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Two early Christian sects that professed Judaistic and Gnostic errors. The Judaistic Ebionites insisted on the continued observance of the Mosaic Law, denied Christ's divinity and virginal conception, considered St. Paul an apostate, and used only Matthew's Gospel. The Gnostic Ebionites held that matter is eternal and emanates from God; that it constitutes his body; that creation is therefore only a transformation of pre-existing material; that the universe is composed of two elements, the good and the evil; that the Son of God rules over the good part of the world and the devil over the evil.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.