Eusebius of Caesarea
(c. 260–c. 340 C.E.) A historian, scholar, and theologian, likely born in Caesarea, Israel. Eusebius became known as the father of church history.
He was also called Eusebius of Caesarea and Eusebius Pamphili, after Pamphilus, an overseer of the church in Caesarea. Eusebius became bishop of Caesarea in about 313 C.E.
Eusebius’ writings are of interest to Bible students in identifying some geographical places mentioned in the Bible and in providing background information on certain Bible books. Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, published about 324 C.E., is considered the most important church history dating from antiquity. This well-known work covers in chronological order the early Christian history from the time of the apostles to his own time. In Ecclesiastical History (III, V, 3), Eusebius states that prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., the Christians fled the city and the land of Judea to a city of Perea (on the other side of the Jordan) that was called Pella. His account verifies that Christians heeded Jesus’ warning to flee when they saw Jerusalem surrounded by Roman armies.—Lu 21:20-22.
Eusebius was excommunicated for maintaining the view that Christ was subordinate to the Father. However, at the Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E., he gave his support to the opposing view and was exonerated. There, serving as theological adviser to Constantine I, Eusebius extolled the emperor’s efforts to unify Christian doctrine. After Constantine’s death, Eusebius wrote the Life of Constantine, a formal eulogy.
Eusebius’ compromising stand at Nicaea apparently reflected a greater concern for his position than for Bible truth.