Campus Location

Abilene Campus

Date of Award

Fall 9-14-2016

Document Type



Ancient and Oriental Christianity

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Committee Chair

Jeff Childers

Second Committee Member

Kelli Gibson

Third Committee Member

Aaron Butts


The text that this thesis examines is most commonly referred to by modern scholars as the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Ezra (Ps.-Ezra). It is a historical apocalyptic text that claims authorship by the biblical character Ezra, but there is no question that it is the pseudonymous product of a much later Syriac-speaking Christian author who writes in response to the Arab conquests and subsequent consolidation of Arab political and religious dominance under the caliphate. Ps.-Ezra is a brief work, but an enigmatic one, and has received only scant scholarly attention. Although nineteenth- century translations based on three individual manuscripts were made into German, French, and English respectively, no critical edition or full-scale study based on multiple manuscripts has yet appeared.

The primary goal of this project, then, is to produce an edition of the Syriac Ps.-Ezra with a critical apparatus noting variants in the manuscript tradition. The edition is accompanied by an English translation in order to make Ps.-Ezra accessible to a wider range of scholars and students. To orient readers to the text, an introduction to and analysis of Ps.-Ezra is provided. In my approach, I am most interested in studying Ps.-Ezra as an example of the ways that Syriac-speaking Christians used the genre of apocalypse to reconcile their deeply held theological and historical expectations with their often different lived realities. In particular, the thesis highlights the ways Pseudo-Ezra used, reused, and reimagined sacred texts in order to respond to the theological challenges presented by Arab rule.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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