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The Eternal Gospel: Origen’s Eschatological Exegesis

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers some observations on the intersection of eschatology and exegesis in Origen by means of an analysis of the use Origen makes of the ?eternal gospel? (cf. Rev 14:6) in his extant writings. Exegesis and eschatology are perhaps the two most hotly debated topics in studies of Origen (both ancient and modern), and yet the significance of their relationship has received comparatively little attention. For Origen the eternal gospel indicates the manner in which biblical exegesis is an explicitly eschatological activity, that is, an activity which is oriented toward and conditioned by the ultimate fulfillment of all God?s intentions for created reality. The ?eternal gospel? thus not only indicates the specifically biblical character of Origen?s eschatological thought but also clarifies his understanding of the exegetical enterprise as a participation in a revelatory and redemptive movement of which scripture is both sign and instrument.

Keywords: eternal gospel?; Origen?s eschatological exegesis; redemptive movement



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