The School of Antioch

Biblical Theology and the Church in Syria

by Vahan S. Hovhanessian (Volume editor)
©2016 Monographs 136 Pages


The School of Antioch: Biblical Theology and the Church in Syria contains the latest conclusions and findings of academic research by specialized biblical scholars in biblical theology of the Church in the East commonly referred to as the School of Antioch. This collection of essays will be of special interest to scholars of theology and religion, including those interested in the fields of hermeneutics, Apocrypha, Chrysostom, Orthodox Eastern Christianity, and Eastern Christianity.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the Author
  • About the Book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • Exegesis for John Chrysostom: Preaching and Teaching the Bible
  • Biblical Fragments from the Christian Library of Turfan, an Eastern Outpost of the Antiochian Tradition
  • John Chrysostom and the Johannine Jews
  • Theōria as a Hermeneutical Term in the Commentaries of Theodore of Mopsuestia and Theodoret of Cyrus
  • The Commentary of St. Ephrem the Syrian on the Apocryphal Third Corinthians
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index



Members of the unit “Bible in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Traditions” of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) are happy to present this book into the hands of scholars and students of biblical studies, as a new volume in the series “Bible in the Christian Orthodox Tradition” of the Peter Lang International Academic Publishers.

As in the previous volumes of the series, this book offers the latest scholoarly findings and conclusions in the field of biblical theology and research from the perspective, and based on the traditions, of the hisrtocial Orthoox Churches which read, studied, taught and commented on the Bible in their native languages. In this volume we focus on the biblical hermeneutics, criticism, interpretation and theology of the Church of Antioch: the Church that was born and nurtured in the historical Roman province of Syria-Palestina.

Thanks are due to all the scholars who contributed to this volume. Special thanks to Professor Paul Nadim Tarazi for his contribution to this volume and for being the inspiration behind the creation and continuation of our SBL group.

As the objective of our SBL unit is, may this volume function as a bridge introducing contemporary readers to the richness of the biblical theology of the centuries-old Churches of the East, the majority of whose theological literature remains unearthed until today. At the same time, may it be an opportutnity to invite scholars to explore the interpretive, hermenutical and exegetical tools used by these churches and to incorporate them into the contemporary critical approaches of biblical criticism.

+Vahan S. Hovhanessian, PhD
Series Editor

← VII | VIII → ← VIII | IX →



AoF  Altorientalische Forschungen
AsMaj  Asia Major: Third Series
AWLMJ  Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur in Mainz
JA  Journal asiatique,
NKGWG  Nachrichten von der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen. Philologisch-historische Klasse
OCP  Orientalia Christiana Periodica
OstStud  Ostkirchliche Studien
PBA  Proceedings of the British Academy
ROC  La revue de l'orient chrétien
SBL  Society for Biblical Literature
SPAW  Sitzungsberichte der preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
UAJ  Ural-altaische Jahrbücher
WJKP  Westminster John Knox Press
ZDMG  Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft

← IX | X → ← X | 1 →




The essays in this volume on The Bible in the Orthodox Tradition reflect the principles and perspectives of the “school” of Antioch (4th-5th centuries). A brief summary of contemporary scholarship on Antiochian1heremeneutics will provide the context for the collection of essays that appear in this volume.

Since the early 1990s, there has been a rising interest in Antiochene exegesis among biblical and patristic scholars. Brevard Childs observed the motivations and issues that have driven scholars to revise their understanding of Antiochian exegesis:

Particularly misleading in reference to the Antiochenes has been the contrast between the spiritual concerns of the Alexandrians and the historical concerns of the Antiochenes. Recent scholarship, summarized by Bradley Nassif in 1993 (“The Spiritual Exegesis of Scripture”), has therefore focused on the ‘spiritual’ exegesis of Scripture in the school of the Antiochenes. The crucial term around which the debate has revolved is the term θεωρíα, the spiritual hermeneutic at whose center lies the dual concern for both the historical and a Christological reading of the Bible.”2

The 1993 article to which Childs refers was subsequently updated in my essay “’Spiritual Exegesis’ in the School of Antioch” in New Perspectives on Historical Theology: Essays in Memory of John Meyendorff.3 That essay summarizes the contributions of only nine scholars (up to 1996) who had written on this subject over the past century, and critiques the secondary literature in which the Antiochian θεωρíα (theoria) appears. I concluded it by identifying six areas for future research on Antiochian θεωρíα. I summarize them here to provide direction to the ongoing work of modern-day students and scholars who might wish to take up this much needed area of research. The first and sixth items in the following list are currently underway, but the rest remains to be done in a doctor’s or master’s thesis: ← 1 | 2 →


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2016 (February)
Exegesis Teaching the bible Theodore of Mopsuestia Syrien Preaching Theodoret of Cyrus
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2016. 136 pp.

Biographical notes

Vahan S. Hovhanessian (Volume editor)

Bishop Vahan S. Hovhanessian, Primate of the Armenian Orthodox Church in France, holds a PhD in biblical studies from Fordham University, New York. He is also Chairman of the unit «Bible in Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Tradition» of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). He is currently an Honorary Fellow at the University of Cardiff, United Kingdom.


Title: The School of Antioch
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138 pages