The Oriental Orthodox churches (also called non-Chalcedonian churches) trace their origins back to Jesus and his disciples. From their own point of view, they and their leaders represent an authentic and unbroken chain of witnesses to the teachings and legacy of Christ.
The Oriental Orthodox churches have developed a variety of different cultural expressions stemming from culturally specific traditions native to their places of origin.
The Oriental Orthodox churches claim to represent an unbroken chain of successors going all the way back to the earliest apostles and fathers of the Church. For instance, the Armenian Church claims Bartholomew and Thaddaeus, two of Jesus’ disciples, as its founders.
The Oriental Orthodox churches use the Bible as their authoritative scripture, although the exact number of books included may vary. In addition, these churches have successfully preserved large and important bodies of extra-canonical literature.
The emergence of the Oriental Orthodox churches is often seen as a symptom of internal doctrinal developments within Christianity, although social and historical factors also contributed to the fragmentation of Christianity during late antiquity and the early medieval period.