Origen and Pagan Exegesis

I read my friend’s notes on Origen today.  He said that Origen, in his interpretation of Scripture, followed the techniques of pagan exegesis in six ways: text-criticism, explanation of words, explanation of points or facts, metrical and stylistic criticism, identification of the person speaking in the text, and clarifying the Bible with the Bible (the pagans did this with Homer).

But is this distinctly pagan?  It sounds like the sort of exegesis that many interpreters do.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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3 Responses to Origen and Pagan Exegesis

  1. Joel says:

    I don’t think it was ‘pagan’ but it was the style of the Greeks. It was a scholastic and academic attempt via rhetoric, etc… at understanding the Scriptures.


  2. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Do you think that Greek method underlies both the allegorical and the Antiochian approaches, Polycarp?


  3. Joel says:

    I think it does in some ways, James, especially given that the Alexandrian developed in a Hellenist atmosphere and the Antiochian developed, somewhat, contrary to Jewish sympathies, although to be honest, it had to be done this way. Chrysostom was Greek trained, if my memory serves


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