The Scriptures that prophesy about Christ, the words that announce his coming and his teaching are inspired by God. They were proclaimed with power and authority and it is for this reason they have conquered so many people’s hearts.
However, only with the coming of Christ have the divine character of the prophetic writings and the spiritual meaning of the books of the Mosaic Law become apparent. Before Christ it was not possible to produce decisive arguments for the inspiration of the Old Testament. The coming of Jesus persuaded even the doubtful that those pages were written under the influence of grace.
Whoever reads the Prophets carefully will be convinced that they are no human achievement. The reader will understand the meaning of divine inspiration.
As far as the books of the Mosaic Law are concerned, a veil has been drawn between their brightness and people’s understanding. The coming of Jesus has made that light shine in such a way that it has become possible to recognize clearly those future benefits at which the literal meaning of those books only hinted. (Cf. 2 Corinthians 3:12-18; Hebrews 10:1).
It would take a long time to review the ancient prophecies of events that would be realized in the future. But someone in doubt who did this would be struck by their divine character. He would give up all his uncertainty and dedicate himself to The Word of God with all his soul.
– from Principles, 4, I, 6, (PG11, 342)
(Translation by Thomas Spidlik, Drinking from the Hidden Fountain: A Patristic Breviary, first published in English in 1992 by New City, 57 Twyford Ave, London, W3 9PZ, UK. First American publication in 1993 by Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008, USA.)
- See Bearers of God’s Word – Wisdom from the Early Fathers series:
Brief bio of Origen of Alexandria
Origin (185-254 AD) was a Bible scholar and philospher based in Alexandria, Egypt and later in Caesarea in Palestine. He lived during a turbulent time of barbarian invasians, periodic persecutions, and rampant Gnostic heresy. The death of his father as a Christian martyr deeply affected him. The Christian historian Eusebius tells us that Origen was only seventeen when he took over as headmaster of the Christian Catechetical School at Alexandria. He was a prolific writer of homilies, scripture commentaries, and treatises.
Under the persecution of Decius in 250, Origen was imprisoned and underwent appalling tortue. After his release he died at the age of 69 in 254.