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Childhood of Jesus?

Jesus sharing in the Temple as a boy
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never miss viewpointsKerby Anderson

Perhaps you have seen the news article, “Details about Jesus’ childhood revealed in 2,000-year-old manuscript.” The article explains this is the earliest known copy of a story about Jesus performing a miracle. The fragment was discovered on an ancient Egyptian manuscript.

What they are talking about is what has been called the “Infancy Gospel of Thomas.” This book is not a gospel and was not written by the Apostle Thomas. In fact, it should not even be confused with the so-called Gospel of Thomas. These are second century Gnostic writings that were never considered to be part of the biblical canon.

If you read the story, you will discover that it is likely that the fragment was probably written as a part of a class exercise in a school or religious community in the fourth or fifth century in Egypt. They conclude that because of the clumsiness of the handwriting.

We could stop there, but there are many other reasons to ignore this recent discovery. It is a 1,600-year-old fragment, not a 2,000-year-old manuscript. Even if we had the original manuscript, there are reasons to ignore it. It wasn’t written by an apostle or disciple nor was it accepted as Scripture by the early church.

The story spins a fanciful tale of a young Jesus turning clay pigeons into live birds. More concerning is the fact that much of the story contradicts the biblical picture of Jesus. He isn’t sinless but something of an out-of-control brat. He curses and even kills people who offend him, although he supposedly raised two of them from the dead.

There is no reason to believe that any of the story in the “Infancy Gospel of Thomas” is true. It isn’t worth your time to read or consider.viewpoints new web version

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