Thursday, June 14, 2012

Christmas Comes Early - 29 Lost Homilies of Church Father Origen of Alexandria (185-232) on the Psalms Found ( LINKS )

THIS IS HUGE!! One wonders what else is out there hidden in some library. We have here it appears what may well be the earliest major Christian treatment of the Psalms now extant!!

The entire manuscript  in photos can be viewed online here which is cool if you know Greek .

The Catholic Encyclopedia   has a good overview of this Church Father giant.

Pope Benedict is a pretty big fan as well. In his series of Wednesday audineces on the Church Fathers he devoted to two such talks to him and his works. I recommend those talks highly . See from April and May 2007 Origen of Alexandria: life and work (1) , and  Origen of Alexandria: The Thought (2) .

Here are some links to the current exciting business..  The Sacred Page has a good overview and here at Lost Homilies of Origen Found! . That is a good place to start.

From Notre Dame - ND Expert: A 'rare and wonderful' discovery of ancient Christian documents.

Roger Pearse has a lot of good links and posts already. See Greek text found of Origen’s homilies on the Psalms! ( He commends how this Library is handling this situation) , More on the new homilies on the Psalms by Origen , Jerome’s Letter 33, listing the works of Origen , and Which of Origen’s homilies on the Psalms were previously known, and more on Jerome .

Evangelical Textual Criticism  has 'Origen's Psalms Commentary' and a variant in 1 Corinthians .

Alan Suci has a very good post here with a lot of info. See The Rediscovery of Origen’s Homilies on the Psalms (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Cod. graec. 314)

The Poulos Blog raises the question that at least some of these might not have been homilies like a sermon preached :
,,,This leads me to believe that we’re dealing with impromptu speeches, which are likely in response to questions. This particular “homily” could easily have been sparked by, “Of what kind are these waters that see God?"” which is the first sentence of this homily.

This also leads me to believe that “homily” is something of a misnomer. The Greek word, of course, is ὁμιλία, the word from which we derive “homily.” However, in English homily always refers to a speech delivered in a liturgical context (ie, a sermon). The Greek word has a long history, and only came to be applied to sermons in the Christian era. LSJ lists a number of meanings, but I think “lecture” is likely the most suitable English word (though that does connote a prepared speech, and these appear to be extemporaneous).

Thus, I think the setting for at least some of these “homilies” was the school, rather than the church. This would be the more appropriate setting for philosophical speculation we see here. For an article contrasting Origen’s public and private views, see here. They might also be contrasted in terms of setting: public, more certain theology was for the Church. Private, more speculative philosophy/theology was for the school. My guess is that the text we have contains both sorts. The homilies on Ps. 36-38 that Rufinus translated sound more like moral exhortations than philosophical speculation. Here, though, we have the latter.

See also his post Possible Origenic Homily – Transcription/Translation Excerpts .

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