Eusebius on the Son, the Spirit, and the Angels

If you’re tiring of Eusebius, please skip along :-). I generally have the opposite problem: no posting at all!


Ἐνθάδε μὲν οὖν πνεῦμα στόματος αὐτοῦ ἀναγέγραπται. Εὑρήσομεν δὲ ἀλλαχοῦ καὶ λόγον στόματος αὐτοῦ εἰρημένον, ἵνα νοηθῇ ὁ Σωτὴρ καὶ τὸ ἅγιον αὐτοῦ Πνεῦμα. Ἀμφότερα δὲ συνήργησεν ἐν τῇ κτίσει τῶν οὐρανῶν καὶ τῶν ἐν αὐτοῖς δυνάμεων· διὰ τοῦτο εἴρηται· Τῷ λόγῳ Κυρίου οἱ οὐρανοὶ ἐστερεώθησαν, καὶ τῷ πνεύματι τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ πᾶσα ἡ δύναμις αὐτῶν. Οὐδὲν γὰρ ἁγιάζεται μὴ τῇ παρουσίᾳ τοῦ Πνεύματος. Ἀγγέλων γοῦν τὴν μὲν εἰς τὸ εἶναι πάροδον ὁ δημιουργὸς Λόγος, ὁ ποιητὴς τῶν ὅλων, παρείχετο· τὸν ἁγιασμὸν δὲ αὐτοῖς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον συνεπέφερεν· οὐ γὰρ νήπιοι κτισθέντες οἱ ἄγγελοι.

“Here we find ‘His Spirit’s mouth’ written, but elsewhere we find ‘His Word’s mouth’ said, in order that the Savior and his Holy Spirit might be known. For both were at work in the creation of the heavens and the angels. For this reason it says, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were stretched out, and by the Spirit of his mouth every one of his angels.” For nothing is consecrated except by the presence of the Spirit. Therefore, although the creative Word, the maker of all, prepared the way for the angels to come into being, the Holy Spirit, together with him, bestowed on them their consecration. For the angels were not created as children.”

I’m not sure what he means by the final bit “for the angels were not created as children.” It’s almost like αγιασμον (holiness or consecration) is functioning as a parallel to “coming of age,” since νηπιος can mean minor.

Eusebius Excerpt

Here’s another excerpt from Eusebius that I liked:


Οὐδὲν γὰρ ἁγιάζεται μὴ τῇ παρουσίᾳ τοῦ Πνεύματος.

Or:

For nothing is consecrated except by the presence of the Spirit.

Eusebius of Caesarea, On the 32nd Psalm

Update: I expanded on this quote here.

An Excerpt from Eusebius on Psalm 32 LXX

I liked this excerpt for several reasons. First, I’ve been able to make sense of the Greek. That’s a prerequisite! Second, I like what Eusebius has to say about almsgiving.

Here’s the Greek:


Ὅτι εὐθὺς ὁ λόγος τοῦ Κυρίου, καὶ πάντα τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ ἐν πίστει. Ἀγαπᾷ ἐλεημοσύνην καὶ κρίσιν· τοῦ ἐλέους Κυρίου πλήρης ἡ γῆ. Τὰ μὲν τῆς τῶν ὄντων καταλήψεως διὰ πίστεως ἡμῖν χωρείτω, τὰ δὲ τοῦ πρακτικοῦ βίου διὰ ἐλεημοσύνης καὶ κρίσεως. Ταῦτα γὰρ ἀγαπᾷ ὁ εὐθὺς τοῦ Κυρίου λόγος· ἅτε κριτικοὺς ἡμᾶς κατασκευάσας καὶ διακριτικοὺς τοῦ τε καλοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἐναντίου. Διὸ βούλεται ἡμᾶς μηδὲν ἀκρίτως πράττειν, μηδὲ ἀλόγως φέρεσθαι ταῖς ἐξ αὐτῶν ὁρμαῖς, κεκριμένως περὶ τῶν πρακτέων βουλεύεσθαι, καὶ πρός γε πάντων ἐλεημονικοὺς εἶναι, συγνωμονικοὺς δὲ πρὸς τοὺς ἁμαρτάνοντας γιγνομένους, συμπαθεῖς δὲ καὶ φιλανθρώπους πρὸς τοὺς ἐλέου δεομένους.

And my translation:

For the Word of the Lord is upright, and all of his works are done in faithfulness. He loves mercy and justice. The earth is full of his mercy.

Abstract things must be received through faith, but the practical things of life are done through mercy and justice. These are the things that the Word of the Lord loves: For us to be wise, prepared, and discerning both of the Good, and that which is before us. He never wants us to act unwisely, or to unreasonably give to those who beg from their own evil inclinations, who discreetly plot treachery and are beggars to all. Rather, he wants us to be aware of the sinners, but sympathetic and philanthropic to those in need.

The “Hypotheses” of Eusebius

In his commentary on the Psalms, Eusebius includes a section which has his “hypotheses” on every Psalm (Gk υποθεσις).  These are short little multi-word summations of each Psalms’ theme, as Eusebius understands it. I’ve translated the first 15 here. If anyone has any ideas for Psalm 5 and 14, please let me know. I’m not quite sure how to interpret those. These can be found in Migne Patrologia Graeca volume 23 column 68.

Psalm 1. An example of godliness and staying away from its opposite
Psalm 2. A prophecy concerning Christ and the calling of the nations.
Psalm 3. A prophecy of the good things coming to David.
Psalm 4. A prophecy concerning the One who suffered
Psalm 5. A prayer from a figure of the Church. (?)
Psalm 6. A teaching on confession and praise.
Psalm 7. Praise by David and the calling of the nations
Psalm 8. A prophecy on the calling of the nations.
Psalm 9. The death and resurrection of Christ, and his ascension to the throne, and the overthrow of all enemies.
Psalm 10. A victory song for those who contend for the godly prize.
Psalm 11. The kinds of evil, and a prophecy about the coming of Christ.
Psalm 12. The rising up of enemies, and expectation of Christ’s coming
Psalm 13. The kinds of evil, and a prophecy of Christ’s coming.
Psalm 14. The final restoration according to God. (?)
Psalm 15. The election of the Church and the resurrection of Christ.

And here is the Greek:

Psalm 1 – Greek αʹ Προτροπὴ θεοσεβείας καὶ ἀποτροπὴ τοῦ ἐναντίου.
Psalm 2 – Greek βʹ Προφητεία περὶ Χριστοῦ καὶ κλήσεως ἐθνῶν.
Psalm 3 – Greek γʹ Προφητεία γενησομένων ἀγαθῶν τῷ Δαυΐδ.
Psalm 4 – Greek δʹ Προφητεία τῷ Δαυῒδ περὶ ὧν πέπονθεν.
Psalm 5 – Greek εʹ Ἐκ προσώπου τῆς Ἐκκλησίας προσευχή.
Psalm 6 – Greek ςʹ Διδασκαλία ἐξομολογήσεως.
Psalm 7 – Greek ζʹ Τῷ Δαυῒδ ἐξομολόγησις καὶ διδασκαλία κλήσεως 1 ἐθνῶν.
Psalm 8 – Greek ηʹ Προφητεία κλήσεως ἐθνῶν.
Psalm 9 – Greek θʹ Θάνατος Χριστοῦ καὶ ἀνάστασις, καὶ βασιλείας παράληψις, ἐχθρῶν τε πάντων καθαίρεσις.
Psalm 10 – Greek ιʹ Ἐπινίκιος ὕμνος τοῦ κατὰ Θεὸν ἀγωνιζομένου.
Psalm 11 – Greek ιαʹ Κατηγορία πονηρῶν, καὶ προφητεία Χριστοῦ παρουσίας.
Psalm 12 – Greek ιβʹ Ἐχθρῶν ἐπανάστασις, καὶ προσδοκία Χριστοῦ παρουσίας.
Psalm 13 – Greek ιγʹ Κατηγορία πονηρῶν, καὶ προφητεία Χριστοῦ παρουσίας.
Psalm 14 – Greek ιδʹ Τοῦ κατὰ Θεὸν τελείου ἀποκατάστασις.
Psalm 15 – Greek ιεʹ Ἐκλογὴ Ἐκκλησίας, καὶ Χριστοῦ ἀνάστασις.

The Wide World of Patristics

As I dive more and more into the world of patristic literature, I’m blown away by the sheer quantity of literature!  Many works have been lost, but even what we have extant is huge.  Much of if hasn’t even been translated into English.  I’ve been digging around in Eusebius of Caesarea’s commentary on the Psalms, which has never been translated fully into English.  The commentary itself is massive.  I think every psalms gets some comments, though some have been abridged.  The PDF I have is 509 pages, while his famous Ecclesiastical History only weighs in at 186 pages.  I’m toying around with the idea of translating some of it, but his Greek is tough! 

In this regard, good language skills are even more important for the Patristics scholar than the New Testament scholar, if only because so much remains untranslated.  Here’s to hoping (and praying) that my Greek improves quickly!

~alex