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Kept among the marvelous manuscript treasures of the British Library is a fifth century Syriac manuscript containing details of the lectionary readings, or Old and New Testament passages for religious services. Prominently featured among the Old Testament readings prescribed for Easter are the account of the binding of Isaac and excerpts from the story of Joseph. The story of binding Isaac is clearly apposite to the crucifixion. What is not so clear perhaps is the appropriateness of the story of Joseph as an Easter reading. This is in part because Joseph is often viewed in modern times solely as an example of moral fortitude in the face of temptation. However the Christological aspect of the Joseph story was also important for early Christians. In fact, in order to understand why the reading of the story of Joseph was appropriate for Easter one must know that Joseph was seen in early Syriac Christianity first and foremost as a type of Christ. This article will show the extent of this typological connection in the early writings of the Syriac speaking Christians and will also show how this typological connection affected one particular retelling of the Joseph narrative.
Another bit I found very interesting:
Numerous hints have been made in this article to the centrality of typology in Syriac literature, particularly of the early period. For early Syriac writers such as Aphrahat and his younger contemporary Ephrem, typology was a central mode of expression. God revealed his mysteries through the types and symbols found in scripture and nature and their apparent abundance led Ephrem to exclaim "Lord your symbols are everywhere." In this and other respects early Syriac Christianity demonstrates its affinity with its Jewish heritage. In both literatures we find the use of "testimonia, typology, periphrastic quotation [and] haggadic expansion," and in many instances there is a clear relationship between the Syriac and the Jewish traditions. We find then, in the literature of this early period of Syriac Christianity one of the few examples of a genuinely Semitic Christian literature. For this and numerous other reasons, Syriac literature is a great storehouse of treasures that are worthy of pursuit.