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Antiochian line of St. Peter

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  • maurnicus@aol.com
    Shlomo kool, I was wondering whether our line of Apostolic Succession from St. Peter came solely through Antioch. As we know, (Mor) Jacob Baradaeus helped the
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 20, 2001
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      Shlomo kool,

      I was wondering whether our line of Apostolic Succession from St.
      Peter came solely through Antioch. As we know, (Mor) Jacob Baradaeus
      helped the Church thrive by ordaining many many priests and bishops.
      His was ordained by the Alexandrian patriarch (or bishop, I can't
      recall), and I read something about our church only having 3 living
      bishops at the time of Baradaeus' ordaination.

      So my question is, does our current line of apostolic succession come
      out of antioch (one of those three bishops) or alexandria (via
      Baradaeus)?

      Peace,
      Mike
    • thomas_joseph@hotmail.com
      Mike, I consulted Hidemi Takahashi, a Syriac Studies scholar from Japan and a doctoral student at the University of Frankfurt on your question regarding the
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 27, 2001
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        Mike,

        I consulted Hidemi Takahashi, a Syriac Studies scholar from Japan and
        a doctoral student at the University of Frankfurt on your question
        regarding the apostolic succession in the Syriac Orthodox Church.
        There is no straightforward answer to your question and Hidemi's
        response tells you why.

        - Thomas

        ----Original Message Follows----
        Subject: Re: A question on Jacob Baradeus
        Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 10:41:26 +0200


        Dear Thomas,

        Thank you for your message. <snip>

        Coming to your question about the Apostolic succession, I am afraid I
        am not really the right person to ask. I am not really very good on
        the early history of the Church and there are others who will be much
        better qualified than I am to answer your question (and I am sure
        there are tons of literature which I should be consulting to answer
        your question properly).

        There are a couple of points we need to be clear about when talking
        about Apostolic Succession. When we talk about the Apostolic
        Succession, we mean, of course, the line of bishops ordaining bishops
        (and going back ultimately to one of the twelve apostles), not
        patriarchs ordaining patriarchs (the old patriarch is usually dead
        when a new patriarch is appointed). We need also to remember that
        when a bishop is ordained, he may be ordained by several bishops.
        There may be one main ordinator (often the patriarch), but the
        apostolic succession is transmitted through all the bishops who lay
        their hands on him.

        I believe the sources generally agree that Jacob Baradaeus/Burd'ono
        was ordained bishop of Edessa in 543 by Patriarch Theodosius of
        Alexandria.

        The main source on the life of Jacob, as far as I know is his
        biography falsely attributed to John of Ephesus. I have before me the
        edition by E.W. Brooks (Patrologia Orientalis XIX, fasc. 2), and here
        it is said that Jacob was ordained bishop of Edessa and "all the rest
        of Syria and Asia" by Patriarch Theodosius of Alexandria.

        Bar Ebroyo (Chronicon ecclesiasticum, ed. Abbeloos-Lamy I.215), I
        see, names several bishops who laid their hands on Jacob at his
        episcopal ordination:

        Constantinus of Laodicea, John of Egypt, Peter, Theodosius (of
        Alexandria), Anthimus (of Trebizond), and "a few other bishops".

        The statement that there were only three bishops, "one on the
        mountains of Marde (Mardin), one in Persian territory, and one who
        had gone into Alexandria" occurs in the passage of pseudo-John of
        Ephesus just before the account of Jacob's ordination. - But firstly
        one has to be wary of taking such statements at face value; they may
        involve a degree of exaggeration. Secondly and more importantly this
        statement, as the editor, Brooks, points out, is based on a
        misunderstanding of a passage of the real John of Ephesus, where John
        of Ephesus is talking about John of Tella (who lived a generation
        earlier). - So there probably were a few more "orthodox" (i.e.
        miaphysite) bishops around in the time of Jacob Baradaeus.

        Jacob Baradaeus was, of course, never patriarch of Antioch. - Pseudo-
        John of Ephesus tells us that the two immediate succesors of Severus
        of Antioch, Patriarchs Sergius of Tella (538-540) and Paul of Beit
        Ukama (541), were ordained by Jacob Baradaeus. - But here there is a
        problem in that Jacob himself only became bishop after these two
        became patriarchs. - Bar Ebroyo, on the other hand, says that Sergius
        was ordained by John of Anazarba. - I am afraid I do not have other
        historical texts with me. - I am sure someone must have studied and
        written about this problem, but I am afraid I do not have any
        references ready at hand. ...

        Given that Jacob Baradaeus had a major role in the reconstitution of
        the Syriac Orthodox hierarchy, one can, I think, be fairly certain
        that any Syriac Orthodox bishop today will be able (if all the
        records were available, which they are not) to trace back his lineage
        in some way to Jacob Baradaeus and Theodosius of Alexandria.

        I would be less certain about whether the lineage goes back solely to
        Jacob Baradaeus, but given that there were at least some other
        miaphysite bishops around at the time, it seems likely that they too
        would have taken part in the ordination of some bishops, and if so
        there will also be a line going back to the Apostles via routes other
        than Jacob and Theodosius.

        Now, I am not sure if I've answered your question, but at least I've
        tried ...

        All the best,

        Hidemi

        Thomas Joseph wrote:

        > Dear Hidemi,
        >
        > Hope you are doing fine. I have a question that I
        > wanted to consult you on. Recently, on SOR-Forum
        > (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOR-Forum), the
        > question below was posed.
        >
        > Do you have any comments on it? Are the historical
        > sources in agreement with respect to the consecration of Jacob
        > Baradeus?
        >
        > With warm regards,
        > Thomas


        --- In SOR-Forum@y..., maurnicus@a... wrote:
        >
        > Shlomo kool,
        >
        > I was wondering whether our line of Apostolic Succession from St.
        > Peter came solely through Antioch. As we know, (Mor) Jacob
        > Baradaeus helped the Church thrive by ordaining many many
        > priests and bishops.
        >
        > His was ordained by the Alexandrian patriarch (or bishop, I can't
        > recall), and I read something about our church only having 3 living
        > bishops at the time of Baradaeus' ordaination.
        >
        > So my question is, does our current line of apostolic succession
        > come out of antioch (one of those three bishops) or alexandria (via
        > Baradaeus)?
        >
        > Peace,
        > Mike
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