Book of Steps

The Book of Steps (), and represent a life devoted to charity. On the other hand, the 'perfect' are expected to renounce family, marriage and property so as to receive baptism of fire and Spirit. This division of the community echoes a similar division in Manichaeism. The teaching of the Book of Steps has been described as Messalian by some scholars (including Kmoskó the editor of the critical Syriac edition). However, Brock has demonstrated that the Book of Steps' emphasis on the structure of the "visible church" (particularly strong in discourse 12) shows that its doctrine is quite removed from Messalianism. An English translation of the entirety of the Book of Steps by Kitchen and Parmentier has recently been published.

The headings of the thirty chapters, or discourses, are as follows:
# On the distinction between the major commandments, for the perfect, and the minor commandments, for the upright.
# On those who wish to be perfect.
# The physical and the spiritual ministry.
# On "vegetables" for the sick (see Romans and cite book|last=Brock|title=Syriac Fathers).
# On the way of life of the upright.
# On the upright and the perfect.
# On the marriage instinct in Adam.
# On how a person grows as a result of the major commandments.
# On the sufferings of our Lord, by which an example is provided for us.
# On the tears of prayer (English trans. in cite book|last=Brock|title=Syriac Fathers).
# On the distinguishing characteristics of the way of perfection.
# On the hard steps on the way.
# On the Tree of Adam.
# On the judgments by which those who make them are not saved.
# On Satan, Pharaoh and the Children of Israel.
# On repentance.
# On the voice of God and that of Satan.
# On the second law which the Lord laid down for Adam.
# On the matter of the thief who was saved.
# On the human soul not being blood.
# On subduing the body.
# On the commandments of faith and of love of the solitaries.



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