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Origen'S View Of 'Jewish Fables' In Genesis

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates Origen's particular use of the notion of Jewish fables. It canvasses other pejorative invocations of myth in the New Testament, though not specifically called Jewish. It focuses on Origen's usage of 'mythos' in his Homilies on Genesis and elsewhere, and compares those places where he denigrates interpretations as 'mythos' to the treatment of those passages in Genesis Rabbah. The inquiry proceeds on two levels. The first level is the alleged content of the Jewish 'mythos,' what is it that Origen is not willing to accept and therefore relegates to 'mythos'. Secondly, it calls for a reassessment of the function and status of biblical stories in general in the Jewish and Christian traditions. For in 2 Pet 1:16, a book whose earliest attestation is Origen himself, the author claims his source for the power of Jesus is not 'tales artfully spun' but rather his own eyewitness testimony.

Keywords: biblical stories; Christian traditions; Genesis Rabbah; Homilies on Genesis; Jewish fables; mythos; New Testament; Origen



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