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THE ACTS OF THOMAS

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At that time we apostles were all in Jerusalem—Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the taxgatherer, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas the son1 of James—and we portioned out the regions of the world, in order that each one of us might go into the region that fell to him by lot, and to the nation to which the Lord had sent him. By lot India fell to Judas Thomas, also called Didy­ mus. And he did not wish to go, saying that he was not able to travel on account of the weakness of his body. He said, “How can I, being a Hebrew, go among the Indians to proclaim the truth?” And while he was considering this and speak­ ing, the Saviour appeared to him during the night and said to him, “Fear not, Thomas, go away to India and preach the word there, for my grace is with you.” But he would not obey saying, “Wher­ ever you wish to send me, send me, but elsewhere. For I am not going to the Indians.”

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And as he was thus speaking and considering, it happened that a merchant named Abban, who had come from India, was there, sent from King Gundaphorus, having received an order from him to buy a carpenter and bring him to him. And the Lord, having seen him walking about in the market at noon, said to him, “Do you wish to buy a car­ penter?” He replied, “Yes.” And the Lord said to him, “I have a slave who is a carpenter, and I wish to sell him.” And having said this he showed him Thomas from a distance and agreed with him for three pounds of uncoined silver, and wrote a bill of sale saying, “I, Jesus, son of the carpenter Joseph, declare that I have sold my slave, Judas by name, to you, Abban, a merchant of Gundaphorus,

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king of the Indians.” When the purchase was completed the Saviour took Judas, also called Thomas, and led him to Abban, the merchant. When Abban saw him he said to him, “Is this your master?” The apostle answered and said, “Yes, he is my Lord.” And he said, “I have bought you from him.” And the apostle held his peace.

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On the following morning the apostle prayed and entreated the Lord, saying, “I go wherever you wish, O Lord Jesus, your will be done.”2 And he went to the merchant Abban, carrying nothing at all with him, but only his price. For the Lord had given it to him, saying, “Let your worth also be with you along with my grace, wherever you may go.” And the apostle came up with Abban, who was carrying his luggage into the boat. He too began to carry it along with him. And when they had gone on board and sat down, Abban questioned the apostle, saying, “What kind of work do you know?” And he said, “In wood, ploughs and yokes and balances and ships and boats’ oars and masts and small blocks; in stone, pillars and temples and royal palaces.” And Abban the merchant said to him, “We need such a workman.” They began their voyage. And they had a fair wind; and they sailed cheerfully till they came to Andrapolis, a royal city.

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And leaving the boat they went into the city. And behold, the sounds of flute-players and water-organs and trumpets echoed round them. And the apostle inquired saying, “What festi­ val is it in this city?” And the inhabitants there answered, “The gods have brought you to keep festival in this city. For the

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Brother?

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Matt. 6: 10; Luke 22:42.

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