Oldest Record of Jesus’ Childhood?!

(ReclaimingAmerica.net) – In a groundbreaking discovery, a manuscript more than 1,600 years old has emerged as the earliest known record of Jesus Christ’s early years.

Long overlooked in a Hamburg, Germany library and mistaken for an ordinary document, it has now been recognized as a vital piece of religious history.

Two scholars recently decoded this papyrus and revealed that it is the most ancient copy of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas discovered to date.

Theology lecturer Lajos Berkes shared his excitement about the find, stating, “The papyrus fragment is of extraordinary interest for research.”

Originally dismissed due to its unrefined handwriting, the document was initially thought to be a trivial personal note or even a shopping list.

“It was thought to be part of an everyday document, such as a private letter or a shopping list, because the handwriting seems so clumsy,” Berkes explained.

The breakthrough came when the name ‘Jesus’ was spotted. This prompted a thorough letter-by-letter comparison with other digitized manuscripts, which confirmed its significant nature.

This papyrus holds 13 lines of Greek text and comes from a Christian community in late antique Egypt. It recounts an episode from Jesus’ youth, specifically the “vivification of the sparrows” tale.

In this story, five-year-old Jesus crafts sparrows from clay beside a stream. After being scolded by his father Joseph, Jesus claps his hands and the clay birds miraculously take flight.

This event is known as his second miracle and is a central narrative within the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.

Although the Infancy Gospel of Thomas is not part of the official biblical canon due to some early Christian leaders questioning its authenticity, it offers a glimpse into Christ’s childhood. It was widely known and circulated during Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

Previously, the oldest Greek manuscript of this gospel dated back to the 11th century. The discovery of this papyrus pushes that timeline back by 600 years, indicating a much earlier origin.

“Our findings on this late antique Greek copy of the work confirm the current assessment that the Infancy Gospel according to Thomas was originally written in Greek,” noted Gabriel Nocchi Macedo, another scholar involved in the decoding.

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