This volume contains what remains of Books 13-32 of Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel according to John, and thus completes the publication of the first full English translation of this work that stands as the beginning of Christian scriptural exegesis. Ronald Heine introduces his translation with a discussion of the times and circumstances within which the commentary was composed. He also provides a survey of the major theological questions with which the commentary is concerned. These include Origen’s thought on the nature of God, the person and work of Christ, his relation to the Father and to the created order, his teaching on the Holy Spirit, the Resurrection, and eschatology, and his ideas on the devil.
Beginning with the conversation between Christ and the Samaritan woman at the well and ending with Christ’s discourse to his disciples at the Last Supper, the commentary displays Origen’s attention to the literal meaning of the passages but moves beyond them to try to grasp their spiritual significance, providing us with the opportunity to examine Origen’s mystical thought. Origen also refutes the Gnostic reading of the Gospel presented by Heracleon, but this polemic is subordinate to his own investigation of the theological, philosophical, historical, and etymological questions raised by the Gospel.
Because it treats many of the same passages of the Gospel of St. John for which St. Augustine provides a commentary in The Fathers of the Church, volume 88, this volume provides a worthy companion to it and invites a comparison of the thoughts of these two great exegetes upon what both regarded as the greatest of the Gospels.