The Taser's Edge


Taser Forfeits Title Bout to 3rd Century Theologian!
September 26, 2006, 12:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Just when you thought the excitement could not get any greater lest your head explode with a mighty fury:


Origen (185-254 AD)

That's right, everybody's favorite Church Father/Heretic has come to give us wisdom out the wazoo!

Tonight read from Ronald E. Heine's translation of Origen's Commentary on the Gospel According to John Books 1-10 for Church History I.   As stimulating as that sounds, it really was, to me.  Origen was a voice of orthodoxy during his lifetime and then declared a heretic some years after his death.  I am convinced, however, that he is way smarter than me or any of my readers. (Rule 1 of Writing: Don't insult your audience.)  Sorry Taserketeers.

Origen has many skills when looking to Scripture.  Here are the first four I thought of:

Skill 1: Thoroughness.  In this book, Origen devotes 40 pages to a discussion of “In the beginning.”  In the Greek that he was reading, that is two words.

Skill 2: Scriptural Knowledge–In the course of his book on the first ten chapters of John (really only 1-6 and 10), he quotes from all but four books of the New Testament and a very clear majority of the books of the Old Testament.  Por ejemplo:

–In book 2, the author talks about the times that the Word of God has come to people, specifically the prophets.  He notes that Hosea means “saved.”  Thus the Word of God came to the one who was saved.

–In book 10, Origen refers to the instructions given in Exodus that the bones of the Passover lamb are not to be broken.  He connects it to one of the many fulfilled prophecies of Christ, that none of his bones would be broken.

———————————————————————Break in the text so you don't get bored———————————————Thank you———————————————————————————————Bye—

Skill 3: Asking the right questions— As in, the questions that I would never have thought to ask.  Ever.  Consider the following:

–In book 6, Origen asks why Jesus is always called a sacrificial Lamb, when there are four other animals which are prescribed to be sacrificed in the Old Testament.   Why does it sound so silly to us that Jesus could just have easily been called “the turtle-dove of God?”

Skill 4: Saying and wondering things that we would be embarrassed to wonder about say.  For example:

–In Book 1, Origen is discussing the words of Psalm 44:2–“My heart has uttered a good word; I speak my works to the king.”  Origen wonders why the psalm doesn't just say, “My heart has said a good word…”  Among Origen's formulated possibilities:

“Perhaps also the term 'uttered' was used intentionally…perhaps as a belch is the emergence of a hidden wind into the open, as though the one belching exhales in this way, so the Father belches forth visions of the truth in a disconnected manner and produces their forms in the Word, and for this reason the Word is called the image of the invisible God.”

Betcha didn't see that coming.

Conclusion: I wish I was half as cool as this heretic.  And that I loved Jesus as much.  His theology had its problems, but I'm pretty sure he's in Heaven right now, reading my blog.  He did believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, and I'm not sure how you could screw that up.


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