Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The childhood life of Jesus

There is not much known about the childhood life of Jesus except for this account and also the fact that in a passage in Luke 2 that the gospel writer said that Jesus "increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:52).

It is interesting to note that the boy Jesus needed to grew in his wisdom (and of course, physicial stature), yet at the same time, his understanding of the scriptures already astonished the teachers of the temple. This again, subtly point to his two nature - the divine nature and the human nature (the hypostatic union of Christ).

Furthermore, as this is the only significant record of Jesus' childhood days and no other, it means that his childhood life was pretty obscure. There was no other account of miracles recorded in the canonical gospels during his childhood days.

John 2:1-11 clearly shows that the first miracle that Jesus did was turning water into wine at a party.

As such, this also points to the fact that fanciful and sometimes malevolent miracles that Jesus did as recorded in the infancy gospel of Thomas are not true. These are at times equivalent to that of a trickster in a god-child in many Greek myths.

One such miracle was Jesus making clay birds, which he then proceeds to bring to life. This is not recorded in the Bible but surprisingly recorded in the Quran. Why did the Quran get it from? It could not have been from the Bible.

There is no reason an evangelical Christian should accept this account in the infancy gospel of Thomas because:

1) The Infancy Gospel was written well after the canonical Gospels (150 - 185 AD). The earliest manuscript of this Gospel dates from the sixth century AD., but most scholars date this work in the late second century.

2) The author of this gospel seems unfamiliar with the Jewish life and customs of the 1st century. According to New Testament scholar Wilhelm Schneemelcher, the author was most likely not Jewish but a Gentile. He said that "the author was of gentile Christian origin may be assumed with certainty, since his work betrays no knowledge of things Jewish."

3) The early Church Fathers were aware of this late gospel and identified it as errant. Irenaeus appears to refer to it and includes it in his list of unreliable non-canonical documents described in “Against Heresies” (180AD). Hippolytus and Origen also refer to a Gospel of Thomas in their respective lists of heretical books.

Did Jesus work miracles as a child? In: Cold Case Christianity. Available at URL:

Jesus in the Quran: Muslims Receive a False View by Pat Zukeran. In: Available at URL:

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