Jun 24, 1996 03:09 PM
Konstantin Zaitzev cites some parts from De Principiis, that talk about reincarnation.
I search for these parts in http://ccel.wheaton.edu/fathers at file ECF04.TXT. There, you
can find the translated version of Rufinus, and some fragments from original greek text.
Yes, Origen said that there is several worlds, not necessarily simultaneous in time.
BOOK III.CHAP. V
we say that not then for the first time did God begin to work when He made this visible world;
but as, after its destruction, there will be another world, so also we believe that others
existed before the present came into being. And both of these positions will be confirmed by
the authority of holy Scripture. For that there will be another world after this, is taught by
Isaiah, who says, "There will be new heavens, and a new earth, which I shall make to abide
in my sight, saith the LORD;"(9) and that before this world others also existed is shown by
Ecelesiastes, in the words: "What is that which hath been? Even that which shall be. And
what is that which has been created?
Even this which is to be created: and there is nothing altogether new under the sun. Who
shall speak and declare, Lo, this is new? It hath already been in the ages which have been
before us."(1) By these testimonies it is estabished both that there were ages(2) before our
own, and that there will be others after it. It is not, however, to be supposed that several
worlds existed at once, but that, after the end of this present world, others will take their
BOOK II.CHAP. III. -- ON THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD, AND ITS CAUSES.
2...The expression, then, "This corruptible must put on incorruption," is as if the apostle had
said, "This corruptible nature of the body must receive the clothing of incorruption--a soul
possessing in itself incorruptibitity," because it has been clothed with Christ, who is the
Wisdom and Word of God. But when this body, which at some future period we shall
possess in a more glorious state, shall have become a partaker of life, it will then, in addition
to being immortal, become also incorruptible...And then it will be deservedly said by all, "O death,
where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? The sting of death is sin." If these conclusions,
then, seem to hold good, it follows that we must believe our condition at some future time to be
incorporeal; and if this is admitted, and all are said to be subjected to Christ, this (incorporeity)
also must necessarily be bestowed on all to whom the subjection to Christ extends; since all who
are subject to Christ will be in the end subject to God the Father, to whom Christ is said to deliver
up the kingdom; and thus it appears that then also the need of bodies will cease. And if it
ceases, bodily matter returns to nothing, as formerly also it did not exist.
6...Our Lord and Saviour also points out a certain other world besides this visible one, which it
would indeed be difficult to describe and make known. He says, "I am not of this world."
For, as if He were of a certain other world,...But from what Clement seems to indicate when he says,
"The ocean is impassable to men, and those worlds which are behind it," speaking in the plural
number of the worlds which are behind it, which he intimates are administered and governed by the
same providence of the Most High God, he appears to throw out to us some germs of that view by
which the whole universe of existing things, celestial and super-celestial, earthly and infernal, is
generally called one perfect world, within which, or by which, other
worlds, if any there are, must be supposed to be contained....
Finally, they summon the book of Baruch the prophet to bear witness to this assertion,
because in it the seven worlds or heavens are more clearly pointed out. Nevertheless, above
that sphere which they call non-wandering (<greek>aplanh</greek>), they will have another
sphere to exist,
Origen never says that someone that die will reborn again. The souls pre-existed in another
world and fall away at this world.
BOOK IV.23. And perhaps as those here, dying according to the death common to all, are, in
consequence of the deeds done here, so arranged as to obtain different places according to
the proportion of their sins, if they should be deemed worthy of the place called Hades; so
those there dying, so to speak, descend into this Hades, being judged deserving of different
abodes--better or worse--throughout all this space of earth, and (of being descended) from
parents of different kinds, so that an Israelite may sometimes fall among Scythians, and
an Egyptian descend into Judea. And yet the Saviour came to gather together the lost sheep
of the house of Israel; but many of the Israelites not having yielded to His teaching,
nation, or in a different mode of life, or surrounded by infirmities of a different kind, or to be
descended from religious parents, or parents who ate not religious; so that it may
sometimes happen that an Israelite descends among the Scythians, and a poor Egyptian is
brought down to Judea...
BOOK II.CHAP. IX.--ON THE WORLD AND THE MOVEMENTS OF RATIONAL CREATURES,WHETHER GOOD OR BAD ; AND ON
THE CAUSES OF THEM.
7. But even holy Scripture does not appear to me to be altogether silent on the nature of
this secret, as when the Apostle Paul, in discussing the case of Jacob and Esau, says: "For
the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God
according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him who calleth, it was said, The
elder shall serve the younger, as it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."
And after that, he answers himself, and says, "What shall we say then? Is there
unrighteousness with God?" ... and says, "God forbid."... if we feel
that he was worthily beloved by God, according to the deserts of his previous life, so as to
deserve to be preferred before his brother; so also is it with regard to heavenly creatures, if
we notice that diversity was not the original condition of the creature, but that, owing to
causes that have previously existed, a different office is prepared by the Creator for each one
in proportion to the degree of his merit, on this ground, indeed, that each one, in respect of
having been created by God an understanding, or a rational spirit, has, according to the
movements of his mind and the feelings of his soul, gained for himself a greater or less
amount of merit, and has become either an object of love to God, or else one of dislike to
Fotios century IX, talk about Origenists, that is, followers of Alexadrian'school, and
it's not clear to me that Fotios was referring to Origen's works or to some doctrine preached
after Origen at century III.
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