EARLIEST BISHOPS OF THE CHURCH IN JERUSALEM

In Church History, Book IV chapter 5 Eusebius, 4th century Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine writes concerning the succession of the Bishops of Jerusalem: "The chronology of the bishops of Jerusalem I have nowhere found preserved in writing; for tradition says that they were all short lived.  But I have learned this much from the writings, that until the siege of the Jews, which took place under Adrian [135AD] there were fifteen bishops in succession there, all of whom are said to have been of Hebrew descent, and to have received the knowledge of Christ in purity, so that they were approved by those who were able to judge such matters and were deemed worthy of the episcopate."

Note: Eusebius is referring to the Second Jewish Revolt against Rome which was brutally suppressed in 135AD.  The First Jewish Revolt took place from 66-73AD and resulted in the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the deaths of over a million Jews, and the enslavement of circa 55,000 Jewish men, women, and children.  After the Second Revolt the city of Jerusalem was raised to the ground, rebuilt as a Roman city and renamed Aelia Capitolina.  Jews were forbidden all access to the holy city but Christians were not penalized because they did not participate in either revolt. Christian persecution which began in 64AD was diminished for a time during the reign of Hadrian.

THE FIRST CHRISTIAN BISHOPS OF JERUSALEM

1. James, kinsman of Jesus Christ + 11. Justus + 21. Gaius I 31. Dius
2. Symeon, kinsman of Jesus Christ + 12. Levi + 22. Symmachus 32. Germanio
3. Justus + 13. Ephres + 23. Gaius II 33. Gordius
4. Zacchaeus + 14. Joseph + 24. Julian II 34. Narcissus (repeated)
5. Tobias + 15. Judas + 25. Capito 35. Alexander
6. Benjamin + 16. Marcus 26. Maximus II * 36. Mazabanes
7. John + 17. Cassianus 27. Antonius  * 37. Hymenaeus
8. Matthias + 18. Publius 28. Valens 38. Zambdas
9. Phillip + 19. Maximus I 29. Dolichianus 39. Hermon
10. Seneca + 20. Julian I 30. Narcissus  

  + Jewish descent

*These two names are omitted in Eusebius' Church History, but are listed in his Chronicles and are also listed by the Church historian Epiphanius

Also see Church History, Book V, chapter 12 in which Eusebius lists the first thirty of the bishops, ending with Narcissus, "the thirtieth in regular succession from the Apostles."

Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2006 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.

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