Don't forget the land Jesus was from did not hold him to be God in the early days.
Bart Ehrman was asked "What was the difference between the proto-orthodox from a geography and class standing, and the heretical groups?"
Notice what he said about the Israel region.
quote:In the second century there were difference kinds of Christianity in different parts of the empire, so that in Alexandria, a majority of people were Gnostic--or in Asia Minor, which is modern-day Turkey, the majority of churches were Marcionite. Or in lands around what today we call Israel, the majority of Christians were Ebionite. But in some of these places, there were also proto-Orthodox people. Proto-orthodox was clearly the majority in the city of Rome, and it may have been in the majority in the city of Antioch, in Syria, and in several other larger places.
It was partly geographical, but you have different kinds of people in the same place--so for example in Rome, which was largely proto-orthodox, we know of Gnostics there, and we know that Marcionites started out there. It's like today: there are Mormons here in Chapel Hill, but if you go to Salt Lake City, there are a lot of Mormons.
(He was asked what Christianity would be like if Ebionites won out "Christianity)
quote:We would have a different New Testament to begin with. The Ebionites were opponents of the Apostle Paul. They thought he was a heretic. A lot of the New Testament had to do with the Apostle Paul and his writings. Those would have been excluded from the get-go. They would have kept what is now our Gospel of Matthew but maybe not any of the other Gospels. And it would mean that Christians would have to be Jewish, which means uncircumcised men would have to get circumcised and people would be keeping kosher food laws and would be keeping the Sabbath, worshiping on Saturday, keeping Jewish festivals. So Christianity would have been more recognizably a sect of Judaism.
quote:We'll start with the Ebionites. The Ebionites were complete monotheists, so there's only one God, and nobody else could be God, so Jesus is not divine for them. Jesus is a full flesh-and-blood human being, who was more righteous than anybody else and so God chose him to be his son. In other words, He gave him a mission to die for the sins of the world. But he wasn't himself God, so the Ebionites maintained their Jewishness because they thought that Jesus was Messiah, predicted by this one God. They denied the deity of Jesus, they rejected the teachings of Paul, and their scriptures were mainly what we would call the Old Testament. So they didn't have an idea of the virgin birth or anything that would make Jesus anything other than human.