Article Index

Acts of Yesu


The book's full name is The Acts of Yesu our Lord and Saviour.

Acts of Yesu purports to have been written by the particular captain called Siphor, who headed up King Misdeas' military. His story is found in Acts of the Apostle Thomas.

Apart from the fact that the book was widely used as catechism in eastern communities, not much more is known about the history of this book. It is supposed that most of it was originally written in Kharoshti, the script also used for other works of the time. There is evidence of at most four editors at work, two of which seem to effect a major change in style. This is probably due to later attempts to recompile the book, translating from fragments of different origin. There may have been a very early Aramaic and even Greek Acts of Yesu which was treasured among the Syriac and Egyptian Nazoreans.

The current work is the result of many translations and reparations made to it. This book, along with Magdalene Scriptures, Saint’s works and church rubrics was subject to much persecution in the past, starting in the 3rd century in Iran, the Han period from the 5th century onward, continuing during the Islamic period from the 8th century onward and in the 17th century western Christianity again destroyed libraries of Nazorean Scriptures of Church of the East.

English language versions of Acts of Yesu were inspected in India by our committee in 1994. These are still found in archives of monasteries in northern India. The copies that we worked from for this publication seemed to have been printed on alkaline buffered paper between 1955 and 1965, most probably in India. Copies were said to have been circulated by Kashmiri Church of the East in the 1950s. The booklets inspected by us, originated from a community in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. At the time, one copy was donated to St. Siphor Ashram in South Africa by the Indian teacher Mar Yusa.

A story circulating on the Internet since 1998 tells of a copy of Acts of Yesu (among other books) that was removed from an archive at the Vatican by a priest, Fr. Corzeni. The priest later died under mysterious circumstances in a back-street apartment in Rome, where several unknown or exceptionally rare ancient manuscripts were found by his landlord. The priest seemed to have copied books and leaflets for distribution.

Acts of Yesu, especially in its current form, is held in highest regard by devotees of the Church. Its imperfections remind us to never forget the human ability to lower itself to the level where even Scripture and writings of Saints that are holy to some, can be destroyed by the religious zeal of others.