Infancy Gospel of St. Thomas
Contributed by Peter Petto:
- Esoteric traditions, especially those based on apocalypses and apocrypha (such as the Apocalypse of Peter, Gospel of Thomas, Secret Gospel of Mark, and Gospel of Philip) preserve some legends and myths descending from the early Christian centres of Edessa, Alexandria, and Asia Minor. The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus (known also as the Arabic Infancy Gospel) recounts that, one day, Jesus and his playmates were playing on a rooftop and one fell down and died. The other playmates ran away, leaving Jesus accused of pushing the dead boy. Jesus, however, went to the dead boy and asked, "Zeinunus, Zeinunus, who threw you down from the housetop?" The dead boy answered that Jesus had not done it and named another (I Infancy 19:4-11). This and other such narratives describe the "hidden life" of Jesus in the 30 years before his public ministry began.
Contributed by Vaska Tumir:
- It's often chunked together with "The Gospel of Thomas" although no one knows whether the two were written by the same Thomas -- or even who, exactly, either of the authors might have been. Here's a possibly relevant excerpt from one of the translations of "The Infancy Gospel" available on the Net:
- "Having made some soft clay, He fashioned out of it twelve sparrows. And it was the Sabbath when He did these things. There were also many other children playing with Him. A certain Jew, seeing what Jesus was doing, playing on the Sabbath, went off immediately, and said to his father Joseph: Behold, thy son is at the stream, and has taken clay, and made of it twelve birds, and has profaned the Sabbath. Joseph, coming to the place and seeing, cried out to Him, saying: Wherefore doest thou on the Sabbath what it is not lawful to do? Jesus clapped His hands, and cried out to the sparrows, and said to them: Off you go! The sparrows flew, and went off crying."