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Re: FW: A testimonial regarding Jews/Christians in India!

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  • bucksburg
    As I recall my history, the original Indian Christians were Assyrians who settled in northern India, around Bombay, and were driven south by persecution, so
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 4, 2012
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      As I recall my history, the original Indian Christians were Assyrians who settled in northern India, around Bombay, and were driven south by persecution, so that the oral histories identified their landfall with locales in Southern India*. Other than that, the oral histories are pretty accurate. Don't have any links at this time . . .

      Daniel Buck
      *Just as the English settlers named American towns after places back home in England, and the New Englanders did the same when they moved West.

      --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "rlbaty50" <rlbaty@...> wrote:
      >
      > (I thought it was interesting and make no claim regarding the historical facts which may be in dispute. It's from a recent posting to the Stone-Campbell list from Ben Wiebe. - RLBaty)
      >
      > The spread of people to various remote parts of the globe is an amazing study. I have a friend in India who has for some years been researching the movement of Jews and Christians to India.
      >
      > If they were able to reach India it is perhaps not so surprising that they reached other distant lands.
      >
      > There is evidence of Jews coming to India as early as the time of Solomon. And there is strong tradition in a couple of places of Christians coming to South India beginning with the apostle Thomas.
      >
      > A key place for the connection is Kodungallur and its surrounding areas in South India.
      >
      > My friend traveled to the particular sites again just recently. He states as follows:
      >
      > "Kodungallur is identified as one of the greatest seaports of the ancient world (ca. 100 BC to 1341 AD). Koder (p. 1) states that, “Cranganore (i.e., modern ‘Kodungallur’, situated 30 kilometres north of Cochin), known as Muzhiris to the Greeks and Shingly to the Jews was the only sea port in India known to the outside world. It was to this port therefore the Jews turned for a haven of refuge and a centre of trade. The destruction of Cranganore is often compared to the devastation of Palestine in miniature and the consequent dispersal of Jews from their Holy Land”.
      >
      > The Old Muzhiris was part of the First Chera Dynasty (i.e., 5th Century BC till 3rd Century AD). Later, Muzhiris became an integral part of Mahodayapuram, the capital city of the Second Chera Dynasty (i.e., from 9th Century AD).
      >
      > Both during the First and the Second Chera periods, Kurumba Bhagavati Temple (also known as Kodungallur Bhagavati Temple) was well-known for the people of the kingdom (cf. Menon, 1967).
      >
      > The temple is popularly known as a religious centre devoted to the goddess Bhadrakali (also known as ‘Kodungallur Amma’).
      >
      > This informs us that the temple of Kodungallur was an established Hindu religious centre during the First Century AD.
      >
      > The connection of St. Thomas with Kodungallur has to be understood over against the above context.
      >
      > It is believed that the Cochin Jewish Colony in Malabar Coast (i.e., Anjuvanam, near Kodungallur) established before 6th Century BC would have attracted Thomas later on to land there.
      >
      > The St. Thomas Christians of Kerala believe that Apostle Thomas landed in Kodungallur in 52 AD and founded seven churches in different provinces.
      >
      > According to tradition, he founded the following ‘seven and half’ churches (in Malayalam language, Ezharapallikal): Maliankara (Kodungallur), Kollam, Niranam, Nilackal (Chayal), Gokamangalam, Kottakkayal (Parur), Palayur (Chattukulangara) and Thiruvithancode Arappally (i.e., a ‘half church’; cf. Hasting, 2000: 149; Arampulickal, 1994: 40). Firth (2001: 3) records that “in four of which places Syrian churches still exist”.
      >
      > Thomas is further said to have ordained presbyters for the churches from four Brahmin families called Sankarapuri, Pakalomattam, Kalli and Kaliankal (see Firth, 2001: 3).
      >
      > The connections of Kodungallur with the ancient Jewish Kingdom and the existence of the St. Thomas Christians provide more possibilities for the coming of the apostle to this part of the world.
      >
      > Alongside of these proofs, the apocryphal Acts of Thomas speak of the selection of St. Thomas to evangelize India, his preaching and conversions, and his eventual martyrdom and burial on a mountain, from which his bones were later removed and taken to the West (cf. Grant, 1968: 1062).
      >
      > In our recent visit to Kodungallur, we took special effort to visit the ‘Mar Thomas Church Historical Museum’ where we found the following chronological data inscribed on the wall in the Malayalam language. It also includes details from the writings of Koder and Israel.
      >
      > The brochure in Malayalam language entitled AD 52-il Vishuddha Thomasleeha Sthapicha Malliankarappally was used as a third resource. Browse through the chronological details below:
      >
      > In 10th Century BC, annually about 120 ships of King Solomon reached the shore of Maliankara (Periyar) river. It stabilized the trade relationship between King Solomon’s kingdom (992-952 BC) and the Malabar Coast;
      >
      > In 8th century BC, the Jews who escaped the Assyrian dispersion reached Maliankara Coast;
      >
      > In 6th century BC, the Jews who escaped in the Babylonian dispersion reached Maliankara;
      >
      > In 6th century BC, a group of Jews who escaped from the hands of Roman looters came to Maliankara;
      >
      > In BC 47, the wind that facilitated the trade relationship between the Western world and South India was discovered. This wind was named as Hippas Monsoon;
      >
      > In BC 30, the Roman trade fleet reached Maliankara;
      >
      > In AD 52 November 21, St. Thomas reached Maliankara via Socotra Island. Upon his arrival St. Thomas established the first cross and started the first church in India. Socotra was called ‘Dioskouridou’ in the first century AD, in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, an early shipping manual (also in the writings of Marco Polo, 1254-1324). Today it is part of the Republic of Yemen (cf. Israel, 1982: 41). It is believed that the inhabitants of Socotra were converted to Christianity by Apostle Thomas in AD 52, and that Thomas was once shipwrecked there during his frequent journeys to India, and the shipwreck was used to build a church;
      >
      > In AD 70, the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans and the consequent dispersal of the Jews to the four corners of the earth from Palestine. That resulted into the landing of the Jews in Shingly in AD 72. This event of the Jewish arrival is considered as the ‘colonization’ of Cranganore (cf. Koder, 1965: 15);
      >
      > After the destruction of the Second Temple and the Bar Kochba revolt many Jews were carried away captive to the small island of Majorca. From there many captive Jews reached their haven in Cranganore (cf. Israel, 1982: 41);
      >
      > In AD 345, Jewish tradesman Knai Thoma, a priest who received a vision, along with other priests and deacons, men and women, and youths started their journey from Nineveh in Baghdad and reached Maliankara. It happened just twenty years after the historical Nicene Creed (AD 325);
      >
      > During AD 490-518, more Jews arrived in Maliankara from Babylon and Persia (cf. Koder, 1965: 15);
      >
      > 9th Century AD, Mar Proth, Mar Sapol and others reached Maliankara for the sake of pastoral ministry;
      >
      > In AD 1524, Moorish attack on Jews in Cranganore (cf. Koder, 1965: 15);
      >
      > In AD 1564, the old generation Nazrani Christians started their pilgrimage to Maliankara;
      >
      > On 14th November 1953, Cardinal Eugene Tissarant (who was the head of Eastern Church Order and Dean of the Cardinals) blessed the image of St. Thomas in Maliankara;
      >
      > On 3rd July 2011, re-started the Maliankara pilgrimage. Right Reverend Dr. Joseph Karikkassery (Bishop of Kottapuram Diocese) blessed the cross that was built on stone and the historical footmark of St. Thomas;
      >
      > On 31st August 2012, Mar Thomas Church Historical Museum inauguration in Maliankara."
      >
      > The evidence of travel and the interconnection between people in the NT itself is amazing and to think of the movement of Jews and Christians early on to India even more amazing.
      >
      > As the tradition of Thomas in India is clarified it gains in credibility.
      >
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