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Infancy Gospel of Thomas

The Infancy Gospel of Thomas
Latin Text

From "The Apocryphal New Testament"
M.R. James-Translation and Notes
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924

Here beginneth a treatise of the Boyhood of Jesus according to Thomas.

I. How Mary and Joseph fled with him into Egypt.

When there was a tumult because search was made by Herod for our Lord Jesus Christ, that he might slay him, then said an angel unto Joseph: Take Mary and her child and flee into Egypt from the face of them that seek to slay him. Now Jesus was two years old when he entered into Egypt. And as he walked through a sown field he put forth his hand and took of the ears and put them upon the fire and ground them and began to eat. [And he gave such favour unto that field that year by year when it was sown it yielded unto the lord of it so many measures of wheat as the number of the grains which he had taken from it.] Now when they had entered into Egypt they took lodging in the house of a certain widow, and abode in the same place one year. And Jesus became three years old. And seeing boys playing he began to play with them. And he took a dried fish and put it into a basin and commanded it to move to and fro, and it began to move. And again he said to the fish: Cast out thy salt that is in thee and go into the water. And it came to pass. But when the neighbours saw what was done they told it to the widow woman in whose house his mother Mary dwelt. And she when she heard it hasted and cast them out of her house.

II. How a Master cast him out of the city.

1 And as Jesus walked with Mary his mother through the midst of the marketplace of the city, he looked about and saw a master teaching his pupils. And behold twelve sparrows which were quarrelling one with another fell from the wall into the lap of the master who taught the boys. And when Jesus saw it he laughed and stood still. 2 Now when that teacher saw him laughing, he said to his pupils in great anger: Go, bring him hither unto me. And when they had brought him, the master took hold on his ear and said: What sawest thou that thou didst laugh? And he said unto him: Master, see, my hand is full of corn, and I shewed it unto them, and scattered the corn, which they are carrying away in danger: for this cause they fought with one another that they might partake of the corn. 3 And Jesus left not the place until it was accomplished. And for this cause the master laboured to cast him out of the city together with his mother.

III. How Jesus came out of Egypt.

1 And behold, an angel of the Lord met with Mary and said unto her: Take the child and return into the land of the Jews: for they are dead which sought his life. So Mary arose with Jesus, and they went into the city Nazareth, which is in the inheritance of his (her?) father. 2 But when Joseph departed out of Egypt after the death of Herod, he took Jesus into the wilderness until there was quiet in Jerusalem from them that sought the life of the child. And he gave thanks to God for that he had given him understanding, and because he had found grace before the Lord God. Amen.

or, And Mary arose with Jesus, and they went unto the city of Capernaum which is of Tiberias, unto the inheritance of her father. 2 But when Joseph heard that Jesus was come out of Egypt after the death of Herod, he took him, &c.

or, After these things an angel of the Lord came unto Joseph and unto Mary the mother of Jesus and said unto them: Taketh he child, return into the land of Israel, for they are dead that sought the life of the child. And they arose and went to Nazareth where Joseph possessed the goods of his father. 2 And when Jesus was seven years old, there was quiet in the realm of Herod from all them that sought the life of the child. And they returned unto Bethlehem and abode there.

IV. What Jesus did in the city of Nazareth.

It is a glorious work for Thomas the Israelite (Ismaelite) the apostle of the Lord to tell of the works of Jesus after he came out of Egypt unto Nazareth. Hear (understand) therefore all of you beloved brethren, the signs which the Lord Jesus did when he was in the city of Nazareth: as it is said in the first chapter.

1 Now when Jesus was five years old there was a great rain upon the earth, and the child Jesus walked about therein. And the rain was very terrible: and he gathered the water together into a pool and commanded with a word that it should become clear: and forthwith it did so.

2 Again, he took of the clay which came of that pool and made thereof to the number of twelve sparrows. Now it was the Sabbath day when Jesus did this among the children of the Hebrews: and the children of the Hebrews went and said unto Joseph his father: Lo, thy son was playing with us and he took clay and made sparrows which it was not right to do upon the Sabbath, and he hath broken it. And Joseph went to the child Jesus, and said unto him: Wherefore hast thou done this which it was not right to do on the Sabbath? But Jesus spread forth (opened) his hands and commanded the sparrows, saying: Go forth into the height and fly: ye shall not meet death at any man's hands. And they flew and began to cry out and praise almighty God. But when the Jews saw what was done they marvelled and departed, proclaiming the signs which Jesus did.

3 But a Pharisee which was with Jesus took a branch of an olive tree and began to empty the pool which Jesus had made. And when Jesus saw it he was vexed and said to him: O thou of Sodom, ungodly and ignorant, what hurt did the fountain of water do thee, which I made? Lo, thou shalt become like a dry tree which hath neither roots nor leaf nor fruit. And straightway he was dried up and fell to the earth and died: but his parents carried him away dead and reviled Joseph, saying: Behold what thy son hath done: teach thou him to pray and not to blaspheme.

V. How the people of the city were grieved against Joseph because of that which Jesus did.

1 And after some days as Jesus walked with Joseph through the city, there ran one of the children and smote Jesus on the arms: but Jesus said unto him: So finish thou thy course. And immediately he fell to the earth and died. But they when they saw this wonder, cried out saying: From whence cometh this child? And they said unto Joseph: It is not right that such a child should be among us. And he departed and took him with him. And they said to him: Depart out of this place; and if thou must be with us, teach him to pray and not to blaspheme: for our sons are put to death by him (lit. lose their senses). 2 And Joseph called Jesus and began to admonish him, saying: Wherefore blasphemest thou? They that dwell in this place conceive hatred against us. But Jesus said: I know that these words are not mine but thine: yet for thy sake I will hold my peace: But let them see (? bear) their own foolishness. And straightway they that spake against Jesus were made blind, and as they walked to and fro they said: Every word that cometh out of his mouth hath fulfillment. 3 And when Joseph saw what Jesus had done he took hold on him by his ear in anger: but Jesus was vexed and said unto Joseph: It sufficeth thee to see me and not to touch me. For thou knowest not who I am, which if thou knewest, thou wouldest not grieve me. And albeit I am with thee now, yet was I made before thee.

VI. How Jesus was treated by the Master.

1 There was therefore a man named Zacheus who heard all that Jesus said unto Joseph, and he marvelled in himself and said: I have never beheld such a child that spake so. And he came near unto Joseph and said to him: Thou hast a wise child: deliver him to me to learn letters, and when he is learned in the study of the letters, I will teach him reverently that he become not foolish. Joseph answered and said unto him: No man is able to teach him but God only. Think you that this young child will be the occasion unto us of little torment, my brother? [There should be mention of a cross in this sentence. Syriac has, Thinkest thou that he is worthy to receive a little cross? See below.]

2 But when Jesus heard Joseph saying these things, he said unto Zacheus: Verily, O master, all things that proceed out of my mouth are true. And I am before all men, and I am Lord, but ye are the children of strangers: for unto me is given the glory of them (or of the worlds) but unto you nothing is given: for I am before all worlds. And I know how many are the years of thy life, and when thou shalt raise that standard (i. e. the cross) whereof my father spake, then shalt thou understand that all things that proceed out of my mouth are true.

3 But the Jews which stood by and heard the words which Jesus spake, marvelled and said: Now have we seen such wonders and heard such words from this child, as we have never heard neither shall hear from any other man, neither from the chief priests nor the doctors nor the Pharisees. 4 Jesus answered and said unto them: Wherefore marvel ye? Do ye think it a thing incredible that I have told you the truth? I know when ye were born, and your fathers: and if I should say more unto you, I know when the world was created, and who sent me unto you.

When the Jews heard the word which the child spake, they were wroth because they were not able to answer him. And the child turned himself about and rejoiced and said: I spake unto you a proverb; but I know that ye are weak and know not anything.

5 Now that master said unto Joseph: Bring him unto me and I will teach him letters. And Joseph took the child Jesus and brought him to the house [of a certain master] where other children also were taught. But the master began to teach him the letters with sweet speech, and wrote for him the first line which goeth from A unto T, and began to flatter him and to teach him (and commanded him to say the letters:) but the child held his peace. 6 Then that teacher smote the child on the head and when the child received the blow, he said unto him: I ought to teach thee and not thou to teach me. I know the letters which thou wouldest teach me, and I know that ye are unto me as vessels out of which cometh nought but sound, and neither wisdom nor salvation of the soul. And beginning the line he spake all the letters from A even unto T fully with much quickness: and he looked upon the master and said: But thou knowest not how to interpret A and B: how wouldest thou teach others? Thou hypocrite, if thou knowest and canst tell me concerning A, then will I tell thee concerning B. But when the teacher began to expound concerning the first letter, he was not able to give any answer.

7 Then said Jesus unto Zacheus: Hearken unto me, O master and understand the first letter. Give ear unto me, how that it hath two lines (eight quite unintelligible descriptive phrases follow).

8 Now when Zacheus saw that he so divided the first letter he was confounded at such names, and at his teaching, and cried out and said: Woe is me, for I am confounded: I have hired shame unto myself by means of this child. And he said unto Joseph: I beseech thee earnestly, my brother, take him away from me: for I cannot look upon his face nor hear his mighty words. For this child is able to subdue the fire and to re