According to the Chinese-language portion of the
Xian Fu Inscription,
a Persian bishop named "Aloben"
(customarily rendered in English by the Wade-Giles
transliteration "Alopen") was the
Nestorian missionary to
China. It is unclear to what Syriac name
this corresponds; the most common guess has been "Abraham",
but "Reuben" has also been frequently suggested.
In any case, Alopen was apparently in Xian by 635.
Several of the Jesus
Sutras have been attributed to him, the argument
being that in these particular sutras, which are clearly
of early date, the Chinese is clumsy (suggesting a foreign
author) and the theology includes blatantly non-Christian
elements (presumably the insertions of a translator or assistant).
One might think that these two points are contradictory,
Norman Hugh Redington
Under construction --- far from complete! Read with caution.
Return to St Pachomius Library.