I’ve been idly looking through the fragmentary exegetical works of Origen in the Patrologia Graeca for something interesting. In the PG14, col. 1303, I find an excerpt from Origen’s work on Paul’s letter to Titus. It concerns Titus 3:10, and is about heresy, a word that, curiously, doesn’t appear in more modern translations of the bible, and so, naturally, raises the question of just why not:
10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. (NKJV)
10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned. (NIV)
10 hereticum hominem post unam et secundam correptionem devita 11 sciens quia subversus est qui eiusmodi est et delinquit proprio iudicio condemnatus (Vulgate)
10 αἱρετικὸν ἄνθρωπον μετὰ μίαν καὶ δευτέραν νουθεσίαν παραιτοῦ, 11 εἰδὼς ὅτι ἐξέστραπται ὁ τοιοῦτος καὶ ἁμαρτάνει, ὢν αὐτοκατάκριτος. (SBLGNT)
Anyway, here is a portion of what the PG text says:
On that chapter in which the Apostle says, “A man that is a heretic, after one warning, reject, knowing that he is perverse, and sins, and condemned by himself.
The word heresy, as far as I can tell, is also explained in the Letter to the Corinthians in this way: “For it is necessary that there are heresies, so that it may be clear who is right among you.” And likewise in Galatians, the word “heresy” is inscribed among the works of the flesh: “For the works of the flesh are manifest: fornication, lust, unchastity, idolatry, sorcery, hate, contention, envy, rage, fighting, discord, heresies, drunkenness, partying, and similar things, about which I spoke to you before, because those who did these things will not possessing the kingdom of God.” From which we know that, just as those who are fornicators, or lusters and unchaste, and stained with the worship of idols, will not possess the kingdom of God, so also those who fall into heresy. For it can’t be thought that such an apostle can give an absolute statement with any kind of vacillation. For the apostle is of the whole church of Christ, chosen “not from man, nor through man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father.” For this reason, therefore, in accordance with the authority of this statement, it is necessary for us, just as for the rest of the evils which he enumerates, to likewise reject the name of heresy, and not to be intermingled in the company of such words.
And after this, and a few similar things inserted in the middle, he adds:
What in fact a heretical man may be, we will describe, through our powers of judgement. All who confess that they believe in Christ, and however speak of the law and prophets of another god, of the gospels of another god, and the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, not as he said he was, who is predicted by the Law and the Prophets, but another I do not know, who is unknown to all and unheard by all, we designate men of this sort as heretics, whatever various, diverse and fable-like fictions they may concoct, just like the sectaries of Marcion, Valentinus, Basilides, and those who call themselves Tethians. But also Apelles, although he did not deny the Law and the Prophets of God in every way, he is still designated as a heretic, seeing that he pronounces that the god who made the world is different in glory from the engendered and good god who constructed it: and that that god engendered in the consummation of the age has sent Jesus Christ to fix the world, invited by that god who made him, so that he might send his son to correct the world. And if someone merely thinks otherwise of God the Father than the rule of piety demands, he must be considered a heretic, as what I have said earlier shows. And one and the same must be believed also of he who has thought something false concerning our Lord Jesus Christ; whether according to those who say that he was born from Joseph and Mary, just as the Ebionites and Valentinians do; or according to those who deny that he was the first born of the creatures of God, and the Word, and the Wisdom, which is the beginning of the way of God, before anything was, before the creation of the world, before the mountains were made; but saying that he was only a man; or, according to those who confess that he is God, that he did not take on an earthly mind and body: ….
It’s all interesting stuff. Origen, at least, is clear about the idea of a heretic. The word indicates an obvious, crass sin.
One could wish that the translators of the scripture had felt the same.
The material quoted apparently comes to us via the Apology for Origen by Pamphilus and Eusebius. Now call me a fool, but I rather thought that a translation of this work formed part of the 19th century ANF and NPNF series. But … if so, I cannot find it. All I can find is a translation of Rufinus’ preface; for it survives only in part, and in a translation by Rufinus.
There is a modern translation by Thomas P. Scheck in the Fathers of the Church series. But … is there really no public domain translation?