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.: The question is, as Anastasius says to John of Jerusalem, with what motive you translated the Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν.
14. The next passage in this apology is as follows:
“I am neither a champion nor a defender of Origen, nor am I the first who has translated his works. Others before me have done the same thing: and I did it, the last of many, at the request of my brethren. If an order is to be given that such translations are not to be made, such an order holds good for the future, not the past: but if those are to be blamed who have made these translations before any such order was given, the blame must begin with those who took the first step.”
Here at last he has vomited forth what he wanted to say, and all his inflamed mind has broken out into this malicious accusation against me. When he translates the Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν he declares that he is following me. When he is accused for having done it, he gives me as his example: whether he is in danger or out of danger, he cannot live without me. Let me tell him, therefore, what he professes not to know. No one reproaches you because you translated Origen, otherwise Hilary and Ambrose would be condemned: but because you translated a heretical work, and tried to gain support for it by praising me in the Preface. I myself, whom you criminate, translated seventy homilies of Origen, and parts of his Tomes, in order that by translating his best works I might withdraw the worst from notice: and I also have openly translated the Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν to prove the falsity of your translation, so as to show the reader what to avoid. If you wish to translate Origen into Latin, you have at hand many p. 509 homilies and Tomes of his, in which some topic of morality is handled or some obscure passage of Scripture is opened. Translate these; give these to those who ask them of you. Why should your first labour begin with what is infamous? And why, when you were about to translate a heretical work, did you preface and support it by the supposed book of a martyr, and force upon the ears of Romans a book the translation of which threw the world into panic? At all events, if you translate such a work with the view of exhibiting the author as a heretic, change nothing from the Greek text, and make this clear in the Preface. It is this which the Pope Anastasius most wisely embodies in the letter which he has addressed to the Bishop John against you; he frees me who have done this from all blame, but condemns you who would not do it. You will perhaps deny the existence of this letter; I have therefore subjoined a copy of it; so that, if you will not listen to your brother when he advises, you may listen to the Bishop when he condemns.
Next: You pretend not to be Origen's defender, but you publish and enlarge the Apology for him and allege the heretics' falsification of his works.
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