Synods of the Church of the East

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Syriac Text: J. –B. Chabot, Synodicon orientale ou recueil de synodes Nestoriens (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1902).


Part 1 – Synod of Mar Isaac (410 CE) – In Progress – Last Updated: July 10, 2018 – Translated by Mark Steven Francois


With the help of the living God, we are writing out the synodicals which were decreed from time to time by our holy fathers in the region of the East and the canons which were decreed by Mar Marutha, bishop of Maipherkat, when he went down to Persia[1] in an embassy in the days of Yazdgird the king[2] and in the days of Mar Isaac, the Catholicos, who resided in Seleucia[3] and Ctesiphon.

The account which concerns[4] (a) the ones who stood up in the assembly of bishops, which was the first in the land of the Persians, (b) the canons and rites which were set down in the west in the realm of the Romans by the bishops who are there, which the bishops who are in the land of the Persians also agreed with, (c) these [canons] which those ones also by their own authority set down and settled concerning the rites of the bishops and metropolitans, concerning the patriarch, concerning the order of the clergy, concerning the admonitions which were set down for those in ecclesiastical ministry, concerning the confession of faith which our fathers, the 318 bishops, to which they also added these discourses which they received and agreed to and ratified concerning all the rest of the canons which were set down by their words and with the subscriptions of their hands – those bishops of the Persians which were forty in number.

(Further translation of this section will be added as the translation progresses)

Mark Steven Francois

[1] Syr. ܠܒܝܬ ܦܪ̈ܣܝܐ, “to the house of the Persians”.

[2] I.e. Yazdgird I (r. 399-429). See Touraj Daryaee, Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (London: I.B. Tauris), 21.

[3] Syr. ܒܣܠܝܩ, “in Saliq”.

[4] The letters (a), (b), and (c) are not in the original text but have been added to avoid having to break the sentence in Syriac into smaller sentences in English. In the Syriac text they are represented by the word ܘܥܠ (“and concerning”), which occurs before each section.