Basmanu

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בסמנו

Etymology

Basmanu is the Aramaic word, which is commonly known as Myron in Greek and English and refers to the oil which the women took to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus on the Third Day. According to ancient tradition, after they found the tomb empty, in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, the oil itself was used as the “anointing” of the apostles which brought down the Spirit of Holiness upon them, and thus Pentecost. When they dispersed, all going of their own accord to preach the Word of God, they each took some of that oil with them, to anoint their own disciples and thus to spread the faith and anointing which is faith. Over time, this basmanu has been added to, making a larger and larger quantity, in which some of the original remains, and is now the precious possession of every valid Christian bishop, with which he anoints his own disciples. This succession of holy oil is believed to be a continuity of the blessings placed upon the oil from the beginning of the Christian era.[1]

Hebrew

Basmanu[2] in Aramaic corresponds to Besamin בשמים in Hebrew, meaning the fragrant spices which were used by the Jews during feast days.[3].

In Exodus it says:

"You shall prepare oil for holy anointing. It is sacred, and therefore should remain sacred for you."[4]

Syriac

In Syriac the Greek word Myron is written as, “ܡܝܪܢ”, a literal transliteration from the Greek. Μύρων (“muron”) is literally the Greek noun meaning “an anointing”, it is also the name of an ancient Athenian sculptor of great renown in the 3rd Century B.C. who was elevated to the status of a 'god' within the Greek culture. Due to the mass Hellenization of the church which began in the 3rd Century, many Greek words found their way into Aramaic, and from this modern Syriac was created.

References

  1. Basmanu בסמנו, a commemoration of the first ever Consecration of Holy Chrism by the Nazarani Metropolitan, Nazarani Church, (unpublished), 2014
  2. [https://righteousendeavour.com/ressources/96eb47da68ecd13ac531c8d29a1ea2b13b390602.PDF The Role of Basmanu in the Transmission of Valid Apostolic Succession
  3. Psalms 23:5, Amos 6:6
  4. Exodus 30:25-32