Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Emiliano Fiori - Theodore of Mospuestia's Commentary on Paul: attempts at the restoration of the Syriac version

Theodore of Mopsuestia’s Commentary on Paul have been preserved only by scarce fragments in the original Greek text; nevertheless, it can be read in an edited Latin translation of the 6th century and in a Syriac translation of the 5th century. This version is not preserved as such, but has been anthologized by later Syriac commentators of the Bible, who often quoted long passages from the Syriac translation of Theodore in their own commentaries or compilations of commentaries. We can then single out quotations from Theodore by comparing the Syriac texts with the Latin version. A remarkable amount of citations can be drawn from one manuscript in particular, the (olim) Diyarbakir 22, containing an anthology of commentaries on the whole Bible from two sources: Theodore of Mopsuestia himself and a 9th century Syriac exegete, Isho‘dad of Merw. This research has a crucial reason of importance: whereas the Latin translation of Theodore’s Commentaries on Paul does not contain the commentaries on the main Epistles, namely Romans and 1-2 Corinthians, there is surely a great amount of passages from them in the exegesis of Diyarabakir 22 on these letters: this will unveil, for the first time ever, relevant parts of Theodore’s exegesis on central Pauline texts, and it will be possible because, thanks to the fact that Isho‘dad’s commentary on the major epistles survives, we can isolate and exclude all the passages stemming from the latter; what remains, should be Theodore’s exegesis. In my short communication, I will provide some examples of this work of restoring of Theodore’s lost exegesis.

No comments:

Post a Comment