Original Research

Ephrem the Syrian’s hymn On the Crucifixion 4

Philippus (Phil) J. Botha
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 3 | a3012 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i3.3012 | © 2015 Philippus (Phil) J. Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 April 2015 | Published: 18 September 2015

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Philippus (Phil) J. Botha, Department of Ancient Languages and Cultures, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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This article offers a translation of the hymn  De Crucifixione 4 by Ephrem, the Syrian theologian, which forms part of his cycle of hymns for the celebration of Easter. The symbolic interpretation of particularly the tearing of the temple veil in this hymn – together with the cosmic signs which occurred at the death of Jesus – is investigated. An attempt is made to correlate Ephrem’s fierce anti-Jewish polemics with the intentions of the authors of the Synoptic Gospels and with Ephrem’s circumstances at the probable time of composition of the hymn.


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