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Aba (Mar), c. 400 CE
(1,280 words)

That Ephrem the Syrian (d. 373 CE) had a disciple by the name of Aba is attested in the Syriac text known as the Testament of Ephrem (Beck, 1973). “Aba, man of wonder (gabrā d-tedmurtā)” is listed as the first among seven disciples (Beck, 1973, 56, l. 441), and one manuscript of the Testament (BL Add. 14.582), dated 816 CE, calls him “the head (rēshā) of all my disciples.” The author of the Testament (only part of which may go back to Ephrem himself) must have in mind the same Aba to whom Syriac literary works of theological and exegetical content are attrib…

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Van Rompay, Lucas, “Aba (Mar), c. 400 CE”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 22 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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