Mary Did You Know?
The answer to this question is an intriguing one, and may very well be found in the paragraphs that follow. This information comes from a book I found on the internet at the Kindle Store and was NOT written by me, still I found it quite interesting and thought I would share with others who may be interested.
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Mary Did You Know by Pentatonix
Angels We Have Heard On High by Pentatonix
(2010-12-08). The Lost Books of the Bible and The Forgotten Books of Eden (Kindle Locations 10-19). . Kindle Edition.
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The Lost Books of the Bible The Gospel of the Nativity of Mary
The blessed and glorious ever-virgin Mary, sprung from the royal stock and family of David, born in the city of Nazareth, was brought up at Jerusalem in the temple of the Lord. Her father was named Joachim, and her mother Anna. Her father’s house was from Galilee and the city of Nazareth, but her mother’s family from Bethlehem. Their life was guileless and right before the Lord, and irreproachable and pious before men. For they divided all their substance into three parts. One part they spent upon the temple and the temple servants; another they distributed to strangers and the poor; the third they reserved, for themselves and the necessities of their family. Thus, dear to God, kind to men, for about twenty years they lived in their own house, a chaste married life, without having any children. Nevertheless they vowed that, should the Lord happen to give them offspring, they would deliver it to the service of the Lord; on which account also they used to visit the temple of the Lord at each of the feasts during the year.
And it came to pass that the festival of the dedication was at hand; wherefore also Joachim went up to Jerusalem with some men of his own tribe. Now at that time Issachar was high priest there. And when he saw Joachim with his offering among his other fellow- citizens, he despised him, and spurned his gifts, asking why he, who had no offspring, presumed to stand among those who had; saying that his gifts could not by any means be acceptable to God, since He had deemed him unworthy of off-spring: for the Scripture said, Cursed is every one who has not begot a male or a female in Israel. He said, therefore, that he ought first to be freed from this curse by the begetting of children; and then, and then only, that be should come into the presence of the Lord with his offerings.
And Joachim, covered with shame from this reproach that was thrown in his teeth, retired to the shepherds, who were in their pastures with their flocks; nor would he return home, test perchance he might be branded with the same reproach by those of his own tribe, who were there at the time, and had heard this from the priest. Now, when he had been there for some time, on a certain day when he was alone, an angel of the Lord stood by him in a great light.
And when he was disturbed at his appearance, the angel who had appeared to him restrained his fear, saying:
Fear not, Joachim, nor be disturbed by my appearance; for I am the angel of the Lord, sent by Him to thee to tell thee that thy prayers have been heard, and that thy charitable deeds have gone up into His presence. For He hath seen thy shame, and hath heard the reproach of unfruitfulness which has been unjustly brought against thee. For God is the avenger of sin, not of nature: and, therefore, when He shuts up the womb of any one, He does so that He may miraculously open it again; so that that which is born may be acknowledged to be not of lust, but of the gift of God.
- For was it not the case that the first mother of your nation–Sarah–was barren up to her eightieth year? And, nevertheless, in extreme old age she brought forth Isaac, to whom the promise was renewed of the blessing of all nations.
- Rachel also, so favoured of the Lord, and so beloved by holy Jacob, was long barren; and yet she brought forth Joseph, who was not only the lord of Egypt, but the deliverer of many nations who were ready to perish of hunger. Who among the judges was either stronger than Samson, or more holy than Samuel?
- And yet the mothers of both were barren. If, therefore, the reasonableness of my words does not persuade thee, believe in fact that conceptions very late in life, and births in the case of women that have been barren, are usually attended with something wonderful.
- Accordingly thy wife Anna will bring forth a daughter to thee, and thou shall call her name Mary: she shall be, as you have vowed, consecrated to the Lord from her infancy, and she shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from her mother’s womb. She shall neither eat nor drink any unclean thing, nor shall she spend her life among the crowds of the people without, but in the temple of the Lord, that it may not be possible either to say, or so much as to suspect, any evil concerning her. Therefore, when she has grown up, just as she herself shall be miraculously born of a barren woman, so in an incomparable manner she, a virgin, shall bring forth the Son of the Most High, who shall be called Jesus, and who, according to the etymology of His name, shall be the Saviour of all nations. And this shall be the sign to thee of those things which I announce: When thou shalt come to the Golden gate in Jerusalem, thou shalt there meet Anna thy wife, who, lately anxious from the delay of thy return, will then rejoice at the sight of thee.
Having thus spoken, the angel departed from him.
Thereafter he appeared to Anna his wife, saying:
Fear not, Anna, nor think that it is a phantom which thou seest. For I am that angel who has presented your prayers and alms before God; and now have I been sent to you to announce to you that thou shalt bring forth a daughter, who shall be called Mary, and who shall be blessed above all women.
She, full of the favour of the Lord even from her birth, shall remain three years in her father’s house until she be weaned. Thereafter, being delivered to the service of the Lord, she shall not depart from the temple until she reach the years of discretion.
There, in fine, serving God day and night in fastings and prayers, she shall abstain from every unclean thing; she shall never know man, but alone, without example, immaculate, uncorrupted, without intercourse with man, she, a virgin, shall bring forth a son; she, His hand-maiden, shall bring forth the Lord–both in grace, and in name, and in work, the Saviour of the world.
Wherefore arise, and go up to Jerusalem; and when thou shalt come to the gate which, because it is plated with gold, is called Golden, there, for a sign, thou shalt meet thy husband, for whose safety thou hast been anxious. And when these things shall have so happened, know that what I announce shall without doubt be fulfilled.
Therefore, as the angel had commanded, both of them setting out from the place where they were, went up to Jerusalem; and when they had come to the place pointed out by the angel’s prophecy, there they met each other. Then, rejoicing at seeing each other, and secure in the certainty of the promised offspring, they gave the thanks due to the Lord, who exalteth the humble. And so, having worshipped the Lord, they returned home, and awaited in certainty and in gladness the divine promise.
Anna therefore conceived, and brought forth a daughter; and according to the command of the angel, her parents called her name Mary. And when the circle of three years had rolled round, and the time of her weaning was fulfilled, they brought the virgin to the temple of the Lord with offerings.
Now there were round the temple, according to the fifteen Psalms of Degrees, fifteen steps going up; for, on account of the temple having been built on a mountain, the altar of burnt-offering, which stood outside, could not be reached except by steps. On one of these, then, her parents placed the little girl, the blessed virgin Mary. And when they were putting off the clothes which they had worn on the journey, and were putting on, as was usual, others that were neater and cleaner, the virgin of the Lord went up all the steps, one after the other, without the help of any one leading her or lifting her, in such a manner that, in this respect at least, you would think that she had already attained full age.
For already the Lord in the infancy of His virgin wrought a great thing, and by the indication of this miracle foreshowed how great she was to be. Therefore, a sacrifice having been offered according to the custom of the law, and their vow being perfected, they left the virgin within the enclosures of the temple, there to be educated with the other virgins, and themselves returned home.
But the virgin of the Lord advanced in age and in virtues; and though, in the words of the Psalmist, her father and mother had forsaken her, the Lord took her up. For daily was she visited by angels, daily did she enjoy a divine vision, which preserved her from all evil, and made her to abound in all good. And so she reached her fourteenth year; and not only were the wicked unable to charge her with anything worthy of reproach, but all the good, who knew her life and conversation, judged her to be worthy of admiration.
Then the high priest publicly announced that the virgins who were publicly settled in the temple, and had reached this time of life, should return home and get married, according to the custom of the nation and the ripeness of their years. The others readily obeyed this command; but Mary alone, the virgin of the Lord, answered that she could not do this, saying both that her parents had devoted her to the service of the Lord, and that, moreover, she herself had made to the Lord a vow of virginity, which she would never violate by any intercourse with man.
And the high priest, being placed in great perplexity of mind, seeing that neither did he think that the vow should be broken contrary to the Scripture, which says, Vow and pay, nor did he dare to introduce a custom unknown to the nation, gave order that at the festival, which was at hand, all the chief persons from Jerusalem and the neighbourhood should be present, in order that from their advice he might know what was to be done in so doubtful a case.
And when this took place, they resolved unanimously that the Lord should be consulted upon this matter. And when they all bowed themselves in prayer, the high priest went to consult God in the usual way. Nor had they long to wait: in the hearing of all a voice issued from the oracle and from the mercy-seat, that, according to the prophecy of Isaiah, a man should be sought out to whom the virgin ought to be entrusted and espoused.
For it is clear that Isaiah says: A rod shall come forth from the root of Jesse, and a flower shall ascend from his root; and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of wisdom and piety; and he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord.
According to this prophecy, therefore, he predicted that all of the house and family of David that were unmarried and fit for marriage should bring there rods to the altar; and that he whose rod after it was brought should produce a flower, and upon the end of whose rod the Spirit of the Lord should settle in the form of a dove, was the man to whom the virgin ought to be entrusted and espoused.
Now there was among the rest Joseph, of the house and family of David, a man of great age: and when all brought there rods, according to the order, he alone withheld his. Wherefore, when nothing in conformity with the divine voice appeared, the high priest thought it necessary to consult God a second time; and He answered,
that of those who had been designated, he alone to whom the virgin ought to be espoused had not brought his rod.
Joseph, therefore, was found out. For when he had brought his rod, and the dove came from heaven; and settled upon the top of it, it clearly appeared to all that he was the man to whom the virgin should be espoused. Therefore, the usual ceremonies of betrothal having been gone through, he went back to the city of Bethlehem to put his house in order, and to procure things necessary for the marriage.
But Mary, the virgin of the Lord, with seven other virgins of her own age, and who had been weaned at the same time, whom she had received from the priest, returned to the house of her parents in Galilee.
And in those days, that is, at the time of her first coming into Galilee, the angel Gabriel was sent to her by God, to announce to her the conception of the Lord, and to explain to her the manner and order of the conception. Accordingly, going in, he filled the chamber where she was with a great light; and most courteously saluting her, he said:
Hail, Mary! O virgin highly favoured by the Lord, virgin full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou above all women, blessed above all men that have been hitherto born.
And the virgin, who was already well acquainted with angelic faces, and was not unused to the light from heaven, was neither terrified by the vision of the angel, nor astonished at the greatness of the light, but only perplexed by his words; and she began to consider of what nature a salutation so unusual could be, or what it could portend, or what end it could have.
And the angel, divinely inspired, taking up this thought, says:
Fear not, Mary, as if anything contrary to thy chastity were hid under this salutation. For in choosing chastity, thou hast found favour with the Lord; and therefore thou, a virgin, shalt conceive without sin, and shalt bring forth a son. He shall be great, because He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth; and He shall be called the Son of the Most High, because He who is born on earth in humiliation, reigns in heaven in exaltation; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end; forasmuch as He is King of kings and Lord of lords, and His throne is from everlasting to everlasting.
The virgin did not doubt these words of the angel; but wishing to know the manner of it, she answered:
How can that come to pass?
For while, according to my vow, I never know man, how can I bring forth without the addition of man’s seed?
To this the angel says:
Think not, Mary, that thou shalt conceive in the manner of mankind: for without any intercourse with man, thou, a virgin, wilt conceive; thou, a virgin, wilt bring forth; thou, a virgin, wilt nurse: for the Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee, without any of the heats of lust; and therefore that which shall be born of thee shall alone be holy, because it alone, being conceived and born without sin, shall be called the Son of God.
Then Mary stretched forth her hands, and raised her eyes to heaven, and said:
Behold the hand- maiden of the Lord, for I am not worthy of the name of lady; let it be to me according to thy word.
**It will be long, and perhaps to some even tedious, if we insert in this little work every thing which we read of as having preceded or followed the Lord’s nativity: wherefore, omitting those things which have been more fully written in the Gospel, let us come to those which are held to be less worthy of being narrated.**
Joseph therefore came from Judaea into Galilee, intending to marry the virgin who had been betrothed to him; for already three months had elapsed, and it was the beginning of the fourth since she had been betrothed to him.
In the meantime, it was evident from her shape that she was pregnant, nor could she conceal this from Joseph. For in consequence of his being betrothed to her, coming to her more freely and speaking to her more familiarly, he found out that she was with child.
He began then to be in great doubt and perplexity, because he did not know what was best for him to do. For, being a just man, he was not willing to expose her; nor, being a pious man, to injure her fair fame by a suspicion of fornication. He came to the conclusion, therefore, privately to dissolve their contract, and to send her away secretly.
And while he thought on these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying:
Joseph, thou son of David, fear not; that is, do not have any suspicion of fornication in the virgin, or think any evil of her; and fear not to take her as thy wife: for that which is begotten in her, and which now vexes thy soul, is the work not of man, but of the Holy Spirit. For she alone of all virgins shall bring forth the Son of God, and thou shalt call His name Jesus, that is, Saviour; for He shall save His people from their sins.
Therefore Joseph, according to the command of the angel, took the virgin as his wife; nevertheless he knew her not, but took care of her, and kept her in chastity. And now the ninth month from her conception was at hand, when Joseph, taking with him his wife along with what things he needed, went to Bethlehem, the city from which he came. And it came to pass, while they were there, that her days were fulfilled that she should bring forth; and she brought forth her first-born son, as the holy evangelists have shown, our Lord Jesus Christ, who with the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost lives and reigns God from everlasting to everlasting.
Protoevangelion, or The Book of James
In the histories of the twelve tribes of Israel it is written that there was one Joachim, exceeding rich: and he offered his gifts twofold, saying:
That which is of my superfluity shall be for the whole people, and that which is for my forgiveness shall be for tile Lord, for a propitiation unto me.
Now the great day of the Lord drew nigh and the children of Israel offered their gifts.
And Reuben stood over against him saying:
It is not lawful for thee to offer thy gifts first,-forasmuch as thou hast gotten no seed in Israel.
And Joachim was sore grieved, and went unto the record of the twelve tribes of the people, saying:
I will look upon the record of the twelve tribes of Israel, whether I only have not gotten seed in Israel.
And he searched, and found concerning all the righteous that they had raised up seed in Israel. And he remembered the patriarch Abraham, how in the last days God gave him a son, even Isaac. And Joachim was sore grieved, and showed not himself to his wife, but betook himself into the wilderness, and pitched his tent there, and fasted forty days and forty nights, saying within himself:
I will not go down either for meat or for drink until the Lord my God visit me, and my prayer shall be unto me meat and drink.
Now his wife Anna lamented with two lamentations, and bewailed herself with two bewailings, saying:
I will bewail my widowhood, and I will bewail my childlessness.
And the great day of the Lord drew nigh, and Judith her handmaid said unto her:
How long humblest thou thy soul? The great day of the Lord hath come, and it is not lawful for thee to mourn: but take this headband, which the mistress of my work gave me, and it is not lawful for me to put it on, forasmuch as I am an handmaid, and it hath a mark of royalty.
And Anna said:
Get thee from me. Lo! I have done nothing (or I will not do so) and the Lord hath greatly humbled me: peradventure one gave it to thee in subtlety, and thou art come to make me partaker in thy sin.
And Judith said:
How shall I curse thee, seeing the Lord hath shut up thy womb, to give thee no fruit in Israel ?
And Anna was sore grieved [and mourned with a great mourning because she was reproached by all the tribes of Israel. And coming to herself she said:
What shall I do ? I will pray with weeping unto the Lord my God that he visit me].
And she put off her mourning garments and cleansed (or adorned) her head and put on her bridal garments: and about the ninth hour she went down into the garden to walk there. And she saw a laurel-tree and sat down underneath it and besought the Lord saying:
O God of our fathers, bless me, and hearken unto my prayer, as thou didst bless the womb of Sarah, and gavest her a son, even Isaac.
And looking up to the heaven she espied a nest of sparrows in the laurel-tree, and made a lamentation within herself, saying:
Woe unto me, who begat me ? And what womb brought me forth for I am become a curse before the children of Israel, and I am reproached, and they have mocked me forth out of the temple of the Lord? Woe unto me, unto what am I likened ? I am not likened unto the fowls of the heaven, for even the fowls of the heaven are fruitful before thee, O Lord. Woe unto me, unto what am I likened ? I am not likened unto the beasts of the earth, for even the beasts of the earth are fruitful before thee, O Lord. Woe unto me, unto what am I likened ? I am not likened unto these waters, for even these waters are fruitful before thee, O Lord. Woe unto me, unto what am I likened ? I am not likened unto this earth, for even this earth bringeth forth her fruits in due season and blesseth thee, O Lord.
And behold an angel of the Lord appeared, saying unto her:
Anna, Anna, the Lord hath hearkened unto thy prayer, and thou shalt conceive and bear, and thy seed shall be spoken of in the whole world.
And Anna said:
As the Lord my God liveth, if I bring forth either male or female, I will bring it for a gift unto the Lord my God, and it shall be ministering unto him all the days of its life.
And behold there came two messengers saying unto her:
Behold Joachim thy husband cometh with his flocks: for an angel of the Lord came down unto him saying: Joachim, Joachim, the Lord God hath hearkened unto thy prayer. Get thee down hence, for behold thy wife Anna hath conceived.
And Joachim sat him down and called his herdsmen saying:
Bring me hither ten lambs without blemish and without spot, and they shall be for the Lord my God; and bring me twelve tender calves, and they shall be for the priests and for the assembly of the elders; and an hundred kids for the whole people.
And behold Joachim came with his flocks, and Anna stood at the gate and saw Joachim coming, and ran and hung upon his neck, saying:
Now know I that the Lord God hath greatly blessed me: for behold the widow is no more a widow, and she that was childless shall conceive.
And Joachim rested the first day in his house. And on the morrow he offered his gifts, saying in himself:
If the Lord God be reconciled unto me, the plate that is upon the forehead of the priest will make it manifest unto me.
And Joachim offered his gifts and looked earnestly upon the plate of the priest when he went up unto the altar of tile Lord, and he saw no sin in himself. And Joachim said:
Now know I that the Lord is become propitious unto me and hath forgiven all my sins.
And he went down from the temple of the Lord justified, and went unto his house. And her months were fulfilled, and in the ninth month Anna brought forth. And she said unto the midwife:
what have I brought forth ?
And she said:
And Anna said:
My soul is magnified this day, and she laid herself down.
And when the days were fulfilled, Anna purified herself and gave suck to the child and called her name Mary. And day by day the child waxed strong, and when she was six months old her mother stood her upon the ground to try if she would stand; and she walked seven steps and returned unto her bosom. And she caught her up, saying:
As the Lord my God liveth, thou shalt walk no more upon this ground, until I bring thee into the temple of the Lord. And she made a sanctuary in her bed chamber and suffered nothing common or unclean to pass through it. And she called for the daughters of the Hebrews that were undefiled, and they carried her hither and thither. And the first year of the child was fulfilled, and Joachim made a great feast and bade the priests and the scribes and the assembly of the elders and the whole people of Israel.
And Joachim brought the child to the priests, and they blessed her, saying:
0 God of our fathers, bless this child and give her a name renowned for ever among all generations.
And all the people said:
So be it, so be it. Amen.
And he brought her to the high priests, and they blessed her, saying:
0 God of the high places, look upon this child, and bless her with the last blessing which hath no successor.
And her mother caught her up into the sanctuary of her bed chamber and gave her suck. And Anna made a song unto the Lord God, saying:
I will sing an hymn unto the Lord my God, because he hath visited me and taken away from me the reproach of mine enemies, and the Lord hath given me a fruit of his righteousness, single and manifold before him. Who shall declare unto the sons of Reuben that Anna giveth suck ? Hearken, hearken, ye twelve tribes of Israel, that Anna giveth suck.
And she laid the child to rest in the bed chamber of her sanctuary, and went forth and ministered unto them. And when the feast was ended, they sat them down rejoicing, and glorifying the God of Israel. And unto the child her months were added: and the child became two years old.
And Joachim said:
Let us bring her up to the temple of the Lord that we may pay the promise which we promised; lest the Lord require it of us (lit. send unto us), and our gift become unacceptable.
And Anna said:
Let us wait until the third year, that the child may not long after her father or mother.
And Joachim said:
Let us wait.
And the child became three years old, and Joachim said:
Call for the daughters of the Hebrews that are undefiled, and let them take every one a lamp, and let them be burning, that the child turn not backward and her heart be taken captive away from the temple of the Lord.
And they did so until they were gone up into the temple of the Lord. And the priest received her and kissed her and blessed her and said:
The Lord hath magnified thy name among all generations: in thee in the latter days shall the Lord make manifest his redemption unto the children of Israel.
And he made her to sit upon the third step of the altar. And the Lord put grace upon her and she danced with her feet and all tile house of Israel loved her. And her parents sat them down marveling, and praising the Lord God because tile child was not turned away backward. And Mary was in the temple of the Lord as a dove that is nurtured: and she received food from the hand of an angel. And when she was twelve years old, there was a council of the priests, saying:
Behold Mary is become twelve years old in the temple of the Lord. What then shall we do with her ? lest she pollute the sanctuary of the Lord. And they said unto the high priest: Thou standest over the altar of the Lord. Enter in and pray concerning her: And whatsoever the Lord shall reveal to thee, that let us do.
And the high priest took the vestment with the twelve bells and went in unto the Holy of Holies and prayed concerning her.
And lo, an angel of tile Lord appeared saying unto him:
Zacharias, Zacharias~ go forth and assemble them that are widowers of the people, and let them bring every man a rod, and to whomsoever the Lord shall show a sign, his wife shall she be.
And the heralds went forth over all the country round about Judaea, and the trumpet of the Lord sounded, and all men ran thereto. And Joseph cast down his adze (an ax-like tool for dressing wood) and ran to meet them, and when they were gathered together they went to the high priest and took their rods with them.
And he took the rods of them all and went into the temple and prayed. And when he had finished the prayer he took the rods and went forth and gave them back to them: and there was no sign upon them. But Joseph received the last rod: and o, a dove came forth of the rod and flew upon the head of Joseph.
And the priest said unto Joseph:
Unto thee hath it fallen to take the virgin of the Lord and keep her for thyself.
And Joseph refused, saying:
I have sons, and I am an old man, but she is a girl: lest I became a laughing-stock to the children of Israel.
And the priest said unto Joseph:
Hear the Lord thy God, and remember what things God did unto Dathan and Abiram and Korah, how the earth clave (opened) and they were swallowed up because of their gainsaying (contradiction). And now fear thou, Joseph, lest it be so in thine house.
And Joseph was afraid, and took her to keep her for himself. And Joseph said unto Mary:
Lo, I have received thee out of the temple of the Lord: and now do I leave thee in my house, and I go away to build my buildings and I will come again unto thee. The Lord shall watch over thee.
Now there was a council of the priests, and they said:
Let us make a veil for the temple of the Lord. And the priest said: Call unto me pure virgins of the tribe of David.
And the officers departed and sought and found seven virgins. And the priests called to mind the child Mary, that she was of the tribe of David and was undefiled before God: and the officers went and fetched her. And they brought them into the temple of the Lord, and the priest said:
Cast me lots, which of you shall weave the gold and the undefiled (the white) and the fine linen and the silk and the hyacinthine, and the scarlet and the true purple.
And the lot of the true purple and the scarlet fell unto Mary, and she took them and went unto her house. And at that season Zacharias became dumb, and Samuel was in his stead until the time when Zacharias spake again. But Mary took the scarlet and began to spin it. And she took the pitcher and went forth to fill it with water: and lo a voice saying:
Hail, thou that art highly favoured; the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
And she looked about her upon the right hand and upon the left, to see whence this voice should be: and being filled with trembling she~ went to her house and set down the pitcher, and took the purple and sat down upon her seat and drew out the thread.
And behold an angel of the Lord stood before her saying:
Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace before the Lord of all things, and thou shalt conceive of his word.
And she, when she heard it, questioned in herself, saying:
Shall I verily conceive of the living God, and bring forth after the manner of all women ?
And the angel of the Lord said:
Not so, Mary, for a power of the Lord shall overshadow thee: wherefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of the Highest. And thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
And Mary said:
Behold the handmaid of the Lord is before him: be it unto me according to thy word.
And she made the purple and the scarlet and brought them unto the priest.
And the priest blessed her and said:
Mary, the Lord God hath magnified thy name, and thou shalt be blessed among all generations of the earth.
And Mary rejoiced and went away unto Elizabeth her kinswoman: and she knocked at the door. And Elizabeth when she heard it cast down the scarlet (al. the wool) and ran to the door and opened it, and when she saw Mary she blessed her and said:
Whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come unto me ? for behold that which is in me leaped and blessed thee.
And Mary forgat the mysteries which Gabriel the archangel had told her, and she looked up unto the heaven and said:
Who am I, Lord, that all the generations of the earth do bless me ?
And she abode three months with Elizabeth, and day by day her womb grew: and Mary was afraid and departed unto her house and hid herself from the children of Israel. Now she was sixteen years old when these mysteries came to pass. Now it was the sixth month with her, and behold Joseph came from his building, and he entered into his house and found her great with child. And he smote his face, and cast himself down upon the ground on sackcloth and wept bitterly, saying:
With what countenance shall I look unto the Lord my God ? and what prayer shall I make concerning this maiden? for I received her out of the temple of the Lord my God a virgin, and have not kept her safe. Who is he that hath ensnared me ? Who hath done this evil in mine house and hath defiled the virgin ? Is not the story of Adam repeated in me ? for as at the hour of his giving thanks the serpent came and found Eve alone and deceived her, so hath it befallen me also.
And Joseph arose from off the sackcloth and called Mary and said unto her
O thou that wast cared for by God, why hast thou done this ? thou hast forgotten the Lord thy God. Why hast thou humbled thy soul, thou that wast nourished up in the Holy of Holies and didst receive food at the hand of an angel?
But she wept bitterly, saying:
I am pure and I know not a man.
And Joseph said unto her:
Whence then is that which is in thy womb ?
and she said:
As the Lord my God liveth, I know not whence it is come unto me.
And Joseph was sore afraid and ceased from speaking unto her (or left her alone), and pondered what he should do with her. And Joseph said:
If I hide her sin, I shall be found fighting against the law of the Lord: and if I manifest her unto the children of Israel, I fear lest that which is in her be the seed of an angel, and I shall be found delivering up innocent blood to the judgement of death. What then shall I do ? I will let her go from me privately.
And the night came upon him. And behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying:
Fear not this child, for that which is in her is of the Holy Ghost, and she shall bear a son and thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.
And Joseph arose from sleep and glorified the God of Israel which had shown this favour unto her: and he watched over her. Now Annas the scribe came unto him and said to him:
Wherefore didst thou not appear in our assembly ?
and Joseph said unto him:
I was weary with the journey, and I rested the first day.
And Annas turned him about and saw Mary great with child. And he went hastily to the priest and said unto him:
Joseph, to whom thou bearest witness [that he is righteous] hath sinned grievously.
And the priest said:
And he said:
The virgin whom he received out of the temple of the Lord, he hath defiled her, and married her by stealth (lit. stolen her marriage), and hath not declared it to the children of Israel.
And the priest answered and said:
Hath Joseph done this ?
And Annas the scribe said:
Send officers, and thou shalt find the virgin great with child.
And the officers went and found as he had said, and they brought her together with Joseph unto the place of judgement. And the priest said:
Mary, wherefore hast thou done this, and wherefore hast thou humbled thy soul and forgotten the Lord thy God, thou that wast nurtured in the Holy of Holies and didst receive food at the hand of an angel and didst hear the hymns and didst dance before the Lord, wherefore hast thou done this ?
But she wept bitterly, saying:
As the Lord my God liveth I am pure before him and I know not a man.
And the priest said unto Joseph:
Wherefore hast thou done this ?
And Joseph said:
As the Lord my God liveth I am pure as concerning her.
And the priest said:
Bear no false witness but speak the truth: thou hast married her by stealth and hast not declared it unto the children of Israel, and hast not bowed thine head under the mighty hand that thy seed should be blessed.
And Joseph held his peace. And the priest said:
Restore the virgin whom thou didst receive out of the temple of the Lord.
And Joseph was full of weeping. And the priest said:
I will give you to drink of the water of the conviction of the Lord, and it will make manifest your sins before your eyes.
And the priest took thereof and made Joseph drink and sent him into the hill-country. And he returned whole. He made Mary also drink and sent her into the hill-country. And she returned whole. And all the people marvelled, because sin appeared not in them. And the priest said:
If the Lord God hath not made your sin manifest, neither do I condemn you.
And he let them go. And Joseph took Mary and departed unto his house rejoicing, and glorifying the God of Israel. Now there went out a decree from Augustus the king that all that were in Bethlehem of Judaea should be recorded. And Joseph said:
I will record my sons: but this child, what shall I do with her ? how shall I record her ? as my wife ? nay, I am ashamed. Or as my daughter? but all the children of Israel know that she is not my daughter. This day of the Lord shall do as the Lord willeth. And he saddled the she-ass, and set her upon it, and his son led it and Joseph followed after. And they drew near (unto Bethlehem) within three miles: and Joseph turned himself about and saw her of a sad countenance and said within himself: Peradventure that which is within her paineth her. And again Joseph turned himself about and saw her laughing, and said unto her:
Mary, what aileth thee that I see thy face at one time laughing and at another time sad ?
And Mary said unto Joseph:
It is because I behold two peoples with mine eyes, the one weeping and lamenting and the other rejoicing and exulting.
And they came to the midst of the way, and Mary said unto him:
Take me down from the ass, for that which is within me presseth me, to come forth.
And he took her down from the ass and said unto her:
Whither shall I take thee to hide thy shame ? for the place is desert.
And he found a cave there and brought her into it, and set his sons by her: and he went forth and sought for a midwife of the Hebrews in the country of Bethlehem.
Now I Joseph was walking, and I walked not. And I looked up to the air and saw the air in amazement. And I looked up unto the pole of the heaven and saw it standing still, and the fowls of the heaven without motion. And I looked upon the earth and saw a dish set, and workmen lying by it, and their hands were in the dish: and they that were chewing chewed not, and they that were lifting the food lifted it not, and they that put it to their mouth put it not thereto, but the faces of all of them were looking upward. And behold there were sheep being driven, and they went not forward but stood still; and the shepherd lifted his hand to smite them with his staff, and his hand remained up. And I looked upon the stream of the river and saw the mouths of the kids upon the water and they drank not. And of a sudden all things moved onward in their course.
I And behold a woman coming down from the hill country, and she said to me:
Man, whither goest thou ?
And I said:
I seek a midwife of the Hebrews.
And she answered and said unto me:
Art thou of Israel ?
And I said unto her:
And she said:
And who is she that bringeth forth in the cave ?
And I said:
She that is betrothed unto me.
And she said to me:
Is she not thy wife?
And I said to her:
It is Mary that was nurtured up in the temple of the Lord: and I received her to wife by lot: and she is not my wife, but she hath conception by the Holy Ghost.
And the midwife said unto him:
Is this the truth?
And Joseph said unto her:
Come hither and see.
And the midwife went with him. And they stood in the place of the cave: and behold a bright cloud overshadowing the cave. And the midwife said:
My soul is magnified this day, because mine eyes have seen marvelous things: for salvation is born unto Israel.
And immediately the cloud withdrew itself out of the cave, and a great light appeared in the cave so that our eyes could not endure it.
And by little and little that light withdrew itself until the young child appeared: and it went and took the breast of its mother Mary.
And the midwife cried aloud and said:
Great unto me to-day is this day, in that I have seen this new sight.
And the midwife went forth of the cave and Salome met her. And she said to her:
Salome, Salome, a new sight have I to tell thee. A virgin hath brought forth, which her nature alloweth not.
And Salome said:
As the Lord my God liveth, if I make not trial and prove her nature I will not believe that a virgin hath brought forth.
And the midwife went in and said unto Mary:
Order thyself, for there is no small contention arisen concerning thee.
Arid Salome made trial and cried out and said:
Woe unto mine iniquity and mine unbelief, because I have tempted the living God, and lo, my hand falleth away from me in fire.
And she bowed her knees unto the Lord, saying:
O God of my fathers, remember that I am the seed of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob: make me not a public example unto the children of Israel, but restore me unto the poor, for thou knowest, Lord, that in thy name did I perform my cures, and did receive my hire of thee.
And lo, an angel of the Lord appeared, saying unto her:
Salome, Salome, the Lord hath hearkened to thee: bring thine hand near unto the young child and take him up, and there shall be unto thee salvation and joy.
And Salome came near and took him up, saying:
I will do him worship, for a great king is born unto Israel.
And behold immediately Salome was healed: and she went forth of the cave justified. And Io, a voice saying:
Salome, Salome, tell none of the marvels which thou hast seen, until the child enter into Jerusalem.
And behold, Joseph made him ready to go forth into Judaea. And there came a great tumult in Bethlehem of Judaea; for there came wise men, saying:
Where is he that is born king of the Jews ? For we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him.
And when Herod heard it he was troubled and sent officers unto the wise men. And he sent for the high priests and examined them, saying:
How is it written concerning the Christ, where he is born ?
They say unto him:
In Bethlehem of Judaea: for so it is written.
And he let them go. And he examined the wise men, saying unto them:
What sign saw ye concerning the king that is born ?
And the wise men said:
We saw a very great star shining among those stars and dimming them so that the stars appeared not: and thereby knew we that a king was born unto Israel, and we came to worship him.
And Herod said:
Go and seek for him, and if ye find him, tell me, that I also may come and worship him.
And the wise men went forth. And lo, the star which they saw in the east went before them until they entered into the cave: and it stood over the head of the cave. And the wise men saw the young child with Mary, his mother: and they brought out of their scrip gifts, gold-and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned by the angel that they should not enter into Judaea, they went into their own country by another way. But when Herod perceived that he was mocked by the wise men, he was wroth, and sent murderers, saying unto them:
Slay the children from two years old and under.
And when Mary heard that the children were being slain, she was afraid, and took the young child and wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid him in an ox- manger. Because there was no room for them in the inn. But Elizabeth when she heard that they sought for her son John, took him and went up into the hill-country and looked about her where she should hide him: and there was no hiding-place. And Elizabeth groaned and said with a loud voice:
0 mountain of God, receive thou a mother with a child.
For Elizabeth was not able to go up. And immediately the mountain clave asunder and took her in. And there was a light shining always for them: for an angel of the Lord was with them, keeping watch over them. Now Herod sought for John, and sent officers to Zacharias, saying:
Where hast thou hidden thy son?
And he answered and said unto them:
I am a minister of God and attend continually upon the temple of the Lord: I know not where my son is.
And the officers departed and told Herod all these things. And Herod was wroth and said:
His son is to be king over Israel.
And he sent unto him again, saying:
Say the truth: where is thy son ? for thou knowest that thy blood is under my hand.
And the officers departed and told him all these things. And Zacharias said:
I am a martyr of God if thou sheddest my blood: for my spirit the Lord shall receive, because thou sheddest innocent blood in the fore-court of the temple of the Lord.
And about the dawning of the day Zacharias was slain. And the children of Israel knew not that he was slain. But the priests entered in at the hour of the salutation, and the blessing of Zacharias met them not according to the manner. And the priests stood waiting for Zacharias, to salute him with the prayer, and to glorify the Most High. But as he delayed to come, they were all afraid: and one of them took courage and entered in: and he saw beside the altar congealed blood: and a voice saying:
Zacharias hath been slain, and his blood shall not be wiped out until his avenger come.
And when he heard that word he was afraid, and went forth and told the priests. And they took courage and went in and saw that which was done: and the panels of the temple did wail: and they rent their clothes from the top to the bottom. And his body they found not, but his blood they found turned into stone. And they feared, and went forth and told all the people that Zacharias was slain. And all the tribes of the people heard it, and they mourned for him and lamented him three days and three nights. And after the three days the priests took counsel whom they should set in his stead: and the lot came up upon Simon. Now he it was which was warned by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death until he should see the Christ in the flesh.
Now I, James, which wrote this history in Jerusalem, when there arose a tumult when Herod died, withdrew myself into the wilderness until the tumult ceased in Jerusalem. Glorifying the Lord God which gave me the gift, and the wisdom to write this history. And grace shall be with those that fear our Lord Jesus Christ: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ
The following accounts we found in the book of Joseph the high-priest, called by some Caiaphas:
He relates, that Jesus spake even when he was in the cradle, and said to his mother:
Mary, I am Jesus the Son of God, that word which thou didst bring forth according to the declaration of the angel Gabriel to thee, and my father hath sent me for the salvation of the world.
In the three hundred and ninth year of the era of Alexander, Augustus published a decree that all persons should go to be taxed in their own country. Joseph therefore arose, and with Mary his spouse he went to Jerusalem, and then came to Bethlehem, that he and his family might be taxed in the city of his fathers. And when they came by the cave, Mary confessed to Joseph that her time of bringing forth was come, and she could not go on to the city, and said, Let us go into this cave. At that time the sun was very near going down. But Joseph hastened away, that he might fetch her a mid-wife; and when he saw an old Hebrew woman who was of Jerusalem, he said to her, Pray come hither, good woman, and go into that cave, and you will there see a woman just ready to bring forth. It was after sunset, when the old woman and Joseph with her reached the cave, and they both went into it. And behold, it was all filled with lights, greater than the light of lamps and candles, an, greater than the light of the sun itself. The infant was then wrapped up in swaddling clothes, an sucking the breasts of his mother St. Mary. When they both saw this light, they were surprised; the old woman asked St. Mary, Art thou the mother of this child ? St. Mary replied, She was. On which the old woman said, Thou art very different from all other women. St. Mary answered, As there is not any child like to my son, so neither is there any woman like to his mother. The old woman answered and said, O my Lady, I am come hither that I may obtain an everlasting reward. Then our Lady, St. Mary said to her, Lay thine hand upon the infant; which, when she had done, she became whole And as she was going forth, she said, From henceforth, all the days of my life, I will attend upon and be a servant of this infant. After this, when the shepherds came, and had made a fire and they were exceedingly rejoicing, the heavenly host appeared to them, praising and adoring the supreme God. And as the shepherds we engaged in the same employment, the cave at that time seemed like a glorious temple, because both the tongues of angels and men united to adore and magnify God, on account of the birth of the Lord Christ. But when the old Hebrew woman saw all these evident miracles, she gave praises to God, and said, I thank thee, O God, thou God of Israel, for that mine eyes have seen the birth of the Saviour of the world.
And when the time of his circumcision was come, namely, the eighth day, on which the law commanded the child to be circumcised, they circumcised him in the cave. And the old Hebrew woman took the foreskin (others say she took the navel-string), and preserved it in an alabaster-box of old oil of spikenard. And she had a son who was a druggist, to whom she said, Take heed thou sell not this alabaster box of spikenard-ointment, although thou shouldst be, offered three hundred pence for it. Now this is that alabaster box which Mary the sinner procured, and poured forth the ointment out of it upon the head and the feet of our Lord Jesus Christ, and wiped it off with the hairs of her head.
Then after ten days they brought him to Jerusalem, and on the fortieth day from his birth they presented him in the temple before the Lord, making the proper offerings for him, according to the requirement of the law of Moses: namely, that every male which opens the womb shall be called holy unto God. At that time old Simeon saw him shining as a pillar of light, when St. Mary the Virgin, his mother, carried him in her arms, and was filled with the greatest pleasure at the sight. And the angels stood around him, adoring him, as a king’s guards stand around him. Then Simeon going near to St. Mary, and stretching forth his hands towards her, said to the Lord Christ, Now, O my a Lord, thy servant shall depart in peace, according to thy word; For mine eyes have seen thy mercy, which thou hast prepared for the salvation of all nations; a light to all people, and the glory of thy people Israel. Hannah the prophetess was also present, and drawing near, she gave praises to God, and celebrated the happiness of Mary.
And it came to pass, when the Lord Jesus was born at Bethlehem, a city of Judea in the time of Herod the King; the wise men came from the East to Jerusalem, according to the prophecy of Zoradascht (Zoroaster), and brought with them offerings: namely, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and worshipped him, and offered to him their gifts. Then the Lady Mary took one of his swaddling clothes in which the infant was wrapped and gave it to them instead of a blessing, which they received from her as a most noble present. And at the same time there appeared to them an angel in the form of that star which had before been their guide in their journey; the light of which they followed till they returned into their own country. On their return their kings and princes came to them inquiring, What they had seen and done? What sort of journey and return they had? What company they had on the road?
But they produced the swaddling cloth which St. Mary had given to them, on account whereof they kept a feast. And having, according to the custom of their country, made a fire, they worshipped it. And casting the swaddling cloth into it, the fire took it, and kept it. And when the fire was put out, they took forth the swaddling cloth unhurt, as much as if the fire had not touched it. Then they began to kiss it, and put it upon their heads and their eyes, saying,
This is certainly an undoubted truth, and it is really surprising that the fire could not burn it, and consume it.
Then they took it, and with the greatest respect laid it up among their treasures.
Now Herod, perceiving that the wise men did delay, and not return to him, called together the priests and wise men and said,
Tell me in what place the Christ should be born?
And when they replied, in Bethlehem, a city of Judea, he began to contrive in his own mind the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. But an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in his sleep and said,
Arise, take the child and his mother, and go into Egypt as soon as the cock crows.
So he arose, and went. And as he was considering with himself about his journey, the morning came upon him. In the length of the journey the girts of the saddle broke. And now he drew near a great city, in which there was an idol, to which the other idol and gods of Egypt brought their offerings and vows. And there was by this idol a priest ministering to it, who as often as Satan spoke out of that idol, related the things he said to the inhabitants of Egypt and those countries. This priest had a son three years old, who was possessed with a great multitude of devil who uttered many strange things and when the devils seized him walked about naked with his clothes torn, throwing stones at those whom he saw. Near to that idol was the inn of the city, into which when Joseph and St. Mary were come, and had turned into that inn, all the inhabitants of the city were astonished. And all the magistrates and priests of the idols assembled before that idol, and made inquiry there, saying,
What means all this consternation, and dread, which has fallen upon our country?
The idol answered them,
The unknown God is come hither, who is truly God; nor is there any one besides him, who is worthy of divine worship; for he is truly the Son of God. At the fame of him this country trembled, and at his coming it is under the present commotion and consternation; and we ourselves are affrighted by the greatness of his power.
And at the same instant this idol fell down, and at his fall all the inhabitants of Egypt, besides others, ran together. But the son of the priest, when his usual disorder came upon him, going into the inn, found there Joseph and St. Mary, whom all the rest had left behind and forsook. And when the Lady St. Mary had washed the swaddling clothes of the Lord Christ, and hanged them out to dry upon a post, the boy possessed with the devil took down one of them, and put it upon his head. And presently the devils began to come out of his mouth, and fly away in the shape of crows and serpents. From that time the boy was healed by the power of the Lord Christ, and he began to sing praises, and give thanks to the Lord who had healed him. When his father saw him restored to his former state of health, he said,
My son, what has happened to thee, and by what means wert thou cured ?
The son answered,
When the devils seized me, I went into the inn, and there found a very handsome woman with a boy, whose swaddling clothes she had just before washed, and hanged out upon a post. One of these I took, and put it upon my head, and immediately the devils left me, and fled away.
At this the father exceedingly rejoiced, and said,
My son, perhaps this boy is the son of the living God, who made the heavens and the earth. For as soon as he came amongst us, the idol was broken and all the gods fell down, and were destroyed by a greater power.
Then was fulfilled the prophecy which saith, Out of Egypt I have called my son. Now Joseph and Mary, when they heard that the idol was fallen down and destroyed were seized with fear and trembling, and said,
When we were in the land of Israel, Herod, intending to kill Jesus, slew for that purpose all the infants at Bethlehem, and that neighbourhood. And there is no doubt but the Egyptians if they come to hear that this idol is broken and fallen down, will burn us with fire.
They went therefore hence to the secret places of robbers, who robbed travellers as they pass by, of their carriages and their clothes, and carried them away bound. These thieves upon their coming heard a great noise, such as the noise of a king with a great army and many horses, and the trumpets sounding at his departure from his own city at which they were so affrighted as to leave all their booty behind them, and fly away in haste. Upon this the prisoners arose, and loosed each other’s bonds, and taking each man his bags, they went away, and saw Joseph and Mary coming towards them, and inquired,
Where is that king, the noise of whose approach the robbers heard, and left us, so that we are now come off safe ?
He will come after us.
Then they went into another city where there was a woman possessed with a devil, and in whom Satan, that cursed rebel, had taken up his abode. One night, when she went to fetch water, she could neither endure her clothes on, nor to be in any house; but as often as they tied her with chains or cords, she brake them, and went out into desert places, and sometimes standing where roads crossed, and in churchyards, would throw stones at men. When St. Mary saw this woman, she pitied her; whereupon Satan presently left her, and fled away in the form of a young man, saying,
Woe to me, because of thee, Mary, and thy son.
So the woman was delivered from her torment; but considering herself naked, she blushed, and avoided seeing any man, and having put on her clothes, went home, and gave an account of her case to her father and relations, who, as they were the best of the city, entertained St. Mary and Joseph with the greatest respect. The next morning having received a sufficient supply of provisions for the road, they went from them, and about the evening of the day arrived at another town, where a marriage was then about to be solemnized; but by the arts of Satan and the practices of some sorcerers, the bride was become so dumb, that she could not so much as open her mouth. But when this dumb bride saw the Lady St. Mary entering into the town, and carrying the Lord Christ in her arms, she stretched out her hands to the Lord Christ, and took him in her arms, and closely hugging him, very often kissed him, continually moving him and pressing him to her body. Straightway the string of her tongue was loosed, and her ears were opened, and she began to sing praises unto God, who had restored her. So there was great joy among the inhabitants of the town that night, who thought that God and his angels were come down among them. In this place they abode three days, meeting with the greatest respect and most splendid entertainment. And being then furnished by the people with provisions for the road, they departed and went to another city, in which they were inclined to lodge, because it was a famous place.
There was in this city a gentlewoman, who, as she went down one day to the river to bathe, behold cursed Satan leaped upon her in the form of a serpent, And folded himself about her belly, and every night lay upon her. This woman seeing the Lady St. Mary, and the Lord Christ the infant in her bosom, asked the Lady St. Mary, that she would give her the child to kiss, and carry in her arms. When she had consented, and as soon as the woman had moved the child, Satan left her, and fled away, nor did the woman ever afterwards see him. Hereupon all the neighbours praised the Supreme God, and the woman rewarded them with ample beneficence. On the morrow the same woman brought perfumed water to wash the Lord Jesus; and when she had washed him, she preserved the water. And there was a girl there, whose body was white with a leprosy, who being sprinkled with this water, and washed, was instantly cleansed from her leprosy. The people therefore said
Without doubt Joseph and Mary, and that boy are Gods, for they do not look like mortals.
And when they were making ready to go away, the girl, who had been troubled with the leprosy, came and desired they would permit her to go along with them; so they consented, and the girl went with them till they came to a city, in which was the palace of a great king, and whose house was not far from the inn. Here they stayed, and when the girl went one day to the prince’s wife, and found her in a sorrowful and mournful condition, she asked her the reason of her tears. She replied, Wonder not at my groans, for I am under a great misfortune, of which I dare not tell any one. But, says the girl, if you will entrust me with your private grievance, perhaps I may find you a remedy for it. Thou, therefore, says the prince’s wife, shalt keep the secret, and not discover it to any one alive! I have been married to this prince, who rules as king over large dominions, and lived long with him, before he had any child by me. At length I conceived by him, but alas! I brought forth a leprous son; which, when he saw, he would not own to be his, but said to me,
Either do thou kill him, or send him to some nurse in such a place, that he may be never heard of; and now take care of yourself; I will never see you more. So here I pine, lamenting my wretched and miserable circumstances. Alas, my son! alas, my husband! Have I disclosed it to you?
The girl replied,
I have found a remedy for your disease, which I promise you, for I also was leprous, but God hath cleansed me, even he who is called Jesus, the son of the Lady Mary.
The woman inquiring where that God was, whom she spake of, the girl answered
He lodges with you here in the same house.
But how can this be? says she; where is he?
Behold, replied the girl,
Joseph and Mary; and the infant who is with them is called Jesus: and it is he who delivered me from my disease and torment.
But by what means, says she, were you cleansed from your leprosy? Will you not tell me that?
Why not? says the girl; I took the water with which his body had been washed, and poured it upon me, and my leprosy vanished.
The prince’s wife then arose and entertained them, providing a great feast for Joseph among a large company of men. And the next day took perfumed water to wash the Lord Jesus, and afterwards poured the same water upon her son, whom she had brought with her, and her son was instantly cleansed from his leprosy. Then she sang thanks and praises unto God, and said,
Blessed is the mother that bare thee, O Jesus! Dost thou thus cure men of the same nature with thyself; with the water with which thy body is washed?
She then offered very large gifts to the Lady Mary, and sent her away with all imaginable respect. They came afterwards to another city, and had a mind to lodge there. Accordingly they went to a man’s house, who was newly married, but by the influence of sorcerers could not enjoy his wife: But they lodging at his house that night, the man was freed of his disorder: And when they were preparing early in the morning to go forward on their journey, the new married person hindered them, and provided a noble entertainment for them. But going forward on the morrow, they came to another city, and saw three women going from a certain grave with great weeping. When St. Mary saw them she spake to the girl who was their companion, saying,
Go and inquire of them, what is the matter with them, and what misfortune has befallen them?
When the girl asked them they made her no answer, but asked her again,
Who are ye and where are ye going? For the day is far spent, and the night is at hand.
We are travellers, saith the girl, and are seeking for an inn to lodge at.
They replied, Go along with us, and lodge with us.
They then followed them and were introduced into a new house, well furnished with all sorts of furniture. It was now winter-time and the girl went into the parlour where these women were and found them weeping and lamenting, as before. By them stood a mule covered over with silk, and an ebony collar hanging down from his neck, whom they kissed, and were feeding. But when the girl said,
How handsome, ladies, that mule is!
they replied with tears, and said,
This mule, which you see, was our brother, born of this same mother as we: For when our father died, and left us a very large estate, and we had only this brother, and we endeavoured to procure him a suitable match, and thought he should be married as other men, some giddy and jealous woman bewitched him without our knowledge. And we, one night, a little before day, while the doors of the house were all fast shut, saw this our brother was changed into a mule, such as you now see him to be: And we, in the melancholy condition in which you see us, having no father to comfort us, have applied to all the wise men, magicians, and diviners in the world, but they have been of no service to us. As often therefore as we find ourselves oppressed with grief, we rise and go with this our mother to our father’s tomb, where, when we have cried sufficiently we return home.
When the girl had heard this, she said,
Take courage, and cease your fears, for you have a remedy for your afflictions near at hand, even among you and in the midst of your house, For I was also leprous but when I saw this woman, and this little infant with her, whose name is Jesus, I sprinkled my body with the water with which his mother had washed him, and I was presently made well. And I am certain that he is also capable of relieving you under your distress. Wherefore, arise, go to my mistress, Mary, and when you have brought her into your own parlour, disclose to her the secret, at the same time, earnestly beseeching her to compassionate your case.
As soon as the women had heard the girl’s discourse, they hastened away to the Lady St. Mary, introduced themselves to her, and sitting down before her, they wept. And said,
O our Lady St. Mary, pity your handmaids, for we have no head of our family no one older than us; no father, or brother to go in and out before us. But this mule, which you see, was our brother, which some woman by witchcraft have brought into this condition which you see: we therefore entreat you to compassionate us.
Hereupon St. Mary was grieved at their case, and taking the Lord Jesus, put him upon the back of the mule. And said to her son,
O Jesus Christ, restore (or heal) according to thy extraordinary power this mule, and grant him to have again the shape of a man and a rational creature, as he had formerly.
This was scarce said by the Lady St. Mary, but the mule immediately passed into a human form, and became a young man without any deformity. Then he and his mother and the sisters worshipped the Lady St. Mary, and lifting the child upon their heads, they kissed him, and said,
Blessed is thy mother, O Jesus, O Saviour of the world! Blessed are the eyes which are so happy as to see thee.
Then both the sisters told their mother, saying,
Of a truth our brother is restored to his former shape by the help of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the kindness of that girl, who told us of Mary and her son. And inasmuch as our brother is unmarried, it is fit that we marry him to this girl their servant.
When they had consulted Mary in this matter, and she had given her consent, they made a splendid wedding for this girl. And so their sorrow being turned into gladness, and their mourning into mirth, they began to rejoice. and to make merry, and sing, being dressed in their richest attire, with bracelets. Afterwards they glorified and praised God, saying,
O Jesus son of David who changest sorrow into gladness, and mourning into mirth!
After this Joseph and Mary tarried there ten days, then went away, having received great respect from those people who, when they took their leave of them, and returned home, cried, But especially the girl. In their journey from hence they came into a desert country, and were told it was infested with robbers; so Joseph and St. Mary prepared to pass through it in the night. And as they were going along, behold they saw two robbers asleep in the road, and with them a great number of robbers, who were their confederates, also asleep. The names of these two were Titus and Dumachus; and Titus said to Dumachus,
I beseech thee let those persons go along quietly, that our company may not perceive anything of them:
But Dumachus refusing, Titus again said,
I will give thee forty groats, and as a pledge take my girdle, which he gave him before he had done speaking, that he might not open his mouth, or make a noise.
When the Lady St. Mary saw the kindness which this robber did shew them, she said to him,
The Lord God will receive thee to his right hand, and grant thee pardon of thy sins.
Then the Lord Jesus answered, and said to his mother,
When thirty years are expired, O mother, the Jews will crucify me at Jerusalem; And these two thieves shall be with me at the same time upon the cross, Titus on my right hand, and Dumachus on my left, and from that time Titus shall go before me into paradise:
And when she had said, God forbid this should be thy lot, O my son, they went on to a city in which were several idols which, as soon as they came near to it, was turned into hills of sand. Hence they went to that sycamore tree, which is now called Matarea; And in Matarea the Lord Jesus caused a well to spring forth, in which St. Mary washed his coat; And a balsam is produced, or grows, in that country from the sweat which ran down there from the Lord Jesus. Thence they proceeded to Memphis, and saw Pharaoh, and abode three years in Egypt. And the Lord Jesus did very many miracles in Egypt, which are neither to be found in the Gospel of the Infancy nor in the Gospel of Perfection.
At the end of three years he returned out of Egypt, and when he came near to Judea, Joseph was afraid to enter; For hearing that Herod was dead, and that Archelaus his son reigned in his stead, he was afraid; And when he went to Judea, an angel of God appeared to him, and said,
O Joseph, go into the city Nazareth, and abide there. It is strange indeed that he who is the Lord of all countries, should be thus carried backward and forward through so many countries.
When they came afterwards into the city Bethlehem, they found there several very desperate distempers, which became so troublesome to children by seeing them, that most of them died. There was there a woman who had a sick son, whom she brought, when he was at the point of death, to the Lady St. Mary, who saw her when she was washing Jesus Christ. Then said the woman,
O my Lady Mary, look down upon this my son, who is afflicted with most dreadful pains.
St. Mary hearing her, said,
Take a little of that water with which I have washed my son, and sprinkle it upon him.
Then she took a little of that water, as St. Mary had commanded, and sprinkled it upon her son, who being wearied with his violent pains, had fallen asleep; and after he had slept a little, awaked perfectly well and recovered. The mother being abundantly glad of this success, went again to St. Mary, and St. Mary said to her,
Give praise to God, who hath cured this thy son.
There was in the same place another woman, a neighbour of her, whose son was now cured. This woman’s son was afflicted with the same disease, and his eyes were now almost quite shut, and she was lamenting for him day and night. The mother of the child which was cured, said to her,
Why do you not bring your son to St. Mary, as I brought my son to her, when he was in the agonies of death; and he was cured by that water, with which the body of her son Jesus was washed?
When the woman heard her say this, she also went, and having procured the same water, washed her son with it, whereupon his body and his eyes were instantly restored to their former state. And when she brought her son to St. Mary, and opened his case to her, she commanded her to give thanks to God for the recovery of her son’s health, and tell no one what had happened.
There were in the same city two wives of one man, who had each a son sick. One of them was called Mary and her son’s name was Caleb. She arose, and taking her son, went to the Lady St. Mary, the mother of Jesus, and offered her a very handsome carpet, saying,
O my Lady Mary accept this carpet of me, and instead of it give me a small swaddling cloth.
To this Mary agreed, and when the mother of Caleb was gone, she made a coat for her son of the swaddling cloth, put it on him, and his disease was cured; but the son of the other wife died. Hereupon there arose between them, a difference in doing the business of the family by turns, each her week. And when the turn of Mary the mother of Caleb came, and she was heating the oven to bake bread, and went away to fetch the meal, she left her son Caleb by the oven; Whom, the other wife, her rival, seeing to be by himself took and cast him into the oven, which was very hot, and then went away. Mary on her return saw her son Caleb lying in the middle of the oven laughing, and the oven quite as cold as though it had not been before heated, and knew that her rival the other wife had thrown him into the fire. When she took him out she brought him to the Lady St Mary, and told her the story to whom she replied,
Be quiet, I am concerned lest thou shouldest make this matter known.
After this her rival, the other wife, as she was drawing water at the well, and saw Caleb playing by the well, and that no one was near, took him, and threw him into the well. And when some men came to fetch water from the well they saw the boy sitting on the superficies of the water, an drew him out with ropes, and were exceedingly surprised at the child, and praised God. Then came the mother and took him and carried him to the Lady St. Mary, lamenting and saying,
0 my Lady, see what my rival hath done to my son, and how she hath cast him into the well, and I do not question but one time or other she will be the occasion of his death.
St. Mary replied to her
God will vindicate your injured cause.
Accordingly a few days after, when the other wife came to the well to draw water, her foot was entangled in the rope, so that she fell headlong into the well, and they who ran to her assistance, found her skull broken, and bones bruised. So she came to a bad end, and in her was fulfilled that saying of the author, They digged a well, and made it deep, but fell themselves into the pit which they prepared.
Another woman in that city had likewise two sons sick. And when one was dead, the other, who lay at the point of death, she took in her arms to the Lady St. Mary, and in a flood of tears addressed herself to her, saying,
O my Lady, help and relieve me; for I had two sons the one I have just now buried, the other I see is just at the point of death, behold how I (earnestly) seek favour from God, and pray to him. Then she said, O Lord, thou art gracious, and merciful, and kind; thou hast given me two sons; one of them thou hast taken to thyself, O spare me this other.
St. Mary then perceiving the greatness of her sorrow, pitied her and said,
Do thou place thy son in my son’s bed, and cover him with his clothes.
And when she had placed him in the bed wherein Christ lay, at the moment when his eyes were just closed by death; as soon as ever the smell of the garments of the Lord Jesus Christ reached the boy, his eyes were opened, and calling with a loud voice to his mother, he asked for bread, and when he had received it, he sucked it. Then his mother said,
O Lady Mary, now I am assured that the powers of God do dwell in you, so that thy son can cure children who are of the same sort as himself, as soon as they touch his garments.
This boy who was thus cured, is the same who in the Gospel is called Bartholomew.
Again there was a leprous woman who went to the Lady St. Mary, the mother of Jesus, and said,
0 my Lady, help me.
St. Mary replied, what help dost thou desire? Is it gold or silver, or that thy body be cured of its leprosy?
Who, says the woman, can grant me this?
St. Mary replied to her,
Wait a little till I have washed my son Jesus, and put him to bed.
The woman waited, as she was commanded; and Mary when she had put Jesus in bed, giving her the water with which she had washed his body, said
Take some of the water, and pour it upon thy body;
Which when she had done, she instantly became clean, and praised God, and gave thanks to him. Then she went away, after she had abode with her three days: And going into the city, she saw a certain prince, who had married another prince’s daughter; But when he came to see her, he perceived between her eyes the signs of leprosy like a star, and thereupon declared the marriage dissolved and void. When the woman saw these persons in this condition, exceedingly sorrowful, and shedding abundance of tears, she inquired of them the reason of their crying. They replied,
Inquire not unto our circumstances; for we are not able to declare our misfortunes into any person whatsoever.
But still she pressed and desired them to communicate their case to her, intimating, that perhaps she might be able to direct them to a remedy. So when they shewed the young woman to her, and the signs of the leprosy, which appeared between her eyes, She said,
I also, whom ye see in this place, was afflicted with the same distemper, and going on some business to Bethlehem, I went into a certain cave, and saw a woman named Mary, who had a son called Jesus. She seeing me to be leprous, was concerned for me, and gave me some water with which she had washed her son’s body; with that I sprinkled my body, and became clean.
Then said these women, Will you, Mistress, go along with us, and shew the Lady St. Mary to us?
To which she consenting, they arose and went to the Lady St. Mary, taking with them very noble presents. And when they came in and offered their presents to her they showed the leprous young woman what they brought with them to her.
Then said St. Mary, The mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ rest upon you; And giving them a little of that water with which she had washed the body of Jesus Christ, she bade them wash the diseased person with it; which when they had done, she was presently cured; So they, and all who were present, praised God; and being filled with joy, they went back to their own city, and gave praise to God on that account. Then the prince hearing that his wife was cured, took her home and made a second marriage, giving thanks unto God for the recovery of his wife’s health.
Again there was also a girl, who was afflicted by Satan; For that cursed spirit did frequently appear to her in the shape of a dragon, and was inclined to swallow her up, and had so sucked out all her blood, that she looked like a dead carcase. As often as she came to herself, with her hands wringed about her head she would cry out, and say,
Wo, Wo is me, that there is no one to be found who can deliver me from that impious dragon!
Her father and mother, and all who were about her and saw her, mourned and wept over her; And all who were present would especially be under sorrow and in tears, when they heard her bewailing, and saying,
My brethren and friends, is there no one who can deliver me from this murderer?
Then the prince’s daughter, who had been cured of her leprosy, hearing the complaint of that girl, went upon the top of her castle, and saw her with her hand twisted about her head, pouring out a flood of tears, and all the people that were about her in sorrow. Then she asked the husband of the possessed person, Whether his wife’s mother was alive? He told her, That her father and mother were both alive. Then she ordered her mother to be sent to her: to whom, when she saw her coming, she said,
Is this possessed girl thy daughter?
She moaning and bewailing said, Yes, madam, I bore her.
The prince’s daughter answered,
Disclose the secret of her case to me, for I confess to you that I was leprous, but the Lady Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, healed me. And if you desire your daughter to be restored to her former state, take her to Bethlehem, and inquire for Mary the mother of Jesus, and doubt not but your daughter will be cured; for I do not question but you will come home with great joy at your daughter’s recovery.
As soon as ever she had done speaking, she arose and went with her daughter to the place appointed, and to Mary, and told her the case of her daughter. When St. Mary had heard her story, she gave her a little of the water with which she had washed the body of her son Jesus, and bade her pour it upon the body of her daughter. Likewise she gave her one of the swaddling cloths of the Lord Jesus, and said,
Take this swaddling cloth and shew it to thine enemy as often as thou seest him; and she sent them away in peace. After they had left that city and returned home, and the time was come in which Satan was wont to seize her, in the same moment this cursed spirit appeared to her in the shape of a huge dragon, and the girl seeing him was afraid. The mother said to her,
Be not afraid daughter; let him alone till he come nearer to thee! then shew him the swaddling cloth, which the Lady Mary gave us, and we shall see the event.
Satan then coming like a dreadful dragon, the body of the girl trembled for fear. But as soon as she had put the swaddling cloth upon her head, and about her eyes, and shewed it to him, presently there issued forth from the swaddling cloth flames and burning coals, and fell upon the dragon. Oh! how great a miracle was this, which was done: as soon as the dragon saw the swaddling cloth of the Lord Jesus, fire went forth and was scattered upon his head and eyes; so that he cried out with a loud voice,
What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou son of Mary, Whither shall I flee from thee?
So he drew back much affrighted, and left the girl. And she was delivered from this trouble, and sang praises and thanks to God, and with her all who were present at the working of the miracle.
Another woman likewise lived there, whose son was possessed by Satan. This boy, named Judas, as often as Satan seized him, was inclined to bite all that were present; and if he found no one else near him, he would bite his own hands and other parts. But the mother of this miserable boy, hearing of St. Mary and her son Jesus, arose presently, and taking her son in her arms, brought him to the Lady Mary. In the meantime, James and Joses had taken away the infant, the Lord Jesus, to play at a proper season with other children; and when they went forth, they sat down and the Lord Jesus with them. Then Judas, who was possessed, came and sat down at the right hand of Jesus. When Satan was acting upon him as usual, he went about to bite the Lord Jesus. And because he could not do it, he struck Jesus on the right side, so that he cried out. And in the same moment Satan went out of the boy, and ran away like a mad dog. T
his same boy who struck Jesus, and out of whom Satan went in the form of a dog, was Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him to the Jews. And that same side, on which Judas struck him, the Jews pierced with a spear.
And when the Lord Jesus was seven years of age, he was on a certain day with other boys his companions about the same age. Who when they were at play, made clay into several shapes namely, asses, oxen, birds, and other figures, Each boasting of his work and endeavouring to exceed the rest. Then the Lord Jesus said to the boys,
I will command these figures which I have made to walk. And immediately they moved and when he commanded then to return, they returned. He had also made the figure of birds and sparrows, which when he commanded to fly, did fly, and when he commanded to stand still, did stand still; and if he gave them meat and drink they did eat and drink. When at length the boys went away, and related these things to their parents, their fathers said to them,
Take heed children, for the future, of his company, for he is a sorcerer; shun and avoid him, and from henceforth never play with him.
On a certain day also when the Lord Jesus was playing with the boys, and running about he passed by a dyer’s shop, whose name was Salem. And there were in his shop many pieces of cloth belonging to the people of that city, which they designed to dye of several colours. Then the Lord Jesus going into the dyer’s shop, took all the cloths, and threw them into the furnace. When Salem came home and saw the cloths spoiled, he began to make a great noise, and to chide the Lord Jesus, saying
What hast thou done me, O thou Son of Mary? Thou hast injured both me and my neighbours; they all desired their cloths of a proper colour; but thou hast come, and spoiled them all.
The Lord Jesus replied, l will change the colour of every cloth to what colour thou desirest; And then he presently began to take the cloths out of the furnace, and they were all dyed of those same colours which the dyer desired. And when the Jews saw this surprising miracle, they praised God. And Joseph, wheresoever he went in the city, took the Lord Jesus with him, where he was sent for to work to make gates, or milk-pails, or sieves, or boxes; the Lord Jesus was with him wheresoever he went. And as often as Joseph had anything in his work, to make longer or shorter, or wider, or narrower, the Lord Jesus would stretch his hand towards it. And presently it became as Joseph would have it. So that he had no need to finish anything with his own hands, for he was not very skillful at his carpenter’s trade.
On a certain time the King of Jerusalem sent for him and said, I would have thee make me a throne of the same dimensions with that place in which I commonly sit.
Joseph obeyed, and forthwith began the work, and continued two years in the king’s palace before he finished it. And when he came to fix it in its place, he found it wanted two spans on each side of the appointed measure. Which, when the king saw, he was very angry with Joseph; And Joseph afraid of the king’s anger, went to bed without his supper, taking not any thing to eat. Then the Lord Jesus asked him, What he was afraid of? Joseph replied, Because I have lost my labour in the work which I have been about these two years. Jesus said to him, Fear not, neither be cast down; Do thou lay hold on one side of the throne and I will the other, and we will bring it to its just dimensions. And when Joseph had done as the Lord Jesus said, and each of them had with strength drawn his side, the throne obeyed, and was brought to the proper dimensions of the place: Which miracle when they who stood by saw, they were astonished, and praised God. The throne was made of the same wood, which was in being in Solomon’s time, namely, wood adorned with various shapes and figures.
On another day the Lord Jesus going out into the street, and seeing some boys who were met to play, joined himself to their company: But when they saw him, they hid themselves, and left him to seek for them: The Lord Jesus came to the gate of a certain house, and asked some women who were standing there, Where the boys were gone? And when they answered, That there was no one there; the Lord Jesus said, Who are those whom ye see in the furnace? They answered, They were kids of three years old. Then Jesus cried out aloud, and said, Come out hither, O ye kids, to your shepherd; And presently the boys came forth like kids, and leaped about him; which when the women saw, they were exceedingly amazed, and trembled. Then they immediately worshipped the Lord Jesus, and beseeched him, saying, O our Lord Jesus, son of Mary, thou art truly that good shepherd of Israel! have mercy on thy handmaids, who stand before thee, who do not doubt, but that thou, O Lord, art come to save, and not to destroy.
After that, when the Lord Jesus said, the children of Israel are like Ethiopians among the people; the women said, Thou Lord, knowest all things, nor is anything concealed from thee; but now we entreat thee, and beseech of thy mercy that thou wouldst restore those boys to their former state. Then Jesus said, Come hither O boys, that we may go and play; and immediately, in the presence of these women, the kids were changed and returned into the shape of boys. In the month Adar Jesus gathered together the boys, and ranked them as though he had been a king. For they spread their garments on the ground for him to sit on; and having made a crown of flowers, put it upon his head, and stood on his right and left as the guards of a king. And if any one happened to pass by, they took him by force, and said, Come hither, and worship the king, that you may have a prosperous journey.
In the mean time, while these things were doing, there came certain men, carrying a boy upon a couch; For this boy having gone with his companions to the mountain to gather wood, and having found there a partridge’s nest, and put his hand in to take out the eggs, was stung by a poisonous serpent, which leaped out of the nest; so that he was forced to cry out for the help of his companions: who, when they came, found him lying upon the earth like a dead person. After which his neighbours came and carried him back into the city. But when they came to the place where the Lord Jesus was sitting like a king, and the other boys stood around him like his ministers, the boys made hast to meet him, who was bitten by the serpent, and said to his neighbours, Come and pay your respects to the king; But when, by reason of their sorrow, they refused to come, the boys drew them, and forced them against their wills to come. And when they came to the Lord Jesus, he inquired, On what account they carried that boy? And when they answered, that a serpent had bitten him, the Lord Jesus said to the boys, Let us go and kill that serpent. But when the parents of the boy desired to be excused, because their son lay at the point of death; the boys made answer, and said, Did not ye hear what the king said? Let us go and kill the serpent; and will not ye obey him? So they brought the couch back again, whether they would or not. And when they were come to the nest, the Lord Jesus said to the boys, Is this the serpent’s lurking place? They said, It was. Then the Lord Jesus calling the serpent, it presently came forth and submitted to him; to whom he said, Go and suck out all the poison which thou hast infused into that boy; So the serpent crept to the boy, and took away all its poison again. Then the Lord Jesus cursed the serpent so that it immediately burst asunder, and died. And he touched the boy with his hand to restore him to his former health; And when he began to cry, I the Lord Jesus said, Cease crying, for hereafter thou shalt be my disciple; And this is that Simon the Canaanite, who is mentioned in the Gospel.
On another day Joseph sent his son James to gather wood and the Lord Jesus went with him; And when they came to the place where the wood was, and James began to gather it, be- hold, a venomous viper bit him, so that he began to cry, and make a noise. The Lord Jesus seeing him in this condition, came to him; and blowed upon the place where the viper had bit him, and it was instantly well.
On a certain day the Lord Jesus was with some boys, who were playing on the housetop, and one of the boys fell down, and presently died. Upon which the other boys all running away, the Lord Jesus was left alone on the house-top. And the boy’s relations came to him and said to the Lord Jesus, Thou didst throw our son down from the housetop. But he denying it, they cried out, Our son is dead, and this is he who killed him. The Lord Jesus replied to them, Do not charge me with a crime, of which you are not able to convict me, but let us go ask the boy himself, who will bring the truth to light. Then the Lord Jesus going down stood over the head of the dead boy, and said with a loud voice, Zeinunus, Zeinunus, who threw thee down from the house top? Then the dead boy answered, thou didst not throw me down, but such a one did. And when the Lord Jesus bade those who stood by to take notice of his words, all who were present praised God on account of that miracle.
On a certain time the Lady St. Mary had commanded the Lord Jesus to fetch her some water out of the well; And when he had gone to fetch the water, the pitcher, when it was brought up full, brake. But Jesus spreading his mantle gathered up the water again, and brought it in that to his mother. Who, being astonished at this wonderful thing, laid up this, and all the other things which she had seen, in her memory.
Again on another day the Lord Jesus was with some boys by a river and they drew water out of the river by little channels, and made little fish pools. But the Lord Jesus had made twelve sparrows, and placed them about his pool on each side, three on a side. But it was the Sabbath day, and the son of Hanani a Jew came by, and saw them making these things, and said, Do ye thus make figures of clay on the Sabbath? And he ran to them, and broke down their fish pools.
But when the Lord Jesus clapped his hands over the sparrows which he had made, they fled away chirping. At length the son of Hanani coming to the fish-pool of Jesus to destroy it, the water vanished away, and the Lord Jesus said to him, In like manner as this water has vanished, so shall thy life vanish; and presently the boy died.
Another time, when the Lord Jesus was coming home in the evening with Joseph, he met a boy, who ran so hard against him, that he threw him down; To whom the Lord Jesus said, As thou hast thrown me down, so shalt thou fall, nor ever rise. And that moment the boy fell down and died.
There was also at Jerusalem one named Zaccheus, who was a schoolmaster. And he said to Joseph, Joseph, why dost thou not send Jesus to me, that he may learn his letters? Joseph agreed, and told St. Mary; So they brought him to that master; who, as soon as he saw him, wrote out an alphabet for him. And he bade him say Aleph; and when he had said Aleph, the master bade him pronounce Beth. Then the Lord Jesus said to him, Tell me first the meaning of the letter Aleph, and then I will pronounce Beth. And when the master threatened to whip him, the Lord Jesus explained to him the meaning of the letters Aleph and Beth; Also which were the straight figures of the letters, which the oblique, and what letters had double figures; which had points, and which had none; why one letter went before another; and many other things he began to tell him, and explain, of which the master himself had never heard, nor read any book. The Lord Jesus farther said the master, Take notice how I say to thee; then he began clearly and distinctly to say Aleph, Beth, Gimel, Daleth, and so on to the end of the alphabet. At this the master was so surprised, that he said, I believe his boy was born before Noah; And turning to Joseph, he said, Thou hast brought a boy to be to be taught, who is more learned than any master. He said also unto St. Mary, This your son has no need of any learning. They brought him then to a more learned master, who, when he saw him, said, say Aleph. And when he had said Aleph, he master bade him pronounce Beth; to which the Lord Jesus replied, Tell me first the meaning of the letter Aleph, and then I will pronounce Beth. But this master, when he lift up his hand to whip him, had his hand presently withered, and he died. Then said Joseph to St. Mary, henceforth we will not allow him to go out of the house; for every one who displeases him is killed. And when he was twelve years old, they brought him to Jerusalem to the feast; and when the feast was over, they returned. But the Lord Jesus continued behind in the temple among the doctors and elders, and learned men of Israel; to whom he proposed several questions of learning, and also gave them answers: For he said to them, Whose son is the Messiah? They answered, the son of David: Why then, said he, does he in the spirit call him Lord? when he saith, The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, till I have made thine enemies thy footstool. Then a certain principal Rabbi asked him, Hast thou read books? Jesus answered, he had read both books, and the things which a were contained in books. And he explained to them the books of the law, and precepts, and statutes: and the mysteries which are contained in the books of the prophets; things which the mind of no creature a could reach. Then said that Rabbi, I never yet have seen or heard of such knowledge! What do you think that boy will be! When a certain astronomer, who was present, asked the Lord Jesus, Whether he had studied astronomy? The Lord Jesus replied, and told him the number of the spheres and heavenly bodies, as also their triangular, square, and to sextile aspect; their progressive and retrograde motion; their size and several prognostication; and other things which the reason of man had never discovered. There was also among them a philosopher well skilled in physic and natural philosophy, who asked the Lord Jesus Whether he had studied physic? He replied, and explained to him physics and metaphysics. Also those things which were above and below the power of nature; The powers also of the body, its humours, and their effects. Also the number of its members, and bones, veins, arteries, and nerves; 16 The several constitutions of body, hot and dry, cold and moist, and the tendencies of them; How the soul operated upon the body; What its various sensations and faculties were; The faculty of speaking, anger, desire; And lastly the manner of its composition and dissolution; and other things, which the understanding of no creature had ever reached. Then that philosopher arose, and worshipped the Lord Jesus, and said, O Lord Jesus, from henceforth I will be thy disciple and servant.
While they were discoursing on these and such like things, the Lady St. Mary came in, having been three days walking about with Joseph, seeking for him. And when she saw him sitting among the doctors, and in his turn proposing questions to them, and giving answers, she said to him, My son, why hast thou done thus by us? Behold I and thy father have been at much pains in seeking thee. He replied, Why did ye seek me? Did ye not know that I ought to be employed in my father’s house? But they understood not the words which he said to them Then the doctors asked Mary, Whether this was her son? And when she said, He was, they said, O happy Mary, who hast borne such a son. Then he returned with them to Nazareth, and obeyed them in all things. And his mother kept all these things in her mind; And the Lord Jesus grew in stature and wisdom, and favour with God and man.
Now from this time Jesus began to conceal his miracles and secret works, And he gave himself to the study of the law, till he arrived to the end of his thirtieth year; At which time the Father publicly owned him at Jordan, sending down this voice from heaven, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased; The Holy Ghost being also present in the form of a dove.
This is he whom we worship with all reverence, because he gave us our life and being, and brought us from our mother’s womb. Who, for our sakes, took a human body, and hath redeemed us, so that he might so embrace us with everlasting mercy, and shew his free, large, bountiful grace and goodness to us. To him be glory and praise, and power, and dominion, from henceforth and for evermore, Amen. The end of the whole Gospel of the Infancy, by the assistance of the Supreme God, according to what we found in the original.
Infancy: THE ARABIC GOSPEL OF THE INFANCY OF THE SAVIOUR
IN the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God. With the help and favour of the Most High we begin to write a book of the miracles of our Lord and Master and Saviour Jesus Christ,
which is called the Gospel of the Infancy: in the peace of the Lord. Amen.
We find what follows in the book of Joseph the high priest, who lived in the time of Christ. Some say that he is Caiaphas. He has said that Jesus spoke, and, indeed, when He was lying in His cradle said to Mary His mother:
I am Jesus, the Son of God, the Logos, whom thou hast brought forth, as the Angel Gabriel announced to thee; and my Father has sent me for the salvation of the world.
Please purchase the book (ebook) in the kindle store to read more such as
“2 Infancy GOSPEL OF THOMAS GREEK TEXT A”,
Introduction The older testimonies about this book have been given already. I now present the three principal forms of it, two Greek texts, A and B, and one Latin. The few Greek manuscripts are all late. The earliest authorities are a much abbreviated Syriac version of which the manuscript is of the sixth century, and a Latin palimpsest at Vienna of the fifth or sixth century, which has never been deciphered in full. The Latin version translated here is found in more manuscripts than the Greek; none of them, I think, is earlier than the thirteenth century. The stories of Thomas the Israelite, the Philosopher, concerning the works of the Childhood of the Lord. I, Thomas the Israelite, tell unto you, even all the brethren that are of the Gentiles, to make known unto you the works of the childhood of our Lord Jesus Christ and his mighty deeds, even all that he did when he was born in our land: whereof the beginning is thus:
(2010-12-08). The Lost Books of the Bible and The Forgotten Books of Eden (Kindle Locations 1051-1057). . Kindle Edition.
Infancy 3 GOSPEL OF THOMAS GREEK TEXT B
The Writing of the holy Apostle Thomas concerning the conversation of the Lord in his childhood.
I, Thomas the Israelite, have thought it needful to make known unto all the brethren that are of the Gentiles the mighty works of childhood which our Lord Jesus Christ wrought when he was conversant in the body, and came unto the city of Nazareth in the fifth year of his age.
(2010-12-08). The Lost Books of the Bible and The Forgotten Books of Eden (Kindle Locations 1163-1165). . Kindle Edition.
Infancy 4 GOSPEL OF THOMAS LATIN TEXT
Here beginneth a treatise of the Boyhood of Jesus according to Thomas. 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.
(2010-12-08). The Lost Books of the Bible and The Forgotten Books of Eden (Kindle Locations 1214-1217). . Kindle Edition.
THE EPISTLES of JESUS CHRIST and ABGARUS KING of EDESSA.
The Gospel of Nicodemus, or Acts of Pilate
ACTS OF PILATE PART 2. THE DESCENT INTO HELL and MORE
Don’t forget there is another section as well
The Forgotten Books of Eden The Testament of Abraham
There are many accounts of what took place during this time all written by different authors and in different languages, however the stories they tell are almost identical with very few alterations although there are additions in the number of stories.
All of them telling of a mother who’s own birth & life was not of the norm going all the way through the birth, childhood and early adulthood of Jesus.
To me it seems that the answer to the original question “Mary Did You Know?” would be YES she did, from the very beginning with even a new born child that spoke and told her himself.
The rest of this ebook/book is really very fasinating in that it presents information that has not been readily available in modern churches for learning when bible studies are being conducted.
As with any information presented in my blogs, Please keep in mind that these are the results of research I or my friends have done and by no means closes the door on further study.
Please Do not take our word for it, and do some reading and research on your own, as we may have ended our research having discovered the information we were looking for.
Thank you for stopping bye and taking the time to check in with us.
Owner Galaxy Dreams & Ranch Manager @ Turtle Cove Ranch