All Coptic Links - Coptic Directory - Orthodox Church Directory The Agbeya - The Coptic Book of Prayers (English Agbiya + Arabic Agpeya) English Bible + Holy Bible in other languages - Arabic, French, Ethiopian Amharic Holy Bible, ArabicBible, Enjeel Saint Takla dot org - Main page - English Photo and Image Gallery: Jesus - Mary - Saints - St. Takla - Church - Priests - Bible - Activities - pictures and Icons.. Download and listen to Hymns - Carols - Midnight Praise (Tasbeha) - Midis - Videos - Liturgies - Masses - Sermons - Online Streaming   Coptic Church Website Logo of Saint Takla Haymanot the Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Website - Alexandria - Egypt - موقع الأنبا تكلا هيمانوت القبطي الأرثوذكسي FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions and Answers - Coptic and Christan Q&A - Faith, Creed, Site, Youth, Family, Holy Bible Contact Us - Address - Map - Online Support Send a free Christian and Coptic Greeting Cards to your friends موقع الكنيسة القبطية باللغة العربية - الموقع العربي StTaklaorg Site News and Updates Downloads.. Winamp Skins - Coptic fonts - Agbeya - Software - Freeware - Icons - Gallery - Mp3s Feedback - Submit URL - ideas - Suggestions.. Kids' Corner - Coloring - Songs - Games - Stories Free Coptic Books - Christian Arabic Books, Orthodox English Books  

Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol I:
The Church History of Eusebius.: Chapter V

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter V.—The Forged Acts.

1. Having therefore forged Acts of Pilate 2731 and our Saviour full of every kind of blasphemy against Christ, they sent them with the emperor’s approval to the whole of the empire subject to him, with written commands that they should be openly posted to the view of all in every place, both in country and city, and that the schoolmasters should give them to their scholars, instead of their customary lessons, to be studied and learned by heart.

2. While these things were taking place, another military commander, whom the Romans call Dux, 2732 seized some infamous women in the market-place at Damascus in Phœnicia, 2733 and by threatening to inflict tortures upon them compelled them to make a written declaration that p. 360 they had once been Christians and that they were acquainted with their impious deeds,—that in their very churches they committed licentious acts; and they uttered as many other slanders against our religion as he wished them to. Having taken down their words in writing, he communicated them to the emperor, who commanded that these documents also should be published in every place and city.



These Acts are no longer extant, but their character can be gathered from this chapter. They undoubtedly contained the worst calumnies against Christ’s moral and religious character. They cannot have been very skillful forgeries, for Eusebius, in Bk. I. chap. 9, above, points out a palpable chronological blunder which stamped them as fictitious on their very face. And yet they doubtless answered every purpose; for few of the heathen would be in a position to detect such an error, and perhaps fewer still would care to expose it if they discovered it. These Acts are of course to be distinguished from the numerous Acta Pilati which proceeded from Christian sources (see above, Bk. II. chap. 2, note 1). The way in which these Acts were employed was diabolical in its very shrewdness. Certainly there was no more effectual way of checking the spread of Christianity than systematically and persistently to train up the youth of the empire to look with contempt and disgust upon the founder of Christianity, the Christian’s Saviour and Lord. Incalculable mischief must inevitably have been produced had Maximin’s reign lasted for a number of years. As it was, we can imagine the horror of the Christians at this new and sacrilegious artifice of the enemy. Mason assigns “the crowning, damning honor of this masterstroke” to Theotecnus, but I am unable to find any proof that he was the author of the documents. It is, of course, not impossible nor improbable that he was; but had Eusebius known him to be the author, he would certainly have informed us. As it is, his statement is entirely indefinite, and the Acts are not brought into any connection with Theotecnus.


The commandant of the Roman garrison in Damascus.


Damascus, from the time of Hadrian (according to Spruner-Menke), or of Severus (according to Mommsen), was the capital of the newly formed province of Syria-Phœnice, or Syro-Phœnicia.

Next: Chapter VI

Send this page to a friend

St. Takla Church - Main Index111111111 - Commentary on the New Testament by Matthew Henry تفسير العهد القديم - متى هنرى

Like & share

© Saint Takla Haymanout Website: Coptic Orthodox Church - Alexandria, Egypt / URL: / Contact us at