Modern critics of his work note that he made no attempt to understand the oriental religions which he attacked, and censure him for invoking the aid of the Inquisition and sanctioning persecution of the Nestorians in Malabar.
When, in the 5th century A.D., owing to theological differences the Syriac-using Christians became divided into Nestorians or East Syrians and Jacobites (Monophysites) or West Syrians, certain differences of pronunciation, chiefly in the vowels, began to develop themselves.
The biruna of the Chaldaean Nestorians, on the other hand, worn by all bishops, is a sort of hood ornamented with a cross.
Modern missions have made no great conquests there, and in earlier times the Nestorians and Jacobites who penetrated to central Asia, China and India, received respectful hearing, but never had anything like the success which attended Buddhism and Islam.
The proportion borne to one another by the different religions, as estimated in 1910, is: 50% Mussulman, 41% Orthodox, 6% Catholic, 3% all others (Jews, Druses, Nestorians, &c.).
In Asia Minor the Kurdish troops under Ibrahim Pasha revolted, and, although they were defeated with the loss of their commander, the Kurds continued to attack indiscriminately the Turks, Nestorians and Armenians; disturbances also broke out among the other reactionary Moslems of this region, culminating in a massacre of the Armenians at Adana.
The Melchites therefore are those who accept the decrees of Ephesus and Chalcedon as distinguished from the Nestorians and Jacobite Church (qq.v.).
4 The Nestorians may be said to have a fourfold ministry, for they reconsecrated a bishop when he was made catholicos or patriarch.
The doctrines and the works the works of Aristotle had been transmitted by the of Aris- Nestorians to the Arabs, and among those kept alive by a tole.
Which contain the Syriac Massorah or tradition of the reading of the text pass over Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, and in the case of the Nestorians also Esther.
At Edessa the result of the conflict between the Nestorians and their opponents was long doubtful.
His fellow-worker Narsai, whom the Jacobites called " the leper," but the Nestorians " the harp of the Holy Spirit," apparently accompanied Barsauma from Edessa to Nisibis, where according to Barhebraeus he lived for 50 years.
Marutha, who was Nestorian catholicus of Seleucia from about 540 to 552 1 and a man of exceptional energy, made the only known attempt, which was, however, unsuccessful, to provide the Nestorians with a Bible version of their own.
His translation, which was edited by Bickell with an introduction by Benfey, must be distinguished from the much later Syriac translation made from the secondary Arabic version and edited by Wright in 1884.2 Ilannana of I.Iedhaiyabh, who nearly produced a disruption of the Nestorian Church by his attempt to bridge over the interval which separated the Nestorians from Catholic orthodoxy, was the author of many commentaries and other writings, in some of which he attacked the teaching of Theodore of Mopsuestia.
In an encyclical of 553,1 where he condemns those "who share with Nestorians in belief and prayer, and take their breadofferings to their shrines and receive communion from them, as if from the ministers of the oblations of the Paulicians."
In their new environment the Nestorians abandoned some of the rigour of Catholic asceticism, and at a synod held in 499 abolished clerical celibacy even for bishops and went so far as to permit repeated marriages, in striking contrast not only to orthodox custom but to the practice of Aphraates at Edessa who had advocated celibacy as a condition of baptism.
The Nestorian Church in Eastern Syria and Persia was under the jurisdiction of an archbishop (catholikos), who in 498 assumed the title "Patriarch of the East" and had his seat at SeleuciaCtesiphon on the Tigris, a busy trading city and a fitting centre for the great area over which the evangelizing activity of the Nestorians now extended.
For five centuries the Nestorians were a recognized institution within the territory of Islam, though their treatment varied from kindly to harsh.
Though the Nestorians were numerous, their moral influence and their church life had greatly deteriorated.
Like the Nestorians they were great missionaries, and up to the 7th century, and again in the 12th and 13th, produced the bulk of Syriac literature (q.v.).
- The combined hostility of the orthodox church and the Byzantine empire drove the Nestorians into exile, but they went much further than was needed simply to secure immunity from persecution.
Issued a bull appointing Jordanus, a French Dominican, bishop of Quilon, and inviting the Nestorians to enter "the Christian Church."
In the 10th century the Nestorians introduced Christianity into Tartary proper; in 1274 Marco Polo saw two of their churches.
- The Nestorians or East Syrians (Surayi) of Turkey and Persia now inhabit a district bounded by Lake Urmia, or Urumia, on the east, stretching westwards into Kurdistan, to Mosul on the south, and nearly as far as Van on the north.
They are divided into the Persian Nestorians of the plain of Azerbaijan, and the Turkish Nestorians, inhabiting chiefly the sanjak of Hakkiari in the vilayet of Van, who are subdivided into the Rayat or subject, and the Ashiret or tribal, the latter being semi-independent in their mountain fastnesses.
It is only of late years, under the influence of the different missions, that education, ruined by centuries of persecution, has revived amongst the Nestorians; and even now the mountaineers, cut off from the outer world, are as a rule destitute of learning, and greatly resemble their neighbours, the wild and uncivilized Kurds.
The Nestorians commemorate Nestorius as a saint, and invoke his aid and that of his companions.
To say that the modern Nestorians are not definitely and firmly orthodox is perhaps fairer than to charge them with being distinctly heretical.
The peculiar circumstances, both ecclesiastical and temporal, of the Nestorians have attracted much attention in western Christendom, and various missionary enterprises amongst them have resulted.
This mission enrolled a very large number of adherents drawn from the old Church, the Protestant Nestorians, and the UniatChaldeans, but it can hardly be said to have commenced any active work, although the Anglican mission withdrew from competition by closing its schools in the dioceses occupied by the Russians.
P. Badger, Nestorians and their Rituals (London, 1852); M.
Rabbu1a perhaps owed his elevation to the see of Edessa (411-435), in the year which produced the oldest dated Syriac MS., to his asceticism, and it was to his time that the sojourn there of the " Man of God " (Alexis) was assigned; but he won from the Nestorians the title of the Tyrant of Edessa.
The value of exports and imports in certain specified years is shown in the following table: - Most of the Christians belong to the Orthodox and Roman Catholic (United) Greek Churches; and there are also communities of Melchites, Jacobites, Maronites, Nestorians, Armenians and Protestants.
Perhaps the Nestorians, who clung to the human aspect of Christ, introduced it about 550.
The church of the Nestorians, and that of the Monophysites, in their several schools and monasteries, carried on from the 5th to the 8th century the study of the earlier part of the Organon, with almost the same means, purposes and results as were found among the Latin schoolmen of the earlier centuries.
Meanwhile the Monophysites had followed in the steps of the Nestorians, multiplying Syriac versions of the logical and medical science of the Greeks.
Ismail Agha Shekak, better known as Simko, living between Van and Urmia, murdered the patriarch of the Nestorians, who fled to Persian territory and called upon the Russians to avenge the murder.
As thus defined, the collection contains the following documents: firstly, the eighty-five Apostolic Canons, the Constitutions having been put aside as having suffered heretical alterations; secondly, the canons of the councils of Nicaea, Ancyra, Neocaesarea, Gangra, Antioch, Laodicea, Constantinople (381), Ephesus (the disciplinary canons of this council deal with the reception of the Nestorians, and were not communicated to the West), Chalcedon, Sardica, Carthage (that of 4 19, according to Dionysius), Constantinople (394); thirdly, the series of canonical letters of the following great bishops - Dionysius of Alexandria, Peter of Alexandria (the Martyr), Gregory Thaumaturgus, Athanasius, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus, Amphilochus of Iconium, Timotheus of Alexandria, Theophilus of Alexandria, Cyril of Alexandria, Gennadius of Constantinople; the canon of Cyprian of Carthage (the Martyr) is also mentioned, but with the note that it is only valid for Africa.
The Mosul MS. contains the whole Bible in the Peshitto version, followed by the Syrian " Clementine Octateuch, " i.e., the collection of ecclesiastical law, in eight books, which was used by the Nestorians and 1 § 14 of the Introduction to R.
The Nestorians accept the decisions of the first two councils, and reject the decrees of all the rest as unwarranted alterations of the creed of Nicaea.
Hence the Nestorians, who insisted upon the duality of the natures to such a degree as to lose sight of the unity of the person, and who rejected the term Theotokos, repudiated the decrees both of Ephesus and of Chalcedon, and upon the promulgation of the decrees of Chalcedon formally separated from the church.
Other religions are represented in Persia by about 80,000 to 90,000 Christians (Armenians, Nestorians, Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholics, Protestants), 36,000 Jews, and 9000 Zoroastrians.