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Book of Elchasai
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
A noncanonical book now lost, which was referenced by Hippolytus (Refutation of All Heresies, 9.13–17, 10.29), Epiphanius (Panarion, 19, 30) and Origen (see Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 6.38), who contend that it was used by the followers of Elchasai, a heretical group known as the Elchasaites. The Book of Elchasai was never widely authoritative in the early church period.Patristic sources identify the Elchasaites as one of three groups of Jews who combined aspects of Jewish practice with Christian beliefs (the others are the Ebionites and the Nazarenes). The Elchasaites, who originated at the start of the second century ad, appear to have practiced rigid asceticism while emphasizing theosophical speculation. The Book of Elchasai reportedly acknowledged a second baptism that effected forgiveness for adultery and healed certain diseases and wounds (such as bites from mad dogs). Apparently, the text claimed that Jesus himself revealed the text’s words to the prophet Elchasai (Seeberg, Doctrines, 1:89). The work shows signs of being composed in Aramaic and then translated into Greek (Pritz, Nazarene Jewish Christianity, 37).In works by the early church fathers, the Elchasaites (along with the Ebionites) were regarded as heretics (Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 9.13–17; 10.29, Epiphanius, Panarion, 19, 30; Origen [see Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 6.38).
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Elchasai, Book of
Elchasai, Book of (Ελκεσαΐ, Elkesai). A noncanonical book now lost, which was referenced by Hippolytus (Refutation of All Heresies, 9.13–17, 10.29), Epiphanius (Panarion, 19, 30) and Origen (see Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 6.38), who contend that it was used by the followers of Elchasai, a heretical
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Elchasai, the Book of
ELCHASAI*, THE BOOK OF Lost Jewish work composed in Aramaic by Elchasai during the reign of Emperor Trajan (ad 98–117). It was intended for his followers, the Elchasaites (or Sabai), but was read by both Jews and Jewish Christian groups. Portions of the book are quoted by early church fathers Hippolytus,