These are all forms of Christian Apocrypha
Revelation of Paul - Revelation of John the Theologian - Gospel of Marcion - Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew - part 1 - Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew - part 2 - Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew - part 3 - Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew - part 4 - Gospel of Peter - Gospel of the Nativity of Mary - Gospel of Mary of Magdalene - Gospel of James - Gospel of Bartholomew - Gospel of Nicodemus - Consummation of Thomas the Apostle - Compilation of Thomas - part 1 - Compilation of Thomas - part 2 - Apocalypse of the Virgin - Apocalypse of Peter - Apocalypse of Thomas - Acts of Thomas - Acts of Phillip - Acts of Peter - Acts of Peter and Paul - Acts of Peter and Andrew - Acts of Paul - Acts of John - Acts of John the Theologian - Acts of Barnabus - Acts of Andrew and Matthew - Acts and Martyrdom of Matthew - Acts and Martyrdom of Andrew

The first Gospel of the INFANCY of JESUS CHRIST

From "The Apocraphal Books of the New Testament", 1901

CHAPTER 1

The following accounts we found in the book of Joseph the high-priest, called by some Caiaphas: 2 He relates, that Jesus spake even when he was in the cradle, and said to his mother: 3 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. 4 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. 5 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. 6 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. 7 At that time the sun was very near going down. 8 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. 9 It was after sunset, when the old woman and Joseph with her reached the cave, and they both went into it. 10 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. 11 The infant was then wrapped up in swaddling clothes, an sucking the breasts of his mother St. Mary. 12 When they both saw this light, they were surprised; the old woman asked St. Mary, Art thou the mother of this child ? 13 St. Mary replied, She was. 14 On which the old woman said, Thou art very different from all other women. 15 St. Mary answered, As there is not any child like to my son, so neither is there any woman like to his mother. 16 The old woman answered and said, O my Lady, I am come hither that I may obtain an everlasting reward. 17 Then our Lady, St. Mary said to her, Lay thine hand upon the infant; which, when she had done, she became whole 18 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. 19 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. 20 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. 21 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.

CHAPTER II

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. 2 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. 3 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. 4 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. 5 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. 6 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. 7 And the angels stood around him, adoring him, as a king's guards stand around him. 8 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; 9 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. 10 Hannah the prophetess was also present, and drawing near, she gave praises to God, and celebrated the happiness of Mary.

CHAPTER III

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. 2 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. 3 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.

4 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? 5 But they produced the swaddling cloth which St. Mary had given to them, on account whereof they kept a feast. 6 And having, according to the custom of their country, made a fire, they worshipped it. 7 And casting the swaddling cloth into it, the fire took it, and kept it. 8 And when the fire was put out, they took forth the swaddling cloth unhurt, as much as if the fire had not touched it. 9 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. 10 Then they took it, and with the greatest respect laid it up among their treasures.

CHAPTER IV

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? 2 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. 3 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.

4 And as he was considering with himself about his journey, the morning came upon him. 5 In the length of the journey the girts of the saddle broke. 6 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. 7 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. 8 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. 9 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. 10 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? 11 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. 12 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. 13 And at the same instant this idol fell down, and at his fall all the inhabitants of Egypt, besides others, ran together.

14 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. 15 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. 16 And presently the devils began to come out of his mouth, and fly away in the shape of crows and serpents. 17 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. 18 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 ? 19 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. 20 One of these I took, and put it upon my head, and immediately the devils left me, and fled away. 21 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. 22 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. 23 Then was fulfilled the prophecy which saith, Out of Egypt I have called my son.

CHAPTER V

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. 2 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. 3 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. 4 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. 5 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 ? 6 Joseph answered, He will come after us.

CHAPTER VI

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. 2 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. 3 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, Wo to me, because of thee, Mary, and thy son. 4 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. 5 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. 6 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. 7 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. 8 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.

9 In this place they abode three days, meeting with the greatest respect and most splendid entertainment. 10 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. 11 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, 12 And folded himself about her belly, and every night lay upon her. 13 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. 14 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. 15 Hereupon all the neighbours praised the Supreme God, and the woman rewarded them with ample beneficence. 16 On the morrow the same woman brought perfumed water to wash the Lord Jesus; and when she had washed him, she preserved the water. 17 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. 18 The people therefore said Without doubt Joseph and Mary, and that boy are Gods, for they do not look like mortals. 19 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. 20 Here they staid, 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. 21 She replied, Wonder not at my groans, for I am under a great misfortune, of which I dare not tell any one. 22 But, says the girl, if you will entrust me with your private grievance, perhaps I may find you a remedy for it. 23 Thou, therefore, says the prince's wife, shalt keep the secret, and not discover it to any one alive! 24 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, 26 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. 27 So here I pine, lamenting my wretched and miserable circumstances. Alas, my son! alas, my husband! Have I disclosed it to you? 28 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. 29 The woman inquiring where that God was, whom she spake of, the girl answered He lodges with you here in the same house. 30 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. 31 But by what means, says she, were you cleansed from your leprosy? Will you not tell me that? 32 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. 33 The prince's wife then arose and entertained them, providing a great feast for Joseph among a large company of men. 34 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. 36 Then she sang thanks and praises unto God, and said, Blessed is the mother that bare thee, O Jesus! 36 Dost thou thus cure men of the same nature with thyself; with the water with which thy body is washed? 37 She then offered very large gifts to the Lady Mary, and sent her away with all imaginable respect.

CHAPTER VII

They came afterwards to another city, and had a mind to lodge there. 2 Accordingly they went to a man's house, who was newly married, but by the influence of sorcerers could not enjoy his wife: 3 But they lodging at his house that night, the man was freed of his disorder: 4 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. 5 But going forward on the morrow, they came to another city, and saw three women going from a certain grave with great weeping. 6 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? 7 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. 8 We are travellers, saith the girl, and are seeking for an inn to lodge at. 9 They replied, Go along with us, and lodge with us. 10 They then followed them and were introduced into a new house, well furnished with all sorts of furniture. 11 It was now winter-time and the girl went into the parlour where these women were and found them weeping and lamenting, as before. 12 By them stood a mule covered over with silk, and an ebony collar hanging down from his neck, whom they kissed, and were feeding. 13 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: 14 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. 15 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: 16 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. 17 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. 18 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, 19 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. 20 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. 21 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. 22 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. 23 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. 24 Hereupon St. Mary was grieved at their case, and taking the Lord Jesus, put him upon the back of the mule. 25 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. 26 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. 27 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. 28 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. 29 And inasmuch as our brother is unmarried, it is fit that we marry him to this girl their servant. 30 When they had consulted Mary in this matter, and she had given her consent, they made a splendid wedding for this girl. 31 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. 32 Afterwards they glorified and praised God, saying, O Jesus son of David who changest sorrow into gladness, and mourning into mirth! 33 After this Joseph and Mary tarried there ten days, then went away, having received great respect from those people 34 Who, when they took their leave of them, and returned home, cried, 33 But especially the girl.

CHAPTER VIII

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. 2 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. 3 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: 4 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. 5 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. 6 Then the Lord Jesus answered, and said to his mother, When thirty years are expired, O mother, the Jews will crucify me at Jerusalem; 7 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: 8 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. 9 Hence they went to that sycamore tree, which is now called Matarea; 10 And in Matarea the Lord Jesus caused a well to spring forth, in which St. Mary washed his coat; 11 And a balsam is produced, or grows, in that country from the sweat which ran down there from the Lord Jesus. 12 Thence they proceeded to Memphis, and saw Pharaoh, and abode three years in Egypt. 13 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.

14 At the end of three years he returned out of Egypt, and when he came near to Judea, Joseph was afraid to enter; 15 For hearing that Herod was dead, and that Archelaus his son reigned in his stead, he was afraid; 16 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. 17 It is strange indeed that he who is the Lord of all countries, should be thus carried backward and forward through so many countries.

CHAPTER IX

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. 2 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. 3 Then said the woman, O my Lady Mary, look down upon this my son, who is afflicted with most dreadful pains. 4 St. Mary hearing her, said, Take a little of that water with which I have washed my son, and sprinkle it upon him. 5 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. 6 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. 7 There was in the same place another woman, a neighbour of her, whose son was now cured. 8 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. 9 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? 10 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. 11 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.



part 2

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