Legend of Abgar | Free Online Biblical Library

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Legend of Abgar

Eusebius quotes two letters and a story from the record office at Edessa, in which King Abgar V Ukkama invites Jesus to visit and heal him. Jesus commends Abgar's faith, explains that He must accomplish His work where He is, but promises to send a disciple after the Ascension. The story relates the mission of the Apostle Thaddaeus (alias Addai*) to Edessa. An expanded Syriac version, Doctrina Addai, discovered in 1876, mentions a portrait of Jesus painted by Abgar's messenger and the reply of Jesus promising safety to Edessa. This letter of Jesus became a charm to avert evil and appeared on doorposts, sepulchers, and city gates throughout the empire, even as far afield as twelfth- century Britain.