Gregory of Nazianzus’ Oration 41:15-16 in the Greek

An attempt to make a source-Greek text of Oration 41:15-16 “On Pentecost” by Gregory of Nazianzus.

This text is being updated as new information arrives.

See Gregory of Nazianzus’ on the Doctrine of Tongues for more information on the background, nature, and translation of this text.

Oration XLI — In Pentecosten

ΙΕ᾽. Ἐλάλουν μὲν οὖν ξέναις γλώσσαις, καὶ οὐ πατρίοις, καὶ τὸ θαῦμα μέγα, λόγος ὑπὸ τῶν οὐ μαθόντων λαλούμενος• καὶ τὸ σημεῖον τοῖς ἀπίστοις, οὐ τοῖς πιστεύουσιν, ἵν᾽ ᾖ τῶν ἀπιστων κατήγορον,1 καθὼς γέγραπται• Ὅτι ἐν ἑτερογλώσσοις, καὶ ἐν χείλεσιν ἑτέροις, λαλήσω τῷ λαῷ τούτῳ, καὶ οὐδ᾽ οὕτος εἰσακούσονταί μου, λέγει Κύριος. Ἤκουον δέ. Μικρὸν ἐνταῦθα ἐπισχες, καὶ διαπόρησον, πῶς διαιρήσεις τὸν λόγον. Ἔχει γάρ τί ἀμφίβολον ἡ λέξις, τῇ στιγμῇ διαιρούμενον. Ἆρὰ γὰρ ἤκουον ταῖς ἑαυτῶν διαλέκτοις ἕκαστος,2 ὡς φέρε εἰπεῖν, μίαν μὲν ἐξηχεῖσθαι φωνὴν, πολλὰς δὲ ἀκούεσθαι, οὕτω κτυπουμένου τοῦ ἀέρος, καὶ, ἵν᾽ εἴπω σαφέστερον, τῆς φωνῆς φωνὼν γινομένων3• ἤ τὸ μὲν, ἤκουον4, ἀναπαυστέον, τὸ δὲ, λαλούντων5 ταῖς ἰδίαις φωναῖς, τῷ ἐξῆς προσθετέον, ἵν᾽ ᾖ, λαλούντων φωναῖς6 ταῖς ἰδίαις τῶν ἀκουόντων, ὅπερ γίνεται, ἀλλοτρίαις7• Καθὰ καὶ8 μᾶλλον τίθεμαι.9 Ἐκείνως μὲν γὰρ τῶν ἀκουόντων ἄν εἴη μᾶλλον, ἢ τῶν λεγόντων, τὸ θαῦμα10• οὕτω δὲ τῶν λεγόντων• οἵ καὶ μέθην καταγινώσκονται, δῆλον ὡς αὐτοι θαυματουργοῦντες περὶ τὰς φωνὰς τῷ Πνεύματι.

ΙΣ᾽. Πλὴν ἐπαινετή μὲν καὶ ἡ παλαιὰ διαίρεσις τῶν φωνῶν ἡνίκα τὸν πύργον ᾠκοδόμουν οἱ κακῶς καὶ ἀθέως ὁμοφωνοῦντες, ὥσπερ καὶ τῶν νῦν τολμῶσί τινες11• τῇ γὰρ τῆς φωνῆς διαστάσει συνδιαλυθὲν τὸ ὁμόγνωμον, τὴν ἐγχείρησιν ἔλυσεν• ἀξιεπαινετωτέρα δὲ ἡ νῦν θαυματουργουμένη. Ἁπὸ γὰρ ἑνὸς Πνεύματος εἰς πολλοὺς12 χυθεῖσα,13 εἰς μίαν ἁρμονίαν14 πάλιν συνάγεται. Καὶ ἔστι διαφορὰ χαρισμάτων, ἄλλου15 δεομένη χαρίσματος, πρὸς διάκρισιν τοῦ16 βελτίονος• ἐπειδὴ πᾶσαι τὸ ἐπαινετὸν ἔχουσι. Καλὴ δ᾽ ἄν κάκείνη λέγοιτο, περὶ ἧς Δαβὶδ λέγει• Καταπόντισον, Κύριε, καὶ καταδίελε τὰς γλώσσας αὐτῶν. Διατί17 ; Ὅτι18 ἠγάπησαν πάντα τὰ ῤήματα καταποντισμοῦ γλῶσσαν δολίαν• μόνον ούχι19 φανερῶς τὰς ἐνταῦθα γλώσσας καταιτιώμενος,20 αἵ θεότητα τέμνουσιν. Ταῦτα μὲν οὖν έπι τοσοῦτον.21

The Base Text

It is taken from Migne Patrologia Graeca, Vol. 36. Col. 449-452.

Alternate Readings

The MPG text is compared to other manuscripts and translations. Any variation from the base text will be found in the footnotes. Here is a list of texts looked at so far.

  • The British Library — Add MS 14771, written in the tenth century
  • The British Library — Add MS 14772, written in the thirteenth century
  • Jacob Billius’ sixteenth century work Sancti Patris Nostri: Gregorii Nazianzeni, Opera Græc et Lat., (Pg. 715 ff) which is the basis for MPG
  • Nicetas of Serrone’s work as found in, Nicetas Heracleensis. Gregorius Nazianzenus – BSB Cod.graec. 140, (Pg. 94ff)
  • The editorial notes on different versions of the text contained at the bottom of MPG were also footnoted. The editors do not always clearly state which manuscripts they are referring to, but this does have some source value
  • The Syriac translation of the Nazianzus text dated around the middle of the seventh century. 151. A. Schmidt ed., Sancti Gregorii Nazianzeni opera. Versio Syriaca, II. Orationes XIII et XLI (Corpus Christianorum. Series Graeca, 47. Corpus Nazianzenum, 15), Turnhout – Leuven, 2002. Pg. 87-95.

Editorial Notes

The MPG version contains extensive use of italics for identifying Biblical citations and emphasizing key words. It also capitalizes the first letter of a few keywords to highlight their significance. The use of italics and this form of capitalization is a later editor emendation to the text. It is not part of the earlier texts. They have been removed. They are marked in the footnotes.

The Latin text has its own special history. Therefore it has been moved to its own space. It can be found at Gregory of Nazianzus’ Oration on 41:15-16 in the Latin.


  1. Nicetas Heracleensis. Gregorius Nazianzenus – BSB Cod.graec. 140 has καὶ τὸ σημειον τοὶς ἀπίστοις, οὐ τοις πιστευουσιν, ἵν᾽ ἦ τῶν ἀποστόλων κατήγορον.
  2. The 13th century Add MS 14772 at the British Library has ἕκαστοi
  3. An alternate reading of γινομένη as found in Savil. and Comb. according to Jahn᾽s notes at the bottom of Col. 450 of MPG
  4. MPG has Ἤκουον italicized and capitalized.
  5. MPG has Λαλούντων the first letter is capitalized. This is not consistent with earlier texts. However, Billius or a later editor is trying to explain how to understand the text by doing this.
  6. MPG has Λαλούντων φωναῖς italicized and capitalized.
  7. MPG has ἀλλοτρίαις italicized.
  8. An alternate reading of ᾦ καὶ instead Καθὰ καὶ in manuscript Jes. according to Jahn᾽s notes at the bottom of Col. 450 of MPG
  9. The whole sentence Καθὰ καὶ μᾶλλον τίθεμαι is absent in Rufinus’ Latin translation, nor is it noted by the Venerable Bede in his coverage of the text.
  10. τὸ θαῦμα is absent in the 10th century manuscript Add MS 14771
  11. MPG uses parenthesis here(ἡνίκα τὸν πύργον ᾠκοδόμουν οἱ κακῶς καὶ ἀθέως ὁμοφωνοῦντες, ὥσπερ καὶ τῶν νῦν τολμῶσί τινες) The parenthesis does not exist in the older manuscripts Add MS 14771 or 14772. Nicetas of Serron also does not have it.
  12. πολλοὶς BSB Cod.graec. 140
  13. An alternate reading of χεθεῖσα instead of χυθεῖσα As found in the British Library’s Add MS 14771, and according to Jahn᾽s notes at the bottom of Col. 450 of MPG, in manuscript Regg. and Colb.
  14. BSB Cod.graec. 140 has a period here and starts a new sentence with no period after συνάγεται which follows.
  15. An alternate reading of ἀλλ᾽οὐ according to Jahn᾽s notes at the bottom of Col. 450 of MPG
  16. τῆς in the 10th century manuscript Add MS 14771
  17. Διότι BSB Cod.graec. 140
  18. Ὅτι is omitted in BSB Cod.graec. 140
  19. An alternate reading of μονονού according to Jahn᾽s notes at the bottom of Col. 450 of MPG instead of μόνον ούχι This is also found in Billius’ copy as well.
  20. μόνον ούχι τὰς ἐνταῦθα γλώσσας φανερῶςBSB Cod.graec. 140
  21. Ταῦτα μὲν οὖν έπι τοσοῦτονis omitted from BSB Cod.graec. 140

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