Thursday, 5 February 2015

Esko Lossi: The Use of Scripture by Pachomians

The Life of Pachomius was first translated into the English language in 1975. This translation consisted of only the First Greek Life by Athanassakis. In 1980 Veilleux completed the first translation of the complete Pachomian corpus into English. What comes through clearly in these writings is that the daily life of a Pachomian monk was constantly nourished by the Scriptures. When we examine the quotations from Scripture what is often found is a long series of biblical quotations. Veilleux makes the suggestion that a "very interesting study could be done of the utilisation of the Scriptures by the Pachomians". This dissertation is a response to Veilleux's suggestion. 
In this paper we first examine the frequency of quotations from the Scriptures in the Pachomian corpus. These quotations pose some fascinating questions. Firstly, why is the Gospel of Matthew quoted far more than any other book in the New Testament? It is quoted thirteen times more than Mark. Second we ask the question of why the book of Hebrews figures so prominently in quotations in the Pachomian corpus.
After we have explored the frequency of the quotations, an interesting question arises about the use of Scripture. To what extent does the use of quotations from Scripture correspond to their force in the original context? And if their force is rather different in the original and in the Pachomian use, are there any significant patterns in the way in which the text is seen?

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