Early Church Fathers
145 B. J. I. 13. 6 (cf. Ant. XVII. 6. 5). This terrible story restsupon the authority of Josephus alone, but is so in keeping with Herod's character that we have no reason to doubt its truth. The commands of Herod, however, were not carried out, the condemned men being released after his death by Salome (see ibid. §8).
146 B. J. I. 33. 7 (cf. Ant. XVII. 7). Herod's suicide was prevented by his cousin Achiabus, as Josephus informs us in the same connection.
147 B. J. I. 33. 7 and 8 (cf. Ant. XVII. 7). Antipater, son of Herod and his first wife Doris, was intended by his father to be his successor in the kingdom. He was beheaded five days before the death of Herod, for plotting against his father. He richly deserved his fate.
148 Eusebius gives here the traditional Christian interpretation of the cause of Herod's sufferings. Josephus nowhere mentions the slaughter of the innocents; whether through ignorance, or because of the insignificance of the tragedy when compared with the other bloody acts of Herod's reign, we do not know.
149 See Matt. ii. 19 Matt. ii. 20.
150 Matt. ii. 22.
151 Archelaus was a son of Herod the Great, and own brother of the Tetrarch Herod Antipas, with whom he was educated at Rome. Immediately after the death of Antipater he was designated by his father as his successor in the kingdom, and Augustus ratified the will, but gave him only the title of ethnarch. The title of King he never really received, although he is spoken of as king in Matt. ii. 22, the word being used in a loose sense. His dominion consisted of Idumea, Judea, Samaria, and the cities on the coast, comprising a half of his father's kingdom. The other half was divided between Herod Antipas and Philip. He was very cruel, and was warmly hated by most of his subjects. In the tenth year of his reign (according to Josephus, Ant. XVII. 13. 2), or in the ninth (according to B. J. II. 7. 3), he was complained against by his brothers and subjects on the ground of cruelty, and was banished to Vienne in Gaul, where he probably died, although Jerome says that he was shown his tomb near Bethlehem. Jerome's report, however, is too late to be of any value. The exact length of his reign it is impossible to say, as Josephus is not consistent in his reports. The difference may be due to the fact that Josephus reckoned from different starting-points in the two cases. He probably ruled a little more than nine years. His condemnation took place in the consulship of M. Aemilius Lepidus and L. Arruntius (i.e. in 6 a.d.) according to Dion Cassius, LV. 27. After the deposition of Archelaus Judea was made a Roman province and attached to Syria, and Coponius was sent as the first procurator. On Archelaus, see Josephus, Ant. XVII. 8, 9, 11 sq., and B. J. I. 33. 8 sq.; II. 6 sq.
152 Philip, a son of Herod the Great by his wife Cleopatra, was of Batanea, Trachonitis, Aurinitis, &c., from b.c. 4 to a.d. 34. He was distinguished for his justice and moderation. He is mentioned only once in the New Testament, Luke iii. 1. On Philip, see Josephus, Ant. XVII. 8. 1; 11. 4; XVIII. 4. 6.
153 Herod Antipus, son of Herod the Great by his wife Malthace, was Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from b.c. 4 to a.d. 39. In 39 a.d. he went to Rome to sue for the title of King, which his nephew Herod Agrippa had already secured. But accusations against him were sent to the emperor by Agrippa, and he thereby lost his tetrarchy and was banished to Lugdunum (Lyons) in Gaul, and died (according to Josephus, B. J. II. 9. 6) in Spain. It was he who beheaded John the Baptist, and to him Jesus was sent by Pilate. His character is plain enough from the New Testament account. For further particulars of his life, see Josephus, Ant. XVII. 8. 1; 11. 4; XVIII. 2. 1; 5 and 7; B. J. II. 9.
154 The Lysanias referred to here is mentioned in Luke iii. 1 as Tetrarch of Abilene. Eusebius, in speaking of Lysanias here, follows the account of Luke, not that of Josephus, for the latter nowhere says that Lysanias continued to rule his tetrarchv after the exile of Archelaus. Indeed he nowhere states that Lysanias ruled a tetrarchy at this period. He only refers (Ant. XVIII. 6. 10; XIX. 5. 1; XX. 7. 1; and B. J. II. 12. 8) to "the tetrarchy of Lysanias," which he says was given to Agrippa I. and II. by Caligula and Claudius. Eusebius thus reads more into Josephus than he has any right to do, and yet we cannot assume that he is guilty of willful deception, for he may quite innocently have interpreted Josephus in the light of Luke's account, without realizing that Josephus' statement is of itself entirely indefinite. That there is no real contradiction between the statements of Josephus and Luke has been abundantly demonstrated by Davidson, Introduction to the New Testament, I. p. 215 sq.
155 Josephus, Ant. XVIII. 2. 2 and 4. 2.
156 Josephus reckons here from the death of Augustus (14 a.d.), when Tiberius became sole emperor. Pilate was appointed procurator in 26 a.d. and was recalled in 36.
157 Josephus dates the beginning of Augustus' reign at the time of the death of Julius Caesar (as Eusebius also does in chap. 5, §2), and calls him the second emperor. But Augustus did not actually become emperor until 31 b.c., after the battle of Actium.
158 Eusebius refers here, not to the acts of Pilate written by Christians, of which so many are still extant (cf. Bk. II. chap. 2, note 1), but to those forged by their enemies with the approval of the emperor Maximinus (see below, Bk. IX. chap. 5).
159 o thj parashmeiwsewj xronoj. "In this place paraj. is the superscription or the designation of the time which was customarily prefixed to acts. For judicial acts were thus drawn up: Consuiatu Tiberii Augusti Septimo, inducto in judicium Jesu, &c." (Val.)
160 Ant. XVIII. 2. 2. Compare §1, above.
161 Luke iii. 1. Eusebius reckons the fifteenth year of Tiberius from 14 a.d., that is, from the time when he became sole emperor. There is a difference of opinion among commentators as to whether Luke began to reckon from the colleagueship of Tiberius (11 or 12 a.d.), or from the beginning of his reign as sole emperor. Either mode of reckoning is allowable, but as Luke says that Christ "began to be about thirty years of age" at this time, and as he was born probably about 4 b.c., the former seems to have been Luke's mode. Compare Andrew's Life of our Lord, p. 28.
162 Luke says simply, "while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea," and does not mention the year, as Eusebius does.
163 See the previous chapter.
164 Eusebius' reckoning would make Christ's birthday synchronize with the beginning of our Christian era, which is at least three years out of the way.
165 Luke iii. 2 compared with John xi. 49 John xi. 51, and John xviii. 13.
Stroth remarks: "Had I not feared acting contrary to the duty of a translator, I should gladly, for the sake of Eusebius' honor, have left out this entire chapter, which is full of historical inaccuracies and contradictions. Eusebius deduces from Josephus himself that the Procurator Gratus, whom Pilate succeeded, appointed Caiaphas high priest. Therefore Caiaphas became high priest before the twelfth year of Tiberius, for in that year Pilate became procurator. In the fifteenth year of Tiberius, Christ began his work when Caiaphas had already been high priest three years and according to the false account of our author he became high priest for the first time in the nineteenth year of Tiberius. The whole structure of this chapter, therefore, falls to the ground. It is almost inconceivable how so prudent a man could have committed so great a mistake of the same sort as that which he had denounced a little before in connection with the Acts of Pilate."The whole confusion is due to Eusebius' mistaken interpretation of the Gospel account, which he gives in this sentence. It is now universally assumed that Annas is named by the evangelists as ex-high-priest, but Eusebius, not understanding this, supposed that a part of Christ's ministry must have fallen during the active administration of Annas, a part during that of Caiaphas, and therefore his ministry must have run from the one to the other, embracing the intermediate administrations of Ishmael, Eleazer, and Simon, and covering less than four years. In order to make this out he interprets the "not long after" in connection with Ishmael as meaning "one year," which is incorrect, as shown below in note 9. How Eusebius could have overlooked the plain fact that all this occurred under Valerius Gratus instead of Pilate, and therefore many years too early (when he himself states the fact), is almost incomprehensible. Absorbed in making out his interpretation, he must have thoughtlessly confounded the names of Gratus and Pilate while reading the account. He cannot have acted knowingly, with the intention to deceive, for he must have seen that anybody reading his account would discover the glaring discrepancy at once.
166 It is true that under the Roman governors the high priests were frequently changed (cf. above, chap. 6, note 19), but there was no regularly prescribed interval, and some continued in office for many years; for instance, Caiaphas was high priest for more than ten years, during the whole of Pilate's administration, having been appointed by Valerius Gratus, Pilate's predecessor, and his successor being appointed by the Proconsul Vitellius in 37 a.d. (vid. Josephus, Ant. XVIII. 2. 2 and 4. 3).
167 Josephus, Ant. XVIII. 2.2.
168 This Valerius Gratus was made procurator by Tiberius, soon after his accession, and ruled about eleven years, when he was succeeded by Pilate in 26 a.d.
169 Ananus (or Annas) was appointed high priest by Quirinius, governor of Syria, in 6 or 7 a.d. (Josephus, Ant. XVIII. 2. 1), and remained in office until a.d. 14 or 15, when he was deposed by Valerius Gratus (ib. §2). This forms another instance, therefore, of a term of office more than one year in length. Annas is a familiar personage from his connection with the Gospel history; but the exact position which he occupied during Christ's ministry is difficult to determine (cf. Wieseler's Chronology of the Life of Christ).
170 Either this Ishmael must have held the office eight or ten years, or else Caiaphas that long before Pilate's time, for otherwise Gratus' period is not filled up. Josephus' statement is indefinite in regard to Ishmael, and Eusebius is wrong in confining his term of office to one year.
171 According to Josephus, Ant. XX. 9. 1, five of the sons of Annas became high priests.
172 This Simon is an otherwise unknown personage.
173 Joseph Caiaphas, son-in-law of Annas, is well known from his connection with the Gospel history.
174 14 See Matt. x. 1-4; Mark iii. 14-19; Luke vi. 13-16.
175 See Luke x. 1.
176 Herod Antipas.
177 Matt. xiv. 1-12; Mark vi. 17 sq.
178 Josephus, Ant. XVIII. 5. 2.
179 Herodias, a daughter of Aristobulus and grand-daughter of Herod the Great, first married Herod Philip (whom Josephus calls Herod, and whom the Gospels call Philip), a son of Herod the Great, and therefore her uncle, who seems to have occupied a private station. Afterwards, leaving him during his lifetime, she married another uncle, Herod Antipas the Tetrarch. When her husband, Antipas, was banished to Gaul she voluntarily shared his banishment and died there. Her character is familiar from the accounts of the New Testament.
180 Aretas Aeneas is identical with the Aretas mentioned in 2 Cor. xi. 32, in connection with Paul's flight from Jerusalem (cf. Wieseler, Chron. des ap. Zeitalters, p. 142 and 167 sq.). He was king of Arabia Nabataea, whose capital was the famous rock city, Petra, which gave its name to the whole country, which was in consequence commonly called Arabia Petraea.
181 In this emergency Herod appealed to Tiberius, with whom he was a favorite, and the emperor commanded Vitellius, the governor of Syria, to proceed against Aretas. The death of Tiberius interrupted operations, and under Caligula friendship existed between Aretas and the Romans.
182 Josephus gives the account of Herod's banishment in his Antiquities XVIII. 7. 2, but names Lyon's instead of Vienne as the place of his exile. Eusebius here confounds the fate of Herod with that of Archelaus, who was banished to Vienne (see above, chap. 9, note 1).
183 Ant. XVIII. 5. 2. This passage upon John the Baptist is referred to by Origen in his Contra Cels. I. 47, and is found in all our mss. of Josephus. It is almost universally admitted to be genuine, and there is no good reason to doubt that it is, for such a dispassionate and strictly impartial account of John could hardly have been written by a Christian interpolator.
184 Josephus differs with the Evangelists as to the reason for John's imprisonment, but the accounts of the latter bear throughout the stamp of more direct and accurate knowledge than that of Josephus. Ewald remarks with truth, "When Josephus, however, gives as the cause of John's execution only the Tetrarch's general fear of popular outbreaks, one can see that he no longer had perfect recollection of the matter. The account of Mark is far more exact and instructive."
185 Machaera was an important fortress lying east of the northern end of the Dead Sea. It was the same fortress to which the daughter of Aretas had retired when Herod formed the design of marrying Herodias; and the word "aforesaid" refers to Josephus' mention of it in that connection in the previous paragraph.
186 Ant. XVIII. 3. 3. This account occurs before that of John the Baptist, not after it. It is found in all our mss. of Josephus, and was considered genuine until the sixteenth century, but since then has been constantly disputed. Four opinions are held in regard to it; (1) It is entirely genuine. This view has at present few supporters, and is absolutely untenable. A Christian hand is unmistakably apparent,-if not throughout, certainly in many parts; and the silence in regard to it of all Christian writers until the time of Eusebius is fatal to its existence in the original text. Origen, for instance, who mentions Josephus' testimony to John the Baptist in Contra Cels. I. 47, betrays no knowledge of this passage in regard to Christ. (2) It is entirely spurious. Such writers as Hose, Keim, and Schürer adopt this view. (3) It is partly genuine and partly interpolated. This opinion has, perhaps, the most defenders among them Gieseler, Weizsaecker, Renan, Edersheim, and Schaff. (4) It has been changed from a bitter Jewish calumny of Christ to a Christian eulogy of him. This is Ewald's view. The second opinion seems to me the correct one. The third I regard as untenable, for the reason that after the obviously Christian passages are omitted there remains almost nothing; and it seems inconceivable that Josephus should have given so colorless a report of one whom the Jews regarded with such enmity, if he mentioned him at all. The fourth view might be possible, and is more natural than the third; but it seems as if some trace of the original calumny would have survived somewhere, had it ever existed. To me, however, the decisive argument is the decided break which the passage makes in the context; §2 gives the account of a sedition of the Jews, and §4 opens with the words, "About the same time also another sad calamity put the Jews into disorder"; while §3, containing the account of Christ, gives no hint of sedition or disorder among the Jews.
It has been suggested that Eusebius himself, who is the first one to quote this passage, introduced it into the text of Josephus. This is possible, but there is no reason to suppose it true, for it is contrary to Eusebius' general reputation for honesty, and the manner in which he introduces the quotation both here and in his Dem. Evang. III. 5 certainly bears every mark of innocence; and he would scarcely have dared to insert so important an account in his History had it not existed in at least some mss. of Josephus. We may be confident that the interpolation must have been made in the mss. of Josephus before it appeared in the History. For a brief summary of the various views upon the subject, see Schaff's Church History, Vol. I. p. 9 sq., and Edersheim's article on Josephus in Smith and Wace's Dict. of Christian Biography. Compare also Heinichen's Excursus upon the passage in his edition of Eusebius, Vol. III. p. 623-654.
187 See chap. 9, note 8, above.
188 See Matt. x. 2-4; Luke vi. 13-16; Mark iii. 14-19.
189 See Luke x. 1-20.
190 See Acts iv. 36, Acts xiii. 1 et passim. Clement of Alexandria (Strom. II. 20) calls Barnabas one of the Seventy. This tradition is not in itself improbable, but we can trace it back no further than Clement. The Clementine Recognitions and Homilies frequently mention Barnabas as an apostle active in Alexandria and in Rome. One tradition sends him to Milan and makes him the first bishop of the church there, but the silence of Ambrose in regard to it is a sufficient proof of its groundlessness. There is extant an apocryphal work, probably of the fifth century, entitled Acta et Passio Barnabae in Cypro, which relates his death by martyrdom in Cyprus. The tradition may be true, but its existence has no weight. Barnabas came from Cyprus and labored there for at least a time. It would be natural, therefore, to assign his death (which was necessarily martyrdom, for no Christian writer of the early centuries could have admitted that he died a natural death) to that place.
191 Gal. ii. 1, Gal. ii. 9, and Gal. ii. 13.
192 Sosthenes is mentioned in 1 Cor. i. 1. From what source Eusebius drew this report in regard to him I cannot tell. He is the first to mention it, so far as I know. A later tradition reports that be became Bishop of Colophon, a city in Ionia. A Sosthenes is mentioned also in Acts xviii. 17, as ruler of the Jewish synagogue in Corinth. Some wish to identify the two, supposing the latter to have been afterward converted, but in this case of course he cannot have been one of the Seventy. Eusebius' tradition is one in regard to whose value we can form no opinion.
193 On Clement and his works see Bk. V. chap. 11, note 1, and Bk. VI. chap. 13.
194 Clement is, so far as I know, the first to make this distinction between Peter the Apostle, and Cephas, one of the Seventy. The reason for the invention of a second Peter in the post-apostolic age is easy to understand as resulting from the desire to do away with the conflict between two apostles. This Cephas appears frequently in later traditions and is commemorated in the Menology of Basil on December 9, and in the Armenian calendar on September 25. In the Eeclesiastical Canons he is made one of the twelve apostles, and distinguished from Peter.
195 Gal. ii. 11.
196 We learn from Acts i. 21 sqq. that Matthias was a follower of Christ throughout his ministry and therefore the tradition, which Eusebius is, so far as we know, the first to record, is not at all improbable. Epiphanius (at the close of the first book of his Hoer., Dindorf's ed. I. p. 337) a half-century later records the same tradition. Nicephorus Callistus (II. 40) says that he labored and suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia (probably meaning Caucasian Ethiopia, east of the Black Sea). Upon the Gospel of Matthias see below, III. 25, note 30.
197 Joseph Barsabas, surnamed Justus. He, too, bad been with Christ from the beginning, and therefore may well have been one of the Seventy, as Eusebius reports. Papias (quoted by Eusebius, III. 39, below) calls him Justus Barsabas, and relates that he drank a deadly poison without experiencing any injury.
198 From a comparison of the different lists of apostles given by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Thaddeus is seen to be one of the Twelve, apparently identical with Jude and Lebbaeus (compare Jerome, In Matt. X.). Eusebius here sunders him from the apostles and makes him one of the Seventy, committing an error similar to that which arose in the case of Peter and Cephas. He perhaps records only an oral tradition, as he uses the word fasi. He is, so far as is known, the first to mention the tradition.
199 See the next chapter.
200 See 1 Cor. xv. 5-7.
201 The relationship of James and Jesus has always been a disputed matter. Three theories have been advanced, and are all widely represented.
The first is the full-brother hypothesis, according to which the brothers and sisters of Jesus were children of both Joseph and Mary. This was advocated strongly by the heretic Helvidius in Rome in 380, and is widely accepted in the Protestant Church. The only serious objection to it is the committal of Mary to the care of John by Christ upon the cross. But John was at any rate an own cousin of Jesus, and the objection loses its weight when we realize the spiritual sympathy which existed between Jesus and John, and the lack of belief exhibited by his own brothers. The second is the half-brother hypothesis which regards the brethren and sisters of Jesus as children of Joseph by a former wife. This has the oldest tradition in its favor (though the tradition for none of the theories is old or universal enough to be of great weight), the apocryphal Gospel of James, chap. ix., recording that Joseph was a widower and had children before marrying Mary. It as still the established theory in the Greek Church. The greatest objection to it is that if it be true, Christ as a younger son of Joseph, could not have been regarded as the heir to the throne of David. That the objection is absolutely fatal cannot be asserted for it is nowhere clearly stated that he was the heir-apparent to the throne; it is said only that he was of the line of David. Both of these theories agree in distinguishing James, the brother of the Lord, from James, the son of Alphaeus, the apostle, and thus assume at least three Jameses in the New Testament. Over against both of them is to be mentioned a third, which assumes only two Jameses, regarding the brethren of the Lord. as his cousins, and identifying them with the sons of Alphaeus. This theory originated with Jerome in 383 a.d. with the confessedly dogmatic object of preserving the virginity both of Mary and of Joseph in opposition to Helvidius. Since his time it has been the established theory in the Latin Church, and is advocated also by many Protestant scholars. The original and common form of the theory makes Jesus and James maternal cousins: finding only three women in John xix. 25, and regarding Mary, the wife of Clopas, as the sister of the Virgin Mary. But this is in itself improbable and rests upon poor exegesis. It is far better to assume that four women are mentioned in this passage. A second form of the cousin theory, which regards Jesus and James as paternal cousins-making Alphaeus (Clopas) the brother of Joseph-originated with Lange. It is very ingenious, and urges in its support the authority of Hegesippus, who, according to Eusebius (H. E. III. 11), says that Clopas was the brother of Joseph and the father of Simeon, which would make the latter the brother of James, and thus just as truly the brother of the Lord as he. But Hegesippus plainly thinks of James and of Simeon as standing in different relations to Christ,-the former his brother, the latter his cousin,-and therefore his testimony is against, rather than for Lange's hypothesis. The statement of Hegesippus, indeed, expresses the cousinship of Christ with James the Little, the son of Clopas (if Alphaeus and Clopas he identified), but does not identify this cousin with James the brother of the Lord. Eusebius also is claimed by Lange as a witness to his theory, but his exegesis of the passage to which he appeals is poor (see below, Bk. IV. chap. 22 note 4). Against both forms of the cousin theory may be urged the natural meaning of the word adelfoj, and also the statement of John vii. 5, "Neither did his brethren believe in him," which makes it impossible to suppose that his brothers were apostles. From this fatal objection both of the brother hypotheses are free, and either of them is possible, but the former rests upon a more natural interpretation of the various passages involved, and would perhaps have been universally accepted had it not been for the dogmatic interest felt by the early Church in preserving the virginity of Mary. Renan's complicated theory (see his Les Evangiles, p. 537 sqq.) does not help matters at all, and need not be discussed here. There is much to be said, however, in favor of the separation of Alphaeus and Clopas, upon which he insists and which involves the existence of four Jameses instead of only three.For a fuller discussion of this whole subject, see Andrews (Life of our Lord, pp. 104-116), Schaff (Church Hist. I. 272-275), and Weiss (Einleitung in das N. T. p. 388 sqq.), all of whom defend the natural brother hypothesis; Lightfoot (Excursus upon "The Brethren of the Lord" in his Commentary on Galatians, 2d ed. p. 247-282), who is the strongest advocate of the half-brother theory; Mill (The Accounts of our Lord's Brethren in the N. T. vindicated, Cambridge, 1843), who maintains the maternal cousin theory; and Lange (in Herzog), who presents the paternal cousin hypothesis. Compare finally Holtzmann's article in the Zeitschrift für Wiss. Theologie, 1880, p. 198 sqq.
202 1 Cor. xv. 7.
203 Abgarus was the name of several kings of Edessa, who reigned at various periods from b.c. 99 to a.d. 217. The Abgar contemporary with Christ was called Abgar Ucomo, or "the Black." He was the fifteenth king, and reigned, according to Gutschmid, from a.d. 13 to a.d. 50. A great many ecclesiastical fictions have grown up around his name, the story, contained in its simplest form in the present chapter, being embellished with many marvelous additions. A starting-point for this tradition of the correspondence with Christ,-from which in turn grew all the later legends,-may be found in the fact that in the latter part of the second century there was a Christian Abgar, King of Edessa, at whose court Bardesanes, the Syrian Gnostic, enjoyed high favor, and it is certain that Christianity had found a foothold in this region at a much earlier period. Soon after the time of this Abgar the pretended correspondence was very likely forged, and foisted back upon the Abgar who was contemporary with Christ. Compare Cureton's Anc. Syriac Documents relative go the Earliest Establishment of Christianity in Edessa, London, 1864.
204 On the traditions in regard to Thomas, see Bk. III. chap 1.
205 See chap. 12, note 11.