The Significance of Origen’s Hexapla for Biblical Studies

From the last quarter of the sixteenth century, western biblical scholars have incorporated the remains of Origen’s Hexapla (readings of Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, Quinta, Sexta) into serious study of the biblical text. Editors of the Septuagint included these readings in their editions and Bible commentators referred to them in their interpretations and reconstructions of the Hebrew text. But relatively few students of the biblical text comprehend the significance of Origen’s and the later Caesarean library’s philological work on the copies of the scriptures. Building on the results of the recent colloquium on Origen as Philologist, this presentation locates and describes Origen’s textual critical work in the world of late antique philology and knowledge construction. I will conclude by detailing how Origen’s textual work remains relevant for biblical studies today.