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apocalyptic literature. God's last self-manifesta-
tion, like the first at Sinai, is to be in an earth-
quake, and His voice will make not only the earth
but also the heaven tremble. While the things
that are shaken will be removed, those that are
unshaken (T&. /j.ij <ra\ev6fj.eva.) will remain, the tem-
poral giving place to the eternal (He 12 26 ' 28 ; cf.
Hag 2* 1 -). When the sixth seal of the Book of
Destiny is opened, there is a great earthquake
(Rev 6"). When the censer filled with fire is cast
upon the earth, there follow thunders and an
earthquake (8 6 ). In another earthquake the tenth
part of a great city falls (probably Jerusalem is
meant, though some think of Rome) and 7000
persons are killed (11 1S ). When the last bowl is
poured upon the air, the greatest earthquake ever
felt cleaves Jerusalem into three parts, and en-
tirely destroys the pagan cities (16 18f -).

The writer of the Revelation may himself have
experienced many earthquakes, and at any rate he
could not but be familiar with reports of such
visitations, for in Asia Minor they were frequent
and disastrous. In A.D. 17 ' twelve populous cities
of Asia' among them Sardis and Philadelphia
' fell in ruins from an earthquake which happened
by night ' (Tac. Ann. ii. 47). In A.D. 60 ' Laodicea,
one of the famous cities of Asia,' was ' prostrated by
an earthquake' (ib. xiv. 27). Palestine and Syria
were very liable to similar disturbances ; regard-
ing earthquakes in Jerusalem see G. A. Smith,
Jerusalem, 1907-08, i. 61 ff.

The religious impression made by earthquakes
in pre-scientific ages was profound (see e.g. Mt 27 s4 ).
They were regarded as judgments or warnings, it
might be as signs of the approaching end or the
world, 'the beginning of travail' (Lk 13 8 =Mt 24 8 ).
Even Pliny, the ardent student of Nature, asserts
that they are invariably precursors of calamity
(EN ii. 81-86). The just man of the Stoics was
undismayed by them : ' si fractus illabatur orbis,
impavidum fenent ruinae' (Hor. Car. ill. iii. 7f.).
Jesus assured His disciples that amid all the ' Mes-
sianic woes ' not a hair of their head should perish
(Lk 21 18 ).

It was not till the middle of the 19th cent, that
a careful investigation of the phenomena of earth-
quakes was begun. Seismology is now an exact
science, in which remarkable progress has been
made in Japan, a land of earthquakes. But while
man rationalizes such calamities, and can no longer
regard them as strictly supernatural, he is practi-
cally as helpless as ever in their presence. In the
earthquake of 1908 which destroyed Messina and
Reggio (the Rhegium of Ac 28 13 ) the loss of life
was appalling. JAMBS STRAHAN.


EBIONISM. Ebionism is best understood as the
generic name under which may be included a
variety of movements, diverging more or less from
Catholic Christianity, and primarily due to a con-
ception of the permanent validity of the Jewish
Law. Of these, some were merely tolerable and
tolerant peculiarities ; some were intolerable and
intolerant perversions of Christianity.

As soon as Christianity became conscious of its
world-wide mission, the problem arose as to its
relation to the Judaism out of which it sprang.
This produced what we might a priori expect a
difference within the primitive Christian com-
munity between a liberal and a conservative
tendency. It was a liberalism which steadily
advanced, a conservatism which as steadily hard-
ened and became more intolerant, and drifted
further out of likeness to normal Christianity.
Jewish Christian conservatism in its different
degrees and phases gives rise to .the various species
of Ebionism.

1. Characteristics. All Ebionites are distin-
guished by two main and common characteristics :
(1) an over-exaltation of the Jewish Law; (2) a
defective Christology. We may take the first as
fundamental. The second is aeducible from it.
To hold by the validity of the Law is obviously to
find no adequate place for the work of a Redeemer
(Gal 5 4 ). Christ tends to be recognized merely as
a new prophet enforcing the old truth. And de-
fective views of the work of Christ logically issue
in, if they are not based upon, defective views of
His Person. It is clear also, that those who hold
the Law to be permanent, cannot consistently
accept the authority of St. Paul, so we find that
(3) hostility to St. Paul, involving the rejection of
his Epistles, was a characteristic common, not to
all, but to many, Ebionites.

2. Main groups. There are three distinct classes
of Ebionites. Ancient authorities speak of two
sects of Ebionites, the more nearly orthodox of
which they call Nazarenes. It is necessary, how-
ever, to add as a third group those Ebionites whose
system results from a union of other elements with
the original mixture of Judaism and Christianity.
Our classification, therefore, of the Ebionite sects
is: (1) Nazarenes, (2) Ebionites proper, (3) Syncre-
tistic Ebionites.

The clear division into two sects, named Naza-
renes and Ebionites, appears in the 4th cent, in
Epiphanius (Hcer. xxx. 1) and Jerome (Ep. 112, ad
August. 13). But in the preceding cent. Origen
speaks of ' the two-fold sect of the Ebionites ' (c.
Uels. v. 61), though he has not the name Nazarene.
In the 2nd cent. Justin Martyr divides Jewish
Christians into two classes : those who, while they
observed the Law themselves, did not require
believing Gentiles to comply therewith, and who
were willing to associate with them ; and those
who refused to recognize all who had not complied
with the Law (Dial. c. Tryph. xlvii.). Justin has
neither name. At the end of the same cent., we
find the name Ebionite for the first time in Irenaeus
(adv. Hcer. I. xxvi. 2, etc.). He has no distinction
between Ebionites and Nazarenes, and in this
Hippolytus and Tertullian follow him. It is not
surprising that only writers who had special oppor-
tunity of familiarity with Palestinian Christianity
should be aware of the distinction.

3. Name. In all probability both names, Naza-
renes and Ebionites, applied originally to all Jewish
Christians. It was not unnatural that they should
be called Nazarenes (Ac 24 s ) ; it was not unnatural
that they should call themselves Ebionites, a name
signifying ' the poor ' (Heb. jV^^t, 'ebyon). We know
that the Ebionites identified themselves with the
Christians of Ac 4 84f -, and claimed the blessing of Lk
^(Epiphan. xxx. 17). (Gal2 10 is an interestingVerse
in this connexion. It seems clear that ' the poor,'
if not a name for the whole Christian community
of Jerusalem, is to be understood at least of Jewish
Christian poor.) Or, on the other hand, the name
may have been attached to Jewish Christians in
contempt. At all events, we may take it as highly
probable that the two names were originally desig-
nations of Jewish Christians generally, and the




retention of those primitive names is in keeping
with the essentially conservative character of

Some of the Fathers (the earliest of them
Tertullian) derive the name Ebionite from a
certain teacher, Ebion. In modern times Hilgen-
feld is inclined to support this view (Ketzer-
geschichte, 1884, p. 422 ft'.), but it is highly probable
that this is a mistake, and that Ebion had no more
existence than Gnosticus, the supposed founder of
Gnosticism. Origen has another explanation of
the name Ebionite as descriptive of the poverty
of the dogmatic conceptions of the sect. This is
but an interesting coincidence.

4. N azarenes. We begin with the Nazarenes,
who came nearest orthodoxy, and are to be con-
sidered not as heretics, but as a sect of Jewish
Christians. Our information regarding them is
scanty, and several details are obscure. Our main
and almost sole authorities are Jerome (de Vir.
illustr. iii., and some references scattered in his
Commentaries) and Epiphanius (Hcer. xxix.). The
latter, who on almost every subject must be used
with the greatest caution, is in this particular case
specially confused, but has the candour to admit
that his knowledge of the Nazarenes is limited.
Jerome had opportunity of gaining accurate ac-
quaintance with their views, and unless we admit
his authority, we have practically no knowledge
of the sect at all.

Mainly from Jerome, then, we learn that the
views of the Nazarenes on the three important
points (bindingness of the Law, Christology,
authority of St. Paul) were as follows :

(a) As to the Law, they held that it was binding
on themselves, and continued to observe it. They
seem, however, to have distinguished the Mosaic
Law from the ordinances of the Rabbis, and to
have rejected the latter (so Kurtz, Hist, of Christian
Church, Eng. tr., 1860, vol. i. 48, 1). They did
not regard the Law as binding on Gentile Chris-
tians, and did not decline fellowship with them.
They honoured the Prophets highly.

(b) As to Christ, they acknowledged His
Messiahship and Divinity. They termed Him the
First-born of the Holy Spirit from His birth. At
His baptism the whole fount of the Holy Spirit
(omnis fans Spiritus Sancti) descended on Him.
They accepted the Virgin-birth. They looked for
His millennial reign on earth. They mourned
the unbelief of their Jewish brethren, and prayed
for their conversion.

(c) They bore no antipathy to St. Paul, and
accepted his Epistles. They used a Gospel ac-
cording to Matthew in Hebrew (see below). We
shall comment on these views below, in connexion
with those of the Ebionites proper.

5. Ebionites proper. In strong contrast to the
Nazarenes stand the Ebionites proper, regarding
whom our information is fuller and clearer. Our
main authorities are Irenaeus (adv. Hcer. I. xxvi.,
III. xv., V. iii.), Hippolytus (Hcer. vii. 22, x. 18),
Epiphanius (Hcer. xxx.), and Tertullian (de
Prcescr. Hcer. xxxiii. ). Eusebius (HE iii. 27)
and Theodoret (Hcer. Fab. ii. 2) may also be
mentioned. In the main these give a consistent
account, which may be summarized as follows :

(a) The Ebionites not only continued to observe
the Law themselves, but held its observances as
absolutely necessary for salvation and binding on
all, and refused fellowship with all who did not
comply with it.

(b) As to Christ, their views were Cerinthian
(see art. CERINTHUS). Jesus is the Messiah, yet a
mere man, born by natural generation to Joseph
and Mary. On His baptism, a higher Spirit united
itself with Him, and so He became the Messiah.
He became Christ, they further taught, by per-

fectly fulfilling the Law ; and by perfectly ful-
iilling it they too could become Christs (Hippol.
Phil. vii. 22). They agreed with the Nazarenes in
expecting a millennial reign on earth. In their
view, this was to be Christ's compensation for His
death, which was an offence to them.

(c) The Ebionites denounced St. Paul as a heretic,
circulated foolish stories to his discredit, and re-
jected all his Epistles as unauthoritative. They
agreed with the Nazarenes in accepting a Hebrew
gospel, and in addition had certain spurious writ-
ings which bore the names of apostles James,
Matthew, and John (Epiphan. Hcer. xxx. 23).
This Hebrew gospel used by Nazarenes and
Ebionites was in all probability the Gospel accord-
ing to the Hebrews, of which only fragments have
survived. With this work we are not here con-
cerned. It is in place to say that most likely it
was a Nazarene production. In ancient writers
it is sometimes attributed to the twelve apostles,
more often to Matthew. The Ebionite version was
accommodated to their peculiar views by both muti-
lation and interpolation ; thus it omitted the first
two chapters, and began the life of Jesus witli the
baptism. For full treatment of this subject see
E. B. Nicholson, The Gospel according to the
Hebrews, 1879.

From the information at our disposal we cannot
say how rapidly Ebionism developed, nor estimate
the position it had reached by the close of the 1st
century. No doubt all the essential elements were
active before then. In the NT itself we see the
process well begun. Dating from the Council of
Jerusalem (Ac 15), we can see not only the possi-
bility but the actuality of the rise of three distinct
groups of Jewish Christians : (a) those who em-
braced Christianity in all its fullness, and developed
with it ; (b) those who accepted the indefinite com-
promise represented in the finding of the Council,
and did not advance beyond it, which is essenti-
ally the position of the Nazarenes ; (c) those who
did not agree with the finding, and continued to
protest against it, which is the starting-point of
the Ebionites proper. We see them carrying on
an active propaganda against the liberal school
whose leader was St. Paul. The Epistle to the
Galatians (q.v.) is St. Paul's polemic against them.
In Corinth, too, they have been active (2 Co 10-13).
After the Fall of Jerusalem, just as Judaism
became more intolerant and more exclusive, so we
may suppose this judaizing sect followed suit, and,
retiring more and more from fellowship with the
Church at large, and seeking to strengthen theh
own position, they by degrees formulated the
system we have described.

In brief, then, while the Nazarenes are only
Christians of a stunted growth, the Ebionites
proper are heretics holding a system that is false
to the real spirit of Christianity. While the
Nazarenes are Judaistic, the Ebionites are Juda-
izers. Neither Nazarenes nor Ebionites seem to
have been of great influence. The latter were the
more wide-spread, and, we may suppose, the more
numerous. While the Nazarenes were practically
confined to Palestine and Syria, Ebionites seem to
have been found in Asia Minor, Cyprus, and as far
west as Rome.

6. Syncretistic Ebionites. The most conserva-
tive movement could not escape the syncretistic
tendencies of the age with which we are dealing.
We have notices of several varieties which we class
together as Syncretistic Ebionites.

(a) The first of these we may term the Ebionites
of Epiphanius. Epiphanius agrees with Irenaeus
in describing the Ebionites as we have done above.
But he adds several details of which there is no
trace in Ireneeus. Making all allowances for the
generally unsatisfactory character of Epiphanius




as an accurate historian, we cannot set aside what
he reports so clearly. The easiest explanation is
that the Ebionites of Irenaeus developed into the
Ebionites of Epiphanius, i.e. Ebionism as a whole
became syncretistic. The Ebionites of Epiphanius
show traces of Samaritanism and an influence
which we may with great probability term Essenic.
The former is shown in their rejection of the
Prophets later than Joshua, and of Kings David
and Solomon (Hcer. xxx. 18). The latter is mani-
fest in their abstinence from flesh and wine, their
rejection of sacrifices, their oft-repeated, even
daily, baptism (xxx. 15, 16).

The siege and fall of Jerusalem were events
of the greatest importance for Judaism (see art.
PHARISEES) and Jewish Christianity alike. Jews
and Christians, including Ebionites, settled east of
the Jordan. There they came into close contact
with a Judaism that was far from pure. The most
important form of this was Essenism (see art.
ESSENES). There were also the Nasaraeans, who
exhibited the very peculiarities described in the
Ebionites by Epiphanius, except perhaps as regards
the baptisms (Epiphan. Hcer. xviii.). If, as seems
probable, the Order of Essenes was broken up after
the Fall of Jerusalem, it is very likely that many
of them would associate with the Ebionites, who
held the Law in such esteem, and would be able to
impress their own customs on their associates.

(b) A still more pronounced Essenic influence is
patent when we consider the Elkesaites. The Book
of Elkesai was in great repute among Essenes,
Nasaraeans, and other trans-Jordanic sects, and
Ebionites accepted it also (Epiphan. Hcer. xxx. 3).
The book appeared about A.D. 100. Hippolytus
(Phil. ix. 8-12) gives details regarding it. Its
main points are : bindingness of the Law ; sub-
stitution of frequent baptisms for sacrifices ; re-
jection of the Prophets and St. Paul ; Christ's
appearance in Adam and others ; permissibility of
formal idolatry in times of persecution ; magic,
astrology, prophecy. This is specially interesting
because we trace here a germ of Gnostic doctrine.

Gnostic tendencies are still more pronounced in
the Ebionism of the Clementine Literature, which,
however, falls outside the period we are concerned
with. Gnosticism has there advanced sufficiently
to induce even a more favourable view of St. Paul.
The union of Ebionism with Gnosticism is one of
the strangest cases of extremes meeting. In most
things the two movements are completely antitheti-
cal : one practically denied Christ's humanity, the
other His Divinity ; one made salvation depend on
obedience to the Law, the other on speculative
knowledge. Yet the two met in a strange amalgam.
The explanation lies in the Essenism with which
Ebionism entered into relation. It was already a
Gnosticism of a sort. Ebionism ran its course till
about the 5th cent., when in all its forms it was
extinct. It was despised by Jews and Christians
alike, and had no strength to maintain itself, as is
shown by the unnatural union it entered into with
its own antithesis.

LITERATURE. Besides the works mentioned in the art., see F.
C. Baur, de Ebionitarum Origine, 1831 , and Dogmengeschichte,
1865-68; F. C. A. Schwegler, Das nachapostol. Zeitalter,
1846 ; A. Ritschl, Die Entstehung der altkathol. Kirche*, 1857 ;
A. Harnack, Dogmengegchichte^, 1893 ; G. P. Fisher, Hist, of
Christian Doctrine, 1896; C. v. Weizsacker, Apostol. Age,
Eng. tr., it [1895] 27 ; E. Reuss, Hist, of Christian Theol. in
Apostol. Age, i. [1872] 100 ; Church Histories of Neander, Kurtz,
Schaff, and Moeller ; artt. 'Ebionism' and 'Elkesaites' in
ERE ; ' Ebioniten ' and ' Elkesaiten ' in PRUP ; ' Ebionites ' in
JE ; ' Ebionism ' in DCG ; ' Ebionites ' in CE.

W. D. NlVEN.


EDIFICATION. The term (okofoM) means liter-
ally ' building up.' The figurative sense of building

up spiritually has two applications in apostolic
usage. (1) It signifies the spiritual advancement,
in a general way, of the Church. (2) It is the
special process or didactic means whereby the
faith, knowledge, and experience of individuals
were established and enlarged.

In AV oiVoSo/iTj and the cognate verb olico8o/j.tu,
in the figurative sense, are translated ' edification '
or ' edify ' 19 times. The two meanings indicated
above are more apparent in RV, where ' building
up ' is often employed to express the more general
idea, especially where, as in Eph 4 U , ' the pictur-
esqueness of the metaphor must be preserved '
(Armitage Robinson, Ephesians, 1903, p. 182),
while ' edification ' or ' edify ' occurs 14 times.
Half of these are found in 1 Co 14, where they bear
the special meaning.

1. General. The figurative use of the term
oko5o/7 for that which builds up generally the
Church and the spiritual life of individuals within
the Christian community is almost exclusively
Pauline. The germ of the idea is probably to be
found in the saying of Christ (Mt 16 18 ) concerning
the building of His Church (Lightfoot, Notes on
Epistles of St. Paul, 1895, p. 191). But St. Paul
frequently applies the metaphor of building to the
structure and growth of the Christian life (1 Co
3 9L , Eph 2 20f -, Col 2 7 ; cf. 1 P 2 5 ). Edification is
the promotion of this building up process by speech
(Eph 4 29 ) or conduct (Ro 15 2 ). Three elements in
the Church contribute to it peace, both external
(Ac 9 31 ) and internal (Ro 14 19 ) ; love (Eph 4 1M -), in
contrast especially with boasted knowledge (1 Co 8 1 )
or self-seeking (10 23 '-) ; and service (Staicovla) wherein
each may share in the ministering of all (Eph 4 1U -,
1 Th o 11 ).

2. Special. In its specialized use, olKodo/j,^ is a
technical term for the exercise of ' spiritual gifts '
(xapiffiMTo.) within the Christian congregation by
its members, for the mutual ' edification ' of in-
dividuals. St. Paul's description of the variety
and exercise of these endowments in Corinth ( 1 Co
12 and 14) is probably true of most places in which
the Church was established. There were evidently
meetings held almost exclusively for ' edification,'
to which unbelievers were admitted (1 Co W 28 * 1 ).
It was not a formal service for Divine worship, but
rather a fellowship meeting with the practical aim
of affording members with a ' gift' an opportunity
of using their supernaturally bestowed powers for
the spiritual welfare of all present (1 Co 12 6 ; cf. 1
P 4 10 -). At such times the most notable contribu-
tions would be : (a) teaching (oioa.-x.-f)), which included
the ' word of wisdom ' and the ' word of knowledge '
(1 Co 12 8 ) ; (b) prophecy (irpo^Tireia), which dealt
with future events (Ac 11^) or revealed an in-
sight into the needs of those present (1 Co 14 3 - att -)i
(c) glossolalia or tongues (yvriy\ia<Tff(iiv), which were
probably incomprehensible utterances expressive
of prayer or praise (v. 13 ).

Closely connected with prophecy was ' discerning
of spirits,' and with glossolalia 'the interpreta-
tion of tongues' (1 Co 12 10 lf a -). In addition
there would be prayer, the reciting or singing of
hymns, the reading of Scripture, and the ' word of
exhortation' (1 Co 14 26 , Eph 5 19 , Col 3 16 , Ac 13 15 ).

In order that genuine edification might result
from such a variety of gifts, exercised often under
stress of great excitement, two rules were laid
down for the Corinthian Church : (1) the compara-
tive value of x a P'> aTa must be recognized e.g.
prophecy is superior to ' tongues ' for purposes of
edification (1 Co 14 1 ' 28 ); (2) there must be an
observance of due order in the meetings (vv. 38 ^ ).

LITERATURE. HDB, artt. ' Church,' ' Edification ' ; H.
Cremer, Bibl.-Theol. Lex. of NT Greek, s.vo. otxofojuc'u, olKoSo/jufi ;
O. Pfleiderer, Paulinism, Eng. tr.a, 1891, i. 229-238 ; C. von
Weizsacker, Apostolic Age, Bug. tr.a, ii. [1899] 248-279 ; A. C.




McGiffert, History of Christianity in the Apostolie Age, 1897,
pp. 520-535 ; E. von Dobschiitz, Christian Life in the Primitive
Church, Eng. tr., 1904, pp. 16-20 ; T. M. Lindsay, The Church
and the Ministry in the Early Centuries*, 1907, pp. 41-50,


EDUCATION. 1. Jewish. The Jews from early
times prized education in a measure beyond the
nations around them. It was the key to the know-
ledge of their written Law, the observance of which
was required by the whole people without respect
of rank or class. They were the people of a Book,
and wherever there is a written literature, and that
religiously binding, elementary education, at least
in the forms of reading and writing, is imperative
and indispensable. The rise of the synagogue, and
of the order of "Scribes in connexion therewith,
exercised a powerful influence upon the progress
of education among the mass of the people. In the
4th cent. B. C. there was a synagogue in every town,
and in the 2nd cent, in every considerable village
as well. To the synagogues there were in all pro-
bability attached schools, both elementary and
higher, and the hazzdn ('the attendant,' Lk 4 20
RV) may well have been the teacher. The value
of education was understood among the Jews before
the Christian era. In the Testaments of the Twelve
Patriarchs we read : ' Do ye also teach your chil-
dren letters, that they may have understanding
all their life, reading unceasingly the Law of God '
(' Levi,' xiii. 2). In the Psalms of Solomon the fre-
quent use of TraiSevetv, TraidevT-rjs, and iraiSela (with
the significant addition of pdJ38os, vii. 8, and of
/w(TTt, xviii. 8) points to the existence of schools
and of a professional class of teachers. By the
Apostolic Age there is abundant evidence of the
general diffusion of education among the people.
' Our principal care of all,' says Josephus (c. Ap. i.
12), comparing the Jews with other nations, ' is to
educate our children well, and to observe the laws,
and we think it to be the most necessary business
of our whole life to keep this religion which has
been handed down to us.' Among the Jews every
child had to learn to read ; scarcely any Jewish
children were to be found to whom reading of a
written document was strange, and therefore were
there so many poor Jewish parents ready to
deny themselves the necessaries of life in order to
let their children have instruction (c. Ap. ii. 26 ;

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