This week we pivot to Origen’s system. Quotes from the episode are below, and you can find the episode here.
I must say, that the more I read Origen, the more I read about him, the more impressed I am with his brilliance. At the same time the more horrified I am that there are people who follow him as if what he had said was the summum bonum of the Christian faith. I’m impressed with Nietzsche, but I’m not going to follow him into madness.
You can find Episode 29, “On the Science of Reading the Bible” here, and Episode 30, “Moses My Servant is Dead” here.
Origen on figuring out variations in the text of the Septuagint.
I have tried to solve the problem of the variants in the different copies of the Old Testament by checking one version against another. When I was uncertain of the Septuagint reading because the various copies did not tally, I settled the difficulty by consulting the other versions and bringing the passages in question into line with them. When I found a passage that was not in the Hebrew, I marked it with an obelus, as I did not dare to omit it altogether. In other cases, I put an asterisk to show that the passage was not in the Septuagint but was in the Hebrew text and had been added from other Greek versions,
Today we begin our look at Origen. Any look has to be partial, as he was a man of vast learning, and certainly someone who produced 1000s of different types of writings (letters, sermons, tracts, larger treatises).
Controversial in his own day, and even now, we could spend years on him, but as we have to get on to other matters eventually, we will only spend a few weeks treating him.
This week’s episode dives into the question of what the early Church thought Martyrdom entailed. We shall expand on this over the next few weeks, but simply for now, it was much more “being a witness.”
In this episode we will also have a look at a few authors, though make special reference to Candida Moss’s 2014 screed, The Myth of Persecution.
In some ways, Moss is just hijacking the insights of a much better writer (and historian), namely Edward Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and particularly his chapter on the persecutions.
For those regular readers of my blog, as you can see, over the past weeks I have used this as a show-notes page for my podcast, “Light Through the Past.” This one will be no different in the sense that below are the main sources for what I discussed this week, namely, two passages treating Simon the Magician as magus, sorcerer, and the consort of demons, and especially as they pertain to the future great Magus, Faust.
It is not without warrant that Simon Magus becomes in Medieval thought a heresiarch greater than which cannot be thought, in that he consorts with the devil, withstands both St. Peter (as Pope) and St. Paul, and sought as a foreshadow of Antichrist, to cast himself even as God to be worshipped as God.