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Their data, however, have no more value than any other guess. So little of the semblance of historical testimony do the gospels yield ; that it is impossible to establish from as to the duration of the Church — in general held them any God-man's ministry by the tradition that ; it proposition and the early lasted exactly one year, an opinion which again points straight to myth, since it is either a dogmatic assumption based on the formula of " the acceptable year of the Lord," or a simple reversion to the story of the Sun-God.

Seeing, however, that the later Nazarseans are reported to have adopted the (obviously late) first and second chapters of Matthew, while the Ebionites rejected them and seeing that these chapters, embodying the story of the flight into Egypt, make Jesus at once a Jewish and a Gentile Christ, it would appear that the Gentile movement had then reacted on the Jewish, and that the ultra-Jewish Jesuists had now relinquished the name of Nazarsean to the less ; rigid, who at this stage probably used a Greek gospel.

But mere poverty on the one hand, and on the other the common ascetic instinct (which in some cases put water for wine), would tell among Gentiles against the eating of actual flesh even when the pretence was to eat flesh and drink blood. In some early Christian groups accordingly the sacrificial food took the shape of a model of a lamb in bread' (a kind of device often resorted to in pagan worship with a special form of animal sacrifice), while others actually ate a lamb and drank its blood, as did some of the Mithraists and some of the Egyptian then ' See Christianity and Mythology, 2nd ed.

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A Short History Of Christianity by J. M. Robertson

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