Augustine, Origen, and the Exegesis of Romans 8:3

Dominic Keech

in The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199662234
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746314 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Augustine, Origen, and the Exegesis of Romans 8:3

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Chapter 4 analyses Augustine’s Christology of Romans 8.3 as a reception of Origen’s exegesis of that text. The methodology for this argument is established by reviewing the debate over Augustine’s use of the term massa peccati as a reception from Ambrosiaster. Discounting Ambrose as the primary source of Augustine’s theology of Christ ‘in the likeness of sinful flesh’, the chapter identifies parallels to Augustine’s treatment of the text in Origen’s homilies on Luke, exposition of Psalm 28, and commentary on Romans. This leads to the conclusion that the Christology Augustine uses to combat Pelagianism is in fact Origen’s, and functions as a subtextual apology for Origen from within his anti-Pelagian project. The chapter closes by suggesting that Augustine may have received an early draft translation of Origen’s Commentary on Romans from Simplicianus, or from a close circle of readers gathered around him at Milan.

Keywords: Ambrosiaster; mass of sin; virginal conception; Ambrose; Ambrose, Expositio in Psalmum 37; Origen; Homilies on Luke; Origen; Commentary on Romans; C. P. Hammond Bammel; Simplicianus; Rufinus of Aquileia

Chapter.  16943 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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