The Commentary of Origen on the Gospel of St Matthew
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Origen was the greatest intellectual in the third-century church and the most influential of all the Greek Church Fathers. His writings covered many different subjects, including commentaries on most of the books of the New Testament and many of the Old Testament. Late in his life, in the mid-third century, he wrote a Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. This was the first commentary ever written on this Gospel so far as we know. It covered the entire Gospel in twenty-five books. Only eight of these books have been preserved in the Greek language in which Origen wrote. A Latin translation made in the sixth century has preserved the contents of several additional books. There are, furthermore, numerous fragments from the commentary preserved in ancient writings.
Of this mass of material, only five of the eight books preserved in Greek have ever been translated into English, plus one fragment. This new translation, therefore, is the first translation into English of the entirety of the Greek and Latin remains of this important commentary, including most of the fragments. The translation is in modern English and includes brief annotations. The introduction sets the commentary in the context of Origen's life. It is his last preserved exegetical work. Evidence is presented that suggests that it post-dates the Contra Celsum, long considered Origen's last work. The Commentary on Matthew is a very important work, therefore, giving us access to Origen's most mature theological thinking.
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