There are more than 100 gospels out there, not in the recognized Bible of course–i.e., gospels not recognized by The Catholic Church. For example, “The young Jesus Gospel,” “Protoevangelium of Santiago,” “Pseudo Mateo,” “Nativity of The Virgin,” etc. etc. And I wrote something on Jesus’s travels before, when he was older; but, however, I want to share a few stories or mentions about his youth which I think shed some light on the personality and behavior of Jesus’s character.
According to this, Jesus was born on the 21 st of august of the year -7 (or year 7 before Christ) in the city of Bethlehem, instead of a 24 or 25 of December (Christmas) as the celebration goes today. Jesus was a “Nazarite”–word which means “one who lives apart” or “one who has made a vow of abstinence.” Joseph, Samson, Enoch, John The Baptist, and others, were all born in this socio-political vow to God or brotherhood society. And so, as a Nazarite, Jesus was not allowed to drink or eat anything made with grapes, touch the dead body of a human or animal, and was not to cut his hair (remember, Samson’s hair was cut and broke the vow to God; therefore, he lost his strength given by God). A Nazarite was called to be in a position of a priest to intercede on behalf of the people; and he was supposedly meant to be in a position of spiritual or religious power when mature enough.
It says that Jesus was born in a “cave” (back then it was not uncommon for poor or “average” people to live in caves, so “homey” caves were found in between cities like Bethlehem, and also IN Bethlehem which was a poor place). Joseph had his own sons and was with them when Jesus was born. I quote from the ‘Protoevangelium of Santiago,’ “…And he found a cave, took Mary there, left his sons, and then went on to find a ‘Jewish nurse’ or ‘old maid’ (someone to help deliver the baby) to the city of Bethlehem.”
Later, when Joseph and Mary took baby Jesus to a place in Egypt, escaping from the great killing of new-borns, they spent almost a year there. Then they traveled to another city in Egypt, Alexandria, which was famous for being the biggest center of trade and also of intellectualism (they had tourism from around the world, the biggest ports, and the biggest library–and remind yourself that back then most people were poor and ignorant, so to have access to books from different cultures and all culturally rich experience in the trade centers was truly magnificent). There, Joseph learned to work with wood and rock as a specialty; and in time became a “master builder” with some fame in the region. And this is important, after about 4 years there, they left and were gifted a big book enriched with lots of cultural and spiritual knowledge, which would be very important for the mental expansion of Jesus in later years. Attaining universal knowledge would be Jesus’s “purpose” as he was growing up, because expanding one’s mind is EXTREMELY important to achieve Enlightenment.
When Jesus was four years old, he met Jacob–his first and truest friend during his youth, and Jacob was a strong child who would protect Jesus from other children and play with him. Also, when Jesus was four, his first brother, Santiago, was born. Santiago became very close to Jesus and so admired him, because Jesus was a very poised, curious, creative, and mature child for his age; Jesus loved his parents very much, obeyed and listened to all they said to him, learned to work with wood and rock or stone like his father, helped his mother cook and do chores in the home, and he also learned to play the harp (musical instrument). Jesus was taught also to sculpt, so he would draw and create, and then make beautiful figures in clay or “barro.” Sometimes, when drawing figures in public, people would call him ‘blasphemous’ or would tell the priests and men of religious law; because the Jewish law stated ‘not to adore or create images,’ and they were really strict in that sense.
Later on, Joseph opens his own shop and makes good business assisting “caravans” (migrations) and all works of wood, stone and leather to the surrounding peoples. He buys land, animals, a nicer home; and so, Jesus gets to take care of the animals, learns to work with other workers of his father, and becomes also a student of his father’s profession–all this along with his literary pursuits… This is very interesting now: When Jesus was four years old, he was playing by the river Jordan and had made some creative water channels. And I quote from ‘The Nativity of Christ’, “But one of the other children, ‘Son of Satan,’ studied with envy the access of the water channels made by him, then destroyed Jesus’s work. Then Jesus said, ‘Fall hell upon you!, Son of Disgrace!, Son of Death!, Son of Satan!! You dare destroy what I do?!’ And then, after Jesus said this, the child who did wrong died. And then Jesus’s mother came to him because she saw everything which had happened, and she reprimanded him severely. So, Jesus turned and said to the dead child, ‘Arise, Son of Iniquity! You are not worthy of entering the place of my Father!’ After Jesus said this, the dead child rose and left…”
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