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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Chaldeans, or Chaldaean Christians

a name by which the Nestorians (q.v.) call themselves. More commonly it is used to designate that portion of the Nestorians who have acknowledged the supremacy of the Pope.

The writings of Ibas, bishop of Odessa, and the activity of the school of Odessa, disseminated the Nestorian doctrines in Mesopotamia, Assyria, Persia, and other Eastern countries in the 5th century. The adherents of these doctrines received from the orthodox party the name of Nestorians, while they chose for themselves that of Chaldean Christians. Thus separated from cooperation with the Western Church, and the breach being subsequently widened by the schism of the Greek Church, they formed a separate organization, and established an ecclesiastical system of their own, having at its head Ctesiphon, patriarch of Seleucia. After the Council of Florence (q.v.) had to some extent reunited the Greek and Latin Churches, a large number of Nestorians returned to them. Timotheus, archbishop of the Nestorians of Cyprus, among others, abjured Nestorianism, and was received into the Roman Church in virtue of a bull of Pope Eugene IV (1445), which bull also decided that the name of Nestorians should no longer be applied to the Chaldean Christians. After this, partial accessions of Nestorians to the Roman Catholic Church took place from time to time; a number of them joined it during the reign of Pope Julius III (1552), When Sind, patriarch of the Nestorians of Mosul, asked and obtained the ratification of his election by the Pope.

This union was continued by the patriarch Elias, who, in 1616, assembled a synod at Amid, where the patriarch, together with five archbishops and one bishop, endorsed the Roman Catholic Confession of Faith, and declared in favor of union with Rome. Yet separations occurred from time to time. Under Pope Innocent IX a large number of Nestorians joined the Roman Church, and he gave them, as well as to all Chaldean Christians, a patriarch in the person of Joseph I, who made his residence at Amid, usually called Diarbekir. From this time forward the Roman Catholics of Chaldaea have had a patriarch of their own, bearing the title of patriarch of Babylon, and residing at Bagdad. They also preserve a ritual of their own in the Chaldaic language. Besides the patriarch, the Chaldeans have archbishops at Amadie and Seleucia in Asiatic Tulkey, four bishops in Turkey, and two in Persia. "This sect is accessible through the missions of the A. B. C. F. M. at Oroomiah and Diarbekir, but principally through the station at Mosul, where some of the members of the Protestant Church are converted Chaldeans. Recently, through papal intrigues with the pasha, the large Chaldean village of Telkeif has been closed to missionary efforts, and even Protestants who own property there have been forbidden to visit it. But such a state of things cannot last, and we may hope soon to hear that such measures have redounded, as they always do, to the furtherance of the truth" (Newcomb, Cyclop. of Missions, 243). Wetzer und Welte, Kirchenlexikon; Schem, Year-book for 1859, p. 33; Assemani, Biblioth. Orient. t. i, p. 203-251, 543-549; 2, p. 457; 3, part 2, p. 412; Guriel (a Chaldean priest), Elementa linguae Chaldaicae quibus accedit series Patriarchaium Chaldaeorum (Rome, 1860); Annals of the Propagation of the Faith (1845); Perkins, Eight Years among the Aestorian Christians (N. Y. 1843). (See NESTORIANS).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Chaldeans, or Chaldaean Christians'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/c/chaldeans-or-chaldaean-christians.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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