Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Saviour

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A late on document far beyond the councils 450AD+, this infancy Gospel like they other ones was written to fill the gap of curiosity many people had about Jesus’ life. It was first likely written in Syriac and translated to Arabic. IT borrows heavily from the Infancy Gospel of James on stuff to do with the Virgin Mary, material from Jesus’ childhood from the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and other information form unfamiliar sources related to the “Holy family” having to flee to Egypt. 

Reasons for rejection/non-inclusion

  1. Written far after the apostolic age
  2. Compiled from rejected texts that were also too late in history
  3. Contains bizarre stories (like a magic diaper!)
    1. Many of these bizarre stories (not the one above) end up appearing in the Quran! Since this document was widespread in the Arab speaking world and didn’t reach Church Fathers ears till the 9th century

Useful external attestation details 

  1. Acknowledges the Canonical Gospels and use them as a structure to add new content
  2. Jesus is identified as “Master”, “Saviour”, the “Lord Jesus Christ” and “Savior of the World”
  3. Jesus harnesses the power of God from a young age
  4. Jesus is wise beyond his years
  5. Jesus makes the rabbis and teachers stumble
  6. The nativity narrative is present
  7. Joseph and Mary return to Bethlehem for the census
  8. Jesus’ birth is heralded by angels, the Shepherds celebrate in the fields, 
  9. Jesus is visited by Magi who bring gifts and adore Him, 
  10. Herod attempts to destroy Jesus and the Holy family eventually escapes to Egypt. 
  11. Following the birth of Jesus, the story of Simeon’s adoration is repeated in this text. 
  12. Other theological concepts (such as the Trinity) are affirmed as well. 
  13. Jesus’ baptism

Quranic source parallel

One parallel story is found in Surah 19:29-34, where the story of Jesus speaking as a baby in the cradle is narrated.

The Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Savior:

2 “He has said that Jesus spoke, and, indeed, when He was lying in His cradle said to Mary His mother: I am Jesus, the Son of God, the Logos, whom thou hast brought forth, as the Angel Gabriel announced to thee; and my Father has sent me for the salvation of the world.” 

Surah 19:29-34

Abdullah Yusuf Ali The Quran

“But she pointed to the babe. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?” He said: “I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; (He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable; So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)”! Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.

Surah 19:29-34

In both narratives,

  1. Jesus is presented as a baby in the cradle 
  2. He gives a highly theological discourse in the presence of Mary about his respective mission in both religions.

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