Image of Eusebius


Bishop, Historian, Theologian


Lifetime: 260 CE - 339 CE Passed: ≈ 1684 years ago

Eusebius of Caesarea, also known as Eusebius Pamphili, was a historian of Christianity, exegete, and Christian polemicist. He became the bishop of Caesarea Maritima about AD 314. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the biblical canon and is regarded as one of the most learned Christians of his time. He wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the biblical text. As "Father of Church History" (not to be confused with the title of Church Father), he produced the Ecclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs. He also produced a biographical work on Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor, who was augustus between AD 306 and AD 337.


Although Eusebius' works are regarded as giving insight into the history of the early church, he was not without prejudice, especially in regard to the Jews, for while "Eusebius indeed blames the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus, he nevertheless also states that forgiveness can be granted even for this sin and that the Jews can receive salvation." Some scholars question the accuracy of Eusebius' works. For example, at least one scholar, Lynn Cohick, dissents from the majority view that Eusebius is correct in identifying the Melito of Peri Pascha with the Quartodeciman bishop of Sardis. Cohick claims as support for her position that "Eusebius is a notoriously unreliable historian, and so anything he reports should be critically scrutinized." Eusebius' Life of Constantine, which he wrote as a eulogy shortly after the emperor's death in AD 337, is "often maligned for perceived factual errors, deemed by some so hopelessly flawed that it cannot be the work of Eusebius at all." Others attribute this perceived flaw in this particular work as an effort at creating an overly idealistic hagiography, calling him a "Constantinian flunky" since, as a trusted adviser to Constantine, it would be politically expedient for him to present Constantine in the best light possible.

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Books by Eusebius