LOST AND FOUND: Origen's Homilies on the Psalms in Greek!

edited June 2012 in Faith Issues
While cataloguing the Greek manuscripts in the Johann Jakob Fuller collection of books, a spectacular discovery was recently made in the Bavarian State Library.  The philologist Marina Molin Pradel during the cataloguing process identified a manuscript containing the original text of numerous homilies on the Psalms by Origen of Alexandria (185-253/4 AD), hitherto unknown in Greek.  The importance of this find for scholarship cannot be overestimated.  The very high probability of the attribution to Origen was confirmed by the internationally recognised Origen scholar Lorenzo Perrone, of the University of Bologna.

… [Origen's] sermons and explanation on the Psalms were previously extant only in fragments and in Latin translation.  The inconspicuous-looking Greek manuscript whose true contents have now been identified dates from the 12th century.  …

The manuscript has already been digitised by the Bavarian State Library and is already available to everyone on the internet:

www.digitale-sammlungen.de > input “Homiliae in psalmos”

The Bavarian State Library has more than 650 Greek manuscripts and is thus the largest collection in Germany.  It is heavily used by scholars.  The work was done in-house by the Manuscript Development Centre and funded by the German Research Foundation.  The find makes clear the necessity and the value of this detailed and elaborate analysis.  The catalogue of the Greek manuscripts at the Bavarian State Library is celebrating its 20th anniversary.  It will take at least 15 more years until all the Greek manuscripts have been freshly described.


  • Welcome back, Biboboy!

    This is an amazing find, thank you for bringing it to our attention.

    I wish a similar scientific effort can be done for the manuscripts in the Coptic monasteries, which lack organization but contain valuable information.

    Will you have the chance to research this work by Origen soon?
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