Armeenia tähestik, nägemus Jumalast

Armeenia tähestik, nägemus Jumalast


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Armeenia tähestik on armeenia keele kirjutamiseks välja töötatud skript. See tähestikuline kirjutamissüsteem töötati välja 5. sajandil pKr ja seda kasutatakse siiani.

Armeenia tähestik mitte ainult ei võimaldanud armeenia keelt kirjutada, vaid mängis ka otsustavat rolli Armeenia rahva rahvusliku identiteedi säilitamisel. Armeenlased peavad jätkuvalt suurt tähtsust oma tähestikule ja see on nähtav Armeenia tähestiku monumendis, mis püstitati Byurakanis 2005. aastal.

Erinevalt ladina tähestikust, mida enamik inimesi tunneb, sisaldab armeenia tähestik 39 tähte. Kui tähestik loodi, sisaldas see 36 tähte, millest 7 on täishäälikud ja ülejäänud 29 kaashäälikud.

Hiljem lisati veel kolm tähte, mille tulemuseks oli armeenia tähestikus 39 tähte. Need kolm tähte lisati tõlgete kirjutamise hõlbustamiseks. Võib lisada, et kõigil algupärastel tähtedel on numbriline väärtus, mis tähendas, et tähestikku saab kasutada matemaatiliste arvutuste tegemiseks ja kalendrikuupäevade salvestamiseks.

Kui kirjutatud armeenia keel jäi pärast tähestiku loomist enam -vähem muutumatuks, siis armeenia keel oli jagatud kaheks erinevaks murdeks 19. th sajandil, s.o Ida- ja Lääne -Armeenia. Esimest tunti ka kui "Venemaa armeenlast" ning see põhineb Armeenia ja Gruusia pealinna Jerevani ja Tbilisi murretel, teine ​​aga oli tuntud ka kui "Türgi armeenlane" ja põhineb murrel armeenlaste kogukond Istanbulis.

Armeenia keel ise eelnes selle tähestikule. Armeenia keel on indoeuroopa keel, keelte perekond, mis hõlmab enamikku Euroopa, Iraani platoo ja Põhja-India keeli. On oletatud, et armeenlased võisid Vanni järve, Sevani ja Urmiat ümbritsevatesse piirkondadesse jõuda juba II poolaasta teisel poolel. nd aastatuhandel eKr. Järgmise aastatuhande keskpaigaks asendasid armeenlased kohalikud urartlased.

Tõendeid selle kohta leiab Behistuni pealdiselt, mille tellis Ahhameniidide valitseja Dareios I, tuntud ka kui Dareios Suur. Sildil on nimed Armina ja Armaniya, mis on varaseim viide Armeeniale.

Armeeniat nimetatakse Behistuni pealdisel. ( पाटलिपुत्र)

Armeenia tähestiku loomine

Järgnevatel sajanditel mainisid Armeeniat erinevad iidsed autorid. Tundub aga, et armeenlased ei loonud oma plaate. Kuni tänapäevani ei ole leitud ühtegi dokumenti (olgu selleks kivisildid, käsikirjad või legendid müntidel) armeenia tähtedega, mis pärinevad enne 5. sajandit pKr. Teisest küljest on mõnede iidsete autorite töödes tunnistatud 5. sajandi eelse aja pKr armeenia kirja olemasolu.

Näiteks Aleksandria filo, hellenistlik juudi filosoof, kes elas 1 st sajandil eKr ja 1 st sajandil pKr, kirjutas selle Loomade kohta tõlgiti armeenia keelde. Loomade kohta oli kahe vahel elanud kreeka filosoofi ja ajaloolase Scepsise Metrodorose teos nd ja 1 st sajandeid eKr.

Metrodorus oli ka Armeenia kuninga Tigranes Suure lähedane sõber ja õukonnaajaloolane, nii et ta oleks Armeenia tähestikku tundnud. Teise näitena võib tuua Rooma Hippolytose, 3 rd sajandi pKr teoloog, kirjutas, et armeenlased olid üks rahvastest, millel oli oma tähestik.

Igal juhul arvatakse, et armeenia tähestik leiutati alles 5. sajandil pKr. Traditsiooni kohaselt lõi tähestiku 405. aastal pKr Armeenia munk, teoloog ja keeleteadlane Saint Mesrop Mashtots. Mesrop sündis umbes aastal 360 pKr aadliperes.

Püha Mesrop Mashtots lõi armeenia tähestiku. (Taron Saharyan ~ commonswiki / )

Mesori ühe õpilase ja biograafi Koryuni sõnul oli pühak polüglott, kes valdas vabalt mitut keelt, sealhulgas kreeka, pärsia ja gruusia keelt. Ta on armeenia patriarhi Saint Nerses I käe all õppinud klassikalisi keeli. Pärast õpinguid sai Mesropist munk, umbes aastal 395 pKr, ja hiljem ordineeriti preestriks.

Mesrop asutas mitmeid kloostreid ja levitas kristlust riigi kaugemates piirkondades, kus inimesed praktiseerisid veel enne kristluse tulekut Armeenias domineerinud religiooni mazdaismi. Muide, Armeeniat peetakse esimeseks riigiks, kes võttis kristluse oma riigiusuks, s.o 301. aastal pKr, Tiridates III valitsemisajal.

Kuigi Armeenia oli Mesropi sünni ajaks juba kristlik riik, on tõenäoline, et enamik elanikkonnast olid ainult nominaalselt kristlased. Kuna nad ei osanud Piiblit lugeda, oli paljudel armeenlastel oma religioonist piiratud arusaam. Lisaks puudusid armeenia keeles kirjutatud piiblid, kuna keele jaoks puudus kirjutamissüsteem.

Sellegipoolest võiksid teadmised kristlusest suusõnaliselt laiemale elanikkonnale edastada selliseid mehi nagu Mesrop, seega polnud probleem lahendamata. Aastal 387 pKr kaotas Armeenia aga oma iseseisvuse ning jagunes Bütsantsi ja Sassania impeeriumi vahel, mis olid selle piirkonna kaks suurriiki. Kardeti, et armeenlased kaotavad Bütsantsi või Sassani ühiskonda assimileerumise tõttu oma rahvusliku identiteedi. Seetõttu tuli armeenlaste rahvusliku identiteedi säilitamiseks midagi ette võtta.

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Armeenia käsikiri, 5 th - 6 th sajandil. Armeenia tähestik loodi Armeenia kultuuri säilitamiseks. (Bogomolov.PL / )

See oli Mesrop, kes pakkus välja lahenduse, st armeenia tähestiku leiutamise. Pühakut toetas selles ettevõtmises Vramshapuh, kes määras Mesropi oma kantsleriks.

Vramshapuh valitses Armeeniat 389 pKr kuni 414 pKr kui Sassania klient. Kuigi Mesropile omistatakse traditsiooniliselt armeenia tähestiku „leiutis”, võib ehk olla õigem öelda, et ta „leiutas selle” uuesti, sest iidsete allikate kohaselt muutis Mesrop palju vanemat armeenia kirja, kaotanud, mitte loonud täiesti uue tähekomplekti.

Kas armeenia tähestik taastati kadunud stsenaariumist?

Ühe loo versiooni pakub Koryun. Lugu algab sellega, et Vramshapuh sai teate, et Süüria piiskop nimega Daniel, avastas ootamatult unustatud armeenia kirja. Kuningas seostas loo oma kantsleri Mesropi ja tolleaegse Armeenia patriarhiga Sahak Parteviga (tuntud ka kui Armeenia Iisak).

Vramshapuhi ja Mesrop Mashtotsi kuju Armeenia tähestiku monumendi lähedal. (Jerevantsi / CC BY-SA 4.0

Kaks meest mõistsid avastuse tähtsust ja kutsusid kuningat üles leidma viisi, kuidas stsenaarium Armeeniasse tagasi tuua. Seetõttu saatis Vramshapuh mehe Vahrij koos sõnumiga preestrile ja Taanieli lähedasele sõbrale Habelile. Kui Habel sai kuninga sõnumi, läks ta kohe Taanieli juurde, hankis sõbralt stsenaariumi ja saatis selle kuningale.

Koryun väidab, et stsenaarium jõudis Vramshapuhni tema valitsemisaja viiendal aastal. Pärast stsenaariumi nägemist küsisid Mesrop ja Sahak kuningalt mõned väikesed lapsed, kellega koos tähestikku katsetada. Nähes, et kahe mehe katsed olid edukad, käskis kuningas tähestikku õpetada kogu kuningriigis.

Pärast kaheaastast tähestiku kasutamist mõistsid Mesrop ja Sahak aga, et tähed ei ole armeenia keele kirjutamiseks piisavad. Seetõttu otsustasid kaks meest, et tähti tuleb ajakohastada ja muuta.

Nii kõvasti kui nad ka üritasid, ei suutnud Mesrop ja Sahak seda ülesannet täita. Lõpuks leiti lahendus jumaliku sekkumise kaudu. Koryuni sõnul sai Mesrop ühel päeval Jumalalt nägemuse, kes juhendas ja aitas pühakut muistsete tähtede muutmisel, luues nii 36 armeenia tähestiku tähte.

Mõju armeenia tähestikule

Koryuni loos leiutati armeenia tähestik uuesti vanemast kirjast, mis näitab, et Mesrop ei kitkunud tähti õhust. Teadlased on spekuleerinud selle üle, mis see iidne skript võis olla. Üks ettepanek on, et armeenia tähestik põhines Pahlavi skriptil, mida kasutati Lähis -Pärsia keelte kirjutamisel.

Mõned allikad usuvad, et siin näidatud Pahlavi skript inspireeris armeenia tähestikku. (PawełMM)

See skript tuletati aramea keelest ja seda kasutati uute zoroastria religioossete tekstide kirjutamiseks, samuti olemasolevate avesta pühakirjade tõlkimiseks. Seetõttu oleks seda skripti Armeenias enne kristluse saabumist religioosses kontekstis kasutatud. Armeenia tähestik näitab ka kreeka keele mõju, mis pole täiesti üllatav, kui arvestada, et see oli üks tähestikke, mida kasutati kristlike pühakirjade kirjutamiseks.

Kreeka keele mõju on nähtav ka teatud armeenia tähtede sarnasuses kreeka tähtedega (mitte ainult visuaalselt, vaid ka tähtede / helide järjekorras), täishäälikute juuresolekul ja kirjutamissuunas, st vasakult paremale . Lisaks arvatakse, et Rufanose nime kandev kreeklane aitas Mesropit ja Sahakit armeenia tähestiku loomisel.

Traditsiooni kohaselt oli Mesropi esimene lause pärast armeenia tähestiku leiutamist „Teadma tarkust ja õpetust; mõistmise sõnu tajuma ”. Need sõnad pärinevad Vana Testamendi Õpetussõnadest. Tõepoolest, esimene asi, mida Mesrop uue tähestikuga tegi, oli Piibli tõlkimine armeenia keelde.

Nii valmis esimene populaarne armeenia piibel, nn Mesroopia piibel, aastal 410 pKr. Tundub, et Mesropi tõlgitud piibli esialgne koopia pole säilinud. "Armeenia tähestiku vanim säilinud näide" on arutelu teema, kuigi sellele pealkirjale on mitu pretendenti.

Üks neist on näiteks Armeenia kiri „Armeenia linn mosaiigil”. See mosaiik avastati 1894. aastal Jeruusalemmas Damaskuse värava ja Musrara kvartali lähedal. Mosaiik on oma stiili ja ikonograafia järgi dateeritud 5 th / 6 th sajandil pKr. Armeenia pealdis mosaiigil on järgmine:

"Mälestuseks ja lunastuseks kõigile armeenlastele, kelle nimed on teada ainult Jumalale."

Sellised teosed nagu Armeenia linn mosaiik loodi pärast armeenia tähestiku väljatöötamist. (Vissarion / )

Jeruusalemmast on leitud ka teisi mosaiike, millel on sama perioodi armeeniakeelne kiri. Teine kandidaat on nn „Narses Cross“, hõbedane rist, mille keskel on kuldne filigraan ja punane granaat.

Nagu "Armeenia linnumosaiik", on ka "Narsesi rist" dateeritud 5 th / 6 th sajandil pKr. Armeenia pealdis, mis asub risti ümbermõõdul, tõlgitakse järgmiselt:

„Mina, Nerseh Koms p'ar˙, olin patune ja vääritu ning tegin selle püha lunastava risti Püha Step'anose kiriku jaoks P'ar˙akerti külas minu pattude andeksandmiseks ja hingede puhkamiseks. meie isade ja esivanemate ning Armeenia majade ja külade ning Xorxor˙uniku perekonna õitsengu ja rahu eest. ”

Tulles tagasi Mesropi loo juurde, ei peatunud pühak piiblitõlke juures. Järgmisena saatis ta teadlased Konstantinoopolisse, Aleksandriasse ja Rooma piibellikke ja kirjanduslikke käsikirju otsima. Nagu arvata võis, tõlgiti need armeenia keelde.

Mesropile omistatakse piiblikommentaaride kogumiku kirjutamine, patristiliste teoste tõlkimine ning kaheksa tooni skaalal liturgiliste palvete ja hümnide ehitamine. Teisisõnu, see oli Mesrop, kes pani aluse rahvuslikule armeenia liturgiale, mis omakorda aitas säilitada armeenlaste rahvuslikku identiteeti.

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Mesrop tõlkis piibliteosed armeenia keelde, kasutades vastloodud Armeenia tähestikku. (Fæ / CC BY-SA 4.0 )

Ütlematagi selge, et Mesrop on Armeenias väga austatud tegelane. Ta suri aastal 440 pKr ja tema surnukeha viidi Oshakani külla Aragatsotni provintsis, Ashtaraki linnast kaugel. Kolm aastat pärast Mesropi maeti Oshakanisse ehitati pühaku haua kohale kirik. Asjakohaselt nimetati seda Saint Mesrop Mashtotsi kirikuks.

Kirik oli oma ajaloo jooksul mitu korda kahjustatud ja renoveeritud ning praegune struktuur pärineb 1870. aastatest. Kirik on tänu pühaku mainele tuntud palverännakute koht.

Armeenia tähestiku leiutamine Mesropi poolt on armeenlaste jaoks siiani suure uhkuse allikas. Seda on selgelt näha Armeenia tähestiku monumendi loomisel. Monument koosneb sisuliselt 39 hiiglaslikust kivist nikerdusest, üks iga 39 armeenia tähestiku tähe kohta.

Monumendi lõi arhitekt J. Torosyan 2005. aastal armeenia tähestiku 1600. aasta puhul. th sünnipäev. Monument asub Byurakanis, külas Aragatsi mäe nõlval. Kuna see asub Oshakanist mitte kaugel, on see austusavaldus mitte ainult armeenia tähestikule, vaid ka selle loonud mehele Mesrop Mashtotsile.


Armeenia kiriku ajalugu

Armeenia kiriku päritolu pärineb apostellikust ajastust. Vastavalt iidsele traditsioonile, mida toetavad hästi ajaloolised tõendid, kuulutasid kristlust Armeenias juba esimese sajandi teisel poolel kaks Jeesuse Kristuse jüngrit, nimelt püha Thaddeus (Johannese 14: 22–24) ja Püha Bartholomeus (Johannese 1: 43-51). Esimese kolme sajandi jooksul oli kristlus Armeenias tugeva tagakiusamise all varjatud religioon.

Neljanda sajandi alguses, 301. aastal pKr, võtsid armeenlased kristluse ametlikult riigiusuks. Samuti tuleb meeles pidada, et idee kristlusest kui riigiusust oli tollal uuendus.

Armeenia kiriku kaitsepühak Püha Gregorius Valgustaja ja tolleaegne valitseja kuningas Thiridates III mängisid Armeenia ametlikul ristiusustamisel keskset rolli. On hästi tunnustatud ajalooline fakt, et armeenlased olid esimene rahvas, kes pidas ametlikult kinni kristlusest. Sellele pöördumisele järgnes neljandal ja viiendal sajandil Armeenia institutsionaliseerimise ja kristluse armeniseerimise protsess.

Viienda sajandi sündmused olid kriitilised Armeenia kristliku kultuuri ja identiteedi kujundamisel. Kõige olulisem neist oli munk Mesrob Mashdotsi ja tema kaasmaalaste armeenia tähestiku leiutamine. Tõlgiti pühakirju, kommentaare, liturgiat, teoloogiat ja ajalugu. Lisaks oli viiendal sajandil näha armeenia algupärast kirjandust esimest korda. Näiteks on Yeznik Koghbatsi ja#8217 õpetuslik töö, Sektide ümberlükkamine. Avarayri lahing aastal 451 Pärsia vastu, ehkki armeenlaste lüüasaamine Vartan Mamigoniani juhtimisel, on mäletatud kriitilise tähtsusega, et võita armeenlastele õigus praktiseerida oma kristlikke veendumusi.

Armeenia tähestiku leiutamine tõi kaasa armeenia kirjanduse kuldaja. Õpilased saadeti klassikalise ja kristliku õppe keskustesse Edessas, Kaisareas, Konstantinoopolis, Antiookias, Aleksandrias ja Ateenas, et valmistuda Piibli, liturgia, Kreeka ja Süüria kirikuisade oluliste kirjutiste ning klassikalise kirjanduse tõlkimiseks. 8211Kreeka ja ladina keel ning#8211armeenia keel. Septuagintast tõlgitud Piibel valmis mõne aastaga ja enamik patristikaid tõlgiti kolmekümne aasta jooksul, kuid kogu protsess, sealhulgas ilmalike raamatute tõlkimine, kestis umbes kakssada aastat.

Armeenia kirikus austatakse kõrgelt tõlkeid ja#8220. Paljud tõlgitud teosed on vahepeal kadunud kreeka või süüria originaalis, kuid on säilinud armeenia keeles.

Kullaajal loodi ka originaalteoseid, sealhulgas teoseid ajaloost, filosoofiast, hagiograafiast, homiiliatest, hümnidest ja apologeetikast. Hiljem kirjutati teadusteemalisi töid. Kuigi sõja ja aja hävitamise tõttu on palju kaotatud, on paljud neist tänapäeval säilinud Jerevanis ja armeenia keeles Matenadarani suures raamatukogus (kus on näiteks ligi kolmsada Aristotelese teoste käsikirja). kloostrid Jeruusalemmas, Veneetsias ja Viinis. Seega andis Armeenia kirik Armeenia rahvale tugeva rahvuskultuuri just sel ajal, kui Armeenia riik oli kaotamas oma poliitilist iseseisvust.

Rändav katoliiklus

Armeenia kiriku hierarhia korraldajaks sai valgustaja Püha Gregorius. Sellest ajast alates on Armeenia kirikupead nimetatud katoliiklasteks ja neil on siiani sama tiitel. Püha Gregorius valis katoliku katuse asukohaks toona pealinna Vagharshapati Armeenias. Ta ehitas nägemuse järgi paavstliku residentsi kiriku juurde, mille nimi on “Püha Jumalaema ” (mis viimastel aegadel võtaks Püha Etchmiadzini nime, st koha, kuhu Ainusündinud Poeg on laskunud). milles ta nägi Jumala ainusündinud poega taevast alla tulemas, kuldne haamer käes, et leida asukoht aastal 302. valmiva uue katedraali jaoks. Pidevad murrangud, mis iseloomustasid Armeenia poliitilisi stseene, poliitiline võim kolib turvalisematesse kohtadesse. Kiriku keskus kolis koos poliitilise võimuga erinevatesse kohtadesse.

Nii viidi 485. aastal katolikuosaat üle uude pealinna Dvinisse. 10. sajandil kolis see Dvinist Dzoravanki ja seejärel Aghtamari (927), Arghinasse (947) ja Ani (992). Pärast Ani langemist ja Armeenia Bagraditsa kuningriiki aastal 1045 rändasid armeenlaste massid Kiliikiasse. Katolosaat koos rahvaga asus sinna elama. See asutati esmalt Thavblouris (1062), seejärel Dzamendavis (1072), Dzovkis (1116), Hromklas (1149) ja lõpuks Sisilas (1293), Kiliikia kuningriigi pealinnas, kus see jäi seitsmeks sajandiks . Pärast Armeenia kuningriigi langemist Kiliikias, 1375. aastal, võttis kirik endale ka riikliku juhtimise rolli ning katoliiklased tunnistati etnarhiks (rahvuspea). See riiklik vastutus laiendas tunduvalt Kiriku missiooni ulatust.

Armeenia kirikus kaks katoliiklast

Armeenia kiriku sees on kaks katolosaati, nimelt Etchmiadzini (kõigi armeenlaste katolosaat), Etchmiadzin-Armeenia katoliikosaat ja Kiliikia Suure Maja katolosaat (Antelias-Liibanon), mis on tingitud ajaloolistest asjaoludest. 10. sajandil, kui Seljukid laastasid Armeeniat, lahkusid paljud armeenlased kodumaalt ja asusid elama Kiliikiasse, kus korraldasid ümber oma poliitilise, kirikliku ja kultuurielu. Katolikosaat varjus ka Kiliikias.

1375. aastal hävitati Armeenia Kiliikia kuningriik. Kiliikiast sai vaenulike seldžukide, mamlukide ja teiste sissetungijate lahinguväli. Vahepeal oli Armeenias suhteliselt rahulik aeg. Kiliikia halvenev olukord ühelt poolt ning teiselt poolt Armeenia kultuurilise ja kirikliku ärkamise suurenemine viis Armeenia piiskopid Etchmiadzini valima katoliku. Viimane oli katolikuosaadi algne asukoht, kuid katoliikluse kirikuna ei olnud see enam toiminud pärast aastat 485. Nii valiti 1441. aastal Etchmiadzinis Kirakos Virapetsi isikus uus katoliiklane. Samal ajal oli Krikor Moussapegiants (1439-1446) Kiliikia katoliiklane. Seetõttu on alates 1441. aastast olnud Armeenia kirikus kaks võrdsete õiguste ja privileegidega katoliikluskat ning nende jurisdiktsiooni. Kiliikia katolikaatkond on alati tunnistanud Etchmiadzini katolikuosaadi ülimuslikkust.

Armeenia õigeusu kirik on olnud suure osa oma ajaloost Armeenia rahva ’ ellujäämise vahend. Tõepoolest on kirik säilitanud armeenia rahvusliku teadvuse paljude sajandite jooksul, mil Armeenia riiki ei eksisteerinud.

Armeenia kirik mängis olulist rolli moslemiimpeeriumide järgemööda, kus asusid tema ustavad. Kuna osa neist jagati usulise kuuluvuse järgi, olid armeenlaste juhid tegelikult ka kogukondade eest poliitiliselt vastutavad. Armeenia kirikut mõjutasid suuresti kaks nähtust kahekümnendal sajandil: genotsiid Türgis, milles hukkus 1,5 miljonit inimest, ja Ida -Armeenia sovetiseerimine, mis viis sisse seitsme aastakümne ametliku ateismi. Genotsiid hävitas sisuliselt kiriku Türgis, kus on alles vaid jäänused. See on sügavalt mõjutanud ka seda, kuidas Armeenia kirik selles maailmas kannatuste ideele läheneb.

Kirik õitses armeenia diasporaas ja taastas oma jõu taasiseseisvunud Armeenias (1990 ’s).


Armeenia tähestiku loomine

Mesrop Mashtots sündis 362. aastal pKr Armeenias Hatsekatsi külas.

Armeenia katoliiklased Sahak Partev tegid Mashtotsile ülesandeks luua uus armeenia tähestik.

Kuni selle ajani oli enamik armeeniakeelseid kirjakeelseid versioone kreeka keeles.

Mesrop Mashtots - armeenia tähestiku looja

Tähestik algab tähega A kui Astvats (tähendab Jumal). ja lõpeb Q kui Qristos (tähendab Kristus). Hiljem ilmus aga veel kolm kirja.

  1. և (jah). See on tegelikult ühendus, mis tähendab ‘ja ”. Seda kasutatakse ainult minimaalselt. Seetõttu tuleb suurtähtede kasutamisel kirjutada see kahe tähe kujul- ԵՎ. Alguses hääldatakse “yev”, sõna keskel “ev”.
  2. Օ. Ida -armeenlased kasutavad seda sõnade alguses, kui seda tuleks hääldada kui „o”, mitte „Ո” (vo). Lääne -armeenlased kasutavad seda tavaliselt sõnade keskel.
  3. Viimane on ֆ (F).

Algselt oli armeenia tähestikus 36 tähte. 10.-12. Cc lisati kolm tähte, kokku 39 tähte.

Tähestiku algsed 36 tähte olid 4 9 -tähelises reas.

Kuid enne Armeenia araabia numbrisüsteemi kasutuselevõttu esindas iga täht numbrit.

Esimene tähtede rida oli numbrite 1–9 jaoks, teine ​​rida 10–90, kolmas rida 100–900 ja neljas 1000–9000.

Seega tähistavad vana armeenia tähed 1996. aastat.

Selle numbrisüsteemi leiate nii Armeenia vanadele mälestistele kui ka mõnele kaasaegsele (näiteks Matenadaran).

Lisaks on armeenia keeles esimene tähestikku kasutav lause järgmine:

“Teadmistarkus ja õpetus tajuvad mõistmise sõnu. ” (Mesrop Mashtots)

Armeenia tähestik enne püha Mesrobi: piiskop Danieli stsenaariumi saladus

Aastal 301 pKr sai Armeenia kuningriigist esimene riik maailmas, mis võttis kristluse ametliku religioonina omaks.

Aastal 387 pKr jõudis Armeenia aga oma ajaloos raskesse perioodi. Armeenia oli kaotamas oma iseseisvust, sest Pärsia ja Bütsants pidasid vandenõu riigi lõhestamiseks. Kristlus hakkas Pärsiast mõjutatud Armeenia osas langema. Paljudes provintsides elustasid inimesed paganlikke traditsioone.

Sel ajal oli Mesrob Mashtots pealinna Vagharshapati kuninglikus õukonnas sekretäri ja tõlgi ametikohal. Alghariduse omandas ta kreeka koolis kodus Taronis. Ta valdas ka kreeka, pärsia ja süüria keelt.

Püha Mesrobi biograaf Koryun kirjeldas Püha Mesrobit kui vaprat sõdalast ja andekat administraatorit. Ta pälvis kohtus lugupidamise nii heade võitluskunstide tundmise kui ka isiklike oskuste eest.

Kaks muret tekitas Mashtotsi algatuse luua armeenlastele eraldi tähestik.

Esiteks ei osanud armeenlased Püha Piiblit lugeda kreeka ega süüria keeles. Ka nendes keeltes ei saanud nad jutlustest aru. See oli tegur, mis kiirendas kristliku usu vähenemist maal.

Teine tegur oli uus kultuurilise assimileerumise oht Süüria vaimulike ja Pärsia-meelsete feodaalide tugevama rolli tõttu Armeenias. See oli kuningriik, mille iseseisvus oli nähtavalt lagunemas.

St. , Aserbaidžaani Vabariik).

Naastes pealinna Vagharshapatisse, kohtus Mesrob Mashtots Armeenia kirikupea Katholikos Sahak Parteviga (338 pKr - 439 pKr), kes pakkus püha Mesrobile täielikku toetust.

Sahak Partev oli pärit Amarase kloostri asutaja, valgustaja Püha Gregoriuse perekonnast. Ta on Armeenia tähestiku kaasautor. Sarnaselt Püha Mesropiga kuulutas Armeenia kirik Sahak Partevi pühakuks ja armeenlased nimetavad teda sageli Sahak Suureks.

Armeenia kiriku ametlik kinnitus Mashtotsi ettepanekule oma sinodil langes kokku kuningas Vramshapuhi tagasitulekuga pealinna pärast Mesopotaamia reisi. Seal üritas Armeenia monarh vahendada poleemikat, mis oli seotud Aelia Eudoxia (suri 404. aastal pKr) Püha Johannese Krüsostoomi pagendamisega. Bütsantsi keisri Arkadiuse keisrinna.

Keskaegsed autorid teatavad, et Mesopotaamias viibides sai kuningas Vramshapuh teada teatud vana armeenia kirja olemasolust, mille valduses oli Edessa piiskop Daniel. Kuningas sai sinodi otsusest teada. Seejärel saatis ta oma usaldusisiku Vahrich Khaduni Mesopotaamiasse, et tuua näidis Taanieli kirjadest kuninglikku kohtusse püha Mashtotsi ja Püha Sahaki kontrollimiseks.

Taanieli skripti päritolu on endiselt intensiivse akadeemilise vaidluse teema, kuna ühtegi näidist sellest ei säilinud.

Koryunilt ja Movses Khorenatsilt ning teistelt autoritelt on teada, et stsenaarium oli kohandatud armeenia keele jaoks. Ka tähtede paigutus oli kreeka tähestiku järjekorra järgi. Muster, mida püha Mesrob kasutas kõigi kolme tema loodud tähestiku jaoks.

Kõige tavalisem hüpotees Danielsi kirja lähtekoha kohta viitab sellele, et see kujutas endast varasemat Armeenia kirjutamissüsteemi. Semitiline kalligraafia oli aluseks. Sellest aga loobuti iidsetel aegadel selle peamise puuduse tõttu - võimetus õigesti kajastada armeenia keele foneetilist struktuuri. Või teise võimalusena unustati see, kuna riik ei suutnud toetada selle levikut ja populariseerimist.

Püha Mesrobi jünger Koryun täpsustab, et kui Taanieli kiri Armeeniasse jõudis, hakkas tema juhendaja viivitamatult tähti kasutama.

Danieli kirjutamissüsteemi loomulikud puudused muutsid aga Püha Mesrobi õpetamis- ja tõlkimistööd ebaproduktiivseks.

Pärast kaheaastast võitlust piiskop Danieli käsikirjaga lahkus püha Mesrob Armeeniast oma reisile Mesopotaamiasse. Seejärel hakkas ta otsima juhiseid kreeka ja süüria retoorikutelt Edessa ja Samosata linnades.

Ja see oli Samosatal, aastal 406 pKr, kus pärast mitmeid arutelusid ja nõupidamisi oma aja tippmeestega jõudis püha Mesrob Armeenia tähestiku lõpliku versioonini. Keskaja ajaloolased ei suutnud kunagi seda sündmust kujutada jumaliku tahte väljendusena.

Armeenia tähestiku monument

Armeenia tähestiku monument

Armeenia tähestiku monument on pühendatud Mesrop Mashtotsi tähestiku loomisele. See ehitati 2005. aastal Aragatsi mäe idanõlvale, Artashavani külla.

See koosneb 39 kivist nikerdatud armeenia tähtede kujust. Kuulsa arhitekti Jim Torosyani plaani kohaselt rajati monument armeenia tähestiku loomise 1600. aastapäeva mälestuseks. See oli ka tema kujundatud.

Lisaks kirjadele on pargis ka teisi skulptuure. “Tumanyan koos oma kangelastega ”, “Gregory Illuminator ”, “Tähtede loomine, 405 ”, “Khachatur Abovyan ” ja “Mkhitar Gosh ”.

Kui lähete mälestussammast veidi ülesmäge, näete 33 meetri kõrget risti, mis sümboliseerib Jeesuse Kristuse vanust ristilöömise ajal. See koosneb 1711 suurest ja väikesest metallristist, mis sümboliseerivad kristliku Armeenia ajastut.

ARMEENI KEEL

Armeenia keeles on kolm faasi.

Kõik need on keele loomuliku arengu tulemus. R:

Esiteks

Klassikaline armeenia või “Grabar ”. Armeenlased kasutasid seda 5. – 19.

See on “ raamatute keel ” (teaduskeel keskajal) koos laenudega Iraani keeltest. Armeenia kirik kasutab seda siiani.

See periood oli religioossete teoste poolest väga rikas. suurepärane näide on piiblitõlge. Seda nimetatakse “Tõlkekuningannaks ja#8221 keele ilu ja täiuslikkuse tõttu. Samuti tänu teksti truudusele.

Teiseks

Kesk -armeenlane. Kasutatud 11. - 15. sajandil.

See oli “ riigi keel ” või “ vulgaarne ” tavainimeste keel. See asendas järk -järgult kirjaliku vormi. Kesk -armeeniast sai 19. sajandil ka kirjanduskeel.

Kolmandaks

Kaasaegne armeenia või “Aškharabar ” sai alguse 19. sajandil. Sellel on kaks haru:

Räägiti Armeenias Jerevani murde põhjal.
Räägib diasporaa pärast 1915. aasta genotsiidi, tuginedes Konstantinoopoli murdele. Nüüd kasutavad seda läänearmeenlased.

Armeenia keel moodustab indoeuroopa keelepere iseseisva haru. Armeenia keel sarnaneb kõige rohkem kreeka keelega. Sellel on aga palju laenatud sõnu sellistest indo-iraani keeltest nagu puštu ja pärsia. Tegelikult pidasid inimesed armeenia keelt selle klassifitseerimise algusaegadel Iraani keeleks, kuna seal oli palju Iraani laenusõnu.

Armeenia keele helisüsteem on indoeuroopa keelte suhtes ebatüüpiline. Sellel on väljuv helid. Ejektiivid on helid, mida saab teha, kasutades õhu väljatõmbamiseks häälepaelu (mitte kopse). Armeenia keeles on seitse nominaalset juhtumit. Keel eristab kahte numbrit, ainsust ja mitmust.

Lisaks pole armeenlasel grammatilist sugu. Määramata artikli positsioon varieerub Ida- ja Lääne -Armeenia vahel. Idasordis eelneb see nimisõnale, läänes järgneb nimisõnale.

Igal verbi tüvel on kaks vormi, mida nimetatakse alusteks. Üks lihtsa minevikuvormi ja minevikulause jaoks. Teine kõigi muude ajavormide, meeleolude ja osastavate jaoks. Word order in Armenian is subject-verb-object.

In Armenian, though, the subject of the sentence usually comes in front of the verb or action. For example, “I like food” would be “I food like”.

There is also the double negative in the language.

So, “Nobody came” would be “Nobody didn’t come”.

Today about six million people speak Armenian, although the total population of the Republic of Armenia is only 3 million (94 % are ethnic Armenian). Thus, nearly half of Armenian speakers today live outside their historic homeland, mostly in Iran (370,000), Syria (299,000), Lebanon (235,000), Egypt (100,000), and the United States (175,000).

The creation of the Armenian alphabet was a very important event for Armenians. It was the key that allowed Armenians to preserve their culture and identiteeti. Therefore, they had an exceptional longevity while others disappeared.


The Armenian name of the Lord

The earliest attestation of the sign has been found on petroglyphs in Metsamor, Armenia (see pictures below) and has been dated to 3.000 BCE. The sign itself was known for it’s use by Mithraic priests in pre-Christian Armenia. Later, during the creation of the Armenian Alphabet (405 A.D.), Mesrob Mashtots incorporated it into the Armenian alphabet and gave it a sacred place as the 7th letter of the alphabet. As such it was adopted by the Armenian Church and to date can be admired on top of the altars of Armenian Churches. Its significance to the Church is well explained by the following article.

Sign on a marble Khatchkar (Cross Stone) in the Holy Etchmiadzin.

If you walk into any given Armenian Orthodox Church, you may notice something over the altar, or at least most of them. You may either see the single letter ‘Eh’ (Է) directly at the top, such as the picture to the left demonstrates, or you may see the words ‘Asdvadz Ser Eh’ (in Armenian letters) with the English translation ‘God Is Love’ following it. In the case of the latter, the letter ‘Eh’ (Է) is still directly above the altar.

What is so special about the letter ‘Eh’ (Է) that it deserves such a prominent place over the church altar? First, let’s look at its meaning. In the phrase ‘God is Love’, the word for is is ‘eh’, thus, ‘Asdvadz Ser Eh’ (transliteration: ‘God Love Is’). So, the letter/word ‘Eh’ (Է) literally means ‘is’ or ‘he is’, which , to those familiar with the Old Testament, may sound like a reference to God Himself.

In Exodus chapter 3, the prophet Moses encountered God in the burning bush. As God was instructing Moses to deliver His people from Egypt, Moses asked, “If I come to the

Altar of the Armenian Church of the Forty Martyrs, Aleppo

Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’

God told Moses that His name is ‘I am’, or technically ‘Is’, or ‘He Who Is’. Thus, God is a being who just IS, and it is only the eternal God who can call Himself by this name. In Armenian, it is the letter/word ‘Eh’ (Է) that serves as the name for ‘I am’ or ‘he is’, and just as Moses realized the ‘Eh’ (Է) to be dwelling in the burning bush, so too does the Armenian Church realize that God (Eh) dwells at the church altar.

Furthermore, ‘Eh’ (Է), when pronounced, makes the sound of a breath, and so the idea of God being the breath of life is attached to this letter. Also, the letter ‘Eh’ (Է) happens to be the 7th letter of the Armenian alphabet. Symbolically, 7 is known as the number of perfection, or completion. Throughout the Bible, the number 7 is attributed to several acts of God, and to God Himself, so the letter ‘Eh’ (Է) takes on even further significance.Thus, for the Armenian Church, the letter ‘Eh’ (Է) and its meaning is considered to be Holy. It is not only symbolic, but ‘Eh’ (Է) is the name of God.

Another interesting fact in the Armenian alphabet, only the letter Է (Ē) can be added as a prefix or a suffix and form a new word. There is no other letter that can be applied in such manner according to the rules of Armenian grammar. Therefore, Է (Ē), is not only a simple letter or a character, but is also a Word in and of itself.

Etymology according to Wikipedia: Old Armenian է (ē), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁es- (“to be”).

Armenian letter Է (Ē) found in Metsamor (3,000 BCE) Sketch of the Armenian letter Է (Ē) found in Metsamor (3,000 BCE)

Sisu

Mesrop Mashtots was born in a noble family ("from the house of an azat" according to Anania Shirakatsi) in the settlement of Hatsekats in Taron [8] (identified as the village of Hac'ik in the Mush plain), [9] and died in Vagharshapat. He was the son of a man named Vardan. [10] Koryun, his pupil and biographer, tells us that Mashtots (in his work he does not mention the name Mesrop) received a good education, and was versed in the Greek and Persian languages. [8] On account of his piety and learning Mesrop was appointed secretary to King Khosrov IV. His duty was to write in Greek and Persian characters the decrees and edicts of the sovereign.

Leaving the court for the service of God, he took holy orders, and withdrew to a monastery with a few chosen companions. There, says Koryun, he practiced great austerities, enduring hunger and thirst, cold and poverty. He lived on vegetables, wore a hair shirt, slept upon the ground, and often spent whole nights in prayer and the study of the Holy Scriptures. This life he continued for a few years.

Armenia, so long the battle-ground of Romans and Persians, lost its independence in 387, and was divided between the Byzantine Empire and Persia, about four-fifths being given to the latter. Western Armenia was governed by Byzantine generals, while an Armenian king ruled, but only as feudatory, over Persian Armenia. The Church was naturally influenced by these violent political changes, although the loss of civil independence and the partition of the land could not destroy its organization or subdue its spirit. Persecution only quickened it into greater activity, and had the effect of bringing the clergy, the nobles, and the common people closer together. The principal events of this period are the invention of the Armenian alphabet, the revision of the liturgy, the creation of an ecclesiastical and national literature, and the readjustment of hierarchical relations. Three men are prominently associated with this work: Mesrop, Patriarch Isaac, and King Vramshapuh, who succeeded his brother Khosrov IV in 389. In 394, with the help of blessing of Armenia's Catholicos, Sahak Partev, Mesrop set out on a mission of spreading the word of God to a pagan or semi-pagan people.

Mesrop, as noted, had spent some time in a monastery preparing for a missionary life. With the support of Prince Shampith, he preached the Gospel in the district of Goghtn near the river Araxes, converting many heretics and pagans. However, he experienced great difficulty in instructing the people, for the Armenians had no alphabet of their own, instead using Greek, Persian, and Syriac scripts, none of which was well suited for representing the many complex sounds of their native tongue. Again, the Holy Scriptures and the liturgy, being written in Syriac, were, to a large extent, unintelligible to the faithful. Hence the constant need of translators and interpreters to explain the Word of God to the people.

Mesrop, desirous to remedy this state of things, resolved to invent a national alphabet, in which undertaking Isaac and King Vramshapuh promised to assist him. It is hard to determine exactly what part Mesrop had in the fixing of the new alphabet. According to his Armenian biographers, he consulted Daniel, a bishop of Mesopotamia, and Rufinus, a monk of Samosata, on the matter. With their help and that of Isaac and the king, he was able to give a definite form to the alphabet, which he probably adapted from the Greek. Others, like Lenormant, think it derived from the Avestan. Mesrop's alphabet consisted of thirty-six letters two more (long O and F) were added in the twelfth century.

Medieval Armenian sources also claim that Mashtots invented the Georgian and Caucasian Albanian alphabets around the same time. Most scholars link the creation of the Georgian script to the process of Christianization of Iberia, a core Georgian kingdom of Kartli. [11] The alphabet was therefore most probably created between the conversion of Iberia under King Mirian III (326 or 337) and the Bir el Qutt inscriptions of 430, [12] contemporaneously with the Armenian alphabet. [13]

The first sentence in Armenian written down by St. Mesrop after he invented the letters is said to be the opening line of Solomon’s Book of Proverbs:

Ճանաչել զիմաստութիւն եւ զխրատ, իմանալ զբանս հանճարոյ:
Čanačʿel zimastutʿiwn ew zxrat, imanal zbans hančaroy.
«To know wisdom and instruction to perceive the words of understanding.»

The invention of the alphabet around 405 was the beginning of Armenian literature, and proved a powerful factor in the upbuilding of the national spirit. "The result of the work of Isaac and Mesrop", says St. Martin, [15] "was to separate for ever the Armenians from the other peoples of the East, to make of them a distinct nation, and to strengthen them in the Christian Faith by forbidding or rendering profane all the foreign alphabetic scripts which were employed for transcribing the books of the heathens and of the followers of Zoroaster. To Mesrop we owe the preservation of the language and literature of Armenia but for his work, the people would have been absorbed by the Persians and Syrians, and would have disappeared like so many nations of the East".

Anxious that others should profit by his discovery, and encouraged by the patriarch and the king, Mesrop founded numerous schools in different parts of the country, in which the youth were taught the new alphabet. It is historically proven, that Saint Mesrop himself taught in Amaras monastery of Artskah region of Armenia (located in contemporary Martuni region of unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic). [ tsiteerimine vajalik ] But his activity was not confined to Eastern Armenia. Provided with letters from Isaac he went to Constantinople and obtained from the Emperor Theodosius the Younger permission to preach and teach in his Armenian possessions. Having returned to Eastern Armenia to report on his missions to the patriarch, his first thought was to provide a religious literature for his countrymen. Having gathered around him numerous disciples, he sent some to Edessa, Constantinople, Athens, Antioch, Alexandria, and other centres of learning, to study the Greek language and bring back the masterpieces of Greek literature. The most famous of his pupils were John of Egheghiatz, Joseph of Baghin, Yeznik, Koryun, Moses of Chorene, and John Mandakuni.

The first monument of this Armenian literature is the version of the Holy Scriptures. Isaac, says Moses of Chorene, made a translation of the Bible from the Syriac text about 411. This work must have been considered imperfect, for soon afterwards John of Egheghiatz and Joseph of Baghin were sent to Edessa to translate the Scriptures. They journeyed as far as Constantinople, and brought back with them authentic copies of the Greek text. With the help of other copies obtained from Alexandria the Bible was translated again from the Greek according to the text of the Septuagint and Origen's Hexapla. This version, now in use in the Armenian Church, was completed about 434.

The decrees of the first three councils — Nicæa, Constantinople, and Ephesus — and the national liturgy (so far written in Syriac) were also translated into Armenian, the latter being revised on the liturgy of St. Basil, though retaining characteristics of its own. Many works of the Greek Fathers also passed into Armenian. The loss of the Greek originals has given some of these versions a special importance thus, the second part of Eusebius's Chronicle, of which only a few fragments exist in the Greek, has been preserved entirely in Armenian. In the midst of his literary labors Mesrop revisited the districts he had evangelized in his earlier years, and, after the death of Isaac in 440, looked after the spiritual administration of the patriarchate. He survived his friend and master by only six months. The Armenians read his name in the Canon of the Liturgy, and celebrate his memory on 19 February.

Saint Mashtots is buried at a chapel in Oshakan, a historical village 8 km (5.0 miles) southwest from the town of Ashtarak.

Saint Mesrop is listed officially in the Roman Martyrology of the Roman Catholic Church his feast day is February 17.

Virtually every town in Armenia has a street named after Mashtots. In Yerevan, Mashtots Street is one of the most important in the city center, which was previously known as Lenin Street (Lenin Prospect). There is a statue to him at the Matenadaran, one at the church he was buried at in Oshakan village, and one at the monument to the alphabet found on the skirts of Mt. Aragats north of Ohanavan Village. Stamps have been issued with his image by both the Soviet Union and by post-Soviet Armenia.

The Order of St. Mesrop Mashtots, established in 1993, is awarded for significant achievements in economic development of the Republic of Armenia or for accomplishments, such as in science, culture, education or public service, and for activities promoting those fields.

Mashtots also produced a number of liturgical compositions. Some of the works attributed to him are: «Մեղայ քեզ Տէր» (Meġay k’ez Tēr, “I have sinned against you, Lord”), «Ողորմեա ինձ Աստուած» (Voġormea inj Astuac, “Have mercy on me, God”), «Անկանիմ առաջի քո» (Ankanim aṙaǰi k’o, “I kneel before you”) and «Ողորմեա» (Voġormea, “Miserere”), all of which are hymns of repentance. [ tsiteerimine vajalik ]


How Armenia &ldquoInvented&rdquo Christendom

ONLY A WEEK PRIOR TO HIS ATTACK on Poland in September, 1939, Adolf Hitler reportedly delivered a secret talk to members of his General Staff, urging them to wipe out the Polish race. “After all,” he argued, “who remembers today the extermination of the Armenians?”

Hitler was referring to the genocide of nearly 1.5 million Armenian Christians at the hands of Ottoman Turks from 1915 to 1923 in what is now eastern Turkey. Turkish authorities deny the atrocities ever took place, but the story of bloodbath in Armenia is one of the well-documented tragedies of our time.

Still, it’s unfortunate that Armenia (today located directly east of Turkey and west of the Caspian Sea) is now known for this story above any other. It says nothing about the people of Armenia, or the part they have played in global Christianity. For contribute they did, in a manner that might surprise even a seasoned church historian.

Tortured for Christ

No man has more stature in the Armenian church today than Gregory the Illuminator. While not the first to bring Christianity to Armenia, Gregory is, at least in the minds of Armenians, the nation’s spiritual father and the people’s patron saint.

Born into a wealthy family around 257, Gregory nevertheless had a rough beginning—his biographer, Agathangelos, tells us Gregory’s father murdered the Armenian king and paid for it with his life. But the boy was rescued from the chaos following the murder, and his new guardians raised him as a Christian in Cappadocia (east-central Turkey). There, according to Agathangelos, Gregory “became acquainted with the Scriptures of God, and drew near to the fear of the Lord.”

When Gregory’s tutors told him of his father’s wickedness, Gregory approached the murdered king’s son, Tiridates, to offer his service (all the while concealing his identity). Tiridates accepted Gregory’s offer, but when Gregory refused to worship Anahit, an idol the king had raised in gratitude for military successes, Tiridates became furious: “You have come and joined us as a stranger and foreigner. How then are you able to worship that God whom I do not worship?”

Tiridates tortured Gregory, hanging him upside-down and flogging him, then fastening blocks of wood to his legs and tightening them. When these tactics failed, he tried even more gruesome measures. Still the saint refused to bow the knee. Tiridates then learned that Gregory was the son of his father’s murderer, and he ordered that the missionary be thrown into a “bottommost pit” filled with dead bodies and other filth. There Gregory sat for 13 years, surviving only on bread a widow threw down each day after receiving instruction to do so in a dream.

Converting the King

At about this time a beautiful woman named Rhipsime arrived in Armenia, fleeing an enforced marriage to the Roman emperor Diocletian. Tiridates took a liking to her too, and took her forcibly when she refused to come to him. But “strengthened by the Holy Spirit,” she fought off his advances and escaped. Furious, Tiridates ordered her execution, and that night Rhipsime burned at the stake. Her abbess Gaiane soon followed her in death, along with 35 other companions.

The king, still lusting after Rhipsime, mourned her death for six days, then prepared to go hunting. But God visited on him a horrible punishment—Agathangelos calls it demon possession—reducing him to insanity and throwing his court into chaos. Tiridates’ sister had a vision to send for Gregory, imprisoned so long ago. People laughed at the idea Gregory might still be alive, but recurrent visions finally convinced a nobleman, Awtay, to visit his pit. Astonished to find the missionary living, Awtay brought him to meet the king, who was feeding with swine outside the city.

Tiridates, along with other possessed members of his court, rushed at Gregory. But Gregory “immediately knelt in prayer, and they returned to sobriety.” Tiridates then pleaded for Gregory’s forgiveness, and the king and his whole court repented of their sin and confessed faith in Christ.

Assessing Gregory’s Legacy

Scholars disagree over how much Agathangelos’s history can be taken at face-value. After all, he wrote his book in 460 (Tiridates is believed by Armenians to have converted in 301), and much of his story has elements of hagiography that lead one to wonder whether the events ever happened. But even skeptics acknowledge that Gregory was a real person with considerable ecclesiastical influence in Armenia—the signature of his son and successor Aristakes can be found among those ratifying the Council of Nicaea in 325. And even if we can document little about the man, his pre-eminence among Armenia’s heroes of the faith is unassailable.

Miks? First, Gregory persuaded the king to build a string of churches across Armenia, beginning with Holy Etchmiadzin— according to some scholars the oldest cathedral site in the world and an important pilgrimage site for all Armenians. The seat of the Armenian church would pass to other cities, but Gregory “established” Christianity in Armenia via this church.

Gregory also introduced Christian liturgy to Armenia. These rites consisted of psalmody, scriptural readings, and prayers recited in Greek or Syriac. After Mesrop Mashtots invented an Armenian alphabet at the beginning of the fifth century, both the Bible and the liturgy were translated into the Armenian language.

Most importantly, Gregory set in motion the mass conversion of Armenia to Christianity. According to Agathangelos, the king ordered all pagan shrines to be torn down, and Gregory proceeded to baptize more than 190,000 people into the new faith. Whether the nation converted as quickly as Agathangelos implies is difficult to discern. Certainly by the fifth century, Armenia was well on its way to becoming a “Christian” nation.

Armenia is an ancient—if not the oldest—model for what we now call Christendom. Church historian Kenneth Scott Latourette notes that the Armenian church “was an instance of what was to be seen again and again, a group adoption of the Christian faith engineered by the accepted leaders and issuing in an ecclesiastical structure which became identified with a particular people, state, or nation.”

Certainly the Roman Empire is a prime example of this, but Armenia is at least as old, and perhaps a more impressive example given the invasions and persecution it endured at the hands of the Turks (and before them, Arabs and Persians). Indeed even Byzantium attempted to bring Armenia within its orbit, but the nation resisted, arguing that its apostolic origins were on par with Rome.

So lest you assume Rome is our first example of Christendom, think again. Long may Armenia’s church endure. CH

By Steven Gertz

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #85 in 2005]


Armenia Churches

One of Armenia’s nicknames is the “land of churches.” The country has over 4000 churches and monasteries. It is the home of the oldest cathedral in the world, Echimiazin Armenian Apostolic Church.

There’s also the Zvartnots Ruins, which UNESCO has listed as a heritage site. It was the first circular three-story church. It lasted only three centuries before an earthquake destroyed it.

Armenians later learned to build more stable rectangular-based churches. The new structures could better withstand the shaking of the earth.


What Do We Know About the Ancient Armenian Version of the Bible?

EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 140 books. Andrews on ajakohastatud Ameerika standardversiooni (UASV) peadõlkija.

As a brief overview of versions, we have the Syriac versions (an Aramaic dialect) from the second century onward, the Latin versions with the Old Latin from the latter part of the second century onward. Eusebius Hieronymus, otherwise known as Jerome gave us a revision of the Old Latin version in 383 C.E. By the third century, the first translation of the Greek NT was published in Coptic. The Gothic version was produced during the fourth century. The Armenian version of the Bible dates from the fifth century and was likely made from both the Greek and Syriac texts. The Georgian version was finished at the end of the sixth century, which exhibited Greek influence, but it had an Armenian and Syriac source. The Ethiopic version was produced about the fourth or fifth century. There are various old Arabic versions. Translations of parts of the Bible into Arabic were produced about the seventh century, but the earliest evidence is that of a version made in Spain in 724. The Slavonic version was produced in the ninth century by the two brothers, Cyril and Methodius. Keep in mind, most scholars would argue that the Syriac versions and the Latin versions are generally speaking the most important when it comes to textual studies.

The Armenian Version of the Bible designated by (arm) dates from the early fifth century C.E., which includes all of the New Testament and was likely, prepared from both Greek and Syriac texts. It is often called the “queen of the versions” and many regards it as both beautiful and accurate. The New Testament is a very literal translation, which, of course, is quite helpful to textual criticism.

The Armenian Bible is due to Saint Mesrob’s early-5th-century translation. The first monument of Armenian literature is the version of the Holy Scriptures. Isaac, says Moses of Chorene, made a translation of the Bible from the Syriac text about 411. This work must have been considered imperfect, for soon afterward John of Egheghiatz and Joseph of Baghin were sent to Edessa to translate the Scriptures. They journeyed as far as Constantinople and brought back with them authentic copies of the Greek text. With the help of other copies obtained from Alexandria, the Bible was translated again from the Greek according to the text of the Septuagint and Origen’s Hexapla. This version, now in use in the Armenian Church, was completed about 434.

The first sentence in Armenian written down by St. Mesrop after he invented the letters is said to be the opening line of Solomon’s Book of Proverbs:

Ճանաչել զիմաստութիւն եւ զխրատ, իմանալ զբանս հանճարոյ:

Čanačʿel zimastutʿiwn ew zxrat, imanal zbans hančaroy.

“To know wisdom and instruction to perceive the words of understanding.”

Armenia claims the honor of being the first kingdom to accept Christianity as its official religion. The founder of Armenian Christianity was Gregory the Illuminator (ca. 257-331), an Armenian of royal lineage who had received Christian training at Caesarea in Cappadocia. Toward the end of the third century, he returned to his native land in order to undertake missionary work. Among his converts verts was Tiridates I, king of Armenia, who then sent out a herald to command all his subjects to adopt Christianity. Thus, by royal edict, Christianity was made the established religion of Armenia and was embraced by the populace through wholesale baptisms.

In his program of evangelism, Gregory was assisted by co-workers workers from various backgrounds-Armenians trained in Hellenistic culture as well as Armenians under Syrian influence. During this period, before the invention of the Armenian alphabet, hooks and documents existed only in Greek and Syriac, and their translation was left to oral interpretation. Consequently, it was through such cultural bridges that the Armenians received both Greek and Syriac Christianity, as well as the literature of both these peoples.

The earliest attempt to construct an Armenian alphabet was made by a certain Bishop Daniel. Since he was a Syrian, he probably ably took the Aramaic alphabet as a pattern. According to the historian Koriun, the alphabet was found to be unsuitable for representing the sounds of the Armenian language. The foundation of Armenian literature, including the translation of the Bible, dates from the early part of the fifth century. The chief promoters of this cultural development were the catholicos (primate) of the Armenian Church, Sahak (ca. 350-439), a descendent of Gregory the Illuminator, and Sahak’s friend and helper, Mesrop (Mesrob or Mashtotz, ca. 361-439), who had exchanged a military career for the life of a monk, missionary, and teacher.

At length and with the help of a Greek hermit and calligrapher, Rufanos of Samosata, about A.D. 406 Mesrop succeeded in producing ing an Armenian alphabet of thirty-six letters, twenty letters coming ing directly from Greek, twelve others being formed according to a Greek model, and four being taken from Syriac.

After creating the Armenian alphabet, Mesrop gathered about him a band of keen scholars. Sending some of them to Edessa, to Constantinople, and as far as Rome in search of manuscripts of the Scriptures and of ecclesiastical and secular writers, he inaugurated a program of translation that enriched and consolidated Armenian culture. The first book of the Bible that Mesrop translated was the Book of Proverbs, which was followed by the New Testament. With the help of Sahak and perhaps other translators, the rest of the Old Testament was finished about 410-14.

Among noteworthy features of the Armenian version of the Bible was the inclusion of certain books that elsewhere came to be regarded as apocryphal. The Old Testament included the History of Joseph and Asenath and the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and the New Testament included the Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul and a Third Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians.

Many other uncanonical writings of the Old Testament are preserved served in Armenian manuscripts. These include The Book of Adam, The History of Moses, The Deaths of the Prophets, Concerning King Solomon, mon, A Short History of the Prophet Elias, Concerning the Prophet Jeremiah, The Vision of Enoch the Just, and The Third Book of Esdras (being chapters 3-14 of Second Esdras in the Apocrypha of the King James Version and including in chapter 7 the lost section of verses 36 to 105). – Bruce Metzger. The Bible in Translation : Ancient and English Versions (p. 40-41).

Isaac or Sahak of Armenia (354–439) was the Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Even though Sahak had been abandoned as an orphan at an early age, he still managed to come away with an exceptional literary education in Constantinople, especially in the Eastern languages. Around the time that Sahak was elected as the Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Armenians were suffering serious difficult times. In 387, Armenia had been divided between the Byzantine Empire and Persia. On the Byzantine side, Armenians were not allowed to use the Syriac language, which had to be replaced with the Greek language. This greatly affected their worship, as well as Hellenizing the Armenians in the Byzantine territory. On the Persian side, the Armenians were prohibited from using Greek, with Syriac being the chosen language. This could have greatly influenced the culture of the Armenians, removing their national unity. Sahak sponsored Saint Mesrop (c. 362-440), an Armenian linguist, who invented the Armenian alphabet (c. 405). After that, Mesrop began to translate the Christian Bible. This was a monumental step in strengthening the Armenian national identity.

The Armenian version has a record number of copies, at 1,244 cataloged by Rhodes (with hundreds more in the Soviet Union). It is an accurate and literal rendering of the Greek New Testament. Over one hundred of the Armenian manuscripts stop at verse 8 at the end of Mark chapter 16. “One copy of the Armenian Gospels, dated to A.D. 989, says that the last twelve verses of Mark 16 were added by “the presbyter Ariston” (who is mentioned by Papias in the early second century as one of the disciples of the Lord).” [1]

Original Greek Writings and Early Copies

Early Papyri100-175 C.E. (P 4/64/67 P 32 P 46 P 52 P 66 + P 75+ P77/103 P 87 P 90 P 98 P 109 P 118 P 137 P 104

175-250 C.E. P 8 P 9 P 12 P 15 P 16 P 17 P 18 P 19 P 24 P 28 P 37 P 50 P 51 P 53 P 70 P 78 P 80 P 86 P 88 P 89 P 91 P 92 P 114 P 119 P 120 P 129 P 131 P 132 P 134

250-300 C.E. P 3 P 6 P 7 P 10 P 21 P 54 P 62 P 81 P 93 P 94 P 102 P 112 P 117 P 122 P 123 P 127 P 130 P 139

Ancient Versions

Syriac Versions—Curetonian, Philoxenian, Harclean,
Old Latin
Palestinian, Sinaitic, Peshitta
Coptic Versions
Gothic Version
Armenian Version
Georgian Version
Ethipic Version

Early Greek Uncial MSS.—Vatican 1209 (B), Sinaitic (א), Alexandrine (A), Ephraemi Syri rescriptus (C), Bezae (D), etc.

Latin Vulgate
Sixtine and Clementine Revised Latin Texts

Greek Cursive MSS.

Fam. 1. Early in the twentieth century, family of witnesses that includes manuscripts 1, 118, 131, and 209
Fam. 13. 13, 69, 124, 230, 346, 543, 788, 826, 983, 1689, and 1709). They were copied between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries
MS. 28. Eleventh cenrury
MS. 33. Ninth century
MS. 61. 16. sajand
MS. 69. 15. sajand
MS. 81. 1044 C.E.
MS. 157. 1122 C.E.
THOUSANDS MORE ….

Critical Texts

[1516] Erasmus Text
[1522] Textus Receptus
[1550] Stephanus Text

[1774–1775] Griesbach Greek New Testament
[1881] Westcott and Hort Greek New Testament
[1943–1977] Bover Greek New Testament – 5th edition
[1933–1984] Merk Greek New Testament – 10th edition
[1898–2012] Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament – 28th edition
[1966–2015] United Bible Societies Greek New Testament – 5th edition

English Translations

The Wycliffite Bible (1382 1388)
Tyndale and the First Printed English New Testament (1526)
Coverdale and the First Complete Printed Bible in English (1535)
Matthew’s Bible (1537)
Taverner’s Bible (1539)
The Great Bible (1539)
Edmund Becke’s Bibles (1549 1551)
The Geneva Bible (1560)
The Bishops’ Bible (1568)
The Rheims-Douay Bible (1582-1610)
The King James Bible (1611) – Revision of Early English Translations

Between the King James Bible and the Revised Version

Edward Harwood’s New Testament (1768)
Charles Thomson’s Bible (1808)
Noah Webster’s Bible (1833)
Julia E. Smith’s Bible (1876)
The British Revised Version (1881-85)
American can Standard Version (1901)

Early Modern English Versions

The Twentieth Century New Testament (1901 1904)
Weymouth’s New Testament in Modern Speech (1903)
Moffatt’s Translation of the Bible (1913 1924-25) 25)
Smith and Goodspeed’s American Translation (1923 1927)
The Revised Standard Version (1952)
The Jerusalem Bible (1966)
The New American Bible (1970)
The New English Bible (1970)
The New International Version (1978)
Jewish Translations 142 Translations Sponsored by the Jewish Publication Society (1917 1985)
Heinz W. Cassirer’s New Testament (1989)
David H. Stern’s Complete Jewish Bible (1998)
The Lexham English Bible (2012)

Revision after Revision

The New American Standard Bible (1971 updated ed. 1995, 2020)
The New Jerusalem Bible (1985)
Revised New Testament, New American Bible (1986)
The Revised English Bible (1989)
The New Revised Standard Version (1990)
The English Standard Version (2001)
The Christian Standard Bible (2017)

[1] Paul D. Wegner, A Student’s Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible: Its History, Methods & Results (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 281.

(Wegner 2006, p. 271) Location of the Origins of the Versions

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The Church of Armenia

Formerly Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople (Istanbul)

History of Armenian Bible

Armenia was in large measure Christianized by Gregory Lousavorich ("the Illuminator": consecrated 302 AD died 332), but, as Armenian had not been reduced to writing, the Scriptures used to be read in some places in Greek, in others in Syriac, and translated orally to the people. A knowledge of these tongues and the training of teachers were kept up by the schools which Gregory and King Tiridates had established at the capital Vagharshapat and elsewhere. As far as there was any Christianity in Armenia before Gregory's time, it had been almost exclusively under Syrian influence, from Edessa and Samosata. Gregory introduced Greek influence and culture, though maintaining bonds of union with Syria also.

When King Sapor of Persia became master of Armenia (378 AD), he not only persecuted the Christians most cruelly, but also, for political reasons, endeavored to prevent Armenia from all contact with the Byzantine world. Hence his viceroy, the renegade Armenian Merouzhan, closed the schools, proscribed Greek learning, and burnt all Greek books, especially the Scriptures. Syriac books were spared, just as in Persia itself but in many cases the clergy were unable to interpret them to their people. Persecution had not crushed out Christianity, but there was danger lest it should perish through want of the Word of God. Several attempts were made to translate the Bible into Armenian. In 397 the celebrated Mesrob Mashtots and Isaac (Sachak) the Catholicos resolved to translate the Bible. Mesrob had been a court secretary, and as such was well acquainted with Pahlavi, Syriac and Greek, in which three languages the royal edicts were then published. Isaac had been born at Constantinople and educated there and at Caesarea. Hence he too was a good Greek scholar, besides being versed in Syriac and Pahlavi, which latter was then the court language in Armenia. But none of these three alphabets was suited to express the sounds of the Armenian tongue, and hence, an alphabet had to be devised for it.

A council of the nobility, bishops and leading clergy was held at Vagharshapat in 402, King Vramshapouch being present, and this council requested Isaac to translate the Scriptures into the vernacular. By 406, Mesrob had succeeded in inventing an alphabet--practically the one still in use--principally by modifying the Greek and the Pahlavi characters, though some think the Palmyrene alphabet had influence. He and two of his pupils at Samosata began by translating the Book of Proverbs, and then the New Testament, from the Greek Meanwhile, being unable to find a single Greek manuscript in the country, Isaac translated the church lessons from the Peshitta Syriac, and published this version in 411. He sent two of his pupils to Constantinople for copies of the Greek Bible. These men were present at the Council of Ephesus, 431 AD. Probably Theodoret (De Cura Graec. Affect., I, 5) learned from them what he says about the existence of the Bible in Armenian. Isaac's messengers brought him copies of the Greek Bible from the Imperial Library at Constantinople--doubtless some of those prepared by Eusebius at Constantine's command. Mesrob Mashtots and Isaac, with their assistants, finished and published the Armenian (ancient) version of the whole Bible in 436. La Croze is justified in styling it Queen of versions Unfortunately the Old Testament was rendered (as we have said) from the Septuagint, not from the Hebrew. But the Apocrypha was not translated, only "the 22 Books" of the Old Testament, as Moses of Khorene informs us. This was due to the influence of the Peshitta Old Testament.

Not till the 8th century was the Apocrypha rendered into Armenian: it was not read in Armenian churches until the 12th. Theodotion's version of Daniel was translated, instead of the very inaccurate Septuagint. The Alexandrine text was generally followed but not always.

In the 6th century the Armenian version is said to have been revised so as to agree with the Peshitta. Hence, probably in Mt 28:18 the King James Version, the passage, "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you," is inserted as in the Peshitta, though it occurs also in its proper place ( Joh 20:21 ). It reads "Jesus Barabbas" in Mt 27:16,17 --a reading which Origen found "in very ancient manuscripts." It contains Lu 22:43,44 . As is well known, in the Etschmiadzin manuscript of 986 AD, over Mr 16:9-20 , are inserted the words, "of Ariston the presbyter" but Nestle (Text. Criticism of the Greek New Testament, Plate IX, etc.) and others omit to notice that these words are by a different and a later hand, and are merely an unauthorized remark of no great value.

Results of Circulation:

Mesrob's version was soon widely circulated and became the one great national book. Lazarus Pharpetsi, a contemporary Armenian historian, says he is justified in describing the spiritual results by quoting Isaiah and saying that the whole land of Armenia was thereby "filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." But for it, both church and nation would have perished in the terrible persecutions which have now lasted, with intervals, for more than a millennium and a half.

This version was first printed somewhat late: the Psalter at Rome in 1565, the Bible by Bishop Oskan of Erivan at Amsterdam in 1666, from a very defective MS other editions at Constantinople in 1705, Venice in 1733. Dr. Zohrab's edition of the New Testament in 1789 was far better. A critical edition was printed at Venice in 1805, another at Serampore in 1817. The Old Testament (with the readings of the Hebrew text at the foot of the page) appeared at Constantinople in 1892 ff.

Modern Armenian Versions.

There are two great literary dialects of modern Armenian, in which it was necessary to publish the Bible, since the ancient Armenian (called Grapar, or "written") is no longer generally understood. The American missionaries have taken the lead in translating Holy Scripture into both.

The first version of the New Testament into Ararat Armenian, by Dittrich, was published by the British and Foreign Bible Society at Moscow in 1835 the Psalter in 1844 the rest of the Old Testament much later. There is an excellent edition, published at Constantinople in 1896.

A version of the New Testament into Constantinopolitan Armenian, by Dr. Zohrab, was published at Paris in 1825 by the British and Foreign Bible Society. This version was made from the Ancient Armenian. A revised edition, by Adger, appeared at Smyrna in 1842. In 1846 the American missionaries there published a version of the Old Testament. The American Bible Society have since published revised editions of this version.