Church as a historical reality Other writers: Josephus

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Church as a historical reality
Other writers:


War of the Jews. From the Maccabees to until fall of Jerusalem. “According to Josephus, the traditional Jew was, should be, and can be a loyal and peace-loving citizen. Jews can, and historically have, accepted Rome's hegemony precisely because their faith declares that God himself gives empires their power.”

Antiquities of the Jews: “an apologia for the antiquity and universal significance of the Jewish people.”

“About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Christ. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.”

Philo of Alexandria:

Tacitus: Annals: ""Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind".”


Theodoret, 30 lives. Vitas in general.
Incarnation. The central tenet of our faith. God invading time and space. Leaving marks, changing the course of hx.

Apostolic Witness: They spread the Gospel, referring not to a text, but to a man. CS Lewis quote on the Word.

Gospels as hx: Real event, not mythology. Not an esoteric story, but events that happened. Combining the spirit and the material realms.

Life of Eusebius


Bp of Caesaria

Devoted to Constantine.

Father of Church Hx

Byzantine Theological environment

Arianism, toleration of xty.

Sabellian Leanings

Could not comprehend the unity-trinity, but that Christ was only like God, or a manifestation of one person alone, as was the Fr and the Holy Spirit.

His Works

Onomasticon - a directory of place names.

The Chronicle - a hx of the world.


Life of Constantine

Many other partial works, including an Apology for Origen

Ecclesiastical history

Beginning with more about the life of Christ. Abgar.

Set along the lines of the emperors

Rome as the conduit of xty.

Last Chapter (book): Peace and Recovery of the Church: The Victory of Constantine.

See and read the last paragraph of the Introduction.

His Focus

The distinction of the persons of the Trinity.

After nearly being excommunicated due to charges of heresy by Alexander of Alexandria, Eusebius submitted and agreed to the Nicene Creed at the First Council of Nicea in 325
Lack of creativity, more of a compiler. Very little in way of commentary or judgment.

Life of Socrates of Constantinople


Perhaps a layman

Then, “of Constantinople?”

Relat to Eusebius

Continued Church history from the end of Eusebius.

Historia Ecclesia

Building from where Eusebius’ history ended. Its purpose is to follow up on previous work.

Only known book


Centers on conflicts. See 7.48.7

Knowledge of Hypatia

He is often assumed to have been a follower of Novatianism, but this is based on the fact that he gives a lot of details about the Novatianists, and speaks of them in generous terms, as he does of Arians and other groups. He speaks of himself as belonging to the Church

“The Novatianists were early Christians following Antipope Novatian, held a strict view that refused readmission to communion of Lapsi, those baptized Christians who had denied their faith or performed the formalities of a ritual sacrifice to the pagan gods, under the pressures of the persecution sanctioned by Emperor Decius, in AD 250.”

Life of Bede

B 673 D 735

An Anglo-Saxon. This is distinct from earlier or later periods - Celts, Britons, Romans, Albani. 6-7th century

Born at Monkton

Well to do family.

Name: Derives from OE: bed, or prayer. Perhaps he was always planned to be clergy.

To monastery at 7 yo.

Contact with Iona at 17 and its abbot Adomnan.

Easter dating controversy seed sewn.

Dn at 19, Priest at 30

At 36, charge of heresy for a new age of the world. After Isadore of Seville, some thought the world was 5000. Bede came up with 3952.

Bede’s Death Song (735)

Facing Death, that inescapable journey,
who can be wiser than he
who reflects, while breath yet remains,
on whether his life brought others happiness (or pains),
since his soul may yet win delight's (or night's) way
after his death-day.
England and the ancient church

Roman Conquest

Some legends, Joseph of Aramathea

His Works


Making of the notion of England

The Ecclesiastical Hx of the English People


Made the English, made them a holy people.

Beginning with Caesar in 55 bc.

Brief account of xty in Roman Britain. Martyrdom of St Alban (between 289-305).

Augustine’s Mission in 597. Reinvigoration of Britain (Cerdic in 519).

Synod of Whitby.

Easter dating controversy

Irish and indigenous church used another date.

“Bede's primary intention in writing the Historia Ecclesiastica was to show the growth of the united church throughout England. The native Britons, whose Christian church survived the departure of the Romans, earn Bede's ire for refusing to help convert the Saxons; by the end of the Historia the English, and their Church, are dominant over the Britons.[75] This goal, of showing the movement towards unity, explains Bede's animosity towards the British method of calculating Easter: much of the Historia is devoted to a history of the dispute, including the final resolution at the Synod of Whitby in 664.[71] Bede is also concerned to show the unity of the English, despite the disparate kingdoms that still existed when he was writing. He also wants to instruct the reader by spiritual example, and to entertain, and to the latter end he adds stories about many of the places and people about which he wrote.”

Used to draw England into the larger Church, to regularize.

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