Ante Nicene Fathers Timeline

Origen of Alexandria

Origen of Alexandria

Origen of Alexandria, also known as Origen Adamantius was born around AD185, probably in Alexandria and died around 255 in Lebanon. He was the eldest of seven children, born to devout Christian parents. His father was Leonides of Alexandria, who was martyred during the outbreak of the persecution of the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in AD202.

He was highly educated, initially by his father in the usual subjects including classical Greek philosophy and the Holy Scriptures. Later he became a Christian Theologian, writing on many Christian subjects including Textual Criticism, Biblical Exegesis, Hermeneutics, Philosophical Theology and Spirituality.

After the death of his father he lived a very impoverished life and attended to imprisoned Christians and comforted condemed prisoners. Eusebius tells us he even castrated himself taking literally the verse Mathew 19:12 (For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.)

There is no doubt, he was an exceptional teacher, commanding many followers. So famous did he become that Mamaea, mother of Emperor Alexander Severus, summoned him to Antioch to instruct her. On his way to Greece, he was ordained as a priest by the bishop of Caesarea. That action was uncanonical and was protested by his own bishop Demetriusof Alexandria who insisted he only taught the mainstream Christian doctrine. Some of his teachings, including the subordination of the Son of God to God The Father later became too controversial to mainstream theologians in both the Eastern and Western Churches. As a result he was declared anathema in the Second Ecumenical Council and subsequent councils. He therefore was never declared a saint by either branch of the Church.

Early Church Fathers

Clement of Rome Ignatius of Antioch Polycarp of Smyrna
Clement of Alexandria Tertullian of Carthage Cyprian of Carthage
Irenaeus of Lyons Origen of Alexandria Athanasius of Alexandria

Council of Nicaea AD 325