Origen of Alexandria on Contemplating the Two Natures of Jesus Christ

Origen Adamantius of Alexandria

When, therefore, we see in him some things so human that they appear in no way to differ from the common frailty of mortals, and some things so divine that they are appropriate to nothing else but the primal and ineffable nature of divinity, the human understanding with its narrow limits is baffled, and, struck with amazement at so mighty a wonder, knows not which way to turn, what to hold to, or whither to take itself. If it thinks of God, it sees a man; if it thinks of a man, it beholds one returning from the dead with spoils after vanquishing the kingdom of death. For this reason we must pursue our contemplation with all fear and reverence, as we seek to prove how the truth of each nature exists in one and the same, in such a way that nothing unworthy or unfitting may be thought to reside in that divine and ineffable existence, nor on the other hand may the events of his life be supposed to be the illusion caused by deceptive fantasies.

* This excerpt is from “On First Principles” by Origen of Alexandria


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