Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol IX:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Epistle to Gregory and Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of John.: Chapter XIII
13. How the Life in the Logos Comes After the Beginning.
Here, we must carefully observe, we have two things which are one, and we have to define the difference between them. First, what is before us in The Word in the beginning, then what is implied in The Life in the Word. The Word was not made in the beginning; there was no time when the beginning was devoid of the Word, and hence it is said, “In the beginning was the Word.” Of life, on the other hand, we read, not that it was as the Word, but that it was made; if at least it be the case that the life is the light of men. For when man was not yet, there was no light of men; for the light of men is conceived only in relation to men. And let no one annoy us with the objection that we have put this under the category of time, though it be the order of the things themselves, that make them first and second and so on, and even though there should have been no time when the things placed by the Logos third and fourth were not in existence. As, then, all things were made by Him, not all things were by Him, and as without Him was nothing made, not, without Him nothing was, so what was made in Him, not what was in Him, was life. And, again, not what was made in the beginning was the Word, but what was in the beginning was the Word. Some of the copies, it is true, have a reading which is not devoid of probability, “What was made is life in Him.” But if life is the same thing as the light of men, then no one who is in darkness is living, and none of the living is in darkness; but every one who is alive is also in light, and every one who is in light is living, so that not he only who is living, but every one who is living, is a son of light; and he who is a son of light is he whose work shines before men.
Next: Chapter XIV
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