Acts of Thaddeus

THADDEUS, ACTS OF thăd’ ĭ əs (Πραξεὶς του̂ Θαδδαίου). A 6th cent. Gr. VS and development of the Syr. Legend of Abgar, wherein is recorded a supposed exchange of correspondence between Abgar V, king of Edessa (a.d. 9-46), and Jesus, the outcome of which is a mission to Edessa by Addai (Thaddeus) who performs numerous miracles including the healing of Abgar. In this later elaboration of the original story (similar in many respects to the 5th cent. Syr. Doctrina Addai), Abgar is healed upon the return of his messenger Ananias, prior to the coming of Thaddeus to Edessa, and much more attention is given to the work of Thaddeus in establishing the church of that city. Eusebius (Euseb. Hist. I, 13; cf. II, 1, 6ff.) provides the earliest record of the alleged correspondence and its outcome, in which he says that he extracted it from the archives in Edessa and translated it from the Syriac.

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  • Bibliography

    Greek text Acta apostolorum apocrypha I, ed. R. A. Lipsius (1891), 273-278; E. Hennecke-W. Schneemelcher, NTAp (Eng. tr., 1963), 437-444.