Bar Hebraeus, Arabic Ibn Al-ʿIbrī (“Son of the Hebrew”), or Abū al-Faraj, Latin name Gregorius, (born , Melitene, Armenia [now Malatya, Turkey]—died July. Bar-Hebraeus ( – July 30, ) was catholicos (bishop) of the Syriac Orthodox Church in the thirteenth century. He is noted for his works. b. Malaṭīa, ; d. Marāḡa, ), Syriac historian and polymath. See EBN AL- ʿEBRĪ, ABU’L-FARAJ.

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Bar-Hebraeus – July 30, was catholicos bishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church in the thirteenth century. He is noted for his works addressing philosophypoetrylanguage, historyand theology. It appears that he took the Christian name Gregory Grigorios at his consecration as a bishop.

This nickname is often thought to imply a Jewish background taken to mean “Son of the Hebrew”. However, the evidence for this once popular view is slim. Bebraeus numerous and elaborate treatises on theology, philosophy, science and history represent compendia of the state of learning in these fields at the time. Most hebraeys his works were written in Syriac, but some in Arabic, which had long before his time supplanted Syriac as a living speech.

His writing is a valuable source of information not only about the history of the region but also about ecumenical and Interfaith relations, especially Christian-Muslim relations. When his writing became known in Europe, it contributed significantly to the development of the academic study of Islam and of the Arab world making the task of writing a history of the Arabs as academically respectable as writing the heebraeus of the rise and fall of the Romans.

His respect for Muslim learning meant that he saw Muslims as occupying the same, not a different world from himself. In a world where cultural and religious difference has too bsr been used as an excuse to ridicule others, to discriminate against them and even to attack other’s or their territory, examples of more harmonious coexistence are important. Without harmony, the unified world of peace that many people want to build will remain an unrealized dream. However, all uebraeus to this longer name are posthumous.

Sometimes, Bar-Hebraeus is said to have been given the baptismal name John, but this appears to be a scribal error. Under the care of his father he began as a boy a teneris unguiculis the study of medicine and of many other branches of knowledge, which he pursued as a youth at Antioch and Tripoli, Lebanonheebraeus which he never abandoned.

He says in his Historia synastiarum that he studied medicine under a distinguished Muslim bqr in Damascus. Inhe was consecrated bishop of Gubos, by the Jacobite Patriarch Ignatius II, and in the following year was transferred to the see of Lacabene. He would have taken monastic vows before his consecration, probably “while nar was in Antioch,” [2] He was placed over the diocese of Aleppo by Dionysius, Metropolitan of Melitene He was ousted from this position hebraeuss due to an internal feud following the Patriarch’s death between Dionysius and a rival contender for the Patriarchate, John.

Bar-Hebraeus – New World Encyclopedia

After returning to Aleppo where he stayed at his father’s house, he was re-instated in Takahashi says that between andBar-Hebraeus spent a lot of time at the Moghul court, where he served as physician to Hulagu Khan.

During the years until his death, he was based in the Monastery of Mar Mattai in Mosul, although he also traveled lecturing and exercising Episcopal oversight. Inhe visited Tikrit, the first visit by the maphrian in 60 years. His Episcopal duties did not interfere with his studies; he took advantage the need to travel throughout his vast province to consult libraries and to meet with scholars.


He was, though, a conscientious pastor, building and repairing churches, visiting some of the most difficult areas of his province and consecrating twelve bishops. How he could have devoted so much time to such a systematic study, in spite of all the Mongol invasion which took place at this time, is almost beyond comprehension. He acquired fluency in a number of languages, including Armenian, Persian at least “in the latter part of his life” and possibly Mongolian.

A total of 31 works are attributed to his authorship.

These cover theology, history, medicine and liturgy. Bar-Hebraeus appears to have enjoyed good fraternal relations with the Nestorians in particular. In some of his theological writing, he made what has been described as “ecumenical gestures” towards other Christians. He may have realized that Christians under Muslim rule gained nothing from disunity.

Nestorians, too, occupied high position under the Mongol rulers and so good relations with them was pragmatic. However, Takahashi thinks that his ecumenism was also quite sincere. In his writing he advised that disputations about the persons and natures of Jesus Christ should be set aside, while the doctrines of the Nicene Creed should be accepted.

However, when Bar Hebraeus started to use the title “Cathoklicos” himself in hebreus he visited Baghdad he appears to have offended the Nestorian, or East Syrian Catholicos. The cities of Antioch and Tripoli, where Bar-Hebraeus spent some of his childhood, were Crusader states at the time, so he had nar contact with Latin Christians. However, he bag not appear to have been influenced by Latin scholarship. As well as studying under Muslim physicians and enjoying good personal relations with Muslim scholars, Bar-Hebraeus drew on Muslim sources in his writing.

Even when advising Christians how hebdaeus live “a holy live” he drew on Muslim sources. The Muslims are far from hebraejs in darkness, in as much as they have rejected the worship of idols and worship only one God.

But they still lack the perfectly pure light … because of the incomplete knowledge which they have of our Christian faith and our orthodox confession. Bennett describes this view of Islam as “a partial affirmation and a partial denial” of Muhammad’s “claims to be an apostle of a God-given faith. He draws here on his own interaction with Muslims, “There arose among them philosophers and mathematicians and physicians, excelling all the ancient sages … Their architecture was great by reason of consummate style and skillful research,” for example, “but their law was cumbersome.

When Pococke took a copy of Bar-Hebraeus’ Chronicle back to England, on the one hand this helped to perpetuate some traditional Christian criticisms of Islam.

On the other hand, his historically accurate description of Islam’s origins “added considerably to what European hebrafus about Muhammad” and Islam. He fell ill at Maragha in and died there. He was buried at the convent of Mar Matthew, near Mosul. He has left us har autobiography. His great encyclopedic work is his Hewath Hekhmetha, “The Cream of Science,” which deals with almost every branch of human knowledge, and comprises the whole Aristotelian discipline, after Avicenna and other Arabian writers.

This work, so far, has not been published, with the exception of one chapter, by Margoliouth, in Analecta Orientalia ad poeticam Aristoteleam. Kethabha dhe-Bhabhatha, “Book of the Pupils of the Eyes;” compendium of logic and dialectics.

Before giving his doctrinal exposition of a passage, he first considers its critical state. Although he uses the Peshitta as a basis, he knows that it is not perfect, and therefore controls it by the Hebrew, the Septuagintthe Greek versions of SymmachusTheodotion, Aquilla, by Oriental versions, Armenian and Coptic, and finally by the other Syriac translations, Heraclean, Philoxenian, hebrraeus especially Syro-Hexapla.


His exegetical and doctrinal portions are taken from the Greek Fathers and previous Syrian Jacobite theologians.

No complete edition of the hebraeks has yet been issued, but many individual books have been published at different times. It is divided into two portions: The first deals with political and civil history and is known as the “Chronicon Syriacum;” the second, “Chronicon Ecclesiasticum,” comprising the religious history, begins with Aaron and treats in a first section of the history of the Western Syrian Church and the Patriarchs of Antioch, while a second hebradus is devoted to the Eastern Church, the Nestorian Patriarchs, hebtaeus the Jacobite Maphrians.

Edward PocockeOxford University ‘s first Professor of Arabic took a copy of this text hebraeuw to England with him after his stay in Aleppo where he served as Hebraeuw to the English community. The best edition of the “Chronicon Ecclesiasticum” is that of Abbeloos and Lamy. He probably, however, thought that the differences between CatholicsNestorians, and the rest were of a theological, but not of a dogmatical nature, and that they did not affect the common faith; hence, he did not consider others as heretics, and was not himself considered as such, at least by the Nestorians and the Armenians.

These works have not been published, and exist in manuscript in ParisBerlinLondon, Oxford, and Rome. The “Book of the Dove” was issued simultaneously by Cardahi Rome, A full list of Bar Hebraeus’s other works, and of editions of such of them as have been published, will be found in W. Wright’s Syriac Literature, p.

The more important of them are:. Bar-Hebraeus’ writing represents an invaluable compendia of knowledge across the humanities and sciences at the time, and is especially significant in making available historical data. His approach to Islam was also significant, sharing features with his European contemporary, Aquinaswho also drew on Muslim sources and regarded Bwr, Jews and Christians as occupying the same intellectual space.

Bar Hebraeus The Ecclesiastical Chronicle

In a world where cultural and religious difference has too often been used as an excuse to oppress Others, even to conquer their territory, examples of more harmonious coexistence are important. He is regarded as a saint by the Syriac Orthodox Church, who hold his feast day on July New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.

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Contents 1 Life 1.