Eusebius

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Eusebius of Caesarea was born around 260/265 and died 339/340). He was also known as Eusebius Pamphili, a Roman historian and Christian polemicist of Greek descent.. He was a scholar of the Biblical canon and is regarded as an extremely well learned Christian of his time. He became the bishop of Caesarea Maritima about 314. He wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel, and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the Biblical text. He produced the Ecclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs.

He followed much of the teachings of Origen and would have opposed Calvin, since he held that men were sinners by their own free choice and not by the necessity of their natures. The historian Edward Gibbon refers to Eusebius as the 'gravest of the ecclesiastical historians'[1] He also suggests that Eusebius was more concerned with the passing political concerns of his time than his duty as a reliable historian. In a chapter heading of Praeparatio evangelica (Book XII, Chapter 31 Eusebius wrote "That it will be necessary sometimes to use falsehood as a remedy for the benefit of those who require such a mode of treatment."

He was also quite the preterist seeing the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, the ceasing of the Mosaic worship, and the subjection of the whole Jewish race to its enemies as the proofs that the times had come already which had ben spoken of in prophecy.[2]

To Eusebius Christ is God but is seen by him as a ray of that eternal light. He appears to limit in a way that expressly distinguishes the Son as distinct from Father in that a ray of the sun would also be distinct from its source the sun. He seems intent upon emphasizing the difference of the persons of the Trinity and maintaining their subordination of the Son who is the Logos, or Word, to God.

He appears to do the same thing with the relation of the Holy Spirit within the Trinity to that of the Son to the Father. These same views see traceable to Origen.

Alexander of Alexandria sought to excommunicate him as a heretic until Eusebius submitted and agreed to the Nicene Creed at the First Council of Nicea in 325.

When we see the phrase "All scripture"[3] in the Bible that did not mean the Bible because it did not exist yet. The fact is the word scripture was just the Greek word "graphe" which meant "writings" referring to "All writings".

It is divine revelation by the Holy Spirit that ultimately reveals the truth[4] and not the private interpretation[5] of the reader. Constantine hired Eusebius to produce the first 50 Bibles. They had a much different view of Jesus than many modern Christians. Constantine had brought in a huge faction of Christians who replaced true repentance with a watered-down view. These new Christians occupied many of the councils we see forming after 300 A.D..

The Church historian Eusebius wrote,

A question of no small importance arose at that time. For the parishes of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should be observed as the feast of the Saviour's passover...But it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world...But the bishops of Asia, led by Polycrates, decided to hold to the old custom handed down to them. He himself, in a letter which he addressed to Victor and the church of Rome, set forth in the following words the tradition which had come down to him.[2][3]

Here is what Eusebius records that Polycrates wrote,

We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord's coming, when he shall come with glory from heaven, and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who fell asleep in Hierapolis; and his two aged virgin daughters, and another daughter, who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus; and, moreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and, being a priest, wore the sacerdotal plate. He fell asleep at Ephesus. And Polycarp in Smyrna, who was a bishop and martyr; and Thraseas, bishop and martyr from Eumeneia, who fell asleep in Smyrna. Why need I mention the bishop and martyr Sagaris who fell asleep in Laodicea, or the blessed Papirius, or Melito the Eunuch who lived altogether in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis, awaiting the episcopate from heaven, when he shall rise from the dead? All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven. I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord, and have met with the brethren throughout the world, and have gone through every Holy Scripture, am not affrighted by terrifying words. For those greater than I have said 'We ought to obey God rather than man'...I could mention the bishops who were present, whom I summoned at your desire; whose names, should I write them, would constitute a great multitude. And they, beholding my littleness, gave their consent to the letter, knowing that I did not bear my gray hairs in vain, but had always governed my life by the Lord Jesus.

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Footnotes

  1. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol II, Chapter XVI
  2. "The Holy Scriptures foretell that there will be unmistakable signs of the Coming of Christ. Now there were among the Hebrews three outstanding offices of dignity, which made the nation famous, firstly the kingship, secondly that of prophet, and lastly the high priesthood. The prophecies said that the abolition and complete destruction of all these three together would be the sign of the presence of the Christ. And that the proofs that the times had come, would lie in the ceasing of the Mosaic worship, the desolation of Jerusalem and its Temple, and the subjection of the whole Jewish race to its enemies...The holy oracles foretold that all these changes, which had not been made in the days of the prophets of old, would take place at the coming of the Christ, which I will presently shew to have been fulfilled as never before in accordance with the predictions." (Demonstratio Evangelica VIII)
  3. 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
  4. Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
  5. 2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.