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THE EBIONITES - Jesus was adopted son of God

The Ebionites were an early Jewish Christian sect who were sworn to poverty and lived in communes. They believed in the 'adoptionist' idea that Jesus of Nazareth was a mere man who was adopted by God.

By virtue of his righteousness, they said, Jesus was chosen by God to be the last true prophet who heralds the coming Kingdom of God on Earth. Most Ebionites rejected the beliefs that would later become orthodox. They didn't believe Jesus was divine, or existed before his birth, or that he had a virgin birth, nor that his death atoned for our sins.

The Ebionites emphasized the humanity of Jesus as the biological son of Mary and Joseph, who was adopted as the son of God when he was anointed and imbued with the Holy Spirit at his baptism.

Some suggest that the Ebionites revered James the Just, brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem church, as the true successor of Jesus , rather than Peter.

The Ebionites vehemently rejected and denounced Paul as a false apostle and an apostate from the Law. They did not accept any of the letters of Paul and viewed him as the first arch-heretic who had led so many followers of Jesus astray by transforming the Jewish religion of Jesus into a Gentile religion about Jesus.