Documents for the Study of the Gospels

By David R. Cartlidge; David L. Dungan | Go to book overview
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The Infancy Gospel of Thomas

Introduction: One of the earliest (A.D. 125) writings devoted to “filling the gap” left by some of thp other gospels, namely, what happened to Jesus before his twelfth year, this Gospel became very popular, and was translated into numerous languages. It is a classic example of the influence of the Hellenistic “divine man” concept on a Christian description of Jesus Christ.

1. 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.

2.1. 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. 2. 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. 3. 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.” 4. 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.” And the sparrows flew off chirping. 5. The Jews saw this and were amazed. They went away and described to their leaders what they had seen Jesus do.

3.1. 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. 2. Jesus saw what he did and became angry and said to him, “You unrighteous, impious 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.” 3. 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 child do you have who does such things?”

4.1. Once again he was going through the village, and a child who was running banged into his shoulder. Jesus was angered and said to 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?” 2. The parents of the dead boy went to Joseph and blamed him: “Because you have such a boy, you cannot live


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Documents for the Study of the Gospels
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