The adherents of Roman Catholicism sincerely believe that Mary was the “Mother of God” who remained a perpetual virgin.St. Basil [329-379] wrote:
“The friends of Christ do not tolerate hearing that Mother of God ever ceased to be a virgin.”
Church Father Ambrose [339-397] wrote a whole treatise defending the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Mary. In 392 c.e. Pope Siricius declared that Mary was a perpetual virgin. In 431 the Council of Ephesus proclaimed Mary to be DEIPARA - that is, MOTHER OF GOD, who remained virgin for the rest of her life. The Fifth Council of Constantinople declared Mary to be “aeiparthenos” - that is, “ever virgin.” The Council declared that “a virgin conceived, a virgin gave birth, a virgin remained.” Church Fathers Ambrose, Augustine and Jerome argued that the hymen of Mary was not ruptured even while giving birth to Jesus. In 1943 Pope Pius XII, in his ‘Encyclical Letter,’ described Mary as “she who gave miraculous birth to Christ our Lord,” meaning that even though she gave birth to Jesus her virginity remained intact. Protestants strongly embrace the doctrine of the Virgin Birth, but they do not believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary. Jehovah’s Witnesses who reject the deity of Jesus nevertheless believe in his pre-existence and his virgin birth. Even Christadelphians, The House of Yahweh and others who do not believe in the pre-existence of Jesus, acknowledge his virgin birth.
However, not many realise that original Palestinian “Christians” and their immediate and direct descendants, who became known by their derogatory name EBIONITES, did not believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. They believed and taught that Joseph was the biological father of Jesus. The same view was held by the immediate relatives of Jesus - including Mary his mother. I believe that it is of extreme significance for us to learn that the immediate disciples of Jesus and his own family regarded him as ‘human’ and that they believed that Joseph was the real father and procreator of Jesus. They insisted that Jesus became the begotten Son of God only after he was baptised in the Jordan River. If you were to know for certain that Joseph and Mary and his closest relatives and associates - including the Twelve - did not actually believe in the Virgin Birth, would that not significantly alter your view? In this book, this alternative view - the view which became a distinct Ebionite doctrine - will be plainly documented.
MATTHEAN AND LUKAN GENEALOGIES
The word “genealogy” is derived from two Greek words: “genea” and “logia.” The word “genea” means: “race, breed.” The word “logia” means: “study of.” The word “genealogy” therefore means: “the study of racial descent” in the same way that the word “astrology” means: “the study of “stars” and the word “theology” “the study of God.” It is also extremely significant to point out that the English word “gene” is also derived from the Greek word “genea.” Now “gene” is one of the units located on a chromosome that determine the characteristics an organism inherits from its parent or parents. The word “genealogy” therefore also implies “the study of genetical descent.” The purpose of both Matthean and Lukan genealogies is to show that Jesus is the legitimate descendant of David, Judah and Abraham. The Messiah was understood to be a descendant of David and was to be born in Bethlehem - the native town of David. Now David was a member of the tribe of Judah. Matthew 1:1 explicitly states the following:
“This is a record of the ancestors of Yahshua the Messiah, a descendant of King David and of Abraham.”
The text plainly states that the genealogy given in Matthew 1 is that of Jesus the Messiah. Both Matthew and Luke trace Jesus’s genetical descent to David, Judah and Abraham. But it is extremely important for you to realise that the ancestors of Jesus - Abraham, Judah and David are linked with Jesus through the genetical line of JOSEPH. Matthew 1:18 says:
“All those listed above include fourteen generations from Abraham to King David, and fourteen from David’s time to the Babylonian exile, and fourteen from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah.”
Here is the reproduction of the list in its three epochs:
You will note that the third epoch contains only thirteen and not fourteen generations. Likewise, in the second epoch three kings of Judah were omitted in order to retain the number fourteen. They were: Ahaziah, Joash and Amaziah. You can verify this fact by comparing the Matthean genealogy with that given in 1 Chronicles 3:11-12. There is much I could say regarding this and other peculiarities about the genealogy given in Matthew. But this is not essential to do in this book. My sole concern here is to point out that the genealogy of Jesus is traced through JOSEPH. Now if Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus then Jesus’s descent could not be traced through his lineage, since there is no blood relation or genetical connection between Joseph and Jesus. We have already seen that the word “genealogy” means: “the study of racial and genetical descent.”
We have also seen that Matthew 1:1 says that the names given in the list comprise the genealogical record of JESUS CHRIST who is a blood descendant of David and Abraham. Therefore we must conclude that Joseph was the legitimate and biological father of Jesus and so through his lineage was genetically connected with David and Abraham. That Joseph was in fact biological father of Jesus by actually begatting him is explicitly stated in Matthew 1:16. Now this truth is obscured in many Bibles due to the fact that they are based on the Greek manuscripts which were forged by the Christian scribes. Please first of all note the verse as it now stands in the King James Bible: “And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” This verse as it stands in the King James Bible and many other Greek texts, fundamentally destroys the purpose of the genealogy. Please note the remark concerning Matthew 1:16 in The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, compiled by Roman Catholics:
“This verse is carefully constructed to avoid saying that Jesus was the son of Joseph. There is a paradox in presenting a genealogy through Joseph only to have it broken at the end” [p. 635].
If Joseph was not the natural father of Jesus then no genetical connection at all can be established between Jesus, David or the tribe of Judah. If you deny the biological fatherhood of Joseph you may as well discard the whole Matthean genealogy because there is no way known you can prove that Jesus was a descendant of David or Judah unless JOSEPH ACTUALLY BEGAT Jesus. If the translators of the King James Bible translated the 16th verse of Matthew as it stands in many Greek minuscule manuscripts, then the whole genealogy would make perfect sense, since the minuscule manuscripts plainly state that Joseph actually BEGAT Jesus. The Greek New Testament manuscripts are divided in two categories: uncial, that is, manuscripts written in capital letters and minuscule, that is, manuscripts written with small letters. The Greek minuscule manuscripts, classified as FERRAR GROUP OF MINUSCULES, actually give the following reading of verse 16:
“And Jacob begat Joseph and Joseph BEGAT Iesous [Jesus].”
There are many other Greek manuscripts which render this verse as follows:
“Joseph, to whom was betrothed Mary the virgin, BEGOT Jesus who is called Christ.”
Greek manuscripts coded: o, f 13, I 547m, it, a, b, c, d, g, k, q - all give this reading. Ambrosiaster [4th century] and the Syriac Sinaitic version [3rd century] also support this reading. Because of this fact, Von Soden comprises his text to read “JOSEPH BEGAT JESUS.” The Moffat Bible also follows the Von Soden rather than Textus Receptus or Westcott and Hort texts. If the Matthean genealogy is to have any credibility at all, this reading must be preferred above that of Textus Receptus or other Greek manuscripts. It is also extremely important to point out that the account of Mary’s conception given in the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, clearly repudiates the Virgin Birth doctrine. Please note the following text quoted from the Gospel of the Holy Twelve - originally written in Aramaic but translated by Rev. G.J.R. Ouseley:
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God, unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Ioseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary…And the angel came in unto her and said, Hail, Mary, thou that art highly favoured, for the Motherhood of God is with thee: blessed art thou among women and blessed be the fruit of thy womb…And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou has found favour with God and, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a child, and He shall be great and shalt be called a Son of the Highest…Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon Ioseph thy Spouse, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, O Mary, therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called Iesu-Maria, for he shall save the people from their sins, whosoever shall repent and obey his Law. Therefore ye shall eat no flesh, nor drink strong drink, for the child shall be consecrated unto God from its mother’s womb, and neither flesh nor strong drink shall he take, nor shall razor touch his head…And in the same day the angel Gabriel appeared unto Ioseph in a dream and said unto him, Hail, Ioseph, thou that art highly favoured, for the Fatherhood of God is with thee. Blessed art thou among men and blessed be the fruit of thy loins…Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was written in the prophets saying, Behold a Maiden shall conceive and be with child and shall bring forth a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God within us. Then Ioseph being raised from sleep did as the angel had bidden him, and went in unto Mary, his espoused bride, and she conceived in her womb the holy One” [Gospel of the Holy Twelve, chapter 2].
The account given in the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, originally written in Aramaic, the native language of Jesus, the Twelve and their immediate converts and followers, clearly states that the conception of Jesus was “peculiar” but “natural” - through the sexual union between Joseph and Mary - just as the Ebionites maintained. In Luke’s genealogy we are plainly told that Joseph was actually the father of Jesus. Please note the following text as it stands in the King James Bible:
“And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being [as was supposed] the SON OF JOSEPH, which was the son of Heli...the son of David...the son of Judah...the son of God” [Luke 3:23,31,33,38].
Those who believe in the Virgin Birth insist that Jesus was not the biological son of Joseph. They maintain that the Jews rather “supposed” he was the son of Joseph. But this interpretation cannot be correct. Luke does not only say that Jesus was the son of Joseph, but he actually ends up by saying that he was also the son of God. Now the Jews did not suppose that he was the son of God. Lukan text states that through “supposition” Jesus was the son of Joseph and through the same “supposition” he was the son of God. The Jews did not believe or suppose Jesus to be the son of God. Therefore the text must refer to the common supposition, rather belief, as shall be shortly seen - of the Nazarene or Ebionite believers. The word “supposed” in the text of the King James Bible comes from the Greek word “nomizo,” number #3543 in Strong’s Greek Dictionary where it is thus translated by Strong:
“to do by law [usage], i.e. to accustom [be usual].”
The New Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, on p. 427, defines “nomizo” in the following manner:
“to hold by custom or usage, own as a custom or usage; to follow custom or usage; it is the custom, it is the received usage.”
Dr. Zodhiates in his, Complete Word Study Dictionary, on p. 1014, defines the word “nomizo” as follows:
“To suppose, assume, to regard or acknowledge as custom, to have and hold as customary.”
It is important for you to realise that the same word “nomizo” which appears in Luke 3:23, also appears in Acts 16:13, where it is translated “customary.”Please note:
“And on the day of the Sabbath we went forth outside the city by a river, where was customary prayer to be” [Interlinear Greek English New Testament by Dr. George Ricker Berry].
Please note the translation of J.P. Green Sr., in The Interlinear Bible:
“And day of the Sabbaths, we went out outside of the city by the river, where was customary prayer to be.”
I have already pointed out that Strong’s Dictionary defines the word “nomizo” as: “to do by law - usage; to accustom.” The word “nomizo” is in actual fact derived from the Greek word “nomos” which means: “law.” When something is done by custom or habit to a point where one is “accustomed” to whatever he or she is doing, this is called: “to do by law.” Collier’s Dictionary, on p. 249, defines the word “custom by law” as follows:
“established usage or practice of a group which, by long continuance, has acquired the force of law.”
In Luke 4:16 we read that Jesus on the Sabbath went to the synagogue “as was his “custom” or “habitual law.”Luke 3:23 correctly translated would read:
“Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son [as customarily held] of Joseph, the son of Heli.”
Matthean genealogy traces the lineage of Jesus through Joseph and Jacob. In other words: Joseph was the son of Jacob who was the grandfather of Jesus. Lukan genealogy on the other hand states that the father of Joseph and the grandfather of Jesus was Heli. That two distinct personages are in question is clear by the fact that Jacob traces his lineage through Solomon while Heli through Nathan. Many who believe in the Virgin Birth insist that Luke actually supplies the lineage of Mary. But we shall shortly see that this is absolutely impossible. Church Father Julius Africanus believed that both Matthean and Lukan genealogies were those of Joseph. He wrote a treatise in order to prove his view. Please note:
“But in order that what I have said may be made evident, I shall explain the interchange of the generations. If we reckon the generations from David through Solomon, Matthan is found to be the third from the end, who begat Jacob the father of Joseph. But if, with Luke, we reckon them from Nathan the son of David, in like manner the third from the end is Melchi, whose son was Heli the father of Joseph. For Joseph was the son of Heli, the son of Melchi. As Jospeh, therefore, is the object proposed to us, we have to show how it is that each is represented as his father, both Jacob as descending from Solomon, and Heli as descending from Nathan: first how these two, Jacob and Heli, were brothers; and then also how the fathers of these, Matthan and Melchi, being of different families, are shown to be the grandfathers of Joseph. Well, then, Matthan and Melchi, having taken the same woman to wife in succession, begat children who were uterine brothers, as the law did not prevent a widow, whether such by divorce or by the death of her husband, from marrying another. By Estha, then - for such is her name according to tradition - Matthan first, the descendant of Solomon, begets Jacob; and on Matthan’s death, Melchi, who traces his descent back to Nathan, being of the same tribe but of another family, having married her, as has been already said, had a son Heli. Thus, then, we shall find Jacob and Heli uterine brothers, though of different families. And of these, the one Jacob having taken the wife of his brother Heli, who died childless, begat by her the third, Joseph - his son by nature and by account” [The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 6, p. 126].
Africanus proposes interesting and possible reconciliation between Matthean and Lukan genealogies. But what he altogether avoids to say is how could Jesus be a descendant of both Solomon and Nathan if Joseph was not his biological father. Our primary concern here is not how to reconcile the two genealogies and why is Jesus said to have descended from both Solomon and Nathan, but rather how could he be a descendant of David at all if he was not the legitimate son of Joseph. Either Jesus was the biological son of Joseph or else his descent cannot be traced to David or Judah. His mother Mary was not of the tribe of Judah but rather of the tribe of Levi. Therefore he could not be descended from David or Judah through Mary and her genealogy. But is there any biblical proof that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was not of the tribe of Judah and David? We are told first of all that she was a relative of Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist. [Luke 1:36]. Elizabeth was married to Zachariah who was a priest. He thus had to be a descendant of Levi. Elizabeth as his wife had to be a descendant of Levi also, since the Rabbinic law of that time demanded that the priests marry in their own tribe.
We also have some writings of the early centuries of the Christian Era where we are told that Mary was the daughter of a certain priest called Joachim. There was a gospel in existence by the name THE GOSPEL OF THE BIRTH OF MARY. Several versions were in circulation. In the version of St. Jerome [4th century], it was claimed that Mary was the daughter of Joachim who was from the royal line of Judah. The earlier version of this gospel however claimed that Joachim the father of Mary was actually a priest and a descendant from Levi. Faustus, a native of Britain, who became Bishop of Riez, in Provence, quoted one of these ancient versions as a proof that Mary was a descendant of Levi. This evidence may not be sufficient to convince those who accept nothing else but the testimony of the canonical Bible. Therefore now I endeavour to prove beyond dispute that Mary was actually a descendant of Levi - a fact clearly verified even in the King James Bible.In Luke 1:5 we are explicitly told the following:
“There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia; and his wife was of the DAUGHTERS OF AARON, and her name was Elizabeth” [King James Bible]. The Jerusalem Bible renders the same text in the following manner: “In the days of King Herod of Judaea there lived a priest called Zechariah who belonged to the Abijah section of the priesthood, and he had a wife, Elizabeth by name, who was a descendant of Aaron”.
Now please notice the comment on this verse by Matthew Henry - the popular Christian commentator:
“The wife of this Zecharias WAS OF THE DAUGHTERS OF AARON too, and her name was Elizabeth, the very same name with Elisheba the wife of Aaron. The priests [Josephus saith] was very careful to marry WITHIN THEIR OWN FAMILY, that they might maintain dignity of the priesthood and keep it without mixture” [Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, p. 1820].
Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary, Vol. 2, on p. 211 states:
“Not only was Zechariah a priest, but his wife Elizabeth had also been born INTO THE PRIESTLY LINE.”
Readers Digest, Who’s Who in the Bible, art. Elizabeth, on p. 101, gives us the following information:
“Elizabeth was the wife of the priest Zechariah and the mother of John the Baptist. Both she and her husband were descendants of Aaron and therefore MEMBERS OF A PRIESTLY FAMILY.”
It is imperative for you to remember the fact that Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron - that is, Levi. Aaron was the first High Priest. The daughters of Aaron were known as ‘the daughters of HIGH PRIESTS.’ Now you need to be made aware of the fact that Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah the priest, was actually a close BLOOD relative of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In Luke 1:36, we are plainly told that Gabriel told Mary the following:
“And, behold, thy COUSIN Elizabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age” [King James Bible].
Some other Bibles instead of “cousin” read “relative” or “aunty.” The first thing made very clear in this text is the fact that Elizabeth and Mary were RELATED. Now we need to find out in what way they were related. The Greek word rendered “cousin” in the King James Bible is “suggenes” - number #4773 in Strongs, and is thus rendered by James:
“a relative BY BLOOD.”
Vine’s Complete Expositiory Dictionary of the Old and New Testament Words, on p. 135, defines the Greek word in the following manner:
“kinswoman, kinsfolk. The word literally signifies BORN WITH, i.e. OF THE SAME STOCK.”
The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament, on p. 1319, defines the word “suggenes” as follows:
“A kinsman or kinswoman, a relative, ONE OF THE SAME FAMILY.”
The New Thayer’s Greek English Lexicon, defines the word as follows:
“of the same kin, related by blood.”
Throughout the New Testament, the word “suggenes” was used to define very close blood relatives. If we accept the King James rendering “cousin” then we must also accept the fact that Mary’s mother and Elizabeth’s mother were sisters. If we believe that Elizabeth was the aunty of Mary, then Elizabeth’s mother and Mary’s mother were mother and daughter. Do you realise what this means? If Mary’s mother and Elizabeth’s mother were sisters - or even very close blood relatives - that means that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was actually a DESCENDANT OF LEVI. Thus Jesus could not have been a descendant of David or Judah through her genealogy. Those who think that Luke traced Mary’s genealogy are gravely mistaken. The only way Jesus could have been a descendant of Judah is if Joseph - who was a descendant of Judah - was actually his biological father. Joseph was not only a descendant of Judah but he was actually from the royal line of David [Luke 1:27]. It was through him that Jesus was to inherit the throne of his father David [Luke 1:32]. Mary was not of the royal line of David. Therefore Jesus could not have traced his royal blood to David through her. Apparently the author of Hebrews whose task was to convince the “Jewish Christians” to accept Jesus and his virgin birth and to drop the observance of the Mosaic institutions, denies that Mary was in any way a descendant of Levi. We know so from his following arguments:
“He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no-one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests...If he [Yahshua] were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by law” [Hebrews 7:13-14; 8:4].
The author of Hebrews insists that Jesus could not be a priest on earth because he is not a descendant of Levi. Since only Levites and no Judahites were ever allowed to serve as priests, the Hebrew author concludes that Jesus could not legally hold a priestly position on earth. The author of Hebrews could not concede that Jesus was a descendant of Levi through his mother Mary. To do so would have destroyed his argument and the concept of the Virgin Birth. This is not the only place where the author of Hebrews chooses to deviate from the received tradition. He does so in other parts of his work when he feels that it is essential to prove his important point. In order to prove his fundamental belief in “blood atonement” he states:
“This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves and the goats, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep’. In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” [Hebrews 9:18-22].
Wrong! The argument of the author of Hebrews cannot be reconciled with the facts revealed in the canonical Old Testament. First, most things were purified with WATER and not BLOOD. Moses did not do or say what the author implies. Exodus 24:5-8 mentions only calves [bulls] not also goats. It says nothing of the use of water and crimson wool or hyssop. Exodus text says that Moses sprinkled blood on the ALTAR and not the SCROLL or the PEOPLE. Not even the words attributed to Moses are the same. The greatest blunder the author of Hebrews makes is that he insists that the TABERNACLE was also sprinkled with BLOOD and all UTENSILS used in CEREMONIAL RITES were also purified with BLOOD. According to Exodus, the TABERNACLE was not even as yet constructed. Nor were the UTENSILS as yet MADE. And even when they were made later, they were not purified with BLOOD but rather with OIL.Please note:
“Take the anointing oil and anoint the TABERNACLE and EVERYTHING IN IT; consecrate IT and ALL ITS FURNISHINGS, and it will be holy. Then anoint the ALTAR of burnt offering and ALL ITS UTENSILS; consecrate the altar, and it will be the most holy. Anoint the BASIN and ITS STAND and consecrate them” [Exodus 40:9-11].
The author of the epistle to Hebrews did not want to concede the fact that Jesus was from the tribe of Levi. For in doing so he would have destroyed his concept of the Virgin Birth. We have established that the Matthean and Lukan genealogies clearly nullify the doctrine of the Virgin Birth and actually teach that Jesus’s descent from David was through the royal line of Joseph. But there is another way in which I can plainly demonstrate that Joseph was the biological father of Jesus. The Bible plainly states that Jesus was baptised by John in the Jordan River. John was baptising with the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins [Matthew 3:11 and Mark 1:4].
Christians generally decline to comment on Jesus’s baptism and when they do so they usually try to discredit its significance. However, we have already seen that the Ebionites attached a tremendous significance to his baptism. According to them it was during the act of his baptism that the Holy Spirit descended and entered Jesus and that his “begettal” as the Son of God actually occurred right there and then. According to the Ebionite view, Jesus was not the Son of God before he was actually baptised.Please note:
“They [Ebionites] denied the Virgin Birth and held that Christ’s divinity depended on His union with the Holy Spirit at the time of His baptism” [The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, p. 184].
“They [Ebionites] say that Jesus was begotten of human seed, and chosen, and thus called by election Son of God, Christ having come upon him from on high in the form of a dove” [Epiphanius, Panarion XXX, 16].
The Bible tells us that Jesus was about thirty years old when he was baptized by John in the Jordan River. During the act of baptism the actual BEGETTAL took place. Please note the text of Matthew in connection with Jesus’s baptism, as is written in the Gospel of the Twelve Apostles - the Evangel exclusively used by the Ebionites and the Nazarenes:
“After the people had been baptized, Yahshua came also, and was baptized by John. And as he came out of the water, the heavens opened, and he saw the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove and entering into him. And a voice was heard from heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son, and in you I am well pleased’. And again, ‘This day have I begotten you’. And suddenly a great light shone in that place. And John, seeing him, said, Who are you sir? Then a voice was heard from heaven, ‘This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased’. Thereat John fell at his feet and said, I pray you, sir, baptize me. But he would not, saying, Suffer it, for thus it is fitting that all should be accomplished.”
The most significant factor of this text is the BEGETTAL of Jesus. The text claims that God actually spoke and said to Jesus: “THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN YOU.” These words do not appear in the canonical Matthew but are found in original Matthew, written in the Hebrew language. Only after his begettal at the Jordan River did the Holy Spirit actually descend and enter Jesus. This indisputably proves that Jesus could not have been born of a Virgin, nor could he have had his divine begettal some thirty years earlier. The text insists that Jesus’s begettal took place at the Jordan River, during the very act of baptism. If Jesus had a virgin birth and was begotten by the Holy Spirit during Mary’s alleged virginal conception, then there would not have been a need for his begettal during his baptism. Furthermore, if Jesus was the very God in the flesh - as claimed by most adherents of the Christian Church - what further need was there for the Holy Spirit to be given him during the act of his baptism?
You may discredit the words: “This day have I begotten you” because they are not found in the canonical Matthew. You may charge the Ebionites of falsely inserting the words in their text in order to bolster their anti-virginal doctrine. This however cannot be justified on the grounds that the same statement is also found in many Greek manuscripts in the Lukan version of Jesus’s baptism. Luke 3:22 preserved identical statement found in the Ebionite gospel. This fact is obscured in many English Bibles simply because the translators chose to follow certain Greek manuscripts which render the text as follows:
“And a voice came from heaven: You are My Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
But many Greek manuscripts give the alternative reading which fully agrees with the original version of Matthew - used by the Ebionites:
“And a voice came from heaven: You are My Son, this day I have begotten you.”
The Moffat Bible follows these Greek manuscripts and renders the last phrase thus:
“Thou art my son, the Beloved, today have I become thy father.”
The New American Bible for Catholics likewise acknowledges the fact that some ancient Greek manuscripts supply a variant reading and actually say that God begat Jesus on the day he was baptised.Nestle-Alland Greek-English New Testament renders Luke 3:22 in the traditional manner. In the footnote however, we are told:
“Other ancient authorities read “today I have begotten thee.”
The Jerome Biblical Commentary, on page 129, states in regards to Luke 3:22 the following:
“The Western text changes the verse to read: You are my son; this day I have begotten you. A LARGE NUMBER OF SCHOLARS PREFER IT.”
This reading fully harmonises with the messianic prophecy of Psalm 2:7, where the reading is as follows:
“You are my Son; today I have begotten you.”
If God did not actually pronounce these words then the prophecy was never really fulfilled. I, of course, accept the Ebionite version as authentic and inspired. The epistle of Hebrews confirms the fact that God must have spoken the words to Jesus, just as claimed in the Ebionite Evangel. Please note:
“For to which of the angels did God ever say, You are my Son; today I have begotten you” [Hebrews 1:5].
“But God said to him, today I have begotten you” [Hebrews 5:5].
Therefore it is plain that Jesus was actually begotten as the Son of God the moment the Spirit of God entered him. If he was begotten on the day of his baptism when he actually received the tremendous power of the Spirit - how plain then that he could not have had the virgin birth. The Ebionites placed a great emphasis on Jesus’s baptism and his actual begettal. From this point on he received the great power from the Holy Spirit and began his public ministry of teaching. It is most important for you to realise the fact that Christian creeds and theologians deny the fact that Jesus was ever begotten. They insist that he played the role of the Son from all eternity WITHOUT EVER BEING BEGOTTEN BY THE FATHER.Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, on pages 812-813, art. “only-begotten” [Greek “monogenes”] states:
“...the word ‘begotten’ does not imply a BEGINNING of His Sonship. It suggests relationship indeed, but MUST BE DISTINGUISHED FROM GENERATION AS APPLIED TO MAN. We can only rightly understand the term ‘only begotten’ when used of the Son, in the sense of UNORIGINATED RELATIONSHIP. The begetting is not an event of time, however remote, but a fact irrespective of time. The Christ did not BECOME, but necessarily and eternally IS the Son. He, a Person possesses EVERY ATTRIBUTE OF PURE GODHOOD. This necessitates ETERNITY, absolute being.”
This Christian dictionary insists that Jesus was never really begotten but from eternity is the Son in unoriginated sense. That is, there never was a time when he was not the Son. There never was a point in time when he BECAME the Son. He was the Son from all eternity without ever being begotten by his Father God.The Doctrinal Statement of the Western Council of Sardica, c.e. 343, preserved in Councils and Controversies, pp. 16-17 states:
“The Father has never been without the Son, nor the Son without the Father...It is most absurd to affirm that the Father ever existed without the Son.”
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, on p. 1211, art. “sonship of Christ” states:
“The doctrine of the Scriptures, universally held by the Christian church, includes the following features: The sonship of Christ involves an antemundane and eternal distinction of personality between the Son and the Father. He is the eternal Son even as Father is the eternal Father.”
Please note. The view universally held by the Christian Church is that God is the Father from all eternity without ever begetting Jesus as His Son. On the other hand, Jesus is the Son of God without ever actually being begotten. In other words, in the Christian sense, the Father and the Son are of the SAME AGE. Yes, the Son is as old as his Father. This fact is also explicitly stated in the Athanasian Creed:
“None is BEFORE or AFTER the other; none is GREATER or LESS than another” [Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, Vol. 2, p. 561].
The Catholic Encyclopedia, art. “Trinity” states:
“The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion...In this Trinity the Persons are CO-ETERNAL and CO-EQUAL.”
If the Son was co-eternal and co-equal with the Father, out of necessity he could not have been begotten. If they were both co-eternal and co-equal, the Son and the Father could not be related - since neither one would have been actually begotten and so genetically related. By teaching this absurd doctrine the Christian Church fundamentally rejects the Ebionite view of Jesus’s begettal. They also reject the Lukan version of the baptism of Jesus - as preserved in the Western Text of the Greek manuscripts. They also nullify and discard Psalm 2:7, which prophetically spoke of a day when God was to begat His Son. You must decide for yourself whether to believe and accept the Christian view or the Ebionite view - which is so clearly and simply presented in the Bible.