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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol IX:
Epistle to Gregory and Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of John.: Chapter VIII

Early Church Fathers  Index     

8.  How the Gospels Cause the Other Books of Scripture Also to Be Gospel.

Now an objection might be raised to our first definition, because it would embrace books which are not entitled Gospels.  For the law and the prophets also are to our eyes books containing the promise of things which, from the benefit they will confer on him, naturally rejoice the hearer as soon as he takes in the message.  To this it may be said that before the sojourn of Christ, the law and the prophets, since He had not come who interpreted the mysteries they contained, did not convey such a promise as belongs to our definition of the Gospel; but the Saviour, when He sojourned with men and caused the Gospel to appear in bodily form, by the Gospel caused all things to appear as Gospel.  Here I would not think it beside the purpose to quote the example of Him who…a few things…and yet all. 4492   For when he had taken away the veil which was present in the law and the prophets, and by His divinity had proved the sons of men that the Godhead was at work, He opened the way for all those who desired it to be disciples of His wisdom, and to understand what things were true and real in the law of Moses, of which things those of old worshipped the type and the shadow, and what things were real of the things narrated in the histories which “happened to them in the way of type,” 4493 but these things “were written for our sakes, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”  With whomsoever, then, Christ has sojourned, he worships God neither at Jerusalem nor on the mountain of the Samaritans; he knows that God is a spirit, and worships Him spiritually, in spirit and in truth; no longer by type does he worship the Father and Maker of all.  Before that Gospel, therefore, which came into being by the sojourning of Christ, none of the older works was a Gospel.  But the Gospel, which is the new covenant, having delivered us from the oldness of the letter, lights up for us, by the light of knowledge, 4494 the newness of the spirit, a thing which never grows old, which has its home in the New Testament, but is also present in all the Scriptures.  It was fitting, therefore, that that Gospel, which enables us to find the Gospel present, even in the Old Testament, should itself receive, in a special sense, the name of Gospel.



Text defective here.  The words as they stand would yield the sense, “the formula, little and yet all.”


1 Cor. x. 11.



Next: Chapter IX

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