Friday, December 5, 2014

Why Has No One Bothered to Translate All the Remaining Greek and Latin Books of Origen's Commentary on Matthew?

There is a lot of interesting stuff in there including Origen's reference to the Jewish authorities of his day have 'secret traditions' of the Bible (Book 17.1 - 3). With all the boring stuff from the fourth and fifth centuries finding translators why isn't there an interest in getting this incredibly interesting stuff from the third century rendered into English? Baffling.

I was always under the impressing that the material beyond Book 12 was all preserved in Latin and may well have been written or been imperfectly preserved centuries later (i.e. with additional things added to the text).  But I notice in Migne that the text is actually preserved in Greek - at least up to Book Seventeen.

Perhaps part of the problem is that the Greek and Latin material doesn't agree.  Maybe that accounts for some of the reluctance.  But isn't this a good reason for us to render this text into English - i.e. to show how imperfectly what passes itself off as 'Origen's writings' often times has been completely changed by later editors?  Jerome makes a passing reference to this with respect to Eusebius and Rufinus but seeing the alterations with your own eyes surely has more of an impact.

I wonder whether Patristic scholars - surely unconsciously - are reluctant to admit that our knowledge of the Fathers isn't as straightforward as they would like to pretend.

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