When modern European missionaries arrived in India in the eighteenth century, they were astonished to discover Christian communities that traced their origins back to Thomas. How and when did Christianity spread eastwards? The earliest answer can be found in the pages of The Acts of Thomas. The Acts of Thomas is one of five surviving apocryphal acts along with Andrew, John, Peter, and Paul that recount the adventures of the apostles as they carried the Christian message to the far reaches of their world.
The well-known Hymn of the Pearl, widely regarded as an allegory of the soul on its journey, from God and back to God, is found in its pages.