27—Aphrahat: Parsee Sage Primary in Time
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Aphrahat is known in the tradition as “the Persian Sage.” He is the first Father in our series to live, geographically and culturally, outside the Roman Empire. Born in the late third century in the Persian Empire, he flourished amid persecution. Aphrahat is the earliest prominent witness to Syriac Christianity. He wrote in a dialect of Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus. He maintained close contact with Judaism and demonstrated a profound knowledge of Hebrew Scriptures and Jewish customs. He wrote in prose that reads like poetry. His is a most unusual voice. The modern rabbi Jacob Neusner called Aphrahat a model of Jewish-Christian dialogue—“an enduring voice of civility and rationality amid the cacophony of mutual disesteem.”
Aphrahat the Persian Sage, Select Demonstrations https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2231
Aphrahat the Persian Sage, Demonstration 2 http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/aphrahat_dem2.htm
Aphrahat the Persian Sage, Demonstration 7 http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/aphrahat_dem7.htm
Jacob Neusner, Aphrahat and Judaism: The Christian-Jewish Argument in Fourth-Century Iran https://www.amazon.com/Aphrahat-Judaism-Christian-Jewish-Fourth-Century-Supplements/dp/9004021507/
More works by the Fathers https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/
Mike Aquilina’s website https://fathersofthechurch.com
Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed http://www.ccwatershed.org
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