamlichus wrote The Life of Pythagoras and claims that he made a pilgrimage to this holy place.
In Phoenicia he [Pythagoras] conversed with the prophets who were descendants of Moses…. After gaining all he could from the Phoenician mysteries, he found that they had originated from the sacred rites of Egypt. This led him to… Egypt. Following the advice of his teacher Thales, he left… through the agency of some Egyptian sailors, and landed on the coast under Mount Carmel.”
Pythagoras then climbed Mount Carmel where he evidently received powerful teachings from the Essene Nazarenes; for when he returned to the ship, the sailors, who had hatched a secret plan to sell young Pythagoras into slavery, were mesmerized by his spiritual luminosity and unable to harm him. Whatever teachings Pythagoras had studied and practiced during his stay with the Essenes atop Carmel, they had obviously served to transform him!
HE HAD CLIMBED THE MOUNTAIN AS AN ADVANCED SEEKER; HE DESCENDED THE MOUNTAIN A MASTER. The sailors, reports Jamblichus, believed Pythagoras had become “supernatural”. We know that Pythagoras went on to become a chief exponent of vegetarianism, reincarnation, fasting and sacred geometry — all Essene teachings — and that he and his followers wore only white linen garments, in the fashion of the Essenes of Mount Carmel.
We have seen above that no killing — not ever animals — was permitted on Mount Carmel, and that ALL of Judaism was bound by that law, not only the Essenes. That made Mount Carmel the perfect place for the Essenes to create their international headquarters. In Spiritual Vegetarianism, Abbot George Burke supports that assessment:
|“The aspect of their non-killing that most offended other Jews was the refusal of the Essenes to offer animal sacrifices in the Temple… so adamant were the Essenes on this point they established for themselves a Temple on Mount Carmel….”|
A second reason that the Essenes chose Mount Carmel as their headquarters was its connection with one of their own forefathers, the great Essene prophet Elijah (Elijah and other Essene prophets had long used Carmel as their chief spiritual retreat but it was not until several hundred years later that the Essenes made it their international headquarters). Lemesurier writes:
|“And now it was the turn of the Essenes to repeat the process yet again, and re-establish what they saw as the true worship of the New Covenant on their own sacred mountain…. Here at last the Teacher (of Righteousness) could start to give full rein to his gifts of prophetic intuition…. The northern mountains… were to be the general assembly area for the body of Essene refugees…. But out of their various groupings and ideologies a kind of ‘core-group’ must be formed to spearhead the movement…. Yet this core-group had to remain doctrinally broad-based enough to permit… members of all the various Essenic sub-groups to give it their allegiance. And there, almost miraculously, the answer suddenly swam into view: Mount Carmel…. It had been widely regarded as by far the most sacred mountain in the region since early Egyptian times. Far more than that, however, it had become the headquarters of the great prophet Elijah, whose cave on Carmel can still be visited today…. Like Elijah, as the sole true remnant of Israel, they too must now make their way to Mount Carmel…. And just as Elijah had rebuilt the ‘altar’… on Mount Carmel with twelve stones – one for each tribe of Israel – so these Essenes likewise could hope to restore the true worship there…. There could no longer be any doubt among the Essene predestinarians that Carmel was their prophesied objective, marked out for them from even before time began.”|