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Re: [GTh] Origen and Spiritual Meaning

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  • sarban
    ... From: Michael Grondin To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 7:51 PM Subject: [GTh] Origen and Spiritual Meaning I think Andrew would
    Message 1 of 2 , May 12, 2009
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Michael Grondin
      To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 7:51 PM
      Subject: [GTh] Origen and Spiritual Meaning






      I think Andrew would agree that Origen himself would describe his
      interpretational principles in terms of "spiritual meaning" (versus
      "literal meaning"), and of course it was certainly not Origen's view
      that _everything_ in the NT was in the nature of allegory. But what
      I wonder about - and maybe Andrew can answer this - is how to
      explain Origen's infamous self-castration, wherein he seemed to
      have taken Mt 19:12 ("there are eunuchs who made themselves
      eunuchs on account of the kingdom...") _literally_, whereas in
      _First Principles_, he writes:

      "... one of the impossibilities is the verse in the Gospel 'If your right
      eye has offended, let it be plucked out' [Mt 5:29, 18:9]. For even
      if we refer the saying to fleshly eyes, how will it appear logical that
      the blame for the offense is referred to one eye, the right one, when
      a person sees with both eyes? Or who would be considered
      innocent of a great crime if he laid hands on himself?"

      ..................................................................
      Be that as it may, the last sentence in the above quotation is clearly
      an independent line of reasoning that would obviously count heavily
      against Origen's own self-castration. I don't know, however, whether
      this passage is among those whose authenticity is in question. Nor
      do I know whether this passage was supposedly written before or
      after Origen's action. Hopefully, Andrew and/or Stephen can provide
      some enlightenment. Did Origen later regret an action caused by
      youthful zeal?

      Cheers,
      Mike G.

      Hi Mike



      Origen's analysis of Matthew 19:12 (from the Latin translation of his "Commentary on Matthew") is online at

      http://www.well.com/~aquarius/origen-matthew.htm

      Origen clearly argues here against taking the injunction literally.



      There seem to be two possibilities

      i/ Origen castrated himself and later regretted it.

      ii/ The story of his self-castration is not historical and is a product of the malice of his opponents. This possibility is discussed here.

      http://houseoftheinklings.blogspot.com/2006/09/on-origen.html



      Andrew Criddle





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