Born in Central Asia, Isho'dad of Merv (fl. ninth century) became the bishop Hedatha in modern Iraq, and was a favored candidate for the office of Catholicos of the Church of the East in 852 CE—an appointment he did not receive. Isho'dad would be remembered instead, as one of the leading East Syrian biblical commentators.
As a representative of the exegetical tradition of the Church of the East, Isho'dad was the heir of earlier Syriac theologians, especially Ephrem and Theodore of Mopsuestia. His commentaries on the Gospels, seen by an earlier generation of scholars to be of great critical value, now stand poised to contribute to increasing interests in the history of exegesis and the history of Christianity in the East.
This edition and translation of The Commentaries of Isho'dad of Merv, by Margaret Dunlop Gibson (1843-1920), first appeared in 1903 and was heralded then as a monumental contribution expected to bring much deserved attention to “a long neglected Father of the Eastern Church.” A century later, Gibson’s unsurpassed rendering of Isho'dad’s commentaries remains as valuable as ever.