Early Church Fathers
155 We learn from Suetonius (Domit. chap. 15) that the events referred to by Eusebius in the next sentence took place at the very end of Domitian's reign; that is, in the year 96 a.d., the fifteenth year of his reign, as Eusebius says. Dion Cassius also (LXVII. 14) puts these events in the same year.
156 Flavius Clemens was a cousin of Domitian, and his wife, Domitilla, a niece of the emperor. They stood high in favor, and their two sons were designated as heirs to the empire, while Flavius Clemens himself was made Domitian's colleague in the consulship. But immediately afterward Clemens was put to death and Domitilla was banished. Suetonius (Domit, chap. 15) accuses Clemens of contemtissimae inertiae, and Dion Cassius (LXVII. 14) of atheism (aqethtoj). These accusations are just such as heathen writers of that age were fond of making against the Christians (compare, for instance, Athenagoras' Adv. Gent. chap. 4, and Tertullian's Apol. chap. 42). Accordingly it has been very commonly held that both Flavius Clemens and Domitilla were Christians, and were punished on that account. But early tradition makes only Domitilla a Christian; and certainly if Clemens also-a man of such high rank-had been a Christian, an early tradition to that effect would be somewhere preserved. We must, therefore, conclude that his offense was something else than Christianity. The very silence of Christian tradition as to Clement is an argument for the truth of the tradition in regard to Domitilla, and the heathen historians referred to confirm its main points, though they differ in minor details. The Acts of Martyrdom of Nereus and Achilles represent Domitilla as the niece, not the wife, of Flavius Clemens, and Eusebius does the same. More than that, while the heathen writers report that Domitilla was banished to the island Pandeteria, these Acts, as well as Eusebius and Jerome (Ep. adv. Eustachium, Migne's ed., Ep. CVIII. 7), give the island of Pontia as the place of banishment. Tillemont and other writers have therefore assumed that there were two Domitillas,-aunt and niece,-one banished to one island, the other to another. But this is very improbable, and it is easier to suppose that there was but one Domitilla and but one island, and that the discrepancies are due to carelessness or to the mistakes of transcribers. Pandeteria and Pontia were two small islands in the Mediterranean, just west of central Italy, and were very frequently employed by the Roman emperors as places of exile for prisoners.
157 palaioj katexei logoj. It is noticeable that, although Eusebius has the written authority of Hegesippus for this account, he still speaks of it as supported by "ancient tradition." This is different from his ordinary custom, and serves to make us careful in drawing conclusions as to the nature of Eusebius' authority for any statement from the expression used in introducing it.
158 This Jude was the brother of James, "the brother of the Lord," who is mentioned in Jude 1, and is to be distinguished from Jude (Thaddeus-Lebbaeus), one of the Twelve, whose name appears in the catalogues of Luke (Luke vi. 14 and Acts i. 13) as the son of James (not his brother, as the A.V. translates: the Greek words are 'Ioudaj 'Iakwbou). For a discussion of the relationship of these men to Christ, see above, Bk. I. chap. 12, note 14. Of the son of Jude and father of the young men mentioned in this chapter we know nothing.
159 According to Andrew's Lexicon, "An Evocatus was a soldier who, having served out his time, was called upon to do military duty as a volunteer."
This suspiciousness is perfectly in keeping with the character of Domitian. The same thing is told also of Vespasian, in chap. 12; but in his case the political situation was far more serious, and revolutions under the lead of one of the royal family might most naturally be expected just after the terrible destruction. The same act is also mentioned in connection with Trajan, in chap. 32, and there is no reason to doubt its truthfulness, for the Jews were well known as a most rebellious and troublesome people.
160 A denarius was a Roman silver coin, in value about sixteen, or, according to others, about nineteen, cents.
161 "Taxes or tributes were paid commonly in the products of the land" (Val.).
162 Most editors (including Valesius, Heinichen, Crusè, &c.) regard the quotation from Hegesippus as extending through §8; but it really ends here, and from this point on Eusebius reproduces the sense in his own words (and so Bright gives it in his edition). This is perfectly clear, for in the first place, the infinitive epideiknunai occurs in the next sentence, a form possible only in indirect discourse: and secondly, as Lightfoot has pointed out, the statement of §8 is repeated in chap. 32, §6, and there in the exact language of Hegesippus, which differs enough from the language of §8 to show that the latter is a free reproduction.
163 marturaj. On the use of this word, see chap. 32, note 15.
164 Compare Renan's Les Evangiles, p. 466.
165 Tertullian, Apol. chap. 5.
166 ti sunesewj. Lat. sed qua et homo.
167 Domitian reigned from Dec. 13, 81 a.d., to Sept. 18, 96.
168 See Dion Cassius, LXVIII. 1 sq., and Suetonius' Domitian, chap. 23.
169 Literally, "the word of the ancients among us" (o twn par hmin arxaiwn logoj).) On the tradition itself, see chap. 1, note 6.
170 From Sept. 18, 96, to Jan. 27, 98 a.d.
171 On Abilius, see chap. 14, note 2, above.
172 According to the legendary Acts of St. Mark, Cerdo was one of the presbyters ordained by Mark. According to Eusebius (H. E. IV. I and Chron.) he held office until the twelfth year of Trajan.
173 On Annianus, see Bk. II. chap. 24, note 2.
174 On the order of succession of the early Roman bishops, see above, chap. 2, note 1. Paul and Peter are here placed together by Eusebius, as co-bishops of Rome. Compare the association of the two apostles by Caius, and by Dionysius of Corinth (quoted by Eusebius, in Bk. II. chap. 25).
175 On Ignatius' life, writings, and martyrdom, see below, chap. 36.
176 We cannot doubt that the earliest tradition made Evodius first bishop of Antioch, for otherwise we could not explain the insertion of his name before the great name of Ignatius. The tendency would be, of course, to connect Ignatius directly with the apostles, and to make him the first bishop. This tendency is seen in Athanasius and Chrysostom, who do not mention Evodius at all; also in the Apost. Const. VII. 46, where, however, it is said that Evodius was ordained by Peter, and Ignatius by Paul (as in the parallel case of Clement of Rome). The fact that the name of Evodius appears here shows that the tradition that he was the first bishop seemed to the author too old and too strong to be set aside. Origen (in Luc. Hom. VI.) is an indirect witness to the episcopacy of Evodius, since he makes Ignatius the second, and not the first, bishop of Antioch. As to the respective dates of the early bishops of Antioch, we know nothing certain. On their chronology, see Harnack, Die Zeit des Ignatuis, and cf. Salmon's article Evodius, in Smith and Wace's Dict. of Christ. Biog.
177 On Symeon, see above, chap. 11, note 4.
178 See chap. 1, note 6, and chap. 18, note 1.
179 That is, at the beginning of the reign of Trajan.
180 The test of a man's trustworthiness in Eusebius' mind-and not in his alone-was his orthodoxy. Iren`us has always been looked upon as orthodox, and so was Clement, in the early Church, which reckoned him among the saints. His name, however, was omitted in the Martyrology issued by Clement VIII., on the ground that his orthodoxy was open to suspicion.
181 Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. II. 22. 5.
182 It is in this immediate connection that Iren`us makes the extraordinary assertion, founding it upon the testimony of those who were with John in Asia, that Christ lived to the age of forty or fifty years. A statement occurring in connection with such a palpably false report might well fall under suspicion; but the fact of John's continuance at Ephesus until the time of Trajan is supported by other passages, and there is no reason to doubt it (cf. chap. 1, note 6). Irenaeus himself repeats the statement as a well-known fact, in III. 3, 4 (quoted just below). It may also be said that the opinion as to Christ's age is founded upon subjective grounds (cf. the preceding paragraph of Irenaeus) and upon a mistaken interpretation of John viii. 56, John viii. 57, rather than upon external testimony, and that the testimony (which itself may have been only the result of a subjective opinion) is dragged in only for the sake of confirming a view already adopted. Such a fact as John's own presence in Ephesus at a certain period could hardly be subject to such uncertainty and to the influence of dogmatic prepossessions. It is significant of Eusebius' method that he omits entirely Irenaeus' statement as to the length of Christ's ministry, with which he did not agree (as shown by his account in Bk. I. chap. 10), while extracting from his statement the single fact which he wishes here to establish. The falsity of the context he must have recognized, and yet, in his respect for Irenaeus, the great maintainer of sound doctrine, he nowhere refers to it. The information which John is said, in this passage, to have conveyed to the "presbyters of Asia" is that Christ lived to old age. The whole passage affords an instance of how much of error may be contained in what, to all appearances, should be a very trustworthy tradition. Internal evidence must come to the support of external, and with all its alleged uncertainty and subjectivity, must play a great part in the determination of the truth of history.
183 Adv. Haer. III. 3, 4.
184 tij o swzomenoj plousioj: Quis Dives salvetur. This able and interesting little treatise upon the proper use of wealth is still extant, and is found in the various editions of Clement's works; English translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers (Am. ed.), II. p.591-604. The sound common sense of the book, and its freedom from undue asceticism are conspicuous, and furnish a pleasing contrast to most of the writings of that age.
185 He indicates the time only by saying "after the tyrant was dead," which might refer either to Domitian or to Nero. But the mention of John a little below as "an aged man" would seem to point to the end of the century rather than to Nero's time. At any rate, Eusebius understood Clement as referring to Domitian, and in the presence of unanimous tradition for Domitian, and in the absence of any counter-tradition, we can hardly understand him otherwise.
186 Quis Dives salvetur, chap. 42.
187 muqon ou muqon, alla onta logon. Clement in these words asserts the truth of the story which he relates. We cannot regard it as very strongly corroborated, for no one else records it, and yet we can hardly doubt that Clement gives it in good faith. It may have been an invention of some early Christian, but it is so fully in accord with what we know of John's character that there exists no reason for refusing to believe that at least a groundwork of truth underlies it, even though the story may have gained in the telling of it. It is certainly beautiful, and fully worthy of the "beloved disciple."
188 See note 8.
189 klhrw ena ge tina klhrwswn. Compare the note of Heinichen in his edition of Eusebius, Vol. I. p. 122. Upon the use of the word klhroj in the early Church, see Baur's Das Christenthum und die christliche Kirche der drei ersten Jahrhunderte, 2d ed., p. 266 sq., and especially Ritschl's Entstehung der alt-kath. Kirche, 2d ed., p. 388 sq. Ritschl shows that the word klhroj was originally used by the Fathers in the general sense of order or rank (Reihe, Rang), and that from this arose its later use to denote church officers as a class,-the clergy. As he remarks, the word is employed in this later specific sense for the first time in this passage of Clement's Quis Dives salvetur. Tertullian, Hippolytus, and Cyprian are the next ones to use it in the same sense. Ritschl remarks in connection with this passage: "Da für eine Wahl der Gemeindebeamten durch das Loos alle sonstigen Beweisen fehlen, und da in dem vorliegenden Satze die Einsetzung yon einer Mehrzahl von episkopoi durch den Apostel ohne jede Methode erwähnt wird, so fällt jeder Grund hinweg, dass bei der Wahl einzelner Beamten das Mittel des Loosens angewandt sein sollte, zumal bei dieser Deutung ein Pleonasmus vorausgesetzt w_rde. Es ist vielmehr zu erkl,,ren, dass Johannes an einzelnen Orten mehrere Beamte zugleich eingesetzt, an andetch Orten wo schon ein Collegium bestand, dem Beamtenstande je ein Mitglied eingereiht habe."
190 According to Stroth the Chronicon Paschale gives Smyrna as the name of this city, and it has been suggested that Clement withholds the name in order to spare the reputation of Polycarp, who, according to tradition, was appointed bishop of that city by John.
191 The same man that is called a bishop just above is here called a presbyter. It is such passages-and they are not uncommon in the early Fathers-that have seemed to many to demonstrate conclusively the original identity of presbyters and bishops, an identity which is maintained by most Presbyterians, and is admitted by many Episcopalians (e.g. by Lightfoot in his essay on the Christian Ministry, printed in his Commentary on Philippians). On the other hand, the passages which reveal a distinction between presbyters and bishops are very early, and are adduced not merely by prelatists, but by such disinterested scholars as Harnack (in his translation of Hatch's Organization of the Early Christian Churches) as proving that there was from the beginning a difference of some sort between a bishop and a presbyter. I cannot enter here into a discussion of the various views in regard to the original relation between bishops and presbyters. I desire simply to suggest a theory of my own, leaving the fuller exposition of it for some future time. My theory is that the word presbuteroj was originally employed in the most general sense to indicate any church officer, thus practically equivalent to the hgoumenoj of Heb. xiii. 17, and the poimhn of Eph. iv. 11. The terms episkopoj and diakonoj, on the other hand, were employed to designate specific church officers charged with the performance of specific duties. If this were so, we should expect the general term to be used before the particular designations, and this is just what we find in the New Testament. We should expect further that the general term and the specific terms might be used by the same person in the same context, according as he thought of the officers in general or of a particular division of the officers; on the other hand the general term and one of the specific terms could never be coordinated (we could never find "presbyter and bishop," "presbyter and deacon"), but we should expect to find the specific terms thus coordinated ("bishops and deacons"). An examination of the Epistle to the Philippians, of the Pastoral Epistles, of Clement's Epistle to the Corinthians, and of the Didache will show that our expectations are fully realized. This theory explains the fact that so frequently presbyters and bishops seem to be identical (the general and the specific term might of course in many cases be used interchangeably), and also the fact that so frequently they seem to be quite distinct. It explains still further the remarkable fact that while in the first century we never find a distinction in official rank between bishops and presbyters, that distinction appears early in the second. In many churches it must early have become necessary to appoint some of the officers as a special committee to take charge of the economic affairs of the congregation. The members of such a committee might very naturally be given the special name episkopoi (see Hatch's discussion of the use of this word in his work already referred to). In some churches the duties might be of such a character that the bishops would need assistants (to whom it would be natural to give the name diakonoj), and such assistants would of course be closely associated with the bishops, as we find them actually associated with them in the second and following centuries (a fact which Hatch has emphasized). Of course where the bishops constituted a special and smaller committee of the general body, entrusted with such important duties, they would naturally acquire especial influence and power, and thus the chairman of the committee-the chairman of the bishops as such, not of the presbyters, though he might be that also-would in time, as a central authority was more and more felt to be necessary, gradually assume the supremacy, retaining his original name episkopoj. As the power was thus concentrated in his hands, the committee of bishops as such would cease to be necessary, and he would require only the deacons, who should carry out his directions in economic matters, as we find them doing in the second century. The elevation of the bishop would of course separate him from the other officers in such a way that although still a presbyter (i.e. an officer), he would cease to be called longer by the general name. In the same way the deacons obliged to devote themselves to their specific duties, would cease to have much to do with the more general functions of the other officers, to whom finally the name presbyter-originally a general term-would be confined, and thus become a distinctive name for part of the officers. In their hands would remain the general disciplinary functions which had belonged from the beginning to the entire body of officers as such, and their rank would naturally be second only to that of the bishop, for the deacons as assistants only, not independent officers, could not outrank them (though they struggled hard in the third and fourth centuries to do so). It is of course likely that in a great many churches the simple undivided office would long remain, and that bishops and deacons as specific officers distinguished from the general body would not exist. But after the distinction between the three orders had been sharply drawn in one part of Christendom, it must soon spread throughout the Church and become established even in places where it had not been produced by a natural process of evolution. The Church organization of the second century is thus complete, and its further development need not concern us here, for it is not matter of controversy. Nor is this the place to show how the local church officers gradually assumed the spiritual functions which belonged originally to apostles, prophets, and teachers. The Didache is the document which has shed most light upon that process, and Hernack in his edition of it has done most to make the matter clear.
192 efwtise: literally, "enlightened him." The verb fwtizw was very commonly used among the Fathers, with the meaning "to baptize." See Suicer's Thesaurus, where numerous examples of this use of the word by Chrysostom, Gregory Nazianzen, and others, are given.
193 thn sfragida kuriou. The word sfragij was very widely used in the primitive Church to denote baptism, See Suicer's Thesaurus for examples. Gregory Nazianzen, in his Orat. XL., gives the reason for this use of the word: "We call baptism a seal," he says, "because it is a preservative and a sign of ownership." Chrysostom, in his third Homily on 2 Cor. §7, says, "So also art thou thyself made king and priest and prophet in the laver; a king, having dashed to earth all the deeds of wickedness and slain thy sins; a priest, in that thou offerest thyself to God, having sacrificed thy body and being thyself slain also; ...a prophet, knowing what shall be, and being inspired by God, and sealed. For as upon soldiers a seal, so is also the Spirit put upon the faithful. And if thou desert, thou art manifest to all. For the Jews had circumcision for a seal, but we the earnest of the Spirit." (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. XII. p. 293.)
194 Literally, "greatness of his nature" (megeqoj fusewj).
195 The testimony of antiquity,-both orthodox and heretical,-to the authenticity of John's Gospel is universal, with the exception of a single unimportant sect of the second century, the Alogi, who denied the Johanninc authorship on account of the Logos doctrine, which they rejected, and very absurdly ascribed the Gospel to the Gnostic Cerinthus; though its absolute opposition to Cerinthus' views is so apparent that Irenaeus (III. 11. 1) even supposed John to have written the Gospel against Cerinthus. The writings of the second century are full of the spirit of John's Gospel, and exhibit frequent parallels in language too close to be mistaken; while from the last quarter of the second century on it is universally and expressly ascribed to John (Theophilus of Antioch and the Muratorian Fragment being the first to name him as its author). The Church never entertained a doubt of its authenticity until the end of the seventeenth century, when it was first questioned by the English Deists; but its genuineness was vindicated, and only scattering and occasional attacks were made upon it until the rise of the Tübingen school, since which time its authenticity has been one of the most fiercely contested points in apostolic history. Its opponents have been obliged gradually to throw back the date of its origin, until now no sensible critic thinks of assigning it to a time later than the early part of the second century, which is a great gain over the position of Baur and his immediate followers, who threw it into the latter half of the century. See Schaff's Ch. Hist. I. 701-724 for a full defense of its authenticity and a comprehensive account of the controversy; also p. 406-411 for the literature of the subject. For the most complete summary of the external evidence, see Ezra Abbott's The Authorship of the Fourth Gospel, 1880. Among recent works, compare Weiss' Leben Jesu, I. 84-124, and his N. T. Einleitung, 586-620, for a defense of the Gospel, and upon the other side Holtzmann's Einleitung, 413-460, and Weizsäcker's Apost. Zeitalter, p. 531-558.
196 Overbeck remarks that Eusebius in this passage is the first to tell us that Paul wrote no more than what we have in the canon. But this is a mistake, for Origen (quoted by Eusebius in VI. 25, below) states it just as distinctly as Eusebius does. The truth is, neither of them says it directly, and yet it is clear enough when this passage is taken in connection with chapter 3, that it is what Eusebius meant, and the same idea underlies the statement of the Muratorian Fragment. Of course this does not prove that Paul wrote only the epistles which we have (which is indeed contrary to fact), but it shows what the idea of the early Church was.
197 See 2 Cor. xii. 2-4.
198 The majority of the mss., followed by Burton, Schwegler, and Laemmer, read diatribwn instead of maqhtwn; and Burton therefore translates, sed tamen ex his omnibus sole Matthaeus et Joannes nobis reliquerunt commentarios de vita et sermonibus Domini, "but of all these only Matthew and John have left us commentaries on the life and conversations of the Lord." Two important mss., however, read maqhtwn, and this is confirmed by Rufinus and adopted by Heinichen, Closs, and Crusè.
199 That Matthew wrote a gospel in Hebrew, although denied by many, is at present the prevailing opinion among scholars, and may be accepted as a fact both on account of its intrinsic probability and of the testimony of the Fathers, which begins with the statement of Papias, quoted by Eusebius in chap. 39, below, is confirmed by Irenaeus (III. 1. 1, quoted below, V. 8, §2),-whether independently of Papias or not, we cannot say,-by Pantaenus (but see below, Bk. V. chap. 10), by Origen (see below, VI. 25), by Jerome (de vir. ill. 3),-who says that a copy of it still existed in the library at Caesarea,-and by Epiphanius (Haer. XXIX. 9). The question as to the relation of this Hebrew original to our present Greek Matthew is much more difficult. That our Greek Matthew is a mere translation of the original Hebrew was once a prevailing theory, but is now completely abandoned. That Matthew himself wrote both is a common conservative position, but is denied by most critical scholars, many of whom deny him the composition even of the Hebrew original. Upon the theory that the original Hebrew Matthew was identical with the "Gospel according to the Hebrews," see chap. 27, note 8. Upon the synoptic problem, see above, II. 15, note 4; and see the works mentioned there for a discussion of this original Matthew, and in addition the recent works by Gla, Original-Sprache des Matt. Evang., 1887, and Resch, Agrapha, Leipzig, 1889.
The very natural reason which Eusebius gives for the composition of Matthew's Gospel-viz. that, when on the point of going to other nations, he committed it to writing, and thus compensated them for the loss of his presence-occurs in none of the earlier reports of the composition of the Gospel which we now possess. It was probably a fact which he took from common tradition, as he remarks in the previous sentence that tradition says "they undertook it from necessity."
200 Upon the date and authorship of the Gospel of Luke, see above, chap. 4, notes 12 and 15. Upon Mark, see Bk. II. chap. 15, note 4.
201 No writer before Eusebius' time, so far as is known, assigned the reason given by him for the composition of John's Gospel. Jerome, de vir. ill. chap. 9, repeats the view, combining with it the anti-heretical purpose. The indefinite expression, "they say," shows that Eusebius was recording tradition commonly received in his time, and does not involve the authority of any particular writer. This object-viz. the supplementing and filling out of the accounts of the Synoptists-is assumed as the real object by some modern scholars; but it is untenable, for though the book serves this purpose to a great extent, the author's real aim was much higher,-viz. the establishment of belief in the Messiahship and divinity of Christ (John xx. 31 sqq.),-and he chose his materials accordingly. The Muratorian Fragment says, "The Fourth Gospel is that of John, one of the disciples. When his fellow-disciples and bishops entreated him, he said, `Fast ye now with me for the space of three days, and let us recount to each other whatever may be revealed to us.0' On the same night it was revealed to Andrew, one of the apostles, that John should narrate all things in his own name as they called them to mind." Irenaeus (III. 11. 1) supposes John to have written his Gospel as a polemic against Cerinthus. Clement of Alexandria, in his Hypotyposes (quoted by Eusebius, VI. 14), says that John wrote a spiritual Gospel, as a supplement to the other Gospels, which had sufficiently described the external facts. The opinion of Eusebius is very superficial. Upon examination of the Gospels it will be seen that, of the events which John relates independently of the synoptists, but a small portion occurred before the imprisonment of John the Baptist. John's Gospel certainly does incidentally supplement the Synoptists in a remarkable manner, but not in any such intentional and artificial way as Eusebius supposes. Compare Weiss' Einleitung, p. 602 sqq., and Schaff's Ch. Hist. II. p. 680 sqq.
202 The Synoptic Gospels certainly give the impression that Christ's public ministry lasted but a single year; and were it not for the additional light which John throws upon the subject, the one year ministry would be universally accepted, as it was by many of the early Fathers,-e.g. Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, Lactantius, &c. John, however, expressly mentions three, perhaps four, passovers, so that Christ's ministry lasted either two or three years. Upon comparison of the Synoptists with John, it will be seen that the events which they record are not all comprised within a single year, as Eusebius thought, but that they are scattered over the whole period of his ministry, although confined to his work in Galilee up to the time of his last journey to Judea, six months before his crucifixion. The distinction between John and the Synoptists, as to the events recorded, is therefore rather that of place than of time: but the distinction is not absolute.