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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography


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Thaddaeus. Eusebius ( Hist. Eccl. i. 13) gives a story, which he says he found in the archives of Edessa, that after the ascension of our Lord, the apostle Judas Thomas sent Thaddaeus, one of the seventy disciples, to Edessa, to king Abgarus the Black, and that he cured the king of a serious illness, converted him with all his people to Christianity, and died at Edessa after many years of successful labours. The name of this apostle of the Edessenes is given by the Syrians as Addaeus ( Doctrina Addai, ed. Phillips, p. 5, Eng. trans. 1876), and it is possible that Eusebius misread the name as Thaddaeus. Thaddaeus was at a later date confused with the apostle Judas Thaddaeus. The documents given by Eusebius contain a correspondence between Abgar and our Lord, which of course is spurious. Cf. R. A. Lipsius, Die Edessenische Abgarsage kritisch untersucht (Braunschweig, 1880), and in D. C. B. vol. iv.; also, by the same, Die apokryphen Apostelgeschichten, vol. ii. 2, 178–201, and Suppl. p. 105; also Texeront, Les Origines de l’Eglise d’Edesse et la légende d’Abgar (Paris, 1888).


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Thaddaeus'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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