Specialization: The Elements of Philology

Peter W. Martens

in Origen and Scripture

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199639557
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738135 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

Specialization: The Elements of Philology

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This chapter examines one particular facet of the paideia encountered in the previous chapter, the interpreter's area of specialization, philology. It sketches this discipline as Origen understood it, relying upon his fragmentary descriptions of it, as well as his own exegetical practice. The focus is on three procedures: text-criticism (particularly as associated with the Hexapla, his monumental edition of the Old Testament text), historical inquiry (e.g., did an event recorded in Scripture happen?), and literary analysis (e.g., clarifying obscure texts in light of clearer passages). Thereafter, the chapter turns to the two main philological referents, tracing out Origen's definitions of, and distinctions between, literal and allegorical interpretation.

Keywords: Origen; philology; Hexapla; text-criticism; B. Neuschäfer; paideia; literal interpretation; allegorical interpretation; historical inquiry; literary analysis

Chapter.  14257 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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