Isaac Abbas

Abbas Isaac was born in Qatar on the Arabian Peninsula in the early 7th century. He grew up when the empire went into decline, after the wars with the Roman-Byzantine empire, which threatened its very capital Ctesiphon. Mature in age, he experienced its Arab-Islamic conquest. We usually have the illusion that the abbot is one of the ascetic fathers of our Church and that he lived in the political framework of the Christian medieval empire. Neither is true. The abbot lived outside the boundaries of the Christian empire and was a member of the Church of the East. He became a monk, for some months bishop of Nineveh between 676 and 680, and then a hermit to Mount Matut in southwestern Persia. He wrote his discourses towards the end of the 7th century, and the translation into Greek took place during the 8th century until perhaps the middle of the 9th. The details of his life remain scant and uncertain, as do those of his translators, to help us focus on studying his work, without being drawn away by the certainties of history into the obscurity of accuracy and our subjection to externals. .
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