Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries

By Everett Ferguson | Go to book overview

31. Writers in Syriac in the Fourth Century:
Ephraem the Syrian

Ephraem, who was born about 306 and died in 373, is the classic writer of Syriacspeaking Christianity. Baptized as an adult,1 he became a deacon in Nisibis before Persia took control of the city in 363, when he moved to Edessa. Ephraem’s poetic and metaphorical language associates a rich imagery with the meaning of baptism, and his allusions give a confirmation of baptismal practices.2


Typology of Baptism

Ephraem’s poetic imagination found a continuity of symbolism in nature and in scripture.3 Representative of his imaginative speech is the statement, “Our Lord lives in the bread, in the baptismal water, and in the stones of the church” (Hymns against Heresies 42.9).4 Two common types of baptism in the early church — the flood and the exodus — are little developed by Ephraem. But with reference to Noah’s ark, he says,

1. Hymns against Heresies 3.13, a triple immersion.

2. Georges Saber, “La typologie sacramentaire et baptismale de saint Ephrem,” Parole de l’Orient 4 (1973): 73–96; Georges Saber, La théologie baptismale de Saint Ephrem (Kaslik, Lebanon: Université Saint-Esprit, 1974); E. Beck, “Le baptême chez Saint Ephrem,” L’Orient Syrien 1 (1956): 111–136; Baby Varghese, Les onctions baptismales dans la tradition syrienne, Corpus scriptorum christianorum orientalium 512 (Louvain: Peeters, 1989), pp. 43–57.

3. Tanios Bou Mansour, La pensée symbolique de Saint Ephrem le Syrien (Kaslik, Lebanon: L’Université Saint-Esprit, 1988), especially pp. 353–377 on types and symbols of baptism; Saber, “La typologie sacramentaire et baptismale de saint Ephrem.” Note Saber’s comment that between nature and the Bible and between the Old Testament and the New Testament each revelation surpasses the preceeding without destroying it but continuing and assuming it (p. 90).

4. Saber, La théologie baptismale, p. 31. Unless otherwise credited, I give in English Saber’s French translations.

-499-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 953

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.