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This timeless reference work contains nearly 1300
pages! Also included is Eusebius Pamphilus Life of Constantine, and Oration in Praise of Constantine.
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A SELECT LIBRARY OF THE NICENE AND POST-NICENE FATHERS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH WITH PROLEGOMENA AND EXPLANATORY NOTES.
UNDER THE EDITORIAL SUPERVISION OF PHILIP SCHAFF, D.D., LL.D., PROFESSOR OF CHURCH HISTORY IN THE UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, NEW YORK. AND HENRY WACE, D.D., PRINCIPAL OF KING’S COLLEGE, LONDON.
LIFE OF CONSTANTINE
ORATION IN PRAISE OF CONSTANTINE.
If you ever wondered what is the source of many details about the New Testament era that aren't found in the Bible, this history may be it. Eusebius tells us what happened to the disciples of Jesus in later life, how the early Christians were persecuted, and much more. Whether you are Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant (or not even a believer at all) if you are at all interested in the history of the Early Church, this book is a must-read.
Eusebius' "History of the Church" is rightly known as "THE History of the Church." There is no other of the same breadth and depth as Eusebius'. This volume is an excellent synthesis of the works of all significant early Christian and secular historians and eyewitness accounts of the events forming the early Church. Eusebius's narrative is linear, tracking the growth of the Church from Pentecost, A.D. 32 through stages of vicious persecution until the Emperor Constantine's sanctioning of Christianity as The Roman Empire's official religion. Eusebius' prose is terse yet wonderfully erudite with an obvious bias towards the early Church--baptized in blood so that the Church today might flourish.
This book is one of the foundational works of Christian history. It was the first extensive, systematic attempt to present Christian history up till the author's time (4th century). It is Eusebius who informs us as to what happened to Jesus' disciples later in life; when the Gospels were written, who wrote them, and where; answers the question of Peter's arrival in Rome; reveals where John spent the reminder of his life; explains how the New Testament canon developed; and deals with how and why the early Christians were persecuted by Roman authorities, and much, much more. No parochial, personal, academic, or community library Christian history collection can be considered truly comprehensive without the inclusion of Eusebius: The Church History.
Biography of Eusebius
His date and place of birth are unknown and little is known of his youth, however it is estimated that he was born in 265. He became acquainted with the presbyter Dorotheus in Antioch and probably received exegetical instruction from him. In 296 he was in Palestine and saw Constantine who visited the country with Diocletian. He was in Caesarea when Agapius was bishop and became friendly with Pamphilus of Caesarea, with whom he seems to have studied the text of the Bible, with the aid of Origen's Hexapla and commentaries collected by Pamphilus, in an attempt to prepare a correct version.
In 307, Pamphilus was imprisoned, but Eusebius continued their project. The resulting defence of Origen, in which they had collaborated, was finished by Eusebius after the death of Pamphilus and sent to the martyrs in the mines of Phaeno located in modern Jordan. Eusebius then seems to have gone to Tyre and later to Egypt, where he first suffered persecution.
Eusebius is next heard of as bishop of Caesarea Maritima. He succeeded Agapius, whose time of office is not certain, but Eusebius must have become bishop soon after 313. Nothing is known about the early years of his tenure. When the Council of Nicaea met in 325, Eusebius was prominent in its transactions. He was not naturally a spiritual leader or theologian, but as a very learned man and a famous author who enjoyed the special favour of the emperor, he came to the fore among the members of the council (traditionally given as 318 attendees). He presented the creed of his own church to the council for its approval. This creed was "a sweet-sounding confession, dating from before the controversy, and was, therefore, wholly indefinite as to the particular problems involved."It was rejected in favor of a more specifically anti-Arian creed from Palestine which became the basis of the council's major theological statement, the Nicene Creed.
Eusebius was involved in the further development of the Arian controversies. For instance he was involved in the dispute with Eustathius of Antioch who opposed the growing influence of Origen, including his practice of an allegorical exegesis of scripture. Eustathius perceived in Origen's theology the roots of Arianism. Eusebius was an admirer of Origen and was reproached by Eustathius for deviating from the Nicene faith—he was even alleged to hold to Sabellianism. Eustathius was accused, condemned, and deposed at a synod in Antioch. Part of the population of Antioch rebelled against this action, and the anti-Eustathians proposed Eusebius as its new bishop—he declined.
After Eustathius had been removed, Athanasius of Alexandria, a more powerful opponent, was attacked by the anti-Nicene party headed by Eusebius of Nicomedia (not to be confused with Eusebius of Caesarea). In 334, Athanasius was summoned before a synod in Caesarea; he did not attend. In the following year, he was again summoned before a synod in Tyre at which Eusebius of Caesarea presided. Athanasius, foreseeing the result, went to Constantinople to bring his cause before the emperor. Constantine called the bishops to his court, among them Eusebius.
Athanasius was condemned and exiled at the end of 335. At the same synod, another opponent was successfully attacked: Marcellus of Ancyra had long opposed the ant-Nicene party and had protested against the reinstitution of Arius. He was accused of Sabellianism and deposed in 336. Constantine died the next year, and Eusebius did not long survive him. Eusebius' date of death is unknown. It is estimated that he died between 337 and 340 after the death of Constantine.
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