School of Alexandria (Part 2)

Questions to think about during this lesson…

  • What did Origen reportedly teach that got him condemned by the Church long after he was dead?
  • Who were Origen’s supporters and critics?
  • In the history of Christianity, no one influenced the study of the Bible more than Origen. How so?
  • How many books did Origen write?
  • What are some of Origen’s works?
  • What is an apologist?
  • What does it mean to say that Origen turned biblical studies into something academic (as a real science)… and how does this approach compare to that of the Gnostics?
  • What’s an example of how Origen preserved the proper interpretation of the Bible and saved it from the literalists? (Hint: Think about the Book of Revelation and what we discussed in The Canon (Part 5) in terms of the Millennialists)
  • Why did Origen want to learn Hebrew?
  • What is the Hexapla?
  • If Origen was known for his allegory, why would he be so interested in the accuracy of the text?
  • When related to biblical interpretation, what do we mean by lower criticism and then higher criticism?
  • How did Origen attempt to find out what the biblical author actually wrote?
  • How did Origen attempt to find out what the biblical author actually meant?
  • How did Origen come to the conclusion that Paul probably did not write Hebrews?
  • In relation to inspiration, what was Origen’s view of the Scriptures?
  • Origen believed the Scriptures have three levels of meaning. What are they?
  • How did Origen respond to those (like the Marcionists) who ridiculed the Old Testament because of their literal interpretation of it?
  • How did Origen combat the excessive allegorizing of the Scriptures by the Gnostics?
  • How did Origen’s perfection of the allegorical interpretation of the Bible give Christians the intellectual tools to defend their writings and to hold their own (with a respectable scholarly stance) against Pagan, Gnostic, and Jewish attacks within the religious, philosophical and ideological debates of the time?
  • What is the Philokalia?
  • What are the main theological errors that Origen is accused of having committed?
  • Why is it difficult to determine whether Origen is really guilty of these theological errors?
  • In the time of Origen, how was it easy to destroy someone’s reputation?
  • What is Origenism?
  • Despite his unparalleled contributions to the study of the Bible, why isn’t Origen a Father of the Orthodox Church?
  • At what Ecumenical Council (and in what year) was Origen condemned?
  • What are some examples of how far-reaching Origen’s influence was in the Church?

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