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An Ecclesiastical History To The 20th Year Of The Reign Of Constantine by Eusebius

AFTER the necessary preliminary to the Ecclesiastical History which we have proposed to write, it now remains that we commence our course, invoking God, the Father of the Word, and Jesus Christ himself, our revealed Saviour and Lord, the heavenly Word of God, as our aid and fellow-labourer in the narration of the truth. It was the forty-second year of the reign of Augustus, and the twenty-eighth from the subjugation of Egypt and the death of Antony and Cleopatra, which terminated the dynasty of the Ptolemies, when, according to prophetic prediction, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea; the same year when the first census was taken, and Quirinius was governor of Syria. This census is mentioned by Flavius Josephus, the distinguished historian among the Hebrews, who also adds another account respecting the sect of the Galileans, which arose about the same time, of which also mention is made by our Luke in his book of Acts, in the following words: “After this man arose Judas of Galilee, in the days of the taxing (assessment), and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed” (Acts 5:37). The aforesaid author agreeing with this statement in the 18th book of his Antiquities, adds the following: “But Quirinius, who belonged to the senate, and, having held other offices, advanced through all the grades of office to the consulship, a man also of great dignity in other respects, by the appointment of Cæsar, came to Syria, with a small force, and with judicial power over the people, to take a valuation of their property.” A little after he says: “But Judas, the Gaulonite, sprung from the town called Gamala, together with Sadducus, a Pharisee, headed a revolt of the people, saying that the assessment had nothing else in view but manifest slavery; and they exhorted the people to assert their liberty.” He also, writes in the second book of the history of the Jewish War, concerning the same man, “About this time a certain Judas of Galilee stimulated the inhabitants to revolt, urging it as a reproach, that they endured paying tribute, and that they who had God for their master, suffered mortals to usurp the sovereignty over them.” Thus far Josephus.








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