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Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Books 1–5 (The Fathers of the Church)

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Origen of Alexandria’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans is the oldest extant commentary on Romans (ca. 246). This volume presents the first English translation of the commentary, covering his exegesis of Rom 1:1 to 6:11. One of his longest and most mature works, it is the only commentary of Origen available in a coherent form from beginning to end. The work was originally composed in Greek in Caesarea, but only fragments of the archetype have survived. Fortunately, Origen’s admirer Rufinus of Aquileia translated the work into Latin (ca. 406).

Origen’s exegesis predates the controversy between Augustine and Pelagius by 170 years; thus it offers a striking perspective on Romans. Opposition to Gnostic interpretations of Paul is an important characteristic of the commentary. Above all Origen defends the Church against the “doctrine of natures”—the belief that all human beings are born with unalterable natures, either good or evil, and thus bound for either salvation or damnation, and that their conduct during this life cannot alter their destiny. Origen successfully refutes this teaching, showing that freedom of will always abides in rational beings.

Provoked by Marcion’s repudiation of the Old Testament, Origen emphasizes the harmony between Gospel and Law. He highlights as one of Paul’s main themes in Romans the transfer of religion from Judaism to Christianity, from the letter to the spirit, in terms both of salvation history and of the transformation of the individual. Origen claims that the key to unlocking Romans is understanding Paul's use of homonyms—identical expressions such as law, Jew, circumcision, death, etc., with divergent meanings.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

For more of the church fathers, check out the Fathers of the Church: Fathers of the Ante-Nicene Era (23 vols.).

Top Highlights

“‘For if you live according to the flesh, you will die,’” (Page 80)

“Rather one should realize that the soul’s rational power is normally called the heart.238” (Page 132)

“‘For if they would have known they would never have crucified the Lord of majesty.’126” (Page 74)

“Just as knowledge and prophecy and other gifts of the Holy Spirit17 which are now being given to the saints are given ‘in a mirror’ and ‘in a riddle,’18 so also the freedom which is now offered to the saints is not yet full freedom but ‘as in [M840] a mirror and in a riddle,’19 and for this reason saints call themselves slaves in comparison with that freedom which shall be granted ‘face to face.’20 For who is there placed in the flesh who is able to attain such complete freedom that he no longer serves the flesh in any respect whatsoever?” (Page 62)

“With one and the same understanding, then, the apostles designate Christ as the propitiatory, or propitiation, or, as is frequently found in the Latin manuscripts, propitiator. There is however no difference whether ‘propitiator’ or ‘propitiation’ or even ‘appeasement’ is recorded, since in Greek it is always expressed by one and the same word. Unless it should seem to some that ‘propitiation’ is understood of his divine substance whereas ‘propitiator’ is understood when he fulfills his services among men.” (Pages 223–224)

  • Title: Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Books 1–5
  • Author: Origen
  • Series: The Fathers of the Church
  • Volume: 103
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Print Publication Date: 2001
  • Logos Release Date: 2014
  • Pages: 424
  • Era: era:ante-nicene
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Bible. N.T. Romans › Commentaries--Early works to 1800
  • ISBNs: 0813201039, 9780813201030
  • Resource Type: Bible Commentary
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-10-05T17:26:37Z

Origen of Alexandria (ca. 182–ca. 251) was a Christian scholar and presbyter in the third century. He is thought to have been born at Alexandria, and died at Caesarea.


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Digital list price: $39.99
Save $9.00 (22%)