Letters of St. Thomas the Apostle to Edessa from India

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Letters of St. Thomas the Apostle to Edessa from India

The definite statement that Apostle Thomas sent letters from India, which were preserved and read in the Church services, occurs in the Syriac Doctrine of the Apostles.

It can be read in W. Cureton’s “Ancient Syriac Documents” , p.32.

Letters of St. Thomas the Apostle to Edessa from India

Letters of St. Thomas the Apostle to Edessa from India

“And after the death of the apostles there were Guides and Rulers in the churches, and whatsoever the apostles had committed to them, and they had received from them, they taught to the multitudes all the time of their lives. They, again, at their deaths also committed and delivered to their disciples after them every thing which they had received from the apostles; also what James had written from Jerusalem, and Simon from the city of Rome, and John from Ephesus, and Mark from the great Alexandria, and Andrew from Phrygia, and Luke from Macedonia, and Judas Thomas from India: that the epistles of an apostle might be received and read in the churches that were in every place, like those Triumphs of their Acts, which Luke wrote, are read; that by this the apostles might be known, and the prophets, and the Old Testament and the New; that one truth was preached by them all, that one Spirit spoke in them all from one God, whom they had all worshipped and had all preached. And the various countries received their teaching. “


The passage seems to have stood originally in “The Doctrine of Addai”: see F.Nau, La Didascalie des dovze Apôtres, Appendices, 230.

Does it seem too bold to postulate that Thomas wrote a letter from Taxila and or from Malabar to the Church in Edessa ?

J N Farquhar in the books “The Apostle Thomas in North India” and “The Apostle Thomas in South India” has critically examined the possibilities. This brief write up is based on these two books.

There is one very definite statement in early Syriac literature to the effect that he sent letters from India; and there is abundance of indirect evidence that such a letter as we have described lay in Edessa until the close of the second century at least.

In all references to Thomas in literature arising from Edessa, the Apostle is called Judas Thomas; and it seems clear that the double name comes from the Apostle’s letter. In writing the letter he would inevitably use his own name, and would naturally add to it the word for “twin,” which had been so universally used instead of his real name.

There are two possibilities of Thomas the Apostle writing to the Church in Edessa from Taxila and from Malabar. Lets briefly examine how would have the letters being send from Taxila and Malabar.

How was the letter sent from Taxila ?

Two routes, in normal circumstances, were open from Taxila to Edessa. The first was the land route from Taxila, which led over the Indus, up the Cabul valley, over the Hindu Kush and then west to Merv. Thence it led to Hecatompylos, Ecbatana and Ctesiphon, and so on to Edessa.

Our knowledge of the relations subsisting between the two Parthian empires at this time is too slight to enable us to say with certainty whether the land route would in those days be safe and speedy or not. It seems likely that it would be quite impossible, but the sea route would certainly be open.

Habban would send the letter down the Indus to some Government official in Pattala, and he in turn would send it, by the captain of the first ship sailing to the Persian Gulf, to some friend or agent of Tobias in Charax Spasini—which is now roughly represented by Basrah. From Charax it would be sent by road to Edessa.

How was the letter sent from Malabar ?

As soon as he was settled in Muziris, he would wish to communicate, if possible, with Habban. If Gudnaphar had a Trade Agent (panyadyaksha) in the Muziris port, as seems probable, he would arrange to forward Thomas’s letter at the first opportunity. Otherwise, Thomas would get one of his commercial friends to send the letter by the first ship sailing to the Indus.

Further, if we are right in our conjecture, that he had sent a letter from Taxila to Edessa with the news of his arrival in Gudnaphar’s capital he would be most eager to write again to the Church, to tell them about his new field.

Trade between the Persian Gulf and India began at very early dates and plays a large part in Indian commerce to-day.1

In the first century, we hear of ships sailing from Charax Spasini, Apologus, and the other ports of the Gulf to Barygaza and other Indian marts.2

Thus, when a ship arrived in Muziris from Charax, it would be possible, on its return voyage, to send by it a letter, which, delivered to an agent in Charax, would be sent by road to Edessa.

This would be the second of his letters sent from India to the Church of Edessa, according to the statement of the Syriac Didascalia.3

How was the letter treated in Edessa ?

Edessa, modern Urfa in southeastern Turkey, is mentioned in various Greek, Latin, Syriac and Arbic sources. These describe the city as a Hellenistic stronghold, the first Chrisitan kingdom and the cradle of Syriac literature. The historical position made the city an important station on the silk route- like Nisibis and Singara to the east and as such it linked India and China with the Mediterranean world.

The Edessenes believed that their Church stood in peculiarly close relations with the Apostle Thomas, that he was, in the fullest sense, the friend of the Church of Edessa. This deeply rooted feeling comes out clearly in the extraordinary belief that it was Thomas who sent Addai to them. From the same feeling, that Thomas was their Apostle, came the exploit in which a few Edessenes moved or stole the relics of the Apostle and brought them to Edessa.4

There would be great excitement in the Church at Edessa, when the Apostle’s letter arrived and was read at the service on Sunday; and from that day those Christian men and women would feel very closely bound to the daring leader who had carried the message of the Cross into the very heart of Asia.

The letter would be frequently read or referred to in the Church services; and the whole community would feel that Judas Thomas was their Apostle, although he had never visited their city. Every Edessene Christian knew that the land of Thomas’s apostolate was India.

What would happened to the letter ?

If Thomas actually wrote a letter to the Church in Edessa, how did it not become known throughout the Christian world ?.How is it that it is not found in the N.T.?

The reason is that it was a news-letter rather than a letter of spiritual edification. Therefore, other Christian centers would be less likely to desire to possess copies of it for reading in their churches.

But for the Church of Edessa it had the supremest interest, first, because it was a real apostolic letter, secondly, because it was addressed to the Edessene Church; thirdly, because it was written in Aramaic; and lastly, because of the bonds which bound their own beloved leader Tobias to Habban and the Apostle.

But if they treasured the letter so highly, how is it that it does not survive in Syriac literature?

As soon as the first church building5 was erected in Edessa, the letter would be kept, along with the other apostolic documents (gospels or epistles) which they possessed, in the Church itself; and this Church (the earliest church building of which we have any record) was destroyed by a flood of the river Daisan in A.D.201 and all the precious MSS. necessarily perished in the disaster.6

Since the author of The Acts of Judas Thomas was able to copy out the historical details contained in the letter, it seems we may safely conclude that his original work must be dated before A.D.201.

______________________________________________________________________

Extract from the books of J N Farquhar, “The Apostle Thomas in North India” and “The Apostle Thomas in South India”
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Footnotes
  1. Cambridge History of India []
  2. Charlesworth, Trade Routes and Commerce of the Roman Empire- Rawlinson, Intercourse between India and the Western World []
  3. Nau, La Didascalie des Douze Apotres, Paris, 1912, p. 230. []
  4. Phillips, Doctrine of Addai, 5; Eusebius, H.E., I., xiii., 4, 11; II., i. 6. []
  5. The Edessene tradition is that this Church was built by Addai. If the tradition is true, its date was about A.D.95. []
  6. Harnack, Mission and Expansion, II., 86. []

Author: NSC- Admin

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111 Comments

  1. Hi

    I understand from the Acts of Thomas that Jesus himself sent St.Thomas to Kerala, India, after the event of Crucifixion.

    Four Catholic Gospels were not written yet. What written Gospel he brought to Kerala to read to the Jews and the coverted Jewish Christian?

    I love Jesus

    Thanks

    I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim

    Post a Reply
  2. Thomas Didymus (the Twin) aka Judas Thomas or Jude Thomas

    Grand traveller, seen everywhere from Parthia to Kerala in south India. 4th century invention, appropriately enough, gives this ‘twin’ 2 martyrdoms, one in Persia and one in India. He even gets a burial in Syria to boot! Yet another resting place, Mylapore, was claimed by the Portuguese in 16th century. Most famous for his “doubt”, Thomas inspired a whole raft of pious flimflam: the Acts of Thomas (he built a palace for an Indian king, would you believe), the Apocalypse of Thomas, the Gospel of Thomas, and the Infant Gospel of Thomas.

    Now, have you still got any doubts …?

    Post a Reply
  3. Dear RF/ DJ/BG/ Anna

    Kindly stick to one avatar. There will not be any encouragement for multiple proxies. It has been mentioned many times that you have some serious problems in understanding early Christianity. Your posts were mostly the results of reading BS propaganda put in some pariwar websites. Kindly read useful studies and quell your ignorance or hatred or what ever you seem to possess

    Post a Reply
  4. Admin,

    If I remember correctly, I have posted only 2-3 comments on this site. I have been an occasional visitor on this site and I have learnt a few things and enjoyed the debates… although as a Nasrani woman I must say I have been rather disturbed by the recent trend of name calling and harshness towards visitors who disagree with certain points of view. Surely its possible (it’s certainly christian) to disagree without being rude.

    The second thing I’d like to say is that I was shocked to read your comment addressed to me. Proxy? Avatar? What do you mean? You are mistaken. Being an irregular visitor here I do not remember any of these other people except BG (whose perspective on things I do not agree with, but whose “style” of unkind personal attacks is now being emulated by some on this site).

    In any case I am no fan of “pariwar” ideology whatever that is… could you be more specific and kindly point out why you jumped to such a conclusion. I don’t think I wrote anything controversial… for one thing my knowledge of our history is rather limited, so I would hesitate to write anything controversial in case I get “torn to bits” by those more knowledgeable. I suspect that in future only about 3-4 “well informed” persons will be tolerated on this site.

    I would suggest that you read my comments once again (as well as those of the others you mentioned)… and decide for yourself if there is any commonality either in the language or ideas that would justify you remarks. Since I have been “picked out” I think am within my rights to ask that you justify your statement.

    Post a Reply
  5. Regarding getting “torn to bits”, being rude, name calling, etc.

    I want to reply because I’m often blunt in some of my responses.

    Many aspects of Nasrani history are either:
    1. well known, documented, and substantiated by clear evidence
    2. unknown, lacking clear evidence or documentation

    As for (1), unfortunately most of this stuff is documented in obscure journal articles and various scholarly publications spanning the last four centuries. And much of it is documented in various even harder-to-get publications, such as personal journals, travelogues, etc. So, although our history is well-known (the last four centuries are very well known, before that it’s still relatively well known), the general populace suffers from ignorance because nothing’s been written down properly in a popular publication.

    Rather, popular publications on our history are often $#@%ing ridiculous propaganda pieces by various partisan Church “scholars” from India. Hardly useful. Instead, it breeds mass ignorance and false teachings. Now we have to add to this is mass of fools from the West — evangelical and “gnostic” — who are putting their own spin on “Thomasine” Christianity. And then there are Indian “nationalists” who are putting their own ethnic spin on things, which further creates this mystique concerning the Nasranis. And the problem with such “mystiques” is that their are open to interpretation.

    So when someone moseys onto this site and asks questions, I think people are generally very polite and willing to provide some answers and pointers. But when someone comes here and starts spewing “information” that is clearly wrong (that is, it contradicts information that we already have a good deal of certainty about), without regard for sources, then a harsh reply will often result. At least, that’s my way of doing things… there’s no need to entertain conspiracy theories. Adam, for example, came here first asking about the Nasranis, and soon started to dictate his opinion on who we are and what our faith is. And that dictation came without any understanding of Syriac history, Eastern Christian history, etc. Just pure propaganda from various evangelical websites. Varghese Paul started talking about first century Christianity, freedom from Hellenic thought, and the CoE — without knowing very much about either. Jeevan Philip speaks drivel that is totally divorced from reality. And others try to hawk some notion of Jewish Christianity, equating it, or relating it to SYRIAC Christianity, not realizing how the two are quite different (Jew v. Gentile, to put it simply).

    Much of this info is, I admit, hard to find. But it’s not impossible. I’ve mentioned http://www.archive.org more than a few times, and ditto for Sebastian Brock, and ditto for Christopher Buck — much of this is freely downloadable.

    Who needs distortion?

    History is history. But it seems some Nasranis and vested interests are resorting to the tried-and-true Nazi-esque techniques of repeating a lie often enough to make it truth. That certainly is the case with so-called “Knanaya” history, and it is also infecting the Nasranis (again with this Jewish Christian garbage). This is wrong, and it should be countered.

    If someone could provide evidence and a source for their “hypotheses” there would be no conflict. But generally that is not what happens, with the predictable result of getting torn to bits…

    Post a Reply
  6. Dear Admin
    “Serious problems in understanding early Christianity”
    To start with I am not worried about your proxy and avatars, that’s your juvenile concerns.

    I am not sure whether you are a priest or a holy man offering yourself as apostle of truth and divine wisdom. Having said so I will not take on board any third world Indians (including myself) using gears to upgrade themselves to an elite class and spit on other castes and religions in the name of learning history. Take a mirror and look at yourself, you too look like any other ugly Malayalee.

    There is no doubt that you are one among the narrow Nasranis who subscribe to AD52 and Namboodiri conversions, even then I am making an attempt. I think we should start from origin of Christianity rather than meddle with second hand information from early travellers to south India. If you crack open your superstitiously nurtured theocracy shelter and want to really study early Christianity, you should start with, radical recasting of Judaism, egalitarian purists, Essenes, esoteric Ophites and throw some light on Paul, Clement, Barnabas, Papias, valentinus, Marcion and their teachings. Do some researches dude!

    Post a Reply
  7. Dear BG/RF

    Please don’t flatter me with your salutation. I am just the administrator of the site, who knows who posts from where !

    You really need some help in understanding the topics we discuss. There is nothing wrong in not gaining knowledge. Man, for centuries has lived with out worrying about history or future. In case if you want to share expert opinions, please do read up and come back. If you don’t know how to behave properly, all your avatars irrespective of the nick name you choose will be redirected to spam.

    Also please understand that there are tracking mechanisms and you do reveal a lot of information. Try to be little careful when you play around in other forums, while whiling away time in government offices.

    Post a Reply
  8. Dear Anna

    I don’t have any mechanism to verify that the posts are indeed from the same person. After there were some posts impersonating regular commentators names by some, I have been careful to verify the posts of regular commentators by making sure that they are indeed from them.

    There were other posts again from these quarters in the name of non-regular commentators. Some times, they were trying to impersonate other commentators in different names etc. This is what seems to have happened with your comments. The reason why I used your name in post – 16581, is because there were posts from the same individual in all these names. ( RF/BG who posted -16527 made a post-9690 with your name ).

    DJ is also another avatar of BG, but this is used by some other people also. I do have more information on all these, but don’t want to post this publicly. I hope that, all those who do this would stop this ludicrous behavior.

    As you know, your post -16693 went to spam and there can be a reason behind that. It can be because of an error or can be because you have used a proxy server. For sometime, I have been trying to redirect all proxy servers posting to Spam. Actually, your earlier posts also came from different IP’s and this can happen because of legitimate reasons.

    This may not be your fault. Some folks, who count themselves smart, do this because of a number of reasons and sometimes they are partially successful in adding to the confusion.

    We have no reason to discourage any new commentators from posting. No one is being harsh to any legitimate questions or new points the non regular participants’ raises. The problem arises due to the junk/nonsensical posts by some individuals who try to divert the discussion to their view of history.

    Post a Reply
  9. Admin,

    Thanks for clarifying. I am trying to locate post 9690… how can I do that?

    Anna

    Post a Reply
  10. Anna: It is in spam. It says – “Came to this site accidently.. Involved are fanatical individuals who are losers in life”

    Post a Reply
  11. Dear John Mathew

    I don’t think there is anything wrong in being blunt. In fact, you have also corrected me many times and based on my experience, it has been useful. There are a number of people who have told me very early that your posts are based on facts.

    There are no reason to take the “junks” which were written based on polemic and non sourced sources ( often misrepresentation and misquotations ) as difference of opinion. We are not discussing creativity as history. Some of the people who started by asking humble questions, later on went to teaching mode! They were showcasing their ignorance, effects of the polemic write ups and their problem of mixing such teachings with history.

    Like you mentioned, there are many sources about the history of the last four centuries. We have a problem, as these glimpse came in journals and are not accessible to common man. There are many descriptions of the four centuries published in Latin. Here the problem is in finding those and getting a proper translation.An average Nasrani doesn’t know about Sebastian Brock, Assemani, Giamil, Mingana etc. And the books he reads on an average doesn’t has any quotations from them. There is a change but still, we rely on polemic sources.

    Lets look at what an average person read and perceives,

    An average Orthodox/Jacobite get to know about the history based on the Church constitutions they have formulated in nineteenth and twentieth century from their periodicals and Sunday school books. An average MTC gets glimpses of how Malpan did reformation. There wont be any mention of history in the reformation accounts. Of course Sunday school books helps too !. He gets more on reformation from other evangelical periodicals. An average Catholic also uses Sunday school books to learn history. He also generally gets many BS about history from hundreds of publications. I am not denying that there are number good publications but these like Christian Orient are not in the reach of an average man.

    Let me share my experience,

    I was a very faithful reader of many responsible Catholic publications which has some circulation like Sathyadeepam, Assisi etc when I was a student in India. I can talk about my experience about the BS, I read in these publications.

    One good example is about the controversy on Manichaeism with Saint Thomas Cross. In Assisi, there was an article by PK Mathew saying that the Saint Thomas Cross is Manichean and not Christian. The source of his paper is his “original research” and in correct quotation about the translation and studies of AC Burnell.Then his so called “scholarly researches” came in Assisi, Sathyadeepam and many other Catholic periodicals in 1991,1992 period.Then there was another great expert who writes in many periodicals, one K Luke who certified later that PK Mathew’s findings are of “genuine scholarship”.

    It took me years to understand that these folks and these publications were airing BS. It was only after many years I got to read what T Kariyilakkulam has written about these theories put forward by PK Mathew and K Luke in Sathyadeepam and Assisi. As I understood, this PK Mathew when he translated AS Burnell’s interpretation on the inscription in the Crosses to Malayalam changed the words to suit his theory. In short, he changed AC Burnel’s interpretation to prove his theories and he based AC Burnel to accuse Manichaeism.

    Only recently I was able to read “AC Burnell”. In “ On some Pahlavi Inscriptions in South India” A C Burnell writes, “ This statement ( the (inscription) appears to be intended to contradict the Manichean doctrine that the crucified Messiah was the son of a poor widow, and not Jesus. If the Pahlavi inscriptions were Manichean, they would be in a different character”.

    It again took some time to read, about different translations and what Gouvea mentions about these crosses in his Sixteenth century book. This is the story of what an average person perceives. Most of the information are distorted and then presented to confuse the people. Here, we need to keep in mind that Assisi, Sathyadeepam are very respected publications and the people who are behind are also well known scholars. There is no reason to believe that they have not read A C Burnell. It is just that they know that the common man has not read any of these and any “distortion” is possible. Some of the polemic books which are published in Malayalam has many in correct quotations. Again, the local documents written about history in 18th and 19th century has many distortions. There are so many claims which has no basis.

    There are many good materials and scholarly studies on our history and the problem is we don’t even know what are they. We have been so used to reading “ junk” by PK Mathew, K Luke and alike and continue to create the same confusion on various topics such as “Jewishness”.

    I completely agree with you that all the distortions need to be countered and garbage need to be clearly marked .It might be a difficult task to get many of the details but its not impossible if we continue to look at different sources with a critical eye.

    Post a Reply
  12. Hi admin
    With few active members it’s just like a piece of cake to track info. You are wrong again and you are doing exactly what you do with history, presuming and exaggerating. But this is an interesting place, especially John and Jeevan speaking in depth, Jeevan being more into the practical side.

    BTW I may be in a wrong place, I am searching the root of Christianity and Thomas and his Christians are sub problems… I am not from the parivar, but if there is some truth, I do want to appreciate it.

    It’s so pitiable that you can’t even distinguish between flatter and insult…

    Post a Reply
  13. RF/BG

    Its good that you realized your folly and for the first time changed your IP address. Rest of your post doesn’t deserve a reply. I have already told you to be careful while whiling away time in government offices.

    Post a Reply
  14. Response to views of respected participants regarding – gene testing( J, K etc ) , idea that Syria and
    ———————————————————————————————————————————————-
    Persia did not have Jews , knowledge about Jewish Diaspora etc.
    ——————————————————————————————

    Studies ( both social sciences and natural sciences ) have shown that since time immemorial people have migrated and inter-married. So how can there be single pure race ? But certain groups of people may exibit prominent features of a certain type of people. All men are equal in the eyes of – God ( as per Bible ) and Man ( Human Rights Charter ). So there is no need of a feeling of superiority or inferiority – especially in this era of knowledge which has a far greater degree of migration and inter marriage.
    So the service of this website must be seen as a healthy exercise to preserve and transmit our knowledge and memories of the past while ensuring that we respect each others traditions and view points.
    The history of Jewish diaspora which starts with sons of Noah – Ham , Shem and Yapheth . Though there are many studies on the Jewish diaspora there are still many areas which still remain hidden.
    The historical expose of “west asianmigrantsthulasserymanapurathu.org” – and comments of Mr Mathews Pathisseril are academically worth .While mentioning the migration of a family of West Asians to Kollam in the 9th century A.D. led by the family elder Mar Sabore they have been bold not to claim racial superiority or racial purity – as they acknowledge their intermarriage with Kerala Syrian Christians and integrating with the new community and its customs . The good times and bad times during which they endured defeats and subsequent migration are lucidly expressed.
    Studies show that in the first few centuries of the Christian era in West Asia /Mediterranean region , as Christians were small in number Persians , Jews , Greeks ,Romans and Armenians who were the first to adopt Christianity intermarried each other . This view is supported by John C England in his book ‘Hidden history of Christianity in Asia’ .

    “The foundation of Eastern Churches ,beginning in the last decades of first century was formed amongst Aramaic and Syriac speaking communities of Syria and Mesopotamia…Christian communities were already well established by 4th and 5th centuries in Armenia( first proclaimed Christian state) ,Arabia and Khurasan (Northeast Persia)….Chritianity thus became a significant minority within pesian empire ,comprising largely of West Syrians, Sogdians(Turks) and Greeks .deported from Roman provinces…”8

    We have another instance of intermarriage in the ancient West Asian Christians in the case of Timothy whose father was a Greek Christian and mother a Jewish Christian. 9

    The changing power equations between the Romans and the Persians who were alternately dominant during the period in west Asia / Mediterranean must have hastened the migratory tendency of the people .

    As its engraved on the Persian cross set up by Mar Sapor in Kadammatom Church that the place from which he migrated was Ninevah we can have a glance at the origin of Christianity in Ninevah. Ninevah has been part of Greater Syria, Persia, ybylonia the Greeks and the Romans in different periods of history .hence the people of this region wre a mixture of people from Syria, Persia, Babylonia ,Greece and Rome. In Ezra Chapters 9 and 10-15 .We find that during the time of exodus as some Jewish men from Juda and Benjamin tribes had children and wifes from non Jewish especially Assyrian tribes while they were in Ninevah( modern Mosul in Iraq) they did not return to Jerusalem eeven while given the freedom by emperor Cyrus 10 .The Assyarian Christians evolved from them.They used Aramia language. The Apostles Thomas, Bartholomew , and Thaddeus in 33 A.D established the Assyairan Church of the East in Eddessa. For the next 600 years the Assyrian Church was in a state of dormancy .But from the seventh century the Assyrian Church became active and by the end of the 12th century the Assyrian Church had spread from Syria to Mongolia, India, China , Japan , and Korea .It can be concluded from books and materials on the lost tribes of Israel that the Jews have their descendents in all continents from Europe( Ashkanizim), Asia and North African nations and they live either knowingly or ignorant of their Jewish connection. Thus the Jewish culture is a cosmopolitan culture which accepts people of all races to intermarry and thus accepted diversity .

    Why and how Jewish roots have been lost?

    The ten of the original twelve Hebrew tribes, which, under the leadership of Joshua, took possession of Canaan, the Promised Land, after the death of Moses were Asher, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Issachar, Manasseh, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon, and Zebulun. In 930 BC while the 10 tribes formed the independent Kingdom of Israel in the north , the two other tribes, Judah and Benjamin,set up the Kingdom of Judah in the south.

    Following the conquest of the northern kingdom by the Assyrians in 721 BC, the 10 tribes were gradually assimilated by other peoples and thus disappeared from history. Peoples who at various times were said to be descendants of the lost tribes include the Nestorians, the Mormons, the Afghans, the Falashas of Ethiopia, some tribes of the American Indians and some groups of people in Japanese etc. . The ancestry of King Arthur of England is traced to Joseph of Aramethea . While some aristocratic and ruling families in trace their Jewish ancestry , the Celts of Scotland also are considered to be part of the lost Jewish tribe.

    But the tribes of Judah and Benjamin survived as Jews because they were allowed to return to their homeland after the Babylonian Exile of 586 BC. 11

    All these shows that since early history the Jews or Semitic people were one of the earliest races to marry with other races of the world. No wonder the large number of Jewish diaspora around the world . But it remains a sad fact that many tribes of the Jews have been lost either due to lack of transmission and preservation of knowledge, or due to lack of proper communication and lack of proper documentation .It can also be inferred that due to the cultural reasons and adverse political and social conditions the Jews had to face they either ignored or did not reveal their Jewish roots. So they might have claimed to be part of something else or just said they were ignorant of their ancestry. As the bulk of people with Jewish ancestry who kept silent about it were traders in order to identify with the rest of the top notch in the society they claimed ignorance of their ancestry.

    ——————————————————————————–

    References

    8. England,C.John.The Hidden History of Christianity ,P.15

    9. Holy Bible,Acts of Apostles 16:1

    10. Hoy Bible,Ezra Chapters 9 and 10-15

    11. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2003 deluxe edition CD ROM

    Cross Reference

    Lexicon Results for Cham (Strong’s 02526)
    Lexicon Results for Shem (Strong’s 08035)
    Lexicon Results for Yepheth (Strong’s 03315)
    After the Flood Bill Cooper, 1995.
    Jews in Central Africa Irwin M. Berg, 2003.
    Havila and the Tutsi Hebrews
    Hebraic Traditions of the Batutsi
    Antiquities of the Jews – Book I
    Die Chronik des Hippolytus
    Etymologies of Isidore, English translation
    Seth in Jewish, Christian, and Gnostic Literature p. 54
    S.P. Brock notes that the earliest Greek texts of Pseudo-Methodius read Moneton, while the Syriac versions have Ionţon (Armenian Apocrypha, p. 117)
    Looking for Jonitus by C.J. Verduin
    Travels of Noah into Europe

    Post a Reply
  15. RE: “Student of History”

    You started off writing about the Syriac Church, and ended up talking about lost tribes. This is a basic indication that you have serious gaps in your understanding of issues.

    Please get this through your head:
    a) The Syriac peoples are *not* Jews.
    b) Aramaic is not a Jewish language.
    c) Jews are Semites. Syriacs are Semites. But Jews are not Syriacs, and Syriacs are not Jews.

    You wrote:
    1. “The history of Jewish diaspora which starts with sons of Noah – Ham , Shem and Yapheth.”

    No. Noah is not viewed as the father of the Jews. The Jewish people start with *Jacob.* Noah is a (legendary) father of humanity, not just of the Jews. Read your Bible again.

    2. “The historical expose of “west asianmigrantsthulasserymanapurathu.org” – and comments of Mr Mathews Pathisseril are academically worth.”

    The site is interesting, and finally sheds some light on the Kollam Nasranis. However, it is *far* from being scholarly. By no means! The story has numerous holes and gaps. But at the same time, you’re right, they don’t disintegrate into the Southist “separation” complex. Even though the Kollam migrants have far more substantiation of their migration, than the Southist myths.

    Also, to be clear: this family is only *one* of many families in Kollam that claim to come from the 10th century migration. Kallada Muthulalys is another. And if you go to Kollam, Kallada, etc., you’ll probably find more.

    3. “For the next 600 years the Assyrian Church was in a state of dormancy ”

    Are you kidding? The first 1000 years of that Church was highly active. Perhaps you should forgo England’s ridiculous “hidden” history and read some more established history … start with Brock.

    4. “It can be concluded from books and materials on the lost tribes of Israel that the Jews have their descendents in all continents from Europe”

    This has *nothing* to do with Syriac Christians. Syriac Christians are not Jews.

    5. “Thus the Jewish culture is a cosmopolitan culture which accepts people of all races to intermarry and thus accepted diversity .”

    What are you talking about? Jewish culture is the opposite of cosmopolitan. You need to study it some more — the Jews pride themselves on being genetically continuous with Jacob.

    6. “Peoples who at various times were said to be descendants of the lost tribes…”

    Okay, now you’ve shown yourself to be a student of *mythology* and not *history*. Some of the garbage you’ve written is basically a form of British Israelism, which is a racist, fascist version of Protestantism. It is not history but an attempt by anti-Semitic British Protestants to retain their adherence to Christianity, while denying its Semitic origins. Basically, those fools claimed that the “true” Israelites were the British, and the current “Jews” are merely converts to Judaism (e.g., Khazars).

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  16. Dear John Mathew,
    i have heard knanaya told me that they are related to palastine. It like they confused themselves like that. sometimes they say we even have the blood of jesus christ. Some of them say themselves that they are from syria. so it is like in their own community they also have this confusions. but i am thinking some of us feel jewish decendnets because they are marthoma chrisitans and they are the decendent of converted jews by st thomas.Also i heard from a documentry a historian says nasranis are related to a decendent from nazareth. but not specifically related to later immigrated knanaya thomen group or mar sabor iso and mar proth group. I am also thinking in the NSC article says we got the lost aramaic bible. and i read in a couple of other family history book from different house say not they are jewish instead st thomas time st thomas converted a lot of jewish merchant. and does talks about the presence of jewish or israelites presence in kerala that time. but stll that family history noted as brahimn converted.But i was thinking that in when the jews or israeites accepted jesus christ and also in syrian or other places evengalized by apostile might have got combined sort of like jewish christians.

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  17. Respected brethren ,

    Dont you thing that the first century Christians in West Asia were a mixture of Jews, Syriacs , Persians, Greeks . The Holy Bible itself gives instances of intermarriage in the ancient West Asian Christians – especially the case of Timothy whose father was a Greek Christian and mother a Jewish Christian.
    Lets not just start blaming each other and making accusation by mentioning – Racism / British Protestantism etc .
    Rather lets be children of God – fellow brethren – by helping , forgiving , respecting each other
    In the midst of all kinds of struggles lets pray for peace within us and in the world and be messengers of peace.
    Shalom / Shanthi / Shlomo / Salam .

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  18. It is a fact that Messianic Jews – have had relations with people of other races / communites . So that is why I wrote that they developed a cosmopolitan outlook . You seem to have some confusion between genetics and culture over here. Accepting a foriegn culture does not have anything with genetical continuity.( your comment – the Jews pride themselves on being genetically continuous with Jacob.)
    I agree with you it will be very difficult to find a genetically pure Jewish Christian as it is a fact that they would have married from outside thier community.

    These new people cannot exactly said to be Jews and I agre with you on that . But they had traces of Jewish heritage in them – be it Syrian or Greek . With Christ the difference between Jew and Gentile is a thng of the past.
    All Semitic religions and history have a special place for Noah You can accept it or not . but I never mentioned that Noah as founder of Jewish people ( I shall not waste any space telling about the Jacob – Jewish history ) .
    Certain Churches were more / less active when compared to other Churches of the period.
    many people have lost our exact roots like wise it is an accepted fact that certain Jewish tribes have been lost ( refer Assyrian history – Hoy Bible,Ezra Chapters 9 and 10-15 ). I believe the motivating force behind of this website – is the urge to know about our past which can be either hidden or lost .
    It is a fact that we have all lost many of our heritage and family tribes and it is near impossible to construct an exact family tree of 30 generations without any missing links . (And these missing links are lost tribes within the families of you and me )

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  19. I want to make a clarification that, we are not seeing any “content” in this Jewish heritage hypothesis and the repeated talks on this subject. These are misrepresentations about Christianity in Persia and India. These ‘comments’ are on the same line, which is generally used to divert the discussions. We have examined these in detail, and the “Judeo Christian “ idea is a misnomer. There may have been some Jews who converted to Christianity. I have started correcting the old articles and will continue to do so. It make no sense to continue the “heart talk”, “Messianic Jews” etc in the pretext of Thomas Christians, as these seem to be the interests of cultist affinity which has no relation to Thomasine history.

    If the interest is in Kerala Christianity, one has to consider the Apostates of Thomas in India, what makes you to think that the Apostle indeed came to South India, the early situation of Kerala. There are no concrete evidences or documents that Jews were in Kerala in earlier centuries, on the contrary there are some evidences that Greeks, Romans were here. The early Kerala was not just about Greeks, Romans or Jews. Many indigenous tribes also lived here. The Christian community in Kerala was not a stagnet community established by the Apostle Thomas. All the Bishops pre – sixteenth century including, Bishop David, Thomas of Cana/ Mar Sabrisho and Mar Piruz did evangelization in India. We does have many evidences of what has been done by last Chaldeans in the evangelization front. The local tradition recorded by Portuguese also says that the earlier prelates did evangelization and converted many heathens.

    What flourished in India from beginning is Syriac Christianity and this is not a cult Christianity or Jewish Christianity. There are many documents available about early Persian Christianity. Please rely on scholars work if interested.

    By AD 225, there were more than twenty Bishoprics in North Mesopotamia and in Persia. ( See- History of Mshiha – Zkha by Mingana ).

    Large numbers of the converts were from Zoroastrianism, Shamanism and the various cults in Mesopotamia.

    “ It is not sufficiently realized by modern scholars that the immense majority of the members of the Nestorian Church living east of the Tigris were of Persian, and not Semitic or Aramean birth and extraction. Many were born of Christian parents who originally belonging to the Zoroastrianin faith, and many others were only themselves converts from Zoroastrianism.”

    Mingana , Page 300- “Early Spread of Christianity in Central Asia and Far East”

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  20. Yes, the *Persian* element in Persian Christianity is often overlooked, especially now that the Church of the East and the Chaldeans have lost their heterogeneous makeup (apart from the Indians) and have withdrawn into ethnocentricity (the “Assyrian Church of the East” being a shameful renaming of what was once a multicultural Church).

    In addition to Mingana and Brock, let me also add one more resource (yet again): Dr. Christopher Buck.

    His article “How Persian was Persian Christianity” offers some deeper insight into the Persian side of East Syriac Christianity.

    Get it here: http://christopherbuck.com/Buck_PDFs/Buck_Persian_Christian_1996.pdf

    Once again, the Persian side of our heritage should be better explored for a variety of reasons and here they are:
    0. The *only* ancient non-Indian language that we have evidence of in Kerala that was used by our Christian ancestors is PAHLAVI. Not Syriac, not Hebrew, not another form of Aramaic. But Pahlavi, the Indo-Aryan language of our Persian brothers.
    1. The Church in Kerala used to be administered (for part of our history) by the Metropolitans of Fars.
    2. There are documented reports of Patriarchs authorizing intermarriage of Persian Christians and Indians.
    3. The Copper Cheppads seem to have Persian names in addition to Arabic and Hebrew names.

    That is, there is much evidence of our connections with the Persians. Yet for the last few centuries, we’ve amplified our Syriac connections (which are important and are certainly well documented for the last several centuries or so) and — most recently — purported Jewish connections (which are not documented at all; rather, they are often the product of romantic, Bible-inspired creative writing).

    Let’s look at something that actually has factual evidence…

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  21. I am a skeptical Kna. That is, I do not subscribe to the “purity” notion upheld by the Kna; nor do I support endogamy in that I do not believe this was the case with this community, especially since the early part of their purported arrival in Kudangalloor in 345 CE.

    I have seen some very fact based postings from a John Matthew and the Admin. Since I’m new to this website, could you either post some relevant discussions on these topics, i.e., Jewish origin vs local conversion of this group (at least in part) and the misnomer that the practice of endogamy is, or direct me to the relevant postings that I may browse for my own education on these topics.

    Thank you.
    Cyril Abraham

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  22. Cyril:

    There was one post on the “Southist” thread on NSC in which someone mentioned a doctoral dissertation on the topic of Southist history. Try to search NSC to see if you can find it (if not, I’ll look around to see if I have the citation).

    It’s in German, so you’ll probably have to use a translator (e.g., translate.google.com) if you don’t speak that language. But since it’s a thesis at a proper university (if I recall correctly), it will have been refereed by a committee of scholars, and it will — at the very least — have a good set of references.

    There’s also a few papers on this topic; I think I’ve cited these papers here on NSC too, most likely in the “Southist” thread.

    Good luck to you! I’m interested in learning what you discover, especially with a healthy (i.e., skeptical) mind at your disposal. I’m personally sick of the pro- and anti- stories concocted by the various idiots who seem more interested in distortion than history (that goes for both communities), and would like to learn the proper history of your community, since they are a distinct community.

    One second …

    Okay here are the references:

    page:
    http://nasrani.net/2007/02/17/historical-references-about-southist-community-tekkumbhagar-knanaya/

    post:
    Post 15337 by Easo Pothen

    thesis:
    http://archiv.ub.uni-marburg.de/diss/z2000/0392/
    http://archiv.ub.uni-marburg.de/diss/z2000/0392/pdf/dkn.pdf

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  23. Dear All & John Mathew,

    Persian Christianity is very much related to us than Syriac Christianity, atleast in the early centuries. Though we have documented evidences of our ‘Syriac’ heritage, it begins only after 400 AD or so. Till then the Persian church and Persian Christians were the ones with which Kerala Nasranis had relations with (as described earlier). And it also continued down the centuries, a classical evidence of which is provided by the 9th cent. AD Mar Sabor and Proth migrant wave of Christians from the Persian empire. The strongest evidence is the Pahlavi language on the stone cross, a language that originated in northwest regions of Persia (North Iran-Iraq and Armenia).

    The above Persian link is again supported by genetic results of our community wherein the R2 (strongly linked with Zoroastrians, almost half of the Zoroastrians today are tested to belong to R2 haplogroup) and possibly some of the H and R1a1 (the non-Ashkenazi Levite matching samples) haplogroup results are indicators. H haplogroup originated and is shared by the Indo-Aryan and Indo-Persian communities in and around the adjoining regions of extreme northwest India-Pakistan(NWFP)-Afghanistan-Iran. This was exactly the seat of Vedic civilization and Zoroastrianism. Also the precise place of the Indo-Parthian King Gondophares’s kingdom as read in ancient Nasrani history (which has been archeaologically proven). This was also the region where Thomas is believed/said to have evangelized before coming down to Malabar or India proper (outside the Persian empire).

    Well what is interesting is the sudden shift from the Persian Church and Pahlavi language to Syriac Christianity and Syriac language after 400 AD or so. What could be the reasons for this shift and downplaying of the Persian link ?

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  24. Dear administrator ,
    Keep up the good work you are engaged in !!
    I would like to know if the discussion on this website has helped in –
    (1) Finding or locating common ancestors – lost family branches ?
    (2) Unification of families with common heritage like the – westasianmigrantsthulasserymanapurathu and kalladamuthalaly which are two families with west asian heritage and who do not claim Southist heritage ( As you have mentioned in an earlier discussion . ) ?

    Are most / majority of Syrian Christian families in Kerala on the side of the Southist history claiming to be of Namboothiri descent ?

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  25. Student of history:

    To be clear, although Kallada Muthulaly and Thulassery claim West Asian descent, these are not the only ones. From many posts on this website and from the Syrian Christian DNA project, it is apparent that the Nasranis in general have connections to West Asia (e.g., all the J2 reports, etc.; see Jackson’s comments for the best analysis of these reports on this site). It may be that those two families, though, may be two of the most recent immigrations (barring the very recent Syriac immigrations that occurred in the last four centuries; e.g., Mar Andrews and his family, Mar Coorilos Yuhakim and his family; Tholani kunnel — all of whom came post-1600s) were the ancestors of Muthulaly and Thulassery.

    Also, just to dispel any possible confusion from your comment (addressed to Admin, but talking about something I mentioned), I am not Admin.

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  26. Jackson:

    Two points:

    1. You wrote:
    “Well what is interesting is the sudden shift from the Persian Church and Pahlavi language to Syriac Christianity and Syriac language after 400 AD or so. What could be the reasons for this shift and downplaying of the Persian link ?”

    I don’t know where the 400 AD date comes from, could you explain?

    The oldest monument to Christianity we have in Kerala seems to be the Persian Crosses (with Pahlavi inscriptions), and these are supposedly dated to the 7-10th centuries (ref: A.C. Burnell).

    I think the shift away from our Persian compadres in Fars is basically due to the Islamic conquest of Iran. You can read letters from Patriarchs to the Metropolitans of Fars over the post-7th century years which chronicle the challenges the East Syriac Church faced back then. Fars was supposedly hard-hit by the Islamic conquest, and fell easily. So, my guess is, afterwards, we started to communicate directly with the East Syriac Patriarchs.

    2. Regarding genetics.
    There are a couple of Persian-connected communities in India.
    a) of course, the Zoroastrian Parsis
    b) the Nasranis
    c) according to some, the Pallava dynasty that ruled South India for a while

    Is R2 a common denominator amongst the 3 groups? Is R2 found in the descendants of the Pallavas in India?

    J2 explains our connections with West Asians (Syriac peoples, and possibly Jews).

    R2 perhaps explains our connections with the Persians. Are there any stats on the relative frequency of R2 vs J2 amongst the Syrian Christians?

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  27. Dear John Mathew,

    Regarding the 4th-5th cent. AD comment I made on ties between India/Malabar and the Persian Christians:

    There are a couple of documented historical sources that mention this fact. I read the same very clearly (and many times over and over again as it caught my attention) in Bosco Puthur’s (editor) book titled “St. Thomas Christians and Nambudiris, Jews and Sangam Literature”. I have a personal copy of this book which I left back in India, and unfortunately cannot give u exact citations since I’m not there (as u can see). But it mentions relations between Persian Christian traders and Malabar and the spices trade link with Malabar Christians and related things, etc.

    I had written a book review on this book on NSC sometime back. The first two or three chapters mention about documented and historical references on Kerala and general Thomasine history (no “stories”) pre-9th cent. AD and the period I mentioned.

    http://nasrani.net/2008/07/26/st-thomas-christians-and-nambudiris-jews-and-sangam-literature-a-historical-appraisal-bosco-puthur-editor/

    On the genetics part of your doubts:

    R2 has been detected in a couple of communities in India which possibly are overlapping with the three communities u mentioned.

    1). Zoroastrian Parsis: Yes, as I said earlier more than half of them tested I read in papers, belong to R2 haplogroup.

    2). Nasranis: 5 of the total samples among the Nasrani database are R2 so far and unrelated to the Indian type of R2′s. And that number is significant enough.

    3). Besides the above two communities, R2 has been found in communities from regions in Andhra Pradesh and North Tamil Nadu, (south) eastern India. This is the exact place where the Pallava dynasty ruled. One cannot hypothesize a clear link but there may be a relation as it appears now. Also R2 is almost absent or extremely rare in rest of India, except in a Chitpavan Brahmin from Maharashtra.

    4). R2 is also common among Armenians and also found in Iran and Ashkenazi Jews. And Armenia was a part of the Persian empire then.

    From the above, the Persian/Parthian connection appears to be a common ground. Well, J2 samples in our project are 1/3 rd of the total which is high (frequency).

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  28. Jackson, do you have the similar stats of R2 vs J2 amongst the Knanya? Thanks

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  29. Jackson:

    Thanks for the genetic info.

    I wasn’t doubting that the Persians were in Malabar in the 4th century. I’m doubting that the shift to Syriac occurred that early. Since the use of Pahlavi extends up to the 7-10th centuries (ref: the various Pahlavi Cross dating), the shift to Syriac (as opposed to Pahlavi) probably occurred later than the 4th.

    The letters of a East Syriac Patriarch authorizing Persian/Indian intermarriage was from the 7th I believe. I posted the cite somewhere here on NSC.

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  30. Jackson:

    It would be interesting to understand the geographical distribution of Nasrani R2.

    Perhaps J2 (the Semitic indicator) is concentrated about Kunnamkulam, and R2 (the Persian indicator) is concentrated about Kollam?

    Also can you draw any hypothetical conclusions based on the relative frequency of J2, R2, and L, concerning the timing and/or size of the various immigrations?

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  31. Hi Jackson and John,

    I have noted that both of yours arrival, pretty long back, to this site made the discussions very lively. Jackson’s scientific knowledge and John Mathew’s (a compliment to you: I really admired you and even DREAMT about you a few times. It was surprising to me that a present generation professional -not a person in religious vocation- can have such a profound understanding/reading) historical approaches indeed even forced, of late, to change the ‘anonymous administrator’ considerably. Because of Jackson’s persuasive arguments I also started believing that we are BASICALLY Jewish in origin. This further proves that St. Thomas indeed came here: since Jesus has only JEWS in his mind (pardon me), and Thomas was only interested in them. BTW, as one can imagine, a new religion cannot simply be accepted by the people unless they have some familiarity with that. The argument that natives were converted is hence less likely as for them the new religion was simply not understandable and could not be trusted (but awesome miracles of Thomas could force some to accept the claim on Messiah). Also, at that time race was of paramount importance and people rarely mix. Nor they trust each other.

    Despite all these, when you look around you see that we are not much different, appearance wise, from others in Kerala. (Clearly, we do not have many other genes of middle easterners). What did cause this? The Catholicism and mass conversion of natives in the missionary era might caused the mixing of native genes in us. Can this change our appearance as we are now in 6-7 centuries, Jackson? We may still have Y chromosome evidence of our paternal ancestry for many but for various social economic reasons, and its change over generation (munpanmar pinpanamarum, pinpanmar munpanamarum) -which are not as simple as imagined by kids like us (Jackson and me),- often forces people to forget the ancestry and go away and later come back to the fold. Further, the latest, at least one example of J2 in Knanaya support the ancient tradition that both Thekkan’s and Nazarenes are indeed children of one Thomas who arrived BEFORE St. Thomas. And as per popular opinion Thekkans were illegitimate (pardon me). Also, please accept that the said Thomas had at least one concubine (he was not a catholic after all!).

    In my opinion any explanation without invoking race/clan in religion at older times was wrong. Religion was a private property in earlier times, the time when people really feared God and elders, and people were ignorant and less experienced.

    Having said all these, a person who trust in God, is not supposed to look back and feel inferior. He should only long and search for solace and believe only in things which give him solace. True religious people believe that in front of God all are equal: and that explains the apparent success of Catholic as a religious entity (and the mixing of genes).

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  32. i got some r2 informations..and it is a good one those who think and claim r2s are only in india.r2

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  33. Some Rambling:

    You wrote: “Because of Jackson’s persuasive arguments I also started believing that we are BASICALLY Jewish in origin. This further proves that St. Thomas indeed came here: since Jesus has only JEWS in his mind (pardon me), and Thomas was only interested in them. BTW, as one can imagine, a new religion cannot simply be accepted by the people unless they have some familiarity with that.”

    I have a couple of responses to the above, split into parts below.

    Part A: That we were “basically” Jewish in origin.

    I understand that one may believe we have some Jewish ancestry and contribution to our genetic makeup. This is not controversial at all — since Jews are known to have been in Kerala — and is also supported by the genetics results that Jackson discusses and cites. However, I take exception to the belief that we are *basically* Jewish in origin.

    First, it downplays the contributions of the non-Jewish populations that also constitute our makeup, but (because they didn’t fall into the pure patriarchal or matriarchal lineages that these one-dimensional DNA tests provide) are obscured from view.

    Second, it’s hypothetical. As Jackson points out, J2 is a general Semitic marker, and although some Nasranis also exhibit some more specific “Jewish” markers, this is not general.

    Third, even the “Jewish” markers, only indicate distant ancestry—they do not indicate the religion or creed of the people that immigrated. For example, the Pallavas, if we take the theory that they were of Parthian origin, came to India as Persians, but by the time they became the dynastic rulers of the south, we already Indianized — following Saivism and Hindu customs. Genes don’t indicate creed.

    Similarly, some of the “Jews” that came to Kerala may have actually been Syriac Christians. Or even pagans. The “Jewish DNA” in them does not indicate what creed they followed at the time they immigrated.

    Fourth, what remnant of Judaism do our people have? Even at the time of Diamper, or the first European witnesses of our community — what did those reports have to say? Basically, that we were Nestorians. No trace of Judaism, with the possible exception of our observance of Pesaha. Our oldest monuments — the Pahlavi Crosses — are undeniably *Christian*.

    Part B: Proof of St Thomas’ arrival.

    None of what you indicated constitutes proof of St Thomas’ arrival. And the idea that Christ only wanted to preach to the Jews is a distortion. You can read the Gospels to find indications to the contrary. And you can read Acts to see the makeup of people that made the early assembly in Jerusalem: Jews, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Ethiopians.

    This idea that Thomas came to India to preach to the Jews is a “meme” that seems to have been recently created by modern story-writers. This seems to be have been introduced to support the modern emphasis on the “Jewish Christian” myth of Malabar Nasranis — an emphasis that is without any merit since we were Syriac Christians for all of our recorded history, starting from Cosmas’ first reports on our community.

    Part C: On accepting new religions
    You wrote: “BTW, as one can imagine, a new religion cannot simply be accepted by the people unless they have some familiarity with that.”

    Really? So that’s why Greeks and Slavs and general European peoples converted to Christianity? Copts? Syrics? Zoroastrians? Or how about the conversion of non-Semitic cultures to Islam (e.g., the Zorastrians and Hindus of Iran and India)? And the conversion of Europeans and East Asians to Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.

    No. People have converted—across cultural boundaries—to new religions throughout history.

    It seems that people are relying on one myth to support another. If you look at the myth of the Jewish Christianity of Malabar Nasranis with a critical eye, and if you try to examine the evidence, you’ll see that this myth is founded on a set of mutually-interlocking stories, none of which have much evidence. The myth-writers are relying on the intellectual laziness of most people — few people actually go to dig up sources and examine supposed “facts”. Most just accept and absorb, with no filtering of BS.

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  34. Dear John Mathew,

    You wrote ‘…The myth-writers are relying on the intellectual laziness of most people..’

    Does it ever occur to you that the ‘myth makers’ you mentioned above is really you?

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  35. Dear John Mathew,

    When you deny the Jewishness of the ‘Malabar Nasrani’ you are denying blessings and salvation to the gentiles. Yeshu said ‘.. Salvation is from the Jews’ and Yahoweh said to Abraham ‘… through you, I will bless all nations..’.

    When you say that the Nasrani is Arabic or Aramian/ or Namboothiri or whatever other than a Yehudi, then you are in effect blocking the Divine Blessings to flow towards the gentiles.

    The stakes and the gravity involved seems beyond your limited understanding.

    Remember, that there is no substitue for a channel for the Divine Blessings to flow, save other than a Nasrani channel.

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  36. Alphy…. The ‘Southist’ samples have so far not shown any haplogroup but L (L1 and L3) which the Northists also have shown. And Cyril Abraham who recently posted saying he is a Southist and stating he has been tested to be J2, is the only Southist person I am aware of, so far, who is other than L.

    And yes, I would not equate the terms ‘Southist’ and ‘Knanaya’ for known and valid reasons which I’m not going into, now.

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  37. John Mathew:

    Spatial distribution of the haplogroup is not possible to conclude or hypothesize now as sample size is too small and most of the samples in the database are from the southern districts of Kottayam, Pathanamthitta.

    Well, if Im not wrong, all of the R2 samples are from outside Kollam, except for one. There is one R2 from Kollam but Im not sure. The remaining four R2 samples are from the above districts I mentioned.

    There are some J2′s from Thiruvalla area (but these families trace their origin back to Kodungaloor/Craganore). George Mathew is a J2 (J2a4h precisely) Cohen and his family is from Kattanam, Allepey dist (Right ?). The Manakalathil family which are J2 (J2a4h again) Cohens are from Thiruvalla. There are some J2 samples from up northern dists. also but Im unsure of the exact location.

    So J2 is pretty much spread out as it looks. R1a1 is similarly spread out. R2 is restricted so far to the southern dists. L again is from northern and southern dists. (both in Southists and Northists).

    The E3b sample is from Thrissur dist.

    There is one H sample from Ekm-Kochi and another one from Thrissur again (The latter is mine… My own paternal result is H haplogroup). There is a third H sample but I dont know where is it exactly from.
    H is also strongly linked to the Vedic Aryans and Indo-Persian empire in origin as I said earlier like R2 (more Persian).

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  38. John Mathew (and also of interest to George Mathew):

    “Similarly, some of the “Jews” that came to Kerala may have actually been Syriac Christians. Or even pagans. The “Jewish DNA” in them does not indicate what creed they followed at the time they immigrated.”

    I would like to comment on the above statement u made, from the J2 Cohen results we have got in our database.

    The J2 Cohens so far detected among us is believed in scientific circles, to be some of the oldest and rarest ‘Cohen type DNAs’ existing. While testing one’s sample for paternal origins, there is something called MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor) also that we get to know. That says how old or when did this Y-DNA (of a family) migrate to its present place and distributed into the various families. The J2 Cohen samples among us based on mutations and genetic distance have an MRCA which has been dated around 1000 BC. Now, since it’s a Cohen (Israelite priests in simpler terms) result and the time period the DNA dates to, when the various Cohen result showing families in our database had common ancestors, is about 1000 BC.

    This means the various Nasrani families today (some related and others unrelated, familialy) showing Cohen results are linked genetically thru’ “common genetic cousins/ancestors” who migrated here and then descendents branched out around 1000 BC and down the line. Now, this time era was precisely the era when Kind Solomon had trade relations with Malabar/India, as we read in the Bible and various unconfirmed historical sources from Indian and Kerala history.

    So for a Cohen DNA that arrived around that time in Malabar has to be that of a Israelite/Hebrew, as there was no Christianity then, let alone Syriac Christianity.

    (The Cohen/Aaronite Israelite priests then were neither Jews by religion nor was there Judaism, a structured religion that formed almost entirely post-Babylonian exile period, post-586 BC and rigidized into Pharisaic-Talmudic Halakhic Judaism we see today that shaped post 90 AD, after the destruction of second temple and Council of Jamnia).

    So the Cohen DNA possessing people (in start point origin) we see in our database when they arrived here were ‘Hebraic’ (no better term) by religion/creed (the date 1000 BC makes me say this, I may not be fully correct) retaining much of their early pagan and animistic practices. They were hardly so-called “Jewish”, And they were surely not Syriac Christians or any Christians for that matter then.

    Now besides the Cohens, there surely would have been (I cant think why only Aaronite priests must migrate here) other non-priestly “Jews” or Hebrews/Israelites who “might have” come as Christians in the AD migrations (with Syriac or Persian or whatever Church affiliation) from the middle-east, as u have commented.

    If we agree to this, it indirectly says that the church in the middle-east had/has Jewish/Hebrew converts in it (partly or whatever). Then again, the theory that Christians in the middle-eastern churches were/are mix of Jewish and Gentile (Assyrian, Persian, Aramean) converts is true. Contributions surely came from both the above groups and not just “Jewish Christianity”. So, that there was/is also a “Hebraic/Jewish” element (in whatever proportion), as there is the “Gentile” element, in the Syriac/Assyrian/Persian churches that trickled down to the Malabar Nasranis thru’ migrants down the centuries is not just hypothesis then.

    And yes, I cannot hypothesize on the migrations part and haplogroups now, as I said earlier. This would come from the project Admin only when we have had around 200 samples in the database which seems nowhere near as of now. Thanks.

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  39. Dear George Mathew,

    I wonder how come u forgot or left out to explain to John Mathew, how ur and other J2 Cohen results speak of its early arrival here. Bonnie and Katz had commented on this I suppose from their mails u had forwarded me. I guess Mr. Manakalathil had also stated the 1000 BC (approx.) date for ur DNAs (in origin and MRCA) and also that ur common ‘Cohen ancestor(s)’ was/were here then. And therefore couldnt be Christians, factually. Neither so-called “Jews” (if u have got what i meant earlier).

    Anyway… History and genetics combined together is really heady ! Even I get thrown out of gear sometimes :)

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  40. @ Some Ramblings,

    Hmmm… I have never ‘persuaded’ anybody to believe we are “BASICALLY Jewish” in origin or for that matter anything else. A percentage (which even a genetic test of say 200 or even 1000 samples cannot estimate in definite terms on paper for such a huge community) of the Nasrani community has Jewish/Hebraic links. So we must avoid using definitive terms like “basically”, “largely”, etc. is what I have been learning all these years.

    And coming to appearance, race, creed, religion and questions that mix up such issues:
    Your genes do not say what ur ancestor’s religion or creed was (beyond or after a certain time period). Even where it might say, it might do so for few samples which give clear and completely resolved results. Also, appearance…. Thats not just from genes. There is a list of other factors (internal and external) that determines the appearance and features of a particular community/person. Dont mix it up with “race” and things like that. The Syrian Christian DNA project has nothing to do with such issues on race and appearance.

    And factually/scientifically/historically/geographically speaking, there are only three races humankind is branched into- Caucasian, Negroid and Mongloid, which are migration based from common ancestors. Anything more than these is a myth and makes the term “race” derogatory. The various communities across the world are essentially a mixture of atleast two of the above races giving varied appearances and “combos”. Anything claimed on puritarian theories is non-existent, factually. Just google search this and u will get a library of info on this (take them with a pinch of salt though).

    Jackson

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  41. Re: 17267 (George Mathew)
    The primary reason that attracted me to the NSC site was the postings I came across from John Mathew and Jackson: I found a refreshing infusion of objectivity in their statements as emanating from research data (of both scientific and historical persuasions). To merely quote the Testaments which are an exercise in the fine art of convolutions and inconsistencies, hardly passes muster to counter research data. The last time I checked, the earth had begun its rotation around the sun again after the predicament Galileo found himself in. It is my sincere hope that this site does not fall prey to unfounded proclamations seeking legitimacy based on some presumed merit of blind faith.

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  42. Cyril, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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  43. Jackson:

    RE: Post : 17273

    Does the presence of the J2 Cohen marker in some Nasranis give the date of the arrival of Judaism in Kerala? I don’t think so, but I’m open to the contrary if you can provide some reasoning.

    To be sure:
    a) It is uncontroversial that there were likely Jews in Kerala at a very distant date.
    b) It is uncontroversial that Jews and Christians intermarried in Kerala as well, throughout the centuries.

    At the same time, it is also possible that the J2 Cohen results in Kerala stem from:
    i) Syriac Christians who migrated from the Middle East, AND
    ii) who were descended from Jews who converted to Syriac Christianity in the Middle East.

    For all of these Jewish DNA results, we should also temper that with the cultural and archeological evidence that exist pertaining to the Nasranis:
    1) our oldest monuments are Christian
    2) we don’t have very many purely Jewish customs (Pesaha is the only one, if that)

    So, doesn’t that at least provide small justification that our Jewish partial ancestors didn’t have a great deal of influence on our community’s religion? And before ignorant fanatics without a scholarly cell in their body like George start saying it was the Portuguese during their inquisition who stamped out Judaism, let’s remember that at Diamper, the reports indicate Nestorianism. And the European reports before that indicate some quasi-Christian quasi-pagan religion. And before that up to c5th century, we only hear of Nestorianism.

    The genetics results certainly provide some solace to people like George who have a Jewish bent, and who desperately want to be Jews, or Messianics, or whatever. It certainly does indicate that at least *one* of their distant ancestors were likely Jews.

    BUT IT DOES NOT indicate that the ancestor that came to India was a Jew. He might have been Christian. Or he might have been a pagan, or he might have been an atheist. Genes do not indicate the *religion* of all of one’s ancestors. One’s forefather might have been Aaron, but that doesn’t guarantee that all of his sons kept the faith (indeed, reading the Bible, one can find examples to the contrary). Some might have strayed… and some might have converted to Christianity, and then they might have migrated to Kerala. That is possible. It is as possible as the stories to the contrary.

    You cited a date of 1000 BC for the arrival of Jews in Kerala. Is this based on some documented fact that I’m missing, is it based on the genetics evidence, or are you citing something that someone has pulled out of his own … imagination?

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  44. Jackson:

    Okay I see where you get your 1000 BC figure now, the MCRA.

    You wrote: “That says how old or when did this Y-DNA (of a family) migrate to its present place and distributed into the various families.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but literally the MCRA is the Most Recent Common Ancestor on the pure patriarchal lineage. It does not indicate when any migration to Kerala took place. It just says that the various patriarchs of the various Malabar families who have this marker had their MCRA at around 1000 BC. That is all. It does not indicate *at all* that the MCRA was in Malabar.

    But, I don’t doubt that there may have been Jews in India at that date. I don’t know, to be sure, but I don’t really doubt it.

    What I doubt is people trying to paint the entire Malabar Nasrani community as a group of Jewish Christians based on one dimensional information — such as DNA results. Yes, Jews were here. Yes, they intermarried. And yes, they may have passed on some customs (e.g., Pesaha, possibly). But *no* our religion was not Jewish Christianity. It was bonafide Syriac Christianity, as judged by historical reports, monuments, etc. The latter is based on fact; it is not a myth, it is quite solid and well-supported.

    DNA results indicate one’s patriarchs. It doesn’t indicate one’s who set of ancestors, and it doesn’t indicate one’s creed. And for the matter at hand, it doesn’t indicate when those people immigrated to India.

    Finally, as far as I know, Solomon’s trade with Malabar is only a hypothesis based on Biblical readings (and I don’t find much controversy here either). However, I’ve not seen any accounts in India/Kerala history that mention this. Do you have a source that complements the Bible-based hypothesis.

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  45. The nazarani community in kerala by race is not homologous. The appearance is said to be 80% controlled by the hereditary factors and 20% by enviornmental factors. Any way if we take the people in kerala, the people in malabar are fairer than the travancore cochin. from north to south the color darkens ie. in thiruvanathapuram and kollam people are more dark skinned. up to kottayam people are littlebit fair to medium while alleppy,pathanamthitta,kollam thiruvananthapuram people are more darker.
    When we compare to nazarani appearance to other caste hindus ,its most appropriately conforms with the nairs. The nairs in kerala are dravidian in origin. many historic books says nairs and nazaranis were outwardly looking same and they intermarried. Nairs were warriors and nazaranis too. There are ezhavas and other loewr caste converted persons too. They might have dissolved in the main stream.
    There are migrations from the middle east to kerala at different times. These people also got dissolved in the mainstream. Many back jews/white jews might have converted to christianity/intermarried with nazarani women and got dissolved into the main stream. We cannot extrapolate this data to define the race of nazarani as a unit. NAZRANI IS HETEROGENOUS .THE THEORY THAT ALL HAVING MIDDLE EASTERN DNA IS ALSO A FALLACY. The main stram is dravidian and its ultimately middle eastern!

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  46. Dear Jackson,

    Just some clarifications,
    1) Our family hails from ‘Mallapally’ which is about 2.5 hrs walk from Tiruvalla. So, Jacob and me are from the ‘Pamba River Valley’. Before my family settled in Malappally, the family was in ‘Kuruvalangad’, ie near Ettumannoor’ in Kottayam Dist. I guess this was about 120 years or more ago. Kattanam is the place that my father chose to settle down in view of the fact that my mother’s family is from Kattanam.

    2) On the 19th May 2009, I received a mail from Debbie Katz.

    Quote ‘….Keep in mind that if you’re getting this email, by hook or by crook, you share a common paternal ancestor (within the last 2000 years or less—-for 95% of us, it is MUCH MUCH less) with every other person getting this email (about 100 of us total). So with a toast to our “Big Daddy”, whomever he may be…I shall get to the point:

    So, from the above one can infer that according to Debbie, the commen ancestor was not in India 2001 years ago.

    ***************************

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  47. Some more clarifications:

    The time 2700 to 3000 years ago, at which time I was told (possibly by Jacob) that he and me share a commen ancestor was much before Debbie Katz came into the picture.

    It was when my test for ‘L25′ was made that Debbie sat up in her chair and started studying. Until then, she was under the impression that we are all ‘Syrian Christians’ and not ‘Nasranis’. She says in her letter to me that she was believing that all of Jacob and his matches were ‘Sryian Christians’ and not Nasrani, though she was aware of the presence of ‘Nasranis’ in India.
    Typical of me, I introduced myself as “Nasrani’ and never as ‘Syrian Christian’. Soon, she had Jacob also do a ‘L25′.

    Jacob and me had similar test results for ‘L25′. It was then, she said that we we all share a commen ancestor at 2000 years ago.

    I understand that the above happening was a surprise to her and colleagues/team.

    Mr. Al Aburto, another scientist doing studying my case wrote me a letter on 2 Apr. 2009 as below,

    ‘….One part that makes Debbie Katz sure (sure of Cohen) is that you are L25* — we all know this absolutely, no question. Next thing is how close are you genetically to the Katz cluster. This is what I’ll work on today (& perhaps tomorrow).

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  48. Dear John,

    Thanks for your kind words about me.

    If Debbie is to be believed, then our ancestor was a Cohen in the year AD 9.

    In the year AD 2009, some of his children were at Germany and some at Malabar.

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  49. Dear George Mathew,

    Thanks for the valuable update. Now I get a clearer understanding of the time of arrival of your and Jacob’s and other Cohen DNAs (so far seen in the project) in Malabar.

    Well if I get it right now from Debbie and you, ur common founder male ancestors/cousins arrived in Malabar, earliest, in the 1st cent. AD, or even later !

    Katz says that the MRCA (for the Nasrani Cohens and the matching Cohen Jews today) lived ‘anywhere much lesser’ than 2000 yrs ago which says many things. Now following are the possibilities as to who these Cohen ancestors, genetically, (and possibly other Jews who came with them) were in creed:

    1). If the migration was before Christian era, i.e. 1 AD to 27 AD (approx. year of crucifixion of Christ), then ur common ancestors(s) migrated here not as pagans/animists (in creed), but as adherents of Judaism (whether in personal faith or not).

    2). If in 52 AD (with Thomas) or immediately later then there are high possibilities they came here already Christianized (early Jewish Christians), leaving their non-christian counterparts behind. Syriac Christianity hadnt formed still….

    3). If the migration was much much later, then they still came here as Jews, religion-wise, (because the MRCA lived lesser than 2000 yrs ago and therefore has to be a Jew, not Christian, since a branch of his descendents who follow Judaism still live and not all are christians!) and were evangelized by the Syriac/Nestorian missionaries and converted subsequently. This point is a bit wacky and confusing. But is one of the logical possibilities.

    Point. 3 almost entirely rules out the possibility that your ancestors came here “as Syriac Christians”. They might have come here christianized as said in point 2 but with no official church affiliations and later as all Nasranis came under one historical influence from the middle-eastern churches, so did ur ancestors.

    Any of the above possibilities could be true. Now, hypothesis kind of seems to meet facts (genetic). But some more missing pieces remain to say the precise time period of arrival as in ADs, therefore we cannot conclude for sure.

    Could u tell me what did Aburto’s study on your relatedness to the Katz cluster say, if info is available ?

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  50. I agree with TKV. I appreciate his morphological observations also.

    Nasranis must be a mix up of Dravidians and west Asians intermarried with them at different time points. There is no doubt that there is west Asian genome in them.

    If the MCRA is 1000 BC, that does not mean that all those people became Nasranis after 1000 years. Why cannot we assume that the descendents of 1000 BC MCRA became diluted into the Keralan community and some of them became Nasranis? Please read the post of Ravi Varma Thampi (post 17283) which shows the presence of west Asian genome in Nairs and Nampoothiries also.

    To get a realistic result, we need to compare the results with other communities in Kerala also. If the other communities also show the same results, which means this is common for the whole Keralans not the Nasranis alone.

    What is the statistical number needed to show these results are unique for Nasranis? (power value). Are we ready to jump into conclusions?

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  51. Hi there,

    I have been looking for what little info on the L3 hg for a while and chanced upon this discussion.
    I recently got myself tested as L3* on 23andme.com. I’m a Punjabi Jatt , as far as i know most Punjabi Jatts are r1a1. L3 is very rarely found in india , as far as i know 2 rajputs and a pallan tribal group were found to have it ( from research papers). But we cannot take that to mean that it is south indian , the same way r1a1 is found in large amounts in the kallar tribals. So far the highest concentration is in North West Pakistan and interestingly the kalash populations have it in as high as 26% of their group , they also have a private subclade l3a which is only so far found in them. As the ftdna results for the l3 shows , there may have been a division of the l3 into 2 new subclades. As i was snp tested i do not know which i belong , but it is very likely i cluster to the pakistani/pashtun samples as our origins are afghan/ central asia.

    L3 is also found in small amounts all over the mideast/turkey as well, so it wouldn’t be wise to assume the l3 that you guys have is south indian in origin as it is very rare there.

    I am getting ftdna test done so that we can establish some proper subclades for l3 as it is very lacking and no researcher has so far written anything on it so far.

    Anyone thing you guys should do is to do a autosomal test , as paternal y-d hg doesn’t really mean much , you could have had a l3 guy marry in 10 generations ago. 23andme does such a test and you can compare your simlarity to other persons of jewish descent etc. I find myself clustering closer to turks/pakis/iranians than to indians for example.

    Good luck!

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  52. All these discusions point to a fact that many women have been deceiving men as far as the paternity is concerned despite evolutionarly inferior (to women) men tried their best to father their own children by introducing religion (commandments 6 and 9, Adam’s rib etc) and other means. And be prepared to accept that man is just a tool (evolutionarily) for women.

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  53. George:

    What did Debbie say exactly? Does Debbie have a full name with credentials?

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  54. Not so fast Jackson.

    Your point 3 (in 17307) ignores the possibility that the MRCA was in the Middle East 2000 years ago. Then one of his descendents converted to Syriac Christianity (as many Jews did), and then immigrated to Kerala as a Syriac Christian. This also fits with the fact that that MRCA still has Jewish descendents.

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  55. Another note:

    Before George and others succeed in introducing yet another faulty meme into the general discourse, I want to stress that the historical usage of the terms “Nasrani” and “Syriac Christian” are identical.

    “Nasrani” was a term given to Christians in the Middle East — and the only form of Christianity east of Palestine was Syriac Christianity, whether West Syriac or East Syriac. Jewish Christianity died very early, with many adherent merging with the Syriac Christians, and the same with Gnostic Christianity.

    George seems to be implying (through his citation of Debbie Katz, who, if we can take Nathan Katz as an example, does not have much deep knowledge of Syriac Christianity — go and read Nathan Katz’s journal papers for evidence of this) that Nasranis and Syriac Christians are different animals. This has no evidence to support it.

    Finally, Jackson seems to be claiming that Syriac Christianity did not exist in the earliest days. Perhaps not in the form it is current in now. But Syriac Christianity had a very long evolution that started from the earliest days. Some of the earliest Christians were Syriac peoples, and the oldest Syriac fathers lived in the first few centuries.

    Tatian (compiler of the first Syriac BIble, the Diatesseron): 120-180AD

    Bardaisan (despite his heresy, he is a father of the tradition since he was largely responsible for the poetic devices employed by Ephrem and others): 154 AD-222 AD

    Aphrahat: 270AD-345AD

    Ephrem: 306-373AD

    Syriac Christianity was certainly developed by the 3rd century, with monasteries by the fourth century (e.g., Mar Mattai). The only dating that George can provide is the “less than 2000 y” figure; the era of Syriac Christianity is certainly within that.

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  56. John Mathew,

    If u read my post again, in point 2 I have written about 52 AD and immediate years (meaning 1st cent AD atleast). It is there that I wrote Syriac Christianity hadnt “formed” then. Or do u have references to prove Syriac Christianity as a Church existed during 52 AD or 1st cent. AD itself ?

    You wrote: “Perhaps not in the form it is current in now. ”

    Thats exactly what I meant and therefore the Christian Jews (if at all they migrated then here) were not officially called “Syriac Christians” then, like u would like to believe. The earliest date u gave is of Tatian (120 AD). Now does 120 AD come immediately after 52 AD ?

    Then u wrote:

    “Your point 3 (in 17307) ignores the possibility that the MRCA was in the Middle East 2000 years ago. Then one of his descendents converted to Syriac Christianity (as many Jews did), and then immigrated to Kerala as a Syriac Christian. This also fits with the fact that that MRCA still has Jewish descendents.”

    Read again that point 3 is a part of various possibilities I have written. And a newer possibility can be added any day as more brains add more logical thoughts, which u did. Thanks, nothing to get paranoic about. Well did I conclude after point 3 ?

    Then from the above paragraph one sentence is interesting…. “Then one of his descendents converted to Syriac Christianity (as many Jews did)”……. As *many* Jews did ? Did what ? Convert to Syriac Christianity ? And that too *many* ? Explain please. I dont get this.

    Then u wrote: “Jewish Christianity died very early, with many adherent merging with the Syriac Christians, and the same with Gnostic Christianity.”

    U mean to say *many* Jewish Christians merged with Syriac Christians ?? That (the word *many* used now and before) means the Syriac Church has Jewish elements (since people joined in, customs and traditions also trickled in) in it, right ? This contradicts ur previews posts on this and various other threads on this forum that Syriac Christianity has no contributions from Judaism, Jewish Christians/Christianity or *whatsoever* (note u have used such words before). What is correct ?

    Jewish Christianity as such or rather the early Nazarene community surely got merged with the other gentile christian people and culture. It doesnt exist any longer in a distinct and visible form. But that, those elements, the ones u talked earlier of having “merged” in and not used the term “lost” or “destroyed”, indicates they are nevertheless there (whatever they are, awareness is knowledge for now), mixed with the gentile elements in the Syriac Church (the most) is what the underlying point is, of months and months of our discussions on NSC. And not that we are some lost tribes or all Jews or something, which is pure fiction !! Thanks.

    Jackson

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  57. Jackson:

    If I ever suggested that Judaism had no influence on Syriac Christianity, then obviously I made an erroneous statement.

    Christianity in general has obvious influence from Judaism, and Syriac Christianity in particular has some unique aspects due to its closer cultural proximity to the Hebrew peoples (common Semitic cultural origins). Anyone can go and study the Hussoyo genre of prayers (in both East and West Syriac Christianity, although it is perhaps more highly developed in the latter) to learn of this influence. I don’t doubt it, and if I claimed that Syriac Christianity has no Jewish influence, then I admit now I was in error. The patterns of prayers, the rigorous monotheism, the theology — yes, they permeate to Syriac Christianity. And also to much of Christianity in general (as many here sometimes forget).

    Having said this, one must also remember that none of the “exclusivist” ideas of Judaism (nor the juvenile ramblings of George Mathew to this effect) permeate to Syriac Christianity. And the claims that some are making — that the Nasranis were Jewish Christians — this is also wrong.

    Finally, you quote AD 52 in your cute dismissal of my discussion of the early fathers of Syriac Christianity. *I don’t care about that date.* It is a legendary date, and I don’t even know where that date comes from; I see no reference to it except in the generally moronic Church histories from Kerala “historians”. Personally, I try to deal with facts that I can actually substantiate in some manner, and so for me Christianity in Kerala starts in the 4th century with Cosmas and Pantaneus’ observations. It may have existed before that date, but there’s no evidence, and so I can’t deal with such uncertainty when trying to make positive statements.

    Now, with this said, 120 AD becomes before the substantiated start of Christianity in Kerala, and well within the *very wide* swath of time you and George are citing (two millenia…). If you are working with this often quoted, but poorly supported, date of 52 AD, fine. Go with that. But that will always be a hole, that any scholar will easily assail.

    If you want to learn more about the influence of the Jews on Syriac Christianity, there are plenty of sources (Brock, Amar, Teule, etc.). I’m not going to repeat them here. But none of these sources invoke theories like Jewish Christians *bringing* their traditions over. The Syriacs, Copts, Greeks, etc., did quite a bit of study of Hebrew scriptures when they were synthesizing and collating the formative ideas of the religion. And through that study they brought over literary themes, patterns of prayers, etc. It is not, as you try to suggest, that when the Jewish Christians merged with the Syriac Christians they inserted new traditions in. No. Perhaps that happened, I don’t know. But many of the oldest aspects of Syriac Christianity (Hussoyo, liturgical aspects, the structure of the canonical prayers, themes) came via informed synthesis. And Syriac Christianity is quite beautiful in the seamless way in which the tradition is put together, blending Hebrew stories, Apostolic teachings, and non-Jewish literary devices, poetry, etc., into a continuous entity.

    Finally … one must also remember that Jewish Christianity was not at all like our standard Christianity. The divinity of Jesus, the accepting of other peoples, the Trinity, etc., — all of these were not their ideas, and they generally rejected such teachings. That is why I claim Syriac Christianity is not Jewish Christianity. The latter was akin to the “Jews for Jesus” movement: Jewish culture with some patched on acceptance of Jesus (and how much acceptance is questionable).

    Syriac Christianity, on the other hand, was a proper, synthesized, consistent body of teachings, rooted in Semitic religion, including the Hebrew one.

    Two *very* different things, Jackson. One need only look at the massacres of Syriac Christians by Jews, and sometimes vice versa, to understand how far apart the two groups actually were. Which is why it is intellectually nauseating to read over and over again, the tireless refrain from various ignoramusii about the closeness of Jewish Christianity and Syriac Christianity, or worse, the descent of Syriac Christianity from Jewish Christianity. It’s nonsense, that ignores actual history.

    There is no evidence that the Christian community in Kerala ever practiced anything other than Syriac Christianity. Certainly no evidence that we were ever Jewish Christians either.

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  58. George:

    You say your family comes from Kuravilangad?

    If I recall correctly, the other J2 Cohen, Jacob, is Pakallomattom? (At least some one told me that…)

    I was going to hypothesize that your family is possibly an offshoot of Pakallomattom, since Kuravilangad is one of the ancestral locations for Pakallomattom … but then I re-read your comment that you and Jacob’s MRCA is dated 2700 years ago … probably messing my theory up. Otherwise, you would be related to me, interestingly enough.

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  59. Dear Jackson and John,

    In support of what I have written, please note

    Portion of letter received from ‘Debbie Katz (DNA admin. of Cohen group ‘FTDNA’ on 12 March 2009,

    *******************
    I’d heard about the Nasranis in India but hadn’t realized your family tradition was that you are one of them. I had just assumed all of JTM’s matches were Syrian Christian as he is. This all adds an interesting to piece to the puzzle. Now, is your family’s tradition of Nasrani descent on your father’s side, your mother’s side or both? I’m trying to be sure we stay focused on the fact that our dna match is on the paternal lines only and so what matters most is whether your father and his father and his father etc. all believed themselves to be Nasrani.

    ***********************

    JTM above means ‘Jacob Mankalathil of AbuDhabi/Kerala.

    For good order, I am sending Jackon full body of the letter to his email address.

    @John.

    Debbi’s full name is ‘Debbie Katz’ and her father is a Cohen. Jacob know her much longer than me, but I am sore that Jacob never told her that we are ‘Nasranis’ first and ‘Syrian Christians’ second. We lost years of progress because of this vital information not reaching her. I know you are sorry to hear this.

    Interestengly, it was another ‘Nathan Katz’ (Katz means Cohen) who 15 years ago predicted that our ‘heriditary priesthood’ traditions points to the fact that the priests are either ‘Kohen or Namboothiries’ (Ref. Jews of Cochin by Nathan Katz. ) Since Namboothiries are ruled out, Nathan Katz has wonderfully predicted that the priesthood was ‘Cohen’. Which shows that all those who received the ‘Cohen Blessings’ were Jews.
    Can you imagine a ‘West Asian Gentile Syriac Christian’ bow to a Cohen and receive a Cohen Blessing. Does a Mongoose get blessing from a Cobra?

    Open your eyes and see reality. Stop reading ‘scholarly books’ about prelates/bishops and Mar Adi and Cyril etc… Use commen sence!! These good people like Adi and Cyril have nothing to do with us nor shaped our thoughts.

    We Nasranis were INDEPENDENT, but partially leaning towards the Persian CoE with whom we shared somethings in commen. One thing we did not share with them was their animosity to the Jews. We in Malabar were in very freindly terms with the Jews. The Jews stood up as ‘Witnesses’ for us and even undertook to safegaurd our churches. The only other place where this happened was in Yerushalem in AD 71 , when the Pharisees and the Nasrani fought shoulder to shoulder defending their ‘Holy Temple’ and together got slaughtered under Roman swords.

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  60. Dear John,

    There was no such thing as ‘Jewish Christianity’. There was only ‘Nasranis’ and ‘Gentile Christianity’. Jewish Christianity is something coined by pompous gentiles in recent years.

    I note your subtle play, but wonder whether other readers can see through you as much as I can.

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  61. George,

    You have got to be one of the most ignorant people I have ever come across. Your meaningless questions (e.g., regarding the Cohen priests), and incorrect quasi-facts are a true testament to the utter depths to which the human intellect can actually sink.

    Your ancestors should have stuck to Judaism, since as Jews they would have had the benefit of superior mental conditioning due to their intense study of the Law and the Talmud — which would have resulted in a far more intelligent George. Sadly, they took the route of Christianity, which wouldn’t have been so bad but for your ancestor’s recent descent into Protestantism … with predictable results.

    The fact that you repeat the same old tired ignorant rambling at a point in human history when access to information is at its height, is shameful and boggles my mind.

    And it’s a testament to my own foolishness that I’ll answer your idiotic question: in general, the priests and bishops of the Syriac Church were Assyrians, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. The Syriac Church was multicultural and would accept converts from all races, including the Jews, Persians, Indians, Chiense, Central Asians, Greeks, etc.. So it’s likely that there were “Cohen” priests as it is likely there were formerly pagan priests — the beauty of Christianity is that none have primacy over the other due to ancestry.

    Regarding your manipulation of nomenclature (Nasrani as a synonym for Jewish Christianity), get lost George. I’m sure the readers can see my faults, but at the same time I have every confidence that they also see your mindless stupidity as well. And in the final analysis, I would hope they trust neither you or I, but rather *read* (something you are incapable of doing) and *research* to find the truth.

    You know, people in southern Kerala have a saying about people from Kuravilangad … and sadly you are a perfect example that justifies the insult.

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  62. Dear John Mathew,

    Was not the very reputed ‘scholar’ and ‘researche’ ‘Nathan Katz’ who wrote in his book ‘The Jews of Cochin’ that the heriditary priests of Malabar were either ‘Kohen or Namboothiri’.

    Nomboothiri is ruled out, so it is Kohen. Were not the Kohen’s the heriditary priests of Malabar. Were they not leaders of the Church at Malabar? Members of the church could have been only those of Yehudi heritage. It could not have been ‘Arab’ or “West Asian’. There could have been a theoritical sprinkling of Arab Christians like Jacobites etc…

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  63. Dear John Mathew,

    Every bit of written information by scholars, researchers, church historians show that ‘Nasrani’ means ‘Jewish followers of Jesus’. You are the only one in this world who says that ‘Nasrani’ includes non Jewish Christians.

    YOu will not agree to my point, as it will upset you from your ‘comfort’ zone. Good Luck!!

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  64. Hey John,
    What has Protestentianism got to do with this argument.I really dont want to start a stupid argument,
    I take what I like from every community even Islam if I find suits my sensibilities.In the same way ,I know
    a lot of “issues” with every faith or sect including the Orthodox church.Either have a unifying effect with your words hoping to find a solution or leave things as they are ,dont leave things worser than before.
    By the way ,my Moms family is Orthodox and Im proud of that ,the same way Im proud that my Dads family is Marthomite.I respect both.Dont denigrate other people

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  65. George:

    I don’t care what Katz says on this issue. He is a not a scholar of Christianity, and so I take his extrapolations with a grain of salt. Perhaps what he says about the Jews of Cochin is accurate, but I don’t think he has any stock in commenting on the Nasrani (i.e., Syriac Christians) of Kerala. And the only evidence we have — as I’ve said countless times — is that the Nasranis of Kerala were Christians. Your DNA doesn’t even serve as proof, because you don’t possess any trace of the purported Judaism that your family practiced. Even your low intelligence is a mark against your Jewish origins …

    There is no evidence that the priesthood was restricted to “Cohens”. The only point I can concede is that it does seem that the Archdeacons were Cohens *if* it turns out that Pakallomattom is a J2-Cohen family. Can anyone confirm? If that is the case, then yes, I will agree to the very interesting idea that the Pakallomattom family — the traditional hereditary administrators of the Syriac Christians, or Nasranis, of Kerala — were Cohens. But at the same time there are also several priestly families in Kerala who perhaps were not Cohens — we don’t know as of yet, and obviously need more DNA testing to confirm whether Pynadath, and other traditional priestly families are J2-Cohen. Only then — you imbecile — can you make such a strong statement. Do you even understand the concept of “evidence”.

    Finally, stop calling the Syriac Christians of the Middle East “Arab Christians”. They highly resent that term because they are not, ethnically, Arab. They are Arameans/Assyrians, which are a totally different animal. The Assyrians are a conquered people, who were overtaken by the Arabs, destroying much of their heritage. If you use as ammunition the fact that the Jacobites/Nestorians in the Mid East speak Arabic, then you’re a hypocrite — you speak Malayalam and English … does that mean you’re an Anglo-Indian? Grow up George and learn how to present an argument in a cogent fashion.

    The Arab Christians of the Middle East are mainly Melkite Catholics, or Greek Orthodox. The Syriac Orthodox and East Syriacs in the Middle East are mainly Assyrian/Arameans, with some Arabs, and other peoples.

    You wrote: “Every bit of written information by scholars, researchers, church historians show that ‘Nasrani’ means ‘Jewish followers of Jesus’.”

    George, in the past I merely joked that you were illiterate, but now I’m starting to believe it. Are you truly so dull? Are wikipedia and Katz your only sources? What are you talking about?

    Read any work on the Christians of the Middle East and you’ll see that “Nasrani” is a historical term applied to Christians there. This “Jewish followers of Jesus” meme that your repeating is fiction, and a recent one at that.

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  66. Anoop:

    It does seem that adherence to Protestantism has a deleterious effect on one’s mind, or at least on one’s level of knowledge. Perhaps there are some exceptions, but in general the Protestant “Syriac” Christians of Kerala are some of the least knowledgeable people around. Sorry to break the news to you …

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  67. Deare John Mathew,

    Every one of the Nasrani’s who did their DNA test and tested positivfe for ‘Cohen’ did have a ‘ Namboothiri priestly background’. Pakalamattom goes by various other names also. Some more tests should be done on these Pakalamattoms – I will agree. But the trend is clear and no harm in discussing this at this stage.

    ‘Arch Deacons’ or ‘Deacons’ are words coined by the Poturgeese to name our Malabar ‘priests’ prior to AD 1599. Prior to this year, our priestly leadership was by Pakalamattoms and related. There were no ‘ West Syriac Christian’ priests working amongst us in Malabar, either of Chineese or Turkish origin.

    All I am saying is that those people who were ‘served’ by these ‘Pakalamattom and related’ families’ could have been only of Yehudi heritage. Non Hebrew/Israeli/Jewish people would not be loyal to a Jewish priestly leadership. They are like ‘Oil and Water’. Simply would not mix.

    This talk of ‘Nambooithiri’ heritage is only post AD 1599 and prior to that the Pakalamattoms priests only would have claimed to be ‘Nasrani’ and as the world knows ‘Nasrani’ means ‘Jewish followers of Yehsu’.

    I read that only in Syria is the word ‘Nasrani’ used to denote ‘Christians’ also and that is due to the fact that ‘Syria’ is the birth place of the Nasrani and hence all who profess to follow the Meshiah is called ‘Nasrani’. But in all other places in the world the word ‘NASRANI’ is etirely different from ‘CHRISTIAN’. Has the Armenian Christian ever been called a ‘Nasrani’? Has the Maronite Christian of Lebanon (of Carlos Slim fame) ever been called a ‘Nasrani’? They are all highly ‘Aramaic’ or ‘Syriac’ bases churches, yet they are never ever called ‘Nasrani’.

    I have checked with dozens of Christians from Syria, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, etc. not one of them even admitted to have a ‘Nasrani’ background, most did not even know who a Nasrani is. They always claimed to be ‘Arab Christians’. (But in my heart I know too well that many of these Jacobites/Orthodox Christians from Syria are of Yehudi heritage. But it is not what I think or believe what they are that is important, it is what they think of themseleves.)

    Even you, on one or two occasions in the past through private mails to me have told me that you always believed that the Malabar Nasrani is Jewish in heritage. Have you forgotten it or am I lying?

    Now that the Nasrani heritage matter has taken a new and fresh turn, you have abondoned your earlier stand to save your ‘Orthodox Church’.

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  68. George,

    You are a pure idiot. I don’t know what’s in your head; it seems you have quite a few preconceptions about many things, and that informs your paranoia. And you have some big chips on your shoulder. Good luck in defeating these obvious illnesses of the mind.

    Hell, I never even brought up Brahmin heritage (a silly idea, that I reject for many reasons beyond the scope of this discussion)!

    You’ve talked to dozens of Middle Eastern Christians eh? Great — what stunning research George! Perhaps the dozens you talked to were actual Arab Orthodox — that is, Arab follows of the Greek Orthodox Church. Arab Christian refers to *that* community. Anyways, I dismiss this idiotic research, since I have actual researchers at my disposal (I’ve cited them countless times).

    The term Archdeacon is not a term invented by the Portuguese. In the ancient Christian Churches, there is an actual position called an Archdeacon. I’ll leave it to you to, one day, discover this for yourself.

    George, you are promoting fantasies based on your own vision of the ways things should be. I responded to a few of your postings to counter the obvious distortions. I think I’ve done enough now, so that the readers can go and look for themselves to discover the actual facts.

    If you’d just shut up and read for a moment, you’d realize that I’m not claiming we do not have Jewish heritage in terms of ancestry. The various genetics results speak for themselves, and I have no reason to doubt such evidence. To be clear: some of the members of our community have pure patriarchal Cohen ancestry. And through intermarriage, I’m sure every member of our community has a little bit of Aaron’s dna in them.

    What I *am* saying is that (again, George, shut your useless chattering mind, and try to read this to absorb it): there is no evidence that the Nasranis in Kerala followed Judaism. That is, I’m separating *genes* from *creed*. That is all. A very simple idea, George, and since you’re a simpleton, you should be able to absorb it.

    All reports of our community indicate Nestorianism in historical times (note: I’m not trying to save my Church, whatever that means; the Nestorians were the opposite of what my Orthodox Church stands for, in Christological terms on the surface, at least). Our oldest artifacts are Christian.

    None of the DNA results can override the fact that there are no ancient monuments to Judaism in Kerala that predate the available Christian monuments, and that the oldest markers of any Semitic religion in Kerala are those of the Pahlavi-speaking Persian Christians. Even Pakallomattom, with their J2-Cohen lineage, have never been aware of their Cohen ancestry, at least according to anything I’ve seen. That totally shatters your idiotic oil-and-water premise — no one even knew who was Cohen and who wasn’t, for there to have been a conflict!

    Moreover, there’s no evidence for any split community of Christians due to any purported Cohen/non-Cohen divide. The only splits we know of:
    a) the geographical divide between various groups (Kollam vs. Kunnumkulam vs. the far, far south)
    b) possible Manichaeans and paganish quasi-Christians (Kayamkulam, Kadamattom, the far south)
    c) the Southist/Northist divide (which also doesn’t involve any reference to Cohen)

    I have no problem with Judaism, or even Jewish genetic origins. Why should I? I’ve not been tested, but I know my family is an offshoot of Pakallomattom and so am reasonably confident I would have the same result as the other Pakallomattoms; big deal! I’m not serving as a partisan of the Orthodox Church either, since none of the facts I’ve dug up defend the Orthodox Church (i.e., I know that the Orthodox Church in Kerala starts in the 17th century with Mor Gregorios Abdul Jaleel). I’m not serving as a partisan supporter of the CoE either — I have no interest in defending a Church which, for all intents and purposes, squandered its legacy by engaging in nepotism and idiotic disputes.

    I want facts and history. And since the oldest archeological evidence supports the Christian theory, I’ll stand by it. Why? Because the genetic evidence does not indicate *CREED*, it only indicates *ANCESTRY*.

    One more thing: I almost forgot … the Jewish Christians (whatever you want to call them) were *not* Trinitarian Christians (a fact, go and find out for yourself). But the Pahlavi Cross inscriptions (our oldest piece of evidence) are definitely Trinitarian. That means, not only were the Nasranis in Kerala Christian — they were *NOT* Jewish Christians.

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  69. Dear John,

    I am going to exit with this last posting. I see a mild shift in you.

    YOu mentioned that none of the ‘Pakalamattom’ guys do not know their ‘Cohen’ or ‘Jewish priestly’ origin’. If you equate ‘Namboothiri with Pakalamattom, then you will find that some of the guys who tested positive for ‘Cohen’ did strongly believe that they are not in anyway even of Hindu heritage. Strong personal suspicion of Yehudi heritage has been there, which was what drove them to the doors of ‘FTDNA’.

    Prior to AD 1599,.the Pakalamattoms certainly knew who they were. They adhered to the word ‘Nasrani’ and not to “Syrian Christian’. This said all. There is no need to say ‘Jail Prison’ or ‘Jungle Forest’. Just jail or jungle is good enough.

    I challenge you to show me one proof that says that the ‘Syriac liturgy’ ‘Maronites’ or the ‘Armenians’ were ever called ‘Nasrani’.

    Katz’s research shows that the ‘Nasranis’ lived a life ‘PARALLEL’ with the Jews of Malabar and were acknowledged as their (Jews) kinsmen even as late as about AD 1995. As fierce anti Semtism swept over Malabar, the Nasrani had to go with the ‘Namboothiri’ story, under the Zamorins, Portugeese and even under the British.

    Aside the above, there is a new line of thought from ‘Jithesh’ in Orkut which is making me interested. It is too early for me to say anything

    Quote Jithesh:

    ‘…That’s the point! It was Bahramiyan that was mistaken for hindu Brahmins. But still near the st: Thomas mount, there are “Smartha Brahmins” which may be a hindu copy of the real thing “Zamaarr-tta Bahramiyan”.

    Yali@st: Thomas Mount; is Sassanian;
    ************
    * kojā ān bozorgān-e Sāsānīyān ze Bahrāmīyān tā be Sāmānīyān? */ a Persian poet lamented; “Where have the great Sassanids gone?” “What has come upon the Bahrāmīyān and Sāmānīyān?”

    ZMAARR-TAA in Aramaic means song; ZAA-MAA-RRAA = singer (M). ZAA-MAARR-TAA = singer (F). So Zamaarr-tta Bahramiyan means a Bahramiyan who is a singer!

    Now you may ask who is Bahramiyan? Bahramian means Jewish Persian! For instance Bahram V (Persian: بهرام گور) was the fourteenth Sassanid King of Persia (421–438). Also called Bahramgur, he was a son of Yazdegerd I (399–421), after whose sudden death (or assassination) he gained the crown against the opposition of the grandees by the help of Mundhir, the Arabic dynast of al-Hirah. Bahram’s mother was Shoshandukht, the daughter of the Jewish Exilarch.

    Unquote************************

    Bye now for a long time….Please ensure that I am not called back here for a long time. (I know you do not want me around here.)

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  70. Okay, now we see a resurrection of the faulty meme that the Nasranis were Jews before converting to Christianity at some point.

    I’ve seen this point made a few times, e.g.:
    from: http://www.shelterbelt.com/KJ/khjews.html
    “It seems likely that the fate and fortune of the Jews were tied in with the fate and fortune of the Christians. In my view, the early Christians of India were converts from Judaism. The clearest evidence for their view is found in the Aramaic language once spoken by the Kerala Christians and used even today in the prayer books of Kerala’s Syrian Christian community. It was the language of the Iraqi Jews and of some Iraqis even today. In the sixteenth century White Jews from Spain and Portugal came to Kerala.”

    Above the author claims our use of Aramaic as being “proof” of our Jewish origins. Extending this retard’s reasoning, one can claim all Assyrians as being Jews. Nonsense. Aramaic is not a Jewish language — a fact. The rest of this idiot’s argument falls.

    The above is not from Katz.

    But let’s see what Katz uses as “proof” … in addition to relying on the *modern* Knanaya myth of their origins (calling them the “oldest group” of Christians!!!), he cites our use of the kiss of peace, black velvet caps, etc., as being proof of our Jewish origins. Has this man ever been in an eastern Christian Church before? Obviously he likes jumping to conclusions. Excellent work, Dr. Nathan Katz — you’ve made life very easy for me in being able to quickly point out your utter lack of scholarly ability in this matter. How about you actually study Syriac Christians in the Middle East, before making wild claims about Syriac Christians in India. You can read some of S. Brock’s work — a true scholar — to beef up your own clearly deficient understanding.

    Now, there are reports of connections between the Jews and Nasranis of Kerala — and I don’t doubt them. Apparently we were very close in ancient times, before we were forced to break ties due to Islam and the Portuguese; this is believable, although still wanting in evidence. However, there is no indication that our religions were identical. Hindus and Christians are quite close these days and have been for a long time. Does this closeness mean we also share a religion? Does this reasoning even make sense? Syriac Christians in the Middle East enjoyed (for some time, back during the Golden Age of Islam) close relations with Muslims? Same religion, then? Huh?

    What is the minimum amount of mental capacity that one needs to be able to make a logical statement? It seems these fools lack it, and rather enjoy jumping to conclusions.

    When I started at NSC, I was very interested in learning more about our purported Jewish origins. In addition to reading the various articles on this site (including the one discussing the inaccurate notion of a “Nasrani Menorah”), I actually went out and got the scholarly articles of Katz, Weil, and others. Most of it is quite superficial fluff. They are decent when discussing the Jews, but when discussing the Christians they are *highly* superficial. Jumping to conclusions. Engaging in logically fallacious reasoning…. I understand Katz has an institute for Indo-Judaic studies. Nice. But is he seeing Judaism where it doesn’t exist? It seems so.

    But don’t take my word for it … go out and get their books and articles.

    (I apologize in advance … because when you’re done reading their fluff, you’ll curse me for advising you to waste your money).

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  71. Dear George,
    You are tested to be a cohen positive. Pakalomattom family members are just like stars in the sky. Even we donot know 5 generations of our family. Now its a fashion to claim that ours is a pakalomattom family! . Its absolutely false to state that the whole pakalomatom members are j2 cohen since one or two are tested cohen positive . We need more data and analysis. The data should be correct too( erraneous data).
    By the way my maternal family lineage comes from Thulassery Manapuram Tharavadu of Kallada and paternal family lineage comes from alappatt which is said to be an offshoot of pakalomattom(related to kuravilangadu church)
    But Morphologically these pakalomattom members are medium to dark in colour while all my maternal lineage members are fair to very fair. Can I make a conclusion that all pakalomatom members are dark skinned?

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  72. TKV:

    If a known Pakallomattom male tests positive for J2 Cohen, then it should be fair to say that all *genuine* Pakallomattom males will be J2 Cohen, since we are a patriarchal society and families stick with the males (excepting the “dathu kairu” system of adoption marriages). Of course, like you said, many claim to be Pakallomatton — perhaps the J2 Cohen marker will end up separating the posers from the real ones.

    Regarding the relative features of your maternal vs paternal lines … perhaps the Kollam migrations of Syriac and/or Persians (in the 10th century) predate the Jewish migrations that were responsible for Pakallomattom (if that turns out to be the case)? Or perhaps the population of Syriacs and/or Persians who migrated to Kollam exceeded that of the Jews — resulting in them keeping some West Asian traits alive longer. I too have noticed that many families from Kallada have members exhibiting very fair traits. I am reluctant to make conclusions based on external characteristics; I just offered the above as a possible explanation.

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  73. NASRANI —- MIDDLE EAST ORIGIN, CHRISTIAN —- GREEK ORIGIN, ISAI —- HINDI ORIGIN(?). ANY MALAYAI INTELLECTUAL KNOWS ANY MALAYALAM WORD FOR (CHRISTIAN/NASRANI/ISAI)?. MALAYALI — THOSE WHOSE MOTHER TONGUE IS MALAYALAM WHETER THEY ARE WITH “SYRAIN” BLOOD OR WITH “JEWISH” BLOOD OR WITH KERALA BLOOD.

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  74. John,
    I would have kept quiet except your words have a fanatic element imbibed.
    A few years ago,I might never have indulged in such a crass conversation with idiotic overtones.
    I didnt even know that there were so many sects in Christianity then.It all changed when I went to an engineering college run by your church.I became aware then that I was a Marthomite.I heard many
    people talk to me accusingly.In my house religion is something very personal,we have Marthomites,
    Catholics,Orthodox,etc.They attend the Marthoma church.In short there is no animosity as is evident
    from your words.
    Anyway coming back ,this college would have lost affiliation with AICTE.It was a Marthomite prof(I have to mention the denomination) who rescued the talks.I also learned that the church there was initiated
    with the active help of Marthomites(at that time they held influence in that area).
    The Marthomites are’nt polarised as you make them out to be infact in Marthandom where there is a
    first of its kind relief society ,I could see a lot of Marthomites from Hindu background ,sometimes marriages take place in the temple(because its a mixed marriage).The priest is’nt polarised.
    I know of Marthomites who get cremated,the church permits it.
    And there are those that lean to conservative teaching like my house,my Mom prays to Mother Mary for
    intercession.The church permits that also,maybe not officially but it doesnt condemn it.
    Today if you have a Malayam Qurbana,keep in mind that it was initiated by the Marthoma church.
    The Marthomites were originally adherents of the Patriarchal church not the Orthodox church as most make it out to be.The Orthodox may have influence,that doesnt mean history can be distorted.
    Irony of ironies is that ,to isolate Mar Athanasius,the Patriarch was called to Kerala because Athanasois wanted autonomy.This had a polarising effect on the mass,who shifted their allegiance to the Patriarch .Some years later,a group(the same who isolated the Mr Athanasios) had the intellectual honesty to revolt against the Patriarch.Years later they come up with concocted version stating that their
    group has power over the other by way of ordination of a defunct patriarch who didnt have the power to do so.

    John,
    I dont know what you require from this conversation ,there are things happening in your churches that
    would astound even the strongest of your church mates.That would invoke hatred,hence I do not intend to indulge in further conversation wrt topic.My church might have similar issues ,hence termination of the topic is essential.I know a bit about your church because I was close to functioning members.The only intention is to humbly negate your stupid statements.

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  75. It appears that after getting a few compliment s, John is going beserk. Please come back George and contribute your opinion. After all the world and history were dictated by individuals not historians. And trust your father (Y chromosome) and ancestors than some dead historians who had their own reason to write their history.
    Any way I am relieved that Pakalmattam has atleast some Cohen markers. Now for me everything makes sense. And before some crook’s attempt to corupt the tradition and merge to the stream, we knew who we were. And for who ever it may concern: Pakalomattam is a large family. Allmost all people in an around Kuravilangadu is somehow connected to Pakalomattam. And ofcourse many who left there.

    And finally, the real nasranies are not a handful here who write and wanted to destroy the tradition and real history for the same reson who manipulated the pakalomattam history. There are lakhs who believe in what their (grand) father said and it turns out to be correct so.

    BTW, George please come back, other wise the fact that our fore fathers believed only in the god who was known as Abraham’s god ( simply becase they were in his lineage) will be distorted by vested people. BTW for others who are not in the lineage of Abraham, please find some reason for your refuge and some quotes in the bible. Or better stop being inquisitive and be a real believer.

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  76. PS.

    Kuravilangadu church is not without a reason to have its preeminant position in Nazrani history.

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  77. John ,
    My words might have been rude.I apologise for that.
    Anyway you are far too intelligent to waste your time on such stupid topics,I harbour no hatred towards you or your church.Inside,I just hope that one of these days we might have a leader that can unify us.
    Lets bring back Christ into Christianity :)

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  78. It is a factual commentary on the rather pitiable state of our weak critical acumen when John (Mathew) has to be criticized as having gone “beserk”, and George gets the sympathy vote!
    It is time to stop pussy-footing around pronouncements that are unacceptably bigoted and unintelligent, when the reference base for such pronouncements is a fairy-tale called The Bible.

    I have been on a few discussion forums where the slightest deviance from the expected norm of Bronze Age prescriptions was immediately suppressed. Precisely what the Church has always practiced. Precisely what the Ayatollahs continue to exhort.

    There isn’t even political correctness in endorsing phantsmal notions, for untempered illusions only foster delusions.

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  79. Cyril:

    George is getting the sympathy vote from a few people for what I can see to be two main reasons:

    1) (minor) I was too abrasive, and I expanded my target of vitriol to a whole religion (Protestantism) when I should have only criticized George’s manifest ignorance

    2) (major) There is a fundamental split between those who want *facts* and those who want *faith*

    RE: (2), any one can read “Much ado…” to see what any rational person has to contend with.

    He writes:

    a) “After all the world and history were dictated by individuals not historians”

    I have no idea what this fool is talking about. “Dictation”, eh?

    b) “And trust your father (Y chromosome) and ancestors than some dead historians who had their own reason to write their history.”

    Yes, trust one dimensional information (patriarchal lineage) as opposed to verifiable scientific fact.

    c) “And before some crook’s attempt to corupt the tradition and merge to the stream”

    The tradition is corrupted already by people who have contributed opinions, as opposed to facts.

    d) “George please come back, other wise the fact that our fore fathers believed only in the god who was known as Abraham’s god ( simply becase they were in his lineage) will be distorted by vested people. BTW for others who are not in the lineage of Abraham, please find some reason for your refuge and some quotes in the bible.”

    Exclusivity based on genetics! I wonder whether “Much ado…” is even circumcized (following Abraham’s covenant), or does he just run his mouth on these matters?

    e) “Or better stop being inquisitive and be a real believer.”

    Yes, that’s the difference between our two camps. And that makes all the difference.

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  80. Much ado:

    Kuravilangadu is not the oldest Church in Kerala, and doesn’t even possess the oldest artifacts. I agree that it is a prominent and important Church, but there’s nothing (apart from legend) that says it is *the* most important Church. Only a few of the later Archdeacons were buried there—i.e., there’s no evidence that it was the seat of the Archdeaconate from antiquity.

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  81. Anoop:

    1) Orthodox does not imply “Malankara” Orthodox; in Kerala, both factions are Orthodox, but one has been forced to use the term “Jacobite” for political reasons. I think I’ve already commented on how I feel the Orthodox Churches possess too much fiction in their self-written histories.

    2) The idea that the Malayalam Qurbana was started by the Mar Thomites is fiction. I don’t care at any rate; I’m more for Syriac Qurbana’s myself. But for the record, the true well-spring of Malayalam translations started with Konat Malpan, and not the Mar Thomites. Translating a butchered and modified and non-catholic liturgy is one thing; translating proper orthodox texts faithfully is quite another.

    3) I don’t hate Protestants or Mar Thomites. I only think that their religion is faulty (well, I think all religions are faulty, but Protestantism is a little more faulty due to it’s high disregard for reason…). My comments in the matter that seemed to have gotten you riled up were regarding George, and I merely commented that perhaps it was his immersion in Protestantism that caused his mind to decay to it’s present pitiable state. Perhaps not. I was just offering a (light-hearted) opinion; a joke for my fellow Orthodox and Catholics, at George’s (and your Church’s) expense.

    But I’m sorry Anoop. I shouldn’t have been so crass. It detracted from the more substantial things I (hope) I was trying to say to quash George’s introduction of new fiction to an already highly fictionized topic.

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  82. Dear George

    I see a slight change in you. In all your recent postings, there was no mention of Messianic Jews. It is good that at least you stopped comparing Nasranis with Cults. Now you harp on Yehudis of Malabar in first century. Your comments and various statements actually show that you don’t even have a basic understanding about Christianity in Kerala. All the other posts, especially the one by TKV, presented the non homogenous nature fairly well. You should keep in mind that we have fairly ( not very fair) documented history from end of fifteenth century onwards.

    I have been a very supporter to a possible conversion of Jews in first century and as you know even have used many of the junk statements available to support the claims. I don’t think that there is anything wrong in making wrong observations or conclusions based on the faulty data you have but when people guide you to proper sources, repeatedly harping on faulty sources and observations is not a good approach. For some time, I have been going back to each article and correcting all the wrong statements. There is no need of any silly misrepresentations when we have many documentary evidences.

    John has already examined your comments. I would like to know about the sources you use and here are few questions to you so that we can analysis the sources if any you use. We already know what you have to say on this but please provide reference.

    1. What is the proof that Jews were in Kerala in first century. You said Namputhiris were not there so it leaves only to Jews now. What is the general opinion of scholars about the original inhabitants of Kerala in first century? Does the scholars who leave out Namputhiris include Jews in their list ?

    2. We does have many references from early church fathers as well as visitors and from other MSS until sixteenth century about Christianity in Malabar. Are there any reference which implies any form of Jewish Christianity in Kerala ? Does any of these reference point to anything other than Syriac Christianity in Kerala.?

    3. Can you quote some scholars who said Nasrani means Jewish Christians with page numbers of their studies published ? What are your thoughts about origin of the term Nasrani ? Any insights about the root word analysis and opinions from scholars on this ?

    4. What is the first document we are aware which calls Christians of Saint Thomas as Nasranis ? What other names were they known ?

    5. Was there any Jewish Christianity in Kerala or India ? Any documentary evidence that Jewish Christianity ever existed in any forms in India ?

    6. You state that West Syrians had no role in Malabar, especially in comparison to this mythical Jewish Christianity which has no evidence. Did the Patriarch of Antioch claimed Malabar prior to sixteenth century ?. We all know that the evidence is from seventieth century with the arrival of Mar Gregorios. After all West Syrians and East Syrians have many things in common. What are the documentary evidences on this prior sixteenth century ?

    7. What evidence you have to claim that we had hereditary priesthood ? What was the situation in end of fifteenth century or early sixteenth century? How priests were selected in Malabar ? Were they selected from any specific families ? Any references about the number of churches/ priests in fifteenth or sixteenth century( This being our documentary evidence starts with this period )

    8. You say a fierce anti Semtism swept over Malabar at some point in time. Please provide some reference about when this happened. There are many studies published in detail about Jewish history in India. ( I know you have problems with scholars !!)

    9. “Arch Deacons’ or ‘Deacons’ are words coined by the Portuguese to name our Malabar ‘priests’ prior to AD 1599.” – Reference please ?

    10. Any evidences that Archdeacons were indeed from Pakallomattom prior to sixteenth century end ? What documentary evidence we have on this subject except the mere reference from Patriarch Thimothy in Eight century?

    11. You have repeated ‘Nathan Katz’ ramblings in a couple of posts. Have you ever compared what he wrote with the history written by Indian Jews themselves and with other scholarly wroks ? Are you sure that ‘Nathan Katz’ has not revised what he concluded based on his studies ? I don’t consider Katz’s as a Scholar in this subject.

    12. “We in Malabar were in very friendly terms with the Jews”- Please provide some evidences? ( I have recently added what was mentioned by Penteado in 1518 in the Southist article )

    13. What was the Caste situation in Malabar inferred from sixteenth century writings ? What was the social order ? Who were the high caste and where was Christians positioned in the structure in this period ?

    Finally, what motivates you to make many odd statements, like ( just some) “These good people like Adi and Cyril have nothing to do with us nor shaped our thoughts”, “We Nasranis were INDEPENDENT” is not due to the fact that there is any lack of historical evidences or that they have not shaped our thoughts but this is just due to the influence ( Protestant) you got from middle of nineteenth century. If I remember correctly in your own words, it’s your baggage problem.

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  83. John,
    You are a reasonable person hence you apologized for an error from your part.That is commendable.

    About protestantism I would like to ask a question to understand your point of view.What is a protestant sect?
    Is it something that doesnt conform to the Nicean period of Christianity? or something that seeks to question every inch of traditional Christianity (if the latter is the case then it is scientific due to its inherent inquisitive nature).

    The only problem with this is that a peer to peer relationship is maintained between its adherents,ie any one can question practises.So anyone in theological power is accountable to anyone.Maybe thats a good thing I have a Catholic friend who told me that before the British,most families didnt even have a Bible.

    Ive confirmed this from other people who lived in that period.What happens when u suddenly have access to the base text for the Churches canon laws.You tend to correlate and where wavering you will criticise.One thing that has to be understood is that to start a Protestant church in those times was dangerous,it required some amount of courage.Abraham Malpan(I dont approve of some of his methods -he is not a God for me)had that courage.You state that the translations are not very good in terms of literary standards,that is not the issue .He had the courage to actually perform the mass in Malayalam.That is what is important.Any way I like the Orthodox liturgy and I am not ashamed to state that and I hope that the Marthoma liturgy evolves into a better version.

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  84. Does anyone out there have a picture of the bell at Kuravilangadu that is supposed to have an ancient, undeciphered inscription?

    I’d like to take a shot at it … I’m hoping for Pahlavi … but I’m expecting Grantha or some other old Malayalam script. There are other Churches in Kerala with “undeciphered” inscriptions … often, they turn out to be disappointing old Malayalam ones, though (e.g., Kollam Kadeesha).

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  85. I am not at all suprised the change in Admin (not in George), which is in no way slight. I dare say that Admin (as Jackson had) done DNA testing and the result thoroughly demoralized him. Now as a final refuge he wanted to foucs away from Jews. Ironically this was the case with every historians, leaders. The fact that the now ‘feel good’ kids such as Jackson, Admin and John think that the world is/was moving the way they connect some of the documented historical facts. That is surely bound to collapse: in a new socio economic situation your next or next generation cannot have the social standing you have now nor the influence on others (inferiors such a church leity) and they have to finfd satisfaction with other things. When it comes to marriage in such a situation your kids wont get what you want because of your inferior social status. Such things encourage genetic mix. As a corollory thas was happened in your past.

    Even if some yehudi followed yehudi Jesus that was because their social stand in then Yehudi class was low and so they find a refuge in Jesus (this is for your solace, Admin).

    I urge John to conduct a DNA test and be silenced. After all, the money is cheap and there is no pain (except wounded ego, from which you can recover by concentrating on other things which cannot be challenged, say in God). I havenot taken the test simply because $300 is huge for me (now), but surly I will do if somebody sponser it , or in future (perhaps after i have a kid, so that I can save money then and blackmail my wife).

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  86. Dear “For George without his permission”

    I liked your comment but I have not done the test YET. I am planning to do that :)

    I hope that you can also give it a try to answer the questions I asked George rather than beating around the bush on how the world changes.

    Please don’t worry about my or anyone’s social stand as what you stated has nothing to do with any of these in my opinion.

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  87. Dear Admin,

    It will take me time to reply to your comments. I will have to do it little by little.

    Now regarding ‘Messainic Jews’ being not mentioned in my comments. For your information, I did not mention about the MJs for the simple and direct reason that you will use that as an excuse to ‘sent me out’. After you called the ‘Messainic JEws’ as cultish, I really looked into them to try find any thing cultish in them. I found 10 times more cult features in most or all of the other major and minor churches than in the MJs.

    John Mathew was increasingly calling me ‘MJ, Protestant, etc,, but this time, I was wiser. I did not fall into the trap but rather choose to ignore it. For if I respond, you will immediatily write and say ‘… I do not permit this NSC to be a war front between the Protestants and Catholics/Orthodox’.

    I am not Protestant. I am a member of the Marthoma Church. MTC is not a PERFECT Church. I am a member here because I was baptized into this church. Last Sunday, as always I attended the Marthoma service in Calgary with a ‘Jewish Tallit (with the Tassles) ‘ and the ‘Star of David’ around me. I sat in the first row. I had Qurbana with all these on. I am loyal to my church only after I am a Nasrani. I want you also to be like this. First loyalty as a Nasrani, but today you live in mortal fear of being excommunicated from your respective churches if you give first loyalty or even second loyalty to ‘Nasrani’. Yes!! you live gripped in FEAR.

    There was no such thing as ‘Jewish Christian’. There is only ‘Nasrani’. You do not say ‘Nasrani Jew’, just as you would not say ‘Jail Prison’. The word ‘Jewish Christian’ is one created by pompous and arrogant Christians putting down the status of the ‘Jewish followers of Yeshu as ‘Christians’. It is like calling ‘Amitabh Bhachan’ as ‘from Bollywood’ or like white Canadians calling me ‘ hey boy!’.

    The Jews created Christianity and it was ‘Pauline Christianity’ but soon Pauline Christianity got thrown out by ‘Constantine and Nicene Christianity’. Pauline Christianity was the ‘wild Olive branch’ which had to remain in the Nasrani main stem, but Nicene Christianity or Constantine Christianity became a SUPER ULTRA POWERFUL Christinity which stood by itself and almost totally uprooted the Nasrani.

    The Nasrani is a JEW, make no mistake about it. Yeshu said ‘ .. Salvation is from the Jews’. No gentile, no Japaneese, no Armenian Christian can give Salvation. ONLY THE JEW CAN. That means you and me will have to be the channel for the Salvation.

    Because the Temple was destroyed, because in about 175 AD, the Jews (including Nasrani) were not permitted to enter Yerushalem, because in about 321 AD the Nicene folks pushed out the Nasrani from the main stage does not mean that the ‘Nasrani’ has nothing to say or his faith and traditions are not anymore true. All traditions and practices of John, Paul, Peter, Thomas and Mathew practised in the year AD 34 should and must be practised by every single Nasrani today in the year 2009.

    The above is what I believe and will be the frame and foundation of everything I write or think. Anything outside, I am contradicting myself.

    I really do not know if you geniunely want me to reply to your lengthy queries or was it that you were really talking to the other readers, but I will do so slowly but surely, sometimes one point in a month. You have asked for references, so I will have to give you that and it is not going to be easy as

    I have my various academic certifications to pursue. I have not practically opened my text books since a long long time and today I am at 50% of my income compared to earlier years and life is increasingly a struggle, economically.

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  88. Anoop:

    I don’t want to sidetrack attention from Admin’s post — however, at the same time, I know no response is forthcoming from George on this matter, since he has no sources, and no deep knowledge of the existing body of archeological and literary evidence. So, I’ll response to what you wrote.

    Many Protestants seem to think that the Orthodox and Catholics (o/c) object to Protestantism because it questions practices, traditions, etc. Perhaps some weak-minded people do dislike Protestantism for this; not I, and certainly not the more deeper scholars of the o/c Churches.

    Protestantism is mainly objectionable because of its creeds: sola fide and sola scriptura. That is, its hyper reliance on “faith” and “scripture”. The former is objectionable to anyone with an appreciation for rationality. The latter is nice on the surface, until you learn of the typical Protestant game of redefining what “scriptures” are: the Protestant revision of the canonical Bible to the abbreviated 66 books you use is a novelty, done in accordance with Luther’s antisemitic ideas. The interesting thing is that the canons of the Bible were determined back in the old days when people still had access to old documents, and lived in close proximity (temporally and culturally) to Jesus and the Apostles; for someone in the 15th to revise the canons is one thing — but to claim that that revision is “correct” without any reasonable basis, is absurd.

    You write: “One thing that has to be understood is that to start a Protestant church in those times was
    dangerous”

    Really? We were being ruled by British Protestants. The CMS were starting Protestant Churches left right and center. I don’t think there’s anything heroic in what the so-called “Malpan” did. He was a generally ignorant man, who came under the influence of Anglican missionaries who sought to convince him that all the “impure” aspects of the Syriac Church came from the Roman Catholics—when in actual fact, those “impure” aspects are *general* aspects of Christianity that existed in the Church from ancient times. Malpan and his associates were in the wrong; they believed various myths perpetuated by the Anglicans, and fomented a schism on that basis. You can look at what Malpan’s beliefs were, and — if you have enough understanding of general Christianity — will be able to clearly see how what he said was plainly inaccurate. The British Anglicans who came to Kerala were Low Church Anglicans — a group of people more defined by what they were against (the Pope and Rome) than by what they stood for (which was often variable, hence the diversity of evangelical Protestant cults that exist). If they saw anything that “looked” Roman, they thought it *was* Roman or must have come via Roman influence. Those sad sods didn’t have enough knowledge of general Christianity to understand what they were seeing were ancient, general practices of old Christianity.

    The lack of Bibles in people’s homes is perhaps more due to the lack of printing presses, than due to religion. The Orthodox and Catholics have nothing to fear from mass dissemination of Bibles — every iota of Orthodox/Catholic practice is founded on scripture. The old way of obtaining a Bible or a copy of the rites was by hiring a scribe to copy the manuscripts — very expensive and hard to do. But it was done — that’s why the Kerala Syriac manuscripts are still found in the homes of certain families (who were, in the past, sufficiently wealthy or influential to acquire a copy).

    The British did do a good service by printing Bibles; this was not a matter of contention. The problem with the British, and what caused the schism, was their introduction of new un-catholic teachings.

    Anoop, you seem to think that all that the Malpan did was encourage Malayalam Qurbana and reading of the Bible. Those are his positive characteristics (worship in the vernacular is the standard Orthodox practice in other Eastern Churches; it is not a Protestant idea) and if that’s all he did, there would have been no problem.

    The problems started when Malpan—on the basis of Protestant influence and faulty data—made critical modifications to the religion; e.g., he stopped:
    -intercessory prayers to saints
    -prayers for the departed (a Jewish practice that entered Christianity from the earliest period)
    and revised the Qurbono in accordance with Protestant theories. That was heresy, and resulted in his expulsion.

    Moreover, I did not state the translations were not good due to lack of literary style — they were not good because they were translations of *distorted* heterodox manipulations of the originals.

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  89. It’s funny to hear new claims of genetic “superiority” from some members of the Syriac Christian or Nasrani community on the basis of their (real or anticipated) J2 result.

    First, one has to remember one thing: even those with J2 Cohen patriarchal lineage are not *pure* by any means. The Syriac Christians in general do not have a tradition of rigorous endogamy: we intermarry with other Syriac Christians, regardless of Cohen status. Pakallomattom, for example, marries anyone (I should know…). Or do you have some evidence to suggest that Cohens or J2s in Malabar only married other J2s?

    Second, let’s assume you’re “pure” (whatever that means …). Let’s look at the contributions of the mythical “Yehudi” Kerala culture…. Now, let’s enumerate …

    Hmmm… what’s to enumerate — there are *NO* artifacts of ancient Judaism in Kerala. No books, no literature, no monuments, no old synagogues, not even a living continuous religion. NOTHING! In Kerala, there are plenty of testaments to the genius of the Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Our language, our city/town/village names, or literature — all of it undoubtedly Hindu. Old temples, roads, kavus, etc., all the product of Hindu/Buddhist kings.

    If you want to claim *superiority*, show me the evidence of your civilization? Anything? Nothing! If we take Pakallomattom as an example of Cohens in Kerala — they even changed their religion to Christianity with no trace of Judaism. No circumcision, no kosher, etc. No remnant of anything Jewish.
    Of course, reading Katz you’ll be inundated with a sea of comments on the “high caste” nature of Jews. Katz of course is hardly a scholar, if one takes only a quick glance at his impoverished bibliography.

    The original Jews of Kerala, the Black/Brown Jews, were a downtrodden society, until the Paradesi Jews came to Kerala and brought them up in the 14-17th centuries — while keeping them lower on the social ladder because they weren’t pure Jews. Hear that idiot? Jews putting other Jews down.

    You know, for all your contempt of Christianity, you should realize that the *only* ancient Semitic markers in Kerala are the Persian Crosses — written in Pahlavi, an Indo-European language, and bearing Assyrian pride and imagery in their homage to Nineveh and poetry. No Hebrew, and no Judaism!

    Please can we stop the fiction here?

    George’s lame defender claims something to the effect of putting Jackson in the same boat as me. I’d be careful about that, moron; I’m pretty sure Jackson and I are not close by any stretch. Jackson, if you read his oldest posts, is one of the few Nasranis here whose family actually has a tradition of being Jewish. George’s family doesn’t. His family’s only claim to fame is some of them were secretarys for the Mar Thomite hierarchy — of no importance at all, by Kerala Syrian Christian standards. His family is a typical Mavelikara Syriac Christian family — no Pesaha, no trace of Judaism.

    Jackson, if I recall is from Trichur or somewhere near, and still has some knowledge of his Jewish connections, even if he’s not a J2 Cohen.

    Of course, not being J2 Cohen doesn’t mean you’re not of Jewish origin. Not all Jews are J2 Cohens.

    Finally, let’s be a little careful about equating economic status with social status. There are poor Brahmins, and there are rich “low caste” peoples. Similarly, there are miserably poor Pakallomattoms, while there are fantastically rich Latin Catholics. The modern world is capitalistic — as such, it knows nothing of creed, or genes. Marriages in Kerala happen, and have happened in the past few centuries, more on the basis of one’s earning potential (and now, love), than on one’s ancestral legacy. Even the Southists, the only one’s in Kerala who claim and maintain some kind of endogamy, are starting to intermarry with other races, cultures and creeds.

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  90. Dear George Mathew

    There is no hurry. Please take your own time. Do take the questions one by one, in the order I suggested, and in your response focus on the sources than repeating the same things which have been discussed umpteen times. I repeat what I need is sources not sermons. I already know what you have to say, and don’t need those any further. I don’t buy any of your statements. John Mathew, has examined what you have stated repeatedly and there is nothing new or more in that to respond to. I am interested to know about the sources which make you comfortable to raise these statements. I don’t have any interest in your sermons which are more suited in a protestant forum than a historical forum

    The Saint Thomas Christians are bona fide Catholic / Orthodox/ Protestants. The Nasranis are not Jews/ Namputhiris or Parays or anything else. They are Christians!! If you remember, John has been stating this multiple times. You are a bona fide Protestant, and you generally enumerate the general protestant tendencies in the name of history. My questions to you are very specific, and as here we discuss history, and if you have historical interest please talk with references. No one other than a Protestant, will find anything interesting in your sermon about Messainic Jews, other cultists groups, their basic tendencies, and your repeated nonsense talk.

    I, personally doesn’t have any problem in discussing faith related issues. But the objective here has nothing to do with that. The least thing one need here is the imperfect faith related ramblings in the name of history. I am a bona fide Catholic, who at times is very apologetic about Roman Catholic doctrine and dogma. I understand that so are some of the members of Orthodox/ Protestant faith. If you want to talk faith, be straight and talk about that. There is no need for any disguise.

    Protestantism, which was introduced in Kerala with British patronage in the mid of nineteenth century is the youngest theological stream among Nasranis. Naturally, something which is introduced in the middle of nineteenth century cant talk much about sixteenth or earlier centuries, so there is an incorrect historical analysis in most of the histories written by Protestants. More than history, in the name of historical discussion a natural tendency exists to harp on its doctrine and dogma.

    Regarding the Mar Thoma Church, I hope you are not that stupid to think that general awareness is that low. Mar Thoma Church has been a victim of double and triple membership. That is, some of its members simultaneously keep membership in more than one church. It did good evangelization work earlier but the membership has been only declining since 1950 with a split in 1961. The majority of the Cult groups in Kerala are started by its former members. If I remember correctly, the Population as of 1950 and 2000 in Mar Thomas Church was almost same even after many conversions.

    Please no more sermons, and talk straight about any sources which you can provide in the order I asked with any logical conclusions you can make out of it. I repeat, there is no hurry and do it when you are comfortable.

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  91. Earlier, there was a discussion on from when onwards this Jewish thing came in to our historical discussions. It is a fact that there are many families which claim Jewish origin. I know some more family names but since could not verify, not stating their names publicly.

    In the old history books written around 1920’s we can see the authors discussing the possibility of Jews, Greeks, Romans, Persians etc getting converted by Apostle Thomas in Kerala. One I can remember straight away is Farquhar ( 1926).

    The one, which has moved the masses was an old article by Fr. Thomas Puthiakunnel VC titled “ Jewish Colonies of India paved the way for Saint Thomas”. This was a paper about the coming of Saint Thomas the Apostle to India from the view point of the Pre- Christian era and of first century Jewish settlements on the Malabar and Coromandel coasts. As stated in the article, this was a contribution towards the possibility and fact of Saint Thomas apostolate in India.

    In 1992, Fr. Jacob Kollaparambil published a new study on Southist history. He has suggested a possibility that those migrated in 345 AD with Thomas Knayi and others were Jewish Christians of a Davidic lineage in the book “ The Babylonian Origin of the Southists among the Saint Thomas Christians”.Kollaparambil’s some books are scholarly but when it comes to Southists history he is nepotistic and writes the same way as Chazhikadan. This is like talking about an unknown time and relating to the tribe you like the best and produce a wonderful story. No justifications to any sources are required in these stories.

    Then, some authors like Jussay etc slowly started writing about Judeo Christian heritage, which we seem to possess, and I also got very motivated by many of these quotations. Upon much scrutiny, I found that it is more or less based on faulty research data.I don’t know if I have missed any other major studies.

    I hope that George, when he gets time to go over each of the questions I raised, will help him and us to understand the “Jewishness” in detail and appreciate if there is anything worth or noted in those.

    In my opinion, accepting history has nothing to do with faith. If there is any validity, normally we appreciate that and we don’t need any biased crap in the name of history.

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  92. Well i still thinkin as christians of kerala , other than we think is brahimn orgin there is some kind a orgin from west asian land or may be egyptian chrisitan recently documentry channel had an egytptian movie that some old womens are wearing same as our ammachis wearin chatta and mundu. Ok if Mr Geroge mathew has strong opinion of jewish matter because of his personal knowledge and confidence and i not goin to question this. but remember we see in book store there is 100s of 1000 of history books says of tons brahimns nairs converted or what st thomas did step by steps are very suprising and there is no restrictions for that and many people are buying this and reading these made up stories. well we can assume that there was jew there is kerala for the trade reasons and persecutions and that what st thomas attracted to india but all the brahimn support book are metioning about jewish merchants in pallayoor and st thomas converted em a lot. i was only suporting middleeastern features of nasranis that some one say that is all brahimns which i feel like to find out about and i know jewish matter only in gernaral. One thing take in consideration is the synod of udyombur that protughese burned lot of syrian christian documents which we lacking lot of informations and potughese persecution toward nasranis that time.I heard from one comment that if vedic brahimns as many converted to chrisianity then there should be atleast some other should be there which are the non converted have to be in kerala and there is no references instead we must think vedic brahimns as a whole converted? and the existing namboothri history can only go back to 6th century .So regarding the orgin of syrian christian still is a mystery

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  93. George wrote, “Yeshu said…salvation is only from the Jews. No Gentile, no Japanese….”
    I shudder to read this; but then I also shudder to see those brainwashed maniacs kill others in cold blood for Allah (as if Allah needed these idiots to do his dirty work for him). The common-thread binding both sentiments (as verbalized by George and enacted by the Allah-kamikazes) is the astounding degree of gullibility and naivete they embody.

    A person like George was born into his faith via his parents. He did not earn it; he inherited it, yet he feels that his “Yeshu” was biased in his favour over his neighbour, say, a Hindu. By this logic, those born elsewhere outside of the purview of George’s Yeshu, are doomed from the get-go. Why did this Yeshu create these hapless souls in the form of “Gentiles, Japanese, and Armenian Christians” if this Yeshu in his infinite wisdom is no better than the conceited, ethnocentric Hitler with his notions of Aryan supremacy as emulated by the debased KKK)? To be a fodder for the Georges of the world?

    Intelligence is not IQ, for the workings of the brain can also produce idiot-savants. And this is why, EQ is a better measure of intelligence. Faith without the benefit of emotionally-tempered and common-sense mediated intelligence, edges close to fanaticism. In his quoting the Pauline traditions (amongst others)as the framework for his worldview, he evidences his lack of a critical understanding of Paul as having wrought one of the most distorted and abominable versions of Christianity that was a far cry from what Christ molded it to be. And this (Pauline mantra) is precisely what Constantine stood to benefit from and the desert cousin Iranian Ayotollahs continue to exploit.

    I have no delusions about causing any dent in the sensibility-proof mindset of the likes of George. However, their self-imposed immunity to objectivity is an embarrassment to the Yeshu that I came to learn about. And for that matter, this Yeshu is a stranger to many of his self-appointed spokespersons as well.

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  94. Dear George,
    Your words speak for you! You have an inferiority complex with your church. you imagining the marthoma church is the real follower of the COE.
    Just like a bolt from the blue you got a positive in Cohen marker test! So you created your own beautiful screen play. Interesting to read but need proof and reference!! If you want to prove your theory, majority nazrani should be cohen positive!

    Dear John,
    How did you assert that Pakalomattom is J2 cohen? Whats the proof that the present cohen positive are real pakalomattom?

    Dear anoop,
    There was nothing heroic in starting a new church called marthoma church. This was because Abraham malpan was eccleciastically banned by the patriarch. Actually the patriarch did a fine job. The patriarch was really hero and a brave person in protecting the orthodox faith by preventing the infiltration of abraham malpan’s radical prtotestant theology which he got from the british protestants through co-operation. If he was not ecclesiastically banned the fate of the orthodox church would have been pathetic!

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  95. Dear Admin,

    Almost all that I have learned is from the NSC and also much from ‘NJC in Orkut. Most of the references are there. Several months ago, I was ‘asked’ to leave NSC and I politely left, thanking them for all. Recently I was back in NSC advising John Mathew of a very important belief I wanted to share with him (and with NSC) of ‘… Salvation is from the Jews’. The rest is known to all and not worth repeating.

    In the light of above, I do not think it is anymore neccessary to pick several things from NSC and then to compile it as my ‘defence’, hence I withdraw my statement to repeat your queries one by one.

    It is futile. NSC taught me very much and today NSC is denying being my teacher. You are welcome to visit ‘NJC in Orkut’ and read about our heritage, though I am sure, you are even otherwise doing it.

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  96. Dear Admin,

    You may please be informed what others also think about ‘Church Historians’ who you may choose to call scholars,

    Here is a something written by Jithesh in Orkut on the 9th July 2009 and I loved it and wish to share with you. I think Jithesh is an ordinary guy with interest in Nasrani.

    ‘….They (Church Historians) deformed the history of the church will fully because they (historians were Anti semitic; they all tried to build their own church to support their business.

    I would not say that all written by Church Historians are garbage, but only that they have mostly been a biased lot. The quaility in NSC and NJC is the best available in the world regarding Nasrani history.

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  97. Dear George Mathew,

    Till today I haven’t ever openly criticized you or your opinions/views just because I respect you (and all others here) howmuchever we contradict or agree. BUT for one thing lately I will openly sit on the critic’s chair and would like to let you know certain things humbly. And this time its not history or genetics but *Faith* and scriptural citation.

    The following is on the recent Bible quotation that has been popped up in discussions:

    “……for salvation is from the Jews.” (John 4:22)

    And its extremely disgusting the way it has been interpreted or projected or here.

    The above statement is a part of the entire complete statement said by Jesus to the Samaritan woman “in response to a particular context and dialogue” as below:

    Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.” (John 4:22)

    You interpreted or have understood it to be, salvation in terms of coming from the Jewish people wrt Jewish ancestry ! No.

    Jesus is a Jew and the woman in the incident is a Samaritan. Jews and Samaritans were are logger-heads with each other to the extent of religious institution and worship besides others. Samaritans were looked down upon as they were people of mixed Israelite-Assyrian ancestry from the Assyrian exile incidence in Israelite history. They were accused of “polluted faith/religion” too.

    Jesus asks the woman for a drink of water (may not be out of thirst but for the important revelation that is to follow). This was one of the blasphemous things Jesus did (as per the then Judaism), against the then “social norms”. All of Israel believed and awaited the Messiah and “knew” (to whatever extent) that the Messiah was to come from the Davidic house and would be a Jew, not a samaritan or whatever else. Even the Samaritan woman knew that (John 4:25). But still, she as many others are blinded when the Messiah actually appeared. “Social norms”, “religious/community structures and divisions” was one of the reasons.

    Jesus replies to the woman, when she refuses Him water on ethical grounds, offering her “living waters” (Faith, also interpreted as the Holy Spirit, v v13,14). She is still unbelieving (v 15).
    Then is the eye-opener question Jesus puts on her marital affairs. She is dumb-struck, but not confirming in faith yet !

    In v20 she argues to again let down the Jews (including Jesus) saying, “Our fathers (Samaritan) worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”. She brings the Jew-Samaritan conflict in picture to shift the attention from her sinful life and from the “Salvation” that Jesus was offering. Just an Excuse… May be he is a Jew and I’m (the woman) a Samaritan. Better to go our own ways…. putting the temple worship topic and ancestry in between. What an escape ! Aha… Not yet !

    And hear the response carefully in verses 21-26:
    Jesus overthrows the ‘Jew-Samritan divide’ in v21 declaring “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.”
    He overthrows all traditional ideas related to ancestry and salvation. And in the next verse in v25 he asserts Samaritans not knowing what they worship (the syncretic faith) and Jews knowing it and “Salvation” coming from latter ! Note, the stress is on “Salvation”, not on “ancestry”. And in the following verses the means to this salvation is “worshipping the Father in Spirit and Truth”, not on Jerusalem or some mount or ancestry.

    Now the answer to the imposition made. The woman says she is aware of the Messiah’s arrival someday and subsequent teachings and salvation (v25).

    And v26 says what the discussions were all about: Jesus implies that He is that Messiah (salvation) awaited.
    Note in v22 when he says “Salvation is from the Jews” and in v26 when he say “I am He” he is affirming to the woman He is that “Salvation”, awaited. The Messiah (Jesus) was to come from the Jews who is the Salvation. Divides had to break down now !

    The above is the meaning of that verse which must essentially be read “in context” of the whole incidence and Messianic expectations and history. It does not mean Jews are physical channels of Salvation. It means Jesus is that Salvation, who is from the Jewish community. The emphasis is on Jesus, not on Jewish ancestry or community.

    Ref: Jerome Biblical Commentary. The verse-by-verse biblical commentary written by St. Jerome and accepted as the standard commentary book by worldwide Apostolic Christian Churches, irrespective of denominations.

    What you did was what they call “cutting the Bible” at selected verses or phrases and thus altering, leading to misinterpretation of its entire meaning. And I may be too young in age to correct you. But when it comes to the scriptures, I simply cannot tolerate BS. Sorry for that huge post and Thanks.

    Jackson

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  98. Beautifully put, Jackson. This is the difference between LITERAL interpretation and of that which is IMPLIED. Parables are precisely this (despite the translation butchery).

    I have found this woeful knowledge deficit with the Southists/Knas (my community) to utterly embarrassing proportions. The reason is obvious: there is this pathetic lack of curiosity about what they imbibe by way of information, especially if the subject matter has to do with faith and ancestry. Perhaps it is the indoctrination that ascribes some great merit to that which is believed without seeing (faith), and the comfort zone of illusions (ancestry). But what they fail to see is the irony that Jesus (of the Bible) himself modelled intellectual questioning, especially when the status quo did not make sense. And, the little we know about the historical Jesus (Qumran Scrolls) will put Spartacus to shame!

    The next step in our evolution will be to understand the MYTHICAL Jesus (The Pagan Christ, Tom Harpur). Such transformative spirituality will be beyond the physical bounds of the tassels and the Cross of David. This is the self-actualized state that Christ himself representated: i.e., NOT OF THIS WORLD. It may help to read between the lines here.

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  99. Dear Jackson,

    You have indeed written well and perhaps correctly too. But you may not agree that you and me are not saying anything different. We are saing the same.

    Yeshu is to the effect saying ‘.. in order to understand me, one must also understand Judaism…’. or that He, Jesus can be understood only against the backdrop of Judaism.

    Did not Yeshu say ‘.. if you know the Law and the Prophets, you will know me…’.

    One of the chief errors now is that the Jew is seen as a ‘Jesus killer’ and all things Jewish no more true. Further wrong belief is that ‘.. the era of the Jew is over, the real Jew are now the Christians….’. Yahoweh did not put a timeline across Judaism and Christianity. As much as Judaism was true in the year AD 34, so is it true in AD 2009. In AD 33, a giant Light shown out from Judaism, it continues from Judiasm even today.

    Very recently a freind told me that the greatest and most impossible thing to have happened to the world (after the resurrection of Yeshu) was the creation of the State of Israel. The impossible happened. No human effort could have achieved this impossibility, save the Supreme Power.

    I will repeat that one must see Yeshu only against the backdrop of Judaism. To know Judaism, you must respect Judaism. Respect for Judaism is now or in the past not there.

    Hope you understand me.

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  100. Dear George Mathew

    If you have responded to those questions one by one, focusing on the sources, I would have agreed that you learnt something from here. That is, those who make statements here including me, are not great scholars like Assemani or Mingana, who collected ancient manuscripts, and wrote history by providing translation of those ancient documents, along with their own opinion. What makes this place different is the willingness to explore the sources and share those, so that the interested can go and find more information. This, in turn helps to separate fiction and truth. This is what everyone does here.

    You make statements with out sources. If you have made an effort, it would have helped you and also us to understand the “Jewishness” in detail, and appreciate if there is anything worth or noted in those. I have asked those questions since I know with limited knowledge that after making an effort, you will never repeat many of these statements here or any where else.

    Your statements about Nasranis with out any evidences are not good. It says, more than history you are interested in some doctrine and dogma which you subscribe to. It is this attitude which made me to call you earlier, a cultist. I don’t remember requesting you not to post. If I remember correctly, all I said was, no more cultist posts are encouraged. Please note that, am not here to call you or anyone, anything or to have silly fights. I think, it is your leaning and of course the DNA results which are the main reasons for many of the statements. It is not influenced by history.

    You said that you learnt everything from here. That’s not true. There are many articles about the various aspects and many posts covering most of the areas in Saint Thomas Christianity. Those are not perfect . What you did was harping only on the “Jewishness” and at times diverting the discussion again to this topic.

    I have made mistakes too. I have also harped on the “Jewishness” and the Judeo Christian heritage. I was open to buy many statements with out any scrutiny because of my bias that many Jews would have converted. I am not an expert. I have strong opinion about the Apostolate of Saint Thomas in India. It is natural to make mistakes when there are lots of junk information. I am open to accept mistakes and have the willingness to correct. In my point of view this is more than enough.

    John Mathew, patiently corrected a lot of junk information. He also gave more insights about SRITE or Saint Thomas ( Persian) Cross. More importantly, patiently multiple times, he has done analysis that what we harp on Judeo Christian heritage are nothing but the apostolic Christian heritage of Syriac churches.

    It was Joseph, who corrected the mistakes about Pesaha. Thomas Antony, shared some interesting information about Southists and he and Jeevan, gave more insights about the population and history of churches etc. Jackson, did an expert analysis on DNA results. Alphy, earlier gave an account of how the Jews in Kerala did their own self destruction. Eso Pothen, shared some interesting testimonies. Ponnoly and Captain Pathisserril, shared interesting records about Christians at Quilon… Many others shared more information about the non homogenous nature of Nasranis. These are only to name a few………

    Were you really perusing this site when you stated that you have learned everything from here!! I don’t think so. Some of your posts made me wonder whether are we discussing about Cochin Jews or Nasranis. I can say that you have not even done any justice to Jewish history in India.

    The documentation, which exist about Saint Thomas Christianity is very large and it is impossible for one person to get full grasp of it unless he is dedicating many years.

    You earlier even challenged that Nasrani means Jewish followers of Christ. I have bought this argument earlier, but as far as I know this is one of the many source less statements. It is the Syriac speaking Churches which retained Nazraya in Syriac, and Nasran in Armenian before being replaced by Christians. As far as Saint Thomas Christians are concerned, the first documented local evidence we have on the term Nasrani is from fourteenth century. That is, it was used by Christians of Quilon. If you read the books, you can see varying opinions on this.

    The only “Jewish Christianity” which existed in any form in India might have been those newly converted Jews who took refuge in India in Seventeenth century. These Jews were converted to Christianity in Spain and Portugal. They went to India and other Portuguese colonies since they were looked upon with suspicion and were given the treatment of second class citizen in Portugal.They were said to be forcefully converted and have kept some Jewish practises.

    It is only Syriac Christianity which existed in India until the arrival of Catholic missionaries. Catholic missionaries also introduced Latin rite. As we know Protestantism started very late in India.

    On the statement that Scholars are biased- If you read Mingana or Assemani you will see that they quote the full text of available ancient manuscripts/ letters etc before they opinionate. It is up to the reader to buy their opinion or infer from the texts based on their knowledge. This is something which is yet to come in picture as a common practice in Nasrani history. We does have Medlycott, Placid, TK Joseph, Mundadan, Menachery etc who did that to some extent.

    I would suggest that if there is not much interest in history, please don’t make statements which can not be substantiated. Mistakes do happen. If you are not sure about sources, please ask and someone else might know and guide you. This is an advice which I picked from a post here and is very much true from experience.

    If you are more interested about doctrine, dogma or interpretations of scriptures the way you subscribe, please use forums which are meant for that purpose. As you know, a Catholic can see faith on their way, so does an Orthodox or a Protestant. Catholic and Orthodox go together in many views but disagree with Protestants. We can not reach an agreement.

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  101. RE: Historians

    Historians may be biased and may present their own spins on various facts — however, at the same time, any historian worth his salt will at least cite some piece of evidence to support his claims. When I ask for citations, that is what I’m looking for. I don’t care whether the author is Burnell or Mingana or even Buchanan or Katz — all are fallible, and all have been known to make erroneous interpretations of facts. But at the very least, they will cite evidence, and a critical observer can look at the evidence (and ignore the interpretation) and judge it for what it is.

    With respect to the Jewishness of the community in Kerala, there deosn’t seem to be much evidence to support the claim that the Nasranis were Jewish or members of some Jewish Christian sect.

    The main stumbling block here is the fact that the oldest monuments to Semitic religion in Kerala are Trinitarian Christian — that is, the Persian Crosses and their inscriptions. This is not a Jewish Christian relic.

    Some are playing a game of linguistics (or trying to) by claiming that Nasrani as used in Kerala is some allusion to the Nazorean Jewish Christian sect.

    This needs some futher study. Admin, you mentioned the earliest usage is from the 14th century. Could you please elaborate? This confirms the claim by another author (who I’ll cite tomorrow) that Nasrani as used in Malayalam is a borrowing from the Arabic. As is well known, the term Nasrani is the Arabic term for Christian. It is distinct from the Nazorean term.

    FYI: The Nazorean sect of Jewish Christians in the MIddle East were diametrically opposed to the Jews and the Syriac Christians. And vice versa. The Jews used to curse the Nazoreans, and the Nazoreans would curse the Jews, and the Syriac Christians would curse the others, and the others would curse the Syriac Christians. However, as Jewish Christianity (i.e., the Nazoreans) waned, they eventually merged with the Trinitarian Syriac Christians. As such, there is no sect that has any continuity with the Nazoreans. The same with the Gnostic Christians — they just merged with the majority (which in the East, was Syriac Christianity).

    There’s an interesting article on this topic by a scholar, I’ll cite it tomorrow, so an interested party can investigate for themselves.

    The point: you can claim anything you want, and you can spin things whatever way you want — however, at the end of the day, we need evidence for a claim to be supported on a solid basis. The only claims that have any support are the ones that put a Syriac Christian and, more specifically, a Persian East Syriac origin on the old Nasranis of Kerala. The Persian Cross is the main piece of evidence that supports this, as is the continuous body of literature from the East Syriacs on the matter. At Diamper, the Port’s didn’t see Jews in Kerala. They saw Nestorians (and Chaldeans, but it didn’t matter — same thing in their eyes).

    I read a paper by Katz, and he himself acknowledges that there is very litter evidence to support claims of Jews in Kerala in ancient times. He believes Jews were there, but has no proof. He mentions Pantaneus but also admits that it’s hard to determine whether he was talking about our India or Arabia/Ethiopia.

    I’m not asking George for clarification, and for evidence. He doesn’t have it, and his contempt for intellectualism and scholarly pursuits makes him unlikely to be a meaninful participant in this debate. He can quote only his pseudo-mystical garbage, fueled (it seems) by his patriarchal DNA. But I’m asking the community at large: let’s take a look at the evidence, and let’s search for some evidence on this matter. What indications do we have of:
    1) the ancient presence of Jews in Kerala
    2) the interrelationship between Jews and Christians
    3) the antiquity of the term Nasrani in Kerala
    ?

    Does anything predate the Pahlavi Crosses? AFAIK the oldest Jew cemetery in Kerala is c1100s AD. Hardly a match to our Christian Pahlavi Cross.

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  102. For those interested in understanding more about the distinction between the Nazoraeans and the Nasranis, you can check out:
    “Nasrani and hanif : studies on the religious vocabulary of Christianity and of Islam
    FRANÇOIS DE BLOIS
    in
    School of Oriental and African Studies.Bulletin
    Vol. LXV Part 1 2002

    (Admin, if you can’t find it online, email me and I’ll send it to you.)

    Highlights: (abbreviated because the article is 30 pages and dense with material)
    a) before the fourth century, this term was used by the orthodox/catholic community of Christians as a synonym for Christian
    “once all Christians were known as Nazoraeans and
    that when Paul’s opponents called him the leader of the sect of the Nazoraeans
    he did not disown the name because ‘at that time everyone called Christians
    by that name’.”

    b) then: “the name was later appropriated by a
    group of heretics, who, he claims, believe, with the Christians, that Jesus is
    the Christ and the son of God, but otherwise follow the law of the Jews.”

    c) “But from the latter part of the fourth century
    onwards, the name Nazoraeans is used by Christian authors specifically to
    designate one or more of the supposedly heretical sects of the type which in
    modern theological literature are usually called Jewish Christians,7 that is to
    say Christian sects which (according to their opponents) followed the law of
    the Jews, in particular as regards circumcision and the sabbath.”

    d) “They are ‘Jews and nothing else’, but the Jews hate them and malign
    them three times a day in their synagogues, saying ‘May God curse the
    Nazoraeans’. Similarly, Epiphanius’s younger contemporary and associate
    Jerome also says that there are heretics ‘in all the synagogues of the east
    among the Jews’ who are cursed by the Pharisees, and who ‘are usually called
    Nazoraeans’”

    e) “The Malayalam term nasrani, plural nasranikal, ‘Christian’, which various
    writers on the history of Christianity in India have considered to be of
    great antiquity, and which the author of the article ‘Nasara’ in EI thinks,
    for some reason, to be relevant to the understanding of the Arabic word, is in
    fact manifestly borrowed (directly or indirectly) from Arabic nasrani”

    f) “Scholars have not failed to remark on the affinity of the Arabic word for
    ‘Christian’ with the name of the sect of the Nazoraeans and it has more than
    once been suggested that the Christians of ancient Arabia might have included
    a contingent of Nazoraeans or that they might for some other reason have
    taken the name of that sect. But the possibility that the nas1a:ra: of the Quran
    were Nazoraeans, pure and simple, has not seemed a very attractive one. For
    one thing, Muslim authors of the Abbasid period frequently and unambiguously
    give the name nas1a:ra: to the well-known Nicene (catholic) denominations
    (Melkites, Jacobites and Nestorians) and it is used also as a self-designation
    of members of those churches when writing in Arabic.62 For another, at the
    time of Muh1ammad,63 even if ‘Jewish Christianity’ had not died out completely,
    it was very much a marginal phenomenon. The Nicene creed was not
    only firmly established in the Mediterranean world, but also well entrenched
    on the fringes of the Arabian desert, at the courts of the Ghassanids and
    Lakhmids, and in Nagra:n.”

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  103. Some preliminary research on Cochin Jews:

    From Katz and Goldberg, “Ascetism and Caste in the Passover Observances of the Cochin Jews,” J. Amer. Acad. Religion, LVII/1

    Highlights:
    1) “We cannot date with any precision the arrival of the Jews”.
    2) “… we have evidence for the existence of Aramaic (or Hebrew-) speaking people, which could only be Jews or Jewish Christians …”

    Aha! Katz demonstrates his ignorance! He seems to equate Aramaic with Hebrew, and jumps to the *wrong* conclusion that an Aramaic-speaking population implies a “Jewish” and/or “Jewish Christian” one. There is of course a third possibility: Syriac Christians.

    3) His description of Jewish Pesah in Kerala differs from the reports we see on NSC.
    -the use of bread
    -the use of wine and/or a raisin-derived juice substitute for wine

    4) the Jews of Cochin have elaborate preparations for Pesah, which I’ve not read about in the Syriac Christian observance.

    Admin, again, if you want this article to do some deeper research, just send me an email.

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  104. Dear John,

    I fully agree that ‘Katz does not know what he is writing about. Aha! he does not consider your third possibility, ie. Sy riac Christians. Another guy who does not know what he writes about is Dr. Asahel Grant. He wrongly equates ‘Persian Nestorian Christians (he also calls them Syriac Christians/Assyrian Christians) as Jewish Christians, in the book ‘The Lost Ten Tribes’. Grant even dares to say that the Jacobites also as ‘Jewish Christians’.

    We all know that the Middle East Jacobites and the Jews have been at each others throat since many many years. Brothers can never fight with each other. We all know this.

    I suggest that we should warn the public about the fakeness of Katz and Grant. You are a true genius John! great scholar!!

    By the by, I remember you taking interest in your DNA test. What happened to the results? Was it J2 Cohen or J2 Mohamed?

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  105. Dear John

    Thanks. It would be interesting to get more information on the article.

    1. the ancient presence of Jews in Kerala

    As far as I understand, there are no reliable records from which one can date the arrival of Jews in ancient Kerala.

    The first reference is of the second set of copper plate, King Sthanu Ravi and Ayyanadigal issued Ca 880, which refers to the church in Quilon, leaders of the Jews in Quilon, and the leaders of Manigramam or indigenous Christians of Kollam ( who were there even before the arrival of Sabriso). This is according to the interpretation and conclusions about Manigramam and Anjuvannam, which are two merchant guilds figures in the Sthanu Ravi copper plates. What I understood so far, is Manigramam is a trade guild of local Christians and Anjuvannam is a trade guild with Arab Jews, Persian Christians, Muslims etc as members. There are many different opinions about Manigramam and Anjuvannam.

    Then, the definite reference is from the Jewish copper plate grants, which are preserved at the Synagogue in Mattancherry. Many interpretations and studies are conducted on this. I think the most recent (?) assign the date of granting the plates as AD 1000. According to MGS Narayanan and Elamkulam, it was Sri Bhaskara Ravi Varma I, the King of Kings ( Ad 962-1020) who resided at Muyirikode, granted them. ( MGS Narayanan- “ Cultural Symbiosis in Kerala”, pp 23-30. )

    There are reference about presence of Jews in Kerala in travelogues and documents such as Marco Polo, ( 1293), Blessed Oderic of Pordenone ( 1325), Barros ( 1550), Bishop Roz ( 1602) etc.

    My understanding is that authors such as Walter J Fischel ( “The Contribution of the Cochin Jews to South Indian and Jewish Civilization”) , Henry J Lord ( “Jews in Cochin ( Malabar)”) don’t take any definite position about the ancient Jewish presence in Kerala.

    J B Segal says two large wave of refuges came from Majorca in Spain, one in 340 AD and the other in 499 AD. ( J B Segal “ A history of the Jews of Cochin” ). I don’t know if these are based on any evidences, or possibilities based on assumptions, as I have not read his book.

    S Koder, who was a prominent Jewish scholar of Cochin says that the first Jewish colony might have arrived in India in King Solomon’s fleet. ( Kerala and her Jews). His another statement says Jews in Kerala are said to have emigrated from Jerusalem in the year 72 AD, after the destruction of their sacred temple by the Roman emperor, Titus. ( Commemoration Volume: Cochin Synagogue Quarter Century Celebrations, 1971 )

    Fr. Thomas Puthiakunnel quotes many sources available till 1970 in the article “ Jewish colonies of India paved the way for Saint Thomas”. There is a interesting reference about the hypothesis that Jews might have come to Cranganore in 6th century BC as a result of mass exodus of Jews who were freed from the Babylonian captivity by Nabuchandenazzar ( 604-562 BC). In support of this, Puthiakunnel quotes Rawlinson that logs of Indian teak have been found in the temple of the Monn at Mugheir and in the palace of Navuchandenazzer. He also quotes a statistics, about the number of Synagogues and people in Kerala from the report of a Jew who came from Amsterdam to Cochin in 1686. The main problem with such a hypothesis is the lack of evidences as definite evidence for Jewish presence in South India dates from end of first millennium.

    In North India, the discovery of Aramaic edict of Ashoka ( Mukerjee- “ Aramaic Edicts of Ashoka”) may prove the presence of Jews or Persian Christians. In South India, as far Jews are concerned the hard evidence is only from Jewish Copper plates which are dated to 1000 AD.

    In comparison to Christian history in South India, the Jewish history in South India lack evidences, as there are many evidences to link Patriarchate of Seleucia Ctesiphon with India in the seventh century and before.

    Meera Abraham who studied on ancient trade guilds in South India says, the Church sponsored, and engaged in trade and in particular overseas trade. She holds the view that use of Syriac titles of Maruvan Sapir Iso and use of Arabic, Pahlavi and Hebrew scripts are in conformity, both with the traditional Kerala accounts of the Church, and also with the East Syrian ecclesiastical traditions with its known links with Persia. ( Meera Abraham- “ Two medieval Merchant Guilds of South India”)

    I am not aware that the recent excavations at Pattanam proves anything to the colony of Jews hypothesis, as it seem to indicate strong Roman and West Asian trade links in first century. Rawlinson ( Intercourse between India and the Western World) says Romans had a colony at Cranganore to protect their trade interests. I read, today that some of the artifacts such as canoe, date back to 56 BC -08 AD period (from the carbon dating and Isotope testing conducted at Georgia University).

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  106. Thanks Admin.

    One minor comment:

    “In North India, the discovery of Aramaic edict of Ashoka ( Mukerjee- “ Aramaic Edicts of Ashoka”) may prove the presence of Jews or Persian Christians. In South India, as far Jews are concerned the hard evidence is only from Jewish Copper plates which are dated to 1000 AD.”

    I doubt this. At the time of the edicts, Aramaic was an international language. It was the ancient analogue of Arabic: that is, the lingua franca of the Middle East. Although the Persians had already conquered much of the Middle East by then, due to the wide use of Aramaic up to that point throughout the Middle East, even the Persian conquerors adapted and did not set out to replace Aramaic. Pahlavi itself — an Indo-European language at it’s core — evolved into a language that borrowed much from Aramaic during it’s latter days.

    I believe the Asoka edict in question was in Greek and Aramaic — the two dominant languages west of India; both pagan at that point in time.

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  107. George you are retarded, and you are a serious handicap for anyone who is actually interested in pursuing study in Jewish ancestry.

    I suggest that if anyone else is out there who has a critical, sharp mind, and an interest in pursuing the topic of Jewish ancestry, please speak up, so that we can have a meaningful discussion to truly pursue the facts concerning this interesting and fertile topic. Don’t leave it to an idiot like George to contaminate the argument with myth.

    Now George, here’s a simple lesson in genetics, offered with the faint hope that it will penetrate your skull, and perhaps teach your feeble mind something.

    Suppose there was a man, Jacob, 1000 years ago.
    a) Jacob had two kids, Sarah and Mathew.
    b) Jacob has the J2-Cohen marker.

    Now, for some reason (say, lack of Jewish options), Mathew marries a local Indian, whose father does not have the J2-Cohen marker. Mathew’s son will have the J2-Cohen marker, however, because the marker is transmitted from father-to-son.

    Suppose for the next 1000 years, Mathew only has male descendants. And suppose that each male descendant only marries local Indian girls, whose fathers do not have the J2-Cohen marker. Regardless, each son will be born with the J2-Cohen marker, because it is a patriarchal marker (father to son).

    Now, suppose Sarah marries a Jewish man who is not J2-Cohen. And suppose Sarah has a daughter. The daughter will not have the J2-Cohen marker. Suppose, all of Sarah’s descedants for the next 1000 years are female. And suppose each female marries a non-J2-Cohen husband, who is a Jew (maybe even a Cohen — since all Cohens do not have the J2-Cohen marker). Regardless, each daughter will be born without the marker.

    So, 1000 years later, Sarah’s descedants are still *pure* Jews, but they do not possess Jacob’s J2 Cohen marker. Mathew’s descendents are impure, with probably no trace of Semetic ancestry — but they possess a J2 Cohen marker.

    Now in 2009, suppose one of Sarah’s daughters marries a non-J2 Cohen Jewish Cohen Jew — because you idiot, there are many Jews who are not J2-Cohen or even J2, and there are many Cohens that are not J2 Cohen. Go and read some more you’ll learn this.
    And suppose this daughter has a son. The son will still not be a J2 Cohen.

    Do you understand George?

    The line of Mathew preserves the J2 Cohen marker of Jacob, even though the line didn’t even marry Jewish wives and is “impure”. While the line of Sarah will never have the J2 Cohen marker of Jacob, because that marker was erased during her marriage to a non-J2-Cohen man.

    Even though Sarah practiced endogamy, marrying only Jews, while Mathew did not, this will never be reflected by the patriarchal marker.

    What is the point? Your J2 Cohen marker does not indicate your purity. Perhaps you now have an elevated sense of self because *one* of your ancestors was a Cohen. That does not mean *all* of your ancestors were Cohen.

    But good for you George. Even an idiot with no worthwhile education and no worthwhile skills, and no worthwhile intellectual faculties, should have something to be proud of.

    And no, I’ve not taken the test. Why shell out 200 dollars? That is an insult to my ancestors — I *know* who my father is, George, and I know by name and by grave, his forefathers for about 400 years. I can still celebrate the Mass for the Dead for my grandfathers at their own graves, if I desire. Unlike you, I don’t need some abstract sense of self: I *know* who my fathers are, I know their achievements, and I can be proud of that definite knowledge.

    But for an imbecile like you, with a decrepit mind, and a lackluster family, you can find solace in your J2-Cohen result, and try to warp history to support your idiotic theories.

    But when I take the test, I’ll actually have a faint hope for an Indo-European “Persian” result and not a J2-Cohen one. That was a civilization with great accomplishment in the spheres of literature, war, architecture, etc. and great *attested* antiquity. But, due to my Pakallomattom ancestry, I’m not holding my breath.

    I don’t care regardless; like I said, I *know* who my fathers are. And I know what they did.

    But George a question. You are J2-Cohen. What about your mother? Was her father J2-Cohen? Go and find out (get one of his pure male descendents to do a test). What if the answer is no? Is your father’s marriage now illegitimate because it’s a Cohen non-Cohen mix? Are you now illegitimate? What about your wife? Is her father J2-Cohen? Find out. What if now? Is your marriage now illegitimate? Is your son illegitimate? What if your son has a daughter? None of her line will have your J2 Cohen marker. Will you treat her differently?

    George, you don’t think. That’s fine. Just don’t open your idiotic mouth, and you’ll be okay.

    Did all of your years in the Middle East sour you to Arabs? Why don’t you go to Israel and try to live as a Jew. See how you’ll be treated, you half-breed mutt. Go and ask the Indian Jews who migrated to Israel how the “pure” Jews treated them?

    Purity is a double edged sword, my moronic friend. One impure, illegitimate marriage, and you literally become a bastard.

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  108. Attention: Jackson/ John Mathew

    I cite the following from a different discussion group. Given your expertise I would like to receive your take on this matter. You may reply to my personal id:

    [email protected].

    The language is colourful as the typical Knas find the DNA data offensive!

    Quote:

    There is a lot of talk from the Exogamy Mullahs that Knanaya DNA shows that we are already mixed!
    Please keep the following things in mind.
    1. Genetics is a science that is still evolving. Although we have made a lot of progress, genetics is still in its infancy stage.
    2. The National Geographic articles under the name “Journey of Man” talks about the study being conducted by Dr. Spencer Wells, a Geneticist trained in Harvard. This study is not conclusive yet. They need 1000000 samples to test their hypothesis and they have only about 25000 so far.
    3. The study examines the paternal lineage for men through the Y chromosomes and the maternal lineage for women through Mitochondrial chromosomes. There is no test available to check maternal lineage of men and paternal lineage of women. So it is really a half baked cookie.
    4. As per the email I got from Dr. R. M. Pitchappan of Madurai Kamaraj University, who managed Dr. Wells’ project in India, this study cannot tell me where my forefathers were 2000 years ago. Mutations usually takes longer than 5000 years to set up genetic markers.

    5. Scientists such as Dr. Milford H. Wolpoff of University of Michigan, who support the “Multiregional Origin Theory” does not agree with the “Out of Africa” theory put forth by Dr. Wells
    So, the whole DNA talk is nothing but “talk” at this time and should not be taken as divine word.

    Unquote

    Thank you in advance.

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  109. Dear John Mathew, if we are saying we have not jewish ancestery instead we have syric ancestery and i f you will notice these facts to a southist community their ego will push you out. Other than southist community they see everyone else as flat converts. and u have to feel what they are expecting about themselves. Southist see themselves up to syic themselves up to jewish one and whoever going to argue to them will be disappointed. and while we see j2 cohen in our community and semitic r1a1 , e1b2 are surprising. I think we dont have any syric immigrations to claim on nasrani populations that the southists think its only the knanaya thommen immgrations only happened and they don’t have no clue of mar sabo is and mar proth group, bar yeso, armeanian group, intial jewish converts among st thomas chiristian. Again they means edogamy means they see others as very much down to themselves and we know that none of the southists ydna was not impressive compare to what they are saying. so what i am saying we cannot give up all the way about jewish facts in our community and it pretty much there and we should learn more about it. it the matter that nasranis are not like southist behaving and they are truley nasrnis devoted to chirisianity

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  110. Dear John Mathew,

    I believe you when you say that your DNA test was never done. A person who writes in such Christian language as you, can never lie. I am positive of that!!

    Why do you bring in the ‘Jewish Eligibility – ie. Jewishness is from the mothers side)’ followed by Jewish people (who do not accept the Messiah) into this discussion. The Nasrani always traces his family ‘father to son’. and never ‘mother to daughter or mother to son..’.

    I do agree that since about 1500 to 1800 years the mainstream Jews gave weightage of Jewishness to pass from mother to child. But we Nasranis are a ‘patriachal’ community with no importance given to ones mother’s family, so your lengthly example/story is not applicable. You are grafting a coconut palm with an arecanut palm. Matriachal heritage is not there in ‘Patriachal Nasrani’.

    Don’t just read books, intereact with people.

    I would not ‘lead you to more sin’ in abusing me, So I quit. I have a good reason now to quit. Yahoweh Bless!!

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  111. George you imbecile. The discussion had nothing to do with matriarchal or patriarchal societies. I was showing how a J2-Cohen indicator is not an indicator of “racial” purity. That is, it is possible for someone without the indicator to be a “more pure Jew” than one who has the indicator. However, since that escapes you, I will cease from trying to teach you more.

    Yes, I have a very negative side to my personality. When confronted with stupidity I lose any sense of decorum, political correctness, etc., and call a spade a spade. Such was the case in my discussions with you.

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