Read our new article «Ex - Jehovah's Witnesses, who are now members of the Catholic Church, share their personal stories»

Thursday, 20 December 2012

THE BIRTH OF CHRIST IN THE APOCRYPHAL GOSPELS


Translated from the original by Costas Balomenos

     As is known, from the four canonical Gospels (Matthew, Luke, Mark, John), only the first two give us a minimum of information about the birth and childhood of Jesus. In the other two there is complete absence of even minimal information about these events, where Mark begins his Gospel with the baptism of Christ which took place at the age of 30 years, and while John begins with the theology of the Word.
   In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke provides us with the following information:
* Genealogy of Christ, the visit of the angel to Joseph's dream to not prosecute her since Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit, adoration of the Magi, flee to Egypt to escape the toddler - Jesus from Herod's fury, slaughter infants of Bethlehem and the surrounding area by Herod, return of the holy family from Egypt following the death of Herod (Matthew).
* Pre-announcement of the birth of John the Baptist, Annunciation of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary), Mary's visit to Elizabeth, the birth of John the Baptist, Christ's birth, circumcision of Jesus Christ's presentation in the Temple, fair Simeon's prophecy that Jesus would be "controversial point" glorification of the prophetess Anna because he outface the Savior, Jesus twelve years old amazes the sages in the Temple of Jerusalem (Luke)...

     This gap then the Gospels came to cover stories of imaginative writers, because the thirst of the world was great to learn as many as possible things about the birth and childhood of Jesus. Most of these mythic and simplistic narratives were not only a result of the vigorous religious zeal of their authors, but many times it was a cause to promote heretical views. The writing of these started from the second century AD and reached the Middle Ages. They had inscriptions with names of holy persons of the New Testament to enjoy prestige and acceptance by the faithful. And indeed became very dear to the faithful, their beliefs since many still survive today. In this also helped the fictional character but also because they had not yet closed the list (rule) of the 27 books of the New Testament, which occurred in late of the fourth century. But they have something positive. They rescued traditions and events from the true tradition of our Church or from lost books of the New Testament writers.
   These narratives were called apocrypha” because the authors have claimed that their material is based on sources secret known only to them. Such as the Gospel of Childhood of Christ, that is published in this article. So the author writes: “The narratives that follow we found on the book of Joseph the high priest, who is called by some Caiaphas.”
    The goal we publish the apocryphal narratives in this article, but in others, that we have publish is done for two reasons. The first is to acquaint the faithful how many things pertaining to Christ and Christianity does not exist - as they think in the Bible but in the apocryphal books. And the second to show to enemies and slanderers of Christianity - many of which are unrelated - how wrong perception have the conspiracy theories against him, because they argue that we the theologians and priests we hide the apocryphal books so as not to reveal the real truth about the Christianity which supposedly is not to our advantage. Nothing is most witless and more ridiculous than that. The apocryphal books circulate freely in commerce from which it can the anyone to purchase. Well let for supply and let to show us the truth ... which we hide!
    But let us now come to the apocryphal gospels relating the birth and childhood of Jesus. And we start with the apocryphal «First-Gospel of James», which enjoyed high regard in the ancient church.
   Main points:
Ø     Joseph begins with Mary and his sons for the census who had ordered by Augustus.
Ø     Because labor pains catching Maria, they enter in a cave which they find and Joseph leaving their sons to look after is looking for a midwife.
Ø     Looking for the midwife Joseph ascertains that the time has stopped because everything has stopped.
Ø     He finds a midwife, but she does not believe that Mary although virgin is pregnant, so she follows Joseph to ascertain it.
Ø     The midwife coming out of the cave finds some Salome, which was not persuaded of the virginity of Mary. So she puts his finger on the nature of Mary and when ascertains it, her hand dries.
Ø     Salome prays to God and cured when she gets in her arms the infant Jesus.
Ø     The Adoration of the Magi is similar to that of the canonical Gospels with the only difference that this becomes in the cave.
Ø     To avoid the wrath of Herod Mary hides the infant Jesus in the manger with the animals.
Ø     Similarly, Elizabeth, to protect the little John the Baptist later of Lord rises in the mountains, where she opens a mountain in the middle and enters and hides.


THE FIRST-GOSPEL OF JAMES

CHAPTER 17

1.    Decree went out from August the king to be inventoried all in Bethlehem of Judea. And Joseph said“I will take inventory my sonsBut with this young lady what do I do? How will her ascertainedLike my wife? I am ashamedLike my daughterBut all the Israelites know that is not my daughterWhen the time comes of Lord let the Lord decide.
2.    And he put the saddle on the donkey and she sat on it, and his son dragged itand Joseph followedAnd they had walked three milesAnd Joseph turned and saw her sad, and said to himself. “Perhaps what he has inside, causing the pain”. And again Joseph turned and saw her to laugh. And said to her, "Mary, what happens to youbecause I see your face, sometimes smiling, sometimes sad." And Mariam said to Joseph, It's because I see two peoples with my eyes, one crying and grieving and one to rejoice and be glad.”
3.    And when they arrived in midway, Mariam said to him Download me by the donkey because what I have inside me pushing me hard.” And he downed her from the donkey and said “Where to put you to hide your ugliness? Why the place is deserted.”

CHAPTER 18

1.    And he found a cave and he put her in, and left his sons to look after, and went in search of a midwife in the town of Bethlehem.
2.    “I Joseph I walked and I walked notAnd I looked at the air and I saw him amazed. And I looked at the clouds of heaven, and I saw them motionless and the birds of the sky not fly. And I looked at the earth and saw a trough lying and the workers around, and their hands into the trough. And those who ate not chew, and those who had raised their hands not download them, and those who bring food to their mouths did not eatbut everybody looked towards the skyAnd I saw sheep to graze, and was immovable, and the shepherd had lifted his hand to strike them and his hand was raised unmoving. And I looked at the torrent of the river, and I saw the mouths of goats over the water not to drink, and all that were in the street were stunned.”


CHAPTER 19

1.    And I saw a woman coming down from the mountains and he said to me, Man who goesAnd I told her that I'm asking a Jewish midwife. And he answered: From Israel you are? And I said, yes. This she said. And who is she that gives birth to the caveAnd I saidThis is my fiancéAnd he told me. It is not your wife? And I told her that this is Mariam, which was raised in the temple of the Lord, and the clergy was to me to get it. And it is not my wife, because she has capture by the Holy SpiritAnd the midwife said to himIs it this trueAnd Joseph said to herCome and see. And the midwife went with him.
2.    And arrived at the place of the cave, and a bright cloud covered the cave. And the midwife saidMagnified my soul today because my eyes saw strange things, because salvation was born in Israel. And immediately lowered the cloud from the cave and it seemed a great light in the cave who could not withstand the eyes. And for a little and the light lowered until the infant appeared and began breastfeeding from his mother Mary. And he took great voice and the midwife said. Great is day today, because I saw this new show.
3.    And the midwife went out from the cave, and she met SalomeAnd said to her Salome, Salome, I have to narrate a new spectacle. She gave birth to a virgin without altering its nature. And Salome saidIn the name of the Lord of my God, if not put my finger and did not investigate the nature of this is not going to believe that a virgin gave birth.


CHAPTER 20

1.    And the midwife entered the cave and said to Mary. Revealed yourself, because there is a big controversy for you. And Salome put her finger on the nature of thisand took great voice and said, woe to my sin and my unbelief, God alive because I teased, and my hand like fire forfeited from me.
2.    And kneeling to the Lord she said, the God of my fathersremember that I am the sperm of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. Do not stigmatize the children of Israel, but healed meBecause you know, Lord, that in thy name I have done charity work and I received my salary from you.
3.    And angel of the Lord appeared and said to her. Salome, Salome, the Lord hearing you. Bring your hand to the child and keep it, and you will find salvation and joy.
4.    And Salome went and she kept it, saying, kowtow in it because great king was born in Israel. And immediately Salome was healedand vindicated she came out from the cave. And she heard voice says Salome, Salome not to tell to anyone what oddly you sawuntil the child entered to Jerusalem.


CHAPTER 21

1.    And Joseph was prepared to exit in Judeaand became a great noise in Bethlehem of Judea. Because magicians came, saying, that is he the king of the Jews who was bornWe saw his star in the east and we came to worship him.
2.    And Herod was troubled when he heard itand he sent his servants to the magicians. And he called on the archpriests and interrogated them saying. What has been written about who will be born ChristThey tell him, in Bethlehem of Judea. So it is written. And they drove away. And he asked the magicians saying to themWhat sign you saw on the begotten kingAnd the magicians said. We saw a big star shining among other stars and erase them, so that these stars were not visible. Και έτσι εμείς καταλάβαμε ότι γεννήθηκε βασιλιάς στο Ισραήλ και ήλθαμε να τον προσκυνήσουμε . Και τους είπε ο Ηρώδης. Πηγαίνετε να το βρείτε. Και όταν το βρείτε, ειδοποιήστε με να έλθω να το προσκυνήσω και εγώ.
3.    And the magicians came out, and the star, which they had seen in the east, proceeded ahead of them until they arrived at cave, and stood over the top of the cave. And the magicians saw the child with his mother Mary and they took from their bags gold and frankincense and myrrh.


CHAPTER 22

1.    Herod perceiving that he was deceived by the magi, angry sent assassins telling to them. Kill the infants than two years old and under.
2.    Mariam listening that murdered the babies, was scared and having taken the child and he put swaddling clothes, placed it in the manger with the animals.
3.    Elizabeth listening, that John is sought, took him and went up to the mountains, and she was looking forto find that would hide. And there was no place for him to hide. And Elizabeth sighed and said with great voiceMountain of God, receive the mother with her ​​child. And immediately the mountain was torn and it accepted her. And there was some light with themBecause angel of the Lord was with them and he protected them.

-------------------

   The apocryphal “Gospel of the Childhood of Christ” has Gnostic origin.  Gnosticism was a philosophical-religious system, with which Christianity fought hard in the first three centuries, until they prevailed. It was predated of the Christianity and had been influenced by the Platonism, the oriental religions of Zoroastrianism, the Parcism, etc. as well as the Egyptian mysteries. When Christianity appeared, took elements from it, so it became dangerous for the Church.
    His main points:
@    As soon as Jesus was born he started talking and says to Panagia (Mary) that he is the Son of God.
@    Defining the exact date of Christ's birth.
@    Joseph and Mary find a cave and Joseph goes to search for midwife.
@    He finds a Jewish midwife but when they go into the cave Jesus has been born and are shining lights in the cave.
@    The midwife says to Maria that is different from all the women.
@    Mary says that is different not only she, but also and her child.
@    The midwife touches Jesus and is healed.
@    Displaying angels and shepherds who both praised God grounds of the birth of Christ 


THE GOSPEL OF CHILDHOOD OF CHRIST


CHAPTER 1

   The narratives that follow we find in the book of Joseph the high priest, who by some is called Caiaphas.
   He says that Jesus first spoke when he was still in the baby's cradle, and said to his mother:
    “Mary, I am Jesus, the Son of God, the Word that you gave birth according to the announcement by the angel Gabriel, and my father sent me for the salvation of the world.”
   309 years from the time of Alexander, Augustus issued a decree according to which all the people had to go to their home to be taxed.
    So Joseph started together with his wife Maria and they came to Bethlehem in order to be taxed in the city of their fathers.
   As passed by the cave, Mary said to Joseph that it is time of birth and that it ought not to proceed to the city. "Let us go into this cave," he said. It was the time to approaching sunset.
   Joseph hastened to seek a midwife and when he saw an elderly Jew from Jerusalem said to her, “Please, come my good woman in the cave and there you will see a woman who is ready to give birth.”
   Once the sun had goes down, when the old woman and Joseph reached the cave and they went inside.
   And behold, the whole space glittered with lights brighter than the lamps and the candles, but also from the same the sun. The infant was wrapped in swaddling clothes, and had breastfed on the chest of his mother.
   When they saw that light were astounded. The elderly woman asked St. Mary, “You are the mother of this child?” And St. Mary responded, “Yes, I am.”
   The woman continued, “You're different from all the women.”
   The St. Mary said, “As there is no other child like with my son so there is no other woman like his mother.”
   Then the older woman said, “Oh, my Lady, I come here to get having claimed back an eternal reward.”
    The St. Mary, our Ladyis replied to her, Put your hands to the infantand when she did it was healthy. As was marching, she was saying, "From now and throughout the rest of my life, I will be a servant and deacon of this child.”
   After that, as the shepherds came and they lit fire and rejoicedthere appeared the heavenly armies who praised and adored the supreme God. And as the shepherds did the same, the cave resembled a magnificent temple, because the languages of the angels and people had been united, praising and worshiping God because of the birth of Lord Jesus.
   When the older woman saw all these evident miracles, remitted thanks to God saying, “Thank You God, the God of Israel, because my eyes saw the birth of the Savior of the world.”


BIBLIOGRAPHY

- Apocrypha Gospels, Constantine Tissentorf, publications Spanos
Texts Apocrypha of the New Testament, Volume 1, Edition Igneous World (Pyrinos Kosmos)

Writer Christos Pal
   

No comments: