Syriac Baptismal Tradition


Acts of Thomas and Acts of John

A.F.J. Klijn, "Baptism in the Acts of Thomas", in J. Vellian (ed.), Studies on Syrian Baptismal Rites (Syrian Churches Series 6, 1973), 57–62, and "An Ancient Syriac Baptismal Liturgy in the Syriac Acts of John", Novum Testamentum 6 (1963), 216–28.

Church of the East

English translation, The Liturgy of the Holy Apostles Adai and Mari (London, 1893), 63–82.

Syrian Orthodox

(i) Anonymous: ed. + English translation, Parole de l'Orient 8 (1977/8), 311–46.

(ii) Attributed to Timothy of Alexandria: ed. + English translation, Le Muséon 83 (1970), 367–431.

(iii) Attributed to Severus of Antioch (in current use): Syriac + English, ed. Mar Athanasius Yeshue Samuel, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism (Hackensack, NJ, 1974). (For early manuscripts, see Journal of Theological Studies ns 23 (1972), 16–64).


French translation, A. Mouhanna, Les rites de l'initiation dans l'Eglise maronite (Rome, 1978).

Melkite (in original Antiochene rite)

Latin translation, J.A. Assemani, Codex Liturgicus Ecclesiae Universae III (Rome, 1758), 199–237.

Archaic short service: ed. + English translation, Parole de l'Orient 3 (1972), 119–30.



ANON (early 5th cent.?)

Orientalia Christiana Periodica 46 (1980), 20–61.

THEODORE of Mopsuestia (d. 428)

Translation, A. Mingana, Woodbrooke Studies 5–6 (Cambridge, 1932–3).

NARSAI (5th cent.)

Translation, R.H. Connolly, The Liturgical Homilies of Narsai (Texts and Studies VIII.1, 1909).

GEORGE of the ARABS (d.724)

Ed. + English translation, R.H. Connolly and H.W. Codrington, Two Commentaries on the Jacobite Liturgy (London, 1913), 11–15.

MOSES bar KEPHA (d.903)

English translation, J. Vellian (ed.), Studies...(1973), 1–15.



E. Beck, "Le bapteme chez saint Ephrem", L'Orient Syrien 1 (1956), 111–37.

S.P. Brock, The Holy Spirit in the Syrian baptismal tradition (Syrian Churches Series 9, 1979); 2nd edn 1998.

———, "The Transition to a Post-Baptismal Anointing in the Antiochene Rite", in The Sacrifice of Praise: Studies in Honour of A.H. Couratin = Ephem.LiturgicaeSubsidia 19 (1981), 215–25.

———, "Baptismal Themes in the Writings of Jacob of Serugh", II Symposium Syriacum (Or.Christ.Analecta 205, 1978), 325–47.

———, "Some Important Baptismal Themes in the Syriac Tradition", The Harp 4 (1991), 189–214.

J. Chalassery, The Holy Spirit and Christian Initiation in the East Syrian Tradition (Rome, 1995).

E.J. Duncan, Baptism in the Demonstrations of Aphrates the Persian Sage (Washington, DC, 1945).

C.M. Edsman, Le bapteme de feu (Uppsala, 1940).

T.M. Finn, Early Christian Baptism and the Catechumenate: West and East Syria (Collegeville, 1992).

J. Mateos, "Theologie du bapteme dans le formulaire de Severe d'Antioche", [I] Symposium Syriacum (Or. Christ. Analecta 197, 1974), 135–61.

G. Saber, La theologie baptismale de saint Ephrem (Kaslik, 1974).

B. Varghese, Les onctions baptismales dans la tradition syrienne (CSCO Subsidia 82, Leuven, 1989).

G. Winkler, "The History of the Syriac Pre-Baptismal Anointing in the Light of the Earliest Armenian Sources", II Symposium Syriacum (OCA 205, 1978), 317–24.

———, "The Original Meaning of the Pre-Baptismal Anointing and its Implications", Worship 52 (1978), 24–45.