Quote for the Day

“Thanks for all things be given unto God the Omnipotent Ruler and King of the universe, and the greatest thanks to Jesus Christ the Saviour and Redeemer of our souls, through whom we pray that peace may be always preserved for us firm and undisturbed by external troubles and by troubles of the mind.”

Eusebius, Church History, Book 10, Chapter 1, Paragraph 1

An excellent prayer but also a note that I have, in fact, finished reading the Church History in the Paul Maier translation. It’s a good translation for reading, with many nice graphics and useful commentaries at the end of each book. The Church History itself is not so triumphalist as some critics charge. If one reads carefully he will see that the persecutions were not so widespread as commonly believed, but mostly localized. The empire-wide persecution of the early fourth century Eusebius blames on the factionalism and battles within the Church itself. One doesn’t get a proper impression of how small a part of the empire’s population Christians actually were, but that is because Eusebius was writing a history of his own sect, not the whole empire.

While most of the book is easy reading in this translation, there is no avoiding the excesses of style Eusebius employs in the last two books. I can only wonder how thick the rhetoric gets in a more literal translation.

On to more modern books about early church history!


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