ORIGEN (c. 185-254)



Tr. L. Dysinger/.Exhortatio ad Martyrium,  Origenes Werke, vol. 1, ser Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller  (Leipzig, Teubner, 1899):3-47






Martyrdom not only bestows forgiveness of the martyrs' post-baptismal sins, but empowers the martyr to intercede for the forgiveness of others' sins.  





30. Let us remember, too, what sins we have committed: that we cannot receive remission of sins apart from baptism; that according to the evangelical laws it is not possible to be baptized again with water and the spirit for the remission of sins; and that a baptism of martyrdom has been given to us.

30 Ὑπομνησθῶμεν δὲ καὶ ὧν ἡμαρτήκαμεν͵ καὶ ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτημάτων χωρὶς βαπτίσματος λαβεῖν͵ καὶ ὅτι οὐκ ἔστι δυνατὸν κατὰ τοὺς εὐαγγελικοὺς νόμους αὖθις βαπτίσασθαι ὕδατι καὶ πνεύματι εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτημάτων͵ καὶ ὅτι βάπτισμα ἡμῖν δίδοται τὸ τοῦ μαρτυρίου·

That this is its name is evident from the fact that the saying “Can you drink from the cup that I drink?” is followed by “or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” (Mk. 10:38). And elsewhere it is said, “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how I am constrained until it is accomplished!” (Lk. 12:50).

οὕτω γὰρ ὠνόμασται͵ ὡς δῆλον ἐκ τοῦ ἐπι φέρεσθαι μὲν τῷ· δύνασθε πιεῖν τὸ ποτήριον ὃ ἐγὼ πίνω; τό· ἢ τὸ βάπτισμα ὃ ἐγὼ βαπτίζομαι βαπτισθῆναι; ἀλλαχοῦ δὲ εἴρηται· βάπτισμα δὲ ἔχω βαπτισθῆναι͵ καὶ πῶς συνέχομαι ἕως ὅτου τελεσθῇ.

And consider whether, just as the Savior’s [baptism] brought purification to the world, the baptism of martyrdom may also serve as purification for many.

καὶ ἐπίστησον εἰ τὸ κατὰ τὸ μαρτύριον βάπτισμα͵ ὥσπερ τὸ τοῦ σωτῆρος καθάρσιον γέγονε τῷ κόσμῳ. καὶ αὐτὸ ἐπὶ πολλῶν θεραπείᾳ καθαιρομένων γίνεται.

For just as those who provided ministry at the altar according to the Law of Moses believed that they obtained remission of [the peoples’] sins by the blood of goats and bulls (Heb. 9:13, 10:4; Ps. 50:13), so the souls of those “who have been beheaded for the witness of Jesus (Rev. 20:4, 6:9) do not minister in vain at the heavenly altar, but provide the remission of sins for those who pray.

ὡς γὰρ οἱ τῷ κατὰ τὸν Μωϋσέως νόμον θυσιαστηρίῳ προσεδρεύοντες διακονεῖν ἐδόκουν δι΄ αἵματος τράγων καὶ ταύρων ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτημάτων ἐκείνοις͵ οὕτως αἱ ψυχαὶ τῶν πεπελεκισμένων ἕνεκεν τῆς μαρτυρίας Ἰησοῦ͵ μὴ μάτην τῷ ἐν οὐρανοῖς θυσιαστηρίῳ παρεδρεύουσαι͵ διακονοῦσι τοῖς εὐχομένοις ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτημάτων.







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