Origen of Alexandria - De Principiis (Abridged / Paperback)
On the First Principles or De Principiis is a theological treatise by the church father Origen. It was the first systematic exposition of Christian theology. Origen composed it as a young man, between the years 220 and 230, when he was still living in Alexandria. Fragments of Books 3.1 and 4.1-3 from Origen's original Greek are preserved in Origen's Philokalia. Some minor quotations from the original Greek are preserved in Justinian's Letter to Mennas. The vast majority of the text has only survived in a very abridged Latin translation produced by Tyrannius Rufinus in 397. Rufinus was convinced that Origen's original treatise had been interpolated by heretics and that these interpolations were the source of the heterodox teachings found in it. He therefore heavily modified Origen's text, omitting and altering any parts that disagreed with contemporary Christian orthodoxy. Jerome was so shocked by Rufinus' lack of fidelity to the original Greek that he decided to produce his own Latin translation of On the First Principles, in which he would translate every word exactly as it was written and lay Origen's heresies bare for all the world. Jerome's translation, however, was lost in its entirety. The present work here deals with the teleology and interpretation of scripture.