Michael Donell Moore-Eusebius Ecclesiastical History

Author of Book: C. F. Cruse
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Book Report

BOOK REPORT: ” Eusebius Ecclesiastical History” by C. F. Cruse

INTRO: Eusebius was born in Palestine about the close of the reign of Gallienus. One proof of this is, that by the ancients, particularly by Basilius and Theodoret, he was frequently termed a Palestinian. It is not impossible, indeed, that he might have received that name from his being the bishop of Caesarea, yet probability is in favor of his having derived from his country. In short, he himself affirmed, that he was educated, and when at youth, lived in Palestine, and that there he first saw Constantine when journeying through Palestine in the retinue of Diocletian Augustus.

SUMMARY: What is most critical to know is this work has come down to us from Eusebius of Caesarea and the most important of any, perhaps, that have come to us from the earlier fathers of the church, embraced the events of the first three centuries down to the time when Constantine became sole master of the Roman empire. It was divided into ten books in chronological order and opened with a preliminary discourse, the matter of which was strictly theological. While the material I provide is only a summary of Christian doctrine in the primitive church, it is safe to proclaim that Eusebius accounted for the seeming difficulty that the gospel was not sooner introduced, or rather, why this divine dispensation was so long delayed.


* ” The name of Jesus, as also that of Christ, was both known and honored from ancient times by the inspired prophets.”

* ” The religion announced by Christ among all nations was neither unexpected nor strange.”

* ” Caius (Caligula), after the death of Tiberius, appointed Agrippa king of the Jews after punishing Herod with perpetual exile.”

* ” Mark first proclaimed Christianity to the inhabitants of Egypt.”

* ” Annianus was appointed the first bishop of Alexandria after Mark.”

* ” Among these, the most eminent were Firmilianus, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia; Gregory and Athenodorus, brothers and pastors of the churches in Pontus; Helenus, bishop of the church at Tarsus; Nicomas of Iconium; Hymenaeus of the church at Jerusalem; Theotecnus of the adjacent church at Caesarea; and Maximinus, who governed the brethren at Bostra with great celebrity.”

MY TAKE ON THE BOOK: The great object of the former is to give a faithful transcript of his author’s , Eusebius, statements that the reader may derive, if possible, the same impression that he would from the original in case it were his vernacular language. Cruse intentions are not at liberty to improve his author, whatever may be the occasional suggestions of elegance or taste, for there is scarcely any such improvement but what involves the fidelity of the version.

What strikes my attention is the style of an ecclesiastical writer three centuries after the birth of Christ. It was far different from the style that prevailed three centuries before and the Greek authors in the age of Constantine were not the authors of the age of Alexander.. Eusebius’s use of words was sometimes without sufficient precision, which subjects him occasionally to ambiguity, and his sentences were sometimes so involved as to require the hand of critical dissection. His sentences, too, were sometimes of enormous length (extra run-on sentences), and by their copious fullness inclined toward redundancy and hyperbole.