Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Whatever Happened to Thomas (Didymus)? by Chris White

Thomas is considered the central figure in the eastward expansion of Christianity into India.  Thomas is associated with the Assyrian Church and the Chaldean Church which at the time was considered western India.  But it is also believed he went to the Indian continent in the middle of the 1st Century and traveled there many times for the purpose of  evangelism.  As exotic as this might sound today, India was not a remote or distant place to someone living in antiquity.  The entire region was linked by trade routes and roads built over centuries.  This is evident in the archeological evidence that has shown that in Thomas’s day there was a large Jewish community in existence there.  Today’s Mar Thomas Church in Southern India is believed related if not directly to him, at least an outgrowth of his apostolic mission there.  Thomas was speared to death while preaching in the town of Mylapore which is a suburb of Madras.  Crusaders are credited with bringing his relics to Rome from India and later Portuguese explorers found his tomb.  Archaeologists have found a Roman trading station from antiquity in the area of his tomb which adds greater plausibility to the story.

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