Tag Archives: Origen

Cessationism, Miracles, and Tongues: Part 1

This four-part series follows the perceptions of miracles and the doctrine of cessationism from inception until now in the protestant church, especially as it relates to the doctrine of tongues.

Click on the image to view the full infographic.

Table of Contents

  • Part 1
    • Introduction
    • Reasons for the rise of Cessationism
  • Part 2
    • The Excess of Miracles in the Medieval world
    • The earlier De-Emphatics: John Chrysostom, Augustine Bishop of Hippo, Cyril of Alexandria*, and Thomas Aquinas
  • Part 3
    • The Early Protestant De-Emphatics: Martin Luther and Jean Calvin
    • The Church of England and Miracles
      • The Puritan Influence: William Whitaker, William Perkins, James Ussher, the Westminster Confession, and later Confessions
      • The Latitudinarians
      • The Rationalists and Deists
  • Part 4: Cessationism from the 1800s and onwards: the Baptists, Presbyterians, B. B. Warfield, christian higher education, John MacArthur, and more.

    Introduction

    Cessationism is a religious term used in various protestant circles that believe miracles in the church died out long ago and have been replaced by the authority of Scripture. Cessationist policy is typically found in Presbyterian, conservative Baptist, Dutch Reformed churches, and other groups that strictly adhere to early protestant reformation teachings.

    It is a doctrine that had its zenith in the late 1600s, waned a bit in the 1800s and recharged in the 1900s. Today, the doctrine of cessationism has considerably subsided. However, it cannot be ignored if one is doing a thorough study of the doctrine of tongues. It is an important part of history.

    According to cessationists, defining or explaining the contemporary Renewalist (Pentecostals, Charismatics and Third Wavers) practice of speaking in tongues or any other miracle outlined in Scripture is an outdated question. They don’t happen today. Therefore it is not necessary to do an in-depth historical or theological analysis about the nature and purpose of miracles in the present world.

    This survey is part of the Gift of Tongues Project whose fourfold aim is to identify, collate, translate (where necessary) and trace the doctrine of tongues from inception until the early 1900s. The doctrine of cessationism was not planned to be a part of the Project. However, later research has demonstrated it has an important story to tell in relation to the doctrine of tongues and it must be included.

    The subject of cessationism deeply touches on the nature and definition of miracles—one of the most complex questions in the christian faith.

    Theologians have attempted to harmonize the mystery of miracles with common sense and science for centuries but the definitive answer still remains elusive. Although no movement or person has ever conclusively resolved this tension, the quest to find an answer is an interesting adventure.

    Cessationism is not a black and white subject and takes a few surprising twists and turns. For example de-emphasis is a more suitable term at the birthing of the movement because the earliest protestant leaders still believed in miracles, albeit in a restricted sense. Cessationism refers to a later strand that outrightly denies the possibility of any faith initiated miracle in the present age.

    Reasons for the Rise of Cessationism

    Cessationism began as one of the earliest protestant doctrines. It can be understood from a variety of perspectives.

    First of all, it was a theological counter against the excess of miracles and veneration of saints. The protestant backlash was to outrightly denounce these features. An alternative framework was formulated for christian living which emphasized exclusive obedience to the precepts and truths found in the Bible without any reference or emphasis on miracles. They concluded nothing supersedes, parallels, or equals Scripture. The doctrine generally subscribed to the idea that miracles tended to appear less and less as the New Testament period closed. The logical conclusion was that miracles ceased at this time.

    This created a new problem. Such an emphasis on Scripture alone can lead to Bibliolatry—that is the worship and adoration of the Bible itself. It becomes a legal text that one is obligated to follow regardless of the reason, conscience or consent. It cannot be questioned and the guardians of the ancient texts can become tyrants in the application of the principles. Words and semantics then become the forefront of Scripture rule and lead into an abstract world of interpretation that only a few higher authorities can understand and apply. The reader will discover a small taste of this as they progress through this article.

    Secondly, the doctrine developed as a counter-argument. The Catholic Church argued that the Protestant Movement was illegitimate because it lacked confirmation through miracles. The Protestants volleyed back that the catholic world had legitimized unorthodox activities through the manipulation of supposed miracles to the point of changing the christian identity, its doctrines, and overriding Scripture. The rejection of catholic miracles became a rallying point in the protestant identity and became one of their base principles.

    Thirdly, cessationism developed in an era of England’s fear and hatred of Catholicism. England in the late 1600s was politically rife with anti-Catholicism—any semblance of catholic association was certain to be discarded. There were constant fears of a ‘Popish plot’ to undermine English society and almost any negative political event could be ascribed to this.(1)http://www.moyak.com/papers/popish-plot-england.html English theology incorporated this fear in their writings and was reflected in the development of cessationism.

    The rejection of catholic miracles at the earliest protestant inception did not completely eradicate the concept of miracles. The Reformists still believed in a limited view of miracles, especially ones that could not be traced to the catholic rites. However, within a century after the Reformation, the de-emphasis began to expand past the anti-Catholicism and develop its own distinct structure. The doctrine became an eclectic mixture of ideas collected from the rationalist movement and concepts unique to English theology.

    Catholic literature demonstrably showed that the manifold expressions of miracles perpetuated throughout their history. The Protestant counter argument was this—the majority of miracles expressed by Catholics over these 1800 years were exaggerated imaginary expressions that can be reduced to myths and legends. When one reads many of the miraculous accounts in historic catholic literature, the explanations go beyond suspending the regular laws of nature and venture into the world of incredulous that lacks any common sense. This argument of imaginative miracles has some logical truth to it that cannot be quickly dismissed. On the other hand, one cannot throw out every supposed catholic miracle. Each one has to be evaluated on its own merit. While the majority is easy to toss away for faulty logic, a small group may pass. A serious look may show some precious truth at the initial event, but the story became greatly exaggerated later on that obscures the original fact. Regardless, these disputed miracles remain perceptions that must be respected at minimum for their didactic and historical value.

    For more information on the perpetuation of tongues in the Catholic Church, read A Catholic History of Tongues: 30 to 1748 AD

    The protestant community was divided on the topic of miracles. Cessationism was not actively promoted within the large Methodist or the burgeoning Holiness movements that were popular in the late 1800s.

    The cessationist movement does have some high profile early church supporters and the reasons why early protestants supported this claim make good sense. A few important early church writers found that the visual display of miracles can easily lead to exhibitionism, pride, and personal gain. The art of miracles had little value in developing a moral christian character which many like Origen, Chrysostom, and Augustine prized.

    The de-emphasis of miracles according to protestant tradition was initially led by Chrysostom and Augustine. However, these early protestant writers fail to clarify that this concept was never universally accepted and laid dormant for almost 1100 years.

    Cessationism was never a grass-roots movement, nor did it ever become a central doctrine that represented the wide swath of protestant sects throughout Europe or in England. It is a doctrine never embraced by the Catholic Church. Neither was it consistently applied or interpreted. It became part of a doctrinal system promoted by the puritan thinkers in the 1600s and has been articulated in different forms ever since.

    The next three articles are an expanded story of de-emphasism/cessationism. Particular emphasis is placed on the Church of England, its splinter groups, and the evolution of this doctrine in the Americas. The doctrine of tongues will be touched on lightly.


    Click here for Part two of the series Cessationism, Miracles, and Tongues: Part 2.

    References   [ + ]

    Cessationism, Miracles, and Tongues: Infographic

    An infographic on the doctrine of cessationism. How it fits into the larger debate on miracles, and its consequent effect on the doctrine of tongues.

    Cessationism, Miracles, Tongues, Chrysostom, Origen, Augustine, Cyril of Alexandria, Didymus of Alexandria, Thomas Aquinas, Church of England, Puritans, Richard Hooker, Rationalists, Deists, Anti-Catholicism, Conyers Middleton, David Hume, Thomas Hobbes, Presbyterians, Baptists, Princeton Theological Seminary, John MacArthur

    Speaking in tongues Quiz 2

    Gift of Tonques Quiz 2

    So you think you know a lot about speaking in tongues? The first quiz was made over 6 months ago and the feedback was amazing. So here is the second part. This Quiz has fourteen questions that covers the time period from the fourth to nineteenth-centuries. There is a legitimate way to cheat. All the answers are found at the Gift of Tongues Project website by reading the summary of the church father or movement listed. Good luck!
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    If you want to try the original test, here it is too:

    Gift of Tongues Quiz 1

    So you speak in tongues, know someone who does, or are simply curious about the subject? The following 16 questions will see how well you know the subject. The questions range from contemporary tongues speaking today, all the way back to the 1500s. The questions start easy and quickly move to being very hard. Good luck!
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    John of Damascus on Tongues: Notes

    Notes on John of Damascus’ work, Commentary of I Corinthians, chapters 13 and 14, as it relates to the christian doctrine of tongues.

    John of Damascus

    John of Damascus was an eighth-century church leader who lived in Syria under Muslim rule. The Greek texts originally written by him have been passed on through the ages and may have been heavily edited. Whatever historical information exists about him tends to be of mythical proportions. It is hard to separate the man from the myth.

    A commentary on I Corinthians is credited to him. Whether the text accurately represents his original thought isn’t the most important point. For the purpose of the Gift of Tongues Project it represents the perception of tongues during the eighth- to tenth-centuries.

    Discovering an old commentary on I Corinthians is always exciting because it offers potential to solve the Corinthian’s tongues riddle. However, his work doesn’t solve the problem but does offer a small clue. His text suggests Paul was addressing a problem of foreign languages. This will be explained in more detail below.

    The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia claims that he was the “the last of the Greek Fathers.” How the article arrived at this conclusion is not known. The same article proceeds to add, “His genius was not for original theological development, but for compilation of an encyclopedic character.” This became clearer as the translation of his Commentary on I Corinthians proceeded. His style reminded me of the structure and style used by the Latin writer, Thomas Aquinas, four centuries later. Aquinas liked to stitch together thoughts from a variety of sources and offer those considerations with the fewest words possible, assuming the reader understood the background and meaning. Damascus did the same thing. It gave some sense that John of Damascus was thinking in Latin and writing in Greek. Perhaps this wasn’t the correct approach and so the following was contemplated: he was thinking in Arabic and writing in Greek. The Greek style had a heavy dependency on participles rather verbs which showed something different not seen before and there was nothing that could explain this. However, there was not enough information to substantiate either claim.

    His coverage of tongues and angels in I Corinthians 13 follows the thought originally penned by Origen that it was hyperbolic language and then borrows from Chyrsostom that angels don’t have bodies,(1)Catenae Graecorum Patrum in Novum Testamentum. Vol. 5.J.A. Cramer. Oxonii. 1844. Catenae in Sancti Pauli Epistola Ad Corinthios. Pg. 251 using the same verbs and nouns, but constructed slightly different than what Chrysostom used.

    Damascus made one important omission in his commentary — he doesn’t refer to Gregory Nazianzus on the doctrine of tongues. One would expect a Greek author and Church writer such as John of Damascus to quote liberally from the fourth-century Nazianzus who covered the topic in great detail and caused a great deal of controversy for centuries. This is surprising. The only logical conclusion found so far is that the controversy that Nazianzus began was discussed in the Western Latin Church — a large portion of the argument in the Western circles had to do with the improper Latin translation and hinged on this. It wasn’t an issue on the Eastern Greek front, nor in Damascus’ mind.

    For more information on Gregory Nazianzus theory on the miracle of speaking or hearing, and transmission problems into Latin see: Rufinus’ Grand Omission.

    The actual Greek text is found in Migne Patrologia Graeca, Vol. 95. Epistola in Corinth. The text itself is divided into two: Biblical citation followed by a short commentary. The Biblical citations have only minor differences than the standard Greek Bible text. I did not spend much time on translating the Greek when Biblical citations were made, relying instead on what is found in the New American Standard Bible. However, I had to make some changes to reflect what Damascus understood the text to mean. For example, I changed the English noun tongues which now has a much wider semantic range than what was intended 500 years ago, to languages, which is more specific to the initial intention.(2)See the The Difference Between Language and Tongues

    Now that the details have been examined it is time to move on to the important global question. What did John of Damascus believe speaking in tongues to be? His commentary lacks any serious historical narrative and is a homily divided on love, and the subject of corporate good instead of individualism. He briefly touches on the gift of tongues as the human power to speak in a foreign language. He does not ascribe any emotional or supernatural attachment to this office.

    His commentary on 14:10-12, does mildly clarify his understanding of the text:

    [v10-12a] “There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning. If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me.(3)]NASB So it is also with you.”

    That is, so many languages, so many sounds, Scythian, Thracian, Roman, Persian, Mauretanian, Egyptian, other myriads of nations.

    He directly connects foreign languages with Paul’s I Corinthians text.

    This commentary does not recognize any controversy or doctrine inherited from the Montanist movement relative to tongues. This is consistent with the overwhelming majority of ecclesiastical texts on the subject. ■

    Want to know more about what John of Damascus wrote? The following is a link to his actual text: John of Damascus on Tongues: an English Translation.

    References   [ + ]

    Origen on Tongues: the Source Texts

    In keeping with the Gift of Tongues Project which is to provide the original sources in a digital format, enclosed are the source-works of Origen relating to the doctrine of tongues.

    For the full English list of translations and analysis please go to Origen on the Dogma of Tongues.

    Origenis. In Jeremiam Homilia. MPG. Vol. 13. Col. 384ff.

    Διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἡνίκα μὲν οὐκ εκινοῦντο ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, οὐκ ἐσκόρπισεν αὐτοὺς ὁ Θεός· ὅτε δὲ ἐκίνησαν ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν, καὶ εἷπεν ἄνθρωπος πρὸς τὸν πλησίον αὐτου, Δεῦτε, καὶ οἰκοδομήσωμεν ἑαυτοῖς πόλιν καὶ πύργον, οὐ ἔσται ἠ κεφαλὴ ἕως τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, φησὶν ὁ Θεὸς περὶ τούτων· Δεῦτε, καὶ καταβάντες συγχέωμεν αὐτῶν έκεῖ τὴν γλῶσσαν. Καὶ συγχεῖται ἕκαστος, καὶ ἐπὶ τινὰ τῆς τόπον διασκορπίζεται. Καὶ ὁ λαὸς δὲ ὁ τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ, μὴ ἁμαρτάνων μὲν,ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ ἦν. ἁμαρτήσας δὲ διασκορπίζεται ἔπειτα ἀπὸ τῆς οἰκουμένης, καὶ διασπείρεται πανταχοῦ. Τοιοῦτόν τί μοι νόει καὶ περὶ πάντων ἠμῶν. Ἔστι τις Ἐκκλησία πρωτοτόκων ἀπογεγραμμένων ἐν οὐρανοῖς, ὅπου Σιὼν ὅρος, καὶ πόλις Θεοῦ ζῶντος Ἰερουσαλὴμ ἐπουράνιος.

    Origenis. Selecta in Ezechielem. MPG. Vol.13. Col 773

    Οὐ πρὸς τὸν λαὸν βαθύχειλον. Εἰ γὰρ μὴ ἦσαν _ξ ἐπιπολῆς ἔχοντες τοὺς λόγους αὐτων, ἀλλ᾽ἡ καρ_ _α αὐτῶν διὰ τὸ βάθος τῶν νοημάτων στόμα ἦν αὐτῶν. καὶ οὐκ ἄν σὺ εἰσεληλύθεις πρὸς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Ἰσραήλ. Ἀλλ᾽οὐδὲ βαρύγλωσσοί εἰσι· βάρος γὰρ καὶ κομψόν τι οὐκ ἔχει στίβος ἡ γλῶσσα αὐτῶν, ἤτοι ὁ λόγος· εἰσὶ δὲ κουφόγλωσσοι· ὅθεν ἀναγκαῖόν σε βαδίσαι πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὑποκάτω βαίνοντας τῆς ἕξεως σου. Ἐν ἐπαίνῳ οὖν εἰρῆται ὁ Βαθύχειλος καὶ ὁ βαρύγλωσσος. εἴρηται δὲ ταῦτα. Καὶ ὅρα εἰ περὶ τῶν ἀπὸ τῶν ἐθνῶν, οἳ ἕτεροι εἰσι τοῦ οἴκου Ἰσραὴλ, ταῦτα προφητεύεται, ὧν οὐκ ἄν ἤκουσε διὰ τὸ ἑτερόγλωσσον αὐτῶν ὁ Ἐβραῖος προφήτης. Βαθεῖς δὲ χείλεσιν οἱ αὐτοὶ δύνανται λέγεσθαι διὰ τὸ μὴ ἐξ ἐπιπολῆς τὰ θεῖα καταλαμβάνειν γράμματα, ἀλλὰ πιστεύειν εἰς τὰ βάθη τοὺ νόμου.

    Origenis. Homiliis in Acta Apostolorum. MPG. Vol.14. Col 829ff

    Retyped from the copy found at: Documenta Catholica Omnia

    Ἐκ τῆς εἰς τὰς Πράξεις ὁμιλίας δ’

    Ἔδει πληρωθῆναι τὴν Γραφὴν, ἣν προεῖτε τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον διὰ στόματος Δαυΐδ περὶ Ἰούδα· ἐν ᾧ ψαλμῷ τὰ περὶ τοῦ Ἰούδα γέγραπται. Εἴποι τις ἄν, ὅτι οὐ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον λαλεῖ· σαφῶς γὰρ τοῦ Σωτῆρός εἰσιν οἱ λόγοι λέγοντος· Ὁ Θεὸς, τὴν αἴωεσίν μου μὴ παρασιωπησης· ὅτι στόμα ἁμαρτωλοῦ, καὶ στόμα δολίου, ἐπ’ ἐμὲ ἠωοίχθη· καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς ἕως· Καὶ τὴν ἐπισκοπὴν αὐτοῦ λάβοι ἕτερος. Πῶς οὖν, εἰ ὁ Σωτήρ ἐστιν ὁ ταῦτα λέγων, φησὶν ὁ Πέτρος· Ἔδει πληρωθῆαι τὴν Γραφὴν, ἥν προεῖτε τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον διὰ στόματος Δαυΐδ; Μήποτε οὖν ὅ διδασκόμεθα ἐνταῦθα, τοιοῦτόν ἐστι. Προσωποποιεῖ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἐν τοῖς προφήταις· καὶ ἐὰν προσωποποιήσῃ τὸν Θεὸν, οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ Θεὸς ὁ λαλῶν, ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἄγιον ἐκ προσώπου τοῦ Θεοῦ λαλεῖ· Οὕτω, κἄν προσωποποιήσῃ τὸν προφήτην, ἤ τὸν λαὸν ἐκεῖνον, ἤ τὸν λαὸν τουτον, ἤ ὅ τι δήποτε προσωποποιεῖ, τὸ ἅγιον Πνεῦμά ἐστι τὸ πάντα προσωποποιοῦν.

    Origenis. Comment. In. Epist. Ad Rom. MPG. Vol. 14. Col. 1100-1101

    A Portion from his commentary on Romans 6:13

    [Col. 1100] « Propter inhabitantem Spiritum ejus in vobis. » Si enim Spiritus Christi habitat in vobis, necessarium videtur Spiritui reddi habitaculum suum, templumque restitui. Velim tamen hoc ipsum quod dicitur vel Spiritus Christi, vel Spiritus Dei, vel etiam ipse Christus in nobis habitare, quale sit intueri : utrumnam ex initio omnibus iste Spiritus datur, et postmodum pessimis et a Deo alienis actibus effugatur, secundum illud quod scriptum est : « Nom permanebit Spiritus meus in hominibus istis, quia caro sunt, » an vitæ merito, et fidei gratia postmodum datur, secundum ea quæ in Actibus apostolorum docentur, quia Spiritus sanctus tanquam linguæ igneæ venit super unumquemque eorum; vel certe sicut in Evangelio docemur, cum ipse Salvator posteaquam resurrexit amortuis ad discipulos dixit : « Accipite Spiritum sanctum, et insufflavit un unoquoque eorum. » Unde mihi videtur quod et meritis conquiratur hoc donum, et vitæ innocentia conservetur, et unicuique secundum profectum fidei augeatur et gratiæ ; et quanto purior anima redditur, tanto largior ei Spiritus infundatur. Quod autem dixit, « Non permanebit Spiritus meus in hominibus istis, quia caro sunt. » illuc respicit ut, quoniam anima eorum, repudiata Spiritus servitute, ad carnis servitia se tota convertit, etiam ipsa ejus cui se conjunxit carni, et cum qua unum effecta est, nomen accipiat. Diveris ergo modis haberi potest Spiritus. Vel Spiritus Christi habetur, secundum id quod supra diximus, ex inspiratione divina, ubi ait : « Accipite Spiritum sanctum, et insufflavit in eis, » et rursum eo modo qui in Actibus apostolorum dicitur gesum, ut diversis linguis loquerentur apostoli. Est et ille modus, qui in Regnorum libris refertur, cum dicit Scriptura : « Et insiluit Spiritus super Saul, et cœpit prophetare. » Est et ille adhuc alius modus, ut, cum Salvator post resurrectionem cum Cleopha et alio discipulo iter agens et aperiens eis Scripturas, ignivit eos spiritu oris sui, ita ut illi dicerent : « Nonne cor nostrum erat ardens intra nos, cum aperiret nobis Scripturas ? » Vis autem scire quia non solum Jesus loquens tradidit audientibues Spiritum suum, sed et qui in nomine ejus loquitur verbum Dei, tradit audientibus Spiritum Dei? Vide in Actibus apostolorum quomodo loquente Petro ad Cornelium [Col. 1101] repletur Spiritu sancto ipse Cornelius, et qui cum eo erant. Unde et tu si loquaris verbum dei, et loquaris fideliter ex conscientia pura, nec ipse redarguaris ex verbis tuis quasi qui aliter doceas et aliter agas, potest fieri ut loquente te auditorum corda sancti Spiritus ignis inflammet, et continuo concalescant et ardeant ad complenda universa quæ doces, ut rebus impleant quæ sermonibus didicerint, et « quæ sursum sunt » sapiant, « non quæ super terram. »

    Origen on I Corinthians; Header 49

    Claude Jenkins, “Documents; Origen on I Corinthians,” Journal of Theological Studies 10 (1909). Pg. 29ff and another version found in Catenae: Graecorum Patrum in Novum Testamentum. Tomus V. J.A. Cramer. ed. Oxonii.1844. Pg. 249

    Ζητοῦμεν ἐνταῦθα εἰ δύναταί τις ἐν τῷ βίῳ τούτῳ καὶ προφητείαν ἔχειν καὶ τὰ μυστήρια ἅπαντα γνῶναι χωρὶς ἀγάπης, καὶ ὅλως εἰ δίδοταί τινι τὰ μυστήρια πάντα γνῶναι· φησὶ γὰρ ὁ Παῦλος εἰ τις δοκεῖ εγνωκέναι τι, οὔπω ἔγνω καθὼς δεῖ γνῶναι· καὶ παλιν Ἐκ μέρους φησὶ γινώσκομεν καὶ ἐκ μέρους προφητεύομεν· ὅταν ἄν δὲ ἔλθῃ τὸ τέλειον, τὸ ἐκ μέρους καταργηθήσεται. Τὸ δὲ`ταῦτα λέγειν περὶ ἑαυτοῦ καὶ τῶν παραπλησίων ἀποστόλων αὐτῷ δηλοῖ ὅτι οὐ δυνατόν ἐστιν εἰδέναι πάντα τὰ μυστήρια καὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γνὼσιν. πῶς οὖν ὡς δυνατοῦ ὄντος τοῦ εἰδέναι πᾶσαν τὴν γνῶσιν καὶ πάντα τὰ μυστήρια ἐπίστασθαι ταῦτα φησίν ; ἐὰν ἴδωμεν τὸ προοίμιον τῶν λόγων ἐν οἷς φησὶ Καὶ ἔτι καθ’ὑπερβολὴν ὁδὸν ὑμιν δείκνυμι, καὶ νοήσωμεν τἰ ἐστιν ὑπερβολὴ, ταῦτα πάντα ἔσται σεσαφηνισμένα. ὐπερβολὴ τοίνυν ἐστὶν, ὡς καὶ Ἕλληνες <ὡ>ρίσαντο, λόγος ἐμφάσεως ἕνεκεν ὑπεραίρων τὴν ἀλήθειαν καὶ χρῶνται ἐκεῖνοι παραδείγματι, ὅτι λευκότεροι χιόνος λέγονταί τινες εἶναι· οὐχ ὅτι δυνατόν τι εἶναι λευκότερον χιόνος, ἀλλὰ καθ’ ὑπερβολὴν λέλεκται. καὶ ἔτι Τρέχουσι τινες ἵπποι ὥς ἄνεμος· οὐχ ὅτι δυνατόν ἐστι τὸ τοιοῦτον, ἀλλ᾽ἐμφάσεως ἕνεκεν, ἵνα τὸ τάχος τῶν ἵππων παραστῇ, λέγεται τὸ τοιοῦτον περὶ αὐτῶν. καὶ ἐν τῇ γραφῇ δὲ λέγεται τῶν Ψαλμῶν περὶ τῆς θαλάσσης ἀναβαίνουσι τὰ κύματα αὐτῆς ἕως τῶν οὐρανῶν καὶ καταβαίνουσιν ἔως τῶν ἀβύσσων· ὅπερ ἀδύνατον, ἀλλ᾽ἐμφάσεως ἔνεκεν εἴρηται. καὶ ἐν τῇ νόμῳ δὲ εὐρήσεις γεγραμμένον τῆς ὑπερβολῆς τὸν τρόπον ἔνθα γέγραπται Εἴδομεν πόλεις μεγάλας καὶ τειχήρεις ἕως τοῦ οὐρανοῦ. πῶς δὲ τοῦτο δύναται εἶναι ; ἀλλ᾽ὑπερβολικῶς λέγεται, οὐ πάντως αὐτὸ τὸ δηλούμενον παριστῶντος τοῦ λόγου ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα δηλώσῃ τὸ μέγεθος τῶν κυμάτων ἤ τὴν ταπείνωσιν, καὶ τὸ μέγεθος τῶν τειχῶν, ἤ τι τούτοις παραπλήσιον. οὕτω καὶ ἐνθάδε ὔπόθεσιν λαμβάνει ὁ ἀπόστολος ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἐξετασθῆναι φύσιν χαρισμάτων φύσιν ἀγάπης. οὐχ ὅτι δυνατόν ἐστι εἶναι χάρισματα, καὶ ταῦτα τηλικοῦτον, χωρὶς ἀγάπης· ἤ ὅτι δυνατὸν ἐν τῷ Βίῳ τούτῳ είδέναι τινὰ πᾶσαν τὴν γνῶσιν χωρὶς ἀγάπης, ἤ ἔχειν πίστιν τηλικαύτην ὥστε ὄρη μεθιστάνειν· ἀλλὰ βουλόμενος παραστῆσαι ὅτι εἰ ἐν ζυγῷ τεθείη ἠ ἀγάπη καθ’ ὑπόθεσιν εἰρημένου τοῦ λόγου. δεῖ οὖν φησὶ μάλιστα ζηλοῦν τὴν ἀγάπην.
    ῎Αρα δὲ ἄγγελοι διαλεγόμενοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους ταύταις ταῖς γλώσσαις διαλέγονται αἷς καὶ ἄνθρωποι, ὥστε τῶν ἀγγελων τινὰς μὲν Ἕλληνας εἶναι τυχόν τινὰς δὲ Ἑβραίους καὶ ἅλλους Αἰγυπτίους ; ἤ τοῦτο ἄτοπον λέγειν περὶ τῶν ἄνω ἀγγελικῶν ταγμάτων ; μή ποτε οὖν ὥσπέρ εἰσιν ἐν ἀνθρώποις διάλεκτοι πολλαὶ, οὕτως εἰσὶ καὶ ἐν ἀγγέλοις ; καὶ ἐὰν ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῖν χαρίσηται ἀπὸ τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης φύσεως ἐπὶ τὴν ἀγγελικὴν καταταγὴν<αι>, τοὺ Κυρίου μου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐπαγγελίαν λέγοντος ἰσάγελλοι ἔσονται καὶ Υἱοὶ Θεοῦ τὴς ἀναστάσεως υἱοὶ ὄντες, οὐκετι χρησόμεθα διαλέκτῳ ἀνθρώπων ἀλλὰ διαλέκτῳ τῇ ἀγγελικῇ ; καὶ ὥσπερ ἄλλη διάλεκτος παιδίων καὶ ἄλλη τετρανωμένων τὴν φωνὴν, οὕτως πᾶσα ἐν ἀνθρώποις διάλεκτος οἱονεὶ παιδίών ἐστὶν διάλεκτος· ἡ δὲ ἀγγελικὴ οἱονεὶ ἀδρῶν ἔστι τελείων καὶ τετρανωμένων ; ἴσως δὲ κακεὶ κατὰ τὴν ἀναλογίαν τῆς καταστάσεως καὶ διάλεκτοι εἰσιν. ἐὰν οὖν ταῖς γλώσσαις τῶν ἀνθρώπων λαλῶ καὶ`τῶν ἀγγέλων, ἀγάπην δὲ μὴ ἔχω, γέγονα καλκὸς ἠχῶν ἤ κύμβαλου ἀλαλάζον. ὥσπερ ὅ χαλκὸς ἠχῶν ἄσημον δίδωσι φωνήν, ὥσπερ τὸ κύμβαλον τὸ ἀλαλάζον οὐδὲν τρανόν, τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον χωρὶς μὲν ἀγάπης γλῶσσα κἄν ἀγγέλων ἐν ἀνθρώποις καθ’ ὑπόθεσιν ᾖ, ἀτρανωτός ἐστιν· οὐδὲν γὰρ ποιεῖ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἤτοι τῶν ἀγγέλων τρανῆ καὶ σαφῆ, ὡς ἡ ἀγάπη· ἀγάπης δὲ μὴ παρούσης τὸ λαλόυμενον οὐδέν ἐστιν.
    Τίς δὲ ἡ διαφορὰ τῆς γνώσεως καὶ τῆς τῶν μυστηρίων εἰδήσεως ; περὶ δύο γὰρ πραγμάτων ὁ ἀποστολος λέγει. ἡγοῦμαι τοίνυν τὸ μὲν περὶ τῶν φανερῶν εἰδέναι τὴν γνῶσιν εἶναι γενικωτέραν οὖσαν τῶν μυστηρίων· ἐν μέρει γὰρ τῆς γνώσεως ἡ τῶν μυστηρίων ἐστὶν ἐπιστήμη· τὸ δὲ περὶ τῶν ἀπορρητοτέρων καὶ θειοτέρων εἰδέναι τοῦτ᾽εἶναι τὸ μυστήριον γινώσκειν, ὡς εἶναι γενικὸν μὲν λόγον τῆς γνώσεως οὐκέτι δὲ πάσης τῆς γνώσεως εἶναι τὴν κατάληψιν μυστηρίων περὶ ὧν λέλεκται Ἀλλὰ λαλοῦμεν Θεοῦ σοφίαν ἐν μυστηρίῳ τὴν ἀποκεκρυμμένην, ἤν προώρισεν ὁ Θεὸς πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων εἰς δόξαν ὑμῶν. ὅταν γὰρ εἰδῶ ταῦτα, τότε ἔχω τὴν γνῶσιν τῶν μυστηρίων.
    Κἄν ἔχω πᾶσαν τὴν πίστιν ὥστε ὄρη μεθιστάνειν. γέγραπται ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ Ἐὰν ἔχητε πίστιν ὡς κόκκον σινάπεως, ἐρεῖτε τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ ἄρθητι καὶ βλήθητι εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, καὶ μεταβήσεται, καὶ οὐδὲν ὑμῖν ἀδυνάτησει. ὁ γὰρ ἔχων πίστιν ὡς κόκκον σινάπεως ὅλην ἔχει τὴν πίστιν.

    Origen. Against Celsus

    Please note the following texts are a revised version of the TLG text. It has been changed to conform to what is found in MPG Vol. 11.

    3.46 — Origenis. Contra Celsum Lib. III. MPG Vol. 11. Col. 986.

    Ἐὰν δὲ καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ μετὰ τὸν Ἰησοῦν γεγραμμένα ἔλθῃς βιβλία, εὕροις ἂν τοὺς μὲν ὄχλους τῶν πιστευόντων τῶν παραβολῶν ἀκούοντας ὡς ἔξω τυγχάνοντας καὶ ἀξίους μόνον τῶν ἐξωτερικῶν λόγων, τοὺς δὲ μαθητὰς κατ’ ἰδίαν τῶν παραβολῶν μανθάνοντας τὰς διηγήσεις· Κατ’ ἰδίαν γὰρ τοῖς ἰδίοις μαθηταῖς ἐπέλυεν ἅπαντα ὁ Ἰησοῦς, προτιμῶν παρὰ τοὺς ὄχλους τοὺς τῆς σοφίας αὐτοῦ ἐπιδικαζομένους. Ἐπαγγέλλεται δὲ τοῖς εἰς αὐτὸν πιστεύουσι πέμψαι «σοφοὺς καὶ γραμματεῖς λέγων· « Ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω εἰς ὑμᾶς σοφοὺς καὶ γραμματεῖς, καὶ ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀποκτενοῦσι καὶ σταυρώσουσι. » Καὶ ὁ Παῦλος δ’ ἐν τῷ καταλόγῳ τῶν ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ διδομένων χαρισμάτων πρῶτον ἔταξε « τὸν λόγον τῆς σοφίας » καὶ δεύτερον, ὡς ὑποβεβηκότα παρ’ ἐκεῖνον, « τὸν λόγον τῆς γνώσεως, » τρίτον δέ που καὶ κατωτέρω « τὴν πίστιν ». Καὶ ἐπεὶ « τὸν λόγον » προετίμα τῶν τεραστίων ἐνεργειῶν, διὰ τοῦτ’ « ἐνεργήματα δυνάμεων καὶ χαρίσματα ἰαμάτων » ἐν τῇ κατωτέρω τίθησι χώρᾳ παρὰ τὰ λογικὰ χαρίσματα. Μαρτυρεῖ δὲ τῇ Μωϋσέως πολυμαθείᾳ ὁ ἐν ταῖς Πράξεσι τῶν ἀποστόλων Στέφανος, πάντως ἀπὸ τῶν παλαιῶν καὶ μὴ εἰς πολλοὺς ἐφθακότων γραμμάτων λαβών· φησὶ γάρ· « Καὶ ἐπαιδεύθη Μωϋσῆς ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ Αἰγυπτίων. » Διὰ τοῦτο δὲ καὶ ἐν τοῖς τεραστίοις ὑπενοεῖτο, μή ποτ’ οὐ κατὰ τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ θεόθεν ἥκειν ἐποίει αὐτὰ ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὰ Αἰγυπτίων μαθήματα, σοφὸς ὢν ἐν αὐτοῖς. Τοιαῦτα γὰρ ὑπονοῶν περὶ αὐτοῦ ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐκάλεσε τοὺς ἐπαοιδοὺς τῶν Αἰγυπτίων καὶ « τοὺς σοφιστὰς καὶ τοὺς φαρμακεῖς, » οἵτινες ἠλέγχθησαν τὸ οὐδὲν ὄντες ὡς πρὸς τὴν ἐν Μωϋσεῖ σοφίαν ὑπὲρ πᾶσαν Αἰγυπτίων σοφίαν.

    7:3 — Origenis. Contra Celsum, Lib. VII. MPG Vol. 11. Col. 1424ff.

    Φησὶν οὖν· Τὰ μὲν ὑπὸ τῆς Πυθίας ἤ Δωδωνίδων ἤ Κλαρίου ἤ ἐν Βραγχάδαις ἤ ἐν Ἄμμμωνος ὑπὸ μυρίων τε ἄλλων θεοπρόπων προειρημένα, ὑφ’ ὧν ἐπιεκῶς πᾶσα γῆ κατῳκίσθη, ταῦτα μὲν οὐδενί λόγῳ τίθενται· τὰ δὲ ὑπὸ τῶν ἐν Ἰουδαίᾳ τῷ ἐκείνων τρόπῳ λεχθέντα ἢ μὴ λεχθέντα, καὶ ὥσπερ εἰώθασιν ἔτι νῦν οἱ περὶ Φοινίκην τε καὶ Παλαιστίνην, ταῦτά γε θαυμαστὰ καὶ ἀπαράλλακτα ἡγοῦνται. Λέγωμεν οὖν περὶ τῶν κατειλεγμένων χρηστηρίων ὅτι δυνατὸν μὲν ἡμῖν συνάγουσιν ἀπὸ Ἀριστοτέλους καὶ τῶν τὰ τοῦ Περιπάτου φιλοσοφησάντων οὐκ ὀλίγα εἰπεῖν εἰς ἀνατροπὴν τοῦ περὶ τῆς Πυθίας καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν χρηστηρίων λόγου· δυνατὸν δὲ καὶ τὰ λελεγμένα τῷ Ἐπικούρῳ καὶ τοῖς ἀσπαζομένοις αὐτοῦ τὸν λόγον περὶ τῶν αὐτῶν παραθέμενον δεῖξαι ὅτι καὶ Ἑλλήνων τινὲς ἀνατρέπουσι τὰς νομιζομένας καὶ τεθαυμασμένας ἐν πάσῃ Ἑλλάδι θεοπροπίας. Ἀλλὰ γὰρ δεδόσθω μὴ εἶναι πλάσματα μηδὲ προσποιήσεις ἀνθρώπων περὶ θεοφορίας τὰ περὶ τὴν Πυθίαν καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ χρηστήρια· ἴδωμεν οὖν εἰ μὴ καὶ οὕτως δύναται τοῖς φιλαλήθως ἐξετάζουσι τὰ πράγματα(1)προστάγματα ἀποδείκνυσθαι ὅτι καὶ τῷ παραδεχομένῳ εἶναι ταῦτα τὰ μαντεῖα οὐκ ἀναγκαῖον προσέσθαι ὅτι θεοί τινες εἰσὶ παρ’ αὐτοῖς, ἀλλ’ ἐκ τοῦ ἐναντίου δαίμονές τινες φαῦλοι καὶ πνεύματα ἐχθρὰ τῷ γένει τῶν ἀνθρώπων καὶ κωλύοντα τὴν τῆς ψυχῆς ἄνοδον καὶ δι’ ἀρετῆς πορείαν καὶ τῆς ἀληθινῆς εὐσεβείας ἀποκατάστασιν πρὸς τὸν θεόν. Ἱστόρητα(2)Ἱστόρηται τοίνυν περὶ τῆς Πυθίας, ὅπερ δοκεῖ τῶν ἄλλων μαντείων λαμπρότερον τυγχάνειν, ὅτι περικαθεζομένη τὸ τῆς Κασταλίας στόμιον ἡ τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος προφῆτις δέχεται πνεῦμα διὰ τῶν γυναικείων κόλπων· οὗ πληρωθεῖσα ἀποφθέγγεται τὰ νομιζόμενα εἶναι σεμνὰ καὶ θεῖα μαντεύματα. Ὅρα δὴ διὰ τούτων εἰ μὴ τὸ τοῦ πνεύματος ἐκείνου ἀκάθαρτον καὶ βέβηλον ἐμφαίνεται, μὴ διὰ μανῶν καὶ ἀφανῶν πόρων καὶ πολλῷ γυναικείων κόλπων καθαρωτέρων ἐπεισιὸν τῇ ψυχῇ τῆς θεσπιζούσης ἀλλὰ διὰ τούτων, ἃ οὐδὲ θέμις ἦν τῷ σώφρονι καὶ ἀνθρώπῳ βλέπειν, οὔπω λέγω ὅτι καὶ ἅπτεσθαι· καὶ τοῦτο ποιεῖν οὐχ ἅπαξ που οὐδὲ δίς (ἴσως γὰρ ἔδοξεν ἀνεκτότερον τὸ τοιοῦτο τυγχάνειν), ἀλλὰ τοσαυτάκις, ὁσάκις προφητεύειν ἐκείνη ἀπὸ τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος πεπίστευται. Ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ εἰς ἔκστασιν καὶ μανικὴν ἄγειν κατάστασιν τὴν δῆθεν προφητεύουσαν, ὡς μηδαμῶς αὐτὴν ἑαυτῇ παρακολουθεῖν, οὐ θείου πνεύματος ἔργον ἐστίν· ἐχρῆν γὰρ(3)Ἐρχῆν γὰρ τὸν κάοχον τῷ θειῳ Πνεύματι, τὸν συμβαλλόμενον εἰς τὸ μέσον καὶ κατὰ φύσιν βίον, πολλῷ πρότερον παντὸς οὐτινοσοῦν τοῦ ἀπο τῶν χρησμῶν διδασκομένου, ἤ πρὸς τὸ λυσιτελὲς ἤ συμφέρον ὠφεληθῆναι. τὸν κάτοχον τῷ θείῳ πνεύματι πολλῷ πρότερον παντὸς οὑτινοσοῦν τοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν χρησμῶν διδασκομένου τὸ συμβαλλόμενον εἰς τὸν μέσον καὶ κατὰ φύσιν βίον ἢ πρὸς τὸ λυσιτελὲς ἢ πρὸς τὸ συμφέρον ὠφεληθῆναι καὶ διορατικώτερον παρ’ ἐκεῖνο μάλιστα καιροῦ τυγχάνειν, ὅτε σύνεστιν αὐτῷ τὸ θεῖον.

    7:9 — Origenis. Contra Celsum, Lib. VII. MPG Vol. 11. Col. 1433.

    Ἐπεὶ δὲ καὶ τὸν τρόπον τῶν ἐν Φοινίκῃ καὶ Παλαιστίνῃ μαντείων ἐπαγγέλλεται, φράσειν ὁ Κέλσος ὡς ἀκούσας καὶ πάνυ καταμαθών, φέρε καὶ ταῦτα κατανοήσωμεν. Πρῶτον δὴ λέγει πλείονα εἶναι εἴδη προφητειῶν, μὴ ἐκτιθέμενος αὐτά· οὐδὲ γὰρ εἶχεν, ἀλλὰ ψευδῶς ἐπανετείνετο. Ὃ δέ φησιν εἶναι τελεώτατον παρὰ τοῖς τῇδε ἀνδράσιν ἴδωμεν. Πολλοί, φησί, καὶ ἀνώνυμοι ῥᾷστα ἐκ τῆς προστυχούσης αἰτίας καὶ ἐν ἱεροῖς καὶ ἔξω ἱερῶν, οἱ δὲ καὶ ἀγείροντες καὶ ἐπιφοιτῶντες πόλεσιν ἢ στρατοπέδοις, κινοῦνται δῆθεν ὡς θεσπίζοντες. Πρόχειρον δ’ ἑκάστῳ καὶ σύνηθες εἰπεῖν· Ἐγὼ ὁ θεός εἰμι ἢ θεοῦ παῖς ἢ πνεῦμα θεῖον. Ἥκω δέ ἤδη γὰρ ὁ κόσμος ἀπόλλυται, καὶ ὑμεῖς, ὦ ἄνθρωποι, διὰ τὰς ἀδικίας οἴχεσθε. Ἐγὼ δὲ σῶσαι θέλω· καὶ ὄψεσθέ με αὖθις μετ’ οὐρανίου δυνάμεως ἐπανιόντα. Μακάριος ὁ νῦν με θρησκεύσας· τοῖς δ’ ἄλλοις ἅπασι πῦρ αἰώνιον ἐπιβαλῶ καὶ πόλεσι καὶ χώραις. Καὶ ἄνθρωποις,(4)ἄνθρωποι οἳ μὴ τὰς ἑαυτῶν ποινὰς ἴσασι, μεταγνώσονται μάτην καὶ στενάξουσι· τοὺς δέ μοι πεισθέντας αἰωνίους φυλάξω. εἶτα τούτοις ἑξῆς φησι· Ταῦτ’ ἐπανατεινάμενοι προστιθέασιν ἐφεξῆς ἄγνωστα καὶ πάροιστρα καὶ πάντῃ ἄδηλα, ὧν τὸ μὲν γνὠρισμα(5)γνῶμα οὐδεὶς ἂν ἔχων νοῦν εὑρεῖν δύναιτο· ἀσαφῆ γὰρ καὶ τὸ μηδέν· ἀνοήτῳ δὲ ἢ γόητι παντὶ περὶ παντὸς ἀφορμὴν ἐνδίδωσιν, ὅπῃ βούλεται, τὸ λεχθὲν σφετερίζεσθαι.

    8:37 — Origenis. Contra Celsum, Lib. VIII. MPG Vol. 11. Col. 1573.

    Εἶτ’ ἐπιλαθόμενος ὅτι Χριστιανοῖς λαλεῖ, τοῖς μόνοις τῷ θεῷ διὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ εὐχομένοις, καὶ συμφύρων τὰ ἑτέρων καὶ ἀλόγως Χριστιανοῖς συνάπτων αὐτά φησιν· Ἐὰν μὲν βαρβάρως αὐτοὺς ὀνομάζῃ τις, δύναμιν ἕξουσιν, ἐὰν δὲ Ἑλληνικῶς ἢ ῾Ρωμαϊκῶς, οὐκ ἔτι. Δεικνύτω γὰρ τίνα ἡμεῖς βαρβάρως ὀνομάζομεν ὡς καλοῦντες αὐτὸν ἐπὶ βοήθειαν, καὶ πειθέσθω,(6)Reg. et Basil: πυθέσθω μάτην καθ’ ἡμῶν ταῦτα εἰρηκέναι τὸν Κέλσον ἐφιστὰς(7) TLG has: <ὁ> ἐφιστὰς ὅτι οἱ (8) λόγιοι is understood here in at least one manuscript while TLG has πολλοὶ τῶν Χριστιανῶν οὐδὲ τοῖς ἐν ταῖς θείαις γραφαῖς κειμένοις ὀνόμασι καὶ τεταγμένοις ἐπὶ τοῦ θεοῦ χρῶνται ἐν ταῖς εὐχαῖς· ἀλλ’ οἱ μὲν Ἕλληνες Ἑλληνικοῖς οἱ δὲ Ῥωμαῖοι ῾Ρωμαϊκοῖς, καὶ οὕτως ἕκαστος κατὰ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ διάλεκτον εὔχεται τῷ θεῷ καὶ ὑμνεῖ αὐτὸν ὡς δύναται· καὶ ὁ πάσης διαλέκτου Κύριος τῶν ἀπὸ πάσης διαλέκτου εὐχομένων ἀκούει ὡς μιᾶς, ἵν’ οὕτως ὀνομάσω, φωνῆς τῆς κατὰ τὰ σημαινόμενα ἀκούων, δηλουμένης ἐκ τῶν ποικίλων διαλέκτων. Οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ὁ ἐπὶ πᾶσι θεὸς εἷς τις τῶν κεκληρωμένων διάλεκτόν τινα βάρβαρον ἢ ἕλληνα καὶ μηκέτι τὰς λοιπὰς ἐπισταμένων ἢ μηκέτι τῶν ἐν ἄλλαις διαλέκτοις λεγόντων φροντίζειν.

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