I beleive the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated, copied, and interpreted correctly. In the course of my studies of the Bible, I've discovered that it has a long and convoluted history. So, these are my discoveries and my musings of Christian history and doctrines.

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Friday, May 27, 2005

A Letter Written by Jesus Christ Himself

The historian Eusebius (circa 260 - 339 CE) , Bishop of Caesarea, writes about a King Abgar who was king of Edessa, a city known today as Urfa in Turkey. This king, who was dying of some incurable disease, had heard of Jesus and his ability to heal. He sent a message via a letter-carrier by the name of Ananias petitioning Jesus to come and heal him.

Jesus, upon reading of his plight, wrote a letter in return which was delivered to the king by the same courier. Eusebius claims that he extracted the actual documents from the Record Office at Edessa and translated them into Syriac.

The letter of the King is as follows:

Abgar Uchama the Toparch to Jesus, who has appeared as a gracious savior in the Region of Jerusalem - greeting.

I have heard about you and about the cures you perform without drugs or herbs. If report is true, you make the blind see again and the lame walk about; you cleanse lepers, expel unclean spirits and demons, cure those suffering from chronic and painful diseases, and raise the dead. When I heard all this about you, I concluded that one of two things must be true - either you are God and came down from heaven to do these things, or you are God's Son doing them. Accordingly I am writing to beg you to come to me, whatever the inconvenience, and cure the disorder from which I suffer. I may add that I understand the Jews are treating you with contempt and desire to injure you: my city is small, but highly esteemed, adequate for both of us.

Here is Jesus' response:
Happy are you who believed in me without having seen me! For it is written of me that those who have seen me will not believe in me, and that those who have not seen will believe and live. As to your request that I should come to you, I must complete all that I was sent to do here, and on completing it must at once be taken up to the One who sent me. When I have been taken up I will send you one of my disciples to cure your disorder and bring life to you and those with you.

According Eusebius, additional information was attached to these documents relating to the subsequent visit of Thaddaeus, one of the Seventy, who healed the king and others. The king saw a vision on the face of Thaddaeus which nobody else saw. The gospel was then taught to a general assembly of the city's inhabitants.

What is interesting to me is that the fame of Jesus Christ was so far reaching even within His lifetime. This would, in my estimation, help explain the success that the Apostle Paul had amongst the gentiles - they had already heard of Jesus.
Also, if Jesus received letters from such far quarters as Edessa and sent correspondence in return, I don't think that it would be too far out of line to suspect that He wrote other letters as well, either locally or otherwise, or even books for that matter. And if He did write other documents, what did they say? Would there have been any subject material not found in our present day canonized collection of books and letters?

  • Eusebius, The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine, Tr. by G.A. Williamson; rev. and ed. with a new introd. by Andrew Louth. Rev. (London, England: Penguin, c1989), p. 30-34.


Blogger cayblood said...

Clement's account of Christ's growing popularity also makes it clear that he was very well-known in his own lifetime:

". . .A certain report, which took its rise in the regions of the East in the reign of Tiberius Caesar, gradually reached us; and gaining strength as it passed through every place, like some good message sent from God, it was filling the whole world, and suffered not the divine will to be concealed in silence. For it was spread over all places, announcing that there was a certain person in Judaea, who, beginning in the spring-time, was preaching the kingdom of God to the Jews, and saying that those should receive it who should observe the ordinances of His commandments and His doctrine. And that His speech might be believed to be worthy of credit, and full of the Divinity, He was said to perform many mighty works, and wonderful signs and prodigies by His mere word; so that, as one having power from God, He made the deaf to hear, and the blind to see, and the lame to stand erect, and expelled every infirmity and all demons from men; yea, that He even raised dead persons who were brought to Him; that He cured letters also, looking at them from a distance; and that there was absolutely nothing which seemed impossible to Him. These and such like things were confirmed in process of time, not now by frequent rumours, but by the plain statements of persons coming from those quarters; and day by day the truth of the matter was further disclosed."

(Recognitions, Clement of Rome, Book 1 Chapter 6)

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Barb said...

That was an interesting account and seemed true to the patern of Christ to be there for the House of Israel while his disciples would later minister also to the Gentiles. It seems to also affirm that theme that faith precedes a miracle. The truth that a Prophet is often rejected among his own people is apparent. I wish that so many plain and precious truths were not lost.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bishop Eusebius was a Rank Liar For The Church........... This is Pure Lies....

6:43 AM  
Blogger Alfred Brown said...

"Immaculate Heart of Mary, have compassion upon Eric McDonald.Please pray for Eric's conversion and for the salvation of his soul.Please plead with The Sacred Heart of Jesus to have mercy upon Eric.May God bless and help Eric to know Jesus Christ as his Savior and his Lord. May Eric experience the joys of salvation and may he come to know the glories of Heaven. Please help us all in the name of Jesus Christ Amen!!!"

6:27 PM  

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