Homilies on Numbers
Homilies on Numbers
  • Length: 196 pages
  • Dimensions: 7 × 1 in
  • Published: November 13, 2009
  • Item Code: 2905
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-2905-7

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Origen of Alexandria (185-254), one of the most prolific authors of antiquity and arguably the most important and influential pre-Nicene Christian theologian, was a man of deep learning and holiness of life. Regrettably, many of his works are no longer extant, in part due to the condemnation of his ideas by the Fifth Ecumenical Council in 553. The condemnation, however, took little account of his historical circumstances and the tentative nature of his speculations. The anathemas were more likely directed toward sixth-century Origenist views than to the views of Origen himself, though clearly he expounded some views that would be judged unacceptable today.

Origen's numerous homilies provide the oldest surviving corpus of Christian sermons and shaped exegesis for succeeding centuries. With Jerome he was one of the early church's great critical and literal exegetes. Devoutly he sought to develop a spiritual exegesis of the Old Testament grounded in the revelation of Jesus Christ. The Homilies on Numbers presented here offer a splendid example of his spiritual interpretation of Old Testament texts. He asks, What foreshadowing, what warning, what instruction, what encouragement, reproof, correction or exhortation, do we find in the narratives of Numbers for our benefit as Christians?

Here, based on Baehren's critical Latin text, is the first English edition of these homilies, ably translated with explanatory notes by Thomas P. Scheck.

Ancient Christian Texts are new English translations of full-length commentaries or sermon series from ancient Christian authors that allow you to study key writings of the early church fathers in a fresh way.

Presented in clear, accessible English, this translation of Origen's commentary on the Book of Numbers is organized according to the Biblical text so both can be read side-by-side as Origen himself intended.

Reference Research Book News, February 2010


General Introduction


Translator's Introduction

Origen's Homilies on Numbers

Rufinus's Preface
Homily 1: Numbers 1:1-54
Homily 2: Numbers 2:1-34
Homily 3: Numbers 3:5-39
Homily 4: Numbers 3:39--4:49
Homily 5: Numbers 4:1-49
Homily 6: Numbers 11:16-25; 12:1-15
Homily 7: Numbers 12:1-15; 13:18-34; 14:1-8
Homily 8: Numbers 13:18-34; 14:1-38
Homily 9: Numbers 17:1-28 (LXX) = 16:36--17:13 (RSV)
Homily 10: Numbers 18:1-7
Homily 11: Numbers 18:8-32
Homily 12: Numbers 21:16-23
Homily 13: Numbers 21:24-35; 22:1-14
Homily 14: Numbers 22:15-28
Homily 15: Numbers 22:31-41; 23:1-10
Homily 16: Numbers 23:11-24
Homily 17: Numbers 23:25-30; 24:1-9
Homily 18: Numbers 24:10-19
Homily 19: Numbers 24:20-24
Homily 20: Numbers 25:1-10
Homily 21: Numbers 26
Homily 22: Numbers 27:1-23
Homily 23: Numbers 28:1--29:39
Homily 24: Numbers 28--30
Homily 25: Numbers 31:1-54
Homily 26: Numbers 31--32
Homily 27: Numbers 33:1-49
Homily 28: Numbers 34--35

Subject Index

Scripture Index


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Christopher A. Hall

Christopher A. Hall (PhD, Drew University) is the president of Renovaré. He is associate editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, and his books include Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers, Learning Theology with the Church Fathers, and Worshiping with the Church Fathers.

Hall previously served at Eastern University for over twenty years in several roles, including chancellor, provost, dean of Palmer Seminary, dean of the Templeton Honors College, distinguished professor of theology, and director of academic spiritual formation. He and his wife, Debbie, live in Pennsylvania and have three grown children.