Thomas of Edessa's Explanations of the Nativity and Epiphany
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Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 272
Width: 16.5 cm
Height: 24 cm
Thomas of Edessa flourished as a teacher at the School of Nisibis, an important Christian intellectual centre in sixth-century Persia. He accompanied the later patriarch Mar Aba on his travels around the Mediterranean and followed him to Nisibis. Thomas's only surviving writings are two lectures in Syriac ('Explanations') on the feasts of the Nativity and Epiphany. These discourses were later incorporated into a collection of Explanations of the Feasts covering the whole ecclesiastical year. This volume presents an edition of Thomas of Edessa's Syriac text of Nativity and Epiphany, accompanied by a facing-page English translation. These discourses, with the editors' introduction and notes, elucidate Thomas's place in the theological development of the Church of the East. He is the earliest author after Narsai to draw extensively upon the theology of Theodore of Mopsuestia, but earlier Syriac traditions are also reflected in his work, and his Christology is not yet the doctrine characteristic of Babai and later East Syriac authors.
...Possekel and Coakley must be thanked for this valuable publication, which will undoubtedly function as the standard edition and English version for years to come. It contributes to our understanding of Syriac-speaking Christianity in late antiquity and provides the basis for future research concerning the reception of earlier traditions in the Church of the East in the early sixth century. * Nathan Witkamp, The Journal of Theological Studies *