Homilies on the Psalms: Codex Monacensis Graecus 314
by Origen
translated by Joseph W. Trigg
Catholic University of America Press, 2021
Cloth: 978-0-8132-3319-2 | eISBN: 978-0-8132-3320-8
Library of Congress Classification BS1430.54
Dewey Decimal Classification 223.206

In 2012 Dr. Marina Marin Pradel, an archivist at the Bayerische Stattsbibliotek in Munich, discovered that a thick 12th-century Byzantine manuscript, Codex Monacensis Graecus 314, contained twenty-nine of Origen’s Homilies on the Psalms, hitherto considered lost. Lorenzo Perrone of the University of Bologna, an internationally respected scholar of Origen, vouched for the identification and immediately began work on the scholarly edition that appeared in 2015 as the thirteenth volume of Origen’s works in the distinguished Griechische Christlichen Schrifsteller series. In an introductory essay Perrone provided proof that the homilies are genuine and demonstrated that they are, astonishingly, his last known work. Live transcripts, these collection homilies constitute our largest collection of actual Christian preaching from the pre-Constantinian period.

In these homilies, the final expression of his mature thought, Origen displays, more fully than elsewhere, his understanding of the church and of deification as the goal of Christian life. They also give precious insights into his understanding of the incarnation and of human nature. They are the earliest example of early Christian interpretation of the Psalms, works at the heart of Christian spirituality. Historians of biblical interpretation will find in them the largest body of Old Testament interpretation surviving in his own words, not filtered through ancient translations into Latin that often failed to convey his intense philological acumen. Among other things, they give us new insights into the life of a third-century Greco-Roman metropolis, into Christian/Jewish relations, and into Christian worship.

This translation, using the GCS as its basis, seeks to convey, as faithfully as possible, Origen’s own categories of thought. An introduction and notes relate the homilies to the theology and principles of interpretation in Origen’s larger work and to that work’s intellectual context and legacy.

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