McConaughy, Daniel L. “Aphrahat on the Role of the Holy Spirit in the Christian Life.” Orientalia Christiana Periodica 86 (2020). (forthcoming).
Aphrahat wrote 337-345AD in Syriac from the Persian Empire and is the earliest orthodox Syriac writer. This article analyzes the Demonstrations of Aphrahat regarding the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian. Though much of what Aphrahat writes is with ascetics in mind, this research shows that what Aphrahat writes about the role of the Holy Spirit applys not only to the bnay qyama, “sons of the covenant,” the ascetic elite, but to all Christians. This is consistent with the Syriac Liber Graduum, the Book of Steps, written a few decades after Aphrahat. Aphrahat’s profuse use of Scripture allows him to resonate with the modern reader and makes him relevant in the 21st century.
Pontifical Oriental Institute (website: http://www.orientaliachristiana.it/orientalia-christiana-periodica.htm)