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Origen (Greek: Ὠριγένης Ōrigénēs, or Origen Adamantius, c. 185–254[1]) was an early Christian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Christian Church despite not being considered a Church father by most Christians who recognize this distinction.[2] Origen was also largely and ultimately responsible for the coalescence of Christian writings which became the New Testament, even though he had long passed on by the time the post-Constantinian Church officially approved of the twenty-seven with which we are familiar today, and even though he would have likely included, along with the twenty-seven, Shepherd of Hermas, Epistle of Barnabas, and 1 Clement. He holds this distinction because the canonical choices that were ultimately made seem heavily, if not certainly, influenced by the historical evidences of Eusebius of Caesarea in his Ecclesiastical History [3.25;6.25]: Eusebius got most, if not all, of his information about what Christian writings were accepted by the various churches from the writings and library of Origen.[3] According to tradition, he is held to have been an Egyptian[4] who taught in Alexandria, reviving the Catechetical School of Alexandria where Clement of Alexandria had taught.[5] The patriarch of Alexandria at first supported Origen but later expelled him for being ordained without the patriarch's permission.[6] He relocated to Caesarea Maritima and died there after being tortured during a persecution.[7]

Using his knowledge of Hebrew, he produced the Hexapla and a corrected Septuagint.[8] He wrote commentaries on most of the books of the Bible.[8] In De principiis (On First Principles), he articulated one of the first philosophical expositions of Christian doctrine.[8] He interpreted scripture allegorically and developed certain doctrines with similarities to Neo-Pythagorean and Neo-Platonist thought.[8] Like Plotinus, he wrote that the soul passes through successive stages of incarnation before eventually reaching God.[8] He imagined even demons being reunited with God. For Origen, God was the First Principle, and Christ, the Logos, was subordinate to him.[8] His views of a hierarchical structure in the Trinity, the temporality of matter, "the fabulous preexistence of souls," and "the monstrous restoration which follows from it" were declared anathema in the 6th century.[9]

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