Babai the Great – Liber de Unione

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Syriac Text: A. Vaschalde (ed.), Babai Magni: Liber de Unione (Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium 79, Scriptores Syri 34; Leuven: Peeters, 1915). Translated by Mark Steven Francois.

The Treatises of Mar Babai concerning the deity, concerning the humanity, and concerning the person[1] in whom the two are united.[2]

By your power, O Messiah, our hope, we are beginning to copy out[3] a discourse concerning the deity, concerning the humanity, and concerning the person in which these two are most venerably united,[4] which happened for our salvation, which is composed in separate chapters by our master, Mar Babai, head of the great monastery on Mount Izla, at the persuasion of the members of our monastery.[5] Our Lord, help me to finish it by the grace which comes from you, Amen.

[1] Syr. ܦܪܨܘܦܐ = πρόσωπον, “person”.

[2] Syr. ܘܥܠ ܦܪܨܘܦܐ ܕܚܕܝܘܬܐ, lit. “and concerning the person of the union.”

[3] Syr. ܠܡܟܬܒ. The person responsible for writing this is clearly a scribe rather than Mar Babai himself.

[4] ܘܥܠ ܦܪܨܘܦܐ ܕܚܕܝܘܬܐ ܗܕܐ ܣܓܝܕܬܐ, lit. “and concerning the person of this adorable (i.e. worthy of worship) union.”

[5] Syr. ܒܦܝܣܐ ܕܝܠܗܘܢ ܕܐܚ̈ܐ, lit. “at their persuasion of the brothers”. The term “brothers” refers to the monks of the monastery.

(Further translation will be added as the translation progresses)