Geographical notices concerning Jewish Christians:
Eusebius, History of the Church 3.5.1-3:
1 After Nero had held the power thirteen years, and Galba and Otho had ruled a year and six months, Vespasian, who had become distinguished in the campaigns against the Jews, was proclaimed sovereign in Judea and received the title of Emperor from the armies there. Setting out immediately, therefore, for Rome, he entrusted the conduct of the war against the Jews to his son Titus. 2 For the Jews after the ascension of our Savior, in addition to their crime against him, had been devising as many plots as they could against his apostles. First Stephen was stoned to death by them, and after him James, the son of Zebedee and the brother of John, was beheaded, and finally James, the first that had obtained the episcopal seat in Jerusalem after the ascension of our Saviour, died in the manner already described. But the rest of the apostles, who had been incessantly plotted against with a view to their destruction, and had been driven out of the land of Judea, went unto all nations to preach the Gospel, relying upon the power of Christ, who had said to them, “Go and make disciples of all the nations in my name” (= Matthew 28.19). 3 But the people of the church in Jerusalem had been commanded by a revelation, vouchsafed to approved men there before the war, to leave the city and to dwell in a certain town of Perea called Pella
. And when those that believed in Christ had come there from Jerusalem, then, as if the royal city of the Jews and the whole land of Judea were entirely destitute of holy men, the judgment of God at length overtook those who had committed such outrages against Christ and his apostles, and totally destroyed that generation of impious men. / 1 Μετὰ Νέρωνα δέκα πρὸς τρισὶν ἔτεσιν τὴν ἀρχὴν ἐπικρατήσαντα τῶν ἀμφὶ Γάλβαν καὶ Ὄθωνα ἐνιαυτὸν ἐπὶ μησὶν ἓξ διαγενομένων, Οὐεσπασιανός, ταῖς κατὰ Ἰουδαίων παρατάξεσιν λαμπρυνόμενος, βασιλεὺς ἐπ' αὐτῆς ἀναδείκνυται τῆς Ἰουδαίας, αὐτοκράτωρ πρὸς τῶν αὐτόθι στρατοπέδων ἀναγορευθείς. Τὴν ἐπὶ Ῥώμης οὖν αὐτίκα στειλάμενος, Τίτῳ τῷ παιδὶ τὸν κατὰ Ἰουδαίων ἐγχειρίζει πόλεμον. 2 Μετά γε μὴν τὴν τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν ἀνάληψιν Ἰουδαίων πρὸς τῷ κατ' αὐτοῦ τολμήματι ἤδη καὶ κατὰ τῶν ἀποστόλων αὐτοῦ πλείστας ὅσας ἐπιβουλὰς μεμηχανημένων, πρώτου τε Στεφάνου λίθοις ὑπ' αὐτῶν ἀνῃρημένου, εἶτα δὲ μετ' αὐτὸν Ἰακώβου, ὃς ἦν Ζεβεδαίου μὲν παῖς, ἀδελφὸς δὲ Ἰωάννου, τὴν κεφαλὴν ἀποτμηθέντος, ἐπὶ πᾶσί τε Ἰακώβου, τοῦ τὸν αὐτόθι τῆς ἐπισκοπῆς θρόνον πρώτου μετὰ τὴν τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν ἀνάληψιν κεκληρωμένου, τὸν προδηλωθέντα τρόπον μεταλλάξαντος, τῶν τε λοιπῶν ἀποστόλων μυρία εἰς θάνατον ἐπιβεβουλευμένων καὶ τῆς μὲν Ἰουδαίας γῆς ἀπεληλαμένων, ἐπὶ δὲ τῇ τοῦ κηρύγματος διδασκαλίᾳ τὴν εἰς σύμπαντα τὰ ἔθνη στειλαμένων πορείαν σὺν δυνάμει τοῦ Χριστοῦ, φήσαντος αὐτοῖς· «πορευθέντες μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου», 3 οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῦ λαοῦ τῆς ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις ἐκκλησίας κατά τινα χρησμὸν τοῖς αὐτόθι δοκίμοις δι' ἀποκαλύψεως ἐκδοθέντα πρὸ τοῦ πολέμου μεταναστῆναι τῆς πόλεως καί τινα τῆς Περαίας πόλιν οἰκεῖν κεκελευσμένου, Πέλλαν αὐτὴν ὀνομάζουσιν, ἐν ἧ τῶν εἰς Χριστὸν πεπιστευκότων ἀπὸ τῆς Ἱερουσαλὴμ μετῳκισμένων, ὡς ἂν παντελῶς ἐπιλελοιπότων ἁγίων ἀνδρῶν αὐτήν τε τὴν Ἰουδαίων βασιλικὴν μητρόπολιν καὶ σύμπασαν τὴν Ἰουδαίαν γῆν, ἡ ἐκ θεοῦ δίκη λοιπὸν αὐτοὺς ἅτε τοσαῦτα εἴς τε τὸν Χριστὸν καὶ τοὺς ἀποστόλους αὐτοῦ παρηνομηκότας μετῄει, τῶν ἀσεβῶν ἄρδην τὴν γενεὰν αὐτὴν ἐκείνην ἐξ ἀνθρώπων ἀφανίζουσα.
Victoria Balabanski, Eschatology in the Making: Mark, Matthew, and the Didache, pages 105-106:
105-106 However, if we look more carefully at the beginning of Historia ecclesiastica
3.7, we find that Eusebius applies the flight tradition (in the Matthean form) not to the Jerusalem church, but to the Jewish population of Judea as a whole. By applying Matt. 24:19-21 to the Jews (rather than to the Jerusalem church), the oracle is made to serve as a further instance of Jewish impiety; instead of regarding the Saviour’s prophecy to flee, they turned to the city for protection.... To Eusebius, the synoptic flight oracle and the Pella flight oracle are quite distinct. The synoptic flight oracle prophesied the general plight of Jews in Judea at the time of the Jewish War, whereas the Pella flight oracle was given later ‘by revelation’ specifically to the church in Jerusalem. In Eusebius’ view, then, the synoptic flight oracle and the Pella oracle did indeed have a different chronology, the former being a prophecy of the earthly Jesus concerning the course of the war, and the latter being given and heeded directly before the war.
Victoria Balabanski, Eschatology in the Making: Mark, Matthew, and the Didache, page 108:
If the Pella tradition predates Eusebius, why does he not acknowledge his source? .... Just prior to this passage, Eusebius summarizes some information from Hegesippus’ Hypomnemata
, without acknowledging his source, so Hegesippus has long been held to be the likely source of the Pella tradition as well. Lüdemann, however, takes up a proposal of A. Harnack and A. Schlatter that Ariston of Pella was Eusebius’ source for the tradition of the flight to Pella. While this is possible, the balance of likelihood still rests with Hegesippus, given that there is no way of showing whether Ariston described the first Jewish War at all.
Epiphanius, Panarion 29.7.7-8:
7 This sect of Nazoraeans is to be found in Beroea near Coelesyria
, in the Decapolis near Pella
, and in Basanitis
at the place called Kokabe
[Χωχάβῃ] in Hebrew. 8 For that was its place of origin, since all the disciples had settled in Pella after their remove from Jerusalem — Christ having told them to abandon Jerusalem and withdraw from it because of the siege it was about to undergo. And they settled in Perea for this reason and, as I said, lived their lives there. It was from this that the sect of the Nazoraeans had its origin.
Epiphanius, Panarion 30.2.7-9:
7 Their origin came after the fall of Jerusalem. For since practically all who had come to faith in Christ had settled in Perea then, in Pella, a town in the “Decapolis”
(= Matthew 4.25) the Gospel mentions, which is near Batanaea and Basanitis
, as they had moved there then and were living there, this provided an opportunity for Ebion. 8 And as far as I know, he first lived in a village called Kokabe in the district of Qarnaim
— also called Ashtaroth
— in Basanitis
. There he began his evil teaching — the place, if you please, where the Nazoraeans I have spoken of came from. 9 For since he was connected with them and they with him, each party shared its own wickedness with the other. Each also differed from the other to some extent, but they emulated each other in malice. But I have already spoken at length, both in other works and in the other Sects, about the locations of Kokabe and Arabia
Epiphanius, Weights and Measures 15a:
15a So Aquila, while he was in Jerusalem, also saw the disciples of the disciples of the apostles flourishing in the faith and working great signs, healings, and other miracles. For they were such as had come back from the city of Pella
to Jerusalem and were living there and teaching. For when the city was about to be taken and destroyed by the Romans, it was revealed in advance to all the disciples by an angel of God that they should remove from the city, as it was going to be completely destroyed. They sojourned as emigrants in Pella, the city above mentioned, in Transjordania. And this city is said to be of the Decapolis. But after the destruction of Jerusalem, when they had returned to Jerusalem, as I have said, they wrought great signs, as I have already said.
[Ἡνίκα γὰρ ἔμελλεν ἡ πόλις ἁλίσκεσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν Ῥωμαίων καὶ ἐρημοῦσθαι προεχρηματίσθησαν ὑπὸ ἀγγέλου τοῦ Θεοῦ πάντες οἱ μαθηταὶ μεταστῆναι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως, μελλούσης ἄρδην ἀπόλλυσθαι. Οἵτινες μετανάσται γενόμενοι ᾤκησαν ἐν Πέλλῃ τῇ προγεγραμμένῃ πόλει, πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου· ἡ δὲ πόλις ἐκ Δεκαπόλεως λέγεται εἶναι. μετὰ δὲ τὴν ἐρήμωσιν Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἐπαναστρέψαντες, ὡς ἔφην, εἰς τὰ Ἱεροσόλυμα σημεῖα μεγάλα, ὡς προεῖπον, ἐπετέλουν.]
Jerome, On Famous Men 3:
3 .... There was an opportunity for me from the Nazaraeans to copy this volume, which is used in Beroea, a city of Syria
, in which it must be noted that, wherever the evangelist, whether from his own person or from the Lord and Savior, makes use of testimonies of the old scriptures, he does not follow the authority of the Seventy translators, but rather of the Hebrew, from which two things are, “Out of Egypt did I call my son” (= Hosea 11.1; Matthew 2.15), and, “For he shall be called a Nazarene” (= Judges 13.5, 7; Matthew 2.23). ....
Jerome, Epistle 112 to Augustine 4.13:
13 .... Why do I speak of the Ebionites
], who make pretensions to the name of Christian? In our own day there exists a sect among the Jews throughout all the synagogues of the East
which is called the sect of the Minei, and is even now condemned by the Pharisees. The adherents to this sect are known commonly as Nazarenes
]; they believe in Christ the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary; and they say that He who suffered under Pontius Pilate and rose again is the same as the one in whom we believe. But while they desire to be both Jews and Christians, they are neither the one nor the other. ....
Refer also to a long citation
On page 121 of Nazarene Jewish Christianity
Ray A. Pritz takes up the observation by Matthew Black that the two archimandrites, Acacius and Paul, at whose request Epiphanius wrote the Panarion
are said to have hailed from Chalcis and Beroea in Coelesyria, rendering it unlikely that Epiphanius would invent a detail about one of those cities, that detail being, in this case, that members of a certain sect happened to call it home:
Acacius and Paul, Epistle to Epiphanius 0.1-1.13:
0.1 A letter written in the ninety-second year of the Diocletian era, the twelfth of the reign of Valentinian and Valens and the eighth of Gratian (= anno Domini 376), to Epiphanius of Eleutheropolis in Palestine, <some time> abbot in the country about Eleutheropolis, now bishop of the city of Constantia in the province of Cyprus, from the presbyters Acacius and Paul, archimandrites, that is, abbots in Chalcis and Beroea in Coelesyria [Χαλκίδος καὶ Βεροίας τῆς κοίλης Συρίας]. <They requested that he> write a complete heresiology and not only they, but many <others> as well, urged and practically compelled him to take up the task.
2 Greetings in the Lord from the archimandrites, Acacius, presbyter, and Paul, presbyter, to the most godly Father, the bishop Epiphanius, our master and most highly honored in every way.
1.1 A glimpse of your Reverence would suffice us, Father, by filling us with spiritual speech and implanting as much affection in us as has arisen in those who enjoy your acquaintance. 2 But by its heralding of the fragrance of the sweet odor of his words and deeds, fame, which runs before a disciple of the Savior, presses one to take one’s fill of his words and thought. We ought to have come in person to partake of the grace which God has given to you, as to the apostles.
3 But, since the journey is prohibited by bodily infirmity and distress, we are unable to come ourselves, fall prostrate at your feet, and hear and learn the sacred, spiritual words as they issue from your lips. 4 (For we are confident that if we came and heard them, were we worthy, we would be set upon the way of life we have undertaken — provided that we are fit to attain its goal.)
5 Since infirmity has overtaken us, therefore, we beseech your Reverence in all your greatness not to grudge sharing with us the gifts you have truly been given by the Savior. 6 For not we alone, but all who hear of you, confess that the Savior has raised you up in this generation as a new apostle and herald, a new John, to proclaim the things that ought to be observed by those who have undertaken this course.
7 As Marcellus, a brother to us both, is pressed by your fame in its greatness and drawn by affection for your Reverence, and since he is a member of our community, we have employed his services, although he is a recent catechumen, for the making of such a long journey, and have committed to him the venture, in all its daring, of us sinners towards you, the Savior’s disciple. 8 And our request is that you give us, for our instruction, some of the words you have spoken to certain brethren. For you, the righteous, this can be no burden but for us sinners it will be rejoicing in the Lord when we partake of them; for the load of our transgressions is lightened when we are filled with your spiritual utterances. 9 We have heard names assigned to the sects by your Honor, and are asking your Reverence to tell us explicitly the heresy held by each of these cults. For <not> everyone’s gift is the same.
10 We likewise ask you, the righteous, to pray to the Lord for all who long for you and are awaiting the gift from you. 11 We are in fasting and prayer that the brother of us all may be received gladly by your Honor and obtain the gift of your bestowing, and so offer the accustomed prayers to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
12 All the brethren hope to be established by your prayer on their behalf. Since yours is a divine grace of apostles we urge you to share it ungrudgingly. 13 All the little ones in the cloisters are praying the greater that they may enjoy a spiritual gift from your Reverence. May you remain well in the Lord, and happy in Christ and the Holy Spirit <as you administer> the throne that has been granted you and your divine gift, till you receive the crown that awaits you.
Fuller context for Epiphanius:
Epiphanius, Weights and Measures 13b-16a: 13b Concerning Aquila. In the twelfth year of Hadrian Aquila became known. And again from Augustine to Hadrian is one hundred eighty years and four months, lacking nine days. So from the time of the translation by the seventy-two translators to the translator Aquila and the twelfth year of Hadrian is altogether four hundred thirty years and four months, lacking nine days; and to the end of the entire (reign) of Hadrian four hundred thirty-nine years and four months, lacking nine days. 14 For this Hadrian, when leprosy appeared in his body and he had summoned the whole multitude of the physicians under his dominion before him, demanded of them healing for his body. And when they had labored much and done many things and availed nothing, they were scorned by him. He wrote an abusive letter concerning them, assailing their art as devoid of knowledge. But as a result of the illness that befell him he went on a journey to the land of Egypt. And, approaching other places in order from that of the Romans, he must inspect them, for he was a man who loved to see places. So he passed through the city of Antioch and passed through (Coele-Syria) and Phoenicia and came to Palestine, which is also called Judea, forty-seven years after the destruction of Jerusalem. And he went up to Jersualem, the famous and illustrious city which Titus, the son of Vespasian, overthrew in the second year of his reign. And he found the temple of God trodden down and the whole city devastated save for a few houses and the church of God, which was small, where the disciples, when they had returned after the Savior had ascended from the Mount of Olives, went to the upper room. For there it had been built, that is, in that portion of Zion which escaped destruction, together with blocks of houses in the neighborhood of Zion and the seven synagogues which alone remained standing in Zion, like solitary huts, one of which remained until the time of Maximona the bishop and Constantine the king, “like a booth in a vineyard” (= Isaiah 1.8), as it is written. Therefore Hadrian made up his mind to (re)build the city, but not the temple. And he took the Aquila mentioned above, who was a Greek interpreter, since Hadrian also was a Greek now Aquila was related to the king by marriage and was from Sinope in Pontus, and he established him there in Jerusalem as overseer of the work of building the city. And he gave to the city that was being built his own name and the appellation of the royal title. For as he was named Aelius Hadrian, so he also named the city Aelia. 15 So Aquila, while he was in Jerusalem, also saw the disciples of the disciples of the apostles flourishing in the faith and working great signs, healings, and other miracles. For they were such as had come back from the city of Pella to Jerusalem and were living there and teaching. For when the city was about to be taken and destroyed by the Romans, it was revealed in advance to all the disciples by an angel of God that they should remove from the city, as it was going to be completely destroyed. They sojourned as emigrants in Pella, the city above mentioned, in Transjordania. And this city is said to be of the Decapolis. But after the destruction of Jerusalem, when they had returned to Jerusalem, as I have said, they wrought great signs, as I have already said. [Ἡνίκα γὰρ ἔμελλεν ἡ πόλις ἁλίσκεσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν Ῥωμαίων καὶ ἐρημοῦσθαι προεχρηματίσθησαν ὑπὸ ἀγγέλου τοῦ Θεοῦ πάντες οἱ μαθηταὶ μεταστῆναι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως, μελλούσης ἄρδην ἀπόλλυσθαι. Οἵτινες μετανάσται γενόμενοι ᾤκησαν ἐν Πέλλῃ τῇ προγεγραμμένῃ πόλει, πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου· ἡ δὲ πόλις ἐκ Δεκαπόλεως λέγεται εἶναι. μετὰ δὲ τὴν ἐρήμωσιν Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἐπαναστρέψαντες, ὡς ἔφην, εἰς τὰ Ἱεροσόλυμα σημεῖα μεγάλα, ὡς προεῖπον, ἐπετέλουν.] So Aquila, after he had been strongly stirred in mind, believed in Christianity, and after a while, when he asked, he received the seal in Christ. But according to his former habit, while yet thinking the things of the heathen, he had been thoroughly trained in vain astronomy, so that also after he became a Christian he never departed from this fault of his, but every day he made calculations on the horoscope of his birth. He was reproved by the teachers, and they rebuked him for this every day but did not accomplish anything. But instead of standing rebuked, he became bold in disputation and tried to establish things that have no existence, tales about fate. Hence, as one who proved useless and could not be saved, he was expelled from the church. But as one who had become embittered in mind over how he had suffered dishonor, he was puffed up with vain jealousy, and having cursed Christianity and renounced his life he became a proselyte and was circumcised as a Jew. And, being painfully ambitious, he dedicated himself to learning the language of the Hebrews and their writings. After he had first been thoroughly trained for it, he made his translation. He was moved not by the right motive, but so as to distort certain of the words occurring in the translation of the seventy-two that he might proclaim the things testified to about Christ in the divine Scriptures to be fulfilled in some other way, on account of a certain shame that he felt (to proffer) a senseless excuse for himself. 16a And this second translation by Aquila came about after such a time as this, the number of the years of which we have written above. But we must say, beloved, the words of it are incorrect and perversely translated, which carry condemnation for him in the very translation which he made. But having explained the differences between them above, we think that that will suffice here also. But after this Aquila and his translation Antoninus, surnamed Pius, translated “devout,” succeeded King Hadrian and reigned for a period of twenty-two years. Caracalla, who is also called Geta, also Marcus Aurelius Verus, succeeded him and reigned seven years. In his time Lucius Aurelius Commodus also reigned the same seven years, Pertinax six months, Severus eighteen years.