Chapter

Mandate: The Interpreter's Education

Peter W. Martens

in Origen and Scripture

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199639557
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738135 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639557.003.0002

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

Mandate: The Interpreter's Education

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This chapter and the next outline Origen's scholarly expectations for ideal interpreters of Scripture. This chapter examines the educational mandate he issued. It begins with a consideration of Origen's addressees (primarily the simpliciores or simpler believers in the church), and then interprets the key passages where he outlines this educational mandate, especially the Letter to Gregory. The picture that emerges is that Origen thought a commitment to scholarship—not simply philology, but also an array of Greco-Roman disciplines pertinent to informed biblical scholarship—ought to be an intrinsic feature in the profile of aspiring scriptural interpreters. Moreover, his ancient biographers (Gregory, Eusebius, Porphyry and Epiphanius) argued that the mandate he set for others he also embraced himself.

Keywords: Origen; simpliciores; Letter to Gregory; philology; scholarship; educational mandate

Chapter.  8238 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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