Archive for the ‘General’ Category

CAA-770x433Jubilee is one of the most significant themes in the OT that envisions an ideal nationalistic kingdom for the people of Israel. Luke quotes Isa 61:1-2 in 4:18-19 as Jesus’ programmatic pronouncement of the Gospel. The Third Gospel as a whole orchestrates its ideological framework based on the Nazareth Manifesto of Jesus. But in Luke, Jubilee demonstrates a meaning beyond the traditional and nationalistic understanding of it. The Lukan narrator takes the message of Jubilee from the OT and reinterprets it for his new Sitz im Leben that comprises of the poor and the oppressed communities. In that sense, the Lukan understanding of the New Jubilee, as a gnomic and universalistic concept, can encompass the feelings and the aspirations of all people in everywhere and ever contexts. In today’s Indian scenario, the New Jubilee concept introduces a new paradigm that can transform the existent realities.

The Lukan concept of New Jubilee can be considered as a paradigm to the contemporary Indian context. Milgrom foregrounds Jubilee as a “rallying cry for today’s oppressed.” The Nazareth Manifesto (Luke 4:18-19) stands out as a persuasive artistry that moves the entire discourse of the Gospel forward as a rhetoric. Jesus, as one who was endowed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and as an anointed one, proclaims the programmatic pronouncement with efficacy. As the statement rightly elaborates, his main concern was proclamation of good news to the poor. As the Lukan community was in an expectation of a transformative and liberative voice, Jesus’ utterance inaugurates a new paradigm that focuses on the poor, the imprisoned, the blind, and the oppressed communities of his time. Mija states that, “The poor belongs to the Kingdom now.” In that sense, the socially, religiously, and politically marginalized communities of the Indian society can take advantage of the New Jubilee message.

Lukan Jesus proclaims the message of release. In the Gospel, the God of solidarity and God’s way of solidarity through Christ are at the foreground. As God is in solidarity with the oppressed communities, the Lukan poor is at the focus of his mission. God expresses his solidarity through the means of healing, comforting, encouraging, empowering, and leading to liberation/salvation. The ‘poor’ in the Indian context is not merely an economic category, but also those who are spiritually, socially, and physically vulnerable. The ‘prisoners’ is a broader category as they are captives—ideologically, structurally, that can be political, religious, cultural, and social in nature (Luke 4:1-5; 7:36-50; 11:37-53; 20:20-26). The existent realities of the Indian context seeks a paradigmatic touch through the New Jubilee message. It can bring peace and harmony to transform the society.

The ‘blind’ constitute not only physically blind people but also those who are blind to the broken realities of others and the true values of life. The ‘oppressed’ refers to those who are subjugated by the dominant in particular contexts. In the contemporary Indian scenario, the poor, Dalits, Tribals, Adivasis, women, and children undergo various socio-political and religio-cultural stigmas on a continuous basis. As a gnomic/universalistic Gospel, Luke has the power and potential to engage with the contemporary realities of the Indian society. As Luke and the Lukan Jesus envision a New Jubilee in the theological focus, the Lukan message has the potential to establish an egalitarian community within the social, economic, religious, political, and cultural realities of our country. In that sense, the Nazareth Manifesto is embedded within the wider text with a potential to transform human cultures.

The Lukan framework does not treat Jubilee in the old perspective, but rather in a renewed and contextually pragmatic manner by looking at the core realities in the socio-political and religio-cultural contexts. The current Government of India does not emphasize the minority rights as they exist as proponents of a majoritarian propaganda. The Ghar Wapsi issues, holy cow ideology, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Population Register (NPR), and the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) are used to stabilize a majoritarian propaganda that curbs the freedom and security of the minority religious communities of the country. This is the context in which the New Jubilee ideology can bring forth a radical transformation.

The CAA/NPR/NRIC agenda violates some of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Articles 14 and 15 of the Indian Constitution. While CAA excludes people based on their national and religious identities, New Jubilee is inclusive of all sorts of people irrespective of their citizenship or immigrant status. While the message of the New Jubilee embraces community formation and solidarity with the oppressed, the CAA scatters the community based on various national, ethnic, and religious factors. While CAA divides the community and puts the life of many into panic, the New Jubilee restores life and thus exists as a life-sustaining ideology. The message of New Jubilee fosters basic Human Rights to live and make life possible. While the CAA curbs the Human Rights of the Muslims, Christians, and other minority communities of the country, New Jubilee gives a new hope to the hopeless and the ostracized. Thus the New Jubilee ideology exists as a paradigm in the contemporary socio-political and religio-cultural situations of our country.

In India, a large number of farmers commit suicide as they lack Governmental support to manage their lands and yield profit. Displacement of the Adivasis and their misfortune to become landless in different parts of our country is yet another concern to be dealt with. Women are raped, nakedly paraded, and brutally murdered in different parts of our nation due to their distinct identity. It is also reported that child labour is rampant in today’s Indian context. Many live under the shadow of fear of death and spend their life in seclusion. It is in this context, the message of the New Jubilee can bring a positive change. Through the New Jubilee movement, the right to speech and freedom of life can be enhanced in the community living. The New Jubilee, as a “Freedom Movement,” proliferates freedom and deals with Human Rights issues. As the CAA targets the Muslims and the minorities of the nation, millions of the inhabitants live in jeopardy. The discriminatory acts of the Indian Government does not guarantee the rights, privileges, opportunities, and benefits of the citizens in the mode of righteousness and justice. Majority of the rules and laws are made to protect the majoritarian rights and subsequently to side-line the minorities, the refugees, and the migrants. This is the context in which the Lukan New Jubilee guarantees life and protects the Human Rights. As Jesus was envisioning a paradigmatic and egalitarian society in the First Century CE context, the same ideology can be implemented with a renewed thrust, rhetorical punch, and practical implication in order to redeem the divisive, accumulative, dehumanizing, and communal tendencies of the elites.

In recapitulation, the Lukan ideology of the New Jubilee can be considered as a gnomic or universalistic concept that brings forth multifarious initiatives in community building and social transformation. It is brainstormed as an ideology that takes into account everywhere and ever realities to show solidarity with the ostracized communities. As a message of hope to the poor, the captives, the oppressed, and the blind, it can be considered as an inclusive concept to transform human cultures. The Lukan Jesus takes side with the oppressed and begins his mission and ministry with a programmatic pronouncement in 4:18-19. On the one hand, the narrator takes insights from the Old Testament idea of Jubilee, but on the other hand, he goes above and beyond the Pentateuchal and Isaianic understanding of the concept for a wider efficacy. As the Old Testament concept is mostly a space-bound and time-bound idea in its execution, the Lukan idea crosses the traditional boundaries, creates a contextual and ideological constellation with the Old Testament, the Sitz-im-Leben Jesu, and the Sitz-im-Leben Kirche, builds a dialogical relationship with the Lukan poor, and leads the discourse toward a “third space.” This quality of the Lukan rhetoric unravels myriad possibilities for creating interpretative avenues for the Indian poor. As Luke takes the attention of the reader toward the subjugated sections of the society, an Indian reader can build her/his hermeneutical spectrum to encompass the feelings and the aspirations of the Indian masses. This quality of the Gospel of Luke demonstrates its esteemed rhetorical power.

As the Third Gospel as a whole builds a rhetorical strategy by way of absorbing the contemporary realities, the Nazareth Manifesto foregrounds the New Jubilee ideology to build the narrative texture of the Gospel. An Indian reader of the Gospel can witness a paradigmatic function of it as it curbs many of the existent realities of the country. A re-reading of the Gospel in the face of the mirror realities of our country takes into account the poor, the captives, the oppressed, and the blind sections of the society for liberation and transformation. The poor, the Dalits, the Tribals, the Adivasis, the women, the children, and all other subjugated sections can build hope and identify justice once when they adopt and implement the New Jubilee ideology. In a context in which the CAA/NPR/NRIC, the Ghar Wapsi, the holy cow ideology, and the anti-conversion issues are discussed, the New Jubilee ideology enables the people to have a new smile on their faces. In sum, the Lukan ideology of the New Jubilee can be considered as a paradigm for holistic development in the nation of India and elsewhere.

Johnson Thomaskutty

Union Biblical Seminary

Pune, India

Serampore Mission imageThomaskutty, Johnson., ed. Serampore Mission: Perspectives in Contexts. Delhi: ISPCK, 2019. ISBN: 978-93-88945-06-6. Pages: i-xxviii, 1-310.


Thawng Ceu Hnin (PhD)

Faculty of New Testament Studies

Hindustan Bible Institute

Chennai, India.

The title Serampore Mission: Perspectives in Contexts is a new book edited by Johnson Thomaskutty who is a New Testament professor at the Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India. Published in 2019, this book can be considered as one of the most recent books dealing on the topic of the Serampore Mission. It consists of 15 articles examining the contributions of the Serampore Missionaries. This book examines “the biblical, historical, hermeneutical, theological, missional, ministerial, and contextual disciplines of the movement” from multiple perspectives. It also aims to link the historical gap between the contexts of the Serampore Mission in its own Sitz im Leben and the 21st century Christianity in India. Primarily, this book deals with three significant aspects: first, “the influence of the Serampore Mission and the paradigm shifts that brought into the missional and the ministerial developments in the Indian scenario”; second, understanding the “significance of the Serampore Mission and its educational and theological contributions in the contemporary India”; and third, “the role of the Mission and its engaged and holistic tasks in the pluralistic Indian contexts.”

In his essay A Theo-epistemological Reflection on William Carey and the Serampore Mission, Songram Basumatary traces the theo– and missio-epistemological framework of the Serampore Mission. In that process, he poses many thoughtful questions such as “Are we theologizing Serampore Mission?” Whether to consider William Carey as a mere Missionary or he was also a socialist? Whether he was a pioneer of the praxis theology or was he also the father of the modern mission? Having asked the aforementioned questions, the author provides various factors that influenced Carey. In his essay Important Documents of the Serampore College and Their Significance to Higher Education in India, Subhro Sekhar Sircar attempts to underscore the historical value of four of the important educational manuscripts documented by various people: first, the First Prospectus of the College (1818); second, the Royal Charter (1827); third, Statutes and Regulations (1833); and fourth, the Serampore College Act (1918). In doing so, Sircar examines the contributions of these four documents to the Indian educational system. The author gives a short historical visit to the genesis of the Serampore College and its contextual relevance to the contemporary church.

In his essay The Impact of the Bible through the Protestant Reformation and the Protestant Missionary Movement, Prakash Abraham Mathew studies the tremendous impacts of the Protestant Reformation and the Serampore Mission which were founded and led by Martin Luther and William Carey. Mathew helps us to comprehend several factors such as: the ways Luther and Carey initiated their movements based on the Bible, the challenges they encountered in the process of accomplishing their tasks, their impacts upon the renaissance of Germany and India, and the historical significance of the Bible in transforming the lives of the people. In his essay William Carey’s Bible Translation Principles: Prospects and Challenges, Stanly Jones investigates the theological significance of the Bible translation, revisits Carey’s principles of the Bible translation, and underlines his challenges in accomplishing the task in the Indian vernacular languages. The author projects the salvific and holistic transformative nature of translating the Bible into Indian vernacular languages.

In his essay Re-reading the Gospel of John in the Light of William Carey’s Linguistic Methods, Johnson Thomaskutty examines Carey’s linguistic methods in the context of Bengal as well as in the wider Indian contexts. The author explores Carey’s linguistic principles for interpreting the Bible, implements some of his linguistic methods in the “narrative framework of John’s gospel,” studies the “sociolinguistic matrix of the Fourth Gospel for interpretive avenues,” and finally, brings forth a new hermeneutic or an indigenous hermeneutic for understanding the Bible. In her essay Educational Principles of the Serampore Mission and Its Implications for Contemporary Education, Annie George revisits the educational principles of the Serampore Trio/Quartet. The author enables us to see how the Serampore Trio/Quartet used education as a missionary tool and formulates various educational principles for the current education.

In his essay The Contribution of the Serampore Mission towards the Ecumenical Movement: A Historical Perspective, Woba James attempts to present the historical contribution of the Serampore Trio to the modern ecumenical movement. James perceives that the Serampore Mission is ecumenical in nature because it welcomes all regardless of their caste, race, color or even religion. He concludes that ecumenism was brought in various forms: by bringing together different theological institutions under one umbrella, by bridging the colleges together under one platform for “common theological vision and mission,” and by extending its ecumenical mission towards the people of other faiths. In his essay Reading the Life of Abraham and William Carey from a Missiological Perspective, Shiju Mathew makes a logical parallelism between Abraham and William Carey and demonstrates that they were two servants of God who lived once in the history of humanity. Mathew beautifully writes, “Both Abraham and Carey received the title ‘Father,’ Abraham as ‘Father of many nations’ and Carey as ‘Father of Modern Missions.’” The author considers these two prominent historical figures from a missional perspective and draws its relevance to the contemporary mission of the church.

In his essay The centrality of Christ and the Hermeneutical Perspectives of the Serampore Mission, George Philip attempts to answer the following question: “How can we understand the centrality of Christ in the activities of the Serampore Trio?” Philip also inquires the “hermeneutical principles of the Serampore Mission” and examines the “hermeneutical paradigms of the current theological education.” Philip writes that the hermeneutical lenses of the Serampore Trio were “proof-text method and literal interpretation of the text.” In his article Serampore Mission from a Botanical and Ecological Perspective, Jangkholam Haokip, as the title suggests, reads the Serampore Mission from a “botanical and ecological perspective.” The author depicts Carey as a botanist who paid special attention to the caring of plants and points out that for Carey, collecting and planting several plants was both religious and missional in nature. The nature is one of God’s creations and Carey vividly understood his role as a steward.

In his essay Serampore Mission and Dalit Theology, Viju Wilson addresses how the Serampore Mission and the Senate of Serampore College have contributed to the Indian contextual theological thinking and to the upbringing of the Indian Dalit theological thinking. Wilson argues that the Serampore Mission and the College have enabled the marginalized communities of India “to celebrate the life in its fullness.” The author contends that the Senate of Serampore College has developed many contextual theologians and they in return brought a holistic transformation among the marginalized sections of the society. In his article Revisiting the Serampore Missions and the Tribal Worldviews: A Postcolonial Reading, Mayang Longkumer interrogates and addresses one of the most significant questions: “Can something good come out of the Serampore missions lensing through the tribal worldview?” The author studies the Serampore Mission and other foreign missionary movements through the eyes of the tribal communities in India using a “post-colonial reading” as his interpretive tool. Longkumer suggests that mission movements should not be ignorant of the socio-cultural context of the target groups and that the approach of the Christian missions should be holistic.      

In his article The Modern Missionary Movement of the Serampore Trio: A Missiological Perspective, James Patole considers the “historical aspects of the Serampore Trio” and studies the missionary works of the Trio from a missiological perspective. Patole has chosen a handful of modes and approaches of the Trio and has brought application to the contemporary missional endeavor.  In her article Beyond the Serampore Mission Historiography: Re-defining Ecumenism from the Context, Kaholi Zhimomi sees the need to re-examine the historical dimensions of the Serampore Mission to address the modern missionary movement and pays a visit to the historical contributions of the Serampore Mission. Considering the Serampore Mission as her base, she redefines the meaning of the term “ecumenism” in the Sitz im Leben of Indian realities. In her conclusion, she suggests a life-centric ecumenism over against the prevailing church-centric and anthropo-centric ecumenical endeavors. The last essay in this book is William Carey’s Approach to the People of Other Faiths, Religious Practices, Caste System, and Conversion, written by Giri K. He considers the various ways through which William Carey approached the people of other faiths, religious practices, caste system and conversion in India.

Unlike any other books on the Serampore Mission, this book stands unique because it is one of the results of the bicentenary celebration in India. All the writers have put their efforts in viewing the Serampore Mission through multiple perspectives and their works bring a fresh light. A suggestion would be the need to address the relationship between the Senate of Serampore colleges and the colleges under the Asia Theological Association since a large number of churches and organizations only value the products of the Senate of Serampore College/s over and above the ATA graduates. Overall, this book is the need of the hour to re-emphasize the holistic mission initiatives of the Serampore missionaries. Abraham was called the “Father of many nations” and William Carey was called the “Father of Modern Missions.” In that sense, who will be called to be the “Father of Post-modern Missions?” It is the need of the hour for the Serampore College/s to consider this question with seriousness. While we celebrate our past glory, let us also work together to transform our students to become people like the Serampore missionaries who will be called the “Father/s [Mother/s] of Post-modern Missions.”

Overall, the editor and the authors together attempt to build a “third space” for witnessing Christ to the future generation of people out of the “first space” of the Serampore missionaries and the “second space” of the contemporary contextual realities. The editorial ventures, layout, research initiatives, marshalling of the evidence, multifarious topics, and the holistic nature of the book deserve special appreciation. For those who search for a book that focuses on the contemporaneity of the Serampore Mission, this book can be considered as one of the best choices.

Buy the Book here: Amazon Page

Buy the Book: ISPCK

Bloomsbury Book PictureJohnson Thomaskutty, Saint Thomas the Apostle: New Testament, Apocrypha, and Historical Traditions (Jewish and Christian Texts in Contexts and Related Studies 25; London/New York: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2018). Pp. xx + 256.

Saint Thomas the Apostle is an excellent study of Thomas traditions in the Gospel according to John, the Apocryphal texts, and the historical traditions in North western and Southern India. The movement of Christianity towards the East is relatively neglected. Many of the traditions and writings were treated more or less fictional and legendary and their historical veracity is often looked down with suspicion. But there are many untold stories of these men and women who were so close to Jesus of Nazareth. The Eastern regions have always maintained their fascinations about these people. One of such figures in the Christian history, a tiny figure amidst the towering figures like Paul and Peter, is Thomas, the Twin. Charlesworth has rightly commented in the Foreword that Thomas has been maligned in the west as the doubting Thomas, because of the misinterpretation of John 20 and therefore Thomas did not make, in the eyes of many, an ideal disciple (p. xi). This study challenges such conventional and stereotyped images and scholarly assumptions regarding Thomas traditions.

This monograph is indeed a remarkable effort to understand the person and work of “Didymus Judas Thomas” (p. 1).  The author’s attempt to reclaim the original image of Thomas as “believing Thomas,” over against the popular image “doubting Thomas,” needs appreciation.  In doing this, the author investigates the development of Thomas literature from its earliest stages, reads those traditions with fresh insights and scrutinizes the Thomas Literature to delineate the character and mission of Thomas. The author builds his thesis furthering the propositions of Charlesworth, as its basis, and cuts its own path employing an interdisciplinary method.

This monograph divides Thomas literature into three categories: canonical references, apocryphal documents, and traditio-historical materials. By interweaving these three layers of documents, the attempt is made to reconstruct the personality of Thomas. This research is structured into three parts. The first part (chaps. 1-4) talks in a detailed way how Thomas is portrayed in the Fourth Gospel. The second part (chaps. 5-8) delineates the person and work of Thomas in the Apocryphal documents and part three (chaps. 9-10) examines the Thomas traditions and attempts to reconstruct the Thomas community. In doing this, a brilliant attempt is made to reconstruct the person of Thomas as a historical and a literary figure.

In the first part, the attempt is to focus Thomas’s character within the narrative framework of the Gospel of John. The author brilliantly explains the “narrative artistry” of Johannine literature with an insightful reading of all four Thomas narratives in the Fourth Gospel (p. 5). The unique placement of Thomas, to the author, communicates something significant about the character and his development within the narrative. The utterances of Thomas is exegetically analyzed with its stylistic and rhetorical effects in the narrative units. In addition, the character of Thomas is brought forward from new directions by analyzing the arrangement of various themes like belief, love, glory and the titles given to Jesus.

The first place where Thomas comes to the forefront of the narrative is in John 11. Apparently, it is the narrative about the death of Lazarus, but at a deeper level it is pointing to the death and resurrection of Jesus. This narrative twist is done through the portrayal of Thomas, in which Thomas’s utterance impacts the whole story of Lazarus. This utterance makes crucial Christological turn in the narrative. Thus, Thomas is presented as one who stands against all odds and stands with the decisions and plans of Jesus and as a key figure in the plot of the story of Jesus (p. 34). The second occurrence of Thomas is in the Farewell discourse (13:1-17:26). By interpreting the question in 14:5 with its rhetorical effects in the narrative, the author brings forth the person of Thomas as one filled with love and concern for Jesus. His questions and utterances in the narrative enhance rhetorical force initiating new revelations. The third occurrence is in 20:1-31. This passage gives the highest Christological confession in the Gospel, the theological climax of the whole narrative. The expression “My Lord and My God” is also ‘rhetoric of resistance’ and therefore it can also be understood from its imperial context and its affiliative-alterity (mimicking and mocking) dynamics. The final appearance is in chapter 21:1-25, which is interpreted as a narrative expansion to stabilize the role and function of Thomas.

The second part of this book analyses the portrayal of Thomas in the Apocryphal documents to see how Thomas traditions continued to exist in the early centuries. It also delineates the significance of Thomas in the post-Johannine context. The Gospel of Thomas is the first document in this category, which is attributed to Didymus Judas Thomas (p. 90). He was identified within the Syrian church as the apostle and twin brother of Jesus. This document helps the reader to understand Thomas’s unique leadership role, his special knowledge about Jesus, and his unparalleled position in early Christianity (p. 101-102). The second document is ‘Book of Thomas the Contender,’ which is a revelation dialogue between Jesus and Thomas (p. 106). This book throws light regarding the engagement of the Thomasine community with that of the ideological and philosophical world of early Christian centuries. Book of Thomas portrays Thomas and his community (Thomasine community) with special attachment to Jesus and ability to comprehend Jesus’ sayings, while the rest of the world is in ignorance. Thus the person and character of Thomas could be seen as an extension of the Johannine tradition.

The Acts of Thomas and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas are the next two documents examined in this study. These documents give further information regarding Thomas’ significance and influence among the communities of faith. In the Acts of Thomas, the Apostle Thomas is described as the Apostle to the East, and more specifically as the Apostle of India (p. 122). This book indicates Thomas’ journeys beyond the Greco–Roman world, to the Eastern Hemisphere, especially to the Indo-Parthian and South Indian regions. This shows Thomas’s character and identity as a disciple with an intimate relationship with and commitment to Jesus and as one who crosses the geographical boundaries, and as one engaging with people from varied walks of life. Just as in the Fourth Gospel, he appears as Jesus’s spiritual twin and proclaims him as “My Lord and my God” (p. 125). The infancy Gospel of Thomas tells the stories of Jesus’ childhood, the stories that were in circulation regarding the earthly Jesus. Thomas was perceived as a philosopher (p. 142), a childhood friend and as a twin brother of Jesus in this document. The author brilliantly reconstructs the growth of Thomas from a “childhood friend” to an “earlier disciple” and later on to a “mature believer” (p. 149).

The third part of this monograph explores the historical traditions related to Thomas. Firstly, there is an attempt to understand the way the nation of India was perceived in antiquity and the possibilities of Thomas’s coming to the Greater Indian provinces. It is an established fact that through trade relationships, India became well connected to the rest of the world, especially the Jewish, Babylonian, Greek, Roman, and Persian kingdoms. Then the patristic evidences are marshaled to prove Thomas’ apostleship to India. Such traditions, for the author, were unanimous, consistent, and reasonably early, and they circulated among the church fathers, travelers, traders, geographers, and historians from a wider geographical area. To the author there is no convincing contradictory evidence stating that Thomas did not go to India.

Author’s analyses of the historical perception of the person and work of Thomas from the tradition- historical material deserve appreciation. Firstly, it is reconstructed from the Synoptic Gospels, Fourth Gospel and Acts of the Apostles. The author argues that the spiritual experiences on the day of Pentecost and in the upper room, the emerging situation of persecution in the Jerusalemite context, and the post-council (i.e., 49 CE) attitude of the mother church toward missions would have challenged Thomas to pursue the task of going beyond the Jewish and Greco–Roman boundaries. The evidences from the records of church fathers, historians, travelers, and geographers are called forth in proving Thomas’s visit to India. Thomas Christianity, though rooted in the Palestinian Jesus movement and connected to Gentile Christianity, kept its own identity as a mystical, ascetic, and esoteric group spread throughout the East Syrian, Persian, Indo-Parthian, and South Indian provinces. The living tradition of Malabar, the tomb of Mylapore, archaeological evidence relating to the kingdom of Gundaphoros, the local traditions of Malabar including the Ramban Thoma Pattu, Margan Kali Pattu, Veeradian Pattu, and other traditions, are indicators of such growth of Thomas Christianity. The author strongly argues that the traditions about Thomas as one of the oldest and strongest traditions in church history.

The author’s brilliant integration of Thomas’s literary character, historical persona, and theological traits for a comprehensive understanding of his person and work deserves appreciation. The reconstruction of Thomasine community and its development as a unique, concrete, and consistent movement in history, with its expressive forms, especially the Malabar traditions is enlightening and makes this monograph a valuable contribution to the academia. The meticulous examination of the development of this Thomasine movement through the Thomasine Literature indeed evidences the nature of research and its excellence. The quest for the person and work of Thomas and his community through these traditions is indeed a contribution to the theological fraternity across the globe.  With these analyses, the author proposes reasons for a Thomasine School hypothesis. This study of Thomas with the help of an interdisciplinary approach is iconoclastic in nature. With this eclectic reading, the author proves how Thomas stands tall as a unique figure in the history of Christianity. This is an interesting book for all theological students, biblical scholars and researchers on history of Christianity.

Dr. Biju Chacko

New Theological College

Dehra Dun, India.

Bloomsbury Book PictureJohnson Thomaskutty, Saint Thomas the Apostle: New Testament, Apocrypha, and Historical Traditions, Jewish and Christian Texts in Contexts and Related Studies 25 (London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2018, ₤85.00. pp. xx + 265. ISBN 978-05676-7284-1).

This is a monograph with an edge. It emerged from a postdoctoral research project, but its aim was no mundane textual re-examination of early literary texts referring to the apostle Thomas. Instead, this study adopts an interdisciplinary approach to challenge what is seen as the pervasive assumption that the extra-canonical texts referring to Thomas are purely fictive. Thomaskutty frames his research question in the following manner: ‘Are the Thomas references in the Gospel of John, the Thomas compositions, and the early Thomas traditions in north-western and southern India purely legendary as biblical scholars have assumed or do they preserve unexamined historical traditions intermittently as the Thomas Christians in India have believed?’ (p. 1). While Thomaskutty is correct that scholars have tended to see the so-called Thomas compositions as largely fictive, it might be overstating the case to say that biblical scholars have understood these traditions as entirely legendary. The link between the figure of Thomas and eastern Christianity, and perhaps with India itself has occasioned consideration of whether there might be an historical kernel to this tradition. Thomaskutty, however, undertakes a comprehensive study of early Thomas material to provide a more encompassing portrait of the figure of Thomas.

As the subtitle suggests the book is arranged in three parts, dealing in turn with Thomas in the Gospel of John, Thomas in the Apocryphal Documents, and Thomas in the Historical Traditions. In terms of arrangement, the reason for treating the Thomas in the Gospel of John as a discrete section, while examining the other New Testament texts that refer to Thomas (in disciple lists: Matt 10.3; Mk 3.18; Lk 6.5; Acts 1.13) in the third section on historical contexts is not entirely obvious. It is argued that in the fourth gospel Thomas’s portrayal is that of ‘a royal, inquisitive, and developing model, his character advances towards a new level of faith commitment’ (p. 85). In the second section Thomaskutty examines four Thomas texts—The Gospel of Thomas, The Book of Thomas the Contender, The Acts of Thomas, The Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Analysis of these texts leads Thomaskutty to observe the proximity of Thomas to Jesus particularly in terms an attachment to Jesus that results in a deeper comprehension of his sayings. The twin-motif is emphasized (p. 119). However, one may question whether it is present in all these texts (cf. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas). Particularly helpful is the discussion of Thomas Christianity in India (pp. 197-201). Thomaskutty notes that Thomas Christianity possesses ‘a spirituality that focuses on the glorious trinity’ (p. 199). Presumably that aspect of spirituality did not originate with the figure of Thomas in the first century, but may evidence contact between Thomas Christianity and church traditions to the west.

In the end this is an intriguing study, which raises many significant questions. The author is to be commended for marshalling the evidence in a way that lends some support to the ideas being articulated. This volume now stands alongside a growing literature on early Thomas texts and traditions.

By Prof. Paul Foster, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, UK.

(Published in The Expository Times 129/11: p. 524).

gospel-of-john-logoAfter completing the monographs Dialogue in the Book of Signs: A Polyvalent Analysis of John 1:19-12:50 [BINS 136; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2015] and Saint Thomas the Apostle: New Testament, Apocrypha, and Historical Traditions [Jewish and Christian Texts Series 25; New York/London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2018], I was seriously thinking of writing a contextual commentary on the Gospel of John. For my surprise, I was approached by Primalogue (Bangalore) and Fortress Press (Minneapolis) for this significant task. I thank Dr. Brian C. Wintle (Series Editor), Mr. George Korah (Publisher), and other editors for this wonderful opportunity. Herewith I request all my friends for your support in multifarious ways.

The India Commentary on the New Testament (ICNT) series aims to give a well-informed exposition of the meaning of the text and relevant reflections in everyday language from contemporary Indian and South Asian context. The intended audience is the theological seminary students and faculty. The commentaries are also ideal for pastors and lay people with an interest in theology or responsibilities for preaching in the local congregation. The commentaries are culturally rooted, and the various applications relating to culture, society, and religious life will help those involved in cross-cultural witnessing and missional engagements. There is no direct equivalent to the ICNT, and hence this is the first Indian commentary serving India, the entire subcontinent (that means, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) and the world. The ICNT is an affordable evangelical commentary series written by respected academics in everyday language, providing a well-informed meaning of the New Testament and practical reflections for modern Indian and South Asian contexts. It will be published by Primalogue (Bangalore) and Fortress Press (Minneapolis).

The rhetoric of John’s Gospel can encompass the feelings and aspirations of people both “there and then” and “here and now.” This unique characteristic of the Gospel is evident as it manifests in particular times and places its gnomic significance, its significance for all times and places, when context-specific issues arise that require context-specific readings. John’s narrative masterpiece takes into consideration both the individual and the corporate aspects of humanity. The gnomic rather than descriptive nature of the text directs our attention to its global hermeneutical significance. The Gospel of John speaks equally to secular Americans and Europeans, to pluralistic Indians, to Hindu Nepalese, and to Muslim Bangladeshis. Its message of peace, love, faith-centered life, holistic salvation, and the mission of God has the potential to liberate and transform diverse communities of the world. In the Indian and the South Asian contexts, a missional hermeneutic that crosses traditional boundaries of interpretation and builds dialogical bridges between the world of the Bible and that of our own time may be very effective. Such boundary-crossing and bridge-building will enable contemporary Indian readers of the Gospel of John to direct their community to a “third space” for dialogue. This should be paradigmatic for the South Asian Christians.

By Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.

13527235_f520Dialogue in the Book of Signs: A Polyvalent Analysis of John 1:19-12:50 by Johnson Thomaskutty. Leiden/Boston: E. J. Brill, 2015. Pp. 540

Dialogue in the Book of Signs is a well-written and fascinating study of the dialogues in the Gospel according to John (1:19-12:50), a literary genre that needed much attention and an area largely remained thus far underexplored in Johannine studies. It is a strenuous task, a book with 558 pages, of which 484 pages deal with the main text, 18 pages for preface, foreword and other details in the beginning, 38 pages for bibliography and the rest for indices (index of authors and ancient sources). These details explicate the dedicated work of a researcher with focus and enthusiasm. The text is neatly printed without mistakes, which indicates many hours of cautious and exhaustive scrutinizing and hard work by the author.  The rich list of bibliography, appendices and the figures and diagrams used in the explanation deserves appreciation. The author also deserves appreciation for taking a challenging task, an under explored area, using a synchronic way of reading. The author limits his study to the Book of Signs (1:19-12:50) and defines his task as to identify the dialogue form people use in their conversation and the narrator’s dialogue with the reader and how the intermingling of these two layers play a vital role in the narrative structure of the Gospel (p. 19).

The methodology employed looks highly sophisticated. The author employs a polyvalent approach to drive his point home. The phenomena of dialogue are discussed at three levels: micro-level (looking for the semantic, syntactic and pragmatic aspects of the exchanges), meso-level (the relation between exchange units and their formation into episodes), and macro-level (taking the Book of Signs as a single unit and delineating the holistic features of the dialogue). In such a sophisticated analysis, the author relies on the genre critical theory developed by David Hellholm and David E. Aune (p. 21), especially the genre elements like “form, content and function” (p. 22). Narrative critical approach is also used as another tool, in which the Book of Signs is understood as a narrative, especially the narrative theory by Seymour Chatman, who explains “story and discourse” as two major elements within a narrative. The rhetorical techniques employed by the evangelist are also analyzed. The author also utilizes a “description and classification” method to unearth the holistic nature and the types of dialogues. Along with this an “analytic and synthetic method” is integrated. Thus, the author employs insights from genre, narrative, rhetorical, dramatic, and reader-response methods to analyze the dialogue texts of John. It describes the polyvalent nature of the method and its interdisciplinary orientation.

The study traces back the dialogues in the ancient world, from various religious traditions (Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Canaanite, and Greco-Roman), in which the conversation between the deities and the human beings were part of the affairs of that world. Such a context helps to explicate the dialogues between Jesus and the Father, between the ‘one from above’ (Jesus) and those ‘from below’ (Jews) and between the word that became flesh and the rest of the humanity. The ancient philosophical traditions are also called for support to understand the existent patterns of dialogue in the first century. At the same time, the study contends that Johannine dialogues must be treated on its own terms. Moreover, it has affinity with dialogues in the Old Testament, especially in its ‘inner negotiation and outer confrontation pattern’ (p. 36). A comparison between the Synoptic Gospels and the Fourth Gospel would reveal that though dialogue was employed by the Synoptic evangelists, John uses this literary genre in a more concentrated way. The author begins with an explanation of two questions at the outset: what is a dialogue in John and how a dialogue is different from a conversation.

11210434_10205374754682319_7096551444197954496_nThe author divides the whole Book of signs into 13 episodes. After giving the dialogue setting, he discusses the exchange units in a dialogue at three different levels: micro-, meso- and macro-. At micro level, the dynamics of exchange between individuals and interlocutors and their interrelation from its semantic, syntactic and pragmatic aspects are analyzed. Thus, the content, form and function of the exchange unit is studied, devices (for example, double meaning, misunderstanding and others) used in the dialogues are explicated and thus the dialogue trends are highlighted. At meso level, it analyses how the exchange units work in relation to one another and how they together contribute in the formation of an episode. By using a polyvalent analysis in the study of dialogues, the author takes all the pain to paint different layers and types (implicit, explicit, and others) of dialogue in the narratives and show their plot structure, characterization, thematic development, rhetoric, revelatory aspects, dialogue tenets (such as forensic enquiry, defense statements, messianic motifs, and the like), and other literary features. By doing this, the author elucidates different textures of the narrative before the readers. At this level, how the dialogue develops towards a common emphasis is mentioned.

At macro level, the study takes into account the features of dialogue in the Book of Signs as a whole. At this level, the details highlighted at micro- and meso-levels are organized. It deals with the relation between the exchanges and the episodes within the extended narrative framework. The author highlights the major dialogue trends such as question-and-answer, request-rebuke-response, challenge-and-riposte, and report-and-defense. This section also discusses the polyvalent connections as well as the rhetorical thrust of the dialogue.   In all these three levels the ‘character dialogues’ and the ‘narrator-and-reader dialogue’ are explained side by side.

The author has made a deliberate attempt to fill the gap in the study of the dialogues, and thus bring to forefront the underexplored dimensions of this literary genre in the Fourth Gospel. It explores the literary and rhetorical character of the Gospel and brings forward the varied textures of the narrative. The study relates the dialogues as an important genre and its polyvalent performative trends in the Gospel. The author successfully brings out the aesthetic elements of the text before the readers.The story of Jesus is presented in the Sitz-im-Leben of John through dialogues, and thus the narrator invites the readers of the gospel to be engaged with the narrator. However, while applying the literary techniques and seeing the story of Jesus in the ‘Johannine life situation,’ the author remains silent on the negotiations of the narrator through his protagonist (Jesus) and the varied characters in the Gospel. This Gospel is a powerful negotiation against Jewish cultural nationalists and also against the presence of the Empire and its operations in the lived experience of the Johannine community (Warren Carter, 2008: 3-15). This study has sufficiently argued and explicated the rhetorical techniques used by the evangelist/narrator. At the same time, it was also a rhetoric of distance (Carter) and thus resistant elements and its negotiations with the power centers needed attention, which may be beyond the scope of this study.  This book is a useful study, challenging all the New Testament scholars and students to engage in interdisciplinary approaches, especially, for Johannine students, this research work is a must read book. Surely, it prompts further research in the field of Johannine studies.This book has strongly argued for a dialogue-centered interpretation than a narrative-centered interpretation, thus contends for a new epistemic center from which the hermeneutical wings of Johannine eagle can spread into higher realms.

Dr. Biju Chacko

Assistant Professor of New Testament

New Theological College

Dehradun, India

Thomas ButlerAn insightful and refreshing approach to the study of the Gospel of John

Johnson Thomaskutty has opened a new window into the challenge of analyzing the structure and content of the Gospel of John by identifying what he calls a polyvalent analysis of dialogue in the tri-partite categories of micro-, meso-, and macro– levels “to bolster a comprehensive interpretation of John 1:19-12:50.” But, Thomaskutty has chosen to limit his analysis to what he and other scholars call the Book of Signs. I find myself wondering why he does not apply his systematic analysis to the parts of the Gospel he does not apply his analytical tool. In his words, including the prologue, the extended passion story or the post-passion and resurrection accounts. There is a historical reason for these extant tri-partite, but often hidden categories, i.e. the Hebrew Scriptures (and the apparent editorials applied to them, especially during and after the post-exilic period in Babylon), the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures, i.e. the Septuagint (and Midrashic commentaries on some parts of it, or all of it if the Fourth Gospel is to be written using signs and oracles in it as a Midrash of the written and oral tradition of Jesus), and finally, the Greek version of the Gospel of John (requiring readers and scholars to find and interpret the deeper meaning of the signs and oracles found the Gospel’s source document, the Septuagint to reveal its deeper meaning). Professor Thomaskutty has not chosen, for example, to consider the Midrash commentary on the first verse of the creation story in the prologue of the Gospel according to John. It is there that the first dialogue occurs in all of history as the Hebrew theologians, certainly including Moses, understood it and described it. God speaks, and the creation comes into being in response to what God commands. The first verse of the Gospel according to John identifies the Word of God, the aspect of God who speaks, “. . . and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” That should certainly qualify as a macro-level in the polyvalent analysis of the Gospel. The refreshed approach that Professor Thomaskutty has identified can surely be used by other scholars toward important insights of the deep meaning to be found there.

-by Thomas W. Butler


NTA imageNew Testament Abstracts 60/2, 2016

JOHNSON THOMASKUTTY, Dialogue in the Book of Signs: A Polyvalent Analysis of John 1:19—12:50, Biblical Interpretation 136 (Leiden—Boston: Brill, 2015, €186/$241) xviii and 540 pp., 58 figs. Bibliography. Indexed. LCN: 2015020173. ISBN: 978-90-04-30159-7.

[[The revised version of a doctoral dissertation supervised by J. G. van der Watt and accepted by Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen in the Netherlands in 2014, this book investigates the development of Johannine dialogue in the Book of Signs (Jn 1:19—12:50), seeks to understand the peculiar approaches and methodologies of the author/narrator for framing the dialogue, and explores the theological value of dialogue. After a 42-page introduction, it provides micro- and meso-analyses of dialogue in the Book of Signs: a glory-focused revelatory dialogue (1:19—2:12), a challenge and riposte dialogue (2:13-22), a pedagogical dialogue leading to a monologue (3:1-21), a report-and-defense dialogue to a narrative commentary (3:22-36), an interreligious dialogue in a dual-stage setting (4:1-42), and so forth. Then it provides a macro-level analysis with attention to exchange, episode, and narrative developments; dialogue and its polyvalent connections; the content, form, and function of dialogue; and dialogue and the rhetorical thrust of the Book of Signs. Thomaskutty, associate professor of NT and Greek language at Union Biblical Seminary in Pune, India, concludes that the narrator and the implied reader dynamism within the Book of Signs enables contemporary readers to understand the narrative world of the Fourth Gospel.]]

NB: The notice of the highlighted book appeared in NTA 60/2 in October 2016 (@ Boston College). A corresponding record will appear in NTA Online (see www.


Review One: “Scholarly and well-researched—an essential reading in Johannine studies”

The book Dialogue in the Book of Signs by Johnson Thomaskutty concerns itself with the study of dialogue as a literary category in the Book of Signs. The book predominantly uses a synchronic approach but does not distance itself from the questions of authorship and other “historical” aspects. The study mainly focuses on a fairly “empty spot”—the study of dialogue and its literary and theological significance in the Book of Signs (John 1:19-12:50). The beauty of the book lies in its methodology. With a tri-partite layer of structural analysis combined with a deeply informed and intuitively discussed scholarship of the literary text, Thomaskutty shows that through a discussion regarding the literary category called “dialogue” many new insights in the Gospel of John are possible. His tri-partite methodology consists of a micro, meso and macro analyses of the text that slots the text into various frames that have their structures and gives a detailed analysis of the function as well as nature of the dialogue in these frames. The categories or exchange units that comprises of the dialogue are analyzed individually (micro), in relation to each other (meso) and as a whole (macro).

While constructing these frames, he uses many established scholars in a manner that not only explains their textual categorizations but also inter-reflects within their views to bring out clarity and a sound understanding of the text itself. This work champions the literary critical methods and sets a literary paradigm for studying Johannine literature as dialogue. This paradigmatic understanding is achieved also on the level of the relationship of “dialogue” with the other literary genres found in the text like the ‘I AM sayings’ or the uses of metaphors as well as Platonic and Aristotelian forms of dialogue. Studying dialogue as genre in the gospel as well as its rhetoric in unfolding a drama for the reader, Thomaskutty unearths insights in the content, form and function of the dialogue in the Book of Signs. Thus he calls this multifaceted approach to the study of the Book of Signs as polyvalent analysis, due to the incorporation of multivalent methodological frameworks in his analysis of the text. He has thus achieved a multidimensional literary reading of the Fourth Gospel. The purpose of the entire book is deeply ingrained in the assumption that the phenomena of the text take place between the narrator and the reader. Hence by analyzing ‘dialogue’ in the Book of Signs, Thomaskutty pursues to clarify, augment and amplify the relationship between the narrator and the reader which is accomplished through the means of a final tool that he calls as the ‘rhetorical thrust.’

In conclusion, this book is, in its own unique way, enlightening for students of theology interested in the scholarship of Johannine studies as well as for the ongoing discussions regarding dialogue in Johannine literature.

-by Rohan Abraham

Review Two: “I would highly recommend this book for all those engaged in serious Johannine studies”

Dialogue in the book of Signs is a thoroughly researched and well-written book. In methodology, it is mostly synchronic and at the same time multifaceted. In the Johannine scholarship, the Fourth Gospel’s dialogue has not been treated as a literary genre but rather considered as part of its narration. In his title, Johnson Thomaskutty pays exclusive focus on the study of John’s dialogue arguing that it is a literary genre the author/narrator of the Fourth Gospel uses within its narrative framework. The method that Thomaskutty uses is of polyvalent nature having literary, genre and narrative critical analyses merged with description and classification and analytic and synthetic methods. Using this multivalent approach, he analyzes the varied layers of Johannine dialogue providing setting, form, content, and function of each dialogue within the first twelve chapters of the Fourth Gospel.

Thomaskutty analyzes dialogue at three levels. First, at the micro-level, he discusses the individual utterances of the interlocutors and their dynamic interwovenness and function. It is analyzed alongside the narrative annals of the Fourth Gospel and within the master plan of the exchange units. Second, at the meso-level, he analyzes how each exchange units coherently relate to one another and how they together form the episodes. Finally, at the macro-level, he considers the entire Book of Signs as a ‘single literally whole’ and demonstrates the holistic features of the dialogue. In that process, a dual-layered analysis of the dialogue is elaborated: first, between the characters within the story; and second, between the author/narrator and reader within and beyond the narrative framework. On the one hand, Thomaskutty draws reminiscences between Platonic/Aristotelian and Johannine dialogues, and on the other hand, he brings out the uniqueness of the Johannine dialogue as a unique literary genre and a rhetorical category. At the macro-level, Thomaskutty also expounds the role of the dialogue alongside of other literary elements found within the text.

I would highly recommend this book for all those engaged in serious Johannine scholarship. In the words of Alan Culpepper: “Thomaskutty’s extensive research, eclectic methodology, expanded focus on the functions of dialogue in multiple narrative relationships, and his sheer industry and attention to detail will establish this volume as an important resource for the ongoing study of the role of dialogue within the Fourth Gospel.” I am in total agreement with what Culpepper recapitulates above.

-by Arnon Christian

Review Three: “Great insights through a well-written monograph”

Johnson Thomaskutty’s monograph entitled Dialogue in the Book of Signs (Brill, 2015) is a seriously researched and richly thought-provocative work using a wide range of literary critical methodologies. Focusing chiefly on the use of a polyvalent approach in the Book of Signs, the title makes an extensive terrain in its contribution on dialogue in the Johannine scholarship. Moreover, the book, through the incorporation of a multivalent methodology, helps us in understanding the overall content and rhetorical thrust of the Book of Signs.

Thomaskutty has skillfully brought out the Johannine phenomenon of dialogue at three levels. At the micro-level, the book discusses the dynamics of the individual utterances and their interconnection and role within the narrative framework. It exquisitely brings out on how the semantic, syntactic and pragmatic aspects of dialogue dynamically aligned within the exchange units. At the meso-level, it analyses how the exchange units are stitched together and how they together form the episodes. At the macro-level, it describes the holistic feature of the dialogue within the Book of Signs.

Thomaskutty has also very well brought out on how dialogue establishes polyvalent connections with some of the other narrative elements such as signs, “I am” sayings, metaphors and dramatic movements in addition to its parallelism with the Platonic and Aristotelian dialogues. Overall, Thomaskutty has pretty well done and brought out a broad and comprehensive understanding of the dialogue within the Book of Signs. He has provided us a monograph which significantly develops our understanding on dialogue and in this way serves and illuminates an abnegated area within John’s Gospel from a polyvalent approach and it provides avenues for further research and study.

-by Akumtila Jamir

See the links here:

(1) Brill site; (2) Amazon; (3) Google Books; (4) World Cat;

(5) eBay; (6) Interview-I; (7) Interview-II

Blog Picture

In Wittenberg, Germany, Evangelisch-Theologischer Fakultätentag, Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Theologue and Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD) organized an academic conference with the umbrella theme “Glaube und Theologie. Reformatorische Grundeinsichten in der ökumenischen Diskussion” (“Faith and Theology: Basic Insights of the Reformation in Ecumenical Debate”), during the 500th anniversary of Reformation. The conference was held during 10-12 October 2017. The concept paper of the conference describes the theme as follows:

Since the beginning of Christianity, there has been a fundamental tension between faith and theology (if theology is understood as a rational reflection of faith which is internally coherent and can be communicated in intersubjective discourse). The Reformation, with its principle of sola fide on the one hand and its institutionalization of a Scripture-based academic theology on the other hand, drew particular attention to the tension between faith and theology and suggested new answers to that problem. That effort contributed to a fundamental transformation of academic theology within the faculties of Protestant Theology which emerged as a result of the movement. On the occasion of the anniversary of the Reformation, it is fitting to acknowledge the achievements of academic theology in the Reformers’ tradition.

During this grand occasion, my paper was an attempt to see how faith and theology interact constructively and contextually in the Johannine community, in the Reformation traditions, and in the post-Reformation India. The paper was entitled, “Faith and Theology in the Johannine Community and in the Reformation: A Paradigm in the Indian Context.” The following paragraph introduces the basic questions of the paper.

My paper deals with the relationship between the faith of the believing community and the theology within the academic set up. The Reformation Movement with its emphasis on sola scriptura, sola fide, and solus Christus, attempted to build a bridge between faith and theology. While the Reformers derived their fundamental concepts and theological ideas mostly from the Pauline corpus, in the current investigation I seek to explore the connection between Johannine understanding of faith and theology and its significance in the Reformation context. The following questions are given prominence here: how the Johannine community dealt with the issues of the relationship between faith and theology in their personal and corporate living? How the Reformers followed the ideology of the Johannine community in their interpretative endeavors in relating the faith in the ecclesiastical set up and the theology in the academic circles of their times? How the Reformation movement influenced Indian Christianity and its reinterpretation of faith and theology? How the Johannine community aspects remain as a model to the Reformers and also to the post-Reformation Indian believers/scholars to develop their ideological and theological framework? An attempt is made to analyze the way Christ-centered interpretations at work in the Johannine, in the Reformation, and in the Indian Christian contexts. At the integrative level, we will also explore the analeptic (to the Johannine community) and the proleptic (to the Indian Christian context) connection of the Reformation Movement. The unique feature of the Reformation, as it relates to both the biblical past and the global future, gives us a significant outlook concerning the movement and its growth. The presenter, first of all, as a Johannine researcher, analyzes the aspects of faith and theology within the narrative framework of the Gospel of John; second, as a person with profound influence from the Protestant theology, ponders deep into the connection of these two areas in the Reformation traditions; and third, as an Indian, researches about the impact and influence of the Johannine and the Reformation principles both in the historical and in the contemporary Indian scenario.

By Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.

Bartholomew Picture

This monograph is the first study of the Bartholomew Traditions in the East from an interdisciplinary perspective. The focal question is as follows: Are the Bartholomew traditions in the New Testament, in the apocryphal Bartholomew compositions, and the early Bartholomew traditions in India purely legendary (as biblical scholars have assumed) or do they preserve unexamined historical traditions intermittently? The general tendency of studying the character of Bartholomew from the New Testament, Apocrypha, and historical traditions, independently from one another, led the interpreters far from a broader understanding of the character. The dichotomy of studying the character of independently from the limits of canonical, apocryphal, and historical disciplines created a lot of gaps within the area of Bartholomew studies. This situation persuades us to look at the Bartholomew literature comprehensively to understand the character from a broader perspective. The current study is also intended to address the following subsidiary questions: Did we understand Bartholomew comprehensively by bridging the New Testament, Apocrypha, and historical traditions together? Or did we understand him only through disciplinary perspectives? Are Bartholomew and Nathanael in the gospel traditions one and same personality or are they different characters? How can an interdisciplinary perspective help us to understand the character comprehensively? How was Bartholomew connected to the Eastern Christianity and how does the Bartholomew literature support/not support this connectivity? Can we understand the Bartholomew traditions related to diverse geographical locations with the help of canonical, extra-canonical, and traditio-historical documents? These questions will be adequately dealt with in the process of exploring the Bartholomew literature. The task of the study is threefold: investigate the development of the Bartholomew literature right from the beginning, understand the peculiar approaches and methodologies of interpreting Bartholomew documents, and analyze the Bartholomew literature integratively to understand the character and his mission involvements.

By Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.

Blog PictureUnion Biblical Seminary’s (Pune, India) Department of New Testament Studies organized a Special Lecture on 25th August 2017 in the Seminary campus. The Resource Person was Prof. Dr. Rekha M. Chennattu, Professor of Biblical Studies at Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pontifical Institute of Philosophy and Religion, Pune, India. She has a Licentiate in Scripture from Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome (1996), and holds a PhD in Biblical Studies from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. (2004). She earned her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Francis J. Moloney. Since 1996, she has taught Scripture in India and abroad and presented papers at various national and international conferences and published more than 90 scholarly articles in journals and books in India and abroad. Some of her articles are translated from English into more than 20 (European and Asian) languages. Among her works, Johannine Discipleship as a Covenant Relationship (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006) is well-known among the Johannine scholars. Her forthcoming monographs include Biblical Women as Agents of Social Change and A New Commentary on John’s Gospel from Indian and Feminine Perspectives.

Dr. Rekha’s lecture was structured under three major sections. In the First Section, she emphasized the challenges of interpreting the Scripture in a context of various paradoxes. Keeping that important challenge in mind, she highlighted some of the hermeneutical principles for Biblical Exegesis (based on her article entitled “The Svadharma of Jesus: An Indian Reading of John 5:1-18,” in Seeking New Horizons: Festschrift in Honour of M. Amaladoss, 317-35). In that process, she explored the following four aspects in details: first, the “author meaning” is not immediately accessible through the text, because of the historical distance and the cultural gap between the ancient author and the modern readers; second, the “author meaning” is not always identical with the “text meaning,” because the written text has semantic autonomy; third, in a Christian interpretation of the Scripture, the “text meaning” should be in continuity with the “author meaning”; and fourth, in a contextualized interpretation of the Scripture, the reading should be sensitive to the local context: the socio-politico-economic situation and the spiritual-cultural mind or worldview.


In the Second Section of the lecture, she explained in nutshell the experiences of the Indian women in relation to the Principles of Indian Feminist Biblical Exegesis. In that connection, she suggested the following two things: first, a feminist biblical interpretation upholds the dignity of all human persons in general, and the dignity of women in particular; and second, a feminist biblical interpretation upholds the sacredness of the cosmos and our inter-relatedness and interconnectedness. In the Third Section, Dr. Rekha offered a Case Study based on John 4:1-42 (for more details see her article: “Women in the Mission of the Church: An Interpretation of John 4,” Vidyajyoti: Journal of Theological Reflection, 760-73). She argues that:

The Gospel of John presents women positively, and they play significant roles in the narrative. The story of the Samaritan woman is very significant because it not only reflects the socio-cultural reality of the Johannine community but also announces our ideals, aspirations and struggles. Like Jesus, she shows an openness, which transcends her social traditions as she enters into a dialogue with Jesus. She is rooted in her traditions, yet open to receive the revelation from Jesus. But she is not depicted as a passive receiver, accepting unquestioningly all that is said by Jesus. If we understand leadership as an animating role characterized by critical mind, creative initiative and committed action, she is presented as ideal leader of her community. Her religious background, personal interests and spontaneous appropriation of the role of an apostle to bear witness to Jesus in the city are outstanding and significant. Through this story, the Johannine community is also challenged to become a new temple (dwelling place) of God in the world, to become a covenant community of God. In other words, we (the disciples of Jesus) are called to become a community which makes God’s loving presence visible in the world.

The Lecture was followed by a Q&A Section, where several significant biblical and contextual questions were raised. Dr. Rekha responded to all the questions with ease and spontaneity. Her explanation of John’s story from the perspectives of “behind the text” (Johannine Community), “in the text” (Jesus’ own story in John), and “in front of the text” (the contemporary readers of John in India) was one of the highlights of the lecture. The polyvalent and gnomic natures of John were once again revealed through her lecture. The lecture was moderated by Dr. Johnson Thomaskutty, Head of the Department of New Testament Studies at UBS, Pune.

Bloomsbury Book PictureHypothesis

Thomas traditions in John and in the so-called apocryphal works, like the Gospel of Thomas (GTh), the Book of Thomas (BTh), the Acts of Thomas (ATh), and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (IGTh), have long been misunderstood. They have been explained from the perspective of Jesus’ disciples who went to the West, especially to Rome. The so-called apocryphal documents were composed long before there was any canon of the NT, and they must not be branded as ‘non-canonical.’ The present monograph examines all the traditions focused on Thomas from an interdisciplinary perspective. The insights and conclusions have proved surprising and challenge the well-known claim that there is no history in some of these very early traditions. The focal question is the following: Are the Thomas references in the Gospel of John, in the Thomas compositions, and the early Thomas traditions in the North-Western and Southren India purely legendary as biblical scholars have assumed or do they preserve unexamined historical traditions intermittently as the Thomas Christians in India have believed? Thus, this study is an endeavor to understand the person and work of Didymus Judas Thomas from a comprehensive perspective and interdisciplinary methodology.

Thomas appears as one of the most misunderstood characters from the early stages of NT history and interpretation. The nickname ascribed to him (that is, ‘doubting Thomas’) is mostly accepted as a synonymn for doubt, unbelief, and lack of devotion. The usual practice of studying the character of Thomas from the NT, apocrypha and historical traditions independently from one another, kept the interpreters far from a broader understanding of the character. The dichotomy of studying the character of Thomas independently from within the limits of canonical, extra-canonical, and historical disciplines created gaps within Thomas studies. This situation persuades us to review the Thomas Literature (hereafter TL) integratively to understand the character from a broader purview. The current study addresses the following questions: Was Thomas merely a ‘doubting Thomas’ or was he a ‘believing Thomas’? How will a study of Thomas that bridges the NT, apocrypha, and historical traditions provide a broader understanding of the character? How is a disciplinary perspective limited in its scope in the study of Thomas, and can an interdisciplinary perspective enables us to perceive the character comprehensively? How was Thomas connected to Eastern Christianity and how do the Thomas literature support this connectivity? Can we understand the Thomas traditions related to Judea, East Syria, Persia, Indo-Parthia, and South India with the help of canonical, extra-canonical, and traditional-historical documents? These questions have to be dealt with adequately in the process of exploring the TL. The task of the study is threefold: investigate the development of the TL right from the beginning stages, understand the peculiar approaches and methodologies of interpreting Thomas documents, and analyze the TL integratively to understand the character and his mission involvements.


“I find most attractive Thomaskutty’s interdisciplinary methodology. It is both revolutionary and refreshing. He examines the four selected texts [i.e., GTh, BTh, ATh, and IGTh] using textual criticism, biblical criticism, narrative criticism, and theological reflections. He is well read and knows the strengths of the leading scholars. His review includes the so-called canonical texts, the apocryphal compositions, and historical traditions in both collections.” (James H. Charlesworth, George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Princeton Theological Seminary, USA)

“Prof. Thomaskutty offers a comprehensive assessment of the evidence for the Apostle Thomas within the New Testament, in early Christian literature, and in the traditions of the Church, particularly the church in India, which has long venerated the Apostle Thomas as its founder. Thoroughly researched and carefully argued, Prof. Thomaskutty’s treatment will be a valuable resource to scholars of the early church and to anyone interested in the development of apostolic traditions outside the western sphere.” (Harold W. Attridge, Sterling Professor of Divinity, Yale Divinity School, USA)

“Based on careful reading of all the ancient primary sources and attention to the traditions of India, Prof. Thomaskutty has succeeded in bringing the Apostle Thomas to life, in all his complexity. Anyone interested in the Apostle Thomas ‘the Twin’ would do well to start here.” (Charles M. Stang, Professor of Early Christian Thought, Harvard Divinity School, USA)

Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.

18194138_10210978303887547_8220654040290507346_nMy Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at Tyndale House, Cambridge, UK, during the whole month of May 2017, contributed some of the significant moments in my life. As a scholar in residence, I had access to both the Tyndale House and the University of Cambridge libraries. I thank Dr. Peter Williams, the Principal and Warden of the Tyndale House, for extending all the possible helps for my travel, stay and research in the Cambridge area. During my stay in Cambridge, I also had the opportunity to visit the University of Oxford (Bodleian) library and some of the significant historical locations and colleges of that area. It was one of the rarest moments for me to attend the Oxford Center for Mission Studies (OCMS) graduation ceremony. My visit to the British Library and the British Museum in London adds further significance to my stay in UK. I was able to witness some of the significant New Testament manuscripts such as the Codex Sinaiticus, the Codex Alexandrinus, the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, the Codex Bezae, and many other ancient versions and translations of the New Testament.

The Tyndale House Chapel Services on Tuesdays and the Barbecues on Fridays were good times for spiritual, friendly, and scholarly interactions with some of the world-class scholars. The coffee-break times at 11 AM and 4 PM on every day strengthened our relationship with one another. It was one of my rare opportunities to meet and interact with reputed scholars such as Prof. Richard Bauckham (St. Andrews), Dr. Simon Gathercole (Cambridge), Prof. John Barclay (Durham), Dr. Peter Williams (Tyndale), Dr. Dirk Jongkind (Tyndale), Dr. David Instone-Brewer (Tyndale), Prof. Markus Bockmuehl (Oxford), Prof. Judith M. Lieu (Cambridge), Prof. Morna D. Hooker (Cambridge), and many others in diverse occasions in UK. Their insights on my post-doctoral research work as well as on many other related topics helped me to build my thoughts and attune my ideas about the person and work of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle. During my stay in Cambridge, I was able to put a strong foundation for my monograph, collect the maximum number of materials, and establish a good scholarly bond with several international scholars. On several occasions, I was able to present my book proposal in individual and small group settings and received feedback from reputed scholars.

18622576_1336860156433091_6084452016179902532_nMy current monograph is entitled “Saint Bartholomew the Apostle: New Testament, Apocrypha, and Historical Traditions,” which is signed for Fortress Press, Minneapolis, and is expected to be finished in 2018. This is the first study of the Bartholomew traditions in the East from an interdisciplinary perspective. The focal question is as follows: Are the Bartholomew traditions in the New Testament, in the apocryphal Bartholomew compositions, and the early Bartholomew traditions in India and other parts of the world purely legendary (as biblical scholars have assumed) or do they preserve unexamined historical traditions intermittently? The general tendency of studying the character of Bartholomew from the New Testament, apocrypha, and historical traditions, independently from one another, led the interpreters far from a broader understanding of the character. The dichotomy of studying the character independently from the limits of canonical, apocryphal, and historical disciplines created a lot of gaps within the area of Bartholomew studies. This situation persuades me to look at the Bartholomew literature comprehensively to understand the character from a broader perspective.

The current study is also intended to address the following subsidiary questions: Are Bartholomew and Nathanael in the gospel traditions same personality or are they different characters? How can an interdisciplinary perspective help us to understand the character of Bartholomew comprehensively? How was Bartholomew connected to the Eastern Christianity and how does the Bartholomew literature support/not support this connectivity? Can we understand the Bartholomew traditions related to diverse geographical locations with the help of canonical, extra-canonical, and traditional-historical documents? These questions will be adequately dealt with in the process of exploring the Bartholomew literature. The task of the study is threefold: investigate the development of the Bartholomew literature right from the beginning, understand the peculiar approaches and methodologies of interpreting Bartholomew documents, and analyze the Bartholomew literature integratively to understand the character and his mission involvements.

By Johnson Thomaskutty, HOD of NT, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.

My CSAR Fellowship in SAIACS, Bangalore

Posted: September 30, 2016 in General


The Center for South Asian Research (CSAR) is a collaborative program of South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS), Theological Book Network (TBN), and ScholarLeaders International (SLI). I signed a contract with the CSAR to be a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow for a period of five months (i.e., May 1, 2016 till September 30, 2016). In the contract, I agreed to meet the following requirements: first, focus time and energy on the writing, providing regular updates to the CSAR committee; second, participate in the life of the SAIACS community and CSAR programs; third, honor the community expectations during the stay on campus in SAIACS; fourth, publish the research work without further delay; and fifth, provide feedback and evaluation to the CSAR committee. In order to meet the demands, the CSAR provided me the following facilities: first, reimbursement for travel expense (up to USD 500); second, food and lodging through the SAIACS Commons; third, work space with library and internet access; fourth, opportunities to engage in the academic, worship, and social life of the SAIACS campus; and fifth, a stipend of USD 1,000 per month. During my stay in SAIACS, I was engaged in researching on St. Thomas and writing a major part of my book entitled “Didymus Judas Thomas: New Testament, Apocrypha, and Historical Traditions” (a title proposed to T&T Clark/Bloomsbury). My stay in SAIACS during the last five months provided me with access to various resource persons and research avenues. The following are some of the highlights of my CSAR Fellowship.

May 2016: In May, I started the research work in SAIACS based on the Apocryphal Thomas Literature. The library (with its online access) here provided me a large number of materials. I also visited the libraries of The United Theological College, St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Dharmaram Vidhya Kshethram, and The Ecumenical Christian Centre, all in Bangalore. Toward the end of the month, I could finish the first draft of a chapter entitled “Didymus Judas Thomas in the Gospel of Thomas.” In the process, I attempted to connect the Johannine exegesis on Thomas with his characterization in the Gospel of Thomas. One of the highlights during the month was my meeting with Fr. Dr. Lucien Legrand, Professor of New Testament at St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore, who had something important to contribute toward my research project. My family was with me during the first 15 days of my stay in the Guest House provided to us (called Bhakth Singh). I thank my colleagues, Dr. Akumla Longkumer and Dr. Thongkhosei Haokip, for their cordial friendship as they served as fellow-CSAR Scholars. Toward the end of the month, I had an opportunity to present an overview of my research project to the fellow-CSAR Scholars at the CEO Centre, SAIACS, Bangalore.

June 2016: In June, I could finish a first draft of my chapter on “Didymus Judas Thomas in the Book of Thomas the Contender.” As usual, I used the library facilities in SAIACS conveniently. I visited the libraries of The United Theological College, Bangalore, Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, Union Biblical Seminary, Papel Seminary, and Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, all in Pune. Moreover, I visited some of the churches in Bangalore and addressed my research questions to the believing communities. Some of the highlights of the month were my meeting with scholars like Dr. Joseph G. Muthuraj (Professor of New Testament, UTC, Bangalore), Rev. Dr. Mani Chacko (General Secretary of the Bible Society of India), and many others who have something to contribute toward my research project. Special thanks to Rev. Dr. Mani Chacko and Rev. Subramani Subbu for the opportunity to preach at the Bible Society of India, Halls Road, and discuss my research topic with many there.

July 2016: In June, I finished a considerable amount of my work on the chapter entitled “Didymus Judas Thomas in the Acts of Thomas.” Meanwhile, I was invited to share my ideas about Didymus Judas Thomas during the Community Worship services of Southern Asia Bible College/Center for Global Leadership Development, New Life Theological College (Nava Jeeva Ashram), and South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS), all in Bangalore. I also shared my ideas about Thomas during my interactions with individuals and congregations on multifarious occasions in Bangalore and beyond. Some of the highlights of the month was my meeting with scholars like Dr. Stephanie L. Black, visiting faculty at SAIACS, and many others who encouraged me with their thoughts in order to improve my research project.

August 2016: In August, I finished a chapter entitled “Didymus Judas Thomas in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.” I used the library facilities at SAIACS conveniently. Explored the opportunity to interact with Johannine scholar Dr. Cornelis Bennema and discussed with him about the character of Thomas. He provided me with extended knowledge about the methodological issues related to the topic. I was privileged to share my ideas in the form of a research paper entitled “Didymus Judas Thomas in the Gospel of Thomas” during the Doktorklub held in SAIACS. Moreover, I have volunteered to teach the subject “The Person and Work of Jesus” in Rhema Bible College and then engaged in my research project at The Orthodox Theological Seminary, The Mar Thoma Theological Seminary, and The St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, all in Kottayam. I had several opportunities of personal interactions with church historians and usage of library resources in different theological institutions in Kerala. The church historians like Fr. Dr. T.I. Abraham, Fr. Dr. Jose John, and Fr. Dr. Baby Varghese of Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, were kind enough to discuss with me from their expertise on Thomas. Fr. Dr. James Puliurumpil of St. Thomas Apostolic (Catholic) Seminary, Vadavathoor, Kottayam, discussed with me his knowledge about the person of Thomas and shared his books entitled “History of the Syro-Malabar Church,” “St. Thomas in India: Patristic Evidences,” and “Classic India: Western Accounts before Christ.” These are some of the most useful resources toward the last chapter of my project. My visit to Dharmaram Vidhya Kshetram in Bangalore enabled me to use their library and discuss the topic with Fr. Dr. Saju Chackalackal, Fr. Dr. Francis Thonippara, and Fr. Dr. Joy Philip Kakkanattu. Among them, Fr. Dr. Francis Thonippara gave me a broader overview of scholarly resources related to Thomas.

September 2016: In September, I was revising and realigning various parts of my work to make a final shape. I had privileges of interacting with Dr. Ebenezer D. Dasan about the coming of Thomas in the Gujarat provinces. He provided me with extended knowledge about the Thomasine presence in the North Indian context. Moreover, I shared my ideas about Thomas in my interactions with individuals and with congregations on varied occasions in Bangalore and beyond. I had good times of personal interactions with resource persons like Dr. Peter S. C. Pothan, Dr. Ashokan Bhaskaran, Dr. David Udayakumar, Dr. M. Deivanayagam, Dr. John Arun Kumar, and many others both in Bangalore and in Chennai. They helped me to develop my understanding of resources in the field of Thomas studies. My visits to institutions like Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute (Kilpauk) and “Trust for the Unification of World Religions through Soulology of Tamils” (Ayanavaram), and places like St. Thomas Mount (Periya Malai), Little Mount (Chinna Malai), and Santhome (Mylapore), all in Chennai, helped me to gather further information concerning St. Thomas. As I was heading up toward the completion of my CSAR Fellowship, most of the sessions of the CSAR Advanced Writers’ Workshop (26th till 30th September) helped me further as I am in the process of finalizing the manuscript. Thanks to all the resource persons and participants for their inputs in my life.

My five months in SAIACS were some of the excellent days spent on research, scholarship, and friendship. I owe thanks to many people: Dr. Iain Payne (Principal), Mr. Yesan Sellan (Chief Librarian; Co-ordinator of CSAR program), Mr. Jonathan Rajan (Administrator), and Mr. Tej Paul (Finance Manager) for their supports for my life and exposure in SAIACS and in Bangalore. I thank all the faculty members of SAIACS especially Dr. Idicheria Ninan, Dr. Roji T. George, Dr. William Subash, Dr. John Arun Kumar, and all others for their inputs and help for the smooth development of my research. I thank Dr. Evan Hunter (SLI) and Dr. Nancy Arnison (TBN) for all the supports rendered toward me. Special thanks to Dr. Evan Hunter for the encouragements and inputs during our one-on-one discussions in Atlanta (Georgia), Pasadena (California), and Bangalore, and also his critical comments during our Skype chats. Friends like Rev. Charlie E. George, Rev. Sam George, Rev. Thomas Chacko, Rev. Aniyan Joy Mangalath, Rev. Noble Mathew, and others extended their friendship and encouragements all through the period. I appreciate the student body of SAIACS (also some of the alumni) for their repeated questions concerning my project and continuous inspiration as I was part of the community. I thank the administration, colleagues, and students of The Union Biblical Seminary (UBS) for their helps and motivation toward my writing project. Last but not least, I thank my wife Shyni, daughter Jemimah, and son Jeremiah, for their sacrifice during the span of my writing. Above all, Jesus, My Lord and my God, was my motivation and strength right from the beginning of my academic and ministerial pursuit.

By Johnson Thomaskutty, PhD., Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India


Herewith I publish a complete list of Fr. Dr. Lucien Legrand’s publications in two posts. See the CV of Fr. Lucien Legrand published earlier as Part One and the list of publications in Part Two.

Continuation of Part Two . . .

2006: (1) “Marian Hermeneutics,” in R.K. Samy ed. Mary in our search for Fullness of Life, Bangalore: NBCLC, 2006, 18-23; (2) “Between Incarnation and Critical Prophetism: Word of God and Cultures,” in Dei Verbum. Catholic Biblical Federation, 78, 1/2006, 8-11; (3) “Parole de Dieu et cultures -la Bible au risque de la rencontre des cultures,” Eglises d’Asie, Document 7, Septembre 2006, pp 21-24; (4) « The Word of God and the Signs of the Times, » in J. Kavunkal and others (ed), Vatican II A Gift and a Task, Mumbai: St Pauls, 2006, pp 153-159; (5) “La Bible traduite en Tamoul,” Biblia, N° 52, Oct 2006, pp 42-45; (6) « Biblical news and no-news, » in St Peter’s Link 2006, pp 53-4; (7) “A Johannine Mission Model,” ITS 43 (2006) pp 253-265; (8) “Globalization and the Gospel,” in Th. Manjaly (ed.), In the Service of Mission. Studies in Honour of Archbishop Thomas Menanparampil, Shillong: Oriens Publications, 2006, pp 89-103; (9) “Missionnaire en Inde,” Missions Etrangères, 2006; (10) “Need, Methods and Structure of Biblical Apostolate,” in Papers Presented at the Annual National Conference, ed. by A. Arul Raj, CCBI Commission for Bible and Catechetics, Bangalore: CCBI; (11) “Our Father in Heaven,” The Divine Shepherd’s Voice, 4/1, 2006, 11-16.

2007: (1) “True to God and True to Man: Expanding our Theological Horizons”: Fr Penven’s Endowment Lectures, ITS 44 (2007), 67-84; (2) “Bread for the Journey,” Jeevadhara 37 (2007), pp 158-165; (3) “Bangalore vue de ma lucarne, » Missions Etrangères de Paris no 418, Mai 2007, 29-31; (4) “Enlarging the Perspectives: Bible and Mission”, in G. Karotemprel (ed.),  Evangelizing in the Third Millenium 1, Third Millenium Series, n°1, Rajkot:  Deepti Publications, 2007, 1-15 (= 163 above); (5) “New Look on St Paul. A few Thoughts on a Recent Book,” ITS 44 (2007), 311-321; (6) “The forthcoming Synod on the Word of God. A few reflections on the LIneamenta,” ITS 44 (2007), 365-676; (7) “Towards an Asian Hermeneutics,” Asian Horizons 1 (2007), 6-17.

2008: (1) “The Word of God in the Mission of the Church,” in A. Peter Abir (ed.), The Word of God Source of Justice and Peace. The Acts of the 5th South Asian Workshop of the Catholic Biblical Federation 2-5 January 2008. Tindivanam, 2008, 39-49; reprint in Dei Verbum, CBF Bulletin 86-87, 1-2/2008, 28-31; (2) “St Paul the Missionary”, Vaiharai 12 (2007) (published in March 2008), 3-16; (3) Korean translation of The Bible on Culture: Belonging or Dissenting?¸ KCBS Literary Agency, Seoul, Sallim Publishing Co. Seoul, 2007; (4) “The Synod on the Word of God: The Instrumentum Laboris,”  Vidyajyothi Journal of Theological Reflection 72/8 (2008), 629-634; (5) “350 years of MEP Mission in Asia: a Few books on a “Beautiful Story,” ITS 45 (2008), 215-222; (6) “A Portrait of St. Paul,” Kristu Jyoti, 24 (2008), 171-183; (7) “The Church Responsibility as regards Biblical Interpretation” in Pauly Kannookadan (ed.), The Proclamation of the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church , Kochi: Liturgical Research Publications (2008), 15-27.

2009: (1) “Paul: Intercultural and Intersocial Christian Identity,” Published in Tamil Translation in I. Raymond Joseph (ed.) Irandayratthil Paul, Tiruchirapalli: St Paul’s Seminary, 2009, 75-92; (2) “Jesus’ Mission Vision,” in Proclaim A Magazine for Missionary Animation, Pontifical Mission Societies, Bangalore, 2009, 12-24; (3) “Paul’s Theology in the Context of Early Christian Pluralism,” in Jnanadeepa. Pune Journal of Religious Studies, vol 12 No 1& 2, Jan & June 2009, 52-65; (4) “CCBI Foundational Talk: Understanding the Word of God,” CCBI News. 21st Plenary Assembly  XX/1, 2009, 14-29; (5) “The Word of God in the Life and Ministry of Priests in India,” in Revisioning Catholic Priesthood, (ed. E. John Kulandai), Bangalore: CCBI Commission for Clergy, 2009, 109-124; reprint in Kristu Jyoti, 25/4, December 2009, 279-299; (6) “Building bridges: Paul’s Intercultural Identity,” ITS 47 (2009), pp 9-21; (7) “Foreign Missions: Are they outdated?” in Missions Etrangères de Paris: The Flame that was lit, Bangalore: St Peter’s Seminary, 2009, 48-50.

2010: (1) « Problèmes Œcuméniques à Corinthe (1 Cor 1,10-13), » in Mission de l’Eglise Hors Série July 2010, pp 23-27 ; (2) “Mission according to St. Paul”, in St. Paul for Today, ed. Stanislas Savarimuthu and David Stanly Kumar, ITS Supplement Series 4, Bangalore: St Peter’s Institute Publications, 2009, pp 36-43; (3) “Jesus and Jesus’ Movement in a Globalized World,” in Theology of Economics in Globalized World, ed. J. Parapally and A. Kalliath, Bangalore: Indian Theological Association and Asian Trading Corporation, 2010, pp 67-86; (4) “145 ans à fêter!”, Missions Etrangères de Paris , N° 453, septembre 2010, 64-65

2011: (1) « Du « lieu-dit des Lentilles » au Diocèse de Bangalore », Missions Etrangères de Paris, N° 458, février 2011, 17-22; (2) « A la Une des Médias en 2010 », Missions Etrangères de Paris, N° 458, février 2011, 8-12; (3) “An Indian Theological Institute: Reminiscences and Prospects,” ITS 48, 2011/1, 7-15); (4) “Acts of the Spirit? Acts of the Word?”, in All by Love. New Vistas in Theological Spirituality, Festschrift in Honour of Prof. Dr. Antony MookenthottamMSFS, ed. Jose Maniparambil and K. Henry Jose MSFS, Tejas Vidya Peetha, Bangalore, 2011, 16-26; (5) « Séminaristes en Inde », Prêtres Diocésains n° 1480, Août-Septembre 2011, 329-331; (6) “From Dei Verbum to Verbum Domini”, Word and Worship, July-Sept 2011, pp 222-230; (7) The God who speaks”, Word and Worship, July-Sept 2011, 231-234; (8) Book Review of George Chemparathy, “La Bible et le Veda comme Parole de Dieu” , ITS 48/4, 2011, 395-400; (9) “Reminiscences of a Librarian,” Petrinews 2011-2012, pp 27-30.

2012: (1) “Biblical Exegesis and Theology” in Tomy Palely and Thomas Manjaly (ed.), Theological Education Transformative Ministry, Shillong: Oriens Publications, 2011, 213-117; (2) “The Pastoral Exhortation Verbum Domini: A new Outlook,” Prabodhana VI, 2012, 7-13.Prabodhana VI, 2012, 7-13; (3) “What is God’s Word?” Prabodhana VI, 2012, 14-19; (4) “Missionary Communication, A Biblical Perspective,in Sebastian  Periannan (ed.), Missionary Communication, Bangalore: ATC, 2012, 3-10; (5) “Faith and Conversion”, ITS 49/3  (Sept 2012), 104-111; (6) “Retrospect and Prospect”, in K. Jesurathnam, and others, Liberation Hermeneutics in the Indian Interpretation of the Bible, Bangalore-Tiruvalla: SBSI-Christava Samithi, 2012, 17-26.

2013: (1) “Jesus Christ as Communicator”, in Religion and Social Communication 10/2, 2012, 158-175; (2) « Bangalore qui brille. Bangalore qui trime », Missions Etrangères de Paris, 480, Février 2013, 13-17; (3) « Vers le Toit du Monde. L’Apport du Père Krick », Missions Etrangères de Paris, 480, Février 2013, 56-59; (4) “‘You shall not make an image’ (Deut 5:8) ’He is the image of the invisible God’ (Col 1:15) Incarnational Esthetics”, Indian Theological Studies 50, Dec 2013, pp. 297-308; (5) “Holy Bible: New Living Translation, Review Article,” Indian Theological Studies 50, Dec 2013, 441-450; (6) The Bible in the on-going formation of Priests,” Word and Worship 46, 2013, 152-162 (actually published in 2014).

2014: (1) « L’Eglise Catholique en Inde en 2013 », Missions Etrangères de Paris, 491, Février 2014, 18-22; (2) « Histoire du Diocèse de Bangalore », Missions Etrangères de Paris, 491, Février 2014, 23-29; (3) « Vatican II: A momentous Event in the History of the Church », Sanyasa. Journal of Consecrated Life, IX/2, July 2014, 9-22; (4) “Studying with a Vision”, ITS LI/2, 147-150; (5) “Review Article: Jose A. Pagola, Jesus an Historical Approximation,” ITS LI/2, 213-221; (6) « Qu’ils soient Un », Entre Nous Bulletin des Equipes Enseignantes 75 (May 2014), 18-20; (7) « That they may be One », Among Us Bulletin des Equipes Enseignantes 75 (July 2014), 19-20; (8) “Word of God, Source of constant renewal of faith,” Word of God Source of Constant Renewal of Faith  Nov 27-30, 2012; Bangalore: CCBI Centre, 2014, 25-29; (9) “Did St Paul Follow a Mission Strategy?”, ITS LI/4, 339-354; (10) “Translation as Communication” (Tamil) in Naanilam Payanura (Festschrift Fr Hieronymus), Thiruchirapalli: Arul Vaaku Mandram, 2014, pp 3-15; (11) “Scripture and Theology: a Gap?” Word and Worship 47/3, 2014, 406-422 (actually January 2015).

2015: (1) « Minorité? et Alors?” Missions Etrangères de Paris, 502, Février 2015, 17-21; (2) “Biblical Perspectives for doing Mission in Contemporary India,” in P. Joseph Titus and Dexter S. Mahen (ed), Bible and Mission. Biblical Perspectives for Doing Mission in Contemporary India, Bangalore: SBSI, Tiruvalla: Christava Sahitya Samithi, 2015, pp 13-19; (3) “Apostolic Missions to the East?” ITS LII (2015/1), 39-48; (4) “Did Jesus Initiate a Radically New Way of Understanding Faith?” in Cleophas Fernandes (ed), Research  Seminar on the Quality of Adult Faith, Bangalore: NBCLC 2015, 24-36; (5) “Faith and Culture in St Paul,” The Living Word 120, 2014/5,307-318; (6) “From House to House” (Acts 20:20): The role of the Family in the Pauline Mission, in P. Joseph Titus and others, Riches of His Glory. Festschrift Aloysius Xavier, Bangalore: Theological Publications of India, 2015, 223-240; (7) “Hermeneutic of Continuity in Lk-Acts”, in A.V.K. Findeis and others ed., He is not far from any of us. Festschrift for Hans-Jürgen Findeis, Bonn: Bier’sche Verlag, 2014, 129-147; (8) “The Encyclical Laudato Si: “Treasures New and Old,” ITS LII (2015/4), 367-376.

2016: (1) “Forgiveness,” in Eugene Joseph (ed.), Peter’s Link, Feb 2016; (2) The Word is near you, Collected Papers, vol. 5, Bangalore: St Peter’s Institute (Indian Theological Studies Supplements 6), pp. xii+ 363; (3) “The First Eucharistic Heresy: 1 Cor 11:17-34,” in Simon Pinto, A. Lawrence, P.V. Antony (ed.), The Master’s Harvest. Festschrift in honour of Prof. Dr Joseph Francis, Bangalore: Asian Trading Corporation, 65-84; (4) “En Inde, les Chrétiens pèsent plus que leur poids réel,” Missions Etrangères de Paris, 513, Février 2016, 18-27; (5) « Holy Spirit in St Paul,» ITS LIII/1, 43-52; (6) “The Father of Jesus as Father of Mercy in the Synoptic Gospels,” Word and Worship 49, 46-58.

Compiled by Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.


Herewith I publish a complete list of Fr. Dr. Lucien Legrand’s publications in two posts. See the CV of Fr. Lucien Legrand published earlier as Part One.

1959: (1) “Vidimus Stellam Eius in Oriente”, Clergy Monthly, 23 (1959) 377-384; (2) “La Littérature Tamoule Ancienne”, in Bulletin de la Société des Missions Etrangères, 127 (1959) 679-695.

1960: (1) “The Prophetical Meaning of Celibacy I”, Scripture 12 (1960) 97-105.

1961: (1) “The Prophetical Meaning of Celibacy II”, Scripture 13 (1961) 12-20; (2) “La création triomphe cosmique de Yahvé”, NRT 83 (1961) 449-470; (3) “Matthew 19”, Review for Religious 23 (1961) 705-714.

1962: (1) “Christian Celibacy and the Cross”, Scripture 14 (1962) 1-12; (2) “The Sacrificial Value of Virginity”, Scripture 14 (1962) 65-75; (3) “Christ’s Miracle as ‘Social Work’”, IES 1 (1962) 43-64; (4) “The Spiritual Value of Virginity according to St. Paul”, IES 1 (1962) 175-195; (5) “Fécondité virginale selon l’esprit dans le Nouveau Testament”, NRT (1962) 785-805; (6) “Biblical News”, St. Peter’s Link, 1962, p.19-25.

1963: (1) Biblical Doctrine of Virginity, London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1963; (2) “L’arrière-plan néo-testamentaire de Lc 1,35”, RB 70 (1963) 161-192.

1964: (1) La Virginité dans la Bible, (translation of Biblical Doctrine of Virginity) Lectio Divina, 39, Paris, Cerf, 1964; (2) “Was Jesus Mission-Minded?” IES 3 (1964) 87-104; 190-207; (3) “An Instruction on the Biblical Commission on the Historical Truth of the Gospels”, IES 3 (1964) 311-319; (4) “Une entreprise difficile: traduire la Parole en langue indigène”, Parole et Mission, no 27 (1964) 633-643.

1965: (1) “Clés pour la mission”, Spiritus,  no 24 (1965) 307,338, 352; (2) “The Harvest is Plentiful (Mt 9:37)”, Scripture 17 (1965) 1-9.

1966: (1) “Dimensions missionnaire de la virginité, Spiritus,   no 28 (1966) 258-265; (2) Jungfräulichkeit Nach der Heligen Schrift, (translation of Biblical Doctrine of Virginity) Mainz: Matthias – Grünewald – Verlag, 1966; (3) “Vatican II on Biblical Translation”  IES 5 (1966) 237-247; (4) “Christ Witness of the Father”, Witness Unto Christ, 1 (1966) 146-151.

1967: (1) “Vatican II et la traduction des Ecritures”, RB 74 (1967) 413-422; (2) “Word and Worship: Two Aspects of One Mystery”, Word and Worship, I (1967) 12-16; (3) “Word and Worship: Two Aspects of One Mystery”, Word and Worship, I (1967) 46-50; (4) “Creation as Cosmic Victory of Yahweh”, in D. J. McCarthy and W. B. Callen, Modern Biblical studies: An Anthology from Theology Digest, Milwaukee: Bruce, 1967, p. 62-69 (Translation and digest of the article, “La création”, NRT 83 (1961) 445-470); (5) “Biblical News”, St. Peter’s Link , 1967, p. 5-9.

1968: (1) “Bible and Cinema”, Word and Worship, 2 (1968) 167-173; (2) “The Prayer of the Apostle”, Clergy Monthly  32 (1968) 184-186; (3) “St. Paul and Christian Unity”, Clergy Monthly 32 (1968) 38-40; (4) “Faith and the Church”, Clergy Monthly 32 (1968) 91-92; (5) “I Went to Arabia”, Clergy Monthly 32 (1968) 138-139; (6) “Paul and Barnabas: Priestly Brotherhood”, Clergy Monthly 32 (1968) 232-233; (7) “Only that We Should Remember the Poor”, Clergy Monthly 32 (1968) 279-280; (8) “L’Evangile aux Bergers. Essai sur le Genre littéraire  de Luc II, 8-20”, RB 75 (1968) 161-187; (9) “Bienfaisance et Bonne Nouvelle” Spiritus, no 34 (1968) 155-161.

1969: (1) La doctrina biblica de la virginidad, (translation of Biblical Doctrine of Virginity, Collection Biblia Y Kerygma: Temas de Pastoral Biblica, no. 6,  Estella (Navarra), Editorial Verbo Divino, 1969 (2 reprints); (2) “Survey: Biblical Studies in India”, IES 8 (1969) 68-71; (3) “A Biblical Catechism in the 18th Century”, IES (1969) 314-316.

1970: (1) “Biblical News”, St. Peter’s Link, 1970, p. 43-45.

1971: (1) “The Humanism of Isaiah”, IES 10 (1971) 204-209; (2) “The New Translation of the Lord’s Prayer”, Word and Worship , 4 (1971) 21-27; (3) “Saint Paul et le Célibat”, in J. Coppens, Sacerdoce et Célibat: Etudes historiques et théologiques, BETL XXVIII, Gembloux: Editions Duculot, 1971, p. 316-331.

1972: (1) “The New Testament at Qumran?”,   IES 11 (1972) 157-166; (2) “The Biblical Movement in India”, Scripture Bulletin, 4 (1972) 4-5; (3) “‘Thou Shalt Not Utter the Name of Jahweh in Vain’” Word and Worship , 5 (1972) 154-155; (4) “The Hymns from the Book of Revelation in the New Office”, Word and Worship  5 (1972) 156-165; (5) “Prayer in the prophets”, Jeevadhara 2 (1972) 109-118; (6) “And on Earth Peace to Men He Loves”, S. P. News, 1 (1972) 7-9.

1973: (1) Good News and Witness, (in Collaboration with J. Pathrapankal and M. Vellanickal) Bangalore: TPI, 1973; (2) “Catholic Bible Translation in India”, Word and Worship  6 (1973) 110-120; (3) “Acts 13:1-3 and the Mission Theology of Luke”, in J. Pathrapankal (ed.), Service and Salvation, Bangalore: TPI, 1973, p.125-131; (4) “Evangelization- Some Scriptural Insights, in Light and Life We Seek to Share, Bangalore: The Church Extension Commission, 1973, p. 884-87; (5) “The Missionary Significance of  the Areopagus Speech”, in G. Gispert-Sauch (ed.), God’s Word Among Men: Theological Essays in Honour of Joseph Putz, Delhi: Vidyajoti, 1973, p.59-71; (6) Biblical Apostolate in India, Bangalore: NBCLC, 1973; (7) “Biblical News”, St. Peter’s Link, 1973, p. 51-57.

1974: (1) “Biblical News”, St. Peter’s Link, 1974, p. 36-38; (2) “Inspiration of the Non-Biblical Scriptures”, Word and Worship 7 (1974) 316-322; (3) “Letter and Spirit: The Role of the Book in the Christian Economy, in D. S. Amalorpavadass (ed.), Research Seminar on Non-Biblical Scriptures, Bangalore: NBCLC, 1974, p. 63-77; (4) “Prophetic Dimension of Vocation for Evangelization in India”, Search, 2 (1974) 3-10.

1975: (1) “St. Paul as Pastor”, St. Peter’s Link, 1975, p. 32-36; (2) “An Ecumenical Conference on Christology”, Vidyajoti 39 (1975) 223-227; (3) “Bulletin: The Resurrection of Christ”, Biblebhasyam 1 (1975) 247-255; (4) “Christological Issues In The New Testament”, IndJT 24 (1975) 72-78; (5) “The Tragedy of Man According to St. Paul”, Jeevadhara 5 (1975) 135-147; (6) “Prayer in the Bible” in D. S. Amalorpavadass (ed.), Praying Seminar, Bangalore: NBCLC, p.67-75.

1976: (1) “Local Church and the Universal Church in the Acts of the Apostles”, Vidyajoti  40 (1976) 289-298; (2) “Women’s Ministries in the New Testament”, Biblebhasyam  2 (1976) 286-299; (3) “Lectures de la  Bible en Inde” Spiritus, 63 (1976) 171-176; (4) “From ‘Twelve’ to the Apostles”, in D. S. Amalorpavadass (ed.), Ministries in the Church in India: Research Seminar and Pastoral Consultation, New Delhi: CBCI Centre, 1976, p. 174-187; (5) “Did Jesus Stand for Freedom or for Obedience?”, St. Peter’s Link, 1976, p. 3-6.

1977: (1) “Research on Ministries in India”, ITS 14 (1977) 133-143; (2) “News and Comments: The Good News Bible”, ITS 14 (1977) 309-317. Reprinted in Bible Translator, 29 (1978) 331-336; (3) “Biblical Anthropology or Anthropologies?”, ITS 14 (1977) 349-367; (4) “Virginity in the Bible”, Biblebhasyam 3 (1977) 178-191; (5) “A Biblical Approach to the Charismatic Renewal”, Word and Worship 10 (1977) 57-64.

1978: (1) “The Church in the Acts of the Apostles”, Biblebhasyam (1978) 83-97; (2) “Bible, Theology and Preaching”, Word and Worship 11 (1978) 348-355.

1979: (1) “Bare-Foot Apostles? The Shoes of St. Mark (Mk 6:8-9 and Parallels), ITS 16 (1979) 201-219; (2) “Les Devanciers de Paul dans la Mission selon les Actes des Apôtres”, in L. De Lorenzi (ed.), Paul de Tarse Apôtre de notre Temps, Monographic Series of Benedictina, 1979, Rome: St. Paul’s Abbey, p. 61-74.

1980: (1) “Gospel and Politics” Word and Worship 13 (1980) 295-300; (2) “How New is ‘New Hermeneutics’”, Journal of Dharma    (1980) 94-108.

1981: (1) L’annonce à Marie (Lc 1,26-38): Une apocalypse aux origines de l’évangile, Lectio Divina, 106, Paris: Cerf, 1981; (2) “‘There is neither Slave nor Free, Neither Male nor Female’: St. Paul and Social Emancipation”, ITS 18 (1981) 135-163; (3) “The Meaning of a Post-Graduate Course on Scripture in the Context of the Indian Church”, ITS 18 (1981) 289-296; (4) “An Islamic Christology: The Apocryphal Gospel of Barnabas”, ITS 18 (1981) 354-364; (5) “The Unknown God of Athens (Acts 17 and the Religion of the Gentiles)”, Vidyajoti, 45 (1981) 222-231; (6) “From the Heart of God to the Ends of the Earth”, Ind. Missi. Rev.   (1981) 119-128; (7) “The Unknown God of Athens: Acts 17 and the Religion of the Gentiles”, IndJT , 30 (1981) 158-167; (8) “‘Ni esclave, ni homme libre, ni homme ni femme’: St. Paul et l’émancipation  sociale”, Spiritus, 85 (1981) 395-415 (Translation of the article, “There is neither Slave nor Free”, ITS 18 (1981) 135-163); (9) “Jesus an Essene?”, in Christianity in India: It’s True Face, New Delhi: Commission for Evangelization, 1981, p. 10-16; (10) “Jesus’ Vision of the New Community”, in D. S. Amalorpavadass (ed.) The Indian Church in the Struggle for a New Society, Bangalore: NBCLC, 1981, p. 575-578; (11) “Grace in Luke-Acts”, in Divine Grace and Human Response, Studies in Christian and Hindu Spirituality, 2, Bangalore: Aseervanam, 1981, p. 287-297.

1982: (1) “On l’appela du Nom de Jésus (Luc II, 21)”, RB 82 (1982) 481-491; (2) “Christ the Fellow Traveler. The Emmaus Story in Lk 24: 13-35”, ITS 19 (1982) 33-44; (3) “The Structure of Acts 2: The Integral Dimensions of the Charismatic Movement According to Luke”, ITS 19 (1982) 193-209; (4) “The Christmas Story in Lk 2:1-7”, ITS 19 (1982) 289-317; (5) “The Spirit, the Mission and the Church”, Biblebhasyam  8 (1982) 204-215; (6) “Etudes bibliques et inculturation en Inde”, Lettre Inter- églises, Paris, no. 26 (1982) 5-9.

1983: (1) “Inculturation and Biblical Studies in India”, ITS 20 (1983) 61-70; (2) “Indian Lines of Approach to the Bible: A Seminar, ITS 20 (1983) 368-369; (3) “The Mission Today: A Congress of Missionary Theology”, ITS 20 (1983) 370-381; (4) “Twenty Years of Biblical Renewal”, Vidyajoti  47 (1983) 484-494; (5) “Theological Issues in the Tribes of Yahweh by N. K. Gottwald: Four Critical Reviews”, in N. K. Gottwald (ed.), The Bible and Liberation: Political and Social  Hermeneutics,  New York: Orbis, 1983, p.184-189.

1984: (1) “The Biblical Landscape: New Horizons in Biblical Exegesis”, ITS 21 (1984) 205-224; (2) “Conclusions to the Indian Readings of the Bible”, ITS 21 (1984) 398-402; (3) “Images de la Mission dans le Nouveau Testament”, Spiritus, 94 (1984) 17-24; (4) “Images of the Mission in the New Testament”, Tripod 21 (1984) 52-61 (Translation of the article, “Images de la Mission”, Spiritus, 94 (1984) 17-24); (5) “La Mission: Racines bibliques, tendances actuelle, images de la mission dans le Nouveau Testament”, Document Inter – églises, Paris, 1984, p.12-26.

1985: (1) “Deux Voyages: Lc 2,41-50; 24,13-33”, in A Cause de l’Evangile: Mélanges offerts à Dom Jacques Dupont, Lectio Divina, 123, Paris, 1985; (2) “Les jeunes Eglises”, in Claude Savart and Jean Noël Aletti (eds.) Le Monde Contemporain et la Bible: Bible de tous les temps, Paris: Beauchesne, 1985, p. 339-350.

1986: (1) “The Parables of Jesus viewed from the Dekkan Plateau”, ITS 23 (1986) 154-170; (2) “The Missionary Command of the Risen Christ: Mission and Resurrection”, ITS 23 (1986) 290-309; (3) “L’étranger dans la Bible”, Spiritus, no 102 (1986) 57-67; (4) “New Trends in Bible Translation”, in Seminar on the Interconfessional Tamil Bible Translation, Tindivanam: TNBCLC, 1986, p. 7-9.

1987: (1) “The Missionary Command of the Risen Lord: Mt 28:16-20”, ITS 24 (1987) 5-28; (2) “Aratos est-il aussi parmi les prophètes?” in La vie de la Parole, Mélanges Grelot, Paris, Desclée, 1987, p. 241-258.

1988: (1) Le Dieu qui vient: La Mission dans la Bible, Paris, Desclée, 1988; (2) “Gospel Spirituality”, Salesian Journal of Spirituality, no. 3 (1988) 312-324; (3) “Vocation à la mission dans le  Nouveau Testament”, Spiritus, no. 113 (1988) 339-352; (40 “Situation de la théologie en Inde”, Echange France – Asie, Dec. 1988, p. 1-19.

1989: (1) “The Angel Gabriel and Politics”, ITS 26 (1989) 1-21; (2) “From Apostle to Pastor: St. Paul’s Pastoral Itinerary”, ITS 26 (1989) 152-170; (3) “Gospel Spirituality”, ITS 26 (1989) 231-243; (4) “Power in the Bible”, Jeevadhara 19 (1989) 43-56; (5) “Alcuni aspetti missionari di 2 Corinti” in Lorenzo De Lorenzi (ed.) The Diakonia of the Spirit: 2 Cor 4:7-7:4, Monographic Series of Benedictina, no. 10, Rome: Benedictina, 1989, p. 305-325; (6) Il Dio che viene. La Missione nelle Bibbia, (translation of Le Dieu qui vient), Rome: Edizioni Borla, 1989.

1990: (1) Unity and Plurality: Mission in the Bible, (translation of Le Dieu qui vient: La Mission dans la Bible) New York:  Orbis, 1990 (awarded in 1991 First Prize, Book Award of the Catholic Publishers’ Association in the Scripture Section, US); (2) “L’itinéraire spirituel de Saint Paul”, Spiritus,  no. 121(1990) 415-435.

1991: (1) The God Who Comes: Mission in the Bible,  Quenzon City (Philippines): Claretian Publications, 1991 (translation of Le Dieu qui vient: La Mission dans la Bible), reprint of Unity and Plurality: Mission in the Bible from New York:  Orbis, 1990, under the present title; (2) “‘Celui qui invoquera le nom du Seigneur sera sauvé’ (Actes 2:17-21)” in Ta parole est ma joie, Mélanges bibliques offerts au Père Léonard Ramaroson, Institut Supérieur de Théologie, Ambatoroka – Antananarivo, 1991, p. 61-72.

1992: (1) Unity and Plurality: Mission in the Bible, (translation of Le Dieu qui vient: La Mission dans la Bible) First Indian Edition of Unity and Plurality: Mission in the Bible from New York:  Orbis, 1990,  by Isvahani Publication, Pune, 1992. Reprint  1994; (2) “Towards an Ecological Hermeneutic”, ITS 29 (1992) 150-151; (3) “The Good Shepherd in the Gospel of Mark”, ITS 29 (1992)  234-255; (4) “Angels’ Songs or Rachel’s Dirge:: A Christmas Meditation”, ITS 29 (1992)   281-290; (5) “La finale de Marc comme récit d’annonce?”, in A. de la Fuente Adanez (ed.), Christus Natus, Festschrift to Salvador Munoz Iglesias,  Estudios Biblicos 50 (1992) 457-474 ; (6) “Inculturation, quelques points de repères bibliques”, Lettre Inter – églises, Paris, 02/ 1992, p. 13-20.

1993: (1) “The Way of the Magi and the Way of the Shepherds: A Christmas Meditation”, ITS 30 (1993) 313-318.

1994: (1) “National Consultation on Mission”, ITS 31 (1994) 71-73; (2) “Persian Bible in India”, ITS 31 (1994) 158-161; (3) “‘Word was Made Flesh’: A Christmas Meditation, ITS 31 (1994) 293-296.

1995: (1) “Gal 2:10 ‘We Should Remember the Poor’, Conclusion of Jerusalem Synod”, ITS 32 (1995) 161-173; (2) “The Bible and the Religions of the Nations”, ITS 32 (1995) 301-306; (3) “Bethlehem Then and Now: A Christmas Meditation”,  ITS 32 (1995) 301-306; (4) “Jésus et l’église primitive: Un éclairage biblique”, Spiritus, no 138 (1995) 64-77; (5) “Gal 2:9 and the Missionary Strategy of the Early Church” in Tord Fornberg (ed.) Bible, Hermeneutics, Mission, Uppsala: Swedish Institute  for Missionary Research, 1995, p. 21-83; (6) “The Visitation in Context”, in Tord Fornberg (ed.), Texts and Contexts: Biblical texts in Their Textual and Situational contexts, Uppsala: Scandinavian University Press, 1995, p.129-146; (7) “Christic Advaita” in Vandana Mataji (ed.), Shabda Shakti Sangam, Rishikesh: Jeevan-Dhara Sadhana Kutir, 1995, p. 133-139; (8) “Why new Bible Translations?” in Thiruvivilam Pudhu Mozhipayarpu: Ninaivu Malar, Tindivanam: TNBCLC, 1995, p. 50-53.

1996: (1) “Good News in the Shepherd’s Field”, ITS  33 (1996) 356-366; (2) “Biblical Scholarship on Historical Jesus”, Jeevadhara  26 (1996) 87-106; (3) “Conversion in the Bible: A Dialogical Process”, in J. Mattam and S. Kim (eds.), Mission and Conversion: A Reappraisal, Bombay: St. Paul’s, 1996, p. 17-30; (4) “Rencontres kénotiques de Jésus, Spiritus, no 142 (1996), 40-49.

1997: (1) “Inculturation and Hermeneutics”, Ind. Missi. Rev  19 (1997) 5-18.

Addenda (ajouter à la bibliographie donnée dans IndThStudies 1997): (1) 6bis “A Pioneer of Biblical Revival, Fr L.H. Vincent, O.P.” Clergy Monthly 25 (1961), 95-100; (2) 56bis “The Good News at the Crib,” The Examiner, 124 (1973), 803-805; (3) 62bis (=157). “The Authority of Scripture in the Modern Period: Roman Catholic Developments”, Indian Journal of Theology 23 (1974), 78-84; (4) 95bis (=158) “Spirituality of Social Action: Biblical Input”, Spirituality of Social Action, Caritas India, 30-41; (5) 101bis (=159) “Issues in the Roman Catholic Approach to Hermeneutics Today”, Indian Journal of Theology  31 (1982), 192-202; (6) 156bis (=160).”Jules Monchanin et le Père Amalorpavadass,” Jules Monchanin (1895-1957). Regards Croisés d’Occident et d’Orient, Lyon: Profac-Credic, 377-380.

1997: (1) “A Model of Monastic Life in the Acts of the Apostles”, in F.V. Tiso (ed.), The Sign beyond all Signs. Christian Monasticism in Dialogue with India, Bangalore: Aseervanam Benedictine Monastery, 1997, 57-65; (2) “Good News of the Kingdom or Good News of Jesus-Christ?” Studia Missionalia, 46 (1997), 213-225.

1998: (1) “Enlarging the Perspectives: Bible and Mission”, Third Millenium 1 (1998), 4-16.

1999: (1) “Jesus at the Age of Twelve: Epilogue or Prologue”, Vaiharai 4 (1999), 103-112; (2) “Good News, Kingdom, Conversion”, Ishvani Documentation 17 (1999), 327-332 (reprint in Kristu Jyoti 17/2 [2001], 106-114); (3) “The Parish as an Evangelizing Community”, Church Community Diocesan Seminar Kit, Kristu Jayanthi 2000; (4) “The God of Small Things”, ITS 36 (1999), 293-299.

2000: (1) “Jubilé dans le Nouveau Testament”, Bulletin MEP; (2) “Sois sans crainte, petit troupeau”, Spiritus 158 (2000), 3-14; (3) “On the island of Patmos, on the Lord’s Day” ITS 37 (2000),107-123; (4) “La Visitation de Marie,” Aspects du Christianisme à Madagascar, 8, Septembre 2000, 32-46  (= French Translation of 149); (5) “Caesar Augustus (Lk 2:1): Jesus’ Nativity and Politics, Indian Interpretation of the Bible (Festschrift in Honour of Prof. Joseph Pathrapankal), ed. Augustine Thottakara, Bangalore: Dharmaram Publications, 2000, 403-418; (6) The Bible on Culture, Belonging or Dissenting? New York: Orbis Books (Faith and Culture Series), pp. xvii + 190 (2d printing, 2004); (7) Christmas Then and Now, Christmas Meditations, Mumbai: St Pauls, pp. 118. English publication by ST Pauls Publishing, London, 2002; (8) “Parish as an Evangelizing Community,” Kit Evangelisation 2000 CBCI.

2001: (1) L’Apôtre des Nations ? Paul et la Stratégie Missionnaire des Eglises Apostoliques, (LectioDivina 184); Paris: Editions du Cerf, pp. 153; (2) The Bible on Culture (Indian reprint, Bangalore: TPI); (3) The Word is near you, Collected Papers, vol.1, Bangalore: St Peter’s Institute (Indian Theological Studies Suplements 3), pp. 423; (4) “Great People”?…”Little Flock”?, Jeevadhara 31, 60-68.

2002: (1) “Mission Trinitaire, Mission Universelle,” Mission de l’Eglise 134, pp. 14-18 (reprint in Missions Etrangères de Paris 366, 33-37). English translation “Trinitarian Mission: Universal Mission,” ITS 39 (2000), 109-115; (2) « Par-delà l’Occident d’autres Champs Missionnaires », Monde de la Bible 141 (mars 2002), 29-33. Reprint in M.F. Baslez (ed.), Les Premiers Temps de l’Église, Folio Histoire, Gallimard, 2004, 418-425; (3) « Philippe et l’éthiopien », Les Essentiels. Cahiers de la Vie Catholique, Octobre 2002, x-xiii; (4) The Word is near you, Collected Papers, vol.2, Bangalore: St Peter’s Institute (Indian Theological Studies Supplements 3), pp. 530; (5) “L’Action de l’Esprit en Asie,” Missions Étrangères, 323-325.

2003: (1) « Communication and the Bible », Indian Theological Studies 37 (2003), 9-17; (2) “Défis et Promesses d’une Théologie asiatique : le cas de l’Inde », Questions Actuelles 31, Mai-Juin 2003, 20-25 ; Églises d’Asie Dossiers et Documents, 3/2003, 16-20 ; (3) « Théologie en Inde », Esprit et Vie 87, Août 2003, 1-7 ; (4) « Rm 1.11-15 (17) : Proemium ou Propositio?» New Testament Studies, 49, 566-572; (5) “Higher Biblical Studies in an Asian Setting”, Vidya Jyothi 67 (2003);, 961-966.

2004: (1) “Indian Approaches to Bible Interpretation, Review and Prospects” Word and Worship 37, 39-51; (2) “The Passion of the Christ,” ITS 41 (2004), 105-109; (3) “Review Article: Une Amitié Sacerdotale. Monchanin-Duperray,” ITS 41 (2004), 181-193; (4) “Fundamentalism,” Dei Verbum 70-71 (1-2 2004) 9-17; (5) The Word is near you, Collected Papers, vol. 3, Bangalore: St Peter’s Institute (Indian Theological Studies Supplements 3), pp. 494; (6) “Biblical Dimensions of Mission,” in Siluvai Ignaci (ed.) National Seminar on the Role of Pontifical Missions Societies. Launching Evangelization into the Third Millennium in India, Bangalore: Pontifical Mission Societies, pp. 34-41; (7) “Indian Theology and Holy Scripture,” in The Living Word, 110/5, 2004, pp 252-262.

2005: (1) “Translation and Inculturation,” in Johnson J. Puthenpurackal (ed.), ‘Going to the Roots’ A multi-Disciplinary Study. Festschrift in honour of Dr K. Luke, o.f.m.cap., Bangalore: Asian Trading Corporation, 2005, pp195-208; (2) “Inculturation in the Bible,” in Mario Saturnino Dias (ed.), Rooting Faith in Asia. Source Book for Evangelization, Quezon City: Claretian Publications, 2005, 209-222; (3) “An Easter Meditation. ‘To know Him and the power of His Resurrection (Phil 3:10),” ITS 42, 9-14; (4) “Missionary Communication: a Biblical Perspective,” ITS 42, pp 132-146; (5) “Universel Biblique et Jésus-Christ. Un point de vue biblique Indien”, Théophilyon X, 2005, pp 325-335; (6) « Catholic Biblical Association in India : Past, Present and Future, » Word and Worship 38, 2005, pp 344-350.

Will be continued (. . . Part Three)

Compiled by Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.


It was my privilege to meet Fr. Dr. Lucien Legrand at his office in St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary in Bangalore, India, in May 2016. He is a great New Testament scholar who dedicated his life for the sake of the church and of academia. Here, I am happy to let you know his amazing contribution in the field of biblical scholarship.

Fr. Dr. Lucien Legrand, MEP (Missions Etrangères de Paris) was born on 10th November 1926 at Mons-en-Baroeul in France. He completed his seminary studies in Catholic Institute of Paris (BTh) and Gregorian University of Rome (LTh). He was ordained on 29th June 1950 and then appointed as a priest to the Diocese of Salem in India. During the period between 1950 and 1953, Fr. Lucien completed his Biblical Studies in Rome (Biblical Institute: LSS) and Jerusalem (Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française: Diploma). In June 1955, he was appointed at St. Peter’s Seminary in Bangalore, India. During the period between 1973 and 1978, he served as a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission in Rome. In 1979, he received his DD from Institut Catholique (Paris) and Doctorate in History of Religions from Sorbonne University (France). During his career, he served as a visiting professor at The United Theological College in Bangalore and at various seminaries and theological centres in India and abroad. Fr. Lucien conducted lectures, seminars, and retreats in Belgium, Cambodia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Korea, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and other countries.

Fr. Lucien’s publications include several books on biblical exegeses and theology in English and in French: (1) L’Annonce à Marie (Lc 1, 26-38; Lectio Divina 106; Paris: Cerf, 1981); (2) Unity and Plurality: Mission in the Bible (New York: Orbis Books, 1990), won the first prize of the Catholic Press Association 1991 Book Award (Scripture); (3) The Bible on Culture (New York: Orbis Books, 2000), won the second prize of the same Catholic Press Association 2001 Book Award; and (4) Paul et la Stratégie Missionnaire des Églises Apostoliques (Lectio Divina 184 ; Paris: Cerf, 2001). His articles are published in various scholarly periodicals in English, French and Italian, and presently translated in English as a series called The Word is Near You: Collected Papers of Lucien Legrand MEP, published by St Peter’s Pontifical Institute, Bangalore (vol. 1 [2000]; vol. 2 [2001]; vol. 3 [2005]; vol. 4 [2010]; and vol. 5 [2015]).

By Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune.

st.thomasThe proposed title of the monograph is “Didymus Judas Thomas: New Testament, Apocrypha, and Historical Traditions.” A contract is signed with Bloomsbury T&T Clark (Bedford Square, London) to publish the monograph in the “Jewish and Christian Texts” Series edited by James H. Charlesworth. The word limit is 120,000 and the manuscript delivery date is February 28, 2017. The monograph will also have a Foreword by James H. Charlesworth of Princeton Theological Seminary. I was privileged to get the following fellowships to continue my project: Global Research Institute (GRI) Fellowship of Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California; Foundation on Judaism and Christian Origins (FJCO) Fellowship, Princeton, New Jersey; and Centre for South Asia Research (CSAR) Foundation in Bangalore, India, a collaborative program of ScholarLeaders International, Theological Book Network, and South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies. Above all, I once again express my thanks to Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, for granting me sabbatical leave from October 1, 2015 till September 30, 2016.

This monograph is the first study of the Thomas Traditions in the East from an interdisciplinary methodology. The focal question is as follows: Are the Thomas traditions in the Gospel of John, in the apocryphal Thomas compositions, and the early Thomas Traditions in Southwest India purely legendary (as biblical scholars have assumed) or do they preserve unexamined historical traditions intermittently (as the Thomas Christians in India have assumed)?

Didymus Judas Thomas is one of the most misunderstood characters from the beginning of the New Testament history and interpretation. The nickname ascribed to Thomas (as “doubting Thomas”) is mostly accepted as a synonym for ‘doubt,’ ‘unbelief,’ and ‘lack of devotion.’ The general tendency of studying the character from the New Testament, Apocrypha, and historical traditions, independently from one another, led the interpreters aloof from a broader understanding of the character. The dichotomy of studying the character of Thomas independently from within the limits of canonical, apocryphal, and historical disciplines created a lot of gaps within the area of Thomas studies. This situation persuades us to look at the Thomas literature comprehensively to understand the character from a broader perspective.

The current study is intended to address the following questions: Whether Thomas was a merely a ‘doubting Thomas’ or he was a ‘genuine Thomas’? Did we understand Thomas comprehensively by bridging the New Testament, Apocrypha, and historical traditions together? Or did we understand him only through disciplinary perspectives? How an interdisciplinary perspective can help us to understand the character comprehensively? How was Thomas connected to the Eastern Christianity and how does the Thomas literature support/not support this connectivity? Can we understand the Thomas traditions related to Judea, Syria, and India with the help of canonical, extra-canonical, and traditio-historical documents? These questions have to be adequately dealt with in the process of exploring the Thomas literature. The task of the study is threefold: investigate the development of the Thomas literature right from the beginning, understand the peculiar approaches and methodologies of interpreting Thomas documents, and analyze the Thomas literature integratively to understand the character and his mission involvements.

Thanks to my friends, colleagues, students, and family members for your love and support.

Johnson Thomaskutty, Bangalore, India.

FJCO Fellowship for Thomas Research

Posted: April 20, 2016 in General


Prof. James H. Charlesworth is the first scholar who inspired me to write a book on Apostle Thomas with an eastern perspective. After my fruitful time with him in Princeton Theological Seminary (as a ThM student; 2004-2005), at École biblique archéologique française de Jérusalem to plan my Thomas project (June 2013), and during the SBL/AAR meetings in Atlanta, Georgia (November 2015), I was fortunate to receive a Fellowship from Foundation on Judaism and Christian Origins (FJCO) to have a further consultation with him at Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey, and other scholars in Boston University and Harvard Divinity School in Massachusetts. I was granted a Fellowship for the period of April 1-24, 2016, to fulfill the research requirements before my departure to India. The book entitled “Didymus Judas Thomas: New Testament, Apocrypha, and Historical Traditions” shall be published by T & T Clark (Bloomsbury) with a Foreword chapter of Prof. James H. Charlesworth. I press hard to finish the project by the end of 2016. The following are the highlights of my time in Princeton, Boston, Harvard, and other areas in New England and Tri-state areas of the United States of America.

On April 5, 2016, an appointment was scheduled with Prof. Dana L. Robert, Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and History of Mission and Director of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at Boston University, Massachusetts. Her suggestion to connect Thomas of the earlier traditions (i.e., Thomas of the biblical history and historical traditions) with the twenty-first century Thomas communities (especially the Diaspora Indian communities) was helpful to bypass the odds of the Middle Ages. I appreciate her view that as “Children of Thomas” we need to trace back to our earlier history rooted in the person and work of Thomas.

On April 6, 2016, I was invited by Prof. Karen L. King, Hollis Professor of Divinity, as a resource person at Harvard Divinity School. I was interviewed by her and the whole section was filmed at the Harvard EdX studio in Harvard Square. It was scheduled for the course “World Religions [Christianity] Through Their Scriptures.” It was done on the topic “Thomas Christianity in India.” An edited version of the interview shall appear on the site of Harvard University shortly. I also had good interactions with Prof. Francis X. Clooney, S. J. (Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions) and Prof. Charles M. Stang (Professor of Early Christian Thought) at the university. The suggestions by Karen L. King, Francis X. Clooney, and Charles M. Stang were significant toward the progress of my research.

The following were the three questions posed by Prof. Karen L. King during the interview: first, I understand that Christianity came to the Malabar Coast of India very early, at least within the first few centuries after the death of Jesus.  Please tell us more about the early history of Christianity in India; second, would you say more about what Thomas Christianity is like?  [i.e., how would you characterize its core character and distinctive features to our global audience?  You might choose to talk about early tradition or your own contemporary tradition.  Perhaps an anecdote that conveys this sense?]; and third, as I understand it, there are more than 70 million Christians in India today. What would you say is the most important issue these Christians are facing? I had twenty-five to thirty minutes to answer these questions.

My stay in closer proximity with Prof. James H. Charlesworth helped me to develop my research with a lot of insights from him. His reflections from historical, literary, and archaeological insights shall definitely strengthen my arguments during the course of my writing. With that intention I stayed at the Erdman Center of Princeton Theological Seminary another time as a “Thomas Researcher.” Meanwhile, I was fortunate to meet other scholars of the seminary. On April 12, 2016, an appointment was scheduled with Prof. Dale C. Allison Jr., Richard J. Dearborn Professor of New Testament at PTS. We had a detailed interaction about St. Thomas from the New Testament, Apocryphal, and Historical perspectives.

On the same day afternoon, I met with Prof. George L. Parsenios, Associate Professor of New Testament at PTS. We could discuss the poem of Romanos the Melodis (6th century) about Thomas. The prelude of the poem progresses as follows: “With his meddling right hand, Thomas explored your life-giving side, Christ God; for the doors being shut when you entered, he cried out with the rest of the apostles, ‘You are our Lord and our God.’” Also we discussed Bentley Layton’s “The Gnostic Scriptures: Ancient Wisdom for the New Age.” Part Four of the book, i.e., “The School of St. Thomas,” was insightful.

On the same day evening, it was my pleasant surprise that I was invited by Prof. James H. Charlesworth to attend the PhD seminar on “Early Judaism (NT5050): Jesus Tradition and the Dead Sea Scrolls.” After the presentation of the student, Prof. Charlesworth presented his own paper entitled “Why Are the Dead Sea Scrolls Significant for Understanding Jesus and His Message?” He concluded the presentation with the following punch-line: “Jesus was no Essene, but he was influenced negatively and positively by them. The Dead Sea Scrolls reveal to us the intellectual landscape of Jesus’ mind.” At the outset of the class I was given time to present my book project (i.e., “Didymus Judas Thomas: New Testament, Apocrypha, and Historical Traditions”) to the class. Thereafter there was question-and-answer session between myself and the whole class. Also Prof. Charlesworth scheduled students of the class to dine with me at different times in McKay Campus Center.


On April 13, 2016, I had an amazing interaction with Prof. Clifton C. Black, Otto A. Piper Professor of Biblical Theology at PTS. I had about one and half hours to discuss with him the following topics from the Indian point of view: Christianity in general and St. Thomas Christianity in particular, persecution and religious harmony in the multi-religious context, and the relevance of biblical theology. Thanks to him for the free gift of his own book The Rhetoric of the Gospel (Second Edition; Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013). He wrote the following as a compliment: “To Johnson Thomaskutty, friend, colleague, and brother in Christ.” After referring my publications especially the one by E.J. Brill, Prof. Clifton Black suggested my name as a “Distinguished Alumnus” to the Department of Communication at PTS.

April 14 was an accomplished day with Prof. James H. Charleswoth (Princeton): first, attended his seminar on “What Is Love?” (NT3232), where he presented a phenomenal lecture on “The Personification of Love: The Theology of Sports”; second, where I gave a lecture on the topic “Love in India: How I Perceive It?” third, visited this distinguished professor’s archives in 313 Lenox House; fourth, discussed my exegeses of the Thomas Project; and fifth, had a wonderful dinner with him. We had a total of five and half hours to complete all these. The time I spent with him was worth as he challenged me with a lot of insights both from the scripture and historical traditions concerning the person and work of Thomas. I owe him so much for his word-by-word reading and editing of my exegetical analysis of Thomas in the Gospel of John.

I had opportunities in different contexts to interact with scholars such as Dr. Jesudas Athyal and Dr. Thomas Idicula in Boston, Dr. Jayakiran Sebastian and Dr. K.G. Jose in Philadelphia, and Dr. Anand Veeraraj in New Jersey. I also acknowledge the moral and spiritual support of my friends such as Rev. M.G. Johnson, Rev. Samuel John, and Rev. Varughese Mathew (New York), Rev. Renjen Philip Cherian and Rev. Freddy Thomas (Philadelphia), and Rev. James Varughese, Mr. Anish, and Mr. Binoy (New Jersey) during my stay in this part of the USA.

Once again I acknowledge my deep gratitude and love toward Prof. James H. Charlesworth and Foundation on Judaism and Christian Origins (FJCO) for the Fellowship and the insightful and meaningful time toward my scholarly pursuit. The following things were motivational during this Fellowship period: first, Prof. Charlesworth’s encouragements to explore further on the Thomasine Christianity and its growth through the centuries; second, his inspiration to explore the early eastern connections of Christianity; third, he posed a very significant question that lies at the root of the research: “Are the Thomas traditions in the Gospel of John, in the apocryphal Thomas compositions, and the early Thomas Traditions in Southwest India purely legendary (as biblical scholars have assumed) or do they preserve unexamined historical traditions intermittently (as the Thomas Christians in India have assumed)?”; fourth, his encouragement to adopt an interdisciplinary approach which explores written traditions and historical facts, oral traditions, archaeological evidences, and other areas of research broadens the perspective of the study; and fifth, our constant interaction since 2004 enlarges my understanding about the person and work of Thomas. Thanking him for all the inputs in my scholarly endeavors.

By Johnson Thomaskutty, FJCO Research Scholar, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.