Original Research - Special Collection: A.G.van Aarde Festschrift

Origen of Alexandria: The study of the Scriptures as transformation of the readers into images of the God of love

Paul B. Decock
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 1 | a871 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i1.871 | © 2011 Paul B. Decock | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 May 2010 | Published: 11 April 2011

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Paul B. Decock, School of Religion and Theology Department, University of KwaZulu-Natal St. Joseph’s Theological Institute, Cedara, South Africa

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For Origen, the purpose of reading the Scriptures is to be transformed more and more into the likeness of God, who is Love, through the Logos embodied in the Scriptures. This article first situated Origen’s approach to the Scriptures in the broad agreement over the centuries that the Scriptures are meant to address the present readers and not merely the original readers. This has led to various approaches to actualise the text up to the present varieties of contextual exegesis. Secondly, the article showed how, for Origen, the aim of actualising the text is the transformation of the readers. It will be necessary, therefore, to briefly present some of the key aspects of Origen’s pre-understanding. The third part focused on Origen’s understanding of the reading process as a movement from the letter to the spirit, a process that involves the transformation of the reader. This process is a struggle to understand what love, which is both the mystery of God and the aim for which every being is created through the Logos, is.


Bible and Spirituality; transformation; Origen; love; images of God


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