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Re: to - aathura@- church affiliation

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  • drthomas_joseph
    The labels Syrian or Greek in the context of Eastern Churches can be understood in different ways--as distinguishing the Christian traditions that emerged
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 2, 2002
      The labels "Syrian" or "Greek" in the context of Eastern Churches can
      be understood in different ways--as distinguishing the Christian
      traditions that emerged in the Syriac speaking Orient as opposed to
      the Byzantine, the language used in the liturgy and by the people,
      and the ethnic roots of the majority of the church members. There is
      no compelling factual basis to characterize the West Syriac Church
      (the Syriac Orthodox Church) as both "Syriac and Greek" as opposed to
      the East Syriac Church (the Church of the East or opprobiously called
      the Nestorian Church) which is purportedly "pure" Syriac.

      The argument appears to be that the West Syriac Church had both
      Syriac and Greek Fathers as opposed to the East Syriac Church which
      only had Syriac Fathers. The Church accepts fathers of multiple
      traditions--Greek, Latin, Coptic, etc., in addition to the Syriac
      fathers. Historical evidence tells us that the East Syriac Church
      also honored many fathers who were not of Syriac origin, especially
      the fathers who influenced the Christological doctrines of this
      church. This includes Nestorius, who was a Patriarch of
      Constantinople and educated in Antioch, and Theodore of Mopsuestia,
      among others. In fact it is in the area of Christology that fathers
      of Greek origin, most prominent of whom is Patriarch Severius,
      influenced the West Syrian Church.

      In terms of liturgical language, both the West and East Syrian
      Churches have always used Syriac as the chief liturgical language.
      Syriac was the language of the masses in the eastern parts of Roman
      empire as well as for Christians in Persian empire. Antioch as the
      center of commerce in the eastern parts of the Roman Empire had a
      large Greek speaking population. But outside the bounds of the city,
      there were hardly any Greek speaking people; Syriac was the
      vernacular. Antioch being the seat of the Patriarchate, many early
      Patriarchs of Antioch used Greek. However, the overwhelming majority
      of people under the See of Antioch were always Syriac speaking. After
      518, when Patriarch Severius was exiled from Antioch and the Syriac
      Orthodox line of Patriarchs of Antioch continued elsewhere, hardly
      any Greek speaking Patriarch adorned the See of Antioch.

      Ethnically, the majority of the Syriac Orthodox Christians in
      Mesopotamia are Aramean in origin. In the East, many Syriac Orthodox
      have Assyrian origin. (Arameans and Assyrians were ancient
      inhabitants of Mesopotamia). There have also been Arab converts to
      the Church (one of the earliest commentaries on the Holy Qurbono was
      written by George, the bishop of the Arabs). The majority of the
      faithful in the Church of the East are of Assyrian origin. Neither
      Church had any significant group of people who were of Greek origin.

      Thus, both churches can be said to have had an overwhelming Syriac
      background although influenced in many ways by Greek speaking Fathers
      as well as doctrines that emerged in the Greek mileu. Facts do not
      support the claim that one is "Syriac and Greek" while the other
      is "pure" Syriac.

      Thomas Joseph, Ph.D.
      Web Master, SOR (http://sor.cua.edu)
      Technical Editor, Hugoye (http://syrcom.cua.edu/Hugoye/)

      --- In SOCM-FORUM@y..., "thomas_pa1" wrote:
      > Dear Paul Pothen, Traditionally "Church of the East" was pure
      > in nature. But Church of Anthioc always had Greek fathers.
      > tradition is a combination of Greek and Syriac tradition. There is
      > nothing wrong in using "Orthodox Syrian Church". Church of the East
      > has a pure Syriac tradition compared with Anthioc. This is a fact.
      > Dont consider this as a criticism of Anthioc. Greek tradition is
      > great. For many years the language of CHurch of Anthioc was Greek.
      > It is only after Chalcedon that non-Chalcedonian section of Anthioc
      > developed in to a Syrian Church, when the Greek section almost
      > entirely joined the Chalcedonian side.
      > -Thomas
    • MalankaraVoice.cjb.net
      Click the following links for the latest from Malankara Special Prayers for peace in the Malankara Syrian Church,to be convened on June 8th and July
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 3, 2002
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