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5.2.50 - Origen

Origin (c. 185-254) was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He was trained in the Bible and other topics from childhood. He supported the Christian stand of his father, Leonides, who was jailed and eventually martyred by decapitation. Upon being ordained to the priesthood, he was exiled from Alexandria. He journeyed to Caesarea where he spent the remainder of his life teaching, writing, and practicing a strict asceticism. He was imprisoned and tortured during the reign of Decian (c. 250) which weakened him physically. Origin died in Tyre about A.D. 254. Eusebius records he taught during the day and stayed up most of the night studying and praying. He was a prodigious writer, having produced more than 6,000 works and was a pioneer in systematic theology. Origen was a proponent of allegorical interpretation of Scripture and often departed from the literal grammatical sense in search of a “deeper” spiritual, often allegorical, meaning. His most monumental work was the production of the Hexapla, an early parallel Bible, which arranged into six parallel columns the Hebrew text, its Greek translation, the Septuagint, and various other Greek versions of the OT into a single work.1

Notes

1 Robert V. Schnucker, “Origen: Scholar and Ascetic,” in John D. Woodbridge, ed., Great Leaders of the Christian Church (Chicago, IL: Houghton Mifflin, 1993), 55-58.


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