George, bishop of the Arab tribes

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George, Bishop of the Arab Tribes, was a West Syriac writer. He died in February 724. He was a pupil of Athanasius II, and in 686 he became the Syrian Orthodox (monophysite/jacobite) bishop of the Christian Arab tribes. He was the last in the chain of Syrian Orthodox scholar-bishops, well grounded in Greek scientific and philosophical studies.


  • He completed book 7 of the the Commentary on the Six Days of Creations (Hexameron) which Jacob of Edessa had left unfinished on his death. [LT]
  • A revised translation, with introductions and commentaries, of the earlier books of Aristotle's Organon (the works on logic).
  • Scholia on the Homilies of Gregory Nazianzen.
  • A Commentary on the liturgy, including baptism and eucharist [ET] and the myron [GT].
  • A collection of letters. These are of great interest and deal with a range of topics, including: the identity of Aphrahat; his views on the human soul and spirit; chronology and astronomy; and difficult passages in the works of Jacob of Edessa. [GT]
  • A verse homily (memra) on Severus of Antioch. [ET] Other memre are also attributed to George, but possibly wrongly; the one on the myron is attributed in some manuscripts to Jacob of Serugh.

Among his works he preserves a fragment of a work by Bardaisan, which was published by Nau in "Bardesane l'astrologue" etc. (Paris, 1899).

  • "George, a bishop of the Arabs of Mesopotamia, wrote a Scholia on the Scripture around the sixth century." (Abdiyah Akbar Abdul-Haqq, Sharing Your Faith with a Muslim [Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis MN, 1980], p. 29)
  • Some of his works are preserved in Paris Ms. Syriaque 346 which contains mainly works by Severus Sebokht.


  • Sebastian Brock, A brief outline of Syriac literature, Moran Etho 9, Kottayam (1997) p.59-60, 136.
  • For the Hexameron see J.B.Chabot and A. Vaschalde, CSCO Syr. 44 (1928), 48 (1932).
  • Two Commentaries on the Jacobite Liturgy, by George, Bishop of the Arab tribes, and Moses Bar Kepha: together with the Syriac Anaphora of St. James and a document entitled The Book of Life. Texts and English translation by Dom R. H. Connolly, M.A., and H. W. Codrington. Eng. & Syr. London (1913)
  • On Myron, letter, German trans. by V. Ryssel (1891).
  • Ein Brief Georgs, Bischofs der Araber, an den Presbyter Jesus, aus dem Syrischen übersetzt und erläutert. Mit einer Einleitung über sein Leben und seine Schriften. Von ... V. Ryssel. ... Erweiterter Separatabdruck aus dem "Theol. Stud. u. Krit." Publisher: Gotha, 1883. Physical desc.: pp. 118. ; 8o.
  • George, Bishop of the Arabs, A homily on blessed Mar Severus, Patriarch of Antioch, ed. Kathleen E. McVey, CSCO vol. 530-531, Scriptores Syri t.216-217. Lovanii:In aedibus E. Peeters (1993) 2 vols. ISBN 2877230740, ISBN 9068315153 (text); ISBN 2877230732, 9068315145 (English translation)
  • Dana Miller, "George, bishop of Arab tribes on true philosophy," Festschrift in Honor of Sebastian Brock (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 303-320.