EBIONITE HERESY, CORINTHUS THE
HERESIARCH, THE NICOLATIANS
Ebionites were Christians who considered Christ as a plain and
common man but with superior virtues. They also believed that
Christ was conceived and born like ordinary men. They rejected
the epistles of the apostles whom they considered apostates from the
law. They believed only the Gospel according to the
observed all the Jewish ceremonial laws. Because of the
poverty of their knowledge and understanding, they received the name
Ebionite, meaning "poor man."
follower of a heretical doctrine is called a heretic; but the author
of a heresy is called a heresiarch. Corinthus claimed he had
revelations written by an apostle and revelations from angels.
He preached a period of a thousand years of marriage festival.
He taught that Christ's kingdom is an earthly one consisting in
eating, drinking and marrying.
when the apostle John entered a building, learning Corinthus was in
the same building, he rushed out, unable to bear being under the
same roof as the heresiarch.
in the Apocalypse of John, these heretics claimed their founder was
Nicolaus, one of the first deacons. In truth, the heretics
misinterpreted and corrupted a statement of Nicolaus, "to abuse
the flesh," taking it to mean to live a life of licentiousness.
had a beautiful wife whom he dearly loved and whom he eventually
gave up. He never committed fornication; his daughters lived
as virgins up to their old age, and his son remained
uncorrupted. When Nicolaus said, "to abuse the
flesh," he was inculcating self-control in the face of these
pleasures that are eagerly pursued.