Addaei Doctrina

Addaei Doctrina.

Under this title there is extant what purports to be a history of the introduction of Christianity into Edessa by Alddeus, or Addai, one of the seventy disciples sent there by the apostle Judas, St. Thomas. From the narrative, as published by Cureton, Ancient Syriac Documents Relative to the Earliest Establishment of Christianity in Edessa (Lond. 1864, with a preface by W. Wright), and more complete by Phillips, The Doctrine of Addai the Apostle, now First Edited in a Complete Form in the Original Syriac, with an English Translation and Notes (ibid. 1876), we learn that Addai, or Thaddeus, not only converted king Abgar Ukama, but also the larger portion of the nobles and people of Edessa, and built churches in and about that place. Addai died in peace, but Aggaeus, his successor, was killed by an apostatized son of Abgar, and was buried by the believers in the church where he was murdered. The author of this narrative signs himself Labubna, a contemporary. Cureton, Phillips, and Bickell regard this document as genuine, and as the source from which Eusebius derived his material concerning the introduction of Christianity into Edessa. Not so, however, Nestle, in a review of Phillips's work in Schiirer's Literaturzeitung, 1876, p. 644, who, while admitting that some passages which are found in Eusebius may be accounted for by a hasty translation from the extant Svriac text, vet thinks that the differences existing between Eusebius and the Doctrina are so great that it seems to be improbable that the former should have perused the latter. As to the age of the composition there is also a difference of opinion. Noldeke places it about the year 300, Wagenmann in the latter half of the 2d century, and Bickell in the 1st century. According to the latter, the conversion of the king and people of Edessa during the 1st century must now be regarded as a matter of fact, although he would not identify Addai with Thaddeus. 'See Bickell, Conspectus Rei Syrorum, Literarica (Monasterii, 1871), p. 15 sq.; the same in Literarischer: Handweiser fur das' katholische Deutschland (1869),'p. 145 sq.; Wagenmann, in Jahrbucherfiur deutsche. Theologie, xxi, 320-322; Noldeke,:in Liter, Central-Blatt, 1876, No. 29; the Athenieum, July 22, 1876; and sestle, oc. cit. (B. P.)

 
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