Jacobites

The Monophysites* of Syria who rejected the doctrine of the two natures in Christ and who have been traditionally named after Jacob Baradaeus.* After the Council of Chalcedon (451) the Syrian patriarch withdrew his church from communion with other Eastern churches because he did not accept the christological doctrine set forth by the council. Often persecuted, this Monophysite church experienced strengthening through the labors of Jacob Baradaeus and his supporters. Also, Empress Theodora treated it sympathetically during the mid-sixth century. It was at the Second Council of Nicea (787) that it was described as “Jacobite” in the anathemas against the Monophysite doctrine.

Though suffering numerical losses through the Muslim conquests and through internal schisms and losses to the Roman Catholic Church in the seventeenth century, the Jacobite Church still exists, but with a small membership. Its patriarch, while taking his title from Antioch, lives elsewhere. The bread for the Eucharist is made of leavened dough mixed with salt and oil; in the liturgy to the trisagion is added the words “who was crucified on your account”; and the sign of the cross is made with one finger (perhaps to emphasize the doctrine of the one nature of Christ). Among the theologians of the Jacobites are reckoned Isaac of Antioch, Jacob of Edessa,* and Jacob of Sarug.*

See D. Attwater, The Dissident Eastern Churches (1937).