conscensurus erat, incipiebat legitur, scriptura referente


Senior Member
Russian (Moscow dialect) - Russia
Finally, the last sentence from Homilies on Luke by Origen.
'In Matthaeo non est scriptum: incipiebat; hic vero, qua de baptismate conscensurus erat, incipiebat legitur, scriptura referente: et ipse erat Iesus insipiens.'
Here is an attempt to translate it:
'Matthew does not use the word 'began', and in Luke's one, after Lord's baptism, /conscensurus erat, incipiebat legitur, scriptura referente/ it is said: "Beginning His mission (Luke 3.23)'
Here Origen is comparing two genealogies as they are provided in Gospels according to Matthew and Luke.
The meaning of the part in // remains elusive - could you please comment on it and the sentence as a whole?
Thank you!
  • bearded

    Senior Member
    My modest attempt:

    In Matthew('s Gospel) the word 'began' is not written; but on the spot, from where he thanks to baptism was going to ascend, 'began' can be read, as the scripture(s) report(s): and Jesus himself/even Jesus was unaware (of that).

    I hope it makes sense, but I trust that Scholiast will be able to propose some much better alternative translation.


    Senior Member
    Hello again KsSp, bearded and anyone else who is listening!

    incipiens, please, not insipiens—the latter means 'ignorant' or 'foolish'!

    KsSp does not mention this, but if memory serves me correctly, John baptised Jesus in the waters of the r. Jordan. I think therefore that conscensurus will refer to the moment before he emerged from the river afterwards, and that in this context 'ascend' is slightly misleading. And the verse of Luke's Gospel cited by KsSp (3:23) does indeed connect, closely and explicitly, the baptism with the start of Christ's ministry: in the previous two verses the heavens have opened, the Holy Spirit descends and the voice of God is heard declaring 'You are my beloved Son, in whom I have rejoiced'. And then comes the cited verse, including the participle ἀρχόμενος, 'beginning', which seems to correspond with Origen's/Jerome's incipiebat. The Vulgate incipiens is an accurate enough translation of Luke's Greek here.

    My understanding: 'In Matthew the word "he began" does not appear. But here, at the point where He [Jesus] was about to climb out [of the baptismal waters], "incipiebat" is the reading, with reference to the scriptural verse [from the Vulgate, obviously] "et ipse erat Iesus incipiens"'.

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    Senior Member
    Russian (Moscow dialect) - Russia
    Hello, bearded and Scholiast! Thank you for your help - as usual, it is invaluable and your contributions are engagingly insightful (this collocation probably does not sound idiomatic - sorry if this is the case).