Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: In the difficulties of the translator and the commentator we must get help where we can.
20. Your Origen allows himself to treat of the transmigration of souls, to introduce the belief in an infinite number of worlds, to clothe rational creatures in one body after another, to say that Christ has often suffered, and will often suffer again, it being always profitable to undertake what has once been profitable. You also yourself assume such an authority as to turn a heretic into a martyr, and to invent a heretical falsification of the books of Origen. Why may not I then discuss about words, and in doing the work of a commentator teach the Latins what I learn from the Hebrews? If it were not a long process and one which savours of boasting, I should like even now to shew you how much profit there is in waiting at the doors of great teachers, and in learning an art from a real artificer. If I could do this, you would see what a tangled forest of ambiguous names and words is presented by the Hebrew. It is this which gives such a field for various renderings: for, the sense being uncertain, each man takes the translation which seems to him the most consistent. Why should I take you to any outlandish writers? Go over Aristotle once more and Alexander the commentator on Aristotle; you will recognize from reading these what a plentiful crop of uncertainties exists; and you may then cease to find fault with your friend in reference to things which you have never had brought to your mind even in your dreams.
Next: In the Commentary on Ephesians I acted straightforwardly in giving the views of Origen and others.
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