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Origen, ON THE PRINCIPLES (PERI ARCHON - DE PRINCIPIIS), Third Part, Complete

Translated by Frederick Crombie.

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Page 26

Book IV - Chapter I

Translated from the Greek original (The translation from the Greek is designedly literal, that the difference between the original and the paraphrase of Rufinus may be more clearly seen.)



On the Inspiration of Holy Scripture, and How the Same is to be Read and Understood, and What is the Reason of the Uncertainty in it; and of the Impossibility or Irrationality of Certain Things in it, Taken According to the Letter.

1. Since, in our investigation of matters of such importance, not satisfied with the common opinions, and with the clear evidence of visible things, [2812] we take in addition, for the proof of our statements, testimonies from what are believed by us to be divine writings, viz., from that which is called the Old Testament, and that which is styled the New, and endeavour by reason to confirm our faith; and as we have not yet spoken of the Scriptures as divine, come and let us, as if by way of an epitome, treat of a few points respecting them, laying down those reasons which lead us to regard them as divine writings. And before making use of the words of the writings themselves, and of the things which are exhibited in them, we must make the following statement regarding Moses and Jesus Christ,--the lawgiver of the Hebrews, and the Introducer of the saving doctrines according to Christianity. For, although there have been very many legislators among the Greeks and Barbarians, and teachers who announced opinions which professed to be the truth, we have heard of no legislator who was able to imbue other nations with a zeal for the reception of his words; and although those who professed to philosophize about truth brought forward a great apparatus of apparent logical demonstration, no one has been able to impress what was deemed by him the truth upon other na- tions, or even on any number of persons worth mentioning in a single nation. And yet not only would the legislators have liked to enforce those laws which appeared to be good, if possible, upon the whole human race, but the teachers also to have spread what they imagined to be truth everywhere throughout the world. But as they were unable to call men of other languages and from many nations to observe their laws, and accept their teaching, they did not at all attempt to do this, considering not unwisely the impossibility of such a result happening to them. Whereas all Greece, and the barbarous part of our world, contains innumerable zealots, who have deserted the laws of their fathers and the established gods, for the observance of the laws of Moses and the discipleship of the words of Jesus Christ; although those who clave to the law of Moses were hated by the worshippers of images, and those who accepted the words of Jesus Christ were exposed, in addition, to the danger of death.

[2812] te enargeia ton blepomenon.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/fathers/origen/principles.asp?pg=26