Early Church Fathers
105 B. J., Preface, §1. We have an original source for the life of Josephus, not only in his various works, in which he makes frequent reference to himself, but also in his autobiography, which was written after the year 100. The work was occasioned by the Chronicle of Justus of Tiberias, which had represented him as more patriotic and more hostile to the Romans than he liked, and he therefore felt impelled to paint himself in the blackest of colors, as a traitor and renegade,-probably much blacker than he really was. It is devoted chiefly to an account of the intrigues and plots formed against him while he was governor of Galilee, and contains little of general biographical interest, except in the introduction and the conclusion. Josephus was of a priestly family,-his father Matthias belonging to the first of the twenty-four courses-and he was born in the first year of Caius Caesar; i.e. in the year beginning March 16, 37 a.d. He played a prominent part in the Jewish war, being entrusted with the duty, as governor of Galilee and commander of the forces there, of meeting and opposing Vespasian, who attacked that province first. He was, however, defeated, and gave himself up to the victors, in the summer of 67. He was treated with honor in the camp of the Romans, whom he served until the end of the war, and became a favorite and flatterer of the Vespasian house, incurring thereby the everlasting contempt of his country men. He went to Rome at the close of the war, and lived in prosperity there until early in the second century. His works are our chief source for a knowledge of Jewish affairs from the time of the Maccabees, and as such are, and will always remain, indispensable, and their author immortal, whatever his character. He was a man of learning and of talent, but of inordinate selfishness and self-esteem. He was formerly accused of great inaccuracy, and his works were considered a very poor historical source; but later investigations have increased his credit, and he seems, upon the whole, to have been a historian of unusual ability and conscientiousness.
106 Eusebius is the only one, so far as we know, to mention this statue in Rome, and what authority there is for his statement we cannot tell.
107 In §64 of his Life Josephus tells us that Titus was so much pleased with his accounts of the Jewish war that he subscribed his name to them, and ordered them published (see the next chapter, §8 sqq., where the passage is quoted). The first public library in Rome, according to Pliny, was founded by Pollio (76 b.c.-4 a.d.). The one referred to here is undoubtedly the imperial library, which, according to Suetonius, was originally established by Augustus in the temple of Apollo on the Palatine, and contained two sections,-one for Greek, and the other for Latin works. It was greatly enlarged by Tiberius and Domitian.
108 'Iondaikh 'Arxailogia, Antiquitates Judaicoe. This work, which is still extant, is Josephus' most extensive work, and aims to give, in twenty books, a complete history of the Jews, from the time of Abraham to the beginning of the great war with Rome. The object of the work is mainly apologetic, the author aiming to place Judaism before Gentile readers in as favorable a light as possible. It contains much legendary matter, but is the main source for our knowledge of a long period of Jewish history, and as such is invaluable. The work was completed, according to his own statement (XX. 11. 2), in the thirteenth year of Domitian (93-94 a.d.), and frequently corrects erroneous statements made in his earlier work upon the Jewish war.
109 9Istoria, 'Ioudaikou prolemou proj 9Rwmaiouj, de Bello Judaico. This work, in seven books, constitutes our most complete and trustworthy source for a knowledge of that great war, so momentous in its consequences both to Judaism and to Christianity. The author wrote from personal knowledge of many of the events described, and had, besides, access to extensive and reliable written sources: and the general accuracy of the work may therefore be accepted. He says that he undertook the work for the purpose of giving a true narrative of the war, in consequence of the many false and distorted accounts which had already appeared in various quarters. He presented the work, when finished, to Vespasian and Titus, and obtained their approval and testimony to its trustworthiness: and hence it must have been written during the reign of Vespasian, probably toward the end of it, as other works upon the war had preceded his (B. J., Preface, §1).
110 The work, as Josephus informs us (B. J., Preface, §1; and contra Apion. I. 9), was written originally in his own tongue,-Aramaic,-and afterwards translated by himself into Greek, with the help of others. Eusebius inverts the fact, making the Greek the original.
111 The full title of this work is the Apology of Flavius Josephus on the Antiquities of the Jews against Apion (peri arxaisthtoj 'Ioudaiwn kata 'Apiwnoj, De Antiquitate Judaeorum contra Apionem). It is ordinarily cited simply as contra Apionem (Against Apion). It consists of two books, and is, in fact, nothing else than an apology for Judaism in general, and to a less extent, a defense of himself and his former work (the Antiquities) against hostile critics. The common title, contra Apionem, is rather misleading, as he is not once mentioned in the first book, although in the first part of the second book he is attacked with considerable bitterness and through him a large class of enemies and detractors of Judaism. (Upon Apion, the famous Alexandrian and the bitter enemy of the Jews, see above, Bk. II. chap. 5, note 5.) The work is Josephus' best effort from a literary point of view, and shows both learning and ability, and in spite of its brevity contains much of great value. It was written after his Antiquities (i.e. after 93 a.d.), how long afterward we cannot tell. These three works of Josephus, with his autobiography already mentioned (note 1), are all that are extant, although he seems to have written another work relating to the history of the Seleucidae (cf. Ant. XIII. 2. 1, 2. 4, 4. 6, 5. 11) of which not a trace remains, and which is mentioned by no one else. The other works planned by Josephus-On God and his Essence (Ant. XX. 11. 3), and On the Laws of the Jews (ibid. and Ant. III. 5. 6, 8. 10)-seem never to have been written. (They are mentioned also by Eusebius in the next chapter.) Other compositions attributed to him are not from his hand. The best edition of the works of Josephus is that of Benedict Niese (Berlin, 1885 sq.), of which the first two volumes have been already issued, comprising ten books of the Antiquities. A good complete edition is that of Dindorf (Paris, 1845-47, 2 vols.). That of Bekker (Leipzig, 1855, 6 vols.) is very convenient. The only complete English translation is by Whiston, unfortunately uncritical and inaccurate. Traill's translation of the Jewish War (London, 1862) is a great improvement, but does not cover the remainder of Josephus' works. Upon Josephus and his writings, see the article of Edersheim in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. III. 441-460, and compare the literature given there.
113 Against Apion, I. 8. The common Christian tradition (since the first century, when it was stated in the fourth book of Ezra xiv. 44 sq.) is that Ezra was the compiler of the Old Testament canon. This, however, is a mistake, for the canon was certainly not completed before the time of Judas Maccabaeus. Josephus is the earliest writer to give us a summary of the books of the Old Testament; and he evidently gives not merely his own private opinion but the commonly accepted canon of his day. He does not name the separate books, but he tells us that they were twenty-two in number (the number of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet), and gives us the three divisions, so that we are able to ascertain his canon in detail. It was doubtless as follows:-
1-5. Books of Moses.
7. Judges and Ruth.
11. Ezra and Nehemiah.
14. Jeremiah and Lamentations.
17. Twelve Minor Prophets.
22. Song of Songs.
The earliest detailed list of Old Testament books is that of Melito (given by Eusebius, IV. 26), which is as follows:-
Books of Moses
Four of Kings.
Song of Songs.
Twelve Minor Prophets.
Melito says nothing of the number twenty-two, and, in fact, his list, as he gives it, numbers only twenty-one. His list really differs from Josephus' only in omitting the Book of Esther. This omission may be accidental, though it is omitted by Athanasius and Gregory Nazianzen. He makes no mention of Nehemiah, but that is doubtless included with Ezra, as in the case of Josephus' canon. His canon purports to be the Palestinian one, and hence we should expect it to be the same as that of Josephus, which makes it more probable that the omission of Esther was only accidental. Origen (in Eusebius, VI. 25) tells us that there were twenty-two books in the Hebrew canon; but his list differs somewhat from that of Josephus. It is as follows:-
1-5. Books of Moses.
7. Judges and Ruth.
11. Ezra I. and II.
15. Song of Songs.
16. [Twelve Minor Prophets (Rufinus).]
18. Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Epistle.
"Besides these also the Maccabees."
The peculiar thing about the list is the omission of the Twelve Minor Prophets and the insertion of the Epistle of Jeremiah. The former were certainly looked upon by Origen as sacred books, for he wrote a commentary upon them (according to Eusebius, VI. 36). There is no conceivable reason for their omission, and indeed they are needed to make up the number twenty-two. We must conclude that the omission was simply an oversight on the part of Eusebius or of some transcriber. Rufinus gives them as number sixteen, as shown in the list, but the position there assigned to them is not the ordinary one. We should expect to find them in connection with the other prophets; but the various lists are by no means uniform in the order of the books. On the other hand, the Greek Epistle of Jeremiah (Baruch vi.) did not stand in the Hebrew canon, and can have been inclnded by Origen here only because be had been used to seeing it in connection with Jeremiah in his copy of the LXX. (for in ancient mss. of the LXX., which probably represent the original arrangement, it is given not as a part of Baruch, but as an appendix to Lamentations), and hence mentioned it in this book without thinking of its absence from the Hebrew canon. Origen adds the Maccabees to his list, but expressly excludes them from the twenty-two books (see Bk. VI. chap. 25, note 5). Meanwhile the Talmud and the Midrash divide the canon into twenty-four books, and this was probably the original Jewish division. The number twenty-two was gained by adding Ruth to Judges and Lamentations to Jeremiah. The number thus obtained agreed with the number of letters in the alphabet, and was therefore accepted as the number sanctioned by divine authority, and the division was commonly adopted by the early Fathers. This is Strack's view, and seems better than the opposite opinion, which is advocated by many, that the number twenty-two was the original. It is easier to see how twenty-four might be changed to twenty-two than how the reverse should happen. So, for instance, Jerome in his preface to the translation of Samuel and Kings, makes the number twenty-two, and gives a list which agrees with the canon of Josephus except in the three general divisions, which are differently composed. It will be seen that these various lists (with the exception of that of Origen, which includes the Epistle of Jeremiah and appends the Maccabees) include only the books of our canon. But the LXX. prints with the Old Testament a number of Books which we call Apocrypha and exclude from the canon. It has been commonly supposed, therefore, that there was a regular Alexandrian canon differing from the Palestinian. But this is not likely. An examination of Philo's use of the Old Testament shows us that his canon agreed with that of Josephus, comprising no apocryphal books. It is probable in fact that the LXX. included in their translation these other books which were held in high esteem, without intending to deliver any utterance as to the extent of the canon or to alter the common Jewish canon by declaring these a part of it. But however that was, the use of the LXX., which was much wider than that of the Hebrew, brought these books into general use, and thus we see them gradually acquiring canonical authority and used as a part of the canon by Augustine and later Fathers. Jerome was the only one in the West to utter a protest against such use of them. Both Athanasius and Cyril of Jerusalem added to the canon Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremiah; but opinion in the Orient was mostly against making any books not in the Hebrew canon of canonical authority, and from the fourth century the Eastern Fathers used them less and less. They were, however, officially recognized as a part of the canon by numerous medieval and modern synods until 1839, when the larger Catechism of the Orthodox Catholic Eastern Church, the most anthorita-rive standard of the Graeco-Russian Church, expressly excluded them. The Latin Church, meanwhile, has always regarded the Apocrypha as canonical, and by its action at the Council of Trent has made them a part of the official canon. See Strack's article in Herzog, translated in Schaff-Herzog; also Harman's Introduction to the Holy Scripture, p. 33 sqq. The subject is discussed in all Old Testament introductions.
114 Literally, "the tradition respecting the origin of man (anqrwpogoniaj) down to his own death." I have felt it necessary to insert the words, "and continue the history," which are not found in the Greek, but which are implied in the words, "down to his own death."
115 Among the Jews in the time of Christ a world's era was in use, dating from the creation of the world; and it is this era which Josephus employs here and throughout his Antiquities. His figures are often quite inconsistent,-probably owing, in large part, to the corrupt state of the existing text,-and the confusion which results is considerable. See Destinon's Chronologie des Josephus.
116 These thirteen books were:-
2. Judges and Ruth.
6. Ezra and Nehemiah.
9. Jeremiah and Lamentations.
12. Twelve Minor Prophets.
As will be seen, Josephus divided the canon into three parts: first, the Law (five books of Moses); second, the Prophets (the thirteen just mentioned); third, the Hagiographa (Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles). The division of the canon into three such parts is older than Josephus; at the same time, his division is quite different from any other division known. Jerome's is as follows:-
1. Law: five books of Moses.
2. Prophets: Joshua, Judges and Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Lamentations, Ezekiel, Twelve Minor Prophets (eight books).
3. Hagiographa (Holy writings): Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Daniel, Chronicles, Ezra, Esther (nine books). The division which exists in our Hebrew Bibles differs from this of Jerome's only in transferring Ruth and Lamentations to the third division, and thus making twenty-four books. This is held by many to be a later form, as remarked above, but as Strack shows, it is rather the original. In the LXX., which is followed in our English Bible, the books are arranged, without reference to the three divisions, solely according to their subject-matter. The peculiar division of Josephus was caused by his looking at the matter from the historical standpoint, which led him to include in the second division all the books which contained, as he says, an account of events from Moses to Artaxerxes.
117 The Artaxerxes here referred to is Artaxerxes Longimanus who reigned b.c. 464 to 425. It was under him that Ezra and Nehemiah carried on their work and that the later prophets flourished. Malachi-the last of them-uttered his prophecies at the end of Artaxerxes' or at the beginning of Darius' reign. It was commonly held among the Jews that with Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi the prophetical spirit had departed from Israel, and the line was sharply drawn, as here by Josephus, between them and the writers of the Apocrypha who followed them.
118 eij Makkabaiouj logoj h peri autokratoroj logismou: De Maccabaeis, seu de rationis imperio liber. This book is often called the Fourth Book of Maccabees, and was formerly ascribed to Josephus. As a consequence it is printed with his works in many editions. But it is now universally acknowledged to be spurious, although who the author is we cannot tell.
120 Ant. XX. 11. 3. See the previous chapter, note 7.
121 See the same note.
122 See the same note.
123 The passage referred to, which is quoted just below, is found in his Life, §65, and not in the Antiquities. But we can see from the last paragraph of the Antiquities that he wrote his Life really as an appendix to that work, and undoubtedly as Ewald suggests, issued it with a second edition of the Antiquities about twenty years after the first. In the mss. it is always found with the Antiquities, and hence the whole might with justice be viewed as one work. It will be noticed that Eusebius mentions no separate Life of Josephus, which shows that he regarded it simply as a part of the Antiquities.
124 Justus of Tiberias was the leader of one of the factions of that city during the troublous times before the outbreak of the war, while Josephus was governor of Galilee, and as an opponent he caused him considerable trouble. He is mentioned frequently in Josephus' Life, and we are thus enabled to gather a tolerably complete idea of him-though of course the account is that of an enemy. He wrote a work upon the Jews which was devoted chiefly to the affairs of the Jewish war and in which he attacked Josephus very severely. This work, which is no longer extant, was read by Photius and is described by him in his Bibl. Cod. 33, under the title, basileij 'Ioudaioi oi en toij stemmasi. It was in consequence of this work that Josephus felt obliged to publish his Life, which is really little more than a defense of himself over against the attacks of Justus. See above, note 1.
125 Vita, §65.
126 Josephus has just affirmed in a previous paragraph that Justus had had his History written for twenty years, and yet had not published it until after the death of Vespasian, Titus, and Agrippa, and he accuses him of waiting until after their death because he was afraid that they would contradict his statements. Josephus then goes on to say in the passage quoted that he was not, like Justus, afraid to publish his work during the lifetime of the chief actors in the war.
127 Agrippa II. See above, Bk. II. chap. 19, note 3. Agrippa sided with the Romans in the war and was with Vespasian and Titus in their camp much of the time, and in Galilee made repeated efforts to induce the people to give up their rebellion, that the war might be avoided.
128 These two epistles are still extant, and are given by Josephus in his Vita, immediately after the passage just quoted by Eusebius. The first of them reads as follows (according to Whiston's translation): "King Agrippa to Josephus, his dear friend, sendeth greeting. I have read over thy book with great pleasure, and it appears to me that thou hast done it much more accurately and with greater care than have the other writers. Send me the rest of these books. Farewell, my dear friend."
129 61 or 62 a.d. See above, Bk. II. chap. 23.
130 See ibid. note 40. The date of Symeon's accession (assuming that he did take charge of the Jerusalem church as James had done) cannot be fixed. Eusebius himself, as he informs us in Bk. IV. chap. 5, although he had a list of the Jerusalem bishops, had no information as to the dates of their accession, or the length of their incumbency. He puts Symeon's accession after the destruction of Jerusalem, but he evidently does that only because he supposed that it followed immediately upon the death of James. Some (e.g. Lightfoot) think it probable that Symeon was appointed immediately after James' death, therefore before the destruction of Jerusalem; others (e.g. Renan) suppose that in Pella they had no bishop and appointed Symeon only after the return of the church to Jerusalem.
131 logoj katexei. Hegesippus (quoted in Bk. IV. chap. 22, below) says that "Symeon was appointed the second bishop, whom all proposed as the cousin of our Lord." Upon what authority Eusebius' more definite account rests we do not know. He introduces it with the formula logoj katexei, and we know of no other author who has put it as he does. It may be that the simple statement of Hegesippus was the sole ground of the more detailed tradition which Eusebius repeats in this chapter. The reason of Symeon's appointment as given by Hegesippus is quite significant. It was the common Oriental custom to accord the highest honors to all the members of a prophet's or religious leader's family, and it was undoubtedly owing chiefly to his close physical relationship to Christ that James enjoyed such prominence and influence in the Jerusalem church, apparently exceeding even that of the apostles themselves.
132 This Symeon is to be distinguished from the apostle Simon, the Canaanite, and also from Simon, the brother of our Lord (mentioned in Matt. xiii. 55 and Mark vi. 3). It is noticeable that Hegesippus nowhere calls him the "brother of the Lord," though he does give James that title in Bk. II. chap. 23. Clopas is mentioned in John xix. 25, as the husband of Mary, who is without doubt identical with Mary the mother of James (the little) and of Joses; mentioned in Matt. xxvii. 56, Mark xv. 40, &c. If Hegesippus' account be accepted as trustworthy (and there is no reason for doubting it), Symeon was the son of Clopas and Mary, and therefore brother of James the Little and Joses. If, then, Alphaeus and Clopas be the same, as many claim, James the Little is to be identified with James the son of Alphaaeus, the apostle, and hence the latter was the brother of Symeon. This identification, however, is entirely arbitrary, and linguistically difficult, and we shall do better therefore to keep the men separate, as Renan does (see above, Bk. I. chap. 12, note 14). Upon the martyrdom of Symeon, see below, chap. 32.
133 In John xix. 25.
134 Hegesippus, quoted below in Bk. IV. chap. 22, calls Clopas the uncle of the Lord, which would make him of course the brother or brother-in-law of Joseph. Eusebius evidently considered them own brothers. Whether Hegesippus elsewhere stated this directly, or whether Eusebius' opinion is simply an inference from the words of Hegesippus already referred to, we do not know. There is no objection to the conclusion that Clopas and Joseph were own brothers, although it cannot be proved from Hegesippus' words that they were more than brothers-in-law. From John xix. 25 it is at any rate plain that their wives cannot have been own sisters, as was formerly maintained by so many commentators. With the remaining possibilities of relationship we do not need to concern ourselves.
135 It is not certain that Eusebius intends to give Hegesippus as his authority for the statements of this chapter, inasmuch as he does not mention his name. He gives the account, however, upon the authority of some one else, and not as a direct historical statement, for the verb is in the infinitive, and it is much more natural to supply 9Hghsippoj istorei, the last words of the preceding chapter, than to supply any other phrase, such as logoj katexei, which occurs two chapters earlier. The translators are divided as to the words that are to be supplied, but it seems to me beyond doubt that this account rests upon the same authority as that of the previous chapter. There is in any case nothing at all unlikely in the report, as Vespasian and his successors kept a very close watch upon the Jews, and this would have been a very natural method of endeavoring to prevent future revolutions. The same course was pursued also by Domitian; see below, chaps. 19 and 20. We hear from no other source of a persecution raised against the Jews by Vespasian, and we may therefore conclude that it cannot have amounted to much, if indeed it deserves to be called a persecution at all.
136 Vespasian reigned from July 1 (if his reign be dated from the time he was proclaimed emperor in Egypt; if from the death of Vitellius, Dec. 20), 69, to June 24, 79 a.d.
137 In his Chron. (Armenian) Eusebius gives the length of Linus' episcopate as fourteen years, while Jerome gives it as eleven years. Both figures are about equally reliable; see above, chap. 2, note 1.
138 Of Anencletus, or Cletus, as he is also called, we know nothing more than that he was one of the traditional first three bishops of Rome. Hippolytus makes two bishops, Anencletus and Cletus, out of the one man, and he is followed by the Roman Catholic Church (see above, chap. 2, note 1). According to chap. 15, Anencletus held office twelve years.
139 Titus died Dec. 13, a.d. 81. He therefore reigned two years and six months, instead of two years and two months as Eusebius states.
140 85 a.d.; on Annianus, see above, Bk. II. chap. 24, note 2.
141 'Abilioj. According to one tradition Abilius was ordained presbyter with his successor Cerdon by Mark himself (see Smith and Wace). According to another (Ap. Const. VII. 46) he was appointed bishop by Luke. He held office thirteen years according to chap. 21, below. Valesius claims that the name should be written Avilius, regarding it as a Latin name, and citing in support of his opinion the name of a prefect of Egypt, Avilius Flaccus, mentioned by Philo, and the fact that the name of Avilius' predecessor, Annianus, is also Latin.
142 On Anencletus, see chap. 13, note 3.
143 Phil. iv. 3. For an account of Clement, see above, chap. 4, note 19; and upon the order of succession of the Roman bishops, see chap. 2, note 1.
144 This epistle of Clement, which is still extant in two Greek mss., and in a Syriac version, consists of fifty-nine chapters, and is found in all editions of the Apostolic Fathers. It purports to have been written from the church at Rome to the church at Corinth, but bears the name of no author. Unanimons tradition, however (beginning with Dionysius of Corinth, in Eusebius, IV. 23), ascribes it to Clement, Bishop of Rome, and scholars, with hardly an exception, accept it as his work. It was, in all probability, written immediately after the persecution of Domitian, in the last years of the first century, and is one of the earliest, perhaps the very earliest, post-biblical works which we have. It was held in very high repute in the early Church, and in the Alexandrian Codex it stands among the canonical books as a part of the New Testament (though this is exceptional; cf. chap. 3, above, and chap. 25, below, in both of which this epistle is omitted, though Eusebius is giving lists of New Testament books, both accepted and disputed). We have had the epistle complete only since 1875, when Bryennios discovered a ms. containing it and other valuable works. Previously a part of the epistle had been wanting. In consequence the older editions have been superseded by the more recent. See appendix to Lightfoot's edition (1877), which gives the recovered portions of the text; so, also, the later editions of Gebhardt and Harnack's, and of Hilgenfeld's Apostolic Fathers. The epistle is translated in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, I. p. 5-21.
145 megalh te kai qaumasia.
146 See the epistle itself, especially chaps. 1 and 3. It was these seditions in the church at Corinth which occasioned the epistle.
147 Compare the words of Dionysius of Corinth, in Bk. IV. chap. 23. Though the epistle was held in high esteem, it was not looked upon as a part of the New Testament canon.
148 Hegesippus' testimony upon this point is no longer extant.
149 The persecutions under Nero and Domitian were not undertaken by the state as such; they were simply personal matters, and established no precedent as to the conduct of the state toward Christianity. They were rather spasmodic outbursts of personal enmity, but were looked upon with great horror as the first to which the Church was subjected. There was no general persecution, which took in all parts of the empire, until the reign of Decius (249-251), but Domitian's cruelty and ferocity were extreme, and many persons of the highest rank fell under his condemnation and suffered banishment and even death, not especially on account of Christianity, though there were Christians among them, but on account of his jealousy, and for political reasons of various sorts. That Domitian's persecution of the Christians was not of long duration is testified by Tertullian, Apol. 5. Upon the persecutions of the Christians, see, among other works, Wieseler's Die Christenverfolgungen der Cäsaren, hist. Und chronolog. untersucht, 1878; Uhlhorn's Der Kampf des Christenthums mit dem Heidenthum, English translation by Smyth and Ropes, 1879; and especially the keen essay of Overbeck, Gesetze der römischen Kaiser gegen die Christen, in his Studien zur Gesch. der alten Kirche, I. (1875).
150 The fact that the Christians were not persecuted by Vespasianis abundantly confirmed by the absence of any tradition to the opposite effect. Compare Tertullian's Apol. chap. 5, where the persecutions of Nero and Domitian are recorded.
151 Unanimous tradition, beginning with Irenaaeus (V. 30. 3, quoted just below, and again in Eusebius V. 8) assigns the banishment of John and the apocalyptic visions to the reign of Domitian. This was formerly the common opinion, and is still held by some respectable writers, but strong internal evidence has driven most modern scholars to the conclusion that the Apocalypse must have been written before the destruction of Jerusalem, the banishment therefore (upon the assumption that John wrote the Apocalypse, upon which see chap. 24, note 19) taking place under Nero instead of Domitian. If we accept this, we have the remarkable phenomenon of an event taking place at an earlier date than that assigned it by tradition, an exceptional and inexplicable thing. We have too the difficulty of accounting for the erroneousness of so early and unanimous a tradition. The case thus stood for years, until in 1886 Vischer published his pamphlet Die Offenbarung des Johannes, eine jüdische Apocalypse in Christlicher Bearbeitung (Gebhardt and Harnack's Texte und Untersuchungen, Band II. Heft. 3), which if his theory were true, would reconcile external and internal evidence in a most satisfactory manner, throwing the original into the reign of Nero's successor, and the Christian recension into the reign of Domitian. Compare especially Harnack's appendix to Vischer's pamphlet; and upon the Apocalypse itself, see chap. 24, below.
152 Rev. xiii. 18. It will be noticed that Eusebius is careful not to commit himself here on the question of the authorship of the Apocalypse. See below, chap. 24, note 20.
153 Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. V. 30. 3; quoted also below, in Bk. V. chap. 8.
154 Jerome, in his version of the Chron. of Eusebius (year of Abr. 2112), says that the historian and chronographer Bruttius recorded that many of the Christians suffered martyrdom under Domitian. Since the works of Bruttius are not extant, we have no means of verifying the statement. Dion Cassius (LXVII. 14) relates some of the banishments which took place under Domitian, among them that of Flavia Domitilla, who was, as we know, a Christian; But he does not himself say that any of these people were Christians, nor does he speak of a persecution of the Christians.