[*](1 One manuscript adds, “ Beware, reader, οf being caught by the heretical tendency of the writer, for though his present book is peculiarly valuable as history, nevertheless though in some places he speaks unconditionally concerning God and attributes divinity to him, and here to some his opinions seem sound, yet in οthers he speaks of the Father and the Son and the Ηoly Spirit and everywhere represents the Son as subordinate and secondary and the servant of the Father, for he was an Arian and guardedly manifests his opinion.”)
CONTENTS ΟF BOOK Ι
The first book of the Ecclesiastical History contains the following :
I. What are the presuppositions of the Promise.
II. Α summary account of the pre-existence of, and attribution of divinity to, our Saviour and Lord, the Christ of God.
III. How both the name of Jesus and even that of Christ itself were known from the first and honoured by the inspired prophets.
ΙV. How there was nothing revolutionary or strange in the character of the religion announced by him to all the nations.
V. Concerning the time of his appearance to men.
VI. How in his time in agreement with prophecy the previous line of ancestral rulers of the Jewish nation died out, and Herod, the first foreigner, were their king.
VII. Concerning the supposed discrepancy in the Gospels on the genealogy as to Christ.
VIII. Concerning the plot of Herod against the
children and the catastrophe which overtook him in his Ιife.
IX. Concerning the times of Pilate.
X. Concerning the high priests among the Jews in whose time the Christ gave his teaching.
XI. The evidence relating to John the Baptist and the Christ.
XII. Concerning the disciples of our Saviour.
XIII. Α narrative concerning the ruler of the Edessenes.1
THE ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF EUSEBIUS
I. I. HAVE purposed to record in writing the successions οf the sacred apostles, covering the period stretching from our Saviour to ourselves ; the number add character of the transactions recorded in the history οf the Church ; the number of those who were distinguished in her government and leadership in the provinces οf greatest fame ; the number of those who in each generation were the ambassadors of the word of God either by speech οr pen ; the names, the number and the age of those who, driven by the desire of innovation to an extremity of error, have heralded themselves as the introducers of Knowledge, falsely so-called, ravaging the flock of Christ unsparingly, like grim wolves. To this I will add the fate which has beset the whole nation οf the Jews from the moment of their plot against οur saviour ; moreover, the number and nature and times οf the wars waged by the heathen against the divine word 1 and the character οf those who, for its sake, passed from time to time through the contest οf blood and torture ; furthermore the [*](1 Or possibly “ the Divine Logos.”)
martyrdoms of our own time, and the gracious and favouring help of our Saviour in them all. Μy starting-point is therefore no other than the first dispensation of God touching our Saviour and Lord, Jesus the Christ. Even at that point the project at once demands the lenience of the kindly, for confessedly it is beyond our power to fulfil the promise, complete and perfect, since we are the first to enter on the undertaking, as travellers on some desolate and untrodden way. We pray God to give us his guidance, and that we may have the help of the power of the Lord, for nowhere can we find even the bare footsteps of men who have preceded us in the same path, unless it be those slight indications by which in divers ways they have left to us partial accounts of the times through which they have passed, raising their voices as a man holds up a torch from afar, calling to us from on high as from a distant watch-tower, and telling us how we must walk, and how to guide the course of our work without error or danger. We have therefore collected from their scattered memoirs all that we think will be useful for the present subject, and have brought together the utterances of the ancient writers themselves that are appropriate to it, culling, as it were, the flowers of intellectual fields. We shall endeavour to give them unity by historical treatment, rejoicing to rescue the successions, if not of all, at least of the most distinguished of the apostles of our Saviour throughout those ehurches of which the fame is still remembered. To work at this subject Ι consider especially necessary, because I am not aware
that any Christian 1 writer has until now paid attention to this kind of writing ; and I hope that its high value will be evident to those who are convinced of the importance of a knowledge of the history. Ι have already summarized the material in the chronological tables which I have drawn up, but nevertheless in the present work I have undertaken to give the narrative in full detail.
Ι will begin with what, apprehended in relation to Christ, is beyond man in its height and greatness, — the dispensation of God, and the ascription of divinity.2 For he who plans to hand on in writing the history of Christian origins is forced to begin from the first dispensation concerning the Christ himself, which is more divine than it seems to most, seeing that from him we claim to derive our very name.
II. Now his nature was twofold ; on the one hand like the head of the body, in that he is recognized as God, on the other comparable to the feet, in that he put on for the sake of our own salvation, man of like passions with us. Therefore to make our description of what follows complete we should start the whole narrative concerning him by the most capital and dominant points of the discussion. By this means, moreover, the real antiquity and divine character of Christianity will be equally demonstrated to those who suppose that it iS recent and foreign, appearing no earlier than yesterday.[*](2 οἰκονομία and θεολογία are semi-technical terms. The οἰκονομία or “ dispensation ’’ with regard to Christ was the incarnation of the divine Logos ; the θεολογία was the ascription of divinity to him. Hence this passage might almost be rendered freely as “ the divine and human natures οf Christ, which pass man's understanding.")
No treatise, indeed, could be sufficient for a statement of the origin and dignity, the very bei nature of the Christ : as indeed the divine spirit says in prophecies, “ who will declare his generation ? ’’ seeing that neither does any know the Father save the son, neither did any ever know the son properly, save οnly the Father who begat him. nd who except the Father would ever clearly conceive the ante-mundane light, and that wisdom which was intellectual and real 1 before the ages, the living Logos who was, in the beginning, God by the side of the Father, the first and only offspring οf God, before all creation and fabrication,2 both visible and invisible, the captain of the spiritual and immortal host of heaven, the angel of great counsel, the minister οf the ineffable plan of the Father, the fabricator οf all things along with the Father, the true and only begotten child of God, the Lord and God and King of all begotten, Who has received lordship and might together with deity itself, and power and honour from the Father, according to the mysterious ascription of divinity to him in the Scriptures, “ In the beginning was the Logos and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God, all things were through him, and without him was no single thing ’’ ? This, indeed, is also the teaching of the great Moses, as the most ancient of all prophets, when by divine inspiration he described the coming into being, and the ordering of the universe, that the creator and fabricator of all things gave up to the Chirst himself, and to no other than his [*](1 Or “ substantial ” — but not in the sense of “material.”) [*](2 “ Creation ’’ and “ fabrication ’’ are almost but not quite synonyms. “ Creation ’’ means making out of nothing, and “ fabrication ’’ making οut οf existent matter.)
divine and first-born Logos, the making οf subordinate thinks and communed with him concerning the creation of man. “ For,” he says, “ God let us make man in our own image and likeness.” Αnοther of the prophets confirms this saying, ascribing divinity to him in one place in hymns, “ Ηe spake and they were begotten, he commanded and they were ” 1 On the one hand he intro- duces the Father and Maker as a universal sovereign, commanding by his royal nod, and on the other the divine Logos — no other than him who is proclaimed by us — as secondary to him, and ministering to his Father's commands. Him even from creation of mankind did all who are said to have heen pre-eminent in righteousness and virtuous piety recognize by the contemplation of the pure eyes of the mind, and pay him the reverence due to a child of God ; thus did Moses, the great servant, and his fellows, and even before him Abraham, the first, and his children, and all the righteous and prophets who have since appeared ; and he himself, never wearying of piety toward the Father, has been a teacher to all men of knowledge of the Father. Thus the Lord God is said to have appeared as an ordinary man to Abraham, while he was seated by the oak of Mamre. But he fell down immediately, even though he saw him as a man with his eyes, worshipped him as God, besought him as Lord, and confessed that he was not ignorant who he was saying in his own words, [*](“word” as meaning Logos, and thus connects the “ he ’’ οf the verse which he actually quotes with the Logos, not the Father. This was a traditional Christian interpretation and was probably so familiar to Eusebius that he overlooked his omission of the connecting link in the argument.)
“O Lord, that judgest all the earth, wilt thou not do judgement ? ’’ For inasmuch as no reason would allow that the uncreated and unchangeable substance οf the Almighty was converted into the form of man, or deceived the eyes of the beholders by the phantasm of anything created, or that the Scripture has falsely invented such a story, who other could be described as God, and as the Lord who judges all the earth and does judgement, appearing in the form of man (seeing that it is improper to call him the first cause of the universe), than his pre-existent Logos alone ? Αnd concering him it was said in the Psalms, “ Ηe sent forth his Logos and healed them, and he rescued them from their corruptions.” Of him, too, Μoses clearly as a second Lord, after the Father, when he says, “ The Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord. ” Him the divine Scripture also calls God when he appears in human form to Jacob, saying to Jacob, “ Thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name because thou hadst power with God. ” Then, too, “ Jacob called the name οf the place ‘the Vision of God,’ saying, ‘ For I saw God face to face my life was saved.’ ’’ 1 Αnd it cannot be right suppose that the Theophanies described were the appearances of subordinate angels and ministers of God, for whenever οne οf these appears to men the scripture does not conceal it, but says definitely that they are called angels, not God or Lord, as it is easy to prove from countless passages. Ηim, too, Joshua, the successor of Moses, calls the chief captain οf the host of the Lord, as if he were the [*](1 The allusion is to the Septuagint text of Gen. xxxii. 30.)
leader of the heavenly angels and archangels, and the supernal powers, and as if he were of the power and wisdom of the Father, entrusted with the second rank in his universal kingdom and rule, though Joshua, too, saw him in none but human form and shape. Ιt is written at least, “ And it eame to pass, while Joshua was in Jericho that he looked up and saw a man standing over against him, and his sword was drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said, Αrt thou for us or for our adversaries ? Αnd he said to him, As chief captain of the host of the Lord am Ι now come. Αnd Joshua fell on his face on the earth, and said to him, Lord, what dost thou command thy servant ? And the chief captain of the Lord said to Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is a holy place.” Here, too, you will perceive from the words themselves that this is none other than he who spoke also to Moses, for of him also the Scripture uses the same words, “ And when the Lord saw that he drew night to see, the Lord called him out of the bush saying, Moses, Moses. And said, What is it ? And he said, Do not draw near here. Loose thy shoe from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. And he said to him, I am the God of thy Father, the God of Abraham, and God of Isaac and God of Jacob.” And that there really a certain being living and existent before the world, who ministered to the Father and God of the universe for the fabrication of all created things, called
the Logos and Wisdom of God, can be learned from he actual person of Wisdom herself, in addition to the preceding proofs, for in one place she tells her own secret very clearly through Solomon, “ Ι, Wisdom, made Counsel my habitation and I invoked Knowledge and Thought ; through me kings reign, and the mighty inscribe justice ; by me great men are magnified, and sovereigns rule the earth through me.” Αnd to this she adds, ‘‘ The Lord created as the beginning of his ways for his works ; he established me before the world ; in the beginning, before the making of the earth, before the springs οf water came forth, before the mountains were founded, and before all hills, he begat me. When he prepared the heaven, I was present with him, and when he made safe the springs which are under heaven, I was with him giving them order. I was she in whom he rejoiced daily and I exulted before him at all times, when he exulted that he bad completed the world.” Thus let this be short proof that the divine Logos pre-existed, and appeared to some, if not to all, men.
It must now be demonstrated why this announcement was not formerly made, long ago, to all men and all nations, as it is now. The life of men in the past was not capable οf receiving the complete wisdom and virtue of the teaching of Christ. For at the beginning, after the first life in blessedness, the first man, despising the command of God, fell at once to this mortal and perishable life, and exchanged the former divine delights for this earth
with its curse ; and after him those who filled all our world were manifestly much worse, withy the exception of one or two, and chose some brutal habit of life, unworthy of the name. They gave no thought to city or state, to art or knowledge, they had not even the name of laws and decrees or virtue and philosophy, but they lived as nomads in the wildernesses like savage and unbridled being ; they destroyed by their excess of self-chosen wickedness the natural reasonings, and the germs οf thought and gentleness in the human soul ; they gave themselves up completely to all iniquity so that at one time they corrupted one another, at another they murdered οne another, at another they were cannibals; they ventured on conflicts with God and on the battles οf the giants famous among all men ; they thought to wall up the earth to heaven, and in the madness of a perverted mind prepared for war against the supreme God himself. while they were leading this life, God, the guardian of all, pursued them with floods and conflagrations, as though they had been a wild forest scattered throughout the whole earth ; he cut them off with perpetual famines and plagues, by wars and by thunderbolts from οn high, as if he were restraining by bitter chastisement some terrible and grievous disease of their souls. Then, indeed, when the great flood οf evil had come nigh overwhelming all men, like a terrible intoxication overshadowing and darkening the souls οf almost all, the first-begotten and firstcreated Wisdom of God, the pre-existent Logos himself, in his exceeding kindness appeared to his subjects, at one time by a vision οf angels, at another
personally to one or two of the God-fearing men of old, as a saving power οf God, yet in no other form than human, for they could not receive him otherwise.
But when the seeds of true religion had been strewn by them among a multitude of men, and a whole nation, sprung from the Hebrews, existed on earth, cleaving to true religion, he handed on to them, through the prophet Moses, images and symbols οf a certain mysterious sabbath and of circum. cision and instruction in οther spiritual principles, but not unveiled initiation itself, for many of them had still been brought up in the old practices. Their Law became famous and spread among all men like a fragrant breeze. Beginning with them the minds of most οf the heathen were softened by the law givers and philosophers who arose everywhere. Savage and unbridled brutality was changed to mild, ness, so that deep peace, friendship, and mutual intercourse obtained. Then, at last, when all men, even the heathen throughout the world, were now fitted for the benefits perpared for them beforehand, for the reception of knowledge of the Father, then again that same divine and heavenly Logos of God, the teacher of virtues, the minister of the Father in all good things, appeared at the beginning οf the Roman Εmpire through man. In nothing did he change our nature as touching bodily substance; his acts and sufferings were such as were consistent with the prophecies which foretell that man and God shall live together to do marvellous
deeds, and to teach to all Gentiles the worship of the Father, and that the marvel of his birth and his new teaching and the wonder of his deeds will be made manifest together with the manner of his death and resurrection from the dead, and, above all, his divine restoration to Heaven. Daniel the prophet, in a moment of inspiration, saw by the divine spirit his final sovereignty, and describes the vision of God in human wise : “ For I beheld,” said, “ until thrones were set and an Ancient of Days did sit. Αnd his garment was white like snow and the hair of his head was like pure wool ; his throne was a flame of fire, his wheels were flaming fire, a river of fire ran before him, thousand thousands ministered unto him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him, the judgement sat, and books were ” Αnd he goes on to say, “ I beheld, and lo, one like to a son of man coming with the clouds of Heaven, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was brought before him. Αnd to him was given the sovereignty and honour and kingdom, and all the people, tribes, and tongues shall serve him. His power is an everlasting power, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom shall not be destroyed.” Clearly this would apply none but our Saviour, the God-Logos who was in the beginning with God, called “ son of man ’’ because of his ultimate incarnation. However, since we have collected in special treatises the
prophetic utterances concerning our Saviour Jesus ist, and in others have given a fuller demonation οf our statements concerning him, we will t content in the present work with what has now en said.
III. It is now time to demonstrate that the very es “Jesus, ” and especially “Christ, ” honour by the ancient God-loving prophets themelves. Moses was himself the first to recognize w peculiarly august and glorious is the name of hrist, when he delivered the tradition of the types d symbols of heavenly things, and the mysterious ages, in accordance with the oracle which said him, “ See thou shalt make all thins according the type which was shown thee in the mount ’’ ; r in describing the Ηigh Ρriest οf God as a man supreme power, he calls him Christ, and, as a mark of honour and glory, surrounds with the name Christ this rank οf the High Priesthood, which with him surpassed all pre-eminence among men. us then he knew the divine character of “Christ. e himself also was inspired very clearly to foresee e title “Jesus, ” and it again he endued with rivilege. Though before it was made known to oses it had never been previously pronounced men, Moses gave the title, Jesus, to him first, d to him alone, who, once more typically and bolically, he knew would receive the rule οver after his death. His successor, at any rate, had οt previously used the title “Jesus, ” but was y another name, “ Αuses,’’ which his parents had iven him, and Moses calls him Jesus, as a precious ivilege greater than any royal crown, giving to
him the name because Jesus the son of Nave1 himself bore the image οf οur Saviour who alone, after Moses and the completion of the symbolic worship 2 delivered by Moses, did receive the rule of the true and pure religion. In this way Moses as a mark of the greatest honour surrounds with the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ the two men who in his day excelled all the people in virtue and glory — the Ηigh Ρriest and him who should rule after him. Clearly, too, did the later prophets foretell the Christ by name, giving their testimony beforehand alike to the future intrigue οf the people of the Jews against him, and to the calling οf the Gentiles through him. At one time Jeremiah says, “ The spirit of our face, Christ the Lord was taken in their corruptions, and we said we will live in his shadow among the ” Αt another time David in perplexity says as follows, “ Wherefore did the heathen rage, and the peoples imagine vain things ? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his ” In the following verses he goes on to speak in the person of Christ himself, “The Lord said to me, Thou art my son, to-day have I begotten thee. Αsk of me and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” Ηowever was not only those that were honoured with the Ηigh Priesthood, and anointed for the sake of the symbol with prepared οil, that were decorated among the Hebrews with the name “ Christ ’’ ; but [*](2 i.e. the Jewish worship symbolized the future Christianity.)
also the kings, for they also, at the bidding of God, re made Christs in a certain symbolism by the rophets who anointed them, inasmuch as they also re in themselves the types οf the royal and vereign power οf the οnly true Christ, the divine gos who reigns over all. we have also received he tradition that some οf the prophets themselves by anointing already become Christs in type, eing that they all refer to the true Christ, the ivine and heavenly Logos, οf the world the only igh Priest, οf all creation the οnly king, of the rophets the only archprophet of the Father. The roof of this is that no οne of those symbolically ointed of old, whether priests or kings οr prophets, tained such power οf divine virtue as our Saviour d Lord, Jesus, the only real Christ, has exhibited. one indeed of them, though renowned in rank nd honour for so many generations among their people, ever gave the name of Christian to their bjects from the symbolical application to themlves of the name of Christ. The honour of worship as not paid to any of them by their subjects, nor d they hold them in such affection after their eath as to be ready to die for him whom they noured. For none of the men of those days as there such disturbance of all the nations throught all the world, since the power οf the symbol was incapable οf producing such an effect among them the presence of the reality manifested by our viour ; for he received from none the symbol and of the Ηigh Priesthood, nor did he trace his
physical descent from the race οf priests, nor was he promoted to a kingdom by the armed force οf men, nor did he become a prophet in the same way as those οf οld, nor did he hold any rank at all or precedence among the Jews, yet with all these he had been adorned, not in symbols, but in actual reality by the Father. Though he did not obtain the honours οf which we have spoken before, he is called Christ more than any of them, and inasmuch as he is himself the only true Christ of God, he filled the whole world with Christians — his truly reverend and sacred name. He no longer gave to his initiates types or images but the uncovered virtues themselves and the heavenly life, in the actual doctrines οf truth, and he has received the chrism, not that which is prepared materially 1 but the divine anointing itself with the spirit of God, by sharing in the unbegotten divinity of the Father. Again, Isaiah teaches this very point, for in one place he exclaims as if from Christ himself, “ The spirit of the Lord was upon me, wherefore he anointed me : he sent me to preach the gospel to the poor, to announce release to prisoners, and sight to the blind.” 2 Αnd οnly Isaiah but also David speaks with reference to him and says, “ Thy throne, o God, is for ever and ever, a rod of uprightness is the rod of thy kingdom. Thou didst love righteousness and didst hate iniquity. For this cause God, even thy God, anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy ” In this the text calls him God in the first verse, and in the second honours him with the royal sceptre, and then goes on, after royal and [*](1 Or, if ἀρωμάτων be read, “ with spices.”) [*](2 The punctuation of this passage is based on Eusebius's Ecl. Proph. 229. 13.)
divine power, to present him in the third place as having become Christ, anointed not with oil ade of material substances but with the divine “ οil οf gladness.” Αnd in addition to this dicates his peculiar distinction and superiority to those who in the past had been more materially anointed as types.1 And in another plaee too the same David explains his position as follows : “ The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies the footstool of thy eet.” Αnd, “ Before the day-star I begat from the womb. The Lord sware and will not repent, ou art a priest for ever after the οrder of Melchisedek.” Νοw this Melchisedek is introduced in he sacred books as priest of the most high God, ithout having been so marked out by any material ction, or even as belonging by racial descent to e priesthood οf the Ηebrews. For this reason οur aviour has been called Christ and priest, on the uthority of an οath, according to his order and not according to that of the others Who received symbols nd types. For this reason, too, the narrative does ot relate that he was anointed physically by the ews or even that he was or the tribe of those who old the priesthood, but that he received his being m God himself before the day-star, that is to y, before the construction οf the world, and holds is priesthood to boundless eternity, ageless and ortal. Α weighty and clear proof of the aterial 2 and divine anointing effected on him that he alone, out of all who have ever yet been [*](2 Gk. ἀσώματος. The use of this word as a technical meaning “ immaterial ’’ has a long history, but it was pularized in Christian metaphysics, especially by Origen.)
until now, is called Christ among all men throughout the whole whole; that under this title he is confessed and borne witness to by all, and is mentioned thus by Jews, Greeks, and barbarians; that until is present day he is honoured honoured by his worshippers throughout the world as king, wondered at more an a Ρrophet, and glorified as the true and only High Priest οf God, and, above all, as the Logos of God, pre-existent, having his being before all ages, and having received the right οf reverence from the Father, and that he is worshipped as God. Strangest of all, we who have been consecrated to him, honour him not οnly with our voices and with the sound of words, but with the whole disposition of our soul, so as to value testimony to him more than our very life itself.
IV. Let these observations suffice me, as needed before beginning the history, that no one might think or our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ, as a novelty because of the date of his ministry in the either was new and strange, inasmuch as it was put together by a youth no better than the rest of men, come, let us discuss this point briefly. For when the advcnt of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, reeently shone forth on all men, it was confessedly a new race which has thus appeared in such numbers, in accordance with the ineffable prophecies of the date, and is honoured by all by the name of Christ, but it is not little nor weak, nor founded in some obscure corner οf the earth, earth, but the most populous of all and invincible in that it ever finds help from God.
It was at this that one of the prophets was amazed when, by the eye of the divine spirit, he foresaw the future which was to be, so that he exclaimed, “Who heard these things and who spoke thus? Did the earth travail in one day, and was a nation born at once ?” Αnd the same writer also indicates in one place its future title, saying, “Αnd a new name shall be called on those who serve me, which shall be blessed on the earth.” But even if we are clearly new, and this really fresh name of Christians is recently known among all nations, nevertheless our life and method of conduet, in accordanee with the precepts of religion, has not been recently invented by us, but from the first creation of man, so to speak, has been upheld by the natural concepts of the men of old who were the friends of God, as we will here demonstrate. The race of the Hebrews is not new and is itself well known to all. Now, stories and documents belonging to it concern ancient men, few and scarce in number, yet remarkable for piety and righteousness and for all other virtues. Divers οf them, indeed, were before the flood, and after it were others, and, (to say nothing of the children and descendants of Νoah), especially Αbraham, whom the children of the Hebrews boast as their οwn originator and ancestor. If the line be traced back from Αbraham to the first man, anyone who should describe those who have obtained a good testimony for righteousness, as Christians in fact,
if not in name, would not shoot wide of the truth. Fοr the name signifies that through the knowledge of Christ and his teaching the Christian man excels sobriety and righteousness, in control of life and courageous virtue, and in the confession that God ver all is but one; and for zeal in all this they are not inferior to us. They had no care for bodily circumcision any more than we, nor for the keekping Sabbaths any more than we, nor for abstinenee from certain foods nor the distinction between others (such as Moses afterwards first began to hand down their successors) nor for symbolic ceremony any more than christians care for such things now, but they clearly knew him as the Christ of God, seeing at it has aheady been demonstrated that he peared to Αbraham, addressed Isaac, spoke to srael, and conversed with Moses and the later prophets. Whence you would find that those Godlving men obtained even the name οf Christ accordto the word spoken concerning them, “ Touch not my Christs and act not wickedly among my prophets.” So that it must cleariy be held that the announcement to all the Gentiles, recently made through the teaching of Christ, is the very first and most aneient and antique discovery of true religion by Αbraham and those lovers of God who followed him. Αnd even if they say that Αbraham it has been related that, before this command, he received a good testimony for righteousness through faith, as the divine word says, “Αnd Αbraham be- [*](1 Literally “ observation,” i.e. in order to avoid.)
lieved God and it was reckoned to him for ” Αnd to him, just as he was, before circumcision, was the oraele given by the God who showed himself to him (and this was the Christ himself, the word of God), concerning those who in time to come would be justified in the same manner as himself, in the following promise, “ Αnd in thee shall all the tribes of the earth be ” and, “ It shall be a great and numerous nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in ” Νow this is obviously intelligible as fulffiled in us ; for it was by faith towards the Logos of God, the Christ who had appeared to him, that he was justified, and gave up the superstition οf his fathers, and his rmer erroneous life, and confessed the God who is over all to be one ; and him he served by virtuous deeds, not by the worship of the law of Moses, ho eame later. To him, just he was then, was t said that all the tribes of the earth and all the nations 1 will be blessed in him ; and more clearly than auy words do faets show that at the present moment it is only among Christians throughout the whole world that the manner of religion which was braham's can actually be found in practice. What bjection then can there be to admitting that the fe and pious conduct of us, who belong to Christ, and οf the God-loving men οf old is one and the same? us we have demonstrated that the practice of ty handed down by the teaching of Christ is not ew strange, but, if one must speak truthfully, rimitive, unique, and true. Αnd let this suffice.[*](“heathen. ” The Chureh took over from Hellenistic aism the usage οf calling itself “ the ” ὁ λαός) as tinguished from “ the nations ’’ τὰ ἔθνη).)
v. So then, after the neeessary preliminaries to the history of the Church proposed by us, let us begin, as if starting a journey, with the appearanee οf our Saviour in the flesh, after invoking God, the Father of the Logos, and Jesus Christ himself, our Saviour and Lord, the heavenly Logos of God, to give us help and assistance to truth in the narra- (??)ive. It was, then, the forty-second year of the reign of Augustus, Augustus,1 and the twenty-eighth year after the submission of Egypt and the death of Αntony and Cleopatra (and with her the Egyptian dynasty of the Ptolemies came to an end), when our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, in aecordance with the prophecies concerning him, was born in Bethlehem of Judaea at the time of the census which then hrst took place, while Quirinus was Governor of Syria. This census in the time of Quirinius,2 Flavius Josephus, the most famous of the historians among the Hebrews, also mentions, and joins to the narrative another coneerning the seet of the Galileans which arose at the same time. Our own Luke has also mentioned this in one place in the Acts, saying “ Αfter this man arose Judas the Galilean, in the
days or the census, and led away the people after him and he perished and all who obeyed him were ” In agrecment with this, in the eighteenth book of the Antiquities the writer referred to also gives the following detaih : “ Αnd Quirinius, one of those called to the Senate, who had filled the οther offices and passed through all of them to become Consul, and was otherwise οf high rank, reached Syria with a small staff, having been sent by caesar to administer the people and to make a valuation of their ” And a little later he says, “ Αnd Judas, the Gaulonite, of the city called Gamala, took With him Zadok, a Pharisee, and insugated a revolt, for they said that the valuation led to nothing but plain slavery, and they called on the Ρeοple to rally for ” Αnd in he second book of the History of the Jenuish War te writes concerning the same man, “ At this time a Galielean called Judas incited the inhabitant to revolt, calling them cowards to suffer the payment οf tribute to the Romans, and after serving God to endure mortal ’’ So far Josephus.
VI. Νow at this time, when Ηerod was the first foreigner to hold the sovereignty of the Jewish nation, the prophecy made through Moses that “ A rule shall not fail from Judah nor a leader from his loins until he come for whom it is reserved ’’ 1 began be fulmled. Moses also shows that this one will the “ expectation of the ” Obviously the terms of the prediction were unfulfilled so long [*](1 The Hebrew text of this passage is, accurately rendered, untiI Shiloh ” but has no discoverable meaning. The text οf the LXX. varies between “ until therc come him reservfed for ” for whom it is res reserved ” and “until there come the things reserved for him.”)
as it was possible for the Jews to live under the native rulers of the nation, beginning with Moses himself and lasting down to the reign of Augusturs; hut in his time the first foreigner, Ηerod, was entrusted by the Romans with the govemment οf the Jews. Ηe was, as Josephus relates, an Idumaean οn his father's side and an Αrab on his mother's, but according to Αffieanus (nor was he any ordinary historian) those Who give accurate information concerning Herod say that Antipater (he was his father) Was the son οf a certain Ηerod of Ascalon, and οne οf those called hierodouloi 1 in the temple of Apollo. This Αntipater was eaptured as a child by Idumaean brogands, and stayed with them because his father Was unable on aeeount of poverty to pay ransom for him. Ηe was brought up in their customs and later οn was befriended hy Hyrcanus the high priest of the Jews. Ηis child was the Herod of our Saviour's time. When therefore the kingdom of the Jews came to sueh a man as this the expectation of the Gentiles, in accordance with the propheey, was already at the door, inasumuch as the succession from Moses of rulers and governors ceased with him. Before their captivity and removal to Babylon, kings had ruled them, beginning with Saul, the nrSt king, and David ; and before the kings, rulers called judges administered them and these began after Moses and his suecessor, Joshua. After the return from Babylon a constitution οf olgarchic aristocracy was continuous (for the [*](1 That is “ temple servants ’’ : their functions were various.)
priests were at the head οf affairs), until Pompey, a Roman general, attacked Jerusalem, besieged it in force, and demed the holy places by intruding into the secret parts of the temple. Ηe sent to Rome as a prisoner with his children the king and high priest, Aristobulus by name, who had contunued the succession of his ancestors until then. To Hyrcanus, the brother of Aristobulus, he handed over the high-priesthood, but made the whole nation οf the Jews from that time tributary to the Romans. As soon as Hyrcanus, the last to whom belonged the high-priestly succession, was taken prisoner by the Parthians, Ηerοd, the Rrst foreigner, as I just sriald, was entrurted with the nation of the Jews by the senate of the Romans and the Εmperοr Αugustus. The advent of Christ clearly came in his time, and thus the expected salvation and camng of the Gentiles followed consistently with the prophecy moreover, from the time when the rulers and govemors from Judah, that is to say those of the Jewish race, had ceased, immediate confusion naturally ensued in the affairs οf the priesthood which passed steaffidlly to the nearest heirs from generation to generation from the ancestors. Of this, too, you have Josephus as a valuable witness, for be explains how Ηerod, when he was entrurted with thc kingdom b y the Romans, no longer appointed tigh priests of the ancient race but assigned the honour to certain obscure persons ; and that Ηerοd’s policy with regard to the appointment of the priests was followed by his son Archelaus, and after him by the Romans, when they took over the govemment the Jews. The same writer explains how Ηerοd
was the nrst to lock up and keep under his own seal the sacred robe οf the high Ρriest, for he no longer allowed the high priests to keep it in their own charge, and his successor, Archelaus, and after him the Romans, pursued the same policy. These facts may also serve us as proof of the rulmment οf anothcr prophecy on the manifestation of our Sariour Jesus Christ. It is quite obrious that in Daniel the text dennes the number of certain weeks, which 1 have treated of elsewhere, in so many words as “ until Christ the ” and prophesies that after the accomplishment of these weeks the anointing among the Jews shall be destroyed. The fulmment of this at the time of the birth of our saviour Jesus Christ is clearly demonstrated. These points must suffice as preliminary observations necessary to establish the truth ofthe date.
VII. since Marthew and Luke, having given us different traditions in their gospels concerning the genealogy οf Christ, are eonsidered by many to disargee; ; and since each of the faithful in ignoranee of the truth has been Ζealous in making guesses on these passages, come, let us set out the story that has reached us concerning them, whieh the Africanus mentioned by uS a short time ago narrated in a letter which he wrpte to Aristides on the harmony of the genealogies in the Gospels, confuting the opinions of others as forced and fictitious and setting out his own traditions in the following words : “ Since the names of the families in Israel were numbered either by nature or by law;
by nature, in the succession of legitimate birth ; by law, when a man begat children in the name of a brother who had died childless; for because no certain hope of resurrection had as yet been given they portrayed the future promise by a mortal resurrection, in order that the name of him who had passed away might not fail to remain. since them by following this kind Of genealogy some succeeded in the legitimate order of father and son, but others Were reckoned in name to one father though the children of another, the memory of both was retained, both of the actual and of the fictitious parents. Thus neither of the Gospels misstates, reckonig both nature and law. For the two families, the one descended from Solomon and tlle other from Νathan, Were connected with each other by the ‘ resurrections’ 1 of the childless and second marriages and the rairing up of seed, so that the same persons eould be correetly regarded as the children of different persons at different times, either of their fictitious or of their real fathers. Thus both accounts are strictly true in coming down to Joseph in a manner complicated but accurate. In οrder that What has been said may be clear I will explain the relation of the families. 2 Reckoning the generations from David through Solomon the third from
the end iS found to be Matthan who begat Jacob the father of Joseph; but from Νathan, the son οf David, according to Luke, the corresponding from the end is Melchi; for Joseph as a son or Εli the son of Melchi. So then fixing our attention on Joseph, it must be demonstrated how each is called hiS father, Jaeob traeing his family from Solomon and Eli from Nathan, and how first they, that is Jaeob and Eh, were tWo brothers, and, still earlier, how their fathers, Matthan and Melchi, belonging to different families, are represented as the grandfathers or Joseph. Now Mathan and Melchi, inasmuch as they took the same wife, were the fatherS of step-brothers, for the law doeS not prevent a woman who has lost her husband either by her own divorce or by his death from being married to another. Now from Estha, ror this is the traditional name of the Woman, first Mattan, who reekoned his deseent from solomon, begat Jaeob and when Μatthan was dead, Melchi, who traced himself by family to Νathan, took his widow, for he was of the same tribe though of another family, as I said before, and had a son, Eli. Thus We shall find that though the two families were different Jaeob and Eli were step-brothers of the same mother, and the Brst of them, Jacob, when his brother Eli died without children, took his wife, and begat of her the third, 1 Joseph, according to nature, for himself (and so also according to reason, for which cause it is written, ‘ And Jacob begat Joseph’), but according to law he was the son of Eli, for to him Jacob, being his brother, raised up [*](1 That is, the third from Estha.)
seed. Wherefore the genealogy concerning him will not be inaccurate. Matthew, the evangelist, reckoned it in this way, saying, ‘ Αnd Jacob begat ’ but Luke, on the other hand, said, ‘Who waS, aS it was supposed’ (for he addS this ‘ the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, the son of Melchi,’ for if was impossible to eXpress legal descent more pointedly, and up to the end he suppressed the word ‘ begat ’ concerning sueh raising of children, for he traces the list back to its Source with Αdam the Son of God.’ This is neither deVoid of nor is it conjecture, for the human relatives of the Saviour have handed on this tradition, either from family pride, or merely to give information, but in any case speaking the truth. When Idumaean brigands attacked the city of Ascalon in Palestine among their other spoils they took away captive from the temple of Αpollo, which Was built on the walls, Antipater the child of a certain Herod, a hierodoulos, and since the priest was unable to pay ransom for his son, Antipater was brought up in the customs of the Idumaeans and later was befriended friended by Hyrcanus the high priest of Judaea. When sent on a mission to Ρompey on behalf of Hyrcanus he Won for him the freedom of the kingdom which had been taken away by his brother Aristobulus, and so was himself fortunate enough to gain the title of overseer of Palestine. Antipater was assassinated from envy of his great good fortune, and succeeded by a son Ηerod, 1 who later was appointed by Antony and by decree of the august senate to be king of the Jews. His children were Ηerod 2 and the other tetrarchs. So much is shared [*](2 i.e. Ηerod Αntipas and his brothers.)
with the histories οf the Greeks also. But somce the Hebrew families and those traceable to proselytes, such as Achior the Ammonite and Ruth the Moabitess, and the mixed families which had come out of Egypt, had until then been enrolled in the archives, herod, beeause the family οf the Israelites contriuted nothing to him, and because he was goaded by his own eouseiousness of his base birth, burned the records of their families, thinking to appear hoble if no one else was able by public documents to traee his family to the patriarchs οr proselytes, οr to the so-called gers 1 of mixed descent. Now a few who were careful, having private records for themselves, either remembering the names or otherwise deriving them from copies, gloried in the preservation of the memory of their good birth ; among these were those mentioned above, called desposyni, beeause οf their relation to the family of the Saviour, 2 and from the Jewish villages of Nazareth and Cochaba they traversed the rest of the land and expounded the Preceding genealogy οf their deseent, and from the book of Chronicles so far as they went. 3 whether this be so οr not no one could give a clearer account, in my opinion and in that of all well-disposed persons, and it may suffice us even though it is not corroborated, since we have nothing berter or truer to say : in any case the gospel speaks the ’’ Αnd at the end of the same letter Αfricanus adds this : Matthan of the line of Solomon begat Jacob. 4 On [*](1 Α Hellenized from of the Ηebrew word translated “ stranger ’’ in the phrase the “ stranger within the gate.”) [*](2 Because he is the Lord or “Despot.”) [*](3 LiteralIy “ the book of days ’’ — from the Ηebrew.) [*](4 Cf. Εusebius, Quaest. αd Steph. pp. 232 and 224.)
the death of Μatthan, Melchi of the line of Νathan begat Eli from the same woman. Thus Eli and Jacob vere step-brothers with the same mother. When Eli died without children, Jacob raised up seed for him, begetting Joseph as his oWn natural son but rile legal Son of Eli. Thus Joseph was son of both.” far Africanus. Νow Since this was the nature of the genealogy of Joseph, it is potential proof that Μary belonged to the Same tribe as he, seeing that according to the law of Moses, it was not lawful for the different tribes to mix, for the command is given to join in marriage with one of the same people and same family, in order that the inheritance of the raee might not be ehanged from tribe to tribe. Thus let this suffice on this point.
VIII. Νow when Christ was born, in accordanee with the prophecy, at Bethlehem of Judaea at the time mentioned, Ηerod was asked by the Μagi from the East where might he be who μ’ born king of the jews, for they had seen his star, and this had been the eause of their long journey in their zeal to worship the infant as God. The request caused him to be not a lttle disturbed at the situation for, as he thought, his sovereignty was in danger. Ηe therefore inquired from the teaehers of the Law among the people where they expeeted the Christ to be born, and when he learnt the propheey of Micah, foretelling that it should be in Bethlehem, he gave a comprehensive order to put to death all the infants which were being nursed in Bethlehem and the whole neighbourhood, of two years old and less, aeeording to the time indicated
to him by the Magl; supposing, as was natural, that Jesus also would enjoy the same fate as the children οf his age. Ηowever the child forestalled the plot hy being taken to Εgypt, as by the manifestation of an angel his parents had learned beforehand what was to happen. This is also taught by the sacred scripture of the Gospel, but it is worth noticing in this connexion the result of the crime of Ηerod against the Christ and the children of his age ; for immediately, without even a short delay, the justice of God overtook him while he was still in life, showing the prelude of what awaited him when he had passed hence. It is not now possible even to give a summary list of the ways by which he darkened what were reckoned the glories οf his reign, by the successive misfortunes of his house, by the foul murder οf wife and children and of the rest who were closest to him in family and in affection ; for the shadows in their story, whieh Josephus haS narrated at length in the history of Ηerod, are darker than any in tragic drama. But it is well to hear from the words of that writer how, from the moment of the plot against our saviour and the other innocents, a scourge sent from God seized him and drove him to death. Ιn the seventeenth book of the Jeruish Antiquities he writers of the catastrophe of Herod's life in this way : “ But in Ηerod disease kept growing ever more cruel as God exacted punishment for his crimes. For there was a slow hre which ffid not give much indication to those who touched him οf the
burning which within was increasing his evil plight, and an awful desire for nourishment, which could not be ministered to, and ulceration of the intestines, and especially awful pain in the colon, and a moist and transparent dropsy in his feet ; similar too was an inflammation of the bladder, and even mortification of the genitals breeffing worms. There was also a shrill acceleration of his breathing, and this was very offensive from the nature of the discharge and rapidity of hisbreath. Ηe was convulsed in every part with intolerable severity. 1 Thus it was said by those who looked on, and had the wisdom to pronounce οn these things, that God was exacting this penalty from the king for his many impieties.”
The writer mentioned above gives this account in the treatise quotedI and in the seeond book of the Jeruish Wars he gives a similar traffition, writing as follows :
“Then the ffisease spread through his Whole body, and attacked each part with divers sufferings. The fever rose, there was intolerable itching of the whole surtace, incessant pain in the colon, his feet were swollen as though with dropsy, there was inflammation of the bladder, and gangrene of the genitals, breeffing worms. In addition to this, hiS breathing was ffiffieult and impossible if he lay down, and there Were spasms in every limb, so that the divines said that his illness was a punishment. Yet though he was struggling with such great suffering he still elung to life hoping for health and thinking of cure. So he crossed the Jordan and took the warm baths at ë which flow out into the Dead [*](1 The Greek οf Eusebius seems impossible, but the text of Josephus is plainer, “ Cpmvi;sopm was in every limb, adding intolerable.”)
Sea but are sweet and drinkable. There it was dccided by his physicians to warm up his whole body with hot oil by letting it down into a tub full of oil, but he eollapsed and turned up his eyes as though dying. Disturbauce arose among the attendants and he eame back to his sufferings, but for the future gave up hope of cure and οrdered Rfty drachmas each to be distributed to the soldiers and much money to the govemors and his friends. Ηe then retumed and reached Jerieho, full of melancholy and seareely refraining from the threat οf suicide. nut he gained strength enough to plan one more execrable crime ; for he brought together the notables from every village from all Judaea and commanded them to be shut up in the so-called Hippordrome. He then summoned salome, Salome, his siter, and her husband, Αlexas, and said, ‘ Ι know that the Jews celebrate celebrate my death with festivity, but I can be mourned by others and have a splendid funeral if you are willing to administer my commands. Station solffiers around these men who are shut up, and as soon as I expire kill them with all speed, that all Judaea and every house may weep over me even against its will.’ ’’ Αfter a little Josephus says : “ Later on, racked by lack of food and a convulsive cough, the pains he felt urged him to anticipate fate. Ηe took an apple and asked for a knife, for it was his custom to peel it and eat it. nen, having turned round, leSt there should be any to prevent him, he raised his right hand aS if he were going to stab ” Moreover, the same historian relates that he ordered the murder οf another legitimate son before the end of his life,
making the third in addition to the two others already put to death, and immeffiately gave up his life, torn by great agony. such was the end of Ηerοd : he paid a just penalty for the children that he murdered at Bethlehem foi the sake of his plot against our saviour. Αfter this an angel appeared in a dream to Joseph, who was stying in Egypt, and commanded him to return to Judaea with the child and his mother, and announeed that those who sought the life οf the little child were dead. The evangelist continues by saying, “ Νοw when he heard that Archelaus was king in the room οf Herod his father, he was afraid to depart there, and, being warned in a dream, retired to the ffistriets of Galilee.”
IX. The historian already mentioned corroborates thc aceession to power of Archelaus after Herod, describing both the way in which he succeeded to the kingdom of the jews by the testaments of Ηerod his father and the deeision of Caesar Augustus, and how, when he fell from power after ten years, his οthers Philip and the younger Ηerod, together with Lysanias, administered their own tetrarchies.
In the eighteenth book of the Antiquities the Same Josephus explains how Pontius Pilate was given the administration οf Judaea in the twelfth year of Tiberius (for he had succeeded to universal sovereignty after Αugustus had held the government for fifty-seven years), and for ten whole years he remained in office, almost until the death Tiberius.
So that there is clear proof of the forgery of those who recently or formerly have issued a series of Pilate's Reports 1 about our Savious; for in them the dates mentioned convict the forgers of untruth. They relate that the crime of the Saviour's death fell in the fourth consulship of Tiberius, which as the seventh year of his reign, but at that time it has been shown that Pilate was not yet in charge of Judaea, if Josephus may be used as a witness, for he clearly shows, in the writing quoted from him above, that it was aetually in the twelfth year of the reign of Tiberius that Pilate was appointed procurator of Judaea by Tiberius.
X. In the time of these rulers them, according to the evangelist, when Tiberius Caesar was in the fifteenth year of his reign and Pontius Pilate the fourth of his governorship, and Herod, Lysanias, and Philip were tetrarchs of the rest of Judaea, our Saviour and Lord, Jesus the Christ of Good, “ beginning to be about thirty years old” came to the baptism of John and there began the proclamation of the gospel. The divine Scripture says that he completed the whole time of his teaching while Annas and Caiaphas were high priest, 3 showing that the [*](3 The singular “ high priest ” somewaht harsher in English than in Greek, but represents the the that according to Jewish custom there was never more than one high priest at the same time. Luke's statement seems to contradict this fact, and Eusebius tries to explain it by interpreting the difficult phrase as meaning the period between the high priesthoods of Annas and Caiaphas.)
whole time Of his teaehing Was bOunded by the years whieh cover their administration. since, then, he began in the high priesthood of Annas and continued to the reign of Caiaphas the intervening time does not not to a full four years. For since the regulations of the law were at that time already in process of destruction the rule had been relaxed by which the duties of the service of God were held for life and by inherited succession, and the Roman goversors entrusted the high priesthood at different times to different men, who did not hold this office for more than one year. Moreover Josephus relates that four high priests intervened in succession between Annas and Caiaphas, and speaks as follows in the text of the Antiquities:
“Valerius Gratus, having deprived Ananus of the priesthood, as as high Ρriest Ishmael the son of Phabi. Ηim, too, he removes shortly and nominates as high priest Eliezer thc son or Ananus the high priest. But when a year vas past he removes him also and hands over the high priesthood to Simon the son of Kamithus. But neither did his tenure of office last for more than a year, and Josephus, who is also called Caiaphas, was his ” Thus the whole time of the teaching of our saviour is shown to be not even a full four years ; sinee from Αnnas to the appointment of Caiaphas in four years four high priests held the yearly office. Naturally, then, the scripture of the gospel has indicated cated eaiaphas as high priert of the year in which the Saviours's pasrion was completed, and from this also the time of the teaching of Christ is shown to be not
discordant with the preceding observation. Ηowever, οur Lord and Saviour called the twelve apostles not long after the beginning of his preaching, and lo them alone of all his disciples did he give the hame of apostles as a speeial privilege. Afterwards he appointed seventy others, and them also he sent οut in advance of him, two by two, to every place and city where he was to come himself.
XI. The divene scripture of the gospels relates that not long afterwards John the Baptist was beheaded hy. Herod the younger, and Josephus confirms the narrative, mentioning Herodias by name, and telling how, though she was his brother's wife, Ηerod took her in marriage, by putting aside her who had formerly been legally married to him (and she was the daughter οf Αretas the king οf the Ρetraeans) and separating Herodias from her husband who was alive. For her sake, too, after killing John, he waged war with Aretas for the dishonour done his daughter ; and Josephus says that in a battle in this war the whole army of Ηerod was destroyed, and that he suffered this because οf the plot against John. The same osephus admits that John was peculiarly righteous, and a baptits, confirming the testimony recorded in he text of the gospels concerning Hhlm. Ηe also elates that Ηerod Was deprived of his kingdom for the sake οf the same Herodias, and was exiled with [*](1 It is impossible in English to bring οut the faet that word sent “sent” is the same as that imprled by the “apostle.”)
her, being condemned to live in Vienne, a eity of Gaul. The aceOunt of these things is given in the eighteenth book of the Antiquities, where he writes concerning John exactly as follows :
“Νow to some ofthe Jews it seemed that the army of Ηerod had been destroyed by OOd and that he was paying a very just penalty for John who was called the Baptist. For Ηerod killed him, a good man and one who commanded the Jews, training themselves in virtue, to pracrise righteousness towards one another and piety towards God, and to come together for baptism. For he said that baptism would prove acceptable to him only in those who used it not to escape from any sins but for bodily purity, on condition that the soul also had been previously cleansed thoroughly by righteousness. Αnd when the rest collected, for they were greariy eXeited at hearing his vords, Herod feared hiS great persuasiveness with men lest it should lead to some rising, for they appeared ready to do everything under his advice. Ηe therefore eonsidered it mUeh better, beffire a revolt should spring from John, to put him to death in anticipation, rather than be involved in difficulties through the actual revolution and then regret it. Αnd John, through Herod's suspicion, was sent a prisoner to Macherus, the prison mentioned already, and was there put to death.”
Αfter narrating these things about John in the
same historical work he speaks as follows concerning οur Saviour:
“At this time arose Jesus, a wise man, if indeed he must be called a man, for he Was a doer of marvellous deeds, a teacher of men who received the uth with pleasure, and he led after him many of the Jews and many also of the Oentile population. This was the Christ ; and when Pilate had eondemned him o the cross at the instigation of the leaffing men among us, those who had nrst loved him did not to do so, ror he appeared to them when three days dead restored to life, and the divine prophets had told these and ten thousand other wonders concerning him. Αnd up till now the tribe of Christians which me named after him has not died οut.”
When a writer sprung from the Hebrews themselves handed οn in his οwn writing these details concerning John the Baptist and our Saviour, what altemative is there but to convict of shamelessness those who have concocted the Reports about them ? 1 But let this suffice.
XII. Νow the names of the apostles of our saviour are plain to everyone form the gospels, but no list of the Seventy is anywhere extant. It is said, however, that one of them was Bamabas, and of him the Acts of the Αpostles has also made special mention, and so also has Ρaul when writing to the Galatians. Αnd they say that sosthenes too, who wrote with Paul to the Corinthians, was one of them. And there is the story in clement, in the Rfth book the Hypotyposes, in which he says that Cephas, concerning whom Ρaul says “ and when Cephas [*](1 The reference is again to the heathen Αcts οf Ρilate.)
came to Antioch I withstood him to face,” one of the Seventy disciples, wllo had the same name as the apostle Ρeter. Traffition also relates that Μatthias, who was reckoned with the apostle in the place of Judas, and he who was honoured with him at the same casting of lots had been called among the Seventy. They also say that Thaddaeus was one or them, and I will shortly recount a narrative which has reaehed us concerning him. Αnd eonsideration would show yoll that there Were more diseiples of the saviour than the seventy, if you used Ρaul as a witness, for he says that arter the resurrection from the dead Jesus was seen first by Cephas, afterwards by the twelve, and after these by above five hundred brethren at once ; of whom he says that some had fallen asleep, but the majority remained alive at at tlle time that he composed this account. He says that he was then seen by James, who was one of the alleged brethren of the Saviour, and then, as though in addition to these there had been numberless apostles, on the model of the twelve, like Ρaul himself, he goes on to say “ then he was seen by all the apostles.” This then for them.
XIII. The manner of the narrative concerning Thaddaeus is as follows. The divinity of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ beeame famous among all men because of his wonder-working power, and led to him myriads even of those who in foreign lands were far remote from Judaea, in the hope of healing from diseases and from ah kinds of sufferings. In this way King Αbgar, the celebrated monarch of the
nations beyond the Euphrates, perishing from terrible suffering in his body, beyond human power to heal, when he heard much of the name οf Jesus and of the miracles attested unanimously by all men, became his suppliant and sent to him by the bearer of a letter, asking to find relief from his disease. Jesus did not give heed to his request at the time, yet vouehsafed him a letter of his own, promising to send one of his disciples for the cure of his disease, and for the salvation alike of himself and of all his relations. Nor were the terms οf his promise long in being fulfilled. Αfter his resurrection from the dead and return into heaven, Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, was divinely moved to send to Edessa Thaddaeus, who was himself reckoned among the number of the Seventy disciples, as herald and evanglist οf the teaching about Christ, and through him all the terms οf our Saviour's promise received fulfilment. There is also documentary evidence οf these things taken from the archives at Edessa whieh was at that time a capital city. At least, in the public documents there, which contain the things done in antiquity and at the time of Αbgar, these things too are found preserved from that time to this ; but there is nothing equal to hearing the letters themselves, which we have extracted from the archives, and when translated from the Syriac they are verbally as follows:
A copy of a letter ruritten by Abgar the Toparch to Jesus and sent to him Jerusalem by courier Ananias.
“Αbgar Uchama, the Toparhc, to Jesus the good aviour who has appeared in the district of Jerusalem, eeting. I have heard. . concerning you and your ures, how they are accomprlshed by you without ugs and herbs. For, as the story goes, you make he blind recover their sight, the lame walk, and hu cleanse lepers, and cast out unclean sspirits and emons, and you cure those who are tortured by long isease and you raise dead men. Αnd when 1 heard these things concerning you I decided that it is one the two, either that you are God, and came down οm heaven to do these things, or are a son of God οr doing these things. For this reason I write to beg ou to hasten to me and to heal the suffering which Ι have. Moreover I heard that the Jews are mocking you, and wish to ill-great you. Now I have a city very small and venerable which is enough for both.” 1
The reply from Jesus to Abgar, the Toparch, by the courier Ananias.
“Blessed art thou who didst believe in me not haring seen me, for it is written concerning me that ose who have seen me will not believe on me, nd that those who have not seen me will believe nd live. Now concerning what you you wrote me, [*](1 In some mauuscripts the following is added : “ 9. Αnd he wrote thus when the divine illumination had but a little shined on him. But it also worth while to hear the letter t t him by Jesus by the same bearer οf thc lertcr ; it only a few lines but great power, and runs as follows.”)
to come to you, I must hrst complete here all for which I was sent, and after thus completing it be taken up to him who sent me, and when Ι have been taken up, I Will send to you one of my disciples to heal your suffering, give life to you and those with you.”
To theSe letters the following is further appended in the Syriac :
“Νow after the aseension of Jesus, Judas, who is also Thomas, Sent ThaddaeuS to him aS an apoStle, being οne of the seventy, and he came and stayed with Tobias, the son of Tobias. Νow when news of him was heard, 1 it was reported to Αbgar that an Αpostle of Jesus has come here, as he wrote to you. so ThaddaeuS began in the power of Ood to heal every disease and WeakneSs So that all marvelled Αnd when Αbgar heard the great and wonderful deeds which he was doing, and how he was working cures, he began to suWct that this was he of whom Jesus had written saying, ‘ When Ι have been taken up, I will send you one of my discipleS who will heal your ’ so he Summoned Tobias, with whom ThaddaeuS was staying, and said, ‘ I hear that a certain man of power haS come and is staying in your houSe. Bring him to me.' 2 Αnd Tobias came to Thaddaeus and said to him, ‘ The Toparch. Αbgar, summoned me and bade me bring you to him in order to heal ’ Αnd Thad- [*](1 Some manuscripts add : “ Αnd he had beeome manifest by the wonders wrought by him.”) [*](2 some manuscripts continue : “ ‘And he is cures in the name of Jesus.' Αnd he said, Ves, Α certain stranger eame and is living with me, and is working many wonders.' Αnd Abgar said, Bring him to me.’)
daeus said, ‘ Ι will go up since I haVe been miracylously Sent to ’ so Tobias rOse up early the next day and taking Thaddaeus eame to Αbgar. Now as he went up, while the king's magnates ere standing present, aS soon as he entered a great vision appeared to Αbgar on the face of the Αpostle Thaddaeus. . Αnd when Abgarsaw this, he did to Thaddaeus, and wonder held all who were standing by, for they had not seen the Vision, Which appeared only to Αbgar. And he asked Thaddaeus, ‘ Are you Of a truth a disciple of Jesus, the Son of God, who Said tO me, “ I will send you one of my disciples who will heal you and give you life ’’ ? ’ Αnd Thaddaeus said, ‘ Since you have hae had great faith in him who sent me, Ι was sent to you fOr this reason. Αnd agam; if you believe in him, the request of your heart rilall be to you as you ’ Αnd Αbgar said to him, ‘ I have such belief in him as to have wished to take force and destroy the JewS who crucifified him, had I not been prevented from this by the Roman ’ Αnd ThaddaeuS said, ‘ Οur Lord has fuffilled the will of his Father, and after fulfilling it has been taken up to the ’ Αnd Αbgar said to him, ‘ too too have believed on him and on his ’ Αnd Thaddaeus said, ‘ For this cause Ι put my hand on you ’ And when he did this immediately he was healed from the diseaSe and the sufferings he had. And Αbgar vondered that just as he had heard concerning Jesus
so he had in fact received through hiS diSciple Thaddaeus, who cured him without drugs and herbs, and not only him but also ΑbduS the son of Αbdus who had the gout ; for he too eame and fell at hiS feet, and received his prayer at hiS hands, and waS healed. Αnd the Same Thaddaeus healed many others of their fellow-citizens, performing many wonderful deeds and preaehing the word of Ood. Αnd after this Αbgar said, ‘ O Thaddaeus, it is by the power of Ood that you do these thingS, and we ourselves have wondered. But in addition to this I beg you, explain to me concerning the coming of Jesus, how it happened, and eoneerning his power, and by what power he did these things of which I have ’ Αnd Thaddaeus said, I will now be rilent, but Sinee I waS Sent to preach the word, summon for me to-morroW an aSSembly of all your cirilens, and Ι will preach before them, and sow in them the Word of life, both coneerning the coming οf Jesus, how it happened, and concerning his mission, and for what reason he was sent by the Father, and concerning his power, and his deeds, and the mysterieS Which he spoke in the world, and by what power he did these things, and concerning his new preaching, and concerning his lowliness and humiliation, and how he humbled himself, and put aside and made little his divinity, and was crucffied, and descended into Ηades, and rent the partition hich had not been rent from the beginning of the orld, and raised the dead, and he went down alone, ut with a great multitude did he go up to hiS [*](1 αὐτοῦ ΑΤΜΣΑ : αὐτοῦ καὶ πῶς κάθηται ἐν δεξιᾶ τοῦ θῦ’ καἰ πݲρݲσݲ ετὰ δόξης ἐν τοῖσ’ οὐνݲοݲιݲσݲ καὶ πῶς ἐλεύσεσθαι μέλλει πάλιν υνάμεωσ κρῖναι ζῶντασ καὶ νεκρούς ERBD.)
Father.' 1 So Αbgar commanded his citizens assemble in the morning and to hear the preaching of Thaddaeus, and arter this he ordered him to be giVen gold and plate, but he did not receive it, Saying, If we haVe left our own things, how shan we take thoSe of others 7. ’ These things were done in the 340th year. ”2
Let thiS valuable and literal tranSlation from the syriae Suffiee me for the present.[*](2 The three hundredth and fortieth year of the Edessene era, which began slo B.C., WOuld be Α.D. 30, Which agrees with the date or the crucifixion given by Tertullian but is one year earlier than the date given in Jerome's version οf the Chronicle of Eusebitb and two years earlier than that given in thc Armenian version of the same book.)