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Patriarch

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Definition: The word patriarch is formed from a form of the Greek words for father and rule, so a patriarch is a father who rules. The word is often used in religious connections. In Judaism, patriarch may refer to the three patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who are the forefathers of Israel. It may refer to the 12 sons of Jacob or the ancestors of the human race from before the great flood. In Christianity of the late Classical period, the term patriarch may refer to the men listed above or to the bishops of the five sees at Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, and Jerusalem.

Patriarch now refers to a male head of a household or organization. See Patriarchy.

References:

  • "patriarch" The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Ed. E. A. Livingstone. Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • "patriarch" The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Ed. E. A. Livingstone. Oxford University Press, 2006.

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