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Alternate Beginnings - Different Ends: Eusebius, Thomas, and the Construction of Christian Origins

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Chapter Summary

In the last decade of the third century the first decade of the fourth, in the coastal city of Caesarea Palestinae, Eusebius wrote the first edition of his monumental Church History: a work comprising even original books that eventually would be issued in four full-fledged editions and ten complete books before Eusebius finished his task in 325/326 CE. The Jewish Antiquities and Jewish War of Josephus, for their part, are repeatedly quoted in the Church History - but cited to "confirm the historical truth of the scriptures" and, especially, "the reliability of Acts". It is not coincidental that Eusebius begins his discussion of the history of the church with a rehearsal of the story of the Book of Acts. The concerns of contemporary biblical scholarship may be regarded as an elaboration of the myth of origins that Eusebius put forth in his Church History.

Keywords: biblical scholarship; Book of Acts; Church History; Eusebius; Josephus



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