Orygenes i Augustyn o Bożej mocy i cierpliwości: patrystyczna (re)interpretacja biblijnego motywu upartego serca faraona

Bogna Kosmulska


Origen and Augustine on Divine Power and Patience: A Patristic (Re)inrepretation of the Biblical Motif of Pharaoh’s Hardened Heart.

The topic of the article is a patristic interpretation of the biblical motif of the pharaoh’s hardened heart (Ex 4-14; Rom 9), presented in the early Origen’s work On the Principles, and in the Question 68 from the Book of Eighty-three Questions, the work of the Augustine’s early middle period. Discussed fragments of the Scripture constitute a challenge especially in the field of research on the question of the human free will, as they seem to claim the God of Israel’s indirect agency in hardening the pharaoh’s heart, what in consequence has kept misery on Egyptians. Both Origen and Augustine make an effort to reinterpret passages from Ex and Rom in a way to present that divine agency and power (which may even appear violent – conf. e.g. Ex 6,1) in hardening pharaoh’s heart, only as a consequence or punishment but not the main reason of the interior metamorphosis of the ruler from the Nile. Moreover, both authors underline, that the evident manifestation of the divine power has been proceeded by a long period of God’s patience. This stress on God’s patience weakens the troublesome intuition of the ruler’s predestination to everlasting punishment. Connecting the problems of Divine power and patience in discussed works of Origen and Augustine, being a question of God’s philosophy, with anthropological issues, in this way proves to be fruitful for both disciplines of the patristic reflexion.

Keywords: Origen, Augustine, pharaoh’s heart, divine power, divine patience, determinism, free will, grace, God’s election.

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