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“Origen on The Harmony of Scripture - Greek Text and English translation”

From The Commentary on Matthew (a fragment found in the Philocalia of Gregory and Basil)

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Click here to read at in the original Greek (with dictionary lookup links). The English translation below is by George Lewis (1911).

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Relevant books
available at Amazon


Henry Chadwick
Contra Celsum



Rowan Greer (Editor)
Exhortation to Martyrdom, Prayer (Classics of Western Spirituality)


General Works

John A. McGuckin,
The Westminister Handbook to Origen


Joseph W. Trigg


E. A. D. Lauro
The Soul and Spirit of Scripture within Origen's Exegesis


R. P. C. Hanson
Allegory and Event: A Study of the Sources and Significance of Origen's Interpretation of Scripture


Hans Urs von Balthasar
Origen: Spirit and Fire - A Thematic Anthology of His Writings



The whole Divine Scripture is one instrument of God, perfect and fitted for its work. From Volume II. of the Commentaries on the Gospel according to Matthew: "Blessed are the peacemakers" 

1. To the man who is both ways a peacemaker, there is no longer anything in the Divine oracles crooked or perverse, for all things are plain to those who understand; and since to such an one there is nothing crooked or perverse, he sees abundance of peace everywhere in Scripture, even in those parts which appear not to agree and to be contradictory to one another. But there is also a third peacemaker, he, viz. who shows that what to the eyes of others seems like disagreement in the Scriptures is not really so, and who proves that harmony and concord exist, whether between the Old and the New, or the Law and the Prophets, or Gospel and Gospel, or Evangelists and Apostles, or Apostles and other Apostles. For, according to the Preacher, all the Scriptures, words of the wise, are as goads, and as nails well fastened, words which were given from collections from one shepherd, and there is nothing superfluous in them. And the Word is "one shepherd" of things relating to the Word, which do indeed sound discordant to those who have not ears to hear, but are in truth most harmonious.

2. For as the different strings of the psaltery or the lyre, each of which gives forth a note of its own seemingly unlike that of any other, are thought by an unmusical man who does not understand the theory of harmony to be discordant, because of the difference in the notes: so they who have not ears to detect the harmony of God in the sacred Scriptures suppose that the Old Testament is not in harmony with the New, or the Prophets with the Law, or the Gospels with one another, or an Apostle with the Gospel, or with himself, or with the other Apostles. But if a reader comes who has been instructed in God’s music, a man who happens to be wise in word and deed, and on that account, it may be, called David, which being interpreted is "a cunning player," he will produce a note of God’s music, for he will have learned from God’s music to keep good time, playing now upon the strings of the Law, now upon those of the Gospel in harmony with them, now upon those of the Prophets; and when the harmony of good sense is required he strikes the apostolic strings tuned to suit the foregoing, and, similarly, apostolic strings in harmony with those of Evangelists. For he knows that the whole Scripture is the one, perfect, harmonious instrument of God, blending the different notes, for those who wish to learn, into one song of salvation, which stops and hinders all the working of an evil spirit, as the music of David laid to rest the evil spirit in Saul which was vexing him. You observe, then, that there is a third kind of peacemaker, he who keeping close to the Scripture both sees the peace which pervades it everywhere, and bestows it on those who rightly seek the truth and are really eager to learn.


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The Harmony and Unity of Scripture
from Commentary on Matthew


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