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Acts of Thomas

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Last updated by Meril Jeffery John.J

The early 3rd-century text called Acts of Thomas is one of the New Testament apocrypha, portrayingActs of Thomas Christ as the "Heavenly Redeemer", independent of and beyond creation, who can free souls from the darkness of the world. References to the work by Epiphanius of Salamis show that it was in circulation in the 4th century. The complete versions that survive are Syriac and Greek. There are many surviving fragments of the text. Scholars detect from the Greek that its original was written in Syriac, which places the Acts of Thomas in Syria. The surviving Syriac manuscripts, however, have been edited to purge them of the most unorthodox overtly gnostic passages, so that the Greek versions reflect the earlier tradition.

Fragments of four other cycles of romances around the figure of the apostle Thomas survive, but this is the only complete one. It should not be confused with the early "sayings" Gospel of Thomas. "Like other apocryphal acts combining popular legend and religious propaganda, the work attempts to entertain and instruct. In addition to narratives of Thomas' adventures, its poetic and liturgical elements provide important evidence for early Syrian Christian traditions," according to the Anchor Bible Dictionary.

Acts of Thomas is a series of episodic Acts (Latin passio) that occurred during the evangelistic mission of Judas Thomas ("Judas the Twin") to India. It ends with his martyrdom: he dies pierced with spears, having earned the ire of the monarch Misdaeus (Vasudeva I) because of his conversion of Misdaeus' wives and a relative, Charisius. He was imprisoned while converting Indian followers won through the performing of miracles.

Embedded in the Acts of Thomas at different places according to differing manuscript traditions is a Syriac hymn, The Hymn of the Pearl, (or Hymn of the Soul), a poem that gained a great deal of popularity in mainstream Christian circles. The Hymn is older than the Acts into which it has been inserted, and is worth appreciating on its own. The text is interrupted with the poetry of another hymn, the one that begins "Come, thou holy name of the Christ that is above every name" (2.27), a theme that was taken up in Catholic Christianity in the 13th century as the Holy Name.

Though Gregory of Tours made a version, mainstream Christian tradition rejects the Acts of Thomas as pseudepigraphical and apocryphal, and for its part, the Roman Catholic Church finally confirmed the Acts as hereticalat the Council of Trent. See also Leucius Charinus.

Thomas is often referred to by his name Judas (his full name is Thomas Judas Didymus), since both Thomas and Didymus just mean twin, and several scholars believe that twin is just a description, and not intended as a name. The manuscripts end "The acts of Judas Thomas the apostle are completed, which he did in India, fulfilling the commandment of him that sent him. Unto whom be glory, world without end. Amen.".

Acts of Thomas Brief:

The Acts of Thomas connects Thomas, the apostle's Indian ministry with two kings, one in the north and the other in the south. According to one of the legends in the Acts, Thomas was at first reluctant to accept this mission, but the Lord appeared to him in a night vision and said, “Fear not, Thomas. Go away to India and proclaim the Word, for my grace shall be with you.” But the Apostle still demurred, so the Lord overruled the stubborn disciple by ordering circumstances so compelling that he was forced to accompany an Indian merchant, Abbanes, to his native place in northwest India, where he found himself in the service of the Indo-Parthian king Gundaphorus. The apostle's ministry resulted in many conversions throughout the kingdom, including the king and his brother.

According to the legend, Thomas was a skilled carpenter and was bidden to build a palace for the king. However, the Apostle decided to teach the king a lesson by devoting the royal grant to acts of charity and thereby laying up treasure for the heavenly abode. Although little is known of the immediate growth of the church, Bar-Daisan (154–223) reports that in his time there were Christian tribes in North India which claimed to have been converted by Thomas and to have books and relics to prove it. But at least by the year of the establishment of the Second Persian Empire (226), there were bishops of the Church of the East in northwest India, Afghanistan and Baluchistan, with laymen and clergy alike engaging in missionary activity.

The Acts of Thomas identifies his second mission in India with a kingdom ruled by King Mahadeva, one of the rulers of a 1st-century dynasty in southern India. It is most significant that, aside from a small remnant of the Church of the East in Kurdistan, the only other church to maintain a distinctive identity is the Mar Thoma or “Church of Thomas” congregations along the Malabar Coast of Kerala State in southwest India. According to the most ancient tradition of this church, Thomas evangelized this area and then crossed to the Coromandel Coast of southeast India, where, after carrying out a second mission, he died in Mylapore near Madras. Throughout the period under review, the church in India was under the jurisdiction of Edessa, which was then under the Mesopotamian patriarchate at Seleucia-Ctesiphon and later at Baghdad and Mosul. Historian Vincent A. Smith says, “It must be admitted that a personal visit of the Apostle Thomas to South India was easily feasible in the traditional belief that he came by way of Socotra, where an ancient Christian settlement undoubtedly existed. I am now satisfied that the Christian church of South India is extremely ancient... ”.

Although there was a lively trade between the Near East and India via Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf, the most direct route to India in the 1st century was via Alexandria and the Red Sea, taking advantage of the Monsoon winds, which could carry ships directly to and from the Malabar coast. The discovery of large hoards of Roman coins of 1st-century Caesars and the remains of Roman trading posts testify to the frequency of that trade. In addition, thriving Jewish colonies were to be found at the various trading centers, thereby furnishing obvious bases for the apostolic witness.

Piecing together the various traditions, one may conclude that Thomas left northwest India when invasion threatened and traveled by vessel to the Malabar coast, possibly visiting southeast Arabia and Socotra en route and landing at the former flourishing port of Muziris on an island near Cochin (c. AD 51–52). From there he is said to have preached the gospel throughout the Malabar coast, though the various churches he founded were located mainly on the Periyar River and its tributaries and along the coast, where there were Jewish colonies. He reputedly preached to all classes of people and had about seventeen thousand converts, including members of the four principal castes. Later, stone crosses were erected at the places where churches were founded, and they became pilgrimage centres. In accordance with apostolic custom, Thomas ordained teachers and leaders or elders, who were reported to be the earliest ministry of the Malabar church.

Acts Of Thomas Content:

Acts of the Holy Apostle Thomas:

At that time we the apostles were all in Jerusalem— Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip andBartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the tax-gatherer; James of Alphæus and Simon the Cananæan; and Judas of James; — and we portioned out the regions of the world, in order that each one of us might go into the region that fell to him, and to the nation to which the Lord sent him. By lot, then, India fell toJudas Thomas, also called Didymus. And he did not wish to go, saying that he was not able to go on account of the weakness of the flesh; and how can I, being an Hebrew man, go among the Indians to proclaim the truth? And while he was thus reasoning and speaking, the Saviour appeared to him through the night, and said to him: Fear not, Thomas; go away to India, and proclaim the word; for my grace shall be with you. But he did not obey, saying: WhereverYou wish to send me, send me elsewhere; for to the Indians I am not going.

And as he was thus speaking and growing angry, there happened to be there a certain merchant come from India, by name Abbanes, sent from the kingGundaphoros, and having received an order from him to buy a carpenter and bring him to him. And the Lord, having seen him walking about in the market at noon, said to him: Do you wish to buy a carpenter? And he said to Him: Yes. And the Lord said to him: I have a slave a carpenter, and I wish to sell him. And having said this, He showed him Thomas at a distance, and agreed with him for three pounds of uncoined silver; and He wrote a bill of sale, saying: IJesus, the son of Joseph the carpenter, declare that I have sold my slave, Judas by name, to you Abbanes, a merchant of Gundaphoros, the king of theIndians. And the purchase being completed, the Saviour taking Judas, who also is Thomas, led him to Abbanes the merchant; and Abbanes seeing him, said to him: Is this your master? And the apostle answered and said: Yes, He is my Lord. And he says: I have bought you from him. And the apostle held his peace.

And at dawn of the following day, the apostle having prayed and entreated the Lord, said: I go wherever You wish, O Lord Jesus; Your will be done. And he went to Abbanes the merchant, carrying nothing at all with him, but only his price. For the Lord had given it to him, saying: Let your worth also be with you along with my grace, wherever you may go. And the apostle came up with Abbanes, who was carrying his effects into the boat. He began therefore also to carry them along with him. And when they had gone on board and sat down, Abbanes questioned the apostle, saying: What kind of work do you know? And he said: In wood, ploughs, and yokes, and balances, and boats, and boats' oars, and masts, and blocks; in stone, slabs, and temples, and royal palaces. AndAbbanes the merchant said to him: Of such a workman, to be sure, we have need. They began, therefore, to sail away. And they had a fair wind, and they sailed fast until they came to Andrapolis, a royal city.

And having gone out of the boat, they went into the city. And, behold, the voices of flute-players, and of water-organs, and trumpets, sounding round them; and the apostle inquired, saying: What festival is this in this city? And those who were there said to him: The gods have brought you also, that you may be feasted in this city. For the king has an only-begotten daughter, and he is now giving her to a husband in marriage: this festival, then, which you see today, is the rejoicing and public assembly for the marriage. And the king has sent forth heralds to proclaim everywhere that all are to come to the marriage, richand poor, bond and free, strangers and citizens. And if any one shall refuse and not come to the marriage, he will be answerable to the king. Matthew 22:3-14And Abbanes having heard, said to the apostle: Let us also go, then, that we may not offend the king, and especially as we are strangers. And he said: Let us go. And having turned into the inn, and rested a little, they went to the marriage. And the apostle seeing them all reclining, reclined he also in the midst. And they all looked at him as a stranger, and coming from a foreign land. And Abbanes the merchant, as being a lord, reclined in another place.

And when they had dined and drunk, the apostle tasted nothing. Those, then, about him said to him: Why have you come hither, neither eating nor drinking? And he answered and said to them: For something greater than food or even drink have I come hither, even that I might accomplish the will of the King. For the heralds proclaim the wishes of the King, and whoever will not hear the heralds will be liable to the judgment of the King. When, therefore, they had dined and drunk, and crowns and perfumes had been brought, each took perfume, and one anointed his face, another his cheek, and one one part of his body, and another another. And the apostle anointed the crown of his head, and put a little of the ointment in his nostrils, and dropped it also into his ears, and applied it also to his teeth, and carefully anointed the parts round about his heart; and having taken the crown that was brought to him wreathed of myrtle and other flowers, he put it on his head, and took a branch of reed in his hand, and held it.

And the flute-girl, holding the flutes in her hand, went round them all; and when she came to the place where the apostle was, she stood over him, playing the flute over his head a long time. And that flute-girl was Hebrew by race.

And as the apostle looked away to the ground, a certain one of the wine-pourers stretched forth his hand and struck him. And the apostle, having raised his eyes, and regarded him who had struck him, said: My God will forgive you this wrong in the world to come, but in this world He will show His wonders, and I shall soon see that hand that struck me dragged along by a dog. And having thus spoken, he began to sing and to repeat this song:—

Maiden, daughter of the light, in whom there exists and abides the majestic splendour of kings; and delightsome is the sight of her, resplendent with brilliant beauty. Her garments are like spring flowers, and the odour of a sweet smell is given forth from them; and on the crown of her head the king is seated, feeding with his own ambrosia those who are seated beside him; and truth rests upon her head, and she shows forth joy with her feet; and becomingly does she open her mouth; thirty-and-two are they who sing her praises, and their tongue is like a curtain of the door which is drawn for them who go in; and her neck is made in the likeness of the stairs which the first Creator created; and her two hands signify and represent the choral dance of theblessed ages, proclaiming it; and her fingers represent the gates of the city. Her chamber lighted up breathes forth scent from balsam and every perfume, and gives forth a sweet odour of myrrh and savoury herbs; and within are strewn myrtles and sweet-smelling flowers of all kinds; and the bridal chambers are adorned with calamus. And her groomsmen, of whom the number is seven, whom she has chosen for herself, surround her like a wall; and her bridesmaids are seven, who dance before her; and twelve are they in number who minister before her and are at her bidding, having their gaze and their sight upon the bridegroom, that through the sight of him they may be enlightened. And they shall be with him to everlasting in that everlasting joy, and they shall sit down in that wedding to which the great ones are gathered together, and they shall abide in the festivities of which the eternals are deemed worthy; and they shall be arrayed in royal raiment, and shall put on shining robes; and in joy and exultation both of them shall be, and they shall glorify the Father of the universe, whose majestic light they have received, and they have been enlightened by the sight of Him their Lord, whose ambrosial food they have received, of which there is no failing at all; and they have drunk also of the wine which brings to them no thirst, neither desire of the flesh; and they have with the living spirit glorified and praised the father of truth and the mother of wisdom.

And when he had sung and finished this song, all who were there present looked upon him and kept silence, and they also saw his form changed; and what had been said by him they did not understand, since he was a Hebrew, and what had been said by him had been said in Hebrew. But the flute-girl alone heard all, for she was Hebrew by race, and standing off from him she played the flute to the others; but at him she mostly turned her eyes and looked, for she altogether loved him as a man of the same nation with herself, and he was also beautiful in appearance above all who were there. And when the flute-girl had come to the end of all her flute-playing, she sat down opposite him, and looked and gazed upon him. But he looked at no one at all, neither did he regard any one, but only kept his eyes on the ground, waiting until he should depart thence. And that wine-pourer that struck him came down to the fountain to draw water; and there happened to be a lion there, and it came forth and killed him, and left him lying in the place, after tearing up his limbs; and dogs immediately seized his limbs, among which also one black dog, laying hold of his right hand in his mouth, brought it to the place of the banquet.

And all seeing were terror-struck, inquiring which of them had been taken off. And when it was clear that it was the hand of the wine-pourer who had struck the apostle, the flute-girl broke her flutes in pieces, and threw them away, and went and sat down at the feet of the apostle, saying: This man is either Godor God's apostle; for I heard him saying in Hebrew to the wine-pourer, I shall soon see the hand that struck me dragged about by dogs, which also you have now seen; for as he said, so also it has come to pass. And some believed her, and some not. And the king, having heard, came up and said to him: Rise up, and go with me, and pray for my daughter; for she is my only child, and today I give her away. And the apostle would not go with him; for his Lord had not at all been revealed to him there. And the king took him away against his will to the bridal-chamber, that he might pray for them.

And the apostle stood, and began to pray and speak thus: My Lord and my God, who accompanies His servants on their way, guiding and directing those who trust in Him, the refuge and the repose of the afflicted, the hope of the mourners, and the deliverer of the captives, the physician of the souls that are lyingunder disease, and Saviour of every creature, who gives life to the world, and invigorates our souls! You know what will come to pass, who also for our sakes makest these things perfect: You, Lord, who reveals hidden mysteries, and declarest unspeakable words; You, Lord, the planter of the good tree, also through the tree makest words to spring up; You, Lord, who is in all, and came through all, and exists in all Your works, and makes Yourself manifest through the working of them all; Jesus Christ, the Son of compassion, and perfect Saviour; Christ, Son of the living God, the undaunted Power which has overthrown the enemy; and the voice heard by the rulers, which shook all their powers; the ambassador who was sent to them from on high, and who went down even toHades; who also, having opened the doors, brought out thence those that had been shut in for many ages by the controller of the world, and showed them the way up that leads up on high: I beseech You, Lord Jesus Christ, I offer You supplication for these young persons, that You may make what happens and befalls them to be for their good. And having laid his hands on them, and said, The Lord will be with you, he left them in the place, and went away.

And the king requested the groomsmen to go out of the bridal-chamber; and all having gone forth, and the doors having been shut, the bridegroom raisedthe curtain of the bridal-chamber, that he might bring the bride to himself. And he saw the Lord Jesus talking with the bride, and having the appearance ofJudas Thomas, who shortly before had blessed them, and gone out from them; and he says to him: Did you not go out before them all? And how are you found here? And the Lord said to him: I am not Judas, who also is Thomas; I am his brother. And the Lord sat down on the bed, and ordered them also to sit down on the seats; and He began to say to them:—

Keep in mind, my children, what my brother said to you, and to whom he commended you; and this know, that if you refrain from this filthy intercourse, you become temples holy and pure, being released from afflictions and troubles, known and unknown, and you will not be involved in the cares of life, and of children, whose end is destruction; but if you get many children, for their sakes you become grasping and avaricious, plundering orphans, coveting theproperty of widows, and by doing this you subject yourselves to most grievous punishments. For many children become unprofitable, being harassed by demons, some openly and others secretly: for they become either lunatics, or half-withered, or lame, or deaf, or dumb, or paralytics, or idiots; and even if they be in good health, they will be again good-for-nothing, doing unprofitable and abominable works: for they will be detected either in adultery, or in murder, or in theft, or in fornication, and by all these you will be afflicted. But if you will be persuaded, and preserve your souls pure to God, there will be born to you living children, whom these hurtful things do not touch; and you will be without care, spending an untroubled life, free from grief and care, looking forward to receive that marriage incorruptible and true; and you will be in it companions of the bridegroom, going in along with Him into that bridal-chamber full of immortality and light.

And when the young people heard this, they believed the Lord, and gave themselves over into His keeping, and refrained from filthy lust, and remained thus spending the night in the place. And the Lord went out from before them, having spoken thus to them: The grace of the Lord shall be with you. And the dawn having come on, the king arrived, and having supplied the table, brought it in before the bridegroom and the bride; and he found them sitting opposite each other, and he found the face of the bride uncovered, and the bridegroom was quite cheerful. And the mother having come to the bride, said: Wherefore do you sit thus, child, and art not ashamed, but thus as if you had for a long time lived with your own husband? And her father said: Is it because of your great love to your husband that you are uncovered?

And the bride answered and said: Truly, father, I am in great love, and I pray to my Lord to continue to me the love which I have experienced this night, and I shall beg for myself this husband whom I have experienced today. For this reason, then, I am no longer covered, since the mirror of shame has been taken away from me, and I am no longer ashamed nor abashed, since the work of shame and bashfulness has been removed far from me; and because I am not under any violent emotion, since violent emotion does not abide in me; and because I am in cheerfulness and joy, since the day of joy has not been disturbed; and because I hold of no account this husband, and these nuptials that have passed away from before my eyes, since I have been joined in a different marriage; and because I have had no intercourse with a temporary husband, whose end is with lewdness and bitterness of soul, since I have been united to a true Husband.

And when the bride is saying yet more, the bridegroom answers and says: I thank You, Lord, who hast been proclaimed by the stranger and found by us; who hast put corruption far from me, and hast sown life in me; who hast delivered me from this disease, hard to heal, and hard to cure, and abiding for ever, and established in me sound health; who hast shown Yourself to me, and hast revealed to me all that concerns me, in which I am; who hast redeemed me from falling, and hast led me to something better, and who hast released me from things temporary, and hast deemed me worthy of things immortal and everexisting; who hast brought Yourself down even to me and to my littleness, in order that, having placed me beside Your greatness, You might unite me to Yourself; who hast not withheld Your own compassion from me lost, but hast shown me how to search myself, and to know what I was and what and how I am now, in order that I may again become as I was; whom I indeed did not know, but You Yourself whom I knew not hast sought me out and taken me to Yourself; whom I have experienced, and am not now able to forget, whose love is fervent in me; and speak indeed as I ought I cannot. But what I have timeto say about Him is short, and altogether little, and not in proportion to His glory; but He does not find fault with me for not being ashamed to say to Him even what I do not know; because it is through the love of Him that I say even this.

And the king, having heard these things from the bridegroom and the bride, rent his garments, and said to those standing near him: Go out quickly, and go round the whole city, and seize and bring me that man, the sorcerer, who has come for evil into this city: for I led him with my own hands into my house, and I told him to pray for my most unfortunate daughter; and whoever shall find him and bring him to me, whatever service he shall ask of me, I give him. They went away, therefore, and went round seeking him, and found him not; for he had sailed. They went, therefore, also into the inn where he had stayed, and found there the flute-girl weeping and in distress, because he had not taken her with him. And they having recounted what had happened in the case of the young people, she was altogether glad when she heard it, and dismissed her grief, and said: Now have I found, even I, repose here. And she arose and went to them, and was with them a long time, until they had instructed the king also. And many also of the brethren were gathered together there, until they heard word of the apostle, that he had gone down to the cities of India, and was teaching there. And they went away, and joined him.

Acts of the Holy Apostle Thomas, When He Came into India, and Built the Palace in the Heavens:

And when the apostle came into the cities of India, with Abbanes the merchant, Abbanes went away to salute Gundaphoros the king, and reported to him about the carpenter whom he had brought with him; and the king was glad, and ordered him to come in to himself. And when he had come in, the king said to him: What trade do you know? The apostle says to him: The carpenter's and house builder's. The king says to him: What work in wood do you know, then, and what in stone? The apostle says: In wood, ploughs, yokes, balances, pulleys, and boats, and oars, and masts; and in stone, monuments, temples, royal palaces. And the king said: Will you build me a palace? And he answered: Yes, I shall build it, and finish it; for because of this I came, to build houses, and to do carpenter's work.

And the king having taken him, went forth out of the gates of the city, and began to talk with him on the way about the building of the palace, and about the foundations, how they should be laid, until they came to that place in which he wished the building to be. And he said: Here I wish the building to be. And the apostle says: Yes; for assuredly this place is convenient for the building. For the place was well wooded, and there was much water there. The king therefore says: Begin to build. And he said: I cannot begin to build at this time.

And the king says: When will you be able? And he says: I shall begin in Dius and end in Xanthicus. And the king wondering, said: Every building is built in summer; but can you build and make a palace in winter itself? And the apostle said: Thus it must be, and otherwise it is impossible. And the king said: If, therefore, this be your opinion, mark out for me how the work is to be, since I shall come here after some time. And the apostle, having taken a reed, measured the place, and marked it out; and he set the doors towards the rising of the sun, to look to the light, and the windows towards its setting, to the winds; and he made the bakehouse to be towards the south, and the water-tank, for abundance, towards the north. And the king seeing this, said to theapostle: You are a craftsman indeed, and it is fitting that you should serve kings. And having left many things for him, he went away.

And from time to time he also sent the money that was necessary, for the living both of him and the other workmen. And he taking it, dispenses it all, going about the cities and the places round, distributing and doing kindnesses to the poor and the afflicted, and gave them rest, saying: The king knows how to obtain royal recompense, and it is necessary for the poor to have repose for the present.

And after this, the king sent a messenger to the apostle, having written to him as follows: Show me what you have done, or what I am to send you, or what you need. The apostle sends to him, saying: The palace is built, and only the roof remains to be done. And the king, having heard, sent him again gold and silver uncoined, and wrote to him: Let the palace, if it be done, be roofed. And the apostle said to the Lord: I thank You, Lord, as to all things, that You died for a short time, that I might live in You for ever; and hast sold me, so that You may deliver many through me. And he did not cease to teach and refresh the afflicted, saying: These things the Lord has dispensed to us, and He gives to each his food; for He is the support of the orphans, and the provider of the widows, and to all that are afflicted He is rest and repose.

And when the king came into the city, he inquired of his friends about the palace which Judas, who also is Thomas, had built; and they said to him: He has neither built a palace, nor done anything else of what he promised to do; but he goes round the cities and the districts, and if he has anything he gives all to the poor, and teaches one new God, and heals the diseased, and drives out demons, and does many other extraordinary things; and we think that he is a magician. But his acts of compassion, and the cures done by him as a free gift, and still more, his single-mindedness, and gentleness, and fidelity, show that he is a just man, or an apostle of the new God whom he preaches; for he continually fasts and prays, and eats only bread with salt, and his drink is water, and he carries one coat, whether in warm weather or in cold, and he takes nothing from any one, but gives to others even what he has. The king having heard this, stroked his face with his hands, shaking his head for a long time.

And he sent for the merchant that had brought him, and for the apostle, and said to him: Have you built me the palace? And he said: Yes, I have built it. And the king said: When, then, are we to go and see it? And he answered and said: Now you can not see it; but when you have departed this life, you shall see it. And the king, quite enraged, ordered both the merchant, and Judas who also is Thomas, to be put in chains, and to be cast into prison, until he should examine, and learn to whom he had given the king's property. And thus I shall destroy him along with the merchant. And the apostle went to prison rejoicing, and said to the merchant: Fear nothing at all, but only believe in the God proclaimed by me, and you shall be freed from this world, and you shall obtain life in the world to come.

And the king considered by what death he should kill them; and when it seemed good to him to flay them, and burn them with fire, on that very night Gadthe king's brother fell ill, and through the grief and imposition which the king suffered he was grievously depressed; and having sent for the king, he said to him: My brother the king, I commend to you my house and my children; for I, on account of the insult that has befallen you, have been grieved, and am dying; and if you do not come down with vengeance upon the head of that magician, you will give my soul no rest in Hades. And the king said to his brother: During the whole night I have considered this, how I shall put him to death; and this has seemed good to me— to flay him and burn him up with fire, both him and with him the merchant that brought him.

And as they were talking together, the soul of Gad his brother departed. And the king mourned for Gad exceedingly, for he altogether loved him. And he ordered him to be prepared for burial in a royal and costly robe. And as this was being done, angels received the soul of Gad the king's brother, and took it up into heaven, showing him the places and dwellings there, asking him: In what sort of a place do you wish to dwell? And when they came near the edifice of Thomas the apostle, which he had built for the king, Gad, seeing it, said to the angels, I entreat you, my lords, permit me to dwell in one of the underground chambers of this palace. And they said to him: You can not dwell in this building. And he said: Wherefore? They say to him: This palace is the one which that Christian built for your brother. And he said: I entreat you, my lords, permit me to go to my brother, that I may buy this palace from him; for my brother does not know what it is like, and he will sell it to me.

Then the angels let the soul of Gad go. And as they were putting on him the burial robe, his soul came into him. And he said to those standing round him: Call my brother to me, that I may beg of him one request. Straightway, therefore, they sent the good news to their king, saying: Your brother has come alive again. And the king started up, and along with a great multitude went to his brother, and went in and stood beside his bed as if thunderstruck, not being able to speak to him. And his brother said: I know and am persuaded, brother, that if any one asked of you the half of your kingdom, you would give it for my sake; wherefore I entreat you to grant me one favour, which I beg of you to do me. And the king answered and said: And what is it that you ask me to do for you? And he said: Assure me by an oath that you will grant it me. And the king swore to him: Of what belongs to me, whatever you shall ask, I will give you. And he says to him: Sell me that palace which you have in the heavens. And the king said: Whence does a palace in the heavens belong to me? And he said: That which the Christian who is now in the prison, whom the merchant bought from a certain Jesus, and brought to you, built for you. And as he was at a loss, he says to him again: I speak of that Hebrew slave whom you wished to punish, as having suffered some imposition from him, on account of whom I also was grieved and died, and now have come alive again.

Then the king, having come to know, understood about the eternal benefits that were conferred upon him and destined for him, and said: That palace I cannot sell you, but I pray you to go into it, and dwell there, and become worthy to be of its inhabitants; but if you really wish to buy such a palace, behold, the man is alive, and will build you a better than that. And having sent immediately, he brought out of the prison the apostle, and the merchant who had been shut up along with him, saying: I entreat you, as a man entreating the servant of God, that you will pray for me, and entreat him whose servant you are, to pardon me, and overlook what I have done to you, or even what I meant to do, and that I may be worthy to be an inhabitant of that house for which indeed I have laboured nothing, but which you labouring alone hast built for me, the grace of your God working with you; and that I may become a servant, I also, and slave of this God whom you proclaim. And his brother, falling down before the apostle, said: I entreat you, and supplicate before your God, that I may become worthy of this ministry and service, and may be allotted to become worthy of those things which were shown me by his angels.

And the apostle, seized with joy, said: I make full confession to You, Lord Jesus, that You have revealed Your truth in these men: for You alone art a God of truth, and not another; and You are He who know all things that are unknown to many: You are He, Lord, who in all things showest compassion and mercy tomen; for men, through the error that is in them, have overlooked You, but You have not overlooked them. And now, when I am entreating and supplicating You, accept the king and his brother, and unite them into Your fold, having cleansed them by Your purification, and anointed them with Your oil, from the error which encompasses them; and protect them also from the wolves, bringing them into Your meadows; and give them to drink of Your ambrosial fountain, that is never muddy and never fails: for they entreat You, and supplicate, and wish to become Your ministers and servants; and on account of this they are well pleased even to be persecuted by Your enemies, and for Your sake to be hated by them, and insulted, and to die; as You also for our sakes suffered all these things, that You might gain us to Yourself, as being Lord, and truly a good shepherd. And do Thou grant them that they may have confidence in You alone, and aid from You, and hope of their salvation, which they obtain from You alone, and that they may be confirmed in Your mysteries; and they shall receive the perfect benefits of Your graces and gifts, and flourish in Your service, and bear fruit to perfection in Your Father.

King Gundaphoros, therefore, and Gad, having been altogether set apart by the apostle, followed him, not at all going back, they also providing for those that begged of them, giving to all, and relieving all. And they entreated him that they might also then receive the seal of baptism; and they said to him: As our souls are at ease, and as we are earnest about God, give us the seal; for we have heard you saying that the God whom you proclaim recognises through his seal his own sheep. And the apostle said to them: And I am glad, and entreat you to receive this seal, and to communicate with me in this thanksgivingand blessing of God, and to be made perfect in it; for this Jesus Christ whom I proclaim is Lord and God of all, and He is the Father of truth, in whom I have taught you to believe. And he ordered to bring them oil, in order that through the oil they might receive the seal. They brought the oil, therefore, and lighted many lamps, for it was night.

And the apostle arose, and sealed them; and the Lord was revealed to them, through a voice saying, Peace to you, brethren! And they heard His voice only, but His form they saw not; for they had not yet received the ratification of the seal. And the apostle, having taken oil, and poured it over their head, andsalved and anointed them, began to say: Come, holy name of Christ, which is above every name; come, power of the Most High, and perfect compassion; come, grace most high; come, compassionate mother; come, you that hast charge of the male child; come, you who reveal secret mysteries; come, mother of the seven houses, that there may be rest for you in the eighth house; come, you presbyter of the five members— intelligence, thought, purpose, reflection,reasoning— communicate with these young persons; come, Holy Spirit, and purify their reins and heart, and seal them in the name of Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. And when they had been sealed, there appeared to them a young man holding a burning torch, so that their lamps were even darkened by theapproach of its light. And he went out, and disappeared from their sight. And the apostle said to the Lord: Your light, Lord, is too great for us, and we cannot bear it; for it is too much for our sight. And when light came, and it was dawn, having broken bread, he made them partakers of the thanksgiving of Christ. And they rejoiced and exulted; and many others also believed, and were added, and came to the refuge of the Saviour.

And the apostle ceased not proclaiming, and saying to them: Men and women, boys and girls, young men and maidens, vigorous and aged, both bond and free, withhold yourselves from fornication, and covetousness, and the service of the belly; for under these three heads all wickedness comes. For fornication maims the mind, and darkens the eyes of the soul, and becomes a hindrance of the due regulation of the body, changing the whole man into feebleness, and throwing the whole body into disease. And insatiableness puts the soul into fear and shame, existing by what pertains to the body, and forcibly seizing what belongs to another;...and the service of the belly throws the soul into cares and troubles and griefs....Since, therefore, you have been set free from these, you are without care, and without grief, and without fear; and there remains to you that which was said by the Saviour: Take no care for the morrow, for the morrow will take care of itself. Matthew 6:34 Keep in mind also that saying before mentioned: Look upon the ravens, and behold the fowls of the heaven, that they neither sow nor reap, nor gather into barns, and God takes care of them; how much more you, O you of little faith! Luke 12:24 But look for His appearing, and have your hopes in Him, and believe in His name: for He is the Judge of living and dead, and He requites to each one according to his deeds; and at His coming and appearance at last no one will have as a ground of excuse, when he comes to be judged by Him, that he has not heard. For His heralds are proclaiming in the four quarters of the world. Repent, therefore, and believe the message, and accept the yoke of gentleness and the light burden,Matthew 11:30 that you may live and not die. These things lay hold of, these things keep; come forth from the darkness, that the light may receive you; come to Him who is truly good, that from Him you may receive grace, and place His sign upon your souls.

When he had thus said, some of the bystanders said to him: It is time for this debtor to receive his debt. And he said to them: The creditor, indeed, always wishes to receive more; but let us give him what is proper. And having blessed them, he took bread and oil, and herbs and salt, and gave them to eat. But he continued in his fasting, for the Lord's day was about to dawn. And on the night following, while he was asleep, the Lord came and stood by his head, saying: Thomas, rise up early and bless them all; and after the prayer and service go along the eastern road two miles, and there I shall show in you my glory. For because you go away, many shall flee to me for refuge, and you shall reprove the nature and the power of the enemy. And having risen up from sleep, he said to the brethren who were with him: Children and brethren, the Lord wishes to do something or other today through me; but let us pray and entreat Him that nothing may be a hindrance to us towards Him, but as at all times let it now also be done unto us according to His purpose and will. And having thus spoken, he laid his hands upon them and blessed them. And having broken the bread of the Eucharist, he gave it to them, saying: This Eucharist shall be to you for compassion, and mercy, and recompense, and not for judgment. And they said: Amen.

About the Dragon and the Young Man:

And the apostle went forth to go where the Lord had bidden him. And when he came near the second milestone he turned a little out of the way, and saw the body of a beautiful youth lying; and he said: Lord, was it for this that You brought me out to come here, that I might see this trial? Your will therefore be done, as You purpose. And he began to pray, and to say: Lord, Judge of the living, and of those that are lying dead, and Lord of all, and Father— Father not only of the souls that are in bodies, but also of those that have gone out of them; for of the souls that are in pollutions You are Lord and Judge— come at this time, when I call upon You, and show Your glory upon him that is lying down here. And he turned and said to those that followed him: This affair has not happened idly; but the enemy has wrought and effected this, that he might make an assault upon him; and you see that he has availed himself of no otherform, and has wrought through no other living being, but through his subject.

And when the apostle had thus spoken, behold, a great dragon came forth from his den, knocking his head, and brandishing his tail down to the ground, and, using a loud voice, said to the apostle: I shall say before you for what cause I have put him to death, since you are here in order to reprove my works. And the apostle says: Yes, say on. And the dragon: There is a certain woman in this place exceedingly beautiful; and as she was once passing by, I saw her, and fell in love with her, and I followed and watched her; and I found this young man kissing her, and he also had intercourse with her, and did with her other shameful things. And to me indeed it was pleasant to tell you this, for I know that you are the twin-brother of Christ, and always bringest our race to nought. But, not wishing to harass her, I did not at this time put him to death; but I watched him passing by in the evening, and struck him, and killed him, and especially as he had dared to do this on the Lord's day. And the apostle inquired of him, saying: Tell me, of what seed and of what race are you?

And he said to him: I am the offspring of the race of the serpent, and hurtful of the hurtful; I am son of him who hurt and struck the four brothers that stood; I am son of him who sits on the throne of destruction, and takes his own from what he has lent; I am son of that apostate who encircles the globe; I amkinsman to him who is outside of the ocean, whose tail lies in his mouth; I am he who went into paradise through the hedge, and spoke with Eve what my father bade me speak to her; I am he who inflamed and fired Cain to kill his brother, and through me thorns and prickles sprang up in the ground; I am he who cast down the angels from above, and bound them down by the desires of women, that earth-born children might be produced from them, and that I might work my will in them; I am he who hardened the heart of Pharaoh, that he should murder the children of Israel, and keep them down by the hard yoke of slavery; I am he who caused the multitude to err in the desert when they made the calf; I am he who inflamed Herod and incited Caiaphas to the lyingtales of falsehood before Pilate, for this became me; I am he who inflamed Judas, and bought him, that he should betray Christ; I am he who inhabits and holds the abyss of Tartarus, and the Son of God has wronged me against my will, and has gathered his own out of me; I am the kinsman of him who is to come from the east, to whom also power has been given to do whatever he will upon the earth.

And that dragon having thus spoken in the hearing of all the multitude, the apostle raised his voice on high, and said: Cease henceforth, O you most unabashed, and be ashamed and altogether put to death; for the end of your destruction is at hand, and do not dare to say what you have done through your dependants. And I order you, in the name of that Jesus who even until now makes a struggle against you for the sake of His own human beings, to suck out the poison which you have put into this man, and to draw it forth, and take it out of him. And the dragon said: The time of our end is by no means at hand, as you have said. Why do you force me to take out what I have put into him, and to die before the time? Assuredly, when my father shall draw forth and suck out what he has put into the creation, then his end will come. And the apostle said to him: Show us, therefore, now the nature of your father. And the dragon went up, and put his mouth upon the wound of the young man, and sucked the gall out of it. And in a short time the skin of the young man, which was like purple, grew white, and the dragon swelled. And when the dragon had drawn up all the gall into himself, the young man sprang up and stood, and ran and fell at the apostle's feet. And the dragon, being swelled up, shrieked out and died, and his poison and gall were poured forth; and in the place where his poison was poured forth there was made a great chasm, and that dragon was swallowed up. And the apostle said to the king and his brother: Take workmen, and fill up the place in which the dragon has been swallowed up, and lay foundations, and build houses-above it, that it may be made a dwelling-place for the strangers.

And the young man said to the apostle, with many tears: I have sinned against the God proclaimed by you, and against you, but I ask pardon of you; for you are a man having two forms, and wherever you wish there are you found, and you are held in by no one, as I see. For I beheld that man, when I stood beside you, who also said to you, I have many wonders to show by means of you, and I have great works to accomplish by means of you, for which you shall obtain a reward; and you shall make many to live, and they shall be in repose and eternal light as the children of God: therefore bring alive— he says, speaking to you about me— this young man who has been cast down by the enemy, and in all time be the overseer of him. You have, then, well come hither, and again you shall well go away to him, he being not at all forsaken by you. And I am without care and reproach, for the dawn has risen upon me from the care of the night, and I am at rest; and I have also been released from him who exasperated me to do these things: for I have sinned against Him who taught me the contrary, and I have destroyed him who is the kinsman of the night, who forced me to sin by his own practices; and I have found that kinsman of mine who is like the light. I have destroyed him who darkens and blinds those who are subject to him, lest they should know what they are doing, and, ashamed of their works, withdraw themselves from them, and their deeds have an end: and I have found Him whose works are light, and whose deeds are truth, of which whoever does them shall not repent. I have been set free also from him in whom falsehood abides, whom darkness as a covering goes before, and shame conducting herself impudently in idleness follows after. And I have found also Him who shows me what is beautiful, that I should lay hold of it, the Son of the truth, who is kinsman of concord, who, driving away the mist, enlightens His own creation, and heals its wounds, and overturns its enemies. But I entreat you, O man of God, make me again to behold and see Him, now become hidden from me, that I may also hear His voice, the wonders of which I cannot declare: for it is not of the nature of this bodily organ.

And the apostle said to him: If, as you have also said, you have cast off the knowledge of those things which you have received, and if you know who has wrought these things in you, and if you shall become a disciple and hearer of Him of whom, through your living love, you now desire the sight, you shall both see Him, and shall be with Him for ever, and shall rest in His rest, and shall be in His joy. But if you are rather carelessly disposed towards Him, and again return to your former deeds, and let go that beauty and that beaming countenance which has now been displayed to you, and if the splendour of the light of Him whom you now desire be forgotten by you, you shall be deprived not only of this life, but also of that which is to come; and you shall go to him whom you have said you have destroyed, and shall no longer behold Him whom you have said you have found.

And when the apostle had thus spoken, he went into the city, holding that young man by the hand, and saying to him: Those things which you have beheld, my child, are a few out of the many which God has: for it is not about these things that appear that the good news is brought to us, but greater things than these are promised to us; but inasmuch as we are in the body, we cannot tell and speak out what He will do for our souls. If we say that He affords us light, it is seen by us, and we have it; and if riches, they exist and appear in this world, and we name them, since it has been said, With difficulty will a rich man enter into the kingdom of the heavens. Matthew 19:23 And if we speak of fine clothing, which they who delight in this life put on, it has been said, They that wear soft things are in kings' palaces; Matthew 11:8 and if costly dinners, about these we have received a commandment to keep away from them, not to be burdened by carousing and drunkenness and the cares of life; as also in the Gospel it has been said, Take no heed for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, what you shall put on: because the life is more than food, and the body than clothing. Matthew 6:25 And if we speak of this rest lasting only for a season, its judgment has also been ordained. But we speak about the upper world, about God and angels, about ambrosial food, about garments that last and become not old, about those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has there come into the heart of sinful men what Godhas prepared for those that love Him. Therefore also believe in Him, that you may live; and have confidence in Him, and you shall never die. For He is not persuaded by gifts, that you should offer them to Him; nor does He want sacrifices, that you should sacrifice to Him. But look to Him, and you shall not look in vain, for His comeliness and desirable beauty will make you love Him; and neither will He allow you to turn yourself away from Him.

And when the apostle was thus speaking to that young man, a great multitude joined them. And the apostle looked, and saw them lifting themselves up that they might see him; and they went up into elevated places. And the apostle said to them: You men who have come to the assembly of Christ, and who wish to believe in Jesus, take an example from this, and see that if you do not get high up, you cannot see me, who am small, and cannot get a look of me, who am like yourselves. If, then, you cannot see me, who am like yourselves, unless you raise yourselves a little from the earth, how can you see Him who lives above, and is now found below, unless you first raise yourselves out of your former behaviour, and unprofitable deeds, and troublesome desires, and theriches that are left behind here, and create things that are of the earth, and that grow old, and the garments that are destroyed, and the beauty that ages and vanishes away, yea, even out of the whole body in which all these have been stored past, and which grows old, and becomes dust, returning into its ownnature? For all these things the body itself sets up. But rather believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we proclaim to you, in order that your hope may be upon Him, and that you may have life in Him to ages of ages, that He may be your fellow-traveller in this land, and may release you from error, and may become a haven for you in this troublous sea. And there shall be for you also a fountain welling out in this thirsty land, and a fold full of food in the place of the hungry, and rest for your souls, and also a physician for your bodies.

Then the multitude of those assembled that heard, wept, and said to the apostle: O man of God, as for the God whom you proclaim, we dare not say that we are his, because our works which we have done are alien from him, not pleasing to him; but if he has compassion upon us, and pities us, and delivers us, overlooking our former doings; and if he set us free from the evil things which we did when we were in error, and shall not take into account nor keep the recollection of our former sins, we shall become his servants, and we shall do his will to the end. And the apostle answered and said to them: He does not reckon against you the sins which you did, being in error; but He overlooks your transgressions which you have done in ignorance. Acts 17:30

About the Demon that Dwelt in the Woman:

And the apostle went into the city, all the multitude accompanying him; and he thought of going to the parents of the young man whom, when killed by the dragon, he had brought to life; for they earnestly entreated him to come to them, and to enter into their house.

 

And a certain woman, exceedingly beautiful, suddenly uttered a loud cry, saying: O apostle of the new God, who hast come into India, and servant of that holy and only good God— for through you he is proclaimed the Saviour of the souls that come unto him, and through you he heals the bodies of those that are punished by the enemy, and you have become the cause of life to all who turn to him— order me to be brought before you, that I may declare to you what has happened to me, and that perhaps there may be hope to me from you and those who stand beside you may have more and more hope in the God whom you proclaim. For I am not a little tormented by the adversary, who has assailed me for now a period of five years. As a woman, I formerly sat down in peace, and peace encompassed me on all sides and I had nothing to trouble me, for of nothing else had I a care. And it happened on one of the days as I was coming forth from the bath, there met me one like a man troubled and disturbed; and his voice and utterance seemed to me to be indistinct and very weak. And he said, standing over against me, You and I shall be in one love, and we shall have intercourse with each other, as a man is coupled with his wife. And I answered him, saying, To my betrothed I consented not, entreating him not to marry me; and to you, wishing to have intercourse with me as it were in adultery, how shall I give myself up? And having thus spoken, I went away from him. And to my maid I said, Have you seen the young man and his shamelessness, how shamelessly and boldly he talks to me? And she said to me, It was an old man I saw talking with you. And when I was in my own house, and had supped, my mind suggested to me some suspicion, and especially because he had appeared to me in two forms. I fell asleep, having this same thing in my thoughts. And he came that night, and made me share in his filthy commerce. And I saw him when it wa

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