A New Catena on the Gospel of Matthew

Oggi, su What’s New in Patristics, abbiamo il piacere di ospitare un post di Georgi Parpulov, ricercatore del progetto CATENA dell’Università di Birmingham, che presenta alcune novità relative alle sue ricerche sulle catene esegetiche greche. Qui sotto la notizia ricevuta. [I Curatori]

‘Chains’ of concatenated exegetical excerpts survive in a number of manuscripts from the ninth and later centuries and form a major source for the history of biblical interpretation. Since no one of late had surveyed the relevant Greek material, I undertook to catalogue all known Greek manuscripts with catena commentary on the New Testament. Inspecting some four hundred codices unavoidably brought to light several new catena types which, having so far escaped the attention of scholars, are soon to be registered for the first time in the Clavis Clavium on-line database. Probably the most notable of these additions is a composite text that will be designated CPG C119.2 (CPG stands for Clavis Patrum GraecorumC stands for catenae).

Just one of its manuscript witnesses had been noticed before – unfortunately it happens to be the most recent and least legible of all, so that the printed CPG dismisses it as a codex singulus minoris momenti. I found the same text in some further codices from JerusalemMount AthosAthens, and London. In the oldest of these, a product of the mid-tenth century, St Matthew’s Gospel is accompanied by one hundred and fifty-four numbered pieces of commentary and by a few additional items marked with figural signs. While this double reference system must reflect two consecutive steps in the compilers’ work, the actual source of a given passage is almost never indicated (in this respect our new catena resembles CPG C111). At a later stage attested by slightly younger witnesses, the commentary was enriched with excerpts from Athanasius of Alexandria, Basil of Caesarea, John Chrysostom, and other named authors. The newly-identified Matthaean catena now awaits detailed study that should clarify its origin, trace its evolution, and determine its value for patristic scholarship.