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Euthymius Zigabenus

Oecumenius Study Archive

12th century monk and commentator. He was a friend of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus,

Panoplia dogmatikē Alexiou vasileōs tou Komnēnou | Extracts from Dogmatic Panoply



Samuel Davidson

Euthymius Zigabenus. Euthymius Zigabenus was a Greek monk of Constantinople, and commented on the Psalms, the four gospels, the Pauline and Catholic epistles. His catena on the gospels is the best. Matthsei, editor of the Greek Testament, has lavished many praises upon it, and although it scarcely deserves so unqualified commendation, it possesses real value. The meaning is briefly educed in the grammatical method, and the connexion of the various narratives carefully indicated. Obscure words are explained by such as are unambiguous, and the discrepancies of the evangelists removed. A considerable number of allegorical and mystic interpretations are interspersed ; but this was the fashion of the age. Matthaei prefers Euthymius to CEcumenius, for acuteness, order, a knowledge of Greek, &c.; and his opinion seems to be just. Chrysostom was the chief source of this excellent compilation. Rosenmuller has given copious extracts from Euthymius, in his Historia Interpret. part iv. pp. 328-352.

Francis X. Gumerlock
Euthymius Zigabenus in the twelfth century adopted this solution. Euthymius Zigabenus, Commentary on Matthew, On Matt 24:36: "But it is more fitting that it [Matt 24:36] be interpreted in this manner: Nor does the Son know unless the Father should clearly know. Since the Father indeed knows, certainly also the Son knows. 'For I,' he said, 'and the Father are one' (John 10:30)" (PG 129:623). More contemporary, the Greek scholar and archbishop of Dublin, Richard Trench (d. 1886) (cited in John Ankerberg and John Weldon, One World: Biblical Prophecy and the New World Order [Chicago: Moody, 1991], 127) and Sidney Collett (All About the Bible [New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1934]) held this view. "

Tommy Ice
"We possess no historical record of any false Messiahs having appeared previous to the destruction of Jerusalem (Barcochba did not make his appearance till the time of Hadrian); for Simon Magus (Acts viii. 9), Theudas (Acts v. 36), the Egyptian (Acts xxi. 38),Menander, Dositheus, who have been referred to as cases in point (Theophylact, Euthymius Zigabenus, Grotius, Calovinus, Bengel), did not pretend to be the Messiah. Comp. Joseph Antt. Xx. 5. 1; 8. 6; Bell. Ii. 13. 5." (On Solid Ground)

Philip Schaff
§ 150. Euthymius Zigabenus. I. Euthymius Zigabenus: Opera omnia, in Migne, Patrol. Gr., Tom.CXXVIII.-CXXXI. II. See the Prolegomena in Migne. Ceillier, XIV. 150-155.

Euthymius Zigabenus (or Zigadenus) was a learned and able Greek monk of the order of St. Basil in the convent of the Virgin Mary near Constantinople, and enjoyed the marked favor of the emperor Alexius Comnenus (1081-1118) and his wife Anna.1 Being requested by Alexius to refute the Bogomiles, who had become alarmingly numerous, he was led to prepare an extensive work upon heresy, entitled The Panoply} Among the heretics he included the Pantheists, Jews, the Pope and the Latins. His materials were the decisions of councils and the Greek Fathers and other writers, including some otherwise unknown.' In this important work and in separate treatises4 he imparts much valuable historical information respecting the Bogomiles, Massalians, Armenians, Paulicians, and even about the Jews and Mohammedans, although it is evident that he was not well informed about the last, and was much prejudiced against them. Like other Greeks, he finds the latter heretical upon the procession of the Holy Spirit and upon the bread of the Eucharist. Besides the Panoply, Euthymius wrote commentaries upon the Psalms,8 much dependent upon Chrysostom, and on the Gospels,* more independent and exhibiting exegetical tact which in the judgment of some puts him next to Theophylact.

« In her Alexiad (XV. 490, Migne, CXXXI. col. 1176) she extols his learning and piety. 'Migne, CXXX.

* Migne gives the sources.

* Contra Matsalianos; Contra Bogrmilo*; Disputatio de fide earn phUotopho Saraceno; Dialogus Chrittiani cum Ismaelua (all in Migne, CXXXI. coL 4048; 48-57; 20-37; 37-40).

» Migne, CXXVIII. col. 41-end.

* Migne, CXXIX. coL 107-end.

§ 151. Eu8ta.thius of Thessalonioa.

I. Eustathius: Opera omnia in Migne, Patrol. Gr. Tom. CXXXV. col. 517; CXXXVI. col. 764 (reprint of L. F. Tafel's ed. of the Opuscula. Frankfort, 1832, and appendix to De Thessalonica. Berlin, 1839. Tafel published a translation of Eustathius' "En-loKe\i»; fiiov jiovaxizov, Betrachtungen iiber den Monchstand. Berlin, 1847. The valuable De capta Thessalonica narratio was reprinted from Tafel in a vol. of the "Corpus scriptorum historioe Byzantinse" (Bonn, 1842, pp. 365512), accompanied with a Latin translation.

IL The funeral orations by Euthymius of Neopatria and Michael Choniates in Migne, Patrol. Gr. CXXXVI. col. 756-764, and CXL. col. 337-361. Fabricius: Bibliotheca Greeca, ed. Harless, XI. 282-84. Neandek, IV. 530-533, and his essay, Characteristic des Eustathius von Thessalonich in seiner reformatorischen Richtung, 1841, reprinted in his "Wisaenschaftliche Abhandlungen," Berlin, 1851, pp. 6-21, trans, in Kitto's " Journal of Sacred Literature," vol. IV., pp. 101 sqq.


Euthymius Zigabenus or Zigadenus or Zygadenus (d. after 1118) was a 12th century monk and commentator on the Bible. He was a friend of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus, for whom he wrote a lengthy work on heresies, Panoplia Dogmatica or Panoply. This began in the apostolic era and continued down to the Bogomils, some of whom he personally examined. The entry on the Bogomils is our main source of information about them. Nothing is known about his life.[1]

He belonged to the order of St. Basil and lived in the monastery of the Virgin Mary near Constantinople. He was favoured by both the emperor and his daughter Anna Comnena, who extols his learning and piety in her Alexiad.[2]

He also wrote a commentary on the Psalms, one on the four gospels, and one on the letters of St. Paul. These are based mainly on patristic sources.

Spurious works under his name include "The Exposition of the Nicene-Constantinople Creed" and "Dialogue with a Muslim".

The Pericope Adulterae in John

Bruce Metzger argued that "No Greek Church Father prior to Euthymius Zigabenus (twelfth century) comments on this passage, and Euthymius declares that the accurate copies of the Gospel do not contain it".[3] But this is somewhat misleading, in that Didymus the Blind discusses it, albeit not in John's gospel, and Jerome also refers to it, among others.

Zigabenus says:

But it is necessary to know that the things which are found from this place to that where it is said: Therefore Jesus again spoke of these things saying, I am the light of the world: in the more exact copies, these are either not found, or marked with an obelus, because they seem illegitimate and added. And the argument for this is because Chrysostom makes no mention anywhere of this; but for us we must also declare that this, because it is not without usefulness, is the chapter on the woman taken in adultery, which is placed between these.


  • J.-P. Migne, Patrologia Graeca, vols. 128-131.
  • Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Volume IV: Mediaeval Christianity. A.D. 590-1073. section 150. Erroneously calls Anna the emperor's wife rather than daughter.
  • German Kirchenlexicon entry with bibliography


  1. ^ E. A. LIVINGSTONE. "Euthymius Zigabenus." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. 2000. 29 Jul. 2009
  2. ^ Alexiad XV. 490, Migne, CXXXI. col. 1176.
  3. ^ Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Stuttgart, 1971), pages 219-221); from Daniel B. Wallace, My Favorite Passage that’s Not in the Bible
  4. ^ Patrologia Graeca vol. 129, col. 1280 C-D, via Roger Pearse, Euthymius Zigabenus and the Pericope Adulterae, 2009.


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