Some Early Writers
- He was a third century writer.
- Chronography (5 books)
- He was a sage and writer of proverbs and similitudes. He lived about the seventh century B.C. His influence is seen in Arabian Nights; the writings of Æsop; the later books of the Old Testament, especially Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes; the Apocryphal book of Tobit (1:21f.; 2:10; 11:18; 14:10); and the Koran.
- The Words of Ahikar
- He was a bishop of Laodicea and proficient in philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, dialectics, physics, and rhetoric. He was an Alexandrian who lived in the late third and early fourth centuries.
- Canons on the Paschal Festival
- He was a bishop of Hierapolis in the second century.
- Five books against the Greeks
- Two books on Truth
- One book against the Heresy of the Phrygians
- He was bishop of Rome from A.D. 88 to A.D. 97 and was a disciple of the Apostles.
- Hypotyposes, or, Institutions
Stomata (8 books)
- He was a bishop of Alexandria who lived in the third century.
- On Baptism (4 epistles)
- On Repentance (2 epistles)
- On Martyrdom (2 epistles)
- On the Office of Deacons
- On Peace
- He was a bishop of Cesarea and the father of church history. He lived in the late third and early fourth centuries (died 340).
- Ecclesiastical History
- He was an author who lived in the second century (died 175).
- Commentaries (at least five books)
- He was a bishop and an ecclesiastical writer of the third century (died 225).
- On the Hexaemeron
On the Works After the Hexaemeron
On the Canticles
On Parts of Ezekiel
On the Passover
Against All the Heresies
- On the Hexaemeron
- He was a Greek church father who lived in the second century (died 178).
- On Schism
- On Sovereignty
- The Ogdoad (the number eight)
- At least three books against heresies (no titles listed)
- He was a Latin church father, also known as Eusebius Hieronymus, who lived in the late fourth and early fifth centuries (died 420).
- The Latin Vulgate Version of the Bible
- He was a Jewish historian and priest who lived in the first century A.D. (died 75).
- The Antiquities of the Jews
- The Wars of the Jews
- Flavius Josephus Against Apion
- Discourse to the Greeks Concerning Hades
- Dissertations (7 books)
- He was a Greek father of the church who lived in the first and second centuries. He suffered martyrdom in Rome.
- Apology to Antonine the Pius
- Apology to Antoninus Verus
- On the Sovereignty of God
- Remarks on the Soul. “He mentions the Revelation of John, plainly calling it the work of the apostle, and records also, certain prophetic declarations, in his discussion with Typhon, and showing that the Jews had expunged them from the Scriptures.” (Ecclesiastical History, page 155.)
- He was a bishop of Sardis in the second century (died 175).
- On the Passover
- On the Conduct of Life, and the Prophets
- On the Church
- On the Lord’s-Day
- On Baptism
- On Truth, and Faith, and the Generation of Christ
- On the Devil
- The Revelation of John
- On the Incarnate God
- and more.
- He was an Alexandrian theologian and a father of the Greek church who lived in the late second century and early third century (died 254).
- The True Doctrine (8 books)
- Twenty-five books on Matthew’s Gospel
- Twenty-five books on the Twelve Apostles.
- He was a bishop Hierapolis.who lived in the late first century and early second century. He was John’s hearer and the associate of Polycarp.
- Interpretation of Our Lord’s Declarations (5)
- He was a Jewish Platonist philosopher of the first century.
- Allegories of the Divine Laws
- On Agriculture (2 books)
- On Drunkenness (2 books)
- On the Confusion of Tongues
- On Flight and Discovery
- On Literary Convention
- Who Is Heir to Things Divine?
- On Unwritten Laws
- On the Proposition, That Dreams
- According to Moses, Are Sent by God (5 books)
- On the Tabernacle
- On the Ten Commandments
- On Providence
- On a Contemplative Life
- On the Devout
- On the Virtues
- and many more.
- He was a bishop of Smyrna and a disciple of the Apostles. He suffered martyrdom. He lived in the late first century and early second century.
- Epistle to the Philippians.
- He was a native of Asia in the second century and a student of Tatian.
- Numerous unnamed books, including those against the heresy of Marcion and a commentary on the Hexaemeron.
- He was a Latin church father who lived in the late second century and early third century.
- Apology of Tertullian.
The Books of the Bible According to Eusebius
- Eusebius Pamphilus lived in the third and fourth centuries C. E. What Josephus is to the Old Testament and Intertestamental Periods, Eusebius is to the New Testament and the early years of the Church. On pages 110 and 111 of his Ecclesiastical History, he lists “the sacred Scriptures acknowledged as genuine, and those that are not.”
- the holy quaternion of the gospels
- the book of the Acts of the Apostles
- the epistles of Paul
- the First Epistle of John
- the First Epistle of Peter
- if proper, the Revelation of John
- Disputed, although well-known and approved by many:
- the Epistles of James and Jude
- the Second Epistle of Peter
- the Second and Third Epistles of John
- Rejected by some:
- the Revelation of John
- Accepted by some:
- the Gospel according to the Hebrews
- the Acts of Paul
- the Revelation of Peter
- the Epistle of Barnabas
- the Institutions of the Apostles
The Books of the New Testament According to Clement
- Eusebius quotes Clement on pages 108 and 233 of his Ecclesiastical History.
- First Epistle of John
- A few short epistles of Paul
- *Second Epistle of John
- *Third Epistle of John
- *Revelation of John
- *Revelation of Peter
- *Other General Epistles
*Antilegemenoi: the disputed Scriptures
Origen’s Review of the Collective Scriptures
- Eusebius quotes Origen on pages 244-247 of his Ecclesiastical History. The italicized names under Old Testament are the Hebrew names. There are twenty-two books in the Old Testament. The books in the New Testament are not listed as the ones in the Old Testament are. However, they are mentioned by reference.
- Old Testament:
- Genesis (Bresith)
- Exodus (Walesmoth)
- Leviticus (Waikra)
- Numbers (Anmesphekodlim)
- Deuteronomy (Elle Haddabarim)
- Joshua (Joshue ben Nun)
- Judges and Ruth (Sophetim)
- 1 and 2 Kings (Samuel)
- 3 and 4 Kings (Wahammelech Dabid)
- 1 and 2 Paralipomena (Dibre Hamaim)
- 1 and 2 Esdras (Ezra)
- Psalms (Sepher Thehillim)
- Proverbs (Misloth)
- Ecclesiastes (Coheleth)
- Song of Songs (Sir Hasirim)
- Isaiah (Iesaia)
- Jeremiah, Lamentations, Epistle (Jeremiah)
- Daniel (Daniel)
- Ezekiel (Jeezkel)
- Job (Job)
- Esther (Esther)
- Maccabees (Sarbeth Sarbane El)
- New Testament:
- Gospel of Matthew
- Gospel of Mark
- Gospel of Luke
- Gospel of John
- Epistles of Paul
- Epistles of Peter (one undisputed; some doubt about the second)
- Apocalypse of John
- Epistles of John (one definite; some doubt about the second and third)
- Hebrews (has the thoughts of Paul, but the diction and phraseology of someone else – according to some, Clement, the bishop of Rome; according to others, Luke)
The Books of the Old Testament According to Melito
- Eusebius quotes Melito on page 164 of his Ecclesiastical History.
- Of Moses, five books:
- Jesus Nave
- Four of Kings
- Two of Paralipomena (Chronicles)
- Psalms of David
- Proverbs of Solomon which is called Wisdom
- Song of Songs
- Of major prophets:
- Of twelve prophets
- One book
The Books of the Bible According to Irenaeus
- Eusebius quotes Irenaeus on pages 187 and 188 of his Ecclesiastical History. This list does not appear to be complete.
- 1 John
- 1 Peter
- Wisdom of Solomon
- (no specific books listed)
Accounts of the Septuagint Translation
- According to Josephus:
- Demetrius Phalerius, the library-keeper of Egypt’s King Ptolemy Philadelphus, was trying to gather all the books in the earth, buying whatever were considered valuable. He told the king, when asked, that he had in the library about 200,000 books, but in a little while, he should have 500,000. He had heard about the books of laws among the Jews which were worthy to be included in the library. However, they would need to be translated into the Greek. The king approved and advised Demetrius how to proceed.
Aristeus, a friend of the king, suggested that this would be an opportune time to set free captive Jews in the kingdom. After some discussion with his associates, the king issued the order.
Demetrius requested Ptolemy to send a letter to the high priest of the Jews, requesting that six elders from each tribe who were most skillful of the laws be sent to Egypt to translate the laws. The king had a letter prepared for Eleazar, the Jewish high priest. He had this and numerous gifts sent to Israel. In response, Eleazar expressed his thanks for the gifts and had seventy-[two] elders sent to Egypt.
On their arrival, the elders were taken by Demetrius to a house on an island. Before starting to work, they purified themselves. The men worked long hours each day on the translation. The task was completed in seventy-two days.
All the Jews gathered where the interpreters were. When Demetrius read the translation, everyone approved of the work. The king was happy with the completed work. He gave the order that care should be taken with these books that they might remain uncorrupted. He sent the translators back to their homes in Israel with many gifts.
(Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. Book 12, ii, passim.)
- According to Irenæus:
- Ptolemy, being ambitious to place into his library at Alexandria the most worthy books in existence for being studied, requested the people of Jerusalem to have their works translated into the Greek. Since Israel was under the rule of the Macedonians, they sent to Ptolemy seventy elders who were best skilled in the Scriptures and in both languages.
Being concerned that together they might conceal the truth of the Scriptures, he separated them and commanded them to write the same translation. When they had completed this with all the books, they assembled themselves before Ptolemy. When all were compared and found to be the same in all details, God was glorified and the Scriptures were recognized as truly divine. The Gentiles who were present knew that the Scriptures were translated by divine inspiration. This was not considered to be unusual because after Nebuchadnezzar’s captivity of the Israelites when the the Scriptures had been destroyed, God inspired Esdras the priest to compose again all that had been lost.
(Eusebius. Ecclesiastical History. Page 189.)
- According to Brenton:
- Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton translated this edition of the Septuagint, which was published in 1851. He states that prior to 285 B.C., this version had been commenced. In the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, either the books in general or at least an important part of them had been completed. It is fairly certain that an Egyptian king had the translation made and that it was from the Royal Library at Alexandria that Hellenistic Jews received the copies that they used.
Brenton acknowledges the accounts of Josephus and Irenæus. He offers reasons why it was Egyptian Jews, not Palestine Jews, who made the translation. He considers the story of divine inspiration to be an embellishment, but understands why there was great authority attached to this translation. He notes that there are many stories about how it was translated.
Some books show that the translators were not completely competent to the task. However, other books exhibit, on the whole, a careful translation. The Pentateuch is considered to be done the best, while the Book of Isaiah appears to be the very worst. Brenton does not believe that there was any dishonest intention on the part of any translator. He is aware of the problems they had, including translating Hebrew theological ideas into a language that had no religious notions except those of heathens.
(The Septuagint. Introduction, passim.)
- According to Origen:
- Origen found that the Septuagint differed in numerous respects from the Hebrew text. He set about to provide the Church with a text of the Septuagint in which all additions to the Hebrew should be marked with an obelus and that everything omitted should be added from one of the other versions and be marked with an asterisk. He also indicated readings in the Septuagint which were so incorrect that the passage should be changed to one in another version.
The results of his work were the Hexapla and the Tetrapla. The columns in the first were as follows: the Hebrew text; the Hebrew text expressed in Greek; the version of Aquila; the version of Symmachus; the Septuagint; and the version of Theodotion. The second work contained the last four of those columns. He also added three anonymous Greek versions of particular books to the four versions. References were made from the Septuagint columns to the other versions to complete and correct it. The Theodotion version was principally used for this purpose. This work is referred to as the Hexaplar text.
Later, Pamphilus and Eusebius made copies of the Hexaplar text of the Septuagint. However, errors of copyists made the text of the Septuagint hopelessly mixed up with that of the other versions. Later still, a Syriac version of the Hexaplar text was made.
(The Septuagint. Introduction, pages v and vi.)
Second Century Greek Versions of the Old Testament
- His was the first such version of the century, being issued about the year 126. Being a Jew or a Jewish proselyte, his work is said to have been completed for the express purpose of opposing the authority of the Septuagint. As a result, his version was upheld by the Jews. It was directed in opposing passages which the Christians cited from the Septuagint as applicable to the Lord Jesus. The rendering of the version was boldly literal from Hebrew to Greek, thus creating problems in grammar and sense.
- He was an Ebionite, a kind of semi-Christian. His version was completed in good and pure Greek. Perhaps this came as a consequence of the poor rendering of Aquila.
- He also was an Ebionite. His version, for the most part, was based on the Septuagint. He did not adhere to the Hebrew as strictly as Aquila did. In fact, his Hebrew was limited. He did not show the freedom of Symmachus.
(The Septuagint. Introduction, page v.)
Writers of Barbarian and Greek Histories
- Berosus the Chaldean:
- He describes the flood and the ark and mentions that part of the ship is in Armenia at the mountain of the Cordyæans. (Antiquities of the Jews. Book 1, iii, 6.) He collected the Chaldean Monuments. He states that Noah and the ancients before him lived very long lives. (Op. cit. Book 1, iii, 9.) Referring to Abram, but not mentioning his name, he says that in the tenth generation after the flood, there was among the Chaldeans a man righteous and great, and skilled in the celestial science. (Op. cit. Book 1,vii, 2.)
- Hieronymus the Egyptian:
- He wrote The Phoenician Antiquities. He refers to the flood and the ark. (Op. cit. Book 1, iii, 6.) He mentions that the ancient people lived very long lives. (Op. cit. Book 1, iii, 9.)
- Nicolaus of Damascus:
- In his ninety-sixth book, he tells of the ark being taken to the top of the mountain called Baris, in Armenia, at the time of the Deluge. (Op. cit. Book 1, iii, 6.) In his fourth book of history, he tells how Abram came out of the land of the Chaldeans to the land of Canaan, where his posterity became a multitude. (Op. cit. Book 1, vii, 2.)
- Callisthenes, Strabo, Arrian, and Appian:
- Josephus quotes these writers in the account of how Alexander the Great and his army passed through a narrow passage bounded by the mountain called Climax on one side and the Pamphylian Sea on the other. In calm weather, the passage is bare. When the wind is blowing from any direction but the north, the sea overflows and the passage is covered to a great degree by waves. On this occasion, not only did the sea open a passage for Alexander, but, by rising and elevating its waters, did pay him homage as its king. Callisthenes, himself, accompanied Alexander on this expedition.
Josephus expresses his opinion that it was the will of God to destroy the monarchy of the Persians. He also notes that Alexander had no other way to go. Josephus states that all his sources attest to the truth of this event. The editors note that Josephus is criticized by some late writers for using those sources. However, they [the editors] defend Josephus on his evidence and on the fact that later noted authors do not contradict him.
(Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. Book 2, xvi, 5.)
Josephus on the Longevity of the Ancients
- “Let no one, upon comparing the lives of the ancients with our lives, and with the few years which we now live, think that what we have said of them is false; or make the shortness of our lives at present an argument that neither did they attain to so long a duration of life; for those ancients were beloved of God, and [lately] made by God himself; and because their food was then fitter for the prolongation of life might well live so great a number of years; and besides, God afforded them a longer time of life on account of their virtue, and the good use they made of it in astronomical and geometric discoveries, which would not have afforded the time of foretelling [the periods of the stars] unless they had lived six hundred years; for the Great Year is completed in that interval.”
(Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. Book 1, iii, 9.)
On the Four Gospels
- He said in 185: “It is impossible that the Gospels should be in number either more or fewer than these. For since there are four regions of the world wherein we are, and four principal winds, … and the Gospel is the Church’s pillar … it is natural that it should have four pillars.”
The fact is that the New Testament was not compiled and accepted as a Christian Bible until after the individual books now called the Gospels had long been in circulation. The compilers of this volume consider the above quotation one of the curious explanations why there is not just one consistent record of the life of Jesus.
- At about 170, his attempt was the first to overcome the four-Gospel difficulties by weaving them into one continuous record without changing their original wording. Translated into the Syriac, this Greek Diatessaron (“four-in-one”) for a century or more took the place of the separate Gospels in the Syrian churches as the accepted story of Jesus.
(The Dartmouth Bible. Page 861.)
The Book of Enoch
- Enoch was a renowned antediluvian prophet to whom, near the end of the second century B. C., was falsely attributed an apocryphal book, which was preserved by the Church fathers. (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Page 220.) An Ethiopic translation was found in Egypt in 1773, and later translated into English. It consists of a series of revelations supposed to have been given to Enoch and Noah. Despite its quotation in the Epistle of Jude and the wide circulation of the book, it was separated from the canonical Scriptures. Its authorship is unknown.
(Smith’s Bible Dictionary. Page 174.)
Genealogy of Joseph, Husband of Mary
- This is an explanantion of the apparent discrepancy between the accounts in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 on the ancestry of Joseph, husband of Mary, as stated by Africanus.
“Matthan and Melchi, having married in succession the same woman, had children, who were brothers by the same mother, as the law did not permit a widow, whether she became such by divorce, or by the death of her husband, to marry again. Matthan, therefore, who traces his lineage from Solomon, first had Jacob, by Estha. Matthan dying, and Melchi, who traces his lineage from Nathan, had a son Eli. Thus, then, we shall find the two of different families, Jacob and Eli, brothers by the same mother. Jacob, on the death of his brother, marrying his widow, become the father of a third, viz., Joseph; his son both by nature and calculation. Wherefore, it is written, Jacob begat Joseph. But according to the law, he was the son of Eli, for Jacob being his brother, raised up seed to him. Wherefore, the genealogy traced also through him, will not be rendered void, which, according to Matthew, is given thus – “but Jacob begat Joseph.” But Luke, on the other hand, says, “who was the son, as was supposed, (for this he also adds), the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, the son of Melchi.”
(Eusebius. Ecclesiastical History. Page 33.)
Some Terms Used in Ecclesiastical History
- The following is a selected list of words used by Eusebius in this work. The definitions are stated in footnotes on the pages indicated.
- The word desposynos signifies, in general, one who belongs to a master. It is here applied according to the usage of the primitive church, to indicate the relatives of our Lord, as those who were the Lord’s according to the flesh. (34)
- The great festival is the passion week, called by the Greek fathers, the Great Week. (69)
- The word xnepsion means cousin german, by the mother’s side. Mary, the wife of Cleophas, and Mary, the mother of our Lord, were sisters (John 19:25). Hegesippus calls Joseph and Cleophas brothers, by reasons of this matrimonial connexion. (99)
- The word elbion, in Hebrew, signifying poor, seems to allude to the opinions or the condition of the Ebionite sect. (122)
- It was customary in the primitive church to use the espression “I acknowledge thee” as a form of salutation, particularly at the communion. (142)
- The Asiarchs were the priests of the assembly or common council of Asia, whose office, among others, was to exhibit the public shows in the amphitheatre. (147)
- The scourge was a punishment much like what is called running the gantlet. The hunters stood in a long line, and as the martyrs passed, each one inflicted a stroke with a scourge upon the naked body. (176)
- Paraclete, the epithet of the Holy Spirit, occurs in St. John’s gospel. It is the Greek derivative, signifying Comforter or Advocate. Some false teachers have either assumed or had this epithet applied to them; among these, the imposter Mahomet is not the least. In the gospel of Barnabas, this name, by a mere change of the vowels, isperichlutos, the most glorious, instead of parachletos. As this expresses the meaning of Mahomet’s name, this gospel of Barnabas is much valued, at least among the African Mahometans. (194)
- Our English passover, happily, in sound and sense, almost corresponds to the Hebrew PSH, of which it is a translation (Exodus 12:27). The Greek pascha, formed from the Hebrew, is the name of the Jewish festival, applied invariably in the primitive church to designate the the festival of the Lord’s resurrection, which took place at the time of passover. (207)
- Hexaemeron is the Greek name, designating the six days of creation. (212)
- Philosophy of life, when applied to the primitive Christians, in a practical sense, indicates the austerity of life and self-denial which they exercised. (221)
- The seal in the Lord means baptism, which in the primitive church, was sometimes thus figuratively called.
- The primitive church distinguished a confession from martyrdom. The former implied all sufferings and trials for the sake of religion, except the loss of life. The latter was attended with this also. Hence the latter was regarded as the highest grade of confession, and as such, the martyr, in contradistinction to the confessor, was said to be perfected. (230)
- The Greek word stromateus means a covering, or hangings for a table, or couch, mostly of various contents. This gave rise to the use of it as a title for books of various contents. Hence, they are miscellanies. (232)
- The word tomos, from which we get tome, properly signifies a section; and as the sections of a work were sometimes on different scrolls, hence they were called books, volumes, and tomoi. (250
- The iron scraper was an instrument of torture, calculated to wound and tear the flesh as it passed over it. (259)
- The word catholic, in its Greek etymology, means universal. It applied to the Christian, as a universal church, partly to distinguish it from the ancient church of the Jews, which was limited, partial, and particular in its duration, subjects, and country. The Christian is also called a universal or catholic church because in regard to doctrine hold quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus [from the Latin, literally: because always, because everywhere, because by all]. In the latter view, which it should be well observed is the original application, it is synonymous with orthodox. (265)
- The word papas applied to the more aged and venerable prelates. We thus see the origin of the word pope, Latinpapa, German pabst. (275)
- The Christians called their burial places cemeteries, xoimeteria, dormitories, because death, in the light of the gospel, is a sleep. These dormitories were frequented by the Christians, as peculiarly calculated to cherish religious sentiments, particularly if these places had been the depositories of martyred confessors. It was here, too, where they could hold a kind of communion with departed virtue, and find their own strengthened by it. (281)
- The secretum was the exclusive seat or place where the magistrate sat to decide cases. It was elevated and enclosed with railways and curtains, so as the more effectually to keep the magistrate separate from those present. (305)
- The eculeus was a Roman instrument of torture. It was so constructed, that the person was suspended on it, and his limbs stretched by screws. (330)
- The Romans had three divisions of the month, Calends, Nones, and Ides; and in marking the days, they counted backwards. (349)
- Every city was supposed by the heathen to have its tutelary divinity, who presided over its destinies, and hence called ruche, fortune, by this author. The temple dedicated to these were called Tychea. (374)
- The sacred gown derived its name from its extending down to the feet: podere. (406)
- The word oichonomia, dispensations, evidentally applied not only to the death but also the resurrection of our Lord. (418)
- The subdeacons had the office to conduct all that entered to their proper places, the catechumens, penitents, into the narthex or hall, the faithful, etc., into the nave. (422)
New Testament Translations
- The Syriac and Italian translations of the New Testament were made in the late second century.
(An Ecclesiastical History Page 475.)
A Testimony to Jesus Christ by Josephus
- “Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, – a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”
(Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. Book 18, iii, 3.)
- The Bible Almanac. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1980.
- Brenton, Sir Lancelot C. L., trans. The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English. Peabody, MA:Hendrickson, 1992. (Originally published by Samuel Bagster and Sons, London, 1851.) *
- The Dartmouth Bible. 2nd Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1961.
- Documents from Old Testament Times. Rev. ed. New York: Harper and Row, 1970.
- Eusebius. Ecclesiastical History. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1994.
- Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of the English Language. 1958 ed.
- Josephus, Flavius. Complete Works. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1960. **
- Smith, William. A Dictionary of the Bible. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1967.
- Thayer, Joseph Henry. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, n.d.
- * In public domain: Hendrickson.
** In public domain: Kregel.