The discovery of the Coptic translation of these Acts in 1897, and its publication by C. Schmidt (Acta Pauli aus der Heidelberger koptischen Papyrushandschrift herausgegeben, Leipzig, 1894), have confirmed what had been previously only a hypothesis that the Acts of Thecla had formed a part of the larger Acts of Paul.
150), recounts the adventures and sufferings of a virgin, Thecla of Iconium.
Thecla was most probably a real personage, around whom a legend had already gathered in the 2nd century.
47, 50 and 53; and it is the principal scene of the tale of Paul and Thecla (which though apocryphal has certainly some historical basis; see Thecla).
And as to Christians, Tertullian about 210 tells how the presbyter who, in proconsular Asia, had " composed the Acts of Paul and Thecla" was convicted and deposed, for how could it be credible that Paul should confer upon women the power to "teach and baptize " as these Acts averred ?
A note by Cyril Lucar states that it was written by Thecla, a noble lady of Egypt, but this is probably merely his interpretation of an Arabic note of the 14th century which states that the MS. was written by Thecla, the martyr, an obviously absurd legend; another Arabic note by Athanasius (probably Athanasius III., patriarch c. 1308) states that it was given to the patriarchate of Alexandria, and a Latin note of a later period dates the presenta tion in 1098.
This is the plot of the Acts of Thecla, a story which probably goes back to the first century.