Saturday, October 30, 2010

Origen Leaves Open the Possibility that Paul Wrote a Gospel Commonly Identified by Another Name

I have been demonstrating over a series of posts that Origen's interpretation of 1 Cor 2.1 - 7 paralleled Clement's mention of a 'public' and 'secret' gospel.  The difficulity is of course that Clement identifies this text as being 'according to Mark' and Origen begins his analysis referencing Paul's identification in Romans of him having written his own gospel - 'according to my gospel.'  But a careful reading of the words in Origen leave open the possibility that what Paul identifies as 'my gospel' may be 'customarily' identified as being written by someone else.  The proper sense of the passage just cited below is that the Christian world is not in the possession of a written gospel which is commonly, 'according to custon' or habitually (συνεθίζω) called according to Paul but that doesn't rule out the possibility that in secret or 'according to a hidden tradition' it was so identified.  Origen was very good at explaining things to initiated readers without 'spilling the beans' to everyone else.  It is undoubtedly for this reason alone why the (former) Marcionite Ambrose put Origen on his payroll. 

This is very similar to the Marcionite paradigm referenced in the writings of Tertullian.  It is worth noting this for later ...

Email with comments or questions.

Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.