THE original Greek for this term is puri asbesto, and occurs only in the following Scriptures: Matt. 3:12; Mark 9:43,45; Luke 3:17.
The following extract from Eusebius, who for his erudite history of the primitive church is styled the "Father of Ecclesiastical History," and who became Bishop A. D. 315, gives the common use of this phrase. In his History, Book 6, chap.41, he speaks of those who suffered martyrdom at Alexandria, as follows: "The first of these was Julian, a man afflicted with the gout, neither able to walk nor stand, who with two others that carried him, was arraigned. Of these, the one immediately denied, but the other, named Cronion, surnamed Eunus, and the aged Julian himself, having confessed the Lord, was carried on camels throughout the city - a very large one as you know - and in this elevation were scourged, and finally consumed in an immense fire - (puri asbesto.) After these, Epimachus and Alexander, who had continued for a long time in prison, enduring innumerable sufferings from the scourges and scrapers, were also destroyed in an immense fire" - (puri asbesto.)