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Ephrem the Syrian's Hymns on the Unleavened Bread


Translation and Introduction by J. Edward Walters
In this set of homilies Ephrem (306-373) invites the reader into a world of symbolic interpretation filled with imagination brimming beneath the surface of word-plays, alliteration, and typological comparisons. These hymns thrust the reader into the middle of a context in which Christians and Jews maintain competing practices of a Passover service to the extent that Ephrem feels the need to distinguish between the symbol and the reality. These homilies are presented in their Syriac original alongside an annotated English translation.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0159-3
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Dec 10,2012
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 117
Languages: English, Syriac
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0159-3
$41.00
$28.70

The fourth-century Syriac author Ephrem the Syrian left behind a large corpus of “hymns” on various topics that provide key insights into a unique Syriac expression of Christianity along the volatile border of the Roman and Persian Empires. The set of hymns presented here provides a fascinating study of Syriac Christianity because Ephrem invites the reader into a world of symbolic interpretation filled with imagination brimming beneath the surface of word-plays, alliteration, and typological comparisons. These hymns also thrust the reader into the middle of a fourth-century context in which Christians and Jews maintain competing practices of a Passover service to the extent that Ephrem feels the need to distinguish between the symbol and the reality.

The fourth-century Syriac author Ephrem the Syrian left behind a large corpus of “hymns” on various topics that provide key insights into a unique Syriac expression of Christianity along the volatile border of the Roman and Persian Empires. The set of hymns presented here provides a fascinating study of Syriac Christianity because Ephrem invites the reader into a world of symbolic interpretation filled with imagination brimming beneath the surface of word-plays, alliteration, and typological comparisons. These hymns also thrust the reader into the middle of a fourth-century context in which Christians and Jews maintain competing practices of a Passover service to the extent that Ephrem feels the need to distinguish between the symbol and the reality.

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Contributor Biography

J. Walters

James Edward Walters (PhD in Early Christianity, Princeton Theological Seminary) is currently an Assistant Professor of Religion at Rochester College in Rochester Hills, MI. He works primarily with the early Syriac tradition and is interested in late antique Christianity, the reception and transmission of Scripture, and ancient Mediterranean religions.

  • Table of Contents (page 7)
  • Preface (page 9)
  • Acknowledgements (page 11)
  • List of Abbreviations (page 13)
  • Introduction (page 15)
    • The Text (page 16)
    • Unique Features of These Hymns (page 17)
      • Typological Comparison of the Jewish Passover and the Christian Pascha (page 17)
      • The 'People' and the 'Peoples' - The Depiction of the Jews (page 19)
    • The Translation (page 21)
    • Resources for the Paschal Hymns: Editions, Translations, Studies (page 22)
  • Text and Translation (page 25)
  • Index of Biblical References (page 115)
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