Dear George: Sorry to interrupt … Greek was an …
Comment posted Lifestyle of Kerala Syrian Christians by John Mathew.
Sorry to interrupt …
Greek was an important language for the early (non-Jewish) Church; all ancient Churches have some influence from the Greeks. The influence of Greek on the Jacobites and derivatives of the Jacobites is due to the fact that the Jacobites of Kerala were strongly influenced by the Jacobites of the Middle East—”strongly influenced” is perhaps too weak: the two churches are, for all intents and purposes, identical. So the Greek influence on the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch got transfered to Kerala when Mar Gregorios Abdul Jaleel came over in the 1600s. (Which was before Claudius Buchanan came over…).
Now, how does it come into our worship? All available evidence suggests that the Liturgy of St. James (used by the Orthodox, Syro-Malankara, and Mar Thoma Churches) was first written in Greek, and then translated into Syriac (although some maintain that it was first written in Syriac and then translated into Greek—for various reasons this is not seen as being correct by most historians).
Hence, we have “Stoumen Kalos” and “Kurieleison” and “Axios” and other such words. Also, many (if not most) of the Church fathers were Greek or from Hellenized civilizations — hence the names of our bishops are often Greco-Roman.
The Greek influence on our Church is nothing more than the general Greek influence on all of (non-Jewish) Christianity. Actually … due to Hellenization, there is also Greek influence on the Jews too.
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