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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