The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries

by Adolph (von) Harnack
translated and edited by James Moffatt
Second, enlarged and revised English edition;
London: Williams and Norgate / New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1908 (from the 2nd German edition)..
Theological Translation Library, volumes 19-20

From the German, Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten (1902, revised 1906, 1915, and finally 1924)

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[[Book 4, Chapter 3, section 1 (page 97 = 2nd German ed p. 77) (scanned and proofed, Elana Newberger 3/2004), edited RAK 4/2004; some ETs still needed, and one Greek passage (Egyptian Church Order), BC/AD, names and British spellings; this is the further the updated version, incorporating material from the 1924 final German edition (page *630)]]

[[97 // *630]]


The earliest stages in the expansion of the gospel in Palestine (Syria-Palestina) are described, although only in outline, by the Acts of the Apostles; I assume that its narrative is quite familiar. From the outset the center of Christianity in Palestine was Jerusalem, not the towns of Galilee, as one might suppose. It was in Jerusalem that James, the Lord's brother, took over the government of the community,\2/ after the twelve disciples had finally realized that they were called to the missionary work (probably twelve years after the resurrection [see the Preaching of Peter], and not, as an old tradtion claims, immediately after the resurrection). The choice of James was probably determined by his relationship to Jesus.\2a/ [[[*631]]] He, in turn, was succeeded (60/61 or 61/62) by another relative of Jesus, namely, his cousin Simeon, the son of Cleopas, who was martyred under Trajan at the great age of 120. Thereafter, according to an early tradition,\3/ thirteen Jewish-Christian "bishops" covered the period between (the tenth year of?) Trajan and the eighteenth year of Hadrian. This statistic cannot be correct; it is likely that relatives of Jesus\4/ or presbyters are included.\5/ All these bishops were circumcised, and that means that the community was Jewish Christian — as is also directly attested for the apostolic age by Paul's epistles and the book of Acts (21.20). The majority, however, cannot have adhered to the extreme prescriptions of the Jewish Christians, provided that something factual underlies the decree of Acts 25.28f.  At the beginning of the first siege of Jerusalem the Christians abandoned the city (Eus. H.E. 3.5, and Epiph. Hær. 29.7, [[98]] De Mens et Pond. 15, according to Hegesippus or Julius Africanus), and emigrated to Pella;\6/ it appears to be only a small number who eventually returned as the city once more rose from its ruins.\7/ [[[*632]]] In any case, the local community was small -- how large it had been prior to the destruction of the city under Titus we do not know, but the exodus around the year 68 CE precludes any large number.\8/ All we know is that it included priests (Acts 6.7), Pharisees (Acts 15.5), and Greek-speaking Jews from the Diaspora (Acts 6.5), and that it was not rich.\9/ It disappeared completely, after Hadrian, at the end of the Barkochba war, had forbidden any circumcised person so much as to enter the city.

\1/ See Map 3 in the Appendix, and with it the excellent handmade map by Fischer and Guthe, the map by Thomsen in his volume "Loca sancta: Verzeichnis der im 1 bis 6 Jahrh. n. Chr. erwa%hnten Ortschaften Pala%stinas" vol 1 (1907), and the map in Kostermann's edition of the Onomasticon of Eusebius (1904), also by Thomsen. Finally, Kiepert, Formae Orbis Antiqui # 6 (1911) -- compare Schürer's Gesch. d. jüd. Volkes, 1 (\4/) (1901), 2(\4/) (1907); Mommsen's Röm. Geschichte, 5, pp.487 f. [ Eng. trans., vol. 2, pp. 151 f.]; Marquardt's Röm. Staatsverwaltung, 1, pp.247 f.; Ho%schel, Pala%stina in der persischen und hellenistischen Zeit (1903); Thomsen, System. bibliographie der Pals%stina-Literatur vols. 1 and 2 (1908, 1911). Guthe, Die griechisch-ro%mischen Sta%dte des Ostjordanlandes [Gemeinversta%ndliche Hefte zur Pala%stinakunde] (1918); Dalman, Orte und Wege Jesu (1921\2).

\2/ His episcopal chair was still shown in the days of Eusebius ( H.E. 7.19).

\2a/ His takeover of the governance of the community and the retreat of the twelve could also have been grounded in an inner crisis of the community, or in a change in its organization. Perhaps the community was originally strongly hellenistic; but then the "Hebrews of the Hebrews" gained the upper hand, and thus at first the seven hellenistic men, and then the twelve, were forced from leadership in favor of the strongly Judaistic James.

\3/ See the details in my Chronologie, 1, pp.129 f., 218 f.

\4/ See Knopf, Nachapost. Zeitalter, pp. 25 f.

\5/ Zahn (Forschungen 6.300) supposes that the names of contemporary Palestinian bishops may have been included in the Jerusalem list.

\6/ At the outbreak of the Jewish war Pella , like some other hellenistic pagan cities, was invaded by the Jewish insurgents. When when the Christians went there, it can hardly have still been in the hands of the rebels; the refugees thus came under the protection of a pagan city. This is all we can say with any degree of probability. According to Renan (Antichrist, p. 237), "no wiser choice could have been made." Scythopolis and Pella were the nearest neutral cities to Jerusalem; "but between them, Pella, by its position across the Jordan, must have offered much greater quiet than Scythopolis, which had become one of the Roman military bases. In addition, Pella was a free city, even if it apparently had surrendered to Agrippa II. To take refuge here was to express open horror at the revolution." -- {E.?} Schwartz, A%ren von Gerasa und Eleutheropolis {date?}, p.376 states with authority: "the legend of Pella originated after the establishment of Ælia; whoever repeated it as an accurate report had not understood it."

\7/ This is clear from Epiph. Hær. 29.7; also De Mens. et Pond. 14 f. {TLG line 400}, where it claims that there had been only seven poor synagogues and one little church in Jerusalem when Hadrian visited the city prior to the Barkochba revolt. The church must have been on Mount Zion, and the congregation is said to have been composed [[[*632b]]] of those who had returned from Pella (Μετὰ δὲ τὴν ἐρήμωσιν ῾Ιερουσαλὴμ ἐπαναστρέψαντες, ὡς ἔφην, εἰς τὰ ῾Ιεροσόλυμα σημεῖα μεγάλα, ὡς προεῖπον, ἐπετέλουν = "After the devastation of Jerusalem when they returned, as I said, into Jerusalem, they performed great signs, as I reported earlier"). Eusebius (Demonstr. 3.5.108 [124d]), on the other hand, reports: καὶ ἡ ἱστορία δὲ κατέχει ὡς καὶ μεγίστη τις ἦν ἐκκλησία Χριστοῦ ἐν τοῖς ῾Ιεροσολύμοις ἀπὸ ᾿Ιουδαίων συγκροτου μένη μέχρι τῶν χρόνων τῆς κατ’ ᾿Αδριανὸν πολιορκίας  {"And the record shows that there was also an impressive church of Christ in Jerusalem; which was composed of Jews/Judeans, down to the times of the siege of the city under Hadrian"} (see also Theophania 5.45).

\8/ Eusebius and Epiphanius (or their authorities) explicitly assert that all the Christians of Jerusalem withdrew to Pella . The statements of Acts (2.41, 47; 4.4; 6.7) upon the increase and size of the church at Jerusalem are questionable. The "many myriads" of Christians (Acts 21.20) are not only Jerusalemites, but also outsiders who had come for the festival. But even so, the number is exaggerated.

\9/ One is reminded of the report in Acts 11.28f, and the collection for Jerusalem, which Paul promoted so assiduously in Gal. 2.10. This passage also will always serve as a strong proof that the name "Ebionite" is not derived from a certain "Ebion," but had been given to Jewish Christians on account of their poverty. (As against Hilgenfeld, and Dalman: Worte Jesu, 1898, p. 42; Eng. trans., pp. 52, 53).

The new gentile city of Ælia Capitolina, founded on the site of Jerusalem, never rose to any great prominance.\10/ gentile [[99]] Christians, however, settled there immediately, and the date at which the first gentile Christian bishop (Marcus) entered on his duties is fixed by Eusebius, on reliable tradition, already as the nineteenth year of Hadrian's reign, thus a year after the war. But before we put together the known facts regarding the new community at Jerusalem, we must survey the expansion of Jewish Christianity in Palestine .

\10/ See Mommsen's Röm. Geschichte 5, p. 546 [ Eng. trans., 2.225]: "The new city of Hadrian continued to exist, but it did not prosper."

"Communities in Judæa" (where there were numerous villages, Tac., Hist. 5.8) are mentioned by Paul in Gal. 1.22 (cf. Acts 11.1, 11.29), and already in 1 Thess. 2.14 he had written: ὑμεῖς γὰρ μιμηταὶ ἐγενήθητε, ἀδελφοί, τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν τοῦ θεοῦ τῶν οὐσῶν ἐν τῇ ᾿Ιουδαίᾳ ἐν Χριστῷ ᾿Ιησοῦ, ὅτι τὰ αὐτὰ ἐπάθετε καὶ ὑμεῖς ὑπὸ τῶν ἰδίων συμφυλετῶν καθὼς καὶ αὐτοὶ ὑπὸτῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων ....{ = "For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judea; for you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews....)   Acts knows of churches on the seaboard, in Galilee and in Samaria. During the following century, the larger number of these [[[*633]]] became Greek-speaking\11/ and passed over into the main body of Christendom.\12/ [[100]] What became of the Jewish Christians who could not agree to this transition?\13/ [[[*634]]] At this point we need to look back for a moment to the departure of the Christian community from Jerusalem .

\11/ The pressures to adopt Greek were already present -- in the independent hellenistic cities of Palestine and the nearby areas, adjacent to the Jewish district, the large communities (including those with large territories; thus Scythopolis and Gadara, Damascus and Sidon, are grouped together with their territories) and even their rural surroundings were influenced. All that is known of their size, composition, and history has been collected in Schürer 2, pp. 72-175 (Eng. trans., div. 2, vol. 1, pp. 57 f.). There are as follows 33 (29?) cities: — Raphia, Gaza , Anthedon, Ascalon, Azotus, Jamnia, Joppa, Apollonia, Straton's Tower (Cæsarea), Dora, and Ptolemais in the coastal areas; also the cities of the so-called Decapolis , i.e., Damascus , Hippos, Gadara , Abila, Raphana, Kanata (?), Kanatha (=Kanawat), Scythopolis, Pella (=Butis), Dium, Gerasa, and Arabian Philadelphia. Further, the city of Sebaste (Samaria), built by Herod, also Gaba (on Carmel), Esbon (= Heshbon), Antipatris, Phasælis, Cæsarea Paneas, Julias (= Bethsaida), Sepphoris (the most important city and fortress of Galilee , afterwards also called Diocæsarea), Julias (= Livias), and Tiberias (rivalling Sepphoris in size and position; despite its hellenistic constitution the population was predominantly Jewish). In the case of some of the aforementioned cities (e.g., Antipatris, Phasælis, and Julias), it is doubtful whether they actually had a hellenistic constitution and independent position. In the post-Neronic period some other cities became independent communities, as -- in addition to Ælia -- Neapolis (Shechem), Capitolias in the Decapolis , Diospolis (Lydda), Eleutheropolis, and Nicopolis (Emmaus). Greeks also lived in other cities, e.g., in Jericho. Ammianus (14.8.11) identifies Cesarea, Eleutheropolis, Neapolis, Askalon and Gaza as the most significant cities of Palestine. -- Bishoprics were established initially in the cities primarily inhabited by Greeks, and only later also in the cities where the population was predominantly Semitic.

\12/ Till then the brothers and relatives of Jesus (who took part in the Christian mission; see 1 Cor. 9.5) played a leading rôle also in these Christian communities outside Jerusalem. This can already be inferred from the epistle of Africanus to Aristides (Eus., H.E. 1.7.14), where it is reported that the relatives of Jesus from the Jewish towns of Nazareth and Kochaba scattered throughout the land, and how they bore the title of "desposunoi"   ὀλίγοι δὴ τῶν ἐπιμελῶν ἰδιωτικὰς ἑαυτοῖς ἀπογραφὰς ἢ μνημονεύσαντες τῶν ὀνομάτων ἢ ἄλλως ἔχοντες ἐξ ἀντιγράφων, ἐναβρύνονται σῳζομένῃ τῇ μνήμῃ τῆς εὐγενείας· ὧν ἐτύγχανον οἱ προειρημένοι, δεσπόσυνοι καλούμενοι διὰ τὴν πρὸς τὸ σωτήριον γένος συνάφειαν ἀπό τε Ναζάρων καὶ Κωχαβα κωμῶν ᾿Ιουδαϊκῶν τῇ λοιπῇ γῇ ἐπιφοιτήσαντες καὶ τὴν προκειμένην γενεαλογίαν ἔκ τε τῆς Βίβλου τῶν ἡμερῶν, ἐς ὅσον ἐξικνοῦντο, ἐξηγησάμενοι. The tradition attested by Hegesippus is quite clear; he begins by recounting that "Those who were related to the Lord in the flesh" met after the death of James to elect his successor "for the greater number of them were still alive" (Eus., H.E. 3.11: Μετὰ τὴν ᾿Ιακώβου μαρτυρίαν καὶ τὴν αὐτίκα γενομένην ἅλωσιν τῆς ῾Ιερουσαλὴμ λόγος κατέχει τῶν ἀποστόλων καὶ τῶν τοῦ κυρίου μαθητῶν τοὺς εἰς ἔτι τῷ βίῳ λειπομένους ἐπὶ ταὐτὸν πανταχόθεν συνελθεῖν ἅμα τοῖς πρὸς γένους κατὰ σάρκα τοῦ κυρίου -- πλείους γὰρ καὶ τούτων περιῆσαν εἰς ἔτι τότε τῷ βίῳ). Next he tells of two grandsons of Juda, a brother of Jesus -- he calls them Zachariah and Jacob -- who were brought before Domitian (3.19, 20). Finally, he says that these people, after being released by Domitian, "ruled over the churches, inasmuch as they were both witnesses and also relations of the Lord" (3.20.6: τοὺς δὲ ἀπολυθέντας ἡγήσασθαι τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν, ὡς ἂν δὴ μάρτυρας ὁμοῦ καὶ ἀπὸ γένους ὄντας τοῦ κυρίου); cp. also 3.32.6: ἔρχονται οὖν καὶ προηγοῦνται πάσης ἐκκλησίας ὡς μάρτυρες καὶ ἀπὸ γένους τοῦ κυρίου (" So they come and assume the leadership in every church as witnesses and relatives of the Lord "). This statement about leadership is vague, but it is hardly possible to take προηγοῦνται merely as denoting a general position of honor. Probably they too had the honored rank of "apostles" in the communities; at any rate, in 1 Cor. 9.5 Paul groups them with the latter as missionaries.

\13/ It is a priori probable that there were also Jewish Christians who (exclusively) spoke Greek and this follows, among other things, also from the fact that a Greek translation of the gospel according to the Hebrews existed in Egypt during the second century. Outside Palestine and the neighbouring provinces (with the exception of Egypt), Jewish Christians who separated themselves from the main body of the church were, in all likelihood, so few during the second century that we need not take them into account in this connection. The statement of Jerome (Ep. ad Aug. 112, c. 13) that the Nazarenes were to be found in every Jewish synagogue throughout the East, is to be taken with a large grain of salt, and must be toned down considerably: “What am I to say about the Ebionites who allege themselves to be Christians? To this day the sect exists in all the synagogues of the Jews, under the title of ‘the Minim’; the Pharisees still curse it, and the people dub its adherents ‘Nazarenes,’” etc. (“Quid dicam de Hebionitis, qui Christianos esse se simulant? usque hodie per totas orientis synagogas inter Judaeos heresis est, quae dicitur Minaeorum et a Pharisaeis nunc usque damnatur, quos vulgo Nazaraeos nuncupant”). Jewish Christianity also reached India (= South Arabia or perhaps the Axumite kingdom, Eus., H.E. 10.3; Socrat., 1.19; Philostorgius, 2.6), as well as Rome, but those groups were quite insignificant.

Eusebius writes(H.E. 3.5.3): τοῦ λαοῦ τῆς ἐν ῾Ιεροσολύμοις ἐκκλησίας κατά τινα χρησμὸν τοῖς αὐτόθι δοκίμοις δι’ ἀποκαλύψεως ἐκδοθέντα πρὸ τοῦ πολέμου μεταναστῆναι τῆς πόλεως καί τινα τῆς Περαίας πόλιν οἰκεῖν κεκελευσμένου, Πέλλαν αὐτὴν ὀνομάζουσιν, τῶν εἰς Χριστὸν πεπιστευκότων ἀπὸ τῆς ῾Ιερουσαλὴμ μετῳκισμένων ... ("The people belonging to the church at Jerusalem had been ordered by an oracle revealed to approved men on the spot before the war broke out, to leave the city and dwell in a town of Peræa called Pella. Then after those who believed in Christ had withdrawn thither," etc.).
Epiphanius writes (Hær. 29.7 [vol. 1, p. 330, lines 4ff]):
ἔστιν δὲ αὕτη ἡ αἵρεσις [[101]] ἡ Ναζωραίων ἐν τῇ Βεροιαίων περὶ τὴν Κοίλην Συρίαν καὶ ἐν τῇ Δεκαπόλει περὶ τὰ τῆς Πέλλης μέρη καὶ ἐν τῇ Βασανίτιδι ἐν τῇ λεγομένῃ Κωκάβῃ, Χωχάβῃ δὲ ῾Εβραϊστὶ λεγομένῃ. ἐκεῖθεν γὰρ ἡ ἀρχὴ γέγονε, μετὰ τὴν ἀπὸ τῶν ῾Ιεροσολύμων μετάστασιν πάντων τῶν μαθητῶν ἐν Πέλλῃ ᾠκηκότων, Χριστοῦ φήσαντος καταλεῖψαι τὰ ῾Ιεροσόλυμα καὶ ἀναχωρῆσαι δι’ ἣν ἤμελλε πάσχειν πολιορκίαν. καὶ ἐκ τῆς τοιαύτης ὑποθέσεως τὴν Περαίαν οἰκήσαντες ἐκεῖσε, ὡς ἔφην, διέτριβον.
("Now this sect of the Nazarenes exists in Berœa in Cœle-Syria, and in the Decapolis in the district of Pella, and in Kochaba of Basanitis — called Khoraba in Hebrew. For thence it originated after the migration from Jerusalem of all the disciples who resided at Pella, Christ having instructed them to leave Jerusalem and relocate since it was about to undergo siege. It was owing to this counsel that they went away, as I have said, to reside for a while at Peræa").
Compare Hær. 18.1 (vol 1, p. 215, lines 14ff):
τοὺς ῾Ημεροβαπτιστὰς καλουμένην τῶν Νασαραίων, οἵτινες ᾿Ιουδαῖοί εἰσι τὸ γένος, ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλααδίτιδος καὶ Βασανίτιδος καὶ τῶν ἐπέκεινα τοῦ ᾿Ιορδάνου ὁρμώμενοι
("the so-called Hemerobaptists of the Nasarenes, who are Jewish by race, came forth from Galaaditis and Basanitis and other places beyond the Jordan" -- so they were a pre-Christian sect!);
and further, Hær. 30.2 (vol 1 page 335 lines 6ff):

ἐπειδὴ γὰρ πάντες οἱ εἰς Χριστὸν πεπιστευκότες τὴν Περαίαν
κατ’ ἐκεῖνο καιροῦ κατῴκησαν τὸ πλεῖστον, ἐν Πέλλῃ τινὶ πόλει καλουμένῃ τῆς Δεκαπόλεως τῆς ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ γεγραμμένης πλησίον τῆς Βαταναίας\14/ καὶ Βασανίτιδος χώρας, τὸ τηνικαῦτα ἐκεῖ μεταναστάντων καὶ ἐκεῖσε διατριβόντων αὐτῶν, γέγονεν ἐκ τούτου πρόφασις τῷ ᾿Εβίωνι. καὶ ἄρχεται μὲν τὴν κατοίκησιν ἔχειν ἐν Κωκάβῃ τινὶ κώμῃ ἐπὶ τὰ μέρη τῆς Καρναὶμ [[[*635]]] τῆς καὶ\14a/ ᾿Ασταρὼς ἐν τῇ Βασανίτιδι χώρᾳ, ὡς ἡ ἐλθοῦσα εἰς ἡμᾶς γνῶσις περιέχει [now he says that the Nazarenes also were to be sought there]. ἔνθεν ἄρχεται τῆς κακῆς αὐτοῦ διδασκαλίας, ὅθεν δῆθεν καὶ οἱ Ναζωραῖοι, οἳ ἄνω μοι προδεδήλωνται. συναφθεὶς γὰρ οὗτος ἐκείνοις καὶ ἐκεῖνοι τούτῳ, ἑκάτερος ἀπὸ τῆς ἑαυτοῦ μοχθηρίας τῷ ἑτέρῳ μετέδωκε. καὶ διαφέρονται μὲν ἕτερος πρὸς τὸν ἕτερον κατά τι, ἐν δὲ τῇ κακονοίᾳ ἀλλήλους ἀπεμάξαντο. ἤδη δέ μοι καὶ ἐν ἄλλοις λόγοις καὶ κατὰ τὰς ἄλλας αἱρέσεις περὶ τῆς τοποθεσίας Κωκάβων καὶ τῆς ᾿Αραβίας διὰ πλάτους εἴρηται
(“For when all who believed in Christ had settled down about that time in Peræa, the majority of the emigrants taking up their abode at Pella, a city of the Decapolis mentioned in the gospel, near the district of Batanea\14/ and Basanitis, ... Ebion got his excuse and opportunity. At first their abode was at Kochaba, a village in the district of Karnaim, Arnem,\14a/ and Astaroth, in the region of Basanitis, according to the information which we have received [now he says that the Nazarenes also were to be sought there]. ... But I have spoken, in other connections and with regard to other heresies, of the [[102]] locality of Kochaba and Arabia ").
Also Epiph., De Mens. et Pond. 15 (lines 395ff):
῾Ηνίκα γὰρ ἔμελλεν ἡ πόλις ἁλίσκεσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ῾Ρωμαίων καὶ
ἐρημοῦσθαι προεχρηματίσθησαν ὑπὸ ἀγγέλου τοῦ Θεοῦ πάντες οἱ μαθηταὶ μεταστῆναι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως, μελλούσης ἄρδην ἀπόλλυσθαι. Οἵτινες μετανάσται γενόμενοι ᾤκησαν ἐν Πέλλῃ τῇ προγεγραμμένῃ πόλει, πέραν τοῦ ᾿Ιορδάνου· ἡ δὲ πόλις ἐκ Δεκαπόλεως λέγεται εἶναι
("For when the city was about to be captured and sacked by the Romans, all the disciples were warned beforehand by an angel to depart from the city, doomed as it was to utter destruction. On migrating from it they settled at Pella, the aforementioned city, across the Jordan . Now that city is said to belong to Decapolis. ").
Finally, compare Epiph., Hær. 30.18 (vol. 1, p. 357, lines 12ff): [The Ebionites] “spring for the most part from Nabatea [Batanea?] and Paneas, as well as from Moabitis and Kochaba in the Basanitis region on the other side of Adraa"
(Οὗτος μὲν οὖν ὁ ᾿Εβίων καὶ αὐτὸς ἐν τῇ ᾿Ασίᾳ ἔσχεν τὸ κήρυγμα καὶ ῾Ρώμῃ, τὰς δὲ ῥίζας τῶν ἀκανθωδῶν παραφυάδων ἔχουσιν ἀπό τε τῆς Ναβαταίας καὶ Πανεάδος τὸ πλεῖστον, Μωαβίτιδός τε καὶ Κωκάβων ἐν τῇ Βασανίτιδι γῇ ἐπέκεινα ᾿Αδραῶν, ἀλλὰ καὶἐν τῇ Κύπρῳ),
and Haer. 40.1: "in Arabia in Kochabe, where the roots of the Ebionites and also the Nazarenes originated" (get gk).

\14/ Among the Christian inscriptions found in Batanea are some from the pre-Constantine period; see Le Bas and Waddington, #2145; but the oldest inscription there relating to a church is from the year 354 to Eitha (?) -- compare #2124.

\14a/ The reading Arnem [as in the English translation] is unsure; Schmidtke (Judenchristliche Evangelien, p. 230) considers it a dittography; Holl also eliminates it [as in the Greek text provided here].

About these passages, their sources (or source), and the geographical-political situation, much could be said and even more conjectured.\15/ It would be difficult to identify he aforementioned Kochaba with the Kochaba of Julius Africanus.\16/ But for us these reports are especially important because they attest that in connection with the great war, and after it, the Palestinian Jewish Christians (those west of [[103]] the Jordan, not only those in Jerusalem) for the most part migrated and settled especially in Pella\17/ in Perea (or in the Decapolis), in [[[*636]]] Kochaba in Basanitis,\18/ and in Berea and its surrounding area (Cœle-Syria).\19/ Even if in the last cited passage above, Epiphanius also names Nabatea [Batanea], Paneas, and Moabitis, it cannot be affirmed that the escaping Jewish Christians reached these areas also at the very beginning.\20/ They fled before [[104]] the hatred and persecution [[[*637]]] of the Palestinian Jews, correctly recognizing that in the Greek cities of the east and in the contryside, they would be perhaps not well off, but better off than in their homeland. This process, which was previewed in the dispersion of the Jerusalem community after the persecution of Stephen, was repeated once again later, in the fourth and fifth centuries, when numerous Christian heretics fled from the state church into the eastern areas across the Jordan. All these attempts to escape presuppose small numers and people who had little to lose by way of property. Thus they teach us that we need to exercise restraint in estimating the numbers of these "Ebionites."\21/ These people, often fractured and then susceptible in part to foreign influences, survived in these areas along the Jordan and the Dead Sea on into the fourth century, and even later. Persecuted by the Jews and gentiles, considered by the gentile Christians to be half-Jews (in terms of nationality and language [Aramaic], they were indeed also Jews), they probably dragged out a wretched existence. The gentile Christian bishops (even those of Palestine ) and teachers rarely noticed them. It is remarkable how little Eusebius, for example, knows about them; even Justin and later Jerome provide only a modest glimpse. Origen, since he took residence in Palestinian Caesarea, and Epiphanius knew most about them. The former gives an account of their numbers which is more significant than the statement of Justin (Apology 1.53.3: πλείονάς τε καὶ ἀληθεστέρους τοὺς ἐξ ἐθνῶν τῶν ἀπὸ ᾿Ιουδαίων καὶ Σαμαρέων Χριστιανοὺς εἰδότες; = there are many Christians from the nations which are of the Judeans and Samaritans). Origen writes (Tom. 1.1 in Joh., ed. Brooke, 1.pp. 2 f.), with reference to the 144,000 sealed saints of the Apocalypse, that this could not mean Jews by birth, i.e. Jewish Christians, since one might quite well hazard the conjecture that there were not 144,000 Jewish Christians in existence. Now this remark furnishes us with a rough idea of the number of Jewish [[105]] Christians during the first half of the third century. That Origen knew the districts where Jewish Christians chiefly resided, follows from his travels from Cæsarea to Bostra; he also knew the extent of the Jewish Christian synagogues in Alexandria and lower Egypt. And these were the main locations. In this connection, one can recall another estimate of their numbers by Origen. Justin, himself a Samaritan by birth, [[[*638]]] relates in his Apology (1. 26) that "almost all the Samaritans, but only a few from other peoples, acknowledge Simon Magus as their chief god." A hundred years later, Origen writes (c. Cels., 1.57 ): "At present the number of Simon's disciples all over the world does not amount, in my opinion, to thirty, and perhaps that is even putting it too high; there are extremely few in Palestine , but in the other parts of the world, where he wanted to make his name exalted, they are totally unknown."\22/ The Simonian mission activity thus scarcely survived the second century of its existence.

\15/ For examples of these, see Zahn's Forschungen 6, p. 270; see also Renan, Les Evangiles, pp. 39ff.

\16/ There is a Kôkab el Hawâ southeast of Tabor (cp. Baedeker's Palestina und Syrien\5, p. 252), but still nearer (about 3-4 hours north) from Nazareth there appears to have been a Kâkab; it is advisable to take this as the village mentioned by Africanus along with Nazareth (in Eus., H.E. 1.7.14) -- if this Kâkab ever existed; the maps by Thomsen do not include it. We can hardly identify it with the Kokaba of Epiphanius (so Schmidke, op. cit. p.234), which lay east of the Jordan, since Africanus mentions Nazareth and the other village in the same breath as the home of the relatives of Jesus, who were still Galileans. It must therefore be regarded as an accident that the home of the relatives of Jesus and the place east of the Jordan, where numerous Christians later lived, were called by almost the same name. Moritz indicates that the location of Kokaba is unsure. — A curious detail worth noting is that the martyr Conon, whom legend places under Decius, and who lived and died as a gardener at Magydus in Pamphilia, claimed at his trial that he came from Nazareth and was a relative of Jesus (von Gebhardt, Acta Mart. Selecta, p. 130).

\17/ From Pella came that Aristo who, in the first half of the second century, composed the dialogue between the Hebrew Christian Jason and the Alexandrian Jew [[[*636b]]] Papiscus, which unfortunately has been lost except for a few fragments. Perhaps Aristo himself was a Jew by birth who had gone over to gentile Christianity. His dialogue ends with the triumph of Jason.

\18/ Kochaba (or Kochabe, a favourite place-name) is not the Kôkab situated about twenty kilometers [12½  miles] southwest of Damascus (see Baedeker, pp. 295, 348, and the map there), where Paul's conversion was located during the Middle Ages, for this spot does not correspond to the detailed statements of Epiphanius. Kochaba is also not the location about which Eusebius writes (probably following Origen) in his Onomasticon (p.172 line 2):  Χωβά ἥ ἐστιν ἐν ἀριστερᾷ Δαμασκοῦ. ἔστιν δὲ καὶ Χωβὰ κώμη ἐν τοῖς αὐτοῖς μέρεσιν, ἐν ᾗ εἰσιν ῾Εβραίων οἱ εἰς Χριστὸν πιστεύσαντες, ᾿Εβιωναῖοι καλούμενοι ("Choba is on the left of Damascus. There is also a village of Choba in the same district where Hebrews are to be found, who believe in Christ; called Ebionites." So also Jerome). This Choba (as Fürrer kindly informs me) is identified with the modern Kâbun, north of Damascus (disputed by Thomsen, Loca Sancta p.116, who still wants to identify it with the Kôkab located southwesterly from Damascus). With this all the statements of Epiphanius agree {{(see further, Hær. 40.1: 3 [vol. 2, p. 81, lines 15ff, on the "Archontics"]: καὶ ἀπελθὼν κατῴκησεν ἐν τῇ ᾿Αραβίᾳ ἐν Κωκάβῃ, ἔνθα αἱ τῶν ᾿Εβιωναίων τε καὶ Ναζωραίων ῥίζαι ἐνήρξαντο = ... in Arabia at Kochaba, where the origins of the Ebionites and Nazarenes lay).}}, but the location has not yet been identified with assurance. It is to be sought on the other side, very possibly westward from Adraa (Der'at; see Baedeker, p. 186) and in the vicinity of Tell-el-Asch'ari, which lies not far north-northwest from Der'at, and may be identified with Karnaim-Astaroth (Baedeker, p. 183). Basanitis, or Batanæa, belonged to Arabia in the time of Epiphanius. Zahn (Forsch. 1, .pp. 330ff.) is inclined to look for Kochaba much farther to the south; but in order to make such a location probable, he has to cast doubts upon the precise description of Epiphanius. But there is no obvious reason to do this, especially as Epiphanius (Hær. 30.2) observes that elsewhere he has presented an explicit topographical account of Kochaba. Fürrer kindly informs me that "Kochaba, called Chorabe in Hebrew, may be identified with Kharaba about 8 kilometers [5 miles] northwest of Bostra. Kharaba, indeed, lies pretty far from Astaroth (Tel Astara) and Karnaim (Dschurên in Ledscha), east and south of these localities. The name is evidence for the identification. The designation Kochaba has disappeared in the course of time." In disagreement is Thomsen, op.cit. p. 82, who looks for Kochaba between the Sea of Genesaret and Karnaim-Astaroth; yet another view in Schmidtke, op.cit. p. 230ff. Compare Renan, 43 f.

\19/ It is doubtful whether this migration took place at so early a period; it could also have occurred later. Jerome found Jewish Christians in Berœa (De Vir. Ill. 3).

\20/ The mention of Moabitis is perhaps due to the impression produced by the fact that it is primarily there that the Elkesaites (Sampsæans) were to be found; see Hær. 53.1 (vol. 2, p. 314, lines 24ff): Σαμψαίων τινῶν ἐν τῇ Περαίᾳ, περὶ ὧν ἤδη ἐν ταῖς ἄλλαις αἱρέσεσιν ἐπεμνήσθημεν, τῶν δὴ καὶ ᾿Ελκεσαίων καλουμένων, αἵρεσίς τις ὑπάρχει ἐν τῇ Περαίᾳ οὕτω καλουμένῃ χώρᾳ πέραν τῆς ἁλυκῆς ἤτοι νεκρᾶς καλουμένης θαλάσσης, ἔν <τε> τῇ Μωαβίτιδι χώρᾳ περὶ τὸν χειμάρρουν ᾿Αρνὼν καὶ ἐπέκεινα ἐν τῇ ᾿Ιτουραίᾳ καὶ Ναβατίτιδι, ὡς καὶ ἤδη μοι πολλάκις περὶ τούτων δεδήλωται
("Certain Sampsæans in Peræa ... beyond the so-called Salt or Dead Sea in the Moabitis region, around the Arnon torrent and across the borders in Ituræa [[105b]] and Nabatitis ..."). -- Whether the sect of the "Peratæ," first mentioned by Clem. Alex. (Strom. 7.17.108) had anything to do with Peræa, as [[[*637b]]] e.g. Hort and Mayor suppose (Comment. on Strom. 7, p. 354, 1902), remains to be seen. Clement himself also thinks that the name derives from some locality.

\21/ I leave aside here the vexed question as to the relationship between the Nazarenes and Ebionites.

\22/ This is comparable to Tertullian's notice (De Anima 50) — which is not, of course, as significant — of the sect of Menander, which must also be sought especially in Palestine (Samaria). He calls Menander's adherents "paucissimi" {("very few")} and adds: "Suspectam faciam tantam raritatem securissimi et tutissimi sacramenti [i.e., Menander's baptismal rite] . . . . cum contra omnes iam nationes adscendant in montem domini" ("I find it suspicious when a sacral rite that has such protective and saving efficacy [as to avoid death] is so seldom observed . . . . when, in contrast, all nations are already going up to the mountain of the Lord [resulting in martyrdom that leads to life]").

{extra space}

Now let us return to Ælia-Jerusalem and to the gentile Christian communities of Palestine which replaced the Jewish Christians. The first gentile Christian president in Ælia\22a/ was a certain Marcus (135/136 CE).\23/ This community of Ælia, like the city itself, remained insignificant for a long time. This is abundantly clear from the negative evidence from the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, even when one takes into account the fact that Eusebius was bishop of Cæsarea, the natural rival of Ælia. The city was known as “Ælia” even in ecclesiastical terminology (cp., e.g., Eus., H.E. 2.12.3; Dionys. Alex., ibid. 7.5 ; Mart. Pal. 11, though "Jerusalem" also occurs); which shows that even the church [[106]] at first held that the old tradition had been broken.\24/ Nevertheless, as is well known, the sacred Christian sites\25/ were sought out during the second and third centuries; some of them were actually found and visited. A certain amount of theological activity is attested by the existence of a library which bishop Alexander established in Ælia at the opening of the third century (Eus., H.E. 6.20).\26/

\22a/ A curious detail worth noting is that Aponius (Comm. to the Song of Songs, book 12, p. 252) connects the name "Aelia" with the sun, and transforms it into "Elyopolis" -- quae etiam Elyopolis prius est nuncupata, quod est civitas solis, de qua lux porrecta est in toto tenebroso corpore mundi, de qua sanitatis medicina diffusa est in omnibus membris ecclesiae, etc. Note that the Tab. Peutingerians also writes "Helia capitolina" and the "Silvia" has "Helia, i.e. Ierusolima."

\23/ The episcopal list (cp. my Chronologie 1, pp. 220 f.) up to 250 CE shows nothing but Greco-Roman names: Cassianus, Publius, Maximus, Julianus, Gaius, Symmachus, Gaius, Julianus, Capito, Maximus, Antoninus, Valens, Dolichianus, Narcissus, Dius, Germanion, Gordius, Alexander. Then come four names — Mazabanes, Hymenæus, Zabdas, and Hermon — two of which, of course, are Syrian.

\24/ By 300 CE the name " Jerusalem " had become wholly unfamiliar in wide circles. A good example of this is afforded by Mart. Pal. 11.10, which tells how a confessor described himself to the Roman governor as a citizen of Jerusalem (meaning the heavenly Jerusalem ). "The magistrate, however, thought it was an earthly city, and sought carefully to discover what city it could be, and wherever it could be situated." Even were the anecdote proved to be fictitious, it is still conclusive.

\25/ Eusebius (H.E. 6.2, apropos of Alexander of Cappadocia) gives an early instance of this, in the year 212/213. In consequence, the repute of the Jerusalem church must have gradually revived or arisen during the course of the third century. The first serious evidence of it occurs in the case of Firmilian of Cæsarea (Cyprian's Ep., 75.6), who upbraids the Roman church with failing to observe the exact methods followed by the church of Jerusalem. But even this evidence must not be overrated. Prominent Cappadocian Christians had been for long in close touch with Palestine. The real revival of the Jerusalem church belongs to the age just before Constantine, when the worship of heroes, martyrs, and sacred relics became part and parcel of the faith. Constantine then did his utmost to exalt Jerusalem.

\26/ We have only one important early trace of this library, and even it is enigmatic. It is to be found in the abrupt and paradoxical statement of Cod. Ambros. H. 150. Inf. Sæc. 9: "In commentariis Victorini inter plurima hæc etiam scripta reperimus: invenimus in membranis Alexandri episcopi qui fuit in Hierusalem quod transcripsit manu sua de exemplaribus apostolorum" {[give an ET]} (whereupon a perverse chronology of the life of Jesus follows); cp. von Dobschütz in Texte u. Unters. 11.1.

Once the metropolitan system came to be organized, the bishop of Cæsarea was metropolitan of Syria-Palestina;\27/ but it is quite clear, from the history of Eusebius, that the bishop of Ælia not merely stood next to him, but somehow shared with him the [[107]] management of the synod. And as time went on, he gradually eclipsed his rival.\28/ Under Origen, Cæsarea became a second Alexandria in point of theological learning and activity. Pamphilus, who founded the great local library there for the purpose of biblical interpretation and in order to preserve the works of Origen, has the credit of having adhered firmly to the traditions of his great master, and of having made the work of Eusebius possible.

\27/ The prestige of Cæsarea dates from the days of Herod the Great, who rebuilt the city on an imposing scale. It was the headquarters of the Roman procurators, and consequently became the ecclesiastical capital. Tacitus, (Hist. 2.78) calls it "Judææ caput" {="chief city of Juaea"}; while after Severus Alexander it was the capital of the province Syria-Palestina. The city was always predominantly Greek, not Jewish; hence it was possible to master and massacre the local Jews at the outbreak of the Jewish war {Josephus??}. Acts relates how the first real gentile Christian was converted at Cæsarea, and that his conversion became the basis of the gentile mission (Acts 10). He was the military captain of the place! The troops under command of the procurator were stationed at Cæsarea.

\28/ The metropolitan nexus cannot be traced earlier than c. 190 CE (the Paschal controversy). Eusebius (5.23) tells how Theophilus of Cæsarea and Narcissus of Jerusalem were then at the head of the Palestinian churches and synod. In noticing the synodal communication (5.23), he puts Narcissus first, while he distinguishes the bishops of Tyre and Ptolemais, who attended the synod, from the Palestinian bishops. The communication is interesting, as it incidentally mentions a constant official intercourse between the provincial churches of Palestine and the church of Alexandria . The leading bishops of Palestine were favourable to Origen. When he was in Cæsarea, in 215/216, he preached in church, though a layman, "at the request of the bishops" (of the local synod in session). Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem , and Theoktistus, bishop of Cæsarea (mentioned in this order), defended this permission against the complaints of Demetrius, the bishop of Alexandria , in a joint letter (Eus., H. E. 6.19.16 f.). The consecration of Origen to the office of presbyter seems also to have taken place at a synod in Cæsarea (Eus., 6.23). Eusebius, however, puts the matter very strangely: τὴν διὰ Παλαιστίνης, πρεσβείου χειροθεσίαν ἐν Καισαρείᾳ πρὸς τῶν τῇδε ἐπισκόπων ἀναλαμβάνει {[supply ET]}
We have also to assume a Palestinian synod about the year 231/232, which refused to recognize the condemnation of Origen by Demetrius (cp. Jerome's Epp. 33.4). In his epistle to Stephanus (Eus., H.E. 7.5.1), Dionysius of Alexandria puts Theoktistus, bishop of Cæsarea, before Mazabanes, bishop of Ælia. But in the synodal document of the great Eastern synod of Antioch in 268 (Eus., 7.30.2), the bishop of Jerusalem precedes the bishop of Cæsarea, while at the synod of Nicæa Macarius of Jerusalem voted before Eusebius of Cæsarea. Eusebius only gives the episcopal list of Cæsarea as far back as 190 CE, and that of Jerusalem as far back as James. But did Eusebius know of bishops at Caesarea before 190? I pass over, as untrustworthy, the statement of Eutychius (cp. my Chronol. 1, p. 222) that Demetrius of Alexandria addressed a circular letter to Victor of Rome, Maxim(in)us of Antioch, and "Gabius" (Gaius?) of Jerusalem.

We know nothing about the size of the Jerusalem church or the percentage of Christians in the city. But until the intervention of Constantine they were unable to secure possession of the holy sepulchre (or what they both took to be its site; the pagans had erected a temple to Venus on it; cp. Eus., Vit. Const. 3.26), which shows their lack of power within the city.\29/

\29/ The Christian community in Cæsarea seems to have been more influential. According to Socrates (3.23), who depends upon Eusebius, the later Neoplatonist Porphyry {early 3rd century} was beaten by Christians in Cæsarea.

[[108]] In Acts we hear of Christians, outside Jerusalem , at Samaria (and in Samaritan villages; cp. 8.25), Lydda (Diospolis), Saron,\30/ Joppa, and Cæsarea. Codex D of the New Testament locates Mnason, the old disciple (Acts 21.16), at an unnamed village between Cæsarea and Jerusalem .  

\30/ Acts 9.35 seems to take Saron as a group of places.

At Nicæa there were present the bishops of Jerusalem, Neapolis\31/ (Sichem), Sebaste (Samaria),\32/ Cæsarea, Gadara, Ascalon, Nicopolis, Jamnia, Eleutheropolis, Maximianopolis, Jericho, Sebulon, Lydda, Azotus, Scythopolis, Gaza, Aila, and Capitolias.\33/ Elsewhere we have direct or inferential evidence\34/ for the presence of Christians (though in very small numbers at particular spots) at Sichar ('Asker), Bethlehem, Anea near Eleutheropolis in the district of Beth Gubrin, Batanea\35/ near Cæsarea (Aulana), Anim, Jattir, and Phæno. Eusebius (H.E. 6.11.3) mentions bishops of churches which were situated round (πέριξ ) Jerusalem , even in the year 212/213; but we do not know who are meant. Similarly, in Mart. Pal. 1.3, he mentions τῶν ἐπιχωρίων ἐκκλησιῶν ἄρχοντες, "rulers of the country churches" (in the neighbourhood of Cæsarea), who were martyred at Cæsarea under Diocletian. But unfortunately he does not specify the localities. Nor do we know anything about the [[109]] church of Asclepius , the Marcionite bishop who was martyred in the persecution of Daza (Eus., Mart. Pal. 10. 1), or about the place to which the bishop mentioned by Epiphanius in Hær. 63.2 (vol. 2, p. 400, line 8) ( ἐν πόλει μικρᾷ τῆς Παλαιστίνης τὸν τοῦ ἐπισκόπου κλῆρον= in a small town of Palestine ), belonged. The latter outlived the era of the great persecution,\36/ as he is expressly termed a confessor.  

\31/ The birthplace of Justin the apologist. Epiphanius (Hær. 78.24 [vol. 3, p. 473, lines 22ff]) describes a peculiar local cult:
᾿Εν γὰρ Σικίμοις, τουτέστιν ἐν τῇ νυνὶ Νεαπόλει, θυσίας οἱ ἐπιχώριοι τελοῦσιν εἰς ὄνομα τῆς Κόρης, δῆθεν ἐκ προφάσεως τῆς θυγατρὸς ᾿Ιεφθάε, τῆς ποτὲ προσενεχθείσης τῷ θεῷ εἰς θυσίαν· καὶ τοῖς ἠπατημένοις τοῦτο γέγονεν εἰς βλάβην εἰδωλολατρείας καὶ κενολατρείας {[do ET]}
He can also report a remarkable statement about Sichem (Hær. 80.1 [vol. 3, p. 485, lines 19ff]):
ἀλλὰ καὶ προσευχῆς τόπος ἐν Σικίμοις,ἐν τῇ νυνὶ καλουμένῃ Νεαπόλει, ἔξω τῆς πόλεως ἐν τῇ πεδιάδι ὡς ἀπὸ σημείων δύο, θεατροειδὴς οὕτως ἐν ἀέρι καὶ αἰθρίῳ τόπῳ ἐστὶ κατασκευασθεὶς ὑπὸ τῶν Σαμαρειτῶν πάντα τὰ τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων μιμουμένων {[do ET]}

\32/ The signatures to the Nicene council (Gelzer, Hilgenfeld, and Cunitz, 1898, p. lx) give a double entry: MarinoV SebasthnoV and GaianoV SebasthV. Schwartz (Zur Gesch. des Athanas., 6, p. 286) thinks that the town and the district formed two churches — which is quite likely.

\33/ The presence of bishops or Christians in several of these towns is attested also by Alexander of Alexandria (in Athanas., de Synod. 17, and Epiph., Hær. 69.4), and Eusebius (Mart. Pa1.).

\34/ I leave out the pseudo-Clementines.

\35/ "Batanea near Cæsarea may be identified with Khirbet Bethân (Ibthân); it is the one ruin S. of Zeita, and W. of Attil, in the district of Saron, about 4 hours E.S.E. from Cæsarea. But this identification seems to me problematical. I would have rather discovered the holy springs of Betaænea (Batanea)"; so Fürrer writes. On the Guthe-Fischer map Batanea is put due E. of Cæsarea.

\36/ This can hardly mean the persecution under Julian, as the bishop in question was dead by 370 CE, after a long tenure of the episcopate.

The large majority of the localities in Palestine where bishops or Christians can be traced are Greek cities. It was among the Greek population that Palestinian Christianity from Hadrian onwards won most adherents. If we further assume that in general, until Constantine mastered Palestine, there were no Christians\37/ at all in Tiberias — which, with Jabne (Jamnia) and Lydda (Diospolis) formed the headquarters of rabbinic learning,\38/ — in Diocæsarea (Sepphoris), in Nazareth, and in Capernaum\39/ (for the local Christians in primitive times had been driven out by the fanatical Jews); assuming also that [[110]] they were extremely scanty in the territory stretching away to the south of Jerusalem,\40/ then it is impossible to speak of Palestine being Christianized before the time of Constantine. Save for a few exceptions, the lowlands were Jewish, while in Jewish towns and localities Christians were only tolerated against the will of the inhabitants, if they were tolerated at all. In Diocæsarea, e.g., even under Constantine , the Jews were still so numerous that they essayed a rising (Socrat., H.E. 2.33);and Theodoret (H.E. 4.19) relates how in the reign of Valens the town was inhabited by Jews who murdered Christians. In the Hellenistic towns Christians were to be met with, but even there — with the exception of Cæsarea, perhaps — they were not very numerous, while several important pagan towns with ancient shrines — especially those on the seaboard of Philistia — offered them a sharp resistance, and refused to harbour them at all. Thus in Gaza itself no Christian bishop was in residence, as may be certainly inferred from Eus., H.E. 8.13, where Silvanus is described as bishop of “the churches round Gaza ” (cp. Mart. Pal. [short version] 13.4: ὧν ἡγεῖτο ἐκ τῆς Γαζαίων ἐπίσκοπος ὁρμώμενος Σιλβανός = “Silvanus, a bishop from Gaza ") at the time of the great persecution. Not until after 325 CE was the church organized strongly by Constantine amid the obstinate paganism of these towns (cp. Vit. Const. 4.38);thus even Asclepas, who was present at the council of Nicea (cp. Epiph., Hær. 69.4),was no more than the bishop of the churches round Gaza ,\41/ although a rather small (and secret?) Christian conventicle is to be assumed for Gaza itself as early as the age of the persecution (see Eus., Mart. Pal. 8.4, 3.1).\42/  

\37/ This does not follow from Epiph., Hær. 30.4, for the permission granted by Constantine to Joseph to build churches there, might per contra suggest the presence of local Christians. But in 30.11 (vol. 1, p. 347, lines 13ff) we read that Joseph merely secured one favour, viz., permission to build churches in those Jewish towns and villages throughout Palestine "where no one had ever been able to erect churches, owing to the absence of Greeks, Samaritans, or Christians. Especially was this the case with Tiberias, Diocæsarea, Sepphoris, Nazareth, and Capernaum, where members of all other nations were carefully excluded"
(ἔνθα τις οὐδέποτε ἴσχυσεν προστήσασθαι ἐκκλησίας διὰ τὸ μήτε ῞Ελληνα μήτε Σαμαρείτην μήτε Χριστιανὸν μέσον αὐτῶν εἶναι. τοῦτο δὲ μάλιστα ἐν Τιβεριάδι καὶ ἐν Διοκαισαρείᾳ τῇ καὶ Σεπφουρὶν καὶ ἐν Ναζαρὲτ καὶ ἐν Καπερναοὺμ φυλάσσεται <τὸ> παρ’ αὐτοῖς [τοῦ] μὴ εἶναι ἀλλόεθνον).
This is not contradicted by the statement of Epiphanius himself (30.4 [vol. 1, p. 339, lines 5f]) regarding a "bishop whose district adjoined that of Tiberias" (ἐπίσκοπον πλησιόχωρον τῆς Τιβερι<>ων ὄντα) in the pre-Constantine period; for this bishop was not exactly bishop of Tiberias. -- There must have been numerous purely Jewish localities in Palestine; thus Origen (in Matt. 16.17.1) describes Bethphage as a village of Jewish priests. In Mart. Pal. p. 61 (ed. Violet) we read that "in Palestine there is one populous city whose inhabitants are entirely Jewish, called Lud in Aramaic and Diocæsarea in Greek." — It may be purely accidental that rabbi Elieser met on the upper street of Sepphoris a disciple of Jesus called Jacob of Kephar Sechanja (cp. Aboda Sara, 16b, 17a, and Midrash rabba on Koh. 1.8; cp.Hennecke's NTliche Apocryphen 1, pp. 68f).

\38/ On the Jewish schools at Lydda and Jabne ("une sorte de petite Jérusalem resuscitée"), cp. Renan's Les Évangiles, pp. 19 f.

\39/ But a priori it is likely that originally there was a Jewish Christian community at Capernaum, and a passage in the Jerusalem Talmud confirms this supposition.

\40/ On some exceptions to this (Anim and Jattir), see below. — For idolatry in Mamre, see Vit. Const. 3.51-53. Constantine had a church built at Mamre. Sozomen (H.E. 2.4) describes the summer festival attended by Christians, pagans, and Jews there.  

\41/ The seaport of Gaza , Majuma, undoubtedly belonged to this group of churches. But other towns and townships in the vicinity were still pagan entirely. Thus Sozomen (H.E. 5.15.14) declares that his grandfather and his grandfather's family were the first converts in Bethelia: Ταύτης δὲ τῆς φυγῆς μετέσχον πολλοὶ τῶν ἐμῶν προγόνων καὶ ὁ ἐμὸς πάππος. καθότι πατρὸς ῞Ελληνος ὤν, αὐτός τε πανοικὶ καὶ οἱ ἀπὸ τοῦ γένους ᾿Αλαφίωνος Χριστιανοὶ πρῶτοι ἐγένοντο ἐν Βηθελέᾳ κώμῃ Γαζαίᾳ, πολυανθρώπῳ τε οὔσῃ καὶ ἱερὰ ἐχούσῃ ἀρχαιότητι καὶ κατασκευῇ σεμνὰ τοῖς κατοικοῦσι, καὶ μάλιστα τὸ πάνθεον ὡς ἐπὶ ἀκροπόλεως χειροποιήτου τινὸς λόφου κείμενον καὶ πανταχόθεν πάσης τῆς κώμης ὑπερέχον. {do ET} Incidentally, we learn that Jews as well as pagans resided there.

\42/ A Christian woman "from the country of Gaza " ( τούτων ἡ μὲν προτέρα τῆς Γαζαίων χώρας ἐλέγετο) is mentioned in Eus., Mart. Pal. 8.8 (short version).

[[111]] Palestinian Greek Christianity and its bishops gravitated southwards to Alexandria more readily than to Antioch and the north\43/ (see above, on Eus, H.E. 5.25); even in spiritual things it depended upon Alexandria throughout our period. This was the natural outcome of the purely Greek, or almost purely Greek, character of Christianity in Palestine, which is brought out very forcibly by the names of the martyrs recounted by Eusebius (in his Mart. Pal.). In that catalogue Jewish or Syrian names are quite infrequent (yet cp. Zebinas of Eleutheropolis, and Ennathas, a woman from Scythopolis, Mart. Pal. 9.5-6).\44/

\43/ Eus., Mart. Pal. 3.3, supports the view that in the seacoast towns of Palestine Christianity was to be found among the floating population rather than among the old indigenous inhabitants. Six Christians voluntarily reported themselves to the governor for the fight with wild beasts. "One of them, born in Pontus , was called Timolaos; Dionysius, another, came from Tripolis in Phœnicia; the third was a subdeacon of the church in Diospolis, called Romulus : besides these there were two Egyptians, Paësis and Alexander, and another Alexander from Gaza .'' Hardly any of the martyrs at Cæsarea were citizens of the town. — The relations between Palestine (Cæsarea) and Alexandria were drawn still closer by Origen and his learning. We also know that Africanus went from Emmaus to Alexandria in order to hear Heraclas, and so forth.

\44/ Old Testament names — after the end of the third century, at least — do not prove the Jewish origin of their bearers; cp. Mart. Pal. 11.7 f.: "The governor got by way of answer the name of a prophet instead of the man's proper name. For instead of the names derived from idolatry, which had been given them by their parents, they had assumed names such as Elijah, or Jeremiah, or Isaiah, or Samuel, or Daniel."

Unfortunately, this treatise of Eusebius furnishes far less illustrative or statistical material for the church of Palestine than one would expect. We can only make out, from its contents, that it corroborates our conclusion that even in the Hellenistic towns of Palestine — which Eusebius has alone in view — during the great persecution there cannot have been very many Christians. This conclusion is ratified by all we can ascertain regarding the history of Christianity in Palestine during the fourth century, especially along the Philistine seaboards.\45/ The attempt made by Constantine and his successors to definitely acclimatize Christianity in Palestine did not [[112]] succeed. Numberless churches, no doubt, were built on the sacred sites of antiquity as well as at spots which were alleged to mark past deeds and events or martyrs' graves.\46/ Hordes of monks settled down there. Pilgrims came in their thousands. But there was no real Christianizing of the country as an outcome of all this, least of all in the proud cities on the south-west coast. As late as 400 CE Gaza and Raphia remained essentially pagan. Look at Sozom., 7.15, and the Vita Porphyrii of Marcus (ed. Teubner, 1895). Here we are told that but a very few Christians — 127 in all\47/ — were to be found in Gaza, before Porphyry entered on his duties (394 CE), while the very villages near the city were still entirely pagan.\48/ For our purpose that number (127) is most valuable. It teaches us the necessity of confining within a very small limit any estimate we may choose to form of the Christianity which prevailed on the Philistine seaboard during the previous century. There is also significance in the fact that the name of "the old church" (p. 18.6) was given to the church which Asclepas, who was bishop of Gaza during the great persecution and under Constantine , had erected shortly after 325. This means that previous to 325 there were no Christian edifices in the place. Ascalon,\49/ too, had a strongly pagan population as late as the fourth century, just as Diocæsarea (see above) was inhabited by a preponderating number of Jews.\50/ The seaport [[113]] of Anthedon remained entirely pagan as late as Julian's reign.\51/  

\45/ See some data upon this in V. Schultze's Gesch. des Untergangs des griechischrömischen Heidentums (1892), 2, .pp. 240 f., and especially the "Peregrinatio Silviæ" (ed. Gamurini, 1887).

\46/ Cp. the important passage in Eus., Mart. Pal., p. 162 (ed. Violet).

\47/ Mark the Deacon , Vita Porphyrii episcopi Gazensis p. 12.1 {Teubner = TLG 11 line 12}: οἱ τότε ὄντες Χριστιανοί, ὀλίγοι καὶ εὐαρίθμητοι τυγχάν οντες (cp. p. 74.15 Teubner), "The Christians of that day were few and easily counted." It is also noted (p. 20.2 Teubner) that Porphyry added 105 Christians in one year to the original nucleus of 127. Compare the following numbers: on p. 29.10 (Teubner) there are sixty named, on p. 52.1 (Teubner) thirty-nine, then on p. 61.16 {Teubner = TLG 74 line 9} we have one year with three hundred converts, καὶ ἐξ ἐκείνου καθ’ ἕκαστον ἔτος αὔξησιν ἐπεδέχετο τὰ Χριστιανῶν ("And thenceforward every year saw an increase to the strength of local Christianity").

\48/ Vit. Porphyr., p. 16.7 {= TLG 17 line 6}: Πλησίον Γάζης κῶμαι τυγχάνουσιν παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν αἵτινες ὑπάρχουσι τῆς εἰδωλομανίας ("Near Gaza there are wayside villages which are given over to idolatry").

\49/ Sozomen (H.E. 5.15) does mention Christians at Ascalon who venerated his grandfather, but this refers to the second half of the fourth century.

\50/ Cp. Socrates, H.E. 2.33: Οἱ γὰρ ἐν Διοκαισαρείᾳ τῆς Παλαιστίνης ᾿Ιουδαῖοι κατὰ ῾Ρωμαίων ὅπλα ἀντῇραν, καὶ περὶ τοὺς τόπους ἐκείνους κατέτρεχον. ᾿Αλλὰ τούτους μὲν Γάλλος, ὁ καὶ Κωνστάντιος, ὃν Καίσαρα καταστήσας ὁ βασιλεὺς εἰς τὴν ἑῴαν ἐξαπέστειλεν, δύναμιν ἀποστείλας κατηγωνίσατο· καὶ τὴν πόλιν αὐτῶν Διοκαισάρειαν εἰς ἔδαφος κατενεχθῆναι ἐκέλευσεν ("The Jews who inhabited Palestinian Diocæsarea took up arms against the Romans, and began to lay waste the neighbourhood. Gallus, however, who was also called Constantius, whom the emperor had sent to the East after creating him Cæsar, despatched an armed force against them and routed them; whereupon, by his orders, their city, Diocæsarea, was razed to the ground").

\51/ Cp. Sozomen, H.E. 5.9.7:
ἐπεὶ καὶ αὐτὸς τότε μικροῦ συλληφθεὶς παρὰ τῶν Γαζαίων ἀνῃρέθη· ἀσχολουμένου δὲ τοῦ πλήθους περὶ τὸν φόνον τῶν αὐτοῦ ἀνεψιῶν καιρὸν εὑρὼν ἔφυγεν εἰς ᾿Ανθηδόνα πόλιν ἐπὶ θάλασσαν, ἀφεστῶσαν Γάζης ὡσεὶ σταδίους εἴκοσι, παραπλησίως δὲ τηνικαῦτα τῷ ῾Ελληνισμῷ χαίρουσαν καὶ περὶ τὴν θεραπείαν τῶν ξοάνων ἐπτοη μένην {provide ET}.


I now proceed to give a list of towns and localities in which Christians can be traced prior\52/ to 325, adding very brief annotations.

\52/ During the second century in particular, these gentile Christian churches were certainly to some extent infinitesimal. They were exposed to the double fire of local Jews and pagans, and they had no relations with the Jewish Christians. The following decision of the so-called Egyptian Church-Constitution is scarcely to be referred to Egypt . It rather applies to Palestine or Syria . <gr> {not in TLG?} </gr>
("Should there be a dearth of men, and should it be impossible to secure the requisite number of twelve capable of taking part in the election of a bishop, let a message be sent to churches in the neighbourhood"); Texte u. Unters. 2.5.71 f.

Jerusalem, represented by bishop Macarius at Nicæa; “churches round Jerusalem" in the year 212/213 are noted in Eus., H.E. 6.11.3. For the episcopal list, see above, p. 105.

Nazareth (Julius Africanus: relatives of Jesus here, but afterwards no Christians at all).

Cæsarea, the best harbour on the coast, and perhaps the largest Greek city in Palestine, though with a number of Jewish residents (Acts 10). Bishops are to be traced from 190 CE, viz., Theophilus (circa 190, Eus., H.E. 5.22.25); Theoktistus (at the crisis over Origen in Alexandria, also at the time of the Antiochene synod upon Novatian and bishop Stephanus of Rome, Eus., H.E. 6.19.17; 6.46.3 [where he is called “bishop in Palestine,” as a metropolitan]; we do not know if he was the immediate successor of Theophilus); Domnus (who only ruled for a short period, according to Eus., H.E. 7.14; he succeeded Theoktistus in the reign of Gallienus); Theoteknus (who succeeded Domnus in the same reign, and took part in the synods against Paul of Antioch, Eus., 7.14.28, 30; 7.32.21, [[114]] 24), and Agapius (Eus., 7.32.24). Ambrosius, Origen's friend, was a deacon, Proteknus a presbyter of Cæsarea (cp. Orig., Exhort. ad Mart.). Romanus was a deacon and an exorcist in a neighbouring village (Violet, Mart. Pal., p. 11). Catholic Christians and a Marcionite woman, from the country near Cæsarea, were martyred under Valerian (cp. Eus., H.E. 7.12). Counc. Nic. (bishop Eusebius). Legend makes the tax-gatherer Zacchæus the first bishop of Cæsarea. For “churches at Caesarea,” see Mart. Pal. 1.3. Christianity in Palestine had its headquarters at Cæsarea. Even the pagan population circa 300 CE seems to have been inclined that way.\53/ In the fourth century the house of the chief captain Cornelius was shown, built into the church, “et Philippi aediculas et cubicula quattuor virginum prophetarum” {=add ET} (Jerome, Ep. 108.8).

\53/ Eusebius (Violet's ed., p. 42) tells how the miracle of the corpse of Appianus the martyr took place before the eyes of the whole city, "and the whole city (young men and old, women of all ages, and virgins) gave with one accord the glory to God alone, and confessed with loud voice the name of Christ." Cp. also pp. 69 f.

Samaria-Sebaste (Acts 8., Counc. Nic., bishop Marinus; here John the Baptist was buried, acc. to Theod., H.E. 3.3).\54/

\54/ Simon Magus came from Gitta, a Samaritan village, and Menander from the village of Capparetæa .

Lydda-Diospolis (Acts 9; Theod., 1.4; Counc. Nic., bishop Antius. Close by was Arimathæa, a place visited by pilgrims, etc., Jerome).

Joppa (Acts 9).

Localities on the plain of Saron (Acts 9).

Emmaus-Nicopolis (Julius Africanus; Counc. Nic., bishop Petrus. The local church in the fourth century was held to be built out of the house of Cleopas, according to Jerome, loc. cit.).

Sichem-Flavia-Neapolis (Counc. Nic., bishop Germanus).

Scythopolis\55/ (Mart. Pal. 6, p. 4.7.110, cp. longer form of Mart. Pal., ed. Violet in Texte u. Unters., 14.4; Alex. of Alex. in Athanas., de Synod. 17; cp. Epiph., Hær. 30.5; Counc. Nic., bishop Patrophilus). [[115]]

\55/ The biblical Beth-san (Baischan, Bêsân).

Eleutheropolis (Mart. Pal. 9.5, cp. Violet, p. 73; Epiph., Hær. 68. 3, 66.1; Counc. Nic., bishop Maximus).\56/

\56/ Clermont-Ganneau, Compt. rend. de l'Acad. des Inscr. et Bell Lettr., 1904, Jan.-Feb., pp. 54 f.; recently discovered inscriptions have laid bare the opening of this city's era (199 CE), when, as we now know, Septimius Severus was in Egypt and Palestine and conferred autonomy on the city. — Epiphanius was born at Besanduke, a place near Eleutheropolis, c. 320 CE (according to the "Life"), probably of Christian parents, but possibly of Jewish.

Maximianopolis (Counc. Nic., bishop Paulus).\57/

\57/ It may be the town between Cæsarea (Straton's Tower) and Scythopolis. Probably it is. But we may also think of the town N. of Bostra in the S. Hauran (now es-Suweda, cp. Baedeker, p. 191).

Jericho (Counc. Nic., bishop Januarius ; cp. also Euseb., 6.16).

Sabulon\58/ (Count. Nic., bishop Heliodorus).

\58/ "Sabulon," says Fürrer, "I take to be the Zabulon of Josephus, which is the same as his Chabolo, the modern Kabûl, on the border of the plain of Ptolemais."

Jamnia (Mart. Pal. 11.5; Alex. of Alex. in Epiph., Hær. 69.4; Counc. Nic., bishop Macrinus).

Azotus (Counc. Nic., bishop Silvanus).

Ascalon (Mart. Pal. 10.1; Alex. of Alex. in Epiph., Hær. 69.4 ; Counc. Nic., bishop Longinus).

Gaza (for a small local conventicle with no bishop and the “churches round Gaza,” under bishop Asclepas,\59/ see above; Epiph., Hær. 68.3; Counc. Nic. Among the churches round Gaza, the seaport of Majuma was noted for its large number of Christians\60/).

\59/ St Hilarion was born (about 250 CE) at Tabatha, "a village lying about 5000 paces from Gaza ," but his parents were pagan. Commodian calls him "Gasæus," but this has nothing whatever to do with Gaza .

\60/ On account of its Christianity, Julian took away its civic rights and attached them to Gaza . Eusebius (Vita Const. 4.37-38, and after him Sozomen, 2.5, 5.3) tells how the local pagans suddenly were converted to Christianity under Constantine , and how the town received from the emperor its civic rights and the name of Constantia. Naturally, being a seaport, it contained a number of Christians before it openly professed the Christian faith. Constantine made it independent, in order to injure the pagan Gaza .

 Aila = Aelana = Elath (a seaport on the north-east corner of the Red Sea, included in Palestine at that period; Counc. Nic., bishop Petrus).

Gadara (Zacchæus a local deacon, Violet, p. 8; Counc. Nic., bishop Sabinus).

Capitolias (perhaps= Bêter-Râs; Counc. Nic., bishop Antiochus). [[116]]

Bethlehem (the existence of local Christians is deducible from Orig., c. Cels. 1.51).\61/

\61/ Tertullian (adv. Jud. 13) writes: "Animadvertimus autem nunc neminem de genere, Israel in Bethlehem remansisse, et exinde quod interdictum est ne in confinio ipsius regionis demoretur quisquam Iudaeorum" ("We notice now that none of the race of Israel has remained in Bethlehem; such has always been the case since all Jews were prohibited from lingering even in the confines of the district"). Constantine had a church built on the grotto of the birth (Vita 3.41).

Anea, a village in the territory of Eleutheropolis (Πέτρος ἀσκητὴς ὁ καὶ ᾿Αψέλαμος ἀπὸ ᾿Ανέας κώμης τῶν ὅρων ᾿Ελευθεροπόλεως Mart. Pal. 10.2 [shorter version]. Petrus Balsamus, the martyr, came from the district of Eleutheropolis; see Ruinart, p. 525).

Anim and Jether, two villages south of Hebron (on Jether or Jethira or Jattir, see Baedeker, p. 209; Anim = Ghuwîn = Ruwen, as Seybold kindly informs me (so Guérin); cp. Buhl's Geogr. Pal., p. 164), which Eusebius, in his Onomasticon, declares were exclusively inhabited by Christians. This is a striking statement, as we are not prepared for Christians in these of all districts.\62/ We must not, however, measure the density of the Christian population on the soil of Palestine by this standard. These two villages must have formed an exception to the general rule,\63/ although it remains a notable fact that there were villages already which were completely Christian.\64/  [[117]]

\62/ Fürrer, however, calls attention to the fact that many famous rabbis had also fled south.

\63/ Eusebius (7.12) tells of three Palestinian martyrs (Priscus, Malchus, and Alexander) in the reign of Valerian, stating expressly that they lived on the land, and that they were reproached for thus enjoying an unmolested life whilst their brethren in the city were exposed to suffering. Hence they voluntarily betook themselves also to Cæsarea, etc. Unfortunately, Eusebius has not specified their original home.

\64/ Fürrer writes to me as follows: "There is a slight confusion about Anim, Anea, and Anab. In the Onomasticon we read that Anab was in the district of Eleutheropolis (p. 26 line 9) : ᾿Ανάβ (Jos 15, 50). φυλῆς ᾿Ιούδα. κώμη εἰς ἔτι νῦν ἐν ὁρίοις ᾿Ελευθεροπόλεως. ἀλλὰ καὶ ᾿Αναία ἐστὶ κώμη ᾿Ιουδαίων μεγίστη καλουμένη <ἐν τῷ> Δαρωμᾷ πρὸς νότον Χεβρὼν ἀπὸ σημείων θʹ. {do ET} Then, on Anim (p. 26 line 13): ᾿Ανείμ (Jos 15, 50). φυλῆς ᾿Ιούδα. ἄλλη ᾿Αναιὰ πλησίον τῆς προτέρας, ἣ νῦν ὅλη Χριστιανῶν τυγχάνει, οὖσα ἀνατολικὴ τῆς προτέρας. {do ET} Anim has for long been identified with Ghuwîn in the south of Hebron . There are an upper and a lower Ghuwîn. The former is north-east of the latter, and would be the Christian Anim. (In Anab, about six hours south of Eleutheropolis, there are ruins of a church which seem to date from the Roman period.) They were distinguished by their sites on two hills separated by a small valley; the aforesaid ruins lie on the eastern hill. I would be disposed to look for the two Aneas here. In the west, Jews resided; in the east, Christians. On the western hill there are also ruins of a shrine, which afterwards served as a mosque; the traces of its Christian origin are still distinct." — In the Onomasticon (p. 58. 18) Eusebius writes thus: Βηθααβαρά (Ioh 1, 28). «ὅπου ἦν ᾿Ιωάννης βαπτίζων», «πέραν τοῦ ᾿Ιορδάνου». καὶ δείκνυται ὁ τόπος, ἐν ᾧ καὶ πλείους τῶν ἀδελφῶν εἰς ἔτι νῦν τὸ λουτρὸν φιλοτιμοῦνται λαμβάνειν.  {get ET} This notice does not permit us to infer the existence of any spot; on the contrary, it suggests the absence of any such spot (cp. Orig., Comm. in Joh. 6.50, and Preuschen in D. Berliner Philol. Wochenschrift, 1903, col. 1358).

Sichar-`Asker (as Eusebius observes in his Onomasticon that a church was already built there, it follows that there must have been some local Christians at an earlier date).

Batanæa, a village beside Cæsarea (Mart. Pal. 11.29; where we are not to read Manganæa, Baganæa, Balanea, or Banea; see Mercati's "I Martiri di Palestina nel Codice Sinaitico," Estr. dai Rendiconti del R. Instit. Lombard . di sc. e lett., Serie 2, vol. 30, 1897).

Phæno (according to Mart. Pal. 7.2, and Epiph., Hær. 68.3, Christians laboured in the mines at Phæno in South Palestine [cp. Mart. Pal. 8.1, and the Onomasticon]; according to Mart. 13.1, they built houses into churches,\65/ and were consequently dispersed by force into settlements throughout the various districts of Palestine.\66/ The Apology of Pamphilus for Origen is directed "To the confessors sentenced to the mines of Palestine" [“ad confessores ad metalla Palestiniae damnatos”]; cp. Routh's Reliq. Sacrœ 4(\2), p. 341).\67/ [[118]]

\65/ In the larger recension of the Mart. Pal. (Violet, pp. 105f.) we are told that the Coptic prisoners of Phæno were for a time together at Zoara (=Zoar). "Much people were with them, some who had come from elsewhere to see them, and many others who provided them with what they required, sought them out affectionately, and ministered to their wants. The whole day they spent in prayer, worship, teaching, and reading . . . . they lived all the while as if it were a festival and convocation. But God's enemy could not bear this. Forthwith a governor was sent to them. His first act was to separate them," etc.

\66/ Phæno has been again discovered; it lay in Eastern Edom , at a place where two valleys meet. The ruins are now called "Phenân" (Fürrer).

\67/ In one town, Aulona, Petrus Balsamus is said to have been martyred. He came from the district of Eleutheropolis (according to the longer Syriac recension of the Mart. Pal., he was born "in the district of Beth Gubrin"). The name of the place is perhaps misspelt, and we may identify it with Anea (see above). [Fürrer tells me, however, that there is a Beth-'Alam S.E. of Eleutheropolis, which reminds one of Aulona; so that Aulona perhaps should be distinguished from Anea.] Nor was he martyred there. It was, on the contrary, the place of his birth. No chor-episcopi from Palestine took part in the council of Nicæa. Was it because there were none at all, or very few, in Palestine ? If so, it is a fresh corroboration of the fact that Christianity had penetrated but slightly into the (Jewish) population of the country. One can hardly refute this by appealing to the bishop "of the churches round Gaza " (see above), for probably in Gaza itself there could not be any bishop. Still, there were churches in the country districts of Palestine , as we have seen, and in all likelihood they had bishops.

To sum up, we may say that, judged from a purely statistical standpoint, the policy of Maximinus Daza, which aimed at the utter eradication of Christianity, was by no means so insensate a venture in the case of Palestine as it was in that of Syria. Christianity won but a slender footing amid the Jewish population of the Holy Land ; such Jewish Christians as there were, had for the most part withdrawn across the Jordan . Amid the Greek population, [[[*653]]] again, Christianity had not as yet any numerical preponderance;\68/ evidently it drew its adherents from the fluctuating, poorer classes, rather than from the ranks of stable and propertied people.\69/ It is perfectly obvious, to judge from the treatise on the Palestinian martyrs (see above), that the latter section was hardly represented at all in local Christianity, and that so far as it did exist, it knew how to evade persecution. Thus it formed an unreliable asset for the church.\70/ The lengthy communication of Constantine to the [[119]] Palestinian cities (Eus., Vita Const. 2.23-42), issued shortly after the defeat of Licinius, also gives one the impression that local Christians were quite an inferior minority.

\68/ We must not, indeed, underestimate their numbers, for Eusebius would never have been able to say that "Christians are nowadays, of all nations, the richest in numbers" (H.E. 1.4.2), unless this factor had been both noticeable and superior to the religious associations of the country. The historian could not have \pronounced such a verdict, if Christianity had been an insignificant factor in his own surroundings at Cæsarea. From Eus., H.E. 9.1.8 ( μέγαν τε καὶ μόνον ἀληθῆ τὸν Χριστιανῶν θεὸν = "The Christians' God is great, and the only true God"), it follows also that public feeling, in Cæsarea at any rate, was not absolutely unfavourable to Christians; cp. also the passage quoted above (p. 114), with 9.1.11 (ὡς καὶ τοὺς πρότερον καθ’ ἡμῶν φονῶντας τὸ θαῦμα παρὰ πᾶσαν ὁρῶντας ἐλπίδα, συγχαίρειν τοῖς γεγενημένοις = "So that even those who formerly had raged against us, on seeing the utterly unexpected come to pass; congratulated us on what had occurred"), and especially 9.8.14 (θεόν τε τῶν Χριστιανῶν δοξάζειν εὐσεβεῖς τε καὶ μόνους θεοσεβεῖς τούτους ἀληθῶς πρὸς αὐτῶν ἐλεγχθέντας τῶν πραγμάτων ὁμολογεῖν·  = "Glorify the Christians' God, and acknowledge, under the demonstration of the facts themselves, that Christians were truly pious and the only reverent folk").

\69/ It would be important to know the nationality of the inhabitants of the villages which Eusebius describes as entirely Christian, i.e., the villages in which any Christians resided. They were Catholic Christians, not Jewish Christians — otherwise Eusebius would have noticed the point. They might be Greeks, but more probably they were Aramaic or Arabic speaking pagans who had been converted.

\70/ The excavations in Palestine , so far as I am aware, have as yet yielded extremely little for the history of local Christianity during the pre-Constantine age (cp. Kaufmann, Handbuch d. christl. Archäol., pp. 103 f.),but a thorough investigation of the country has hardly begun. Some Christian graves can be shown to be ancient, but we do not know how far they go back.


The language of worship for the gentile Christians in Palestine was Greek (although that language had only made superficial inroads among the populace\70a/);\71/ but we might a priori assume that some communities [[[*654]]] were bilingual (Greek and Aramaic), and that their number was in decline. Direct evidence of this is available for Jerusalem and Scythopolis (Mart. Pal., longer edition, pp. 4, 7, 110, ed. Violet). Procopius, we are told, himself a native of Ælia, did the congregation of Scythopolis the service of translating\72/ from Greek into Aramaic (Syriac), a statement which also proves that the service­books were still (c. 300 A.D).) untranslated into the vernacular. Translated they were, but orally.\73/ This statement also shows that the need of translation was not yet pressing. Translations of the Scriptures into the Palestinian Aramaic dialect (I pass over what is said in Epiph., Hær. 30.3.12) were [[120]] not made, so far as we have yet ascertained, until a later age. Fresh fragments of these versions have been recently made accessible,\74/ and we may expect still more of them. But it is unlikely that their originals will be pushed back into the third century.

\71/ We have already (cp. p. 105)called attention to the fact that the gentile Christian bishops of Jerusalem down to the middle of the third century were wholly Greek — to judge from their names; two of them, however, had Syriac names after that period. The names of the nineteen Palestinian bishops at Nicæa are almost entirely Greek (the Roman name of "Longinus" occurs, at Ascalon). Two bishops indeed (Nicopolis and Aila) were called Petrus and Paulus, but this is no clue to their origin. Thus in 325 CE the Palestinian bishops were wholly or almost wholly Greek. At the same time, Semites, it must be recollected, took Greek names. At any rate, they were within the range of Greek civilization. For the names of the martyrs, etc., cp. above, pp. 111 f.

\72/ In Gaza a boy of the lower classes, about 400 CE, only spoke Syriac. His mother affirmed that neither she nor her son knew Greek υἱὸς τὴν ἑλληνικὴν γλῶσσαν. ἣ δὲ διεβεβαιοῦτο ὅρκοις μηδὲ αὐτὴν μηδὲ τὸ αὐτῆς τέκνον εἰδέναι ἑλληνιστί {do ET} Mark the Deacon, Vita Porphyrii episcopi Gazensis (ed. Teubner, 1895), 66f. {= TLG 68 line 17}.

\73/ Cp. here Silviœ Peregrinatio 47: "Et quoniam in ea provincia [Palestina] pars populi et graece et siriste novit, pars etiam alia per se graece, aliqua etiam pars tantum siriste, itaque, quoniam episcopus, licet siriste noverit, tamen semper graece loquitur et numquam siriste, itaque ergo stat semper presbyter, qui, episcopo graece dicente, siriste interpretatur, et omnes audiant quae exponuntur. lectiones etiam, quaecumque in ecclesia leguntur, quia necesse est graece legi, semper stat, qui siriste interpretatur propter populum, ut semper discant. sane quicumque hic [sc. in Jerusalem] latini sunt, i.e., qui nec siriste nec graece noverunt, ne contristentur, et ipsis exponit episcopus, quia sunt alii fratres et sorores graeci-latini, qui latine exponunt eis" ("And as in the province of Palestine one section of the population knows both Greek and Syriac, whilst another is purely Greek, and a third knows only Syriac, therefore, since the bishop, though he knows Syriac, always speaks in Greek and never in Syriac, a presbyter always stands beside him to interpret his Greek into Syriac, so that all the congregation may know what is being said. Also, as the readings from Scripture in the church have to be in Greek, a Syriac interpreter is always present for the benefit of the people, that they may miss nothing of the lessons. Indeed, in case Latins here [in Jerusalem], i.e. people who know neither Greek nor Syriac, should be put out, the bishop expounds to them by themselves, since there are other brethren and sisters, Græco­Latins, who expound to them in Latin").

\74/ Cp. Lewis and Gibson, The Palestinian Syriac Lectionary of the Gospels (1899), and Violet's discovery in Damascus (see the Lexicon of Schulthess, 1903).

The inner development of the Palestinian Greek churches during our period shows — though our materials are scanty — no special features of any kind. The connection with Alexandria and the tenacious reverence for Origen, to which we have called attention, are the outstanding traits. In the history of the origin and growth of monasticism Palestine also runs parallel to Egypt. Furthermore, the veneration of heroes and martyrs (cp. the erection of martyr-chapels) can be proved for Palestine as well as for the rest of the East during the pre-Constantine age.\75/

\75/ Cp., e.g., Mart. Pal. 11.28 (fuller version), p. 102 (Violet): ἐπὶ τέτταρας δῆτα ἡμέρας τοσαύτας τε νύκτας προστάξει τοῦ Φιρμιλιανοῦ τὰ πανάγια σώματα τῶν τοῦ θεοῦ μαρτύρων εἰς βορὰν τοῖς σαρκοβόροις θηρίοις ἐξέκειτο· ὡς δὲ οὐδὲν αὐτοῖς προσῄει, οὐ θήρ, οὐκ ὄρνεον, οὐ κύων, ἐξ οἰκονομίας θεοῦ ληφθέντα σῶα καὶ ἀβλαβῆ, τῆς προσηκούσης τιμῆς καὶ κηδείας λαχόντα, τῇ συνήθειπαρεδόθη ταφῇ, ναῶν οἴκοις περικαλλέσιν ἀποτεθέντα ἐν ἱεροῖς τε προσευκτηρίοις εἰς ἄληστον μνήμην τῷ τοῦ θεοῦ λαῷ τιμᾶσθαι παραδεδομένα. {do ET}

//end of Harnack 4.3.Palestine//