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   THEre ARE Various Versions of THE CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH of Jesus Christ, SO to be  INTELLECTUALLY HONEST, I MUST GIVE each VERSION AT LEAST some mention.

Divine CHILD

      Some devout Roman Catholics, of the type that enjoy medals and pictures of the type shown above, are encouraged to believe in a Jesus who was divine from birth, had no human father, and therefore was devoid of any childhood or search for an identity of the type I will attempt to present on this web page.   Jesus would know, of course, that he was divine as soon as he knew anything at all.   His divine childhood would be just a prelude to his divine adult-hood pictured below.   This Jesus had no real brothers and sisters, so was also spared sibling strife.   Mary, the ever-virgin, never had sex with Joseph, and Jesus' adolescence was never marred by sexual desire or, perish the thought, wet dreams or masturbation.

      He spent his youth without any interest in having a girl-friend, of course was never married, never became a father, never quarreled with a wife, never watched a real child of his own get sick or die, and was crucified by the Romans in the prime of life without ever doing anything wrong or sinful, and became our "Sacrificial Lamb" on the cross so that we need not die, but instead receive "Eternal Life". 

"A Latin Infancy Gospel: The Birth of Jesus"

"Christian Apocrypha"

"The Other Bible" Edited with Introductions by Willis Barnstone - HarpurSanFrancisco-1984

     Page 405 "Joseph said, 'Mary, Behold, I have brought you a midwife, Zachel, who stands outside in front of the cave, who because of the brightness not only dares not enter the cave, but even cannot.'   When she heard this, Mary smiled.   Joseph said to her, 'Do not smile, but take care; she comes to examine you in case you need medicine.'   He ordered the midwife to enter to Mary and she stood before her.  For hours Mary permitted herself to be watched, then the  midwife cried with a loud voice and  said, 'Lord, great God, have mercy, because never has been heard, nor seen, nor even dreamed of, until now, that the breasts should be full of milk and a male child, after birth, should make his mother known to be a virgin.   There was no offering of blood in the birth, no pain occurring in the parturition.   A virgin conceived, a virgin has given birth and after she gave birth, she remained a virgin."

      "[The midwife is asked to relate what she had seen to Symeon, Joseph's son.  See Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3.  The following is, therefore, a flashback.]

      "When I looked to the maiden, I found her face looking upward; she was inclined toward Heaven and speaking to herself.  I truly believe that she prayed to the blessed the Most High.  When I had come to her, I said to her, 'Daughter, tell me, do you not feel some pain, or is not some part of your body gripped with pain?'   She, however, as if she heard nothing, remained immobile like solid rock, intent on Heaven."

      "In that hour, everything ceased.   There was total silence and fear.  For even the winds stopped, they made no breeze; there was no motion of the tree leaves; no sound of water was heard.   The streams did not flow; there was no motion of the sea.  All things produced in the water were quiet; there was no human voice sounding; there was a great silence.  For the pole itself ceased its rapid course from that hour.  Time almost stopped its measure.  All, overwhelmed with great fear, kept silent; we were expecting the advent of the most high God, the end of the world."

     "As the time drew near, the power of God showed itself  openly.  The maiden stood looking intently into Heaven; she became as a grapevine [or, she became snow-white.].   For now the end of good things was at hand.   When the light had come forth, Mary worshipped him to whom she had given birth.   The child himself, like the sun, shone bright, beautiful, and was most delightful to see, because he appeared to be as peace, soothing the whole world.   In that hour, when he was born, the voice of many invisible beings in one voice proclaimed 'Amen'. And the light, when it was born. multiplied, and it obscured the light of the sun itself by its shining rays.   The cave was filled by the bright light together with a most sweet odor.   The light was born just as the dew descends from Heaven to the earth.  For its odor is fragrant beyond all the sweet smell of ointments."

    "I, however, stood stupefied and amazed.  Awe grasped me.  I was gazing intently at the fantastically bright light that had been born.  The light, however, after a while, shrank, imitated the shape of an infant, then immediately became outwardly an infant in the usual manner of born infants.  I became bold and leaned over and touched him.  I lifted him in my hands with great awe, and I was terrified because he had no weight like other babies who were born.  I looked at him closely; there was no blemish on him, but he was in his body totally shining, just as the dew of the most high God.   He was light to carry, splendid to see.  For a while I was amazed at him because he did not cry as newborn  children are supposed to.   While I beheld him, looking into his face, he laughed at me with a most joyful laugh, and, opening his eyes, he looked intently at me.   Suddenly, a great light came forth from his eyes like a great flash of lightning."

Introduction by David R. Cartlidge and David L. Dugan

     "This excerpt includes selections from the Arundel Manuscript, chapters 68-74.  From David R. Cartlidge and David D. Dugan, eds. and trans. Documents  for the Study of the Gospels (Philadelphia Fortress Press, 1980), pp. 104-106)

      "This is a medieval  document that exists in two manuscripts.   Most of this Gospel is based upon Pseudo-Matthew  and the Gospel of James.   However, there are passages that are unique to this gospel, which appears to use a source that is probably from the Church's early years, and which have a birth narrative unknown elsewhere.  M. R. James, who first published the Arundel and Hereford manuscripts of the gospel, claims that the birth  narrative may be from the second century.  We have selected passages from the Arundel manuscript --- it is more primitive than the Hereford version --- which rely upon the unknown source."


  The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is one of the earliest infancy gospels, written about AD 150, and was extremely popular in the first centuries.  It appears in translation in many languages.  The gospel deals with the period between Jesus' birth and the incident of Jesus in the temple.

     "I, Thomas the Israelite, announce and make known to all you brethren from the Gentiles the childhood and great deeds of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he did when he was born in our country.  This is the beginning."

      "When this child Jesus was five years old, he was playing at the ford of a stream.   He made pools  of the rushing water and made it immediately pure; he ordered this by word alone.  He made soft clay and modeled twelve sparrows from it.  It was the Sabbath when he did this.  There were many other children playing with him.  A certain Jew saw what Jesus did while playing on the Sabbath; he immediately went and announced to his father Joseph, 'See, your child is at the stream, and has taken clay and modeled twelve birds; he has profaned the Sabbath.'   Joseph came to the place, and seeing what Jesus did, he cried out, 'Why do you do on the Sabbath what it is not lawful to do?'   Jesus clapped his hands and cried to the sparrows, 'Be gone.'  The sparrows flew off chirping.  The Jews saw this and were amazed.   They went away and described to their leaders what they had seen Jesus do." 

      "The son of Annas the scribe was standing there with Joseph.  He took a branch of a willow and scattered the water which Jesus had arranged.   Jesus saw what he did and became angry and said to him, 'You unrighteous, impius ignoramus, what did the pools and the water do to harm you?  Behold, you shall also wither as a tree, and you shall not bear leaves nor roots nor fruit.'  And immediately that child was all withered.   Jesus left and went to the house of Joseph.  The parents of the withered one bore him away, bemoaning his lost youth.   They led him to Joseph and reproached him.  'What kind of a child do you have that does such things?'"

       "Once again he was going through the village, and a child that was running banged into his shoulder.  Jesus was angered and said unto him, 'You shall go no further on your way.'  And immediately the child fell down dead.  Some people saw this happen and said, 'From whence was this child begotten, for his every word is an act accomplished?'   The parents of the dead boy went to Joseph and blamed him: 'Because you have such a boy, you cannot live with us in the village; your alternative is to teach him to bless and not curse, for he is killing our children.'"  

      "Joseph took the child aside privately and warned him, saying, 'Why do you do such things?  These people are suffering and they hate us and are persecuting us!'  Jesus said, 'I know that these are not your words, but on account of you I will be silent.   However, they shall bear their punishment.'   Immediately, those who accused him were blinded.   Those who saw were very frightened and puzzled, and they said about him, 'Every word he speaks, whether good or evil, happens and is a miracle.'   When he saw what Jesus had done, Joseph arose and took hold of Jesus' ear and pulled it hard.   The child was angry and said to him, 'It is fitting for you to seek and not find.   You have acted very stupidly.  Do you not know that I am yours?  Do not vex me.'

     "A man named Zaccheus, a teacher, was standing there and he heard,  in part, Jesus saying these things to his father.   He was greatly astonished that he said such things, since he was just a child.  And after a few days he approached Joseph and said to him, 'You have a smart child, and he has a mind.  Come, hand him over to me so that he may learn writing.   I will give him all understanding with the letters, and teach him to greet all the elders and to honor them as grandfathers and fathers and to love his peers.'   He told him all the letters from the Alpha to the Omega plainly, with much discussion.   But Jesus looked at Zaccheus the teacher, and said to him, 'You do not know the Alpha according to nature, how do you teach others the Beta?   You hypocrite!   First, if you know it, teach the Alpha, then we shall believe you about the Beta.'   Then he began to question the teacher about the first letter and he could not answer him.   Many heard as the child said to Zaccheus, 'Listen, teacher, to the order of the first element, and pay attention to this, how it has lines, and a central mark which goes through the two lines you see, they converge, go up, again come to head, become the same three times, subordinate, and hypostatic, isometric ... [the text is unreliable.]  You now have lines of Alpha.'"

      "When the teacher, Zaccheus, heard so many allegories of the first letter spoken by the child, he was puzzled about such expoundings and his teaching.   He said to those present, 'Woe is me, I am wretched and puzzled; I have shamed myself trying to handle this child.  I beg you, brother Joseph, take him away.  I cannot bear the severity of his glance.   I cannot understand his speech at all.   This child is not earthborn, he is able to tame even fire.  Perhaps he was begotten before the world's creation.   What belly bor him, what womb nurtured him, I do not know.   Woe is me, friend, he completely confuses me.   I cannot follow his understanding.   I have fooled myself; I am thrice wretched.   I worked anxiously to have a disciple, and I found myself with a teacher.   I consider my shame, friends; I am an old man and have been conquered by a little child, what can I say?   What can I discuss about the lines of the first element he spoke to me?  I do not know, O friends, for I do not know its beginning and end.   Therefore, I beg you, brother Joseph, take him into your house.   He is something great: a God, an angel, or what I should say I do not know.'"

       "When he was six, his mother sent him to draw water and to bring it into the house, giving him a pitcher.   But in the crowd he had a collision; the water jug was broken.   Jesus spread out the garment he had on, filled it with water, and bore it to his mother.  When his mother saw the miracle she kissed him, and she kept to herself the mysteries which she saw him do."

      "Again, during planting time the child went with his father to sow seed in their field.   While they planted, his father sowed, and the child Jesus planted one grain of wheat.  When he reaped and threshed it, it yeilded one hundred measures, and he called all the poor of the village to the threshing floor and gave them the grain.   Joseph took the remainder of the grain.   He was eight when he did this sign."

      "His father was a carpenter and at that time made ploughs and yokes.  He received an order from a  certain rich man to make a bed for him.   One beam came out shorter than the other, and he did not know what to do.   The child Jesus said to Joseph his father, 'Lay the two pieces of wood alongside each other, and make them even at  one end.'  Joseph did as the child told him.  Jesus stood at the other end and grasped the shorter beam; and stretched it and made it equal with the other.   His father Joseph saw and was astonished, and embracing the child he kissed him and said, 'I am blessed because God has given this child to me.'"



  NEXT: "Perfect Child"the Childhood of Jesus Christ as envisioned by the Seventh-day Adventist "Prophetess" Ellen G. White around 1888.

OR:  SKIP to "Typical Jewish Childhood - Prof. Norman Bull

OR:  SKIP 2,  to "Essene Child at Qumran and Mar Saba

  INDEX to