Christian-Muslim Relations 600 - 1500

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(1,150 words)

Life of John of Edessa

Unknown author

Date: Perhaps c. 900

Original Language: Arabic


The Life of John of Edessa recounts the saintly bishop’s debate and thaumaturgic contest with a certain Phineas the Jew, in the presence of the Caliph Hārūn al-Rashīd (r. 786-809). The text opens with a description of the wicked Jew Phineas, a courtier of the caliph, and how he had turned the caliph against the Christians. When John learns of this, after praying before the image o…

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Lamoreaux, John C., “ Untitled”, in: Christian-Muslim Relations 600 - 1500, General Editor David Thomas. Consulted online on 17 May 2021 <>
First published online: 2010

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