Talk:Saint Thomas Christians

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Repeated removal of inline citation[edit]

Josslined removed an established inline citation, which is accessible online, for the 4th time. The inline citation, The Jews of India: A Story of Three Communities by Orpa Slapak, was removed because it contradicts Josslined's main claim. That citation talks about Hebrew signatures found on a 9th century Christian inscription, that is still available in Kerala for verification. No indigenous person in ancient Kerala would have signed in Hebrew in the 9th century. It is a physical evidence, not any speculation.

In the 2nd century, Pantaenus from Alexandria visited a Christian community in India using the Gospel of Mathew in Hebrew language. We have evidence of travel between Egypt and ancient Kerala (See Silk Road trade routes) in the 2nd century. No indigenous people would have used that Gospel at that time. The 2nd century South Indian epic Manimekkalai talks about a non-Indian Jewish Christian community in ancient Kerala.

The lead section should be inclusive and neutral. So I have reverted some of the edits and restored the citation removed by Josslined. I welcome other Users who have experience in editing this article to decide on the correctness of the recent changes proposed by Josslined and whether they are really needed or not. Anyway, we should not remove the citations verifiable online.

The Caste System that existed in the northern part of India did not exist as such in Kerala in the early centuries. Some obviously unreliable wild guesswork, which was not there in the article before 2015, like different castes, number of people converted, etc. can be removed. Jossyys (talk) 01:23, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Oh is that the citation you wished to keep. I removed it thinking it didn't add very much- we all know the Thomsian tradition is mentioned in many academic sources, and b) I thought the link was broken.
We know there were Jews in kerala before 1000 A.D. We know hebrew was used in the community and we know persian merchants may have integrated with the community. We also know the community's tradition is that the initial converts were local Hindu people, supplemented later by migrants. Saint Thomas Christianity is an Indian version of Christianity. It is a community that had churches that looked like temples and that had a specific function and position in the Hindu caste system. A 1000 years later this possible mixture of migrants and local people can be called indigenous Indian Christians, and the community can be called to be Indian. No indigenous Indian community is is ethnically pure. Further all people in the subcontinent were migrants at one time. Indeed the archaeological evidence you cite is one of the earliest recorded artifacts in Kerala.
"Some obvious unreliable wild guesswork, which was not there in the article before 2015, like different castes, number of people converted, etc. can be removed" I think you referring the Songs of Thomas. Songs of Thomas is one of the oldest record of the community tradition. It is not meant to be factual but a legendary account of the communities traditions.
Further I have trouble claiming All saint thomas christians believe in the Thomsian legend. Further, it should be clarified the exact origins of the communit is not clear.
The other point of the name. Calling Syrian Christain and Nasrani as the popular version is again wrong. Syrian Christian and Nasrani are the older more official names for the community. Saint Thomas Christians is actually the less official name, and has Anglican missionary connotations I will make edits accordingly (busy right now). Josslined (talk) 19:28, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
They were originally called Nasrani. The term Syrian Christian has been used in Kerala since the Dutch period, especially to differentiate between the Nasrani people and the Latin Christians.
The structure of any building constructed in any region conforms to the local geography and climate and the construction work is done mostly by the local people. The ancient Nasrani churches in Kerala are a blend of Kerala architecture and Middle East churches.
Now, the lead section is inclusive as it says that they are from Kerala, India; they trace their origins to the evangelistic activity of Saint Thomas in the 1st century. If we say, they are indigenous, we unnecessarily assert something which is not fully true. Look at the history of ancient Kerala, even the Brahmins in Kerala are not originally native to the region.
Some people are very clear about their origins and some are not. The article takes care of the issue regarding their origins under the section "Early history and tradition." We need not clutter the lead section with more details that are included in the following sections.
I have noticed that you give much importance to the term "Hindu." In fact, the word "Hindu" is NOT originally an Indian word. The word "Hindu" is neither a Sanskrit word, nor is this word found in any of the native dialects and languages of India. It is originally a Persian word (derogatory one) used by the Muslims who conquered and ruled the North and Central parts of India to humiliate the inhabitants there. People in India are slowly coming to realize this fact. Since Kerala was never part of any of those North Indian empires, the word "Hindu" was not used in Kerala until very recently. Jossyys (talk) 08:50, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
See this news: Govt does not have info on definition of 'Hindu', reveals RTI query [1]. Jossyys (talk) 12:50, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

Diagrams posted on this article regarding:[edit]

Users like Achayan or his sock puppet post many pictures in this article. Please remember to post pictures of relevance to the concerned matter. There are so many ceremonies and rituals among St Thomas Christians. Some of them are not common also. For example baptismal font is used in Malankara Church. I don't understand what is the importance of 21 beads on the thali as stated in the picture. Also would like to keep the pure east Syrian crowning ceremony picture of the Chaldean Syrian Church as this Church is not represented. In my opinion, all St Thomas Churches should be given some representation rather than posting pictures of a particular Church. Also I noticed that user Achayan or his sock puppet with IP address starting 202 is so much interested in projecting his family and his marriage photo on this site. He had inserted his family name Payyapilly along with the early families converted by St Thomas. Later I noticed it and removed it. Mandrake_the_Magician (talk) 16:11, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

On division and defiance it is better to post the picture of MarThoma I as he was the primary person concerned with the Coonan cross oath and the first division in the Church. Mandrake_the_Magician (talk) 16:16, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Church of the East and India[edit]

The source you add is a reference work on Roman Catholic history and belief edited by the faculty of the Catholic University of America. It cannot be considered an independent source. It says that Theophilus (surnamed the Indian) — an Arian, sent by Emperor Constantius (about 354) on a mission to Arabia Felix and Abyssinia — is one of the earliest, if not the first, who draws our attention to them. Note the point, "our attention to them". In fact, Christians existed in Kerala before that period; however, they could not notice those Christians. I shall explain it. We have to note that Christianity was illegal in Rome until the 4th century AD, until AD 313 and Christians were persecuted in the Roman Empire until then. In AD 313, the Edict of Milan decriminalizing Christian worship was issued. So, only after that period, they started taking interest in Christianity. The Church of the East is a different Church. A particular Church's version cannot be considered the definition of another independent Church. We have to verify different independent sources.

The term 'Malankara' was used originally, not 'Malabar'. See the picture of the tomb that was removed from the article by Kokkarani the other day; the term 'Malankara Nasrani' is used. Jossyys (talk) 00:32, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Please bring references or citations rather than just explaining your versions. Catholic Encycolpedia edited in USA is unbiased and considered reliable. You point out some minor mistakes to reject it. If you reject it, you have to bring forward reliable references and citations. Until then please DON'T revert it. ThanksMandrake_the_Magician (talk) 01:14, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
The term 'Malankara' was used originally, not 'Malabar'. Please bring reference for your claim rather than pointing out to a 17th century Tomb writing .It even look like written a few years ago.Mandrake_the_Magician (talk) 01:14, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Ecclesiastical province of India? What does it mean? Ecclesiastical province of the Church of the East? Also this claim needs reference or citation. ThanksMandrake_the_Magician (talk) 02:26, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
The PDF is here. See the pages 53 and 54.
The Chronicle of Seert reports that a Bishop David of Basra engaged in missionary activity in India around 295/300, and it seems that Joseph of Edessa was named bishop of India by the catholicos of the Church of the East in 345.
Catholicos Sabrisho (596–604) also expressed interest in the Indians, to whom Ishoyahb II (628–46) eventually sent additional bishops. The jurisdiction of the Church of the East over the Christians of the Indian Malabar coast was clearly established under Catholicos Ishoyahb III († 658) around 650. Between 650 and 850 a separate metropolitanate of India was established, which was mentioned around 1350 by Amr b. Matta in his Book of the Tower.
See the pages 20 and 21.
Concerning relations with the patriarch of Antioch, no claim of Antiochene jurisdiction over the Church of the East during the synods of 410, 420, and 424 can be found. In fact, none of the ancient ecclesiastical sources claims a dependence of the East Syriac church upon Antioch as mother church.
So there is no question of independence in 424. It just says, the intervention of the Western bishops, i.e. the bishops of the eastern provinces of the Roman empire, ceased with the decision of 424. Anyway, that is not the main point under discussion here.
Points to be noted:
1. AD 295/300 means it happened in the 3rd/4th century before the First Council of Nicaea.
2. Between 650 and 850 a separate metropolitanate of India was established.
3. Terms like 'local kings of Kerala', 'indegenous Indians' etc. are used.
4. The lead section should not contradict the content in the article.
Therefore, I shall restore the earlier version later. Jossyys (talk) 03:50, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Your point: The Chronicle of Seert reports that a Bishop David of Basra engaged in missionary activity in India around 295/300, and it seems that Joseph of Edessa was named bishop of India by the catholicos of the Church of the East in 345.

This has been discussed a lot by many learned historians. The India mentioned here is NOT about St.Thomas Christians. Please go through more sources to clarify it. I have gone through a number of books and Encyclopedias and none of them state anything like you claimed. ThanksMandrake_the_Magician (talk) 04:03, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Your point:it seems that Joseph of Edessa was named bishop of India by the catholicos of the Church of the East in 345.

Do you have any reference for your assertion that he was a bishop of St Thomas Christians? India mentioned at that time included a region east of Hindukush mountains.There was grater India and lesser India. Your claim is based on vague things. The reference you provided is NOT sufficient to accept your claim. ThanksMandrake_the_Magician (talk) 04:10, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

The Chronicle of Seert (or Siirt) is an ecclesiastical history written in Arabic by an anonymous Nestorian writer, at an unknown date between the ninth and the eleventh century. How much reliability it has?Mandrake_the_Magician (talk) 04:36, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Your claim is totally wrong. There was no claim of Antiochene jurisdiction over the Church of the East during the synods of 410, 420, and 424. I do not claim anything here. I just quote from the reference. I restore the page with proper citation. You need consensus for making changes. Jossyys (talk) 05:12, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Please stick to the TOPIC. We r not discussing about the dependence of the Church of the East on Antioch. You said St.Thomas Christians started relationship/communion with the Church of the East from 4th century. Please bring forth sufficient credible reference to prove it and convince others. ThanksMandrake_the_Magician (talk) 05:22, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Even though that is NOT our topic, I just quote a part from page 19 of the book-Church of the East A concise history-Wilhelm Baum and Dietmar W. Winkler for your information.

The synod of 424 is widely regarded as the occasion on which the Church of the East stated its claim to autocephaly through the rejection of the “right of appeal” to the West. It has been assumed that in this year the Church of the East declared itself independent of the patriarch of Antioch. One must realize, however, that such a declaration of independence from the patriarch of Antioch need not have taken place, as this presupposes an earlier dependence. The Church of the East can be considered to have been autocephalous since the Synod of Isaac in Seleucia-Ctesiphon (410). ThanksMandrake_the_Magician (talk) 05:29, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

First of all, I do not make any new claim. See the section 'Classical Period'. "From the early 4th century the Patriarch of the Church of the East provided India with clergy, holy texts, and ecclesiastical infrastructure, and around 650 Patriarch Ishoyahb III solidified the Church of the East's jurisdiction over the Saint Thomas Christian community". This content has been there under that section with citation since the beginning. Any changes to the lead section should be based on content in the body. The lead section should NOT contradict the content in the article. So I am going to restore the earlier version with additional citations.
See this reference 1: We also know that bishops were in India at the end of the third and early fourth centuries. The first identified bishop of India is David (Dudi) who left Basra by ship around AD 295....it was likely in southern Inda. The second reference to a bishop is John, bishop of Persia and Great India (325)....Eusebius who was present at the council noted that a Persian bishop was a participant....the Indian Church was well established before the Council of Nicea. It answers all your questions.
See these references: 2, 3, 4.
The Catholic Encyclopedia talks about John the Persian, who was present at the Council of Nicaea (325). In his signature to the degrees of the Council he styles himself; John the Persian [presiding] over the churches in all Persia and Great India. The designation implies that he was the [primate] Metropolitan of Persia and also the Bishop of Great India.
Definition of 'ecclesiastical': of or relating to the Christian Church or its clergy.
It is simply an adjective used by another editor earlier. Jossyys (talk) 02:09, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Additional references: 5, 6. Jossyys (talk) 04:32, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

OK. The history-divisions diagram is changed accordingly. Thanks Mandrake_the_Magician (talk) 19:08, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

Why the "Saint Thomas Christians" called the "Syrian Christians":[edit]

I have read different opinions in different articles. I would like to point out some of it.

1)They are also called Syrian Christians because of their use of Syriac, which is a dialect of Aramaic, in liturgy.

2)The Malankara Church is a church of the Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala, India, with particular emphasis on the part of the community that joined Archdeacon Mar Thoma in swearing to resist the authority of the Portuguese Padroado in 1653. This faction soon entered into a relationship with the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, and was thereafter often known as the Malankara 'Syrian' Church. Ref:Gregorios & Roberson, p. 285;Vadakkekara, p. 91.

Here they say the church came to be known as Syrian church because of their relationship with Syriac Orthodox Church in Antioch.

3) The term Syrian relates not to their ethnicity but to their historical, religious and liturgical connection to the Church of the East, or East Syrian Church. Ref:Županov, Ines G. (2005). Missionary Tropics: The Catholic Frontier in India (16th–17th centuries), p. 99 and note. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-11490-5

4)At least from the fourth century the Indian Church entered into a close relationship with the Persian or East Syrian Church. From the Persians, the Indians inherited East Syrian language and liturgies and gradually came to be known as Syrian Christians.

5)Syriac Christianity (Syriac: ܡܫܝܚܝܘܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ‎ / mšiḥāiūṯā suryāiṯā) encompasses the multiple Churches of Eastern Christianity whose services tend to feature liturgical use of ancient Syriac, a dialect of Middle Aramaic that emerged in Edessa in the early 1st century AD, and is closely related to the Aramaic of Jesus.

Ref:Allen C. Myers, ed (1987). "Aramaic". The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans. p. 72. ISBN 0-8028-2402-1.

6)The dutch colonial people in India first called the Saint Thomas Christians as "Syrian Christians'

Semi-protected edit request on 7 November 2016[edit]

Please edit

"The community was historically united in leadership and liturgy, but since the 17th century have been split into several different church denominations and traditions"
as follows.
"[[Thomas_the_Apostle|Saint Thomas the Apostle]] reached India in AD 52, who was followed by [[Thomas_of_Cana|Knai Thoma]] in AD 345 along with 72 families and clergymen. The second Syrian migration to Kerala happened in AD 825 along with two bishops [[Mar_Sabor_and_Mar_Proth|Mar Sapor and Mar Aproth]] further strengthen the relationship between Saint Thomas Christians and the Syrian liturgy. The community was historically united in leadership and liturgy, but since the 17th century have been split into several different church denominations and traditions."

--Gibies (talk · contribs) 05:58, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

In this context, church and denomination is a synonymous word. Mandrake_the_Magician (talk) 18:02, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
I've made a slight copyedit to the request. @Kokkarani: are you saying the edit is incorrect? Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:37, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done and copy-edited.  Paine Ellsworth  u/c 13:48, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
Undone: This request has been undone. Another editor has cited the lack of sourcing – so Gibies, can you say where you read this material that you wanted to include in this article? Can you cite a reliable source for this material?  Paine Ellsworth  u/c 00:40, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

Ezhavas converted to Christianity[edit]

yrian Christians are Ezhava converts. This was even acknowledged by Fr Paul Thelekkatu{ priest of syro malabar sabha}. This article seems to have been written by people who can't digest their slave past and want to satisfy their vanity. These guys received Kudikidappu Avakasham from Nair feudal lords and Namboothiri jenmis. Even today they live under false notion that they are upper caste. Fact is that even today these guys are not allowed to enter temples or Purification rituals are performed if they enter... So much for their Nambudiri ancestry. Men can lie but his genes can never lie. Their genes are most similar to other South Indian communities (except nairs)[1]. This is an excerpt from Harappa DNA project Syrian Christians surnames like Thampan and Panicker were commonly used by Ezhavas. Both these communities were into liquor brewing Vallyathampran (talk) 14:44, 30 December 2016 (UTC)Vallyathampran

References