Sunday, October 24, 2010

(Part 1) THREE ANCIENT TRINITARIAN HISTORIANS SAY ORIGEN BELIEVED JESUS WAS CREATED



THREE ANCIENT TRINITARIAN HISTORIANS SAY
ORIGEN BELIEVED JESUS WAS CREATED

What I find very interesting about the HISTORY of the Trinity doctrine, is how OLD Trinitarians will say something about the Earliest Post-Biblical writers and their beliefs about Jesus and the Father and the holy spirit, but MODERN Trinitarians will contradict them and say: "they didn't believe THAT but the Trinity".

Who is the more credible witness?

Someone nearly two thousand years later or someone who lived much closer to his time and had some of the origionals at hand?

Why do MODERN Christian Historians contradict the oldest Christian Historians?

It's a good question to think about.

Could there be bias?

Could there be a detachment from the facts of what actually happened?

Could this be a denial of the real HISTORY of Christian doctrine?

Thousands of years later they feel far enough away that they can right a different view of history according to what makes them feel comfortable?

Could this be a re-writing of HISTORY according to a later view?

Lets examine our first Historians comments on Origens doctrine in regard to Jesus being created or not:

EPIPHANIUS (ca. 310 to 403 C.E.): "...For Arius took his cue from Origen, and so did the Anomoeans who suceeded him and the rest. [4.3] For Origen claims, and dares to say at once [23] if you please, first that the OnlyBegotten Son cannot see the Father, and neither can the Spirit behold the Son [24] and the angels surely cannot behold the Spirit, nor men angels. (4) And this is his first downfall. For he does not beleive the Son is of the Fathers essence, but represents him as entirely differen't from the Father, and CREATED besides. But he holds that he is called "Son" by grace..." (The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis: Book II and III, Volumes 2-3; By Frank Williams Section IV Page 135)

Another older translation as quoted by William Whiston:

EPIPHANIUS (ca. 310 to 403 C.E.): "...And that this was really the known opinion of Origen, Epiphanius is witness: "He supposes him derived from the substance of the Father; but still CREATED by him." - (Haeres LXIV. 4. Page 527; William Whiston Primative Christianity Revived Vol 4 Page 154)

From the same a bit further on:

EPIPHANIUS (ca. 310 to 403 C.E.): "Whereas we have observed, that in many places he describes the only-begotten God, as not of the same Divinity or Substance with the Father, as also the Holy Spirit. On this account, when he says he is a MADE God, tis plain he determines, that he is A CREATED BEING." - (Haeres LXIV. 4. Page 531; William Whiston Primative Christianity Revived Vol 4 Page 154)

A second Historians point of view:

JEROME (347 to 420 C.E.): “...For the council which condemned Arius would surely have condemned Origen too, had it disapproved of his doctrines.” They were bound in other words to cure all the diseases of the church at once and with one remedy; and by parity of reasoning we must deny the majesty of the Holy Ghost because nothing was said of his nature in that council. But the question was of Arius, not of Origen; of the Son, not of the Holy Ghost. The bishops at the council proclaimed their adherence to a dogma which was at the time denied; they said nothing about a difficulty which no one had raised. And yet they covertly struck at Origen as the source of the Arian heresy: for, in condemning those who deny the Son to be of the substance of the Father, they have condemned Origen as much as Arius...” (Letter 84:2, 4)

JEROME (347 to 420 C.E.): 1. "About ten years ago that saintly man Pammachius sent me a copy of a certain person's rendering, or rather misrendering, of Origen's First Principles; with a request that in a Latin version I should give the true sense of the Greek and should set down the writer's words for good or for evil without bias in either direction. When I did as he wished and sent him the book, he was shocked to read it and locked it up in his desk lest being circulated it might wound the souls of many. However, a certain brother, who had "a zeal for God but not according to knowledge," asked for a loan of the manuscript that he might read it; and, as he promised to return it without delay, Pammachius, thinking no harm could happen in so short a time, unsuspectingly consented. Hereupon he who had borrowed the book to read, with the aid of scribes copied the whole of it and gave it back much sooner than he had promised. Then with the same rashness or— to use a less severe term— thoughtlessness he made bad worse by confiding to others what he had thus stolen. Moreover, since a bulky treatise on an abstruse subject is difficult to reproduce with accuracy, especially if it has to be taken down surreptitiously and in a hurry, order and sense were sacrificed in several passages. Whence it comes, my dear Avitus, that you ask me to send you a copy of my version as made for Pammachius and not for the public, a garbled edition of which has been published by the aforesaid brother. 2. Take then what you have asked for; but know that there are countless things in the book to be abhorred, and that, as the Lord says, you will have to walk among scorpions and serpents. It begins by saying that Christ was MADE God's son not born; that God the Father, as He is by nature invisible, is invisible even to the Son; that the Son, who is the likeness of the invisible Father, compared with the Father is not the truth but compared with us who cannot receive the truth of the Almighty Father seems a figure of the truth so that we perceive the majesty and magnitude of the greater in the less, the Father's glory limited in the Son; THAT GOD THE FATHER IS A LIGHT IN-COMPREHENSIBLE AND THAT CHRIST COMPARED WITH HIM IS BUT A MINUTE BRIGHTNESS, although by reason of our incapacity to us he appears a great one. The Father and the Son are compared to two statues, a larger one and a small; the first filling the world and being somehow invisible through its size, the second cognisable by the eyes of men. God the Father omnipotent the writer terms good and of perfect goodness; but of the Son he says: "He is not good but an emanation and likeness of goodness; not good absolutely but only with a qualification, as 'the good shepherd' and the like." The Holy Spirit he places after the Father and the Son as third in dignity and honour. And while he declares that he does not know whether the Holy Spirit is CREATED or uncreated, he has later on given his own opinion that EXCEPT GOD THE FATHER ALONE THERE IS NOTHING UN-CREATED. "The Son," he states, "is inferior to the Father, inasmuch as He is second and the Father first; and the Holy Spirit which dwells in all the saints is inferior to the Son. In the same way the power of the Father is greater than that of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Likewise the power of the Son is greater than that of the Holy Spirit, and as a consequence the Holy Spirit in its turn has greater virtue than other things called holy." (Letters 124)

A third Historian and witness:

GREEK TEXT: Ἀνεγνώσθη Ὠριγένους τὸ περὶ ἀρχῶν, λόγοι δʹ, ὧν ὁ μὲν πρῶτος περὶ πατρὸς καὶ υἱοῦ καὶ ἁγίου πνεύματος· ἐν ᾧ πλεῖστα βλασφημεῖ, τὸν μὲν υἱὸν ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρὸς πεποιῆσθαι λέγων, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα ὑπὸ τοῦ υἱοῦ, καὶ διήκειν μὲν τὸν πατέρα διὰ πάντων τῶν ὄντων, τὸν δὲ υἱὸν μέχρι τῶν λογικῶν μόνων, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα μέχρι μόνων τῶν σεσωσμένων. Λέγει δὲ καὶ ἄλλα παραλογώτατα καὶ δυσσεβείας πλήρη· μετεμψυ 8.4α χώσεις τε γὰρ ληρῳδεῖ, καὶ ἐμψύχους τοὺς ἀστέρας, καὶ ἕτερα τούτοις παραπλήσια. Ἔστι δ' ὁ μὲν πρῶτος αὐτῷ λόγος μεμυθολογημένος περὶ πατρὸς καὶ (ὡς ἐκεῖνός φησι) περὶ Χριστοῦ καὶ περὶ ἁγίου πνεύματος, ἔτι καὶ περὶ λογικῶν φύσεων. Ὁ δὲ δεύτερος περὶ κόσμου καὶ τῶν ἐν αὐτῷ κτισμάτων, καὶ ἔτι ὅτι εἷς θεὸς νόμου καὶ προφητῶν, καὶ ὅτι ὁ αὐτὸς παλαιᾶς καὶ καινῆς διαθήκης θεός, καὶ περὶ τῆς τοῦ σωτῆρος ἐνανθρωπήσεως, καὶ ὅτι τὸ αὐτὸ πνεῦμα ἐν Μωϋσῇ καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις προφήταις καὶ ἁγίοις ἀποστόλοις· ἔτι περὶ ψυχῆς, περὶ ἀναστάσεως, περὶ κολάσεως, περὶ ἐπαγγελιῶν. Ὁ δὲ τρίτος περὶ αὐτεξουσίου· πῶς ὁ διάβολος καὶ αἱ ἀντικείμεναι δυνάμεις κατὰ τὰς γραφὰς στρατεύονται τῷ ἀνθρωπίνῳ γένει· ὅτι γενητὸς ὁ κόσμος καὶ φθαρτὸς ἀπὸ χρόνου ἀρξάμενος. Ὁ δὲ τέταρτος περὶ τέλους· ὅτι θεῖαι αἱ γραφαί· τέλος ὅπως δεῖ ἀναγινώσκειν καὶ νοεῖν τὰς γραφάς. (MIGNE PATROLOGIA CURSUS COMPLETUS)

NOTE: Not as old as the first two but had available to him more abundant and older copies of Origens works than the modern Historians do today.

English translation of the Greek above:

PHOTIUS (810 to 893 C.E.): "Read Origen's 1 four books On First Principles. The first deals with the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. In this his statements are often blasphemous; thus, he asserts that the Son was [πεποιῆσθαι] CREATED [ὑπὸ] BY THE FATHER, the Holy Ghost by the Son; that the Father pervades all existing things, the Son only those that are endowed with reason, the Holy Ghost only those that are saved. He also makes other strange and impious statements, indulging in frivolous talk about the migration of souls, the stars being alive, and the like. This first book is full of fables about the Father, Christ (as he calls the Son), the Holy Ghost, and CREATURES endowed with reason. In the second book he treats of the world and created things. He asserts that the God of the Law and the prophets, of the Old and the New Testament, is one and the same; that there was the same Holy Spirit in Moses, the rest of the prophets, and the Holy Apostles. He further discusses the Incarnation of the Saviour, the soul, resurrection, punishment, and promises. The third book deals with free will; how the devil and hostile powers, according to the Scriptures, wage war against mankind; that the world was created and is perishable, having had a beginning in time. The fourth book treats of the final end, the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, and the proper manner of reading and understanding them." (PHOTIUS BIBLIOTHECA OR MYRIOBIBLON Section 8. [Origen, De Principiis])

Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon: ποιέω 1(A). to make, produce, create,

Are these Historians assertions accurate?

From what has survived through the ages of Origens works we shall take a look at some statements that verify what they have said in the next post.