Saturday, June 29, 2019
Eusebius, EH.3.4: Paul's Fellow Workers
Another episode is posted to the series on Eusebius of Caesarea’s The Ecclesiastical History: book 3, chapter 4. Listen here.
Notes and Commentary:
This chapter focuses on Paul and his apostolic associates and their role as pastors in the early churches.
Paul is cited as the one who “laid the foundations of the churches from Jerusalem round about unto Illyricum.”
Eusebius says that though Paul had many (even thousands) of fellow-workers but proceeds to focus on those mentioned in Paul’s letters and in Acts. These include:
Timothy, first bishop of Ephesus.
Titus (Titus 1:5), bishop of the churches in Crete.
Luke of Antioch, the physician. He is acknowledged as the writer of the Gospel of Luke and Acts. Eusebius claims that Paul cited Luke’s Gospel, saying, “according to my Gospel.”
Crescens (2 Timothy 4:10), sent by Paul to Gaul.
Linus (2 Tim 4:21), first, after Peter, as bishop of Rome.
Clement (Phil 4:3), third bishop of Rome.
Dionysius of the Areopagus, of Athens [Acts 17:34; and as noted by Dionysius of Corinth].
It is difficult to determine whether this information rests on any firm historical footing other than what is gleaned from sporadic minor references to these figures in Paul’s letters. Still, it does suggest admiration for Paul and a desire to trace leadership succession from the apostles in the early churches.