I’m working on a sermon on Romans 10 this morning. I opened up Logos Bible Software – and the first thing that popped up was this little article on Origen of Alexandria.
This third century “religious fanatic” gave up his job, slept on the floor, ate no meat, drank no wine, fasted twice a week, owned no shoes, and reportedly castrated himself for the faith. He was also the most prolific scholar of his age (with hundreds of works to his credit), a first-rate Christian philosopher, and a profound student of the Bible.
Child prodigy Origen Adamantius (“man of steel”) was born near Alexandria about A.D. 185.
The oldest of seven children in a Christian home, he grew up learning the Bible and the meaning of commitment. In 202 when his father, Leonidas, was beheaded for his Christian beliefs, Origen wanted to die as a martyr, too. But his mother prevented him from even leaving the house—by hiding his clothes.
To support his family, the 18-year-old Origen opened a grammar school, copied texts, and instructed catechumens (those seeking to become members of the church). He himself studied under the pagan philosopher Ammonius Saccas in order to better defend his faith against pagan arguments. When a rich convert supplied him with secretaries, he began to write.
Galli, M., & Olsen, T. (2000). Introduction. In 131 Christians everyone should know (pp. 332–333). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.