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Origen: On First Principles (John Behr) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 2018) 9780199684021
Origen: On First Principles (John Behr) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 2018) 9780199684021
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Title: Origen: On First Principles

Author: Behr, John

Additional Authors or Contributors: (ed)

Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 2018

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780199684021

Volumes: 1; Pages: 800

List Price in Hardcover: $180.00 Our price: $142.99

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On First Principles by Origen of Alexandria, written around 220-230 AD, is one of the most important and contentious works of early Christianity. It provoked controversy when written, provoked further debate when translated into Latin by Rufinus in the fourth century, and was the subject, together with its author, of condemnation in the sixth century. As a result, the work no longer survives intact in the original Greek. We only have the complete work in the Latin translation of Rufinus, and a few extensive passages preserved in Greek by being excerpted into the Philokalia of Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus.

John Behr provides a new edition and translation of one of the most important texts from early Christianity. He includes an invaluable introduction, which provides a clear structure of the work with significant implications for how the text is to be read and for understanding the character of theology in the early Christian tradition.

Table of Contents


1. Origen and his On First Principles

I. Origen in Alexandria

II. On First Principles

2. The structure of On First Principles

I. The Two Cycles

II. The Division into Chapters

III. Theology and Economy

IV. The Apostolic and the Ecclesiastical Preaching

V. Scripture, Book Four, and the Purpose of On First Principles

VI. Conclusion and the Context of On First Principles

3. Theology

I. An Eternal Creation?

II. The 'Foundation' of the World

4. Economy

I. Incarnation

II. The 'Pre-existence' and Incarnation of Christ

5. 'In My End is My Beginning'

Text and Translation

Origen, On First Principles

Manuscripts and Other Sources, Abbreviations and Sigla

1. Rufinus' Translation

I. Manuscripts

II. Indirect Witnesses

III. Editions

2. The Philocalia

I. Manuscripts

II. Editions

3. Abbreviations and Sigla

Rufinus' Preface


Part I: Theology

I. The Apostolic Preaching

II. The Church's Preaching

Part II: Economy

I. The Apostolic Praching

II. The Church's Preaching

Part III: The Inspired Scripture


Appendix I Chapter Titles in the Latin Manuscripts

Appendix II Koetschau's Fragments


Index of Ancient Sources

Index of Modern Authors Cited

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