Being Koetschau's text of the De Principiis translated into English, together with an introduction and notes by G. W. Butterworth
Origen's On First Principles was the first attempt to formulate a coherent system of Christian philosophy, and also the best expression of the theologian's general opinions. The work is divided into four parts: book one deals with God and creation, book two with creation (rational and irrational natures), providence, and redemption, and book four with the interpretation of Holy Scripture. Origen's views are based upon the authority of the Scriptures and Church tradition, and grounded upon the tenets of Neoplatonism. In On First Principles many maxims are given as to the nature of the Trinity, the person of Christ, and man's free will under the hand of Providence, most of which are considered Orthodox teachings. On the other hand, the principles found in this work that engendered controversy and were later condemned by the Fifth Ecumenical Council in 553, are the preexistence and transmigration of souls, and universal salvation at the consummation of the world. This edition, being Koetschau's English text translated from Rufinus' definitive Latin volume, contains selected fragments of St. Jerome's rendition and the meager remains of the original Greek texts in order to furnish a more comprehensive view of Origen's writings. Also included are in-depth introductions to Origin's life and works by the scholar G. W. Butterworth.