Selections from the Book of the Holy Hierotheos with Commentary


This manuscript contains commentary on the Ktābā d-Irotē’os (Book of the holy Hierotheos), an early sixth-century theological epic on the hidden mysteries of the Divine, which is attributed to Stephen Bar Sudayli. The commentary is by Gregory Bar ‘Ebraya (also seen as Bar Hebraeus, 1226–86), who was a Syriac Orthodox bishop and a Syrian mystic. Both Bar Sudayli and his book were liable to suspicion in the Orthodox Church. This was because of the work’s associations with Origenism and with Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (both linked to attempts to reconcile Platonism and the Scriptures, beliefs later seen as heretical) and with Evagrius of Pontus, an early church father of great rhetorical gifts who became a monk and ascetic. The book retained its popularity, however, and later commentaries such as this one seemed to underline its closeness to rather than distance from Orthodox thinking. In this manuscript, which is undated but probably was copied as late as the 20th century, section numbers align the text and commentary.

Last updated: May 11, 2015