Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol IX:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Epistle to Gregory and Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of John.: Chapter XV
15. Heracleons View that the Lord Brought Life Only to the Spiritual. Refutation of This.
Heracleon adopts a somewhat violent course when he arrives at this passage, “What was made in Him was life.” Instead of the “In Him” of the text he understands “to those men who are spiritual,” as if he considered the Logos and the spiritual to be identical, though this he does not plainly say; and then he proceeds to give, as it were, an account of the origin of the matter and says, “He (the Logos) provided them with their first form at their birth, carrying further and making manifest what had been sown by another, 4713 into form and into illumination and into an outline of its own.” He did not observe how Paul speaks of the spiritual, 4714 and how he refrains from saying that they are men. “A natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; but the spiritual judgeth all things.” We maintain that it was not without a meaning that he did not add the word men to the word spiritual. Spiritual is something better than man, for man receives his form either in soul, or in body, or in both together, not in what is more divine than these, namely, in spirit; and it is after he has come to have a prevailing share of this that he is called “spiritual.” Moreover, in bringing forward such a hypothesis as this, he furnishes not even the pretence of a proof, and shows himself unable to reach even a moderate degree of plausibility for his argument on the subject. So much, then, for him.
1 Cor. 2:14, 15.
Next: Chapter XVI
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