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Author: Daniel J. Tolan


This article lays out Origen’s anthropological application of John 1:26. In particular, it examines the way in which Origen pairs the phrase “one whom you do not know has stood in your midst (μέσος ὑμῶν)” with the Stoic terminus technicus “governing faculty” (ἡγεμονικόν) through an identification of μέσος with soul. This identification assumes that μέσος refers to the soul and that references to the soul apply to the governing faculty. The former stands upon Origen’s four-fold interpretation of μέσος; the latter is an assumption based in Stoic psychology. This article begins with an examination of how Origen connects μέσος to soul and, subsequently, soul to the governing faculty. Next, it examines Origen’s engagement with John 1:26 in his Commentary on John. Finally, the article discusses the various ways in which Origen interprets this verse in his other works.

Open Access
In: Vigiliae Christianae