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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Armenian Church

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a branch, originally, of the Greek church, residing in Armenia. They probably received Christianity in the fourth century. Mr. Yeates gives the most recent account of them:—

"Their whole ecclesiastical establishment is under the government of four patriarchs; the first has his residence in Echmiadzin, or Egmiathin, near Irivan; the second, at Sis, in the lesser Armenia; the third, in Georgia; and the fourth, in Achtamar, or Altamar, on the Lake of Van; but the power of the two last is bounded within their own diocesses, while the others have more extensive authority, and the patriarch of Egmiathan has, or had, under him eighteen bishops, beside those who are priors of monasteries. The Armenians every where perform divine service in their own tongue, in which their liturgy and offices are written, in the dialect of the fourth or fifth centuries. They have the whole Bible translated from the

Septuagint, as they say, so early as the time of Chrysostom. The Armenian confession is similar to that of the Jacobite Christians, both being Monophysites, acknowledging but one nature in the person of Christ; but this, according to Mr. Simon, is little more than a dispute about terms; few of them being able to enter into the subtilties of polemics.

"In the year 1664, an Armenian bishop, named Uscan, visited Europe for the purpose of getting printed the Armenian Bible, and communicated the above particulars to Mr. Simon. In 1667, a certain patriarch of the lesser Armenia visited Rome, and made a profession of faith which was considered orthodox, and procured him a cordial reception, with the hope of reconciling the Armenian Christians to the Roman church; but before he got out of Italy, it was found he had prevaricated, and still persisted in the errors of his church. About this time, Clement IX, wrote to the king of Persia, in favour of some Catholic converts in Armenia, and

received a favourable answer; but the Armenian church could never be persuaded to acknowledge the authority of Rome.

"They have among them a number of monasteries and convents, in which is maintained a severe discipline; marriage is discountenanced, though not absolutely prohibited; a married priest cannot obtain promotion, and the higher clergy are not allowed to marry. They worship in the eastern manner, by prostration; they are

very superstitious, and their ceremonies much resemble those of the Greek church. Once in their lives they generally perform a pilgrimage to Jerusalem; and in 1819, the number of Armenian pilgrims was thirteen hundred, nearly as many as the Greeks. Dr. Buchanan, however, says, ‘Of all the Christians in central Asia, they have preserved themselves most free from Mohammedan and Papal corruptions.'"


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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Armenian Church'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/wtd/a/armenian-church.html. 1831-2.

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Monday, December 9th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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