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Author Topic:   Eusebius the Liar? - Pious Fraud Endorsed to Advance Christianity
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12881
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 16 of 49 (547424)
02-19-2010 10:55 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Peg
02-19-2010 12:25 AM


i would like to know what bearing any of this has on the bible

Lets say Eusebius deliberately lied in some of his own writings...how does that affect the writings of the Apostles

Eusebius offers evidence external to the New Testament which corroborates it. So to someone who was wondering about the credibility of the Gospels, the writing of Eusebius makes the Gospels more credible --- but only if Eusebius himself is credible. Obviously if Eusebius was a big fat liar, then his testimony carries no weight. We must also ask whether he was any good as a critical historian, or whether he was taken in by stuff that other people had made up.

My own opinion is that he was honest, but that he too easily allowed himself to be bamboozled by the inventions of others. The Edessan correspondence would be a case in point.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Peg, posted 02-19-2010 12:25 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Peg, posted 02-19-2010 7:00 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12881
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 17 of 49 (547425)
02-19-2010 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Jazzns
02-19-2010 10:28 AM


Once again I say that giving Eusebius the total benefit of the doubt only results in making him a story teller rather than a historian. I don't know how this paints the church's reliance upon him all that much better than if he was a confirmed liar.

Yes, but the difference is that people shouldn't go around saying that he was a liar if he was merely gullible. 'Cos of it not being true.


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Jazzns
Member (Idle past 386 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 18 of 49 (547426)
02-19-2010 11:44 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Dr Adequate
02-19-2010 11:22 AM


Yes, but the difference is that people shouldn't go around saying that he was a liar if he was merely gullible. 'Cos of it not being true.

Hence my Faux Newsesque use of a '?' in the OP.

For my purposes it doesn't really matter if he was an outright liar or just chronically and severly credulous. I happen to think he was probably some both. He was perfectly willing to abandon his own faith in arianism and rewrite parts of PE accordingly. He spins tales of martyrdom that are totally rediculous as if he was an eye witness.

If we can at BEST call him piously naieve, it only goes downhill from that point.


If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. --Thomas Jefferson
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Peg
Member (Idle past 1404 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 19 of 49 (547492)
02-19-2010 6:40 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Jazzns
02-19-2010 10:15 AM


Re: Eusebius' influence on the Bible
Jazzns writes:

Eusebius was highly influential regarding the formation of the canon and was chartered with the responsibility for creating authoritative copies of "sacred scripture" for the emperor.

You make it sound as if this discredits the cannon somehow.
Did any of his own writings make it into the cannon?

Jazzns writes:

In fact, Eusebius was quite disappointed that his own arianism was rejected as heretical at the Council of Nicea.

Just becasue Euseubius went against his own beliefs...such as the trinity which years earlier he wrote strongly against... doesnt mean that the history he wrote was deliberately false.

Jazzns writes:

But to say he wasn't influential regarding the early formation of the church, or how the church viewed itself for the coming centuries would be naieve.

well if you consider that he was opposed to the trinity doctrine, you would be naive to conclude that he held a strong influence over the church at all. The trinity doctrine went ahead even though he had stated that Jesus and God could not be the same. It would appear that Eusebius was more influenced by other leading bishops for he put his name to the Nicean creed even though he had previous written against such a notion.

btw, i dont support the early church fathers in the slightest, but i recognize that their writings are important to understanding how christianity went so wrong.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.


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Replies to this message:
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Peg
Member (Idle past 1404 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 20 of 49 (547495)
02-19-2010 7:00 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Dr Adequate
02-19-2010 10:55 AM


Dr Adequate writes:

the writing of Eusebius makes the Gospels more credible --- but only if Eusebius himself is credible.

I dont see it that way.

He had not hand in the actual writing of the NT, so credible or not, he was not involved in it. He did not write anything claiming inspiration, so his writings are much like any other historical writing...information presented from his own point of view.... not immune to errors, deliberate or otherwise.

Dr Adequate writes:

We must also ask whether he was any good as a critical historian, or whether he was taken in by stuff that other people had made up.

i think most historians fall into that category, dont they? Has there ever been a 100% accurate historian? Most historians get their information from existing souces, so if the existing source is slighly wrong, then so will be the historian relaying the information.

Its like the internet today. People (and i have fallen into this trap myself) search for information, they find it at one site and copy it over to another. The same errors get relayed over and over again.

Dr Adequate writes:

My own opinion is that he was honest, but that he too easily allowed himself to be bamboozled by the inventions of others.

i agree on that point. He went against his own writings...obviously he was influenced by those in authority and he probably didnt want to loose his position as bishop.


This message is a reply to:
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kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1062
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 21 of 49 (547497)
02-19-2010 7:38 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jazzns
02-18-2010 4:07 PM


You quoted Eusebius as saying:
Now you may find in the Hebrew Scriptures also thousands of such passages concerning God as though He were jealous, or sleeping, or angry, or subject to any other human passions, which passages are adopted for the benefit of those who need this mode of instruction.

which you paraphrased as:
quote:
Here are some examples of us lying in our scriptures for this reason.

This seems to me to be a cynical and questionable interpretation of what Eusebius actually said. I consider it more likely that Eusebius views these as cases of anthropomorphisms, divine accommodation or condescension, as Dr. A pointed out in Message 11.

Further, rather than implying that:

quote:
This is a great idea and we thought of it first!

I think the more likely implication is "See, our Jewish/Christian ideas aren't so crazy after all!" This was a period in church history where Christians were very defensive, being accused of all sorts of pagan practices. Christian Apologists responded to Jewish accusations by arguing that Christian perspectives weren't all that different from Jewish perspectives, and they responded to Roman accusations by arguing that Judeo-Christian perspectives weren't all that different from Graeco-Roman perspectives. This seems to me to be an example of the latter.
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Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12881
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 22 of 49 (547502)
02-19-2010 8:34 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Peg
02-19-2010 7:00 PM


I dont see it that way.

He had not hand in the actual writing of the NT, so credible or not, he was not involved in it.

But that is just why his testimony, if trustworthy, would be valuable --- it would be independent evidence for the Gospels.

He did not write anything claiming inspiration ...

Nor did the evangelists. But Muhammad did. What's that got to do with anything?

i think most historians fall into that category, dont they? Has there ever been a 100% accurate historian?

Probably not. Nonetheless, the writings of ancient historians have some evidential value as to what actually went on in the ancient world.


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Bailey
Member (Idle past 844 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 23 of 49 (547620)
02-20-2010 6:40 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jazzns
02-18-2010 4:07 PM


Sorry, but - Rome is right, thus u r wrong ..
Hi everyone ...
I hope things are well w/ all ...

jazz writes:

Why this is important is that Eusebus is often used as a source to resolve a variety of controversies.

Rational seems amiss when one balances any relevant portion of faith and practice on the chance of whether or not an employee of one's government may have valued loyalty over honesty - after all, the victors write history.

Main Entry: polemicist
Definition:n., a person who is engaged, involved, skilled or versed in polemics.
Synonyms:
apologist, devil's advocate, defender, mediator, etc.

Eusebius is THE apologist, and as such, a bold face liar when the opportunity demands. However, as often as these opportunities to relay falsifications may have presented themselves, they are not necessarily demanded. For example, am I to assume the polemist, in every instance, did not have any options available other than purposefully spouting Truth or intentionally relaying Misinformation? Tsk, tsk ...

The title of the thread appears to assume, as do many apologists also, that early Goyim Christians were somehow incapable of making mistakes, and so it follows that, whenever they failed to relay an accurate rendition of events, they must have been out and about, proselytizing us heathens with scandalous forgeries.

Ahhh, my sweet false dichotomy, how I love thee ability to paint prejudice upon the landscape ...

But, how can I appreciate the anxiety, authority, fear and power you breed, employ and promote ?

Alas, I ponder, by and while watching the sun set on Rome.

It seems safe to acknowledge that there are people who appear very uncomfortable in entertaining the notion that Eusebius' version of 'Church History' may have been an entirely fraudulent misrepresentation, and so, it seems quite reasonable to suppose that these uncomfortable reactions are to be directly associated with the belief system in which a great many common folk have been conditioned since the 4th century.

That belief system clearly states that Rome's version of history is correct and that all others have missed the mark, as it were, and will continue to be disposed of to insure that they don't meddle where they didn't belong.

Now, Apologists - by their very nature, are polemicists with at least two demonstrable agendas: to convince the unbeliever and to strengthen the faithful, and Eusebius, as well as the Roman Universal Church that employed him, admit plainly their intent on the former, while they'd have us to assume the latter as well ...

And that is where I find the title of the thread to be misleading; would it not read more accurately as ...

'Eusebius 'the Apologist' -

Bias Polemicist Endorsed by the Murderously Hostile Roman Universal Church to Advance the Evolving Mystery Religion Through Fanciful Historic Recreation ?'

In the name of brother Joshua the Anointed One, may peace rest upon you.

One Love

And while I tend to keep an open mind while considering some of the material found within documents attributed to Paul, it can be shown with relative ease that he functioned in what he felt was a deceitful manner at times, presumably under the authority of the Doctrine of the End Justifies the Means ...

quote:
2 Corinthians 12:16

But be that as it may, I have not burdened you. Yet because I was a crafty person, I took you in by deceit.


quote:
Romans 3:7

For if by my lie the truth of God enhances his glory, why am I still actually being judged as a sinner?


quote:
Philippians 1:18

What is the result?

Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is being proclaimed, and in this I rejoice.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice ..


People do this, religious or otherwise, day in and day out, and so, that is neither here nor there ...

Edited by Bailey, : sp,


Dear friend,
    Accept confidence. Be an inspiration. Care about others. Dare 2 b different. Envision our dreams. Find out how to love. Grant wishes. Hope hard. Invite possibility. Judge little. Keep promises. Laugh a lot. Make friends. Never give up. Open your mind. Plant miracle seeds. Question everything. Run as fast as you can just to see what it feels like. Stay true. Try your best - especially when considering to take advice and speak your mind. Understand empathy. Volunteer. Win gracefully (when you win). X marks the spot. You'll get there - Zero in on what's important and keep those things close to your heart ...

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 4583
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 24 of 49 (547640)
02-21-2010 12:37 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Peg
02-19-2010 6:40 PM


Re: Eusebius' influence on the Bible
canon not cannon
cannon is a military thing

If you want to be taken seriously, you really need to understand the subjects. Spelling is very important if you want to be taken seriously.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Peg, posted 02-19-2010 6:40 PM Peg has responded

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Peg
Member (Idle past 1404 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 25 of 49 (547650)
02-21-2010 6:37 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Theodoric
02-21-2010 12:37 AM


Re: Eusebius' influence on the Bible
i believe you've gone off topic.
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Jazzns
Member (Idle past 386 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 26 of 49 (547755)
02-22-2010 9:55 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Peg
02-19-2010 6:40 PM


Re: Eusebius' influence on the Bible
You make it sound as if this discredits the cannon somehow.

Considering that he is one of the primary voices used to establish the canon in the first place, yea I would say that a liar and story teller picking which books are holy could matter.

Did any of his own writings make it into the cannon?

We can't know the answer to that. We know manuscripts of the NT were edited in that era to change troublesome verses or add harmonizing verses. Who did it is lost to history.

Just becasue Euseubius went against his own beliefs...such as the trinity which years earlier he wrote strongly against... doesnt mean that the history he wrote was deliberately false.

Considering that he edited it in light of the triumph of the mainline orthodoxy over arianism, I would say that it at very least invites suspicion.

well if you consider that he was opposed to the trinity doctrine, you would be naive to conclude that he held a strong influence over the church at all.

I am not just assuming something here. We have evidence that he was influential over the early church. He was the one appointed to produce/reproduce sacred scripture for the emperor. HIS history was accepted and preserved.

The trinity doctrine went ahead even though he had stated that Jesus and God could not be the same. It would appear that Eusebius was more influenced by other leading bishops for he put his name to the Nicean creed even though he had previous written against such a notion.

Or he just read the winds of change and didn't have the integrity to stand up for his own beliefs and be labeled a heritic for it. Remember, this guy had a line straight to the emperor, he had a lot to loose being on the wrong side.

btw, i dont support the early church fathers in the slightest, but i recognize that their writings are important to understanding
how christianity went so wrong.

But you will accept their canon?


If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. --Thomas Jefferson
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 Message 19 by Peg, posted 02-19-2010 6:40 PM Peg has responded

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Jazzns
Member (Idle past 386 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 27 of 49 (547756)
02-22-2010 10:01 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by kbertsche
02-19-2010 7:38 PM


This seems to me to be a cynical and questionable interpretation of what Eusebius actually said. I consider it more likely that Eusebius views these as cases of anthropomorphisms, divine accommodation or condescension, as Dr. A pointed out in Message 11.

And I agreed that this is the MOST generous interpretation. Mine in the OP can be argued to perhaps be the LEAST generous. If reality lies anywhere in the middle then it is not good for Eusebius wouldn't you agree?

I also mentioned to Dr. A that this view of the false anthropomorphisms of God would probably rub a lot of modern Christians the wrong way. I know many people who take very seriously God's "anger" and "jealousy".

Eusebius here is talking about "human passions" and how it is obviously silly for God to REALLY have them. I can think of no practicing Christian that I know which that WOULD NOT rub them the wrong way. It turns the OT into a fairy tale.


If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. --Thomas Jefferson
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Peg
Member (Idle past 1404 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 28 of 49 (547778)
02-22-2010 7:02 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Jazzns
02-22-2010 9:55 AM


Re: Eusebius' influence on the Bible
Jazzns writes:

Considering that he is one of the primary voices used to establish the canon in the first place, yea I would say that a liar and story teller picking which books are holy could matter.

well it doesnt really work like that. Evidence of canonicity was not dependent upon men who lived 300 years after the fact.

The RCC may claim responsibility for the canon but the opposite is true, because the canon, including the list of books making up the NT was settled long before they made their official list.

The testimony of later noninspired catalogers is valuable only as an acknowledgment of the Bible canon, which Godís spirit had authorized.

Jazzns writes:

I am not just assuming something here. We have evidence that he was influential over the early church. He was the one appointed to produce/reproduce sacred scripture for the emperor. HIS history was accepted and preserved.

the point about the trinity was that he was not all that influencial at all. He wrote 'against' the trinity teaching, yet he was influenced by the church to write in favor of it. So how influencial was he really? Certainly not when it came to teaching and doctrine.

All he really did was write an account of the history of the church as it was in his day. Perhaps he was asked to do this or perhaps he took the initiative himself....it certainly doesnt prove that he held influence over the church.

Jazzns writes:

Or he just read the winds of change and didn't have the integrity to stand up for his own beliefs and be labeled a heritic for it. Remember, this guy had a line straight to the emperor, he had a lot to loose being on the wrong side.

yeah i agree

but this has no bearing on the NT writings that had existed for 3 centuries before he lived

Jazzns writes:

But you will accept their canon?

thats because there are a number of 4th century catalogs of the NT that date prior to the council who approved the canon and these agree almost exactly with our present canon.

the RCC church hold no authority over what already existed among the christian congregations...they may have assumed responsibility for it, but the fact is that it had been in existence prior to their formation.


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kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1062
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 29 of 49 (548010)
02-24-2010 8:59 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Jazzns
02-22-2010 10:01 AM


quote:
Eusebius here is talking about "human passions" and how it is obviously silly for God to REALLY have them. I can think of no practicing Christian that I know which that WOULD NOT rub them the wrong way. It turns the OT into a fairy tale.

Then you don't know your Christian history or theology very well. Many of the early Reformed writers believed that God could not have true "passions". For example:
John Calvin, Institutes writes:

Therefore whenever we hear that God is angered, we ought not to imagine any emotion in him, but rather to consider that this expression has been taken from our own human experience; because God, whenever he is exercising judgment, exhibits the appearance of one kindled and angered.


Most Evangelical Christians today (including many Reformed Christians) would disagree with the early Reformers, and believe that God actually does have emotions. But whether or not God has true emotions is a real question for Christians.
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Jazzns
Member (Idle past 386 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 30 of 49 (548023)
02-24-2010 11:27 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by kbertsche
02-24-2010 8:59 PM



Then you don't know your Christian history or theology very well. Many of the early Reformed writers believed that God could not have true "passions".

Well obviously some do or have in the past. Eusebius himself is an example of that. Of course I wasn't talking about early reformers. I specifically said "I can think of no practicing Christian." I was only giving personal anecdote. Of course I can imagine that there are some somewhere who have the belief that God doesn't really get angry and that the OT is mostly allegory. If you would like to be pedantic, then I guess you win.

Most Evangelical Christians today (including many Reformed Christians) would disagree with the early Reformers, and believe that God actually does have emotions. But whether or not God has true emotions is a real question for Christians.

Well, I believe it speaks to the reliability of the scriptures. I will admit that that is an opinion but I believe it to be a sound opinion.


If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. --Thomas Jefferson
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