Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, Lake, Loeb, 1926
XX. “ Now there still survived of the family of the Lord grandsons of Judas, who was said to have been his brother according to the flesh, and they were delated as being of the family of David. These tlle officer 2 brought to Domitian Caesar, for, like Herod, he was afraid of the coming of the Christ. Ηe asked them if they were of the house of David and they admitted it. Then he asked them how much property they had, or how [*](2 The Greek represents the Latin evocatus, apparently the name of an official, but even Rufinus did not fully understand it and made οut of it a proper name Revocatus quidam.)
Αfter Domitian had reigned fifteen years, Nerva succeeded. 1 The sentences οf Domitian were annulled, and the Roman Senate decreed the return οf those who had been unjustly banished and the restoration of their property. Those who committed the story οf those times to writing relate it. Αt that time, too, the story of the ancient Christians relates that the Apostle John, after his banishment to the island, took up his abode at Ephesus.
XXI. After Νerva had reigned a little more than a year he was suceeeded by Trajan,2 in whose first year Abilius, after leading the diocese οf Alexandria for thirteen years, was sueceeded by Cerdo ; he was the third in charge οf that see after the first, Annianus. Αt this time Clement was still governing the Romans and he, also, occupied the third Ρlace in the list οf bishops in Rome after Ρaul and Ρeter ; Linus was the first and after him Anencletus.
XXII. Moreover, at the time mentioned, Ignatius was famous as the second bishop at Antioch where Evodius had been the first. Likewise at this time, Simeon was second after the brother οf our Saviour to hold the ministry of the church in Jerusalem.
XXIII. Αt this time that very disciple whom Jesus loved, John, at οnce Apostle and Evangelist, still remained alive in Asia and administered the churches there, for after the death of Domitian, he had returned from his banishment οn the island. Αnd that he remained alive until this time may fully be confirmed by two witnesses, and these ought to be trustworthy for they represent the orthodoxy of the [*](1 Sept. 18, A.D. 96. 2 Jan. 27, A.D. 98.)
Clement indicates the same time, and in the treatise to which he gave the title Who is the rich man that is saved, adds a narrative most acceptable to those who enjoy hearing what is fine and edifying. Take and read here what he wrote. “ Listen to a story which is not a story but a true tradition οf John the Apostle Ρreserved in memory. For after the death of the tyrant he passed from the island of Ρatmos to Εphesus, and used also to go, when he was asked, to the neighbouring districts of the heathen,1 in some places to appoint bishops, in others to reconcile whole churches, and in others to ordain some οne of those pointed out by the spirit. Ηe came to one οf the cities which were near by (and some tell cven its name),2 and gave rest in general to the brethren ; then, while looking before them all at the bishop who had been appointed, he saw a young man οf strong body, beautiful appearance, and wann heart. ῾I commend this ᾿ he siad, [*](1 ᾿ἐθνῶν possibly means “ country-people ’’ as opposed to “town-folk.”) [*](2 According to the Chronicon Paschale it was Smyrna.)
XXIV. But come, let us indicate the undoubted writings οf this Apostle. 1 Let the Gospel according to him be first recognized, for it is read in all the churches under heaven. Moreover, that it was reasonable for the aneients to reckon it in the fourth place after the other three may be explained thus. Those inspired and venerable ancients, I mean Christ's Apostles, had completely purified their life and adorned their souls with every virtue, yet were but simple men in speech. Though they were indeed bold in the divine and wonder-working power given them by the saviour, they had neither the knowledge or the desire to represent the teachings of the Master in persuasive or artiStic language, but they used only the proof of the spirit of God which worked with them, and the wonder-working power of Christ which was consummated through them. Thus they announced the knowledge οf the Kingdom of Ηeaven [*](1 John.)
The above must suffice us concerning the writing of the Gospel according to John, and the cause for that according to Μark has been explained above. Luke himself at the beginning of his treatise prefixed an account οf the cause for which he had made his compilation, explaining that while many others had somewhat rashly attempted to make a narrative of the things οf which he had himself full knowledge, 1 he felt obliged to release us from the doubtful propositions of the others and related in his own gospel the accurate account of the things οf which he had shimself firmly learnt the truth from his profitable intercourse and life with Ρaul and his conversation with the other apostles. This must suffice us for the present, but at the proper time we will endeavour to explain by citation from the ancients what has been said on the point by others.
Of the writings of John in addition to the gospel the first of his epistles has been accepted without controversy by ancients and moderns alike but the οther two are disputed, and as to the Revelation there
XXV. Αt this point it seems reasonable to summarize the writings of the Νew Testament which have been quoted. Ιn the first place should be put the holy tetrad of the Gospels. To them follows the writing οf the Αcts of the Apostles. Αfter this should be reckoned the Epsitles of Ρaul. Following them the Epistle of John called the first, and in the same way should be recognized the Epistle of Ρeter. In addition to these should be put, if it Seem desirable, the Revelation of John, the arguments concerning which we will expound at the proper time. These belong to the Recognized Books. Of the Disputed Books which are nevertheless known to most are the Epistle called of James, that of Jude, the second Epistle of Ρeter, and the so-called second and third Εpistles of John which may be the work οf the evangelist or of some other with the same name. Among the books which are not genuine must be reckoned the Acts of Ρaul, the work entitled the Shepherd, the Apocalypse or Ρeter, and in addition to them the letter called of Barnabas and the so-called Teachings of the Apostles. Αnd in addition, as I said, the Revelation of John, if this view prevaial. For, as I said, some reject it, but others count it among the Recognized Books. Some have also counted the Gospel according to the Hebrews in which those of the Hebrews who have aceepted Christ take a special pleasure. These would all belong to the disputed books, but we have nevertheleSs been obliged to make a list of them, distinguishing between those writings which, according to the tradition of
XXVI. Let us now continue the narrative. Menander succeeded Simon Magus and showed himself as a weapon of the devil's power not inferior to his predecessor. He, too, was a Samaritan, progressed to the highest point οf sorcery not less than his master, and abounded in greater wonders. Ηe said of himself that he was the saviour who had been sent from above for the salvation of men from invisible aeons 1 and taught that no one, not even οf the angels who made the world, could survive unless they were first rescued through the magic art which was transmitted by him and through the bapiam [*](1 The Greek word liyrtslly means “age,’’ but in ecclesiastical astical Greek is sometimes used, as here, οf the supernatural beings who form part οf Gnostic theology.)
It was assuredly at the instigation of the devil that the name οf Christian was adopted by such sorcerers to calumniate by magic the great mystery of religion and through them to destroy the teaching of the Chureh on the immortality οf the soul and the resurrection of the dead. Those who termed these Saviours fell from the true hope.
XXVII. But others the wiched demon, when he could not aliienate them from God's plan in Christ, made his own, when he found them by a different snare. The first Christians gave these the suitablename of Ebionites because they had poor and mean opinions concerning Christ. They held him to be a plain and ordinary man who had achieved righteousness merely by the progress of his characcter and had been born naturally from Mary and her busband. They insisted on the complete observation of the Law, and did not think that they would be saved by faith in Christ alone and by a life in accordance with it. But there were others besides these
XXVIII. We have received the tradrtion that at the time under discussion Cerinthus founded another heresy. Gaius, whose words 1 have quoted before, in the inquiry attributed to him writes as follows about Cerinthus. “ Moreover, Cerinthus, who through revelations attributed to the writing of a great apostle, lyingly introduees portents to us as though shown him by angels, and says that after the resurrection the kingdom of Christ will be on earth and that [*](1 That is, Ρaul.) [*](2 The does does mean “ poor ’’ in Ηebrew ; but it is not known why it was applied to the Jewish Chrisrians. One guess is as good as another.)
Dionysius said this and Irenaeus in his first book Agianst Heresies quoted some οf his more abominable errors, and in the third book has committed to writing a narrative, which deserves not to be forgotten, stating how aecorffing to the traffidltion of Polycarp, the apostle John once went into a bath-house to wash, but when he knew that Cerinthus was within leapt out of the place and Red from the door, for he did not endure to be even under the same roof with him, and enjoined οn those who were with him to do the same, saying, “ Let us flee, lest the bath-house [*](1 This is the obvious sense of the Greek which is, however, clearly corrupt. It would appear that Gaius thought that Cerinthus was the writer of the Apocalypse.)
XXIX. Αt this time, too, there existed for a short time the heresy of the Nicolaïtans of which the of John also makes mention. These elaimed Nicolas, one of the deacons in the company of Stephen who were appointed by the Apostles for the serviee of the poor. Clement or Αlexandria in the third book of the Stromata gives the following account of him. “ Ηe had, they say, a beautiful wife ; but after the ascension of the saviour he was accused of jealousy by the apostles, and brought her forward and commanded her to be mated to anyone who wished. They say that this aetion was in consequenee of the injunction ‘ it is necessary to abuse the ’ and that by following up what had been done and said with simplicity and without perversion those who follow his heresy lead a life of unrestrained license. But Ι have learned that Nicolas had nothing to do with any other woman beside her whom he married, and that of his children the daughters reaehed old age as virgins, and that the son remained uncorrupted. Since this is the case it is clear that the exposure of the wife of whom he was jealous in the midst of the disciples was the abandonment of passion, and that teaching the abuse of the flesh was continence from the pleasures which he had sought. For I think that according to the command οf the Saviour he did not whish to serve two masters — pleasure and the Lord. They also say that this was the teaching of Matthias, to slight the flesh and abuse it, yielding nothing to it for pleasure, but to make the soul grow through faith and knowledge.”
XXX. Clement, whose words we cited recently in the context οf the previous quotation, enumerates, on aeeount of those who reject marriage, those of the Apostles who were married, saying, “ Or will they disapprove even of the Apostles ? For Ρeter and Philip begat children, and Philip even gave his daughters to husbands, while Ρaul himself does not hesitate in one of his letters to address 1 his wife whom he did not take about with him in order to facilitate his ” Since we have made these quotations there is no harm in adducing another memorable narrative of Clement whleh he wrote down in the seventh book of the Stromata, and narrates as follows: “ They say that the blessed Ρeter when he saw his own wife led out to death rejoiced at her ealrmg and at her return home, and called out to her in true warning and comfort, addressing her by her name, ‘ Remember the ’ Such was the marriage of the blessed and the perfeet disposition of those dearest to ” Let this, cognate to the present subject, suffice for the moment.
XXXI. The time and manner of the death of Ρaul and οf Ρeter, and the plaee where their corpses were laid after their departure from this life, have been already described by us. The date of the death οf [*](1 Philipp. iv. 3 γνήσιε σύζυγε, ‘true yoke-fellow’ or ‘wife.’)
We have now described the facts which have come to our knowledge concerning the Apostles and their times, the sacred writings which they have left us, those books which are disputed yet nevertheless are used openly by many in most churches, and those which are altogether fictitious and foreign to our historic orthodoxy. Let us now continue the narrative.
XXXII. Αfter Νero and Domitian tradition says that under the Emperor whose times we are now describing persecution was raised against us sporadically, in some cities, from pupular risings. We have learnt that in it Symeon, the son οf Clopas, whom we showed to have been the second hishop of the church at Jerusalem, ended his life in martyrdom. The witness for this is that same Hegesippus, of whom we have already quoted several passages. Αfter speaking of certain hereties he goes on to explain how Symeon was at this time accused by them and for many days was tortured in various manners for being a Christain, to the great astonishment of the judge and those with him, until he suffered an end like that of the Lord. But there is nothing better than to listen to the historian who tells these facts as follows. “ some οf these (that
The same writer says that other grandsons of one of the so-called brethren of the saviour named Judas survived to the same reign after they had given in the time of Domitian the testimony already recorded of them in behalf of the faith in Christ. Ηe writes thus: “ They came therefore and presided over every chureh as witnesses belonging to the Lord's family, and when there was complete peace in every cherch they survived until the reign of the Emperor Trajan, until the time when the son of the Lord's uncle, 2 the aforesaid Simon the son of Clopas, was similarly accused by the sects on the same charge before Atticus the Consular. Ηe was tortured for many days and gave hiS witness, so that all, even the consular, were extremely surprised how, at the age of one hundred and twenty, he endured, and he was eommanded to be ” Besides this the Same writer, explaining the events [*](2 Ηe was the brother of Joseph ; see iii. 11. 1.)
XXXIII. The persecution which at that time was extended against us in many places was so great that Plinius secundus, one of the most distinguished governors, was disturbed at the number of the martyrs, and reported to the Emperor the number of those being put to death for the faith, and in the same document mentioned that he understood them to do nothing wicked or illegal except that they rose at dawn to sing to Christ as though a God, and that they themselves forbade adultery, murder and similar terrible crimes, and that they did eVerything in obedienee to the law. In answer to this Trajan issued a decree to the effect that the tribe of Christians should not be sought for but punished when it was met with. By this means the imminent threat of persecution was extinguished to some extent, but none the less opportunities remained to those who wished to harm
XXXIV. In the third year of the afore-mentioned emperor, Clement handed over the ministry of the bishops of Rome to Evarestos and departed this life, having been in charge of the teaching of the diving word for nine years.
XXXV. Μoreover, when Symeon suffered martyrdom in the manner already deseribed a certian Jew named Justus, who was one of the many thousands of the circumcision who by that time had belived on [*](1 The Greek word means knowledge which is meaningless and clearly a mistaken translation of the Latin. Tertullian wrote disciplinam.)
XXXVI. Αt this time there flourished in Asia Polycarp, the companion of the Apostles, who had been appointed to the bishopric of the church in Smyrna by The eyewitnesses and ministers of the Lord. Distinguished men at the same time were Papias, who was himself bishop of the diocese of Hierapolis, and Ignatius, still a name of note to most men, the second after Ρeter to succeed to the bishopric of Antioch. The story goes that he was sent from Syria to Rome to be eaten by beasts in testimony to Christ. Ηe was taken through Asia under most careful guard, and strengthened by his speech and exhortation the diocese of eaeh city in which he stayed. Ηe particularly warned them to be on their guard against the heresies which then for the first time were beginning to obtain, and exhorted them to hold fast to the tradition of the Apostles, to which he thought necessary, for safety's sake, to give the form of written testimony. Thus while he was in Smyrna where Polycarp was, he wrote one letter to the church at Ephesus, mentioning their pastor Onesimus, and another to the church at Mangnessia on the Meander (and here, too, he mentioned the bishop Damas), and another to the church in Tralles, of which he relates that Polybius was then the ruler. In addition to these he also wrote to the churcb at Rome, and to it he extended the request that they should not deprive him of the hope for which he longed by begging him off from his martyrdom. It
This he put into words from the city mentioned to the churehes named. When he had already passed beyond Smyrna he also again conversed in writing from Troas with those in Philadelphia and with the church of the Smyrnaeans, and especially with Polycarp who was then the head of this church. Ηe knew well that Polycarp was an apostolic man and like a true and good shepherd commends the flock at Antioch to him, asking him to be zealous in his care for it. Ηe also wrote to the Smyranaeans quoting words from I know not what source and discoursing thus about Christ: “ For I know and believe that
Ιrenaeus also knew of his martyrdom and quotes his letters saying thus : “ Αs one of the Christians said when he was condemned to the beaSts as testimony for God, ‘ Ι am the wheat of God and Ι am ground by the teeth of beasts that I may be found pure bread.’”
Ρolycarp, too, mentions these same things in the letter to the Philippians bearing his name and says: “ Νow I beseech you all to obey the word of righteousness, and to practise all the endurance which you also saw before your eyes, not only in the blessed Ignatius, and Zosimus, and Rufus, but also in others among yourselves, and in Pual himself, and in the other Apostles; being persuaded that all of these ‘ ran not in vain, ’ but in faith and righteousness, and that they are with the Lord in the ‘ place whieh is their ’ with whom they also suffered. For they did not ‘ love this present world ’ but him who died on our behalf, and was raised by God for our ” Αnd he continues later, “ Both you and Ignatius wrote to me that if anyone was going to Syria he shovld also take your letters Ι will do this if Ι have a convenient opportunity, either myself or the man whom Ι am sending as a representative for you and me. We send you, as you asked, the letters of Ιgnatius, which were sent to us by him, and others which we had by us These are subjoined
XXXVII. Among those who were famous at this time was also Quadratus, of whom traffition says that he shared vith the daughters of Philip the ffistinc- tion of a prophetic gift. Αnd many others besides them were well known at this time and take the first rank in the Apostolic succession. These pious foundations οf the churches laid by the Apostles. They spread the preaching and scattered the saving seeds of the kingdom of Heaven, sowing them broad- cast through the whole world. Many of those then disciples, smitten in the soul by the divine Logos with an ardent passion for the love of wisdom,1 first fulfilled the Saviour's command and distributed their property to the needy, then, starting on their ourney, took up the work of evangelists and were zealous to preach to all who had not yet heard the word of the faith, and to transmit the writhing of the divine Gospels. Αs soon as they had no more than laid the foundations of the faith in some strange place, they appointed others as shepherds and had been just brought in, but they themselves passed on again to other lands and peoples, helped by the grace and co-operation of God, seeing that [*](1 The Greek wordd is “ philosophy ’’ ; but Eusebius does not mean metaphysics.)
It is impossible for us to give the number and the names of all who first succeeded the Apostles, and were shepherds or evangelists in the churches throughout the world. It was, therefore, natural for us to recorded by name the memory only of those of whom the tradition still surviveS to our time by their treatises on the Apostolic teaching.
XXXVIII. such writings, of course, were the letters of Ignatius of which we gave the list, and the Εpistle of Clement which is recognized by all, which he wrote in the name of the church of the Romans to that οf the Corinthians. In this he has many thoughts parallel to the Εpistle to the Ηebrews, and aetuahy makes some verbal quotations from it showing elearly that it was not a recent production, and for this reason, too, it has seemed natural to include it among the οther writings of the Apostle. For Ρaul had Spoken in writing to the Ηebrews in their native language, and some say that the evangelist Luke, others that this same Clement translated the writing. Αnd the truth οf this would be supported by the similarity of style preserved by the Epistle of Clement and that to the Hebrewss, and by the little difference between the thoughts in both writings.
It must be known that there is also a second [*](1 so Wendland: the Mss. read ἐνήργουν.)
XXXIX. Thus the recognized writing of Clement is well known and the works of Ignatius and Polycarp have been spoken οf, and of Papias five treatises are extant which have also the title of “ Interpretation οf the oracles of the ” These are also mentioned by Irenaeus as though his οnly writing, for he says in οne place, “ “To these things also Ρapias, the hearer of John, who was a comanion of Ροlycarp and one of the ancients, 2 bears witness in writing in the fourth of his books, for five books were composed by ” so says Irenaeus. Yet Ρapias himself, according to the preface of his treatises, makes plain that he had in no way been a hearer and eyewitness of the sacred Αpostles, but teaches that he had received the articles of the faith from those who had known them, for he speaks as follows : “ Αnd I shall not hesitate to append to the interpretations all that I ever learnt well from the presbyters and remember well, for of their truth I am conndent. For unlike most I did not rejoice in them who say much, but in them who teach the truth, nor in [*](3 “Ρrimitive’’ would perhaps be a better rendering for the Greek, which at Ιeast sometimes seems to mean a man who belonged to “the ” Cf. the application οf the adjective to Mnason ἀρχαίῳ μαθητῇ) in Αcts xxi. 16)
It is here worth nothing that he twiee counts the name of John, and reckons the first John with Ρeter and James and Matthew and the other Αpostles, clearly the the evangelist, but by changing his statement Ρlaces the seeond with the others outside the number of the Αpostles, putting Αristion Before him and clearly calling him a presbyter. This confirms the truth οf the story of those who have said that there were twp of the same name in Αsia, and that there are two tombs at Εphesus both still called John's. This calls for attention: for it is probable that the second (unless anyone prefer the fonner) saw the revelation which passes under the name οf John The Papias whom we are now treating confesses that he had received the words of the Αpostles from their followers, but says that he had aetually heard Αristion and the presbyter John. Ηe often quotes them by name and gives [*](1 Thc meaning οf the Greek is doubrtul ; see Jackson and Lake, Beginnings of Christianity, vol. ii. p. 501.) [*](1 Cf. vii. 25. 16 (excerpt from Dionysios).)
In the same writing he also quotes other interpretations of the words οf the Lord given by the Aristion mentioned above and traditions of John the presbyter. To them we may dismiss the studious; but we are now obliged to append to the words already quoted from him a tradtion about the Mark who wrote the Gospel, which he expounds as follows. “ Αnd the Presbyter used to say tffihls, Mark became Ρeter’s interpreter and wrote accurately all that he remembered, not, indeed, in order, of the things said or done by the Lord. For he had not heard the Lord, nor had he followed him, but later on, as I said, followed Ρeter, who used to give teaching as necessity demanded but not making, as it were, an auangement of the Lord's oracles, so that Mark did nothing wrong in thus writing down single Ρoints as he remembered them. For to one tHhIng he gave attention, to leave out nothing of what he had heard and to make no false statements in them.' " This is related by Ρapias about Mark, and about Matthew this was said, “ Matthew collected the oracles in the Ηebrew language, and eaeh interpreted them as best he could.”
The same writer used quotations from the rirrt Epistle οf John, and likewise also from that or Ρeter, and has expounded another Story about a woman who was accused before the Lord of many sins, which the Gospel according to the Ηebrews contains. Let this suffice us in addition to the extracts made.