Isho` bar Nun

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Isho` bar Nun (ca. 744-1 April 828) was an East Syriac writer who became Catholicos.[1]


He was born at Bet Gabbare on the river Tigris, near Mosul. He studied with Timothy I under Abraham bar Dashandad. Then he taught at the School in Seleucia-Ctesiphon, but soon left to become a monk at the monastery of Mar Abraham on the mountain of Izla. Later he was active in Baghdad, and then for a long period in Mosul.

It is not certain whether he is the same person as the Isho`dad bar Nun, bishop of Ram Hormizd, who is mentioned in the letters of Timothy I. He was consecrated as Catholicos on 6 July 823.


His surviving works are as follows. Only a few have been published.

  • Select Questions on the Old and New Testaments ET for some of those on the Pentateuch. This may be only a selection from a larger work, now lost.
  • Juridical decisions concerning marriage and inheritance, etc. GT
  • A grammatical work.
  • Consolatory homilies (only fragments survive)
  • Letters to the periodeutes Ishaq of Beth Qatraye, and to the deacon Makarios, on liturgical matters.
  • Four questions, on works of the Solitary Fathers.

Note: Ignace Dick in "Un continuateur arabe de St Jean Damascene : Theodore Abu Qurrah, la personne et son milieu" 3rd part, P 120 note 18 (P. 37 in my doc) indicates that the nestorian "Abd-Isho" who is supposed to have met Abu Qurrah and Abu Raïta at a muslim prince court could be Isho bar Nun. (The meeting is "described" pp 28-29 in my docs = part 2, pp 330-331)

-- mon blog :


  • Select questions on the Pentateuch: E. G. Clarke (1962)
  • Juridical decisions: GT by E. Sachau, Syrische Rechtsbucher 2 (1908), 119-177.


  1. Sebastian Brock, A brief outline of Syriac literature, Moran Etho 9, (1997), p. 64-5 and p. 136.