Translation of part of one of the new Origen homilies

Via Alin Suciu I learn that Alex Poulos has transcribed and translated part of one of the newly discovered homilies on the Psalms by Origen:

As promised, this post will contain a short transcription and translation of Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Codex graeca 314, the codex which scholars recently have rediscovered and believe contains a large number of homilies of Origen of Alexandria.  …

I picked a rather arbitrary spot to transcribe and translate. I decided to start with the 3rd homily on Psalm 76 (LXX). This begins on folio 193v (page 393 in my PDF). In this excerpt, Origen is commenting on the nature of the “waters which see God,” which comes from Psalm 77:16 (Hebrew numbering). The NETS translates it thus, “The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed.”

Our author proceeds to explain the nature of these waters, and their relationship with the three heavens. The comments are speculative and “cosmic” in nature, which comport nicely with Origen’s reputation.

His translation follows, and here is an excerpt of what Origen says:

How must I labor so that I may ascend into the first heaven? What must happen so that I may be considered worthy of the second? I must be like Paul, if I should go to the third.

And if I should become as Paul, I will still not have yet seen the following heaven, these waters which praise God, according to the prophet, beyond the heavens.

Well done, Alex!  This is exactly what we want to see.  Come on, everyone: the BSB has put the images online, so let’s see a bit of crowd-sourcing.  If you can read it, why not transcribe a bit?  If you can read and translate, why not do so?

Alin Suciu has continued to gather news on the discovery here.   He writes

UPDATE 3: The blog Paleografia Greca announced yesterday the schedule for the seminar “Paleografia greca oggi” (“Greek Paleography Today”), which will take place at Padua University on June 25. Marina Molin Pradel shall present a paper titled “Novità origeniane dalla Staatsbibliothek di Monaco,” in which she will be talking about her identification of Origen’s homilies on the Psalms.

If you know Italian and can be there, I would imagine that this was an essential meeting to attend.

Leave a Reply