Nestorian Sentence Examples
Theodoret's chief importance is as a dogmatic theologian, it having fallen to his lot to take part in the Nestorian controversy and to be the most considerable opponent of the views of Cyril and Dioscurus of Alexandria.
The emperor Justinian (483-565), in whose reign the greatness of the Eastern empire culminated, sent two Nestorian monks to China, who returned with eggs of the silkworm concealed in a hollow cane, and thus silk manufactures were established in the Peloponnesus and the Greek islands.
In the east Syrian, the Armenian and the Georgian churches, respectively Nestorian, Monophysite and Greek Orthodox in their tenets, the agape was from the first a survival, under Christian and Jewish forms, of the old sacrificial systems of a pre-Christian age.
Neither system completely differentiates long and short vowels; the Nestorian scheme is the more satisfactory, though more cumbrous.
Nisibis early became the seat of a Jacobite bishop and of a Nestorian metropolitan, and under the Arabs (when it continued to flourish and became the centre of the district of Diya`r Rebi`a) the population of the town and neighbourhood was still mostly Christian, and included numerous monasteries.Advertisement
In the second place, the Mongols of the 13th century were not as yet, in any great numbers, Mahommedans; the official religion was "Shamanism," but in the Mongol army there were many Christians, the results of early Nestorian missions to the far East.
The synod of Chalcedon in 451, following the lines of Pope Leo I.'s famous letter, endeavoured to steer a middle course between the so-called Nestorian and Eutychian positions.
But the followers of Cyril of Alexandria, and with them those of Eutyches, saw in the Chalcedon decree of two natures only another form of the "Nestorian" duality of persons in Christ, and rose everywhere in opposition.
The bishops of the Coptic, Syrian and Nestorian Uniate Churches have adopted the Roman pastoral staff.
About the 5th century, during the rule of the Persian Sassanian dynasty, Mery was the seat of a Christian archbishopric of the Nestorian Church.Advertisement
East of the old Seljuk capital is Giaur Kalah, the Mer y of the Nestorian era and the capital of the Arab princes.
Probably (as Duval suggests) the use of Syriac in these regions went hand in hand with the spread of the monophysite doctrine, for the liturgies and formulas of the Jacobite Church were composed in Syriac. Similarly the spread of Nestorian doctrines throughout the western and southwestern regions of the Persian Empire was accompanied by the ecclesiastical use of a form of Syriac which differed very slightly indeed from that employed farther west by the Jacobites.
But the feeling against the Nestorian party grew in strength, till on the death of Ibas in 457 the leading Nestorian teachers were driven out of Edessa.
The Nestorian teachers then started a great school at Nisibis (which had been under Persian rule since Jovian's humiliating treaty of 363).
To the Nestorian movement in Persia he rendered useful service by his letter to Mari of Beth Hardasher, in which he maintained the tenets of Diodore and Theodore, while allowing that Nestorius had erred.Advertisement
A Nestorian contemporary of Isaac, Dadhisho`, who was catholicus of Seleucia from 421 to 456, composed commentaries on Daniel, Kings and Ecclesiasticus.
Born probably between 415 and 420 he imbibed Nestorian doctrine from Ibas at the Persian school of Edessa, but was driven out in 457 on the death of his master, and went to be bishop of Nisibis.
One of his great aims was to secure for the Nestorian clergy freedom to marry, and this was finally sanctioned by a council at Seleucia in 486 (Labourt, op. cit., chap. vi.).
Barsauma appointed him head of the new school, where he taught rigidly Nestorian doctrine.
It was after a successful disputation in presence of the Nestorian catholicus Babhai (497-502/3) that Simeon was made bishop of Beth Arsham, a town near Seleucia.Advertisement
A latter (probably Nestorian) recension is contained in a Paris MS., which was used along with the other by Bruns and Sachau in their exhaustive edition (Syrisch-romisches, Rechtsbuch, Leipzig, 1880).
The Nestorian writers of the 6th century were numerous, but as yet we know little of their.
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.
Isho`yabh III., Nestorian catholicus from 647 to 657/8, wrote controversial tracts, religious discourses and liturgical works.Advertisement
Other important contributors to this sphere of literature were Isho' bar Nan (t827/8), John bar Zo`bi (beginning of the 13th century), Jacob bar Shakko (f1241), and the great Nestorian scholar `Abadisho' (f 1318).
Elias bar Shinaya, who in 1008 became Nestorian bishop of Nisibis, was the author of a valuable Chronicle, to which are prefixed numerous chronological tables, lists of popes, patriarchs, &c., and which covers by its narrative the period from A.D.
Sahdona, who was a monk in the Nestorian monastery of Beth `Abhe (the same to which Thomas of Marga belonged two centuries later) and afterwards a bishop early in the 7th century, wrote a biography of and a funeral sermon on his superior Mar Jacob who founded the monastery, and also a long treatise in two parts on the monastic life, of which all that survives has been edited by P. Bedjan (Paris, 1902).
In the beginning of the 8th century David of Beth Rabban, also a Nestorian monk, wrote, besides a geographical work, " a monastic history, called The Little Paradise, which is frequently cited by Thomas of Marga."
Among other interesting features it contains information about the Nestorian Church of China in the 13th century - Yabhalaha was a native of Peking - an account of a journey through Central Asia, and a description of a visit to Europe by Rabban Sauma, the friend of the catholicus."
In the north-east corner of the city is the Nestorian church which was noted by Marco Polo, the façade being " elaborately carved and the gates covered with elegantly wrought iron."
In 435 he became bishop of Edessa and under his influence the Nestorian teaching made considerable progress.
Meanwhile one of his pupils, Barsumas, had settled at Nisibis in Persian territory where he became bishop in 435 and established a Nestorian school.
The liberty here granted to bishops was enjoyed as late as the 12th century, but since then the Nestorian Church has assimilated its custom to that of the Greek Church.
That the ascetic ideal was by no means wholly extinct is evident from the Book of Governors written by Thomas, bishop of Marga, in 840 which bears witness to a Syrian monasticism founded by one Awgin of Egyptian descent, who settled in Nisibis about 3 50, and lasting uninterruptedly until the time of Thomas, though it had long been absorbed in the great Nestorian movement that had annexed the church in Mesopotamia.
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.
The theology of the Indian Syrian Christians is of a Nestorian type, and Cosmas Indicopleustes (6th century) puts us on the right track when he says that the Christians whom he found in Ceylon and Malabar had come from Persia (probably as refugees from persecution, like the Huguenots in England and the Pilgrim Fathers in America).
Pahlavi inscriptions' found on crosses at St Thomas's Mount near Madras and at Kottayam in Travancore, are evidence both of the antiquity of Christianity in these places (7th or 8th century), and for the semi-patripassianism (the apparent identification of all three persons of the Trinity in the sufferer on the cross) which marked the Nestorian teaching.
Thus the Nestorian Church in India, voluntarily and with perfect indifference to theological dogmas, passed under Jacobite rule, and when early in the 18th century, Mar Gabriel, a Nestorian bishop, came to Malabar, he had a cool reception, and could only detach a small following of Syrians whom he brought back to the old Nestorianism.
On the death of the bishop Mar Athanasius Matthew in 1877, litigation began as to his successor; it lasted ten years, and the decision (since reversed) was given against the party that held by the Nestorian connexion and the habitual autonomy of the Malabar church in favour of the supremacy of the Jacobite patriarch of Antioch.
Early evidence of Nestorian missions in China is extant in the tablet found in 1625 at Chang`an in the district of Hsi`en-fu, province of Shensi.
Marco Polo is witness that there were Nestorian churches all along the trade routes from Bagdad to Pekin.
The first is quite free from Nestorian influence, dates from some remote period, perhaps prior to 431, and is certainly the most ancient of those now in use in Christendom; the other two, though early, are undoubtedly of later date.
The Nestorian canon of Scripture seems never to have been fully determined, nor is the sacramental system rigidly defined.
Nestorian writers, however, generally reckon the mysteries as seven, i.e.
The original aim was to influence the old Nestorian Church rather than to set up a new religious body, but the wide difference between Presbyterians and an Oriental Church rendered the attempt abortive, and the result of the labours of the Americans has been the establishment since 1862 of a Syrian Protestant community in Persia, with some adherents in Turkey.
Two missionpriests reside in Turkey, one at Qudshanis with Mar Shimun, the Nestorian Catholicus and Patriarch.
One of the Nestorian bishops joined the Russian Orthodox Church in 1898, and returned the same year with a small band of missionaries sent by the Holy Synod of Russia.
In Bagdad he stayed several years, studying the Koran and other works of Moslem theology, for controversial purposes, arguing with Nestorian Christians, and writing.
He was educated at Edessa, perhaps in the famous "school of the Persians," which was afterwards (in 489) expelled from Edessa 2 on account of its connexion with the Nestorian heresy.
The work was to have been in four parts - (i) Syrian and allied MSS., orthodox, Nestorian and Jacobite; (2) Arabian MSS., Christian and Mahommedan; (3) Coptic, Aethiopic, Persian and Turkish MSS.; and (4) Syrian and Arabian MSS.
If the creed-phrases needed sharpening against the revived Nestorian error of the Adoptianists, it is scarcely likely to have been written during the generation following the condemnation of Nestorius in 431.
Even when later it found a place in the Philoxenian and Harclean versions it never became a familiar book to the Syrian Churches, while it was unhesitatingly rejected by the Nestorian and Jacobite Churches.
This writer states that when at the papal court in 1145 he met with the bishop of Gabala (Jibal in Syria), who related how "not many years before one John, king and priest (rex et sacerdos), who dwelt in the extreme Orient beyond Persia and Armenia, and was, with his people, a Christian but a Nestorian, had made war against the brother kings of the Persians and Medes, who were called Samiards (or Sanjards), and captured Ecbatana their capital.
But the persistent demand produced a supply; and the honour of identification with Prester John, after hovering over one head and another, settled for a long time upon that of the king of the Nestorian tribe of Kerait, famous in the histories of Jenghiz under the name of Ung or Awang Khan.
In the Maronite, Syrian, and Nestorian Churches subdeacons also wear the stole, and among the Maronites the lectors as well.
On hearing from Rome, Cyril at once held a synod and drew up a doctrinal formula for Nestorius to sign, and also twelve anathemas covering the various points of the Nestorian dogmatic. Nestorius, instead of yielding to the combined pressure of his two great rivals, merely replied by a counter excommunication.
What is technically and conventionally meant in dogmatic theology by "the Nestorian heresy" must now be noticed.
Ebed Jesu in the 14th century mentions it together with Letters and Homilies, as well as the Tragedy, or a Letters to Cosmas, the Theopaschites (of which some fragments are still extant) and the Liturgy, which is still used by the Nestorian Church.
It is thus increasingly difficult to believe that Nestorius was a "Nestorian."
This view is confirmed by the evidence of the Synodicon Orientate (the collection of the canons of Nestorian Councils and Synods), which shows that the Great Syriac Church built up by the adherents of Nestorius and ever memorable for its zeal in carrying the Gospel into Central Asia, China and India cannot, from its inception, be rightly described as other than orthodox.
The Nestorian Church, following its leader, formally recognizes the Letter of Leo to Flavian and the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon.
Since the time when the church of eastern Syria had decided, in opposition to the church of the Empire, to cling to the ancient views of Syrian theologians - therefore also to the teaching and person of Nestorius - her relations were broken off with the church in western Syria and in Greek and Latin countries; but the power of Nestorian, or, as it was termed, Chaldaic Christianity, was not thereby diminished.
A certain number, too, of Arabic Christians, believers living on the west coast of India, the so-called Christians of St Thomas, and finally those belonging to places nearer the middle of Asia (Merv, Herat, Samarkand), remained in communion with the Nestorian church.
Nestorian philosophers and medical practitioners became the teachers of the great Arabian natural philosophers of the middle ages, and the latter obtained their knowledge of Greek learning from Syriac translations of the works of Greek thinkers.
Political conditions at the beginning of the middle ages favoured the Nestorian church, and the fact that the Arabs had conquered Syria, Palestine and Egypt, made it possible for her to exert an influence on the Christians in these countries.
The foundation of the Mongolian empire in the beginning of the 13th century did not disturb the position of the Nestorian church; but the revival of the Mahommedan power, which was coincident with the downfall of the Mongolian empire, was pregnant with disaster for her.
The greater part of Nestorian Christendom was now swallowed up by Islam, so that only remnants of this once extensive church have survived until modern times.
The Buddhist religion, then beginning to decay in India, was working its way to a new growth in China, and contemporaneously the Nestorian Christians were establishing bishoprics at Herat, Mer y and Samarkand, whence they subsequently proceeded to Kashgar, and finally to China itself.
The Uighurs employed an alphabet based upon the Syriac and borrowed from the Nestorian missionaries.
At Bagdad, in the reign of Mamun (813-833), the son of Harun al-Rashid, philosophical works were translated by Syrian Christians from Greek into Syriac and from Syriac into Arabic. It was in his reign that Aristotle was first translated into Arabic, and, shortly afterwards, we have Syriac and Arabic renderings of commentators on Aristotle, and of portions of Plato, Hippocrates and Galen; while in the 10th century new translations of Aristotle and his commentators were produced by the Nestorian Christians.
The district, however, was reconquered by Persia under the Sassanian dynasty, and we hear of Nestorian Christians at Samarkand, at any rate in the 6th century.
At the instance of the emperor Justinian he adopted the proposition unus de Trinitate passus est in carne as a test of the orthodoxy of certain Scythian monks accused of Nestorian tendencies.
It is true that at all times churches have been put to secular uses; in periods of unrest, as among the Nestorian Christians now, they were sometimes built to serve at need as fortresses; their towers were used for beacons, their naves for meetings on secular affairs.
However, we do hear of versions of Nestorian writers like Diodore of Tarsus being in circulation, and the Disputation of Archelaus proves that the current orthodoxy of eastern Armenia was Adoptianist, if not Ebionite in tone.
Out of the crusades, however, arose other efforts to develop the work which Nestorian missionaries from Bagdad, Edessa and Nisibis had already inaugurated along the Malabar coast, in the island of Ceylon, and in the neighbourhood of the Caspian Sea.
The Monophysites sometimes alleged that they could not accept the decrees of the council of Chalcedon because that council had not condemned, but (as they argued) virtually approved, three writers tainted with Nestorian principles, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret, and Ibas, bishop of Edessa.
He himself states that in his early years he belonged to a Nestorian community.
Of these the most notable is the Nestorian tablet, which was accidentally discovered in 1625 in the Chang-gan suburb.
The contents of this Nestorian inscription, which consists of 1780 characters, may be described as follows.
The Sokotri appear to have remained Nestorian Christians, with a bishop under the metropolitan of Persia, through the middle ages, though there are indications pointing to a connexion with the Jacobite church.
As early as the 10th century Sokotra was a haunt of pirates; in the r3th century Abulfeda describes the inhabitants as "Nestorian Christians and pirates" but the island was rather a station of the Indian corsairs who harassed the Arab trade with the Far East.
It is noted also as containing the celebrated Nestorian tablet, erected A.D.
Another form of the Aramaic alphabet, namely, the so-called Estrangela writing which was in use amongst the Christians of northern Syria, was carried by Nestorian missionaries into Central Asia and became the ancestor of a multitude of alphabets spreading through the Turkomans as far east as Manchuria.
Next to the Roman Uniats (whom they term Rassen or Venal) they most hate the Nestorian Syrians of Persia.
There are a large American Mission with schools, orphanage and a resident doctor, a French (Dominican) Mission with schools, and also a branch of the archbishop of Canterbury's Mission to the Nestorian Christians who live in the mountains to the south.
This comprises most of the upper basin of the Great Zab, with the country of the Nestorian Christians and many districts inhabited by Kurdish tribes, some of them large nomad tribes who descend for the winter to the plains of the Tigris.
Dualism is also used in a special theological sense to describe a doctrine of the Nestorian heresy.
As a theologian, Ephraim shows himself a stout defender of Nicaean orthodoxy, with no leanings in the direction of either the Nestorian or the Monophysite heresies which arose after his time.
But, at the same time, the religious duel had lost in intensity, since, among the Persian Christians, the Nestorian doctrine was now dominant.
The place is important as the centre of the Hakkiari sanjak, a very difficult mountain district to the south-west containing numerous tribes of Kurds and Nestorian Christians, and also the many Kurdish tribes along the Persian frontier.
Roads lead to Van, Urmia in Persia and Mosul through the Nestorian country.
The Kurd and Nestorian tribes in the wilder parts of the Hakkiari Mountains are under slight government control, and are permitted to pay tribute and given selfgovernment in a large degree.
No small part of the literature and science of the Mahommedan Arabs came from Nestorian teachers, and Nestorian Christianity spread far and wide through Asia (see Nestorius and Nestorians).
The Kirghiz are Sunni Mahommedans by faith, but amongst them there are curious survivals of an ancient ritual of which the origin is to be traced to those Nestorian Christian Evidences communities of Central Asia which existed in the of the middle ages.
He next appears in " Cambaliech " or Peking, and wrote letters (of January 8, 1305, and February 13, 1306), describing the progress of the Roman mission in the Far East, in spite of Nestorian opposition; alluding to the Roman Catholic community he had founded in India, and to an appeal he had received to preach in " Ethiopia " and dealing with overland and oversea routes to " Cathay," from the Black Sea and the Persian Gulf respectively.
In the East (Council of Ephesus, 431) he was helped by the entanglement of Pelagianism with Nestorianism, just as in the West the ruin of Nestorian prospects was occasioned partly by dislike for the better known system of Pelagianism.
There were also at the same time followers of Zoroastrianism, of Nestorian Christianity, and even of Manichaeism.
Warnings of the danger of the routes to southern Syria turned him from his purpose; and his friend and fellow-pilgrim, Rabban Marcos, becoming Nestorian patriarch (as Mar Yaballaha III.) in 1281, suggested Bar Sauma's name to Arghun Khan, sovereign of the Ilkhanate or Mongol-Persian realm, for a European embassy, then contemplated.
Up to the time when the religious zeal of the emperor Zeno put a stop to the Nestorian school at Edessa, this " Athens of Syria " was active in translating and popularizing the Aristotelian logic. Their banishment from Edessa in 489 drove the Nestorian scholars to Persia, where the Sassanid rulers gave them a welcome; and there they continued their labours on the Organon.
Gaining by means of their professional skill as physicians a high rank in the society of the Moslem world, the Nestorian scholars soon made Bagdad familiar with the knowledge of Greek philosophy and science which they possessed.
It is an adaptation of the Syriac writing introduced by the early Nestorian missionaries.
By the energetic efforts of Barsauma, bishop of that city, practically the whole church of Persia was won over to the Nestorian creed.
The next bishop of Edessa, Ibas, who succeeded in 435 at the death of Rabbula, proved himself a follower of the Nestorian doctrine (see above).
The one has for its subject Barsauma and the other Nestorian leaders in Persia, and gives a highly malicious account of their proceedings.
Lastly, acknowledgment must be made of the great value of the Catalogue of Nestorian writers, by `Abadisho' of Nisibis, the latest important writer in Syriac. It was edited by Assemani in the 3rd part of his Bibliotheca orientalis, and has been translated into English by Badger.
In 1886, after much careful investigation, he founded the "Archbishop's Mission to the Assyrian Christians," having for its object the instruction and the strengthening from within of the "Nestorian" churches of the East (see Nestorians).
In the north-east corner of the city is the Nestorian church which was noted by Marco Polo, the faÃ§ade being " elaborately carved and the gates covered with elegantly wrought iron."
The Constantinopolitan Acoemeti took a prominent part in the Christological controversies of the 5th and 6th centuries, at first strenuously opposing Acacius, patriarch of Constantinople, in his attempted compromise with the monophysites; but afterwards, in Justinian's reign, falling under ecclesiastical censure for Nestorian tendencies.
The patriarch has jurisdiction over the Uniat Nestorian Church, which numbers, roughly, about 50,000 adherents, and is divided, under the patriarch, into I I dioceses (see Nestorians).
The 400,000 Syrian Christians ("Christians of St Thomas," see Thomas, St) who live in Malabar no doubt owe their origin to Nestorian missionaries, the stories of the evangelization of India by the Apostles Thomas and Bartholomew having no real historical foundation, and the Indian activity of Pantaenus of Alexandria having proved fruitless, in whatever part of India it may have been exercised.