Variot, 32–43, 141–96.
L. Conrady, ‘Das Evangelium Jakob in neuer Beleuchtung’, ThStKr 62 (1889), 728–84.
Harnack, i. 19–21, ii. 598–603.
A. Resch, Das Kindheitsevangelium nach Lucas und Matthaeus unter Herbeiziehung der aussercanonischen Paralleltexte (Leipzig, 1897).
A. Berendts, Studien über Zacharias‐Apokryphen und Zacharias‐Legenden (Leipzig, 1895) (cf. id., Anal. Boll. 16 (1907), 92–3).
L. Conrady, Die Quelle der kanonischen Kindheits‐geschichte Jesus: Ein wissenschaftlicher Versuch (Göttingen, 1900).
P. Vannutelli, Protevangelium Jacobi Synoptice (Rome, 1939), 1–64 and (Rome, 1940), 65–96 (= Synoptica 4 and 5).
L. M. Peretto, ‘La Vergine Maria nel pensiero di uno scrittore del secondo secolo (La Mariologia del Protevangelo di Giacomo)’, Marianum 16 (1954), 228–65.
——La Mariologia del Protevangelo di Giacomo (Rome, 1955).
É. de Strycker, La forme la plus ancienne du Protévangile de Jacques (Brussels, 1961) (= Subsidia Hagiographica 33).
——‘Le Protévangile de Jacques: Problèmes critiques et exégétiques’, in F. L. Cross (ed.), Studia Evangelica, iii (Berlin, 1964) 339–59 (= TU 88).
P. A. van Stempvoort, ‘The Protevangelium Jacobi, the Sources of its Theme and Style and their Bearing on its Date’, in Cross, op. cit., part II, 410–26.
H. R. Smid, Protevangelium Jacobi: A Commentary (Assen, 1965). [Gives a full bibliography.]É. de Strycker, ‘De griekse handschriften van het Protevangelie van Jacobus’, in Mededelingen van de Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België. Kl der Letteren 30 (1968) (German version in D. Harlfinger, Griechische Kodikologie und Textüberlieferung (Darmstadt, 1980) 577–612).
F. Manns, Essais sur le Judéo‐Christianisme (Jerusalem, 1977), esp. 106–114. [Tries to claim PJ as Jewish‐Christian and to vindiate it as better acquainted with Jewish customs than usually allowed.]
A. Fuchs and C. Eckmair, Die griechischen Apokryphen zum Neuen Testament, ii. Konkordanz zum Protevangelium des Jakobus (Linz, 1978) (= Studien zum Neuen Testament und seiner Umwelt B3).
W. S. Vorster, ‘The Protevangelium of James and Intertextuality’, in T. Baarda et al. (eds.), Text and Testimony: Essays in Honour of A. F. J. Klijn (Kampen, 1988), 262–75.
E. Cothenet, ‘Le Protévangile de Jacques: Origine, genre et signification d'un premier midrash chrétien sur la Nativité de Marie’, ANRW 2.25.6, 4252–69.
- 1. In the ‘Histories of the Twelve Tribes of Israel’ Joachim was a very rich man, and he brought all his gifts to the Lord twofold, saying. ‘What I bring in excess shall be for the whole people, and what I bring as a sin‐offering shall be for the Lord, as a propitiation for me.’
- 2. Now the great day of the Lord drew near, and the children of Israel were bringing their gifts. And Reuben stood up and said, ‘It is not lawful for you to offer your gifts first, because you have begotten no offspring in Israel.’
- 3. Then Joachim became very sad, and went to the record‐book of the twelve tribes of the people and said, ‘I will look in the register to see whether I am the only one who has not begotten offspring in Israel’, and he found that all the righteous had raised up offspring in Israel. And he remembered the patriarch Abraham to whom in his last days God gave a son, Isaac. 4. And Joachim was very sad, and did not show himself to his wife, but went into the wilderness; there he pitched his tent and fasted forty days and forty nights, saying to himself, ‘I shall not go down either for food or for drink until the Lord my God visits me; my prayer shall be food and drink.’ 1 Cf. John 4: 34 .
1. Anna his wife sang two dirges and gave voice to a twofold lament:
‘I will mourn my widowhood, and grieve for my childlessness.’
- 2. Now the great day of the Lord drew near, and Judith 2 Variant: Euthine. her maid said, ‘How long do you intend to humble your soul, because the great day of the Lord is near and it is not lawful for you to mourn. But take this headband, which the mistress of work gave me; it is not right for me to wear it because I am a servant and it bears a royal cipher.’ 3 Or ‘you have a royal appearance’.
- 3. But Anna said, ‘Get away from me! I shall never do it. The Lord has greatly humbled me. Who knows whether a deceiver did not give it to you, and you have come to make me share in your sin!’ Judith answered, ‘Why should I curse you? 4 Variant adds ‘because you have not listened to me’. The Lord God has shut up your womb 5 Cf. 1 Sam. 1: 6 . to give you no fruit in Israel.’
- 4. And Anna was very sad, but she took off her mourning garments, washed her head, put on her bridal garments, and about the ninth hour went into her garden to walk there. And she saw a laurel tree and sat down beneath it and implored the Lord saying, ‘O God of our fathers, bless me and heed my prayer, just as you blessed the womb of Sarah and gave her a son, Isaac.’ 6 Cf. Gen. 21: 1–3 .
- 1. Anna his wife sang two dirges and gave voice to a twofold lament:
1. And Anna sighed towards heaven and saw a nest of sparrows in the laurel tree and she sang a dirge to herself:
‘Woe is me, who gave me life What womb brought me forth? For I was born a curse before them all and before the children of Israel, And I was reproached, and they mocked me and thrust me out of the temple of the Lord.
Woe is me, to what am I likened? I am not likened to the birds of the heaven; for even the birds of the heaven are fruitful before you, O Lord. 7 Some MSS add ‘Woe is me, to what am I likened? | I am not likened to the dumb animals; for even the dumb animals are fruitful before you, O Lord’. Woe is me, to what am I likened? I am not likened to the beasts of the earth; for even the beasts of the earth are fruitful before you, O Lord.
Woe is me, to what am I likened? I am not likened to these waters; for even these waters are fruitful before you, O Lord. Woe is me, to what am I likened? I am not likened to this earth; for even this earth brings forth its fruit in its season 8 Cf. Psalm 1: 3 . and praises you, O Lord.’
- 1. And Anna sighed towards heaven and saw a nest of sparrows in the laurel tree and she sang a dirge to herself:
- 1. And behold an angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, ‘Anna, Anna, the Lord has heard your prayer. You shall conceive and bear, 9 Luke 1: 13 . and your offspring shall be spoken of in the whole world.’ And Anna said, ‘As the Lord my God lives, if I bear a child, whether male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God, and it shall serve him all the days of its life.’ 10 Cf. 1 Sam. 2: 11; 1: 28 .
- 2. And behold there came two angels, who said to her, ‘Behold, Joachim your husband is coming with his flocks 11 Variant adds ‘and his shepherd and sheep and goats and oxen’. for an angel of the Lord had come down to him and said to him, “Joachim, Joachim, the Lord God has heard your prayer. Go down from here; behold, your wife Anna shall conceive.” ’
- 3. And Joachim went down and called his herdsmen and said, ‘Bring me here ten female lambs without blemish and without spot; they shall be for the Lord my God. And bring me twelve tender calves and they shall be for the priests and council of elders, and a hundred young he‐goats for the whole people.’
- 4. And, behold, Joachim came with his flocks, and Anna stood at the gate and saw Joachim coming and ran immediately and threw her arms around his neck saying, ‘Now I know that the Lord God has greatly blessed me; for behold the widow is no longer a widow, and I, who was childless, shall conceive.’And Joachim rested the first day in his house.
- 1. The next day he offered his gifts, saying to himself, ‘If the Lord God is gracious to me the frontlet of the priest will make it clear to me.’And Joachim offered his gifts and observed the priest's frontlet when he went up to the altar of the Lord; and he saw no sin in himself. And Joachim said, ‘Now I know that the Lord God is gracious to me and has forgiven all my sins.’ And he came down from the temple of the Lord justified, and went to his house.
- 2. And her months were fulfilled; in the ninth 12 Variants: ‘sixth’, ‘seventh’, or ‘eighth’. month Anna gave birth. And she said to the midwife, ‘What have I brought forth?’ And she said, ‘A female.’ And Anna said, ‘My soul is magnified this day.’ And she lay her down. And when the days were completed, Anna purified herself and gave suck to the child, and 13 Variant adds ‘on the eighth day’. called her Mary.
- 1. Day by day the child grew strong; when she was six 14 Variant: ‘nine’. months old her mother stood her on the ground to see if she could stand. And she walked seven steps and came to her bosom. And she took her up saying, ‘As the Lord my God lives, you shall walk no more upon this earth until I bring you into the temple of the Lord.’ And she made a sanctuary in her bedroom and did not permit anything common or unclean to pass through it. And she summoned the undefiled daughters of the Hebrews, and they served her. 15 Or ‘cared for her amusement’.
2. On the child's first birthday Joachim made a great feast, and invited the chief priests and the priests and the scribes and
the elders and all the people of Israel. And Joachim brought the child to the priests, and they blessed her saying, ‘O God
of our fathers, bless this child and give her a name eternally renowned among all generations.’ And all the people said, ‘So
be it, so be it, Amen.’ And they brought her to the chief priests, and they blessed her saying, ‘O God of the heavenly heights,
look upon this child and bless her with a supreme blessing which cannot be superseded.’ And her mother carried her into the
sanctuary of her bedroom and gave her suck. And Anna sang this song to the Lord God:
‘I will sing a praise to the Lord my God, for he has visited me and removed from me the reproach of my enemies. And the Lord gave me the fruit of his righteousness, unique yet manifold 16 Cf. J. A. de Aldama, ‘Poluplousios dans l’Évangile de Jacques et l’Adversus Haereses d'Irénée’, RSR 50 (1962), 86–9. before him. Who will proclaim to the sons of Reuben that Anna gives suck?’ 17 Some MSS add ‘Hearken, hearken, you twelve tribes of Israel: Anna gives suck’.And she laid her down to rest in the bedroom of her sanctuary, and went out and served them. When the feast was ended they went down rejoicing and glorifying the God of Israel. 18 Some MSS add ‘And they gave her the name Mary because her name shall never fade’.
- 1. The months passed, and the child grew. When she was two years old Joachim said, ‘Let us take her up to the temple of the Lord, so that we may fulfil the promise which we made, lest the Lord send some evil to us and our gift be unacceptable.’ And Anna replied, ‘Let us wait until the third year, that the child may then no more long for her father and mother.’ And Joachim said, ‘Let us wait.’
- 2. And when the child was three years old Joachim said, ‘Call the undefiled daughters of the Hebrews, and let each one take a torch, and let these be burning, in order that the child may not turn back and her heart be tempted away from the temple of the Lord.’ And they did so until they had gone up to the temple of the Lord. And the priest took her and kissed her and blessed her, saying, ‘The Lord has magnified your name among all generations; because of you the Lord at the end of the days will reveal his redemption to the sons of Israel.’
- 3. And he placed her on the third step of the altar, and the Lord God put grace upon her and she danced with her feet, and the whole house of Israel loved her.
- 1. And her parents returned marvelling, praising the Lord God because the child did not turn back. And Mary was in the temple of the Lord nurtured like a dove and received food from the hand of an angel.
- 2. When she was twelve 19 Variants: ‘fourteen’ or ‘ten’. years old, there took place a council of the priests saying, ‘Behold, Mary has become twelve 19 Variants: ‘fourteen’ or ‘ten’. years old in the temple of the Lord. What then shall we do with her lest she defile the temple of the Lord?’ And they said to the high priest, ‘You stand at the altar of the Lord; enter the sanctuary and pray concerning her, and that which the Lord shall reveal to you we will indeed do.’
- 3. And the high priest took the vestment with the twelve bells and went into the Holy of Holies and prayed concerning her. And behold, an angel of the Lord appeared and said to him, ‘Zacharias, Zacharias, go out and assemble the widowers of the people, and to whomsoever the Lord shall give a sign she shall be a wife.’ And the heralds went forth through all the country round about Judaea; the trumpet of the Lord sounded, and all came running.
- 1. And Joseph threw down his adze and went out to their meeting. And when they were gathered together, they took the rods and went to the high priest. He took the rods from them all, entered the temple, and prayed. When he had finished the prayer he took the rods, and went out and gave them to them; but there was no sign on them. Joseph received the last rod, and behold, a dove came out of the rod and flew on to Joseph's head. And the priest said to Joseph, ‘You have been chosen by lot to receive the virgin of the Lord as your ward.’
- 2. But Joseph answered him, ‘I have sons and am old; she is but a girl. I object lest I should become a laughing‐stock to the sons of Israel.’ And the priest said to Joseph, ‘Fear the Lord your God, and remember what God did to Dathan, Abiram, and Korah, how the earth was split in two and they were all swallowed up because of their rebellion. And now beware, Joseph, lest these things happen in your house too.’ And Joseph was afraid and received her as his ward. And Joseph said to Mary, ‘I have received you from the temple of the Lord, and now I leave you in my house and go away to build my buildings. I will return to you; the Lord will guard you.’
- 1. Now there was a council of the priests saying, ‘Let us make a veil for the temple of the Lord.’ And the priest said, ‘Call to me pure virgins of the tribe of David.’ And the officers departed and searched and they found seven virgins. And the priest remembered the child Mary, that she was of the tribe of David and was pure before God. And the officers went and fetched her.
- 2. Then they brought them into the temple of the Lord and the priest said, ‘Cast lots to see who shall weave the gold, the amiantus, the linen, the silk, the hyacinth‐blue, the scarlet, and the pure purple’. The pure purple and scarlet fell by lot to Mary. And she took them and went home. At that time Zacharias became dumb, 20 Cf. Luke 1: 20–2, 64 . and Samuel took his place until Zacharias was able to speak again. Mary took the scarlet and spun it.
- 1. And she took the pitcher and went out to draw water, and behold, a voice said, ‘Hail, highly favoured one, 21 Luke 1: 28 . the Lord is with you, you are blessed among women.’ And she looked around to the right and to the left to see where this voice came from. And, trembling, she went to her house and put down the pitcher and took the purple and sat down on her seat and drew out the thread.
- 2. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before her and said, ‘Do not fear, Mary; for you have found grace before the Lord of all things and shall conceive by his Word.’ When she heard this she considered it and said, ‘Shall I conceive by the Lord, the living God, and bear as every woman bears?’
- 3. And the angel of the Lord said, ‘Not so, Mary; for the power of the Lord shall overshadow you; wherefore that holy one who is born of you shall be called the Son of the Most High. And you shall call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins.’ And Mary said, ‘Behold, (I am) the handmaid of the Lord before him: be it to me according to your word.’ 22 Luke 1: 31 .
- 1. And she made ready the purple and the scarlet and brought them to the priest. And the priest blessed her and said, ‘Mary, the Lord God has magnified your name, and you shall be blessed among all generations of the earth’. 23 Luke 1: 42, 48 .
- 2. And Mary rejoiced and went to Elizabeth her kinswoman and knocked on the door. When Elizabeth heard it, she put down the scarlet and ran to the door and opened it, and when she saw Mary she blessed her and said, ‘How is it that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, that which is in me leaped and blessed you.’ 24 Luke 1: 41–4 . But Mary forgot the mysteries which the archangel Gabriel had told her, and raised a sigh towards heaven and said, ‘Who am I, Lord, that all generations of the earth count me blessed?’
- 3. And she remained three months with Elizabeth. Day by day her womb grew, and Mary was afraid and went into her house and hid herself from the children of Israel. And Mary was sixteen 25 Variants: ‘fourteen’ or ‘fifteen’. years old when all these mysterious things happened.
- 1. Now when she was in her sixth month, behold, Joseph came from his buildings and entered his house and found her with child. And he struck his face, threw himself down on the ground on sackcloth and wept bitterly saying, ‘With what countenance shall I look towards the Lord my God? What prayer shall I offer for this maiden? For I received her as a virgin out of the temple of the Lord my God and have not protected her. Who has deceived me? Who has done this evil in my house and defiled the virgin? Has the story of Adam been repeated in me? For as Adam was absent in the hour of his prayer and the serpent came and found Eve alone and deceived her, so also has it happened to me.’
- 2. And Joseph arose from the sackcloth and called Mary and said to her, ‘You who are cared for by God, why have you done this and forgotten the Lord your God? Why have you humiliated your soul, you who were brought up in the Holy of Holies and received food from the hand of an angel?’
- 3. But she wept bitterly, saying, ‘I am pure, and know not a man.’ And Joseph said to her, ‘Whence is this in your womb?’ And she said, ‘As the Lord my God lives, I do not know whence it has come to me.’
- 1. And Joseph feared greatly and parted from her, pondering what he should do with her. And Joseph said, ‘If I conceal her sin, I shall be found to be in opposition to the law of the Lord. If I expose her to the children of Israel, I fear lest that which is in her may be from the angels and I should be found delivering innocent blood to the judgement of death. What then shall I do with her? I will put her away secretly.’ And the night came upon him.
- 2. And behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Do not fear this child. For that which is in her is of the Holy Spirit. She shall bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins.’ 26 Cf. Matt. 1: 20 f. And Joseph arose from sleep and glorified the God of Israel who had bestowed his grace upon him, and he guarded her.
- 1. And Annas the scribe came to him and said to him, ‘Joseph, why have you not appeared in our assembly?’ And Joseph said to him, ‘Because I was weary from the journey and I rested the first day.’ And Annas turned and saw that Mary was pregnant.
- 2. And he went running to the priest and said to him, ‘Joseph, for whom you are a witness, has grievously transgressed.’ And the high priest said, ‘In what way?’ And he said, ‘The virgin, whom he received from the temple of the Lord, he has defiled, and has secretly consummated his marriage with her, and has not disclosed it to the children of Israel.’ And the priest said to him, ‘Has Joseph done this?’ And Annas said to him, ‘Send officers, and you will find the virgin pregnant.’ And the officers went and found as he had said, and brought her and Joseph to the court. And the priest said, ‘Mary, why have you done this? Why have you humiliated your soul and forgotten the Lord your God, you who were brought up in the Holy of Holies and received food from the hand of an angel, and heard hymns, and danced before him? Why have you done this?’ But she wept bitterly saying, ‘As the Lord my God lives, I am pure before him and I know not a man.’ And the priest said to Joseph, ‘Why have you done this?’ And Joseph said, ‘As the Lord my God lives, I am pure concerning her.’ And the priest said, ‘Do not give false witness, but speak the truth. You have consummated your marriage in secret, and have not disclosed it to the children of Israel, and have not bowed your head under the mighty hand in order that your seed might be blessed.’ And Joseph was silent.
- 1. And the priest said, ‘Give back the virgin whom you have received from the temple of the Lord.’ And Joseph began to weep. And the priest said, ‘I will give you both to drink the water of the conviction of the Lord, and it will make your sins manifest in your eyes.’
- 2. And the priest took it and gave it to Joseph to drink and sent him into the hill‐country, and he returned whole. And he made Mary drink also, and sent her into the hill‐country, and she returned whole. And all the people marvelled, because sin did not appear in them. And the priest said, ‘If the Lord God has not revealed your sins, neither do I judge you.’ And he released them. And Joseph took Mary and departed to his house, rejoicing and glorifying the God of Israel.
- 1. Now there went out a decree from the king Augustus that all those in Bethlehem in Judaea should be enrolled. 27 Luke 2: 1; Matt. 2: 1 . And Joseph said, ‘I shall enrol my sons, but what shall I do with this child? How shall I enrol her? As my wife? I am ashamed to do that. Or as my daughter? But all the children of Israel know that she is not my daughter. On this day of the Lord the Lord will do as he wills.’
- 2. And he saddled his she‐ass and sat her on it; his son led, and Joseph followed. And they drew near to the third milestone. And Joseph turned round and saw her sad and said within himself, ‘Perhaps the child within her is paining her.’ Another time Joseph turned round and saw her laughing and said to her, ‘Mary, why is it that I see your face at one moment laughing and at another sad?’ And Mary said to Joseph, ‘I see with my eyes two peoples, one weeping and lamenting and one rejoicing and exulting.’ 3. And having come half‐way, Mary said to him, ‘Joseph, take me down from the she‐ass, for the child within me presses me to come forth.’ And he took her down from the she‐ass and said to her, ‘Where shall I take you and hide your shame? For the place is desert.’
- 1. And he found a cave there and brought her into it, and left her in the care of his sons and went out to seek for a Hebrew midwife in the region of Bethlehem.
- 2. Now I, Joseph, was walking, and yet I did not walk, and I looked up to the air and saw the air in amazement. And I looked up at the vault of heaven, and saw it standing still and the birds of the heaven motionless. And I looked down at the earth, and saw a dish placed there and workmen reclining, and their hands were in the dish. But those who chewed did not chew, and those who lifted up did not lift, and those who put something to their mouth put nothing to their mouth, but everybody looked upwards. And behold, sheep were being driven and they did not come forward but stood still; and the shepherd raised his hand to strike them with his staff but his hand remained upright. And I looked at the flow of the river, and saw the mouths of the kids over it and they did not drink. And then suddenly everything went on its course.
- 1. And behold, a woman came down from the hill‐country and said to me, ‘Man, where are you going?’ And I said, ‘I seek a Hebrew midwife.’ And she answered me, ‘Are you from Israel?’ And I said to her, ‘Yes.’ And she said, ‘And who is she who brings forth in the cave?’ And I said, ‘My betrothed.’ And she said to me, ‘Is she not your wife?’ And I said to her, ‘She is Mary, who was brought up in the temple of the Lord, and I received her by lot as my wife, and she is not my wife, but she has conceived by the Holy Spirit.’ And the midwife said to him, ‘Is this true?’ And Joseph said to her, ‘Come and see.’ 28 P. Bodmer omits Joseph's monologue of ch. 18 and reads as follows at the beginning of ch. 19. And he found one who was just coming down from the hill‐country, and he took her with him, and said to the midwife, ‘Mary is betrothed to me; but she conceived of the Holy Spirit after she had been brought up in the Temple of the Lord.’ And she went with him.
- 2. And they stopped at the entrance to the cave, and behold, a bright cloud overshadowed the cave. And the midwife said, ‘My soul is magnified today, for my eyes have seen wonderful things; for salvation is born to Israel.’ And immediately the cloud disappeared from the cave and a great light appeared, so that our eyes could not bear it. A short time afterwards that light withdrew until the baby appeared, and it came and took the breast of its mother Mary. And the midwife cried, ‘This day is great for me, because I have seen this new sight.’
- 3. And the midwife came out of the cave, and Salome met her. And she said to her, ‘Salome, Salome, I have a new sight to tell you about; a virgin has brought forth, a thing which her condition does not allow.’ And Salome said, ‘As the Lord my God lives, unless I insert my finger and test her condition, I will not believe that a virgin has given birth.’
- 1. And the midwife went in and said to Mary, ‘Make yourself ready, for there is no small contention concerning you’. 29 Variant adds ‘and when Mary heard this, she lay down in preparation’. And Salome inserted her finger 30 P. Bodmer has only ‘And Salome went in and made her ready’. to test her condition. And she cried out, saying, ‘Woe for my wickedness and my unbelief; for 31 P. Bodmer omits ‘woe . . . for’. I have tempted the living God; and behold, my hand falls away from me, consumed by fire!’
- 2. And she bowed her knees before the Lord saying, ‘O God of my fathers, remember me; for I am the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not make me pilloried for the children of Israel, but restore me to the poor. For you know, Lord, that in your name I perform my duties and from you I have received my hire’. 32 P. Bodmer replaces all the preceding words in 20. 2 with ‘And she prayed to the Lord’.
- 3. And behold, an angel of the Lord appeared and said to her, ‘Salome, Salome, the Lord God has heard your prayer. Bring your hand to the child and touch him and salvation and joy will be yours.’
- 4. And Salome came near and touched him, saying, ‘I will worship him, for a great king has been born to Israel.’ And Salome was healed as she had requested, and she went out of the cave. 33 Variant adds ‘justified’; cf. Luke 18: 14 . And, behold, an angel of the Lord cried, ‘Salome, Salome, do not report what marvels you have seen, until the child has come to Jerusalem.’
- 1. And behold, Joseph was ready to go to Judaea. And there took place a great tumult in Bethlehem of Judaea. For there came wise men saying, ‘Where is the new‐born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east and have come to worship him.’
- 2. When Herod heard this he was troubled and sent officers to the wise men, and sent for the high priests and questioned them, ‘How is it written concerning the Messiah? Where is he born?’ They said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judaea; for thus it is written.’ And he let them go. And he questioned the wise men and said to them, ‘What sign did you see concerning the new‐born king?’ And the wise men said, ‘We saw how an indescribably greater star shone among these stars and dimmed them, so that the stars no longer shone; and so we knew that a king was born for Israel. And we have come to worship him.’ And Herod said, ‘Go and seek, and when you have found him, tell me, that I also may come to worship him,’
- 3. And the wise men went out. And behold, the star which they had seen in the east, went before them 34 P. Bodmer manuscript abbreviates ch. 21 considerably. until they came to the cave. And it stood over the head of the cave. 35 Or ‘child’. And the wise men saw the young child with Mary his mother, and they took out of their pouch gifts: gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. 4. And having been warned by the angel that they should not go into Judaea, they went to their own country by another route. 36 For this chapter cf. Matt. 2: 1–12 .
- 1. But when Herod realized that he had been deceived by the wise men he was angry and sent his murderers and commanded them to kill all the babies who were two years old and under. 37 Cf. Matt. 2: 16 .
- 2. When Mary heard that the babies were to be killed, she was afraid and took the child and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in an ox‐manger. 38 Cf. Luke 2: 7 .
- 3. But Elizabeth, when she heard that John was sought for, took him and went up into the hill‐country. And she looked around to see where she could hide him, and there was no hiding‐place. And Elizabeth groaned aloud and said, ‘O mountain of God, receive a mother with a child.’ For Elizabeth could not ascend. And immediately the mountain was rent asunder and received her. And a light was shining for them; for an angel of the Lord was with them and protected them.
- 1. Herod was searching for John, and sent officers to Zacharias saying, ‘Where have you hidden your son?’ And he answered and said to them, ‘I am a minister of God and serve in the temple of the Lord. I do not know where my son is.’
- 2. And the officers departed and told all this to Herod. Then Herod was angry and said, ‘His son is to be king over Israel!’ And he sent to him again saying, ‘Tell the truth. Where is your son? You know that you are at my mercy.’ And the officers departed and told him these things.
- 3. And Zacharias said, ‘I am a witness of God. Pour out blood! But the Lord will receive my spirit, for you shed innocent blood at the threshold of the temple of the Lord.’ And about daybreak Zacharias was slain. And the children of Israel did not know that he had been slain.
- 1. But at the hour of the salutation the priests were departing, and the customary blessing of Zacharias did not take place. And the priests stood waiting for Zacharias, to greet him with prayer and to glorify the Most High.
- 2. But when he failed to come they were all afraid. But one of them took courage and went in and he saw beside the altar congealed blood; and a voice said, ‘Zacharias has been slain, and his blood shall not be wiped away until his avenger comes.’ And when he heard these words, he was afraid and went out and told the priests what he had seen.
- 3. And they took courage and entered and saw what had happened. And the ceiling panels of the temple wailed, and they split their clothes from the top to the bottom. And they did not find his body, but they found his blood turned into stone. And they were afraid, and went out and told all the people that Zacharias had been slain. And all the tribes of the people heard and they mourned him and lamented three days and three nights.
- 4. And after the three days the priests took counsel whom they should appoint in his stead and the lot fell upon Symeon. Now it was he to whom it had been revealed by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death until he had seen the Christ in the flesh. 39 Cf. Luke 2: 25–6 .
- 1. Now I, James, wrote this history in Jerusalem when tumult arose on the death of Herod, and withdrew into the desert until the tumult in Jerusalem ceased. And I praise the Lord God who gave me the wisdom to write this history. Grace shall be with all those who fear our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.
2 Variant: Euthine.
3 Or ‘you have a royal appearance’.
4 Variant adds ‘because you have not listened to me’.
7 Some MSS add ‘Woe is me, to what am I likened? | I am not likened to the dumb animals; for even the dumb animals are fruitful before you, O Lord’.
11 Variant adds ‘and his shepherd and sheep and goats and oxen’.
12 Variants: ‘sixth’, ‘seventh’, or ‘eighth’.
13 Variant adds ‘on the eighth day’.
14 Variant: ‘nine’.
15 Or ‘cared for her amusement’.
16 Cf. J. A. de Aldama, ‘Poluplousios dans l’Évangile de Jacques et l’Adversus Haereses d'Irénée’, RSR 50 (1962), 86–9.
17 Some MSS add ‘Hearken, hearken, you twelve tribes of Israel: Anna gives suck’.
18 Some MSS add ‘And they gave her the name Mary because her name shall never fade’.
19 Variants: ‘fourteen’ or ‘ten’.
25 Variants: ‘fourteen’ or ‘fifteen’.
28 P. Bodmer omits Joseph's monologue of ch. 18 and reads as follows at the beginning of ch. 19. And he found one who was just coming down from the hill‐country, and he took her with him, and said to the midwife, ‘Mary is betrothed to me; but she conceived of the Holy Spirit after she had been brought up in the Temple of the Lord.’
29 Variant adds ‘and when Mary heard this, she lay down in preparation’.
30 P. Bodmer has only ‘And Salome went in and made her ready’.
31 P. Bodmer omits ‘woe . . . for’.
32 P. Bodmer replaces all the preceding words in 20. 2 with ‘And she prayed to the Lord’.
34 P. Bodmer manuscript abbreviates ch. 21 considerably.
35 Or ‘child’.