Origen is a Church Father     and is widely regarded as one of the most important Christian theologians of all time. In , the emperor Justinian I condemned him as a heretic and ordered all his writings to be burned. The Second Council of Constantinople in may have anathemized Origen, or it may have only condemned certain heretical teachings which claimed to be derived from Origen. His teachings on the pre-existence of souls were rejected by the Church. Almost all information about Origen's life comes from a lengthy biography of him in Book VI of the Ecclesiastical History written by the later Christian historian Eusebius c.
Origen was born in either or AD in Alexandria. In , when Origen was "not yet seventeen", the Roman emperor Septimius Severus ordered Roman citizens who openly practiced Christianity to be executed. When he was eighteen years old, Origen was appointed as a catechist at the Catechetical School of Alexandria. According to Eusebius, as a young man, Origen was taken in by a wealthy Gnostic woman,  who was also the patron of a very influential Gnostic theologian from Antioch , who frequently lectured in her home.
Sometime when he was in his early twenties, Origen sold the small library of Greek literary works which he had inherited from his father for a sum which netted him a daily income of four obols. Eusebius claims that, as a young man, following a literal misreading of Matthew , in which Jesus is presented as saying "there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuch for the sake of the kingdom of heaven ", Origen went to a physician and paid him to surgically remove his genitals in order to ensure his reputation as a respectable tutor to young men and women.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, some scholars have questioned the historicity of Origen's self-castration, with many seeing it as a wholesale fabrication. In sharp contrast, McGuckin dismisses Eusebius's story of Origen's self-castration as "hardly credible", seeing it as a deliberate attempt by Eusebius to distract from more serious questions regarding the orthodoxy of Origen's teachings.
In his early twenties, Origen became less interested in being a grammarian  and more interested in being a rhetor-philosopher. Meanwhile, Origen began composing his massive theological treatise On the First Principles ,  a landmark book which systematically laid out the foundations of Christian theology for centuries to come. In the autumn of , the Roman emperor Caracalla visited Alexandria.
Origen obeyed Demetrius's order and returned to Alexandria,  bringing with him an antique scroll he had purchased at Jericho containing the full text of the Hebrew Bible. Lietzmann concludes that Origen probably only knew the Hebrew alphabet and not much else;  whereas, R. Hanson and G. Bardy argue that Origen had a superficial understanding of the language, but not enough to have composed the entire Hexapla. Origen also studied the entire New Testament,  but especially the epistles of the apostle Paul and the Gospel of John ,  the writings which Origen regarded as the most important and authoritative.
Origen repeatedly asked Demetrius to ordain him as a priest, but Demetrius continually refused. Eusebius reports that, as a result of Demetrius's condemnations, Origen decided not to return to Alexandria and to instead take up permanent residence in Caesarea. Demetrius raised a storm of protests against the bishops of Palestine and the church synod in Rome itself.
Demetrius died in , within less than a year after Origen's departure from Alexandria. During his early years in Caesarea, Origen's primary task was the establishment of a Christian School;   Caesarea had long been seen as a center of learning for Jews and Hellenistic philosophers,  but, until Origen's arrival, it had lacked a Christian center of higher education.
With the establishment of the Caesarean school, Origen's reputation as a scholar and theologian reached its zenith  and he became known throughout the Mediterranean world as a brilliant intellectual. Not only Christians, but also pagans took a fascination with Origen.
In , approximately three years after Origen began teaching in Caesarea, Alexander Severus, who had been tolerant towards Christians, was murdered  and the new emperor Maximinus Thrax instigated a purge of all those who had supported his predecessor. He preached regularly on Wednesdays and Fridays, and later daily.
And if God exists, then it is false that He does not exist. Most Presuppositional apologists, agree that, at the outset, both the listener and the speaker must agree that a Triune God has revealed Himself in the Bible. Our survey of New Testament apologetics would not be complete without taking notice of 1 Peter , which has often been regarded as the classic biblical statement of the mandate for Christians to engage in apologetics. The context in which an apologetic interchange takes place is vital to the dynamic of the conversation. They provide the earliest testimony to the conviction that Jesus actually lived, died, and rose again. These preconditions are at the heart of the defense of the gospel and the biblical faith.
Sometime between and , Origen visited Athens, where he completed his Commentary on the Book of Ezekiel and began writing his Commentary on the Song of Songs. Origen was an extremely prolific writer. By far the most important work of Origen on textual criticism was the Hexapla "Sixfold" , a massive comparative study of various translations of the Old Testament in six columns:  Hebrew , Hebrew in Greek characters, the Septuagint , and the Greek translations of Theodotion a Jewish scholar from c.
Origen composed homilies covering almost the entire Bible. There are , and possibly , homilies of Origen that are extant either in Greek or in Latin translations. The homilies were preached in the church at Caesarea, with the exception of the two on 1 Samuel which were delivered in Jerusalem. Nautin has argued that they were all preached in a three-year liturgical cycle some time between and , preceding the Commentary on the Song of Songs , where Origen refers to homilies on Judges, Exodus, Numbers, and a work on Leviticus.
Lorenzo Perrone of the Bologna University and other experts confirmed the authenticity of the homilies. Origen is the main source of information on the use of the texts that were later officially canonized as the New Testament. Origen's commentaries written on specific books of scripture are much more focused on systematic exegesis than his homilies. Of the original twenty-five books in Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew , only eight have survived in the original Greek Books , covering Matthew Origen also composed a Commentary on the Song of Songs ,  in which he took explicit care to explain why the Song of Songs was relevant to a Christian audience.
In this commentary, he excelled himself. Citations in Origen's Philokalia include fragments of the third book of the commentary on Genesis.
After departing from under the protective wings of their parents, young adults often have trouble holding firm to the Christian faith. Stand Your Ground is an introduction to apologetics for young adults in high school or college. Dean Hardy is the Bible Department Chair at. Editorial Reviews. Review. "'Stand Your Ground' covers a lot of ground in an easy -to-understand manner. From logic, to philosophy, to the evidence for God and.
There is also Ps. Of the non-extant commentaries, there is limited evidence of their arrangement. Origen's On the First Principles was the first ever systematic exposition of Christian theology. It is an apologetic work defending orthodox Christianity against the attacks of the pagan philosopher Celsus , who was seen in the ancient world as early Christianity's foremost opponent. In the book, Origen systematically refutes each of Celsus's arguments point-by-point   and argues for a rational basis of Christian faith. Between —, while in Caesarea in Palestine, Origen wrote On Prayer , of which the full text has been preserved in the original Greek.
The papyri discovered at Tura in contained the Greek texts of two previously unknown works of Origen. Lost works include two books on the resurrection, written before On First Principles , and also two dialogues on the same theme dedicated to Ambrose. Eusebius had a collection of more than one hundred letters of Origen,  and the list of Jerome speaks of several books of his epistles. Except for a few fragments, only three letters have been preserved. The Dialogus de recta in Deum fide , the Philosophumena attributed to Hippolytus of Rome , and the Commentary on Job by Julian the Arian have also been ascribed to him.
Origen writes that Jesus was "the firstborn of all creation [who] assumed a body and a human soul. Origen was the first to propose the ransom theory of atonement in its fully developed form,  although Irenaeus had previously proposed a prototypical form of it. Origen may or may not have believed in the Platonic teaching of metempsychosis "the transmigration of souls"; i.
Olson, however, dismisses the view that Origen believed in reincarnation as a New Age misunderstanding of Origen's teachings. Origen believed that, eventually, the whole world would be converted to Christianity,  "since the world is continually gaining possession of more souls.
Origen was an ardent believer in free will  and he adamantly rejected the Valentinian idea of election. Origen was an ardent pacifist     and, in his Against Celsus , he argued that Christianity's inherent pacifism was one of the most outwardly noticeable aspects of the religion. Origen bases every part of his theology on the Christian scriptures     and never appeals to Platonic teachings without having first supported his argument with a firm scriptural basis. According to Origen, there are two kinds of Biblical literature, which are found in both the Old and New Testaments: historia "history, or narrative" and nomothesia "legislation or ethical prescription".
Origen saw the "spiritual" interpretation as the deepest and most important meaning of the text  and taught that some passages held no literal meaning at all and that their meanings were purely allegorical. Origen's conception of God the Father is apophatic —a perfect unity, invisible and incorporeal, transcending all things material, and therefore inconceivable and incomprehensible.
He is likewise unchangeable and transcends space and time. But his power is limited by his goodness, justice, and wisdom; and, though entirely free from necessity, his goodness and omnipotence constrained him to reveal himself.
This revelation, the external self-emanation of God, is expressed by Origen in various ways, the Logos being only one of many. The revelation was the first creation of God cf. The Logos is the rational creative principle that permeates the universe. While the Logos is substantially a unity, he comprehends a multiplicity of concepts, so that Origen terms him, in Platonic fashion, "essence of essences" and "idea of ideas". Origen significantly contributed to the development of the idea of the Trinity.
Nonetheless, Origen was a Subordinationist ,     meaning he believed that the Father was superior to the Son and the Son was superior to the Holy Spirit,    a model based on Platonic proportions. Origen is often seen as the first major Christian theologian. For centuries after his death, Origen was regarded as the bastion of orthodoxy   and his philosophy practically defined Eastern Christianity.
Both orthodox and heterodox theologians claimed to be following in the tradition Origen had established. The first Origenist crisis began in the late fourth century AD, coinciding with the beginning of monasticism in Palestine. Epiphanius asked John, the bishop of Jerusalem to condemn Origen as a heretic. John refused on the grounds that a person could not be retroactively condemned as a heretic after the person had already died. In , Epiphanius wrote to John of Jerusalem, again asking for Origen to be condemned, insisting that Origen's writings denigrated human sexual reproduction and accusing him of having been an Encratite.
In , the Origenist crisis reached Egypt. Theophilus labelled Origen himself as the "hydra of all heresies"  and persuaded Pope Anastasius I to sign the letter of the council, which primarily denounced the teachings of the Nitrian monks associated with Evagrius Ponticus. The Second Origenist Crisis occurred in the sixth century, during the height of Byzantine monasticism.
The Protoktistoi appealed to the Emperor Justinian I to condemn the Isochristoi of heresy through Pelagius, the papal apocrisarius. In , during the early days of the Second Council of Constantinople the Fifth Ecumenical Council , when Pope Vigilius was still refusing to take part in it, despite Justinian holding him hostage, the bishops at the council ratified an open letter which condemned Origen as the leader of the Isochristoi.
The bishops drew up a list of anathemata against the heretical teachings contained within The Three Chapters and those associated with them. As a direct result of the numerous condemnations of his work, only a tiny fraction of Origen's voluminous writings have survived. Jerome's Latin translations of Origen's homilies were widely read in western Europe throughout the Middle Ages  and Origen's teachings greatly influenced those of the Byzantine monk Maximus the Confessor c.