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n.1.(Eccl. Hist.) One of an ancient religious sect, so called from Cerinthus, a Jew, who attempted to unite the doctrines of Christ with the opinions of the Jews and Gnostics.
References in classic literature ?
The fierce Abantes held Euboea with its cities, Chalcis, Eretria, Histiaea rich in vines, Cerinthus upon the sea, and the rock-perched town of Dium; with them were also the men of Carystus and Styra; Elephenor of the race of Mars was in command of these; he was son of Chalcodon, and chief over all the Abantes.
Jenkins reviews sources by Irenaeus and Eusebius, on which Browning relies and suggests that "the poem's bitter portrayal of Cerinthus may well be intended as a covert attack on a leading Bible critic, perhaps .
William Colbon was the only survivor of the Cerinthus after she was torpedoed in the South Atlantic in November 1942.
He did this because, after the other Evangelists had written their Gospels, heresies had arisen concerning the divinity of Christ, to the effect that Christ was purely and simply a man, as Ebion and Cerinthus falsely thought.