Early Church Fathers
39 That Tiberius did not persecute the Christians is a fact; but this was simply because they attracted no notice during his reign, and not because of his respect for them or of his belief in Christ.
40 Tertullian was born in Carthage about the middle of the second century. The common opinion is that he was born about 160, but Lipsius pushes the date back toward the beginning of the fifties, and some even into the forties. For a recent study of the subject, see Ernst Nöldechen in the Zeitschrift fÜr wissenschaftliche Theologie, 1886, Heft 2. He concludes that he was born about 150 and lived until about 230. Tertullian's father was a Roman centurion, and he himself became a lawyer and rhetorician in Rome. He was converted to Christianity probably between 180 and 190, and according to Jerome, became a presbyter and continued as such until middle life (whether in Rome or in Carthage we cannot tell; probably in the latter, for he certainly spent the later years of his life, while he was a Montanist, in Carthage, and also a considerable part of his earlier life, as his writings indicate), when he went over to Montanism (probably about 200 a.d.), and died at an advanced age (22+). That he was a presbyter rests only upon the authority of Jerome (de vir. ill. 53), and is denied by some Roman Catholic historians in the interest of clerical celibacy, for Tertullian was a married man. He wrote a great number of works,-apologetic, polemic, and practical-a few in Greek, but most of them in Latin,-and many of the Latin ones are still extant. The best edition of them is by Oehler, Leipzig, 1853, in three volumes. Vol. IlI. contains valuable dissertations upon the life and works of Tertullian by various writers. An English translation of his works is given in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vols. III. and IV. 1-125. Our main sources for a knowledge of his life are his own writings, and Jerome's de vir. ill. chap. 53. For a fuller account of Tertullian, see any of the larger Church histories, and especially a good monograph by A. Hauck, Tertullian's Leben und Schriften, Erlangen, 1877. For the literature, see Schaff's Church Hist. II. p. 818.
41 His accurate acquaintance with the laws of the Romans is not very conspicuous in his writings. His books lead us to think that as a lawyer he must have been noted rather for brilliancy and fertility of resource than for erudition. And this conclusion is borne out by his own description of his life before his conversion, which seems to have been largely devoted to pleasure, and thus to have hardly admitted the acquirement of extensive and accurate learning.
42 Kai twn malista epi 9Rwmhj lamprwn. Rufinus translates inter nostros Scriptores celeberrimus, and Valesius inter Latinos Scriptores celeberrimus, taking epi Rwmhj to mean the Latin language. But this is not the literal translation of the words of Eusebius. He says expressly, one of the especially distinguished men in Rome. From his work de cultu Feminarum, Lib. I. chap. 7, we know that he had spent some time in Rome, and his acquaintance with the Roman records would imply a residence of some duration there. He very likely practiced law and rhetoric in Rome until his conversion.
43 Tertullian's Apology ranks first among his extant works, and is "one of the most beautiful monuments of the heroic age of the Church" (Schaff). The date of its composition is greatly disputed, though it must have been written during the reign of Septimius Severus, and almost all scholars are agreed in assigning it to the years 197-204. Since the investigations of Bonwetsch (Die Schriften Tertullian's, Bonn, 1878), of Harnack (in the Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, 1878, p. 572 sqq.), and of Nöldechen (in Gebhardt and Harnack's Texte und Untersuchungen, Band V. Heft 2), all of whom agree in assigning its composition to the latter part (summer or fall) of the year 197, its date may be accepted as practically established.
44 Some have contended that Eusebius himself translated this passage from Tertullian, but his words show clearly enough that he quotes from an already existing translation. His knowledge of the Latin language appears to have been very limited. He must have had some acquaintance with it, for he translates Hadrian's rescript to Fundanus from Latin into Greek, as he informs ns in Bk. IV. chap. 8; but the translation of so brief and simple a piece of writing would not require a profound knowledge of the language, and there are good reasons for concluding that he was not a fluent Latin scholar. For instance, the only work of Tertullian's which he quotes is his Apology, and he uses only a Greek translation of that. It is not unnatural to conclude that the rest of Tertullian's works, or at least the most of them, were not translated, and that Eusebius was not enough of a Latin scholar to be able to read them in the original with any degree of ease. Moreover, this conclusion in regard to his knowledge of Latin is confirmed by the small acquaintance which he shows with the works of Latin writers in general. In fact, he does not once betray a personal acquaintance with any of the important Latin works which had been produced before his time, except such as existed in Greek translations. Compare Heinichen's note in his edition of Eusebius' History, Vol. III. p. 128 sqq. The translation of Tertullian's Apology used by Eusebius was very poor, as may be seen from the passage quoted here, and also from the one quoted in Bk. II. chap. 25, §4. For the mistakes, however, of course not Eusebius himself, but the unknown translator, is to be held responsible.
45 Tertullian's Apology, chap. 5.
46 Havercamp remarks (in his edition of Tertullian's Apology, p. 56) that this law is stated in the second book of Cicero's De Legibus in the words: Separatim nemo habessit deos, neve novos; sed ne advenas nisi publice adscitos privatim colunto.
47 Markoj 'Aimilioj outwj peri tinoj eidwlou pepoihken' Albournon.. Latin: Scit M. Aemilius de cleo suo Alburno. In Adv. Marcionem, I. 18, Tertullian says, Alioquin si sic homo Deum commentabitur, quomodo Romulus Consum, et Tatius Cloacinam, et Hostilius Pavorem, et Metellus Alburnum, et quidam ante hoc tempus Antinoum; hoc aliis licebit; nos Marcionem nauclerum novimus, non regem, nec imperatorem.
I cannot discover that this eidwloj or Deus Alburnus is mentioned by any other writer than Tertullian, nor do I find a reference to him in any dictionary accessible to me.
48 Literally, "This has been done in behalf of (or for the sake of) our doctrine" (kai touto uper tou hmwn logou pepoihtai); but the freer translation given in the text better expresses the actual sense. The original Latin reads: facit et hoc ad causam nostram.
49 This entire account bears all the marks of untruthfulness, and cannot for a moment be thought of as genuine. Tertullian was probably, as Neander suggests, deceived by falsified or interpolated documents from some Christian source. He cannot have secured his knowledge from original state records. The falsification took place, probably, long after the time of Tiberius. Tertullian is the first writer to mention these circumstances, and Tertullian was not by any means a critical historian. Compare Neander's remarks in his Church History, Vol. I. p. 93 sqq. (Torrey's Translation).
50 Were this conduct of Tiberius a fact, Trajan's rescript and all subsequent imperial action upon the subject would become inexplicable.
51 Compare Col. i. 6. That Christianity had already spread over the whole world at this time is, of course, an exaggeration; but the statement is not a mere rhetorical flourish; it was believed as a historical fact. This conception arose originally out of the idea that the second coming of Christ was near, and the whole world must know of him before his coming. The tradition that the apostles preached in all parts of the world is to be traced back to the same cause.
52 Ps. xix. 4.
53 See Acts x. 1 sq.
54 See Acts xi. 20. The Textus Receptus of the New Testament reads at this point Ellhnistaj, a reading which is strongly supported by external testimony and adopted by Westcott and Hort. But the internal evidence seems to demand Ellhnaj, and this reading is found in some of the oldest versions and in a few mss., and is adopted by most modern critics, including Tischendorf. Eusebius is a witness for the latter reading. He takes the word Ellhnaj in a broad sense to indicate all that are not Jews, as is clear from his insertion of the allwn, "other Greeks," after speaking of Cornelius, who was not a Greek, but a Roman. Closs accordingly translates Nichtjuden, and Stigloher Heiden.
55 See Acts xi. 22 sqq.
56 See Acts xi.26. This name was first given to the disciples by the heathen of Antioch, not by the Jews, to whom the word "Christ" meant too much; nor by the disciples themselves, for the word seldom appears in the New Testament, and nowhere in the mouth of a disciple. The word xristianoj has a Latin termination, but this does not prove that it was invented by Romans, for Latinisms were common in the Greek of that day. It was probably originally given as a term of contempt, but accepted by the disciples as a term of the highest honor.
57 ap euqalouj kai gonimou phghj. Two mss., followed by Stephanus, Valesius, Closs, and Crusè, read ghj; but all the other mss., together with Rufinus, support the reading phghj, which is adopted by the majority of editors.
58 See Acts xi. 28. Agabus is known to us only from this and one other passage of the Acts (xxi. 10), where he foretells the imprisonment of Paul. The famine here referred to took place in the reign of Claudius, where Eusebius puts it when he mentions it again in chap. 8. He cannot therefore be accused, as many accuse him, of putting the famine itself into the reign of Tiberius, and hence of committing a chronological error. He is following the account of the Acts, and mentions the prominent fact of the famine in that connection, without thinking of chronological order. His method is, to be sure, loose, as he does not inform his readers that he is anticipating by a number of years, but leaves them to discover it for themselves when they find the same subject taken up again after a digression of four chapters. Upon the famine itself, see below, chap. 8.
59 See Acts xi. 29, Acts xi. 30.
60 From Aug. 29, a.d. 14, to March 16, a.d. 37.
61 Caius ruled from the death of Tiberius until Jan. 24, a.d. 41.
62 Herod Agrippa I. He was a son of Aristobulus, and a grandson of Herod the Great. He was educated in Rome and gained high favor with Caius, and upon the latter's accession to the throne received the tetrarchies of Philip and Lysanias, and in a.d. 39 the tetrarchy of Galilee and Perea, which had belonged to Herod Antipas. After the death of Caius, his successor, Claudius, appointed him also king over the province of Judea and Samaria, which made him ruler of all Palestine, a dominion as extensive as that of Herod the Great. He was a strict observer of the Jewish law, and courted the favor of the Jews with success. It was by him that James the Elder was beheaded, and Peter imprisoned (Acts xii.). He died of a terrible disease in a.d. 44. See below, chap. 10.
63 Herod Antipas.
64 See Luke xxiii. 7-11.
65 He was banished in a.d. 39 to Lugdunum in Gaul (according to Josephus, Ant. XVIII. 7. 2; or to Spain, according to his B. J. II. 9. 6), and died in Spain (according to B. J. II. 9. 6).
66 See Ant. XVIII. 6 and 7, and B. J. II. 9.
67 Philo was an Alexandrian Jew of high family, who was born probably about 20-10 b.c. (in his Legat. ad Cajum, he calls himself an old man). Very little is known about his life, and the time of his death is uncertain. The only fixed date which we have is the embassy to Caligula (a.d. 40), and he lived for at least some time after this. He is mentioned by Jerome (de vir. ill. 11), who says he was born of a priestly family; but Eusebius knows nothing of this, and there is probably no truth in the statement. He is mentioned also by Josephus in his Ant. XVIII. 8. 1. He was a Jewish philosopher, thoroughly imbued with the Greek spirit, who strove to unite Jewish beliefs with Greek culture, and exerted immense influence upon the thought of subsequent ages, especially upon Christian theology. His works (Biblical, historical, philosophical, practical, &c.) are very numerous, and probably the majority of them are still extant. For particulars, see chap. 18, below. For an excellent account of Philo, see Schürer, Geschichte des Füdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi; zweite Auflage, Bd. II. p. 831 to 884 (Leipzig, 1886), where the chief literature upon the subject is given.
68 Philo was thoroughly acquainted with Greek literature in all its departments, and shows great familiarity with it in his works. The influence of Plato upon him was very great, not only upon his philosophical system, but also upon his language; and all the Greek philosophers were studied and honored by him. He may, indeed, himself be called one of them. His system is eclectic, and contains not only Platonic, but also Pythagorean, and even Stoic, elements. Upon his doctrinal system, see especially Schürer, ibid. p. 836 sq.
69 Upon this work, see Schürer, p. 855 sqq. According to him, the whole work embraced five books, and probably bore the title peri aretwn kai presbeiaj proj Gaion. Eusebius cites what seems to be the same work under these two different titles in this and in the next chapter; and the conclusion that they were but one work is confirmed by the fact that Eusebius (in chap. 18) mentions the work under the title On the Virtues, which he says that Philo humorously prefixed to his work, describing the impiety of Caius. The omission of the title h presbeia in so complete a catalogue of Philo's works makes its identification with peri aretwn very probable. Of the five, only the third and fourth are extant,-eij Flakkon, Adversus Flaccum, and peri presbeiaj proj Gaion, de legatione ad Cajum (found in Mangey's ed. Vol. II. p. 517-600). Book I., which is lost, contained, probably, a general introduction; Book II., which is also lost, contained an account of the oppression of the Jews during the time of Tiberius, by Sejanus in Rome, and by Pilate in Judea (see below, note 9); Book III., Adversus Flaccum (still extant), contains an account of the persecution of the Jews of Alexandria at the beginning of the reign of Caius; Book IV., Legatio ad Cajum (still extant), describes the sufferings which came upon the Jews as a result of Caius' command that divine honors should everywhere be paid him; Book V., the palinwdia (which is lost), contained an account of the change for the better in the Jews' condition through the death of Caius, and the edict of toleration published by Claudius. Upon the other works of Philo, see chap. 18, below.
70 The occasion of this embassy was a terrible disturbance which had arisen between the Jews and Greeks in Alexandria, and had continued with occasional interruptions for more than a year. Much blood had been shed, and affairs were becoming constantly worse. All efforts to secure peace utterly failed, and finally, in 40 a.d., the Greeks dispatched an embassy to the emperor, hoping to secure from him an edict for the extermination of the Jews. The Jews, on their side, followed the example of the Greeks, sending an embassy for their own defense, with Philo at its head. The result was as Eusebius relates, and the Jews were left in a worse condition than before, from which, however, they were speedily relieved by the death of Caius. Claudius, who succeeded Caius, restored to them for a time religious freedom and all the rights which they had hitherto enjoyed.
71 Josephus, Ant. XVIII. 8. 1.
72 This sedition, mentioned above, began in 38 a.d., soon after the accession of Caius. The Jews, since the time of Alexander the Great, when they had come in great numbers to the newly founded city, Alexandria, had enjoyed with occasional interruptions high favor there, and were among the most influential inhabitants. They possessed all the rights of citizenship and stood upon an equality with their neighbors in all respects. When Alexandria fell into the hands of the Romans, all the inhabitants, Jews as well as Greeks, were compelled to take a position subordinate to the conquerors, but their condition was not worse than that of their neighbors. They had always, however, been hated more or less by their fellow-citizens on account of their prosperity, which was the result of superior education and industry. This enmity came to a crisis under Caius, when the financial condition of Egypt was very bad, and the inhabitants felt themselves unusually burdened by the Roman demands. The old hatred for their more prosperous neighbors broke out afresh, and the terrible disturbance mentioned was the result. The refusal of the Jews to worship Caius as a God was made a pretext for attacking them, and it was this refusal which gained for them the hatred of Caius himself.
73 Apion, chief of the Greek deputies, was a grammarian of Alexandria who had won great fame as a writer and Greek scholar. He seems to have been very unscrupulous and profligate, and was a bitter and persistent enemy of the Jews, whom he attacked very severely in at least two of his works-the Egyptian History and a special work Against the Jews, neither of which is extant. He was very unscrupulous in his attacks, inventing the most absurd and malicious falsehoods, which were quite generally believed, and were the means of spreading still more widely the common hatred of the Jews. Against him Josephus wrote his celebrated work, Contra Apionem (more fully de antiquitate Judaeorum contra Apionem), which is still extant, and in the second book of which he exposes the ignorance and mendacity of Apion. In the Pseudo-Clementines he plays an important (but of course fictitious) role as an antagonist of the Gospel. The extant fragments of Apion's works are given, according to Lightfoot, in Müller's Fragm. Hist. Graec. II. 506 sq., and in Fabricius' Bibl. Graec. I. 503, and VII. 50. Compare Lightfoot's article in Smith and Wace's Dict. of Christ. Biog.
74 The Alabarch was the chief magistrate of the Jews at Alexandria. Alexander was a very rich and influential Jew, who was widely known and held in high esteem. His son Tiberius Alexander was appointed procurator of Judea in 46 a.d., as successor of Cuspius Fadus. Philo thus belonged to a high and noble Jewish family. The accuracy of Josephus' statement that Philo was the brother of the Alabrach Alexander has been denied (e.g., by Ewald. Gesch. des Jüdischen Volkes, Vol. VI. p. 235), and the Alabarch has been assumed to have been the nephew of Philo, but this without sufficient ground (compare Schürer, ibid. p. 832, note 5).
75 See note 1, above. The work is cited here under the title hresbeia (Legatio).
76 The Jews in Rome had enjoyed the favor of Augustus, and had increased greatly in numbers and influence there. They were first disturbed by Tiberius, who was very hostile to them, and to whose notice all the worst sides of Jewish character were brought by their enemies, especially by Sejanus, who had great influence with the emperor, and was moreover a deadly enemy of the Jews. The Jews were driven out of Rome, and suffered many acts of violence. After the death of Sejanús, which took place in 31 a.d., they were allowed to return, and their former rights were restored.
77 Pilate proved himself exceedingly tyrannical and was very obnoxious to the Jews, offending them greatly at different times during his administration by disregarding their religious scruples as no procurator before him had ventured to do. Soon after his accession he changed his quarters from Caesarea to Jerusalem, and introduced the Roman standard into the Holy City. The result was a great tumult, and Pilate was forced to yield and withdraw the offensive ensigns (Josephus, B. J. II. 9. 2; see the next chapter). At another time he offended the Jews by hanging in his palace some shields inscribed with the names of heathen deities, which he removed only upon an express order of Tiberius (Philo, ad Caium, chap. 38). Again, he appropriated a part of the treasure of the temple to the construction of an aqueduct, which caused another terrible tumult which was quelled only after much bloodshed (Josephus, B. J. II. 9. 4; see the next chapter). For further particulars about Pilate, see chap. 7, below.
78 Caius' hostility to the Jews resulted chiefly (as mentioned above, chap. 5, note 4) from their refusal to pay him divine honors, which he demanded from them as well as from his other subjects. His demands had caused terrible disturbances in Alexandria; and in Jerusalem, where he commanded the temple to be devoted to his worship, the tumult was very great and was quieted only by the yielding of the emperor, who was induced to give up his demands by the request of Agrippa, who was then at Rome and in high favor with him. Whether the Jews suffered in the same way in Rome we do not know, but it is probable that the emperor endeavored to carry out the same plan there as elsewhere.
79 Philo, Legat. ad Caium, 43.
80 en taij allaij polesi. The reason for the use of the word "other" is not quite clear, though Philo perhaps means all the cities except Jerusalem, which he mentions a little below.
81 "`Caius the younger,0' to distinguish him from Julius Caesar who bore the name Caius, and who was also deified" (Valesius).
82 This work is probably the same as that mentioned in the beginning of chap. 5. (See chap. 5, note 1.) The work seems to have borne two titles h presbeia and peri aretwn. See Schürer, ibid. p. 859, who considers the deuterw here the addition of a copyist, who could not reconcile the two different titles given by Eusebius.
83 This is rather an unwarranted assumption on the part of Eusebius, as Josephus is very far from intimating that the calamities of the nation were a consequence of their crimes against our Saviour.
84 Josephus, B. J. II. 9. 2.
85 shmaiai kalountai.
86 John xix. 15.
87 Josephus, B. J. II. 9. 4.
88 Heb. zprq
; Greek korban and korbanaj. The word denoted originally any offering to God, especially an offering in fulfillment of a vow. The form korbanaj, which Josephus has employed here, was used to denote the sacred treasure or the treasury itself. In Matt. xxvii. 6, the only place where this form of the word occurs in the New Testament, it is used with the latter meaning. Upon this act of Pilate's, see above, chap. 5, note 9.
89 Josephus, in Ant. XVIII. 3. 2, says that the aqueduct was 200 stadia long. In the passage which Eusebius quotes the number given is 400, according to the Greek mss. of Josephus, though the old Latin translation agrees with Eusebius in reading 300. The situation of the aqueduct we do not know, though the remains of an ancient aqueduct have been found to the south of Jerusalem, and it is thought that this may have been the same. It is possible that Pilate did not construct a new aqueduct, but simply restored one that had been built in the time of Solomon. Schultz (Jerusalem, Berlin, 1845) suggests the number 40, supposing that the aqueduct began at Bethlehem, which is 40 stadia from Jerusalem.
90 See B. J. II. 10, 12 sqq.
91 Pilate's downfall occurred in the following manner. A leader of the Samaritans had promised to disclose the sacred treasures which Moses was reported to have concealed upon Mt. Gerizim, and the Samaritans came together in great numbers from all quarters. Pilate, supposing the gathering to be with rebellious purpose, sent troops against them and defeated them with great slaughter. The Samaritans complained to Vitellius, governor of Syria, who sent Pilate to Rome (36 a.d.) to answer the charges brought against him. Upon reaching Rome he found Tiberius dead and Caius upon the throne. He was unsuccessful in his attempt to defend himself, and, according to tradition, was banished to Vienne in Gaul, where a monument is still shown as Pilate's tomb. According to another tradition he committed suicide upon the mountain near Lake Lucerne, which bears his name.
92 Eusebius, unfortunately, does not mention his authority in this case, and the end of Pilate is recorded by no Greek historians known to us. We are unable, therefore, to form a judgment as to the trustworthiness of the account.
93 Caius ruled from March 16, a.d. 37, to Jan. 24, a.d. 41, and was succeeded by his uncle Claudius.
94 Several famines occurred during the reign of Claudius (cf. Dion Cassius, LX. 11, Tacitus, Annal. XII. 13, and Eusebius, Chron., year of Abr. 2070) in different parts of the empire, but no universal famine is recorded such as Eusebius speaks of. According to Josephus (Ant. XX. 2.5 and 5. 2), a severe famine took place in Judea while Cuspius Fadus and Tiberius Alexander were successively procurators. Fadus was sent into Judea upon the death of Agrippa (44 a.d.), and Alexander was succeeded by Cumanus in 48 a.d. The exact date of Alexander's accession we do not know, but it took place probably about 45 or 46. This famine is without doubt the one referred to by Agabus in Acts xi. 28. The exact meaning of the word oikouenh, in that passage, is a matter of dispute. Whether it refers simply to Palestine, or is used to indicate a succession of famines in different parts of the world, or is employed only in a rhetorical sense, it is impossible to say. Eusebius understands the word in its widest sense, and therefore assumes a universal famine; but he is mistaken in his assumption.
95 The only non-Christian historians, so far as we know, to record a famine during the reign of Claudius, are Dion Cassius and Tacitus, who mention a famine in Rome, and Josephus, who speaks of the famine in Judea (see the previous note for the references). Eusebius, in his Chron., mentions famines both in Greece and in Rome during this reign, but upon what authority we do not know. As already remarked, we have no extant account of a general famine at this time.
96 Acts xi. 28.
97 Acts xi. 29, Acts xi.30.