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).
  • 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.