By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Eusebius of Caeserea Writes

I found, not too long ago, a sale copy of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History translated by C.F.Cruse. You can find this history online at New Advent, but there may be little bits missing there. I know that once I was trying to find all the comments Eusebius made about Papias, and there was one quote that wasn't in the online copy--that bit was gone or left off.

Be that as it may, I wanted my own copy. I still love to hold a book in my hands and turn the pages and write in the margins. I love to turn the crisp pages and smell that new book smell. And so, when I saw this book, especially on sale, I bought it.

Eusebius writes the story of early Christianity from the first century through the third. As the introduction of my book says, "This work...embraced the events of the first three centuries down to the time when Constantine became sole master of the Roman world." Because Eusebius was so much nearer to that time than we are, his work provides much information that we would not otherwise have. For example, as far as I know, he is the only source of any quotes from the writings of Papias, a man who wrote five books documenting the teachings of Christ and His apostles as accurately as he could. These five books are lost to us now. As an aside, the Catholic Encyclopedia at New Advent provides information about Papias and Eusebius, as well as many other figures in early Christian history. They have many writings of early Church Fathers, as well, providing one with a lot of good research material.

As for me, I am just starting to read Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History. I expect to be reading in it for a long time, reading other books at the same time. I think I will find it to be an interesting read. Eusebius, as other historians do, had his viewpoint and his opinions and those will color his account, but still, it promises to be a highly informative project.

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