Thomas of Mabugh

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Note: This article or section represents an Oriental Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonian) perspective, which may differ from an Eastern Orthodox (Chalcedonian) understanding.

St. Thomas of Mabugh, also known as Mor Touma Harqaloyo (St. Thomas of Heraclea), is one of the fathers of the Syriac Orthodox Church and was the compiler of the Heraclean version of the New Testament in Syriac. St. Thomas is commemorated by the Church of Antioch on June 26.


St. Thomas of Mabugh was born in the village of Heraclea in Palestine and studied at the Qinnesrin Monastery, where he mastered the Greek and Syriac languages. He later became a monk at the Tar'il Monastery and was eventually consecrated Metropolitan of Mabugh at the end of the 500s. In 599 Metr. Thomas was forced to flee to Egypt by the Emperor Maurice, but he was later able to return to his diocese.

The Persian invasion of the Roman Empire forced Metr. Thomas to flee to Egypt again. It was during this second exile that he undertook a revision of the Syriac-language New Testament, checking it against four Greek-language copies of the New Testament. His version, now known as the Heraclean version after his home village, was finished in Alexandria in 616.

In addition to his service in Mabugh and his scholarly work St. Thomas also worked to preserve the unity of the Churches of Alexandria and Antioch in their resistance to the Council of Chalcedon and translated the Anaphoras of Ss. Dionysius the Areopagite, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and John Chrysostom into Syriac.

The year of St. Thomas' death his unknown, but is presumed to have been after his meeting with Emperor Heraclius in 627.

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