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Christianity / Orientations / Nestorian Church /
Babai the Great


(Ca. 551-628) In Christianity, church father, a central theologian for the Assyrian Church (see Nestorian Church and Chaldean Catholic Church).
His main efforts were in reviving monasticism in this church, and formulated a new Christology that is still used by the Nestorian Church.
His Christology was expressed in the Book of Union, where he teaches that Christ has two qnomes (essences), unmingled and eternally united in one personality. His Christology comes very close to what is the accepted with Catholicism and Orthodoxy, actually deviating clearly from that of Nestorianism. It is clear that Babai thought of Christ as both God and man, but he could not accept that anything of the divine suffered with the crucifixion.
He was a very active author, producing 83 or 84 volumes of his writings. He was especially concerned about fighting the Monophysites and the ideas of Origen, especially those of Henana. He also wrote against Mani, Marcian, Bar Daisan and the Messalians.
Although without the formal position, he was the head of his church.

Biography
Ca. 551: Born in Beth Zabdai (corresponding to modern Turkey) into a wealthy Christian family.
571: Becomes a teacher in Christian subjects.
588: Founds a monastery in Beth Zabdai.
604: Becomes head of Abraham's monastery on Mount Izla, starts imposing celibacy for monks and nuns. Many leaves the monastery.
611: Becomes the effective head of the church. His title was merely "Visitors of the Monasterie", this in order to circumvent the conflict between the church and the Sassanid king, who wanted to appoint his men to the leadership.





By Tore Kjeilen