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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 286

Origen is an ancient Church Father and is considered one of the most influential theologians of all time. His work, On the First Principles, is believed to be the very first systematic theology on Christianity ever written. Book 1 focuses on God, the nature of the Trinity, and the heavenly realm and heavenly beings. Book 2 discusses the nature of man, the Incarnation of the Logos (Jesus Christ), the nature and function of Holy Spirit, and the End Times (eschatology). Book 3 describes the origins of the Universe, the existence of free will, the origin and nature of sin, and redemption. Book 4 gives interpretations of Scripture and explanations of purpose and design in nature.

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Quote from Book 1: “For whatever be the knowledge which we are able to obtain of God, either by perception or reflection, we must of necessity believe that He is by many degrees far better than what we perceive Him to be.”

Quote from Book 2: “As the eye naturally seeks the light and vision, and our body naturally desires food and drink, so our mind is possessed with a becoming and natural desire to become acquainted with the truth of God and the causes of things.”

Quote from Book 3: “But a man receives the energy, i.e., the working, of a good spirit, when he is stirred and incited to good, and is inspired to heavenly or divine things; as the holy angels and God Himself wrought in the prophets.”

Quote from Book 4: “The reason why all those we have mentioned hold false opinions and make impious or ignorant assertions about God appears to be nothing else but this, that scripture is not understood in its spiritual sense, but is interpreted according to the bare letter.”

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