Saturday, June 23, 2012

Origenal work

Between 1933 and 1941 Sir Frederic Kenyon published descriptions of 12 papyrus manuscripts, the Chester Beatty Papyri, principally containing texts of scripture. Number xii included an otherwise unknown homily by St Melito of Sardis. Sir Frederic gave it the title "On the Passion". This was corrected to "On the Pasch" after the discovery of the Bodmer Papyri in 1952. Fourteen years after that the homily was published in Sources Chretiennes 123. Extracts were used in volume ii of Liturgia Horarum (1971) for the Office of Readings on Maundy Thursday and Easter Monday.

I mention all this because a 12th century Greek manuscript in the Bavarian State Library has now been identified as a series of homilies on the Psalms by Origen of Alexandria. See the article by Catholic World Report and also this blog post which includes instructions on how to view pictures of the entire manuscript.

Lionel at Forget the Channel says:
The importance of this find cannot be overestimated.
Plus there's this bloke called Benedict, living in Rome, who used to have something to do with Bavaria:
[Origen] was a true "maestro", and so it was that his pupils remembered him with nostalgia and emotion: he was not only a brilliant theologian but also an exemplary witness of the doctrine he passed on. Eusebius of Caesarea, his enthusiastic biographer, said "his manner of life was as his doctrine, and his doctrine as his life. Therefore, by the divine power working with him he aroused a great many to his own zeal" 
I wonder how long before we get an edition.