Dr. Edward G. Mathews, Jr., currently Scholar-in-Residence at St. Nersess for the Spring 2006 semester, will speak on the topic, "Saint Ephrem on the Holy Cross" on Monday, May 8, 2006.
St. Ephrem the Syrian, known in Armenian as Yeprem Asori, was so popular among Armenians that he was practically a native son. His vast writings seem to have been required reading in some of the great medieval Armenian monastic schools. In Armenian, his commentaries on nearly every book of the Bible survive, either in full or in part, as well as two collections of hymns that have not survived in their original Syriac. What little is known of the Armenian biblical commentary tradition shows a very clear debt to Ephrem. Armenian translations of his biography suggest that Ephrem's life was a model for Armenian monks; certain stories told of him preserve a memory of Ephrem as a divine gift to the universal church.
An acclaimed specialist in Armenian and Syriac languages and literature, Dr. Mathews has also translated several works of St. Ephrem from Syriac and Armenian into English. St. Ephrem wrote exclusively in Syriac, a dialect of the language Jesus spoke. Yet many of St. Ephrem's works survive only in fifth-century Armenian translations. Dr. Mathews is an authority on this Ephrem literature preserved only in Armenian. He is currently teaching courses in New Testament, Armenian Church Fathers and Syriac at St. Nersess.
Dr. Mathews' lecture is free of charge, open to all, and will take place at the Seminary at 7:30PM. A reception will follow the lecture.