Theodore bar Koni

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Theodore bar Koni wrote in the late 8th century, and belonged to the Church of the East (Nestorian). He was a teacher at the school of Kashkar in Beth 'Aramaye (near the Arab city of Wasit). According to Assemani's Bibliotheca Orientalis (ii.440; iii.1,198) he was promoted by his uncle, the Nestorian Catholicos John IV, to the bishopric of Lashom in 893. He was the author of the Liber scholiorum.


The Book of the Scholion

The only work to survive is the Book of the Scholion, which was completed in 792. This consists of 11 memre.

1-5 consist of specific questions concerning the Old Testament; 6-9 similar questions about the New Testament. All these are in the order of the books of the bible. Included are a number of sections on philosophical terms, with the result that the work as a whole can serve as an introductory biblically-based text book on theology and philosophy.

Memre 10 and 11 are probably later additions. 10 is an apology for the Christians, directed at a Moslem audience. 11 is an account of various heresies, including some important quotations from Mandaean texts.

The work has reached us in two different recensions, which may both be authorial.


Latin and French translations exist.

  • "Liber scholiorum", ed. Addai Scher, CSCO vol.55, 69. Paris:E Typographeo Reipublicae (1912) 2 vols. Issued as: CSCO. Scriptores Syri. Series 2 ; t.65-66. Syriac text, with Latin trans.
  • Theodore bar Konai, "Livre des scolies : recension de Séert", ed. Robert Hespel & René Draguet, CSCO vol. 431-432, Scriptores Syri t. 187-188. Lovanii:E. Peeters (1982) 2 vols. ISBN 2801701742; ISBN 2801701793 (v.2) Translation of the Seert version of Liber scholiorum in the edition prepared by A. Scher (Paris, 1910-1912) Contents: 1. Mimrè I-V; 2. Mimrè VI-XI. Syriac, French tr.
  • "Livre des scolies (recension d'Urmiah)", Robert [Editor], CSCO v. 447-448 ; Scriptores Syri t. 193-194. Lovanii:Peeters (1983). 2 vols. Syriac/French. Syriac catechisms.
  • "Livre des scolies (recension d'Urmiah) : les collections annexées par Sylvain de Qardu", ed. Robert Hespel, & Silvanus, Episkapa de-Kardu, CSCO vol. 464-465, Scriptores Syri t. 197-198. Lovanii:E. Peeters (1984) 2 vols. Syriac text, French translation

Other works

He also wrote an ecclesiastical history, and some minor works. All these appear to be lost.