Aufsätze / Essays: Apollinaris of Laodicea in the Catenae as a Source of Hexaplaric ReadingsZeitschrift für Antikes Christentum / Journal of Ancient Christianity


Reinhart Ceulemans
History / Classics / Religious studies


Apollinaris of Laodicea in the Catenae as a Source of

Hexaplaric Readings1

Reinhart Ceulemans

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Institute for Early Christian and Byzantine Studies, BlijdeInkomststraat 21 bus 3318, BE-3000 Leuven, Email: 1. Introduction

Patristic references in contemporary scholarly studies on Apollinaris of

Laodicea tend to focus on the dogmatic and Christological contents of this author’s oeuvre rather than on his abilities as a textual critic of the

Greek Old Testament. Nonetheless, having adhered to the Antiochene exegetical methods, Apollinaris (ca. 315-391) was very well aware of the differences between the various Greek Bible versions that were available to him. In this regard, he occasionally cited the versions of a’, s’ and q’.

This particular aspect of his scholarly activities has only received little attention. Consequently, some of the evidence he offered has been ignored by modern editors of Hexaplaric fragments.

Of Apollinaris’ bulky oeuvre, only little has survived. This is due not only to the normal problems that are typical to the transmission of ancient writings, but also to the early damnation Apollinaris and his followers have suffered from (from the year 377 onward). Of his exegetical writings, too, only small fragments have reached us, which hinders a correct assessment of Apollinaris’ exegesis and of his biblical text-critical interest, sources and abilities. Nevertheless, writings in which he commented upon Scripture must have been many in number, according to the testimony of Jerome, 1 Preliminary remarks: (1) Bible verses are always identifi ed on the basis of their position in the lxx corpus, not in the Hebrew Bible. (2) If applicable, Greek manuscripts are identifi ed on the basis of the Septuaginta-Unternehmen’s reference survey: the abbreviation “Ra” followed by a number refers to the corresponding entries in Alfred Rahlfs, Verzeichnis der griechischen Handschriften des Alten Testaments (Mitteilungen des SeptuagintaUnternehmens der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen 2; Berlin, 1914) and/ or the updated and expanded redaction by Detlef Fraenkel, Die Überlieferung bis zum

VIII. Jahrhundert (Vol. 1,1 of Septuaginta: Vetus Testamentum Graecum Auctoritate

Academiae Scientiarum Gottingensis editum Supplementum: Verzeichnis der griechischen

Handschriften des Alten Testaments; by A. Rahlfs; Göttingen, 2004).

ZAC, vol. 15, pp. 431-449 DOI 10.1515/ZAC.2011.22 © Walter de Gruyter 2011


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Download Date | 9/23/12 1:02 AM 432 Reinhart Ceulemans who once studied with Apollinaris.2 Apollinaris wrote commentaries both on the New and the Old Testament. It is the latter group of commentaries, especially, that seem of interest to the topic at hand, which focuses on

Hexaplaric readings.3 Indeed, Jerome explicitly mentioned commentaries by Apollinaris on the following Old Testament books: Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, Hosea and Malachi. In addition to these books, fragments are ascribed to him in catenae on the Octateuch, Job, Proverbs, Song of

Songs, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Jeremiah.4

It is only thanks to the catenae, the compilers of which often sacrifi ced considerations of orthodoxy in favor of content-related selection motives, that some fragments of this condemned Father’s exegetical oeuvre have survived. Of course one has to be aware of the limitations one is confronted with when using catena fragments of Apollinaris for reconstructing his exegetical motives: having passed the selection criteria of their Byzantine compilers, the catena fragments do not necessarily offer a representative sample of Apollinaris’ commentaries. Therefore the patristic scholar who investigates the exegetical methods of this author is confronted with that awkward feeling catena fragments often bring about: on the one hand, they offer the only data one can work with but on the other hand one realizes the limited results one can draw from them.

The present article, however, does not wish to undertake that kind of patristic research. Its aim is much more basic: it only draws attention to the fact that textual critics of the Greek versions of the Hebrew Bible can gather much interesting data by taking a look at such catena fragments.

This has not been done suffi ciently in the past.5 By looking into some critically edited catenae,6 the present author wishes to highlight – once 2 See the references provided by Ekkehard Mühlenberg, “Apollinaris von Laodicea,” TRE 3 (Berlin, 1978): (362-371) 365. The overview provided in Henri de Riedmatten, “Le texte des fragments exégétiques d’Apollinaire de Laodicée,” Recherches de Science Religieuse 44 (1956): 560-566 is not entirely complete. On Apollinaris’ teaching of Jerome, see

Pierre Jay, “Jérôme auditeur d’Apollinaire de Laodicée à Antioche,” REAug 20 (1974): 36-41. 3 Then again, the present article’s fourth section shows that New Testament catenae, too, can be important for retrieving Hexaplaric fragments. 4 See the overview in CPG 3680-3689. 5 This remark is not so much intended as a reproach of the work of previous editors of

Hexaplaric fragments, who did not have important tools at their disposal (such as an expanded version of the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae), but rather as a stimulus for future editors, namely to pay enough attention to this corpus. 6 As is well known, attributions of scholia provided in catenae are often incorrect, if existent at all. Critical judgment by the catena’s editor is needed in order to decide on the authorship and authenticity of individual fragments transmitted in catenae. For example, in the monophysite catena on Ezekiel, most of the scholia attributed to Apollinaris in fact belong to Theodoret of Cyrrhus. See the remark in CPG 3688 as well as Laurence

Vianès, “La chaîne monophysite sur Ézéchiel 36-48: Présentation, texte critique, traduction française, commentaire” (Ph.D. diss., École pratique des hautes études Paris, 1996), 55. Moreover, critical editing showed that all fragments ascribed to Apollinaris in the catenae on Job turn out to belong to Polychronius of Apamea: see Ursula and Dieter