The testimonies of the brilliant historians of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch on the synonymy: Aramean/Syrian
"Assyrians", "Chaldeans", "Syrians", "Maronites" and "Melkites": All of them are Arameans.
In the very beginning of the Christianity; the indigenous Aramean people were geographically divided into,, West-Arameans”; those living in the Roman Empire and “East-Arameans”; those living in the Persian Empire.
For West-Arameans as well as East-Arameans; the ecclesial jurisdiction was the patriarchal seat of Antioch until 424. In 424; the Arameans of Persia decided to take more independent position against Antioch and started to separate from the mother church; the Syrian Orthodox Church. Regarding this separation; professor Sebastian Brock says,, ,, After several short-lived outbreaks in the first half of the fourth century, persecution became general from 340-379 under Shaphur II when more than 16,000 Christians are thought to have died, including the metropolitan bishop of Selecia- Ctesiphon, Shem’un bar Sabba’e. After a period of calm, persecution was renewed in 420, and in 446 (when there was a infamous massacre at Kirkuk); then again a few years later when perhaps as many as 153,000 Christians died in Mesopotamia and Armenia; and also in the 540s. Given such circumstances, it is perhaps understandable that at a synod held in 424 it was decided that the Catholicos of the East, rather than patriarch of Antioch who was a citizen of the Roman Empire, should be responsible for all matters of discipline and faith within the Persian Church. (The title ‘Patriarch’, however, was not formally adopted by the Catholicos until 498). The desire to distance themselves from their western co-religionists may also partly explain their enthusiasm for the theological teachings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, whose writings had increasingly fallen under suspicion in the West due to deposition of far less gifted pupil Nestorius at the Council of Ephesus in 431,” (Source: Multimedia Project: The Hidden Pearl, Part II; page 191).
The East-Syrian Church of Persia became in the course of the history known as,, The Church of Persia”; “The Church of the East”; “The Nestorian Church”; “The East-Syrian Church”. Since 1976 its name has been changed in,, The Assyrian Church of the East”.
Regardless the theological differences; as to the origin of the Aramean people; there was no any discussion about this matter between the scholars of both churches. Please find here below the testimonies of these brilliant historians regarding the synonymy: Aramean/Syrian.
(Please be informed that in our days the nationalistic/fanatics try by all means possible to distort our rich heritage by stating that the word “Syrian” is abbreviation of “Assyrian” and hence they label all of the Syrian denominations wrongfully and in contradiction to the historical facts as “Assyrinas”. Please take note of the testimonies of the brilliant historians of the Syrian Church of Antioch (Both West and East-Syrian) who testify regarding the Aramean origin of the Syrian people. If the Western scientists studied in the past the work of these historians, they most likely would not have invented mythical terms like “Assyrians” and “Chaldeans” to split our nation!)
The brilliant scholars of the Syrian Church of Antioch
The scholars of the East-Syrian (‘Nestorian’) Church
(Since 1976 called “Apostolic Assyrian Catholic Church”)
The scholars of the West-Syrian Church
Chronicle of Arbela:
in unanimity they both choose of the entire people Papa, the Aramean,
a smart and wise man."
The first bishop (= Papa) of Seleucia-Ctesiphon was ordained in 291 A.D.
2. Simon Bar Sabbae († 344), was bishop and the second catholicos of Seleucia-Ctesiphon after Papa. He was killed by King Shapur II. On the martyrdom of Simon Bar Sabbae and his companions we read:
“Beth- Oromoye” = “Beth- Aramaya” is the area in the neighborhood of the east- Aramean patriarchal see of Seleucia-Ctesiphon (see above). It is very sad to see that, because of nationalistic/fanatic reasons, the name of this ancient church has been changed in ,,Assyrian Apostolic Church of the East”. Very sad indeed!
3. Realtion between Isho Yahb and King Khosrau II Parvez.
In a Syriac text from seventh century we read about the relationship between the bishop of Syria, Isho Yahb, and the Persian king Khosrau II. Parvez (590-628) :
"YeshuYahb was treated respectfully throughout his life, by the king himself and his two christian wives Shirin the Aramean and Mary the Greek".
4. Catholicos-Patriarch Timotheos I of the (“Nestorian”) Church of the East (born in Hazza (Erbil), Iraq, † 9.1. 823 in Baghdad) speaks to other East-Syrian bishops about Mor Yeshu'zkho :
Mor Yeshu'zkho the Aramean, episcopos (from the city of) Seleucia…..
About Catholicos Dodyeshu he says:
“Catholicos Dodyeshu' the Aramean…”
The striking fact is that this patriarch of the Syrian Church of the East used the word “Aramean” in reference to our people of the Church of the East in stead of general used word “Syrian” to denote our people.
Therefore, it is very sad to see that the name of the East-Syrian (“Nestorian”) Church since 1976 has been changed in “The Assyrian Apostolic Church”, while many church fathers of this church testify about their Aramean origin.
About the famous bishop Isaac the Syrian (or: Isaac of Nineveh† 700) he says,, This useful Mimro (sermon) of Isaak, the Syrian, is finished. His prayer be with us."
Patriarch Timoteus uses the word Syrian which clearly states to these scholars the word Syrian and Aramean were synonyms for the same people.
5. Theodor Bar Koni, († 845 in Syria), was one of the Forty-two Martyrs of Amorion. In his book "Scholion" he says :
”We know that Abraham was a Syrian.”
6. East-Syrian or the East-Aramean (of the "Nestorian" Church) writer and bishop Yeshudad from Haditha († 853) wrote in his book "The light of the world" :
"The Greek translation [the Septuagint] calls all Aram and Arameans "Syrian". Consequently, Aram becomes the father of the Syrians. For this reason, those living in Mesopotamia were called "Arameans".
7. The East-Aramean ("Nestorian") lexicographer Bar Bahlul from Bagdad (†963) explains in his Syrian (Aramaic) dictionary the name "Syria" :
"And the Syrians were formerly called Arameans, (but) when Cyrus ruled over them, from then on they were called Syrians."
St. Bar Bahlul most probably would be upset if he would have seen that the name of his church since 1976 has been changed in “The Assyrian Apostolic Church of the East”.
8. Catholicos- Patriarch Elias (I) of Tirhan (1028-1049) also called Elias of Nisibis, Elias bar Senaya identifies himself in his Grammar book, the Grammar of the Syrian language, as a “Syrian”. He says “But we, the Syrians”.
8.1 In his "History" the chronicler he writes [8.1]:
"Abu Mansur Sa'id governed the territories of Beth Oromoye."
”Al-Hajjaj gave order so that the christians shall not install any churchleader, and the church of the Arameans' land remained without an overhead until the death of Hajjaj.”
9. The East- Aramean “Nestorian” metropolitan Solomon from Basra says in his book,, The Book of the Bee”(written in 1222 AD) :
"In the days of Reu the languages were divided into seventy and two; up to this time there was only one language, which was the parent of them all, namely, Aramean, that is Syrian."
"Touching the writing which was written in Greek, Hebrew and Latin, and set over Christ's head, there was no Aramean written upon the tablet, for the Arameans or Syrians had no part in (the shedding of) Christ's blood, but only the Greeks and Hebrews and Romans; Herod the Greek and Caiaphas the Hebrew and Pilate the Roman. Hence when Abgar the Aramean king of Mesopotamia heard (of it),,,,,,."
For this metropolitan, like all others, the Arameans are the same as Syrians and visa versa. The idea that “Syrian” is abbreviated from “Assyrian” propagated in our days by many fanatics and history forgers is refuted by this and many other historians of the East- as well as West Syrian Church of Antioch.
The East- Aramean “Chaldean” writers
10. The East- Aramean “Chaldean“ Patriarch Joseph (1681-1695) from Diyarbekir (1683) wrote a liturgical book entitled,, The Holy Church of the Syrians of the East"
11. Mor Touma Audo, born in Alqosh [Iraq] in 1855 and killed in the year 1917, was the Metropolitan of Urmia [Iran] and a famous dictionary writer.
In his dictionary "Treasure of the Syriac Language" (1897) he states:
12. Gevargis Abd- Ischo V, Patriarch of Babylon (1894-1899) says in a letter to his bishops , The general letter to the Syrian brothers who are called Nestorians.
13. Metropolitan Aday Sher, born 1867 in Shaqlawa [Iraq] and killed 1915 became the archbishop of Seert [Turkey].
He writes in his book "Chaldo and Athur" :
"They (= Syrians) were called Arameans due to their relationship with Aram, the son of Sehm, who settled in this country and populated it with his offspring."
13.1 About Tur Abdin he says[13.1]:
"The first inhabitants of Tur Abdin are the Arameans, for they inhabited the whole Mountain of Masios..."
14. Ya‘qob Avgin (= Eugene) Manna (1867-1928) born in Beth Qopa [Iraq] was the Metropolitan of Basra [Iraq] and wrote many books and a dictionary Aramaic- Arabic.
In his book "Beautiful gardens" he says: "All the East and West Syrians were called Arameans, that is to say children of Aram"
14.1 In his dictionary Aramaic-Arabic he writes [14.1] :
14.2 Hanna Aydin quotes Manna Aydin and says [14.2]:
 The Chronicle of Arbela, translated by Peter KAWERAU, english translation by Timothy KRÓLL LOVANII IN ÆDIBUS E. PEETERS 1985 p.26
 Syriac Manuscripts from the Vatican Library; Volume 1, VatSyr. 161, number 3. Martyrdom of St. Simeon (Symeon bar Sabba‘e), Bishop of Seleucia and Ctesiphon, and his companions. Fol. 20a. p.40, 46, 48
 Hanna Aydin, Die Syrisch- Orthodoxe Kirche von Antiochien, Ein geschichtlicher Uberblick” Bar Hebrraus Verlag Glane- Losser 1990, p.33-35.
 His book "Scholion", printed in 1910 in Paris, p. 113
 His book "The light of the world", printed in Louvian, Belgium in 1950, page 16
 R. Duval (ed.), Lexicon Syriacum, Paris, 1888-1901, under "Suryoyo"
 see 
[8.1] Elie, Enque de nisibe chronologie, p.142
 The Book of the Bee, edited and translated by Earnest A. Wallis Budge, M. A. [Oxford, the Clarendon Press] 1886, chapt. XXIII, p. 38, 99
 see 
 Treasure of the Syriac Language by Thomas Audo Metropolitan of Urmia, Part I-II. ND Verlag Bar Hebräus, Losser-Holland 1985, preface
 see 
 Sa Grandeur Mgr. Addai Scher, De La Chaldee Et De L’assyrie Vol. 2, (Imprimerie Catholique, Beyrouht, 1913), 5
[13.1] Quoted by bishop Julius Cicek in his introduction of Suleyman Hinno's "Gunhe d-Suryoye d-Tur Abdin", Bar Hebräus-Verlag, 1987
 Asmar Al-Khoury: History of the Syriac people in Beth Nahrin, part I, Sweden 1988
[14.1] Bishop J.E. Manna, Chaldean-Arabic Dictionary, Babel Center Publications. Beirut 1915, p. 11-21
[14.2] see 
1. St. Afrem the Syrian († 373) the Harp of the Holy Spirit, the famous Church father of the Syrian Church of Antioch, names the famous Bar Dayson ( of Edessa “Bar Dayson the
1.1 He speaks of Aram-Nahrin (= Mesopotamia) as `our country' in a number of places[1.1]
1.2 In his discourse composed against the famous philosopher Bardaisan from Edessa (Urfa) he writes [1.2]:
1.3 In another discourse against Mani he says:
"and there ended the construction of the Aramaean Philosopher"[1.3]
1.4 Regarding Jesus and the healing of the Canaanite woman's daughter he says in his appeal to the Lord [1.4]:
"Doctor who in his mercy healed the girl which is the daughter of the Arameans, heal our souls."
2. The learned West-Aramean Saint James of Sarug (Sürüç, Turkey, †512) describes Saint Ephrem the Syrian († 373) in a hymn as honor to the Aramean nation opposing the Greeks and states:
2.1 In his Homily on Aday and King Abgar he writes [2.1]:
2.2 In his Homily on Urhoy and Jerusalem:
"The darkness of the world and the blackness of Abgar, the Aramaean's son, the world of darkness became light through Abgar in Christ."[2.2]
2.3 About Edessa (SanliUrfa) he says[2.3]:
"The daughter of the Arameans, albeit aloof, heard his lore"
2.4 In the Homily on “Guria and Shamuna” the martyrs from the neighborhood of Edessa (Urfa) and says[2.4]:
"Two precious pearls, which were an ornament for the bride of my lord Abgar, the Aramaean's son.
3. Philoxenos of Mabugh, born in the middle of the 5th century in Tahal in the province of Beth Garmai and passed away on December 10 in Philippopolis in Thrakia, was one of the greatest church fathers. He studied together with Saint James of Sarug in Edessa and in the Monastery of Mor Gabriel in Tur Abdin.
In one of his writings he says:
"The term stir or mix is used in most of the books written by our churchly ancestors regardless of being Arameans or Greeks."
4. John of Beth Rufina, priest at Antioch and disciple of the great anti-Chalcedonian leader, Peter the Iberian (417-491), writes about the Life of St. Abhai, bishop of Nicea :
His Holiness Patriarch Michael the Great revised this life story of Saint Abhai in 1185.
5. The 6th century historian and Bishop Simeon of Beth Arsham, which was located near Seleucia-Ctesiphon, was a famous man who made disciples and baptized three great and famous men among the Magians, says in a letter concerning Barsauma and the heresies of the Nestorians :
"In the days of Catholicos Babai heresies of the disciples of Paul from Samosata and Diodor from Tarsus emerged in the country of Beth Oromoye"
6. The West- Aramean Saint Jacob of Edessa (present-day Urfa in Turkey, †708) says:
"It is in this same way also we the Arameans, that is to say the Syrians…"
6.1 About the Syriac language he writes in his book "The Six Days" [6.1]:
"The Syriac language, that is Aramaic"
7. The Anonymous of Zuqnin, near Amid [Turkey] writes in his Syriac world-chronicle of c. AD 775 regarding the year 504-505:
"The year eight hundred and sixteen: The Romans devastated all the Persian territory from Nisibis to the boundaries of Beth Aramaye, killing, destroying, taking prisoner and plundering."
7.1 About the imposator appeared in the West and seduced and killed many among the Jews[7.1]:
"He went down to the land of Beth Aramaye that was immersed in all the evils of sorcery, and devoted himself to sorcery and all diabolical tricks."
7.2 In relation to Jazira, the term which refers to Upper Mesopotamia from Osrhoene in the West to Mount Sinjar in the East, being the land of the Syriac-speaking Christians [7.2]:
"land which spoke the language of the children of Aram"
7.3 About the Arab Muslims who married Christian women[7.3]
"As for the people who married (Syrian) women, sired Syrian children, and mixed with the Syrians, and whom no one was able to distinguish from the Aramaeans, he quickly found out about them."
8 Patriarch Dionysius (†845) of Tellmahre, near ar-Raqqa on the Balikh River, writes in his chronicle:
"Figuratively we're calling 'Syrians' all those, who are speaking Aramaic, both to the west and east of the Euphrates, from the Mediterranean Sea to Persia...Urhoy (= Urfa) is the homeland of the Syriac-Aramaic language."
9. Monk Anton of Tikrit (Iraq, † 840-850) on Wafa the Aramean:
“The fifth meter of poetry is usually composed of six or seven strophics whose number sometimes increases or decreases. This meter belongs to man named Wafa, an Aramean philosopher.”
10. Moses Bar Kepha (Bar Keepho), a celebrated bishop and writer, born at Balad (near Tigris) in 813 and passed away in 903, says in his book "The Six Days" :
”Mor Philoxinos said also that the translation of the Bible is called ”The Easy (Peshitta)", which was translated into our Aramean language by Agolas and Soomkhos.”
11. Dionoysius Bar Salibi the Syrian-Orthodox bishop of Amid (Diyarbekir, Turkey, †1171), also called the star from the 12th century, says in his book ‘Against the Armenians" :
"The Armenians say: "From whom do you descend - you who are Syrians by race?" Against them we will say: Neither do you know from whom you descend....It is we (Syrians) who have enlightened your authors and revealed to them that you are descending from Togarma....As to us Syrians, we descend racially from Shem, and our father is Kemuel (the) son of Aram, and from this name of Aram we are also called sometimes in the books by the name of "Arameans".
11.1 Against the Melkites he says in his book "Discussions"[11.1]:
12. The Syrian-Orthodox (West-Aramean) Patriarch St. Michael the Great of Militene (Malatya, Turkey, † 1199 AD) says about the children of Shem: "The Children of Shem are the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, the Ludians and the Arameans who are the Syrians, the Hebrew and the Persians."
12.1 The same author says about the Mesopotamian history” The kingdoms which have been established in antiquity by our race, (that of) the Aramaeans, namely the descendants of Aram, who were called Syrians”[12.1] .
The remarkable thing is, that this great scholar from the 12th century considers the whole Mesopotamian history as a part of the Aramean history.
12.2 About Mani he says[12.2]:
Regarding the persecution of the Christians in Persia in 339-379 he says:
”the 40 years perpetual persecution in the land of the Arameans”
13. The well known West- Aramean Syrian-Orthodox Maphrian and scholar Bar Hebreaus from Militene (Malatya, Turkey, †1286), by the modern scientist called the library from the 13th century because of his profound knowledge, says about the "Syrian-Aramean Nation".
"You have not corrupted me in the barbaric, pagan astrology, but [instead] You have brought me to the eloquent Aramean-Syrian nation."
13.1 In his book of the laughable stories, he says [13.1] "let this book be a religious friend to the reader, whether he be Muslim, or Hebrew, or Aramean, or a man belonging to a foreign country."
13.2 In his commentary on Genesis 10:22 he says[13.2]: "and his [Shem] sons (were) the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, the Ludians, the Syrians, the Hebrews, (and) the Persians."
It is remarkable that he speaks of "Syrians" and not of "Arameans", since this synonymous was interchangeable in reference to our people, it means: Arameans=Syrians. It was no discussion about this issue.
 (C.W. Mitchell, S. Ephraim's Prose Refutations of Mani, Marcion and Bardaisan (2 vols.; London & Oxford: Williams & Norgate, 1912 & 1921), vol. II, p. 225)
[1.1] (See Sidney H. Griffith, "Julian Saba, `Father of the Monks' of Syria," Journal of Early Christian Studies 2 (1994), esp. pp. 201-203)
[1.2] (C.W. Mitchell, S. Ephraim's Prose Refutations of Mani, Marcion and Bardaisan (2 vols.; London & Oxford: Williams & Norgate, 1912 & 1921), vol. II, p. 225.
See O. G. von Wessendonk, "Bardesanes and Mani," Acta Orientalia 10 (1932), pp. 336-363)
[1.4] See Priest Joseph Demir, Pentiqotho, 1981 Heilbronn, p. 202
 See Joseph P. Amar, A Metrical Homily on Holy Mar Ephrem by Mar Jacob of Sarug (Patrologia Orientalis, vol. 47, fasc., 1, no. 209; Turnhout: Brepols, 1995), #48, pp. 37ff.
[2.1] Syriac Manuscripts from the Vatican Library: Volume 1, VatSyr. 117 number 108. On Addai the Apostle and Abgar the King of Edessa. Fol. 268a, p. 537
[2.2] Words, Texts And Concepts Cruising The Mediterranean Sea: Studies On The Sources, Contents And Influences Of Islamic Civilization And Arabic Philosophy And Science : Dedicated To Gerhard Endress On His Sixty Peter Bruns' Ein Memra des Jakob von Serug Auf Edessa und Jerusalem, p. 546
[2.3] see [2.2] p. 549
[2.4] Text tr. A. Roberts and J. Donaldson (eds.), Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 8 (1886);
See Syriac Manuscripts from the Vatican Library: Volume 1, VatSyr. 117, number 224:On Shmona and Gurya. Fol. 551a, p. 1099
 Syriac Manuscripts from the Vatican Library; Volume 1, VatSyr 37: Life of St. Abhai, Bishop of Nicea. Fol. 144b (156b), p. 314, 315
 Syriac Manuscripts from the Vatican Library; Volume 1, VatSyr 135, number 6: A letter by Bishop Simeon of Beth Arsham concerning Barsauma and the heresies of the Nestorians. Fol. 24a , p. 56
 Saint James of Edessa his "History", p. 293
[7.1] see , p. 163
[7.2] see  p. 225
[7.2] see  p. 226
 Chabot Edition, Mar Michael the Great his "History" about Patriarch Mar Dionyius Telemheery , page 522-524
 Monk Anton of Tigrit "The knowledge of Eloqeunce", Chapter 5
 The Bishop Moses Bar Kepha: "The Six Days", First article, Chapter 44, Chapter 45, 2e article, Chapter 45
 A. Mingana, The work of Dionysius Bar Salibi against the Armenians, in Woodbrooke Studies, Vol.4, (Cambridge, 1931) p. 54
[11.1] A. Mingana, A Treatise of Bar Salibi Against the Melchites (Cambridge, 1931), p. 57
 Syriac text of Chabot edition, published in Paris 1899-1918, p. 3
[12.1] see , p. 23
[12.2] see , p. 748
 Bar Hebraeus, The book of the Rays, by the Syriac Federation of Sweden, 1983, preface
[13.1] Bar Hebraeus, The Laughable Stories, written off by Bishop Julius Cicek, Verlag Bar Hebräus, Losser-Holland 1984, preface
[13.2] World Chronicle of Bar Hebraeus, written off by Malphono Barsaumo Dogan, Verlag Bar Hebräus. Losser-Holland 1987, p. 5
Lion and the fox
All these brilliant scholars clearly testify of their Aramean/Syrian origin. Nevertheless, you have some people today who try by all means possible, following the myths and legends invented by the western missionaries, to deny or distort the cultural origin of our people by spreading overwhelming biased information. This kind of behavior can be the best described by a Aramaic saying (from Tur Abdin), which sounds like this,, The Foundation led by the Lions, is turned into chaos by foxes"
In the third century BC the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek. This translation was called the Septuagint (abbreviate form “LXX”). In the Septuagint the terms “Aram”, “Arameans”, “Aramaic”, and “Aram-Naharaïm” were translated with the words "Syria”, “Syrians”, “Syriac”, and “Mesopotamia”.
For example, in 2 Kings 5:1-19 we read about the healing of general Naaman the Aramean. This healing of Naaman the Aramean is mentioned by Jesus Christ in Luke 4:27 where He says,, And there were many people suffering from dreaded skin-disease who lived in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha; yet not one of them was healed, but only Naaman the Syrian ".
This synonymy was well known even to the Greek historian Posidonius (150 BC) who says,, “ The people we (Greeks) call Syrians, were called by the Syrians self Arameans…. for the people in Syria are the Arameans “. This is repeated by Strabo (Greek historian, born ca. 63 BC), the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (first century AD) and others who all have testified to the fact that the people, whom the Greeks called Syrians, called itself Arameans.