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Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum / Journal of Ancient Christianity

Ed. by Brennecke, Hanns Christof / Drecoll, Volker Henning / Heil, Uta / Markschies, Christoph

Together with Elm, Susanna / Gemeinhardt, Peter / Meier, Mischa / Perrone, Lorenzo / Pollmann, Karla / Riedweg, Christoph / Schöllgen, Georg / Williams, Rowan / Wischmeyer, Wolfgang

CiteScore 2018: 0.21

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.130
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.563

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Volume 23, Issue 1


“It is right to keep the secret of a king” (Tobit 12:7)—the King’s secret as a metaphor for the mysterium Dei in Origen

Fabian Tilling
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  • Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Katholisch-Theologische Fakultät Domplatz 8 D-48143 Münster Münster, Germany,
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Published Online: 2019-04-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zac-2019-0006


The Mυστήριον raises interest through the tension between revealing and concealing. This is observable in the pagan myths as well as in biblical texts and in the works of theologians of the Alexandrine tradition. Paradigmatically Tobit 12:7 contains both elements—concealing and revealing: “It is right to keep the secret of a king, yet right to reveal and publish the works of God as they deserve” (Tob 12:7). Origen of Alexandria cites this verse in the context of his Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans and his apology Against Celsus. In spite of its bipolarity he focusses mainly on the first part of the verse as an argument for concealing the mystery from the less advanced readers. Concealing as well as revealing is part of a divine pedagogy, in Origen, however, always for the sake of human beings.

Keywords: Revelation; mysterion; Tobit; Origen

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Published Online: 2019-04-02

Published in Print: 2019-04-01

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum / Journal of Ancient Christianity, Volume 23, Issue 1, Pages 101–113, ISSN (Online) 1612-961X, ISSN (Print) 0949-9571, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zac-2019-0006.

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