The Scriptures, however, are treated by Origen on the basis of a matured theory of inspiration in such a way that all their facts appear as the vehicles of ideas, and have their highest value only in this aspect.
No formal excommunication of Origen appears to have been decreed; it was considered sufficient to have him degraded to the position of a layman.
The writings of Origen consist of letters, and of works in textual criticism, exegesis, apologetics, dogmatic and practical theology.
In the first place should be mentioned the treatise Contra Celsum, in which the expositions of Gnosticism by both Origen and Celsus are of interest (see especially v.
The former he traces to a mistaken interpretation of Origen (Horn.
But, when the zeal of Epiphanius was kindled against him, when Jerome, alarmed about his own reputation, and in defiance of his past attitude, turned against his once honoured teacher, and Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria, found it prudent, for political reasons, and out of consideration for the uneducated monks, to condemn Origen - then his authority received a shock from which it never recovered.
It must be noted, however, that Matthew and Levi were sometimes distinguished in early times, as by Heracleon (c. 170 A.D.), and more dubiously by Origen (c. Celsum, i.
It faded away in the great Church, and probably Celsus was describing Montanist circles (though Origen assumed that they were ordinary believers) when he wrote 3 of the many Christians of no repute who at the least provocation, whether within or without their temples, threw themselves about like inspired persons; while others did the same in cities or among armies in order to collect alms, roaming about cities or camps.
Though this gospel is attested by Origen (Hom.
Undeniably Clement of Alexandria and Origen apply the language of the Greek mysteries to Christian gnosis and life.