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Ethnicity and Argument in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica$
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Aaron P. Johnson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296132

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296132.001.0001

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Rewriting Hebrew History: The Descent of the Ancient Hebrews

Rewriting Hebrew History: The Descent of the Ancient Hebrews

(p.94) 4 Rewriting Hebrew History: The Descent of the Ancient Hebrews
Ethnicity and Argument in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica

Aaron P. Johnson

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces how Eusebius creates a picture of the ancient Hebrews as chronologically earlier, and culturally and religiously superior to the other nations. However, due to ‘Egyptianization’, the Hebrews later fell into the corrupt national form of the ‘Jews’. Moses was seen as the key transitional figure, writing a law that offered an intermediate way of life for the morally-weak Jews. Only some scattered Hebrews remained after this transition to Judaism: Philo of Alexandria, Josephus, and others. For Eusebius, the coming of Christ marked the restoration of the ancient Hebrew nation.

Keywords:   Jews, Moses, Philo of Alexandria, narrative of descent, national character

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