Oldest record of Jesus Christ’s childhood discovered

Oldest record of Jesus Christ’s childhood discovered

/ 11:55 AM June 18, 2024

German researchers discovered a manuscript that contains the earliest record of Jesus Christ’s childhood. It initially stayed unnoticed in the Hamburg Carl Von Ossietzky State and University Library. 

Previously, experts believed the piece of parchment was part of a mundane document, like a shopping list. Eventually, they discovered the word “Jesus” in Greek.

READ: AI skills you need in the age of artificial intelligence

They compared it with other digitized records and found it narrates part of Jesus Christ’s second miracle. The oldest record of Jesus’ childhood was from the 11th century, but this recent finding dates back to the 4th to 5th century.


How did scientists discover this record of Jesus Christ’s childhood?

The Humboldt University of Berlin (HU) shares more details about this manuscript. Papyrologists Dr. Lajos Berkes and Prof. Gabriel Nocchi Macedo from the University of Liège, Belgium discovered it. 

The German institution says the manuscript is a papyrus fragment measuring 11 x 5 cm. It contains 13 lines in Greek letters and 10 letters per line and originated from late antique Egypt. 

“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,” said Berkes. 

Yet, they thought there might be more to the text when they noticed the word “Jesus” in the text. Then, they compared it with other digitized documents and realized it was more significant than previously thought. 


It was a copy of the Infancy Gospel according to Thomas. They verified their findings by comparing them with known manuscripts of the Gospel.

Dr. Berkes and Prof. Macedo believe this copy was a writing exercise in a school or monastery due to its clumsy handwriting. 


The few words on the fragment tell the beginning of the “vivification of the sparrows.” It is part of Jesus Christ’s childhood and the “second miracle” in the Gospel of Thomas:

“Jesus plays at the ford of a rushing stream and molds twelve sparrows from the soft clay he finds in the mud. When his father Joseph rebukes him and asks why he is doing such things on the holy Sabbath, the five-year-old Jesus claps his hands and brings the clay figures to life.”

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The Humboldt University of Berlin says the Bible does not contain these writings. However, they were popular during the Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

TOPICS: technology
TAGS: technology

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.