Tuesday, October 31, 2006
ROSSLYN CHAPEL AN EBIONITE GOSPEL IN STONE ?
A couple of articles in The Scotsman last week report that Rosslyn Chapel may not be a Catholic chapel, but rather an Ebionite chapel built to reflect the beliefs of Sir William St. Clair and Gilbert Haye. These are the theories of Alan Butler and John Ritchie, authors of just released ROSSLYN REVEALED. According to one article the authors claim:
...master masons who came to Midlothian from across Europe to build the chapel between 1456 and 1496 became, in effect, the first Freemasons. The secretive nature of the craft, they say, was forged at Rosslyn, through rituals and ceremonies devised by Haye and Sinclair - linked closely to the beliefs of the Ebionites.
The carvings of Rosslyn are unlike those of a normal church because they reflect Ebionite symbolism rather than the more mainstream Christian tradition.
Ebionism had its origins in a pre-Christian mystery tradition and incorporated beliefs and symbols from Judaism, Islam and Egyptian and Persian traditions. Butler and Ritchie believe Sinclair and Haye enshrined these beliefs and symbols in the very fabric of Rosslyn - to ensure they were understood by future generations.
Many believe some of the leading figures of the Renaissance may have been Ebionites. But the sect, with its emphasis on individuality, was a threat to the hierarchical beliefs of the established church.
As the quote indicates, the article claims that Freemasonry owes it's very existence to Rosslyn Chapel where the craft was created. The Sinclairs are closely associated with Freemasonry. Kilwinning Lodge, the first known Masonic lodge, was located on Sinclair property. The Sinclairs of Roslin were heredity Grand Masters of Scottish Freemasonry. The article once again restates it:
While the beliefs of Freemasonry have changed and been embellished over the years, the authors believe they have their core origins in the Ebionite belief systems incorporated into the design of Rosslyn. They write: "At the heart of Freemasonry we still find imperatives critically important to William Sinclair and Gilbert Haye. These include a deep reverence for John the Baptist, an enduring belief in justice, equality and fraternity, a reverence for the Noahide Laws of ancient Judaism and a recognition for that all-important part of the year around the autumn equinox.
"The same heady cocktail of Old Testament legend, Ebionite Christianity, mystery rite religion and a reverence for the human spirit that was personified by the 15th-century Sinclairs was passed directly to Freemasonry and in part survives with the craft to this day."
The entire article can be read here.
Another Scotsman.com article desribes a tiny red window above the rose window that floods the chapel with a red light on St. Matthew's Day, September 21--a window that was discovered by the authors of the book. This is significant because the only gospel accepted by the Ebionites is the Gospel of Matthew.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Ebionites were "early Christian sects infected with Judaistic errors." However, the article also offers a different perspective:
Recent scholars have plausibly maintained that the term did not originally designate any heretical sect, but merely the orthodox Jewish Christians of Palestine who continued to observe the Mosaic Law. These, ceasing to be in touch with the bulk of the Christian world, would gradually have drifted away from the standard of orthodoxy and become formal heretics. A stage in this development is seen in St. Justin's "Dialogue with Trypho the Jew", chapter Xlvii (about A.D. 140), where he speaks of two sects of Jewish Christians estranged from the Church: those who observe the Mosaic Law for themselves, but do not require observance thereof from others; and those who hold it of universal obligation. The latter are considered heretical by all; but with the former St. Justin would hold communion, though not all Christians would show them the same indulgence. St. Justin, however, does not use the term Ebionites, and when this term first occurs (about A.D. 175) it designates a distinctly heretical sect.
Ebionites denied the Divinity of Christ and the virginity of the Blessed Virgin. They believed He was a natural born child of Mary and Joseph and became a Son of God or Prophet at His Baptism in the Jordan. They regarded St. Paul as an apostate, and reject all Christian teaching.
Epiphanius divides Ebionites into two sects, classifying those who are closer to Catholic-mindedness as Nazarenes. There were also Gnostic Ebionites.
Wikipedia claims that the
Ebionites revered John the Baptizer as a precursor to Jesus, and the Desposyni (a sacred name reserved only for Jesus' blood relatives), especially James the Just, as his legitimate successors, rather than Peter.
According to Wikipedia Keith Akers has argued that the Ebionites had an influence on Islam and the Sufis. The article indicates that modern Ebionites belong to the Ebionite Jewish Commuinity and the Ebionite Restoration Movement.
One website, ebionite.org, offers a webpage of frequently asked questions. There you can learn that these modern Ebionites "are in no way Christian or supportive of Christianity" which they consider "to be a type of Mystery Religion devised by Paul of Tarsus and others."
Some additional comments on the ebionite.org FAQ webpage:
- There are a number of Christian derived fringe groups who have misrepresented themselves as Ebionites. They are often "pentecostal" "non-denominational," "right-wing" conservative, anti-government, anti-authority, and apocalyptic if not gnostic.
- Jesus has been made into something very disgusting and pagan by Christians.
- Christians made Jesus into an idol.
- There is no all-encompassing "original sin"
- ...we do not care much at all for the Christian religious system and its doctrine.
- Christianity has developed false values and goals which has enabled it to wreak...havoc with impunity, and claims it does it for God. It is not a good religion and it is not a religion of God.
- Most Christians are born into the Christian culture, and brainwashed in churches, schools, and media.
- Christianity itself is worthless to us as a faith.
- We want Christians and all gentiles to come to know and worship God (Yahweh) and enter into covenant with Him.
- Dat Kazav (Lying Religion, or Religion of Falseness) is a Hebrew term Ebionites use to describe Christianity that comes from the ish kazav (Lying Man, i.e., Liar) Paul of Tarsus.
- Due to a gnostic influence which said that the physical world was flawed and evil, the Pauline Christians rejected physical requirements (like circumcision, and lawkeeping, (sic) and instead emphasized spirituality.
- Yahweh does not command us to believe anything, but on the other hand He instructs us to do many things and desist from many things in His Torah.
- ...there is no such thing as "The Ten Commandments," [rather they are] Ten Principles, because each act as categories in which all the other 603 commandments can be sorted into.
- Ebionites have a mission to provide an alternative to religions which deify men, particularly Christianity that deifies the man Jesus.
Former Christian Shemayah Phillips founded the modern Ebionite Movement in 1978 according to the history page in the Ebionite website. It went worldwide on the web in 1995. It is impossible from the website to determine how large the movement is.
If Butler and Ritchie are correct in their premise that Freemasonry was founded by an Ebionite, it would go a long way toward explaining why the Church and Freemasonry have been antithetic from the beginning. How many Freemasons today would be willing to embrace Ebionitism outright?
Large or small, their adherence to the Noahide Laws dovetails with a larger movement in Judaism that promotes these laws, and that sees Christianity as idolatry, punishable by beheading.