Eusebius as a forger.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 16, 2019 8:33 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:18 am
But is the characteristic Eusebius exhibits in writing the Apology on behalf of Pamphilus (and stealing his name) in order to make Origen seem less like a heretic properly characterized as 'bias' or something more nefarious? I don't think this is like the other examples you give because Origen was an outlaw.
And Socrates was what... an upstanding pillar of the community? He was literally executed as a troublemaker. Even Julius Caesar was assassinated as a despot.
Eusebius needed Pamphilus to be the mouthpiece of his reform efforts. Yes in a sense a lie exhibits 'bias.' But surely what Eusebius is engaged in is stronger than mere 'bias.'
Maybe, but if you cannot see the difference between the two cases (representation and impersonation), that is okay. I can.
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 16, 2019 8:37 am

Representation/misrepresentation = William Barr issuing a summary of what is in the Mueller report in a way that may not have been entirely accurate.

Impersonation = William Barr actually forging the Mueller report or interpolating extra paragraphs into the Mueller report which Mueller never penned.

Lots of people think the first happened; nobody thinks the second happened. There is a difference between (mis)representation and impersonation.
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 16, 2019 9:49 am

And Socrates was what...
I think it's different with Origen. Let's contextualize Origen.

1. the fourfold gospel is first mentioned by Irenaeus in Book Three c. 185 - 190
2. Origen is the first theologian of the four gospels. He was the first to set forth a methodology, an understanding of the NEW scriptures, how we are supposed to understand a message that takes place across four gospels. This is why his students saw him as being on equal footing with the apostles (a charge incidentally which resurfaces in Praescription Against the Heretics and among the Carpocratians).
3. Origen did this with the help of his master Ammonius's gospel canon in both Commentary on John and Commentary on Matthew.

Since the four fold gospel were only recently released Origen was raised to the status of a semi-divine figure because he was the first to figure out what to do with the texts. Irenaeus and Ammonius just dump a bunch of things - why the heretics are refuted by the four gospels, how the gospels relate. But Origen is the one who provides an actual theology of the four.

Clearly the authorities of the church - not a civic body - wanted Origen brought up on charges. But given the orthodox church made the Creator the ultimate head of the organization, Origen was charged with a 'cosmic' crime. Socrates is by contrast charged with breaking mere civil laws. Origen is an agent of evil.
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 16, 2019 9:52 am

I am not sure whoever invented the four gospels meant for one person to hold the key to everything. I think the expectation was that the canon would act to limit points of view. Not to provide one man near messianic status. Origen's rise challenged the status quo. The canon and the praescriptions were supposed to secure all power in the presbytery. Origen breaking loose and acting like a heretic again was very problematic for the Church. Socrates also voluntarily submitted to his punishment. Origen escaped.
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 16, 2019 9:55 am

Representation/misrepresentation =

Impersonation =
This is all very useful in a technical procedural sort of way. But this isn't the issue. Eusebius had to prove that Origen wasn't against the ecclesiastical order. This is ground zero. He had to make Origen appear compatible with Imperial sanctioned authority - viz. the Alexandrian presbytery. In order to do this he had to take over Pamphilus's books (and correct them) and make Pamphilus a spokesman for his nutty and wholly BS ideas about Origen.
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by MrMacSon » Fri May 17, 2019 3:21 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 5:13 am
... There is no place in which Josephus says that Jerusalem fell as vengeance for what the Jews did to James the Just.
Yes, I know that.

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 5:13 am

... That passage was never in Josephus; Origen (mis)interpreted it out of Josephus.
Yes, I agree.

But the point is that Eusebius takes - or seems to take - that (mis)interpret[ation] misrepresentation further.

I disagree that "The change to direct speech is a red herring" (and I don't see the point of an Obama analogy). Eusebius may have just taken Origen at face value, but he may have here been complicit in a gross misrepresentation of Josephus ie. forgery.

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 5:13 am
the Testimonium and the James the Just passage are not treated the same way.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by that statement. I can appreciate, as you say two sentences later, that "Eusebius, when he quotes the Testimonium, tells us where in Josephus to find it, as is his habit; the James the Just passage he simply quotes, telling us nothing about where to find it", though I don't think Eusebius telling us where to find the TF in Josephus [Antiquities of the Jews] but not telling us where to find the James the Just passage means much.


As far as, -
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 5:13 am
... The Testimonium is found in every single copy of Josephus that we possess; the James the Just passage is not.
- does that tell us anything? Which versions of Josephus [Antiquities of the Jews] has the James the Just passage, and which do not?

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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by MrMacSon » Fri May 17, 2019 5:04 am

I've just started reading Mark Edwards' Religions of the Constantinian Empire, 2015, OUP, Oxford (I started it just before Ben started this thread).

Here's some excerpts from the first chapter

.
1. Christian versus Pagan in Eusebius of Caesarea

[p.3 onwards, Kindle Edition ...]

It is fitting that the subject of the first chapter in this book should be a man who will figure in almost every chapter. It is equally fitting that we should meet him first through his labours as an apologist, though it might be said that we could hardly do otherwise, for the spirit of advocacy is never absent from his numerous essays in exegesis, history, biography, or the exposition of dogma. In contrast to his precursors, however, he had some notion of apologetic as a genre, for it was he who gave it a name and who drew up the first canon of its Greek exemplars. When he added himself to the canon he aimed to be more than an imitator: no practitioner of an ancient genre is merely a copyist, and Eusebius—Eusebius of Caesarea, as we call him after his bishopric—was the first apologist who achieved double eminence as a scholar and as a churchman. He set out to polish, not merely to preserve, the lamp of truth by which he was pointing out the way to an increasingly cultured public of Christian readers and an increasingly bellicose audience of pagans. Old arguments had ossified while new critics remained unanswered; Christian numbers were growing, but the gospel was being proclaimed in the dominant language of a polytheistic world to which no single text was holy but Homer and Plato were divine. The project that took shape in the Preparation for the Gospel and its sequel, the Demonstration, was at once more eclectic and more synoptic, more combative and more urbane than any of its Greek models. It was not, for all that, unique in its generation, for we shall see in Chapter 2 that two Latin contemporaries of Eusebius were equally responsive to the new temper (or distemper) of the age.

Few authors who wrote so copiously have hidden themselves so well. We know that Eusebius succeeded Agapius as Bishop of Caesarea in 313, and that he lived to write the biography of Constantine, who died in 337. He seems not to have been alive at the time of the council of Antioch in 341, but he was present at the Council of Nicaea in 325 and left with his bishopric intact, having signed the creed. Some months before, it appears that he had been condemned, though not deposed, at a synod held in Antioch; the fact that his name appears fifth in the list of Palestinian signatories to the creed of 325 (although his bishopric was the metropolis of Palestine) suggests that he put his hand to the document with some hesitation. He was later to decline the see of Antioch when it was offered to him by Constantine; the deposed incumbent, Eustathius, had accused Eusebius of bad faith in his subscription to the Creed. His admirer Jerome adds only that he was a diligent student of the holy scriptures under Pamphilus of Caesarea, who died in the persecution of Maximinus (Of Illustrious Men 81). The corpus of works ascribed to him by Jerome includes the Preparation for the Gospel in fifteen books, the Demonstration in twenty, the Theophany in five, the Commentary on Isaiah in ten, the Ecclesiastical History in ten, the Apology for Origen (begun by Pamphilus) in six, the Life of Pamphilus in three, commentaries on all the Psalms, a work on the disagreements between the gospels, a Chronicle, a work On Places, and (according to report) a refutation of Porphyry the Neoplatonist in thirty books, of which Jerome has seen but twenty. He adds that there are many more: the longest that has come down to us is a commentary on Luke.

Eusebius was not a common name in pagan circles; it rose in popularity as Christian parents grew reluctant to give their children the names of fictitious gods. Since Eusebius of Caesarea was not known by any other appellation, it is reasonable to conclude that he was a Christian by nurture. Unlike apologists of the second century who had been converts, he never slights Greek culture or the Greek language; although he impugns the Greek claim to pre-eminence in wisdom, he does not represent Christianity as the religion of barbarians. Instead he followed Origen, whose library he inherited, in reckoning scholarship among the virtues of a Christian theologian.

< . . snip . . >

pp. 5-6, -

In his magnum opus, which comprises the Preparation for the Gospel and Demonstration of the Gospel, Eusebius undertakes to prove the antiquity of the Christian faith, the coherence of its theology, the superiority of the Jewish scriptures to any Greek system and the necessity of reading them with an eye to the deeper meaning that has been made plain in Christ. The Preparation puts one in mind of Clement rather than Origen in its prolixity and the polyphonic character of materials; it has in common with Origen, however, that it takes as its most frequent interlocutor a pagan author of recent times, who had come to be seen as the church’s most dangerous enemy to date. Porphyry owes this reputation chiefly to the burning of his books by Constantine and to a letter by Augustine which implies that his name was likely to attach itself to objections that a Christian found especially perplexing. The Suda, a Byzantine lexicon, enumerates fifteen logoi or discourses against the Christians in a catalogue of his writings; yet five allusions in the Preparation for the Gospel to a ‘tract against us’ afford the most cogent evidence of his having written a work against the Christians, distinct from the many others which Eusebius cites as proof of his inconsistency and his willingness to collude with the very powers whose maleficence he had exposed.

< . . snip . . >

pp. 16-17, -

Theologians and historians of dogma are apt to be disappointed by the Preparation for the Gospel. It was written, of course, for neither, though the author’s other works prove that he was capable of fencing with the ablest theologians of his day. The Preparation is better read as an essay in comparative religion, half eirenic and half didactic in the style of the nineteenth century. Recently it has been studied as an essay in the ethnography of religion—aptly enough, since when the Greeks wrote accounts of other peoples they often commenced with a description of their gods. As Aaron Johnson has noted, Eusebius differentiates genos and ethnos: the genos, or race, is defined by consanguinity, whereas the members of an ethnos, for which perhaps the best term is ‘nation’, may be united by shared speech and culture rather than bonds of kinship. For Eusebius the Jews are a genos; the ethnê, in biblical usage, are the rest of the world’s population who are not of the chosen people. The plasticity of nomenclature is exemplified, however, by the term ‘Hellene’, which at its narrowest denotes those who are Greeks by descent and at its widest all who are Greek by culture. In Matthew’s gospel Christ predicts that the patrimony of Israel will be given to a new ethnos, which is evidently the church ...

... certain apologists, mocking Greek pretensions to a monopoly of wisdom, had taken a pride in the name barbarian; on the other hand, pagans like Porphyry and Lucian could boast simultaneously of their Greek education and their barbarian ancestry. Eusebius has no desire to pass as a barbarian: he flaunts his erudition in the hope of convincing his readers, believers and unbelievers alike, that everyone can enjoy dual citizenship as a Greek by nurture and a Christian by faith. The term ‘citizenship’ is apposite because Eusebius also follows Josephus, the Jewish historian, in representing Christianity as a politeia, a commonwealth of shared laws and values. All free-born subjects of the Roman Empire had been made citizens by the Constitutio Antoniniana of 215; many were also citizens of a local community by birth or purchase. In return for the questionable privileges of citizenship, the government required that the gods should be worshipped on demand according to Roman custom, but at the same time permitted, and even encouraged, the worship of other deities according to the custom of one’s own fathers.*

Edwards. Religions of the Constantinian Empire, 2015.

* Elagabalus, emperor 218 to 222 CE, favoured a solar god and worship of a solar god persisted; after Aurelian, emperor 270-75 CE, the Roman Empire was monotheistic for Sol Invictus and likely beyond when Constantine is said to have converted to or even recognised Christianity or its symbols (Constantine's father was a votary for the cult of Sol Invictus)

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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri May 17, 2019 5:52 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 3:21 am
I disagree that "The change to direct speech is a red herring" (and I don't see the point of an Obama analogy).
In what way does changing a statement from indirect speech to direct speech constitute misrepresentation? The fact that you do not understand the Obama analogy leads me to wonder whether you understand the point being made. The Obama analogy again, hopefully more clearly:

Person A: The reporter said that Obama inhaled.
Person B: The reporter said, "Obama inhaled."

That is so far within the bound of ancient quotation and citation that I am not even sure what the argument against that point would be.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by that statement. I can appreciate, as you say two sentences later, that "Eusebius, when he quotes the Testimonium, tells us where in Josephus to find it, as is his habit; the James the Just passage he simply quotes, telling us nothing about where to find it", though I don't think Eusebius telling us where to find the TF in Josephus [Antiquities of the Jews] but not telling us where to find the James the Just passage means much.
It is more than that. Eusebius lets us know where we are in Josephus in every other quotation of him. I have found zero exceptions to this so far. Only in the James the Just passage does he leave us in the dark.
Which versions of Josephus [Antiquities of the Jews] has the James the Just passage, and which do not?
None of them has the James the Just passage as cited by Origen and carried forward by Eusebius. They all have the "James the brother of the Lord" passage, which Eusebius also quotes as if it were a separate passage, but Origen does not quote.
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Secret Alias » Fri May 17, 2019 9:08 am

I still think the question Ben hasn't answered directly is pertinent (and underscored by all my Michael Jackson and Catholic priesthood analogies). What is a reasonable starting point for doubt with respect to Eusebius? Do we say:

(a) he is a historian and we have to give him the benefit of the doubt with respect to his having manipulated material evidence in his history

or do we say

(b) he is not a historian in the modern sense of the term, he is not a disinterested party, he has already been demonstrated to have falsified information (Irenaeus and the martyrs at Lyons for example) THEREFORE anytime Eusebius speaks on behalf of someone (i.e. Pamphilus) HE SHOULD BE PRESUMED TO BE GUILTY OF MISREPRESENTATION

This is why I bring up the Michael Jackson example. Once someone is proved a criminal do we need to afford him 'the benefit of the doubt' for a second offense? I don't think so.
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri May 17, 2019 9:40 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:08 am
I still think the question Ben hasn't answered directly is pertinent (and underscored by all my Michael Jackson and Catholic priesthood analogies). What is a reasonable starting point for doubt with respect to Eusebius?
It definitely is a pertinent question. And I have not answered it yet because that is the question that this thread is meant to help answer. I already know (many/most of) the examples of Eusebius quoting stuff which we can read for ourselves in the manuscripts (Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, and on and on), as well as some examples of Eusebius quoting stuff which is not found in the manuscripts but which can be at least partly verified by other means (a few snippets from Papias and Hegesippus). What I lack a very full knowledge of is the kind of example which this thread is asking for, and without that knowledge (as well as a thorough evaluation of the arguments) it is impossible to answer the pertinent question which you highlight above.

Sometimes, Stephen, I get the impression that you are not really reading what I wrote, but are rather reading something similar to what I wrote, written by someone similar to me: a parallel text, as it were, in which my doppelgänger has already expressed my assumptions, my conclusions, and my methodologies in full.
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