Thursday, February 28, 2019
Eusebius, EH, 1.3: Jesus Christ: Prophet, Priest, and King
Image: Early Christian Ichthus circular symbol in Ephesus. The abbreviation Ichthus is believed to be can acronym for Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ, "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior."
I have posted the next installment in the series through Eusebius's The Ecclesiastical History, adding book 1, chapter 3 (Listen here).
Notes and Commentary:
In this chapter, Eusebius reflects on the name “Jesus” and the title “Christ” (he takes both to be titles) and their OT background.
He contends that Moses used the title “Christ” in reference to the High Priest and he sees significance in the fact that his successor was named “Jesus” or Joshua.
At one point he refers to Jesus as “the divine and heavenly Logos, of the world, the only High Priest, of all creation, the only king, of the prophets the only archprophet of the Father.” This expresses the idea of Christ as holding a threefold office of Prophet, Priest, and King [here ordered as Priest, King, and Prophet].
He later offers as a proof for Christ’s superiority the success and spread of Christianity, noting that he “is called Christ among all men throughout the whole world; that under this title he is confessed and borne witness to by all, and is mentioned thus by Jews, Greeks, and barbarians; that until this present day he is honoured by his worshippers throughout the whole world as king, wondered at more than a prophet, and glorified as the true and holy High Priest of God….” Again, see the threefold office stressed.
As previously noted, we must examine Eusebius’s Christology with care, keeping in mind that he was accused of Arian tendencies.