Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol I:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Church History of Eusebius.: Chapter XIV
Chapter XIV.—The Scriptures mentioned by Him.
1. To sum up briefly, he has given in the Hypotyposes 1869 abridged accounts of all canonical Scripture, not omitting the disputed books, 1870 —I refer to Jude and the other Catholic epistles, and Barnabas 1871 and the so-called Apocalypse of Peter. 1872
2. He says that the Epistle to the Hebrews 1873 is the work of Paul, and that it was written to the Hebrews in the Hebrew language; but that Luke translated it carefully and published it for the Greeks, and hence the same style of expression is found in this epistle and in the Acts.
3. But he says that the words, Paul the Apostle, were probably not prefixed, because, in sending it to the Hebrews, who were prejudiced and suspicious of him, he wisely did not wish to repel them at the very beginning by giving his name.
4. Farther on he says: “But now, as the blessed presbyter said, since the Lord being the apostle of the Almighty, was sent to the Hebrews, Paul, as sent to the Gentiles, on account of his modesty did not subscribe himself an apostle of the Hebrews, through respect for the Lord, and because being a herald and apostle of the Gentiles he wrote to the Hebrews out of his superabundance.”
5. Again, in the same books, Clement gives the tradition of the earliest presbyters, as to the order of the Gospels, in the following manner:
6. The Gospels containing the genealogies, he says, were written first. The Gospel according to Mark 1874 had this occasion. As Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had followed him for a long time and remembered his sayings, should write them out. And having composed the Gospel he gave it to those who had requested it.
7. When Peter learned of this, he neither directly forbade nor encouraged it. But, last of all, John, perceiving that the external 1875 facts had been made plain in the Gospel, being urged by his friends, and inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel.” 1876 This is the account of Clement.
8. Again the above-mentioned Alexander, 1877 in a certain letter to Origen, refers to Clement, and at the same time to Pantænus, as being among his familiar acquaintances. He writes as follows:
“For this, as thou knowest, was the will of God, that the ancestral friendship existing between us should remain unshaken; nay, rather should be warmer and stronger.
9. For we know well those blessed fathers who have trodden the way before us, with whom we shall soon be; 1878 Pantænus, the truly blessed man and master, and the holy Clement, my master and benefactor, and if there is any other like them, through whom I became acquainted with thee, the best in everything, my master and brother.” 1879
10. So much for these matters. But Adamantius, 1880 —for this also was a name of Origen,—when Zephyrinus 1881 was bishop of Rome, visited p. 262 Rome, “desiring,” as he himself somewhere says, “to see the most ancient church of Rome.”
11. After a short stay there he returned to Alexandria. And he performed the duties of catechetical instruction there with great zeal; Demetrius, who was bishop there at that time, urging and even entreating him to work diligently for the benefit of the brethren. 1882
See the previous chapter, note 3.261:1870
On the Antilegomena of Eusebius, and on the New Testament canon in general, see Bk. III. chap. 25, note 1.261:1871
On the Epistle of Barnabas, see Bk. III. chap. 25, note 20.261:1872
On the Apocalypse of Peter, see Bk. III. chap. 3, note 9.261:1873
On the Epistle to the Hebrews, see above, Bk. III. chap. 3, note 17.261:1874
On the composition of the Gospel of Mark, see Bk. II. chap. 15, note 4, and with this statement of Clement as to Peters attitude toward its composition, compare the words of Eusebius in §2 of that chapter, and see the note upon the passage (note 5).261:1875
See Bk. III. chap. 24, note 7.261:1877
Mentioned already in chaps. 8 and 11.261:1878
We see from this sentence that at the time of the writing of this epistle both Pantænus and Clement were dead. The latter was still alive when Alexander wrote to the Antiochenes (see chap. 11), i.e. about the year 211 (see note 5 on that chapter). How much longer he lived we cannot tell. The epistle referred to here must of course have been written at any rate subsequent to the year 211, and hence while Alexander was bishop of Jerusalem. The expression “with whom we shall soon be” (πρὸς οὕς μετ᾽ ὀλίγον ἐσόμεθα) seems to imply that the epistle was written when Alexander and Origen were advanced in life, but this cannot be pressed.261:1879
It is from this passage that we gather that Alexander was a student of Clements and a fellow-pupil of Origens (see chap. 8, note 6, and chap. 2, note 1). The epistle does not state this directly, but the conclusion seems sufficiently obvious.261:1880
The name Adamantius (᾽Αδαμ€ντιος from ἀδ€μας unconquerable,hence hard, adamantine) is said by Jerome (Ep. ad Paulam, §3; Mignes ed. Ep. XXXIII.) to have been given him on account of his untiring industry, by Photius (Cod. 118) on account of the invincible force of his arguments, and by Epiphanius (Hær. LXIV. 74) to have been vainly adopted by himself. But Eusebius simple statement at this point looks rather as if Adamantius was a second name which belonged to Origen from the beginning, and had no reference to his character. We know that two names were very common in that age. This opinion is adopted by Tillemont, Redepenning, Westcott, and others, although many still hold the opposite view. Another name, Chalcenterus, given to him by Jerome in the epistle already referred to, was undoubtedly, as we can see from the context, applied to him by Jerome, because of his resemblance to Didymus of Alexandria (who bore that surname) in his immense industry as an author.261:1881
On Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome, see Bk. V. chap. 28, note 5. He was bishop from about 198, or 199, to 217. This gives considerable range for the date of Origens visit to Rome, which we have no means of fixing with exactness. There is no reason for supposing that Eusebius is incorrect in putting it among the events occurring during Caracallas reign (211–217). On the other hand, it must have taken place before the year 216, for in that year Origen went to Palestine (see chap. 19, note 23) and remained there some time. Whether Origens visit was undertaken simply from the desire to see the church of Rome, as Eusebius says, or in connection with matters of business, we cannot tell.262:1882
On Demetrius relations to Origen, see chap. 8, note 4.
Next: Chapter XV
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