Sudaili, Stephen Bar

Sudaili, Stephen Bar a Monophysite monk, who, according to the CndelabEum Sanctorum of Abul-faraj (q.v.), in Assemani, Bibl. Orient. 2, 291, lived about A.D. 500, at first in Edessa and afterwards in Jerusalem. He is credited with the authorship of a work which circulated under the name of Hierotheus, the teacher and predecessor of Pseudo-Dionysius, in which a limitation of the duration of hell is taught on the authority of a pantheistic interpretation of 1Co 15:28. Neander regarded the ascription of this work to Sudaili as resting upon a mere assumption on the part of Abn-faraj (Gesch. d. chsistl. Rel. u. Kirhe, 1, 727.), but without having sufficient warrant for his view.

Particulars respecting the mystico-pantheistic theology of Sudaili are furnished by Xenajas or Philoxenus (q.v.) of Mabug in a letter addressed to the presbyters Abraham and Orestes of Edessa, which earnestly warns them against the influence of that learned and subtle monk who formerly sojourn in their city (see extracts in Assemani, aut sup. p. 30-33). As A there represented, Sudaili taught the essential unity of the Father, Son, and Spirit, of the divine and human [nature of Christ, and also of God and all created existences, basing his views on 1Co 15:28, ἵνα ῃ ὁ Θεὸς τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν. He had inscribed on the wall of his cell the words "Omnis natura Divinitati constibstantialis est," and he continued to elaborate the same idea 'in his writings after public opinion had compelled the erasure of the inscription in his cell. It is also charged by Philoxemeus that Sudaili taught that baptism and the Eucharist are superfluous, that he denied the infliction of punishment for sin at the last judgment, and that he promised to pagans and Jews the same heavenly deities as to Christians, to Judas and Simon Magus equal blessedness with Paul and Peter. It is evident that much of these assertions is dictated by malice and is grossly misrepresented. The same remark applies to the Chiliastic views of Sudaili, who was a consequential adherent of Origenistic doctrines, and must be regarded as holding a spiritualized, idealistic view of the world. He taught three world-periods-the present, corresponding to the sixth day of the week; the millennium, the great Sabbath or rest-day of the week; and the eternity of consummation or of the restoration of all things.

Nothing is known of the personal or literary career of Bar Sudaili. The violent assault of Philoxenus upon his character as a teacher and expositor of the Scriptures appears to have succeeded so far as to cause him to be regarded by all Monophysites as a dangerous heretic. The Jacobites of Syria, e.g., admitted a special sentence of condemnation against him into their formula of ordination. See Assemani, Bibl. Orient. vol. 1 and 2. — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 5.

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