Evangelical Textual Criticism

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

'Origen's Psalms Commentary' and a variant in 1 Corinthians

As Peter Head suggested on the previous post on this blog which announced the claim of the identification of Origen (and I have no reason to doubt this identification so far), there are indeed numerous citations from the Greek New Testament. This is one of them: We have 1 Cor 4:13 here cited with δυσφημουμενοι instead of the more widespread βλασφημουμενοι. There were a couple of other places I looked at yesterday evening that are consistent with a NT text as one would expect Origen to have used. However, since these are sermons, do we know how these were published? Did someone take short-hand notes? And were these then later cleaned up and edited? Or did Origen write the sermon first and read it out? This last option is unlikely for a man as brilliant as Origen. Anyway, citations from the NT in a sermon on the psalms can probably be used more confidently for 'bigger variants' such as different words, than for smaller variants such as articles, copula, and word order, and, quite likely, can have only illustrative force for omission of phrases. But a good study of individual citation habits could clear these things up.


  1. Just looking over the manuscript quickly, I wonder: yhe symbol in the margin that consists of an E without the upper and lower bars is something I've seen before. But what's that symbol that looks like a cents-sign? ("C" intersected at the top and bottom by a vertical line.)

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  2. Taking up one of your questions, I've written a post about the genre/setting of the homilies here. For the short version, at least the portion I've looked at looks like extemporaneous school lectures (thus 'homily' is a misnomer). I'd imagine we have other types of homily present too, but that what I've seen so far.

  3. This particular variant is significant, because here we see in an 11-12th century ms a reading that is found in p46, 01*, and even 02, yet was replaced by the majority reading of the medieval minuscules.

    This kinds of goes against the popular theory that scribes edited Origen along the way to reflect readings current in their contemporary manuscripts.