A number of writings (or excerpts in some cases) from the followers of the original Jesus movement, have survived. Some of these reflect the concerns and attitudes of followers of the Jewish Jesus movement several decades after Jesus death.
A word of caution: these writings are NOT presented here as "word of God". They are writings by human beings for human beings. Although they may (or may not) be inspired, we certainly do not assume them to be "Gospel Truth". Our only "Gospel" is the Torah and Jesus' sayings interpreting that same Torah.
As documented by various Christian Church Fathers, including Eusebius in approx 325CE, the original followers of Jesus utilized a testament written by Jesus' follower Matthew. This was written in Hebrew. Eventually, copies of this testament were adulterated and utilized by the Christian Church, forming the "Gospel according to Matthew" found in the Christian New Testament. Through the various references to this Hebrew Matthew, scholars have attempted to reconstruct this book. One such reconstruction can be found in the work by Standford Rives: "The Original Gospel of Matthew". Here is a link to the Amazon page.
The Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions and Homilies:
The Pseudo-Clementine letters are called as such because they are attributed to a Clement from Rome who visits the followers of Jesus in Israel. They are written after the year 250 CE (may be as late as 400CE) and contain two parts: the "Recognitions", and the "Homilies". The writings are considered Ebionite in nature (sometimes the term "Jewish Christian" is also used). The Pseudo-Clementines can be found at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf08.html or click here.
The Gospel of the Ebionites (as quoted by hostile Christian Church father Epiphanius, in approx 390CE): click here.
General information on Gospel of the Ebionites:
In his book The Other Gospels, Ron Cameron makes the following observations: "The Gospel of the Ebionites (Gos. Eb.) is a gospel harmony preserved in a few quotations in the writings of Epiphanius (a church writer who lived at the end of the fourth century C.E.). The original title of this gospel is unknown. The designation customary today is based on the fact that this was the gospel probably used by the Ebionites, a group of Greek-speaking Jewish Christians who were prominent throughout the second and third centuries. Epiphanius incorrectly entitles this the 'Hebrew' gospel, and alleges that it is an abridged, truncated version of the Gospel of Matthew. Whereas the Gospel of the Ebionites is indeed closely related to Matthew, examination of the extant fragments reveals that much of the text is a harmony, composed in Greek, of the Gospels Matthew and Luke (and, probably, the Gospel of Mark as well). Although Irenaeus (late in the second century) attests to the existence of this gospel, we are dependent solely upon the quotations given by Epiphanius for our knowledge of the contents of the text."
The Gospel of the Ebionites omits the infancy narratives. The gospel presents both John the Baptist and Jesus as vegetarians, and Jesus says that he has come to abolish sacrifices. Cameron says, "Together with the sayings about the passover, this intimates a polemic against the Jewish Temple." This indicates that the Gospel of the Ebionites, like the Gospel of Matthew, addresses the issue of "Jewish identity after the destruction of the Temple." The solution offered to this problem is "to believe in Jesus, the true interpreter of the Law." Cameron suggests that the Gospel of the Ebionites was written in the mid-second century in Syria or Palestine.
Gospel of the Ebionites. Probable date of authorship: circa 100-150 C.E.
The only remaining fragments of the Gospel of the Ebionites are preserved in the form of citations by the church father Epiphanius in the latter part of the fourth century. Unfortunately, he is a rather hostile witness to the traditions contained therein, and his statements are at times confusing or contradictory.
The Ebionites were Greek-speaking Jewish-Christians who lived east of the Jordan, though Epiphanius oddly refers to the work as the "Hebrew" gospel and considers it to be a modified version of Matthew. More accurately, it appears to be a harmony of all the synoptic gospels, with some subtle changes to reflect the writers' theology. Most importantly, the Ebionites believed in an "adoptionist" Christology—that Jesus was fully human, but was chosen as the son of God at his baptism. However, Epiphanius also states that they believed Jesus to have been "created like one of the archangels." The gospel also makes vegetarians of Jesus and John the Baptist by modifying Luke 22:15, and changing the Baptist's diet from locusts (Greek=akris) to cake (egkris).
While Ebionites obviously postdates the canonical gospels, it was written prior to the late second century when it was referred to by Irenaeus
Wilhelm Schneemelcher, ed., translation by R. McL. Wilson, New Testament Apocrypha : Gospels and Related Writings (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1992), pp. 166-171.
Ron Cameron, ed., The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts (Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press 1982), pp. 103-106.
The Gospel of the Hebrews (as quoted by Christian Church fathers Jerome, Origen (ca.220CE), Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, Eusebius (ca.325CE), Epiphanius (ca.390CE), Nicephorus): click here.
References to additional writings will be added here.