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except her husband. But it was specially essential to the
argument of our author, who is at pains to show that there
was no question of a real marriage between Joseph and Mary.

This prophetic vision is a blend of Lk &* and On 25 2 3 (where
the two nations are in Rebecca's womb). In pseudo-Matthew they
become the Jews and the Gentiles. Here they are probably no
more than the unbelieving and the believing. Mary suffers no
birth-pangs ; her sorrow is purely spiritual.

li Of. De Lacy Olieary in Intern. Journ. A poc.xxxv. [1913], p. 70 f.

The birds of the air are motionless ; so are all
animals and human beings within sight. Joseph
secures a midwife, carefully explaining to her that
Mary has conceived by the Holy Spirit. But in the
middle of their conversation the narrative again *
resumes the third person (19 1 ), and a further abrupt
touch t occurs in 19 2 , where the midwife leaves the
cave ' and Salome met her.' Salome, like Thomas
( Jn 20 25 ), refuses to believe the story of the virgin-
birth without tangible evidence. This she receives,
with a temporary punishment for her incredulity.
She carries the child, in obedience to an angel's
command, crying, ' I will worship Him (i.e. God),J
for a great King has been born for Israel.' The nar-
rative then proceeds (20 4 ) : ' and she went out of the
cave justified (de8uca.iufj.tvri). And lo a voice said to
her, " Salome, Salome, do not proclaim the miracles
(irapd,8oa) you have seen, till the child reaches
Jerusalem. And (21 1 ) Joseph was ready to go
into Judsea.'

Here the line of the narrative is again broken
abruptly. Joseph is never mentioned again. 21 1 -
22 2 re-tells Mt 2 lt , with elaborations. The magi
have seen ' a star of enormous size, shining among
these stars and eclipsing their light.' The star
conducts them to the cave, where the magi see ' the
infant with his mother Mary ; and they brought
out of their wallet gifts of gold, incense, and
myrrh. And being instructed by the angel not
to enter Judaea, they went to their own land by
another road.' The omission of Joseph would not
of itself be significant (in view of Mt 2 1 " 12 ), were it
not that in 22 1 " 2 the initiative is assigned to Mary
instead of to Joseph (as in Mt 2 18L ). Hearing of
Herod's order to massacre all children of two years
and under, Mary hides the child Jesus in an ox-
stall. Evidently, the original narrative ignored
the flight to Egypt. But what it substituted for
this remains a mystery, for at this point (22 3 ) the
story suddenly breaks into an account of John the
Baptist and his parents. The child John is among
the infants sought for by Herod, and Elizabeth in
despair prays to a mountain in the hill-country,
' O mountain of God, receive mother and chila.'
The mountain immediately parts in two and
shelters them, protected by a light ('for an angel
of the Lord was with them, watching over them').
Herod, unable to make Zechariah (who is high
priest) confess the whereabouts of his child, has
him murdered inside the Temple, on the ground
that ' his son is to be king over Israel.' At day-
break, as Zechariah does not come out, one of the
priests ventures inside ; he sees clotted blood beside
the altar, and hears a voice saying, ' Zechariah has
been murdered, and his blood shall not be wiped up
until his avenger comes.' His body is never found,
but his blood turned to stone. The Simeon of Lk
2 25 is chosen by lot to succeed him, and with this
the story ends. The epilogue runs : ' I, James, the
writer of this history, when a riot arose in Jerusa-
lem at the death of Herod, withdrew myself to the
desert till the riot in Jerusalem ceased, glorifying
the Lord God who gave me the gift and the wisdom
to write this history.' The book thus professes to
be written not only by an eye-witness but imme-
diately after the event.

In spite of Zahn's and Conrady's arguments to

* The Syriac fragment passes straight from 18 2 to 19 1 .

t Possibly echoed in Clem. Strom, vii. 16. 93.

j Jesus, in the Syriac as in pseudo-Matthew (see below,
p. 488).

The simplicity of the story is noticeable ; in the primitive
form (expanded in the versions and later MSS) the magi do not
even adore the child, and no attempt is made to name them, as
in the Armenian version, which calls them Melchior, prince of
Persia, Baltasar, prince of India, and Caspar, prince of Arabia.
The angel goes to them at once after the Annunciation, ' and
they were led by the star for nine months, and then came and
arrived in time for the birth from the holy virgin.' Xhi is
reproduced in the Coventry Nativity play.




the contrary, it is almost necessary to postulate
the composite character of the Protevangelium,
although the sources cannot be disentangled with
much precision. Even in 1-18 1 there are traces of
different strata, e.g. the sudden introduction of
Joseph in 9 1 , and the episode of Mary sewing the
purple and scarlet * for the veil of the Temple (10,
12). The latter episode could be parted from the
context not only without difficulty but with a gain
to the sequence of the narrative, t On the other
hand, neither 1-18 1 nor 18 2 -22 2 can be regarded as
complete sources. The legend of Zechariah's
murder in 22 s - 24, on the other hand, is a water-
mark of late origin. In the light of the investiga-
tions by A. Berendts,^ it is clearly subsequent to
Origen, who knows quite a different version of
Zechariah's death one which connects it closely
with the virginity of Mary (he was murdered,
according to this tradition, between the Temple
and the altar, for having permitted Mary to enter
the court of the virgins after she had given birth
to Jesus). Had Origen read 22 3 -24 in his /Jt/3Xos
'laKufiov, he would not have written as he has done
upon Mt 23 3S . For the existence of the legend in
the form of 22*-24 the first evidence is from Peter
of Alexandria (t A.D. 311), and even this evidence
is not absolutely decisive.

Whether the composite work underwent suc-
cessive expansions or, as is less likely, was recast
by a Gnostic author, I'-IS 1 , which is practically
a ytvi*T)ffi,s Mapfas, probably belonged to tne book of
James, from which Origen quotes. His quotation
is based on this part, and on this part alone ; the
rest of the book never mentions the other children
of Joseph. If the conclusion (25) was part of the
original romance, the story must have included the
incidents of Herod's massacre, though in a form
differing from that preserved in the Apocalypse of
Zechariah as it now appears in 22 s -24. For some
reason, the latter must have been substituted for
the original conclusion, or added to a narrative
which had lost its ending. Whether IS 2 ^! 1 was
also an extract from some Apocryphum Josephi,
which became appended to 1-18 1 , or whether the
author of the boot of James himself combined the
fragment with his other source, is a problem which
cannot be decided definitely either way, in view of
the obscurity surrounding the literary origins of
this as of most other pseudepigrapha.

Here, too, as in the Oxyrhynchite fragment (cf.

S. 499), the attempt to describe the conditions of
ewish ritual shows the writer's ignorance. That
Joachim should be repelled from his right to offer
in the Temple on the score of childlessness (I 2 ), and
that girls could remain within the Temple like
vestals, are only two of the unhistorical touches
which indicate unfamiliarity with the praxis of
Judaism. The romancer knows his OT better.

And he knows it in Greek. The attempt to
establish a Hebrew original for the Protevangelium
has been unsuccessful ; it is bound up with a
desire to put it earlier than the Synoptic Gospels,
on which, as on the LXX, it plainly depends. But,
as it is uncertain whether Justin Martyr owes to
it touches like that of the cave il and the curious

* Perhaps, like the emphasis on the wealth of her parents, a
reply to the current depreciation (Orig. Cels. i. 28 f.) of their
position. But the wealth of Joachim is probably taken over
from that of his namesake in Sus 14.

t The obscure sentence in 10, ' At that time Zechariah was
dumb, and Samuel took his place, until Zechariah spoke,' may
be an interpolation ; but even if ' Simeon ' (cf. Lk E 28 ) is read
for ' Samuel ' with some MSS, it remains an erratic block. It
seems to presuppose the story (or the tradition) of Lk I st :

I Studien tiler Zaeharias - Apokryphen vnd Zaeharias
Leijenden, 1895, p. 37 f.

Some details from this seem to underlie the Armenian version
Inch. 3.

I According to Chaeremon, the Egyptian historian (quoted by
Josephus, c. Apion. 1. 32 [292]), the mother of Rameses also bore
him in a cave.

phrase about Mary in Dial. 100 (cf. Protev. 12 2 ),
the date of the earliest section cannot be assigned
definitely to the first quarter of the 2nd centuiy.

In the Armenian Church the Protevangelium formed the buia
for the first part of a large work which included a Gospel of the
Infancy and later apocrypha on the life and miracles of Jesus.
According to F. C. Conybeare, who prints one or two chapters of
the section based on the Protevangelium (AJTh i. [1897] 424-
442), the entire work consists of 28 chapters, and goes back to
an older Syriac text which was used by Ephrem Syrus. The short
Syriac fragment published by Wright (Contributions to the Apoc-
ryphal Literature of the NT, p. 17 f.) gives merely a somewhat
abbreviated form of 17-25. The larger, complete, Syriac version
published by Mrs. A. S. Lewis (Studia Sinaitica, xi. [1902]), is in
all probability a version of some Greek text practically corre-
sponding to ' Tischendorf 's. Both in the Syriac and in the
Armenian versions the Protevangelium forms only the intro-
duction for subsequent apocrypha on the Nativity or on Mary.
Versions of the Protevangelium abound, testifying to its wide
popularity as a religious story-book in the early Church. In
addition to the Armenian, there were Arabic and Slavonic
versions or editions, as well as Egyptian. A small Sahidic
fragment has been edited by Leipoldt'( rW, 1905, p. 106 f.).

The popularity of the Protevangelium, even
apart from its advocacy of the absolute virginity of
Mary, is not unintelligible. The story is told with
much simplicity and pathos, in its original form.
There are vignettes of peasant life, of nature, and
of domestic affection, which single it out from the
other uncanonical Gospels glimpses, for example,
of Anna standing at the door as her husband drives
home his flocks, and running to embrace him ; of
Elizabeth dropping her needlework and running to
the door when Mary knocks ; or of Anna (in the
Armenian text) tossing her baby merrily in her
arms. None of the Infancy Gospels is so free from
extravagance and silliness. The child Jesus is a
child, and, if the halo has begun to glow round the
head of Alary, she is still a woman. No tinge of
Docetism makes her unreal. Even the narrator
keeps himself strictly in the background. The
skill with which the author has contrived to tell
his story is best appreciated when we compare the
crude, coarse handling to which some of its materials
are subjected in the Gospel of Thomas or the Gospel
of pseudo-Matthew.

Occasionally there are touches which remind
the reader of Buddhistic legends ; e.g. in the 1st
cent. (A.D.) life of Buddha (cf. Chinese version in
SEE xix. [1883]) Buddha is born miraculously, 'with-
out causing his mother pain or anguish ' (II 9 ), and
at his birth ' the various cries and confused sounds
of beasts were hushed, and silence reigned' (11 s3 ).
But the proofs of Buddhistic influence are not
cogent (cf. von Dobschutz in ThLZ, 1896, pp. 442-
446); the comparative study of folk-lore in its
modern phases renders hesitation on this point

SPECIAL LITERATURE. L. Conrady's hypotheses of its Semitic
original and its priority to the birth-stories of Matthew and
Luke are printed in SK (1889) 728-784, and Die Quelle der
kanonischen Kindheitsgeschiehte Jesus,, Gottingen, 1900. The
best editions are both French, by Emile Amann, Le Prot-
evangile de Jacques et ses remaniements latins, Paris, 1910
(Greek text of Protev., Latin texts of pseudo- Matthew 1-17 and
the Nativity of Mary, with French translation, introduction,
and notes); and C. Michel, Protevangile de Jacques, pseudo-
ilatthieu, Evangile de Thomas, textes annote* et traduits,
Paris, 1911 (with the Coptic and Arabic versions of the History
of Joseph the Carpenter, translated with notes by Peeters);
cf. Haase, pp. 49-60.

(b) The Gospel of Thomas.

The TJatStica, or Gospel of Thomas, survives in two Greek re-
censions, one (A) longer than the other (B),* but the MSS are
not earlier than the 14th or 15th century. The Latin version (L),
however, survives in a Vienna palimpsest as yet undeciphered,
and the Syriac (S) in a MS of the 5th or 6th century.

No satisfactory edition has yet appeared, but Tischendorfs
Greek texts have been edited and translated by C. Michel,
Evangties Apocryphes, L (1911), Protevangile de Jacques, pseudo-

* In Peregrinus Proteus, 1879, p. 89 f., J. M. Cotterill
tries to show that A and B are from the same hand, and
that the author not only uses the LXX of Ecclesiagtes but
deliberately parodies some verses of Proverbs two equally
hazardous hypotheses.



Matthieu, flvangile de Thomas ; S is published in Wright's Con-
tributions to the Apocryphal Literature of the New Testament,
pp. 6-11, etc.

According to Haase (pp. 38-48), L represents in the main a
version of A, while 8 also, though independently, resembles A;
but all imply a common source which is not extant.

We know from Hippolytus (Philosoph. v. 2), that
theNaassenes appealed, on behalf of their tenets, to
a passage in 'the Gospel according to Thomas,' which
ran as follows : ' He who seeks Me will find Me in
children of seven and upwards (& Traidlou &iri> ir&v
<hrrd), for hidden there I shall be manifested in the
fourteenth age (or aeon, alwvt).' No other citation
has been preserved.* Indeed, apart from the
reference of Eusebius (HE iii. 25. 6), it is only
mentioned again by Cyril of Jerusalem, who twice
warns Christians against it as a Manichaean produc-
tion (Catech. iv. 36, 'There are only four Gospels in
the NT ; the rest are pseudepigrapha and noxious.
The Manichaeans wrote a Gospel according to
Thomas which, invested with the fragrance of the
evangelic name, corrupts simple souls'; vi. 31, 'Let
no one read the Gospel according to Thomas, for it
is not by one of the Twelve, but by one of Manes'
three wicked disciples'). Since the Manichseans
possessed a Gospel of Thomas as well as a Gospel of
Philip (see below, p. 501), this Manichaean Scripture
may have been the Gospel mentioned by Hippolytus,
possibly in a special form.

Zahn attempts to date the original Gospel quite
early in the 2nd century. He regards the second
half of the quotation made by Hippolytus as a
Naassene comment, and thus is free to mini-
mize the Gnostic character of the work. He
further argues that Justin's description of Jesus
(Dial. 88) as a maker of ' ploughs and yokes ' in
His native village is derived from the story in A 13
= S 13 = L 11 (Joseph, who 'made ploughs and
yokes,' had an order from a rich man to make a
bench. One plank turned out to be too short, but
Jesus rose to the emergency, pulled the plank out
to the proper length, and thus relieved His father).
This may be no more than a coincidence, and
Justin might have derived the touch from oral
tradition. But it is certainly remarkable how
little Gnostic fantasy pervades the Story of the
Infancy, in any of its extant forms; apart from
the 'great allegories' of the letter Alpha which
the lad Jesus is reported to have taught His teacher,
the stories and sayings are na'ive rather than
speculative. On the other hand, the childhood of
Jesus is possibly filled with miracles owing to a
desire of heightening His Divine claims prior to
the Baptism. It is usually argued that this motive
also implies a Docetic interest, since the miracles
represent Jesus as not really a human child, but
exempt from the ordinary conditions of human
nature. This, however, is not a necessary or even
a probable interpretation of the stories. They
exaggerate the supernatural element, but they do
not suggest a wraith or phantom in the guise of a
child. In S 6-8, the reply of Jesus to His teacher
does recall dogmatic interests ('I am outside of
you, and I dwell among you. Honour in the flesh
I have not. Thou art by the law, and in the law
thou abidest. For when thou wast born, I was . . .
When I am greatly exalted, I shall lay aside what-
ever mixture I have of your race'), but the tone
and even the wording are not remote from the
Fourth Gospel ; and, as the Gospel evidently passed
through several editions or phases, it may have
accumulated such elements in the gradual course of
its development. The above-quoted passage, for
example, is peculiar to S, as we can see from the
remark of Epiphanius (li. 20). There was even a

* Even this one is echoed only once, and that vaguely, in the
pert reply of Jesus to the Jewish schoolmaster preserved in
pseudo-Matthew 80* ('I was among you with children, and you
did not know me 'X

tendency among orthodox Christians* to accept
stories of miracles during the boyhood, in order to
refute the Gnostic theory that the Divine Christ
did not descend upon Jesus until the Baptism a
tendency which helps, among other things, to
account for the tenacious popularity of such tales.
From this very natural point of view, the rise of
these stories may have been due to interests which
were not distinctively Gnostic, whatever be the
amount of dogmatic tendency that must be ascribed
to their later form.t

There is no ground for denying that some Gnostic
Gospel of Thomas existed during the 2nd century.
The quotation preserved by Hippolytus does not
occur in any of the extant recensions of the Thomas
Gospel which afterwards sprang up ; but even these,
for all their size, cannot have corresponded to the
entire work, which (on the evidence of Nicephorus)
extended to no fewer than 1300 stichoi, almost
double the length of the longest extant recension.
Even in these extant recensions it is probable that
the orthodox editor (or editors) must have removed
the majority of Gnostic or Docetic allusions. And
the Hippolytus quotation would naturally be one
of these. Furthermore, we have an indirect proof
that such a Thomas Gospel did exist prior to
Irenaeus. In describing the tenets of the Mar-
cosians, that Church Father charges this Gnostic
sect with introducing apocryphal and spurious
scriptures (i. 20. 1), and with circulating the
following legend. 'When the Lord was a boy,
learning his letters, and when his master said to
him as usual, " Say Alpha," he said " Alpha." But
when the master went on and ordered him to say
" Beta," the Lord replied, " You tell me first what
Alpha means, and then I will tell you what Beta
means."' The Marcosians, Irenaeus adds, told this
story to show that Jesus alone knew the mysterious
significance of Alpha. The legend illustrates the
mystic content which the sect put into the letters
of the alphabet,}: but its immediate interest for us
lies in the fact that this story occurs in the Story
of the Infancy.

Irenaeus proceeds (i. 20. 2) to show how the
Marcosians also misinterpreted the canonical
Gospels to suit their propaganda ; e.g. Lk 2** they
explained to mean that the parents of Jesus did
not know He was telling them about the Father ;
in Mt 19 16 ' 17 (quoted as, ' Why call me good ? One
is good, my Father in the heavens') the word
' heavens ' denotes ' aeons ' ; and the word ' hidden '
in Lk 19 42 denotes the hidden nature of the Depth
(pdOos). Among these quotations from ' the Gospel '
(i.e. the canonical Gospels) Irenaeus includes one
which does not occur in our four Gospels : ' His
saying, / have often desired to hear one of these
words, but I had no one to tell me, indicates (they
allege), by the term one, Him who is truly
one God.' This curious and unparalleled Logion
may have been quoted by mistake from an un-
canonical Gospel like that of Thomas, but we can-
not do more than guess upon a point of this kind.
In an llth cent. Athos MS of the Gospels (cf. Stud.
Bib. v. [1901-4)3] 173) there is a note to the effect
that the pericope adulterce belonged to the Gos-
pel of Thomas (rb Ke<f>6.\aiov TOVTO rov icard. QW/JMV
etayyeXlov itrrlv) ; if so, it must have occurred in an
edition which has not been preserved.

The extant recensions, to which we have just
referred, are versions of a Story of the Infancy (T&
rrated by Thomas, which is,

TOV Kvplov) narrated
and may have been intended to form, a sequel to

* Usually, Jn 211 was held, as e.g. by Euthymius Zigabenus,
to rule out such legends of miracles done by the boy Jesus.

t The influence of Egyptian mythology is asserted, but ex-
aggerated, by Conrady in SK (1903) 397-459.

I e.g. Alpha and Omega. One of the Marcosian fantasies was
that the dove at the Baptism indicated the perfection of Christ's
nature, the symbol of a dove being Omega and Alpha.



the stories of the Protevangelium Jacobi. The
resemblances and differences between the four
recensions may be seen by comparing their accounts
of an incident which happens to be recorded by all
the four, viz. the unpleasant story of how Jesus
once became unpopular.

him do.' On the other hand, a better spirit is
shown in the following anecdote (S 16) : ' And
again, Joseph had sent his son Jacob (James) to
gather sticks, and Jesus went with him. And
while they were gathering sticks, a viper bit Jacob
(James) in his hand. And when Jesus came near


Some days later, when Jesus
was passing through the town,
a boy threw a stone at him and
struck him on the shoulder.
Jesus said to him, ' Thou shalt
not go thy way.' And at once
he fell down and died. Those
who happened to be there were
astounded, saying, * Whence is
this child, that every word he
utters becomes act and fact?'
And they went off and com-
plained to Joseph, saying, ' Thou
canst not dwell with us in this
town. If thou desirest to do so,
teach thy child to bless and not
to curse ; for he is killing our
children, and everything he says
becomes act and fact.'

Joseph was sitting on his seat,
and the child stood in front of
bun ; and he caught him by the
ear and pinched it hard. Jesus
looked at him steadily and said,
' That is enough for thee.'


S 4-5 (tr. Wright).

A 4-5

Again, he was passing through
the village, and a boy ran and
knocked against his shoulder.
Jesus was angry, and said to
him, ' Thou shalt not go back
as thou earnest.' And at once
he fell and died. Some who saw
what happened said, ' Whence
was this child born, for every
word of his becomes act and
fact?' And the parents of the
dead hoy went to Joseph and
blamed him, saying, ' With
such a child, thou canst not
dwell with us in the village.
Or, teach him to bless and not
to curse ; for he is killing our

And Joseph called the child
apart and admonished him, say-
ing, 'Why doest thou such
things? These people suffer,
and hate us, and persecute us.'
Jesua said, ' I know these words
of thine are not thine. Still, I
will say nothing, for thy sake.
But they shall bear their punish-
ment.' And immediately his
accusers were blinded. And
those who saw it were terribly
afraid and perplexed ; they said
of him, that every word he
uttered, good or bad, became
fact and proved a marvel. And
when they [he ?] saw Jesus had
done such a thing, Joseph rose
and took hold of his ear and
pulled it hard. The child was
much annoyed and said to him,
' It is enough for thee to seek
and not to find. Certainly thou
hast not acted wisely. Kno west
thou not that I am thine ? Do
not vex me.'

i L covers the childhood of Jesus from his second year, A from his fifth to his twelfth year, and B from his fifth to his eighth.

A few days later, as Jesus was And again Jesus had gone
walking with Joseph through with his father, and a boy,
the town, one of the children running, struck him with his
ran up and struck Jesus on the shoulder. Jesus says to him,
arm. Jesus said to him, ' Thou ' Thou shalt not go thy way.'
shalt not finish thy journey And all of a sudden he fell down
thus.' And at once he fell to and died. And all who saw him
the earth and died. But when cried out and said, ' Whence
they saw these wonders, they was this boy born, that all his

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