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edition. In these works his peculiar system of interpretation found ample scope for exercise ; and although he carried out his principle of allegorizing many things, which in their historical and literal signification offended his exegetical sense, he nevertheless maintains that “ the passages which hold good in their historical acceptation are much more numerous than those which contain a purely spiritual meaning;"l and the student will find much that is striking and suggestive in his remarks upon the various passages which he brings under review. For an account of his method of interpreting Scripture, and the grounds on which he based it, the reader may consult the fourth book of the treatise On the Principles.
The great critical work of Origen was the Hexapla or Siscolumned Bible,—an attempt to provide a revised text of the Septuagint translation of Old Testament Scripture. On this undertaking he is said to have spent eight-and-twenty years of his life, and to have acquired a knowledge of Hebrew in order to qualify himself for the task. Each page of this work consisted, with the exception to be noticed immediately, of six columns. In the first was placed the current Hebrew text; in the second, the same represented in Greek letters; in the third, the version of Aquila; in the fourth, that of Symmachus; in the fifth, the text of the LXX., as it existed at the time; and in the sixth, the version of Theodotion. Having come into possession also of certain other Greek translations of some of the books of Scripture, he added these in their appropriate place, so that the work presented in some parts the appearance of seven, eight, or nine columns, and was termed Heptapla, Octopla, or Enneapla, in consequence. He inserted critical marks in the text of the LXX., an asterisk to denote what ought to be added, and an obelus to denote what ought to be omitted ; taking the additions chiefly from the version of Theodotion. The work, with the omission of the Hebrew column, and that representing the Hebrew in Greek letters, was termed Tetrapla; and with regard to it, it is uncertain
1 Origen's Works, vol. i. pp. 323-4 (Ante-Nicene Library).
whether it is to be considered a preliminary work on the part of Origen, undertaken by way of preparation for the larger, or merely as an excerpt from the latter. The whole extended, it is said, to nearly fifty volumes, and was, of course, far too bulky for common use, and too costly for transcription. It was placed in some repository in the city of Tyre, from which it was removed after Origen's death to the library at Cæsarea, founded by Pamphilus, the friend of Eusebius. It is supposed to have been burnt at the capture of Cæsarea by the Arabs in 653 A.D.
The column, however, containing the version of the LXX. had been copied by Pamphilus and Eusebius, along with the critical marks of Origen, although, owing to carelessness on the part of subsequent transcribers, the text was soon again corrupted. The remains of this work were published by Montfaucon at Paris, 1713, 2 vols. folio; by Bahrdt at Leipsic in 1769; and is at present again in course of publication from the Clarendon Press, Oxford, under the editorship of Mr. Field, who has made use of the Syriac-Hexaplar version, and has added various fragments not contained in prior editions. (For a full and critical account of this work, the English reader is referred to Dr. Sam. Davidson's Biblical Criticism, vol. i. ch. xii., which has been made use of for the above notice.)
His great apologetical work was the treatise undertaken at the special request of his friend Ambrosius, in answer to the attack of the heathen philosopher Celsus on the Christian religion, in a work which he entitled Lóyos kanons, or A True Discourse. Origen states that he had heard that there were two individuals of this name, both of them Epicureans, the earlier of the two having lived in the time of Nero, and the other in the time of Adrian, or later. Redepenning is of opinion that Celsus must have composed his work in the time of Marcus Aurelius (161-180 A.D.), on account of his supposed mention of the Marcionites (whose leader did not make his appearance at Rome before 142 A.D.), and of the Marcellians (followers of the Carpocratian Marcellina), a sect which was
1 Cf. Contra Celsum, i. c. viii. ad fin.
founded after the year 155 A.D. under Bishop Anicetus. Origen believed his opponent to be an Epicurean, but to have adopted other doctrines than those of Epicurus, because he thought that by so doing he could assail Christianity to greater advantage. The work which Origen composed in answer to the so-styled True Discourse consists of eight books, and belongs to the latest years of his life. It has always been regarded as the great apologetic work of antiquity; and no one can peruse it without being struck by the multifarious reading, wonderful acuteness, and rare subtlety of mind which it displays. But the rule which Origen prescribed to himself, of not allowing a single objection of his opponent to remain unanswered, leads him into a minuteness of detail, and into numerous repetitions, which fatigue the reader, and detract from the interest and unity of the work. He himself confesses that he began it on one plan, and carried it out on another. No doubt, had be lived to re-write and condense it, it would have been more worthy of his reputation. But with all its defects, it is a great work, and well deserves the notice of the students of Apologetics. The table of contents prefixed to the translation will convey a better idea of its nature than any description which our limits would permit us to give.
These include the Etpwwateis, a work composed in imitation of the treatise of Clement of the same name, and consisting originally of ten books, of which only three fragments exist in a Latin version by Jerome (Migne, vol. i. pp. 102-107); a treatise on the Resurrection, of which four fragments remain (Migne, vol. i. pp. 91–100); and the treatise IIepi 'Apxwv, De Principiis, which contains Origen's views on the various questions of systematic theology. The work has come down to us in the Latin translation of his admirer Rufinus; but, from a comparison of the few fragments of the original Greek which have been preserved, we see that Rufinus was justly chargeable
1 Cf. Redepenning, vol. ii. p. 131, note 2. .
with altering many of Origen's expressions, in order to bring his doctrine on certain points more into harmony with the orthodox views of the time. The De Principiis consists of four books, and is translated in the first volume of the works of Origen in this series, to which we refer the reader.
Under this head we place the little treatise Περί Ευχής, Οη Prayer, written at the instance of his friend Ambrose, and which contains an exposition of the Lord's Prayer; the Móryos TT potpetitikÒS els uaptúplov, Exhortation to Martyrdom, composed at the outbreak of the persecution by Maximian, when his friends Ambrose and Protoctetus were imprisoned. Of his numerous letters only two have come down entire, viz. that which was addressed to Julius Africanus, who had questioned the genuineness of the history of Susanna in the apocryphal additions to the book of Daniel, and that to Gregory Thaumaturgus on the use of Greek philosophy in the explanation of Scripture, although, from the brevity of the latter, it is questionable whether it is more than a fragment of the original. (Both of these are translated in the first volume of Origen's works in this series.) The Pilokaria, Philocalia, was a compilation from the writings of Origen, intended to explain the difficult passages of Scripture, and executed by Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzus; large extracts of which have been preserved, especially of that part which was taken from the treatise against Celsus. The remains were first printed at Paris in 1618, and again at Cambridge in 1676, in the reprint of Spencer's edition of the Contra Celsum. In the Benedictine edition, and in Migne's reprint, the various portions are quoted in footnotes under the respective passages of Origen's writings.
EDITIONS OF ORIGEN. The first published works of Origen were his Homilies, which appeared in 1475, although neither the name of the publisher nor the place of publication is given. These were followed by the treatise against Celsus in the translation of Christopher Persana, which appeared at Rome in 1481; and this, again, by
an edition of the Homilies at Venice in 1503, containing those on the four first books of Moses, Joshua, and Judges. The first collective edition of the whole works was given to the world in a Latin translation by James Merlin, and was published in two folio volumes, first at Paris in 1512 and 1519, and afterwards at Paris in 1522 and 1530. A revision of Merlin's edition was begun by Erasmus, and completed, after his death, by Beatus Rhenanus. This appeared at Basle in 1536 in two folio volumes, and again in 1557 and 1571. A much better and more complete edition was undertaken by the Benedictine Gilbertus Genebrardus, which was published also in two volumes folio at Paris in 1574, and again in 1604 and 1619. Hoeschel published the treatise against Celsus at Augsburg in 1605; Spencer, at Cambridge in 1658 and 1677, to which was added the Philocalia, which had first appeared in a Latin translation by Genebrardus, and afterwards in Greek by Tarinus at Paris in 1618 and 1624, in quarto. Huet, Bishop of Avranches, published the exegetical writings in Greek, including the Commentaries on Matthew and John, in two volumes folio, of which the one appeared at Rouen in 1668, and the other at Paris in 1679. The great edition by the two learned Benedictines of St. Maur-Charles de la Rue, and his nephew Vincent de la Rue—was published at Paris between the years 1733 and 1759. This is a work of immense industry and labour, and remains the standard to the present time. It has been reprinted by Migne in his series of the Greek Fathers, in nine volumes, large 8vo. In Oberthür's series of the Greek Fathers, seven volumes contain the chief portion of Origen's writings; while Lommatzsch has published the whole in twenty-five small volumes, Berlin 1831-48, containing the Greek text alone.—[Abridged from Redepenning.]
For further information upon the life and opinions of Origen, the reader may consult Redepenning's Origenes, 2 vols., Bonn 1841, 1846; the articles in Herzog's Encyclopädie and Wetzer's and Wette's Kirchen-Lexikon, by Kling and Hefele respectively; the brilliant sketch by Pressensé in his Martyrs and Apologists (Harwood's translation); and the learned compilation of Huet, entitled Origeniana, to be found in the ninth volume of Migne's edition.