From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Jump to: navigation, search
See Patriarchs (Bible) for details about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob of the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible.

Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a composition of "πάτερ" (pater) meaning father and "άρχων" (archon) meaning leader, chief, ruler, king, etc.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are referred to as the three patriarchs of Judaism, and the period in which they lived is called the Patriarchal Age.

The word has also taken on other meanings. In particular, the highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Assyrian Church of the East are called patriarchs. The office and ecclesiastical conscription (comprising one or more provinces, though outside his own (arch)diocese he is often without enforceable jurisdiction, unlike the Pope of Rome) of such a patriarch is called a patriarchate. Historically, a Patriarch may often be the logical choice to act as Ethnarch, representing the community that is identified with his religious confession within a state or empire of a different creed (as christians within the Ottoman Empire).

According to Mormonism, a patriarch is one who has been ordained to the office of Patriarch in the Melchizedek Priesthood. The term is considered synonymous with the term evangelist. One of the patriarch's primary responsibilities is to give Patriarchal blessings, as Jacob did to his twelve sons in the Old Testament. In the main branch of Mormonism, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Patriarchs are typically assigned in each stake and hold the title for life.


Primates of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in order of precedence

(See also Pentarchy.)

Other Patriarchs of the Holy Catholic and Orthodox Church

Current patriarchs in the Roman Catholic Church

Latin Rite

Eastern Rite Patriarchs

Historical Patriarchs in the Roman Catholic Church

Current Patriarchs in Oriental Orthodox Churches

Patriarchs in Nestorian Churches

See also

External links

Personal tools