Henri De Lubac on the Chasm Between Current and Patristic Thought

The early church is working with an entirely different worldview and thought when it comes to Holy Scripture. It isn’t necessarily a method that we can just mimic but it is a whole approach when engaging the text. This is one of the chasms that we may or may not be able to cross when it comes to the oft times odd (to us) figural/allegorical/christological approach to reading scripture.

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∞ Origen and Prayer by Rowan Williams

The Christian Century has an excellent excerpt from Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer by Rowan Williams. He provides one of the better treatments on prayer that I have read in awhile.

And one of the questions he asks is one you probably have asked yourself from time to time: “If God knows what we are going to ask, why bother to pray?” Origen has as good an answer as anyone has given: God knows, of course, what we are going to say and do, but God has decided that he will work out his purposes through what we decide to say and do. So if it is God’s will to bring something about, some act of healing or reconciliation, some change for the better in the world, he has chosen that your prayer is going to be part of a set of causes that makes it happen. So you’d better get on with it, as you and your prayer are part of God’s overall purpose for the situation in which he is going to work.

Read the whole thing here

∞ Origen of Alexandria: Exegetical works on Ezekiel. Sermons, scholia, fragments.

The second book in Ancient Texts in Translation is now available.  This is a translation of all that Origen wrote on Ezekiel, together with the original text.  The work was translated by Mischa Hooker, who has gamely worked away at this for five years.  The results are really quite satisfactory.
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, roger pearce, ancient texts in translation
Early Christianity
Comment

Rufinus on his Translation of Origen's Commentary on Romans

…but my intention has been not to seek the applause of students but the good of those who wish to be edified

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Origen, Basil, and Reading Holy Scripture with a Veil

By reading these Old Testament texts if the interpreter removes the veil and dives into the mysteries of the Holy Scripture then he is imitating Moses in seeking after God. The Spirit is the one who lifts the veil to point us to Christ. Like Origen, a rejection of reading according the letter of the text means more than a flippant spiritual reading. A spiritual reading is one that rightly sees that Christ has fulfilled the law and interpreters should read in light of that fact.

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, origen and scripture, basil, moses, veil
Early Christianity
Comment

The Musical Harmony of the Scriptures

For just as the different chords of the harp and zither, each of which produces a sound unique to it that seems not to be similar to the sound of the other, are thought to be out of accord on account of the dissemblance of sounds by the uncultured who do not know the principle of musical harmony, so also with those who do not know how to listen to the harmony of God in the sacred Scriptures. These think that the Old is inharmonious with the New, or the prophets with the law, or the gospels with themselves, the apostle with the gospel or himself or the [other] apostles. But the one who has learned the music of God…this one will produce the sound of the music of God…For he knows that all Scripture is one harmonious instrument of God, producing one saving melody from different sounds for those who desire to learn, a melody that calms and hinders every action of the evil spirit. - Origen

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, origen and scripture, oxford university press, peter martens
Early Christianity
Comment

The Role of Prayer in Origen's Exegetical Endeavors

I think most telling of Origen’s posture when it came to the study of the Scriptures is his emphasis on prayer during study. For Origen, the divine Scriptures are a mystery and contain many difficult truths that can only be understood with the help of the Spirit

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, peter martens, origen and scripture, oxford university press
Early Christianity
Comment

Origen Against the Literal Interpretation of the Heterodox

Therefore we must show to those who believe that the sacred books are writings not from men, but that they were composed and have come down to us from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by the will of the Father of the universe through Jesus Christ, what are the apparent ways [of interpretation] for those who hold to the rule of the heavenly church of Jesus Christ through the succession of the apostles. - Origen

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, peter martens, rule of faith
Early Christianity
Comment