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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

10.  “That Which Was Made Was Life in Him, and the Life Was the Light of Men.”  This Involves the Paradox that What Does Not Derive Life from the Logos Does Not Live at All.

The Greeks have certain apothegms, called paradoxes, in which the wisdom of their sages is presented at its highest, and some proof, or what appears to be proof, is given.  Thus it is said that the wise man alone, and that every wise man, is a priest, because the wise man alone and every wise man possesses knowledge as to the service of God.  Again, that the wise man alone and that every wise man is free and has received from the divine law authority to do what he himself is minded to do, and this authority they call lawful power of decision.  Why should we say more about these so-called paradoxes?  Much discussion is devoted to them, and they call for a comparison of the sense of Scripture with the doctrine thus conveyed. so that we may be in a position to determine where religious doctrine agrees with them and where it differs from them.  This has been suggested to us by our study of the words, “That which was made was life in Him;” for it appears possible to follow the words of Scripture here and to make out a number of things which partake of the character of the paradoxes and are even more paradoxical than these sentences of the Greeks.  If we consider the Logos in the beginning, who was with God, God the Word, we shall perhaps be able to declare that only he who partakes of this being, considered in this character, is to be pronounced reasonable (“logical”), and thus we should demonstrate that the saint alone is reasonable.  Again, if we apprehend that life has come in the Logos, he, namely, who said, “I am the life,” then we shall say that no one is alive who is outside the faith of Christ, that all are dead who are not living to God, that their life is life to sin, and therefore, if I may so express myself, a life of death.  Consider however, whether the divine Scriptures do not in many places teach this; as where the Saviour says, 4703 “Or have ye not read that which was spoken at the bush, I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.  He is not God of the dead but of the living.”  And 4704 “Before Thee shall no living being be justified.”  But why need we speak about God Himself or the Saviour?  For it is disputed to which of them the voice belongs which says in the prophets, 4705 “As I live, saith the Lord.”


Footnotes

333:4703

Mark xii. 26.

333:4704

Ps. cxliii. 2.

333:4705

Numb. xiv. 28.


Next: Chapter XI

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