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Eusebius/Earliest Biblical Historian besides Josephus/Tells the story of how the churchcame2be

luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
Man, first off I really don’t expect nobody to read this, but some of you all have surprised and inspired me on this website with the information you all bring so; I thought I’d share some stuff I keep. Basically, what I do after I read a book that’s interesting is go back through my highlit passages or facts I want to remember and then at work when I’m bored I type it up so I have a reference when or if I ever need to remind myself of something. I like to write so reading is whatever. I’m a nerd on that and I don’t like forgetting and writing makes sense. So here’s something that’s Loooooooooooooong as hell and probably gonna get me flagged or kicked off the site for being too long, but that’s cool. We’ll see.
All this stuff is Christian themed and won’t make much sense if you never actually read books of the bible.
Here’s what it deals with:
You ever wonder what else the preacher's study when they go to school? When I used to go to church and seminar’s in college I would hear preachers of Judaism Christianity teach the torah and bible; and professors that were atheists try to disprove the two religions and all religion; refer to sources other than the bible and treat those sources as valid/authentic and respected. Who were they referring to? Who wrote this stuff that was not in the bible and why do I give a damn? Isn’t that heresy or blasphemy to treat works as relevant if they weren’t biblical but acting as though? When they talked about the battle in heaven and 1/3 of the angels kicked out of heaven, where were they getting all the other information from when the bible only gives a couple of sentences on this? How could 1/3 go against God? What does that say about God? What about the arguments over who wrote certain books of the bible? Who was Constantine (the guy who decided to collect the books of the New Testament and have it eventually canonized and what determined which books were kept and how was it translated yet still authentic)
How was Easter, the day determined? Who was Jesus considered shortly (40 years) after his death among the Jews since there were absolutely no Christians or term used to refer to Christians by the masses other than referring to them as Jews and Gentiles who believed Jesus was the Christ? Which this did not settle well with the Jews, obviously since they did not believe he was. How crazy was it for Jews and Gentiles to dare to blaspheme against God by saying a man was God and the Christ when (supposedly to the jews the cult that would be known as Christians)worshipping an anti-christ; or affiliating with one who considered himself the Son of God and admitting that what the prophets said about him being the Christ was true, or others calling him Christ simply being an offense that carried the death penalty or excommunicated from the temples and all society-yet still orthodox and non-orthodox and gentiles continued to do so? How did Christianity survive when Jesus died and according to the prophets and his followers was then determined not to be the Christ and the faith was written off, until claims of his appearance for days after his crucifixion? How did Christianity survive in the very beginning when from the beginning the most powerful city in the world at that time used almost all its rulers, military force, laws, social aspects, economics, and even the other religious sect/the jews to try and erase the cult religion and kill all its followers? How did Jesus become considered the Christ figure everyone recognized above all other messianic attempts by other popular people and religions?
This book helped acknowledge and answer these questions that roamed in the year 150AD.

There is a scripture in the bible, in Revelations, that says do not write out of this book or be written out of the book of heaven forever. With that scripture stated, I do not favor, respect or take into consideration what many other religions inside Christianity try to claim are extra writings of Jesus passed onto to “so-called prophets” throughout the ages and modern times. There have been many writings outside of the bible that try to claim they are true or written by Jesus. You decide whatever. It is an absolute fact that with canonization everything Jesus said or was written about him did not make it in the bible. What truth remains to what has been found is beyond my knowledge of trusting its authenticity. Christians, however, believe the bible is the Holy word of God and those other books don't matter. I side with this belief. I don't subscribe to books of people stating they went to heaven or went to hell and had visions.
This book is none of that. All this book, written by Eusebius (a historian), does is write down what was happening to Christians in Rome, Syria, Palestine, Asia and Egypt. It documents the political strife it caused on Caesars/rulers and on itself as a growing faith. It documents which figures led the church and how it organized. It shows how it was almost killed and resurged. It is not a book that attempts in any way to rewrite the bible or claim extra writings as legitimate teachings for Christians that are not in the bible.

Here’s questions I had.
Why does the Catholic church get so much respect in the Christian church? How did that section of religion within Christianity get so much tradition and rituals that other Christian religions do not abide by or find necessary? When did the church even come into being and what were its principles; since Jesus never said “This is how I want the church to be organized…” and he did not say this is how the church should be designed in this pecking order? These are questions I thought about after reading the bible 4 times through, taking classes and wondering if I even believed. Later I wanted to know if other societies knew about Jesus during Jesus' day who weren't Christians and see how he was perceived, I decided to search for authors and writings on this and this is what I found from Eusebius. I have not studied the works of Josephus (who wrote about Jesus years before Eusebius), but I will soon. These are two ancient historians back at the very early years of Christianity that are confirmed by all historians of today that
lived during the dates they lived and were respected, prominent and the highest acclaimed historians of their day. These are the two I have decided to read about what they had to say about the early church. They are not trying to rewrite any of Jesus' words or show a person how to view the bible. They are simply two people that were involved in the early churches history that decided to write about how the christian church was being formed, who the archbishops were, and what was happening with the persecutions and what it was like to live during the time of Christians being martyred. (A side note is for the critics against Eusebius. He quotes actual people's words in a day where close to everyone he quotes was living during his day. If you quote a person living and they read that quote and refute saying it, and they are an emperor, you might have some problems. I am saying that to say that very few works in that day were published, due to very few people being able to read or rich enough to write stuff down on whatever was considered paper and have it be kept.


  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2013
    So, if his words were lies, the first thought is that the Romans, the Jews, and the Christians would have destroyed his works or not sought to publish them, read them, and keep them protected without scrutiny/criticism from his own day. In fact they did just the opposite and other writers included Eusebius in their writings and used him as a source of telling the truth about the history of the Christian church and the present day of his writings on Christianity.It is not until hundreds of years later and thousands that people begin to critique some of the truths of his writings.Everything and everyone is critiqued to seek what people want to find, so..take what you will.That's what history is for.)
    This is mostly for Christians to read and understand what the Christian church went through in its beginnings. It isn't easy reading or typing all this.This is mainly for my own understanding, but for those few and I stress few, few, few who have enough Christian bible understanding to know who is actually being talked about and what stories confirmed and the description of the times going on that help one understand the environment that existed in this time I think my typing of these things Eusebius wrote about will be worth something.This isn’t being written as a debating point.We’re not wasting time on the unbelievers with this writing, this is for those that want food in the walk.I’m not that good at introductions, but since some don’t have a clue who Eusebius is or my point in writing about this man; then I’ll try.
    1st: why do I care about Eusebius?
    I was watching A&E and they were debating Christianity.They drew an interesting question that made me research to see if they were right.They said that Christianity was not big in its beginning and that the legend and myth of Christianity grew as time went on.They also said that there were no writings by Romans or any other kingdom stating that Jesus was even a person that lived. They said for somebody as great as Jesus is mad-out-to be then other Romans such as PontiusPilate& Caesar would surely have written something about him in books.No philosophers wrote on Jesus when Jesus was alive, according to the program.If someone was a threat to the kingdom and doing such miracles then he would have been written about.This is what the program stated.Now, in college I took courses where the entire course was dedicated to disproving the myth of Christianity; and more than disproving it, they ironically in many ways proved it true.Even-still, Never did they ever question that these people didn't exist.Most people consider you dumb if you question Jesus' existence or the 12 apostles.This fact was never argued.A&E not only threw out the possibility Jesus' didn't exist, but they also argued that their existence (of course for those who considered they existed)was exaggerated by the Christians and that the very figure of Christianity (Jesus) was really considered by the Romans and philosophers of the day--not even worth mentioning because Jesus was not important.So,instead of rambling on to you who dares to read this long, long, long translations of Eusebius; I decided to search to see if in fact there was anyone in Jesus’ day besides the apostles that wrote about Christians and Jesus.The earliest writings I could find were of Josephus, Eusebius and another guy who I have not read his writings but read about him named Origen. In Eusebius's book are multiple writers, emperors, rulers/governors, and prominent people in Jesus's day and shortly after his death/resurrection who wrote about Jesus and whose works were and are published and still remain in Rome. Basically A&E lied.
    Now about me, As a Christian and a hypocrite, I always have doubts about God and do not expect anyone else to really be a Christian, but these are questions as a Christian who studies has or might have. Are the names in the bible people that really existed(I know I said it's dumb to question but I meant from a scholarly point of view not a general question)? I could write things that are cliche and christian debating points that other famous philosophers question on Christianity were (and pretend that those thoughts are my own like so many people do to sound intelligent),but this is what attracted me to Islam, Christianity and Judaism.No other religion in the world was tied to regular people that existed and who by family names today can still be traced.No other book foretold prophecy on these people and distinct family names covering almost (I think) 4,000 years.No other book had people basing their lives and actions on it; and again as books were added--the original writings continued to fulfill prophecies which 1,500 years earlier had been prophesied- AND in the way the prophecies came to fruition (which simply were waaay beyond any human being able to say I want to try and make this prophecy come true; such as Zionists)and documented through history outside of the 3 religions,happened in ways the earth with its changing and human history validates all the way down again to the family name, writings on stone, deaths and persecutions received to observe and prove its validation.I couldn’t see anything on earth being that precise and well kept when it came to history keeping-and recording exactly the politics of the day and the conquests of man and his relationship with God & God’s intervention. Religion was nothing new, but no religion besides these 3 welcomed challenges enough to etch it out in stone and state these were God’s words and allow people to test the prophecies or words out to see if it was true or not for thousands of generations; and still conclude that obviously something drastic had to have happened to make adults that were former Jews, atheists, or pagans turn to Christ so strongly that they were willing to be martyred by the types of deaths suffered; when all they had to say to not be killed was "they were not Christian and the resurrection did not happen." This was not the typical cult to me. Although people die for cults and leaders and of course religion, this is not the way it happens; not when that leader is supposed to be dead and people have given up on him and been willing to say he was just a prophet. Anytime (including 2013) 50 or 1000 people, with no private motive or attempts at profit, at the same time and place say they all saw and heard the same thing then I pay attention.When those same people take to writing down what they saw on stone tablets caves,and change their former religions due to it then I pay attention. I am not speaking about people wanting to interpret a sign of thunder to mean something, but when 1000 people say the dead came back to life and walked the earth for 30 more years, or an angel came down and spoke to everyone, or that Jesus died and came back and ate with people and let them touch him, or the sea split in half when a man put down a staff/cane, or a voice from heaven spoke and parted the clouds and everyone saw it; then I listen.When over 50 or 1000 or more people all see it, write it down, write down family names record exactly the person or persons it happened to/who witnessed it and- die before they retract their statement or get tortured before they say they lied and form a group against their own religion and gov't in order to try and maintain the truth of their experience then I have to bow my head and say hmmm.Basically I don't buy into 5 people witnessing something or private miracles and a person then telling everyone else.These miracles were public.They weren't mentioning a prophet,but using scripture written2,000yrs earlier to prove that according to that scripture that man was GOD; along with all the miracles 1000's saw.I have to respect that, and my respect leads to belief in this respect.
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    Pg.14 Eusebius had 50 copies of the scriptures prepared for use by the churches in Constantinople. He transcribed bibilical texts and Origen’s edition of the Septuagint. I can’t define everything for those who don’t study but are quick to critique Christianity; so if you don’t know then find out what this stuff means. I can’t do all the research and define terms; plus some words I don’t know.
    Eusebius wrote in teh10 Evangelical Canons a comparative, comparing which passages in the New Testament Gospels were common to all or several or unique to each.
    He writes of the different genealogies of Jesus given in Matthew and Luke, as well as with the divergences in the accounts of the Resurrection.
    He writes to Constantia Augusta, Constantine’s sister.

    I will try to keep my words out of this unless I have to explain what Eusebius’s writings are saying. Below is straight from the book, again unless I put an* symbol to state I’m trying to help his writing be clearer. Now before each chapter in the book Eusebius there is commentary from who ever published this book in English. I will try to make it obvious when I am including the difference between this person's commentary versus Eusebius.
    Pg.21 It is my purpose to record the successions from the holy apostles and the periods extending from our Savior’s time to our own; the many important events that occurred in the history of the church.
    ……..The names, number, and ages of those driven by love of novelty to the extremity of error, have announced themselves as sources of knowledge (falsely so-called) while ravaging Christ’s flock mercilessly, like ferocious wolves;
    The fate that overtook the whole Jewish race after their plot against our Savior; the occasions and times of the hostilities waged by heathen against the divine Word and the heroism of those who fought to defend it, sometimes through torture and blood; the martyrdoms of our own time and the gracious deliverance provided by our Savior and Lord, Jesus the Christ of God, who is my starting point.”
    “This project requires kindness on the part of the reader, since I feel inadequate to do it justice as the first to venture on such an undertaking, a traveler on a lonely and untrodden path.”
    **Eusebius is proclaiming himself the 1st to write about the Christian churches existence after Christ.**
    “I have gathered from the scattred memoirs of my predecessors whatever seems appropriate to this project, plucking, as it were, flowers from the literary fields of the ancient authors themselves.”
    **Being that this is only 200 years after Christ, I trust the works he finds more than Jehovvah witnesses and Mormons books that talk about other writings besides the bible**
    Pg.22 *Eusebious seeks to prove the origen of Christ.”
    Isaiah 5 He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of My people was He stricken.

    9 And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death, because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.

    10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief. When thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.

    11 He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.

    12 Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He hath poured out His soul unto death. And He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.3:8

    John 1:1,3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
    “He spoke and they were made, he commanded, and they were created,” [Ps. 33:9;148:5]
    Gen 1:26 “For God said , ‘Let us make man in our image and likeness.”
    **These are Eusebius’s attempts to show that scripturally Jesus was the word of God and was with God in the beginning carrying out God’s command. God commanded him what to do and Jesus made it because he was the word.**
    **These are other scriptures Eusebius calls on to prove that God called on the Word as an existent entity separate of himself. Psalms [107:20] Genesis [19:24] [Genesis 32:28-29][Josh. 5:13-15] [Exodus 2:4-6][Ps.45:6-7] [Dan. 7:9-10, 13-14]Eusebius’s take is that Jesus is the only man incarnate God and God said he could not reveal himself to man, so therefore the person they saw was Jesus.
    Eusebius argument is:
    Pg. 24 “To suppose that these recorded theophanies were appearances of subordinate angels and minsters of God cannot be correct, for whenever these appear to people, Scripture distinctly declares in countless passages that they are called angles, not God or Lord.”
    “Clearly this could not apply to anyone but our Savior, the God-Word who was in the beginning with God, called son of man because of his ultimate incarnation.”

    “The very names Jesus and Christ were honored even by the God-loving prophets of old. Moses himself was the first to announce how greatly sanctified and glorious was the name of Christ, using types and symbols in response to the oracle that told him: Make everything according to the pattrn show you in the mount. [Ex.25:40] When describing God’s high priest as a man of supreme power, he calls him and his office Christ.
    Moses gave the title Jesus, as a type or symbol, only to the man he knew would succeed him after death. His successor had been known by another name, Hoshea, which his parents had given him [Num. 13:16] but Moses calls him Jesus(the greek translation of Joshua) the son of Nun himself bearing the image of our Savior, who alone after Moses received authority over the true and pure religion. In this way Moses bestows the name of our Savior Jesus Christ as a supreme honor on the two men who in his time surpassed all others in merit and glory: the high priest and the man who would rule after him.
    Pg.28“Accordingly after Moses, it was not only the high priests, symbolically anointed with oil, who were designated among the Hebrews with the name Christ, but also the kings; for by divine directive they too were anointed by the prophets as symbolic Christs…”
    “There was only one true Christ, the divine Word, who rules over all. Proof of this is the fact that none of those symbolically anointed of old, whether priest, king, or prophet, ever obtained the sort of divine power our Savior demonstrated.
    He did not receive the symbols of high priest-hood from anyone or trace his physical descent from priests. Armed forces did not promote his rule, nor did he
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2013
    That’s me. I could write about other crap as to why many other Christians say they’re Christian, but for me it struck me as logical more than requiring my faith; faith was later learned.Now, I can say that the fact that I am doing like so many others before me have done; meaning "follow the same religion as my parents," this can discredit my reason. But hey?I can see it.
    Christianity was not a strong religion and had more reasons to fail then succeed in a Roman empire. Why would people die these types of death for a lie that their own religion (Judaism) preached was blasphemy? Why would one watch their babies eaten by animals, tar poured on themselves till death, skin burned while on stakes driven up their buttholes for a lie? A lie of worshipping an anti-christ that even their own religion says not to ever do because this is one of the most extreme insults to God and will write you out of heaven if wear the mark of the beast? Why not say the resurrection didn’t happen and relieve yourself from consequences? What could make previously normal people who came from normal families change and be willing to suffer such deaths for a man who said he was Christ?
    To learn about Eusebius you can go to Wikipedia. Basically he was a writer and elected Bishop of Caesarea. His books are still kept in Rome as some of the oldest kept books on Christianity. He traveled to Alexandria, tyre and Rome. He was imprisoned in the Diocletianic persecution. He wrote a defense of a very very very famous historian named Origen and his mentor was Pamphilus. Pamphilus was imprisoned and martyred in 310.The controversies Christianity faced in his day that he wrote about were: Did god appear in 3 different modes, not persons, and did the Father suffer in the Christ mode. What date was
    become a prophet like those of old. Jews accorded him no rank or precedence whatever. Yet he had been adorned with all these by the Father, not in symbols but in truth. Although he did not obtain the honors cited, he is called Christ more than all of them, for he is himself the one true Christ of God who has filled the entire world with his Christians.*
    *This is the pattern of Jesus’ divine anointing according to Eusebius.*
    [Ps 45:6-7] Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
    [Ps.110:1-4] The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool….From the womb before the morning star, I begot you. The Lord swore and will not rescind. You are a priest forever of the order of Melchizedek.”
    “This Melchizedek is defined in the sacred books as priest of the most high God without his having received any material anointing or even as belonging to the Hebrew priesthood. That is why our Savior has been called, under oath, Christ and priest according to his order and not that of others who received symbols and patterns……That his anointing was divine is proved by the fact that he alone, of all who ever lived, is known throughout the world as Christ and is called thus by Greeks and non-greeks alike and held in greater awe than a prophet and glorified as the true and only High Priest of God and above all as the preexistent Word of God.”
    *What does the name Christian mean according to Eusebius**The only reason I keep putting according to Eusebius is b/c it’s not me saying this. I am not writing this to hail Eusebius by any means. To those who are Christian and read what is being dealt with, you will know. But back to the point**
    **What does the name Christian mean and is a Christian in fact the first religion?*
    Pg.30“For the name means that the Christian, through the knowledge and teaching of Christ, excels in self-control and righteousness, in discipline and virtue, and in the confession of the one and only God over all, and in all this they showed no less zeal than we.”
    Pg.31“Therefore you will find that these God-loving men even received the name of Christ, according to the word regarding them: Touch not my Christs, and do no wickedness among my prophets [Ps.105:15]
    Clearly then, the recent proclamation of Christ’s teaching to all nations is none other than the very first and most ancient of all religions discovered by Abraham and those lovers of God who followed him.
    [Gen.15:6] “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
    “Now this has obviously been fulfilled in us, for it was by faith in the Word of God, the Christ who had appeared to him, that he was made righteous and gave up the superstition of his fathers to confess the one God, the God over all, serving him by right conduct and NOT by the law of Moses, who came later. To him, as he was then, it was said that all nations would be blessed in him. [Gen.18:18] He shall become a great a mighty nation, and in him shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.
    And currently, in deeds louder than words, Christians alone across the world practice their faith in the very way that Abraham practiced it. Accordingly, Christ’s followers share the same life and religion as the God-loving men of old, and thus Christ’s teaching is not new or strange but, in all honesty, ancient, unique, and true.”--Jesus’ Birth and the End of the Jewish Dynasty—
    Pg. 31 “It was in the 42 year of the reign of Augustus and the 28th after the conquest of Egypt and the deaths of Antony and Cleopatra, the last of the Ptolemaic dynasty, that our Lord Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea in accordance with the prophecies concerning him.
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    --The various Geneaologies of Christ--
    pg. 35 According to Africanus: Names in the families of Israel were either according to nature or law: by nature in the case of genuine offspring; by law when another man fathered children in the name of a brother who had died childless. These genealogies, then, include some who succeeded their actual fathers and others who were children of one father but were recorded as children of another. Thus both the memories of the actual and nominal fathers were preserved. Hence neither of the Gospels of Matthew or Luke is in error, since they take both nature and la into account. For the two families-one descended from Solomon and the other from Nathan-were so interconnected through the remarriage of childless widows and the resurrections of offspring that the same persons could correctly be deemed as children of different parents at different times-sometimes of reputed fathers, sometimes of actual. Bothe accounts are therefore accurate, though complicated,
    as they bring the line down to Joseph (the father of Jesus). To clarify, I will explain the relationship of the families. Reckoning the generations from David through Solomon [as does Matthew 1:115-16], the third from the end is Matthan, whose son was Jacob, the father of Joseph. But if we follow Luke [3:23-37] and reckon from Nathan, the son of David, the corresponding third from the end is Melchi, who son was Heli, the father of Joseph. It must therefore be shown how both Heli and Jacob can be fathers of Joseph, and both Matthan and Melchi, belonging to two different families were grandfathers.
    Now Matthan and Melchi, since they took the same wife, were fathers of stepbrothers, for the law permits a woman who has been divorce or widowed to marry again. Now Estha, the traditional name of the wife in question, first
    married Matthan (descended from Solomon) and boor him Jacob. When Matthan died, his widow married Melchi (descended from Nathan), of the same tribe but different family, and bore him Heli. Thus Jacob and Heli had the same mother, and when Heli died childless, his (half) brother Jacob married his widow and fathered Joseph by he. Joseph, then, was the natural son of Jacob but the legal son of Heli, for whom a good brother had raised up offspring. Matthew uses the term begot for physical descent in the gospels, whereas Luke's gospel says "who was, as was supposed"-note the addendum-"the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Melchi"[3:23-24]. It was impossible to express legal descent more precisely, and he never uses the term
    begot regarding such children in tracing the line back to Adam, the son of God. This is neither unprovable nor conjecture. **This is not debatable it is absolute FACT** The human relatives of Jesus have handed on this tradition also, either to boast or simply to give information, but in any case telling the truth.

    At the end of Africanus's letter he states on the genealogy: Matthan, Solomon's descendant, begot Jacob. When Matthan died, Melchi, Nathan's descendant, begot Heli with the same woman. Heli and Jacob thus had the same mother. When Heli died without children, Jacob raised up seed for him in fathering Joseph, his own natural son but Heli's legal son. Thus Joseph was son of both.
    **Now what about Mary mother of Jesus? Jesus was not born of man, so the only genealogy that matter should be his mother Mary??**
    This genealogy of Joseph is also virtual proof that Mary belonged to the same tribe as he, since, according to the law of Moses, it was illegal for the different tribes to intermarry. The command that partners be from the same town and clan is given so that the family inheritance might not be transferred from tribe to tribe. **Thus Mary's genealogy is the same as Joseph's**

    **For those that don't know King Herod. He is the one who demanded the massacre of all infants two years old and under in Bethlehem and its vicinity due to Micah's prophecy that the Christ was born in Bethlehem. Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt to keep Jesus alive. They had been warned by an angel.
    Herod wanted to be seen as divine so he tried to erase his own history because he had no Israelite ancestry and hated his own origins. He wanted to be seen as born of noble birth and figured noone could trace his bloodline. However, some people still held his original birth records without him knowing.
    Anyways after Herod ordered the deaths of 2 year old he went on and murdered his wife, children, relatives, and friends. Josephus, the first writer to record on the Christian church wrote about what happened to Herod in Book 17 of his Jewish Antiquities.
    pg. 40 &41"Herod's illness progressively worsened as God exacted punishment for his crimes. A slow fire burned inside him, less obvious to the touch. He had an insatiable desire for food, ulcers in the intestines, terrible pain in the colon, and a clammy edema in his feet. His bladder was inflamed and his genitals gangrenous, breeding worms. His breathing was rapid and extremely offensive due to its stench, and every limb was convulsed intolerably. Wise onlookers declared that God was exacting retribution from the king for his many wicked deeds.
    The doctors there decided to warm his body by lowering him into a tub of hot oil, but he fainted, turning up his eyes as if dying." "Returning to Jericho in depression, he planned a final monstrous crime. He assembled the most eminent men from every village in all Judea and had them locked inside the hippodrome. Then he told his sister Salome and her husband, Alexas: I know the jews will celebrate my death with rejoicing, but I can be mourned for the sake of others and have a splendid funeral if you do as I direct. Surround the men in the hippodrome with soldiers, and the moment I did, kill them all quickly, so that all Judea and every house will weep over me."Before Herod died he ordered the execution of yet a third of his legitimate sons, in addition to the two already murdered, and then he died.
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2013
    pg.33 At this time Herod was the first foreigner to become king of the Jewish nation, fulfilling Moses' prophecy"A ruler shall not be wanting from Judah, nor a leader from his loins, until he comes for whom it is reserved." [Gen.49:10] Moses states that he will be "the expectation of the Gentiles." This prediction could not be fulfilled as long as the Jews lived under rulers of their own race, beginning with Moses and continuing down to Augustus's reign. In his time, however, the Romans awarded the gov't of the Jews to Herod, the 1st foreigner. When the Jewish kingship devolved on such a man, the expectation of the Gentiles, according to prophecy, was already at the door, for the regular succession of their rulers and governors from the time of Moses came to an end. Before the Babylonian captivity, they were ruled by kings, Saul and DAvid being the first. And before the kings, rulers known as judges governed tthem, following Moses and his successor
    Joshua **(and we already know where Joshua got his name).
    **Now it's time to think. How did the jews 1000's of years before Christ plan and write down in the Old Testament that Jesus would come to being during a time when a Jew would not be ruling Jerusalem??? This is in my opinion beyond human intervention. Herod is who I am speaking of.**
    "pg.34 "After the return from Babylon, an oligarchic aristocracy (gov't) of priests was in control of Jerusalem until the Roman general Pompey **everybody knows Pompey and the Triumvirate** laid siege to Jerusalem and defiled the holy places by entering the inner sanctuary of the temple. He sent the king and high priest of Jerusalem to prison in Rome. He transferred the high priesthood of Jerusalem to Hyrcanus (he is Aristobulus's brother). He made the whole Jewish nation a tributary to Rome from then on. **Think like Bermuda is a tributary of Britain or Puerto Rico is a tributary of America**. "Hyrcanus was taken prisoner by the Parthians, Herod was the 1st foreigner, as I have said, to be placed King over the Jewish nation by the Roman senate and the emperor Antony Augustus."
    **Now how did the Jews a thousand years prior plan this out for the Romans to overrule them and take over their kingdom and kick their priests out and have the very, the very, very first foreigner placed over the Jewish nation to be the very one that it was stated the Christ would come when a foreign ruler governed Jerusalem??? Now even if the Jews planned this, they didn't. Why? Because the Jews still till this day by the majority to not claim Jesus to be the Christ. It is the Gentiles who hail Christ as King; again as stated in the prophecy that Eusebius wrote of earlier that states Jesus will be a Christ to the Gentiles. So, the Gentiles who weren't Jews and did not know scripture were not responsible for trying to force prophecy to fruition b/c they did not know the prophecy or care.***"The advent of Christ clearly occurred in his time, and the anticipated salvation and calling of the Gentiles followed in accord with the prophecy. Daniel specifies the exact number of weeks from his time until the rule of Christ in Daniel 9:24-27 with 70 weeks of years-prophesying that after these weeks the anointing of Jews will cease. Clearly this was fulfilled at the time of Jesus's birth.
    pg. 44 is next
    "Our Lord called the 12 apostles shortly after the start of his preaching-of all his disciples he gave the name apostles to them only as a special privilege-and appointed 70 others whom he also sent out in advance, two by two, into every place or town where he himself planned to come."
    "Soon afterward, John the Baptist was beheaded by the younger Herod [Antipas] [Mark 6:14-29]. Josephus confirms the Gospel narrative. He also says that the entire army of Herod was destroyed in battle as retribution for his plot against John the Baptist. The same Josephus acknowledges that John was especially righteous and a baptizer, confirming the description of him in the Gospels."
    **My reason for including Eusebius's writings which include Josephus's writings is because Josephus's writings are further proof that people other than Jesus' apostles and the authors of the other books in the bible are still kept who witnessed what happened to Jesus' direct followers. Josephus was considered, like Eusebius, a historian. It is interesting to see what other people living at that time had to say about Christianity and what they saw the apostles go through**
    Here is what Josephus writes: Now, to some of the Jews the destruction of Herod's army seemed to come from God as a very just recompense (revenge), a punishment for what he did to John. For Herod had executed him, though he was a good man and had exhorted the Jews to exercise virtue both in practicing justice toward one another and in piety toward God and, so doing, to join in baptism. Herod felt inclined to kill John when others also joined the crowds about him-for they were deeply stirred at hearing his words-Herod grew alarmed: such great influence over the people could lead to an uprising, for they seemed ready to do anything John might advise. Accordingly, Herod decided that it would be much better to strike John first and get rid of him before any insurrection might develop than to get himself into trouble and be sorry not to have acted once a rebellion had begun. And so, due to Herod's suspicions, John was brought in chains to Machaerus, the
    fortress that we have previously mentioned, and there put to death.
    **Back to Eusebius's writings**
    The Disciples of Jesus
    Paul states that after his resurrection Jesus was seen first by Cephas, then by the 12, and after these by more than 500 brethren at once, some of whom, he says, had fallen asleep, but the majority were still alive at the time he wrote. Then, he says, he was seen by James, one of the alleged brothers of the Savior, and finally "by all the apostles" like Paul himself, a larger number patterned on the 12.
    "Because of his miraculous powers the divinity of Christ was noised abroad everywhere, and myriads even in foreign lands remote from Judea came to him in the hope of healing from diseases of every kind. Thus, when King Abgar V, the celebrated ruler of peoples beyond the Euphrates, was suffering terribly from an incurable illness and often heard the name of Jesus and his miracles, he sent him a request, via letter carrier, pleading for relief from his disease. Jesus did not consent to his request at the time but favored him with a personal letter, promising to send one of his disciples to cure the disease and bring salvation to him and his relatives.

  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    Joseph Christ's father-though the Virgin was his betrothed and before they came together she was found to have conceived by the Holy Spirit, as the inspired James was called the brother of Jesus since he too was called Joseph's son, and Gospel tells us [Matt. 1-18]. This same James, whom early Christians surnamed "the Just" for his outstanding virtue, was the first to be elected to the bishop's throne of the church in Jerusalem.
    Clement [of Alexandria], in his book the Outlines, Book 6, puts it as follows: Peter, James, and Joh, after the Savior's ascension, did not contend for the honor because they had previously been favored by the Savior, but chose James the Just as Bishop of Jerusalem…..Now there were two Jameses: one, James the Just, who was thrown down from the parapet [of the temple] and beaten to death with a fuller's club; the other, the James who was beheaded [Acts 12:2]

    **back to Eusebius's writing**
    Paul also mentions James the Just when he writes: "But I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord's brother" [Gal. 1:19]
    At this time also, our Savior's promise to the king of the Osrhoenes was being fulfilled. Thomas was inspired to send Thaddeus to Edessa, as previously stated, and he healed Abgar by the word of Christ (Jesus said he would do this in the letter), amazing all the inhabitants by his wonderful miracles. He brought them to venerate the power of Christ and made them disciples of the saving doctrine. From that day to this the whole city-state of Edessa has been devoted to Christ, thus demonstrating our Savior's goodness also to them.
    We return once more to the divine Scripture. Stephen's martyrdom was followed by the first and greatest persecution of the church in Jerusalem by the Jews. All the disciples, except for the 12, were scattered about Judea and Samaria. Some, as the divine Scripture says, traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, but they could not yet try to share the faith with Gentiles and proclaimed it only to Jews. At that time Paul was also still ravaging the church, entering the houses of the faithful, dragging out men and women, and committing them to prison.
    Philip, however, one of those who had been ordained with Stephen to the diaconate, was among those dispersed. He went to Samaria, and filled with divine power, was the first to preach the word there. So great was the divine grace at work with him that even Simon Magus and many others were captivated by his words. Simon was a wizard. He later was baptized. He also later proved himself untrue and was exposed by Peter.

    While the saving message spread day by day, some providence brought from Ethiopia an officer of the queen, for that nation is still traditionally ruled by a woman. He was the first Gentile to receive the divine Word from Philip by revelation and the first to return to his native land and preach the Gospel. Through him the prophecy was actually fulfilled that states, "Ethiopia shall stretch out its hands to God." [Ps. 68:31]
    Paul was appointed an apostle in addition to these,the chosen vessel neither of men nor through men but through revelation of Jesus Christ himself and God the Father who raised him from the dead. He received his call by a vision and the heavenly voice accompanying the revelation.


    pg. 60 Tertullian, a famed, distinguished expert on Roman law, has noted this in his writing Defense of the Christians:
    There was an old decree that no one should be consecrated as a god by an emperor before he had been approved by the senate. Marcus Aemilius observed this procedure in the case of a certain idol, Alburnus. This underscores our argument that you [Romans] confer deity through human approval-if a god does not please man, he does not become god-so man must have mercy on god in your system! Tiberius then, in whose time the name Christian came into the world, when this doctrine was reported to him from Palestine, where it began, communicated it to the senate, plainly indicating that he favored the doctrine. The senate, however, rejected it, because it had not itself reviewed it; but Tiberius stuck to his own opinion and threatened death to any who accused the Christians.

    *Here's what Eusebius had to say on Tertullian's writing*
    Heavenly providence had intentionally put this in his mind so that the word of the Gospel might get off to a good start and span the earth in all directions.
    Thus, the saving word started to brighten the whole world like rays of the sun. In every city and village, churches mushroomed, crowded with myriads of members. Those chained by superstition and idolatry found release through the power of Christ as well as the teaching and wonderful deeds of his followers. Rejecting demonic polytheism, they confessed the one God and Creator of the universe whom they honored with the rational worship implanted by our Savior.
    Now the divine grace was being poured out also on the other nations. First Cornelius and his whole household at Palestinian Caesarea embraced Christianity through divine revelation and Peter's ministry. So did many other Gentile Greeks at Antioch who heard the preaching of those scattered in the persecution of Stephen's time. The church at Antioch was now flourishing and multiplying , and it was at that time and place-when many of the prophets from Jerusalem as well as Barnabas, Paul, and other brethren were present--that the name Christian first appeared. One of the prophets, Agabus, predicted that there would be a famine, and Paul and Barnabas were sent to aid the brethren in Judea.
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2013
    A Letter Written to Jesus
    **{The reason I'm including letters people wrote to Jesus it to show Jesus existed. You don't write letters to someone at an address that doesn't exist. I also include the letters to show how Jesus was looked at by people when he was alive, because today many people say he was considered a prophet in his day but not seen as Christ when he was living}**
    pg. 48 "There is written evidence of this taken from the archives at Edessa, the then royal capital, which include ancient history as well as the events at Abgar's time. Here are the letters themselves, which I have extracted from the archives and translated word for word from the Syriac:"
    Copy of a Letter written by Abgar the toparch to Jesus, sent to him at Jerusalem By the Courier Ananias.
    Abgar Uchama, the Toparch, to Jesus the excellent Savior who has appeared in the region of Jerusalem, greeting.
    I have heard about you and the cures you accomplish without drugs or herbs. Word has it that you make the blind see and the lame walk, that you heal lepers and cast out unclean spirits and demons, and that you cure those tortured by chronic disease and raise the dead. When I heard all these things about you, I decided that one of two things is true: either you are God and came down from heaven to do these things or you are God's Son for doing them. For this reason I am writing to beg you to take the trouble to come to me and heal my suffering. I have also heard that the Jews are murmuring against you and plot to harm you. Now, my city-state is very small but highly regarded and adequate for both of us.
    **Jesus responded with this letter**
    Blessed are you who believed in me without seeing me! For it is written that those who have seen me will not believe in me and that those who have not seen me will believe and live. Now regarding your request that I come to you, I must first complete all that I was sen to do here, and, once that is completed, must be taken up to the One who sent me. When I have been taken up, I will send one of my disciples to heal your suffering and bring life to you and yours.
    **The following are words that whoever printed the works of Eusebius includes every now and then. I will put a % sign when this happens**
    %Eusebius was equally concerned, however, to demonstrate the true historicity of the man Jesus. He made no appeals to blind faith but instead marshaled whatever nonbiblical sources he could find to show how well they corroborated the New Testament Gospels.
    *Back to Eusebius's words*
    The Jerusalem Apostles
    pg.57 Stephen (the apostle) was the first after the Lord not only in ordination, but also in being put to death, stoned by the Lord's murderers, and so was the first to win the crown, represented in his name, that was gained by the martyrs of Christ deemed worthy of victory.
    Philo {one of the greatest Hebrew scholars and held in high authority in Alexandria; writes in one of his 5 books what happened to the Jews in the reign of Gaius Caesar} writes of how Gaius Caesar the emperor of Rome declared proclaimed himself a god and committed innumerable insolent deeds, the misery of the Jews in his time, Philo's mission to Rome on behalf of his compatriots in Alexandria, and how he received nothing but laughter and ridicule from Gaius in defending their ancestral laws and narrowly escaping with is life.
    Josephus writes in Book 18 of the Antiquities:
    When a riot took place in Alexandria btw. the Jews living there and the Greeks, 3 from each side were chosen to go as representatives to Gaius. Apion, one of the Alexandrian representatives, brought many charges against the Jews, claiming in particular that they neglected to honor Caesar and that when all Roman subjects erected altars and temples to Gaius as they did the gods, the Jews alone thought it disgraceful to honor him with statues or swear by his name. Philo-the skilled philosopher and head of the Jewish delegation, brother of Alexander the Alabarch-capably refuted the charges until Gaius cut him short, told him to leave, and became so enraged that he was clearly at the point of taking drastic measures against them. So Philo left, deeply insulted, and told his Jewish associated to have courage: even if Gaius was furious with them he was in fact already at war with God.
    *back to Eusebius writing about Josephus's writing*
    Philo himself, in The Embassy book, provides a detailed account of what he did at that time. I shall omit most of it, citing only those items that will demonstrate the calamities that quickly befell the Jews as a consequence of their crimes against Christ. He relates that in Rome at the time of Tiberius, the most influential member of the imperial court, Sejanus, took steps to eradicate the entire race. Meanwhile in Judea, Pilate, under whom the crime against the Savior was committed, made an attempt on the temple in Jerusalem, contrary to the privileges accorded the Jews, and harassed them severely,…while after the death of Tiberius, the emperor Gaius inflicted outrages on many, but most of all on the whole Jewish race. This may be learned from Philo's own words:
    *Here's Philo's words*
    Now Gaius was extremely capricious toward everyone, but the Jewish race in particular. He hated them so fiercely that, beginning in Alexandria, he seized the synagogues in city after city and filled them with images and statues of himself-in granting permission to erect them, it was he who set them up-and in the Holy City he tried to transform the temple, which was still untouched and deemed inviolable, into a shrine of his own, to be called "The temple of Jupiter Manifest, Gaius the Younger
    **words of Eusebius**
    In a second work, On the Virtues, the same writer Philo tells of countless other atrocities inflicted on jews. Josephus also confirms this in Book 2 of the Jewish War,he states:
    Pilate, sent by Tiberius as procurator of Judea, brought into Jerusalem at night covered images of Caesar that are called standards. When day arrived this provoked a huge commotion among the Jews, who were shocked at how their laws had been trampled upon, since they do not permit any image to be set up in the city.
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2013
    *back to Eusebius's words*
    pg. 64 Now if you compare this with the account in the Gospels, you will see that it was not long before the jews own cry came back to haunt them, when they shouted before Pilate that they had no king but Caesar [John 19:15]. Josephus then goes on to report another disaster that befell them.
    *I'm going to summarize it because I'm getting tired of typing long quotes*
    Pilate incited another riot on the Jews. He built an aqueduct 300 hundred stadia long which aroused the anger of the jews. He wanted this. When he arrived in Jerusalem the jews came out to howl at him and get mad. He knew this would happen and already told his soldiers to wait for the jews to provoke him and then beat the jews and not use their swords. The soldier's beat the jews and beat some of them to death, but Pilate looked innocent because the jews anger provoked him to defend himself.
    *back to Eusebius's words*
    pg. 65 The same writer Josephus shows that numerous revolts broke out in Jerusalem besides this, confirming that from then on factionalism, war, and mutual plotting never ceased in the city and throughout Judea until the final scene of all: the siege under Vespasian. Such was the retribution of divine justice upon the Jews for their crimes against Christ.
    It is also worthy of note that in the reign of GAius, whose times I have described, Pilate himself-he of the Savior's era-is reported to have fallen into such misfortune that he was forced to become his own executioner and to punish himself with his own hand. Divine justice, it seems, did not delay his punishment for long. Those who record the Olympiads of the Greeks and the events occurring in each relate this.
    Gaius had not finished four years of rule when Claudius succeeded him as emperor. In his time, famine afflicted the whole word (as writers with a purpose quite different from ours have recorded in their histories) and so the prophecy of Agabus in the Acts of the Apostles that a famine would occur all over the world was fulfilled. Luke describes the famine at the time of Claudius and tells how the Christians at Antioch, each according to his ability, sent aid to those in Judea via Paul and Barnabas [Acts 11:28-29]. He goes on to say:
    About that time of Claudius --King Herod laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church and killed James the brother of John with the word [Acts 12:1-1]. In Book 7 of Outlines, Clement adds an interesting tradition regarding James that the man who brought him into court was so moved by his testimony that he confessed that he too was a Christian:
    So they were both taken away together, and on the way he asked James to forgive him. James looked at him for a moment and replied, "Peace be with you," and kissed him. So bother were beheaded at the same time.
    Then as Scripture sasy, Herod Agrippa, seeing that James's execution pleased the Jews, arrested Petger also, put him prison, and would have murdered him too, but for DIVINE INTERVENTION: an angel stood by him at night, and he was miraculously released from prison and set free for the ministry of preaching.
    **Herod received punishment**
    Divine justice brought swift retribution to the king for his plots against the apostles, as Acts records. He had gone to Caesarea, and there on a feast day, adorned in magnificent royal attire, he delivered an address while standing on a dais in front of his throne. The entire audience applauded his address as if it were delivered by a god, not a man, but the inspired Word reports that an angel of the Lord struck him instantly, and he was eaten by worms and dies [Acts 12:19-23]. It is astonishing how this marvel in the divine Scripture is supported also by Josephus in Antiquities, Book 19.
    **Basically Joseph recalls the event and writes exactly what happened with including what Herod said before he died. I'm getting really tired of typing but I'm going to include some of what Josephus said Herod said. I can't write the entire speech**
    He felt an instant pain in his heart and a growing agony in his stomach. Looking to his friends, he said, "I, your god, am now ordered to surrender my life, since fate has instantly disproved the lies you just uttered about me. He whom you called immortal is now being taken away to die. Fate must be accepted as God has willed it. Nor have I lived a poor life, but in a splendor that people envy."
    *moving ahead to other pages*
    pg.73 Mark (the writer of Mark in the bible's gospel, who was a direct follower of Peter when Peter was alive. Peter confirms this saying in 1 Peter 5:13] is said to have been the first sent to Egypt to preach the Gospel that he had also written down and the first to found churches in Alexandria itself. So great was the number of converts, both men and women, and so extraordinary their asceticism that Philo thought it appropriate to describe their conduct, gatherings, meals, and way of life.

  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭

    pg. 81 When Paul appealed to Caesar and was sent to Rome by Festus, the Jews were disappointed in their hope regarding the plot they had devised against him and turned against James, the Lord's brother, to whom the bishop's throne in Jerusalem had been assigned by the apostles. This is the crime that they committed. They brought him into their mids and in front of the whole populace demanded a denial of his faith in Christ. But when he in the year AD 62 contrary to all expectation, loudly and courageously confessed before them all that our Lord Jesus Christ was the Son of God, they could not tolerate his testimony any longer, since he was universally deemed the most righteous of men because of the heights he had reached in philosophy and religion. So they killed him, using anarchy as their opportunity to seize power, because at that moment Festus had died in Judea, leaving the province without government or procurator. How James died has already been
    shown by a previous quotation from Clement, who says that he was thrown down from the parapet and clubbed to death. But the most accurate account of him is given by Hegesippus, who cam in the generation after the apostles. He writes, in Book 5 of his Memoirs:
    The church passed to James, the bother of the Lord, along with the apostles. He was called "the Just" by everyone from the Lord's time to ours, since there were many Jameses, but this one was consecrated from his mother's womb. He drank no wine or liquor and ate no meat. No razor came near his head, he did not anoint himself with oil, and took no baths. He alone was permitted to enter the sanctum, for he wore linen and not wool. He used to enter the temple alone and as often found kneeling and imploring forgiveness for the people, so that his knees became hard like a camel's from his continual kneeling in worship of God and in prayer for the people.
    Representatives of the seven sects among the Jewish people asked James what "the door of Jesus" meant, and he replied that he was the SAvior. Because of this, some believed that Jesus was the Christ. The sects mentioned above did not believe in a resurrection or in ONe who is coming to reward each according to his deeds, but those who did believe did so because of James. Now, since many even of the rulers believed, there was an uproar among the Jews, scribes, and Pharisees saying that the wholepopulace was in danger of expecting Jesus as the Christ. So they assembled and said to James: "We call on you to restrain the people, since they have gone astray after Jesus, believing him to be the Christ. We call on you to persuade all who come for the Passover concerning Jesus, since all of us trust you. We and the entire populace can vouch for the fact that you re righteous and take noone at face value. So do persuade the crowd not to err regarding Jesus,
    since we and all the people respect you. So stand on the parapet of the temple,where you can be clearly sen from that height and your words be heard by all the people with all the tribes, and Gentiles too, gathered for the Passover.
    So the scribes and Pharisees made James stand on the temple parapet, and they shouted to him, "O righteous one, whom we all ought to believe, since the people are going astray after Jesus who was crucified, tell us, what does 'the door of Jesus' mean?" James replied with a loud voice, "Why do you ask me about the Son of Man? He is sitting in heaven at the right hand of the Great Power, and he will come on the clouds of heaven." Many were convinced and rejoiced at James's testimony, crying, "Hosanna to the Son of David." Then the scribes and Pharisees said to each other, "We made a bad mistake in providing such testimony to Jesus, but let us go up and throw him down so that they will be afraid and not believe in him." And they cried out, "Oh, oh, even the just one has gone astray!" This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:"Let us remove the just man, for he is unprofitable to us. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their works." [Is. 3:10] **Of course
    James the Just.**
    So they went up and threw down the righteous one. Then they said to each other, "Let us sone James the Just," and they began to stone him, since the fall had not killed him. But he turned and knelt down, saying, "I implore you, O Lord, God and FAther, forgive them: they do not know what they are doing." While they were pelting him with stones, one of the priests among the sons of the Rechabites, to whom the prophet Jeremiah bore witness, cried out, "Stop! What are you doing? The righteous one is praying for you." Then one of them, a laundryman, took the club that he used to beat out clothes and hit the Just on the head. Such was his martyrdom. They buried James on the spot by the temple, and his gravestone is still there by the temple. He became a true witness to both Jews and Gentiles that Jesus is the Christ.
    This is the full account given by Hegesippus, which is in agreement with Clement. So extraordinary a man was James, so esteemed by all for righteousness that even the more intelligent of the Jews thought that this was why the siege of Jerusalem immediately followed his martyrdom. Indeed, Josephus did not hesitate to write this {**2 people besides the bible wrote about James death**}:
    These things happened to the Jews as retribution for James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus who was called Christ, for the Jews killed him despite his great righteousness.
    Josephus also described his death in Antiquities Book 20.
    Pg.84 Once Nero’s power was firmly established, he plunged into nefarious vices and took up arms against the God of the universe. To describe his depravity is not part of the present work. Many have accurately recorded the facts about him, and from them any who wish may study his perverse and degenerate madness, which led him to destroy innumerable lives and finally to such indiscriminate murder that he did not spare even his nearest and dearest.With various sorts of deaths, he did away with his mother, brothers, and wife, as well as countless other near relatives, as if they were strangers and enemies: he was the 1st of the the emperors to be the declared enemy of the Deity. To this the Roman Tertullian refers as follows: Consult your own records: there you will find that Nero was the first to let his imperial sword rage against this sect called Christianity when it was just arising in Rome. We boast that such a man was the originator of our
    pruning, for anyone who knows him can understand that nothing would have been condemned by Nero unless it were supremely good.
    So it happened that this man, the first to be announced publicly as a fighter against God, was led on to slaughter the apostles. It is related that in his reign Paul was beheaded in Rome itself and that Peter was also crucified, and the cemeteries there still called by the names of Peter and Paul confirm the record. [**proof Paul and Peter existed** For those who don’t doubt their existence this might be neglibible**]So does a churchman named Gaius, who lived when Zephyrinus was Bishop of Rome.
    **moving ahead to other pgs.**
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2013
    **Eusebius writes**
    Philo on the Egyptian Ascetics
    Tradition claims that Philo came to Rome in the time of Claudius to converse with Peter, then preaching to the people there. Nor is this improbably, since the writing to which I refer clearly contains the rules of the church still observed in our time. HIs very accurate description of our ascetics, moreover, shows that he not only knew but also welcomed and approved the apostolic men of his day, who were apparently of Hebrew origin. In his book On the Contemplative Life or Suppliants, he says that they were called Therapeutae and their women Therapeutrides, this name was given b/c they cure souls. Whether he invented this term or whether they were actually called this because the title Christian had not yet come into general use need not detain us.
    In any case,he stresses their renunciation of property, stating that when they follow this philosophy, they surrender their possessions to relatives, move outside the walls, and make their homes in deserts and secluded oases, well aware that association with those of different ideas is unprofitable and harmful as they emulate the ardent faith of the prophets. Similarly in Acts, the disciples sold their possessions and laid the proceeds at the apostles' feet so that it could be distributed to each according to need [Acts 4:34-25]. Philo continues:
    The race is found in many parts of the world, for that which is good should have been shared by both Greeks and foreigners. IT IS VERY STRONG IN EACH OF THE EGYPTIAN NOMES and especially around Alexandria. The best men in each region go as colonists to the most suitable spot as if homeland for the Therapeutae (Christian before the term). This district is situated on a low hill above Lake Mareotis, well suited as to security and mild climate.
    In each house there is a sacred chamber called a sanctuary or monastery where they celebrate in private the mysteries of the sacred life, bringing in nothing but law and inspired oracles of prophets, hymns, and whatever augments knowledge and true religion….The whole period from dawn to dusk is dedicated to spiritual discipline. They read the sacred Scriptures and interpret their ancestral philosophy allegorically, since they regard the literal sense as symbolic of a reality hidden beneath the surface. They also have writings by founders of their sect that they use as models of the allegorical method.
    **Eusebius writes**
    It is probably that these writings were the Gospels, the works of the apostles, and expositions of the prophets, as in the letter to the Hebrews and several other epistles of Paul.
    While Claudius was still emperor, a fierce riot broke out in Jerusalem during the Feast of the Passover/Easter that 30,000 people trampled each other to death around the exits of the temple, thus turning the feats into mourning. Josephus goes on to say that Claudius appointed AgrippaII as king of the Jews and sent Felix as procurator of the whole country, including Samaria, Galilee, and Perea. Claudius himself, having ruled for thirteen years and 8 months dies, leaving his throne to Nero. **We all know Nero if you read the bible**
    Josephus also tells of bandits in Jerusalem who murdered victims in broad daylight in the middle of the city. At festivals, in particular, they used to mingle with the crowds, stab distinguished people with concealed daggers, and then affect indignation when they had failed, evading discovery in this way. {**This reminds me precisely of the PS3 game Assassin's Creed} First to be slaughtered by them was Jonathan the high priest, and after him many were murdered daily. Josephus writes;
    A worse scourge than this [distinguished priests and clergy being stabbed] was inflicted on the Jews by the Egyptian false prophet, an imposter who attracted 30,000 people and led them through a wilderness route to the Mount of Lives, from which he prepared to invade Jerusalem, overpower the Roman garrison, and seize supreme power. But Felix anticipated this attack and with Roman rocs attacked the prophet and his people so that the Egyptians fled with only a few living after the attack.
    This man who was the false prophet was thought to be Paul in the bible but was not.
    This passage from Book 2 of the Jewish War by Josephus corresponds with what is noted about the Egyptian false prophet in the book of Acts in the bible, where the military tribune at Jerusalem in the time of Felix asks Paul during the Jewish riot against him/Felix, "Then you are not the Egyptian who recently stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?" [Acts 21:38] Such were the events under Felix.
    **I'm a little confused here. Paul is a well known Roman. How is he accused of being Egyptian?This couldn't happen. But maybe, because Paul was sent to Rome as a prisoner from Egypt before successfully defending himself and being freed."
    Pg.94 Paul preached to the Gentiles and Peter to the circumcised in the cities and provinces cited previously. But it is not easy to determine how many in the churches they founded were zealous and able enough to become pastors except by noting the innumerable fellow workers named by Paul and Luke’s listing of Paul’s disciples in Acts. Timothy, for example, is said to have been the 1st bishop appointed to the parish in Ephesus, as was Titus to the churches of Crete.
    Luke (the one who wrote the gospel Luke), an Antiochene by birth and a physician by profession, was long a companion of Paul and was closely associated also with the other apostles. In two divinely inspired books, the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, he has left us examples of the soul healing that he learned from them. The former, he states, he wrote on the basis of information he received from those who from the first were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word. The latter he composed not from the evidence of hearing but of his own eyes. They say that Paul was actually in the habit of referring to Luke’s Gospel whenever he used the phrase “According to my gospel.”
    Of Paul’s other followers, Crescens was sent by him to Gaul [2Timothy 4:10], and Linus, who is cited in 2 Timothy as being with Paul in Rome, was the first after Peter to be appointed Bishop of Rome, as stated previously. Clement too, who became the third Bishop of Rome, was Paul’s coworker and cocombatant, as the apostle himself testifies [Phil. 4:3]. Besides these, Dionysius the Areopagite, the 1st convert afer Paul’s address to the Athenians at the Areopagus, as Luke relates in Acts [17:34], became the first Bishop of Athens, according to another Dionysius, pastor of the parish in Corinth. The chronological details of the apostles’ succession will be presented in due course.


  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2013
    Pg. 95 After Nero’s rule of 13 years, that of Galba and Otho occupied a year and a half, and then Vespasian, who had distinguished himself in the campaigns against the Jews, was proclaimed emperor while still in Judea, having been hailed as imperator by the armies there. He immediately set out for Rome, entrusting to his son Titus the war against the Jews.
    Now after our Savior’s ascension, the Jews followed their crime against him with numerous plots against the apostles. First they stoned Stephen to death. Next James, son of Zebedee and brother of John, as beheaded. And finally James, the first to be appointed Bishop of Jerusalem, died in the way described previously, while the other apostles were driven out of Judea by numerous deadly plots. But they traveled into every land, teaching their message in the power of Christ, who had told them, “Go and make disciples of all nations in my name,” [Matt. 28:19]. Meanwhile, before the war began, members of the Jerusalem church were ordered by an oracle given by revelation to those worthy of it to leave the city and settle in a city of Pera called Pella. Here they migrated from Jerusalem, as if, once holy men had deserted the royal capital of the Jews and the whole land of Judea, the judgment of God might finally fall on them for their crimes against
    Christ and his apostles, utterly blotting out all that wicked generation.
    *Interesting thought I’m having is how Eusebius is quick to blame the persecutions of the Jews on God’s delivering punishment on them for killing Jesus, yet very quickly the Christians are about to face a persecution equivalent to the Jews and yet when the Christians are persecuted his take will be that the Christian martyrs are for the betterment of helping to show the strength of Christianity and the truth of it. I completely understand Eusebius’s perspective and I agree, but I do not fail to see the irony either.**
    *Belowfor about the next 2 pgs. is stuff I didn’t intend on typing, but felt it necessary to show support for Eusebius’s claim, based on how quickly judgment came to the jews and the irony that it happened to them right during Passover.
    Pg.99Those who wish may trace precisely from Josephus’s history the disasters that overwhelmed the entire jewish nation, especially how the residents of Judea were driven to the limits of suffering; how many thousands of men, women, and children died by the sword, famine, and countless other forms of death; how many famous Jewish cities endured horrors under siege; and in particular the terrors of those who fled for refuge to Jerusalem as an “impregnable fortress.” They can study all the details of the entire war and how in the the Abomination of Desolation, declared by the prophets, was set up in the very temple of God, celebrated of old, when it was utterly destroyed by fire. I must, however, point out how Josephus estimates that the people from all of Judea who at the time of the Passover thronged into Jerusalem, as if to a prison, numbered 3 million. It is indeed appropriate that in the very days on which they perpetrated the Savior’s
    they should be shut inside a prision, as it were, and receive the destruction meted out by divine justice. Omitting their disasters by sword and other means, I shall relate only their sufferings from starvation, so that readers may learn how quickly God’s punishment followed their crime against Christ.
    Let us then take up again the 5th book of Josephus’s Jewish War and go through the tragedy of what happened:
    For the wealthy to remain in Jerusalem was equally dangerous, since, under the pretext of desertion, many were killed for their money. But the madness of the rebels increased with the famine, and the terrors of both flared more fiercely each day. Since no grain could be seen anywhere, they broke into homes and ransacked them. If they found any, they tormented the occupants for claiming there was none; if not, they tortured them for having hidden it too well. The bodies of the miserable wretches were enough evidence to whether or not they had it: if sound, they were deemed to have plenty of food, while those already emaciated were passed by, for it seemed unreasonable to kill those who would soon die of starvation. Many secretly bartered their property for a measure of wheat, if they were rich, or barley, if poor. Then, shutting themselves inside the innermost interior of their houses, some ate their grain raw in extreme hunger, while others baked
    bread as necessity or fear dictated. They snatched food from the fire, uncooked, and tore it in pieces
    All restraint was shunned as women grabbed food from the very mouths of their husbands, children from their fathers, and-most horrid of all-mothers from their babies; and while their dearest ones were dying in their arms, they had no scruples about depriving them of the last morsel that might have kept them alive. Partisans everywhere would rob them even of such pickings, for whenever they saw a locked door, they assumed that those inside were dining and they broke down the doors, rushed in, and all but squeezed the morsels of food out of their throats. Old men were beaten for holding onto their food, and women were dragged by the hair for hiding it in their hands. They showed no pity for gray hair or infancy but picked up the babies clinging to their scraps and dashed them to the floor. To those who anticipated their coming by gulping down food they were the more savage, as if defrauded.
    In their quest for food they devised dreadful methods of torture, stuffing bitter vetch into the genital passages of their victims and driving sharp stakes into their rears-torments horrible even to hear- to get people to reveal a hidden loaf or a single handful of barley. Not that the torturers were hungry-indeed, their cruelty would have been less savage had it sprung from need-but they were rather giving their madness some exercise and storing up supplies for days to come.
    The homes were filled with women and thus children destroyed, the alleys with corpses of old men. Young men and boys, swelling with hunger, haunted the marketplace like ghosts and fell dead in their tracks. The sick could not bury their relatives, while those still fit evaded the task due to the numbers of the dead and their own uncertain fate, for many fell dead while burying others, and many set out for their own graves while they were still able. There was no weeping or wailing as hunger conquered emotion, and those who were dying looked with dry eyes on those already dead. Deep silence and a lethal darkness shrouded the city.

  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    Worse still were the brigands who broke into houses, stripped clothes from the bodies of the dead, and emerged laughing. They tried the points of their swords on the corpses and even tested the steel by running some through who were still alive.
    Titus called to God saying it was due to their madness that all the people perished. If the Romans didn’t do this to the Jews and the Jews unto themselves then it would have been a flood or the earth would have opened up and swallowed the city. Even those tragedies didn’t produce as godless a generation as this.**Back to Josephus’s writing.**
    They put their teeth into everything, swallowing things even the filthiest animals would not touch. Finally they devoured even belts and shoes or gnawed at the leather they stripped from their shields.
    I shall not relate something UNPARALLELED in the annals of Greece or any other country, a deed horrible to tell and incredible to hear. I would gladly have omitted this tragedy lest posterity suspect me of having fabricated it, but countless witnesses of my own generation support me. There was a woman named Mary, the daughter of Eleazar, who lived beyond the Jordan in the village of Bathezor (House of Hyssop). She was well known for family and wealth and had fled to Jerusalem with the rest of the pop’l, where she was trapped in the siege. The partisan chiefs seized most of the possessions she had brought from Perea, and their bodyguards plundered the rest of her property and food through daily raids. In fury, she cursed the looters, but when none of thm kiler her either in anger or pity, she yielded to rage and hunger. Defying nature, she took her own baby boy, whom she was suckling, and said, “Poor little mite, why do I keep you alive in war,
    famine, and rebellion? If we live, we’re Roman slaves, but hunger will overtake slavery, and the partisans are worse than both! Come, be my food, an avenging fury to the rebels and the one story of Jewish suffering that the world must still hear.” With these words she killer her son, then roasted him and ate half, hiding the rest.
    At that moment the partisans arrived and, smelling the unholy aroma, threatened her with instand death if they were not given what she had prepared. She replied that she had saved a fine helping for them and uncovered the remains of her child. Overcome with horror, they were stupefied at the sight, but she said, “This child was my own and the deed is mine too. Eat, for I also have eaten. Don’t be more squeamish than a woman or more tenderhearted than a mother! But if you’re queasy and disapprove of my sacrifice, then, since I’ve eaten half, you may as well leave me the rest.” They went away trembling, cards for the first time who scarcely gave up even this food. But horror immediately filled the entire city, everyone seeing the tragedy before his own eyes and shuddering as if the crime were his own. The starving sought death and envied those who had realized it before seeing or hearing these outrageous atrocities.
    **Eusebius states this on Josephus’s account**
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    Pg.100 It is worth appending o it the infallible prediction of our Savior regarding these very things in prophecy:
    Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For a t that time there will be great suffering such as has not been seen from he beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be ]Matt.24.19-21].
    IIN estimating the total number of lives lost the historian Josephus says that 1.1million died by famine and the sword, that thepartisans and terrorists informed against each other after the city’s capture and were executed, and that the tallest and handsomest of the youths were saved for the triumphal parade. Of the rest, those over 17 were sent as prisoners to hard labor in Egypt, and even more were divided among the provinces to be killed in the theaters by sword or wild beasts. Those under 18 were sold into slavery, and the number of these alone was 90,000.
    Jesus’ prophecies went on to say:
    If you even today would recognize the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you [Luke 19:42-44]
    On another occasion, he said:
    For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people; they will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken away a captives among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled on by Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled [Luke 21:23-24]
    ** All this happened less than 40 years after Jesus’s death.**
    **Eusebius points out that God gave them time to repent for killing Christ, but when they killed Stephen, James and would not repent he released his anger.
    Josephus writes in the 6th book of the Jewish War:
    Pg.102 Impostors and false prophets deluded the pitiable people, who, as if moonstruck, blind, and senseless, paid no attention to God’s clear portents and warnings of the approaching desolation. A star stood over the city like a sword, and a come that lasted for a year. Then, prior to the war, when the people had gathered for the Feat of Unleavened Bread, on the 8th of Xanthicus at 3am, a light shined on the temple and the altar so brightly that it seemed to be midday, and this lasted for a half hour. To the inexperienced this seemed a good omen, but the sacred scribes gave the true interpretation. During the same feast a cow brought for sacrifice by the high priest gave birth to a lamb in the middle of the temple, and at midnight the eastern gate of the inner sanctuary opened itself-a gate of bronze fastened by iron bars and secured by long bolts so massive that 20 men were required to shut it each evening.
    Not long after the feast, on the 21st of Artemisius, a demonic apparition of incredible size was seen. It would have seemed a fairy tale had it not been attested by eyewitnesses and followed by disasters that corresponded to the omens. Before sunset there appeared in the sky over the whole land chariots and armed forces speeding through the clouds and surrounding the cities. And at the Feast of Pentecost, when the priests entered the temple at night for their usual ceremonies, they head a disturbance, a loud crash, and then a thunderous cry, “Let us leave this place!”
    4 years before the persecutions of the Jews a common peasant, Jesus son of Ananias, came to the Feast of Tabernacles, stood in the temple courts, and suddenly shouted: “A voice from the east, a voice fro the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the temple, a voice against bridegrooms and brides, a voice against all the people!” Night and day he went through the narrow streets with this cry. Prominent townspeople seized the fellow and lashed him savagely. He uttered no word in his defense. He was taken to the Roman governor. He was scourged to the bone, he uttered no plea for mercy and shed no tear, but straining his voice to the utmost, he wailed with each blow, “Woe! Woe to Jerusalem!”
    *Basically this guy was prophesying 4 years in advance the starvation the Jews were about to endure.**
    Josephus was the most famous Jew fo his time not only among his fellow countrymen, but among the Romans also, so that he ws honored with a statue erected in the city of Rome and the inclusion of his works in its library. He wrote the whole history of the Jews [Jewish Antiquities] in twenty books and the account of the war with the Romans of his own time [The Jewish War] in seven.

    **Eusebius includes this writing from Josephus*
    I did not share your fear with regard to writing. I submitted my books to the emperors themselves while the events were still fresh, for, since truth was paramount in my account, I expected to receive confirmation of my accuracy and was not disappointed. I also gave my history to many others, some of whom had actually taken part in the war, such as King Agrippa II and several of his relatives. Indeed, the emperor Titus was so concerned that from my books alone the public should derive information about these events that he wrote an order with his own hand for their publication, and King Agrippa wrote 62 letters attesting to their truth.

    **THE QUEST TO CONTINUE TO ELECT LEADERSHIP WITHIN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH and the Response of Romans to try and kill all Jesus’ relatives.
    **This could be seen as the start to the first persecutions of Christians separated from Jews and Judaism**
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    *writing of Eusebius*
    After the martyrdom of James and the conquest of Jerusalem that followed soon after, tradition has it that those of the apostles and disciples of the Lord who were still alive gathered from everywhere with those who were, humanly speaking, relatives of the Lord, for many of them were still alive. They all discussed together who ought to succeed James, and all unanimously decided that Symeon, son of the Clopas mentioned in the Gospels, was worthy of bishop’s throne in Jerusalem. It is said that he was the first cousin of the Savior, for Hegesippus relates that Clopas was the brother of Joseph.
    Hegesippus also reports that after the conquest of Jerusalem, Vespasian ordered that a search be made for all descendants of David so that no member of the royal house should be left among the Jews, which resulted in another great persecution of the Jews.
    Domitian ordered the execution of all who were in David’s line, and an old tradition alleges that some heretics accused the descendants of Jude-the brother of the Savior, humanly speaking-claiming that they were of David’s family and related to Christ himself. Hegesippus reports this as follows:
    Still surviving of the Lord’s family were the grandsons of Jude, who was said to be his brother according to the flesh, and they were informed on as being descendants of David. Domitian asked them if they were descended from David, and they admitted it.
    **Domitian asked how much money they had and once he found out they were poor and were no threat he let them live. I didn’t want to type the entire conversation*
    *back to Eusebius writing*
    They were asked about Christ and his kingdom-its nature, origin, and time of appearance. They replied that it was not of this world or earthly but angelic and heavenly, and that it would be established at the end of the world when he would come in glory to judge the living and the dead and reward everyone according to his deeds. After their release from Domitian, they became leaders of the churches, both for their testimony and because they were of the Lord’s family, and they lived on into Trajan’s time due to the ensuing peace.
    After Domitian ruled 15 years, Nerva succeeded him. By decree of the Roman senate, the honors of Domitian were annulled and those banished unjustly returned and had their property restored. At that time also, early Christian tradition relates, the apostle John, after his island exile, resumed residence at Ephesus.
    **BISHOPS-I find it important to include the chronology of the bishops because it shows with names who was leading the Christian church. This erases simpleton thinking in 2013 that tries to state Christianity was lost for hundreds of years and then some old guys got together and canonized the bible and included what they wanted and then the Roman government bought into Christianity to use the people and force the people to obey them due to the fact that the people thought the government was divine. Contrary to this ignorance, anybody can see that the story of Jesus was not chaotic. It was meticulously crafted, maintained, and taught by the very ones Jesus’ appointed to be his direct followers. ***
    Now after Nerva had reigned a little over a year he was succeeded by Trajan. In his first year, Abilius became bishop in the church after leading the church at Alexandria for 13 years. He was succeeded by Cerdo, the third in charge there after the first, Annianus. At this time Clement was still head of the Roman church, similarly the third in the list of bishops in Rome who followed Paul and Peter: Linus the first and Anencletus the second.
    At Antioch, where Evodius had been the first bishop, Ignatius was becoming famous at this time as the second. Similarly, Symeon was second after the brother of our Savior to have charge of the church in Jerusalem.
    At this time, the disciple whom Jesus loved-John, apostle and evangelist-still lived on in Asia Monor and directed the churches there, following his return from exile. That he survived this long is confirmed by two reliable and orthodox witnesses: Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria. In Book 2 of his Against Heresies, Irenaeus writes:
    All the elders in Asia associated with John, the Lord’s disciple, testify that John taught them the truth, for he remained with them until the time of Trajan.
    IN BOOK 3 Irenaeus writes:
    Now the church at Ephesus was founded by Paul, but John remained there until Trajan’s time, and it is a true witness of the apostolic tradition.

    Pg. 114
    Yet of all those who had been with the Lord, only Matthew and John have left us their memoirs, and tradition has it that they did so of necessity. Matthew at first preached to Hebrews, and when he planned to go to others also, he wrote his Gospel in his own native language for those he was leaving, his writing filling the gap left by his departure. Mark and Luke had already published their Gospels, but John, it is said, had used only the spoken word until he finally took to writing for the following reason. The three written Gospels in general circulation also came into John’s hands. He welcomed them, it is said, and affirmed their accuracy, but noted that the narrative lacked only the account of what Christ had done at the beginning of his mission.
    They say, then, that for this reason John was urged to record in his own Gospel the Savior’s deeds during the period passed over in silence by the earlier Evangelists-that is, the events before the Baptist’s imprisonment. This is indicated in his words, “Jesus did this, the first of his sings,” [2:11], and later, amid his report of Jesus’ doings, in mentioning the Baptist as still baptizing at Aenon near Salim, which he makes even clearer in adding, “John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison,” [3:24].
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    Thus John records what Christ did before the Baptist’s imprisonment, while the other three tell of events following.Once this is understood, the Gospels no longer seem to disagree {Matt 4:12 & Mark 1:14 & Luke3:19-20}, since John covers Christ’s early deeds and the others his later.
    Recognized as the New Testament writings that are under no dispute:
    The holy quartet of the Gospels are first, followed by the Acts of the Apostles. Next are Paul’s epistles, 1 John, and 1 Peter. The Revelation of John may be added, the arguments regarding which I shall discuss at the proper time.These are the recognized books.
    The books that are disputed yet known to most are: Epistles of James, Jude, 2 Peter, and the so-named 2 and 3 John, the work of the Evangelist or of someone else with the same name.
    Among the spurious books are the Acts of Paul, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Revelation of Peter, the alleged epistle of Barnabas, the so-called Teachings of the Apostles Didache, as well as the Revelation of John, if appropriate here: some reject it, others accept it, as stated before. In addition some have included the Gospel of Hebrews, for which those Hebrews who have accepted Christ have a special fondness. These would all be classified with the disputed books, those not canonical yet familiar to most church writers, which I have listed separately in order to distinguish them from those writings that are true, genuine, and accepted in the tradition of the church.
    Writings published by heretics under the names of the apostles, such as the Gospels of Peter, Thomas, Matthias, and others, or the Acts of Andrew, John, and other apostles have never been cited by any in the succession of church writers. The type of phraseology used contrasts with apostolic style,a nd the opinions and thrusts of their contents are so dissonant from true orthodoxy that they show themselves to be forgeries of heretics. Accordingly, they ought not be reckoned even among the spurious books but discarded as impious and absurd.

    Pg.117 Tradition tells us that this time Cerinthus founded another heresy. Gaius, whose words I quoted earlier, writes this about him in the Dialogue attributed to him:
    Morever, Cerinthus, through revelations supposedly penned by a great apostle offers us false tales of wonders allegedly shown to him by angels. After the resurrection, he says, the kingdom of Christ will be on earth, and humanity living at Jerusalem will again be enslaved to lusts and pleasure. He is the enemy of the Scriptures of God and, in his anxiety to deceive, claims that the marriage festivities will last a thousand years.
    *This sounds a little like Jehovvah witnesses*

    *sporadic persecutions*
    After nero and Domitian, under the emperor Trajan whose times I am now describing, tradition tells of sporadic persecution against us in some cities as a result of popular riots. In the course of it, Symeon, son of Clopas, the second Bishop of Jerusalem, as stated earlier, ended his life in martyrdom.
    Hegesippus writes:
    Some of the heretics accused Symeon, the son of Clopas, of being descended from David and a Christian, and so he suffered martyrdom at age 120, when Trajan was emperor and Atticus was consular governor.
    Pg. 121 Hegesippus goes on to say that until then the church had remained a virgin, pure and uncorrupted, and any who might have tried to defile her lurked in obscure darkness. But when the sacred band of the apostles and the generation of those who heard the divine wisdom with their own ears passed on, then godless error began through the deceit of false teachers who, now that the apostles were gone, tried to counter the truth by proclaiming falsely the knowledge [gnosis] so-called.
    Trajan Halts Hunting of Christians
    So great was the persecution against us in many places that Pliny the Younger, one of the most distinguished governors, was alarmed at the nmber of martyrs, which he reported to the emperor. In the same letter he mentioned tha they did nothing evil or illegal: they merely rose at dawn to sing to Christ as if a god, and they forbade adultery, murder, and similar crimes and in every way conformed to the law. In response Trajan issued an edict that Christians were not to be hunted out but were to be punished if they were identified. While this meant that the threat of imminent persecution was curbed to some extent, opportunities remained to those who wished to injure us.
    Quadratus writes:
    Our savior’s deeds were always there to see, for they were true: those who were cured or those who rose from the dead were seen not only when they were cured or raised but were constantly there to see, not only while the Savior was living among us, but also for some time after his departure. Some of them in fact, survived right up to our own time.

    Pg.117 Tradition tells us that this time Cerinthus founded another heresy. Gaius, whose words I quoted earlier, writes this about him in the Dialogue attributed to him:
    Morever, Cerinthus, through revelations supposedly penned by a great apostle offers us false tales of wonders allegedly shown to him by angels. After the resurrection, he says, the kingdom of Christ will be on earth, and humanity living
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    at Jerusalem will again be enslaved to lusts and pleasure. He is the enemy of the Scriptures of God and, in his anxiety to deceive, claims that the marriage festivities will last a thousand years.
    *This sounds a little like Jehovvah witnesses*
    *sporadic persecutions*
    After nero and Domitian, under the emperor Trajan whose times I am now describing, tradition tells of sporadic persecution against us in some cities as a result of popular riots. In the course of it, Symeon, son of Clopas, the second Bishop of Jerusalem, as stated earlier, ended his life in martyrdom.
    Hegesippus writes:
    Some of the heretics accused Symeon, the son of Clopas, of being descended from David and a Christian, and so he suffered martyrdom at age 120, when Trajan was emperor and Atticus was consular governor.
    Pg. 121 Hegesippus goes on to say that until then the church had remained a virgin, pure and uncorrupted, and any who might have tried to defile her lurked in obscure darkness. But when the sacred band of the apostles and the generation of those who heard the divine wisdom with their own ears passed on, then godless error began through the deceit of false teachers who, now that the apostles were gone, tried to counter the truth by proclaiming falsely the knowledge [gnosis] so-called.
    Trajan Halts Hunting of Christians
    So great was the persecution against us in many places that Pliny the Younger, one of the most distinguished governors, was alarmed at the nmber of martyrs, which he reported to the emperor. In the same letter he mentioned tha they did nothing evil or illegal: they merely rose at dawn to sing to Christ as if a god, and they forbade adultery, murder, and similar crimes and in every way conformed to the law. In response Trajan issued an edict that Christians were not to be hunted out but were to be punished if they were identified. While this meant that the threat of imminent persecution was curbed to some extent, opportunities remained to those who wished to injure us.
    Quadratus writes:pg.136 Our savior’s deeds were always there to see, for they were true: those who were cured or those who rose from the dead were seen not only when they were cured or raised but were constantly there to see, not only while the Savior was living among us, but also for some time after his departure. Some of them in fact, survived right up to our own time.pg.137 I have failed to find any written record of the dates of the bishops in Jerussalem-tradiditon says they were very short-lived-but I have documentary evidence that there were fifteen up to Hadrian's siege of the Jews. All were said to have been Hebrews in origin who had accepted the knowledge of Christ and so were deemed worthy of the episcopal office. For the church there consisted entirely of Hebrew Christians from the apostles down to the Roman siege following the second Jewish revolt.
    *For those that don't know about Hebrew it is an language of Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian and traditionally Hamito-Semitic (Chamito-Semitic),[1] is a large language family, including 300 or so living languages.[3]Afroasiatic languages are spoken predominantly in the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and parts of the Sahel.
    These are the bishops: First was James, called the Lord's brother, and after him Symeon was the second. Third was Justus, fourth Zaccheus, fifth Tobias, sixth Benjamin, 7th John, 8th Matthias, 9th Philip, 10th Seneca, 11th Justus, 12th Levi, 13th Ephres, 14th Joseph, 15th and last Judas. These were the bishops of Jerusalem in that period, all of the circumcision.
    pg.147 Polycarp found fulfillment in martyrdom. They first relate what happened to the other martyrs, describing the fortitude they showed when tortured, amassing the spectators. Sometimes the scourges tore into their innermost veins and arteries, revealing their entrails and organs. At other times they were stretched across pointed seashells and sharp spikes and finally were fed to wild animals.\They say that the noble Germanicus overcame the natural fear of death by the grace of God. Even when the proconsul tried to dissuade him, pleading that he spare himself as still in the very flower of his youth, he did not hesitate to drag the beast to himself, nearly forcing and goading it, the sooner to be free of their unjust, wicked life. At his glorious death, the whole crowd was so amazed at the bravery of the God-loving martyr and at the courage of Christians in general that they began to shout together, "Kill the atheists! Get Polycarp!"
    pg.149 The letter of Martyrdom of Polycarp continues: When Polycarp entered the stadium, a voice from heaven said, "Be strong and play the man, Polycarp!" No one saw the speaker, but many of our people who were there heard the voice. As word spread that Polycarp had been arrested, there was a tremendous roar. When he approached, the proconsul asked him if he were Polycarp, and after he admitted it he tried to dissuade him, saying, "Respect your years! Swear by CAesar's fortune! Recant and say, 'Away with the atheists!'" But Polycarp swept his hand across the crowd, sighed, looked up to heaven, and cried, "Away with the atheists!" But the governor pressed him, "Take the oath and I will set you free. Curse Christ!" But Polycarp replied, "For 86 years I have been his servant, and he had never done me wrong. How can I blaspheme my Kings who saved me?" But when he persisted, "Swear by Caesar's fortune," he replied, "If you
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    suppose that I could do this, pretending not to know who I am , listen carefully: Iam a Christian.
    At this time, the whole multidude of Gentiles and Jews living in Smyrna boiled with anger and shouted at the tops of their lungs, "This is the teacher of Asia, the father of the Christians, the destroyer of our gods, who teaches many not to offer sacrifice or worship!" They then demanded that Philip the Asiarch let a lion loose on Polycarp. But he said that this would be illegal, since he had closed the sports. Then a general shout arose that Polycaarp should be burned alive. Indeed, the vision of the burning pillow had to be fulfilled, and, turning to the faithful with him, he said, prophetically, "I must be burned alive."
    In less time than it takes to tell, the crowd gathered logs and faggots from the workshops and baths-as usual,the Jews in particular. When the pyre was ready, he took off all his clothes, loosened his belt, and tired to take off his shoes though he was unused to doing this because the faithful had vied with each other for this privilege. As they were going to nail him to the grid for the fire, he said, "Let me be, for he who enable me to endure the flames will also enable me to remain in them unremoved, even without nails." So they bound him without nailing, hands behind his back, like a noble ram from a great flock, as a whole burnt offering acceptable to almighty God.
    He prayed: "O father of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, through whom we know you, I bless you for this day and hour, that I may, with the martyrs, share in the cup of Christ for the resurrection to eternal life of both soul and body in the immortality of the acceptable sacrifice, according to your divine fulfillment. For this reason I praise you for everything, I bless and glorify you through the eternal high priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be glory to you and the Holy Spirit, both now and in the ages to come. Amen."
    When he had finished, the fire was lit and a great flame blazed up, and wwe who were privileged to witness it saw something marvelous. the fire assumed the shape of a room, like a billowing ship's sail that surrounded the martyr;s body inside it,not like burning flesh but like gold and silver being refined in a furnace. We also smelled a pleasant fragrance like the scent of incense or other costly spices. Finally the lawless mob, seeing that his body could not be consumed by fire, ordered an executioner to slash im with a sword. When he did so, blood gushed out and quenched the fire, and the entire crowd was amazed at the difference between unbelievers and the elect. Indeed he was one of the elect, the most wonderful apostolic and prophetic teacher of our time, bishop of the catholic church in Smyrna. For every word that he uttered was and will be fulfilled.
    He was the 12th martyr in Smyrna, but he alone is particularly remembered and spoken of by all, even by heathen. And so ended the life of the marvelous and apostolic Polycarp, according to the letter of the Christians in Smyrna.

    Justin mentions in his first Defense others who were martyred before him:
    pg.154 A woman living with a depraved husband was at first as depraved as he. But when she learned Christ's teaching she reformed and tried to induce her husband to do the same, warning him of eternal punishment. But he remained as dissolute as ever and his conduct broke up their marriage, for his wife thought it wrong to continue sharing a bed with a man who sampled every sort of unnatural and immoral pleasure. her family, however, implored her not to divorce him, in the hope that he would change. But when her husband went to Alexandria and she learned that his conduct was even worse, she gave him a writ of divorce to avoid involvement in his abominable ways.
    Her noble husband should have been delighted that she had abandoned the former drunken bacchanals and varieties of vice she had engaged in with servants and domestics and that she wished him to do the same. Instead, since she had left him against his will, he accused her of being a Christian. She in turn filed a petition with you, as emperor, requesting that she first be allowed to settle her affairs and then answer the accusation.
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    Her former husband was now unable to attack her, so he turned against a certain Ptolemy, who had taught her Christian doctrine and had been punished by Urbicius. He had a centurion friend arrest Ptolemy and ask him one question only: Was he a Christian? When Ptolemy, a lover of truth, confessed that he was, the centurion tortured him in prison for a long time. Finally, the man was brought before Urbicius and asked, as before: Was he a Christian? He confessed it. When Urbicius ordered his execution, a certain Lucius, also a Christian, protested the unreasonable verdict, saying, "Why punish this man, who is not an adulterer, fornicator, murderer, thief, robber, or offender in any way, but merely confesses the name Christian? Your verdict, Urbicius, is unworthy of Emperor of Pius, of Caesar's philosopher son, or of the sacred senate." Urbicius merely replied, "You seem to be a Christian yourself, Lucius." And when Lucius answered, "I certainly am," he ordered his execution also. Lucius expressed his thanks, for he was being removed, he said, from such wicked despots and going to God, the gracious Father and King. Then a third man also came forward and was sentenced to the same punishment.
    *moving on, below is commentary on Eusebius*
    pg. 165 Meanwhile, within the church, heresy had blossomed and subdivided into sects, and sects within sects, boasting a myriad names. Gnosticism alone was a crazy quilt of recondite teachings that thrived in the syncretistic climate of the Roman Empire. Such errorist teachings never ceased to inflame church writers of tis period-or Eusebius after them-and their rule for countering such was to invoke variations of Irenaues's argument that the teachings publicly expounded among the churches in apostolic tradition guaranteed orthodoxy, rather than the hidden notions of Gnosticism or the extravagant claims of Montanism. The schools of heresy seemed to run for several generations of increasingly disparate error before foundering. Eusebius, however, failed to mention one important benefit to the church from such heretical challenges: it forced Christian thinkers to agree on an authoritative canon of Scripture and a unifying tradition of its interpretation and compelled them to teach and express church doctrines with greater precision and a deepened theology.
    *Below is a letter from the leading churches quotes by Eusebius on the martyrs. Basically another Roman of status put to death for only implying that Christians were not atheists. A ridiculous thing to think Christian's atheists, but this was an accusation*
    The intensity of the pressure here, the awful rage of the heathen against the saints, and the sufferings of the leased martyrs are beyond description or writing. For the Adversary, in a foretaste of his own imminent advent, attacked us with all his might. He used every means to train his followers against the servants of God, so that we were not only excluded from homes, baths, and marketplaces, but were even forbidden to appear anywhere. But the grace of God reused the weak by deploying the strong, pillars of men who drew on themselves the full attack of the Enemy and endured every punishment as they hurried to Christ, proving that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.
    First they endured the full abuse of the mob: the howling, beating, dragging, plundering, imprisonment, stoning, and all that a furious rabble does against its hated enemies. Then they were dragged into the marketplace and indicted by the tribune and the city authorities, and when they confessed Christ they were imprisoned to await the governor's arrival. When they were brought before him and treated cruelly, Vettius Epagathus intervened, who had observed all the Lord's commandments so meticulously that, despite his youth, his reputation equaled that of the elder Zacharias. Filled with love to God and neighbor and brimming with anger at the unreasonable judgment against us, he asked for permission to speak in our defense and show that we were neither atheistic nor impious. Those around the tribunal howled him down, as he was a man of status, and the governor rejected his reasonable request, asking only, "Are you a Christian?" In the clearest manner, Vettius replied that he was and joined the ranks of the martyrs himself. He was called the "Comforter of the Christians," but he had the Comforter in himself, as evidenced in the love by which he laid down his own life for the defense of the brethren as a true disciple of Christ.
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    *Below is a continuation of the letter that are LIES SAID ABOUT CHRISTIANS TO HELP OTHERS THINK CHRISTIANS WERE VILE. Below are the tortures submitted to a woman Blandina and Man Sanctus who a miracle happened during his being tortured*
    pg. 172Day after day those who were worthy continued to be arrested, so that all the most effective members of the two churches were collected. Some of our heathen servants were also arrested, since the governor had decreed that we should all be prosecuted. Ensnared by Satan and in dread of the torments they saw the saints suffering, they falsely accused us-prompted by the soldiers-of Thyestean feats and Oedipean intercourse, as well as things we should not even speak or think about. When these rumors spread, people turned against us like beasts, and even those who had previously shown moderation as relatives raged against us, fulfilling the Lord's statement, "An hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God." [John 16:2] Then, finally, the holy martyrs endured sufferings beyond all description as Satan tried to wring blasphemy even from them.
    The full fury of the mob, the governor, and the soldiers fell on Sanctus, the deacon from Vienne; on Maturus, a novice but a heroic contender; on Attalus, who had always been a pillar among the Chrstians in Pergamum; and on Blandina, through whom Christ proved that what men think lowly God deems worthy of great glory. When we were all afraid, and her mistress was herself facing martyrdom and distressed lest she through bodily weakness be unable even to make confession of Christ, Blandina was filled with such power that those who tortured her form morning to night grew exhausted and admitted that they were beaten, for they had nothing left to do to her. They were astounded that she was still alive, since her whole body was smashed and lacerated, and they claimed that any one of the tortures was enough to end life, let alone a succession of them augmented. But the blessed woman, like a noble athlete, gained in strength while confessing the faith and found comfort for her sufferings by saying, "I am a Christian, and nothing wicked happens among us."
    Sanctus too endured all cruelty with superhuman courage. Althouogh the wicked applied persistent tortures to wring something from him, he resisted with such tenacity that he did not even tell them his own name, race, city of origin, or whether he was slave or free but replied to every question, in Latin, "I am a Christian." Therefore the governor and the torturers were eager to master him, and, when all else failed, they finally pressed red-hot plates of brass against the most tender parts of his body. These were burning, but he ramined steadfast in his confession, refreshed by the water of life that flows from Christ. His body was a witness to his forwent: it was all one wound, mangled and shorn of human shape, but Christ, suffering in that body, vanquished the Adversary and showed that there is nothing to fear where the Father's love is and nothing to wound where Christ's glory is.
    After some days, the wicked again applied the same tortures to the martyr, assuming they would subdue him now that his body was swollen and inflamed-he could not stand even the touch of a hand-or that his dying from torture would terrify the rest. But nothing of the sort happened: beyond all belief, his body was straightened by these new tortures and regained its former appearance and the use of his limbs. Through the grace of Christ, then, his second bout on the rack became not torment but cure.
    When the tyrant's tortures had been overcome by Christ through the perseverance of the blessed saints, the Devil thought up other devices: imprisonment in filth and darkness, stretching feet in stocks to the fifth hole, and other atrocities that angry jailers, full of the Devil, inflict on prisoners. Thus, many of them were strangled in prison, while others were tortured so cruelly that it seemed impossible for them to survive.
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    After this Maturus, Sanctus, Blandina, and Attalus were taken to the beasts in a special public exhibition. Maturus and Sanctus were again subjected to every torture in the amphitheater as if they had not suffered previously. Again they ran the gauntlet of whips, the mauling by beasts, and whatever the crazed mob demanded, and finally the iron chair, which roasted their bodies and clothed them with the stench. Yet they got nothing more from Sanctus than the confesiion of faith he had made from the beginning.
    After their long ordeal, they were finally sacrificed, having served as substitutes for the various gladiatorial contests all day long. Blandina, however, was hung on a stake and offered as food to wild beats that were let loose. She appeared to be hanging in the shape of a cross, and her constant prayers greatly inspired her fellow victims, who saw the One who was crucified in the form of their sister, to convince all who suffer for Christ that they have eternal fellowship with the lving God. When none of the animals would touch her, she was taken down from the post and returned to the jail, to be reserved for another ordeal so that her victory might encourage the brethren. Small, weak, and despised, she had put on the great invincible champion: Christ.
    In addition to all this, on the last day of the games Blandina was again brought in, with Ponticus, a lad of about 15. Each day they had been led in to watch the torturing and were urged to swear by the idols. Furious at their steadfast refusal, they showed no sympathy for the boy's youth or respect for the woman but subjected them to every torture. Ponticus was heartened by his sister in Christ and bravely endured each horror until he gave up his spirit. Last of all, the blessed Blandina, like a noble mother who had comforted her children and sent them on triumphantly to the kind, rejoiced at her own departure as if invited to a wedding fest. After the whips, the beasts, and the gridiron, she was finally put into a net and thrown to a bull. Indifferent to circumstances through faith in Christ, she was tossed by the animal for some time before being sacrificed. The heathen admitted that never before had a woman suffered so much so long.
    Not even this was enough to satisfy their maniacal cruelty. Goaded on by Satan, they threw to the dogs those who had been strangled in jail, watching day and night that we did not tend to them.Then they threw out the remains left by the beasts and the fire, torn and charred, while a military guard watched the heads and the trunks of the rest for many days, denying them burial. Some gnashed their teeth at them; others laughed and jeered, glorifying their idols for punishing their foes. The more moderate, with little sympathy, taunted, "Where is their god?" and "What did they get out of their religion, which they preferred to their own lives?" We however grieved at not being able to bury the bodies…..
    After they were exposed and insulted for 6 days, the martyrs' bodies were burned to ash and swept by the wicked into the Rhone, which flows nearby, so that not even a trace of them would still appear on earth.They did this as if to conquer God and defeat their rebirth so that, as they said, "they might not have any hope of resurrection, /c of which they have introduced a strange new cult, ignored torture, and gone joyfully to death. Now let's see if they will rise again and if their god will save them."

    *I am about to summarize one emperor that decided not to torture Christians. pg.180 Marcus Aurelius Caesar, was battling the Germans and Sarmatians, he was in difficulty because his men were extremely thirsty. Some of the soldier's in his legion were christian and knelt on the ground to pray to God for water. It rained instantly from the sky and the thunder and lightning drove the enemy away while on their side it did nothing but rain. This story according to Eusebius is also told by writers outside Christian faith who recorded the times of those emperors. Apolinarius wrote about in in his Latin Defense of the Faith, addressed to the senate. Tertullian confirms the story with further proof. After witnessing this Marcus Caesar threatened death to any who tried to accuse Christians.

  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    pg. 185 At that time Pantaenus, a man famed for his learning , was in charge of a school of believers in Alexandria. This academy has lasted into our own time, and I have heard that it is supervised by men of high intellect and spiritual sea;, but Pantaenus was one of the most distinguished teachers and Stoic philosophers of his day. He was so enthusiastic for the divine Word, they say, that he was sent to preach the Gospel of Christ to people in the East and went as far as India. He found that the Gospel of Matthew had preceded him there among some who had come to know Christ. Bartholomew, one of the apostles, had preached to them and had left them Matthew's account in Hebrew letters, which was preserved until that time.
    ALL THE ATTEMPTS BY PEOPLE TO SAY THE BIBLE CONTRADICTED ITSELF; NONE PROVED TRUE *Yet, still today in 2013 people still use these same exact arguments against Christianity. At least bring a new charge of saying this is where the bible is a contradiction; but people use the exact same charges 2000 years later that had already been proven 2000 years previous. People today are recycling beaten arguments of yesterday and don't even care to know the argument was beaten in court and in truths witnessed.
    Below are random arguments had where Bishops proved the truth of Christianity by evidence. Some went to courts, some were in public trials of debates. If you want the full arguments read the book. I am trying to summarize, not just copy everything from the book.*
    Rhodo argues Apelles's claim that some statements in the bible were inconsistent and contradictory.
    pg.187"when I said to him, "What is your proof for a single Source? Please explain," he replied that prophecies were inconsistent, false, and contradicted themselves, and as for a single Source, he said that he did not kow it but merely inclined to that opinion. Then when I pressed him to speak the truth, he swore that he was doing so in claiming he did not know how the uncreated God is one but that he believed it. I laughed in condemning him, because he called himself a teacher yet did not know how to confirm what he taught.
    Speaking to Kallistio in the same work, Rhodo says that he was once a disciple of Tatian at Rome and that Tatian had authored a book on Problems, in which he recorded what was unclear and obscure in the divine Scriptures, to which Rhodo himself promised to provide answers. An essay of his on the Hexameron is also extant. As for Apelles, he uttered innumerable impieties against MOsaic law and blasphemed the divine words in many treatises in his efforts to refute and destroy the, or so he thought.
    **Montanus sounds like some of the preachers of the 1990's and present day:**
    When the Phrygian heresy was still flourishing in Phrygia itself, a church writer named Apollonius wrote a refutation, proving their "prophecies" false and exposing the lifestyle of the heresiarchs. Listen to his very words about Montanus:
    His own deeds and teachins show the character of this new teacher. He is the one who taught the annulment of marriage, who prescribed fasting, who renamed the little Phrygian towns Pepuza and Tymion as Jerusalem so people everywhere would gather there, who appointed agents to collect money and gifts under the name of "offerings", and who salaried those preaching his message in order that it might advance through gluttony,
    **pg. 195 Irenaeus references how he learned directly from Polycarp who learned directly from John who learned from Jesus.
    At that time, no small controversies erupted because all of the Asian dioceses thought the Savior's paschal festival should be observed, according to ancient tradition, on the 14th day of the moon, on which the Jews had been commanded to sacrifice the lamb. On that day it was necessary to finish the fast, no matte what day of the week it might be. In churches throughout the rest of the world, however,it was not customary to celebrate in this way, since, according to apostolic tradition, they maintained the view that still prevails: the fast ends only on the day of our Savior's resurrection Sunday. Synods and conferences of bishops were held on this issue, and all were of one opinion in formulating a decree for the church through letters everywhere that the mystery of the Lord's resurrection from the dead should be celebrated on no other day than Sunday, and only on that day should we observe the end of the paschal fast.
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    pg.201 Paul of Samosata has refuted this heresy, which asserts that the Savior was merely human, as a recent innovation, since those who introduced it tried to make it respectable by claiming it as ancient. After many other arguments against their blasphemous falsehood, the treatise continues:
    They claim that all their predecessors and the apostles themselves taught what they do and that the true teaching was preserved until the time of Victor, the 13th Bishop of Rome after Peter, but that the truth has been perverted from the time of his successor, Zephyrinus. Their claims might be credible if the divine Scriptures were not opposed to them. And Christian writers before Victor also defended the t ruth against both the pagans and the heretics of their own day-I mean the works of Justin, Miltiades, Tatian, Clement, and many more, in all of which Christ is treated as God. For who does not know the books of Irenaeus, Melito, and the others who proclaim Christ as God and man or all the earliest psalms and hymns that sing of Christ as the Word of God and regard him as God? When the church's understanding has been proclaimed for so many years, how then is it possible that Victor's predecessors can have preached as these people claim? Are they not ashamed of slandering Victor in this way when they know well enough that he excommunicated Theodotus the shoemaker, the father of this God-denying apostasy, when he first said that Christ was merely human? If Victor's attitude toward them was as their blasphemy teaches, how could he have ejected Theodotus who invented this heresy?
    An event occurred in my time that I think would have served s warning to the men of Sodom had it happened there. A confessor named Natalius was led astray by Asclepiodotus and a second Theodotus, a banker. Both were disciples of Theodotus the shoemaker, who was the first to be excommunicated by Victor for this way of thinking, or rather, of not thinking. They persuaded Natalius to be named bishop of this heresy, with a salary of 150 denarii a month. After joining them, he was often warned by the Lord in visions, for our merciful God and Lord did not want one who had been witness to his own sufferings to die outside the church. After paying scant attention to the visions, for he was ensnared by his fame among them and the greed that ruins so many, he was finally whipped all night by holy angels and suffered considerably. In the morning he put on sackcloth and ashes and hurried in tears to prostrate himself before Bishop Zephyrinus, rolling at the feet of both clergy and laity. Although he begged for mercy and showed the stripes he had received, he was readmitted into communion only after much reluctance.

    **commentary on Eusebius's work*
    pg.203 Within the Roman Empire, fewer Christians were persecuted in Rome and Italy than in the North African provinces-Egypt in particular-as well as Palestine, Syria, and Asia Minor. As for Gaul, the grisly scenes in the amphitheater at Lyons were equaled only by the horrors in the stadium at Alexandria.

    **ORIGEN IS A CHRISTIAN OTHERS SHOULD READ ABOUT. 7 of his students were martyred. One of his female students was martyred by being burned by slow, drop by drop boiling tar.

    pg.209 As a boy he wanted to court danger and plunge into conflict. He came within a hair's breadth of ending his days , had not providence acted through his mother for the good of humankind. First she tried words, pleading with him to spare a mother's feelings, but when he learned that his father had been thrown into prison, he was filled with a craving for martyrdom. Seeing that he was more determined than ever, she hid all his clothes and so forced him to stay home. With an intensity beyond his years that could not be silenced, he sent his father a letter urging martyrdom, in which he advised, "Don't change your mind on our account!"
    The fist example of Origen's boyish acumen and devotion to God reflects his firm foundation in the faith, based on study of the divine Scriptures from early childhood. His father had insisted that he not devote time to the usual curriculum until he had mastered sacred studies each day through memorization and repetition. Not at all disinclined, the boy studied excessively and was not satisfyd to read the sacred words in a simple and literal sense but sough something more, and even at that age looked for deeper interpretations, worrying his father with questions regarding the inner meaning of inspired Scripture. His father Leonides was later captured and beheaded when he was 16. His father's property was confiscated for the imperial treasury, leaving the family without the necessities of life. A very wealthy and distinguished lady adopted him. He was an Antiochene by birth, and she accorded him special favor.
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    While he applied himself to teaching, since there were no instructors at Alexandria, some of the pagans approached him to hear the Word of God. The first of these was Plutarch, who noble life was adorned with martyrdom. The second was Heraclas, Plutarch's brother, who became bishop of Alexandria after Demetrius. Origen was 18 when he became head of the catechetical school and came into prominence during the persecutions under Aquila, governor of Alexandria, for his eager assistance to all the holy martyrs, known and unknown. Origen was with the martyrs in prison, in court, and at the final death sentence, even with them as they were led to their deaths. He would kiss them boldly.
    So great was the unbelievers' war against him that soldiers were posted around his house b/c of the number of those he was instructing in the sacred faith. Soon thre was no longer any room for him in the city. He moved from house to house, pressured on all sides in reprisal for his many converts.
    For many years he continued living the philosophic life, dismissing all stimuli to youthful lusts and disciplining himself with arduous tasks by day but spending most of the night studying the divine Scriptures. S/times he fasted, at other times he restricted the time for sleep, which he took on the floor-never in bed. Above all, he felt that he had to keep the Savior's sayings urging us not to own two coats or wear shoes or worry about the future. By enduring cold, nakedness, and extreme poverty, he astonished his concerned followers, who begged him to share their possessions. Yet he did not bend: for many years he is said to have walked shoeless, to have refrained from wine and all but the most necessary food. so that he actually risked his health.
    7 of his students were martyred.
    First was Plutarch. Origen was almost killed by Plutarch's fellow citizens as being responsible for his death. The 2nd was Serenus, who proved his faith through being burned by fire. 3rd Heraclides, from the same school, and Hero was the fourth. Both were beheaded. 5th another Serenus was decapitated after enduring great torture. 6th was Herais who was a woman who was burned alive.
    Seventh was Basilides, who led the famous Potamiaena to execution. Praises of this woman resound to this day among her people. Because her beauty of mind and body was in full flower, she had to struggle continually with lovers in defense of her chastity and virginity, which were above reproach. After suffering tortures too terrible to describe, she and her mother , Marcella, were fulfilled by fire. It is said that Aquila, the judge, inflicted horrible tortures over her whole body and finally threatened to hand her over o the gladiators for ravishing. when asked what her decision was, she though briefly and gave a reply that offended their religion. Instantly she was sentenced, and a soldier named Basilides led her off to execution. But as the crowd tried to harass and insult her with obscenities, he pushed them back and drove them off, showing extreme pity and kindness to her. She accepted his sympathy and encouraged him, promising to ask her Lord for him after her departure and before long she would repay him for all he had done in her behalf. Having said this, she endured her end nobly when boiling tar was poured slowly, drop by drop, over various parts of her body from head to toe. Her name was Potamiaena.
    Not long afterward, one of Basilides fellow soldiers asked him to take an oath for some reason, but he refused maintaining that swearing was absolutely forbidden to him as a Christian, confessing it openly. At first they thought he was joking, but when he continued to affirm it, they brought him before the judge, who sent him to prison when he confirmed his beliefs. His brothers in God visited him and asked the reason for this sudden, incredible inclination, and he is reported to have said that 3 days after her martyrdom, Potamiaena appeared to him at night, wreathed his head with a crown, and said that she had prayed the Lord for him, had obtained her request, and before long would take him to herself. At this the brethren conferred on him the seal of the Lord in baptism, and the next day he gave a noble testimony for the Lord and was beheaded. They say that many others at Alexandria suddenly came to Christ at this time because Potamiaena appeared to them in dreams and invited them.

    pg.212 Origen's willingness to cut his thing off

    While Origen was teaching in Alexandria at this time, he did something that gave proof enough of his young and immature mind but also of his faith and self-control. He took the saying, "there are those who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake," [matt.19:12] in too literal and absurd a sense, and he was eager to fulfill the Savior's words and also to forestall all slander on the part of unbelievers. So he quickly carried out the Savior's words, trying to do so unnoticed by most of his students. But however much he wished it, he could not possibly hide such a deed. Demetrius learned of it later, since he presided over the community there. He was astonished at Origen's rash act but approved the genuine enthusiasm of his faith, told him to take heart, and urged that he apply himself more fervently than ever to the work of instruction.
    Such was his attitude at the time. Not long afterward, however, when he saw Origen prosperous, great, and esteemed by all, he was overcome by jealousy and tired to portray the deed of Origen as a young man-outrageous
    to bishops across the world-just when the bishops of Caesarea and Jerusalem, the most distinguished in Palestine, considered him worthy of the highest honor and ordained him as presbyter. Against this universal fame, then, Demetrius, with no other reason to charge him, maligned him savagely for what he had done long ago as a boy and had the audacity to include those who raised him to the
  • luke1733luke1733 Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    presbyterate in his accusations.

    pg.213 Among the reported wonders performed by Narcissus, as handed down by brethren of the community in succession, is the following. Once, during the great all-night vigil of Easter, the congregation was deeply disturbed when the deacons ran out of oil. At this, Narcissus told those tending the lamps to draw water and bring it to him. This done, he prayed over the water and had them pour it into the lamps with absolute faith in the Lord. When they did this, against all reason but by divine power its nature was changed from water into oil. From then on until the present, many of the brethren there have preserved a little of it as proof of that wonder.
    Here is another interesting story about him. Certain contemptible wretches, jealous of his energy and conscientiousness and afraid that they would be put on trial for their evil deeds, tried to festal tis by devising a plot an spreading vile slander against him. Then, to convince their hearers, they propped up their charges with oaths. One swore: "[If this isn't true, let me be destroyed by fire!" Another: "Let my body be ravaged by a terrible disease!" A third: "May I go blind!" But, swear as they might, none of the faithful paid any attention to them,since Narcissus's integrity and virtuous lifestyle were known to all. Still,he could not tolerate their odious allegations, and besides he had long opted for the philosophic life; so he departed form the church community and spent many years hiding in deserts and remote haunts. The great eye of Justice, however, was not passive a these events but quickly brought down on those godless perjurers the very curses with which they had bound themselves. The first was burned to death, with all his family, when nothing more than a small spark happened to set ablaze the house in which he was staying. The body of the second was covered from head to toe with the very disease he had prescribed as penalty, while the third, seeing the fate of the other two and fearing God's judgment, publicly confessed his part in the plot. In his remorse, however, he shed so many endless tears that both his eyes were ruined. Such was the penalty these men paid for their lies.


    Pg.229 Julius Africanus, author of books called Cesti, was another prominent writer. A letter that he wrote to Origen is extant in which he suggest that the story of Susanna in the book of Daniel is spurious. Origen sent a full reply. A five volume Chronography of his is also at hand. In it he says that he journeyed to Alexandria because of the great fame of Heraclas, who, after outstanding scholarship in philosophy and secular studies, had become bishop, as previously stated. Another of his extant letters, addressed to Aristides, deals with the rpesumed inconsistency between Matthew and Luke regarding Christ’s genealogy. In it he clearly shows the harmony of the Evangelists, which I included in Book 1 of the present work. **Earlier in this essay I showed Eusebius’ prove that there is no inconsistency with the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew or Luke.
    Pg.230 Beryllus, the previously mentioned bishop of Bostra in Arabia, perverted church doctrine by introducing opinions alien to the faith, daring to claim that our Savior and Lord did not preexist before residing among men and had no divinity of his own apart from the Father’s indwelling. A large number of bishops therefore questioned and debated with him until Origen and several others were invited into the discussion. After conversing with the man to learn his ideas, Origen corrected what was unorthodox and through reason restored him to his previous sound convictions.
    Recently, a man, has proudly championed a godless and impious opinion, that of the so-called Helkesaites, which has clashed with the churches. I shall present their error for your benefit so it will not seduce you. It rejects portions of every book in Scripture, using every part of the Old Testament and the Gospels but rejecting the apostle Paul entirely. It says that to deny the truth does not matter and that a sensible person under duress will deny it with his mouth but not his heart. They also produce a book they claim fell from heaven, and anyoe who hears it read ad believes will receive forgiveness of sins-forgiveness other than that won for us by Christ Jesus.
    In this persecution the evil demon/*a judge* attacked Origen, in particular, with all the weapons in his arsenal, making him endure chains and torture for the Word of Christ as he lay in irons in the depths of his dungeon. Day after day his legs were stretched apart four paces in the stocks, but he courageously endured threats of fire and every other torment devised by his enemies. The way it all ended when the judge tried valiantly to avoid sentencing him to death and his final messages to us, so full of help for those in need of solace, all is recorded truthfully and in detail in his own numerous letters.
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