Logos, Holy Spirit and Messiah: Aspects of Aphrahat's theology reconsidered

Aryeh Kofsky, Serge Ruzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims at reassessing Aphrahat's main theological views regarding both Trinitarian and Christological notions as they may be gleaned from the entire Aphrahatian corpus. Special emphasis is given to a comparative investigation of Aphrahat's positions on the divinity of Christ in different contexts - polemical and otherwise -and their ramifications for evaluating Aphrahat's essential outlook. We conclude that although some positions are clearly enhanced, modified and accentuated by the necessities of anti-Jewish polemics, a basic unity of thought nevertheless underlies Aphrahat's Demonstrations. Our analysis shows that Aphrahat's theology is essentially a hierarchic one. Although Aphrahat is clearly using a traditional Trinitarian terminology a lack of functional distinction between the logos and the Holy Spirit is apparent, resulting in a picture of a loose and undefined hierarchic relationship. The lack of a clear incarnation theology is coupled in Aphrahat with a marked predilection for Spirit Christology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-378
Number of pages32
JournalOrientalia Christiana Periodica
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Archaeology


Dive into the research topics of 'Logos, Holy Spirit and Messiah: Aspects of Aphrahat's theology reconsidered'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this