From the Forget the Channel blog, which has translated the original article from the Bavarian State Library:
spectacular discovery was recently made in the Bavarian State Library,
in the process of cataloguing the Greek manuscripts from the collection
of Johann Jakob Fuggers. While cataloguing a manuscript, Philologist
Marina Molin Pradel identified numerous texts of sermons on the Psalms
by Origen of Alexandria (AD 185 253/54), the most important
theologian of the early Christian church before Augustinesermons which
until now had not been known in the original. The importance of this
find cannot be overestimated. The attribution to Origen was
confirmed, with the highest degree of certainty, by internationally
recognised Origen expert Lorenzo Perrone from the University of Bologna.
is regarded as the founder of the allegorical interpretation of
Scripture. His works, which are numerous, yet are often no longer
extant or only found in Latin translation, are fundamental for Christian
thought. As a philosopher, theologian, philologist and preacher,
Origen has made a deep impression on the intellectual history from late
antiquity to today. His sermons and interpretations of the Psalms
were, until now, only fragmentary and only extent in Latin translation.
The inconspicuous-looking, extensive Greek manuscript, whose true
contents have now been identified, comes from the 12th century.
find is extremely importantboth in terms of its age and its extent. It
will trigger lively discussion in scholarly and research circles, and
will even allow new insights into the text of the Greek version of the
Bible. All of the church Fathers had read Origen and received his work
in depth. The discovery allows us now to deal directly with hitherto
unknown original texts”, said General Director Rolf Griebel.
Read the entire post,
which includes links to photos of the manuscripts (ht: CF). Origen
holds a very significant (if heavily debated) place in early Christian
theology. In his April 25, 2007, general audience, Pope Benedict XVI
said the following about Origen:
of Alexandria truly was a figure crucial to the whole development of
Christian thought. ... He was a true "maestro", and so it was that his
pupils remembered him with nostalgia and emotion: he was not only a
brilliant theologian but also an exemplary witness of the doctrine he
passed on. Eusebius of Caesarea, his enthusiastic biographer, said "his
manner of life was as his doctrine, and his doctrine as his life.
Therefore, by the divine power working with him he aroused a great many
to his own zeal" (cf. Church History, 6, 3, 7). ...
to him was essentially explaining, understanding Scripture; or we
might also say that his theology was a perfect symbiosis between
theology and exegesis. In fact, the proper hallmark of Origen's
doctrine seems to lie precisely in the constant invitation to move from
the letter to the spirit of the Scriptures, to progress in knowledge
of God. Furthermore, this so-called "allegorism", as von Balthasar
wrote, coincides exactly "with the development of Christian dogma,
effected by the teaching of the Church Doctors", who in one way or
another accepted Origen's "lessons".
Tradition and the Magisterium, the foundation and guarantee of
theological research, come to take the form of "scripture in action"
(cf. Origene: Il mondo, Cristo e la Chiesa, Milan, 1972, p.
43). We can therefore say that the central nucleus of Origen's immense
literary opus consists in his "threefold interpretation" of the Bible.
Read more. An important book about Origen as theologian and exegete is Henri de Lubac's study, History and Spirit: The Understanding of Scripture According to Origen (orig. 1950; Ignatius Press, 2007). The Introduction is available on Ignatius Insight.