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The doctrines ascribed to Origen of Alexandria, one of the outstanding ecclesiastical writers of the early half of the 3rd century. He claimed that Scripture has a threefold sense: the literal, the spiritual, and the mystic; many passages have no literal meaning and must be interpreted in an allegorical way. In his voluminous writings, most of which have perished, he aimed at systematizing Christian doctrines and defending them against the Gnostics but he himself is thought to have fallen into various errors concerning the Trinity and other fundamental dogmas, though this is not certain. Of his surviving works his two treatises, Against Celsus and On First Principles, are famous. He is an important witness to many of the doctrines and practices of the Christianity of his day. Three hundred years after his death 15 propositions from his writings were condemned in an eastern synod and the condemnation was approved by the Fifth General Council.

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