The Acts of Mār Mārī the Apostle


The Syriac Acts of Mār Mārī the Apostle discusses the introduction of Christianity into Upper Syria, Mesopotamia, and Persia at the end of or slightly after the apostolic age by Mār Mārī. The Acts continues the Teaching of Addai (Thaddaeus in Eusebius of Caesarea), one of the seventy disciples of Jesus, who dispatched Marı from Edessa to the east. The Acts traces Mārī's itinerary and preaching in Mesopotamia until his reaching Babylonia, where he founded the first church near the Hellenistic city of Seleucia on the Tigris. By the early fifth century, the birthplace of Christianity in Babylonia became the patriarchal seat of the Church of the East, whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction and cultural influence extended during the early medieval period as far as China. This volume contains the Acts of Mār Mārī in Syriac and a relevant account from Kitāb al-Majdal in Arabic, both translated for the first time into English. This annotated translation of the Acts of Mār Mārī offers specialists and lay people alike a major source dealing with the early history of Christianity in the Middle East.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (
Biographical Note
Amir Harrak, Ph.D. (1987) in Assyriology, University of Toronto, is Associate Professor of Aramaic and Syriac at University of Toronto.
Review Quotes
' The present edition and translation of the Acts of Mār Mārī the Apostle makes available to a growing numbers of students an accessible and reliable guide to the tradition that traces the expansion of Christianity eastward from Edessa. As such, it will take its place alongside the classic edition of the Teaching of Addai by George Howard. The Syriac text of the Acts will be put to good use in Syriac reading groups. The English translation, the only one of its kind, will be welcomed by those who cannot read the text in original language and will be especially useful for courses in the history and literature of Syriacspeaking Christianity.' Joseph P. Amar, Review of Biblical Literature, 2006
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