Webpage Ues-1 Page 5. BACK TO INDEX
This page has been added as a source of education, for us to learn from the good or bad of others, and if not for that cause - this page would not have entered into this record.
The plan of the work.
1. It is my
purpose to write an account of the successions of the holy apostles, as well as
of the times which have elapsed from the days of our Savior to our own; and to
relate the many important events which are said to have occurred in the history
of the Church; and to mention those who have governed and presided over the
Church in the most prominent parishes, and those who in each generation have
proclaimed the divine word either orally or in writing.
2. And also to give the names and number and times of those who through love of innovation have run into the greatest errors, and falsely proclaiming themselves discoverers of knowledge have like fierce wolves unmercifully devastated the flock of Christ,
It is my
intention, moreover, to recount the misfortunes, which immediately came upon the
whole Jewish nation in consequence of their plots against our Savior, and to
record the ways and the times in which the divine word has been attacked by the
4. And to describe
the character of those who at various periods have contended for it in the face
of blood and of tortures, as well as the confessions, which have been made in
our own days, and finally the gracious and kindly succor, which our Savior has
afforded them all. Since I propose to write of all these things I shall commence
my work with the beginning of the dispensation of our Savior and Lord Jesus
5. But at the outset I must crave for my work the indulgence of the wise, for I confess that it is beyond my power to produce a perfect and complete history, and since I am the first to enter upon the subject, I am attempting to traverse as it were a lonely and un-trodden path.
6. I pray that I
may have God as my guide and the power of the Lord as my aid, since I am unable
to find even the bare footsteps of those who have traveled the way before me,
except in brief fragments, in which some in one way, others in another, have
transmitted to us particular accounts of the times in which they lived.
From afar they
raise their voices like torches, and they cry out, as from some lofty and
conspicuous watch-tower, admonishing us where to walk and how to direct the
course of our work steadily and safely.
therefore from the matters mentioned here and there by them whatever we consider
important for the present work, and having plucked like flowers from a meadow
the appropriate passages from ancient writers, we shall endeavor to embody the
whole in an historical narrative.
9. Content if we
preserve the memory of the successions of the apostles of our Savior; if not
indeed of all, yet of the most renowned of them in those churches which are the
most noted, and which even to the present time are held in honor.
10. This work seems
to me of special importance because I know of no ecclesiastical writer who has
devoted himself to this subject; and I hope that it will appear most useful to
those who are fond of historical research.
11. I have already
given an epitome of these things in the Chronological Canons, which I have
composed, but notwithstanding that, I have undertaken in the present work to
write as full an account of them as I am able.
My work will begin, as I have said, with the dispensation of the Savior
Christ, -which is loftier and greater than human conception, and with a
discussion of his divinity.
12. For it is
necessary, inasmuch as we derive even our name from Christ, for one who proposes
to write a history of the Church to begin with the very origin of Christ's
dispensation, a dispensation more divine than many think.
Divinity of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Since in Christ
there is a twofold nature, and the one in so far as he is thought of as God,
resembles the head of the body, while the other may be compared with the feet,
in so far as he for the sake of our salvation, put on human nature with the same
passions as our own, -the following work will be complete only if we begin with
the chief and lordliest events of all His history.
2. In this way
will the antiquity and divinity of Christianity be shown to those who suppose it
of recent and foreign origin, and imagine that it appeared only
yesterday. No language is
sufficient to express the origin, the worth, the being, and the nature of
3. Wherefore also
the divine Spirit in the prophecies says, "Who shall declare His
none knows the Father except the Son, neither can any one know the Son
adequately except the Father alone who hath begotten him.
4. For who beside
the Father alone could clearly understand the Light, which was before the world,
the intellectual and essential Wisdom, which existed before the ages, the living
Word, which was in the beginning with the Father, and which was God.
5. The first and
only begotten of God which was before every creature and creation visible and
invisible, the commander-in-chief of the rational and immortal host of heaven,
the messenger of the great counsel, the executor of the Father's unspoken will,
the Creator with the Father of all things, the second cause of the universe
after the Father, the true and only-begotten Son of God.
6. The Lord and
God and King of all created things, the one who has received dominion and power,
with divinity itself, and with might and honor from the Father; as it is said in
regard to him in the mystical passages of Scripture which speak of his divinity:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
were made by him; and without him was not anything made." This
too, the great Moses teaches when, as the most ancient of all the prophets, and
under the influence of the divine Spirit, he describes the creation and
arrangement of the universe.
that the Maker of the world and the Creator of all things yielded to Christ
himself, and to none other than His own clearly divine and first-born Word, the
making of inferior things, and communed with him respecting the creation of man.
9. "For God
said, Let us make man in our image and in our likeness." And
another of the prophets confirms this, speaking of God in his hymns as follows:
"He spoke and they were made; he commanded and they were created."
10. Here he
introduces the Father and Maker as Ruler of all, commanding with a kingly nod,
and second to him the divine Word, none other than the one who is proclaimed by
us, as carrying out the Father's commands.
11. All that are
said to have excelled in righteousness and in piety since the creation of man,
the great servant Moses and in the first place before him Abraham and his
children, and as many righteous men and prophets as afterward appeared, have
contemplated him with the pure eyes of the mind, and have recognized him and
offered to him the worship which is due to him as Son of God.
12. But He, by no
means neglectful of the reverence due to the Father, was appointed to teach the
knowledge of the Father to them all. For instance, the Lord God, it is said,
appeared as a common man to Abraham while he was sitting at the oak of Mambre.
13. And he,
immediately falling down, although he saw a man with his eyes, nevertheless
worshiped him as God, and sacrificed to him as Lord, and confessed that he was
not ignorant of his identity when he spoke the words, "Lord, the judge of
all the earth, wilt thou not execute righteous judgment?"
14. For if it is
unreasonable to suppose that the un-begotten and immutable essence of the
almighty God was changed into the form of man or that it deceived the eyes of
the beholders with the appearance of some created thing.
15. And if it is
unreasonable to suppose that the Scripture should falsely invent such things,
when the God and Lord who judges all the earth and executes judgment is seen in
the form of a man, who else can be called, if it be not lawful to call him the
first cause of all things, than his only pre-existent Word? Concerning
whom it is said in the Psalms, "He sent his Word and healed them, and
delivered them from their destructions."
16. Moses most
clearly proclaims him second Lord after the Father, when he says, "The Lord
rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord. The
divine Scripture also calls him God, when he appeared again to Jacob in the form
of a man, and said to Jacob, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but
Israel shall be thy name, because thou hast prevailed with God. Wherefore
also Jacob called the name of that place "Vision of God," saying,
"For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
17. Nor is it
admissible to suppose that the theologies recorded were appearances of
subordinate angels and ministers of God, for whenever any of these appeared to
men, the Scripture does not conceal the fact, but calls them by name not God nor
Lord, but angels, as it is easy to prove by numberless testimonies.
the successor of Moses, calls Him as leader of the heavenly angels and
archangels and of the supra-mundane powers, and as Lieutenant of the Father,
entrusted with the second rank of sovereignty and rule over all, "Captain
of the host of the Lords" although he saw him not otherwise than again in
the form and appearance of a man.
For it is
written: "And it came to pass when Joshua was at Jericho that he looked and
saw a man standing over against him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua
went unto him and said, Art thou for us or for our adversaries?
20. And he said
unto him: As Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on
his face to the earth and said unto him, Lord, what dost thou command thy
servant? And the captain of the
Lord said unto Joshua, loose thy shoe from off thy feet, for the place whereon
thou stand is holy."
21. You will
perceive also from the same words that this was no other than he who talked with
Moses For the Scripture says in the same words and with reference to the same
one, "When the Lord saw that he drew near to see, the Lord called to him
out of the bush and said, Moses, Moses.
22. And he said,
what is it? And he said, Draw not nigh here; loose thy shoe from off thy feet,
for the place whereon thou stand is holy ground. And he said unto him, I am the
God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of
And that there
is a certain substance which lived and subsisted before the world, and which
ministered unto the Father and God of the universe for the formation of all
created things, and which, is called the Word of God and Wisdom.
24. We may learn,
to quote other proofs in addition to those already cited, from the mouth of
Wisdom herself, who reveals most clearly through Solomon the following mysteries
concerning herself: "I, Wisdom, have dwelt with prudence and knowledge, and
I have invoked understanding. Through me kings reign, and princes ordain
25. Through me the
great are magnified, and through me sovereigns rule the earth." To which
she adds: "The Lord created me in the beginning of his ways, for his works;
before the world he established me, in the beginning, before he made the earth,
before he made the depths, before the mountains were settled, before all hills
He begat Me.
26. When he
prepared the heavens I was present with Him, and when He established the
fountains of the region under heaven I was with Him, disposing.
I was the one in whom He delighted; daily I rejoiced before him at all
times when He was rejoicing at having completed the world."
27. That the divine
Word therefore, pre-existed and appeared to some, if not to all, has thus been
briefly shown by us. But why
the Gospel was not preached in ancient times to all men and to all nations, as
it is now, will appear from the following considerations.
28. The life of the
ancients was not of such a kind as to permit them to receive the all-wise and
all-virtuous teaching of Christ. For
immediately in the beginning, after his original life of blessedness, the first
man despised the command of God, and fell into this mortal and perishable state,
and exchanged his former divinely inspired luxury for this curse-laden earth.
29. His descendants
having filled our earth, showed themselves much worse, with the exception of one
here and there, and entered upon a certain brutal and insupportable mode of
life. They thought neither of city
nor state, neither of arts nor sciences.
ignorant even of the name of laws and of justice, of virtue and of philosophy.
As nomads, they passed their lives in deserts, like wild and fierce beasts,
destroying by an excess of voluntary wickedness, the natural reason of man, and
the seeds of thought and of culture implanted in the human soul.
31. They gave
themselves wholly over to all kinds of profanity, now seducing one another, now
slaying one another, now eating human flesh, and now daring to wage war with the
gods and to undertake those battles of the giants celebrated by all; now
planning to fortify earth against heaven, and in the madness of ungoverned pride
to prepare an attack upon the very God of all.
32. On account of
these things, when they conducted themselves thus, the all-seeing God sent down
upon them a flood and conflagrations as upon a wild forest spread over the whole
earth. He cut them down with continuous famines and plagues, with wars, and with
thunderbolts from heaven, as if to check some terrible and obstinate disease of
souls with more severe punishments.
33. Then, when the
excess of wickedness had overwhelmed nearly all the race, like a deep fit of
drunkenness, clouding and darkening the minds of men, the first-born and
first-created wisdom of God, the pre-existent Word himself, induced by his
exceeding love for man, appeared to his servants, now in the form of angels, and
again to one and another of those ancients who enjoyed the favor of God, in his
own person as the saving power of God, not otherwise, however, than in the shape
of man, because it was impossible to appear in any other way.
And as by them
the seeds of piety were sown among a multitude of men and the whole nation,
descended from the Hebrews, they devoted themselves persistently to the worship
of God, imparted to them through the prophet Moses, to multitudes still
corrupted by their ancient practices, images and symbols of a certain mystic
sabbathís and of circumcision, and elements of other spiritual principles, but
he did not grant them a complete knowledge of the mysteries themselves.
35. But when their
law became celebrated, and like a sweet odor, was diffused among all men, as a
result of their influence the dispositions of the majority of the heathen were
softened by the lawgivers and philosophers who arose on every side, and their
wild and savage brutality was changed into mildness, so that they enjoyed deep
peace, friendship, and social intercourse.
36. Then, finally,
at the time of the origin of the Roman Empire, there appeared again to all men
and nations throughout the world, who had been, as it were, previously assisted,
and were now fitted to receive the knowledge of the Father, that same teacher of
virtue, the minister of the Father in all good things, the divine and heavenly
Word of God, in a human body not at all differing in substance from our own.
He did and
suffered the things, which had been prophesied. For it had been foretold that
one who was at the same time man and God, should come and dwell in the world to
perform wonderful works, and should show himself a teacher to all nations of the
piety of the Father. And the marvelous nature of his birth, and of his new
teaching, and of his wonderful works had also been foretold; so likewise of the
manner of his death, his resurrection from the dead, and, finally of his divine
ascension into heaven.
instance, Daniel the prophet, under the influence of the divine Spirit, seeing
his kingdom at the end of time, was inspired thus to describe the divine vision
in language fitted to human comprehension:
39. "For I
beheld," he says, "until thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days
did sit, whose garment was white as snow and the hair of his head like pure
wool; his throne was a flame of fire and his wheels burning fire. A river of
fire flowed before him. Thousands of thousands ministered unto him, and ten
thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
40. He appointed
judgment, and the books were opened." And again, "I saw," says
he, "and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven,
and he hastened unto the Ancient of Days and was brought into his presence.
41. And there was
him the dominion and the glory and the kingdom; and all peoples, tribes, and
tongues serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass
away, and his kingdom shall not be destroyed."
42. It is clear
that these words can refer to none else than to our Savior, the God Word who was
in the beginning with God, and who was called the Son of man because of his
final appearance in the flesh.
since we have collected in separate books as the selections from the prophets
which relate to our Savior Jesus Christ, and have arranged in a more logical
form those things which have been revealed concerning him, what has been said
will suffice for the present.
Christ known from the beginning..
It is now the
proper place to show that the very name Jesus and also the name Christ were
honored by the ancient prophets beloved of God.
2. Moses was the
first to make known the name of Christ as a name especially august and glorious
when he delivered types and symbols of heavenly things, and mysterious images,
in accordance with the oracle which said to him:
thou make all things according to the pattern which was shown thee in the
mountain," He consecrated a man as high priest of God, in so far as that
was possible, and him he called Christ. And thus to this dignity of the high
priesthood, which in his opinion surpassed the most honorable position among
men, he attached for the sake of honor and glory the name of Christ.
4. He knew so well
that in Christ was something divine. And the same one foreseeing, under the
influence of the divine Spirit, the name Jesus, dignified it also with a certain
distinguished privilege. For the name of Jesus, which had never been uttered
among men before the time of Moses, he applied first and only to the one whom he
knew would receive after his death, again as a type and symbol, the supreme
5. His successor, therefore, who had not hereto borne the name Jesus, but had been called by another name, Auses, which had been given him by his parents, he now called Jesus, bestowing the name upon him as a gift of honor, far greater than any kingly diadem.
For Jesus himself, the son of Nave, bore a resemblance to our
Savior in the fact that he alone, after Moses and after the completion of the
symbolical worship, which had been transmitted by him, succeeded to the
government of the true and pure religion.
7. Thus Moses
bestowed the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, as a mark of the highest honor,
upon the two men who in his time surpassed all the rest of the people in virtue
and glory; namely, upon the high priest and upon his own successor in the
8. And the
prophets that came after also clearly foretold Christ by name, predicting at the
same time the plots, which the Jewish people would form against him, and the
calling of the nations through him.
9. Jeremiah, for
instance, speaks as follows: "The Spirit before our face, Christ the Lord,
was taken in their destructions; of whom we said, under his shadow we shall live
among the nations."
10. And David, in
perplexity, says, "Why did the nations rage and the people imagine vain
things? The kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers were
gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ".
(Leonard: Literal word (underline verse 10) is "Anointed". It is not as if Eusebius was unaware of this, and though "the Anointed One", is indeed Christ Jesus, what therefore is the sense in saying (verse 8) "by name"? For while it is one thing to say Jesus, instead of Joshua in verse 6, it becomes an error to say "by name" in verse 8, or a lie -if you will - in verse 9 where Jeremiah was supposed to have said; "Christ the Lord".
The old Testament is full of references towards the Christ, and the name Jesus was shown, but nowhere in the books of the old testaments is the "name" of "Christ" - as such - found.)
To which he
adds, in the person of Christ himself, "The Lord said unto me, Thou art my
Son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations
for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
12. And not only
those who were honored with the high priesthood, and who for the sake of the
symbol were anointed with especially prepared oil, were adorned with the name of
Christ among the Hebrews, but also the kings whom the prophets anointed under
the influence of the divine Spirit, and thus constituted, as it were, typical
Christís. For they also bore in their own personís types of the royal and
sovereign power of the true and only Christ, the divine Word who rules over all.
13. And we have
been told also that certain of the prophets themselves became, by the act of
anointing, nd heavenly Word, who is the oChristís in type, so that all these have reference to the true
Christ, the Divinely inspired anly high priest of
all, and the only King of every creature, and the Father's only supreme prophet
And a proof of
this is that no one of those who were of old symbolically anointed, whether
priests, or kings, or prophets, possessed so great a power of inspired virtue as
was exhibited by our Savior and Lord Jesus, the true and only Christ.
15. None of them at
least, however superior in dignity and honor they may have been for many
generations among their own people, ever gave to their followers the name of
Christians from their own typical name of Christ.
16. Neither was
divine honor ever rendered to any one of them by their subjects; nor after their
death was the disposition of their followers such that they were ready to die
for the one whom they honored.
17. And never did
so great a commotion arise among all the nations of the earth in respect to any
one of that age; for the mere symbol could not act with such power among them as
the truth itself which was exhibited by our Savior.
18. He, although he
received no symbols and types of high priesthood from any one, although he was
not born of a race of priests, although he was not elevated to a kingdom by
military guards, although he was not a prophet like those of old, although he
obtained no honor nor pre-eminence among the Jews, nevertheless was adorned by
the Father with all, if not with the symbols, yet with the truth itself.
19. And therefore,
although he did not possess like honors with those whom we have mentioned, he is
called Christ more than all of them. And as himself the true and only Christ of
God, he has filled the whole earth with the truly august and sacred name of
Christians, committing to his followers no longer types and images, but the
uncovered virtues themselves, and a heavenly life in the very doctrines of
20. And he was not
anointed with oil prepared from material substances, but as befits divinity,
with the divine Spirit himself, by participation in the un-begotten deity of the
Father. And this is taught also again by Isaiah, who exclaims, as if in the
person of Christ himself, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; therefore
hath he anointed me. He hath sent me to preach the Gospel to the poor, to
proclaim deliverance to captives, and recovery of sight to the blind."
21. And not only
Isaiah, but also David addresses him, saying, "Thy throne, O God, is
forever and ever. A scepter of equity is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast
loved righteousness and hast hated iniquity. Therefore God, thy God, hath
anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Here the
Scripture calls him God in the first verse, in the second it honors him with a
22. Then a little
further on, after the divine and royal power, it represents him in the third
place as having become Christ, being anointed not with oil made of material
substances, but with the divine oil of gladness. It thus indicates his especial
honor, far superior to and different from that of those who, as types, were of
old anointed in a more material way.
23. And elsewhere
the same writer speaks of him as follows: "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit
thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool"; and,
"Out of the womb, before the morning star, have I begotten thee. The Lord
hath sworn and he will not repent. Thou art a priest forever after the order of
Melchizedec is introduced in the Holy Scriptures as a priest of the Most High
God, not consecrated by any anointing oil, especially prepared, and not even
belonging by descent to the priesthood of the Jews. Wherefore after his order,
but not after the order of the others, who received symbols and types, was our
Savior proclaimed, with an appeal to an oath, Christ and priest.
therefore, does not relate that he was anointed corporally by the Jews, nor
that he belonged to the lineage of priests, but that he came into existence
God himself before the morning star, that is before the organization of the
world, and that he obtained an immortal and un-decaying priesthood for eternal
(Leonard: We know how the Lord said; "This day I have begotten Thee," and we take it to refer to the effect of the Son of man. But again the Holy Spirit, that is the Lord, and/or God Himself, by John says: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
So then is the Word unbegotten.
26. But it is a
great and convincing proof of his incorporeal and divine unction that he alone
of all those who have ever existed is even to the present day called Christ by
all men throughout the world, and is confessed and witnessed to under this name,
and is commemorated both by Greeks and Barbarians.
27. And even to
this day is honored as a King by his followers throughout the world, and is
admired as more than a prophet, and is glorified as the true and only high
priest of God. And besides all this, as the pre-existent Word of God, called
into being before all ages, he has received august honor from the Father, and is
worshiped as God.
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.
29. I have of
necessity prefaced my history with these matters in order that no one, judging
from the date of his incarnation, may think that our Savior and Lord Jesus, the
Christ, has but recently come into being.
The religion proclaimed by Him to all nations was neither new nor
1. But that no one
may suppose that his doctrine is new and strange, as if it were framed by a man
of recent origin, differing in no respect from other men, let us now briefly
consider this point also.
2. It is admitted
that when in recent times the appearance of our Savior Jesus Christ had become
known to all men, a new nation immediately made its appearance; a nation
confessedly not small, and not dwelling in some corner of the earth, but the
most numerous and pious of all nations, indestructible and unconquerable,
because it always receives assistance from God. This nation, thus suddenly
appearing at the time appointed by the inscrutable counsel of God, is the one,
which has been honored by all with the name of Christ.
One of the
prophets, when he saw beforehand with the eye of the Divine Spirit that which
was to be, was so astonished at it that he cried out, "Who hath heard of
such things, and who hath spoken thus? Hath the earth brought forth in one day,
and hath a nation been born at once?" And the same prophet gives a hint
also of the name by which the nation was to be called, when he says, "Those
that serve me shall be called by a new name, which shall be blessed upon the
4. But although it
is clear that we are new and that this new name of Christians has really but
recently been known among all nations, nevertheless our life and our conduct,
with our doctrines of religion, have not been lately invented by us, but from
the first creation of man, so to speak, have been established by the natural
understanding of divinely favored men of old.
5. That this is so
we shall show in the following way. That
the Hebrew nation is not new, but is universally honored on account of its
antiquity is known to all. The books and writings of this people contain
accounts of ancient men, rare indeed and few in number, but nevertheless
distinguished for piety and righteousness and every other virtue.
6. Of these, some
excellent men lived before the flood, others of the sons and descendants of Noah
lived after it, among them Abraham, whom the Hebrews celebrate as their own
founder and forefather. If any one
should assert that all those who have enjoyed the testimony of righteousness
from Abraham himself back to the first man, were Christians, in fact if not in
name, he would not go beyond the truth.
For that which
the name indicates, that the Christian man, through the knowledge and the
teaching of Christ, is distinguished for temperance and righteousness, for
patience in life and manly virtue, and for a profession of piety toward the one
and only God over all, was zealously practiced by them not any less than by us.
8. They did not
care about circumcision of the body, neither do we. They did not care about
observing sabbathís, nor do we. They did not avoid certain kinds of food,
neither did they regard the other distinctions, which Moses first delivered to
their posterity to be observed as symbols; nor do Christians of the present day
do such things.
But they also
clearly knew the very Christ of God; for it has already been shown that he
appeared unto Abraham, that he imparted revelations to Isaac, that he talked
with Jacob, that he held converse with Moses and with the prophets that came
Hence you will
find those divinely favored men honored with the name of Christ, according to
the passage which says of them, "Touch not my Christís, (Anointed)
and do my
prophets no harm." So that it
is clearly necessary to consider that religion, which has lately been preached
to all nations through the teaching of Christ, the first and most ancient of all
religions, and the one discovered by those divinely favored men in the age of
11. If it is said
that Abraham, a long time afterward, was given the command of circumcision, we
reply that nevertheless before this it was declared that he had received the
testimony of righteousness through faith; as the divine word says, "Abraham
believed in God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."
12. And indeed unto
Abraham, who was thus before his circumcision a justified man, there was given
by God, who revealed himself unto him (but this was Christ himself, the word of
God), a prophecy in regard to those who in coming ages should be justified in
the same way as he.
was in the following words: "And in thee shall all the tribes of the earth
be blessed." And again, "He shall become a nation great and numerous;
and in him shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."
permissible to understand this as fulfilled in us. For he, having renounced the
superstition of his fathers, and the former error of his life, and having
confessed the one God over all, and having worshiped him with deeds of virtue,
and not with the service of the law which was afterward given by Moses, was
justified by faith in Christ, the Word of God, who appeared unto him.
To him, then,
who was a man of this character, it was said that all the tribes and all the
nations of the earth should be blessed in him.
But that very religion of Abraham has reappeared at the present time,
practiced in deeds, more efficacious than words, by Christians alone throughout
16. What then
should prevent the confession that we who are of Christ practice one and the
same mode of life and have one and the same religion as those divinely favored
men of old? Whence it is evident that the perfect religion committed to us by
the teaching of Christ is not new and strange, but, if the truth must be spoken,
it is the first and the true religion. This may suffice for this subject.
The time of His
appearance among men.
1. And now, after
this necessary introduction to our proposed history of the Church, we can enter,
so to speak, upon our journey, beginning with the appearance of our Savior in
the flesh. And we invoke God, the Father of the Word, and him, of whom we have
been speaking, Jesus Christ himself our Savior and Lord, the heavenly Word of
God, as our aid and fellow-laborer in the narration of the truth.
It was in the
forty-second year of the reign of Augustus and the twenty-eighth
after the subjugation of Egypt and the death of Antony and Cleopatra, with whom
the dynasty of the Ptolemies in Egypt came to an end, that our Savior and Lord
Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea, according to the prophecies which
had been uttered concerning him. His birth took place during the first census, while
Cyrenius was governor of Syria.
Josephus, the most celebrated of Hebrew historians, also mentions this census,
which was taken during Cyrenius' term of office. In the same connection he gives
an account of the uprising of the Galileans, which took place at that time, of
which also Luke, among our writers, has made mention in the Acts, in the
this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away a
multitude after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were
above-mentioned author, in the eighteenth book of his Antiquities, in agreement
with these words, adds the following, which we quote exactly:
a member of the senate, one who had held other offices and had passed through
them all to the consulship, a man also of great dignity in other respects, came
to Syria with a small retinue, being sent by Caesar to be a judge of the nation
and to make an assessment of their property."
6. And after a
little he says: "But Judas, a Gaulonite from a city called Gamala, taking
with him Sadduchus, a Pharisee, urged the people to revolt, both of them saying
that the taxation meant nothing else than downright slavery, and exhorting the
nation to defend their liberty."
7. And in the
second book of his History of the Jewish War, he writes as follows concerning
the same man: "At this time a certain Galilean, whose name was Judas,
persuaded his countrymen to revolt, declaring that they were cowards if they
submitted to pay tribute to the Romans, and if they endured, besides God,
masters who were mortal." These things are recorded by Josephus.
∑ The rulers about the time of Christ.
8. When Herod, the
first ruler of foreign blood, became king, the prophecy of Moses received its
fulfillment, according to which there should "not be wanting a prince of
Judah, nor a ruler from his loins, until he come for whom it is reserved."
The latter, he also shows, was to be the expectation of the nations.
9. This prediction
remained unfulfilled so long as it was permitted them to live under rulers from
their own nation, that is, from the time of Moses to the reign of Augustus.
Under the latter, Herod, the first foreigner, was given the Kingdom of the Jews
by the Romans. As Josephus relates, he was an Idumean on his father's side and
an Arabian on his mother's.
who was also no common writer, says that they who were more accurately informed
about him report that he was a son of Antipater, and that the latter was the son
of a certain Herod of Ascalon, one of the so-called servants of the temple of
having been taken a prisoner while a boy by Idumean robbers, lived with them,
because his father, being a poor man, was unable to pay a ransom for him.
Growing up in their practices he was afterward befriended by Hyrcanus, the high
priest of the Jews. A son of his was that Herod who lived in the, times of our
12. When the
Kingdom of the Jews had revolved upon such a man the expectation of the nations
was, according to prophecy, already at the door. For with him their princes and
governors, who had ruled in regular succession from the time of Moses came to an
13. Before their
captivity and their transportation to Babylon they were ruled by Saul first and
then by David, and before the kings leaders governed them who were called
Judges, and who came after Moses and his successor Jesus.
14. After their
return from Babylon they continued to have without interruption an aristocratic
form of government, with an oligarchy. For the priests had the direction of
affairs until Pompey, the Roman general, took Jerusalem by force, and defiled
the holy places by entering the very innermost sanctuary of the temple.
who, by the right of ancient succession, had been up to that time both king and
high priest, was with his children sent in chains to Rome; and he gave to
Hyrcanus, brother of Aristobulus, the high priesthood, while the whole nation of
the Jews was made tributary to the Romans from that time.
who was the last of the regular line of high priests, was soon afterward taken
prisoner by the Parthians, and Herod, the first foreigner, as I have already
said, was made king of the Jewish nation by the Roman senate and by Augustus.
17. Under him
Christ appeared in bodily shape, and the expected Salvation of the nations and
their calling followed in accordance with prophecy. From this time the princes
and rulers of Judah, I mean of the Jewish nation, came to an end, and as a
natural consequence the order of the high priesthood, which from ancient times
had proceeded regularly in close succession from generation to generation, was
immediately thrown into confusion.
18. Of these things
Josephus is also a witness, who shows that when Herod was made King by the
Romans he no longer appointed the high priests from the ancient line, but gave
the honor to certain obscure persons. A course similar to that of Herod in the
appointment of the priests was pursued by his son Archelaus, and after him by
the Romans, who took the government into their own hands.
19. The same writer
shows that Herod was the first that locked up the sacred garment of the high
priest under his own seal and refused to permit the high priests to keep it for
themselves. The same course was followed by Archelaus after him, and after
Archelaus by the Romans.
20. These things have been recorded by us in order to show that another prophecy has been fulfilled in the appearance of our Savior Jesus Christ. For the Scripture, in the book of Daniel, having expressly mentioned a certain number of weeks until the coming of Christ,
(Not correct here as is evident this 20th century)
of which we have treated in other books, most clearly
prophesies, that after the completion of those weeks the unction among the Jews
should totally perish.
21. And this, it
has been clearly shown, was fulfilled at the time of the birth of our Savior
Jesus Christ. This has been necessarily premised by us as a proof of the
correctness of the time.
The alleged discrepancy in the gospels.
1. Matthew and
Luke in their gospels have given us the genealogy of Christ differently, and
many suppose that they are at variance with one another. Since as a consequence
every believer, in ignorance of the truth, has been zealous to invent some
explanation to harmonize the two passages.
2. And so permit
us to subjoin the account of the matter, which has come down to us, and which is
given by Africanus, who was mentioned by us just above, in his epistle to
Aristides, where he discusses the harmony of the gospel genealogies. After
refuting the opinions of others as forced and deceptive, he give the account
which he had received from tradition in these words:
whereas the names of the generations were reckoned in Israel either according to
nature or according to law; - according to nature by the succession of
legitimate offspring, and according to law whenever another raised up a child to
the name of a brother dying childless.
4. For because a
clear hope of resurrection was not yet given - they had a representation of the
future promise by a kind of mortal resurrection, in order that the name of the
one deceased might be perpetuated. Whereas
then some of those who are inserted in this genealogical table succeeded by
natural descent, the son to the father, while others, though born of one father,
were ascribed by name to another, mention was made of both of those who were
progenitors in fact and of those who were so only in name.
5. Thus neither of
the gospels are in error, for one reckons by nature, the other by law. For the
line of descent from Solomon and that from Nathan were so involved,
the one with the other, by the raising up of children to the childless and by
second marriages, that the same persons are justly considered to belong at one
time to one, at another time to another.
That is, at one
time to the reputed fathers, at another to the actual fathers. So that both
these accounts are strictly true and come down to Joseph with considerable
intricacy indeed, yet quite accurately. But
in order that what I have said may be made clear I shall explain the interchange
of the generations.
If we reckon
the generations from David through Solomon, the third from the end is found to
be Matthan, who begat Jacob the father of Joseph. But if, with Luke, we reckon
them from Nathan the son of David, in like manner the third from the end is
Melchi, whose son Eli was the father of Joseph. For Joseph was the son of Eli,
the son of Melchi.
therefore being the object proposed to us, it must be shown how it is that each
is recorded to be his father, both Jacob, who derived his descent from Solomon,
and Eli, who derived his from Nathan; first how it is that these two, Jacob and
Eli, were brothers, and then how it is that their fathers, Matthan and Melchi,
although of different families, are declared to be grandfathers of Joseph.
Melchi having married in succession the same woman, begat children who were
uterine brothers, for the law did not prohibit a widow, whether such by divorce
or by the death of her husband, from marrying another.
10. By Estha then
(for this was the woman's name according to tradition) Matthan, a descendant of
Solomon, first begat Jacob. And when Matthan was dead, Melchi, who traced his
descent back to Nathan, being of the same tribe but of another family, married
her as before said, and begat a son Eli.
Thus we shall
find the two, Jacob and Eli, although belonging to different families, yet
brethren by the same mother. Of these the one, Jacob, when his brother Eli had
died childless, took the latter's wife and begat by her a son Joseph, his own
son by nature and in accordance with reason.
it is written: `Jacob begat Joseph.' But according to law he was the son of Eli,
for Jacob, being the brother of the latter, raised up seed to him.
Hence the genealogy traced through him will not be rendered void, which
the evangelist Matthew in his enumeration gives thus:
13. `Jacob begat
Joseph.' But Luke, on the other hand, says: `Who was the son, as was supposed'
(for this he also adds), `of Joseph, the son of Eli, the son of Melchi'; for he
could not more clearly express the generation according to law.
expression `he begat' he has omitted in his genealogical table up to the end,
tracing the genealogy back to Adam the son of God. This interpretation is
neither incapable of proof nor is it an idle conjecture.
The cruelty of Herod, and his
1. When Christ was
born, according to the prophecies, in Bethlehem of Judea, at the time indicated,
Herod was not a little disturbed by the inquiry of the magi who came from the
east, asking where he who was born King of the Jews was to be found, for they
had seen his star, and this was their reason for taking so long a journey; for
they earnestly desired to worship the infant as God.
For he imagined
that his kingdom might be endangered; and he inquired therefore of the doctors
of the law, who belonged to the Jewish nation, where they expected Christ to be
born. When he learned that the prophecy of Micah announced that Bethlehem was to
be his birthplace he commanded, in a single edict, all the male infants in
Bethlehem, and all its borders, that were two years of age or less, according to
the time which he had accurately ascertained from the magi, to be slain,
supposing that Jesus, as was indeed likely, would share the same fate as the
others of his own age.
But the Child
anticipated the snare, being carried into Egypt by his parents, who had learned
from an angel that appeared unto them what was about to happen, these things are
recorded by the Holy Scriptures in the Gospel.
worthwhile, in addition to this, to observe the reward, which Herod received for
his daring crime against Christ and those of the same age. For immediately,
without the least delay, the divine vengeance overtook him while he was still
alive, and gave him a foretaste of what he was to receive after death.
5. It is not
possible to relate here how he tarnished the supposed felicity of his reign by
successive calamities in his family, by the murder of wife and children, and
others of his nearest relatives and dearest friends. The account, which casts
every other tragic drama into the shade, is detailed at length in the histories
immediately after his crime against our Savior and the other infants, the
punishment sent by God drove him on to his death, we can best learn from the
words of that historian who, in the seventeenth book of his Antiquities of the
Jews, writes as follows concerning his end: "
7. But the disease
of Herod grew more severe, God inflicting punishment for his crimes. For a slow
fire burned in him which was not so apparent to those who touched him, but
augmented his internal distress; for he had a terrible desire for food which it
was not possible to resist. He was affected also with ulceration of the
intestines, and with especially severe pains in the colon, while a watery and
transparent humor settled about his feet.
8. He suffered
also from a similar trouble in his abdomen. Nay more, his privy member was
putrefied and produced worms. He found also excessive difficulty in breathing,
and it was particularly disagreeable because of the offensiveness of the odor
and the rapidity of respiration.
9. He had
convulsions also in every limb, which gave him uncontrollable strength. It was
said, indeed, by those who possessed the power of divination and wisdom to
explain such events, that God had inflicted this punishment upon the king on
account of his great impiety."
mentioned above recounts these things in the work referred to. And in the second
book of his History he gives a similar account of the same Herod, which runs as
follows: "The disease then seized upon his whole body and distracted it by
various torments. For he had a slow fever, and the itching of the skin of his
whole body was insupportable.
11. He suffered
also from continuous pains in his colon, and there were swellings on his feet
like those of a person suffering from dropsy, while his abdomen was inflamed and
his privy member so putrefied as to produce worms. Besides this he could breathe
only in an upright posture, and then only with difficulty, and he had
convulsions in all his limbs, so that the diviners said that his diseases were a
12. But he,
although wrestling with such sufferings, nevertheless clung to life and hoped
for safety, and devised methods of cure. For instance, crossing over Jordan he
used the warm baths at CallirhoŽ, which flow into the Lake Asphaltites, but are
themselves sweet enough to drink.
13. His physicians
here thought that they could warm his whole body again by means of heated oil.
But when they had let him down into a tub filled with oil, his eyes became weak
and turned up like the eyes of a dead person. But when his attendants raised an
outcry, he recovered at the noise; but finally, despairing of a cure, he
commanded about fifty drachms to be distributed among the soldiers, and great
sums to be given to his generals and friends.
14. Then returning
he came to Jericho, where, being seized with melancholy, he planned to commit an
impious deed, as if challenging death itself. For by collecting from every town
the most illustrious men of all Judea, he commanded that they be shut up in the
15. And having
summoned Salome, his sister, and her husband Alexander, he said: `I know that
the Jews will rejoice at my death, but I may be lamented by others and have a
splendid funeral if you are willing to perform my commands.
16. When I shall
expire surround these men, who are now under guard, as quickly as possible with
soldiers, and slay them, in order that all Judea and every house may weep for me
even against their will.'"
17. And after a
little Josephus says, "And again he was so tortured by want of food and by
a convulsive cough that, overcome by his pains he planned to anticipate his
fate. Taking an apple he asked also for a knife, for he was accustomed to cut
apples and eat them. Then looking around to see that there was no one to hinder,
he raised his right hand as if to stab himself."
In addition to
these things the same writer records that he slew another of his own sons before
his death, the third one slain by his command, and that immediately afterward he
breathed his last, not without excessive pain.
Such was the
end of Herod, who suffered a just punishment for his slaughter of the children
of Bethlehem, which was the result of his plots against our Savior.
After this an
angel appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and commanded him to go to Judea
with the child and its mother, revealing to him that those who had sought the
life of the child were dead.
21. To this the
evangelist adds, "But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in the room of
his father Herod he was afraid to go thither; notwithstanding being warned of
God in a dream he turned aside into the parts of Galilee."
The Times of Pilate.
1. The historian
already mentioned agrees with the evangelist in regard to the fact that
Archelaus succeeded to the government after Herod. He records the
manner in which he received the kingdom of the Jews by the will of his father
Herod and by the decree of Caesar Augustus, and how, after he had reigned ten
years, he lost his kingdom, and his brothers Philip and Herod the younger, with
Lysanias, still ruled their own tetrarchies.
writer, in the eighteenth book of his Antiquities, says that about the twelfth
year of the reign of Tiberius, who had succeeded to the empire after
Augustus had ruled fifty-seven years, Pontius Pilate was entrusted with the
government of Judea, and that he remained there ten full years, almost until the
death of Tiberius.
3. Accordingly the
forgery of those who have recently given currency to acts against our Savior is
clearly proven. For the very date given in them shows the falsehood of their
fabricators. For the things, which
they dared to say concerning the passion of the Savior, are put into the fourth
consulship of Tiberius.
4. Which occurred
in the seventh year of his reign; at which time it is plain that Pilate was not
yet ruling in Judea, if the testimony of Josephus is to be believed, who clearly
shows in the above-mentioned work that Pilate was made procurator of Judea by
Tiberius in the twelfth year of his reign.
∑ The high priests of the Jews under whom Christ taught.
It was in the
fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, according to the evangelist, and in the
fourth year of the governorship of Pontius Pilate, while Herod and Lysanias and
Philip were ruling the rest of Judea, that our Savior and Lord, Jesus the Christ
of God, being about thirty years of age, came to John for baptism and began the
promulgation of the Gospel.
6. The Divine
Scripture says, moreover, that he passed the entire time of his ministry under
the high priests Annas and Caiaphas, showing that in the time which
belonged to the priesthood of those two men the whole period of his teaching was
completed. Since he began his work during the high priesthood of Annas and
taught until Caiaphas held the office, the entire time does not comprise quite
For the rites
of the law having been already abolished since that time, the customary usages
in connection with the worship of God, according to which the high priest
acquired his office by hereditary descent and held it for life, were also
annulled and there were appointed to the high priesthood by the Roman governors
now one and now another person who continued in office not more than one year.
relates that there were four high priests in succession from Annas to Caiaphas.
Thus in the same book of the Antiquities he writes as follows: "Valerius
Graters having put an end to the priesthood of Ananus appoints Ishmael, the son
of Fabi, high priest. And having removed him after a little he appoints Eleazer,
the son of Ananus the high priest, to the same office.
9. And having
removed him also at the end of a year he gives the high priesthood to Simon, the
son of Camithus. But he likewise held the honor no more than a year, when
Josephus, called also Caiaphas, succeeded him."
whole time of our Saviorís ministry is shown to have been not quite four full
years, four high priests, from Annas to the accession of Caiaphas, having held
office a year each. The Gospel therefore has rightly indicated Caiaphas as the
high priest under whom the Savior suffered. From which also we can see that the
time of our Saviorís ministry does not disagree with the foregoing
11. Our Savior and
Lord, not long after the beginning of his ministry, called the twelve apostles,
and these alone of all his disciples he named apostles, as an especial honor.
And again he appointed seventy others whom he sent out two by two before his
face into every place and city whither he himself was about to come.
∑ Testimonies in regard to John the Baptist and Christ.
12. Not long after
this John the Baptist was beheaded by the younger Herod, as is stated in the
Gospels. Josephus also records the same fact, making mention of Herodias by
name, and stating that, although she was the wife of his brother, Herod made her
his own wife after divorcing his former lawful wife, who was the daughter of
Aretas, king of Petra, and separating Herodias from her husband while he was
13. It was on her
account also that he slew John, and waged war with Aretas, because of the
disgrace inflicted on the daughter of the latter. Josephus relates that in this
war, when they came to battle, Herod's entire army was destroyed, and that he
suffered this calamity on account of his crime against John.
Josephus confesses in this account that John the Baptist was an exceedingly
righteous man, and thus agrees with the things written of him in the Gospels. He
records also that Herod lost his kingdom on account of the same Herodias, and
that he was driven into banishment with her, and condemned to live at Vienne in
15. He relates
these things in the eighteenth book of the Antiquities, where he writes of John
in the following words: "It seemed to some of the Jews that the army of
Herod was destroyed by God, who most justly avenged John called the Baptist.
16. For Herod slew
him, a good man and one who exhorted the Jews to come and receive baptism,
practicing virtue and exercising righteousness toward each other and toward God;
for baptism would appear acceptable unto Him when they employed it, not for the
remission of certain sins, but for the purification of the body, as the soul had
been already purified in righteousness.
17. And when others
gathered about him (for they found much pleasure in listening to his words),
Herod feared that his great influence might lead to some sedition, for they
appeared ready to do whatever he might advise.
considered it much better, before any new thing should be done under John's
influence, to anticipate it by slaying him, than to repent after revolution had
come, and when he found himself in the midst of difficulties. On account of
Herod's suspicion John was sent in bonds to the above-mentioned citadel of
Mach'ra, and there slain."
these things concerning John, he makes mention of our Savior in the same work,
in the following words: "And there lived at that time Jesus, a wise man, if
indeed it be proper to call him a man. For he was a doer of wonderful works, and
a teacher of such men as receive the truth in gladness. And he attached to
himself many of the Jews, and many also of the Greeks. He was the Christ.
20. When Pilate, on
the accusation of our principal men, condemned him to the cross, those who had
loved him in the beginning did not cease loving him. For he appeared unto them
again alive on the third day, the divine prophets having told these and
countless other wonderful things concerning him. Moreover, the race of
Christians, named after him, continues down to the present day."
21. Since an
historian, who is one of the Hebrews themselves, has recorded in his work these
things concerning John the Baptist and our Savior, what excuse is there left for
not convicting them of being destitute of all shame, who have forged the acts
against them? But let this suffice here.
The disciples of our Savior.
The names of
the apostles of our Savior are known to every one from the Gospels. But there
exists no catalogue of the seventy disciples. Barnabas, indeed, is said to have
been one of them, of whom the Acts of the apostles makes mention in various
places, and especially Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians.
2. They say that Sosthenes also, who wrote to the Corinthians with Paul, was one of them. This is the account of Clement in the fifth book of his Hypotyposes, in which he also says that Cephas was one of the seventy disciples, a man who bore the same name as the apostle Peter, and the one concerning whom Paul says, "When Cephas came to Antioch I withstood him to his face."
who was numbered with the apostles in the place of Judas, and the one who was
honored by being made a candidate with him, are likewise said to have been
deemed worthy of the same calling with the seventy.
They say that
Thaddeus also was one of them, concerning whom I shall presently relate an
account, which has come down to us. And upon examination you will find that our
Savior had more than seventy disciples, according to the testimony of Paul, who
says that after his resurrection from the dead he appeared first to Cephas, then
to the twelve, and after them to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom
some had fallen asleep; but the majority were still living at the time he wrote.
says he appeared unto James, who was one of the so-called brethren of the
Savior. But, since in addition to these, there were many others who were called
apostles, in imitation of the Twelve, as was Paul himself, he adds:
"Afterward he appeared to all the apostles." So much in regard to
these persons. But the story concerning Thaddeus is as follows.
∑ Narrative concerning the prince of the
6. The divinity of
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ being noised abroad among all men on account of
his wonder-working power, he attracted countless numbers from foreign countries
lying far away from Judea, who had the opening of being cured of their diseases
and of all kinds of sufferings.
7. For instance
the King Abgarus, who ruled with great glory the nations beyond the Euphrates,
being afflicted with a terrible disease which it was beyond the power of human
skill to cure, when he heard of the name of Jesus, and of his miracles, which
were attested by all with one accord sent a message to him by a courier and
begged him to heal his disease.
8. But He did not
at that time comply with his request; yet he deemed him worthy of a personal
letter in which he said that he would send one of his disciples to cure his
disease, and at the same time promised salvation to himself and all his house.
9. Not long
afterward his promise was fulfilled. For after his resurrection from the dead
and his ascent into heaven, Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, under divine
impulse sent Thaddeus, who was also numbered among the seventy disciples of
Christ, to Edessa, as a preacher and evangelist of the teaching of Christ.
10. And all that
our Savior had promised received through him its fulfillment. You have written
evidence of these things taken from the archives of Edessa, which was at that
time a royal city. For in the public registers there, which contain accounts of
ancient times and the acts of Abgarus, these things have been found preserved
down to the present time.
11. But there is no
better way than to hear the epistles themselves that we have taken from the
archives and have literally translated from the Syriac language in the following
∑ Copy of an epistle written by Abgarus the ruler to Jesus.
ruler Of Edessa, to Jesus the excellent Savior who has appeared in the country
of Jerusalem, greeting. I have heard the reports of thee and of thy cures as
performed by thee without medicines or herbs. For it is said that thou makes the
blind to see and the lame to walk, that thou cleanses lepers and casts out
impure spirits and demons, and that thou heals those afflicted with lingering
disease, and raises the dead.
13. And having
heard all these things concerning thee, I have concluded that one of two things
must be true: either thou art God, and having come down from heaven thou doest
these things, or else thou, who doest these things, art the Son of God.
14. I have
therefore written to thee to ask thee that thou would take the trouble to come
to me and heal the disease, which I have. For I have heard that the Jews are
murmuring against thee and are plotting to injure thee. But I have a very small
yet noble city which is great enough for us both."
∑ The answer of Jesus to Abgarus.
art thou who hast believed in me without having seen me. For it is written
concerning me, that they who have seen me will not believe in me, and that they
who have not seen me will believe and be saved.
in regard to what thou hast written me, that I should come to thee, it is
necessary for me to fulfill all things here for which I have been sent, and
after I have fulfilled them thus to be taken up again to him that sent me. But
after I have been taken up I will send to thee one of my disciples, that he may
heal thy disease and give life to thee and thine."
epistles there was added the following account in the Syriac language.
"After the ascension of Jesus, Judas, who was also called Thomas, sent to
him Thaddeus, an apostle, one of the Seventy. When he was come he lodged with
Tobias, the son of Tobias. When the report of him got abroad, it was told
Abgarus that an apostle of Jesus was come, as he had written him.
18. Thaddeus began
then in the power of God to heal every disease and infirmity, insomuch that all
wondered. And when Abgarus heard of the great and wonderful things which he did
and of the cures, which he performed, he began to suspect that he was the one of
whom Jesus had written him, saying, `After I have been taken up I will send to
thee one of my disciples who will heal thee.'
summoning Tobias, with whom Thaddeus lodged, he said, I have heard that a
certain man of power has come and is lodging in thy house. Bring him to me. And
Tobias coming to Thaddeus said to him, the ruler Abgarus summoned me and told me
to bring thee to him that thou might heal him. And Thaddeus said, I will go, for
I have been sent to him with power.
therefore arose early on the following day, and taking Thaddeus came to Abgarus.
And when he came, the nobles were present and stood about Abgarus. And
immediately upon his entrance a great vision appeared to Abgarus in the
countenance of the apostle Thaddeus.
21. When Abgarus
saw it he prostrated himself before Thaddeus, while all those who stood about
were astonished; for they did not see the vision, which appeared to Abgarus
alone. He then asked Thaddeus if he
were in truth a disciple of Jesus the Son of God, who had said to him,
22. `I will send
thee one of my disciples, who shall heal thee and give thee life.' And Thaddeus
said, because thou hast mightily believed in him that sent me, therefore have I
been sent unto thee. And still further, if thou believe in him, the petitions of
thy heart shall be granted thee, as thou believe.
23. And Abgarus
said to him, So much have I believed in him that I wished to take an army and
destroy those Jews who crucified him, had I not been deterred from it by reason
of the dominion of the Romans. And Thaddeus said, Our Lord has fulfilled the
will of his Father, and having fulfilled it has been taken up to his Father.
24. And Abgarus
said to him, I too have believed in him and in his Father. And Thaddeus said to
him, therefore I place my hand upon thee in his name. And when he had done it,
immediately Abgarus was cured of the disease and of the suffering, which he had.
marveled, that as he had heard concerning Jesus, so he had received in very deed
through his disciple Thaddeus, who healed him without medicines and herbs, and
not only him, but also Abdus the son of Abdus, who was afflicted with the gout;
for he too came to him and fell at his feet, and having received a benediction
by the imposition of his hands, he was healed.
26. The same
Thaddeus cured also many other inhabitants of the city, and did wonders and
marvelous works, and preached the word of God. And afterward Abgarus said, Thou,
O Thaddeus, doest these things with the power of God, and we marvel.
27. But, in
addition to these things, I pray thee to inform me in regard to the coming of
Jesus, how he was born; and in regard to his power, by what power he performed
those deeds of which I have heard.
28. And Thaddeus
said, now indeed will I keep silence, since I have been sent to proclaim the
word publicly. But tomorrow assemble for me all thy citizens, and I will preach
in their presence and sow among them the word of God, concerning the coming of
Jesus, how he was born; and concerning his mission, for what purpose he was sent
by the Father.
29. And concerning
the power of his works, and the mysteries which he proclaimed in the world, and
by what power he did these things; and concerning his new preaching, and his
abasement and humiliation, and how he humbled himself, and died and debased his
divinity and was crucified, and descended into Hades, and burst the bars which
from eternity had not been broken, and raised the dead; for he descended alone,
but rose with many, and thus ascended to his Father.
therefore commanded the citizens to assemble early in the morning to hear the
preaching of Thaddeus, and afterward he ordered gold and silver to be given him.
But he refused to take it, saying, if we have forsaken that which was our own,
how shall we take that which is another's?
31. These things
were done in the three hundred and fortieth year."
I have inserted them here in their proper place, translated from the
Syriac literally, and I hope to good purpose.