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Origen of Alexandria. Origen the Christian theologian

During the persecution of Septimius Severus, when Leonidas died a martyr, Origen of Alexandria deeply desired to take the martyr’s crown. Which would have happened if his mother had not hidden all his clothes so that he could not leave the house? But he writes his father a letter urging him not to give in for the family’s sake. After Leonida’s death and the seizure of his fortune by the authorities, the family is left in dire straits.

Origen is said to have been born in Alexandria, around 0185 AD, to an old Christian family. Origen was a Christian theologian. His family was of Egyptian descent. Origen of Alexandria was the eldest of seven brothers. His father, Leonidas, a learned and very pious Christian, gave him the complete education of the time, elementary secular and Christian religious instruction. The spiritual atmosphere in the family and his genius made Origen a young fanatic for the faith and the complex interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

Origen of Alexandria, at 17, was able to support his family by giving lessons. He furthered his secular studies in 0203-2040 AD. At 18, he was appointed by Bishop Demetrius, head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria. In the place left vacant by Clement, whose disciple he had been.

Who is Origen, and why is he important?

Origen of Alexandria deepened the secular philosophy under Ammonius Sakkas, whose work and philosophy helped him elaborate his theology. At Ammonios’ school, he had a colleague, the future philosopher Porphyry, an uncompromising enemy of Christians. Origen did these studies in parallel with his exhausting work at the Christian school, where the number and quality of auditors grew in proportion to the fame of his name. To cope with his teaching and scientific duties, he entrusted Heracles with his secular teaching.

Origen is a Christian philosopher and theologian born into a Christian family of seven brothers. Origen of Alexandria is necessary for a fantastic fact: he had been removed from teaching and the priesthood for heretical ideas and the anti-canonical procedure of his ordination, although Eusebius and Jerome note that this was due to the envy and hatred of Demetrius. He retires to Caesarea, Palestine, to his friend Theoctist. He establishes a new school modeled on the one in Alexandria and devotes himself with even more warmth to teaching and study.

Origen of Alexandria grew up in a Christian family. His father, Leonidas, was martyred during the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus in 0203. His father, his first teacher, instilled in him a love for the Holy Scriptures, a passion he maintained throughout his life.

Biography of Origen

Full name:Oregenes Adamantius
Date of birth:0185 AD
Year of death:0254 AD
The thread of life:69 years
Place of birth:Alexandria, Egypt
Father's name:Leonidas of Alexandria
Mother's name:Unknown name
Spouse:He was never married.
Physical appearance:tall, slender, with the allure of a strong and distinguished man, with eyes almost like hazelnuts and a smile always on his lips
Summary of life:Origen comes from a Christian family. He was the eldest of seven brothers. His father, Leonidas, a learned and very pious Christian, gave him the complete education of the time, elementary secular and Christian religious instruction.
Life lessons:The religious atmosphere in his family and his personal genius made Origen a young fanatic for the faith and for the complex interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.
Life accomplishments:He had completed his secular studies in 203-204, at the age of 18, and was appointed by Bishop Demetrius, head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria, in the place left vacant by Clement, whose disciple he had been.
Death cause:Normal causes.

Places from the times of Origen

  1. Alexandria- Where is the location of Alexandria?
  2. Ancient Carthage- Is Carthage in Tunisia?
  3. Tunisia- Is Ancient Tunisia the nowadays one?

Read also: Irenaeus of Lyon. Irenaeus Against Heresies

What is Origen famous for?

Origen was born in 185 A.D. and passed away in 254 A.D. He was a Christian scholar and theologian and is considered one of the most reputed Fathers of the Church. He is believed to have been born in Alexandria and died at Tyre in Phoenicia. Origen was born into a Christian family. His father, Leonidas, was martyred during the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus in 203.

Origen is famous for his Christian writings, and he left a vast body of work as a legacy that can be structured in this way:
1. exegetical texts

  • school
  • comments
  • homilies

2. theological texts

  • on Principles, year 0230 – the first Christian treatise on systematic theology
  • Hexapla

He referred to Christians’ conduct as the best advocates of their faith. And that it is a disgrace to humanity that some think more thoughtlessly than a worm. The worm prepares for his death by building himself a silken coffin. Not that he may disappear into it, but he may revive into an airy butterfly life.

What did Origen believe about the Trinity?

The Holy Trinity is celebrated on the second day after the Sunday of the Holy Spirit, that is, on Whit Monday. On the Holy Trinity, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Holy Spirit. The third person of the Holy Trinity, as indicated by the Pentecostal. At the Sinai of the Lord’s Supper on Pentecost Monday: On this day, we celebrate the Most Holy. And Life-giving and all-powerful Spirit, who is one of the Trinity God.

Origen believed about the Trinity that God remains unknowable in His being but reveals Himself mysteriously to those who are worthy to see Him. Theology will always fulfill the economy and the Holy Trinity’s descent into creatures. Which is also the mystery of the being of the Persons of the Trinity and will never be penetrated by the mind. Yet uncreated energies and divine being The difference between divine energies. The corresponding difference between economy and divine theology is also the radiance of the glory of the Trinity and divine being.

Through the economic manifestation and the gift of divine energies, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit reveal and manifest themselves. The fullness of this revelation is the incarnation of God the Word and the presence of the Holy Spirit in man and creation.

What is the theology of Origen?

Theology is the complete, authentic, existential science and knowledge, the unique way and method to reach the root of truth and life, the Absolute Being. Just as there is an artistic, scientific, or philosophical organ of man, so there is a theological organ: that is, a unique, distinct, and exact capacity, the power of discernment by which the human person appropriates the theological truth as life, can then recognize it and offer it at any time.

Origen’s theology demonstrates that science is not meant to justify the existence of religion. Science only confirms certain truths of divine revelation. The laws of science are valid to the extent that they are expressions of the eternal laws God has given for the excellent order of the universe. Science adds nothing to these laws; its results are only a succession of arrangements of discoveries based on what exists in nature.

Authentic and complete Christian theology is the official theology of the Church. In practice, it is thought out and formulated by certain persons. By individuals, great theologians, and theological geniuses inspired and assisted by the Holy Spirit. But the idea of truth and its guarantee belongs exclusively to the Holy Spirit in the space of the Church. And the credit of the theologian is only the formulation, that is, the expression of the truth received in a personal understanding and exposition, with genuine effort and success.

Key Verse related to Origen

“Those who believe the Author of Nature to be also the Author of Scripture must expect to find the same difficulties that they find in Nature.”

Origen of Alexandria

Was Origen a man of contradictions?

Origen of Alexandria, Pseudo-Dionysius, and Maxim, going beyond the polemic against heretics, had already revealed systems of theological thought. The system found in St. John Damascene is very different. It is not a new creation but primarily a textbook that would serve as such during the Byzantine Middle Ages.

During his lifetime, Origen was the most fantastic sign of contradiction in the history of Christian thought. Of course, no one denied the greatness of his genius and the extent of his influence: the nickname Adamantios, the man of steel or diamond, etymologically the Untamed, was undoubtedly given to him very soon after his death. Eusebius even tells us that he wore it even during his lifetime.

The Fountain of Knowledge, Damaschin’s main work, comprising a debate, a catalog of heresies, and an accurate Exposition of the Christian faith, is a handy summary of patristic theology.

The Hexapla of Origen

In his discussions with the Jews, Origen learned more about those ancient-testamentary passages that differ between the Hebrew text and the Septuagint text. To bring out the Greek text in its most authentic version, Origen tried to parallel all the Greek versions in use at the time with the Hebrew text.

The Hexapla is one of the most famous literary works of the ancient world. It was created by Origen, who presents, in parallel columns, various versions of the Old Testament. The first column contained the Hebrew text, the second the Hebrew text transcribed into Greek letters, and the other four Greek versions: were Aquila, Symmachus, Septuagint, and Theodotion.

The Hebrew text used by Origen is the second-century Palestinian Hebrew text, earlier than the Masoretic Text, which appeared several centuries later.

Origenian the-metaphysics

Origen of Alexandria himself will not undress it, officiating, so to speak, in the temple of theology. As a philosopher, by frequenting the ancients, he is also modern. In the age, modernity was more precisely determined by the Christian transfiguration of traditional thought or by its absorption into the structures of Christian spirituality.

Origenist the-metaphysics originates in Plotinus and Origen, who symbolize the great cut between the ancient and modern ages. Both hearers of Ammonius Sakkas, a neo-Platonist with the reputation of another Socrates, following much the same style of wisdom and learning, Plotinus was to be the last great ancient philosopher. At the same time, Origen was the first great Christian philosopher. Together they would have agreed to keep the opinions of Ammonius secret. 

Of all the traditional Greek philosophies, only Platonism was to pass into a neo-Platonism as a reconstruction. Instead of discontinuity than prolongation, or, at any rate, not epigenetic continuity. Neo-Pythagoreanism and Neo-Aristotelianism are too asthenic and too far removed in value. From the primary forms to be at all representative and concurrent.

3 Surprising Facts about Origen

Some people claim that Origen’s teachings needed to be more right. Because we often hear and read admiring pleadings about Origen. A great ascetic and one of the most redoubtable heretical theologians. Who is frequently quoted by many modern Orthodox theologians who oppose patristic literature but are very friendly to Protestant literature? But also because Origen’s ideas are found in the thinking of many Christians, intellectuals or not.

Insufficiently catechized and too exposed to heterodox influences, we recall the reasons why the Holy Fathers never quoted. And never praised a heretical theologian simply because he stood out for his intelligence and arrogance. Reasons perfectly expressed by the decisions of the Fifth Ecumenical Council. However, there are three surprising things about Origen that you can learn in the following lines.

1. Origen spent evenings in study and prayer

Origen of Alexandria defined spiritual life as a union with God. Without Him, life has no meaning; if God did not exist, life would be sad.

To believe in God is to speak to Him as the Lord asks. Holy Scripture is full of verses about prayer. He spent nights and days thinking about The Words of Jesus, The Almighty.

2. He had only one coat and wore no shoes

He gave up on everything to keep the commandment of Jesus in which Jesus says to put away all fleshly temptation. Origen is an invaluable witness to the ancient existence of church organization, of Christian traditions.

According to his theories, the Church is also a hidden, unseen body. Still, it is also a seen community, local and universal, in which the word of Truth, the word of God, is preached, the Holy Mysteries are celebrated, and the moral life of the faithful is regulated.

3. Origen produced over 2000 work papers

Origen produced over 2000 works referring to biblical commentaries and hundreds of homilies. But to better understand Origen’s writings, it is best to look at him first in the context of the church life in which he manifested himself. Very little is known about the early history of the Alexandrian Church in which Origen was active.

More importantly, the dialogical nature of Alexandrian culture seems to stop at the gates of the Church: we have no evidence until Origen of the relationship between the cultural environment and the Church, between the cultural elite and the ecclesiastical elite. But with Origen, the situation changes.

origen of alexandria

Map Legend

  1. Green point- the location where Origenian Christian current started
  2. Red points- the locations where the originals dogmas spread

Read also: Persecution of Christians in Rome. First martyrs of the Church of Rome

The Anathema against Origen

If anyone shall say that the creation of all rational things includes only minds, without bodies, and altogether immaterial, having neither number nor name; and if he also shall say that we have here among them all unity of identity of substance, power, and energy, by their union with God and knowledge of God the God-King.

But that they, not having the sight of God, have yielded themselves to worse things, each in part following their inclinations, and that they have taken bodies more or less subtle, and have received names, because between the heavenly Powers there is a difference of words, which in fact would be a difference of bodies; and that therefore they would become and be called Cherubim, Seraphim, Beginners, Powers, Lords, Thrones, and Angels, and that many other heavenly bodies like these may be: Be anathema.

Primary Takeaways

  • Origen of Alexandria’s entire theology is also permeated by the awareness of the need to prepare and cultivate man in the true tradition of the Church. And also not to let him fall prey to Judaizers, Gnostics, or heretics.
  • In addition, Origen wishes to lift the souls of his hearers to the altar above the heavens, to the goods of the world to come. Also, all things seen are a shadow of things to come.
  • Being also stimulated by the works of the great Alexandrian editors, the classical Greek authors, and the pressing need of Christian philosophical speculation for a reliable text of Holy Scripture, Origen undertakes the gigantic work of revising the Septuagint text.


Origen of Alexandria made his mark and became the best known in the column containing the text of the Septuagint. He marked with a line those passages found in the Septuagint but not in the Hebrew text; as for the courses that were missing in the Septuagint, he added them to it from another Greek version, marking them with an asterisk.

Quizlet about Origen of Alexandria 

Bible Trivia about Origen of Alexandria

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Who is Origen?

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Where is Origen from?

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Who was the father of Origen?

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In what year was Origen born?

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Origen was a _____ Father.

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What was his most popular writing?

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Did Origen wore shoes?

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Origen is famous for his ___ writings .

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His _____ was martyred during the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus in 203.

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In what year did he died?

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  • Berchman, R. M. (2017). Origen of Alexandria. In The Oxford Handbook of the Epistemology of Theology (p. 340). Oxford University Press.
  • Decock, P. B. (2013). Discernment in Origen of Alexandria. Acta Theologica, 189-208.
  • den Dulk, M. (2020). Origen of Alexandria and also the History of Racism as a Theological Problem. The Journal of Theological Studies71(1), 164-195.
  • McInroy, M. J. (2012). Origen of Alexandria. na.
  • Moore, E. (2005). Origen of Alexandria and also St. Maximus the Confessor. Universal-Publishers.