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Before Homily 9, p. 71,After Homily 9, p. 189,
Before Homily 52, p. 253,
After Homily 52, p. 390,

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What’s New in the Second Edition: 4. Revisions

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Textual Revisions

Besides the textual corrections to the Ascetical Homilies mentioned on the previous page, we made many stylistic revisions for smoother syntax, greater clarity, and better rendering of the meaning.

Saint Isaac’s writings are difficult enough as they are. We exerted every effort to revise every piece of syntax that seemed convoluted beyond what was necessary, all diction that hindered understanding, every possible obstacle to comprehension that could be removed while remaining true to the original.

At left are two examples out of many where simply following the syntax of both the Greek and the Syriac more strictly rendered the meaning more faithfully and made it easier to understand.

In the “Before” version “so it was also with the sons of Adam and Eve” sounds as though it is referring to historical incidents in the Book of Genesis, but it isn’t; it is enunciating a general law that is timeless and universal.

The needlessly clumsy syntax of the first sentence hinders comprehension. More than this, breaking up complex sentences into smaller independent sentences sometimes makes them easier to grasp, but here it destroys the interrelation of thoughts that requires dependent clauses to the make the relationship plain.

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