St Isaac the Syrian: The Triumph of the Kingdom over Gehenna

Here is an interesting article showing how the early church father Isaac of Syria viewed Hell.
[from Orthodox Wiki]



Our venerable father Isaac of Nineveh, also known as Isaac of Syria, is a 7th century saint known for his strict asceticism and ascetic writings.
St. Isaac was born in the region of Qatar on the western shore of the Persian Gulf. When still quite young, he entered a monastery with his brother. His fame grew as a holy man and teacher. He was subsequently ordained bishop of Nineveh, the former capital of Assyria to the north, but requested to abdicate after only five months. He then went south to the wilderness of Mount Matout, a refuge for anchorites. There he lived in solitude for many years studying the Scripture, but eventually blindness and old age forced him to retire to the monastery of Rabban Shabur, where he reposed and was buried. His feast day is January 28.

Eclectic Orthodoxy

“Those who are punished in Gehenna are scourged by the scourge of love”—these words of St Isaac the Syrian have profoundly influenced the Orthodox understanding of hell and damnation. I suspect that most readers of St Isaac’s writings have long assumed that this mystical insight represents the apex of his reflections on hell. But in 1983 Sebastian Brock discovered in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, the complete text of a group of discourses that were virtually unknown in the Byzantine and Latin Churches. Unlike the well known homilies belonging to the First Part, translated into English under the title The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian, these other discourses had never been translated into Greek nor into any other language (except perhaps Arabic). That they existed was known to scholars, but the one extant text in Iran was lost in 1918. And then Brock made his remarkable discovery, and…

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