Timothy I

Trichur, India, Chaldean Syrian Church 00010

  • fol. 1v-180v Timothy I, Letters
    • To Shlemon, bishop of Ḥdatta, on baptism, fol. 1v-11v
    • Selected stories from the letters of Timothy I concerning baptism, fol. 11v-13v
    • To Buktišo‘ the deacon, fol. 13v-29v
    • Twenty-two letters to Sargis the Metropolitan of ‘Ilam, fol. 29v-55v
    • To Maranzka, Bishop of Nineveh, fol. 55v-59r
    • Seven letters to Sargis Rabban, fol. 60v-61v
    • To the priests and believers of Baṣra and Hublat, on the incarnation of Christ, fol. 61v-81v
    • To Nāṣēr the believer, fol. 81v-106v

Syrische Rechtsbücher. Zweiter Band: Richterliche Urteile des Patriarchen Chenânîschô. Gesetzbuch des Patriarchen Timotheos. Gesetsbuch des Patriarchen Jesubarnun

Synodicon Orientale

The Synodicon Orientale, also called the ܟܬܒܐ ܕܣܘܢܗܕܘ provides important historical information for the history of the Church of the East stretching from the early fifth century through the latter part of the 8th century. This text provides important documentation relating to the synods and canons of the Church of the East. The transmission of the Synodicon is based upon a single manuscript: Alqosh Syr. 169.1 For a detailed description of this manuscript, see pages 63-69 of J. - M. Vosté, Catalogue de la Bibliothèque syro-chaldéenne du Couvent de Notre-Dame des Semences près d'Alqosh (Iraq). Rome, Paris: Bureaux of the «angelicum», P. Geuthner, 1929.. This manuscript currently resides in the Monastery of the Chaldeans in Baghdad, though in the 19th century, Mgr. Joseph David brought a two-volume copy back to Rome which is now catalogued as Vat.Borg.Sir. 81-82.2 Synodicon manuscripts (both western and eastern can be found here).

The following breakdown is roughly chronological, though it is meant to cover the extent of Chabot's edition of the Synodicon with all of its supplementary material. Unless otherwise indicated, the Syriac text is taken from Chabot. For more literature on the Synodicon Orientale, see this search for "canon law" from the Comprehensive Bibliography on Syriac Christianty. 



Table of Contents


I. The Synod of Mar Isaac (410 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]

  • The definition of the faith of the 318 Bishops (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • The 21 canons which were established in the synod (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

    • Canon 1: On the choice and order in which it is fitting for Bishops to receive ordination ["ordination" is literally "the imposition of hands" and will be so translated throughout] (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 2: On those eunuchs who cut off and castrate their members (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 3: On female housekeepers, that they should no longer live with clerics as the custom was before (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 4: On those clerics who are enticed to dishonest gain (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 5: On how it is unfitting for the faithful to be subject to sorcery, divinations and strange works (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 6: On the gathering of Bishops, when and where and for what reasons it is fitting to occur (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 7: On houses which are designated to receive strangers and on those who are in need for whom it is fitting to receive with an [accompanying] letter of recommendation (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 8: On how it is not permissable for clerics to be summoned for a banquet or to demand or take portions from funeral feasts. . . (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 9: On the proper things which are necessary for reverence in the Sunday service (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 10: On that which is fitting for Bishops and Metropolitans, namely, that each one of them posess a copy of these canons upon which to meditate and to establish what is proper as a stipulation in accord with their observance (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 11: On how it is unfitting for the ordination of any Bishop by one Bishop alone. And on clerics who are prohibited by their Bishop (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 12: On the honor which is right and necessary for the Catholicos who sits on the seat of Seleucia and Ktesiphon (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 13: On the rules and canons which are fitting for the liturgy and the holy mysteries and the honored feasts of our Savior (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 14: On Chorbishops (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 15: On the choice of Archdeacons and on the rules which befit his service and his administration and on stewards and on the reproof of the scornful (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 16: On the rule which is proper to be [observed] by those clerics who are called to come for ordination (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 17: The stipulation and decree of Bishops regarding the observation of those canons and on the reproof which they have specified for the contemptuous and those who spurn them (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 18: On the priority of the order which is necessary for the Metropolitans, and on those which are necessary for each one of the Bishops under their jurisdiction (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 19: On how it is not permitted for a bishop to act despotically bold and to direct one of his fellow bishops by force (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 20: On the order which is right for Metropolitans to use in the choosing and ordination which is in their authority (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 21: On the order and honor of the priesthood; of the provinces and seats of the Metropolitans and each one of the bishops who are under their authority (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
  • Signatures (Syriac) (FT) (GT)


II. The Synod of Mar Yahballaha I (420 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]


III. The Synod of Dadisho' (424 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]


The Synod of Barsauma, Bishop of Nisibis (484 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]

The scribe does not consider this to be one of the 13 ecumenical councils, but his letters are included in the manuscript and translated both by Chabot and Braun. This section follows the order of Braun.


IV. The Synod of Mar Acacius (486 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]

  • Braun's description of the fight between Acacius and Barsauma [Not included in Chabot]

  • List of names (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • Canons

    • Canon 1: And if one should think or teach contrariwise, namely, that the passion and change should be attached to the divinity of our Lord, and does not preserve the confession with regard to the unity of the parsopa of our Savior, as perfect God and perfect man, let this one be accursed. (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 2: On those liars whom we remembered above (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 3: No Bishop shall force nor compel the prohibition of marriage where he leads and in the church where he serves (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
  • Signatures (Syriac) (FT) (GT


V. The Synod of Catholicos Babai (497 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]


VI. The Synod of Catholicos Mar Aba I (544 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]

  • The first institution of provincial reform (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • Abraham of Beth-Lapat signs his own anathema (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • Signatures (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • Abraham remained unrepentant (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • More signatures (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • Letters

    • 4th [Letter]: On the deduction of the two prosopa which brought about a schism. And on the reconciliations and definitions made because of them (Syriac) (FT) (GT
    • 5th [Letter]: On the determinations and canons concerning the different [levels] of hierarchy (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • [Untitled Practical Letter] (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • 3rd [Letter]: A letter of Mar Aba I on the life of proper disciplines (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Note that this is Letter 6 in Braun]
    • Signatures (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • 2nd [Letter]: On orthodoxy regarding the faith (Syriac) (Syriac–Bedjan) (FT) (GT)
  • Canons established by Patriarch Mar Aba I and the Bishops assembled with him (Syriac) (FT) (GT). 

    • Canons 1-28; 38-40 (Syriac) (FT) (GT[Many of these are short and/or fragmentary. Therefore, they will not be listed individually below. Chabot's edition does not include canons 28-37 other than to note their correspondance with the canons of the council of Mar Isaac. Included below is a list of corresponding canons in the notes of Chabot with parallel text in Lamy's edition of the canons.]

    • Canon 28 (Lamy, 67.19
    • Canon 29 (Lamy, 65.18)
    • Canon 30 (Lamy, 67.20)
    • Canon 31 (Lamy, 71.21)
    • Canon 32 (Lamy, 73.23
    • Canon 33 (Lamy, 75.24)
    • Canon 34 (Lamy, 77.25)
    • Canon 35 (Lamy, 63.17)
    • Canon 36 (Lamy, 78.26)
    • Canon 37 (Lamy, 85.27)


VII. The Synod of Mar Joseph, Catholicos (554 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]

  • Canons

    • Canon 1: It was said in the gathering that someone came seeking to be ordained as a priest for another Eparchy by the Holy Catholicos, Mar Joseph (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 2: It was said that in a certain place there were two churches in the village (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 3: It was also said that Bishops were taking away seats, one from another, by the patronage of the faithful and [by] outsiders (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 4: It was also said that when a Bishop departs [this life] in one of the regions, there are sides and groups and each one desires to establish his own will (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 5: It was said in the gathering of the Bishops in the patriarchal synod of the West that an anathema is placed on the bishop who changes from seat to seat (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 6: It was said also that there are some Bishops, who during general assemblies, anything said to them by heads and leaders who are over them, they do willingly. Yet after a time, some of them renounce what we have not [even] done and some of them say that we have acted forcefully (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 7: It was said also that there were some where were faithful in the great patriarchal rank, that is, the patriarchate, who were doing certain things for themselves and were going about and signing [documents] without showing the Bishops. . . (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 8: It was also said that Priests and Abbots, without the permission of the Bishop, were leaving their places. . . (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 9: It was also said that some Priests were laboring in sins and were accused by insiders and outsiders. . . (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 10: Also it was said that Priests and Deacons and Sons of the Covenant were going and taking pagan wives. . .(Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 11: It was also said that there were some Bishops and Priests who because they were entrusted with the documents of the property of the churches and monasteries, they acted deviously and designated their own name for them (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 12: It was said that there were also some Bishops and Priests and Deacons and Sons of the Covenant and faithful, who because of their sin, were excommunicated by the word of God from the service of the priesthood and the reception of the holy mysteries (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 13: It was also said that there were some reprehensible worldly people who, because they transgressed the rule that they serve, are not even worthy of ecclesiastical peace (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 14: This also was said, that when a patriarchal father, who is a patriarch, departs [this life], how should one be chosen. . .(Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 15: It was also said concerning the Catholicos, when there is no agreement, he cannot receive the ordination [i.e. imposition of hands] and be designated patriarch (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 16: It was said in the gathering that when, because of some reason, the Bishops of one of the Eparchies are gathered at the chief Eparchy to test the ecclesiastical deeds and to make judgment. . .(Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 17: It was said in the gathering of the Bishops that any who have toiled in the sin of fornication, judgment shall be discerned for each in proportion with his rank (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 18: It was also said in the gathering of the Bishops that in any eparchy at all, whether patriarch or metropolitan. . .when a new episcopal seat is formed. . .he is not authorized to annul or cancel it (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 19: It was also said that there are some who were worthy of the gift of the Holy Spirit through Holy Baptism. . .yet they willingly gave themselves to the work of demons. . . (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 20: It was forbidden by others that monasteries and martyria should be built in the city and in the environs of the city (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 21: It was said in the gathering of the Bishops that all the Eparchies, each one of them, should preserve the honor of its neighbor (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 22: It was also the will of the gathering of the Bishops that the canons. . .be observed diligently (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 23: It was also the will of the gathering of the Bishops that when a servant is expelled by the Priest, and the Priest is expelled by his own action. . .that the individual who was expelled should look for and seek judgment in his suspension. . .(Syriac) (FT) (GT)
  • Signatures (Syriac) (FT) (GT)


VIII. The Synod of Mar Ezekiel (576 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]

  • Participants (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • Canons/Chapters

    • Chapter 1: On the Messalians (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 2: On those who make themselves eunuchs (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 3: On those who, while they are nominally faithful, by their deeds they are found contrary to the fear of God (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 4: And it was said in the synod that there are some who, because they do not trust in divine providence and do not know the power of the true faith, in their deeds they resemble pagans: those entirely separated from the true hope of the fear of God (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 5: It was said in the synod that there are some who are excommunicated from the church because of their disobedience which is appropriate for [separation] (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 6: It was said in the synod that much negligence has entered the church by the hands of audacious and contentious men against the word of God (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 7: On unlawful marriage (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 8: It was said in the synod that there are those who are swept away by the force of their desires (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 9: It was said in the synod that there are negligent people in all regions who compel their mothers to cultivate unclean deeds and the abominations of prostitution (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 10: On vows and collections and gifts which are given by prostitutes to the churches and monasteries and holy places (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 11: It was said in the synod that there were some among the faithful who, because of the fear of God in them, were seeking to acquire wealth for their souls at the time of their approaching departure from this life (Syriac) (FT) (GT
    • Chapter 12: It was said in the synod that there are slaves who, in the name of religion, rebel against their masters (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 13: On all those of the church, in [their] order and rank and authority: it is known that it was arranged by the Holy Spirit. . .(Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 14: These are especially the highest in the whole community. . .(Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 15: It was the will of the synod that every four years the Metropolitans and Bishops should be gathered with the Patriarch (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 16: This was observed by the synod when this canon was established: every four years the Metropolitans and Bishops should be gathered with the Patriarch (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 17: It was spoken by the synod about the elevation and honor of the Priesthood more than all orders and ranks (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 18: It was observed by the synod about the Bishops, that they were established by their Metropolitans or by their command, theirs or the that of the Patriarch (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 19: It was the will of the synod that those who are called to the rank of the Bishopric should be established by the mediation of their Metropolitan or of the Patriarch or by the permission of the writings of one of them (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 20: It was observed by the synod that even this canon should be renewed especially clearly as an admonition (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 21: It was the will of the synod that as the law had been established before the priests, so they should order their affairs by the justice and fear of God (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 22: It was spoken by the synod that no kinds of arrogance or pride appear among priests (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 23: It was observed by the synod about when a Bishop departs [this life] (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 24: On how Bishops and clerics shall not abandon their seats and churches. . .(Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 25: It was reported to the synod that there were some who had beforehand received churches and monasteries so as to serve in them and then they took their possessions and gave [them] to their relatives (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 26: It was said by the synod that there are some Bishops and clerics and faithful who purchase possessions for churches and monasteries and guest-houses and are producing documentation with their name to set them in their own houses (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 27: On income and vows and tithes and first-fruits for the churches and monasteries and guest houses. . . (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 28: It was said in the synod that there are some Bishops who are not convinced of the force of the Apostolic Canons (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 29: On things and possessions and anything which is of the church and monastery and seat of the Bishop (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 30: This was reported to the synod, that there are some who were found committed to the ecclesiastical rank of the Bishopric, yet they took from the possessions of the church and gave [them] to their kinsmen and to their relatives (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 31: It was said in the synod that at that time some clerics, monks, and faithful, were found who took sides against their Bishops . . .(Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 32: It was observed by the synod that there were some who, because of certain reasons, were expelled by their Bishops [and] made accusation against them (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 33: It was said in the synod that there are places where, when a Bishop departs [this life], people come and make a pact and establish sides with an agreement and writings in favor of one person (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 34: It was reported in the synod that there are people who, because of not being erudite and [because of] their unworthiness of approaching ecclesiastical rank, go and take up refuge with pagans or the worldly and oppress Bishops (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 35: It was reported in the synod that there are some people who build monasteries and because they do not designate possessions for them, they are laid waste and no one can care for them (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 36: On clerics who were prefects for the worldly and were guardians for pagans or secular (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 37: On the fact that from now on Christians should not hold their daughters responsible to learn worldly singing (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 38: How Priests, who are under the seat of the the Bishop, shall enter into the rank of the towns under his [care] (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Chapter 39: Concerning the fact that there are some Bishops who are in the great Eparchy of the Patriarch. . .(Syriac) (FT) (GT)


IX. The Synod of Mar Isho'yahb I, Catholicos Patriarch of the East (585 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]

  • Canons

    • Canon 1: We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 2: An apology on the writings and translations of Saint Theodore and on the refutation of the heretics who have brought a lying report about him (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 3: On the advantages which result from the establishment of the laws and of the canons in each generation, in the Old Testament and in the New Testament (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 4: On the honor due masters and fathers from disciples and sons and the care which is fitting to demonstrate for the rearing and schooling of disciples and sons (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 5: On Priests and Deacons and Servants of the altar of the New Covenant whose way of life is appropriate for the importance of their service (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 6: On Priests and those faithful who act arrogantly to despoil the holy vessels and to seize the possessions of the church and monastery and guest house of the Bishops (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 7: On the evil heirs who spurn the command of their departed who had designated a gift for God through the holy monasteries (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 8: On those who despise the Church's prayer and they hold contempt for the mysteries of the Messiah and in the false form of ascetics they choose for themselves wandering without abode and they surround themselves with women or dwell [with them] in one monastery together, both men and women (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 9: On the monasteries and cells of the solitaries who separate from the Sunday ecclesiastical gatherings and festivals and teach sloth and error to the simple (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 10: On the first holy cells which were built by the skill of the first ones and destroyed by the negligence of others (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 11: On the monasteries which shall not be rebuilt unless the essence of sufficient [income] can be procured for them, lest they fall into disrepair and become a source of scandal (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 12: On those who do not give their offerings and gifts abundantly to churches or monasteries, but with boasting, [they give it] to other places (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 13: On chaste marriage and the lawfulness befitting households: how it was commanded that they be married lawfully and not like animals (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 14: On those who give themselves to the error of diviners and auguries and incantations and binding prayers and amulets and give themselves to one of the foreign mysteries and observe human palmomancy and the sound of birds (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 15: On those who lend at interest and are gluttonous to increase their possession with the usury which is foreign to the household [of faith] (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 16: On clerics and Sons of the Covenant who plan to increase their possessions by interest and usury (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 17: On clerics who are suspended [from ministry] by Bishops and Metropolitans, prohibited by the great synod, by the Patriarch and by the Bishops with him, or by the Patriarch alone when necessary, or by the Metropolitans and Bishops, members of his Eparchy (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 18: On those who are accursed and removed and cast out completely from their Priestly service, that they should not be received (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 19: On the person who is designated and chosen to be Archdeacon, indeed this one is the leader of the service. And on the responsibilities and orders entrusted to him by the Bishop's command (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 20: On the holy abodes of the churches and monasteries and the guest-houses which shall be entrusted to those leading them by the knowledge and command of the Bishop, the leader of that place (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 21: On those who are gathered and joined together to make a binding contract against the leaders and accuse their companions (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 22: On how it is fitting for the administration of the church to take charge of the property of little orphans to be guarded responsibly (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 23: On how it is not right for the ranks of the [Sons and Daughters of] the Covenant to assume the stewardship or guardianship or parentage by a decree which is not [the subject's] own and that therefore they should not receive divorcées (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 24: On a woman whose husband died and he made a will yet did not give command concerning the wife's dowry, whether she is authorized over her own dowry (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 25: On how Christians are not permitted to go to festivals for foreign deities and celebrate with them (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 26: On how Bishops and Metropolitans are not authorized to be summoned only to be impeded from coming (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 27: On those Christians who are sealed in marriage with those who are from other faiths, whether they are permitted [to go to] feasts in their villages under the authority of heretics, or to receive blessing from them (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 28: On how it is unfitting for clerics to eat and drink and to take part in banquets and taverns (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 29: On the orders and ranks of ecclesiastical ministries and on the honor which is due from the lower to the middle and from the middle to the upper and from the upper to that one canonically and patriarchally set over all (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 30: On the gathering consisting of Bishops of the Eparchies according to Metropolitan or of the Metropolitans and Bishops according to the Patriarch (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 31: The stipulation of the decree which the fathers made regarding the observation of these canons (Syriac) (FT) (GT
  • Participants (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • The Canons of Mar Isho'yahb I, Catholicos, which he made for Jacob, the Bishop of the island of Darai, which he wrote so that would be done for him in writing (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

    • First, a copy of the letter (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 1: When the Priest offers the host, how does he begin and what does he say and what is the order of the signing of the mysteries? (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 2: On that Priest who is serving as Priest, when is it fitting for him to receive the Eucharist and when is he designated to consecrate? (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 3: On when there is no authorized servant who can give the host to the Priest, and when there is no Priest or servant who can give him the Eucharist; who is commanded to take the Eucharist from the altar? (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 4: How and in what way is it proper for those who come to receive ordination into ecclesiastical ranks to be consecrated? (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 5: On those of the baptized and the Priests, the teachers of the faithful, who withhold the peace from one another in anger, not only outside the enclosure of the church, but also inside the divine temple and inside the place of reconciliation and goodwill (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 6: On that one who has sinned secretly and grieved secretly and feared to reveal it lest he come to shame and be overcome with affliction and shame and cruelties and by those who deride. Therefore, is there not perhaps a possible way for his correction and for him to receive healing and not perish? (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 7: On how it is not permitted for a Priest who has discord with someone to withhold the gift of the holy mysteries (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 8: If it is permissable for a Priest, can he anathematize himself through his own signature or seal without violent force by his own will? (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 9: If the anathema is established by the word of a Priest alone and he does not add to it, "By the word of God," [is it established] or not established? (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 10: If it is right for the faithful and the Priests to swear or not? (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 11: About a Priest who alone senses the follies of his fellow priests, how is this one supposed to deal with it? (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 12: About whether someone is authorized to receive interest and to demand usury, how should it be taken and when is it right to take? (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 13: On those who anathematize themselves or swear oaths: the Bishop has the authority to examine whether it was willingly or constrained, and to administer justice without hindrance and decide for them (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 14: After the departure [from this life] of one of the faithful, how should his possession be distributed if he did not make arrangements? (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 15: On those who do not give their offerings and hand over their vowed offerings and their gifts to the churches and to the monasteries of their regions, which are for the cleansing of their sins, according to the common law, but to outside temples (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 16: On whether a cleric is authorized to defer his honor to his friend in the church with regard to his rank, though he is more exalted than him (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 17: On how it is not permitted for that anointing oil, which is designated for propitiatory baptism, to be given to other needs except baptism (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 18: On the division of the talents which is to be given according to the ordination of ecclesiastical ranks, to those who serve at the altar: how much [is given] and how are they given according to the distribution of the gift of our Lord? (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 19: On the honor of the Lord's Day: Holy Sunday (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Question 20: Concerning what is not exceedingly pressing: whether one is to be rebuked who takes a wife among the barren women or if he is not to be rebuked (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
  • A statement of faith (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

X. The Synod of Catholicos Sabarisho' I (596 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]

  • The pact and agreements of the solitary brothers named after Bar Qitai (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • The letter of Mar Sabarisho', the Catholicos, to the solitaries in the monastery of Bar Qitai (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

XI. The Synod of Mar Gregory I (605 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]


Chabot Appendix III: After the Death of Gregory I (612 CE) [Back to Top]

After the death of Gregory I (612 CE), King Chosroes opposed the election of a new Patriarch. In his time, he ordered an assembly of the Bishops of the Nestorian church to have a discussion with the Miaphysite church over doctrinal controversies.

  • The assembly of the Bishops (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • A statement of the faith (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • The request of the fathers to the king (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • The agreements of the Orthodox against the Severan Theopaschites (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • Against those who confess only one nature or one person in the Messiah (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • Against those who say that God suffered and died in the flesh (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • Against those who question [whether] the Holy Virgin is the bearer of God or the bearer of man (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • Against those who accuse us of confessing that God is a Quaternity instead of a Trinity (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • Against those who accuse us of [holding to] a duality of sons (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • A reply concerning that which was questioned from the foundation of the faith, which the first teachers handed down. . .(Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • [Another] reply (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • A note of the writer (Syriac) (FT) (GT)


XII. The Synod of our Holy and Blessed Father, St. Mar George I, Catholicos, Patriarch (676 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]

  • Signatures (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • Canons

    • Canon 1: It is fitting that ecclesiastical leaders and teachers should speak an orthodox word of faith at every moment of teaching before the community, for they were established for this, namely, to make known the truth of Christianity and that the hearers of their teaching may prudently take hold of their confession (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 2: On all churches and monasteries of the faithful and beloved of God: how their buildings are to be built in a city or its district with the knowledge and agreement of the Bishop (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 3: On the election of ecclesiastical leaders, that they might be chosen because of an excellent way of life and knowledge of doctrine and orthodoxy of faith and aptitude for ministry. And they should not receive the apostolic ministry, in which is hidden the salvation of humanity, because of preference and favoritism and reprehensible gifts (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 4: On how it is unfitting for the Bishop to stoop down for small things: the stewardship of the church and the administration of things and expenses. But let him entrust the service of the administration of this to others who are faithful lest course accusation follow him by dangerous mouths (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 5: On how either the ecclesiastical ordination of Priests and Deacons, or the giving of the church or monastery which is necessary for their service are constrained to the Bishop lest anyone be permitted among the faithful to lay a hand on their management (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 6: On judgment for Christians, that it should be [done] in the church before the presence of those designated by the Bishop with the consensus of the community, by Priests and the faithful, and that they should not go outside the church, neither before pagans nor the unfaithful, to receive judgment (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 7: On how those who desire to enter into the clergy and receive ordination shall not be permitted to receive [it] by any donation, nor can they seek places by a foreign authority outside their Bishop, one not their own, to consecrate [them]. Afterwards, they would receive the permission for their service, that is, a station in chosen places, [but] with argument and contention. (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 8: On the requisitions which are fitting for clerics to seek from one another for entrance into the church. They should not seek according to the old custom except what the Bishop knows they are able to produce or give (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 9: On the Daughters of the Covenant, who are called virgins, what their service is in the church and what is required of their form (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 10: On how none of the clerics shall be permitted, without the command of the Bishop, to remove [someone] from his church and province (Syriac) (FT) (GT
    • Canon 11: On how it is fitting for a Bishop to take charge over those who are abandoned with [only] a small measure from their fathers so that with all fear of God he might protect their inheritance for them from dispersion until they reach the stature when they can take hold of their inheritance (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 12: On the hastening and disorder of those whom these grant the name and form of solitaries although they are far from virtue (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 13: On how a woman is not permitted to marry a man against the will of her parents and the mediation of the holy cross and the Priest who consecrates (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 14: On how it is unfitting for Christian women to be married to pagans, strangers to the fear of God (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 15: On the returning of the faithful to the church, which necessarily takes place at the appointed time in the evening and morning in the proper order fitting for the faithful (Syriac) (FT) (GT
    • Canon 16: On those who are defiled by taking two wives and transgress against the law of Christianity (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 17: On the disorder of those faithful who hold contempt for the honor of the holy mysteries (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 18: On the burial of the departed and on those who mourn outside the proper time (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 19: On the Bishop and the obligation of his honor and those faithful who are not permitted to exact tribute from him (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
  • A Letter of George, the Catholicos Patriarch of the East, to Mina, the Elder and Chorbishop, in the land of the Persians in which he makes known about the divinity and humanity of the Messiah. . .(Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • Mar George's defense from Patristic sources (Syriac) (FT) (GT)


XIII. The Synod of Mar Hananisho' II (775 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]


Chabot Appendix IV. The Synod of Mar Timothy I (790 CE) (Syriac) (FT) (GT) [Back to Top]

  • A Letter (Syriac) (FT) (GT)

  • Canons

    • Canon 1: When a Patriarch should depart from temporal life, the Bishop of Kashkar should go with his brethren, the Bishops of the chief Eparchy, to the principal provinces. . .(Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 2: Neither Bishops nor Metropolitans should have authority. . .outside the laws, to seek the seats or monasteries of the Patriarchate. . . (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 3: Whoever is not adorned with virtue. . .should neither be chosen nor brought forth for the fearful and divine service. . . (Syriac) (FT) (GT)
    • Canon 4: Any of the Bishops or solitaries or faithful who are accused of the heresy of Messalianism or anything else. . .let me be accursed. . .(Syriac) (FT) (GT
  • Signatures (Syriac) (FT) (GT)


Councils and Canon Law


Apostolic Constitutions (Didascalia Apostolorum) and Other Early Documents

Syriac-Roman Lawbook

Council of Ancyra

Council of Neocaesarea

Council of Nicaea

Synod of Gangra

Council of Antioch

Council of Laodicea

Council of Constantinople I

Council of Seleucia-Ktesiphon

Council of Ephesus II

Syrian Orthodox Canon Law

Church of the East Canon Law

Other Helpful Links


Works Cited


Apostolic Constitutions (Didascalia Apostolorum) and Other Early Documents [Back to Top]


Syriac-Roman Lawbook  [Back to Top]


Council of Ancyra (314 CE) [Back to Top]


Council of Neocaesarea (315 CE) [Back to Top]

Council of Nicaea (325 CE) [Back to Top]


Synod of Gangra (340 CE)  [Back to Top]


Council of Antioch (341 CE)  [Back to Top]


Council of Laodicea (363-364 CE)  [Back to Top]


First Council of Constantinople (381 CE) [Back to Top]


Council of Seleucia-Ktesiphon (410 CE) [Back to Top]


Council of Ephesus II (449 CE) [Back to Top]


Syriac Documents Relating to Canon Law in the Syrian Orthodox Church [Back to Top]


Syriac Documents Relating to Canon Law in the Church of the East [Back to Top]


Council of Chalcedon


Other Helpful Links [Back to Top]


Syriac Studies Introduction

NB: the bibliographies below are mostly presented in chronological order of publication.  ** Denotes useful introductory works. 

Works Cited


Histories of Syriac Literature

Historical Background

No single work available, but the following are important:

For the Islamic period:


Miscellaneous, and collections of articles


History of Syriac Studies

Text Series

Main relevant periodicals:





Earliest Syriac Christianity

Judaism and Early Syriac Christianity

Early Syriac Theology

Syriac Christianity at Edessa













MARA bar SARAPION, Letter to his Son

MENANDER, Sentences









Syriac into Greek






MARY, niece of Abraham


Greek into Syriac







Translation Technique

Some Individual Translators

6th Century

  • Sergius of Resh'aina
  • Probus(?)

7th Centry

  • Paul of Edessa [Gregory of Nazianzus]
  • Paul of Tella [Syrohexapla]
  • Thomas of Harkel [Harklean NT]
  • Severus Sebokht
  • Athanasius of Balad
  • Jacob of Edessa

9th Century

  • Hunayn ibn Ishaq
  • Ishaq ibn Hunayn
  • (and many others)


Poetry and the Bible in Syriac Tradition

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