Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Acts of Paul and Thecla

NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH: Shut up, woman! The Apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla and their impact (Despina Iosif, Ancient World Magazine).
The Apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla is a fascinating read that enjoyed wide popularity for centuries. It presented Thecla as a powerful figure who overshadows Paul. Thecla made an unexpected decision which meant that through Christianity she was actually liberated from the concerns of the body and from the dominion of a future marriage.
Thecla's (traditional) grave is in Maaloula (Ma'aloula, Malula), Syria. It was reportedly desecrated by ISIS in 2014.

Maaloula was long famous as one of the last towns in which Aramaic was spoken as a native language. It was devastated during the war, but has made a comeback since. See here, here, here, and here. (Cross-file under Maaloula Watch.)

More recently there has been speculation that Thecla may be the "glorious martyr" mentioned in a late-antique church mosaic in Ramat Beit Shemesh. Other PaleoJudaica posts on Thecla are here and here.

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