According to William Whiston the English theologian, historian, and mathematician, and who translated “The Complete Works of The Learned and Authentic Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus,” he stated that Josephus appears to have been, in his heart and conscience, no other than a Nazarene or Ebonite and by consequence, WITH THEM REJECTED ALL OUR GREEK GOSPELS AND GREEK BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, and RECEIVED ONLY THE HEBREW GOSPEL OF THE NAZARENES OR EBIONITES, styled by them, “THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE HEBREWS;” or “ACCORDING TO THE TWELVE APOSTLES,” or even “ACCORDING TO MATTHEW,” we ought always to have that NAZARENE OR EBIONITE FRAGMENTS, IN VIEW, WHEN WE CONSIDER ANY PASSAGES OF JOSEPHUS RELATING TO HAMASHIACH OR TO CHRISTIANITY.”
Note: click here to find out if the Nazarenes considered themselves Christians...
According to Whiston he is stating that Josephus appeared to have been in his heart a Nazarene or Ebionite and WITH THEM REJECTED ALL OUR GREEK GOSPELS AND GREEK BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT and RECEIVED ONLY THE HEBREW GOSPEL OF THE NAZARENES OR EBIONITES.” This is great to know because, now we know that not only did Josephus REJECT ALL GREEK GOSPELS AND GREEK BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, the Nazarenes and Ebionites did as well. So, that leaves us to know they all had nothing to do with the GREEK GOSPELS and GREEK BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT which is, the same New Testament that we read today, because the New Testament that we read today was translated from the GREEK BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. However, if you kept reading then you found out the GOSPEL they all dealt with, which was ONLY, THE HEBREW GOSPEL OF THE NAZARENES OR EBIONITES, called by them “THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE HEBREWS;” or “ACCORDING TO THE TWELVE APOSTLES,” or even “ACCORDING TO MATTHEW.” Therefore, to sum all of this up, they REJECTED THE GREEK BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT AND ONLY DEALT WITH THE HEBREW GOSPEL OF THE NAZARENES, which had three different names:
“THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE HEBREWS”
“THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE TWELVE APOSTLES”
“THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW"
You might be saying to yourself, “I don’t know about this,” or you could have said to yourself, “WOW!” Whichever one it was, trust me I was conflicted at first, as well. If you are questioning the accuracy of this gospel, there are more witnesses that attest to the gospel that the Nazarenes used. These witnesses are the church fathers of Christianity. What is imperative for us to understand is, the religion Christianity was being established between the 3rd and 4th centuries, however, the church fathers would seek out the different sects that were in the promise land at that time, and wrote about their beliefs. The Nazarenes were one of the many sects of Jews they had documented, and, in these writings, they would mention “The Gospel of the Nazarenes/Hebrews or The Gospel According to the Nazarenes.”
At the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. Deut. 19:15
“If anyone will receive “THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE HEBREWS,” in which our Saviour says, “Even now my mother the Holy Spirit took me and carried me up unto the great mountain Thabor’.” Commentary on The Gospel of John (Book 2), Origen, 1896
“It is written in a CERTAIN GOSPEL, which is entitled “ACCORDING TO THE HEBREWS,” (if anyone be pleased to receive it, not as of authority, but only for illustration of the present question,) ‘A certain rich man said to HaMashiach, “What good thing shall I do that I may inherit life?” He said to him, “O man, keep the law and the prophets;” he answered him, “That I have done.” He said to him, “Go sell all things that thou hast, and distribute among the poor, and come and follow me.” The rich man hereupon began to scratch his head and was displeased. And the Lord said unto him, “How can you say that you have kept the law and the prophets, seeing it is written in the law, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; but behold, many of thy brethren, children of Abraham, are clothed with nastiness, and ready to perish for hunger, while thy home abounds with all sorts of delicacies, and nothing is sent out of it to them.” And turning about, he said to his disciple Simon, who sat by him, Simon, son of Joanna, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Book XII) Origen
“The church has four Gospels. Heretics have very many. One of them is entitled According to the Egyptians, another ACCORDING TO THE TWELVE APOSTLES.” - Homilies on the Gospel of Luke page 5-6, Origen
Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius mentions that he has related the story of a woman who was accused of many sins before HaMashiach, which is contained in the "GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE HEBREWS."
“But concerning Matthew he writes as follows: “So then Matthew wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and everyone interpreted them as he was able.” And the same writer uses testimonies from the first Epistle of John and from that of Peter likewise. And he relates another story of a woman, who was accused of many sins before the Lord, which is contained in the “GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE HEBREWS”. These things we have thought it necessary to observe in addition to what has been already stated.” Euseb., HE, III, xxxix, 16
The first early Christian writer who is mentioned as having actually used the "Gospel according to the Hebrews" is Hegesippus, who flourished in the second half of the 2nd century. Eusebius, to whom we owe the reference, tells us that Hegesippus in his Memoirs quotes passages from "THE SYRIAC GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE HEBREWS" (Historia Ecclesiastica, IV, xxii, 7).
“Among the rejected disputed writings, which are nevertheless recognized by many, are extant the so-called epistle of James and that of Jude, also the second epistle of Peter, and those that are called the second and third of John, whether they belong to the evangelist or to another person of the same name. Among the rejected writings must be reckoned also the Acts of Paul, and the so-called Shepherd, and the Apocalypse of Peter, and in addition to there the extant epistle of Barnabas, and the so-called Teachings of the Apostles; and besides as I said, the Apocalypse of John, if it seem proper, which some, as I said, reject, but which others class with the accepted books, And among these some have placed also “THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE HEBREWS,” with which those of the Hebrews that have accepted Christ are especially delighted. And all these may be reckoned among the disputed books. But we have nevertheless felt compelled to give a catalog of these also, distinguishing those works which according to ecclesiastical tradition are true and genuine and commonly accepted, from those others which, although not canonical but disputed, are yet the same time known to most ecclesiastical writers, we have felt compelled to give this catalog in order that we might be able to know both these works and those that are cited by the HERETICS UNDER THE NAME OF THE APOSTLES, including, for instance, such books as the Gospel of Peter, of Thomas, of Matthias, or of any others besides them, and the Acts of Andrew and John and the other apostles, which no one belonging to the succession of ecclesiastical writers has deemed worthy of mention in his writings. And further, the character of the style is at variance with apostolic usage, and both the thoughts and purpose of the things that are related in them are so completely out of accord with true orthodoxy that they clearly show themselves to be the fictions of HERETICS. Wherefore they are not to be placed even among the rejected writings but are all of them to be cast aside as absurd and impious. Let us now proceed with our history.” Eusebius of Caesarea 340 AD Church History, Book III Chapter 25, pg. 146
Origen stated the HERETICS have very many gospels and he named two, and one of them is entitled “ACCORDING TO THE TWELVE APOSTLES.” Let me clear one thing up before we move forward, there were many sects back then that had gospels of their own “According to the Egyptians” existed in Egypt during the second century and may have had Gnostic traits (see W. Schneemelcher, “The Gospel of the Egyptians.” However, we are only talking about “According to the Twelve Apostles,” which is a Nazarene Gospel (According to the Egyptians is not a Nazarene gospel). Eusebius called this rejected gospel “fictions of HERETICS,” by saying:
“The character of the style is at variance with apostolic usage, and both the thoughts and purpose of the things that are related in them are so completely out of accord with true orthodoxy that they clearly show themselves to be the fictions of HERETICS.”
Eusebius and Origen are making it very clear that they felt, the Nazarene Gospel, “According to the Twelve Apostles,” is a rejected gospel of Heretics. Eusebius said it was OUT OF ACCORD WITH ORTHODOXY.
Out of accord with ORTHODOXY…hmmm???
In “Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the Greek Testament,” by Professor Nestle, he tells us that a certain scholar, called “correctors,” were appointed by the ecclesiastical authorities, and actually commissioned to correct the text of the Scripture in the interest of what was considered ORTHODOXY.
451 The Council of Chalcedon proclaims the two natures of Christ. After this, the church looks to the Council of Nicaea as the beginning point for establishing ORTHODOXY.
There goes that word ORTHODOXY again…hmmm…
Orthodoxy – AUTHORIZED or generally accepted theory, doctrine, or practice.
The Orthodox Faith is the Oldest Christian Denomination. Eastern Orthodoxy is the large body of Christians who follow the faith and practices that were defined by the first seven ecumenical councils. The Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church accept all seven of these councils as legitimate ecumenical councils.
In the history of Christianity, the first seven ecumenical councils include the following:
· The First Council of Nicaea in 325,
· The First Council of Constantinople in 381,
· The Council of Ephesus in 431
· The Council of Chalcedon in 451,
· The Second Council of Constantinople in 553,
· The Third Council of Constantinople from 680–681
· The Second Council of Nicaea in 787.
So, let’s sum this all up. Whiston said, Josephus, Nazarenes, and Ebonite’s disregarded the GREEK NEW TESTAMENT and ONLY dealt with, THE HEBREW GOSPEL OF THE NAZARENES OR EBIONITES, called by them “THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE HEBREWS;” or “ACCORDING TO THE TWELVE APOSTLES,” or even “ACCORDING TO MATTHEW.”
Then Origen and Eusebius said, the gospel that the Nazarenes followed it went against the first seven ecumenical councils and that the gospel is considered the gospel of the HERETICS and that this gospel was OUT OF ACCORD WITH ORTHODOXY.
Therefore, we should be able to see why during Paul’s trial before Felix, he said “But I confess unto thee, that after 'THE WAY,' which they call “HERESY,” so worship I the POWER of our fathers, BELIEVING ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAW AND IN THE PROPHETS” Acts 24:14. By Origen stating Heretics have many gospels and then named one of them to be “ACCORDING TO THE TWELVE APOSTELS,” and by Eusebius saying that this very same gospel shows itself to be the FICTIONS OF HERETICS. This is confirmation to what Paul stated that:
“THE WAY, which they call “HERESY.”
During Paul's trial before Felix, Paul said:
“But I confess unto thee, that after 'THE WAY,' which they call heresy, so worship I the POWER of our fathers, BELIEVING ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAW AND IN THE PROPHETS.” (Acts 24:14).