Syriac Exegetical Tradition



Ephrem, C. Gen. and Exod. (ed. + Latin translation, R. Tonneau, CSCO Scr.Syri 71–2); English translation, E.G. Mathews and J. Amar (1994); English translation of C. Exod. by A. Salvesen (Kottayam, 1995).

John the Solitary, C. Qohelet (ed. W. Strothmann, GOFS 30, 1988).

Jacob of Edessa [W], C. on Hexaemeron (ed. J. B. Chabot, CSCO Scr.Syri 44; Latin translation, A. Vaschalde, CSCO Scr.Syri 47; ed. J. Cicek, Bar Hebraeus Verlag 1985).

Anonymous (in olim Diarbekir 22) [E], C. Gen. and Ex.1–9 (ed. + French Translation, L. van Rompay, CSCO Scr.Syri 205–6).

Theodore bar Koni [E], Scholia (ed. A. Scher, CSCO Scr.Syri 19, 26; French Translation, R. Hespel & R. Draguet, CSCO Scr.Syri 187, 188; ed. + French Translation R. Hespel, CSCO Scr.Syri 193–4).

Isho` bar Nun [E], Selected Questions on the Pentateuch (ed. + English translation, E. Clarke, 1962).

Isho`dad of Merv [E], Commentary on the OT (ed. + French Translation, C. Van den Eynde, CSCO Scr. Syri 67, 75; 80–81; 96–97; 128–9; 146–7; 185–6).

Anonymous [E], C. on Genesis 1–18 (ed. A. Levene, 1951).

Moshe bar Kepha [W], C. on Hexaemeron (German translation, L. Schlimme, GOFS 17, 1977).

Dionysius bar Salibi [W], C. Qohelet (ed. W. Strothmann, GOFS 31, 1988).

Bar Hebraeus [W], Ausar Raze/Scholia on Gen.- 2 Sam. (ed. + English translation, M. Sprengling and W.C. Graham, 1931).


Ephrem, Commentary on the Diatessaron (ed. + Latin translation, L. Leloir, 1963 and 1990; English translation, C. McCarthy, 1993).

Philoxenus [W], C. Prologue of John (ed. + French Translation, A. de Halleux, CSCO Scr.Syri 165–6).

———, C. Matthew and Luke (ed. + English translation, J. Watt, CSCO Scr.Syri 171–2).

Isho`dad of Merv [E], C. on NT (ed. + English translation, M. D. Gibson, Horae Semiticae 5–7, 10, 1911–1913).

Moshe bar Kepha [W], C. John (ed. + German translation, L. Schlimme, GOFS 18, 1978).

———, C. Romans (ed.+ German translation, J. Reller, GOFS 35, 1994).

Dionysius bar Salibi [W], C. Mt Mk Lk, Acts, Cath.Epp., Apoc. (ed. + Latin translation, I. Sedlacek and others, CSCO 15–16; 33,40; 47,60 [Gospels]; 18, 20 [Acts-Apoc.]. C. John: R. Lejoy.

Bar Hebraeus [W], C. on Gospels (English translation W. F. Carr, 1925).


Old Testament:
  • Gen. 4: "Dialogue between Cain and Abel": Le Muséon 113 (2000), 333–75.
  • Gen. 12: "Abraham and Sarah in Egypt" (narrative): Le Muséon 105 (1992), 87–146.
  • Gen 22: "Abraham, Sarah, Isaac" (narratives): Le Muséon 99 (1986), 61–129; "Abraham, Sarah, Isaac" (dialogue): The Harp 7 (1994), 55–72.
  • I Kings 17: "Elijah and Widow of Sarepta" (narrative): Le Muséon 102 (1989), 93–113.
New Testament:
  • "Mary and Angel" (dialogue); "Mary and Joseph" (dialogue and narrative); "Mary and Magi" (dialogue): S.P. Brock, Bride of Light (Kottayam, 1995).
  • "Sinful Woman and Satan" (dialogue, Luke 7): Oriens Christianus 72 (1988), 21–62.
  • "Cherub and Thief" (Luke 23:43): F. Pennachietti, Il ladrone e il cherubino (Turin, 1993); English translation, S.P. Brock, Sogiatha: Syriac Dialogue Poems(Kottayam, 1987).
  • "Mary and the Gardener": Parole de l'Orient 11 (1983), 223–34.

Translations from Greek

Athanasius, C. Psalms (ed.+ English translation, R.W. Thomson, CSCO Scr.Syri 167–8).

Basil, C. Hexaemeron (ed. + English translation, R.W. Thomson, CSCO Scr.Syri 222–3).

Cyril of Alexandria, Hom. on Luke (ed. J.B. Chabot, CSCO Scr.Syri 27; Latin translation, R. Tonneau, CSCO Scr.Syri 70).

Theodore of Mopsuestia, C. Psalms 118, 138–148 (ed. + French Translation, L. van Rompay, CSCO Scr.Syri 189–90).

———, C. Qohelet (ed. W. Strothmann, GOFS 28, 1988; cp 29, 1988 for Catena fragments).

———, C. John (ed. + Latin translation, I-M. Vosté, CSCO Scr.Syri 62–63).


On Early Writers

E. Beck, "Zur Terminologie von Ephräms Bildtheologie", in M. Schmidt (Ed.), Typus Symbol, Allegorie... (1982), 329–77.

S.P. Brock, "Jewish Traditions in Syriac Sources", Journal of Jewish Studies 30 (1979), 212–32.

A. Guillaumont, "Un midrash d'Exode 4, 24–6 chez Aphraate et Ephrem de Nisibe", in R. H. Fischer (ed.), A Tribute to Arthur Voobus (1977), 89–95.

R. Murray, "The Lance which Re-Opened Paradise...", Orientalia Christiana Periodica 39 (1973), 224–34, 491.

———, "The Theory of Symbolism in St Ephrem's Theology", Parole de l'Orient 6/7 (1975/6), 1–20.

———, "Der Dichter als Exeget: der hl. Ephram und die heutige Exegese", Z. Kath. Theologie 100 (1978), 484–94.

A. Salvesen, "The Exodus Commentary of St Ephrem", Studia Patristica 25 (1993), 332–8; cp also The Harp 4 (1991), 21–34.


On Later Writers


M. Albert, "Les commentaires syriaques sur les Psaumes: Un exemple, le Ps.45", in P. Maraval (ed.), Le Psautier chez les Peres (1994), 255–70.

S.P. Brock, "Genesis 22 in Syriac Tradition", Mélanges D. Barthélemy (1981), 2–30.

———, "The ruah elohim of Gen. 1,2 and its Reception History in the Syriac Tradition", in J-M. Auwers and A. Wenin (eds), Lectures et relectures de la Bible. Festschrift P-M. Bogaert (Leuven, 1999), 327–49.

J. Frishman and L. van Rompay (eds), The Book of Genesis in Jewish and Oriental Christian Interpretation (Leiden, 1997).

J. B. Glenthoj, Cain and Abel in Syriac Sources (CSCO Subs. 95; 1997).

T. Jansma, "Investigations into the Early Syriac Fathers on Genesis", Oudtestamentische Studien 12 (1958), 69–181.

R. Macina, "L'homme a l'ecole de Dieu. D'Antioche a Nisibe...", Proche Orient Chretien 32 (1982), 86–124, 263–301; 33 (1983), 39–103.

S. Stroumsa, "The Impact of Syriac Tradition on Early Judaeo-Arabic Bible Exegesis", Aram 3 (1991), 83–96.

R. Ter Haar Romeny, A Syrian in Greek Dress: The Use of Greek, Hebrew and Syriac Biblical Texts in Eusebius of Emesa's Commentary on Genesis (Leuven, 1997).

L. van Rompay, "A hitherto Unknown Nestorian Commentary on Gen. and Exod. 1–9,32...", Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica 5 (1974), 53–78.

———, "Le commentaire sur Gen.-Exod. 9,32 ... et l'exégèse syrienne orientale du huitième au dixième siècle", II Symposium Syriacum (Orientalia Christiana Analecta205, 1978), 113–23.

———, "La littérature exégètique syriaque et le rapprochement des traditions syrienne-orientale et syrienne-occidentale", Parole de l'Orient 20 (1995), 221–235.

———, "The Christian Syriac Tradition of Interpretation", in M. Saebo (ed.), Hebrew Bible/Old Testament: The History of its Interpretation, I. i (Göttingen, 1996), 612–641.

———, "Development of Biblical Interpretation in the Syrian Church of the Middle Ages", in M. Saebo, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament..., I. ii (Göttingen, 2000), 559–77.


R. Cowley, "Scholia of Ahob of Qatar on St John's Gospel and the Pauline Epistles", Le Muséon 93 (1980), 329–43.

J.C. McCullough, "Early Syriac Commentaries on the New Testament, I-II, Near Eastern School of Theology", Theological Review 5 (1982), 14–33, 79–126.

G.J. Reinink, Studien zur Quellen- und Traditionsgeschichte des Evangelienkommentars der Gannat Bussame (CSCO Subs. 57, 1979).

J. Reller, Mose bar Kepha und seine Paulinenauslegung (Göttingen, 1994).