Book 1

The Church History of Eusebius.


Book I.

Chapter I.–The Plan of the Work.

1. It is my purpose to write an account of the successions of the holy
apostles, as well as of the times which have elapsed from the days of
our Saviour to our own; and to relate the many important events which
are said to have occurred in the history of the Church; and to mention
those who have governed and presided over the Church in the most
prominent parishes, and those who in each generation have proclaimed
the divine word either orally or in writing.

2. It is my purpose also to give the names and number and times of
those who through love of innovation have run into the greatest errors,
and, proclaiming themselves discoverers of knowledge falsely so-called
[12] have like fierce wolves unmercifully devastated the flock of

3. It is my intention, moreover, to recount the misfortunes which
immediately came upon the whole Jewish nation in consequence of their
plots against our Saviour, and to record the ways and the times in
which the divine word has been attacked by the Gentiles, and to
describe the character of those who at various periods have contended
for it in the face of blood and of tortures, as well as the confessions
which have been made in our own days, and finally the gracious and
kindly succor which our Saviour has afforded them all. Since I propose
to write of all these things I shall commence my work with the
beginning of the dispensation [13] of our Saviour and Lord Jesus
Christ. [14]

4. But at the outset I must crave for my work the indulgence of the
wise, [15] for I confess that it is beyond my power to produce a
perfect and complete history, and since I am the first to enter upon
the subject, I am attempting to traverse as it were a lonely and
untrodden path. [16] I pray that I may have God as my guide and the
power of the Lord as my aid, since I am unable to find even the bare
footsteps of those who have traveled the way before me, except in brief
fragments, in which some in one way, others in another, have
transmitted to us particular accounts of the times in which they lived.
From afar they raise their voices like torches, and they cry out, as
from some lofty and conspicuous watch-tower, admonishing us where to
walk and how to direct the course of our work steadily and safely.

5. Having gathered therefore from the matters mentioned here and there
by them whatever we consider important for the present work, and having
plucked like flowers from a meadow the appropriate passages from
ancient writers, [17] we shall endeavor to embody the whole in an
historical narrative, content if we preserve the memory of the
successions of the apostles of our Saviour; if not indeed of all, yet
of the most renowned of them in those churches which are the most
noted, and which even to the present time are held in honor.

6. This work seems to me of especial importance because I know of no
ecclesiastical writer who has devoted himself to this subject; and I
hope that it will appear most useful to those who are fond of
historical research.

7. I have already given an epitome of these things in the Chronological
Canons [18] which I have composed, but notwithstanding that, I have
undertaken in the present work to write as full an account of them as I
am able.

8. My work will begin, as I have said, with the dispensation [19] of
the Saviour Christ,–which is loftier and greater than human
conception,–and with a discussion of his divinity [20] ;

9. for it is necessary, inasmuch as we derive even our name from
Christ, for one who proposes to write a history of the Church to begin
with the very origin of Christ’s dispensation, a dispensation more
divine than many think.

[12] Cf. 1 Tim. vi. 20.

[13] Greek oikonomia. Suicer (Thesaurus Eccles.) points out four uses
of this word among ecclesiastical writers: (1) Ministerium Evangelii.
(2) Providentia et numen (i.e. of God). (3) Naturae humanae assumtio.
(4) Totius redemptionis mysterium et passionis Christi sacramentum.
Valesius says, ”The ancient Greeks use the word to denote whatever
Christ did in the world to proclaim salvation for the human race, and
thus the first oikonomia tou christou is the incarnation, as the last
oikonomia is the passion.” The word in the present case is used in its
wide sense to denote not simply the act of incarnation, but the whole
economy or dispensation of Christ upon earth. See the notes of
Heinichen upon this passage, Vol. III. p. 4 sq., and of Valesius, Vol.
I. p. 2.

[14] Five mss., followed by nearly all the editors of the Greek text
and by the translators Stigloher and Cruse, read tou theou after
christon. The words, however, are omitted by the majority of the best
mss. and by Rufinus, followed by Heinichen and Closs. (See the note of
Heinichen, Vol. I. p. 4).

[15] All the mss. followed by the majority of the editors read
eugnomonon, which must agree with logos. Heinichen, however, followed
by Burton, Schwegler, Closs, and Stigloher, read eugnomonon, which I
have also accepted. Closs translates die Nachsicht der Kenner;
Stigloher, wohlwollende Nachsicht. Cruse avoids the difficulty by
omitting the word; an omission which is quite unwarranted.

[16] Eusebius is rightly called the ”Father of Church History.” He had
no predecessors who wrote, as he did, with a comprehensive historical
plan in view; and yet, as he tells us, much had been written of which
he made good use in his History. The one who approached nearest to the
idea of a Church historian was Hegesippus (see Bk. IV. chap. 22, note
1), but his writings were little more than fragmentary memoirs, or
collections of disconnected reminiscences. For instance, Eusebius, in
Bk. II. chap 23, quotes from his fifth and last book the account of the
martyrdom of James the Just, which shows that his work lacked at least
all chronological arrangement. Julius Africanus (see Bk. VI. chap. 31,
note 1) also furnished Eusebius with much material in the line of
chronology, and in his Chronicle Eusebius made free use of him. These
are the only two who can in any sense be said to have preceded Eusebius
in his province, and neither one can rob him of his right to be called
the ”Father of Church History.”

[17] One of the greatest values of Eusebius’ History lies in the
quotations which it contains from earlier ecclesiastical writers. The
works of many of them are lost, and are known to us only through the
extracts made by Eusebius. This fact alone is enough to make his
History of inestimable worth.

[18] On Eusebius’ Chronicle, see the Prolegomena, p. 31, above.

[19] oikonomia. See above, note 2.

[20] theologia. Suicer gives four meanings for this word: (1) Doctrina
de Deo. (2) Doctrina de SS. Trinitate. (3) Divina Christi natura, seu
doctrina de ea. (4) Scriptura sacra utriusque Testamenti. The word is
used here in its third signification (cf. also chap. 2, S:3, and Bk. V.
chap. 28, S:5). It occurs very frequently in the works of the Fathers
with this meaning, especially in connection with oikonomia, which is
then quite commonly used to denote the ”human nature” of Christ. In the
present chapter oikonomia keeps throughout its more general
signification of ”the Dispensation of Christ,” and is not confined to
the mere act of incarnation, nor to his ”human nature.”

Chapter II.–Summary View of the Pre-existence and Divinity of Our
Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ.

1. Since in Christ there is a twofold nature, and the one–in so far as
he is thought of as God–resembles the head of the body, while the
other may be compared with the feet,–in so far as he, for the sake of
our salvation, put on human nature with the same passions as our
own,–the following work will be complete only if we begin with the
chief and lordliest events of all his history. In this way will the
antiquity and divinity of Christianity be shown to those who suppose it
of recent and foreign origin, [21] and imagine that it appeared only
yesterday. [22]

2. No language is sufficient to express the origin and the worth, the
being and the nature of Christ. Wherefore also the divine Spirit says
in the prophecies, ”Who shall declare his generation?” [23] For none
knoweth the Father except the Son, neither can any one know the Son
adequately except the Father alone who hath begotten him. [24]

3. For who beside the Father could clearly understand the Light which
was before the world, the intellectual and essential Wisdom which
existed before the ages, the living Word which was in the beginning
with the Father and which was God, the first and only begotten of God
which was before every creature and creation visible and invisible, the
commander-in-chief of the rational and immortal host of heaven, the
messenger of the great counsel, the executor of the Father’s unspoken
will, the creator, with the Father, of all things, the second cause of
the universe after the Father, the true and only-begotten Son of God,
the Lord and God and King of all created things, the one who has
received dominion and power, with divinity itself, and with might and
honor from the Father; as it is said in regard to him in the mystical
passages of Scripture which speak of his divinity: ”In the beginning
was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” [25]
”All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made.”

4. This, too, the great Moses teaches, when, as the most ancient of all
the prophets, he describes under the influence of the divine Spirit the
creation and arrangement of the universe. He declares that the maker of
the world and the creator of all things yielded to Christ himself, and
to none other than his own clearly divine and first-born Word, the
making of inferior things, and communed with him respecting the
creation of man. ”For,” says he, ”God said, Let us make man in our
image and in our likeness.” [27]

5. And another of the prophets confirms this, speaking of God in his
hymns as follows: ”He spake and they were made; he commanded and they
were created.” [28] He here introduces the Father and Maker as Ruler of
all, commanding with a kingly nod, and second to him the divine Word,
none other than the one who is proclaimed by us, as carrying out the
Father’s commands.

6. All that are said to have excelled in righteousness and piety since
the creation of man, the great servant Moses and before him in the
first place Abraham and his children, and as many righteous men and
prophets as afterward appeared, have contemplated him with the pure
eyes of the mind, and have recognized him and offered to him the
worship which is due him as Son of God.

7. But he, by no means neglectful of the reverence due to the Father,
was appointed to teach the knowledge of the Father to them all. For
instance, the Lord God, it is said, appeared as a common man to Abraham
while he was sitting at the oak of Mambre. [29] And he, immediately
falling down, although he saw a man with his eyes, nevertheless
worshiped him as God, and sacrificed to him as Lord, and confessed that
he was not ignorant of his identity when he uttered the words, ”Lord,
the judge of all the earth, wilt thou not execute righteous judgment?”

8. For if it is unreasonable to suppose that the unbegotten and
immutable essence of the almighty God was changed into the form of man
or that it deceived the eyes of the beholders with the appearance of
some created thing, and if it is unreasonable to suppose, on the other
hand, that the Scripture should falsely invent such things, when the
God and Lord who judgeth all the earth and executeth judgment is seen
in the form of a man, who else can be called, if it be not lawful to
call him the first cause of all things, than his only pre-existent
Word? [31] Concerning whom it is said in the Psalms, ”He sent his Word
and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” [32]

9. Moses most clearly proclaims him second Lord after the Father, when
he says, ”The Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire
from the Lord.” [33] The divine Scripture also calls him God, when he
appeared again to Jacob in the form of a man, and said to Jacob, ”Thy
name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name,
because thou hast prevailed with God.” [34] Wherefore also Jacob called
the name of that place ”Vision of God,” [35] saying, ”For I have seen
God face to face, and my life is preserved.” [36]

10. Nor is it admissible to suppose that the theophanies recorded were
appearances of subordinate angels and ministers of God, for whenever
any of these appeared to men, the Scripture does not conceal the fact,
but calls them by name not God nor Lord, but angels, as it is easy to
prove by numberless testimonies.

11. Joshua, also, the successor of Moses, calls him, as leader of the
heavenly angels and archangels and of the supramundane powers, and as
lieutenant of the Father, [37] entrusted with the second rank of
sovereignty and rule over all, ”captain of the host of the Lord,”
although he saw him not otherwise than again in the form and appearance
of a man. For it is written:

12. ”And it came to pass when Joshua was at Jericho [38] that he looked
and saw a man standing over against him with his sword drawn in his
hand, and Joshua went unto him and said, Art thou for us or for our
adversaries? And he said unto him, As captain of the host of the Lord
am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and said unto
him, Lord, what dost thou command thy servant? and the captain of the
Lord said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy feet, for the place
whereon thou standest is holy.” [39]

13. You will perceive also from the same words that this was no other
than he who talked with Moses. [40] For the Scripture says in the same
words and with reference to the same one, ”When the Lord saw that he
drew near to see, the Lord called to him out of the bush and said,
Moses, Moses. And he said, What is it? And he said, Draw not nigh
hither; loose thy shoe from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou
standest is holy ground. And he said unto him, I am the God of thy
fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of
Jacob.” [41]

14. And that there is a certain substance which lived and subsisted
[42] before the world, and which ministered unto the Father and God of
the universe for the formation of all created things, and which is
called the Word of God and Wisdom, we may learn, to quote other proofs
in addition to those already cited, from the mouth of Wisdom herself,
who reveals most clearly through Solomon the following mysteries
concerning herself: ”I, Wisdom, have dwelt with prudence and knowledge,
and I have invoked understanding. Through me kings reign, and princes
ordain righteousness. Through me the great are magnified, and through
me sovereigns rule the earth.” [43]

15. To which she adds: ”The Lord created me in the beginning of his
ways, for his works; before the world he established me, in the
beginning, before he made the earth, before he made the depths, before
the mountains were settled, before all hills he begat me. When he
prepared the heavens I was present with him, and when he established
the fountains of the region under heaven [44] I was with him,
disposing. I was the one in whom he delighted; daily I rejoiced before
him at all times when he was rejoicing at having completed the world.”

16. That the divine Word, therefore, pre-existed and appeared to some,
if not to all, has thus been briefly shown by us.

17. But why the Gospel was not preached in ancient times to all men and
to all nations, as it is now, will appear from the following
considerations. [46] The life of the ancients was not of such a kind as
to permit them to receive the all-wise and all-virtuous teaching of

18. For immediately in the beginning, after his original life of
blessedness, the first man despised the command of God, and fell into
this mortal and perishable state, and exchanged his former divinely
inspired luxury for this curse-laden earth. His descendants having
filled our earth, showed themselves much worse, with the exception of
one here and there, and entered upon a certain brutal and insupportable
mode of life.

19. They thought neither of city nor state, neither of arts nor
sciences. They were ignorant even of the name of laws and of justice,
of virtue and of philosophy. As nomads, they passed their lives in
deserts, like wild and fierce beasts, destroying, by an excess of
voluntary wickedness, the natural reason of man, and the seeds of
thought and of culture implanted in the human soul. They gave
themselves wholly over to all kinds of profanity, now seducing one
another, now slaying one another, now eating human flesh, and now
daring to wage war with the Gods and to undertake those battles of the
giants celebrated by all; now planning to fortify earth against heaven,
and in the madness of ungoverned pride to prepare an attack upon the
very God of all. [47]

20. On account of these things, when they conducted themselves thus,
the all-seeing God sent down upon them floods and conflagrations as
upon a wild forest spread over the whole earth. He cut them down with
continuous famines and plagues, with wars, and with thunderbolts from
heaven, as if to check some terrible and obstinate disease of souls
with more severe punishments.

21. Then, when the excess of wickedness had overwhelmed nearly all the
race, like a deep fit of drunkenness, beclouding and darkening the
minds of men, the first-born and first-created wisdom of God, the
pre-existent Word himself, induced by his exceeding love for man,
appeared to his servants, now in the form of angels, and again to one
and another of those ancients who enjoyed the favor of God, in his own
person as the saving power of God, not otherwise, however, than in the
shape of man, because it was impossible to appear in any other way.

22. And as by them the seeds of piety were sown among a multitude of
men and the whole nation, descended from the Hebrews, devoted
themselves persistently to the worship of God, he imparted to them
through the prophet Moses, as to multitudes still corrupted by their
ancient practices, images and symbols of a certain mystic Sabbath and
of circumcision, and elements of other spiritual principles, but he did
not grant them a complete knowledge of the mysteries themselves.

23. But when their law became celebrated, and, like a sweet odor, was
diffused among all men, as a result of their influence the dispositions
of the majority of the heathen were softened by the lawgivers and
philosophers who arose on every side, and their wild and savage
brutality was changed into mildness, so that they enjoyed deep peace,
friendship, and social intercourse. [48] Then, finally, at the time of
the origin of the Roman Empire, there appeared again to all men and
nations throughout the world, who had been, as it were, previously
assisted, and were now fitted to receive the knowledge of the Father,
that same teacher of virtue, the minister of the Father in all good
things, the divine and heavenly Word of God, in a human body not at all
differing in substance from our own. He did and suffered the things
which had been prophesied. For it had been foretold that one who was at
the same time man and God should come and dwell in the world, should
perform wonderful works, and should show himself a teacher to all
nations of the piety of the Father. The marvelous nature of his birth,
and his new teaching, and his wonderful works had also been foretold;
so likewise the manner of his death, his resurrection from the dead,
and, finally, his divine ascension into heaven.

24. For instance, Daniel the prophet, under the influence of the divine
Spirit, seeing his kingdom at the end of time, [49] was inspired thus
to describe the divine vision in language fitted to human
comprehension: ”For I beheld,” he says, ”until thrones were placed, and
the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow and the
hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was a flame of fire and his
wheels burning fire. A river of fire flowed before him. Thousand
thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand
stood before him. He appointed judgment, and the books were opened.”

25. And again, ”I saw,” says he, ”and behold, one like the Son of man
came with the clouds of heaven, and he hastened unto the Ancient of
Days and was brought into his presence, and there was given him the
dominion and the glory and the kingdom; and all peoples, tribes, and
tongues serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall
not pass away, and his kingdom shall not be destroyed.” [51]

26. It is clear that these words can refer to no one else than to our
Saviour, the God Word who was in the beginning with God, and who was
called the Son of man because of his final appearance in the flesh.

27. But since we have collected in separate books [52] the selections
from the prophets which relate to our Saviour Jesus Christ, and have
arranged in a more logical form those things which have been revealed
concerning him, what has been said will suffice for the present.

[21] nean auten kai ektetopismenen

[22] This was one of the principal objections raised against
Christianity. Antiquity was considered a prime requisite in a religion
which claimed to be true, and no reproach was greater than the reproach
of novelty. Hence the apologists laid great stress upon the antiquity
of Christianity, and this was one reason why they appropriated the Old
Testament as a Christian book. Compare, for instance, the apologies of
Justin Martyr, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, Tertullian and Minucius
Felix, and the works of Clement of Alexandria. See Engelhardt’s article
on Eusebius, in the Zeitschrift fuer die hist. Theologie, 1852, p. 652
sq.; Schaff’s Church History, Vol. II. p. 110; and Tzschirner’s
Geschichte der Apologetik, p. 99 sq.

[23] Isa. liii. 8.

[24] Cf. Matt. xi. 27

[25] John i. 1.

[26] John i. 3.

[27] Gen. i. 26.

[28] Ps. xxxiii. 9. There is really nothing in this passage to imply
that the Psalmist thinks, as Eusebius supposes, of the Son as the
Father’s agent in creation, who is here addressed by the Father. As
Stroth remarks, ”According to Eusebius, `He spake’ is equivalent to `He
said to the Son, Create’; and `They were created’ means, according to
him, not `They arose immediately upon this command of God,’ but `The
Son was immediately obedient to the command of the Father and produced
them.’ For Eusebius connects this verse with the sixth, `By the word of
the Lord were the heavens made,’ where he understands Christ to be
referred to. Perhaps this verse has been omitted in the Greek through
an oversight, for it is found in Rufinus.”

[29] See Gen. xviii. 1 sq.

[30] Gen. xviii. 25.

[31] Eusebius accepts the common view of the early Church, that the
theophanies of the Old Testament were Christophanies; that is,
appearances of the second person of the Trinity. Augustine seems to
have been the first of the Fathers to take a different view,
maintaining that such Christophanies were not consistent with the
identity of essence between Father and Son, and that the Scriptures
themselves teach that it was not the Logos, but an angel, that appeared
to the Old Testament worthies on various occasions (cf. De Trin. III.
11). Augustine’s opinion was widely adopted, but in modern times the
earlier view, which Eusebius represents, has been the prevailing one
(see Hodge, Systematic Theology, I. p. 490, and Lange’s article
Theophany in Herzog).

[32] Ps. cvii. 20.

[33] Gen. xix. 24.

[34] Gen. xxxii. 28.

[35] eidos theou.

[36] Gen. xxxii. 30.

[37] The mss. differ greatly at this point. A number of them followed
by Valesius, Closs, and Cruse, read, hosanei tou patros hupEURrchonta
dunamin kai sophian. Schwegler, Laemmer, Burton, and Heinichen adopt
another reading which has some ms. support, and which we have followed
in our translation: hosanei tou patros huparchon. See Heinichen’s
edition, Vol. 1. p. 10, note 41.

[38] en ;;Iericho.

[39] Josh. v. 13-15

[40] Eusebius agrees with other earlier Fathers (e.g. Justin Martyr,
Origen, and Cyprian) in identifying the one that appeared to Joshua
with him that had appeared to Moses, on the ground that the same words
were used in both cases (cf. especially Justin’s Dial. c. Trypho, chap.
62). Many later Fathers (e.g. Theodoret) regard the person that
appeared to Joshua as the archangel Michael, who is described by Daniel
(x. 21 and xii. 1) as fighting for the people of God. See Keil’s
Commentary on Joshua, chap. 5, vv. 13-15.

[41] Ex. iii. 4-6. Cf. Justin’s Dial., chap. 63.

[42] ousia tis prokosmios zosa kai huphestosa.

[43] Prov. viii. 12, 15, 16.

[44] tes hup’ ouranon, with all the mss. and the LXX., followed by
Schwegler, Burton, Heinichen, and others. Some editors, in agreement
with the version of Rufinus (fontes sub coelo), read tas hup’ ouranon.
Closs, Stigloher, and Cruse translate in the same way.

[45] Prov. viii. 22-25, 27, 28, 30, 31

[46] Eusebius pursues much the same line of argument in his Dem.
Evang., Proem. Bk. VIII.; and compare also Gregory of Nyssa’s Third
Oration on the birth of the Lord (at the beginning). The objection
which Eusebius undertakes to answer here was an old one, and had been
considered by Justin Martyr, by Origen in his work against Celsus, and
by others (see Tzschirner’s Geschichte der Apologetik, p. 25 ff.).

[47] The reference here seems to be to the building of the tower of
Babel (Gen. xi. 1-9), although Valesius thinks otherwise. The fact that
Eusebius refers to the battles of the giants, which were celebrated in
heathen song, does not militate against a reference in this passage to
the narrative recounted in Genesis. He illustrates the presumption of
the human race by instances familiar to his readers whether drawn from
Christian or from Pagan sources. Compare the Praep. Evang. ix. 14.

[48] It was the opinion of Eusebius, in common with most of the
Fathers, that the Greek philosophers, lawgivers, and poets had obtained
their wisdom from the ancient Hebrews, and this point was pressed very
strongly by many of the apologists in their effort to prove the
antiquity of Christianity. The assertion was made especially in the
case of Plato and Pythagoras, who were said to have become acquainted
with the books of the Hebrews upon their journey to Egypt. Compare
among other passages Justin’s Apol. I. 59 ff.; Clement of Alexandria’s
Cohort. ad Gentes, chap. 6; and Tertullian’s Apol. chap. 47. Compare
also Eusebius’ Praep. Evang., Bks. IX. and X.

[49] The Greek has only epi telei, which can refer, however, only to
the end of time or to the end of the world.

[50] Dan. vii. 9, 10.

[51] Dan. vii. 13, 14.

[52] Eusebius refers here probably to his Eclogae propheticae, or
Prophetical Extracts, possibly to his Dem. Evang.; upon these works see
the Prolegomena, p. 34 and. 37, above.

Chapter III.–The Name Jesus and also the Name Christ were known from
the Beginning, and were honored by the Inspired Prophets.

1. It is now the proper place to show that the very name Jesus and also
the name Christ were honored by the ancient prophets beloved of God.

2. Moses was the first to make known the name of Christ as a name
especially august and glorious. When he delivered types and symbols of
heavenly things, and mysterious images, in accordance with the oracle
which said to him, ”Look that thou make all things according to the
pattern which was shown thee in the mount,” [54] he consecrated a man
high priest of God, in so far as that was possible, and him he called
Christ. [55] And thus to this dignity of the high priesthood, which in
his opinion surpassed the most honorable position among men, he
attached for the sake of honor and glory the name of Christ.

3. He knew so well that in Christ was something divine. And the same
one foreseeing, under the influence of the divine Spirit, the name
Jesus, dignified it also with a certain distinguished privilege. For
the name of Jesus, which had never been uttered among men before the
time of Moses, he applied first and only to the one who he knew would
receive after his death, again as a type and symbol, the supreme

4. His successor, therefore, who had not hitherto borne the name Jesus,
but had been called by another name, Auses, [56] which had been given
him by his parents, he now called Jesus, bestowing the name upon him as
a gift of honor, far greater than any kingly diadem. For Jesus himself,
the son of Nave, bore a resemblance to our Saviour in the fact that he
alone, after Moses and after the completion of the symbolical worship
which had been transmitted by him, succeeded to the government of the
true and pure religion.

5. Thus Moses bestowed the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, as a mark
of the highest honor, upon the two men who in his time surpassed all
the rest of the people in virtue and glory; namely, upon the high
priest and upon his own successor in the government.

6. And the prophets that came after also clearly foretold Christ by
name, predicting at the same time the plots which the Jewish people
would form against him, and the calling of the nations through him.
Jeremiah, for instance, speaks as follows: ”The Spirit before our face,
Christ the Lord, was taken in their destructions; of whom we said,
under his shadow we shall live among the nations.” [57] And David, in
perplexity, says, ”Why did the nations rage and the people imagine vain
things? The kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers
were gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ”; [58]
to which he adds, in the person of Christ himself, ”The Lord said unto
me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I
will give thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost
parts of the earth for thy possession.” [59]

7. And not only those who were honored with the high priesthood, and
who for the sake of the symbol were anointed with especially prepared
oil, were adorned with the name of Christ among the Hebrews, but also
the kings whom the prophets anointed under the influence of the divine
Spirit, and thus constituted, as it were, typical Christs. For they
also bore in their own persons types of the royal and sovereign power
of the true and only Christ, the divine Word who ruleth over all.

8. And we have been told also that certain of the prophets themselves
became, by the act of anointing, Christs in type, so that all these
have reference to the true Christ, the divinely inspired and heavenly
Word, who is the only high priest of all, and the only King of every
creature, and the Father’s only supreme prophet of prophets.

9. And a proof of this is that no one of those who were of old
symbolically anointed, whether priests, or kings, or prophets,
possessed so great a power of inspired virtue as was exhibited by our
Saviour and Lord Jesus, the true and only Christ.

10. None of them at least, however superior in dignity and honor they
may have been for many generations among their own people, ever gave to
their followers the name of Christians from their own typical name of
Christ. Neither was divine honor ever rendered to any one of them by
their subjects; nor after their death was the disposition of their
followers such that they were ready to die for the one whom they
honored. And never did so great a commotion arise among all the nations
of the earth in respect to any one of that age; for the mere symbol
could not act with such power among them as the truth itself which was
exhibited by our Saviour.

11. He, although he received no symbols and types of high priesthood
from any one, although he was not born of a race of priests, although
he was not elevated to a kingdom by military guards, although he was
not a prophet like those of old, although he obtained no honor nor
pre-eminence among the Jews, nevertheless was adorned by the Father
with all, if not with the symbols, yet with the truth itself.

12. And therefore, although he did not possess like honors with those
whom we have mentioned, he is called Christ more than all of them. And
as himself the true and only Christ of God, he has filled the whole
earth with the truly august and sacred name of Christians, committing
to his followers no longer types and images, but the uncovered virtues
themselves, and a heavenly life in the very doctrines of truth.

13. And he was not anointed with oil prepared from material substances,
but, as befits divinity, with the divine Spirit himself, by
participation in the unbegotten deity of the Father. And this is taught
also again by Isaiah, who exclaims, as if in the person of Christ
himself, ”The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; therefore hath he anointed
me. He hath sent me to preach the Gospel to the poor, to proclaim
deliverance to captives, and recovery of sight to the blind.” [60]

14. And not only Isaiah, but also David addresses him, saying, ”Thy
throne, O God, is forever and ever. A scepter of equity is the scepter
of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hast hated iniquity.
Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness
above thy fellows.” [61] Here the Scripture calls him God in the first
verse, in the second it honors him with a royal scepter.

15. Then a little farther on, after the divine and royal power, it
represents him in the third place as having become Christ, being
anointed not with oil made of material substances, but with the divine
oil of gladness. It thus indicates his especial honor, far superior to
and different from that of those who, as types, were of old anointed in
a more material way.

16. And elsewhere the same writer speaks of him as follows: ”The Lord
said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies
thy footstool”; [62] and, ”Out of the womb, before the morning star,
have I begotten thee. The Lord hath sworn and he will not repent. Thou
art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedec.” [63]

17. But this Melchizedec is introduced in the Holy Scriptures as a
priest of the most high God, [64] not consecrated by any anointing oil,
especially prepared, and not even belonging by descent to the
priesthood of the Jews. Wherefore after his order, but not after the
order of the others, who received symbols and types, was our Saviour
proclaimed, with an appeal to an oath, Christ and priest.

18. History, therefore, does not relate that he was anointed
corporeally by the Jews, nor that he belonged to the lineage of
priests, but that he came into existence from God himself before the
morning star, that is before the organization of the world, and that he
obtained an immortal and undecaying priesthood for eternal ages.

19. But it is a great and convincing proof of his incorporeal and
divine unction that he alone of all those who have ever existed is even
to the present day called Christ by all men throughout the world, and
is confessed and witnessed to under this name, and is commemorated both
by Greeks and Barbarians and even to this day is honored as a King by
his followers throughout the world, and is admired as more than a
prophet, and is glorified as the true and only high priest of God. [65]
And besides all this, as the pre-existent Word of God, called into
being before all ages, he has received august honor from the Father,
and is worshiped as God.

20. But most wonderful of all is the fact that we who have consecrated
ourselves to him, honor him not only with our voices and with the sound
of words, but also with complete elevation of soul, so that we choose
to give testimony unto him rather than to preserve our own lives.

21. I have of necessity prefaced my history with these matters in order
that no one, judging from the date of his incarnation, may think that
our Saviour and Lord Jesus, the Christ, has but recently come into

[53] Compare the Dem. Evang. iv. 17.

[54] Ex. xxv. 40.

[55] ”Eusebius here has in mind the passages Lev. iv. 5, 16, and Lev.
vi. 22, where the LXX. reads ho hiereus ho christos: The priest, the
anointed one” (Closs). The Authorized Version reads, The priest that
was anointed; the Revised Version, The anointed priest.

[56] A few mss., followed by Laemmer and Heinichen, read here Naue, but
the best mss. followed by the majority of editors read ‘Ause, which is
a corruption of the name Oshea, which means ”Salvation,” and which
Joshua bore before his name was changed, by the addition of a syllable,
to Jehoshua=Joshua=Jesus, meaning ”God’s salvation” (Num. xiii. 16).
Jerome (de vir. ill. c. I.) speaks of this corruption as existing in
Greek and Latin mss. of the Scriptures, and as having no sense, and
contends that Osee is the proper form, Osee meaning ”Salvator.” The
same corruption (Auses) occurs also in Tertullian, Adv. Marc. iii. 16,
and Adv. Jud. 9 (where the English translator, as Cruse also does in
the present passage, in both cases departs from the original, and
renders `Oshea,’ Ante-Nicene Fathers, Am. Ed. III. p. 334, 335, and
163), and in Lactantius, Institutes, iv. 17.

[57] Lam. iv. 20.

[58] Ps. ii. 1, 2.

[59] Ps. ii. 7, 8.

[60] Isa. lxi. 1. Eusebius as usual follows the LXX., which in this
case differs somewhat from the Hebrew, and hence the translation
differs from the English version. The LXX., however, contains an extra
clause which Eusebius omits. See Heinichen’s edition, Vol. I. p. 21,
note 49.

[61] Ps. xlv. 6, 7.

[62] Ps. cx. 1.

[63] Ps. cx. 4.

[64] See Gen. xiv. 18; Heb. v. 6, 10; vi. 20; viii.

[65] Eusebius, in this chapter and in the Dem. Evang. IV. 15, is the
first of the Fathers to mention the three offices of Christ.

Chapter IV.–The Religion Proclaimed by Him to All Nations Was Neither
New Nor Strange.

1. But that no one may suppose that his doctrine is new and strange, as
if it were framed by a man of recent origin, differing in no respect
from other men, let us now briefly consider this point also.

2. It is admitted that when in recent times the appearance of our
Saviour Jesus Christ had become known to all men there immediately made
its appearance a new nation; a nation confessedly not small, and not
dwelling in some corner of the earth, but the most numerous and pious
of all nations, [66] indestructible and unconquerable, because it
always receives assistance from God. This nation, thus suddenly
appearing at the time appointed by the inscrutable counsel of God, is
the one which has been honored by all with the name of Christ.

3. One of the prophets, when he saw beforehand with the eye of the
Divine Spirit that which was to be, was so astonished at it that he
cried out, ”Who hath heard of such things, and who hath spoken thus?
Hath the earth brought forth in one day, and hath a nation been born at
once?” [67] And the same prophet gives a hint also of the name by which
the nation was to be called, when he says, ”Those that serve me shall
be called by a new name, which shall be blessed upon the earth.” [68]

4. But although it is clear that we are new and that this new name of
Christians has really but recently been known among all nations,
nevertheless our life and our conduct, with our doctrines of religion,
have not been lately invented by us, but from the first creation of
man, so to speak, have been established by the natural understanding of
divinely favored men of old. That this is so we shall show in the
following way.

5. That the Hebrew nation is not new, but is universally honored on
account of its antiquity, is known to all. The books and writings of
this people contain accounts of ancient men, rare indeed and few in
number, but nevertheless distinguished for piety and righteousness and
every other virtue. Of these, some excellent men lived before the
flood, others of the sons and descendants of Noah lived after it, among
them Abraham, whom the Hebrews celebrate as their own founder and

6. If any one should assert that all those who have enjoyed the
testimony of righteousness, from Abraham himself back to the first man,
were Christians in fact if not in name, he would not go beyond the
truth. [69]

7. For that which the name indicates, that the Christian man, through
the knowledge and the teaching of Christ, is distinguished for
temperance and righteousness, for patience in life and manly virtue,
and for a profession of piety toward the one and only God over all–all
that was zealously practiced by them not less than by us.

8. They did not care about circumcision of the body, neither do we.
They did not care about observing Sabbaths, nor do we. They did not
avoid certain kinds of food, neither did they regard the other
distinctions which Moses first delivered to their posterity to be
observed as symbols; nor do Christians of the present day do such
things. But they also clearly knew the very Christ of God; for it has
already been shown that he appeared unto Abraham, that he imparted
revelations to Isaac, that he talked with Jacob, that he held converse
with Moses and with the prophets that came after.

9. Hence you will find those divinely favored men honored with the name
of Christ, according to the passage which says of them, ”Touch not my
Christs, and do my prophets no harm.” [70]

10. So that it is clearly necessary to consider that religion, which
has lately been preached to all nations through the teaching of Christ,
the first and most ancient of all religions, and the one discovered by
those divinely favored men in the age of Abraham.

11. If it is said that Abraham, a long time afterward, was given the
command of circumcision, we reply that nevertheless before this it was
declared that he had received the testimony of righteousness through
faith; as the divine word says, ”Abraham believed in God, and it was
counted unto him for righteousness.” [71]

12. And indeed unto Abraham, who was thus before his circumcision a
justified man, there was given by God, who revealed himself unto him
(but this was Christ himself, the word of God), a prophecy in regard to
those who in coming ages should be justified in the same way as he. The
prophecy was in the following words: ”And in thee shall all the tribes
of the earth be blessed.” [72] And again, ”He shall become a nation
great and numerous; and in him shall all the nations of the earth be
blessed.” [73]

13. It is permissible to understand this as fulfilled in us. For he,
having renounced the superstition of his fathers, and the former error
of his life, and having confessed the one God over all, and having
worshiped him with deeds of virtue, and not with the service of the law
which was afterward given by Moses, was justified by faith in Christ,
the Word of God, who appeared unto him. To him, then, who was a man of
this character, it was said that all the tribes and all the nations of
the earth should be blessed in him.

14. But that very religion of Abraham has reappeared at the present
time, practiced in deeds, more efficacious than words, by Christians
alone throughout the world.

15. What then should prevent the confession that we who are of Christ
practice one and the same mode of life and have one and the same
religion as those divinely favored men of old? Whence it is evident
that the perfect religion committed to us by the teaching of Christ is
not new and strange, but, if the truth must be spoken, it is the first
and the true religion. This may suffice for this subject.

[66] Cf. Tertullian, Apol. XXXVII. (Ante-Nicene Fathers, Am. Ed. Vol.
III. p. 45).

[67] Isa. lxvi. 8.

[68] Isa. lxv. 15, 16.

[69] Compare Justin Martyr’s Apol. I. 46.

[70] 1 Chron. xvi. 22, and Ps. cv. 15.

[71] Gen. xv. 6.

[72] Gen. xii. 3.

[73] Gen. xviii. 18.

Chapter V.–The Time of his Appearance among Men.

1. And now, after this necessary introduction to our proposed history
of the Church, we can enter, so to speak, upon our journey, beginning
with the appearance of our Saviour in the flesh. And we invoke God, the
Father of the Word, and him, of whom we have been speaking, Jesus
Christ himself our Saviour and Lord, the heavenly Word of God, as our
aid and fellow-laborer in the narration of the truth.

2. It was in the forty-second year of the reign of Augustus [74] and
the twenty-eighth after the subjugation of Egypt and the death of
Antony and Cleopatra, with whom the dynasty of the Ptolemies in Egypt
came to an end, that our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ was born in
Bethlehem of Judea, according to the prophecies which had been uttered
concerning him. [75] His birth took place during the first census,
while Cyrenius was governor of Syria. [76]

3. Flavius Josephus, the most celebrated of Hebrew historians, also
mentions this census, [77] which was taken during Cyrenius’ term of
office. In the same connection he gives an account of the uprising of
the Galileans, which took place at that time, of which also Luke, among
our writers, has made mention in the Acts, in the following words:
”After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and
drew away a multitude [78] after him: he also perished; and all, even
as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.” [79]

4. The above-mentioned author, in the eighteenth book of his
Antiquities, in agreement with these words, adds the following, which
we quote exactly: ”Cyrenius, a member of the senate, one who had held
other offices and had passed through them all to the consulship, a man
also of great dignity in other respects, came to Syria with a small
retinue, being sent by Caesar to be a judge of the nation and to make
an assessment of their property.” [80]

5. And after a little [81] he says: ”But Judas, [82] a Gaulonite, from
a city called Gamala, taking with him Sadduchus, [83] a Pharisee, urged
the people to revolt, both of them saying that the taxation meant
nothing else than downright slavery, and exhorting the nation to defend
their liberty.”

6. And in the second book of his History of the Jewish War, he writes
as follows concerning the same man: ”At this time a certain Galilean,
whose name was Judas, persuaded his countrymen to revolt, declaring
that they were cowards if they submitted to pay tribute to the Romans,
and if they endured, besides God, masters who were mortal.” [84] These
things are recorded by Josephus.

[74] Eusebius here makes the reign of Augustus begin with the death of
Julius Caesar (as Josephus does in chap. 9, S:1, below), and he puts
the birth of Christ therefore into the year 752 U.C. (2 b.c.), which
agrees with Clement of Alexandria’s Strom. I. (who gives the
twenty-eighth year after the conquest of Egypt as the birth-year of
Christ), with Epiphanius, Haer. LI. 22, and Orosius, Hist. I. 1.
Eusebius gives the same date also in his Chron. (ed. Schoene, II. p.
144). Irenaeus, III. 25, and Tertullian, Adv. Jud. 8, on the other
hand, give the forty-first year of Augustus, 751 U.C. (3 b.c.). But all
these dates are certainly too late. The true year of Christ’s birth has
always been a matter of dispute. But it must have occurred before the
death of Herod, which took place in the spring of 750 U.C. (4 b.c.).
The most widely accepted opinion is that Christ was born late in the
year 5, or early in the year 4 b.c., though some scholars put the date
back as far as 7 b.c. The time of the year is also uncertain, the date
commonly accepted in the occident (Dec. 25th) having nothing older than
a fourth century tradition in its favor. The date accepted by the Greek
Church (Jan. 6th) rests upon a somewhat older tradition, but neither
day has any claim to reliability. For a full and excellent discussion
of this subject, see the essay of Andrews in his Life of our Lord, pp.
1-22. See, also, Schaff’s Church Hist. I. p. 98 sq.

[75] Micah v. 2.

[76] Cf. Luke ii. 2 Quirinius is the original Latin form of the name of
which Luke gives the Greek form kurenios or Cyrenius (which is the form
given also by Eusebius). The statement of Luke presents a chronological
difficulty which has not yet been completely solved. Quirinius we know
to have been made governor of Syria in a.d. 6; and under him occurred a
census or enrollment mentioned by Josephus, Ant. XVII. 13. 5, and
XVIII. 1. 1. This is undoubtedly the same as that referred to in Acts
v. 37. But this took place some ten years after the birth of Christ,
and cannot therefore be connected with that event. Many explanations
have been offered to account for the difficulty, but since the
discovery of Zumpt, the problem has been much simplified. He, as also
Mommsen, has proved that Quirinius was twice governor of Syria, the
first time from b.c. 4 (autumn) to b.c. 1. But as Christ must have been
born before the spring of b.c. 4, the governorship of Quirinius is
still a little too late. A solution of the question is thus approached,
however, though not all the difficulties are yet removed. Upon this
question, see especially A. M. Zumpt, Das Geburtsjahr Christi (Leipzig,
1869), and compare Schaff’s Church Hist., I. 121-125, for a condensed
but excellent account of the whole matter, and for the literature of
the subject.

[77] Eusebius here identifies the census mentioned by Josephus (Ant.
XVIII. 1. 1) and referred to in Acts v. 37, with the one mentioned in
Luke ii. 2; but this is an obvious error, as an interval of ten years
separated the two. Valesius considers it all one census, and hence
regards Eusebius as correct in his statement; but this is very
improbable. Jachmann (in Illgen’s Zeitschrift f. hist. Theologie, 1839,
II. p. 35 sq.), according to his custom, charges Eusebius with willful
deception and perversion of the facts. But such a charge is utterly
without warrant. Eusebius, in cases where we can control his
statements, can be shown to have been always conscientious. Moreover,
in his Chron. (ed. Schoene II. p. 144) he identifies the two censuses
in the same way. But his Chronicles were written some years before his
History, and he cannot have had any object to deceive in them such as
Jachmann assumes that he had in his History. It is plain that Eusebius
has simply made a blunder, a thing not at all surprising when we
remember how frequent his chronological errors are. He is guilty of an
inexcusable piece of carelessness, but nothing worse. It was natural to
connect the two censuses mentioned as taking place under the same
governor, though a little closer attention to the facts would have
shown him the discrepancy in date, which he simply overlooked.

[78] The New Testament (Textus Rec.) reads laon hikanon, with which
Laemmer agrees in his edition of Eusebius. Two mss., followed by
Stephanus and Valesius, and by the English and German translators, read
laon polun. All the other mss., and editors, as well as Rufinus, read
laon alone.

[79] Acts v. 37.

[80] Josephus, Ant. XVIII. 1. 1. Upon Josephus and his works, see
below, Bk. III. c. 9.

[81] Ibid.

[82] Judas the Gaulonite. In Acts v. 37, and in Josephus, B. J. II. 8.
1 (quoted just below), and 17.8, and in Ant. XVIII. 1. 6 and XX. 5. 2,
he is called Judas of Galilee. But in the present section Josephus
gives the fullest and most accurate account of him. Gaulonitis lay east
of the Jordan, opposite Galilee. Judas of Galilee was probably his
common designation, given to him either because his revolt took rise in
Galilee, or because Galilee was used as a general term for the north
country. He was evidently a man of position and great personal
influence, and drew vast numbers to his standard, denouncing, in the
name of religion, the payment of tribute to Rome and all submission to
a foreign yoke. The revolt spread very rapidly, and the whole country
was thrown into excitement and disorder; but the Romans proved too
strong for him, and he soon perished, and his followers were dispersed,
though many of them continued active until the final destruction of the
city. The influence of Judas was so great and lasted so long that
Josephus (Ant. XVIII. 1. 1 and 6) calls the tendency represented by him
the ”fourth philosophy of the Jews,” ranking it with Pharisaism,
Sadduceeism, and Essenism. The distinguishing characteristic of this
”fourth philosophy” or sect was its love of freedom. For an excellent
account of Judas and his revolt, see Ewald’s Geshichte des Volkes
Israel, V. p. 16 sq.

[83] Greek, SEURddochon; Rufinus, Sadduchum. He, too, must have been a
man of influence and position. Later in the same paragraph he is made
by Josephus a joint founder with Judas of the ”fourth philosophy,” but
in S:6 of the same chapter, where the author of it is referred to,
Judas alone is mentioned.

[84] Josephus, B. J. II. 8. 1.

Chapter VI.–About the Time of Christ, in accordance with Prophecy, the
Rulers who had governed the Jewish Nation in Regular Succession from
the Days of Antiquity came to an End, and Herod, the First Foreigner,
Became King.

1. When Herod, [85] the first ruler of foreign blood, became King, the
prophecy of Moses received its fulfillment, according to which there
should ”not be wanting a prince of Judah, nor a ruler from his loins,
until he come for whom it is reserved.” [86] The latter, he also shows,
was to be the expectation of the nations. [87]

2. This prediction remained unfulfilled so long as it was permitted
them to live under rulers from their own nation, that is, from the time
of Moses to the reign of Augustus. Under the latter, Herod, the first
foreigner, was given the Kingdom of the Jews by the Romans. As Josephus
relates, [88] he was an Idumean [89] on his father’s side and an
Arabian on his mother’s. But Africanus, [90] who was also no common
writer, says that they who were more accurately informed about him
report that he was a son of Antipater, and that the latter was the son
of a certain Herod of Ascalon, [91] one of the so-called servants [92]
of the temple of Apollo.

3. This Antipater, having been taken a prisoner while a boy by Idumean
robbers, lived with them, because his father, being a poor man, was
unable to pay a ransom for him. Growing up in their practices he was
afterward befriended by Hyrcanus, [93] the high priest of the Jews. A
son of his was that Herod who lived in the times of our Saviour. [94]

4. When the Kingdom of the Jews had devolved upon such a man the
expectation of the nations was, according to prophecy, already at the
door. For with him their princes and governors, who had ruled in
regular succession from the time of Moses came to an end.

5. Before their captivity and their transportation to Babylon they were
ruled by Saul first and then by David, and before the kings leaders
governed them who were called Judges, and who came after Moses and his
successor Jesus.

6. After their return from Babylon they continued to have without
interruption an aristocratic form of government, with an oligarchy. For
the priests had the direction of affairs until Pompey, the Roman
general, took Jerusalem by force, and defiled the holy places by
entering the very innermost sanctuary of the temple. [95] Aristobulus,
[96] who, by the right of ancient succession, had been up to that time
both king and high priest, he sent with his children in chains to Rome;
and gave to Hyrcanus, brother of Aristobulus, the high priesthood,
while the whole nation of the Jews was made tributary to the Romans
from that time. [97]

7. But Hyrcanus, who was the last of the regular line of high priests,
was very soon afterward taken prisoner by the Parthians, [98] and
Herod, the first foreigner, as I have already said, was made King of
the Jewish nation by the Roman senate and by Augustus.

8. Under him Christ appeared in bodily shape, and the expected
Salvation of the nations and their calling followed in accordance with
prophecy. [99] From this time the princes and rulers of Judah, I mean
of the Jewish nation, came to an end, and as a natural consequence the
order of the high priesthood, which from ancient times had proceeded
regularly in closest succession from generation to generation, was
immediately thrown into confusion. [100]

9. Of these things Josephus is also a witness, [101] who shows that
when Herod was made King by the Romans he no longer appointed the high
priests from the ancient line, but gave the honor to certain obscure
persons. A course similar to that of Herod in the appointment of the
priests was pursued by his son Archelaus, [102] and after him by the
Romans, who took the government into their own hands. [103]

10. The same writer shows [104] that Herod was the first that locked up
the sacred garment of the high priest under his own seal and refused to
permit the high priests to keep it for themselves. The same course was
followed by Archelaus after him, and after Archelaus by the Romans.

11. These things have been recorded by us in order to show that another
prophecy has been fulfilled in the appearance of our Saviour Jesus
Christ. For the Scripture, in the book of Daniel, [105] having
expressly mentioned a certain number of weeks until the coming of
Christ, of which we have treated in other books, [106] most clearly
prophesies, that after the completion of those weeks the unction among
the Jews should totally perish. And this, it has been clearly shown,
was fulfilled at the time of the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
This has been necessarily premised by us as a proof of the correctness
of the time.

[85] Herod the Great, son of Antipater, an Idumean, who had been
appointed procurator of Judea by Caesar in b.c. 47. Herod was made
governor of Galilee at the same time, and king of Judea by the Roman
Senate in b.c. 40.

[86] Gen. xlix. 10. The LXX., which Eusebius quotes here, according to
his custom, is in the present instance somewhat different from the

[87] Ibid.

[88] Eusebius refers here to Ant. XIV. 1. 3 and 7. 3. According to
Josephus, Herod’s father was Antipater, and his mother Cypros, an
Arabian woman of noble birth.

[89] The Idumeans or Edomites were the descendants of Esau, and
inhabited the Sinaitic peninsula south of the Dead Sea. Their principal
city and stronghold was the famous rock city, Petra. They were constant
enemies of the Jews, refused them free passage through their land (Num.
xx. 20); were conquered by Saul and David, but again regained their
independence, until they were finally completely subjugated by John
Hyrcanus, who left them in possession of their land, but compelled them
to undergo circumcision, and adopt the Jewish law. Compare Josephus,
Ant. XIII. 9. 1; XV. 7. 9; B. J. IV. 5. 5.

[90] On Africanus, see Bk. VI. chap. 31. This account is given by
Africanus in his epistle to Aristides, quoted by Eusebius in the next
chapter. Africanus states there (S:11) that the account, as he gives
it, was handed down by the relatives of the Lord. But the tradition,
whether much older than Africanus or not, is certainly incorrect. We
learn from Josephus (Ant. XIV. 2), who is the best witness upon this
subject, that Antipater, the father of Herod the Great, was the son of
another Antipater, or Antipas, an Idumean who had been made governor of
Idumea by the Jewish king Alexander Jannaeus (of the Maccabaean
family). In Ant. XVI. 11 Josephus informs us that a report had been
invented by friends and flatterers of Herod that he was descended from
Jewish ancestors. The report originated with Nicolai Damasceni, a
writer of the time of the Herods. The tradition preserved here by
Africanus had its origin, evidently, in a desire to degrade Herod by
representing him as descended from a slave.

[91] Ascalon, one of the five cities of the Philistines (mentioned
frequently in the Old Testament), lay upon the Mediterranean Sea,
between Gaza and Joppa. It was beautified by Herod (although not
belonging to his dominions), and after his death became the residence
of his sister Salome. It was a prominent place in the Middle Ages, but
is now in ruins. Of this Herod of Ascalon nothing is known. Possibly no
such man existed.

[92] hierodoulos, ”a temple-slave.”

[93] Hyrcanus II., eldest son of the King Alexander Jannaeus of the
Maccabaean family, became high priest upon the death of his father, in
78 b.c.; and upon the death of his mother, in 69 b.c., ascended the
throne. He gave up his kingdom afterward (66 b.c.) to his younger
brother, Aristobulus; but under the influence of Antipater the Idumean
endeavored to regain it, and after a long war with his brother, was
re-established in power by Pompey, in 63 b.c., but merely as high
priest and governor, not with the title of king. He retained his
position until 40 b.c., when he was driven out by his nephew Antigonus.
He was murdered in 30 b.c., by command of Herod the Great, who had
married his grand-daughter Mariamne. He was throughout a weak man, and
while in power was completely under the influence of his minister,

[94] Herod the Great.

[95] In 63 b.c., when Pompey’s curiosity led him to penetrate into the
Holy of Holies. He was much impressed, however, by its simplicity, and
went away without disturbing its treasures, wondering at a religion
which had no visible God.

[96] Aristobulus II., younger brother of Hyrcanus, a much abler and
more energetic man, assumed the kingdom by an arrangement with his
brother in 66 b.c. (see note 9, above). In 63 b.c. he was deposed, and
carried to Rome by Pompey. He died about 48 b.c. Eusebius is hardly
correct in saying that Aristobulus was king and high priest by regular
succession, as his elder brother Hyrcanus was the true heir, and he had
assumed the power only because of his superior ability.

[97] The real independence of the Jews practically ceased at this time.
For three years only, from 40 to 37 b.c., while Antigonus, son of
Aristobulus and nephew of Hyrcanus, was in power, Jerusalem was
independent of Rome, but was soon retaken by Herod the Great and
remained from that time on in more or less complete subjection, either
as a dependent kingdom or as a province.

[98] 40 b.c., when Antigonus, by the aid of the Parthians took
Jerusalem and established himself as king there, until conquered by
Herod in 37 b.c. Hyrcanus returned to Jerusalem in 36 b.c., but was no
longer high priest.

[99] Compare Isa. ix. 2; xlii. 6; xlix. 6, etc.

[100] Eusebius’ statement is perfectly correct. The high priestly
lineage had been kept with great scrupulousness until Hyrcanus II., the
last of the regular succession. (His grandson Aristobulus, however, was
high priest for a year under Herod, but was then slain by him.)
Afterward the high priest was appointed and changed at pleasure by the
secular ruler. Herod the Great first established the practice of
removing a high priest during his lifetime; and under him there were no
less than six different ones.

[101] Josephus, Ant. XX. 8.

[102] Archelaus, a son of Herod the Great by Malthace, a Samaritan
woman, and younger brother of Herod Antipas. Upon the death of his
father, b.c. 4, he succeeded to the government of Idumea, Samaria, and
Judea, with the title of Ethnarch.

[103] After the death of Archelaus (a.d. 7), Judea was made a Roman
province, and ruled by procurators until Herod Agrippa I. came into
power in 37 a.d. (see below, Bk. II. chap. 4, note 3). The changes in
the high priesthood during the most of this time were very rapid, one
after another being appointed and removed according to the fancy of the
procurator, or of the governor of Syria, who held the power of
appointment most of the time. There were no fewer than nineteen high
priests between the death of Archelaus and the fall of Jerusalem.

[104] Josephus, Ant. XV. 11. 4.

[105] Dan. ix. 26.

[106] It is commonly assumed that Eusebius refers here to the Dem.
Evang. VIII. 2 sq., where the prophecies of Daniel are discussed at
length. But, as Lightfoot remarks, the reference is just as well
satisfied by the Eclogae Proph. III. 45. We cannot, in fact, decide
which work is meant.

Chapter VII.–The Alleged Discrepancy in the Gospels in regard to the
Genealogy of Christ.

1. Matthew and Luke in their gospels have given us the genealogy of
Christ differently, and many suppose that they are at variance with one
another. Since as a consequence every believer, in ignorance of the
truth, has been zealous to invent some explanation which shall
harmonize the two passages, permit us to subjoin the account of the
matter which has come down to us, [107] and which is given by
Africanus, who was mentioned by us just above, in his epistle to
Aristides, [108] where he discusses the harmony of the gospel
genealogies. After refuting the opinions of others as forced and
deceptive, he give the account which he had received from tradition
[109] in these words:

2. ”For whereas the names of the generations were reckoned in Israel
either according to nature or according to law;–according to nature by
the succession of legitimate offspring, and according to law whenever
another raised up a child to the name of a brother dying childless;
[110] for because a clear hope of resurrection was not yet given they
had a representation of the future promise by a kind of mortal
resurrection, in order that the name of the one deceased might be

3. whereas then some of those who are inserted in this genealogical
table succeeded by natural descent, the son to the father, while
others, though born of one father, were ascribed by name to another,
mention was made of both of those who were progenitors in fact and of
those who were so only in name.

4. Thus neither of the gospels is in error, for one reckons by nature,
the other by law. For the line of descent from Solomon and that from
Nathan [111] were so involved, the one with the other, by the raising
up of children to the childless and by second marriages, that the same
persons are justly considered to belong at one time to one, at another
time to another; that is, at one time to the reputed fathers, at
another to the actual fathers. So that both these accounts are strictly
true and come down to Joseph with considerable intricacy indeed, yet
quite accurately.

5. But in order that what I have said may be made clear I shall explain
the interchange of the generations. If we reckon the generations from
David through Solomon, the third from the end is found to be Matthan,
who begat Jacob the father of Joseph. But if, with Luke, we reckon them
from Nathan the son of David, in like manner the third from the end is
Melchi, [112] whose son Eli was the father of Joseph. For Joseph was
the son of Eli, the son of Melchi.

6. Joseph therefore being the object proposed to us, it must be shown
how it is that each is recorded to be his father, both Jacob, who
derived his descent from Solomon, and Eli, who derived his from Nathan;
first how it is that these two, Jacob and Eli, were brothers, and then
how it is that their fathers, Matthan and Melchi, although of different
families, are declared to be grandfathers of Joseph.

7. Matthan and Melchi having married in succession the same woman,
begat children who were uterine brothers, for the law did not prohibit
a widow, whether such by divorce or by the death of her husband, from
marrying another.

8. By Estha [113] then (for this was the woman’s name according to
tradition) Matthan, a descendant of Solomon, first begat Jacob. And
when Matthan was dead, Melchi, who traced his descent back to Nathan,
being of the same tribe [114] but of another family, [115] married her
as before said, and begat a son Eli.

9. Thus we shall find the two, Jacob and Eli, although belonging to
different families, yet brethren by the same mother. Of these the one,
Jacob, when his brother Eli had died childless, took the latter’s wife
and begat by her a son [116] Joseph, his own son by nature [117] and in
accordance with reason. Wherefore also it is written: `Jacob begat
Joseph.’ [118] But according to law [119] he was the son of Eli, for
Jacob, being the brother of the latter, raised up seed to him.

10. Hence the genealogy traced through him will not be rendered void,
which the evangelist Matthew in his enumeration gives thus: `Jacob
begat Joseph.’ But Luke, on the other hand, says: `Who was the son, as
was supposed’ [120] (for this he also adds), `of Joseph, the son of
Eli, the son of Melchi’; for he could not more clearly express the
generation according to law. And the expression `he begat’ he has
omitted in his genealogical table up to the end, tracing the genealogy
back to Adam the son of God. This interpretation is neither incapable
of proof nor is it an idle conjecture. [121]

11. For the relatives of our Lord according to the flesh, whether with
the desire of boasting or simply wishing to state the fact, in either
case truly, have handed down the following account: [122] Some Idumean
robbers, [123] having attacked Ascalon, a city of Palestine, carried
away from a temple of Apollo which stood near the walls, in addition to
other booty, Antipater, son of a certain temple slave named Herod. And
since the priest [124] was not able to pay the ransom for his son,
Antipater was brought up in the customs of the Idumeans, and afterward
was befriended by Hyrcanus, the high priest of the Jews.

12. And having been sent by Hyrcanus on an embassy to Pompey, and
having restored to him the kingdom which had been invaded by his
brother Aristobulus, he had the good fortune to be named procurator of
Palestine. [125] But Antipater having been slain by those who were
envious of his great good fortune [126] was succeeded by his son Herod,
who was afterward, by a decree of the senate, made King of the Jews
[127] under Antony and Augustus. His sons were Herod and the other
tetrarchs. [128] These accounts agree also with those of the Greeks.

13. But as there had been kept in the archives [130] up to that time
the genealogies of the Hebrews as well as of those who traced their
lineage back to proselytes, [131] such as Achior [132] the Ammonite and
Ruth the Moabitess, and to those who were mingled with the Israelites
and came out of Egypt with them, Herod, inasmuch as the lineage of the
Israelites contributed nothing to his advantage, and since he was
goaded with the consciousness of his own ignoble extraction, burned all
the genealogical records, [133] thinking that he might appear of noble
origin if no one else were able, from the public registers, to trace
back his lineage to the patriarchs or proselytes and to those mingled
with them, who were called Georae. [134]

14. A few of the careful, however, having obtained private records of
their own, either by remembering the names or by getting them in some
other way from the registers, pride themselves on preserving the memory
of their noble extraction. Among these are those already mentioned,
called Desposyni, [135] on account of their connection with the family
of the Saviour. Coming from Nazara and Cochaba, [136] villages of
Judea, [137] into other parts of the world, they drew the aforesaid
genealogy from memory [138] and from the book of daily records [139] as
faithfully as possible.

15. Whether then the case stand thus or not no one could find a clearer
explanation, according to my own opinion and that of every candid
person. And let this suffice us, for, although we can urge no testimony
in its support, [140] we have nothing better or truer to offer. In any
case the Gospel states the truth.” And at the end of the same epistle
he adds these words: ”Matthan, who was descended from Solomon, begat
Jacob. And when Matthan was dead, Melchi, who was descended from Nathan
begat Eli by the same woman. Eli and Jacob were thus uterine brothers.
Eli having died childless, Jacob raised up seed to him, begetting
Joseph, his own son by nature, but by law the son of Eli. Thus Joseph
was the son of both.”

17. Thus far Africanus. And the lineage of Joseph being thus traced,
Mary also is virtually shown to be of the same tribe with him, since,
according to the law of Moses, intermarriages between different tribes
were not permitted. [141] For the command is to marry one of the same
family [142] and lineage, [143] so that the inheritance may not pass
from tribe to tribe. This may suffice here.

[107] ”Over against the various opinions of uninstructed apologists for
the Gospel history, Eusebius introduces this account of Africanus with
the words, ten peri touton katelthousan eis hemas historian.” (Spitta.)

[108] On Africanus, see Bk. VI. chap. 31. Of this Aristides to whom the
epistle is addressed we know nothing. He must not be confounded with
the apologist Aristides, who lived in the reign of Trajan (see below,
Bk. IV. c. 3). Photius (Bibl. 34) mentions this epistle, but tells us
nothing about Aristides himself. The epistle exists in numerous
fragments, from which Spitta (Der Brief des Julius Africanus an
Aristides kritisch untersucht und hergestellt, Halle, 1877) attempts to
reconstruct the original epistle. His work is the best and most
complete upon the subject. Compare Routh, Rel. Sacrae, II. pp. 228-237
and pp. 329-356, where two fragments are given and discussed at length.
The epistle (as given by Mai) is translated in the Ante-Nicene Fathers,
Am. ed. VI. p. 125 ff. The attempt of Africanus is, so far as we know,
the first critical attempt to harmonize the two genealogies of Christ.
The question had been the subject merely of guesses and suppositions
until his time. He approaches the matter in a free critical spirit
(such as seems always to have characterized him), and his
investigations therefore deserve attention. He holds that both
genealogies are those of Joseph, and this was the unanimous opinion of
antiquity, though, as he says, the discrepancies were reconciled in
various ways. Africanus himself, as will be seen, explains by the law
of Levirate marriages, and his view is advocated by Mill (On the
Mythical Interpretation of the Gospel, p. 201 sq.); but of this
interpretation Rev. John Lightfoot justly says, ”There is neither
reason for it, nor, indeed, any foundation at all.” Upon the
supposition that both genealogies relate to Joseph the best explanation
is that Matthew’s table represents the royal line of legal successors
to the throne of David, while Luke’s gives the line of actual descent.
This view is ably advocated by Hervey in Smith’s Bible Dictionary
(article Genealogy of Jesus). Another opinion which has prevailed
widely since the Reformation is that Luke gives the genealogy of Mary.
The view is defended very ingeniously by Weiss (Leben Jesu, I. 205, 2d
edition). For further particulars see, besides the works already
mentioned, the various commentaries upon Matthew and Luke and the
various lives of Christ, especially Andrews’, p. 55 sq.

[109] Eusebius makes a mistake in saying that Africanus had received
the explanation which follows from tradition. For Africanus himself
says expressly (S:15, below) that his interpretation is not supported
by testimony. Eusebius’ error has been repeated by most writers upon
the subject, but is exposed by Spitta, ibid. p. 63.

[110] The law is stated in Deut. xxv. 5 sq.

[111] Nathan was a son of David and Bathsheba, and therefore own
brother of Solomon.

[112] Melchi, who is here given as the third from the end, is in our
present texts of Luke the fifth (Luke iii. 24), Matthat and Levi
standing between Melchi and Eli. It is highly probable that the text
which Africanus followed omitted the two names Matthat and Levi (see
Westcott and Hort’s Greek Testament, Appendix, p. 57). It is impossible
to suppose that Africanus in such an investigation as this could have
overlooked two names by mistake if they had stood in his text of the

[113] We know nothing more of Estha. Africanus probably refers to the
tradition handed down by the relatives of Christ, who had, as he says,
preserved genealogies which agreed with those of the Gospels. He
distinguishes here what he gives on tradition from his own
interpretation of the Gospel discrepancy upon which he is engaged.

[114] phule.

[115] genos. ”In this place genos is used to denote family. Matthan and
Melchi were of different families, but both belonged to the same
Davidic race which was divided into two families, that of Solomon and
that of Nathan” (Valesius).

[116] All the mss., and editions of Eusebius read triton instead of
huion here. But it is very difficult to make any sense out of the word
triton in this connection. We therefore prefer to follow Spitta (see
ibid. pp. 87 sqq.) in reading huion instead of triton, an emendation
which he has ventured to make upon the authority of Rufinus, who
translates ”genuit Joseph filium suum,” showing no trace of a triton.
The word triton is wanting also in three late Catenae which contain the
fragments of Africanus’ Epistle (compare Spitta, ibid. p. 117, note

[117] kata logon. These words have caused translators and commentators
great difficulty, and most of them seem to have missed their
significance entirely. Spitta proposes to alter by reading katEURlogon,
but the emendation is unnecessary. The remarks which he makes (p. 89
sqq.) upon the relation between this sentence and the next are,
however, excellent. It was necessary to Africanus’ theory that Joseph
should be allowed to trace his lineage through Jacob, his father ”by
nature,” as well as through Eli, his father ”by law,” and hence the
words kata logon are added and emphasized. He was his son by nature and
therefore ”rightfully to be reckoned as his son.” This explains the
Biblical quotation which follows: ”Wherefore”–because he was Jacob’s
son by nature and could rightfully be reckoned in his line, and not
only in the line of Eli–”it is written,” &c.

[118] Matt. i. 6.

[119] See Rev. John Lightfoot’s remarks on Luke iii. 23, in his Hebrew
and Talmudical Exercitations on St. Luke.

[120] This passage has caused much trouble. Valesius remarks,
”Africanus wishes to refer the words hos enomizeto (`as was supposed’)
not only to the words huios ‘Ioseph, but also to the words tou ;;Eli,
which follow, which although it is acute is nevertheless improper and
foolish; for if Luke indicates that legal generation or adoption by the
words hos enomizeto, as Africanus claims, it would follow that Christ
was the son of Joseph by legal adoption in the same way that Joseph was
the son of Eli. And thus it would be said that Mary, after the death of
Joseph, married his brother, and that Christ was begotten by him, which
is impious and absurd. And besides, if these words, hos enomizeto, are
extended to the words tou ;;Eli, in the same way they can be extended
to all which follow. For there is no reason why they should be supplied
in the second grade and not in the others.” But against Valesius,
Stroth says that Africanus seeks nothing in the words hos enomizeto,
but in the fact that Luke says ”he was the son of,” while Matthew says
”he begat.” Stroth’s interpretation is followed by Closs, Heinichen,
and others, but Routh follows Valesius. Spitta discusses the matter
carefully (p. 91 sq.), agreeing with Valesius that Africanus lays the
emphasis upon the words hos enomizeto, but by an emendation
(introducing a second hos enomizeto, and reading ”who was the son, as
was supposed, of Joseph, the son of Jacob, who was himself also the
son, as was supposed,–for this he also adds,–of Eli, the son of
Melchi”) he applies the hos enomizeto only to the first and second
members, and takes it in a more general sense to cover both cases, thus
escaping Valesius’ conclusions expressed above. The conjecture is
ingenious, but is unwarranted and unnecessary. The words which occur in
the next sentence, ”and the expression, `he begat’ he has omitted,”
show that Africanus, as Stroth contends, lays the emphasis upon the
difference of form in the two genealogies, ”Son of” and ”he begat.” The
best explanation seems to me to be that Africanus supposes Luke to have
implied the legal generation in the words ”the Son of,” used in
distinction from the definite expression ”he begat,” and that the words
hos enomizeto, which ”he also adds,” simply emphasize this difference
of expression by introducing a still greater ambiguity into Luke’s mode
of statement. He not only uses the words, the ”Son of,” which have a
wide latitude, admitting any kind of sonship, but ”he also adds,” ”as
was supposed,” showing, in Africanus’ opinion, still more clearly that
the list which follows is far from being a closely defined table of
descent by ”natural generation.”

[121] This seems the best possible rendering of the Greek, which reads
ten anaphoran poiesEURmenos he& 240;s tou ‘Adam, tou theou kat’
anEURlusin. oude men anapodeikton k.t.l., which is very dark,
punctuated thus, and it is difficult to understand what is meant by
kat’ anEURlusin in connection with the preceding words. (Cruse
translates, ”having traced it back as far as Adam, `who was the son of
God,’ he resolves the whole series by referring back to God. Neither is
this incapable of proof, nor is it an idle conjecture.”) The objections
which Spitta brings against the sentence in this form are well founded.
He contends (p. 63 sqq.), and that rightly, that Africanus could not
have written the sentence thus. In restoring the original epistle of
Africanus, therefore, he throws the words kat’ anEURlusin into the next
sentence, which disposes of the difficulty, and makes good sense. We
should then read, ”having traced it back as far as Adam, the Son of
God. This interpretation (more literally, `as an interpretation,’ or
`by way of interpretation’) is neither incapable of proof, nor is it an
idle conjecture.” That Africanus wrote thus I am convinced. But as
Spitta shows, Eusebius must have divided the sentences as they now
stand, for, according to his idea, that Africanus’ account was one
which he had received by tradition, the other mode of reading would be
incomprehensible, though he probably did not understand much better the
meaning of kat’ anEURlusin as he placed it. In translating Africanus’
epistle here, I have felt justified in rendering it as Africanus
probably wrote it, instead of following Eusebius’ incorrect
reproduction of it.

[122] The Greek reads: paredosan kai touto, ”have handed down also.”
The kai occurs in all the mss. and versions of Eusebius, and was
undoubtedly written by him, but Spitta supposes it an addition of
Eusebius, caused, like the change in the previous sentence, by his
erroneous conception of the nature of Africanus’ interpretation. The
kai is certainly troublesome if we suppose that all that precedes is
Africanus’ own interpretation of the Biblical lists, and not a
traditional account handed down by the ”relatives of our Lord”; and
this, in spite of Eusebius’ belief, we must certainly insist upon. We
may therefore assume with Spitta that the kai did not stand in the
original epistle as Africanus wrote it. The question arises, if what
precedes is not given upon the authority of the ”relatives of our
Lord,” why then is this account introduced upon their testimony, as if
confirming the preceding? We may simply refer again to Africanus’ words
at the end of the extract (S:15 below) to prove that his interpretation
did not rest upon testimony, and then we may answer with Spitta that
their testimony, which is appealed to in S:14 below, was to the
genealogies themselves, and in this Africanus wishes it to be known
that they confirmed the Gospel lists.

[123] See above, chap. VI. notes 5 and 6.

[124] We should expect the word ”temple-servant” again instead of
”priest”; but, as Valesius remarks, ”It was possible for the same
person to be both priest and servant, if for instance it was a
condition of priesthood that only captives should be made priests.” And
this was really the case in many places.

[125] Appointed by Julius Caesar in 47 b.c. (see chap. VI. note 1,

[126] He was poisoned by Malichus in 42 b.c. (see Josephus, Ant. XIV.
11. 4).

[127] Appointed king in 40 b.c. (see chap. VI. note 1, above).

[128] The ethnarch Archelaus (see chap. VI. note 18) and the tetrarchs
Herod Antipas and Herod Philip II.

[129] Cf. Dion Cassius, XXXVII. 15 sqq. and Strabo, XVI. 2. 46.

[130] It was the custom of the Jews, to whom tribal and family descent
meant so much, to keep copies of the genealogical records of the people
in the public archives. Cf. e.g. Josephus, De Vita, S:1, where he draws
his own lineage from the public archives; and cf. Contra Apion. I. 7.

[131] achri proseluton. Heinichen and Burton read archiproseluton,
”ancient proselytes.” The two readings are about equally supported by
ms. authority, but the same persons are meant here as at the end of the
paragraph, where proselutous, not archiproselutous, occurs (cf. Spitta,
pp. 97 sq., and Routh’s Reliquiae Sacrae II. p. 347 sq., 2d ed.).

[132] Achior was a general of the Ammonites in the army of Holofernes,
who, according to the Book of Judith, was a general of Nebuchadnezzar,
king of the Assyrians, and was slain by the Jewish heroine, Judith.
Achior is reported to have become afterward a Jewish proselyte.

[133] The Greek reads enepresen auton tas anagraphas ton genon, but,
with Spitta, I venture, against all the Greek mss. to insert pEURsas
before tas anagraphas upon the authority of Rufinus and the author of
the Syriac version, both of whom reproduce the word (cf. Spitta, p. 99
sq.). Africanus certainly supposed that Herod destroyed all the
genealogical records, and not simply those of the true Jews. This
account of the burning of the records given by Africanus is
contradicted by history, for we learn from Josephus, De Vita, S:1, that
he drew his own lineage from the public records, which were therefore
still in existence more than half a century after the time at which
Herod is said to have utterly destroyed them. It is significant that
Rufinus translates omnes Hebraeorum generationes descriptae in Archivis
templi secretioribus habebantur. How old this tradition was we do not
know; Africanus is the sole extant witness of it.

[134] tous te kaloumenous geioras. The word geioras occurs in the LXX.
of Ex. xii. 19, where it translates the Hebrew G+uR+ The A.V. reads
stranger, the R.V., sojourner, and Liddell and Scott give the latter
meaning for the Greek word. See Valesius’ note in loco, and Routh (II.
p. 349 sq.), who makes some strictures upon Valesius’ note. Africanus
refers here to all those that came out from Egypt with the Israelites,
whether native Egyptians, or foreigners resident in Egypt. Ex. xii. 38
tells us that a ”mixed multitude” went out with the children of Israel
(epimiktos polus), and Africanus just above speaks of them in the same
way (epimikton).

[135] desposunoi: the persons called above (S:11) the relatives of the
Saviour according to the flesh (hoi kata sEURrka sungeneis). The Greek
word signifies ”belonging to a master.”

[136] Cochaba, according to Epiphanius (Haer. XXX. 2 and 16), was a
village in Basanitide near Decapolis. It is noticeable that this region
was the seat of Ebionism. There may therefore be significance in the
care with which these Desposyni preserved the genealogy of Joseph, for
the Ebionites believed that Christ was the real son of Joseph, and
therefore Joseph’s lineage was his.

[137] ”Judea” is here used in the wider sense of Palestine as a whole,
including the country both east and west of the Jordan. The word is
occasionally used in this sense in Josephus; and so in Matt. xix. 1,
and Mark x. 1, we read of ”the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan.” Ptolemy,
Dion Cassius, and Strabo habitually employ the word in the wide sense.

[138] ek mnemes. These words are not found in any extant mss., but I
have followed Stroth and others in supplying them for the following
reasons. The Greek, as we have it, runs: kai ten prokeimenen
genealogian zk te tes biblou ton hemeron k.t.l. The particle te
indicates plainly that some phrase has fallen out. Rufinus translates
ordinem supra dictae generationis partim memoriter partim etiam ex
dierum libris in quantum erat perdocebant. The words partim memoriter
find no equivalent in the Greek as we have it, but the particle te,
which still remains, shows that words which Rufinus translated thus
must have stood originally in the Greek. The Syriac version also
confirms the conclusion that something stood in the original which has
since disappeared, though the rendering which it gives rests evidently
upon a corrupt text (cf. Spitta, p. 101). Valesius suggests the
insertion of apo mnemes, though he does not place the phrase in his
text. Heinichen supplies mnemoneusantes, and is followed by Closs in
his translation. Stroth, Migne, Routh, and Spitta read ek mnemes. The
sense is essentially the same in each case.

[139] It has been the custom since Valesius, to consider this ”Book of
daily records” (biblos ton hemeron) the same as the ”private records”
(idiotikas apographEURs) mentioned just above. But this opinion has
been combated by Spitta, and that with perfect right. The sentence is,
in fact, an exact parallel to the sentence just above, where it is said
that a few of the careful, either by means of their memory or by means
of copies, were able to have ”private records of their own.” In the
present sentence it is said that ”they drew the aforesaid genealogy
(viz., `the private records of their own’) from memory, or from the
Book of daily records” (which corresponds to the copies referred to
above). This book of daily records is clearly, therefore, something
other than the idiotikas apographas, but exactly what we are to
understand by it is not so easy to say. It cannot denote the regular
public records (called the archives above), for these were completed,
and would not need to be supplemented by memory; and apparently,
according to Africanus’ opinion, these private records were made after
the destruction of the regular public ones. The ”Book of daily records”
referred to must have been at any rate an incomplete genealogical
source needing to be supplemented by the memory. Private family record
books, if such existed previous to the supposed destruction of the
public records, of which we have no evidence, would in all probability
have been complete for each family. Spitta maintains (p. 101 sq.) that
the Book of Chronicles is meant: the Hebrew D+uiB+R+J+ H+aJ+uoM+iJ+M% ,
words or records of the days. This is a very attractive suggestion, as
the book exactly corresponds to the book described: the genealogies
which it gives are incomplete and require supplementing, and it is a
book which was accessible to all; public, therefore, and yet not
involved in the supposed destruction. The difficulty lies in the name
given. It is true that Jerome calls the Books of Chronicles Verba
Dierum and Hilary Sermones Dierum, &c.; but we should expect Africanus
to use here the technical LXX. designation, Paraleipomenon. But
whatever this ”Book of daily records” was, it cannot have been the
”private records” which were formed ”from memory and from copies,” but
was one of the sources from which those ”private records” were drawn.

[140] Compare note 3, above. Africanus’ direct statement shows clearly
enough that he does not rest his interpretation of the genealogies (an
interpretation which is purely a result of Biblical study) upon the
testimony of the relatives of the Saviour. Their testimony is invoked
with quite a different purpose, namely, in confirmation of the
genealogies themselves, and the long story (upon the supposition that
their testimony is invoked in support of Africanus’ interpretation,
introduced absolutely without sense and reason) thus has its proper
place, in showing how the ”relatives of the Saviour” were in a position
to be competent witnesses upon this question of fact (not
interpretation), in spite of the burning of the public records by

[141] The law to which Eusebius refers is recorded in Num. xxxvi. 6, 7.
But the prohibition given there was not an absolute and universal one,
but a prohibition which concerned only heiresses, who were not to marry
out of their own tribe upon penalty of forfeiting their inheritance
(cf. Josephus, Ant. IV. 7. 5). It is an instance of the limited nature
of the law that Mary and Elizabeth were relatives, although Joseph and
Mary belonged to the tribe of Judah, and Zacharias, at least, was a
Levite. This example lay so near at hand that Eusebius should not have
overlooked it in making his assertion. His argument, therefore in proof
of the fact that Mary belonged to the tribe of Judah has no force, but
the fact itself is abundantly established both by the unanimous
tradition of antiquity (independent of Luke’s genealogy, which was
universally supposed to be that of Joseph), and by such passages as Ps.
cxxxii. 11, Acts ii. 30, xiii. 23, Rom. i. 3.

[142] demou.

[143] patrias

Chapter VIII.–The Cruelty of Herod toward the Infants, and the Manner
of his Death.

1. When Christ was born, according to the prophecies, in Bethlehem of
Judea, at the time indicated, Herod was not a little disturbed by the
enquiry of the magi who came from the east, asking where he who was
born King of the Jews was to be found,–for they had seen his star, and
this was their reason for taking so long a journey; for they earnestly
desired to worship the infant as God, [144] –for he imagined that his
kingdom might be endangered; and he enquired therefore of the doctors
of the law, who belonged to the Jewish nation, where they expected
Christ to be born. When he learned that the prophecy of Micah [145]
announced that Bethlehem was to be his birthplace he commanded, in a
single edict, all the male infants in Bethlehem, and all its borders,
that were two years of age or less, according to the time which he had
accurately ascertained from the magi, to be slain, supposing that
Jesus, as was indeed likely, would share the same fate as the others of
his own age.

2. But the child anticipated the snare, being carried into Egypt by his
parents, who had learned from an angel that appeared unto them what was
about to happen. These things are recorded by the Holy Scriptures in
the Gospel. [146]

3. It is worth while, in addition to this, to observe the reward which
Herod received for his daring crime against Christ and those of the
same age. For immediately, without the least delay, the divine
vengeance overtook him while he was still alive, and gave him a
foretaste of what he was to receive after death.

4. It is not possible to relate here how he tarnished the supposed
felicity of his reign by successive calamities in his family, by the
murder of wife and children, and others of his nearest relatives and
dearest friends. [147] The account, which casts every other tragic
drama into the shade, is detailed at length in the histories of
Josephus. [148]

5. How, immediately after his crime against our Saviour and the other
infants, the punishment sent by God drove him on to his death, we can
best learn from the words of that historian who, in the seventeenth
book of his Antiquities of the Jews, writes as follows concerning his
end: [149]

6. ”But the disease of Herod grew more severe, God inflicting
punishment for his crimes. For a slow fire burned in him which was not
so apparent to those who touched him, but augmented his internal
distress; for he had a terrible desire for food which it was not
possible to resist. He was affected also with ulceration of the
intestines, and with especially severe pains in the colon, while a
watery and transparent humor settled about his feet.

7. He suffered also from a similar trouble in his abdomen. Nay more,
his privy member was putrefied and produced worms. He found also
excessive difficulty in breathing, and it was particularly disagreeable
because of the offensiveness of the odor and the rapidity of

8. He had convulsions also in every limb, which gave him uncontrollable
strength. It was said, indeed, by those who possessed the power of
divination and wisdom to explain such events, that God had inflicted
this punishment upon the King on account of his great impiety.”

9. The writer mentioned above recounts these things in the work
referred to. And in the second book of his History he gives a similar
account of the same Herod, which runs as follows: [150] ”The disease
then seized upon his whole body and distracted it by various torments.
For he had a slow fever, and the itching of the skin of his whole body
was insupportable. He suffered also from continuous pains in his colon,
and there were swellings on his feet like those of a person suffering
from dropsy, while his abdomen was inflamed and his privy member so
putrefied as to produce worms. Besides this he could breathe only in an
upright posture, and then only with difficulty, and he had convulsions
in all his limbs, so that the diviners said that his diseases were a
punishment. [151]

10. But he, although wrestling with such sufferings, nevertheless clung
to life and hoped for safety, and devised methods of cure. For
instance, crossing over Jordan he used the warm baths at Callirhoe,
[152] which flow into the Lake Asphaltites, [153] but are themselves
sweet enough to drink.

11. His physicians here thought that they could warm his whole body
again by means of heated oil. But when they had let him down into a tub
filled with oil, his eyes became weak and turned up like the eyes of a
dead person. But when his attendants raised an outcry, he recovered at
the noise; but finally, despairing of a cure, he commanded about fifty
drachms to be distributed among the soldiers, and great sums to be
given to his generals and friends.

12. Then returning he came to Jericho, where, being seized with
melancholy, he planned to commit an impious deed, as if challenging
death itself. For, collecting from every town the most illustrious men
of all Judea, he commanded that they be shut up in the so-called

13. And having summoned Salome, [154] his sister, and her husband,
Alexander, [155] he said: `I know that the Jews will rejoice at my
death. But I may be lamented by others and have a splendid funeral if
you are willing to perform my commands. When I shall expire surround
these men, who are now under guard, as quickly as possible with
soldiers, and slay them, in order that all Judea and every house may
weep for me even against their will.'” [156]

14. And after a little Josephus says, ”And again he was so tortured by
want of food and by a convulsive cough that, overcome by his pains, he
planned to anticipate his fate. Taking an apple he asked also for a
knife, for he was accustomed to cut apples and eat them. Then looking
round to see that there was no one to hinder, he raised his right hand
as if to stab himself.” [157]

15. In addition to these things the same writer records that he slew
another of his own sons [158] before his death, the third one slain by
his command, and that immediately afterward he breathed his last, not
without excessive pain.

16. Such was the end of Herod, who suffered a just punishment for his
slaughter of the children of Bethlehem, [159] which was the result of
his plots against our Saviour.

17. After this an angel appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and
commanded him to go to Judea with the child and its mother, revealing
to him that those who had sought the life of the child were dead. [160]
To this the evangelist adds, ”But when he heard that Archelaus did
reign in the room of his father Herod he was afraid to go thither;
notwithstanding being warned of God in a dream he turned aside into the
parts of Galilee.” [161]

[144] hoia theo proskunesai. Eusebius adds the words hoia theo, which
are not found in Matt. ii. 2 and 11, where proskunesai is used.

[145] Mic. v. 2.

[146] Matt. ii.

[147] Herod’s reign was very successful and prosperous, and for most of
the time entirely undisturbed by external troubles; but his domestic
life was embittered by a constant succession of tragedies resulting
from the mutual jealousies of his wives (of whom he had ten) and of
their children. Early in his reign he slew Hyrcanus, the grandfather of
his best-loved wife Mariamne, upon suspicion of treason; a little
later, Mariamne herself was put to death; in 6 b.c. her sons, Alexander
and Aristobulus, were condemned and executed; and in 4 b.c., but a few
days before his death, Antipater, his eldest son, who had been
instrumental in the condemnation of Alexander and Aristobulus, was also
slain by his orders. These murders were accompanied by many others of
friends and kindred, who were constantly falling under suspicion of

[148] In the later books of the Antiquities and in the first book of
the Jewish war.

[149] Josephus, Ant. XVII. 6. 5.

[150] B. J. I. 33. 5 and 6.

[151] poinen einai ta nosemata legein. Josephus, according to the text
of Hudson, reads poinen einai ton sophiston ta nosemata legein, which
is translated by Traill, ”pronounced his maladies a judgment for his
treatment of the Sophists.” Nicephorus (H. E. I. 15) agrees with
Eusebius in omitting the words ton sophiston, but he is not an
independent witness. Whether Hudson’s text is supported at this point
by strong ms. authority I do not know. If the words stood in the
original of Josephus, we may suppose that they were accidentally
omitted by Eusebius himself or by one of his copyists, or that they
were thrown out in order to make Josephus’ statement better correspond
with his own words in Ant. XVII. 6, quoted just above, where his
disease is said to have been a result of his impiety in general, not of
any particular exhibition of it. On the other hand, the omission of the
words in Ant. XVII. 6 casts at least a suspicion on their genuineness,
and if we were to assume that the words did not occur in the original
text of Josephus, it would be very easy to understand their insertion
by some copyist, for in the previous paragraph the historian has been
speaking of the Sophists, and of Herod’s cruel treatment of them.

[152] Callirhoe was a town just east of the Dead Sea.

[153] ten ‘Asphaltitin limnen. This is the name by which Josephus
commonly designates the Dead Sea. The same name occurs also in Diodorus
Siculus (II. 48, XIX. 98).

[154] Salome was own sister of Herod the Great, and wife in succession
of Joseph, Costabarus, and Alexas. She possessed all the cruelty of
Herod himself and was the cause, through her jealousy and envy, of most
of the terrible tragedies in his family.

[155] Alexander, the third husband of Salome, is always called Alexas
by Josephus.

[156] B. J.I. 13. 6 (cf. Ant. XVII. 6. 5). This terrible story rests
upon the authority of Josephus alone, but is so in keeping with Herod’s
character that we have no reason to doubt its truth. The commands of
Herod, however, were not carried out, the condemned men being released
after his death by Salome (see ibid. S:8).

[157] B. J.I. 33. 7 (cf. Ant. XVII. 7). Herod’s suicide was prevented
by his cousin Achiabus, as Josephus informs us in the same connection.

[158] B. J.I. 33. 7 and 8 (cf. Ant. XVII. 7). Antipater, son of Herod
and his first wife Doris, was intended by his father to be his
successor in the kingdom. He was beheaded five days before the death of
Herod, for plotting against his father. He richly deserved his fate.

[159] Eusebius gives here the traditional Christian interpretation of
the cause of Herod’s sufferings. Josephus nowhere mentions the
slaughter of the innocents; whether through ignorance, or because of
the insignificance of the tragedy when compared with the other bloody
acts of Herod’s reign, we do not know.

[160] See Matt. ii. 19, 20.

[161] Matt. ii. 22.

Chapter IX.–The Times of Pilate.

1. The historian already mentioned agrees with the evangelist in regard
to the fact that Archelaus [162] succeeded to the government after
Herod. He records the manner in which he received the kingdom of the
Jews by the will of his father Herod and by the decree of Caesar
Augustus, and how, after he had reigned ten years, he lost his kingdom,
and his brothers Philip [163] and Herod the younger, [164] with
Lysanias, [165] still ruled their own tetrarchies. The same writer, in
the eighteenth book of his Antiquities, [166] says that about the
twelfth year of the reign of Tiberius, [167] who had succeeded to the
empire after Augustus had ruled fifty-seven years, [168] Pontius Pilate
was entrusted with the government of Judea, and that he remained there
ten full years, almost until the death of Tiberius.

2. Accordingly the forgery of those who have recently given currency to
acts against our Saviour [169] is clearly proved. For the very date
given in them [170] shows the falsehood of their fabricators.

3. For the things which they have dared to say concerning the passion
of the Saviour are put into the fourth consulship of Tiberius, which
occurred in the seventh year of his reign; at which time it is plain
that Pilate was not yet ruling in Judea, if the testimony of Josephus
is to be believed, who clearly shows in the above-mentioned work [171]
that Pilate was made procurator of Judea by Tiberius in the twelfth
year of his reign.

[162] Archelaus was a son of Herod the Great, and own brother of the
Tetrarch Herod Antipas, with whom he was educated at Rome. Immediately
after the death of Antipater he was designated by his father as his
successor in the kingdom, and Augustus ratified the will, but gave him
only the title of ethnarch. The title of King he never really received,
although he is spoken of as king in Matt. ii. 22, the word being used
in a loose sense. His dominion consisted of Idumea, Judea, Samaria, and
the cities on the coast, comprising a half of his father’s kingdom. The
other half was divided between Herod Antipas and Philip. He was very
cruel, and was warmly hated by most of his subjects. In the tenth year
of his reign (according to Josephus, Ant. XVII. 13. 2), or in the ninth
(according to B. J. II. 7. 3), he was complained against by his
brothers and subjects on the ground of cruelty, and was banished to
Vienne in Gaul, where he probably died, although Jerome says that he
was shown his tomb near Bethlehem. Jerome’s report, however, is too
late to be of any value. The exact length of his reign it is impossible
to say, as Josephus is not consistent in his reports. The difference
may be due to the fact that Josephus reckoned from different
starting-points in the two cases. He probably ruled a little more than
nine years. His condemnation took place in the consulship of M.
AEmilius Lepidus and L. Arruntius (i.e. in 6 a.d.) according to Dion
Cassius, LV. 27. After the deposition of Archelaus Judea was made a
Roman province and attached to Syria, and Coponius was sent as the
first procurator. On Archelaus, see Josephus, Ant. XVII. 8, 9, 11 sq.,
and B. J. I. 33. 8 sq.; II. 6 sq.

[163] Philip, a son of Herod the Great by his wife Cleopatra, was
Tetrarch of Batanea, Trachonitis, Aurinitis, &c., from b.c. 4 to a.d.
34. He was distinguished for his justice and moderation. He is
mentioned only once in the New Testament, Luke iii. 1. On Philip, see
Josephus, Ant. XVII. 8. 1; 11. 4; XVIII. 4. 6.

[164] Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great by his wife Malthace, was
Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from b.c. 4 to a.d. 39. In 39 a.d. he
went to Rome to sue for the title of King, which his nephew Herod
Agrippa had already secured. But accusations against him were sent to
the emperor by Agrippa, and he thereby lost his tetrarchy and was
banished to Lugdunum (Lyons) in Gaul, and died (according to Josephus,
B. J. II. 9. 6) in Spain. It was he who beheaded John the Baptist, and
to him Jesus was sent by Pilate. His character is plain enough from the
New Testament account. For further particulars of his life, see
Josephus, Ant. XVII. 8. 1; 11. 4; XVIII. 2. 1; 5 and 7; B. J. II. 9.

[165] The Lysanias referred to here is mentioned in Luke iii. 1 as
Tetrarch of Abilene. Eusebius, in speaking of Lysanias here, follows
the account of Luke, not that of Josephus, for the latter nowhere says
that Lysanias continued to rule his tetrarchy after the exile of
Archelaus. Indeed he nowhere states that Lysanias ruled a tetrarchy at
this period. He only refers (Ant. XVIII. 6. 10; XIX. 5. 1; XX. 7. 1;
and B. J. II. 12. 8) to ”the tetrarchy of Lysanias,” which he says was
given to Agrippa I. and II. by Caligula and Claudius. Eusebius thus
reads more into Josephus than he has any right to do, and yet we cannot
assume that he is guilty of willful deception, for he may quite
innocently have interpreted Josephus in the light of Luke’s account,
without realizing that Josephus’ statement is of itself entirely
indefinite. That there is no real contradiction between the statements
of Josephus and Luke has been abundantly demonstrated by Davidson,
Introduction to the New Testament, I. p. 215 sq.

[166] Josephus, Ant. XVIII. 2. 2 and 4. 2.

[167] Josephus reckons here from the death of Augustus (14 a.d.), when
Tiberius became sole emperor. Pilate was appointed procurator in 26
a.d. and was recalled in 36.

[168] Josephus dates the beginning of Augustus’ reign at the time of
the death of Julius Caesar (as Eusebius also does in chap. 5, S:2), and
calls him the second emperor. But Augustus did not actually become
emperor until 31 b.c., after the battle of Actium.

[169] Eusebius refers here, not to the acts of Pilate written by
Christians, of which so many are still extant (cf. Bk. II. chap. 2,
note 1), but to those forged by their enemies with the approval of the
emperor Maximinus (see below, Bk. IX. chap. 5).

[170] ho tes parasemeioseos chronos. ”In this place paras. is the
superscription or the designation of the time which was customarily
prefixed to acts. For judicial acts were thus drawn up: Consulatu
Tiberii Augusti Septimo, inducto in judicium Jesu, &c.” (Val.)

[171] Ant.XVIII. 2. 2. Compare S:1, above.

Chapter X.–The High Priests of the Jews under whom Christ taught.

1. It was in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, [172]
according to the evangelist, and in the fourth year of the governorship
of Pontius Pilate, [173] while Herod and Lysanias and Philip were
ruling the rest of Judea, [174] that our Saviour and Lord, Jesus the
Christ of God, being about thirty years of age, [175] came to John for
baptism and began the promulgation of the Gospel.

2. The Divine Scripture says, moreover, that he passed the entire time
of his ministry under the high priests Annas and Caiaphas, [176]
showing that in the time which belonged to the priesthood of those two
men the whole period of his teaching was completed. Since he began his
work during the high priesthood of Annas and taught until Caiaphas held
the office, the entire time does not comprise quite four years.

3. For the rites of the law having been already abolished since that
time, the customary usages in connection with the worship of God,
according to which the high priest acquired his office by hereditary
descent and held it for life, were also annulled and there were
appointed to the high priesthood by the Roman governors now one and now
another person who continued in office not more than one year. [177]

4. Josephus relates that there were four high priests in succession
from Annas to Caiaphas. Thus in the same book of the Antiquities [178]
he writes as follows: ”Valerius Gratus [179] having put an end to the
priesthood of Ananus [180] appoints Ishmael, [181] the son of Fabi,
high priest. And having removed him after a little he appoints Eleazer,
[182] the son of Ananus the high priest, to the same office. And having
removed him also at the end of a year he gives the high priesthood to
Simon, [183] the son of Camithus. But he likewise held the honor no
more than a year, when Josephus, called also Caiaphas, [184] succeeded
him.” Accordingly the whole time of our Saviour’s ministry is shown to
have been not quite four full years, four high priests, from Annas to
the accession of Caiaphas, having held office a year each. The Gospel
therefore has rightly indicated Caiaphas as the high priest under whom
the Saviour suffered. From which also we can see that the time of our
Saviour’s ministry does not disagree with the foregoing investigation.

5. Our Saviour and Lord, not long after the beginning of his ministry,
called the twelve apostles, [185] and these alone of all his disciples
he named apostles, as an especial honor. And again he appointed seventy
others whom he sent out two by two before his face into every place and
city whither he himself was about to come. [186]

[172] Luke iii. 1. Eusebius reckons the fifteenth year of Tiberius from
14 a.d., that is, from the time when he became sole emperor. There is a
difference of opinion among commentators as to whether Luke began to
reckon from the colleagueship of Tiberius (11 or 12 a.d.), or from the
beginning of his reign as sole emperor. Either mode of reckoning is
allowable, but as Luke says that Christ ”began to be about thirty years
of age” at this time, and as he was born probably about 4 b.c., the
former seems to have been Luke’s mode. Compare Andrew’s Life of our
Lord, p. 28.

[173] Luke says simply, ”while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,”
and does not mention the year, as Eusebius does.

[174] See the previous chapter.

[175] Eusebius’ reckoning would make Christ’s birthday synchronize with
the beginning of our Christian era, which is at least three years out
of the way.

[176] Luke iii. 2 compared with John xi. 49 and 51, and xviii. 13.
Stroth remarks: ”Had I not feared acting contrary to the duty of a
translator, I should gladly, for the sake of Eusebius’ honor, have left
out this entire chapter, which is full of historical inaccuracies and
contradictions. Eusebius deduces from Josephus himself that the
Procurator Gratus, whom Pilate succeeded, appointed Caiaphas high
priest. Therefore Caiaphas became high priest before the twelfth year
of Tiberius, for in that year Pilate became procurator. In the
fifteenth year of Tiberius, Christ began his work when Caiaphas had
already been high priest three years and according to the false account
of our author he became high priest for the first time in the
nineteenth year of Tiberius. The whole structure of this chapter,
therefore, falls to the ground. It is almost inconceivable how so
prudent a man could have committed so great a mistake of the same sort
as that which he had denounced a little before in connection with the
Acts of Pilate.” The whole confusion is due to Eusebius’ mistaken
interpretation of the Gospel account, which he gives in this sentence.
It is now universally assumed that Annas is named by the evangelists as
ex-high-priest, but Eusebius, not understanding this, supposed that a
part of Christ’s ministry must have fallen during the active
administration of Annas, a part during that of Caiaphas, and therefore
his ministry must have run from the one to the other, embracing the
intermediate administrations of Ishmael, Eleazer, and Simon, and
covering less than four years. In order to make this out he interprets
the ”not long after” in connection with Ishmael as meaning ”one year,”
which is incorrect, as shown below in note 9. How Eusebius could have
overlooked the plain fact that all this occurred under Valerius Gratus
instead of Pilate, and therefore many years too early (when he himself
states the fact), is almost incomprehensible. Absorbed in making out
his interpretation, he must have thoughtlessly confounded the names of
Gratus and Pilate while reading the account. He cannot have acted
knowingly, with the intention to deceive, for he must have seen that
anybody reading his account would discover the glaring discrepancy at

[177] It is true that under the Roman governors the high priests were
frequently changed (cf. above, chap. 6, note 19), but there was no
regularly prescribed interval, and some continued in office for many
years; for instance, Caiaphas was high priest for more than ten years,
during the whole of Pilate’s administration, having been appointed by
Valerius Gratus, Pilate’s predecessor, and his successor being
appointed by the Proconsul Vitellius in 37 a.d. (vid. Josephus, Ant.
XVIII. 2. 2 and 4. 3).

[178] Josephus, Ant. XVIII. 2.2.

[179] This Valerius Gratus was made procurator by Tiberius, soon after
his accession, and ruled about eleven years, when he was succeeded by
Pilate in 26 a.d.

[180] Ananus (or Annas) was appointed high priest by Quirinius,
governor of Syria, in 6 or 7 a.d. (Josephus, Ant. XVIII. 2. 1), and
remained in office until a.d. 14 or 15, when he was deposed by Valerius
Gratus (ib. S:2). This forms another instance, therefore, of a term of
office more than one year in length. Annas is a familiar personage from
his connection with the Gospel history; but the exact position which he
occupied during Christ’s ministry is difficult to determine (cf.
Wieseler’s Chronology of the Life of Christ).

[181] Either this Ishmael must have held the office eight or ten years,
or else Caiaphas that long before Pilate’s time, for otherwise Gratus’
period is not filled up. Josephus’ statement is indefinite in regard to
Ishmael, and Eusebius is wrong in confining his term of office to one

[182] According to Josephus, Ant. XX. 9. 1, five of the sons of Annas
became high priests.

[183] This Simon is an otherwise unknown personage.

[184] Joseph Caiaphas, son-in-law of Annas, is well known from his
connection with the Gospel history.

[185] See Matt. x. 1-4; Mark iii. 14-19; Luke vi. 13-16

[186] See Luke x. 1

Chapter XI.–Testimonies in Regard to John the Baptist and Christ.

1. Not long after this John the Baptist was beheaded by the younger
Herod, [187] as is stated in the Gospels. [188] Josephus also records
the same fact, [189] making mention of Herodias [190] by name, and
stating that, although she was the wife of his brother, Herod made her
his own wife after divorcing his former lawful wife, who was the
daughter of Aretas, [191] king of Petra, and separating Herodias from
her husband while he was still alive.

2. It was on her account also that he slew John, and waged war with
Aretas, because of the disgrace inflicted on the daughter of the
latter. Josephus relates that in this war, when they came to battle,
Herod’s entire army was destroyed, [192] and that he suffered this
calamity on account of his crime against John.

3. The same Josephus confesses in this account that John the Baptist
was an exceedingly righteous man, and thus agrees with the things
written of him in the Gospels. He records also that Herod lost his
kingdom on account of the same Herodias, and that he was driven into
banishment with her, and condemned to live at Vienne in Gaul. [193]

4. He relates these things in the eighteenth book of the Antiquities,
where he writes of John in the following words: [194] ”It seemed to
some of the Jews that the army of Herod was destroyed by God, who most
justly avenged John called the Baptist.

5. For Herod slew him, a good man and one who exhorted the Jews to come
and receive baptism, practicing virtue and exercising righteousness
toward each other and toward God; for baptism would appear acceptable
unto Him when they employed it, not for the remission of certain sins,
but for the purification of the body, as the soul had been already
purified in righteousness.

6. And when others gathered about him (for they found much pleasure in
listening to his words), Herod feared that his great influence might
lead to some sedition, for they appeared ready to do whatever he might
advise. He therefore considered it much better, before any new thing
should be done under John’s influence, to anticipate it by slaying him,
than to repent after revolution had come, and when he found himself in
the midst of difficulties. [195] On account of Herod’s suspicion John
was sent in bonds to the above-mentioned citadel of Machaera, [196] and
there slain.”

7. After relating these things concerning John, he makes mention of our
Saviour in the same work, in the following words: [197] ”And there
lived at that time Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it be proper to call
him a man. For he was a doer of wonderful works, and a teacher of such
men as receive the truth in gladness. And he attached to himself many
of the Jews, and many also of the Greeks. He was the Christ.

8. When Pilate, on the accusation of our principal men, condemned him
to the cross, those who had loved him in the beginning did not cease
loving him. For he appeared unto them again alive on the third day, the
divine prophets having told these and countless other wonderful things
concerning him. Moreover, the race of Christians, named after him,
continues down to the present day.”

9. Since an historian, who is one of the Hebrews themselves, has
recorded in his work these things concerning John the Baptist and our
Saviour, what excuse is there left for not convicting them of being
destitute of all shame, who have forged the acts against them? [198]
But let this suffice here.

[187] Herod Antipas.

[188] Matt. xiv. 1-12; Mark vi. 17 sq.

[189] Josephus, Ant. XVIII. 5. 2.

[190] Herodias, a daughter of Aristobulus and grand-daughter of Herod
the Great, first married Herod Philip (whom Josephus calls Herod, and
whom the Gospels call Philip), a son of Herod the Great, and therefore
her uncle, who seems to have occupied a private station. Afterwards,
leaving him during his lifetime, she married another uncle, Herod
Antipas the Tetrarch. When her husband, Antipas, was banished to Gaul
she voluntarily shared his banishment and died there. Her character is
familiar from the accounts of the New Testament.

[191] Aretas AEneas is identical with the Aretas mentioned in 2 Cor.
xi. 32, in connection with Paul’s flight from Jerusalem (cf. Wieseler,
Chron. des ap. Zeitalters, p. 142 and 167 sq.). He was king of Arabia
Nabataea, whose capital was the famous rock city, Petra, which gave its
name to the whole country, which was in consequence commonly called
Arabia Petraea.

[192] In this emergency Herod appealed to Tiberius, with whom he was a
favorite, and the emperor commanded Vitellius, the governor of Syria,
to proceed against Aretas. The death of Tiberius interrupted
operations, and under Caligula friendship existed between Aretas and
the Romans.

[193] Josephus gives the account of Herod’s banishment in his
Antiquities XVIII. 7. 2, but names Lyons instead of Vienne as the place
of his exile. Eusebius here confounds the fate of Herod with that of
Archelaus, who was banished to Vienne (see above, chap. 9, note 1).

[194] Ant.XVIII. 5. 2. This passage upon John the Baptist is referred
to by Origen in his Contra Cels. I. 47, and is found in all our mss. of
Josephus. It is almost universally admitted to be genuine, and there is
no good reason to doubt that it is, for such a dispassionate and
strictly impartial account of John could hardly have been written by a
Christian interpolator.

[195] Josephus differs with the Evangelists as to the reason for John’s
imprisonment, but the accounts of the latter bear throughout the stamp
of more direct and accurate knowledge than that of Josephus. Ewald
remarks with truth, ”When Josephus, however, gives as the cause of
John’s execution only the Tetrarch’s general fear of popular outbreaks,
one can see that he no longer had perfect recollection of the matter.
The account of Mark is far more exact and instructive.”

[196] Machaera was an important fortress lying east of the northern end
of the Dead Sea. It was the same fortress to which the daughter of
Aretas had retired when Herod formed the design of marrying Herodias;
and the word ”aforesaid” refers to Josephus’ mention of it in that
connection in the previous paragraph.

[197] Ant.XVIII. 3. 3. This account occurs before that of John the
Baptist, not after it. It is found in all our mss. of Josephus, and was
considered genuine until the sixteenth century, but since then has been
constantly disputed. Four opinions are held in regard to it; (1) It is
entirely genuine. This view has at present few supporters, and is
absolutely untenable. A Christian hand is unmistakably apparent,–if
not throughout, certainly in many parts; and the silence in regard to
it of all Christian writers until the time of Eusebius is fatal to its
existence in the original text. Origen, for instance, who mentions
Josephus’ testimony to John the Baptist in Contra Cels. I. 47, betrays
no knowledge of this passage in regard to Christ. (2) It is entirely
spurious. Such writers as Hase, Keim, and Schuerer adopt this view. (3)
It is partly genuine and partly interpolated. This opinion has,
perhaps, the most defenders, among them Gieseler, Weizsaecker, Renan,
Edersheim, and Schaff. (4) It has been changed from a bitter Jewish
calumny of Christ to a Christian eulogy of him. This is Ewald’s view.
The second opinion seems to me the correct one. The third I regard as
untenable, for the reason that after the obviously Christian passages
are omitted there remains almost nothing; and it seems inconceivable
that Josephus should have given so colorless a report of one whom the
Jews regarded with such enmity, if he mentioned him at all. The fourth
view might be possible, and is more natural than the third; but it
seems as if some trace of the original calumny would have survived
somewhere, had it ever existed. To me, however, the decisive argument
is the decided break which the passage makes in the context; S:2 gives
the account of a sedition of the Jews, and S:4 opens with the words,
”About the same time also another sad calamity put the Jews into
disorder”; while S:3, containing the account of Christ, gives no hint
of sedition or disorder among the Jews. It has been suggested that
Eusebius himself, who is the first one to quote this passage,
introduced it into the text of Josephus. This is possible, but there is
no reason to suppose it true, for it is contrary to Eusebius’ general
reputation for honesty, and the manner in which he introduces the
quotation both here and in his Dem. Evang. III. 5 certainly bears every
mark of innocence; and he would scarcely have dared to insert so
important an account in his History had it not existed in at least some
mss. of Josephus. We may be confident that the interpolation must have
been made in the mss. of Josephus before it appeared in the History.
For a brief summary of the various views upon the subject, see Schaff’s
Church History, Vol. I. p. 9 sq., and Edersheim’s article on Josephus
in Smith and Wace’s Dict. of Christian Biography. Compare also
Heinichen’s Excursus upon the passage in his edition of Eusebius, Vol.
III. p. 623-654.

[198] See chap. 9, note 8, above.

Chapter XII.–The Disciples of our Saviour.

1. The names of the apostles of our Saviour are known to every one from
the Gospels. [199] But there exists no catalogue of the seventy
disciples. [200] Barnabas, indeed, is said to have been one of them, of
whom the Acts of the apostles makes mention in various places, [201]
and especially Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians. [202]

2. They say that Sosthenes also, who wrote to the Corinthians with
Paul, was one of them. [203] This is the account of Clement [204] in
the fifth book of his Hypotyposes, in which he also says that Cephas
was one of the seventy disciples, [205] a man who bore the same name as
the apostle Peter, and the one concerning whom Paul says, ”When Cephas
came to Antioch I withstood him to his face.” [206]

3. Matthias, [207] also, who was numbered with the apostles in the
place of Judas, and the one who was honored by being made a candidate
with him, [208] are likewise said to have been deemed worthy of the
same calling with the seventy. They say that Thaddeus [209] also was
one of them, concerning whom I shall presently relate an account which
has come down to us. [210] And upon examination you will find that our
Saviour had more than seventy disciples, according to the testimony of
Paul, who says that after his resurrection from the dead he appeared
first to Cephas, then to the twelve, and after them to above five
hundred brethren at once, of whom some had fallen asleep; [211] but the
majority were still living at the time he wrote.

4. Afterwards he says he appeared unto James, who was one of the
so-called brethren of the Saviour. [212] But, since in addition to
these, there were many others who were called apostles, in imitation of
the Twelve, as was Paul himself, he adds: ”Afterward he appeared to all
the apostles.” [213] So much in regard to these persons. But the story
concerning Thaddeus is as follows.

[199] See Matt. x. 2-4; Luke vi. 13-16; Mark iii. 14-19

[200] See Luke x. 1-20.

[201] See Acts iv. 36, xiii. 1 et passim. Clement of Alexandria (Strom.
II. 20) calls Barnabas one of the Seventy. This tradition is not in
itself improbable, but we can trace it back no further than Clement.
The Clementine Recognitions and Homilies frequently mention Barnabas as
an apostle active in Alexandria and in Rome. One tradition sends him to
Milan and makes him the first bishop of the church there, but the
silence of Ambrose in regard to it is a sufficient proof of its
groundlessness. There is extant an apocryphal work, probably of the
fifth century, entitled Acta et Passio Barnabae in Cypro, which relates
his death by martyrdom in Cyprus. The tradition may be true, but its
existence has no weight. Barnabas came from Cyprus and labored there
for at least a time. It would be natural, therefore, to assign his
death (which was necessarily martyrdom, for no Christian writer of the
early centuries could have admitted that he died a natural death) to
that place.

[202] Gal. ii. 1, 9, and 13.

[203] Sosthenes is mentioned in 1 Cor. i. 1. From what source Eusebius
drew this report in regard to him I cannot tell. He is the first to
mention it, so far as I know. A later tradition reports that he became
Bishop of Colophon, a city in Ionia. A Sosthenes is mentioned also in
Acts xviii. 17, as ruler of the Jewish synagogue in Corinth. Some wish
to identify the two, supposing the latter to have been afterward
converted, but in this case of course he cannot have been one of the
Seventy. Eusebius’ tradition is one in regard to whose value we can
form no opinion.

[204] On Clement and his works see Bk. V. chap. 11, note 1, and Bk. VI.
chap. 13.

[205] Clement is, so far as I know, the first to make this distinction
between Peter the Apostle, and Cephas, one of the Seventy. The reason
for the invention of a second Peter in the post-apostolic age is easy
to understand as resulting from the desire to do away with the conflict
between two apostles. This Cephas appears frequently in later
traditions and is commemorated in the Menology of Basil on December 9,
and in the Armenian calendar on September 25. In the Ecclesiastical
Canons he is made one of the twelve apostles, and distinguished from

[206] Gal. ii. 11.

[207] We learn from Acts i. 21 sqq. that Matthias was a follower of
Christ throughout his ministry and therefore the tradition, which
Eusebius is, so far as we know, the first to record, is not at all
improbable. Epiphanius (at the close of the first book of his Haer.,
Dindorf’s ed. I. p. 337) a half-century later records the same
tradition. Nicephorus Callistus (II. 40) says that he labored and
suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia (probably meaning Caucasian Ethiopia,
east of the Black Sea). Upon the Gospel of Matthias see below, III. 25,
note 30.

[208] Joseph Barsabas, surnamed Justus. He, too, had been with Christ
from the beginning, and therefore may well have been one of the
Seventy, as Eusebius reports. Papias (quoted by Eusebius, III. 39,
below) calls him Justus Barsabas, and relates that he drank a deadly
poison without experiencing any injury.

[209] From a comparison of the different lists of apostles given by
Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Thaddeus is seen to be one of the Twelve,
apparently identical with Jude and Lebbaeus (compare Jerome, In Matt.
X.). Eusebius here sunders him from the apostles and makes him one of
the Seventy, committing an error similar to that which arose in the
case of Peter and Cephas. He perhaps records only an oral tradition, as
he uses the word phasi. He is, so far as is known, the first to mention
the tradition.

[210] See the next chapter.

[211] See 1 Cor. xv. 5-7.

[212] The relationship of James and Jesus has always been a disputed
matter. Three theories have been advanced, and are all widely
represented. The first is the full-brother hypothesis, according to
which the brothers and sisters of Jesus were children of both Joseph
and Mary. This was advocated strongly by the heretic Helvidius in Rome
in 380, and is widely accepted in the Protestant Church. The only
serious objection to it is the committal of Mary to the care of John by
Christ upon the cross. But John was at any rate an own cousin of Jesus,
and the objection loses its weight when we realize the spiritual
sympathy which existed between Jesus and John, and the lack of belief
exhibited by his own brothers. The second is the half-brother
hypothesis which regards the brethren and sisters of Jesus as children
of Joseph by a former wife. This has the oldest tradition in its favor
(though the tradition for none of the theories is old or universal
enough to be of great weight), the apocryphal Gospel of James, chap.
ix., recording that Joseph was a widower and had children before
marrying Mary. It is still the established theory in the Greek Church.
The greatest objection to it is that if it be true, Christ as a younger
son of Joseph, could not have been regarded as the heir to the throne
of David. That the objection is absolutely fatal cannot be asserted for
it is nowhere clearly stated that he was the heir-apparent to the
throne; it is said only that he was of the line of David. Both of these
theories agree in distinguishing James, the brother of the Lord, from
James, the son of Alphaeus, the apostle, and thus assume at least three
Jameses in the New Testament. Over against both of them is to be
mentioned a third, which assumes only two Jameses, regarding the
brethren of the Lord as his cousins, and identifying them with the sons
of Alphaeus. This theory originated with Jerome in 383 a.d. with the
confessedly dogmatic object of preserving the virginity both of Mary
and of Joseph in opposition to Helvidius. Since his time it has been
the established theory in the Latin Church, and is advocated also by
many Protestant scholars. The original and common form of the theory
makes Jesus and James maternal cousins: finding only three women in
John xix. 25, and regarding Mary, the wife of Clopas, as the sister of
the Virgin Mary. But this is in itself improbable and rests upon poor
exegesis. It is far better to assume that four women are mentioned in
this passage. A second form of the cousin theory, which regards Jesus
and James as paternal cousins–making Alphaeus (Clopas) the brother of
Joseph–originated with Lange. It is very ingenious, and urges in its
support the authority of Hegesippus, who, according to Eusebius (H. E.
III. 11), says that Clopas was the brother of Joseph and the father of
Simeon, which would make the latter the brother of James, and thus just
as truly the brother of the Lord as he. But Hegesippus plainly thinks
of James and of Simeon as standing in different relations to
Christ,–the former his brother, the latter his cousin,–and therefore
his testimony is against, rather than for Lange’s hypothesis. The
statement of Hegesippus, indeed, expresses the cousinship of Christ
with James the Little, the son of Clopas (if Alphaeus and Clopas be
identified), but does not identify this cousin with James the brother
of the Lord. Eusebius also is claimed by Lange as a witness to his
theory, but his exegesis of the passage to which he appeals is poor
(see below, Bk. IV. chap. 22 note 4). Against both forms of the cousin
theory may be urged the natural meaning of the word adelphos, and also
the statement of John vii. 5, ”Neither did his brethren believe in
him,” which makes it impossible to suppose that his brothers were
apostles. From this fatal objection both of the brother hypotheses are
free, and either of them is possible, but the former rests upon a more
natural interpretation of the various passages involved, and would
perhaps have been universally accepted had it not been for the dogmatic
interest felt by the early Church in preserving the virginity of Mary.
Renan’s complicated theory (see his Les Evangiles, p. 537 sqq.) does
not help matters at all, and need not be discussed here. There is much
to be said, however, in favor of the separation of Alphaeus and Clopas,
upon which he insists and which involves the existence of four Jameses
instead of only three. For a fuller discussion of this whole subject,
see Andrews (Life of our Lord, pp. 104-116), Schaff (Church Hist. I.
272-275), and Weiss (Einleitung in das N. T. p. 388 sqq.), all of whom
defend the natural brother hypothesis; Lightfoot (Excursus upon ”The
Brethren of the Lord” in his Commentary on Galatians, 2d ed. p.
247-282), who is the strongest advocate of the half-brother theory;
Mill (The Accounts of our Lord’s Brethren in the N. T. vindicated,
Cambridge, 1843), who maintains the maternal cousin theory; and Lange
(in Herzog), who presents the paternal cousin hypothesis. Compare
finally Holtzmann’s article in the Zeitschrift fuer Wiss. Theologie,
1880, p. 198 sqq.

[213] 1 Cor. xv. 7.

Chapter XIII.–Narrative concerning the Prince of the Edessenes.

1. The divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ being noised
abroad among all men on account of his wonder-working power, he
attracted countless numbers from foreign countries lying far away from
Judea, who had the hope of being cured of their diseases and of all
kinds of sufferings.

2. For instance the King Abgarus, [214] who ruled with great glory the
nations beyond the Euphrates, being afflicted with a terrible disease
which it was beyond the power of human skill to cure, when he heard of
the name of Jesus, and of his miracles, which were attested by all with
one accord sent a message to him by a courier and begged him to heal
his disease.

3. But he did not at that time comply with his request; yet he deemed
him worthy of a personal letter in which he said that he would send one
of his disciples to cure his disease, and at the same time promised
salvation to himself and all his house.

4. Not long afterward his promise was fulfilled. For after his
resurrection from the dead and his ascent into heaven, Thomas, [215]
one of the twelve apostles, under divine impulse sent Thaddeus, who was
also numbered among the seventy disciples of Christ, [216] to Edessa,
[217] as a preacher and evangelist of the teaching of Christ.

5. And all that our Saviour had promised received through him its
fulfillment. You have written evidence of these things taken from the
archives of Edessa, [218] which was at that time a royal city. For in
the public registers there, which contain accounts of ancient times and
the acts of Abgarus, these things have been found preserved down to the
present time. But there is no better way than to hear the epistles
themselves which we have taken from the archives and have literally
translated from the Syriac language [219] in the following manner.

Copy of an epistle written by Abgarus the ruler to Jesus, and sent to
him at Jerusalem by Ananias [220] the swift courier.

6. ”Abgarus, ruler of Edessa, to Jesus the excellent Saviour who has
appeared in the country of Jerusalem, greeting. I have heard the
reports of thee and of thy cures as performed by thee without medicines
or herbs. For it is said that thou makest the blind to see and the lame
to walk, that thou cleansest lepers and castest out impure spirits and
demons, and that thou healest those afflicted with lingering disease,
and raisest the dead.

7. And having heard all these things concerning thee, I have concluded
that one of two things must be true: either thou art God, and having
come down from heaven thou doest these things, or else thou, who doest
these things, art the Son of God. [221]

8. I have therefore written to thee to ask thee that thou wouldest take
the trouble to come to me and heal the disease which I have. For I have
heard that the Jews are murmuring against thee and are plotting to
injure thee. But I have a very small yet noble city which is great
enough for us both.”

The answer of Jesus to the ruler Abgarus by the courier Ananias.

9. ”Blessed art thou who hast believed in me without having seen me.
[222] For it is written concerning me, that they who have seen me will
not believe in me, and that they who have not seen me will believe and
be saved. [223] But in regard to what thou hast written me, that I
should come to thee, it is necessary for me to fulfill all things here
for which I have been sent, and after I have fulfilled them thus to be
taken up again to him that sent me. But after I have been taken up I
will send to thee one of my disciples, that he may heal thy disease and
give life to thee and thine.”

10. To these epistles there was added the following account in the
Syriac language. ”After the ascension of Jesus, Judas, [224] who was
also called Thomas, sent to him Thaddeus, an apostle, [225] one of the
Seventy. When he was come he lodged with Tobias, [226] the son of
Tobias. When the report of him got abroad, it was told Abgarus that an
apostle of Jesus was come, as he had written him.

11. Thaddeus began then in the power of God to heal every disease and
infirmity, insomuch that all wondered. And when Abgarus heard of the
great and wonderful things which he did and of the cures which he
performed, he began to suspect that he was the one of whom Jesus had
written him, saying, `After I have been taken up I will send to thee
one of my disciples who will heal thee.’

12. Therefore, summoning Tobias, with whom Thaddeus lodged, he said, I
have heard that a certain man of power has come and is lodging in thy
house. Bring him to me. And Tobias coming to Thaddeus said to him, The
ruler Abgarus summoned me and told me to bring thee to him that thou
mightest heal him. And Thaddeus said, I will go, for I have been sent
to him with power.

13. Tobias therefore arose early on the following day, and taking
Thaddeus came to Abgarus. And when he came, the nobles were present and
stood about Abgarus. And immediately upon his entrance a great vision
appeared to Abgarus in the countenance of the apostle Thaddeus. When
Abgarus saw it he prostrated himself before Thaddeus, while all those
who stood about were astonished; for they did not see the vision, which
appeared to Abgarus alone.

14. He then asked Thaddeus if he were in truth a disciple of Jesus the
Son of God, who had said to him, `I will send thee one of my disciples,
who shall heal thee and give thee life.’ And Thaddeus said, Because
thou hast mightily believed in him that sent me, therefore have I been
sent unto thee. And still further, if thou believest in him, the
petitions of thy heart shall be granted thee as thou believest.

15. And Abgarus said to him, So much have I believed in him that I
wished to take an army and destroy those Jews who crucified him, had I
not been deterred from it by reason of the dominion of the Romans. And
Thaddeus said, Our Lord has fulfilled the will of his Father, and
having fulfilled it has been taken up to his Father. And Abgarus said
to him, I too have believed in him and in his Father.

16. And Thaddeus said to him, Therefore I place my hand upon thee in
his name. And when he had done it, immediately Abgarus was cured of the
disease and of the suffering which he had.

17. And Abgarus marvelled, that as he had heard concerning Jesus, so he
had received in very deed through his disciple Thaddeus, who healed him
without medicines and herbs, and not only him, but also Abdus [227] the
son of Abdus, who was afflicted with the gout; for he too came to him
and fell at his feet, and having received a benediction by the
imposition of his hands, he was healed. The same Thaddeus cured also
many other inhabitants of the city, and did wonders and marvelous
works, and preached the word of God.

18. And afterward Abgarus said, Thou, O Thaddeus, doest these things
with the power of God, and we marvel. But, in addition to these things,
I pray thee to inform me in regard to the coming of Jesus, how he was
born; and in regard to his power, by what power he performed those
deeds of which I have heard.

19. And Thaddeus said, Now indeed will I keep silence, since I have
been sent to proclaim the word publicly. But tomorrow assemble for me
all thy citizens, and I will preach in their presence and sow among
them the word of God, concerning the coming of Jesus, how he was born;
and concerning his mission, for what purpose he was sent by the Father;
and concerning the power of his works, and the mysteries which he
proclaimed in the world, and by what power he did these things; and
concerning his new preaching, and his abasement and humiliation, and
how he humbled himself, and died and debased his divinity and was
crucified, and descended into Hades, [228] and burst the bars which
from eternity had not been broken, [229] and raised the dead; for he
descended alone, but rose with many, and thus ascended to his Father.

20. Abgarus therefore commanded the citizens to assemble early in the
morning to hear the preaching of Thaddeus, and afterward he ordered
gold and silver to be given him. But he refused to take it, saying, If
we have forsaken that which was our own, how shall we take that which
is another’s? These things were done in the three hundred and fortieth
year.” [231]

I have inserted them here in their proper place, translated from the
Syriac [232] literally, and I hope to good purpose.

[214] Abgarus was the name of several kings of Edessa, who reigned at
various periods from b.c. 99 to a.d. 217. The Abgar contemporary with
Christ was called Abgar Ucomo, or ”the Black.” He was the fifteenth
king, and reigned, according to Gutschmid, from a.d. 13 to a.d. 50. A
great many ecclesiastical fictions have grown up around his name, the
story, contained in its simplest form in the present chapter, being
embellished with many marvelous additions. A starting-point for this
tradition of the correspondence with Christ,–from which in turn grew
all the later legends,–may be found in the fact that in the latter
part of the second century there was a Christian Abgar, King of Edessa,
at whose court Bardesanes, the Syrian Gnostic, enjoyed high favor, and
it is certain that Christianity had found a foothold in this region at
a much earlier period. Soon after the time of this Abgar the pretended
correspondence was very likely forged, and foisted back upon the Abgar
who was contemporary with Christ. Compare Cureton’s Anc. Syriac
Documents relative go the Earliest Establishment of Christianity in
Edessa, London, 1864.

[215] On the traditions in regard to Thomas, see Bk. III. chap 1.

[216] See chap. 12, note 11.

[217] Edessa, the capital of Abgar’s dominions, was a city of Northern
Mesopotamia, near the river Euphrates. History knows nothing of the
city before the time of the Seleucidae, though tradition puts its
origin back into distant antiquity, and some even identify it with
Abraham’s original home, Ur of the Chaldees. In the history of the
Christian Church it played an important part as a centre of Syrian
learning. Ephraem, the Syrian, founded a seminary there in the fourth
century, which after his death fell into the hands of the Arians.

[218] We have no reason to doubt that Eusebius, who is the first to
mention these apocryphal epistles, really found them in the public
archives at Edessa. Moses Chorenensis, the celebrated Armenian
historian of the fifth century, who studied a long time in Edessa, is
an independent witness to their existence in the Edessene archives.
Eusebius has been accused of forging this correspondence himself; but
this unworthy suspicion has been refuted by the discovery and
publication of the original Syriac (The Doct. of Addai the Apostle,
with an English Translation and Notes, by G. Phillips, London, 1876;
compare also Contemp. Rev., May, 1877, p. 1137). The epistles were
forged probably long before his day, and were supposed by him to be
genuine. His critical insight, but not his honesty, was at fault. The
apocryphal character of these letters is no longer a matter of dispute,
though Cave and Grabe defended their genuineness (so that Eusebius is
in good company), and even in the present century Rinck (Ueber die
Echtheit des Briefwechsels des Koenigs Abgars mit Jesu, Zeitschrift
fuer Hist. Theol., 1843, II. p. 326) has had the hardihood to enter the
lists in their defense; but we know of no one else who values his
critical reputation so little as to venture upon the task.

[219] Eusebius does not say directly that he translated these documents
himself, but this seems to be the natural conclusion to be drawn from
his words. ;;Emin is used only with analephtheison, and not with
metabletheison. It is impossible, therefore, to decide with certainty;
but the documents must have been in Syriac in the Edessene archives,
and Eusebius’ words imply that, if he did not translate them himself,
he at least employed some one else to do it. At the end of this chapter
he again uses an indefinite expression, where perhaps it might be
expected that he would tell us directly if he had himself translated
the documents.

[220] In the greatly embellished narrative of Cedrenus (Hist.
Compendium, p. 176; according to Wright, in his article on Abgar in the
Dict. of Christian Biog.) this Ananias is represented as an artist who
endeavored to take the portrait of Christ, but was dazzled by the
splendor of his countenance; whereupon Christ, having washed his face,
wiped it with a towel, which miraculously retained an image of his
features. The picture thus secured was carried back to Edessa, and
acted as a charm for the preservation of the city against its enemies.
The marvelous fortunes of the miraculous picture are traced by Cedrenus
through some centuries (see also Evagrius, H. E. IV. 27).

[221] The expression ”Son of God” could not be used by a heathen prince
as it is used here.

[222] Compare John xx. 29.

[223] gegraptai, as used by Christ and his disciples, always referred
to the Old Testament. The passage quoted here does not occur in the Old
Testament; but compare Isa. vi. 9, Jer. v. 21, and Ezek. xii. 2; and
also Matt. xiii. 14, Mark iv. 12, and especially Acts xxviii. 26-28 and
Rom. xi. 7 sq.

[224] Thomas is not commonly known by the name of Judas, and it is
possible that Eusebius, or the translator of the document, made a
mistake, and applied to Thomas a name which in the original was given
to Thaddeus. But Thomas is called Judas Thomas in the Apocryphal Acts
of Thomas, and in the Syriac Doctrina Apostolorum, published by

[225] The word ”apostle” is by no means confined to the twelve apostles
of Christ. The term was used very commonly in a much wider sense, and
yet the combination, ”the apostle, one of the Seventy,” in this
passage, does not seem natural, and we cannot avoid the conclusion that
the original author of this account did not thus describe Thaddeus. The
designation, ”one of the Seventy,” carries the mind back to Christ’s
own appointment of them, recorded by Luke, and the term ”apostle,” used
in the same connection, would naturally denote one of the Twelve
appointed by Christ,–that is, an apostle in the narrow sense. It might
be suggested as possible that the original Syriac connected the word
”apostle” with Thomas, reading, ”Thomas the apostle sent Judas, who is
also called Thaddeus, one of the Seventy,” &c. Such a happy confusion
is not beyond the power of an ancient translator, for most of whom
little can be said in the way of praise. That this can have been the
case in the present instance, however, is rendered extremely improbable
by the fact that throughout this account Thaddeus is called an apostle,
and we should therefore expect the designation upon the first mention
of him. It seems to me much more probable that the words, ”one of the
Seventy,” are an addition of Eusebius, who has already, in two places
(S:4, above, and chap. 12, S:3), told us that Thaddeus was one of them.
It is probable that the original Syriac preserved the correct tradition
of Thaddeus as one of the Twelve; while Eusebius, with his false
tradition of him as one of the Seventy, takes pains to characterize him
as such, when he is first introduced, but allows the word ”apostle,” so
common in its wider sense, to stand throughout. He does not intend to
correct the Syriac original; he simply defines Thaddeus, as he
understands him, more closely.

[226] Tobias was very likely a Jew, or of Jewish extraction, the name
being a familiar one among the Hebrews. This might have been the reason
that Thaddeus (if he went to Edessa at all) made his home with him.

[227] Moses Chorenensis reads instead (according to Rinck), ”Potagrus,
the son of Abdas.” Rinck thinks it probable that Eusebius or the
translator made a mistake, confusing the Syrian name Potagrus with the
Greek word podEURgra, ”a sort of gout,” and then inserting a second
Abdas. The word ”Podagra” is Greek and could not have occurred in the
Armenian original, and therefore Eusebius is to be corrected at this
point by Moses Chorenensis (Rinck, ibid. p. 18). The Greek reads
,’Abdon ton tou ,’Abdou podEURgran zchonta.

[228] This is probably the earliest distinct and formal statement of
the descent into Hades; but no special stress is laid upon it as a new
doctrine, and it is stated so much as a matter of course as to show
that it was commonly accepted at Edessa at the time of the writing of
these records, that is certainly as early as the third century. Justin,
Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, &c., all witness
to the belief of the Church in this doctrine, though it did not form an
article in any of the older creeds, and appeared in the East first in
certain Arian confessions at about 360 a.d. In the West it appeared
first in the Aquileian creed, from which it was transferred to the
Apostles’ creed in the fifth century or later. The doctrine is stated
in a very fantastic shape in the Gospel of Nicodemus, part II.
(Ante-Nicene Fathers, Am. ed. VIII. p. 435 sq.), which is based upon an
apocryphal gospel of the second century, according to Tischendorf. In
it the descent of Christ into Hades and his ascent with a great
multitude are dwelt upon at length. Compare Pearson, On the Creed, p.
340 sq.; Schaff’s Creeds of Christendom, I. p. 46; and especially,
Plumptre’s Spirits in Prison, p. 77 sq.

[229] Compare the Gospel of Nicodemus, II. 5.

[230] katabas gar monos sunegeiren pollous, eith’ houtos anebe pros ton
patera autou. Other mss. read katebe monos, anebe de meta pollou ochlou
pros ton patera autou. Rufinus translates Qui descendit quidem solus,
ascendit autem cum grandi multitudine ad patrem suum. Compare the words
of Cyril of Jerusalem (Catech. IV. 11): katelthen eis ta katachthonia,
hina kakeithen lutrosetai tous dikaious, ”He descended into the depths,
that he might ransom thence the just.”

[231] According to the Chronicle of Eusebius (ed. Schoene, II. p. 116)
the Edessenes dated their era from the year of Abraham 1706 (b.c. 310),
which corresponded with the second year of the one hundred and
seventeenth Olympiad (or, according to the Armenian, to the third year
of the same Olympiad), the time when Seleucus Nicanor began to rule in
Syria. According to this reckoning the 340th year of the Edessenes
would correspond with the year of Abraham 2046, the reign of Tiberius
16 (a.d. 30); that is, the second year of the two hundred and second
Olympiad (or, according to the Armenian, the third year of the same).
According to the Chronicle of Eusebius, Jesus was crucified in the
nineteenth year of Tiberius (year of Abraham 2048 = a.d. 32), according
to Jerome’s version in the eighteenth year (year of Abraham 2047 = a.d.
31). Thus, as compared with these authorities, the 340th year of the
Edessenes falls too early. But Tertullian, Lactantius, Augustine, and
others put Christ’s death in 783 U.C., that is in 30 a.d., and this
corresponds with the Edessene reckoning as given by Eusebius.

[232] See note 6.