Monday, May 21, 2007

Have Tomb, Will Argue, part 3: Dare We Trust Eusebius The "Liar?"

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Most of the early evidence for the CHS site comes fro Eusebius. For this reason,I'm sure we can expect this statment, "Dare we trust Eusebius the 'liar'" as the first and major argument of sketpics. Skeptics on the internet, those who fequent organized atheist sites such as Secular Web, have a special hate for Eusebius. This is probably because he's such a lynch pin of early chruch history, but their arguments are based upon a total pack of lies which have been refuted easily by Roger Preice. Be that as it may, I urge the reader to read that page. But let's go on with Eusebius' track record on the CHS and the tomb site, we will see that he was an honest and fine historian.




C. Confirmations of Eusebius



(1) Eusebius knew the contemporary site.


Of course the major recourse of the skeptic will be to just assume that Eusebius made it all up.But what did he make up exactly? Well, the major evidence for the oral tradition of the tomb location comes from a Pilgrim named Melito of Sardis. We do have writtings by him, but we do not have those writtings where he speaks of the Jerusalem elder's revealing to him the traditional locale of the site. If those writtings exist today, I cannot find them. But that doesn't mean Eusebius made them up out of whole cloth. I'm sure teh sketpics will say it does, but why would he?

Why use a writter whose writtings exited in his own day, and then just fabricate that he wrote soemthing? He had no idea that we in this age would not have those writtings. He had no way of knowing that the information couldn't be checked out. Why not just say the Jerusalem elders told him the tradition orally, instead of attributing it to a writter who might otherwise be verified?

Moreover, the descriptions he gives of the stie in his day reflect the kind of work that we know would have been in progress at the time.


Franciscan Cybrespot

The Churches of Jerusale
by Asher Ovadiah

viisted 5/21/2007


The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was investigated for the first time by trial soundings during 1933/34 and has been re-examined from 1960 onwards by various scholars. It is a huge and sophisticated architectural complex consisting of four units: an outer atrium, a basilica (or Martyrium) an inner atrium and a rotunda (around the Anastasis), a circular domed structure separated from the basilica by an second, inner atrium. This latter structure solved the problem of linking the Martyrium (the basilica) to the church complex. (13)

The basilica (martyrium) and the domed structure above the tomb constituted two separate architectural features with the second, inner atrium between them as the connecting feature. On the Madaba Map the entire complex is shown: a propylaeum begins west of the colonnaded street (the cardo maximus), and behind it there is a basilica with three entrances and a domed structure (the Anastasis). (14)

Eusebius' brief description of the rotunda contrasts with his long and detailed description of the basilica (Martyrium), which at that time was already completed. Eusebius' fragmentary description of the rotunda appears to be due to the fact that during his visit to Jerusalem the rotunda was still under construction and surrounded by scaffolding. (15)




I understand that the author is actaully saying that Eusebius account contradicts the nature of the site. But read carefully, he actaully says that due to construction the nature of the site would have appeared this way to Ebusebius at the time. Had he just made it all up, and gotten a general description of the lay out from someone else, chances are he would not have been consistant with the construction going on but would have reflected the pre-construction condition.



Thus, in the time of Constantine the basilica was built and construction of the Anastasis (rotunda) was begun, but this was not completed until the end of the fourth century. It is possible that this is why Eusebius does not mention the structure of the Anastasis. On the other hand, Aetheria-Egeria, who visited the site at the end of the century (395), does give a description, which obliges us to conclude that a structure already stood there. (16) It is plausible to consider that if a straight wall around the aedicula, according to Couasnon's isometric plan, (17) did exist on its south, west and north sides, at sometime during the building of the rotunda, it was almost certainly meant to isolate the ongoing construction of the rotunda and the peripheral wall, to prevent pilgrims or visitors from being injured. This may be another reason for Eusebius' brief description of the rotunda. It would seem that Modestus' building projects after the Persian conquest were limited to repairs and restoration only, and did not include the construction of new buildings. Thus the structure which Arculfus saw in 670 was actually the fourth-century structure, which still stands today in large part.

We may conclude, therefore, that the rotunda with its two rings, the inner ring of columns, the dome, (18) and the outer ring (which is three quarters of a circle) with the three semi-circular niches, belong to the period of Constantinian construction. These conclusions are based on scholarly opinions, the schematic description of the church complex on the Madaba Mosaic Map, (19) and the absence of references in literary sources to changes and/or repairs and restorations of the rotunda between the reigns of Constantine and of Justinian, as well as recent archaeological discoveries. This form was adopted by the Patriarch Modestus in the third and fourth decades of the seventh century, when he restored and repaired the complex after the damage wrought by the Persians. Perhaps the twelve columns, mentioned by Eusebius as symbolizing the twelve Apostles, are those which form the inner ring of the rotunda and supported the hemisphere or the dome. (20



What this all means is that Eusebius either went to the site personally, or he consulted someone who did, and took such amazing notes that he could describe the site so well that it truely reflects the kind of work that would have been done on the site at the time. Chances are, he was an eye witness to the site, and to the discovery of the tomb. That also means he had ample opportunity to research the claims of the oral tradition first hand.


Another example of Eusebius' first hand knowledge of the site is the fill dirt over the tomb and the vestage of the pagan temple; including the fac that it was a temple of Venus.


franciscan cybrespot, the basillica


Christian literary sources recount how the Garden of Golgotha was filled up to level off the area for the construction of the new Roman temple. Here is how Eusebius of Caesarea (265-340 AD), a native of Palestine, describes these events in his Life of Constantine:

"This sacred cave, then, certain impious and godless persons had thought to remove entirely from the eyes of men, supposing in their folly that thus they should be able to effectively obscure the truth. Accordingly, they brought a quantity of dirt from a distance with much labor, and covered the entire spot; then, having raised this to a moderate height, they paved it with stone, concealing the holy cave beneath this massive mound. Then, as though their purpose had been effectively accomplished, they prepared on this foundation a truly dreadful sepulchre of souls, by building a gloomy shrine of lifeless idols to the impure spirit whom they call Venus, and offering detestable oblations therein on profane and accursed altars. For they supposed that their object could not otherwise be fully attained, than by thus burying the sacred cave beneath these foul pollutions." (III, XXVI - see also the account by Eusebius about the Holy Sepulchre)



compare with modern archaeology:


J.Randall Price
Th.M. DTS, Ph.D. Middle Eastern Studies Univ. Texas.


"Excavations conducted in the late 1970's at the site revealed further evidence for this being the place where the original Easter drama was performed. In the lower sections of the Church were discovered the foundations of the Roman emperor Hadrian's "Forum," in which his Temple of Aphrodite had been erected around A.D.135. Hadrian followed Roman custom in building pagan temples and shrines to supercede earlier religious structures. This was done at the site of the Jewish Temple, located not far from the Holy Sepulchre Church, and the fourth century church historian and Bishop of Caesarea Eseubius confirms that it was also done in this case: "Hadrian built a huge rectangular platform over this quarry, concealing the holy cave beneath this massive mound." If the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the actual site venerated by Christians as the tomb of Jesus, it would explain this location for the Roman building."


This shows that Eusebius was right about the fill dirt, the nature of the pagan temple, as well as the platform and other matters.





(2)The Nature of the Claims



(a) The description of the sites and its' place in the community.



Martin Biddle

Tomb of Chist

Israel Review of Arts and Letters
Wesite belonging to:Israel Ministry Foreign Affairs

visited 1/8/05

Biddle:"But is this indeed the Tomb of Christ? All we can say with absolutely certainty is that this is the tomb which has been recognized as such since 325-6. Eusebius, the bishop of Caesarea, was surprised by its discovery. It was "beyond all expectation," and he hailed it, apparently without any doubt, as the place where Christ had risen from the dead. Why did he do this? What was the evidence? Eusebius, using the Greek word antron, says only that it was a cave. Perhaps, like the tomb of St. Peter in Rome, found below the papal high altar in the 1940s, the rock-cut tomb in Jerusalem bore inscriptions or graffiti: "Jesus, save us!", or "He is risen!" Eusebius does not say and we do not know."


"It is not as if it was the only tomb there. Some eight rock-cut tombs have so far been found below the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Some have kokhim (Heb.), the deep niches at right-angles to the wall into which a body could be inserted as into the drawers of a modern mortuary. At least one of these tombs (now below the Coptic Patriarchate) seems to be very like the tomb whose remains are still today covered by the edicule. Perhaps Eusebius identified the tomb now preserved within the edicule as the Tomb of Christ because it was near to Golgotha. This is suggested in St. Johns Gospel when it says that there was a "garden" at the place of Crucifixion, and that in that garden there was a tomb. But it may also have been because of the features of the tomb then discovered: a movable rolling stone, a low entrance through which it was necessary to bend down to look in or enter, and a bench on the right-hand side where Christs body could have lain and the "angel" could have sat, matched those described in the Gospel.

What we can say is this: if the events of Jesus arrest, trial and execution in Jerusalem are to be taken as historical fact, then there is no other site which has any significant claim to be the place of his execution and burial.

Some points are crucial to note. First, the site was outside the city walls at the date of the Crucifixion in 30 or 33 CE. Second, the tomb was in an existing Jewish cemetery of rock-cut tombs typical of the Jerusalem area in the Second Temple period. Third, the place-name Golgotha seems to have lived on in local memory, despite the vast changes in the area brought about by Hadrians foundation of Aelia Capitolina in 132 CE. Before the end of the third century, Eusebius wrote in his Onomastikon, the "Place-Names of Palestine," that: "... Golgotha, place of a skull, where the Christ was crucified ... which is pointed out in Aelia to the north of Mt. Sion."



In other words, the site of he CHS fits the site descriptions we have in relation to Eusebius site and it fits what we would expect of the tomb location, including the name Galgotha which has been associated with that place for a very long time. But this is not the best evidence. New evidence has come to light throuh Dr. Biddle



(b) New Evidence that Oral Tradition was Indepdent of Euebius

Ibid

"It is only in recent years that study of Eusebius text has shown that the writing of his Onomastikon should be dated to the late third century, perhaps to the 290s, long before Constantines workers cleared the Rock of Golgotha and uncovered the tomb.

There was thus a landmark to guide Constantines workmen. They removed the Roman temple covering the site and the masses of earth and rubble forming the platform on which it stood, cleared the Rock of Golgotha and then, to their surprise, found a tomb which fitted the Gospel descriptions. The position is best put by the Israeli scholar Dan Bahat, former City Archaeologist of Jerusalem:

"We may not be absolutely certain that the site of the Holy Sepulchre Church is the site of Jesus burial, but we certainly have no other site that can lay a claim nearly as weighty, and we really have no reason to reject the authenticity of the site."

What happened to the tomb thus discovered? Constantines engineers dug away the living rock leaving the block in which the tomb was cut standing as an isolated monolith in the middle of a broad flat area. They cut away the partly covered forecourt in front of the tomb a feature typical of Jewish tombs of the Second Temple period in the Jerusalem area and surrounded the rock with marble columns to form a small rotunda covered by a facetted conical roof, and in front of it, in the place of the forecourt, erected a pedimented portico.



In other words, Eusebius could not have made up the site and then fit the evidence to the facts, because it was already called "Galgotha" and thus thought to be the place, before any work was done and before Contantine's men even went to the Holy Land. This means that Eusebius was working from a prior tradition. We may now have no reason to doubt his word about the sources from which he derives the oral tradition, or that the Christians of Jerusalem always knew the location of the tomb by the temple of Venus above it.



(c) Eusebius had Multiple Sources

There was certainly no need for Eusebius to make up the information that M of S had provided the oral tradition about the site from pilgrims and Jews (and Jewish Christians) when he also had the Mayer of Jerusalem and others to guide him into the tradition. All he had to do was to say that his sources were not written and they would not need to be confirmed (nor could they disproven to exist).

The mayor of Jerusalem had to have access to this tradition, otherwise, would have dared to ask Constatine to clear the city of pagan cites which were over sacred Christian sites? Doesn't it just stand to reason that if he asked the emperor to do this, he would have a way of providing him with information to the cites? If it was just a matter of making things up, why go thorugh the pretense of asking? Clearly there are multiple sources here with each its own roote into that oral tradition of saved sacred sites.


Franciscan Cybrespot


Unearthing the Garden of Galgatha


In 325, during the first ecumenical council of Nicea, the bishop of Jerusalem, Macarius, invited Emperor Constantine to destroy the pagan temples built atop the Christian holy sites in the Holy City. The Emperor, now Pontifex Maximus of the whole Roman Empire and strong in his position decreed the demolition of the pagan temples built atop the Christian Holy Site. This is how Eusebius describe s the event:

"He judged it incumbent on him to render the blessed locality of our Saviour's resurrection an object of attraction and veneration to all. He issued immediate injunctions, therefore, for the erection in that spot of a house of prayer: and this he did, not on the mere natural impulse of his own mind, but being moved in spirit by the Saviour himself.....but calling on the divine aid, gave orders that the place should be thoroughly purified, thinking that the parts which had been most polluted by the enemy ought to receive special tokens, through his means, of the greatness of the divine favor. As soon, then, as his commands were issued, these engines of deceit were cast down from their proud eminence to the very ground, and the dwelling-places of error, with the statues and the evil spirits which they represented, were overthrown and utterly destroyed.....Nor did the emperor's zeal stop here; but he gave further orders that the materials of what was thus destroyed, both stone and timber, should be removed and thrown as far from the spot as possible; and this command also was speedily executed. The emperor, however, was not satisfied with having proceeded thus far: once more, fired with holy ardor, he directed that the ground itself should be dug up to a considerable depth, and the soil which had been polluted by the foul impurities of demon worship transported to a far distant place".(III, XXV-XXVII)


The claims of Eusebius are verified by modern archaeology.
That proves he didn't make it up. It can't be proven that there was a resurrection, it can't be proven that there was a tomb, not absolutely, but he odds are strong since the facts stack up with the claims made, and the oral tradition is coming from a veriety of sources (see pervious page).

D. CHS fits the consensus on Holy Sites


Archaeology, New Testament, and Early Christianity

Alviero Niccacci, O.F.M


.

Tomado de la página del "Estudio Bíblico Franciscano"


"In the fourth century emperor Constantine dismantled the Capitolium and erected a splendid mausoleum on the tomb of Jesus, or Anastasis (resurrection), a basilica called Martyrium (testimony), while the rock of the Calvary remained on open air, having a cross on its top. Around the Calvary Christian legends flourished, especially two of them called “The cave of the treasures” and “The combat of Adam and Eve”. These legends have a strong Jewish background. Theologically they aim to link the first Adam to the second, sin to redemption for all humanity. This first group of holy places is authentic beyond reasonable doubt because we witness a large convergence of data - biblical, archaeological and literary both of ancient authors (such as apocrypha) and of pilgrims during the centuries (different itineraries to the Holy Land)."




Bib Arch. Review
Amos Kloner
Did a Rolling STone Close Jesus' Tomb?


"Scholars generally agree that the site of the Holy Sepulchre Church marks the location of Jesus' burial.*** But the aedicule (shrine) inside the church, which marks the traditional burial site, bears no signs of a first-century burial. The burial shelf in the aedicule is covered with a later slab, which does not appear to be part of the local bedrock and was probably imported into the cave.(15) Until recently, only the bench on the right side of the aedicule was thought to have been original. (The aedicule itself dates to the beginnning of the 19th century.) Recent studies at the site, however, have not shed light on the relationship between the rock, the foundations and the aedicule as they exist today and the original burial cave.(16) The only indication that the spot where the aedicule now stands might once have been a tomb is the presence of a burial cave with loculi a few yards away.(17)



It is worth noting that the profanation of the site by Emperor Hadrian targeted an existing place of worship of the Judeo-Christian community of Jerusalem both at the tomb and on Calvary. This early worship lies at the roots of the apocryphal writings of this primitive Judeo-Christian community of Jerusalem (these writings are known as the Adam and Eve cycle comprising "The Cave of Treasures" and "The combat of Adam").

It has long been an old saw on the net among atheists to calim that Eusbius said it's fine to lie for one's faith. Euebius never said that, and as a historian he was careful with his sources. Atheists are not. The statment itself was a lie started by Gibbon a famous atheist historian of he 18th century Here is a web page by a freind, Rober Pearse. He's an amature, but a talented one and I would bet he is one of the top experts on Eusebius.

Eusebius the Liar?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Could you cite and quote any passage from Eusebius in which he says that the location of the tomb was known through oral tradition prior to the time of Constantine, or where he connects Melito of Sardis to the location of the tomb at all?

LO

J.L. Hinman said...

i left out the Malito of sardis stuff fromt his version because atheists on sec web were so sure Eusebius made it up it just didn't do any good to use him as a source. That was befroe I found th quotes of his descrition of the work being done that he had to have been there and befroe I found the quote that follows.

this is I said in the article on the blog:

from The Franscicans.


In 325, during the first ecumenical council of Nicea, the bishop of Jerusalem, Macarius, invited Emperor Constantine to destroy the pagan temples built atop the Christian holy sites in the Holy City. The Emperor, now Pontifex Maximus of the whole Roman Empire and strong in his position decreed the demolition of the pagan temples built atop the Christian Holy Site. This is how Eusebius describe s the event:

"He judged it incumbent on him to render the blessed locality of our Saviour's resurrection an object of attraction and veneration to all. He issued immediate injunctions, therefore, for the erection in that spot of a house of prayer: and this he did, not on the mere natural impulse of his own mind, but being moved in spirit by the Saviour himself.....but calling on the divine aid, gave orders that the place should be thoroughly purified, thinking that the parts which had been most polluted by the enemy ought to receive special tokens, through his means, of the greatness of the divine favor. As soon, then, as his commands were issued, these engines of deceit were cast down from their proud eminence to the very ground, and the dwelling-places of error, with the statues and the evil spirits which they represented, were overthrown and utterly destroyed.....Nor did the emperor's zeal stop here; but he gave further orders that the materials of what was thus destroyed, both stone and timber, should be removed and thrown as far from the spot as possible; and this command also was speedily executed. The emperor, however, was not satisfied with having proceeded thus far: once more, fired with holy ardor, he directed that the ground itself should be dug up to a considerable depth, and the soil which had been polluted by the foul impurities of demon worship transported to a far distant place".(III, XXV-XXVII)

the source is there emboldened. Now the Mayer of Jerusalem asks Constantine to dstroy the pagan sites, over the cherished Chrsitian sites, and speicifically Euebius names the site of the tomb, doesn't it stand to reason he would say where it was? Would he just make it up? why go to the trouble to ask the empororer to dig it up if he was just going tomake up the site?

clearly he had to be wroking from a tradtion.

Anonymous said...

>>i left out the Malito of sardis stuff fromt his version because atheists on sec web were so sure Eusebius made it up it just didn't do any good to use him as a source. That was befroe I found th quotes of his descrition of the work being done that he had to have been there and befroe I found the quote that follows.<<

You did not ‘leave out’ the Melito of Sardis stuff, you said “the major evidence for the oral tradition of the tomb location comes from a Pilgrim named Melito of Sardis” and you mention Melito several other times in your recent posts on the subject. You misunderstand the issue. It is not a question of whether Eusebius “made up” a story about the location of the tomb being passed down by oral tradition in the Christian community in Jerusalem or about Melito of Sardis learning about the location from the Christian community when visiting Jerusalem. It’s that Eusebius says nothing about these things. Eusebius quotes a letter from Melito in which he says he visited the east where the things of the Old Testament were preached and done (Ecclesiastical History IV, chapter 26). Eusebius does not say Melito learned the location of the tomb. That Melito might have is a hypothesis put forward by some modern scholars as to what they think happened, but no known source up through the time of Eusebius or even for a long time after records it.

>>this is I said in the article on the blog:

from The Franscicans.

In 325, during the first ecumenical council of Nicea, the bishop of Jerusalem, Macarius, invited Emperor Constantine to destroy the pagan temples built atop the Christian holy sites in the Holy City. The Emperor, now Pontifex Maximus of the whole Roman Empire and strong in his position decreed the demolition of the pagan temples built atop the Christian Holy Site. This is how Eusebius describe s the event:

"He judged it incumbent on him to render the blessed locality of our Saviour's resurrection an object of attraction and veneration to all. He issued immediate injunctions, therefore, for the erection in that spot of a house of prayer: and this he did, not on the mere natural impulse of his own mind, but being moved in spirit by the Saviour himself.....but calling on the divine aid, gave orders that the place should be thoroughly purified, thinking that the parts which had been most polluted by the enemy ought to receive special tokens, through his means, of the greatness of the divine favor. As soon, then, as his commands were issued, these engines of deceit were cast down from their proud eminence to the very ground, and the dwelling-places of error, with the statues and the evil spirits which they represented, were overthrown and utterly destroyed.....Nor did the emperor's zeal stop here; but he gave further orders that the materials of what was thus destroyed, both stone and timber, should be removed and thrown as far from the spot as possible; and this command also was speedily executed. The emperor, however, was not satisfied with having proceeded thus far: once more, fired with holy ardor, he directed that the ground itself should be dug up to a considerable depth, and the soil which had been polluted by the foul impurities of demon worship transported to a far distant place".(III, XXV-XXVII)

the source is there emboldened. Now the Mayer of Jerusalem asks Constantine to dstroy the pagan sites, over the cherished Chrsitian sites, and speicifically Euebius names the site of the tomb, doesn't it stand to reason he would say where it was? Would he just make it up? why go to the trouble to ask the empororer to dig it up if he was just going tomake up the site? clearly he had to be wroking from a tradtion.<<

There is a huge difference between what Eusebius actually says here (the second paragraph, in quotation marks, above) and what modern scholars hypothesize to have occurred. The paragraph quoted is from Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, Book III, Chapter 25, which you can find on the newadvent site: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/25023.htm Read it and the sections following it.

The plain reading of the text is that Constantine thought he ought to build a church in Jerusalem, that he demolished a pagan temple and built the church on its site, and that the builders found an earlier tomb under the site and identified it as the tomb of Jesus. People who uphold the authenticity of the tomb speculate that they may have made the identification based on an oral tradition (i.e., NOT a recorded tradition), or that there was graffiti identifying the tomb (Biddle), but Eusebius does not say either of these things. He suggests that Constantine was divinely guided in choosing the site and that the discovery of the tomb was unexpected.

If you could establish that Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem, requested permission from Constantine at the council of Nicea to demolish the existing pagan temple in Aelia (AKA Jerusalem) “over the cherished Christian sites” that would help your case a lot. However, this event is not recorded by Eusebius. It is again hypothetical reconstruction of events put forward by some modern scholars (in this case, “the Franciscans”). You are backing up a hypothesis with another hypothesis.

LoyalOpposition

Anonymous said...

(I can't tell if this went through the first time I tried to send it, so I'm re-sending it)

>>i left out the Malito of sardis stuff fromt his version because atheists on sec web were so sure Eusebius made it up it just didn't do any good to use him as a source. That was befroe I found th quotes of his descrition of the work being done that he had to have been there and befroe I found the quote that follows.<<

You did not ‘leave out’ the Melito of Sardis stuff, you said “the major evidence for the oral tradition of the tomb location comes from a Pilgrim named Melito of Sardis” and you mention Melito several other times in your recent posts on the subject. You misunderstand the issue. It is not a question of whether Eusebius “made up” a story about the location of the tomb being passed down by oral tradition in the Christian community in Jerusalem or about Melito of Sardis learning about the location from the Christian community when visiting Jerusalem. It’s that Eusebius says nothing about these things. Eusebius quotes a letter from Melito in which he says he visited the east where the things of the Old Testament were preached and done (Ecclesiastical History IV, chapter 26). Eusebius does not say Melito learned the location of the tomb. That Melito might have is a hypothesis put forward by some modern scholars as to what they think happened, but no known source up through the time of Eusebius or even for a long time after records it.

>>this is I said in the article on the blog:

from The Franscicans.

In 325, during the first ecumenical council of Nicea, the bishop of Jerusalem, Macarius, invited Emperor Constantine to destroy the pagan temples built atop the Christian holy sites in the Holy City. The Emperor, now Pontifex Maximus of the whole Roman Empire and strong in his position decreed the demolition of the pagan temples built atop the Christian Holy Site. This is how Eusebius describe s the event:

"He judged it incumbent on him to render the blessed locality of our Saviour's resurrection an object of attraction and veneration to all. He issued immediate injunctions, therefore, for the erection in that spot of a house of prayer: and this he did, not on the mere natural impulse of his own mind, but being moved in spirit by the Saviour himself.....but calling on the divine aid, gave orders that the place should be thoroughly purified, thinking that the parts which had been most polluted by the enemy ought to receive special tokens, through his means, of the greatness of the divine favor. As soon, then, as his commands were issued, these engines of deceit were cast down from their proud eminence to the very ground, and the dwelling-places of error, with the statues and the evil spirits which they represented, were overthrown and utterly destroyed.....Nor did the emperor's zeal stop here; but he gave further orders that the materials of what was thus destroyed, both stone and timber, should be removed and thrown as far from the spot as possible; and this command also was speedily executed. The emperor, however, was not satisfied with having proceeded thus far: once more, fired with holy ardor, he directed that the ground itself should be dug up to a considerable depth, and the soil which had been polluted by the foul impurities of demon worship transported to a far distant place".(III, XXV-XXVII)
the source is there emboldened. Now the Mayer of Jerusalem asks Constantine to dstroy the pagan sites, over the cherished Chrsitian sites, and speicifically Euebius names the site of the tomb, doesn't it stand to reason he would say where it was? Would he just make it up? why go to the trouble to ask the empororer to dig it up if he was just going tomake up the site? clearly he had to be wroking from a tradtion.<<

There is a huge difference between what Eusebius actually says here (the second paragraph, in quotation marks, above) and what modern scholars hypothesize to have occurred. The paragraph quoted is from Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, Book III, Chapter 25, which you can find on the newadvent site: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/25023.htm Read it and the sections following it.

The plain reading of the text is that Constantine thought he ought to build a church in Jerusalem, that he demolished a pagan temple and built the church on its site, and that the builders found an earlier tomb under the site and identified it as the tomb of Jesus. People who uphold the authenticity of the tomb speculate that they may have made the identification based on an oral tradition (i.e., NOT a recorded tradition), or that there was graffiti identifying the tomb (Biddle suggests this), but Eusebius does not say either of these things. He suggests that Constantine was divinely guided in choosing the site and that the discovery of the tomb was unexpected.

If you could establish that Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem, requested permission from Constantine at the council of Nicea to demolish the existing pagan temple in Aelia (AKA Jerusalem) “over the cherished Christian sites” that would help your case a lot. However, this event is not recorded by Eusebius. It is again hypothetical reconstruction of events put forward by some modern scholars (in this case, “the Franciscans”). You are backing up a hypothesis with another hypothesis.

LoyalOpposition

J.L. Hinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J.L. Hinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J.L. Hinman said...

The only source I had for Malito was the New Advent article. I can't find the original I quoted even on their site now. But there are other links to the srouce of tradition the pilgrims brought back.

Eusebius does say of Jerusalem asked Constantine to tear down the pagan sites over their sacred Chrsitian sites. Surely can assume he told him where they were. Can you see him saying,

"Mr. Emperor sir, will you please tear down the pagan sites over our sacred Christian sites?"

Constantine: "sure, where are they?"

Mayer: "I don't know. go ask Milito of Sardis."

We are also told by Eusebius that someone Helena sent found the tradition from locals:


"Macarius, having made fruitless inquiries as to the existence of the Cross, turned their attention to the place of the Passion and Resurrection, which was known to be occupied by a temple of Venus erected by the Romans in the time of Hadrian, or later. The temple was torn down, the ruins were removed to a distance, the earth beneath, as having been contaminated, was dug up and borne far away. Then, "beyond the hopes of all, the most holy monument of Our Lord's Resurrection shone forth" (Eusebius, "Life of Constantine", III, xxviii)."

I also quote New advent who give several other sources of early chruch writer who learned or who deal with the location including Jerome.

Anonymous said...

>>If the Mayor of Jerusalem didn't ask Constantine to tear down the pagan sites, then who is Eusebius quoting in the chapter I quote which came from Fancisan cybre spot and ends in Roamn numeroals. We both quote it that is where the stie says they got it.<<

Eusebius isn’t quoting anyone. The paragraph within the quotation marks is a quotation *of* Eusebius. The other material, outside the quotation marks, is not from Eusebius at all and isn’t claimed to be. It’s a modern reconstruction of events.

>>So the mayor of jerusalem wants the pagan sites remived from on top christian sites, but he doesn't know where they are?<<

There is no mention of the “mayor of Jerusalem” in the quotation of Eusebius. Please go so far as to read Life of Constantine, Book III, chapter 25 and thereabouts, and see what Eusebius actually says. Here is the link again:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/25023.htm

>>"He judged it incumbent on him to render the blessed locality of our Saviour's resurrection an object of attraction and veneration to all. He issued immediate injunctions, therefore, for the erection in that spot of a house of prayer: and this he did, not on the mere natural impulse of his own mind, but being moved in spirit by the Saviour himself.....but calling on the divine aid, gave orders that the place should be thoroughly purified, thinking that the parts which had been most polluted by the enemy ought to receive special tokens, through his means, of the greatness of the divine favor. As soon, then, as his commands were issued, these engines of deceit were cast down from their proud eminence to the very ground, and the dwelling-places of error, with the statues and the evil spirits which they represented, were overthrown and utterly destroyed.....Nor did the emperor's zeal stop here; but he gave further orders that the materials of what was thus destroyed, both stone and timber, should be removed and thrown as far from the spot as possible; and this command also was speedily executed. The emperor, however, was not satisfied with having proceeded thus far: once more, fired with holy ardor, he directed that the ground itself should be dug up to a considerable depth, and the soil which had been polluted by the foul impurities of demon worship transported to a far distant place".(III, XXV-XXVII)

they say it's Euebius. are they laying?<<

No, they’re not lying. They put the paragraph in which they quote Eusebius in quotation marks. Please note it doesn’t mention any “mayor of Jerusalem” at all. The “he” the paragraph refers to is Constantine. The citation is to Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, to which I gave the link above. Please read it so you can see what’s in it and stop trying to infer what its contents may have been second-hand through what you’ve read on web sites.

>>The New Advent article said Molito wrote about the pilgrims telling him of the site. Now where they lying?<<

I think you are referring to the part of the New Advent article on the Holy Sepulcher which you quoted on your site:

[It is recorded that Melito of Sardis visited the place where "these things [of the Old Testament] were formerly announced and carried out". As he died in 180, his visit was made at a time when he could receive the tradition from the children of those who had returned from Pella.]

The first sentence has a partial quotation of Melito as he is quoted in Eusebius Ecclesiastical History Book IV, chapter 26, which I cited in my previous post, and which says that Melito visited the east where the things of the Old Testament took place. The second sentence is not in quotation marks and the author of the article observes that Melito’s visit was made at a time when Melito *could* receive the tradition. The article does not say that we have a source in which Melito claimed that he *had* received any such tradition. The author of the article is presenting a reconstruction of events. It’s not a lie; it’s an hypothesis.

>>this does no differe much from what modern scholars say. Crobo found the temple of Venus because he expected it to be there.

Eusebius says he was there when they foun the temple. now is that totally unconnected to the stie?<<

Eusebius does not say he was there when the temple was “found” (was it lost?), though he could have been. No one is disputing that there was a pagan temple in Jerusalem in the time of Eusebius and Constantine, nor that Constantine had it torn down and built a church on the site, nor that the builders of the site found a tomb underneath it and that that tomb became identified as the tomb of Jesus. The fact that Eusebius can describe a temple, or a church later built on top of it, which existed in his own time does not tell us much about whether the tomb found under it was that of Jesus from about three hundred years earlier. Nor does the fact that Corbo’s modern excavations found evidence of a large building that was probably that pagan temple.

What you seem to be assuming is that Constantine chose the site because he knew the tomb was there. But when Eusebius says that Constantine wanted to build a church in the “locality of the resurrection,” this may just mean “in the area of Jerusalem.” We don’t know how big the “locality” Eusebius had in mind was. Eusebius goes on to say that the finding of the tomb was unexpected:

“But as soon as the original surface of the ground, beneath the covering of earth, appeared, immediately, and contrary to all expectation, the venerable and hollowed monument of our Saviour's resurrection was discovered” (LoC III 28).

Modern archaeology has shown that there were, in fact, several tombs under the temple. Biddle even uses this as an argument for the authenticity of the tomb in the CHS. Given that there were several tombs, must they not have had good reasons for deciding this particular tomb was the tomb of Jesus? I don’t think much of that argument.

>>So New Advatn lles?<<

You are awfully fond of that term “lies.” You should spend a little more time reading and trying to understand what other people say before accusing them of lying. You keep reading things into what people write that are not there and you seem to be refusing to go back and look at the sources.

Loyal Opposition

Anonymous said...

>>The only source I had for Malito was the New Advent article. I can't find the original I quoted even on their site now. But there are other links to the srouce of tradition the pilgrims brought back.<<

You can’t find the article that says what you claimed it said, but you’ve found other sources for the “pilgrim tradition”? Do you mean you have found ancient sources that explicitly say that pilgrims visiting Jerusalem were informed of the location of the tomb of Jesus prior to the time of Eusebius and Constantine? Can you cite and quote them or are they secret?

>>Eusebius does say of Jerusalem asked Constantine to tear down the pagan sites over their sacred Chrsitian sites. Surely can assume he told him where they were”

Eusebius does not say that. Here, for the third time, is address for his Life of Constantine:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/25023.htm

Please read it and stop making claims about what it says based on what you think you read on web sites.

>>We are also told by Eusebius that someone Helena sent found the tradition from locals:

"Macarius, having made fruitless inquiries as to the existence of the Cross, turned their attention to the place of the Passion and Resurrection, which was known to be occupied by a temple of Venus erected by the Romans in the time of Hadrian, or later. The temple was torn down, the ruins were removed to a distance, the earth beneath, as having been contaminated, was dug up and borne far away. Then, "beyond the hopes of all, the most holy monument of Our Lord's Resurrection shone forth" (Eusebius, "Life of Constantine", III, xxviii)."<<

Eusebius does not connect Helena to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at all. There are later traditions that do. You pulled this out of the Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which draws on those later traditions, and have once again misread your source. Again, please read Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, Book III, and stop trying to infer its contents from stuff on web sites. The citation to Life of Constantine III 28 here is for the “beyond the hopes of all, the most holy monument of Our Lord's Resurrection shone forth” part that is placed within the quotation marks. The rest of it does not come from Eusebius.

>>I also quote New advent who give several other sources of early chruch writer who learned or who deal with the location including Jerome.<<

No one is disputing that from the time of Eusebius, there was a tomb in Jerusalem which was claimed to be that of Jesus. The issue is how likely the claim is to be true. I imagine you could make a big list of later sources that say it is. How do these later sources establish that it is?

Loyal Opposition

J.L. Hinman said...

>>Meta:If the Mayor of Jerusalem didn't ask Constantine to tear down the pagan sites, then who is Eusebius quoting in the chapter I quote which came from Fancisan cybre spot and ends in Roamn numeroals. We both quote it that is where the stie says they got it.<<

LO:Eusebius isn’t quoting anyone. The paragraph within the quotation marks is a quotation *of* Eusebius. The other material, outside the quotation marks, is not from Eusebius at all and isn’t claimed to be. It’s a modern reconstruction of events.

Meta: Either he was there first hand and he's quoting the Maror directly, or he is quoting smoeone else who was there. He doesn't say he's quoting anyone so it must be the former, he was there.

>>Meta:So the mayor of jerusalem wants the pagan sites remived from on top christian sites, but he doesn't know where they are?<<

LO:There is no mention of the “mayor of Jerusalem” in the quotation of Eusebius. Please go so far as to read Life of Constantine, Book III, chapter 25 and thereabouts, and see what Eusebius actually says. Here is the link again:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/25023.htm


Meta:Yes there is. he sayd the Mayer of Jerusalem asked. I quote it on the site. Just look for it. I've read the passages you are speaking of over and for years. I knew them before knew they existed. I've seen the passage of the mayor I know it exists.


the cybre spot syas say:

In 325, during the first ecumenical council of Nicea, the bishop of Jerusalem, Macarius, invited Emperor Constantine to destroy the pagan temples built atop the Christian holy sites in the Holy City. The Emperor, now Pontifex Maximus of the whole Roman Empire and strong in his position decreed the demolition of the pagan temples built atop the Christian Holy Site. This is how Eusebius describe s the event:

yes that is a re constrution. but they didn't make it up they have something to base it upon.

then begins the passage we quoted several times now:



"He judged it incumbent on him to render the blessed locality of our Saviour's resurrection an object of attraction and veneration to all. yada yada yada from(III, XXV-XXVII)

so here we go you quote it again:

>>LO:
"He judged it incumbent on him to render the blessed locality of our Saviour's resurrection an object of attraction and veneration to all. He issued immediate injunctions, therefore, for the erection in that spot of a house of prayer: and this he did, not on the mere natural impulse of his own mind, but being moved in spirit by the Saviour himself.....but calling on the divine aid, gave orders that the place should be thoroughly purified, thinking that the parts which had been most polluted by the enemy ought to receive special tokens, through his means, of the greatness of the divine favor. As soon, then, as his commands were issued, these engines of deceit were cast down from their proud eminence to the very ground, and the dwelling-places of error, with the statues and the evil spirits which they represented, were overthrown and utterly destroyed.....Nor did the emperor's zeal stop here; but he gave further orders that the materials of what was thus destroyed, both stone and timber, should be removed and thrown as far from the spot as possible; and this command also was speedily executed. The emperor, however, was not satisfied with having proceeded thus far: once more, fired with holy ardor, he directed that the ground itself should be dug up to a considerable depth, and the soil which had been polluted by the foul impurities of demon worship transported to a far distant place".(III, XXV-XXVII)


Meta: I am aware that he does not quote a mayer at that point but I've read the passage and it's on the site.

Meta:
they say it's Euebius. are they laying?

itsn't this the verson that I deleted and re did in edit? that's not really fair to quote the defuncted version.<<

LO:
No, they’re not lying. They put the paragraph in which they quote Eusebius in quotation marks. Please note it doesn’t mention any “mayor of Jerusalem” at all. The “he” the paragraph refers to is Constantine. The citation is to Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, to which I gave the link above. Please read it so you can see what’s in it and stop trying to infer what its contents may have been second-hand through what you’ve read on web sites.



Meta: This is so bothersome. Yes there is a passage where it says the mayor asked him. it may not be that one but it does exist. I've read it I quoted!





>>The New Advent article said Molito wrote about the pilgrims telling him of the site. Now where they lying?<<

I think you are referring to the part of the New Advent article on the Holy Sepulcher which you quoted on your site:

Meta NOoooooo I am refurring to the orignial reasearch that I did which was on the previous version of my page when I had black blackgrounds back in the early part of the century when I waw in my old house. I know what I am talking about, it is the one attacked on secular web that they just wrote off as a lie for no reason.

I guess it was a lie because apprently they took it out and re wrote it. It talked pilgrims it named several and when they talked to jewish chrsitians about the tomb.

LO:[It is recorded that Melito of Sardis visited the place where "these things [of the Old Testament] were formerly announced and carried out". As he died in 180, his visit was made at a time when he could receive the tradition from the children of those who had returned from Pella.]

The first sentence has a partial quotation of Melito as he is quoted in Eusebius Ecclesiastical History Book IV, chapter 26, which I cited in my previous post, and which says that Melito visited the east where the things of the Old Testament took place. The second sentence is not in quotation marks and the author of the article observes that Melito’s visit was made at a time when Melito *could* receive the tradition. The article does not say that we have a source in which Melito claimed that he *had* received any such tradition. The author of the article is presenting a reconstruction of events. It’s not a lie; it’s an hypothesis.

Meta yea, different article

>>this does no differe much from what modern scholars say. Crobo found the temple of Venus because he expected it to be there.

Eusebius says he was there when they foun the temple. now is that totally unconnected to the stie?<<

LO:Eusebius does not say he was there when the temple was “found” (was it lost?), though he could have been.


Meta:He sure implies that he was there, and he desribes aspects of construction that only someone who was there could have seen. He may have gotten the info form soemone else but it was accruate.



LO:No one is disputing that there was a pagan temple in Jerusalem in the time of Eusebius and Constantine, nor that Constantine had it torn down and built a church on the site, nor that the builders of the site found a tomb underneath it and that that tomb became identified as the tomb of Jesus. The fact that Eusebius can describe a temple, or a church later built on top of it, which existed in his own time does not tell us much about whether the tomb found under it was that of Jesus from about three hundred years earlier. Nor does the fact that Corbo’s modern excavations found evidence of a large building that was probably that pagan temple.


Meta: So Containtine just arbitrarily decided that the temple Venus had to mark the site wtih no info and no reason for thnking so? I quoted Eusebius cleary saying that the guy Helena sent found the location from local people.So that was cleary the tradation. the place was still called Galgatha, there was graffitti marking the site.



LOWhat you seem to be assuming is that Constantine chose the site because he knew the tomb was there.

Meta:you are assuming that he made it up out of whole cloth.

(1) the mayor knew the site

(2) Pilgrims learned the site and had refproted presumabl before

(3) Helena's agent learned the site because it was common knowlege and everyone knew it.

(4) Jerome records it was under a temple to Venus

(5) several other writters are named who knew it include Socrates.




LOBut when Eusebius says that Constantine wanted to build a church in the “locality of the resurrection,” this may just mean “in the area of Jerusalem.” We don’t know how big the “locality” Eusebius had in mind was. Eusebius goes on to say that the finding of the tomb was unexpected:

“But as soon as the original surface of the ground, beneath the covering of earth, appeared, immediately, and contrary to all expectation, the venerable and hollowed monument of our Saviour's resurrection was discovered” (LoC III 28).

Meta:they had to have a reason for assuming the tmpel of venus, which is what i assume he's calling the monument to "of coufse saviour's resurrection," was there. They couldn't just see a temple of Venus and say "O i beit this is it, sure it must be under a temple ot venus."

LOModern archaeology has shown that there were, in fact, several tombs under the temple. Biddle even uses this as an argument for the authenticity of the tomb in the CHS. Given that there were several tombs, must they not have had good reasons for deciding this particular tomb was the tomb of Jesus? I don’t think much of that argument.


Meta: Stands to reason the tomb would be in a Ceminary. none of those gusy anything like this was the only reason. Biddle certainly does not say "I think this is the tomb of christ becuase there aer many tombs there." He sites the location in reatlion to the city gate, the name of the community as galgatha, the accient tradition of the tomb of Venus, the graffiti and Contantine had reason to assume it was. all of these things he sites.

You are gainsaying the evidence because you can't stand to be proven wrong about the truth of chrsitiantiy.
>>So New Advatn lles?<<

LOYou are awfully fond of that term “lies.” You should spend a little more time reading and trying to understand what other people say before accusing them of lying.

Meta I have gone over thsi stuff a hell of a lot more than you have. you dont even know the basics. I've sent years rearching this and I spent weeks going over the material here. I couldn't stop stumpbling over the mayor quote when I had it. when I knew where it was I didn't need it.

I've had spend this whole day going over this crap again.

all becuase of our little need to debunck things insteadof just honeslty looking at the evidence.