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Origen and New Bible Versions

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There are over 100 ‘new’ versions of the Bible. Though they are published ‘new’, their contents are old, with their source mainly in the work of Origen. That is, they are based on corrupt sources. Only the 1611 KJAV can be trusted. Why is it that we cannot trust Origen or newer versions?


Origen Adamantius*, born about 185 AD, died about 254 AD. He lived in Alexandria and was a scholar/theologian. His heresy is clear to see. For example, he believed the human soul existed before a person was conceived, and was put into him/her just before birth. This includes the idea that the human soul is co-existent with God; that is, eternal and uncreated. This kind of belief coincides with both classical Greek thought and Islam. (*Adamantius is a nick-name, alluding to beliefs and actions adamantly based on his strict ascetic nature and leanings).

Origen also believed in transmigration of the soul/reincarnation/metempsychosis. He thought that the human soul went through several phases after death before it reached God. It is obvious that reincarnation is fully incompatible with biblical teaching, but it is a fact that the Roman Catholic ‘church’ consists of multiple beliefs and practices that do not arise from scripture. Therefore, the beliefs of Origen that oppose scripture are nothing special in the Romanist sense. Rather, Roman Catholicism seems to perpetuate heresy and wrong belief, because it is not based in the truth of Christ.

He also taught ‘universal reconciliation’ (includes the apokatastasis = the restitution of all beings, including Satan). Today, this is a very common heresy, found in principle in Arminianism for example. The notion is that because God is a God of love, all people will eventually be reconciled to Him. Of course, this immediately opposes the scriptural teaching of election, hell, repentance, and so on, striking at the heart of the sacrifice of Christ, even though this form of universalism does acknowledge a part played by Jesus in salvation.

In spite of these very stark heresies the works of Origen are listed amongst the works of the early ‘church fathers’. Yet, he was never canonized by the Romanists. He was expelled from the Alexandrian school for being ordained without the bishop’s permission, and so moved to Caesarea Maritima, where he died following torture during persecution.

In terms of theology he followed the ancient Greek philosophical schools of Platonism, Neo-Pythagoreanism and Stoicism, which directed his theological thoughts for the worse.

For example, because of his spurious ideas on universalism, he thought that even the devils will finally be reconciled to God! He taught that God was not Yahweh but the ‘First Principle’, echoing Greek philosophy, and that Christ was not co-equal with God but subordinate to Him. For these reasons even Rome was reluctant to accept his work as useful. It is for these reasons – his multiple heresies – that his influence on future biblical texts is not just suspect but horrendously ungodly.

Some modern theologians think that the condemnation meted out to Origen is too strong. They say that he simply made mistakes, at a time when Christian theology was unclear. This is nonsense, for he, like all other writers, already had the Old Testament and the collected papers called the New Testament to go by. His conclusions do not accord with either collections of documents, so he had no excuse. It is more likely that his errors came from an unsaved heart and mind. And the same errors arose when the huge plethora of ‘new’ Bible versions came about... coming from unbelieving theologians who relied on Origen’s corrupt sources.

More Background

Origen was born to Christian parents, but they, too, had a classical Hellenistic upbringing and passed this on to Origen. Though they also taught him scriptural truths, the mixing of godly and ungodly themes never works to the advantage in a child (as evolutionist and homosexual themes prove to be utterly deadly today). His father meant well, but a child cannot tell the difference between what is true and what is not.

The father, Leonides, was martyred during a persecution. Interestingly, Origen was taken in by a wealthy woman, but did not stay with her long because she had also taken in an outright heretic, Paul, and Origen did not wish to be associated with him. It is often true that heretics can hold truth in many aspects of belief. But, this does not absolve them from guilt when they teach error as truth.

Of course, Origen is not personally responsible for his ideas being used in modern Bible versions, but it was his system of beliefs that influenced the theologians who did the revisions. Thus, he was as responsible in the same way that Darwin was responsible for Darwinism, though he did not actually promote such a system himself. Origen is culpable!

In his earlier years Origen seemed to stand out, and was commended to teach doctrine by the bishop Demetrius. He lived a sparse life after selling all he had to live on. His life was strict and busy. According to Eusebius, Origen literally castrated himself, using Matthew 19:12 as his reason. Many at the time thought it was odd, because of his general attitude towards scripture as allegory. They asked WHY he should take that one text literally when he usually read texts as allegorical.

From 251 to 266 a terrible plague hit Rome, killing 5000 a day. Emperor Decius claimed that it was magically produced by Christians who did not accept his divinity. So, he persecuted them in an effort to be rid of the plague. Origen was captured and tortured horrifically in a dungeon. Three years later, when free, he died as a result of the injuries received, age 69. As a man, then, he seemed to be honourable and staunch. But, one’s human goodness does not excuse heresy/godless teachings.

Influence on Bible Versions

Origen wrote extensively, and had an abiding interest in textual criticism, of which his Hexapla was paramount – the comparative study of various Old Testament versions. This document, though no longer available, was referred to by later translators and Bible versionists, who used it later to build the parallel Bible. Eusebius claims that Origen disputed the authenticity of Paul – an argument that arises today from many critical quarters, thanks to Origen. Another problem from his work was the later assumption by versionists that scripture is mainly allegory. Thus, many of Origen’s heresies came back to the forefront in new Bible versions.

Some scholars claim Origen was not so much a Platonist as an Aristotelian. However, Aristotelianism arose from the works of Arab scholars, which did not really take hold in Roman Catholicism until the time of Aquinas in the Middle Ages, so the claim seems unlikely. Until Aquinas, most Romanist teachers were Platonic.

Origen taught that God created many ‘intelligences’ whose sole job was to praise Him. But, some became bored by this constant praise. Mostly, those with the lowest love for God were then ‘demoted’ to demon ranks. Those whose loss of love was only moderate became human souls, later to inhabit human bodies (their earthly life was determined by their heavenly pre-life.... poverty, riches, goodness, and so on). But, those whose loss of love was the least were promoted to the angelic hosts. A more startling claim by Origen was that One Who loved God consistently, without loss, became the Word or Logos – the Son/Christ.

Though my paper so far suggests Origen to be totally profligate in terms of scripture, this was far from true. He was a very strict believer in scripture. It was his unsaved interpretations of scripture that gave him his title of ‘heretic’.

Unfortunately Origen ‘corrected’ many portions of scripture. But, he did so in accord with his philosophical stance, mysticism, and belief that all of scripture is allegorical. By altering the existing manuscripts in this way, they became corrupt, and it is these corrupt versions that were used to publish later versions of the Bible. The ONLY version to avoid this heretical critical source was the 1611 king James Authorized Version, which adhered to the original unaltered sources.

One big error taught by Origen was that the ‘Logos’ was ‘Ktisma’, or that Jesus Christ was created (and therefore not God). This is why references to Christ as divine are altered in most modern versions.

Few Christians today are adept at researching their own beliefs, so this very old source of our modern versions goes unnoticed, causing people to be indifferent to the Bible version we use.

© October 2012

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Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
United Kingdom