(Relating to the Philokalia) Origen's On First Principles / Peri Archon, translated by John Behr

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LW | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, May 10 2020 9:05 PM

Here's the description I wrote at the voting website (link down below):

This is the new definitive English translation of one of the most important writings from one of the most important priest/theologian/philosophers of the Early Church, Origen's Peri Archon. St. Augustine, though he had to issue corrections to some ideas that reportedly came from it, thought so highly of Origen that he urged St. Jerome to pause writing his Vulgate in order to translate more of his works into Latin first. A later father wrote, "When Origen was good, there was no one better; but when he was bad, there was no one worse," referring also, most likely, especially to this work. Yet Sts. Basil and Gregory incorporated a number of passages from it into their Philokalia, itself an extremely important work as recognized in Eastern Christianity, important partly on account of the inclusion of this material.

As the foregoing hints, On First Principles is important not only on account of Origen's genius, resources, and learning, but also for its relation to issues of heresy and orthodoxy, to philosophy, and to the history of the Church. On First Principles will reward the prayerful and careful reader who grounds himself in Sacred Scripture and the other great Early Church Fathers from St. Ignatius onward, especially if the reader compares it to the other great summaries of Christian thought, as were given in Justin Martyr's Apologies and Dialogue, St. Augustine's City of God XI-XXII, etc.

This affordable ($38.50 Canadian dollars) "reader's edition" spans 480 pages in print. A two-volume Latin/Greek/English version exists that would be even better to have, except that it would cost about $200, so hardly anyone would buy it. This reader's edition does contain a scholarly introduction, likely a condensed version of what is in the two volume set. Behr's translation of the text is intended to replace Butterworth's translation, which unfortunately is not in Logos/Verbum either. I would argue that Butterworth's translation and approach shared with Koetschau should still be read and considered, but Behr's is the new standard.

The only translation of this work, On First Principles, in Logos/Verbum is from the severely outdated (and archaic language) Ante-Nicene Church Father's series. So please vote for this. Thanks for considering.

You can vote to have Faithlife add this to Logos/Verbum at https://suggestbooks.uservoice.com/forums/308269-book-suggestions/suggestions/40391497-origen-tr-john-behr-on-first-principles-a-rea.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 10 2020 9:59 PM

Yes

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 154
Kevin Clemens | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 11 2020 4:29 AM

LW:

...but Behr's is the new standard.

The only translation of this work, On First Principles, in Logos/Verbum is from the severely outdated (and archaic language) Ante-Nicene Church Father's series. So please vote for this. Thanks for considering.

You can vote to have Faithlife add this to Logos/Verbum at: https://suggestbooks.uservoice.com/forums/308269-book-suggestions/suggestions/40391497-origen-tr-john-behr-on-first-principles-a-rea

Yes please! Yes 

And if you want to hear a bit more about his translation, Behr sat down for a discussion on Origen and the Fathers for the onScript podcast last summer (2019) while he was at Nashotah House.

Posts 1654
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 11 2020 5:08 AM

For a while I have wanted the Butterworth version for my Logos library, but was unaware of Behr's translation. However, having read some of Behr's work, I cannot imagine a better person to translate Peri Archon into English. So, Yes, please....

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Posts 154
Kevin Clemens | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 11 2020 5:24 AM

Yes, and I think Behr has made a compelling case for the problems inherent in Butterworth's translation.

Posts 54
LW | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 11 2020 6:28 PM

Right on, I'm glad I'm not the only one. :) It seems that so far, only two of us have voted, so I would like to invite all interested to vote so that Faithlife takes notice.

https://suggestbooks.uservoice.com/forums/308269-book-suggestions/suggestions/40391497-origen-tr-john-behr-on-first-principles-a-rea.

BTW, I also would like to have Butterworth's translation here, but I thought we would likely only manage to get one of them; otherwise, I would have entered both. :)

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