Thirty-nine of Origen’s homilies on the Gospel of Luke survive in Jerome’s Latin translation. Origen preached them in Caesarea, perhaps around 234 or 240, to a congregation of catechumens and faithful. Most of the homilies are short; on average, they treat about six verses of the Gospel and would have lasted between eight and twelve minutes. The first 33 homilies treat chapters one through four of Luke’s Gospel; the remaining six treat passages from the tenth to the twentieth chapters.
Origen’s homilies are the only extant patristic writing devoted to Luke’s Gospel before Ambrose’s Exposition on Luke, written ca. 390 (and Ambrose himself followed Origen, sometimes quite closely). Homilies 1 to 20 also constitute the only existing commentary from the pre-Nicene Church on either Infancy Narrative. Several hundred fragments of Origen’s homilies and commentary on Luke also survive, mostly in Greek.
Henri de Lubac formulated the important principle, “Observe Origen at work,” and Origen’s writings on Luke’s Gospel are an intriguing place to do that. Origen, the champion of spiritual interpretation, regulary beings with a painfully literal reading of the text. His first unit of understanding is the word, and often the key that unlocks the meaning of a word in the Bible for him is the use of that same word elsewhere in Scripture. Origen assumed that each word had a meaning that is both profound and relevant to the reader—for the Holy Spirit is never trite and what the Holy Spirit says must always touch the hearer.
This volume, the first English translation of the extant homilies and of fragments from the commentary on Luke, is an important addition to the growing body of Origen’s work now available in English.
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.).
“We should not think that steadfastness in faith comes to us through our carnal eyes; mind and reason have imparted it. Let unbelievers trust the signs and portents that human sight beholds. The faithful, prudent, and strong man should follow reason and the Word,18 and so distinguish truth from error.” (Page 7)
“To be just ‘in God’s sight’ is a difficult undertaking. It means that you do something good only for the sake of the good and you seek only God, who rewards a good work.” (Pages 11–12)
“Origen is the most important theologian of the Church before Nicaea, and one of the most influential Christian writers of all time.” (Page xv)
“People who want to offer an excuse for their sins claim that no one is without sin.” (Page 10)
“One of the elders9 wanted to interpret the parable as follows. The man who was going down is Adam. Jerusalem is paradise, and Jericho is the world. The robbers are hostile powers. The priest is the Law, the Levite is the prophets, and the Samaritan is Christ. The wounds are disobedience, the beast is the Lord’s body, the pandochium (that is, the stable),10 which accepts all who wish to enter,11 is the Church. And further, the two denarii mean the Father and the Son. The manager of the stable is the head of the Church, to whom its care has been entrusted. And the fact that the Samaritan promises he will return represents the Savior’s second coming.” (Page 138)