Eusebius of Caesarea

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

Eusebius of Caesarea, also known as Yusebius Pamphili or Eusebius Pamphili, was born between 260/265 AD and died in 339/340 AD. He was an academic of the biblical canon, a historian and a lecturer regarded as one of the most learned individuals of his time.

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Eusebius became the pontiff of Caesarea Maritima about AD 314. He wrote Preparations for the Gospel, On Discrepancies Between the Gospels and Demonstrations of the Gospels, studies of the biblical text. As “Father of Church History”, he wrote the Chronicle, the Ecclesiastical History, On the Martyrs and On the Life of Pamphilus. He also wrote a biographical piece on Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor, entitled “Who was Augustus” between AD 306 and AD 337.

Although Eusebius’ works provided understanding of the history of the early church, he was not without prejudice, especially regarding the Yisralites (Israelites), for while “Eusebius indeed blames them for the crucifixion of Yahusha the Messiah (Jesus), he nevertheless states that they can be forgiven, even for this sin and that those that crucified him can receive salvation.” Some academics have questioned the veracity of Eusebius’ writings. For example, Lynn Cohick, said that “Eusebius is a notoriously unreliable historian, and so anything he reports should be critically scrutinized.” Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, which was written as a eulogy after the emperor’s death in 337 AD, is “generally disparaged for factual omissions, felt by some as so inadequate that it cannot be the work of Eusebius at all.” Others attribute his foibles as merely an attempt at constructing an idealistic hagiography, calling him a “Constantinian flunky” because, as an adviser to Constantine, it would be prudent for him to declare Constantine in the strongest light imaginable.

Works:

Of the substantial scholarly works of Eusebius, many are still extant. Eusebius succeeded in making his writings indispensable by including so many excerpts from their original sources in his works. This saved his successors the laborious task of re-producing the initial research of past authors. They have preserved much which would otherwise be forgotten because of Eusebius.

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Eusebius’ study of the martyrs of his own time and the past led him to do his studies of the history of the church and of the world.

Eusebius wrote several eulogies in honor of Constantine, which included commentaries, addresses and letters that extended over the whole of his life and that included an important treatise on the names and locations of biblical cities including the distances between these cities.

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