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Earliest known date attached to four Gospels
#1
Shlama Akhay,

There has been some doubt spread by Dr. Glocester Ridley (and then passed on to J. D. Michaelis-- see last quote below),
on whether the dating seen by J. S. Asseman on a manuscript of the four Gospels is accurate or not. A quote from "The Scattered Pearls" by Barsoum / Afram / Moosa will dispel a considerable amount of doubt and cause the A. D. 78 date mentioned at the end of the manuscript to be very plausible.

[QUOTE OF BOOK PASSAGE AND FOOTNOTE FROM "THE SCATTERED PEARLS" BY BARSOUM / AFRAM / MOOSA] ]
2. The Doctrine of Addai, is a very old treatise indicating the existence of the Apostle Addai and his successor Aggai. It avers that when the King of Edessa, Abgar the Black, heard of the news of Christ and the healing which he did without medicine in Palestine, he wrote to Christ, inviting Him to Edessa to cure the king of his disease and share his kingdom wIth him. The Lord Jesus replied that before His ascension into heaven He would entrust one of His Apostles to cure the king physically and spiritually. Addai, the Apostle who was designated for this task, visited the king after the Pentecost, cured him and called him to Christianity. The king as well as pagans and Jews embraced the new faith. Subsequently, Addai destroyed the heathen temples and built the first church in Edessa which he administered until the end of his days, appointing Aggai his successor. He was buried in the tombs of the Edessan Kings. Orientalists believe that this event took place in the middle of the second century, but in our Eccleseiastical History we have proved that it took place in the first century.(1)

(1) See Al-Durar al-Nafisa, pp. 76 and 197, by this author. For more information on the Doctrine of Addai see Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, book 1, xxxii, and William Cureton, Ancient Syriac Documents (London, 1864), 24-35. (tr.)

[END OF QUOTE]



[QUOTE FROM WILLIAM NORTON'S BOOK ON THE PESHITO-SYRIAC AT <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://WWW.ARAMAICPESHITTA.COM">http://WWW.ARAMAICPESHITTA.COM</a><!-- m -->]
A MANUSCRIPT OF THE FOUR GOSPELS IN SYRIAC, BEARING DATE A. D. 78, is mentioned by J. S. Asseman, in his Bibliotheca. The manuscript was preserved at Baghdad on the river Tigris; at the end it had these words under written; "This sacred book was finished on Wedneday, the 18th day of the month Conun, in the year 389," that is of the Greeks, which was A. D. 78, "by the hand of the Apostle Achaeus, a fellow labourer of Mar Maris, and a disciple of the Apostle Mar Thaddeus, whom we intreat to pray for us." This prayer implies that the statement was written after the time of Achaeus (who is probably the person called also Aggaeus), and Dr. Glocester Ridley says that Achaeus died A. D. 48. For this and other reasons J. D. Michaelis says that the statement "is of no authority." (Marsh's Michaelis, 1823, vol. ii., pg. 31).
[END OF QUOTE]


The confirmations seem to outdo the doubts between these two passages. The likelihood of Achaeus and Aggai / Aggaeus being the same person added to the fact that the Apostle Addai did indeed pass the baton to Aggai his successor makes this much more believable despite the dark shadows cast by J. D. Michalis and Dr. Ridley.
Dr. Ridley says he died A.D. 48 (I wish he would at least have quoted his sources) but Apostle Addai couldn't pass his apostleship down after his demise to a dead disciple. Aggai / Achaeus "took up the mantle" and assumed responsibility so this manuscript dated A. D. 78 mentioned by J. S. Asseman takes on considerable veracity.

Shlama w'Burkate, Larry Kelsey
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Earliest known date attached to four Gospels - by BrotherLarry - 01-25-2009, 09:57 PM

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