Friday 26 December 2014

What Baby Jesus did Next

Would you trust this boy?

 I always thought Christmas was the best Christian festival—everyone loves new baby stories. But sweet newborns become hyperactive toddlers, and so on to the hurricanes of puberty. I have also always thought that the most entertaining Christian storytelling—the narratives labelled ‘apocryphal’—are precisely the ones excluded from the New Testament.

The canonical gospels are virtually silent, for example, on how Jesus of Nazareth and his parents weathered his first decade. Fortunately a text exists in both ancient Greek and Syriac which fills in the stormy missing years. The ‘Infancy Gospel’ attributed to St Thomas, and vividly illustrated in a manuscript in the Ambrosian Library in Milan, reveals a child who should have been handed over to Psychiatric Social Services.

Zeno Falls mysteriously from the upper storey 
At five, Jesus dammed a stream by telepathy and polluted the Sabbath by making twelve living sparrows out of mud. When another boy destroyed the dams, he cursed the boy, who promptly died. When a second child ran into him, Jesus cursed him and he also expired. The villagers protested to Jesus’ human father Joseph that his son was a dangerously disturbed juvenile delinquent. Jesus’ response was to have his accusers miraculously blinded.

Mary & Joseph needed Supernanny
When Joseph asked for a teacher’s help in disciplining his dysfunctional child, the five-year-old told his ostensible dad that he had been born ‘so that, father, I could teach you a lesson’.  Time for having pocket money withheld, if you ask me. Irritatingly precocious, Jesus taught himself the alphabet in order to show off at school. Time for Supernanny and the Naughty Step. But no. 

Unchecked by his baffled parents, Jesus then murdered his next, wholly sympathetic schoolteacher, just for under-estimating his IQ. A third boy called Zeno, with whom Jesus was playing on a roof, fell off mysteriously and died.
'Who needs a bucket with my magic waterproof cloak, mum?'

There were, to be fair, a couple of ‘good’ miracles.  The young Jesus carried water for his mother in a cloak and sowed a miraculously abundant harvest. But does that outweigh four undeserved deaths and a mass blinding? I would be interested to know what you think! I need cheering up after an unexpectedly medieval week, not in a good sense, of which more anon.


  1. ;-) (evil grin) This is why I do not like "edited" religions. The writer must have felt that there was something important he wanted to say in this (what I really do not know). However, the fact of its existence as an equal to any other book would possibly "force" looking at the documents as being more than just one, united view, which it isn't. There are many uncomfortable things in the edited Novum Testamentum as it is, which most ignore. Why not more! (By the way, I am not Christian though I was brought up in the Lutheran religion. Personally, I follow Aristotle.)

  2. Love those infancy stories. They're so 'If *you* were a child with superpowers, what would you do?' Go on a sort of 'Kill Bill' spree, clearly! Who, as a child, has not said 'I wish you were DEAD!' So here's what happens when you can do it...!

  3. The Quran records many of the apocryphal narratives of Jesus' life such as the creation of birds out of clay but nothing as outrageous as this.

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