Bible Studies/Apostle in India

Advertisement


Question
In the Acts of Thomas he is "claimed" to of received the lot to go to India and preach the Word.

Problem is, the Acts of Thomas is considered a heretical writing and that's why it wasn't included in the Christian New Testament in the later editions of the Bible.
The Acts of Thomas is claimed to of been written around 200-225 AD.

Question is, "Which Apostle went to India to preach the Word?"

Answer
Hi Steve,
You asked which apostle went to India.

The Bible does not record who, among the twelve, went where, other than that Peter was in Babylon (Iraq). General agreement among historians is that there is nothing beyond legends. However the legends, few as they are, all indicate that Thomas went to India.

A problem arises in that secular historians tend toward atheism, and are therefore biased against anything that would validate the Bible in any way.  At the same time, the methods of religious historians are suspect because of their own biases.

I do not have the source available at the moment, but I recall one account of a large settlement of "Jews" living in the southwest coastlands of India, the origins of which were said to date to the time of King Solomon, and related to his trade with India (1K. 9:26-28; 10:11).  Their presence would explain why Thomas, or any other disciple, would have gone to India.

Related to this, I once found a small book in the UT Library in Austin, written by the son of missionaries who went to China in (I believe) the early 1900's.  His father told him of round eyed Chinese "Jews", who said their ancestors were traders for King Solomon.  They were Sabbath keepers and had the Torah.  The book was in poor condition.  When I went back a short time later to copy portions, it was missing and the library had no record of it. Apparently it was discarded into the trash.

After the two captivities (Israel 721 BCE, Judah 588 BCE), the majority of Israelites (which came to be called "Jews") did not return to the Promised Land. God had told their ancestors that, for disobedience, they would be "scattered among the nations" (Deu. 4:27, Neh. 1:8, Psa. 106:27, Eze. 12:15), until he re-gathers them (Isa. 54:7, 56:8, Jer. 23:3, 31:10, 32:37, Jn. 11:52, Rev. 7:1-8, Zech. 10:6-12, 14:1-21).

Jesus sent "the twelve" to the "lost sheep" (the twelve tribes) of Israel.  The "Jews", or tribe of Judah  (including many Levites, and some Simeonites, Gen. 49:5-7) was primarily in Palestine and Babylon (Iraq) at that time. They were "lost" spiritually, but not "lost" to history, and James was the only apostle to remain in Jerusalem.  

The rest of those three tribes and all of the other nine tribes migrated away from that part of the world and became "lost" to history.  Today, most of the world thinks that OT Israel, with 12 tribes, still exists only as the one tribe of Jews of (modern, political) Israel, and as subpopulations of Florida, New York, and Jewish communities in various nations.  

While all Jews are genetic Israelites, not all Israelites were of Judah.  The modern political nation of Israel is primarily, or entirely members of the one tribe of Judah.  Among the rest of the tribes, those who followed Christ's teachings through "the twelve", would not be religious "Jews" because Orthodox Judaism and its subsets are a ritualistic faith based on the "traditions" of the Pharisees (4th cent. BCE to 7th cent. CE), and a derivation from what was delivered through Moses (Mk. 7:13).

"These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."  Mat. 10:5-6.  The disciples did not ask, "Where are they?"  They knew.  (Note: While this [Mat. 10] was a summertime assignment, like many of Jesus' words, it had a double meaning, and shortly after the Pentecost of Acts 2, the disciples also became "lost" to history.)  

Paul, who was not of "the twelve", was sent to the gentiles, including Italy, and because of his work (and in spite of his words), "world christianity" evolved into its present state.

Secular history shows notable migrations from that part of the world through North Africa to Spain and Portugal, and through the Baltics, westward to Europe and eastward to the Ukraine.  While secular historians cannot or will not recognize what happened, God prophesied that the descendants of Abraham and Jacob, would become "nations", ruled by "kings", including "a great nation", a "company of nations", and that through these, "all nations of the world will be blessed" (Gen. 12:2, 18:18, 35:11, 49:1-28).

If all twelve tribes no longer exist, then the prophecies of God and Christ, about re-gathering them, by tribe, in specific numbers, would make no sense.  This is one reason the Catholic church claims that the book of Revelation is mere allegory. Rom. 1:20-22.

We hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Mel and Guyna


References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_India
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_the_Apostle
"Thomas the apostle"  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14658b.htm

Bible Studies

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Mel and Guyna Horne

Expertise

Anyone can read the Bible but sometimes it helps to have someone assist with the understanding (Acts 8:26-40). Truth comes from God through his holy spirit of truth (Jn. 16:13, 1Cor. 2:12), which is available to anyone who believes, repents and seeks God fervently and wholeheartedly, with humility, faith and persistence (Mat. 7:7, Deu. 4:29, Isa. 66:2, Jas. 4:1-10, Phil. 2:12). Truth is not limited to, or by, manís religious organizations, church traditions, popular beliefs or personal opinions (Jn. 8:32, 14:6). We will try to help anyone who is trying to understand scripture or Christian living. [Please do not submit homework questions as they will be rejected.]

Experience

Over 50 years of personal study of the entire Bible (Deu. 8:3, Mat. 4:4, 2Tim. 3:16, Deu. 4:12, Rev. 22:18). B.A. in Theology with continuing studies in religious history and education (2Tim 2:15, 1Ths. 5:21). Years of informal counseling of young adults, teens, couples, and prisoners, based on scripture and on actual life experience in the world outside of classrooms and church buildings and including a long and happy marriage. After years of experience with organized religion, we are non-denominational. Publications: http://thechurchofgodinamerica.com/index.htm; http://www.reocities.com/Athens/Forum/1611/books on God's Holy Days, Lying, the Sacred Names Doctrine; articles on Terrorism and Islam, the Gospel of Christ, Preparing Yourself for Life in the Kingdom of Christ; What Happens After Death

Organizations
Organizations are of men, not God. While God may use some of them to facilitate his plan, organizations train their people to follow, not to lead. God was able to create the whole Creation, as we see it, in only six days, because he did not use a committee. Ten years after 9/11, the only thing approved for construction at the New York site was a mosque.

Education/Credentials
"If a man would teach others, he must first teach himself." - Source Unknown. B.A. in Theology, over 50 years of personal study, the last sixteen of which have been full time study and research resulting in publication of several books and many articles.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.