Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
Or OPHITES, heretics in the second century, so called from the veneration they had for the serpent that tempted Eve, and the worship paid to a real serpent: they pretended that the serpent was Jesus Christ, and that he taught men the knowledge of good and evil. They distinguished between Jesus and Christ. Jesus, they said, was born of the Virgin, but Christ came down from heaven to be united with him: Jesus was crucified, but Christ had left him to return to heaven. They distinguished the God of the Jews, whom they termed Jaldabaoth, from the supreme God: to the former they ascribed the body, to the latter the soul of men. It is said they had a live serpent, which they kept in a kind of cage: at certain times they opened the cage-door, and called the serpent: the animal came out, and, mounting upon the table, twined itself about some loaves of bread. This bread they broke, and distributed it to the company; and this they called their Eucharist.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Serpentinians'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/s/serpentinians.html. 1802.