Henry Chadwick

in The Church in Ancient Society

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780199246953
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600463 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church


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The life work of Origen (c.184–254), as he saw it, consisted in interpreting the scriptures for his generation of Christians through biblical commentary and so refuting both gnosticism and the criticisms of the pagan intelligentsia. He was also in demand as a preacher, receiving invitations from far and wide, and has left many sermons in which he laid down the high standard of personal morality to be expected from bishops, presbyters, and deacons. Anxiety about Origen's exegesis among other Christians was centred on his use of allegorical method, but despite the fact that he felt that he was misrepresented by his enemies, he was on occasion invited to be an arbiter in doctrinal disputes between bishops.

Keywords: biblical commentary; gnosticism; Origen; paganism

Chapter.  5034 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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