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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a composition of πατήρ (pater) meaning "father" and ἄρχων (archon) meaning "leader", "chief", "ruler", "king", etc.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are referred to as the three patriarchs of the people of Israel, and the period in which they lived is called the Patriarchal Age. It originally acquired its religious meaning in the Septuagint version of the Bible.[1]

The word has mainly taken on specific ecclesiastical meanings. In particular, the highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic Church (above Major Archbishop and primate), and the Assyrian Church of the East are called patriarchs. The office and ecclesiastical conscription (comprising one or more provinces, though outside his own (arch)diocese he is often without enforceable jurisdiction) of such a patriarch is called a patriarchate. Historically, a Patriarch may often be the logical choice to act as Ethnarch, representing the community that is identified with his religious confession within a state or empire of a different creed (as Christians within the Ottoman Empire).

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Eastern Christianity

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Nestorianism

Patriarchs of the Church of the East, sometimes also referred to as Nestorian, the Church of Persia, the Sassanid Church, or, in modern times, the Assyrian Church of the East, trace their lineage of patriarchs back to the 1st century.

Eastern Orthodoxy

Paul, Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch.

Eastern Patriarchs out of the Orthodox Communion

Oriental Orthodox Churches

see: Oriental Orthodoxy

Roman Catholicism

Catholic Patriarchal (non cardinal) coat of arms

As part of the Pentarchy, the Pope's Patriarchate of Rome was the only one in the Western Roman empire. It was roughly coterminous with present territory of the Latin Rite. In the past popes have used the title Patriarch of the West or Patriarch of Rome and All the West. However, this title was removed from a reference publication issued by the Vatican in 2006, although it was not abrogated.[7] The Orthodox, however, believe that among the five Patriarchs and ancient Patriarchates (i.e., Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem), a special place of honor belongs to the pope, a "primacy of honor," but not of supremacy.[8]

Latin Rite

Patriarchs of the Eastern Catholic Churches

see: Patriarchs of the East

Historical Latin Rite Patriarchs

Catholic Patriarchs not in communion with the Church in Rome

Mormonism

According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a patriarch is one who has been ordained to the office of Patriarch in the Melchizedek Priesthood. The term is considered synonymous with the term evangelist. One of the patriarch's primary responsibilities is to give Patriarchal blessings, as Jacob did to his twelve sons in the Old Testament. Patriarchs are typically assigned in each stake and hold the title for life.

See also

References


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also patriarch

German

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Patriarch

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Noun

Patriarch m. (genitive Patriarchen, plural Patriarchen)

  1. patriarch

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki


a name employed in the New Testament with reference to Abraham (Heb 7:4), the sons of Jacob (Acts 7:8, 9), and to David (2:29). This name is generally applied to the progenitors of families or "heads of the fathers" (Josh 14:1) mentioned in Scripture, and they are spoken of as antediluvian (from Adam to Noah) and post-diluvian (from Noah to Jacob) patriachs. But the expression "the patriarch," by way of eminence, is applied to the twelve sons of Jacob, or to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

"Patriachal longevity presents itself as one of the most striking of the facts concerning mankind which the early history of the Book of Genesis places before us...There is a large amount of consentient tradition to the effect that the life of man was originally far more prolonged than it is at present, extending to at least several hundred years. The Babylonians, Egyptians, and Chinese exaggerated these hundreds into thousands. The Greeks and Romans, with more moderation, limited human life within a thousand or eight hundred years. The Hindus still farther shortened the term. Their books taught that in the first age of the world man was free from diseases, and lived ordinarily four hundred years; in the second age the term of life was reduced from four hundred to three hundred; in the third it became two hundred; in the fourth and last it was brought down to one hundred" (Rawlinson's Historical Illustrations).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

A patriarch was the head of an extended family, originally.

Today, the word is mostly taken to have a meaning within Christianity. There, the word is used to refer to the highest-ranking Bishops of the respective churches, that is the Oriental Orthodox Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East


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