The epistles of Jesus and Agbar.

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The epistles of Jesus and Agbar.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:40 pm

Epistolary Correspondence of Jesus and Agbar
Information

Sources: Eusebius, History of the Church 13.1-20; Doctrina Addai or Teaching of Addai (Syriac, English); Fayyum Fragment of the Doctrina Addai in the Bodleian Library.
The correspondence of Jesus and Agbar is a pair of epistles, the first allegedly from Agbar, ruler of Osroene from its capital at Edessa, to Jesus and the second allegedly from Jesus to Agbar. It is a relatively rare example of purported text from the hand of Jesus himself.
Index to other epistolary texts.

Text and Translation

Fayyum Fragment in the Bodleian Library
Fayyum Fragment in the Bodleian Library
1 [............................................... διὰ τοῦτο τοίνυ]ν
2 [γράψας ἐδεήθην σου σκυλῆναι] πρὸς μὲ
3 [καὶ τὸ πάθος ὅ ἔχω θεραπεῦσαι. καὶ γὰρ ἤ]κουσταί μοι ὅτι
4 [καὶ Ἰουδαῖοι καταγογγύζουσίν σου καὶ] διώκουσίν σε
5 [καὶ βούλονται κακῶσαι σε. πόλις δέ μοί ἔσ]τιν σμικροτάτη
6 [καὶ σεμνή, ἥτις ἐξαρκεῖ ἀμφοτέροις.]
7 [τὰ ἀντιγραφέντα ὑπὸ Ἰησοῦ διὰ Ἁνανία]
8 [ταχυδρόμου τοπάρχῃ Ἀβγάρῳ.]
9 [Μακά]ριος εἶ ὅτι ἐπίστευσας ἐν ἐμοὶ μὴ [ἑωρα]κώς με.
10 [γέγραπτ]α̣ι̣ γὰρ περὶ ἐμοῦ ὅτι οἱ ἑωρακότες με οὐ μὴ πιστεύσ-
11 [ωσιν ἐ]ν ἐμοί, καὶ οἱ μὴ ἑωρακώτες με αὐτοὶ
12 [πιστεύσ]ουσιν καὶ ζήσονται. περὶ δὲ οὗ ἔγραψάς μοι
13 [ἐλθεῖν πρὸς σὲ, δέον ἐστὶν] π̣άν̣τ̣α̣ δ̣ι' ἃ [ἀπε-]
14 στάλην ἐντα[ῦ]θα πληρῶσαι, καὶ μετὰ τὸ πληρῶσαι
15 ἀναλημφθῆναι πρὸς τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με·
16 κ[αὶ ἐ]πειδάν ἀναλημφ[θῶ ἀποστελῶ σ]οί τινα
17 τῶν μαθητ[ῶν μου ἵνα τὸ πάθος σου] ἰάσηται
18 καὶ ζωὴν κα̣[ὶ εἰρήνην σοι καὶ τοῖς σὺν σοὶ] παράσχηται
19 [............]ολε̣[............................] τ̣ῶν [....]
1 [............................................... On this account no]w
2 [I have written and begged you to trouble yourself (to come)] toward me
3 [and to heal the suffering which I have. For] it has [also been h]eard by me that
4 [the Jews are also murmering against you and] pursuing you
5 [and wish to do you evil. But my city is] very small
6 [and esteemed; it can accomodate us both.]
7 [The response by Jesus through Ananias]
8 [the swift courier to the Toparch Abgar.]
9 [Bles]sed are you, since you believed in me though not having see[n] me.
10 For it [has been writt]en concerning me that those who have seen me will not be-
11 [lieve i]n me, and those who have not seen me themselves will
12 [belie]ve and will live. But concerning what you wrote to me,
13 [to come toward you, it is necessary] to fulfill all things
14 on which account I was [se]nt hith[e]r, and after fulfilling them
15 to be taken up toward the one who sent me.
16 A[nd w]henever [I] shall have [been] taken up [I shall send to y]ou a certain
17 one of [my] discipl[es so that] he might cure [your suffering]
18 and provide life an[d peace to you and to those with you.]
19 [............]???[............................] of the [....]


ΑΝΤΙΓΡΑΦΟΝ ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΗΣ ΓΡΑΦΕΙΣΗΣ ΥΠΟ ΑΒΓΑΡΟΥ ΤΟΠΑΡΧΟΥ ΤΩΙ ΙΗΣΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΠΕΜΦΘΕΙΣΗΣ ΑΥΤΩΙ ΔΙ' ΑΝΑΝΙΟΥ ΤΑΧΥΔΡΟΜΟΥ ΕΙΣ ΙΕΡΟΣΟΛΥΜΑ
(Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica I.XIII.vi-viii)
Copy of an Epistle Written by Abgar the Toparch to Jesus and Sent to Him at Jerusalem by Ananias the Swift Courier
(Ehrman and Plese)
§ «Ἄβγαρος Οὐχαμα τοπάρχης Ἰησοῦ σωτῆρι ἀγαθῷ ἀναφανέντι ἐν τόπῳ Ἱεροσολύμων χαίρειν. ἤκουσταί μοι τὰ περὶ σοῦ καὶ τῶν σῶν ἰαμάτων, ὡς ἄνευ φαρμάκων καὶ βοτανῶν ὑπὸ σοῦ γινομένων. ὡς γὰρ λόγος, τυφλοὺς ἀναβλέπειν ποιεῖς, χωλοὺς περιπατεῖν, καὶ λεπροὺς καθαρίζεις, καὶ ἀκάθαρτα πνεύματα καὶ δαίμονας ἐκβάλλεις, καὶ τοὺς ἐν μακρονοσίᾳ βασανιζομένους θεραπεύεις, καὶ νεκροὺς ἐγείρεις.
§ καὶ ταῦτα πάντα ἀκούσας περὶ σοῦ, κατὰ νοῦν ἐθέμην τὸ ἕτερον τῶν δύο, ἢ ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ θεὸς καὶ καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ποιεῖς ταῦτα, ἢ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ ποιῶν ταῦτα.
§ διὰ τοῦτο τοίνυν γράψας ἐδεήθην σου σκυλῆναι πρός με καὶ τὸ πάθος, ὃ ἔχω, θεραπεῦσαι. καὶ γὰρ ἤκουσα ὅτι καὶ Ἰουδαῖοι καταγογγύζουσί σου καὶ βούλονται κακῶσαί σε. πόλις δὲ μικροτάτη μοί ἐστι καὶ σεμνή, ἥτις ἐξαρκεῖ ἀμφοτέροις».
§ The Ruler Abgar Uchama, to Jesus the good Savior who has appeared in the region of Jerusalem, greetings. I have heard about you and your healings, which you perform without medications or herbs. As the report indicates, you make the blind see again and the lame walk, you cleanse lepers, you cast out unclean spirits and demons, you heal the chronically sick, and you raise the dead.
§ Having heard all these things about you, I have concluded one of two things: either you are God and do these things having descended from heaven, or you do them as the Son of God.
§ For this reason now I am writing you, asking that you take the trouble to come to me and heal my illness. For I have also heard that the Jews are murmuring against you and wish to harm you. My city is very small and esteemed, and it can accommodate us both.


ΤΑ ΑΝΤΙΓΡΑΦΕΝΤΑ ΥΠΟ ΙΗΣΟΥ ΔΙΑ ΑΝΑΝΙΟΥ ΤΑΧΥΔΡΟΜΟΥ ΤΟΠΑΡΧΗΙ ΑΒΓΑΡΩΙ (Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica I.XIII.ix)
The Response of Jesus to the Toparch Abgar by the Swift Courier Ananias
(Ehrman and Plese)
§ «Μακάριος εἶ πιστεύσας ἐν ἐμοί, μὴ ἑορακώς με. γέγραπται γὰρ περὶ ἐμοῦ τοὺς ἑορακότας με μὴ πιστεύσειν ἐν ἐμοί, καὶ ἵνα οἱ μὴ ἑορακότες με αὐτοὶ πιστεύσωσι καὶ ζήσονται. περὶ δὲ οὗ ἔγραψάς μοι ἐλθεῖν πρὸς σέ, δέον ἐστὶ πάντα δι' ἃ ἀπεστάλην ἐνταῦθα, πληρῶσαι καὶ μετὰ τὸ πληρῶσαι οὕτως ἀναληφθῆναι πρὸς τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με. καὶ ἐπειδὰν ἀναληφθῶ, ἀποστελῶ σοί τινα τῶν μαθητῶν μου, ἵνα ἰάσηταί σου τὸ πάθος καὶ ζωήν σοι καὶ τοῖς σὺν σοὶ παράσχηται».§ Blessed are you who have believed in me without seeing me. For it is written about me that those who see me will not believe in me, and that those who do not see me will believe and live. But concerning your request for me to come to you: I must accomplish everything I was sent here to do, and after accomplishing them ascend to the One who sent me. After I have ascended I will send you one of my disciples to heal your illness and to provide life both to you and to those who are with you.

Notes and Quotes

Context and Textual Parallels

Eusebius, History of the Church 13.1-20 (the story of Thaddeus).
Doctrina Addai or Teaching of Addai (Syriac, English).
2 Kings 5.1-14 (the healing of Naaman).
Isaiah 6.9: וַיֹּ֕אמֶר לֵ֥ךְ וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ לָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֑ה שִׁמְע֤וּ שָׁמוֹ֙עַ֙ וְאַל־תָּבִ֔ינוּ וּרְא֥וּ רָא֖וֹ וְאַל־תֵּדָֽעוּ׃ / καὶ εἶπεν πορεύθητι καὶ εἰπὸν τῷ λαῷ τούτῳ ἀκοῇ ἀκούσετε καὶ οὐ μὴ συνῆτε καὶ βλέποντες βλέψετε καὶ οὐ μὴ ἴδητε. / 9 He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; keep on looking, but do not understand.’” (Quoted in Matthew 13.14; John 12.39-40.)
John 6.41 (the murmering Jews).
John 9.39 (the blind will see; those who see will be blind).
John 20.29 (blessed are those who believe without seeing).

Attestation

Pilgrimage of Egeria 17-19 (the visit to Edessa).
The Gelasian Decree lists both the epistula Iesu ad Abgarum, apocrypha (epistle of Jesus to Abgar, apocryphal), and the epistula Abgari ad Iesum, apocrypha (epistle of Abgar to Jesus, apocryphal).

Works Consulted and Links

Greek Fragments of Doctrina Addai (initial publication, subsequent publication).
Egeria, Pilgrimage (Latin, English).
Bart Ehrman and Zlatko Plese, The Apocryphal Gospels: Texts and Translations.
TextExcavation: Correspondence of Jesus and Abgar.
Biblical Criticism & History Forum: Other Epistolary Texts.

Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Wed May 15, 2019 8:48 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The epistles of Jesus and Agbar.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:40 pm


Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica I.XIII.i-xx
Eusebius, History of the Church 1.13.1-20
Τῆς δὲ περὶ τὸν Θαδδαῖον ἱστορίας τοιοῦτος γέγονεν ὁ τρόπος.
I ἡ τοῦ κυρίου καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ θειότης, εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους τῆς παραδοξοποιοῦ δυνάμεως ἕνεκεν βοωμένη, μυρίους ὅσους καὶ τῶν ἐπ' ἀλλοδαπῆς πορρωτάτω ὄντων τῆς Ἰουδαίας νόσων καὶ παντοίων παθῶν ἐλπίδι θεραπείας ἐπήγετο.
II ταύτῃ τοι βασιλεὺς Ἄβγαρος, τῶν ὑπὲρ Εὐφράτην ἐθνῶν ἐπισημότατα δυναστεύων, πάθει τὸ σῶμα δεινῷ καὶ οὐ θεραπευτῷ ὅσον ἐπ' ἀνθρωπείᾳ δυνάμει καταφθειρόμενος, ὡς καὶ τοὔνομα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ πολὺ καὶ τὰς δυνάμεις συμφώνως πρὸς ἁπάντων μαρτυρουμένας ἐπύθετο, ἱκέτης αὐτοῦ πέμψας δι' ἐπιστοληφόρου γίνεται, τῆς νόσου τυχεῖν ἀπαλλαγῆς ἀξιῶν.
III ὁ δὲ μὴ τότε καλοῦντι ὑπακούσας, ἐπιστολῆς γοῦν αὐτὸν ἰδίας καταξιοῖ, ἕνα τῶν αὐτοῦ μαθητῶν ἀποστέλλειν ἐπὶ θεραπείᾳ τῆς νόσου ὁμοῦ τε αὐτοῦ σωτηρίᾳ καὶ τῶν προσηκόντων ἁπάντων ὑπισχνούμενος.
IV οὐκ εἰς μακρὸν δὲ ἄρα αὐτῷ ἐπληροῦτο τὰ τῆς ἐπαγγελίας. μετὰ γοῦν τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀνάστασιν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν εἰς οὐρανοὺς ἄνοδον Θωμᾶς, τῶν ἀποστόλων εἷς τῶν δώδεκα, Θαδδαῖον, ἐν ἀριθμῷ καὶ αὐτὸν τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα τοῦ Χριστοῦ μαθητῶν κατειλεγμένον, κινήσει θειοτέρᾳ ἐπὶ τὰ Ἔδεσσα κήρυκα καὶ εὐαγγελιστὴν τῆς περὶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ διδασκαλίας ἐκπέμπει,
V πάντα τε δι' αὐτοῦ τὰ τῆς τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν τέλος ἐλάμβανεν ἐπαγγελίας. ἔχεις καὶ τούτων ἀνάγραπτον τὴν μαρτυρίαν, ἐκ τῶν κατὰ Ἔδεσσαν τὸ τηνικάδε βασιλευομένην πόλιν γραμματοφυλακείων ληφθεῖσαν· ἐν γοῦν τοῖς αὐτόθι δημοσίοις χάρταις, τοῖς τὰ παλαιὰ καὶ τὰ ἀμφὶ τὸν Ἄβγαρον πραχθέντα περιέχουσι, καὶ ταῦτα εἰς ἔτι νῦν ἐξ ἐκείνου πεφυλαγμένα εὕρηται, οὐδὲν δὲ οἷον καὶ αὐτῶν ἐπακοῦσαι τῶν ἐπιστολῶν, ἀπὸ τῶν ἀρχείων ἡμῖν ἀναληφθεισῶν καὶ τόνδε αὐτοῖς ῥήμασιν ἐκ τῆς Σύρων φωνῆς μεταβληθεισῶν τὸν τρόπον.
But the story concerning Thaddeus is as follows.
1. The divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ being noised abroad among all men on account of his wonder-working power, he attracted countless numbers from foreign countries lying far away from Judea, who had the hope of being cured of their diseases and of all kinds of sufferings.
2. For instance the King Abgarus, who ruled with great glory the nations beyond the Euphrates, being afflicted with a terrible disease which it was beyond the power of human skill to cure, when he heard of the name of Jesus, and of his miracles, which were attested by all with one accord sent a message to him by a courier and begged him to heal his disease.
3. But he did not at that time comply with his request; yet he deemed him worthy of a personal letter in which he said that he would send one of his disciples to cure his disease, and at the same time promised salvation to himself and all his house.
4. Not long afterward his promise was fulfilled. For after his resurrection from the dead and his ascent into heaven, Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, under divine impulse sent Thaddeus, who was also numbered among the seventy disciples of Christ, to Edessa, as a preacher and evangelist of the teaching of Christ.
5. And all that our Saviour had promised received through him its fulfillment. You have written evidence of these things taken from the archives of Edessa, which was at that time a royal city. For in the public registers there, which contain accounts of ancient times and the acts of Abgarus, these things have been found preserved down to the present time. But there is no better way than to hear the epistles themselves which we have taken from the archives and have literally translated from the Syriac language in the following manner.
ΑΝΤΙΓΡΑΦΟΝ ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΗΣ ΓΡΑΦΕΙΣΗΣ ΥΠΟ ΑΒΓΑΡΟΥ ΤΟΠΑΡΧΟΥ ΤΩΙ ΙΗΣΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΠΕΜΦΘΕΙΣΗΣ ΑΥΤΩΙ ΔΙ' ΑΝΑΝΙΟΥ ΤΑΧΥΔΡΟΜΟΥ ΕΙΣ ΙΕΡΟΣΟΛΥΜΑ
VI «Ἄβγαρος Οὐχαμα τοπάρχης Ἰησοῦ σωτῆρι ἀγαθῷ ἀναφανέντι ἐν τόπῳ Ἱεροσολύμων χαίρειν. ἤκουσταί μοι τὰ περὶ σοῦ καὶ τῶν σῶν ἰαμάτων, ὡς ἄνευ φαρμάκων καὶ βοτανῶν ὑπὸ σοῦ γινομένων. ὡς γὰρ λόγος, τυφλοὺς ἀναβλέπειν ποιεῖς, χωλοὺς περιπατεῖν, καὶ λεπροὺς καθαρίζεις, καὶ ἀκάθαρτα πνεύματα καὶ δαίμονας ἐκβάλλεις, καὶ τοὺς ἐν μακρονοσίᾳ βασανιζομένους θεραπεύεις, καὶ νεκροὺς ἐγείρεις.
VII καὶ ταῦτα πάντα ἀκούσας περὶ σοῦ, κατὰ νοῦν ἐθέμην τὸ ἕτερον τῶν δύο, ἢ ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ θεὸς καὶ καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ποιεῖς ταῦτα, ἢ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ ποιῶν ταῦτα.
VIII διὰ τοῦτο τοίνυν γράψας ἐδεήθην σου σκυλῆναι πρός με καὶ τὸ πάθος, ὃ ἔχω, θεραπεῦσαι. καὶ γὰρ ἤκουσα ὅτι καὶ Ἰουδαῖοι καταγογγύζουσί σου καὶ βούλονται κακῶσαί σε. πόλις δὲ μικροτάτη μοί ἐστι καὶ σεμνή, ἥτις ἐξαρκεῖ ἀμφοτέροις».
Copy of an epistle written by Abgarus the ruler to Jesus, and sent to him at Jerusalem by Ananias the swift courier.
6. Abgarus, ruler of Edessa, to Jesus the excellent Saviour who has appeared in the country of Jerusalem, greeting. I have heard the reports of you and of your cures as performed by you without medicines or herbs. For it is said that you make the blind to see and the lame to walk, that you cleanse lepers and cast out impure spirits and demons, and that you heal those afflicted with lingering disease, and raise the dead.
7. And having heard all these things concerning you, I have concluded that one of two things must be true: either you are God, and having come down from heaven you do these things, or else you, who does these things, are the Son of God.
8. I have therefore written to you to ask you if you would take the trouble to come to me and heal the disease which I have. For I have heard that the Jews are murmuring against you and are plotting to injure you. But I have a very small yet noble city which is great enough for us both.
ΤΑ ΑΝΤΙΓΡΑΦΕΝΤΑ ΥΠΟ ΙΗΣΟΥ ΔΙΑ ΑΝΑΝΙΟΥ ΤΑΧΥΔΡΟΜΟΥ ΤΟΠΑΡΧΗΙ ΑΒΓΑΡΩΙ
IX «Μακάριος εἶ πιστεύσας ἐν ἐμοί, μὴ ἑορακώς με. γέγραπται γὰρ περὶ ἐμοῦ τοὺς ἑορακότας με μὴ πιστεύσειν ἐν ἐμοί, καὶ ἵνα οἱ μὴ ἑορακότες με αὐτοὶ πιστεύσωσι καὶ ζήσονται. περὶ δὲ οὗ ἔγραψάς μοι ἐλθεῖν πρὸς σέ, δέον ἐστὶ πάντα δι' ἃ ἀπεστάλην ἐνταῦθα, πληρῶσαι καὶ μετὰ τὸ πληρῶσαι οὕτως ἀναληφθῆναι πρὸς τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με. καὶ ἐπειδὰν ἀναληφθῶ, ἀποστελῶ σοί τινα τῶν μαθητῶν μου, ἵνα ἰάσηταί σου τὸ πάθος καὶ ζωήν σοι καὶ τοῖς σὺν σοὶ παράσχηται».
The answer of Jesus to the ruler Abgarus by the courier Ananias.
9. Blessed are you who hast believed in me without having seen me. For it is written concerning me, that they who have seen me will not believe in me, and that they who have not seen me will believe and be saved. But in regard to what you have written me, that I should come to you, it is necessary for me to fulfill all things here for which I have been sent, and after I have fulfilled them thus to be taken up again to him that sent me. But after I have been taken up I will send to you one of my disciples, that he may heal your disease and give life to you and yours.
X Ταύταις δὲ ταῖς ἐπιστολαῖς ἔτι καὶ ταῦτα συνῆπτο τῇ Σύρων φωνῇ· «Μετὰ δὲ τὸ ἀναληφθῆναι τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπέστειλεν αὐτῷ Ἰούδας, ὁ καὶ Θωμᾶς, Θαδδαῖον ἀπόστολον, ἕνα τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα. ὃς ἐλθὼν κατέμενεν πρὸς Τωβίαν τὸν τοῦ Τωβία. ὡς δὲ ἠκούσθη περὶ αὐτοῦ, ἐμηνύθη τῷ Ἀβγάρῳ ὅτι ἐλήλυθεν ἀπόστολος ἐνταῦθα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, καθὰ ἐπέστειλέν σοι.
XI ἤρξατο οὖν ὁ Θαδδαῖος ἐν δυνάμει θεοῦ θεραπεύειν πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ μαλακίαν, ὥστε πάντας θαυμάζειν. ὡς δὲ ἤκουσεν ὁ Ἄβγαρος τὰ μεγαλεῖα καὶ τὰ θαυμάσια ἃ ἐποίει, καὶ ὡς ἐθεράπευεν, ἐν ὑπονοίᾳ γέγονεν ὡς ὅτι αὐτός ἐστιν περὶ οὗ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐπέστειλεν λέγων· ἐπειδὰν ἀναληφθῶ, ἀποστελῶ σοί τινα τῶν μαθητῶν μου, ὃς τὸ πάθος σου ἰάσεται.
XII μετακαλεσάμενος οὖν τὸν Τωβίαν, παρ' ᾧ κατέμενεν, εἶπεν· ἤκουσα ὅτι ἀνήρ τις δυνάστης ἐλθὼν κατέμεινεν ἐν τῇ σῇ οἰκίᾳ· ἀνάγαγε αὐτὸν πρός με. ἐλθὼν δὲ ὁ Τωβίας παρὰ Θαδδαίῳ, εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ὁ τοπάρχης Ἄβγαρος μετακαλεσάμενός με εἶπεν ἀναγαγεῖν σε παρ' αὐτῷ, ἵνα θεραπεύσῃς αὐτόν. καὶ ὁ Θαδδαῖος· ἀναβαίνω, ἔφη, ἐπειδήπερ δυνάμει παρ' αὐτῷ ἀπέσταλμαι.
XIII ὀρθρίσας οὖν ὁ Τωβίας τῇ ἑξῆς καὶ παραλαβὼν τὸν Θαδδαῖον ἦλθεν πρὸς τὸν Ἄβγαρον. ὡς δὲ ἀνέβη, παρόντων καὶ ἑστώτων τῶν μεγιστάνων αὐτοῦ, παραχρῆμα ἐν τῷ εἰσιέναι αὐτὸν ὅραμα μέγα ἐφάνη τῷ Ἀβγάρῳ ἐν τῷ προσώπῳ τοῦ ἀποστόλου Θαδδαίου· ὅπερ ἰδὼν Ἄβγαρος προσεκύνησεν τῷ Θαδδαίῳ, θαῦμά τε ἔσχεν πάντας τοὺς περιεστῶτας· αὐτοὶ γὰρ οὐχ ἑοράκασι τὸ ὅραμα, ὃ μόνῳ τῷ Ἀβγάρῳ ἐφάνη·
XIV ὃς καὶ τὸν Θαδδαῖον ἤρετο εἰ ἐπ' ἀληθείας μαθητὴς εἶ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ, ὃς εἰρήκει πρός με· ἀποστελῶ σοί τινα τῶν μαθητῶν μου, ὅστις ἰάσεταί σε καὶ ζωήν σοι παρέξει. καὶ ὁ Θαδδαῖος ἔφη· ἐπεὶ μεγάλως πεπίστευκας εἰς τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με, διὰ τοῦτο ἀπεστάλην πρὸς σέ. καὶ πάλιν, ἐὰν πιστεύσῃς ἐν αὐτῷ, ὡς ἂν πιστεύσῃς ἔσται σοι τὰ αἰτήματα τῆς καρδίας σου.
XV καὶ ὁ Ἄβγαρος πρὸς αὐτόν· οὕτως ἐπίστευσα, φησὶν, ἐν αὐτῷ, ὡς καὶ τοὺς Ἰουδαίους τοὺς σταυρώσαντας αὐτὸν βουληθῆναι δύναμιν παραλαβὼν κατακόψαι, εἰ μὴ διὰ τὴν βασιλείαν τὴν Ῥωμαίων ἀνεκόπην τούτου. καὶ ὁ Θαδδαῖος εἶπεν· ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν τὸ θέλημα τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ πεπλήρωκεν καὶ πληρώσας ἀνελήφθη πρὸς τὸν πατέρα. λέγει αὐτῷ Ἄβγαρος· κἀγὼ πεπίστευκα εἰς αὐτὸν καὶ εἰς τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ.
XVI καὶ ὁ Θαδδαῖος· διὰ τοῦτο, φησὶ, τίθημι τὴν χεῖρά μου ἐπὶ σὲ ἐν ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ. καὶ τοῦτο πράξαντος, παραχρῆμα ἐθεραπεύθη τῆς νόσου καὶ τοῦ πάθους οὗ εἶχεν.
XVII ἐθαύμασέν τε ὁ Ἄβγαρος ὅτι καθὼς ἤκουσται αὐτῷ περὶ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, οὕτως τοῖς ἔργοις παρέλαβεν διὰ τοῦ μαθητοῦ αὐτοῦ Θαδδαίου, ὃς αὐτὸν ἄνευ φαρμακείας καὶ βοτανῶν ἐθεράπευσεν, καὶ οὐ μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ Ἄβδον τὸν τοῦ Ἄβδου, ποδάγραν ἔχοντα· ὃς καὶ αὐτὸς προσελθὼν ὑπὸ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ ἔπεσεν, εὐχάς τε διὰ χειρὸς λαβὼν ἐθεραπεύθη, πολλούς τε ἄλλους συμπολίτας αὐτῶν ὁ αὐτὸς ἰάσατο, θαυμαστὰ καὶ μεγάλα ποιῶν καὶ κηρύσσων τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ.
XVIII μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ὁ Ἄβγαρος· σὺ Θαδδαῖε, ἔφη, σὺν δυνάμει τοῦ θεοῦ ταῦτα ποιεῖς καὶ ἡμεῖς αὐτοὶ ἐθαυμάσαμεν· ἀλλ' ἐπὶ τούτοις δέομαί σου, διήγησαί μοι περὶ τῆς ἐλεύσεως τοῦ Ἰησοῦ πῶς ἐγένετο, καὶ περὶ τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐν ποίᾳ δυνάμει ταῦτα ἐποίει ἅτινα ἤκουσταί μοι.
XVIV καὶ ὁ Θαδδαῖος· νῦν μὲν σιωπήσομαι, ἔφη, ἐπεὶ δὲ κηρῦξαι τὸν λόγον ἀπεστάλην, αὔριον ἐκκλησίασόν μοι τοὺς πολίτας σου πάντας, καὶ ἐπ' αὐτῶν κηρύξω καὶ σπερῶ ἐν αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον τῆς ζωῆς, περί τε τῆς ἐλεύσεως τοῦ Ἰησοῦ καθὼς ἐγένετο, καὶ περὶ τῆς ἀποστολῆς αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἕνεκα τίνος ἀπεστάλη ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρός, καὶ περὶ τῆς δυνάμεως καὶ τῶν ἔργων αὐτοῦ καὶ μυστηρίων ὧν ἐλάλησεν ἐν κόσμῳ, καὶ ποίᾳ δυνάμει ταῦτα ἐποίει, καὶ περὶ τῆς καινῆς αὐτοῦ κηρύξεως, καὶ περὶ τῆς μικρότητος καὶ περὶ τῆς ταπεινώσεως, καὶ πῶς ἐταπείνωσεν ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀπέθετο καὶ ἐσμίκρυνεν αὐτοῦ τὴν θεότητα, καὶ ἐσταυρώθη, καὶ κατέβη εἰς τὸν Ἄιδην, καὶ διέσχισε φραγμὸν τὸν ἐξ αἰῶνος μὴ σχισθέντα, καὶ ἀνήγειρεν νεκροὺς καὶ κατέβη μόνος, ἀνέβη δὲ μετὰ πολλοῦ ὄχλου πρὸς τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ.
XX ἐκέλευσεν οὖν ὁ Ἄβγαρος τῇ ἕωθεν συνάξαι τοὺς πολίτας αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀκοῦσαι τὴν κήρυξιν Θαδδαίου, καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα προσέταξεν δοθῆναι αὐτῷ χρυσὸν καὶ ἄσημον. ὁ δὲ οὐκ ἐδέξατο, εἰπών. εἰ τὰ ἡμέτερα καταλελοίπαμεν, πῶς τὰ ἀλλότρια ληψόμεθα; ἐπράχθη ταῦτα τεσσαρακοστῷ καὶ τριακοσιοστῷ ἔτει· ἃ καὶ οὐκ εἰς ἄχρηστον πρὸς λέξιν ἐκ τῆς Σύρων μεταβληθέντα φωνῆς ἐνταῦθά μοι κατὰ καιρὸν κείσθω.
10. To these epistles there was added the following account in the Syriac language. After the ascension of Jesus, Judas, who was also called Thomas, sent to him Thaddeus, an apostle, one of the Seventy. When he had come he lodged with Tobias, the son of Tobias. When the report of him got abroad, it was told Abgarus that an apostle of Jesus had come, as he had written him.
11. Thaddeus began then in the power of God to heal every disease and infirmity, insomuch that all wondered. And when Abgarus heard of the great and wonderful things which he did and of the cures which he performed, he began to suspect that he was the one of whom Jesus had written him, saying, 'After I have been taken up I will send to you one of my disciples who will heal you.'
12. Therefore, summoning Tobias, with whom Thaddeus lodged, he said, I have heard that a certain man of power has come and is lodging in your house. Bring him to me. And Tobias coming to Thaddeus said to him, The ruler Abgarus summoned me and told me to bring you to him that you might heal him. And Thaddeus said, I will go, for I have been sent to him with power.
13. Tobias therefore arose early on the following day, and taking Thaddeus came to Abgarus. And when he came, the nobles were present and stood about Abgarus. And immediately upon his entrance a great vision appeared to Abgarus in the countenance of the apostle Thaddeus. When Abgarus saw it he prostrated himself before Thaddeus, while all those who stood about were astonished; for they did not see the vision, which appeared to Abgarus alone.
14. He then asked Thaddeus if he were in truth a disciple of Jesus the Son of God, who had said to him, 'I will send you one of my disciples, who shall heal you and give you life.' And Thaddeus said, Because you have mightily believed in him that sent me, therefore have I been sent unto you. And still further, if you believe in him, the petitions of your heart shall be granted you as you believe.
15. And Abgarus said to him, So much have I believed in him that I wished to take an army and destroy those Jews who crucified him, had I not been deterred from it by reason of the dominion of the Romans. And Thaddeus said, Our Lord has fulfilled the will of his Father, and having fulfilled it has been taken up to his Father. And Abgarus said to him, I too have believed in him and in his Father.
16. And Thaddeus said to him, Therefore I place my hand upon you in his name. And when he had done it, immediately Abgarus was cured of the disease and of the suffering which he had.
17. And Abgarus marvelled, that as he had heard concerning Jesus, so he had received in very deed through his disciple Thaddeus, who healed him without medicines and herbs, and not only him, but also Abdus the son of Abdus, who was afflicted with the gout; for he too came to him and fell at his feet, and having received a benediction by the imposition of his hands, he was healed. The same Thaddeus cured also many other inhabitants of the city, and did wonders and marvelous works, and preached the word of God.
18. And afterward Abgarus said, You, O Thaddeus, do these things with the power of God, and we marvel. But, in addition to these things, I pray you to inform me in regard to the coming of Jesus, how he was born; and in regard to his power, by what power he performed those deeds of which I have heard.
19. And Thaddeus said, Now indeed will I keep silence, since I have been sent to proclaim the word publicly. But tomorrow assemble for me all your citizens, and I will preach in their presence and sow among them the word of God, concerning the coming of Jesus, how he was born; and concerning his mission, for what purpose he was sent by the Father; and concerning the power of his works, and the mysteries which he proclaimed in the world, and by what power he did these things; and concerning his new preaching, and his abasement and humiliation, and how he humbled himself, and died and debased his divinity and was crucified, and descended into Hades, and burst the bars which from eternity had not been broken, and raised the dead; for he descended alone, but rose with many, and thus ascended to his Father.
20. Abgarus therefore commanded the citizens to assemble early in the morning to hear the preaching of Thaddeus, and afterward he ordered gold and silver to be given him. But he refused to take it, saying, If we have forsaken that which was our own, how shall we take that which is another's? These things were done in the three hundred and fortieth year. I have inserted them here in their proper place, translated from the Syriac literally, and I hope to good purpose.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The epistles of Jesus and Agbar.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:41 pm


Peregrinatio Egeriae XVII-XIX
Pilgrimage of Egeria 17-19
XVII
1. Item in nomine Dei, transacto aliquanto tempore, cum iam tres anni pleni essent, a quo in Ierusolimam venisse, visis etiam omnibus locis sanctis, ad quos orationis gratia me tenderam, et ideo iam revertendi ad patriam animus esset: volui iubente Deo, ut et ad Mesopotamiam Syriae accedere ad visendos sanctos monachos, qui ibi plurimi et tam eximiae vitae esse dicebantur, ut vix referri possit; nec non etiam et gratia orationis ad martyrium sancti Thomae apostoli, ubi corpus illius integrum positum est, id est apud Edessam, quem se illuc missurum, posteaquam in caelis ascendisset, Deus noster Iesus testatus est per epistolam, quam ad Aggarum regem per Ananiam cursorem misit, quae epistolam cum grandi reverentia apud Edessam civitatem, ubi est ipsud martyrium, custoditur.
2. Nam mihi credat volo affectio vestra, quoniam nullus Christianorum est, qui non se tendat illuc gratia orationis, quicumque tamen usque ad loca sancta, id est in Ierusolimis, accesserit; et hic locus de Ierusolima vicesima et quinta mansione est.
3. Et quoniam de Antiochia propius est Mesopotamiam, fuit mihi iubente Deo oportunum satis, ut, quemadmodum revertebar Constantinopolim, quia per Antiochiam iter erat, inde ad Mesopotamiam irem, sicut et factum est Deo iubente.
17
1 Having spent some time there in the Name of God, when three full years had passed since I came to Jerusalem, and having seen all the holy places which I had visited for the sake of prayer, my mind was to return to my country. I wished, however, at God's bidding, to go to Mesopotamia in Syria, to visit the holy monks who were there in great number, and who were said to be of such holy life as could hardly be described, and also for the sake of prayer at the memorial of S. Thomas the Apostle, where his body is laid entire. This is at Edessa. For Jesus our God by a letter which He sent to Abgar the king by the hand of Ananias the courier, promised that He would send S. Thomas thither, after that He Himself had ascended into Heaven. The letter is kept with great reverence at the city of Edessa, where the memorial is.
2 Now your affection may believe me that there is no Christian who having arrived at the holy places that are at Jerusalem, does not go on thither for the sake of prayer; it is at the twenty-fifth station from Jerusalem.
3 And since from Antioch it is nearer to Mesopotamia, it was very convenient for me at God's bidding that as I was returning to Constantinople, and my way lying through Antioch, I should go thence to Mesopotamia. This then, at God's bidding, I did.
XVIII
1. Itaque ergo in nomine Christi Dei nostri profecta sum de Antiochia ad Mesopotamiam habens iter per mansiones seu civitates aliquot provinciae Syriae Coelen, quae est Antiochiae, et inde ingressa fines provinciae Augustofratensis perveni ad civitatem Hierapolim, quae est metropolis ipsius provinciae, id est Augustofratensis. Et quoniam haec civitas valde pulchra et opulenta est atque abundans omnibus, necesse me fuit ibi facere stativam, quoniam iam inde non longe erant fines Mesopotamiae.
2. Itaque ergo proficiscens de Hierapolim in quintodecimo miliario in nomine Dei perveni ad fluvium Euphraten, de quo satis bene scriptum est esse «flumen magnum Euphraten» et ingens, et quasi terribilis est; ita enim decurrit habens impetum, sicut habet fluvius Rhodanus, nisi quod adhuc maior est Euphrates.
3. Itaque ergo quoniam necesse erat eum navibus transire, et navibus non nisi maioribus, ac sic immorata sum ibi forsitan plus media die; et inde in nomine Dei transito flumine Euphraten ingressa sum fines Mesopotamiae Syriae.
18
1 Then, setting out from Antioch to Mesopotamia in the Name of Christ our God, I journeyed through certain stations and cities of the province of Coele-Syria, which is Antioch, and entering the borders of the province of Augustofratensis, I came to the city of Gerapolis2 which is the metropolis of Augustofratensis. And as this city is very beautiful and rich and abounds in everything, it was necessary for me to make a halt there, for the borders of Mesopotamia were not far distant.
2 Then starting from Ierapolis, I came, in the Name of God, at the fifteenth milestone to the river Euphrates, of which it is very well written that it is the great river Euphrates; it is huge and, as it were, terrible, for it flows down with a current like the river Rhone, only the Euphrates is still greater.
3 And as we had to cross in ships, and in large ships only, I waited there until after midday, and then in the Name of God I crossed the river Euphrates and entered the borders of Mesopotamia in Syria.
XIX
1. Ac sic denuo faciens iter per mansiones aliquot perveni ad civitatem, cuius nomen in scripturis positum legimus, id est Batanis, quae civitas usque in hodie est. Nam et ecclesia cum episcopo vere sancto et monacho et confessore habet et martyria aliquanta. Ipsa etiam civitas abundans multitudine hominum est; nam et miles ibi sedet cum tribuno suo.
2. Unde denuo proficiscens, pervenimus in nomine Christi Dei nostri Edessam. Ubi cum pervenissemus, statim perreximus ad ecclesiam et ad martyrium sancti Thomae. Itaque ergo iuxta consuetudinem factis orationibus et cetera, quae consuetudo erat fieri in locis sanctis, nec non etiam et aliquanta ipsius sancti Thomae ibi legimus.
3. Ecclesia autem, ibi quae est, ingens et valde pulchra et nova dispositione, ut vere digna est esse domus Dei; et quoniam multa erant, quae ibi desiderabam videre, necesse me fuit ibi stativa triduana facere.
4. Ac sic ergo vidi in eadem civitate martyria plurima nec non et sanctos monachos, commanentes alios per martyria, alios longius de civitate in secretioribus locis habentes monasteria.
5. Et quoniam sanctus episcopus ipsius civitatis, vir vere religiosus et monachus et confessor, suscipiens me libenter ait mihi: «quoniam video te, filia, gratia religionis tam magnum laborem tibi imposuisse, ut de extremis porro terris venires ad haec loca, itaque ergo, si libenter habes, quaecumque loca sunt hic grata ad videndum Christianis, ostendimus tibi». Tunc ergo gratias agens Deo primum et sic ipsum rogavi plurimum, ut dignaretur facere, quod dicebat.
6. Itaque ergo duxit me primum ad palatium Aggari regis et ibi ostendit mihi archiotypam ipsius ingens, simillimam, ut ipsi dicebant, marmoream, tanti nitoris ac si de margarita esset; in cuius Aggari vultu parebat de contra vere fuisse hunc virum satis sapientem et honoratum. Tunc ait mihi sanctus episcopus: «ecce rex Aggarus, qui antequam videret Dominum, credidit ei, quia esset vere filius Dei». Nam erat et iuxta archiotypa similiter de tali marmore facta, quam dixit filii ipsius esse Magni, similiter et ipsa habens aliquid gratiae in vultu.
7. Item perintravimus in interiori parte palatii; et ibi erant fontes piscibus pleni, quales ego adhuc nunquam vidi, id est tantae magnitudinis et vel tam perlustres aut tam boni saporis. Nam ipsa civitas aliam aquam penitus non habet nunc nisi eam, quae de palatio exit, quae est ac si fluvius ingens argenteus.
8. Et tunc retulit mihi de ipsa aqua sic sanctus episcopus dicens: «quodam tempore, posteaquam scripserat Aggarus rex ad Dominum et Dominus rescripserat Aggaro per Ananiam cursorem, sicut scriptum est in ipsa epistola: transacto ergo aliquanto tempore superveniunt Persi et girant civitatem istam.
9. Sed statim Aggarus epistolam Domini ferens ad portam cum omni exercitu suo publice oravit. Et post dixit: «Domine Iesu, tu promiseras nobis, ne aliquis [h]ostium ingrederetur civitatem istam, et ecce nunc Persae inpugnant nos». Quod cum dixisset tenens manibus levatis epistolam ipsam apertam rex, ad subito tantae tenebrae factae sunt, foras civitatem tamen ante oculos Persarum, cum iam prope plicarent civitati, ita ut usque tertium miliarium de civitate essent: sed ita mox tenebris turbati sunt, ut vix castra ponerent et pergirarent in miliario tertio totam civitatem.
10. Ita autem turbati sunt Persae, ut nunquam viderent postea, qua parte in civitate ingrederentur, sed custodirent civitatem per giro clusam hostibus in miliario tamen tertio, quam tamen custodierunt mensibus aliquod.
11. Postmodum autem, cum viderent se nullo modo posse ingredi in civitatem, voluerunt siti eos occidere, qui in civitate erant. Nam monticulum istum, quem vides, filia, super civitate hac, in illo tempore ipse huic civitati aquam ministrabat. Tunc videntes hoc Persae averterunt ipsam aquam a civitate et fecerunt ei decursum contra ipso loco, ubi ipsi castra posita habebant.
12. In ea ergo die et in ea hora, qua averterant Persae aquam, statim hii fontes, quos vides in eo loco, iusso Dei a semel eruperunt: ex ea die hi fontes usque in hodie permanent hic gratia Dei. Illa autem aqua, quam Persae averterant, ita siccata est in ea hora, ut nec ipsi haberent vel una die quod biberent, qui obsedebant civitatem, sicut tamen et usque in hodie apparet; nam postea nunquam nec qualiscumque humor ibi apparuit usque in hodie.
13. Ac sic iubente Deo, qui hoc promiserat futurum, necesse fuit eos statim reverti ad sua, id est in Persida. Nam et postmodum quotienscumque voluerunt venire et expugnare hanc civitatem hostes, haec epistola prolata est et lecta est in porta, et statim nutu Dei expulsi sunt omnes hostes».
14. Illud etiam retulit sanctus episcopus: «eo quod hii fontes ubi eruperunt, ante sic fuerit campus intra civitatem subiacens palatio Aggari. Quod palatium Aggari quasi in editiori loco positum erat, sicut et nunc paret, ut vides. Nam consuetudo talis erat in illo tempore, ut pabtia, quotiensque fabricabantur, semper in editioribus locis fierent.
15. Sed postmodum quam hii fontes in eo loco eruperunt, tunc ipse Aggarus filio suo Magno, id est isti, cuius archiotypa vides iuxta patre posita, hoc palatium fecit in eo loco, ita tamen, ut hii fontes intra palatium includerentur».
16. Postea ergo quam haec omnia retulit sanctus episcopus, ait ad me: «eamus nunc ad portam, per quam ingressus est Ananias cursor cum illa epistola, quam dixeram». Cum ergo venissemus ad portam ipsam, stans episcopus fecit orationem et legit nobis ibi ipsas epistolas et denuo benedicens nos facta est iterato oratio.
17. Illud etiam retulit nobis sanctus ipse dicens: «eo quod ex ea die, qua Ananias cursor per ipsam portam ingressus est cum epistolam Domini, usque in praesentem diem custodiatur, ne quis immundus, ne quis lugubris per ipsam portam transeat, sed nec corpus alicuius mortui eiciatur per ipsam portam».
18. Ostendit etiam nobis sanctus episcopus memoriam Aggari vel totius familiae ipsius valde pulchra, sed facta more antiquo. Duxit etiam nos et ad illum palatium superiorem, quod habuerat primitus rex Aggarus, et si qua praeterea loca erant, monstravit nobis.
19. Illud etiam satis mihi grato fuit, ut epistolas ipsas sive Aggari ad Dominum sive Domini ad Aggarum, quas nobis ibi legerat sanctus episcopus, acciperem mihi ab ipso sancto. Et licet in patria exemplaria ipsarum haberem, tamen gratius mihi visum est, ut et ibi eas de ipso acciperem, ne quid forsitan minus ad nos in patria pervenisset; nam vere amplius est, quod hic accepi. Unde si Deus noster Iesus iusserit et venero in patria, legitis vos, dominae animae meae.
19
1 Then, journeying through certain stations, I came to a city whose name we read recorded in the Scriptures--Batanis, which city exists to-day: it has a church with a truly holy bishop, both monk and confessor, and certain martyr-memorials. The city has a teeming population, and the soldiery with their tribune are stationed there.
2 Departing thence, we arrived at Edessa in the Name of Christ our God, and, on our arrival, we straightway repaired to the church and memorial of saint Thomas. There, according to custom, prayers were made and the other things that were customary in the holy places were done; we read also some things concerning saint Thomas himself.
3 The church there is very great, very beautiful and of new construction, well worthy to be the house of God, and as there was much that I desired to see, it was necessary for me to make a three days' stay there.
4 Thus I saw in that city many memorials, together with holy monks, some dwelling at the memorials, while others had their cells in more secluded spots farther from the city.
5 Moreover, the holy bishop of the city, a truly devout man, both monk and confessor, received me willingly and said: "As I see, daughter, that for the sake of devotion you have undertaken so great a labour in coming to these places from far-distant lands, if you are willing, we will show you all the places that are pleasant to the sight of Christians." Then, first thanking God, I besought the bishop much that he would deign to do as he said.
6 He thereupon led me first to the palace of King Abgar, where he showed me a great marble statue of him--very much like him, as they said--having a sheen as if made of pearl. From the face of Abgar it seemed that he was a very wise and honourable man. Then the holy bishop said to me: "Behold King Abgar, who before he saw the Lord believed in Him that He was in truth the Son of God." There was another statue near, made of the same marble, which he said was that of his son Magnus; this also had something gracious in the face.
7 Then we entered the inner part of the palace, and there were fountains full of fish such as I never saw before, of so great size, so bright and of so good a flavour were they. The city has no water at all other than that which comes out of the palace, which is like a great silver river.
8 Then the holy bishop told me about the water, saying: " At some time, after that King Abgar had written to the Lord, and the Lord had answered King Abgar by Ananias the courier--as it is written in the letter itself--when some time had passed, the Persians came against the city and surrounded it.
9 And straightway Abgar, bearing the letter of the Lord to the gate, with all his army, prayed publicly. And he said: "O Lord Jesus, Thou hadst promised us that none of our enemies should enter this city, and lo! the Persians now attack us." And when the king had said this, holding the open letter in his uplifted hands, suddenly there came a great darkness outside the city before the eyes of the Persians, as they were approaching the city at a distance of about three miles, and they were so baffled by the darkness that they could hardly form their camp and surround the whole city about three miles off.
10 So baffled were the Persians that they could never afterwards see the way to enter the city, but they surrounded it and shut it in with their hostile forces, at a distance of about three miles, for several months.
11 Then, when they saw that they could by no means enter, they wished to slay those within the city by thirst. Now that little hill which you see, my daughter, over against the city, supplied it with water at that time, and the Persians, perceiving this, diverted the water from the city and made it to run near that place where they had made their camp.
12 And on that day and at that hour when the Persians diverted the water, the fountains which you see in this place burst forth at once at God's bidding, and by the favour of God they remain here from that day to this. But the water which the Persians had diverted was dried up at that hour, so that they who were besieging the city had nothing to drink for even one day; which thing is plain to the present time, for no moisture of any sort has ever been seen there from that day to this.
13 So, at God's bidding, Who had promised that this should come to pass, they were obliged to return to their own home in Persia. Moreover afterwards, as often as enemies determined to come and take the city, this letter was brought out and read in the gate, and straightway all enemies were driven back by the will of God.
14 The holy Bishop also told me that the place where these fountains broke forth had previously been open ground within the city, lying under the palace of King Abgar, which same palace had been situated on somewhat higher ground, as was plainly visible. For the custom was at that time that, whenever palaces were built, they should always stand on higher ground.
15 But after that these fountains had burst forth here, then Abgar built this palace for his son Magnus, whose statue I saw near that of his father, so that the fountains should be included in the palace.
16 And when the holy bishop had told me all these things, he said to me: "Let us now go to the gate by which Ananias the courier entered with the letter of which I spoke." So when we had come to the gate, the bishop, standing, made a prayer and read us the letters; then, after he had blessed us, another prayer was made.
17 Moreover the holy man told us that from the day on which Ananias the courier entered it with the letter of the Lord, the gate is kept to this day, that no one who is unclean, nor any mourner, should pass through nor should any dead body be borne out through it.
18 The holy bishop also showed us the memorial of Abgar and of his whole family, very beautiful, but made in the ancient style. He took us also to the palace which King Abgar had at first, on the higher ground, and if there were any other places he showed them to us.
19 It was very pleasant to me to receive from the holy man himself the letters of Abgar to the Lord and of the Lord to Abgar, which the holy bishop had read to us there. For although I have copies at home, yet it seemed to me more pleasant to receive them from him, lest perhaps something less might have reached us at home, and indeed that which I received here is fuller. So if Jesus our God bids it, and I come home, you too shall read them, ladies, my own souls.

Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Wed May 15, 2019 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The epistles of Jesus and Agbar.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:42 pm


Fayyum Fragment in the Bodleian Library
Eusebius, History of the Church 1.13.8-9
1 [...............................................διὰ τοῦτο τοίνυ]ν
2 [γράψας ἐδεήθην σου σκυλῆναι] πρὸς μὲ
3 [καὶ τὸ πάθος ὅ ἔχω θεραπεῦσαι. καὶ γὰρ ἤ]κουσταί μοι ὅτι
4 [καὶ Ἰουδαῖοι καταγογγύζουσίν σου καὶ] διώκουσίν σε
5 [καὶ βούλονται κακῶσαι σε. πόλις δέ μοί ἔσ]τιν σμικροτάτη
6 [καὶ σεμνή, ἥτις ἐξαρκεῖ ἀμφοτέροις.]
7 [τὰ ἀντιγραφέντα ὑπὸ Ἰησοῦ διὰ Ἁνανία]
8 [ταχυδρόμου τοπάρχῃ Ἀβγάρῳ.]
9 [Μακά]ριος εἶ ὅτι ἐπίστευσας ἐν ἐμοὶ μὴ [ἑωρα]κώς με.
10 [γέγραπτ]α̣ι̣ γὰρ περὶ ἐμοῦ ὅτι οἱ ἑωρακότες με οὐ μὴ πιστεύσ-
11 [ωσιν ἐ]ν ἐμοί, καὶ οἱ μὴ ἑωρακώτες με αὐτοὶ
12 [πιστεύσ]ουσιν καὶ ζήσονται. περὶ δὲ οὗ ἔγραψάς μοι
13 [ἐλθεῖν πρὸς σὲ, δέον ἐστὶν] π̣άν̣τ̣α̣ δ̣ι' ἃ [ἀπε-]
14 στάλην ἐντα[ῦ]θα πληρῶσαι, καὶ μετὰ τὸ πληρῶσαι
15 ἀναλημφθῆναι πρὸς τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με·
16 κ[αὶ ἐ]πειδάν ἀναλημφ[θῶ ἀποστελῶ σ]οί τινα
17 τῶν μαθητ[ῶν μου ἵνα τὸ πάθος σου] ἰάσηται
18 καὶ ζωὴν κα̣[ὶ εἰρήνην σοι καὶ τοῖς σὺν σοὶ] παράσχηται
19 [............]ολε̣[............................] τ̣ῶν [....]
§ διὰ τοῦτο τοίνυν
γράψας ἐδεήθην σου σκυλῆναι πρός με
καὶ τὸ πάθος, ὃ ἔχω, θεραπεῦσαι. καὶ γὰρ ἤκουσα ὅτι
καὶ Ἰουδαῖοι καταγογγύζουσί σου
καὶ βούλονται κακῶσαί σε. πόλις δὲ μικροτάτη μοί ἐστι
καὶ σεμνή, ἥτις ἐξαρκεῖ ἀμφοτέροις.
ΤΑ ΑΝΤΙΓΡΑΦΕΝΤΑ ΥΠΟ ΙΗΣΟΥ ΔΙΑ ΑΝΑΝΙΟΥ
ΤΑΧΥΔΡΟΜΟΥ ΤΟΠΑΡΧΗΙ ΑΒΓΑΡΩΙ
§ Μακάριος εἶ πιστεύσας ἐν ἐμοί, μὴ ἑορακώς με.
γέγραπται γὰρ περὶ ἐμοῦ τοὺς ἑορακότας με μὴ πιστεύσ-
ειν ἐν ἐμοί, καὶ ἵνα οἱ μὴ ἑορακότες με αὐτοὶ
πιστεύσωσι καὶ ζήσονται. περὶ δὲ οὗ ἔγραψάς μοι
ἐλθεῖν πρὸς σέ, δέον ἐστὶ πάντα δι' ἃ ἀπε-
στάλην ἐνταῦθα, πληρῶσαι καὶ μετὰ τὸ πληρῶσαι
οὕτως ἀναληφθῆναι πρὸς τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με.
καὶ ἐπειδὰν ἀναληφθῶ, ἀποστελῶ σοί τινα
τῶν μαθητῶν μου, ἵνα ἰάσηταί σου τὸ πάθος
καὶ ζωήν σοι καὶ τοῖς σὺν σοὶ παράσχηται.

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