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Texts from Christian Late Antiquity

TeCLA (Texts from Christian Late Antiquity) is a series presenting ancient Christian texts both in their original languages and with accompanying contemporary English translations.

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Jacob of Sarug’s Homilies on the Nativity

Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug
Translation and Introduction by Thomas Kollamparampil
ISBN: 978-1-60724-139-3
This volume collects Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) sermons on the nativity. Always one of the highlights of the liturgical year, Jacob welcomes the Christmas season with gorgeous poetry that touches on all parts of God’s plan and the miracle of his Son being born among us. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on the Ascension of Our Lord

Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug
Translation and Introduction by Thomas Kollamparampil
ISBN: 978-1-60724-141-6
In Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily on the Ascension of our Lord, Jacob brings his understanding of the saving action of Christ to fullest poetic expression. Jacob describes how the whole of creation, starting from the beginning of history, is redeemed by Christ’s action as he reclaims his rightful place in the heavens. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on the Holy Sunday of the Pentecost

Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug
Translation and Introduction by Thomas Kollamparampil
ISBN: 978-1-59333-937-1
This edition of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily on Pentecost draws a comparison between the Upper Room where the disciples receive the Holy Spirt and the Tower of Babel. The division of the tongues at Babel was a sign that the Good News would be spoken in all tongues. The One who divided the tongues at Babel gave the tongues of fire as well. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on Jephthah’s Daughter

Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug
Translation and Introduction by Susan Ashbrook Harvey & Ophir Münz-Manor
ISBN: 978-1-60724-071-6
This edition of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily on Jephthah’s daughter invisages this single, virginal female as a prefiguration of Christ. Jacob also discusses the history of blood sacrifice and on the qualities that render Jephthah’s action priestly. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

The Syriac Book of Steps 1

Syriac Text and English Translation
Translation and Introduction by Robert A. Kitchen & Martien F. G. Parmentier
ISBN: 978-1-59333-978-4
The Syriac Book of Steps collects 30 memre by an anonymous late 4th century author in Persia. It describes the struggle of an actual Christian community, not an idealized one, to live a life in the pursuit of perfection in the midst of a hostile culture. The author details the aspirations and standards of the two ranks of Christians prior to the advent of monasticism: the Upright—married people who work and perform acts of charity—and the Perfect who are celibate, do not work, but live a life of prayer, wandering through the region teaching and mediating conflicts.

Jacob of Sarug’s Homilies on the Six Days of Creation (The First Day)

The First Day
Edited and Translated by Edward G Mathews Jr
ISBN: 978-1-60724-323-6
Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily constitutes the first example of a Hexameron, or Commentary on the Six Days of Creation, in Syriac literature. This edition presents Jacob’s comments on the first day, Gen. 1:1-5. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on Simon Peter, when our Lord said ‘Get behind me, Satan’

Translation and Introduction by Adam Carter McCollum
ISBN: 978-1-60724-214-7
Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily on Simon Peter, when our Lord said, “Get behind me Satan!” (Matt 16:23) touches the themes of Jesus’ divinity and death, warfare with Satan, the harrowing of hell, and his relationship with Peter. Peter’s rebuke of Jesus’ willingness to die gives Jesus (through Jacob) the occasion to explain what his death will accomplish. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on the Tower of Babel

Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug
Translation and Introduction by Aaron Michael Butts
ISBN: 978-1-60724-000-6
This edition of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily on the Tower of Babel develops an extended word-play between “morduto” ‘rebellion’ and “marduto” ‘discipline.’ As is characteristic of Jacob, the characters, their personalities, and their motivations are developed far more than they are in the biblical narrative. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on the Veil on Moses’ Face

Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug
Translation and Introduction by Sebastian P. Brock
ISBN: 978-1-59333-644-8
This edition of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily on the Veil of Moses asks what the veil means. Jacob finds the hermeneutical key in Paul’s exegesis of Gen. 2:24 – that the man and the woman becoming one symbolizes Christ and the Church. The bride must wear a veil until such time as her bridegroom comes to remove it at their marriage ceremony. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

John of Tella’s Profession of Faith

The Legacy of a Sixth-Century Syrian Orthodox Bishop
Translation and Introduction by Volker Menze & Kutlu Akalın
ISBN: 978-1-59333-843-5
John became bishop of Tella in 519, but left for exile only two years later when Justin I enforced the Council of Chalcedon which Syrian Orthodox Christians refused to accept. John became one of Justinian’s most dangerous ecclesiastical opponents by ordaining thousands of deacons and priests who formed the first generation of the Syrian Orthodox hierarchy. In the present text John lays out his faith in a way which gives an inside view of how a non-Chalcedonian bishop of the sixth century located himself and his co-religionists within the Christian tradition and how he understood the foundation of the Church.

Jacob of Sarug’s Homilies on Elijah

Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug
Translation and Introduction by Stephen A. Kaufman
ISBN: 978-1-59333-942-5
This volume collects all of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) extant homilies on the prophet Elijah. In these homilies Jacob shows a remarkable sensivity to the human motivations of the biblical characters which was quite rare in ancient biblical exegesis. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on the Presentation of our Lord

Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug
Translation and Introduction by Thomas Kollamparampil
ISBN: 978-1-59333-936-4
This edition of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily on the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple develops the character of Simeon. The author himself asks Simeon how we should understand his supplication. Simeon explains his wonder at Jesus offering the turtle doves, creatures which Jesus himself fashioned with the Father, presaging Jesus’ self-offering. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on Palm Sunday

Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug
Translation and Introduction by Thomas Kollamparampil
ISBN: 978-1-59333-737-7
This edition of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily for Palm Sunday discusses Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. The homily admonishes the hearers to perceive the benevolence of the divine self-abasement and recognize the Mighty One on the humble streets of Jerusalem. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on Epiphany

Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug
Translation and Introduction by Thomas Kollamparampil
ISBN: 978-1-59333-736-0
This edition of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily on Epiphany discusses John the Baptist's role in washing the church, the bride of Christ, preparing and sanctifying her for the Bridegroom. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

Jacob of Sarug’s Homilies on the Resurrection

Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug
Translation and Introduction by Thomas Kollamparampil
ISBN: 978-1-59333-935-7
This edition of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homilies on the Resurrection contrast the Friday of sufferings and the Sunday of resurrection. At the resurrection heaven and earth become reconciled, Sheol is uprooted, and the tomb of the Bridegroom becomes the bridal chamber. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on the Transfiguration of Our Lord

Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug
Translation and Introduction by Thomas Kollamparampil
ISBN: 978-1-59333-934-0
This edition of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily on the Transfiguration emphasizes the unity of the Old and New Testament. Jacob focuses on the symbolism of the apostles Jesus brings with him. Moses, the head of prophecy, and John, the beauty of apostleship, come together and Elijah and Simon are joined so that the keys Peter received over creation might be ratified. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on the Judgment of Solomon

Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug
ISBN: 978-1-59333-972-2
This edition of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily on the story of Solomon and the two harlots imagines the emotional state of the new king Solomon as he sits on his throne uncertain of his ability to rule and judge. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.

The Life of Severus by Zachariah of Mytilene

ISBN: 978-1-59333-841-1
This biography of Severus, the patriarch of Antioch from 512-518 CE, attributed to his schoolmate Zachariah of Mytilene, gives unique information about life in Mediterranean region in the second half of the 5th century. These two young men from wealthy families became involved with a Christian movement, the "philoponoi," "those devoted to work" who combined asceticism with theological study. The work, originally in Greek, survives only in Syriac, which this volume presents alongside the first English translation of it. It is an important source for studies on Ancient Biography, Late Antiquity, and Early Christianity.

The Letters of John of Dalyatha

ISBN: 1-59333-341-2
John of Dalyatha (690-780 CE) was a monk from a monastery near the Turkey-Iraq border. After living in the monastery for only seven years, he received permission to live a solitary life in the over 9,000 ft high mountains of Dalyatha where he spent most of his life. When he became too old to live on his own, he came down from the mountains, formed a community around himself and wrote these works. In them, John outlines the life itinerary of those who are baptized, the "Way of Wonder" - leading to the vision of God.

The Wisdom of Isaac of Nineveh

A Bilingual Edition
ISBN: 1-59333-335-8
From one of the most thought-provoking writers in the monastic tradition, this volume contains 153 short, contemplative sayings of St. Isaac of Nineveh (fl. 661-681 CE) in their original Syriac with facing English translation. St. Isaac was ordained bishop of Nineveh but resigned his post only five months later and became a monastic hermit in the mountains of southeastern Iraq. This work speaks to believing Christians today as well as scholars wishing to learn more about the Eastern monastic tradition.