Thanks to Jackson, for sharing the DNA test …
Comment posted Lifestyle of Kerala Syrian Christians by Admin.
Thanks to Jackson, for sharing the DNA test results,analysis and encouraging all to conduct tests. Quite a lot of literature and analysis has been presented in various comments.
Let me share some observations from different writers in connection with the claims of the settlement of the Jews in Malabar.
“The Cochin Census Report, 1901,” as quoted by Thurston in “Castes and Tribes of Southern India, 1909″, says that they “are supposed to have first come in contact with a Dravidian people as early as the time of Solomon about B.C. 1000, for ‘philology proves that the precious cargoes of Solomon’s merchant ships came from the ancient coast of Malabar.’
It is possible that such visits were frequent enough in the years that followed.
Mr. Logan, in the “Manual of Malabar”, writes that ‘the Jews have traditions, which carry back their arrival on the coast to the time of their escape from servitude under Cyrus in the sixth century B.C.’
The same fact is referred to by Sir W. Hunter in his ‘History of British India.’
He speaks of Jewish settlements in Malabar long before the second century A.D. A Roman merchant that sailed regularly from Myos Hormuz on the Red Sea to Arabia, Ceylon and Malabar, is reported to have found a Jewish colony in Malabar in the second century A.D.
Mr. Whish observes that “the Jews themselves say that Mar Thomas, the Apostle, arrived in India in the year of our Lord 52, and themselves, the Jews, in the year 69! In view of the commercial intercourse between the Jews and the people of the Malabar Coast long before the Christian era, it seems highly probable that Christianity but followed in the wake of Judaism. The above facts seem to justify the conclusion that the Jews must have settled in Malabar at least as early as before the first century A.D.”
The very fact that St. Pantaenus found in India a copy of the Gospel of St. Matthew written in Hebrew lends support to the view that it must have been from the Christians of Jewish orgin of the Malabar Coast.
At the same time we do have evidences of Prelates originating from Mesapotmia from ancient times. There has been a flow with the trade routes and due to persecutions to Malabar coast for many decades. Not all are Jews and there would be many Assyrians and others arrived in Malabar. We do have evidences of various other trade settlements in Malabar in ancient times.
Many existing literature shows that we welcomed people from every sect to our fold through out existance. But at the same time there are evidences than claims to show that the Church established by St. Thomas might have been predominantly from Jewish diaspora.
We are the members of 2000 years old Syriac Christianity which is in state of flux. Atleast in my point of view we have more responsibility towards the survival and keeping the natural, organically developed liturgical traditions alive.
Of all the present individual communities of the Christians in Near East, the Syriac churches present the greatest challenge and of course greatest interest even to an outsider.
Syriac Christian literature is spread out in time, spanning more than 1700 years and it is dispersed geographically through the Near East, China and India
I think we should try to share more information about the ancient liturgies, the rites, history before we loss them completely.
Some time back Joseph Geroge mentioned about an article sharing the results of the DNA test and as an encouragement for people to take the test. I think Joseph is busy. If Jackson can share an article about the DNA test results and the basics of DNA which is spread across many comments in an article it can be definitely helpful.
Related NSC Network Articles
- Some of the traditions and rituals among the Syrian Christians of Kerala
- ‘The Syrian Christians of Kerala, Demographic and Socio-Economic Transition In The Twentieth Century’ by K. C. Zachariah
- ‘The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopaedia of India’- Volume II , Chief Editor Prof.George Menachery
- Names, Middle Names and Last Names among the Syrian Christians
- ‘The Indian Christians of St. Thomas’ by Dr. Leslie Brown
- A Syrian Christian Family Portrait – Circa 1620 A.D.
- ‘St. Thomas Christians and Nambudiris, Jews and Sangam Literature – A Historical Appraisal’, Bosco Puthur (Editor)
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