Thursday, 23 May 2019
John Meade: Origen and the Disputed Books: A Reappraisal of the Evidence for an Origenic Recension of Books Outside the Hebrew Canon
In the first half of the third century, Origen created a six-columned synopsis, the Hexapla (perhaps more columns were added as needed for books like Psalms), for those books that were extant in Hebrew, the Seventy, and the Three Jewish revisers (Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion). Debatably, from this work, Origen published a corrected edition of the version of the Seventy. This revised version of the Seventy went through further corrections at the hands of Pamphilus and Eusebius (cf. the many colophons bearing their names in these contexts). But did Origen make a revised edition of the version of the Seventy for the disputed books? In this paper, I will survey the evidence for Origen’s recension of the disputed books for which there seems to be evidence: Baruch, Sirach/Ben Sira, Wisdom of Solomon, and Judith. After surveying the relevant data, I analyze the evidence of a revision of Sirach/Ben Sira further before drawing some preliminary conclusions about Origen’s textual work on this book and others like it.