Preparation for the Gospel (Greek: Εὐαγγελικὴ προπαρασκευή, Euangelikē proparaskeuē), commonly known by its Latin title Praeparatio evangelica, is a work of Christian apologetics written by Eusebius in the early part of the fourth century AD. It was begun about the year 313,[1] and attempts to prove the excellence of Christianity over pagan religions and philosophies. It was dedicated to Bishop Theodotus of Laodicea.[2]


The Praeparatio consists of fifteen books completely preserved. Eusebius considered it an introduction to Christianity for pagans. It remains a valuable resource for classicists because Eusebius excerpts historians and philosophers not preserved elsewhere.

Among the most important of these otherwise lost works are:


This work was used by Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–1494) as a resource for his well-known oration A Speech by Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Prince of Concord.

The first Latin translation of the Praeparatio was made by George of Trebizond and printed at Venice by Nicolas Jenson in 1470.[3] The Jesuit François Viger also translated the text into Latin for his edition with commentary of 1628.[4]

Meaning of "praeparatio evangelica"

The term also denotes an early church doctrine, praeparatio evangelica, meaning a preparation for the gospel among cultures yet to hear of the message of Christ. "[Early Christians] argued that God had already sowed the older cultures with ideas and themes that would grow to fruition once they were interpreted in a fully Christian context."[5] Eusebius' own Praeparatio Evangelica does not adopt the common notion (which occurs at least as early as Clement of Alexandria) of Greek philosophy as a "preparation for the Gospel." Eusebius instead offers a lengthy argument for the wisdom of the ancient Hebrews becoming a preparation for Greek philosophy (at least Platonic philosophy, see Praep.ev. 11–13). For Eusebius, the Greeks stole any truths they possessed from the "more ancient" Hebrews.


  1. ^ Aaron P. Johnson, Ethnicity and Argument in Eusebius' Praeparatio evangelica (2006), p. 11.
  2. ^ Mark DelCogliano (2008), "The Eusebian Alliance: the Case of Theodotus of Laodicea" (PDF), Zeitschrift für antikes Christentum, 12 (2): 256–257[dead link].
  3. ^ Roger Pearse (2003), Preface to the Online Edition of E. H. Gifford's Translation of Eusebius of Caesarea, Praeparatio Evangelica (Preparation for the Gospel)
  4. ^ Marie-Nicolas Bouillet and Alexis Chassang (eds.), "François Viger", Dictionnaire universel d'histoire et de géographie (1878), p. 1973.
  5. ^ Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2002), 122.