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Origenes, Known As Origen

Wace's Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

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Origenes. Sources. —The main authority for the details of Origen's Life is Eusebius (H. E. vi.), who collected upwards of 100 letters of Origen ( ib. 36). These, together with official documents ( ib. 23, 33) and information from those acquainted with Origen ( ib. 2, 33), formed the basis of his narrative. His account of the most critical period of Origen's life, his retirement from Alexandria, was given in bk. ii. of his Apology , which he composed with the help of Pamphilus (ib. 23). This unhappily has not been preserved.

Origen's own writings give but few details of his life. But the loss of his letters is irreparable. They would have given a fuller picture of the man, even if they gave little additional information on the outward circumstances of his life.

Of modern authorities, see Tillemont, Mémoires; Lardner, Credibility; Ceillier, Auteurs sacrés; Lumper, Hist. Patrum Theol. Critica; Walch, Gesch. d. Ketz.; Du Pin, Nouvelle bibliothèque des auteurs ecclés .

His life and doctrine have been discussed, with special reference to his historical position in the development of Christian thought, by Guericke, de Schola Alex. Catech. (1825); Neander, Kirch. Gesch.; Thomasius, Origenes (1837); Redepenning, Origenes (1841–1846); Moehler, Patrol. (1840); Huber, Philos d. Kirchenväter (1859); Schaff, Church Hist. (1867); De Pressensé, Hist. des trois premiers siècles (1858–1877); Boehringer, Kirchengesch. in Biogr. Klemens u. Origenes (1869, 2 te Aufl.).

Life. —Origen was probably born at Alexandria (Eus. H. E. vi. 1), but whether of Egyptian, Greek, or mixed descent is not known. The loose phrase of Porphyry, that he "was a Greek and reared in Greek studies" ( ib. 19), is in itself of little value, but the name of his father (Leonides) points in the same direction. His mother's name has not been preserved. May she have been of Jewish descent? He is said to have learnt Hebrew so well that in singing the psalms "he vied with his mother" (Hieron. Ep. 39 [22], § 1).

Origen's full name was Origenes Adamantius. Origenes was the name of one contemporary philosopher of distinction, and occurs elsewhere. Adamantius has commonly been regarded as an epithet describing Origen's unconquerable endurance, or for the invincible force of his arguments. But the language of Eusebius ( H. E. vi. 14) and of Jerome ( de Vir. Ill. 54, "Origenes qui et Adamantius") shews that it was a second name, and not a mere adjunct. His father, Leonides, suffered martyrdom in the persecution of the 10th year of Severus (202), and Origen had not then completed his 17th year (Eus. H. E. vi. 2). He must have been born therefore a.d. 185–186, a date consistent with the statement ( ib. vii. 1) that he died in his 69th year, in the reign of Gallus (a.d. 251–254). In Origen we have the first record of a Christian boyhood, and he was "great from the cradle." His education was superintended by his father, who especially directed him to the study of Scripture. The child's eager inquiries into the deeper meaning of the words he committed to memory caused perplexity to his father, who, while openly checking his son's premature curiosity, silently thanked God for the promise he gave for the future. Origen became the pupil of Pantaenus (after his return from India) and Clement, in whose school he met Alexander, afterwards bp. of Jerusalem ( ib. vi. 14), with whom he then laid the foundation of that life-long friendship which supported him in his sorest trials.

When Leonides was thrown into prison Origen wished to share his fate but was hindered by his mother. He addressed a letter to his father—his first recorded writing still extant in the time of Eusebius—in which he prayed him to allow no thought for his family to shake his resolution. This shews the position of influence which Origen already enjoyed in his family. Leonides was put to death and his property confiscated. Upon this the young Origen seems to have fulfilled the promise his words implied. Partly by the assistance of a pious and wealthy lady and partly by teaching he supported himself and (as may be concluded) his mother and brothers. Already he collected a library. At first he gave lessons in literature; but as the Christian school was without a teacher all having been scattered by the persecution he was induced to give instruction in the faith. Thus in his 18th year he was at first informally the head of the Christian school in Alexandria in a season of exceptional danger. He was so successful that Demetrius bp. of Alexandria soon definitely committed to him the office. The charge decided the tenor of his life. Origen henceforth devoted himself exclusively to the office of a Christian teacher and to ensure his independence sold his collection of classical writers for an annuity of four oboli (sixpence) a day on which he lived for many years refusing the voluntary contributions his friends offered him (ib. 3). His position is a remarkable illustration of the freedom of the early church. He was a layman and yet recognized as a leading teacher. His work was not confined to any district. Numbers of men and women flocked to his lectures attracted partly by his stern simplicity of life which was a guarantee of his sincerity. For he resolved to fulfil without reserve the precepts of the Gospel. For many years he went barefoot wore only a single robe (Mat_10:10) and slept upon the ground. His food and sleep were rigorously limited (ib.). Nor did his unmeasured zeal stop here. In the same spirit of sacrifice he applied to himself literally the words of Mat_19:12 though wishing to conceal the act from most of his friends. Origen's own comment on the words of the Gospel which he had misunderstood is a most touching confession of his error (in Matt. t. xv 1 ff.). But for the time the purpose of the act was accepted as its excuse.

For 12 or 13 years he was engaged in these happy and successful labours; and it was probably during this period that he formed and partly executed his plan of a comparative view of the LXX with other Greek versions of O.T. and with the original Hebrew text, though the work was slowly elaborated as fresh materials came to his hands (Eus. H. E. vi. 16). A short visit to Rome in the time of Zephyrinus, to see "the most ancient church of the Romans" ( ib. 14), and an authoritative call to Arabia ( ib. 19) alone seem to have interrupted his labours. Persecution tested the fruit of his teaching. He had the joy of seeing martyrs trained in his school; and his own escapes from the violence of the people were held to be due to the special protection of Providence ( ib. 4, f. 3). During the same period he devoted himself with renewed vigour to the study of non-Christian thought, and attended the lectures of Ammonius Saccas (cf. Porphyry, ap. Eus. H. E. vi. 19; Theod. Graec. Affect. Cur. vi. p. 96). Heretics and Gentiles attended his lectures, and he felt bound to endeavour to understand their opinions thoroughly that he might the better correct them (cf. c. Cels. vi. 24). This excited ill-will, but he was able to defend himself, as he did in a letter written at a later time ( Ep. ap. Eus. H. E. vi. 19), by the example of his predecessors and the support of his friends. His work grew beyond his strength, and Heraclas joined him in the catechetical school. Heraclas had been one of his first converts and scholars, and the brother of a martyr (Eus. H. E. vi. 3). He was a fellow-student with Origen under "his teacher of philosophy" (Ammonius Saccas); and when he afterwards became bp. of Alexandria he did not lay aside the dress or the reading of a philosopher ( ib. 19).

At length, c. 215, a tumult of unusual violence ( ib. 19; Clinton, Fasti Romani , i. 224 f.) forced Origen to withdraw from Egypt to Caesarea in Palestine. Here his reputation brought him into a prominence which occasioned his later troubles. His fellow-pupil Alexander bp. of Jerusalem, and Theoctistus (Theotecnus; Photius, Cod. 118) bp. of Caesarea, begged him to expound the Scriptures in the public services of the church, though he had not been ordained. Demetrius of Alexandria expressed strong disapprobation of a proceeding he described as unprecedented. Alexander and Theoctistus produced precedents. Demetrius replied by recalling Origen to Alexandria, and hastened his return by special envoys, deacons of the church (Eus. H. E. vi. 19). Origen's stay in Palestine was of some length, and it was probably during this time he made his famous visit to Mamaea, the mother of the emperor Alexander ( ib. 21), herself a native of Syria.

Some time after his return to Alexandria (c. 219), Origen began his written expositions of Scripture, largely through the influence of Ambrose, whom he had rescued not long before from the heresy of Valentinus, or as Jerome says of Marcion (Hieron. de Vir. Ill. 56). Ambrose provided him with more than seven shorthand writers ( ταχυγράφοι ) to take down his comments and other scribes to make fair copies (Eus. H. E. vi. 23).

These literary occupations threw Origen's work in the catechetical school yet more upon Heraclas. At the same time the first parts of Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of St. John marked him out more decisively than before as a teacher in the church even more than in the school. But the exhibition of this new power was accompanied by other signs of a bold originality which might well startle those unfamiliar with the questionings of philosophy. The books On First Principles , which seem to have been written spontaneously, made an epoch in Christian speculation, as the Comm. on St. John did in Christian interpretation. Under such circumstances it is not surprising that Demetrius yielded, in the words of Eusebius, to the infirmity of human nature ( ib. 8) and wished to check the boldness and influence of the layman. It became clear that Origen must seek elsewhere than in Alexandria free scope for his Scriptural studies. After he had laboured there for more than 25 years, the occasion came in an invitation to visit Achaia for the purpose, as it seems, of combating some false opinions which had arisen there (Hieron. de Vir. Ill. 54). The exact date is uncertain, but probably between 226 and 230. On the way Origen visited Caesarea, and sought counsel from his oldest friends as to his future course. No record remains of their deliberations, but Origen was ordained presbyter "by the bishops there" (Eus. H. E. vi. 23), Theoctistus of Caesarea and Alexander of Jerusalem (Hieron. de Vir. Ill. 54; Phot. Cod. 118). Origen then visited Ephesus ( Ep. Fragm. ap. Ruf. Apol. , Delarue, i. p. 6) and stayed some time at Athens. During this stay he probably heard some of the teachers of philosophy there (Epiph. Haer. lxiv. 1). At length, having completed his mission, he returned to Alexandria, where he could not have been unprepared for the reception which awaited him from Demetrius. Demetrius had probably shewn clear unwillingness to admit him to the priesthood. At any rate, the fact that Origen received orders from Palestinian bishops without his consent might be construed as a direct challenge of his authority. Origen at once perceived that he must retire before the rising storm. The preface to bk. vi. of the Comm. on St. John shews how deeply he felt the severance of old ties and the hostility of former colleagues. In 231 he left Alexandria never to return; and his influence to the last is shewn by the fact that he "left the charge of the catechetical school" to his coadjutor Heraclas (Eus. H. E. vi. 26). It is difficult to trace the different stages in the condemnation which followed. Photius ( Cod. 118), following the Apology of Pamphilus and Eusebius, gives the most intelligible and consistent account. According to him Demetrius, completely alienated from Origen by his ordination, collected a synod of "bishops and a few presbyters," which decided that Origen should not be allowed to stay or teach at Alexandria. Demetrius afterwards excommunicated Origen. Jerome describes with greater severity the spirit of Demetrius's proceedings, and adds that "he wrote on the subject to the whole world" ( de Vir. Ill. 54) and obtained a judgment against Origen from Rome ( Ep. 33 [29], § 4). So far the facts are tolerably clear, but in the absence of trustworthy evidence it is impossible to tell on what points the condemnation really turned. Demetrius unquestionably laid great stress on formal irregularities (Eus. H. E. vi. 8), and the sentence against him may have been based on these. Origen's opinions were probably displeasing to many, and no attempt was made to reverse the judgment after the death of Demetrius, which followed very shortly, and perhaps within three years, when Heraclas, the pupil and colleague of Origen, succeeded to the episcopate. Nor again was anything done by Dionysius, the successor of Heraclas, another devoted scholar of Origen, who still continued his intercourse with his former master ( ib. 46). Whatever the grounds of Origen's condemnation, the judgment of the Egyptian synod was treated with absolute disregard by the bishops of Palestine, Arabia, Phoenicia, and Achaea (Hieron. Ep. 33), and Origen defended himself warmly (Hieron. Apol. adv. Ruf. ii. 18). He soon afterwards settled at Caesarea, which became for more than 20 years, up to his death, the centre of his labours. It had indeed not a few of the advantages of Alexandria, as a great seaport, the civil capital, and the ecclesiastical metropolis of its district.

Here Origen found ungrudging sympathy and help for his manifold labours. Alexander of Jerusalem and Theoctistus of Caesarea remained devoted to him; and Firmilian of Caesarea in Cappadocia was no less zealous in seeking his instruction (Eus. H. E. vi. 27; Hieron. de Vir. Ill. 54). Ambrose was with him to stimulate his literary efforts. He formed afresh something of a catechetical school, with a continual succession of distinguished students. He was unwearied in the public exposition of Scripture, which he explained popularly to mixed congregations in the church, to Christians and to catechumens ( Hom. in Ezech. vi. 5), as a rule on Wednesdays and Fridays (Socr. H. E. v. 22), but often daily, and even oftener than once a day. His subjects were sometimes taken from the lessons ( Hom. in Num. xv. 1; in I. Sam. ii. § 1), sometimes specially prescribed by an authoritative request ( Hom. in Ezech. xiii. 1). His aim was the edification of the people generally ( Hom. in Lev. vii. 1; in Jud. viii. 3); and not unfrequently he was constrained to speak, as he wrote, with some reserve, on the deeper mysteries of the faith ( Hom. in Num. iv. 3; in Lev. xiii. 3; in Ezech. i. 3; in Rom. vii. 13, p. 147 L.; viii. 11, p. 272; cf. Hom. in Jos. xxiii. 4 s. f.; in Gen. xii. 1, 4).

These labours were interrupted by the persecution of Maximin (235–237). Ambrose and Protectetus, a presbyter of Caesarea, were among the victims. Origen addressed to them in prison his Exhortation to Martyrdom . He himself escaped (Eus. H. E. vi. 28). During part of the time of persecution he was apparently with Firmilian in Cappadocia, and is said to have there enjoyed the hospitality of a Christian lady Juliana, who had some books of Symmachus, the translator of O.T. (cf. Hieron. l.c.; Pallad. Hist. Laus. 147).

In 238, or perhaps 237, Origen was again at Caesarea, and Gregory (Thaumaturgus) delivered the Farewell Address , which is the most vivid picture left of the method and influence of the great Christian master. The scholar recounts, with touching devotion, the course along which he had been guided by the man to whom he felt he owed his spiritual life. He had come to Syria to study Roman law in the school of Berytus, but on his way met with Origen, and at once felt he had found in him the wisdom he was seeking. The day of that meeting was to him, in his own words, the dawn of a new being: his soul clave to the master whom he recognized and he surrendered himself gladly to his guidance. As Origen spoke, he kindled within the young advocate's breast a love for the Holy Word, and for himself the Word's herald. "This love," Gregory adds, "induced me to give up country and friends, the aims which I had proposed to myself, the study of law of which I was proud. I had but one passion, philosophy, and the godlike man who directed me in the pursuit of it" (c. 6).

Origen's first care, Gregory says, was to make the character of a pupil his special study. In this he followed the example of Clement (Clem. Strom. i. 1, 8, p. 320 P.). He ascertained, with delicate and patient attention, the capacities, faults, and tendencies of those he had to teach. Rank growths of opinion were cleared away; weaknesses were laid open; every effort was used to develop endurance, firmness, patience, thoroughness. "In true Socratic fashion he sometimes overthrew us by argument," Gregory writes, "if he saw us restive and starting out of the course. . . . The process was at first disagreeable to us and painful; but so he purified us . . . and . . . prepared us for the reception of the words of truth . . . by probing us and questioning us, and offering problems for our solution" (c. 7). Thus Origen taught his scholars to regard language as designed, not to furnish material for display, but to express truth with exact accuracy; and logic as powerful, not to secure a plausible success, but to test beliefs with the strictest rigour. Origen then led his pupils to the "lofty and divine and most lovely" study of external nature. He made geometry the sure and immovable foundation of his teaching, and rose step by step to the heights of heaven and the most sublime mysteries of the universe (c. 8). Gregory's language implies that Origen was himself a student of physics; as, in some degree, the true theologian must be. The lessons of others, he writes, or his own observation, enabled him to explain the connexion, the differences, the changes of the objects of sense. Such investigations served to shew man in his true relation to the world. A rational feeling for the vast grandeur of the external order, "the sacred economy of the universe," as Gregory calls it, was substituted for the ignorant and senseless wonder with which it is commonly regarded.

But physics were naturally treated by Origen as a preparation and not as an end. Moral science came next; and here he laid the greatest stress upon the method of experiment. His aim was not merely to analyse and to define and to classify feelings and motives, though he did this, but to form a character. For him ethics were a life, and not only a theory. The four cardinal virtues of Plato, practical wisdom, self-control, righteousness, courage, seemed to him to require for their maturing diligent introspection and culture. Herein he gave a commentary upon his teaching. His discipline lay even more in action than in precept. His own conduct was, in his scholar's minds, a more influential persuasive than his arguments.

So, Gregory continues, Origen was the first teacher who really led me to the pursuit of Greek philosophy, by bringing speculation into a vital union with practice. In him I saw the inspiring example of one at once wise and holy. The noble phrase of older masters gained a distinct meaning for the Christian disciple. In failure and weakness he was able to see that the end of all was "to become like to God with a pure mind, and to draw near to Him and to abide in Him" (c. 12).

Guarded and guided by this conviction, Origen encouraged his scholars in theology to look for help in all the works of human genius. They were to examine the writings of philosophers and poets of every nation, the atheists alone excepted, with faithful candour and wise catholicity. For them there was to be no sect, no party. In their arduous work they had ever at hand, in their master, a friend who knew their difficulties. If they were bewildered in the tangled mazes of conflicting opinions, he was ready to lead them with a firm hand; if in danger of being swallowed up in the quicksands of shifting error, he was near to lift them up to the sure resting-place he had himself found (c. 14).

The hierarchy of sciences was not completed till theology with her own proper gifts crowned the succession followed hitherto, logic, physic, ethics. Origen found in the Holy Scriptures and the teaching of the Spirit the final and absolute spring of Divine Truth. In this region Gregory felt his master's power to be supreme. Origen's sovereign command of the mysteries of "the oracles of God" gave him perfect boldness in dealing with all other writings. "Therefore," Gregory adds, "there was no subject forbidden to us, nothing hidden or inaccessible. We were allowed to become acquainted with every doctrine, barbarian or Greek, on things spiritual or civil, divine and human; traversing with all freedom, and investigating the whole circuit of knowledge, and satisfying ourselves with the full enjoyment of all the pleasures of the soul" (c. 15). Such was, Gregory tells us, Origen's method. He describes what he knew and what his hearers knew. There is no parallel to the picture in ancient times. With every allowance for the partiality of a pupil, the view it offers of a system of Christian training actually realized exhibits a type we cannot hope to surpass. The ideals of Christian education and of Christian philosophy were fashioned together. Under that comprehensive and loving discipline Gregory, already trained in heathen schools, first learnt, step by step, according to his own testimony, what the pursuit of philosophy truly was, and came to know the solemn duty of forming opinions not as the amusement of a moment, but as solid foundations of life-long work.

From Caesarea Origen visited different parts of Palestine: Jerusalem, Jericho, the valley of the Jordan (t. vi. in Joh. § 24); Sidon, where he made some stay ( Hom. in Josh. xvi. § 2), partly at least to investigate "the footsteps of Jesus, and of His disciples, and of the prophets" ( in Joh 50 c. ). He also went again to Athens and continued there some time, being engaged on his Commentaries (Eus. H. E. vi. 32). In the first of two visits to Arabia he went to confer with Beryllus of Bostra, who had advanced false views on the Incarnation ( ib. 33); in the second to meet some errors on the doctrine of the resurrection ( ib. 37). In both cases he was specially invited and persuaded those whom he controverted to abandon their opinions.

His energy now rose to its full power. Till he was 60 (a.d. 246) he had forbidden his unwritten discourses to be taken down. Experience at length enabled him to withdraw the prohibition, and most of his homilies are due to reports made afterwards. The Books against Celsus and the Commentaries on St. Matthew , belonging to the same period, shew, in different directions, the maturity of his vigour. Thus his varied activity continued till the persecution of Decius in 250. The preceding reign of Philip had favoured the growth of Christianity; and there is no sufficient reason to question the fact of Origen's correspondence with the emperor and his wife Severa (ib. 36). Such intercourse marked Origen out for attack to Philip's conqueror and successor. His friend Alexander of Jerusalem died in prison. He himself suffered a variety of tortures, probably at Tyre—chains, the iron collar, and the rack; but his constancy baffled all the efforts of his enemies ( ib. 39). He was threatened with the stake, and a report gained currency in later times that his sufferings were crowned by death (Phot. Cod. 118, p. 159). During this sharp trial his former pupil Dionysius, now bp. of Alexandria, addressed him a letter on martyrdom (Eus. H. E. vi. 46), shewing the old affection still alive, in spite of long separation. Origen described his sufferings and consolations in letters which Eusebius characterizes "as full of help to those who need encouragement" ( ib. 39). The death of Decius (251, Clinton, F.R. i. 270), after a reign of two years, set Origen free. But his health was broken by his hardships. He died at Tyre in 253, "having completed seventy years save one" (Eus. H. E. vii. 1; Hieron. Ep. 65 ad Pammach. ). He was buried there (William of Tyre, c. 1180, Hist. xiii. 1: "haec [Tyrus] et Origenis corpus occultat sicut oculata fide etiam hodie licet inspicere"), and his tomb was honoured as long as the city survived.

Of the later fortunes of his teaching it is enough to say here that his fate after death was like his fate during life: he continued to witness not in vain to noble truths. His influence was sufficiently proved by the persistent bitterness of his antagonists, and there are few sadder pages in church history than the record of the Origenistic controversies. But in spite of errors easy to condemn, his characteristic thoughts survived in the works of Hilary and Ambrose and Jerome, and in his own homilies, to stir later students in the West. His homilies had a very wide circulation in the middle ages in a Latin translation; and it would be interesting to trace their effect upon medieval commentators down to Erasmus, who wrote to Colet in 1504: "Origenis operum bonam partem evolvi; quo praeceptore mihi videor non-nullum fecisse operae pretium; aperit enim fontes quosdam et rationes indicat artis theologicae."

WRITINGS.—Epiphanius says (Haer. lxiv. 63) that in popular reports no less than 6,000 works were ascribed to Origen. Jerome denies this ( Ep. lxxxii. 7) and brings down the number to a third ( adv. Ruf. ii. c. 22; cf. c. 13). His works will be noticed in the following order: Exegetical, Dogmatical, Apologetic, Practical, Letters, Philocalia.

A. EXEGETICAL WRITINGS.—Epiphanius states that Origen undertook to comment on all the books of Scripture (Haer. lxiv. 3) and though his sole statement might be of very little value, independent and exact evidence goes far to confirm it.

His exegetical writings are of three kinds: detached Notes ( Σχόλια, σημειώσεις , in the narrower sense, excerpta, commaticum interpretandi genus ), Homilies addressed to popular audiences ( Ὁμιλίαι . Tractatus ), and complete and elaborate Commentaries ( Τόμοι, σημειώσεις in the wider sense, volumina ). Cf. Hieron. in Ezech. Prol.; Praef. Comm. in Matt.; Rufin. Praef. in Num.

i. THE PENTATEUCH. GENESIS.—Origen according to Eusebius wrote twelve books of Commentaries (Τόμοι) on Genesis besides Homilies. Of these writings there remain: Greek: (1) On Gen_1:2; Fragm. of Tom. iii. on Gen_1:14; Gen_1:16 f . (2) Fragm. of Tom. iii. (Eus. H. E. iii. 1); notes from Catenae; Fragm. of Hom. ii. (3) Additional notes. Latin: Seventeen Homilies of which the last is imperfect translated by Rufinus.

One of the fragments of the Commentary on Genesis contains a remarkable discussion of the theory of fate in connexion with Gen_1:16; and in the scattered notes there are some characteristic remarks on the interpretation of the record. of Creation. For Origen all Creation was "one act at once," presented to us in parts in order to give the due conception of order (Psa_148:5). The Homilies deal mainly with the moral application of main subjects in the book. They contain little continuous exposition but many striking thoughts. Among the passages of chief interest are the view of the Divine image and the: Divine likeness as expressing man's endowment and man's end (i. §§ 12 13) the symbolism of the ark (ii. §§ 4 ff.) the nature of the Divine voice (iii. § 2) the lesson of the opened wells (xiii. § 4) the poverty of the Divine priesthood (xvi. § 5).

EXODUS and LEVITICUS.—Of the Books Homilies and Notes he wrote on these books no detailed account remains. (Cf. in Rom. ix. § 1 p. 283 L.; Ruf. Apol. ii. 20; Hieron. Ep. 33.) The following remain: EXODUS.—Greek: (1) On Exo_10:27 (several fragments). (2) Notes from Catenae. Two short fragments of Hom. viii. (3) Additional notes. Latin: 13 Homilies trans. by Rufinus.

The main fragment of the Commentary on Exodus (Philoc. 27

LEVITICUS.—Greek : (1) Fragm. of Hom. 2 (5). (2) Notes from Catenae. (3) Additional notes. (4) A fragment (cf. Hom. in Lev. viii. 6), Mai, Class. Auct. t. x. p. 600. Latin : 16 Homilies (trans. by Rufinus).

In the interpretation of Leviticus Origen naturally dwells on the obvious moral and spiritual antitypes of the Mosaic ordinances. Not infrequently the use he makes of them is impressive and ingenious e.g. his view of man's soul and body as the deposit which he owes to God (Lev_6:4 Hom. iv. 3); of the office of the Christian priest foreshadowed in that of the Jewish priest (Lev_7:28 ff Hom. v. 12); of the priesthood of believers (Lev_8:7 ff Hom. vi. 5; cf. Hom. ix. 9); of the Saviour's sorrow (Lev_10:9 coll. Mat_26:9 Hom. vii. 2) of purification by fire (Lev_16:12 Hom. ix. 7). Throughout Christ appears as the one Sacrifice for the world and the one Priest (Hom. i. 2 iv. 8 v. 3 ix. 2 xii.) though elsewhere He is said to join with Himself apostles and martyrs (Hom. in Num_10:2).

NUMBERS.—No mention is made of "Books" on Numbers. Of Notes and Homilies (cf. Hom. in Jer. xii. § 3) the following remain: Greek : (1) Notes from Catenae. Small Fragment of Hom. xiii. (2) Additional notes. Latin : 28 Homilies, trans. by Rufinus, which follow the whole course of the narrative.

One main idea is prominent throughout. The struggles of the Israelites on the way to Canaan are the image of the struggles of the Christian. The entrance on the Promised Land foreshadows the entrance on the heavenly realm (Hom. vii. 5). The future world will even, in Origen's judgment, offer differences of race and position corresponding to those of the tribes of Israel and the nations among whom they moved ( ib. i. 3, ii. 1, xi. 5, xxviii. 4). The interpretation of the record of the stations ( ib. xxvii.) is a very good example of the way he finds a meaning in the minutest details of the history. Of wider interest are his remarks on man's spiritual conflict ( ib. vii. 6), the wounds of sin ( ib. viii. 1), advance in wisdom ( ib. xvii. 4), the festivals of heaven ( ib. xxiii. ii), self-dedication ( ib. xxiv. 2), and the stains of battle ( ib. xxv. 6).

DEUTERONOMY.—Cassiodorus (de Instit. 1) mentions four Homilies of Origen on Deut. ("in quibus est minuta nimis et subtilis expositio"), and doubtless it was these ( oratiunculae ) Rufinus proposed to translate if his health had been restored. The scanty remains are: (1) Notes from Catenae. (2) Additional notes. One interesting note at least among (1) appears to be a fragment of a homily (in Deut. viii. 7).

It is probable (Hieron. Ep. 84, 7) that considerable fragments of Origen's comments on the Pentateuch are contained in Ambrose's treatise on the Hexaemeron, but the treatise has not yet been critically examined.

JOSHUA—II. KINGS.—Origen appears to have treated these historical books in homilies only, or perhaps in detached notes also. There remain of the several books: JOSHUA—Greek : (1) Fragm. of Hom. xx. (2) Notes from Catenae. (3) Additional notes. Latin 26 Homilies, trans. by Rufinus.

The homilies on Joshua, belonging to the latest period of Origen's life, perhaps offer the most attractive specimen of his popular interpretation. The parallel between the leader of the old church and the Leader of the new is drawn with great ingenuity and care. The spiritual interpretation of the conquest of Canaan, as an image of the Christian life, never flags. Fact after fact is made contributory to the fulness of the idea; and the reader is forced to acknowledge that the fortunes of Israel can at least speak to us with an intelligible voice. Rufinus himself may have felt the peculiar charm of the book, for he selected it for translation in answer to a general request of Chromatius to render something from Greek literature for the edification of the church. The homilies cover the whole narrative up to the settling of the land (c. xxii.).

Among passages of special interest are those on the help we gain from the old fathers (ib. iii. 1); the broad parallel between the Christian life and the history of the Exodus ( ib. iv. 1); the Christian realizing Christ's victory ( ib. vii. 2); growing wisdom ( ib. iii. 2).

JUDGES.—Greek : (1) Notes from Catenae. (2) Additional notes. Latin : 9 Homilies , trans. by Rufinus.

RUTH.—Greek : A note on i. 4.

The Homilies on Judges are of much less interest than those on Joshua. A passage on martyrdom—the baptism of blood—is worthy of notice (Hom. vii. 2). In Hom. ix. 1 Origen seems to refer to the persecution of Maximin, which was but lately ended.

I. and II. SAMUEL I. and II. KINGS (I.–IV. Kings). Greek: (1) Hom. on I. Sam. xxviii. (2) Notes from Catenae and Fragments. (3) Additional notes. Latin: Homily on 1Sa_1:2 (de Helchana et Fenenna) delivered at Jerusalem (§ 1: nolite illud in nobis requirere quod in papa Alexandro habetis). The translator is not known. The remains of Origen's writings on the later historical books are very slight. The homily on the witch of Endor provoked violent attacks. In this Origen maintained in accordance with much early Christian and Jewish opinion that the soul of Samuel was truly called up from Hades. Among others Eustathius of Antioch assailed Origen in unmeasured terms.

THE HAGIOGRAPHA. JOB.—Origen composed many homilies on Job (Eustath. Antioch, de Engastr. 391), which were rendered freely into Latin by Hilary of Poictiers (Hier. de Vir. Ill. 100; Ep. adv. Vigil. 61, 2). The scattered Notes which remain are not sufficient to enable us to estimate their value. There remain: Greek : (1) Notes from Catenae. (2) Additional notes. Latin : Fragment quoted from a homily of Hilary by August. Lib. ii. c. Jul. § 27, and assumed to be translated from Origen.

THE PSALMS engaged Origen's attention before he left Alexandria. At that time he had written commentaries on Pss. i–xxv. (Eus. H. E. vi. 24). He completed the book afterwards. Jerome expressly states that he "left an explanation of all the Psalms in many volumes" ( Ep. cxii. § 20); and his extant books contain numerous references to his commentaries on psalms (cf. Hier. Ep. xxxiv. § 1).

Besides these detailed commentaries, he illustrated the Psalter by short Notes ("a handbook": "enchiridion ille vocabat," Auct. ap. Hier. Tom. vii. App. ), and by Homilies.

The Homilies which are preserved in Rufinus's Latin trans. belong to the latest period of Origen's life, c. 241–247 ( Hom. 1 in Ps. xxxvi. § 2; Hom. 1 in Psalms 37 § 1). They give a continuous practical interpretation of the 3 psalms ( v. inf. ), and are a very good example of this style of exposition. One passage on the permanent effects of actions on the doer may be specially noticed (Hom. ii. § 2). The Greek fragments preserved in the Catenae offer numerous close coincidences with the Latin Homilies, and no doubt represent the general sense of Origen's comments. Cf. Comm. in Rom. iv. § 1 ("cum de Psalmis per ordinem dictaremus"); id. § 11; Hom. in Jer. xv. 6. There remain: Greek : (1) Fragments from the Τόμοι and Homilies. (2) Additional fragments and notes from Catenae. (3) Additional notes. Latin : 9 Homilies on Pss. xxxvi. xxxvii. xxxvii. (trans. by Rufinus).

PROVERBS.—There remain: Greek : (1) Fragments. (2) Notes from Catenae. Latin : Fragments.

ECCLESIASTES.—Notes on 3:3, 7, 16 f

LAMENTATIONS.—Origen wrote commentaries on the Lamentations before 231, of which five books had come down to the time of Eusebius (H. E. vi. 24). The Greek notes are probably derived from these.

CANTICLES.—Jerome speaks of the work on Canticles with enthusiasm: "In his other books Origen," he says, "surpassed every one else, in this he surpassed himself" (Prol. in Hom. in Cant. ). There remain: Greek : (1) Fragments of his early work. (2) Extracts by Procopius. Latin : Two Homilies (trans. by Jerome). Prologue and four books on Canticles, trans. by Rufinus.

THE PROPHETS. ISAIAH.—Origen interpreted Isaiah in each of the three forms which he used; in Books (τόμοι ), in Notes, and in Homilies. Thirty books of his Commentaries remained when Eusebius wrote his History extending to c. xxx. 6 (Eus. H. E. vi. 32). Some of these had perished in the time of Jerome, who speaks of the work as abounding in allegories and interpretation of names ( Prol. in Lib. v. in Es ). There remain: Latin : Two fragments of the "Books." Nine Homilies. The Homilies were addressed to a popular audience, including catechumens, but they lack the ease of the latest discourses and follow no exact order. Subjects: The call of the prophet; The virgin's son; The seven women; The vision of God; The mission of the prophet; The prophet and his children. In a passage of characteristic excellence ( Hom. vi. 4) Origen describes the "greater works" of Christ's disciples.

JEREMIAH.—Cassiodorus enumerates 45 homilies of Origen on Jeremiah "in Attic style" (de Instit. Div. Litt. § 3). They were written in a period of tranquillity, and therefore probably after the close of the persecution of Maximin, c. 245 ( Hom. iv. 3). There remain: Greek : (1) 19 Homilies (with Jerome's version of 12). Fragment of Hom. xxxix. (2) Notes from Catenae. Latin : Two Homilies, trans. by Jerome.

The Homilies generally give a full interpretation of the text, accommodating the language of the prophet to the circumstances of the Christian church. But Origen's total want of historical feeling makes itself felt perhaps more in his treatment of this book than elsewhere, for the teaching of Jeremiah is practically unintelligible without a true sense of the tragic crisis in which he was placed. There are, however, many separate passages of the Homilies of considerable beauty, e.g. on the fruitful discipline of God ( Hom. iii. 2), the ever-new birth of Christ ( ib. ix. 4), the marks of sin ( ib. xvi. 10). Cf. Hom. in Josh. xiii. § 3.

EZEKIEL.—There remain: Greek : (1) Fragments. (2) Notes from Catenae. Latin : 14 Homilies. The Homilies only cover a small portion of the book, and do not offer many features of interest. The passages on the responsibility of teachers ( Hom. v. 5, vii. 3) are perhaps the most striking.

DANIEL.—Origen commented upon the histories of Susanna and of Bel (Dan. Apocr. xiii. xiv.) in bk. x. of his Miscellanies ( Στρωματεῖς ), and Jerome has preserved a brief abstract of his notes as an appendix to his commentary on Daniel (Delarue, i. 49 f.; Lommatzsch, xvii. 70 ff.).

THE MINOR PROPHETS.—Origen wrote extensive commentaries on the twelve minor prophets, of which 25 books remained in the time of Eusebius (H. E. vi. 36). The fragment on Hosea 12 , preserved in the Philocalia, c. viii., is all that now remains. [Two books on Hos. (one on Ephraim); 2 on Joel; 6 on Amos 1 on Jonah 2 on Micah 2 on Nahum 3 on Habakkuk 2 on Zephaniah 1 on Haggai 2 on Zech. (principio); 2 on Mal.—H.C.].

WRITINGS ON THE NEW TESTAMENT.—Eusebius states that Origen wrote 25 Books τόμοι on St. Matthew ( H. E. vi. 36). The commentaries seem to have been written c. 245–246. [25 Books; 25 Homilies.—H.C.]

Bk. x. gives a continuous exposition of Mat_13:36 to Mat_14:15. The most interesting passages are where Origen discusses characteristically the types of spiritual sickness (c. 24) and the doubtful question as to "the brethren of the Lord" (c. 17). On internal grounds he favours the belief in the perpetual virginity of the mother of the Lord. In the account of Herod's banquet he has preserved definitely the fact that "the daughter of Herodias" bore the same name as her mother (c. 22) in accordance with the true reading in Mar_6:22 (τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτοῦ Ἡρῳδιάδος); but he strangely supposes that the power of life and death was taken away from Herod because he executed the Baptist (c. 21).

Bk. xi . (c. xiv. 15–xv. 32) contains several pieces of considerable interest on the discipline of temptation (c. 6), Corban (c. 9), the conception of things unclean (c. 12), the healing spirit in the Church (c. 18), and perhaps, above all, that on the Eucharist (c. 14), which is of primary importance for understanding Origen's view.

The most important passages in bk. xii., which gives the commentary on c. xvi. 1–xvii. 9, are those treating of the confession and blessing of St. Peter (cc. 10 ff.) and the Transfiguration (cc. 37 ff.). He regards St. Peter as the type of the true believer. All believers, as they are Christians, are Peter's also (c. 11: παρώνυμοι πέτρας πάντες οἱ μιμηταὶ Χριστοῦ . . . Χριστοῦ μέλη ὄντες παρώνυμοι ἐχρημάτισαν Χριστιανοί, πέτρας δὲ πέτροι ). His ignorance of the Hebrew idiom leads him, like other early commentators, to refer the "binding and loosing" to sins (c. 14).

Bk. xiii. (c. xvii. 10–xviii. 18) opens with an argument against transmigration, and contains an interesting discussion of the influence of planets upon men (c. 6). Other characteristic passages deal with the circumstances under which the Lord healed the sick (c. 3), the rule for avoiding offences (c. 24), and esp. the doctrine of guardian angels (cc. 26 f.).

Bk. xiv. (c. xviii. 19–xix. 11) contains a characteristic examination of the senses in which the "two or three" in Mat_18:20 may be understood (cc.1 ff.) and a discussion of points regarding marriage (cc. 16 ff.; 23 ff.).

Bk. xv. (xix. 12–xx. 16) has several pieces of more than usual interest: the investigation of the meaning of Mat_19:12 f with (as it appears) clear reference to his own early error (c. 2); a fine passage on the goodness of God even in His chastisements (c. 11); and some remarkable interpretations of the five sendings of labourers to the vineyard (Mat_20:1 ff in one of which he likens St. Paul to one who had wrought as an apostle in one hour more perhaps than all those before him (c. 35).

Bk. xvi. (xx. 17–xxi. 22) gives some striking pictures of the darker side of Christian society, the growing pride of the hierarchy, the faults of church officers, the separation between clergy and laity (cc. 8, 22, 25). In discussing the healing of Bartimaeus Origen holds that a choice must be made between supposing that the three evangelists have related three incidents, if the literal record is to be maintained, or that they relate one and the same spiritual fact in different words (c. 12).

Bk. xvii. (xxi. 23–xxii. 33) contains interpretations of the parables of the two sons (c. 4), the vineyard (6 ff.), and the marriage feast (15 ff.), which are good examples of Origen's method; and his explanations of the questions of the Herodians (cc. 26 ff.) and the Sadducees (c. 33) are of interest.

The old Latin translation continues the commentary to Mat_27:63. Passages in it of chief interest are: the application of the woes (Mat_23:1 ff ) §§ 9–25; the legend of the death of Zachariah the father of the Baptist § 25; the danger of false opinions § 33; the gathering of the saints § 51; the limitation of the knowledge of the Son (Mat_24:36) § 55; the administration of the revenues of the church § 61; the duty of using all that is lent to us § 66; the eternal fire immaterial § 72; the supposition of three anointings of the Lord's feet § 77; the passover of the Jews and of the Lord § 79; on the Body and Blood of Christ § 85; the lesson of the Agony § 91; tradition of the different appearance of the Lord to men of different powers of vision § 100; the reading Jesus Barabbas to be rejected § 121; tradition as to the grave of Adam on Calvary § 126; on the darkness at the crucifixion § 134.

ST. MARK.—A Latin commentary attributed to Victor of Antioch, pub. at Ingoldstadt in 1580, is said to contain quotations from Origen on cc. i. xiv. (Ceillier, p. 635). These, if the reference is correct, may have been taken from other parts of his writings. [15 Books; 39 Homilies.—H.C.]

ST. LUKE.—There remain: Greek : (1) Fragments. (2) Notes from a Venice MS. (xxviii.). (3) Additional notes, Mai, Class. Auct. t. x. pp. 474 ff. (4) Additional notes from Cod. Coislin. xxiii. Latin : 39 Homilies . Origen wrote four Books on St. Luke (Hieron. Prol. ad Hom. ) from which the detached notes were probably taken. The short Homilies on St. Luke, an early work of Origen, abound in characteristic thoughts. The most interesting passages are those dealing with the four canonical Gospels (Hom. 1), spiritual manifestations ( ib. 3), the nobility and triumph of faith ( ib. 7), spiritual growth ( ib. 11), shepherds of churches and nations ( ib. 12), spiritual and visible co-rulers of churches ( ib. 13), infant baptism ( ib. 14), second marriages ( ib. 17), baptism by fire ( ib. 24), man as the object of a spiritual conflict ( ib. 35). Besides these homilies Origen wrote other homilies upon the Gospel which are now lost, but referred to in Matt. t. xiii. 29, xvi. 9; in Joh. t. xxxii. 2.


The Commentary on St. John was undertaken at the request of Ambrose (in. Joh. t. i. §§ 3, 6), and was "the first-fruits of his labours at Alexandria" ( ib. § 4). It marks an epoch in theological literature and thought. Perhaps the earlier work of HERACLEON may have suggested the idea, but Origen implies that the Gospel, by its essential character, claimed his first efforts as an interpreter.

Bk. i. deals mainly with the fundamental conceptions of "the Gospel" (§§ 1–15), "the beginning" (§§ 16–22), and "the Logos" (§§ 19–42). The Gospels are the first-fruits (ἀπαρχή ) of the Scripture, the Gospel of St. John is the first-fruits of the Gospels (§ 6). As the Law had a shadow of the future, so too has the Gospel: spiritual truths underlie historical truths (§ 9). The Gospel in the widest sense is "for the whole world," not for our earth only, but for the universal system of the heavens and earth (§ 15). The discussion of the title Logos marks a critical stage in the history of Christian thought. In what sense, it is asked, is the Saviour called the Logos? It had come to be a common opinion "that Christ was as it were only a 'word' of God" (§ 23). To meet this view Origen refers to other titles, Light, Resurrection, Way, Truth, etc. (§§ 24–41), and by analogy comes to the conclusion that as we are illuminated by Christ as the Light, and quickened by Him as the Resurrection, so we are made divinely rational by Him as the Logos, i.e. Reason (§ 42). He thus preserves the personality of the Lord under the title of Logos, which expresses one aspect of His being and not His being itself (as a word); but recognizes that Christ may also be called the Logos (Word) of God as giving expression to His will.

In bk. ii. he continues his discussion of the meaning of the Logos distinguishing in a remarkable passage (§ 2) God and Reason taken absolutely (ὁ θεός ὁ λόγος) from God and Reason used as predicates (θεός λόγος). "The Father is the foundation of Deity the Son of Reason" (§ 3). Afterwards he discusses the sense of the words "came into being through Him (δἰ αὐτοῦ)," and the relation of the Holy Spirit to the Son (§ 6); and further what "all things," and what that is which is called "nothing" (i.e. evil) which became without Him but is not (§ 7). The conceptions of life and light of darkness and death are then examined (§§ ii ff.). In treating of the mission of John (§§ 24 ff.) Origen questions whether he may not have been an angel who sought to minister on earth to his Lord (§ 25); and characteristically remarks that he was "the voice" preceding "the Word" (§ 26). Perhaps it is not less characteristic that he blames those who like Heracleon (t. vi. § 2) hold that Joh_1:16-18) are the words of the evangelist and not of the Baptist.

In bk. vi. after describing with calm dignity the circumstances which had interrupted his work he examines in detail Joh_1:19-29. The question Art thou Elias? leads to a remarkable discussion on the pre-existence of souls and the entrance of the soul into the body "a vast and difficult subject," which he reserves for special investigation (§ 7). The words of the Baptist (i. 26) give occasion for a minute comparison with the parallels in the other Gospels (§§ 16 ff.) in the course of which (§ 17) Origen strikingly contrasts the baptisms of John and Christ and explains Christ's presence "in the midst of the Jews" (v. 26) of His universal presence as the Logos (§ 22). The mention of Bethany (v. 28) leads him to hastily adopt the correction "Bethabara" (§ 24) which he justifies by the frequent errors as to names in the LXX. His brief exposition of the title of Christ "as the Lamb of God" (§§ 35 ff.) is full of interest; and in connexion with this he notices the power of the blood of martyrs to overcome evil (§ 36).

Bk. x. deals with the history of the first cleansing of the temple and its immediate results (ii. 12–25). Origen thinks the discrepancy between the evangelists as to the sojourn at Capernaum (v. 12) is such that its solution can be found only in the spiritual sense (§ 2), to which every minute point contributes, though in itself outwardly trivial and unworthy of record (§§ 2 ff.). The phrase "the passover of the Jews " leads to an exposition of Christ as the true Passover (§§ 11 ff). The cleansing of the temple is shewn to have an abiding significance in life (§ 16); and Origen thinks that the sign Christ offered is fulfilled in the raising of the Christian church, built of living stones, out of trials and death, "after three days"—the first of present suffering, the second of the consummation, the third of the new order (§ 20).

Bk. xiii. is occupied with the interpretation of part of the history of the Samaritan woman and the healing of the nobleman's Son_4:13-16). It is chiefly remarkable for the number of considerable quotations from Heracleon's Commentary it contains more than twice as many as the other books. These still require careful collection and criticism. Lommatzsch failed to fulfil the promise of his preface (I. p. xiii.). Passages of interest in regard to Origen's own views and method are those on the relation of Christ's personal teaching to the Scriptures (§ 5) the five husbands as representing the senses (§ 9) the incorporeity of God (§ 25) the joy of the sower and reaper and the continuity of work (§§ 46 f.) the unhonoured prophet (§ 54) spiritual dependence (§ 58) and the distinction between signs and wonders (§ 60).

Of bk. xix. which is imperfect at the beginning and end a considerable fragment remains (8:19–25). The remarks on the treasury (Joh_8:20). as the scene of the Lord's discourses (§ 2) and on the power of faith (§ 6) are characteristic.

Bk. xx. (8:37–53) has much that is of importance for Origen's opinions. It begins with an examination of some points in connexion with the pre-existence and character of souls; and, in a striking passage (§ 29), Origen illustrates the inspiration of evil passions. Other interesting passages treat of love as "the sun" in the life of Christians (§ 15); the ambiguities in the word "when" (§ 24); the need of help for spiritual sight (§ 26); and spiritual influences (§ 29).

The most remarkable passage in bk. xxviii. (Joh_11:39-57) is perhaps that on the power of self-sacrifice among the Gentiles illustrating the vicarious sufferings of Christ (§ 14). Other remarks worthy of special notice are on the lifting up of the eyes (Joh_11:41) (§ 4) the lesson of the death of Lazarus (§ 6) the duty of prudence in. time of persecution (§ 18) and the passover of the Jews and of the Lord (§ 20).

Bk. xxxii. (Joh_13:2-33) treats of St. John's record of the Last Supper. Origen discusses the feet-washing at length and says that it is not to be perpetuated literally (§§ 6 f.); he dwells on the growth of faith (§ 9) the difference of "soul" and "spirit" (§ 11) the character of Judas and moral deterioration (§ 12) and the sop given to Judas (§ 16).

Origen's Commentary is for us the beginning of a new type of literature. It has great faults of style, is diffusive, disproportioned, full of repetitions, obscure and heavy in form of expression, wholly deficient in historical insight, and continually passing into fantastic speculations. But it contains not a few "jewels five words long," abounds in noble thoughts and subtle criticisms, grapples with great difficulties, unfolds great ideas, and, above all, retains a firm hold on the human life of the Lord.


ROMANS.—[15 Books.—H.C.] Greek : (1) Fragments from the first and ninth books contained in the Philocalia. (2) A number of important notes are contained in Cramer's Catena, t. iv. (1844), on the following passages: 1:1, 10; 2:8, 16, 27; 3:2, 4, 9, 13, 19, 21, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31; 4:2. Latin : Ten books of Commentaries, translated and compressed from the fifteen books of Origen, by Rufinus, at the request of Heraclius.

The Commentary on Romans gives a continuous discussion of the text, often discursive, but still full of acute and noble conceptions. Origen's treatment of Romans 8 as represented by Rufinus, is, on the whole, disappointing. It might have been expected to call out his highest powers of imagination and hope. His silence, no less than his rash conjectures as to the persons named in Romans 16 , is a singular proof of the complete absence of any authoritative tradition as to the persons of the early Roman church. For the passage (10:43) which refers to Marcion's mutilation of the epistle by removing the doxology (16:25–27) and (though this is disputed) the last two chapters, see the papers by bp. Lightfoot and Dr. Hort in Jour. of Philology, 1869, ii. 264 ff.; 1871, iii. 51 ff., 193 ff.


GALATIANS.—[15 Books; 7 Homilies.—H.C.] Jerome, in the Prologue to his Commentary on Galatians, mentions that Origen wrote five Books on this epistle, as well as various Homilies and Notes (tractatus et excerpta ), and that he interpreted it with brief annotations (commatico sermone ) in his Stromateis, bk. x. ( Proem. in Comm. ad Gal.; Ep. ad August. cxi. §§ 4, 6). Three fragments of the Commentary are contained in the Latin translation of Pamphilus's Apology.




HEBREWS.—[18 Homilies.—H.C.] Origen wrote Homilies and Commentaries on Hebrews. Two fragments of the Homilies are preserved by Eusebius (H. E. vi. 25), in which Origen gives his opinion on the composition of the epistle. Some inconsiderable fragments from the "Books" are found in the trans. of Pamphilus's Apology.

CATHOLIC EPISTLES.—The quotations from Origen given in Cramer's Catena on the Catholic epistles are apparently taken from other treatises and not from commentaries on the books themselves: Jam_1:4; Jam_1:13; 1Pe_1:4 (ἐκ τῆς ἑρμηνείας εἰς τὸ κατὰ πρόγνωσιν θεοῦ); 1Jn_2:14 (ἐκ τοῦ ᾄσματος τῶν ᾀσμάτων Τ. Αʹ.).

APOCALYPSE.—Origen purposed to comment upon the Apocalypse (Comm. Ser. in Matt. § 49), but it is uncertain whether he carried out his design.

B. DOGMATIC WRITINGS.—Origen's writings On the Resurrection were violently assailed by Methodius, and considered by Jerome to abound in errors ( Ep. lxxxiv. 7). Probably they excited opposition by assailing the gross literalism of the popular view of the future life. The extant fragments are consistent with the true faith and express it w

Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Origenes, Known As Origen'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hwd/​o/origenes-known-as-origen.html. 1911.
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