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Genesis 1-3 as Source for the Anthropology of Origen

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According to Origen Genesis 1-3 is an anthropological key-text. The account of man's creation in Gen. 1,26f deals with the creation of the inner non-material man in the image of God, whereas Gen. 2,7 deals with the creation of the human body, the outer man, which is not created in the image of God. Some later critics claim that according to Origen Gen. 2,7 is about the creation of a non-material luminous body. In Origen's opinion only the inner man can reach perfection. The outer man can never be perfect, but will be destroyed. To deepen our understanding of, how Origen understands the mortality of the human body, some short sayings about the meaning of Gen. 3,21 are interpreted. In the few places where Origen refers explicitly to Gen. 3,21 there is no clear picture of how he interprets this verse. The most precise observation we can make is that in his view the skin coats denote the mortal corporality that surrounds the inner man.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Systematic Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Aarhus, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark;, Email:


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