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Photo of passage about St Theodore of Antioch from first edition, page 184
Photo of passage about St Theodore of Antioch from second edition, page 314, with far more detail than first edition
Photios Kontoglou's Platytera icon of the Virgin MaryPhoto of passage in second edition, page 546, that refers to the Virgin Mary as "beyond compare, and above the order of created beings"

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What’s New in the Second Edition: 5. Additions

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Additions to the Second Edition of The Ascetical Homilies

Besides the addition of the Glossary in Appendix C, many passages in the Homilies have been expanded to reflect the full Syriac text, when the Greek had abbreviated them.

For instance, above left shows a passage in Homily 37 from the first edition as translated from the Greek. Below that is the same passage on p. 314 of the second edition, translated from the Syriac.

Besides giving more details, it shows St. Isaac’s acquaintance with the Church historians Socrates and Rufinus – in fact his account almost matches that given in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. II, p. 89. On the following page a footnote that mentions this also corrects the date on which St. Theodore is commemorated – November 24, not 30.

The second edition also presents two homilies newly translated from Bedjan’s Syriac printed text that were omitted from the first edition.

Neither homily is very long. The shorter of the two – Homily III in Appendix A – has a single passage that speaks of the Mother of God in such a way that St. Isaac rarely does, and refutes the commonplace that he was a Nestorian who did not venerate the Theotokos.

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