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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: Jerome praises Origen but condemns others for doing the same.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

19. But perhaps you will say to me: “Why do you fill your paper with this superfluous matter? Does even my friend say that it is a crime to name Origen, or to give him praise for his talents? If Origen is proclaimed as ‘such and so great a man,’ this makes us the more anxious to be told whether he is in other passages spoken of as ‘an apostolic man,’ or ‘a teacher of the churches,’ or by any similar expressions which appear to commend not only his talents but his faith.” This then shall be done. It was indeed for this purpose that I produced the passage where he speaks of him as ‘such and so great a man,’ because it was, if I am not mistaken, in the Preface this laudatory expression is used about him that he also claims the right of Origen to be called an Apostle or a Prophet, and to be praised even to the heavens. And in the same way, if there are passages in which I happen to have praised Origen’s learning, all my praise is just of this kind. This man rouses all this alarm in you because of such expressions of mine; but he maintains that it is unjust to bring up similar expressions against him when they occur in his own writings. But, since he does not choose to stand on equal terms with us before the tribunal of opinion, but condemns us on mere suspicion, while he himself does not hold himself bound even by his own handwriting; since he, I say, does not think it necessary in such a matter to observe the rule of holy Scripture which demands that each man should be judged without respect of persons; I will make answer for myself, not according to the demands of justice, but according to his wishes. He says to me: “If you have translated Origen, you are to be blamed; but I, even if I have said the very things for which I blame him, have done well, and these ought to be read and held as true. If you have praised his talents or his knowledge, you have committed a crime; if I have praised his talents, it goes for nothing.”


Next: Jerome praises the dogmatic as well as the expository works of Origen.

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