Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

Get access

(1,552 words)

Many of the church fathers refer to a group called Ebionites (Gk ’Εβιωναῖοι; Lat. ebionaei, ebionitae, hebionitae). The designation appears to have first been used of a sectarian movement by Irenaeus of Lyon (Haer. 1.26.2) circa 180 CE, as part of a refutation of heresies starting from Simon Magus and culminating with Valentinus. Irenaeus, and several church fathers following him, describe the Ebionites as Christians who observe Jewish customs and, for the most part, reject the virgin birth of Jesus, holding him only as a…

Cite this page
Häkkinen, Sakari, “Ebionites/Ebionitism”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 15 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2018

▲   Back to top   ▲