This is an introduction to one of the most fascinating and controversial thinkers of Early Christianity. Origen was the first Christian to relate fundamental theological and philosophical commitments systematically to a coherent reading of the whole Christian Bible. His prodigious writings evidence an outstanding education in Greek and Christian literature, classical philosophy, and even Jewish traditions. Under Roman persecution (at times intense), he formulated an intellectually daring spirituality emphasizing existential freedom, moral rigor, and a personally transformative spiritual reading of the Bible. Writing many of the first verse-by-verse biblical commentaries, Origen is without peer in shaping the Christian reading of Old Testament books. Finding profound wisdom in such ancient Jewish texts, Origen 's thought would prove to be a steady, comprehensive, thoroughly intellectual rejection of both Gnostic and simplistic forms of Christianity.