Monday 22 December 2014

non-canon or holy terror

Columnist Candida Moss approaches the subject of the lack of a biography of Jesus during His K-12 years, childhood and adolescence into early adulthood, through an apocryphal gospel known as the ΠΑΙΔIΚΑ (the Book of Childhood Deeds) or the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (original link times out, so here is an alternate Wikipedia article on the subject) written sometime in the second century.

Whether this tract was published originally as a dissenting view of the Christian tenet of God manifest as a human—sort of a lampoon or spoof, or as more material to fill in the gaps for a Christian audience hungry for details and more miracles is unclear. Pre-teen Jesus seems to have the problems most children go through and seemed incapable at first of refraining from using his miraculous powers. Though non-canonical as well, there are plenty of other competing stories that place Jesus during his formative years as touring India, Tibet and Persia—and even placing Him in Britain and Japan, learning from other magi. Most scholars believe that as part of a family of carpenters, He would have spent this time as an apprentice, but the Bible is silent on these matters. What do you think? Was Jesus a disciple Himself or a bully with a halo, Who did learn restraint?