Some time ago I did a series on the sermon on the Good Thief delivered by Theophilus of Alexandria, the uncle and predecessor of St Cyril of Alexandria. It was the the best translation then available, which isn’t saying much. The Patristics and Copic scholar, Alain Sucui was kind enough to comment on it. I am happy to report that the new translation he was working on at that time has now appeared here. I can’t recommend it too highly, it is a piece of very high-class scholarship, and if Dr Sucui does not mind, I will just quote a small part here:
“I have seen the entire creation established and arranged in the image
(prÒswpon) of the Cross (staurÒj).”
15. The hymn of the Cross
(The Cross) is the one who makes a man young (f. 146vo) again after he grows old, signs him through the holy baptism (b£ptisma) by marking him with the oil and Christ’s seal (sfrag…j).52
The Cross (staurÒj) puriﬁ es (kaqar…zein) the man that pursues the energies
(™nšrgeia) cast forth from it.
The Cross (staurÒj) is the holy mystery (must»rion). For (g£r) when (Ótan)
they seal (sfrag…zein) the bread and the chalice (pot»rion) on the holy
table (tr£peza) and they accomplish (™pitele‹n) them, it is not anymore
(oÙk œti) bread nor wine but (¢ll£) it is holy body (sîma) and blood.
The Cross (staurÒj) is the consolation of those who are in distress (lÚph)
because of their sins.
The Cross (staurÒj) is the straight way, not leading astray those who walk
on it when (Ótan) they are estranged.
The Cross (staurÒj) is the high tower (pÚrgoj) which receives those who
are running to it.
The Cross (staurÒj) is the ladder which raises man to the sky.
The Cross (staurÒj) is the garment which the Christians (cristianÒj) are
The Cross (staurÒj) is the helper (bohqÒj) of the poor and the help (bo»qeia)
for those who are distressed.
Do go and read the whole thing, even if the scholarly apparatus is of no interest, the translation is a marvellous one and well worth reading