Saturday, March 7, 2015

ORIGEN OF ALEXANDRIA ON THE "...IN-ACCURACY..." OF NAMES IN LATER "...COPIES..." OF THE NT


GREEK TEXT: “...[6.39.203] Καὶ μάλιστα τοῖς δυναμένοις κατανοεῖν τὴν τοῦ τηλι κούτου οὐρανοῦ ἀδιάλειπτον κίνησιν, ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν ἐπὶ δυσμὰς συμπεριάγοντος ἑαυτῷ τὸ τοσοῦτο τῶν ἀστέρων πλῆθος, ἄξιον ἔσται ζητήσεως περὶ τοῦ τίς ἡ ἐνυπάρχουσα δύναμις τοσαύτη καὶ τηλικαύτη τῷ παντὶ κόσμῳ. Ἕτερον γὰρ παρὰ τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὸν υἱὸν ταύτην τολμῆσαι εἰπεῖν μήποτε οὐκ ἔστιν εὐσεβές. [6.40.n] Ταῦτα ἐν Βηθαβαρᾷ ἐγένετο πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου, ὅπου ἦν Ἰωάννης βαπτίζων. [6.40.204] Ὅτι μὲν σχεδὸν ἐν πᾶσι τοῖς ἀντιγράφοις κεῖται· «Ταῦτα ἐν Βηθανίᾳ ἐγένετο» οὐκ ἀγνοοῦμεν, καὶ ἔοικεν τοῦτο καὶ ἔτι πρότερον γεγονέναι· καὶ παρὰ Ἡρακλέωνι γοῦν «Βηθανίαν» ἀνέγνωμεν. Ἐπείσθημεν δὲ μὴ δεῖν «Βηθανίᾳ» ἀναγινώσκειν, ἀλλὰ «Βηθαβαρᾷ», γενόμενοι ἐν τοῖς τόποις ἐπὶ ἱστορίαν τῶν ἰχνῶν Ἰησοῦ καὶ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ τῶν προφητῶν. [6.40.205] Βηθανία γάρ, ὡς ὁ αὐτὸς εὐαγγελιστής φησιν, ἡ πατρὶς Λαζάρου καὶ Μάρθας καὶ Μαρίας, ἀπέχει τῶν Ἱεροσολύμων σταδίους δέκα πέντε· ἧς πόρρω ἐστὶν ὁ Ἰορδάνης ποταμὸς ὡς ἀπὸ σταδίων πλατεῖ λόγῳ ἑκατὸν ὀγδοήκοντα. Ἀλλ' οὐδὲ ὁμώνυμος τῇ Βηθανίᾳ τόπος ἐστὶν περὶ τὸν Ἰορδάνην· δείκνυσθαι δὲ λέγουσι παρὰ τῇ ὄχθῃ τοῦ Ἰορδάνου τὰ Βηθαβαρᾶ, ἔνθα ἱστοροῦσιν τὸν Ἰωάννην βεβαπτικέναι. [6.40.206] Ἔστιν τε ἡ ἑρμηνεία τοῦ ὀνόματος ἀκόλουθος τῷ βαπτίσματι τοῦ ἑτοιμάζοντος κυρίῳ λαὸν κατε σκευασμένον· μεταλαμβάνεται γὰρ εἰς «οἶκον κατασκευῆς», ἡ δὲ Βηθανία εἰς «οἶκον ὑπακοῆς». Ποῦ γὰρ ἀλλαχόσε ἐχρῆν βαπτίζειν τὸν ἀποσταλέντα ἄγγελον πρὸ προσώπου τοῦ Χριστοῦ, κατασκευάσαι τὴν ὁδὸν αὐτοῦ ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ, ἢ εἰς τὸν «τῆς κατασκευῆς οἶκον»; [6.40.207] Ποία δὲ οἰκειοτέρα πατρὶς τῇ τὴν ἀγαθὴν μερίδα ἐκλεξαμένῃ μὴ ἀφαιρουμένην αὐτῆς Μαριὰμ καὶ τῇ περισπωμένῃ διὰ τὴν Ἰησοῦ ὑποδοχὴν Μάρθᾳ καὶ τῷ τούτων ἀδελφῷ φίλῳ ὑπὸ τοῦ σωτῆρος εἰρημένῳ Λαζάρῳ, ἢ Βηθανία «ὁ τῆς ὑπακοῆς οἶκος»; Οὐ καταφρονητέον οὖν τῆς περὶ τὰ ὀνόματα ἀκριβείας τῷ ἀπαραλείπτως βουλομένῳ συνεῖναι τὰ ἅγια γράμματα. [6.41.208] Τὸ μέντοι γε ἡμαρτῆσθαι ἐν τοῖς Ἑλληνικοῖς ἀντιγράφοις τὰ περὶ τῶν ὀνομάτων πολλαχοῦ καὶ ἀπὸ τούτων ἄν τις πεισθείη ἐν τοῖς εὐαγγελίοις. Ἡ περὶ τοὺς ὑπὸ τῶν δαιμονίων κατακρημνιζομένους καὶ ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ συμπνιγο μένους χοίρους οἰκονομία ἀναγέγραπται γεγονέναι ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῶν Γερασηνῶν. [6.41.209] Γέρασα δὲ τῆς Ἀραβίας ἐστὶν πόλις, οὔτε θάλασσαν οὔτε λίμνην πλησίον ἔχουσα, καὶ οὐκ ἂν οὕτως προφανὲς ψεῦδος καὶ εὐέλεγκτον οἱ εὐαγγελισταὶ εἰρήκει σαν, ἄνδρες ἐπιμελῶς γινώσκοντες τὰ περὶ τὴν Ἰουδαίαν. [6.41.210] Ἐπεὶ δὲ ἐν ὀλίγοις εὕρομεν· «Εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γαδα ρηνῶν» καὶ πρὸς τοῦτο λεκτέον. Γάδαρα γὰρ πόλις μέν ἐστιν τῆς Ἰουδαίας, περὶ ἣν τὰ διαβόητα θερμὰ τυγχάνει, λίμνη δὲ κρημνοῖς παρακειμένη οὐδαμῶς ἐστιν ἐν αὐτῇ <ἢ> θάλασσα. [6.41.211] Ἀλλὰ Γέργεσα, ἀφ' ἧς οἱ Γεργεσαῖοι, πόλις ἀρχαία περὶ τὴν νῦν καλουμένην Τιβερίαδα λίμνην, περὶ ἣν κρημνὸς παρα κείμενος τῇ λίμνῃ, ἀφ' οὗ δείκνυται τοὺς χοίρους ὑπὸ τῶν δαιμόνων καταβεβλῆσθαι. Ἑρμηνεύεται δὲ ἡ Γέργεσα «παροικία ἐκβεβληκότων», ἐπώνυμος οὖσα τάχα προφη τικῶς οὗ περὶ τὸν σωτῆρα πεποιήκασιν παρακαλέσαντες αὐτὸν μεταβῆναι ἐκ τῶν ὁρίων αὐτῶν οἱ τῶν χοίρων πολῖται. [6.41.212] Τὸ δ' ὅμοιον περὶ τὰ ὀνόματα σφάλμα πολλαχοῦ τοῦ νόμου καὶ τῶν προφητῶν ἔστιν ἰδεῖν, ὡς ἠκριβώσαμεν ἀπὸ Ἑβραίων μαθόντες, καὶ τοῖς ἀντιγράφοις αὐτῶν τὰ ἡμέτερα συγκρίναντες, μαρτυρηθεῖσιν ὑπὸ τῶν μηδέπω διαστραφει σῶν ἐκδόσεων Ἀκύλου καὶ Θεοδοτίωνος καὶ Συμμάχου. [6.41.213] Ὀλίγα τοίνυν παραθησόμεθα ὑπὲρ τοῦ τοὺς φιλομαθεῖς ἐπιστρεφεστέρους γενέσθαι περὶ ταῦτα· εἷς τῶν υἱῶν Λευῒ ὁ πρῶτος † Γεσὼν ἐν τοῖς πλείστοις τῶν ἀντιγράφων ὠνόμασται ἀντὶ τοῦ Γηρσών, ὁμώνυμος τυγχάνων τῷ πρωτοτόκῳ Μωσέως, ἑκατέρων διὰ τὴν παροικίαν ἐν γῇ ἀλλοτρίᾳ γεννη θέντων τοῦ ὀνόματος ἑτοίμως κειμένου. [6.41.214] Πάλιν τῷ Ἰούδᾳ παρ' ἡμῖν μὲν ὁ δεύτερος Αὐνὰν εἶναι λέγεται, παρὰ δὲ Ἑβραίοις Ὠνάν, ὅ ἐστι «πόνος αὐτῶν». Πρὸς τούτοις ἐν ταῖς ἀπάρσεσιν τῶν υἱῶν Ἰσραὴλ ἐν τοῖς Ἀριθμοῖς εὕρομεν ὅτι «Ἀπῄραν ἐκ Σοχὼθ καὶ παρενέβαλον εἰς Βουθάν»· τὸ δὲ Ἑβραϊκὸν ἀντὶ Βουθὰν † «Αἰμὰν» λέγει. [6.41.215] Καὶ τί με δεῖ διατρίβοντα πλείονα παρατίθεσθαι, παρόντος τῷ βουλομένῳ τοῦ ἐξετάζειν καὶ γινώσκειν τὰ κατὰ τὰ ὀνόματα ἀληθῆ; Μάλιστα δὲ ὑποπτευτέον τοὺς τόπους τῶν γραφῶν, ἔνθα κατάλογός ἐστιν ἅμα ὀνομάτων πλειόνων, ὡς ἐν τῷ Ἰησοῦ τὰ περὶ τῆς κληροδοσίας, καὶ ἐν τῇ πρώτῃ τῶν Παραλειπομένων ἀρχῆθεν ἑξῆς μέχρι τῶν ἐγγύς που περὶ τὸν Ἀνάν· ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἔσδρα. [6.41.216] Καὶ οὐ καταφρονητέον τῶν ὀνομάτων, πραγμάτων σημαινομένων ἀπ' αὐτῶν χρησίμων τῇ τῶν τόπων ἑρμηνείᾳ. Οὐκ εὔκαιρον δὲ νῦν τὸν περὶ τῆς θεωρίας τῶν ὀνομάτων ἐξετάσαι λόγον, ἀφέμενον τῶν προκειμένων...” - (Book 6, Chapter 24, [MPG Vol 14, Col. ? [6.39.203-6.42.216]] “Commentary on the Gospel of John,” “ΩΡΙΓΕΝΟΥΣ ΤΩΝ ΕΙΣ ΤΟ ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ ΕΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΟΝ ΕΞΗΓΗΤΙΚΩΝ ΤΟΜΟΣ,” MPG.)

ORIGEN OF ALEXANDRIA (circa. 185-254 C.E.): “…These things were done in Bethabara, beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. John 1:28 We are aware of the reading which is found in almost all the copies, These things were done in Bethany. This appears, moreover, to have been the reading at an earlier time; and in Heracleon we read Bethany. We are convinced, however, that we should not read Bethany, but Bethabara. We have visited the places to enquire as to the footsteps of Jesus and His disciples, and of the prophets. Now, Bethany, as the same evangelist tells us, was the town of Lazarus, and of Martha and Mary; it is fifteen stadia from Jerusalem, and the river Jordan is about a hundred and eighty stadia distant from it. Nor is there any other place of the same name in the neighbourhood of the Jordan, but they say that Bethabara is pointed out on the banks of the Jordan, and that John is said to have baptized there. The etymology of the name, too, corresponds with the baptism of him who made ready for the Lord a people prepared for Him; for it yields the meaning House of preparation, while Bethany means House of obedience. Where else was it fitting that he should baptize, who was sent as a messenger before the face of the Christ, to prepare His way before Him, but at the House of preparation? And what more fitting home for Mary, who chose the good part, Luke 10:41, 43 which was not taken away from her, and for Martha, who was cumbered for the reception of Jesus, and for their brother, who is called the friend of the Saviour, than Bethany, the House of obedience? Thus we see that he who aims at a complete understanding of the Holy Scriptures must not neglect the careful examination of the proper names in it. In the matter of proper names the Greek copies are often incorrect, and in the Gospels one might be misled by their authority. The transaction about the swine, which were driven down a steep place by the demons and drowned in the sea, is said to have taken place in the country of the Gerasenes. Now, Gerasa is a town of Arabia, and has near it neither sea nor lake. And the Evangelists would not have made a statement so obviously and demonstrably false; for they were men who informed themselves carefully of all matters connected with Judæa. But in a few copies we have found, into the country of the Gadarenes; and, on this reading, it is to be stated that Gadara is a town of Judæa, in the neighbourhood of which are the well-known hot springs, and that there is no lake there with overhanging banks, nor any sea. But Gergesa, from which the name Gergesenes is taken, is an old town in the neighbourhood of the lake now called Tiberias, and on the edge of it there is a steep place abutting on the lake, from which it is pointed out that the swine were cast down by the demons. Now, the meaning of Gergesa is dwelling of the casters-out, and it contains a prophetic reference to the conduct towards the Saviour of the citizens of those places, who besought Him to depart out of their coasts. The same inaccuracy with regard to proper names is also to be observed in many passages of the law and the prophets, as we have been at pains to learn from the Hebrews, comparing our own copies with theirs which have the confirmation of the versions, never subjected to corruption, of Aquila and Theodotion and Symmachus. We add a few instances to encourage students to pay more attention to such points. One of the sons of Levi, the first, is called Geson in most copies, instead of Gerson. His name is the same as that of the first-born of Moses; Exodus 2:22 it was given appropriately in each case, both children being born, because of the sojourn in Egypt, in a strange land. The second son of Juda, Genesis 38:4 again, has with us the name Annan, but with the Hebrews Onan, their labour. Once more, in the departures of the children of Israel in Numbers, we find, They departed from Sochoth and pitched in Buthan; but the Hebrew, instead of Buthan, reads Aiman. And why should I add more points like these, when any one who desires it can examine into the proper names and find out for himself how they stand? The place-names of Scripture are specially to be suspected where many of them occur in a catalogue, as in the account of the partition of the country in Joshua, and in the first Book of Chronicles from the beginning down to, say, the passage about Dan, and similarly in Ezra. Names are not to be neglected, since indications may be gathered from them which help in the interpretation of the passages where they occur. We cannot, however, leave our proper subject to examine in this place into the philosophy of names...” - (Book 6, Chapter 24, [MPG Vol 14, Col. ? [6.39.203-6.42.216]] “Commentary on the Gospel of John,” Translated by Allan Menzies. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 9. Edited by Allan Menzies. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1896.)


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