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Infancy Gospel of Thomas

Infancy Gospel of Thomas

The following translation is based on the Greek text printed in Ronald F. Hock's The Infancy Gospels of James and Thomas. The text is a slightly modified version of Tischendorf A. Chapters and verses are divided as in the "Scholars Version" translation.


Chapter 1

(1) I, Thomas the Israelite, am reporting to you, all my brothers from the nations, to reveal the childhood and the greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ, what he did in my country after he was born. This is the beginning of it.


Chapter 2

(1) When the boy Jesus was five years old, he was playing in a narrow part of a rushing stream. (2) He was gathering the flowing waters into ponds, and immediately they were made clean, and he ordered these things with a single word. (3) And after he made clay, he molded twelve sparrows from it. And it was the Sabbath when he did these things. But there were also many other children playing with him.

(4) Then, a certain Jew saw what Jesus was doing while playing on the Sabbath. Immediately, he departed and reported to Jesus' father, Joseph, "Look, your child is in the stream and he took clay and formed twelve birds and profaned the Sabbath?"

(5) And Joseph went to the area and when he saw him, he shouted, "Why are you doing these things that are not permitted on the Sabbath?"

(6) Jesus, however, clapped his hands and shouted to the sparrows, "Depart, fly, and remember me now that you are alive." And the sparrows departed shrieking.

(7) When the Jews saw this, they were amazed. After they had gone away, they described to their leaders what they had seen Jesus do.


Chapter 3

(1) The son of Annas the scribe was standing there with Jesus. Taking a branch from a willow tree, he dispersed the waters which Jesus had gathered. (2) When Jesus saw what had happened, he became angry and said to him, "You godless, brainless moron, what did the ponds and waters do to you? Watch this now: you are going to dry up like a tree and you will never produce leaves or roots or fruit."

(3) And immediately, this child withered up completely. Then, Jesus departed and returned to Joseph's house. (4) The parents of the one who had been withered up, however, wailed for their young child as they took his remains away. Then, they went to Joseph and accused him, "You are responsible for the child who did this."


Chapter 4

(1) Next, he was going through the village again and a running child bumped his shoulder. Becoming bitter, Jesus said to him, "You will not complete your journey." (2) Immediately, he fell down and died.

(3) Then, some of the people who had seen what had happened said, "Where has this child come from so that his every word is a completed deed?"

(4) And going to Joseph, the parents of the one who had died found fault with him. They said, "Because you have such a child, you are not allowed to live with us in the village, or at least teach him to bless and not curse. For our children are dead!"


Chapter 5

(1) And taking his child aside, he warned him, saying, "Why are you doing these things? These people are suffering and they hate us and cause trouble for us."

(2) Then, Jesus said, "I know that the words I speak are not mine. Nevertheless, I will be silent for your sake, but these people will bear their punishment." And immediately his accusers became blind.

(3) When they saw what he had done, they were extremely afraid and did not know what to do. And they talked about him, saying, "Every word he speaks, good or evil, is an event and becomes a miracle."

(4) When Joseph saw that Jesus had done this, however, he was outraged and took his ear and pulled it extremely hard. (5) Then, the child became angry and said to him, "It is enough for you to seek and not find, but too much for you to act so unwisely. (6) Do you not know that I am not yours? Do not trouble me."


Chapter 6

(1) A teacher named Zacchaeus overheard everything Jesus said to Joseph and marveled, saying to himself, "As just a child, he utters these things." And taking Joseph aside, he said to him, "You have a wise child; he has a good mind, but give him to me that he may learn letters. I will teach him all knowledge so that he will not be rebellious."

(3) Replying, Joseph said to him, "Nobody except God can subordinate this child. Do not consider him to be a small cross, brother."

(4) As Jesus heard Joseph saying this, he laughed and said to Zacchaeus, "Really, teacher, what my father has said to you is true. (5) I am the Lord of this people and am here in your presence and have been born among you and am with you. (6) I know where you are from and how many years there will be in your lives. I am telling you the truth, teacher, when you were born, I existed. And if you want to be a perfect teacher, listen to me and I will teach you wisdom which nobody knows except me and the one who sent me to you. (7) For you are my disciple and I know you, how old you are and how old you will live to be. (8) And when you see the cross my father has described, you will believe that everything I have said to you is true."

(9) Then, the Jews who were present and heard Jesus were amazed and said, "What a strange and remarkable event. The child is only five years old and already he says such things. For we never heard anyone who speaks words like this child does."

(10) Replying to them, Jesus said, "Are you so amazed? Then you should believe more of what I said to you. I really also know when you and your parents were born and I will tell you this remarkable fact: even when the world was created, I and the one who sent me to you existed."

(11) When the Jews heard the child say this, however, it made them angry, even though they were not able to reply to his speech. (12) Then, the child came forward and leaping toward them, he said, "I taunted you! For I know that you are amazed by little things and have minuscule minds."

(13) Since they thought they were being consoled by the child's exhortation, the teacher said to Joseph, "Lead him to the school and I will teach him letters."

(14) So Joseph took him by the hand and led him into the classroom. (15) And the teacher wrote the alphabet for him and began to practice it many times, but the child said nothing and did not answer him for a long time. (16) Becoming outraged, the teacher hit him on the head. After enduring this stoically, the child said to him, "I am teaching you more than being taught by you because I know the letters you are teaching me and your judgment is great. These things are to you like a copper pitcher or a clashing cymbal which do not offer glory or wisdom through sound. (17) Nobody understands the power of my wisdom." (18) Then, when his rage was finished, he said the alphabet from alpha to omega very quickly.

(19) Looking the teacher in the face, he told him, "Since you do not know the nature of the alpha, how are going to teach me the beta? (20) Hypocrite, if you know, first teach me the alpha then I will believe what you say about the beta." (21) Then, he began to tell the teacher about the first letter. And the teacher was not strong enough to say anything.

(22) Then, while many were listening, he said to Zacchaeus, "Listen, teacher, and observe the structure of the first letter, (23) how it has two standard lines and impresses coming to a point in the middle and remaining there, coming together, lifting up, dancing, having three corners, having two corners, without strokes, of one family, well-balanced, as long as the alpha has equal lines."


Chapter 7

(1) When Zacchaeus heard such great words and allegories of this sort about the first letter from the child, he was at a loss over what his defense and teaching could be. (2) And he said to those present, "Oh me, I am suffering and at a loss and am ashamed of myself because I took this child. (3) So take him, I urge you, brother Joseph. I am not able to bear his stare or his direct speech. (4) This child was not born of the earth; he is even able to subdue fire. Perhaps, he was born before the creation of the world. (5) What womb bore him, what sort of mother brought him up, I know not. (6) Oh me, friends, I am going out of my mind. (7) I deceived myself and am suffering unimaginably. I struggled to have a student and I have found that I have a teacher. (8) Brothers, consider the shame: an experienced leader has been conquered by a child! (9) And I may have to lose heart and die because of this child. For at this very hour, I am not able to look him in the eye. (10) When everyone says that I have been conquered by a child, what can I say? And what more is there to say about the lines of the first letter than what he already told me? I do not know. (11) So I beg you, brother Joseph, take him to your house. Whether I should call him a god or an angel or something else, I do not know."


Chapter 8

(1) While the Jews were advising Zacchaeus, the child had a great laugh and said, "Now, the fruitless bear fruit and the blind see and the deaf in the understanding of the heart hear. (2) I am here from above that I may rescue those below and call them to higher things, just as the one who sent me to you commanded me."

(3) And when the child completed his speech, those who were under his curse were immediately saved, (4) but from then on, nobody dared to make him angry because they did not want to be cursed or crippled.


Chapter 9

(1) And after a few days passed, Jesus was up on a roof of a house. And one of the children playing with him died after falling off the roof. And when the other children saw, they fled and Jesus was left standing alone.

(2) When the parents of the one who had died came, they accused Jesus, "Troublemaker, you threw him down."

(3) But Jesus replied, "I did not throw him down, rather he threw himself down. When he was not acting carefully, he leaped off the roof and died."

(4) Jesus leaped off the roof and stood by the corpse of the boy and cried out with a loud voice and said, "Zeno," - for that was his name - "rise up, talk to me: did I throw you down?"

(5) And rising up immediately, he said, "No, Lord, you did not throw me down, but you did raise me up."

(6) And when they saw this, they were overwhelmed. The parents of the child glorified God on account of the sign which had happened and they worshipped Jesus.


Chapter 10

(1) A short number of days later, when a certain young man was splitting wood in the neighborhood, his ax fell and cut through the bottom of his foot. As it became bloodless, he was dying.

(2) Then, there was a great clamor and a crowd formed and the child Jesus ran there. And forcing his way through the crowd, he went and seized the young man's wounded foot. Immediately, it was healed.

(3) Then, he said to the young man, "Get up now, chop the wood and remember me."

(4) When the crowd saw what had happened, they worshipped the child, saying, "Truly, the spirit of God dwells in this child."


Chapter 11

(1) When Jesus was six years old, his mother sent him to draw water to carry into the house. But he accidentally let the water go in the crowd, (2) and crashing, the water jar broke. (3) But unfolding the cloak which was thrown around him, he filled it with water and carried it to his mother.

(4) When his mother saw the sign he had done, she kissed him and treasured in her heart the mysterious things she had seen him do.


Chapter 12

(1) Then again, in the season of sowing, the child went with his father to sow grain in their field. And as his father was sowing, the child Jesus also sowed one measure of grain. (2) And after he harvested and threshed it, it produced one hundred measures. (3) And calling all the poor of the village to the threshing floor, he gave them grain freely. And Joseph carried the remaining grain away. (4) Jesus was eight years old when he did this sign.


Chapter 13

(1) Since his father was a carpenter, he was making plows and yokes in that season. (2) An order for a bed was given to him from a rich man, (3) but one of the boards, the one called the crossbeam, was shorter than the other. And since Joseph had no idea what to do, the child Jesus said to his father Joseph, "Put the two pieces of wood down and line up the ends."

(3) And Joseph did just as the child told him. Then, Jesus stood at the other end and grasped the shorter piece of wood and stretching it, he made it equal with the other.

(4) And his father Joseph saw and was amazed and, taking the child, he kissed him, saying, "I am blessed because God gave me this child."


Chapter 14

(1) When Joseph saw the child's willingness and age and that his mind was also ready, he again wanted him to become accustomed to letters. So, taking him, he gave him to another teacher. (2) The teacher said to Joseph, "First I will teach him Greek, then Hebrew." For the teacher knew about the child's earlier attempt and was afraid. Nonetheless, after writing the alphabet, he instructed the boy for many hours, even though he did not reply to him.

(3) Then, Jesus said to him, "If you are really a teacher and if you know the letters so well, tell me the meaning of the alpha and I will tell you the meaning of the beta."

(4) As he was growing frustrated, the teacher struck him on the head. Then, Jesus became angry and cursed him. Immediately, he fainted and fell on his face.

(5) Then, Jesus turned back to Joseph's house, but Joseph was distressed. He instructed the boy's mother, "Do not let him out the door because the people who anger him will die."


Chapter 15

(1) After some time had passed, again another teacher, a close friend of Joseph, said to him, "Send the child to me in my classroom. Perhaps with flattery, I will be able to teach him the letters."

(2) And Joseph said to him, "If you are sure, brother, take him with you." And while he took him along with much fear and anxiety, the child went along gladly.

(3) And coming boldly into the classroom, he found a book lying on the desk and taking it, he read the letters in it. Opening his mouth, he spoke in the Holy Spirit and taught the law to those standing there.

(4) A large multitude came and stood around, listening to him. And they marveled at the fullness of his teaching and the readiness of his speech, saying, "This is a child saying such things."

(5) When Joseph heard what was going on, he was afraid and ran to the classroom, thinking, "This teacher is not accustomed to him."

(6) The teacher, however, said to Joseph, "Brother, I want you to know that I received the child as a student, but since he is full of grace and wisdom, I am asking you, brother, take him to your house."

(7) When the child heard these things, he immediately smiled at him and said, "Since you have spoken and witnessed correctly, for your sake the one who was wounded will be healed." And at once, the other teacher was healed. Then, Joseph took the child and went back to his house.


Chapter 16

(1) Then, Joseph sent his son James to tie up wood and bring it into his house, but the child Jesus also followed him. And while James was collecting the bushes, a viper bit his hand. (2) And as he lay on the ground dying, Jesus approached and blew on the bite. And immediately, his anguish ceased and the animal broke apart and at once James was healthy.


Chapter 17

(1) After these things happened, an infant in Joseph's neighborhood died and his mother mourned greatly. When Jesus heard that she was extremely sad and was making an uproar, he ran there frantically.

(2) And finding the child dead, he touched his stomach and said, "I say to you, infant, do not die, but live and be with your mother."

(3) Immediately, he was resurrected and laughed. Then, Jesus said to the woman, "Take the child, give him your breast, and remember me."

(4) And when the crowd standing around saw this, they were amazed and said, "Truly, this child either was God or an angel of God because all his words are completed deeds." And Jesus departed from there playing with other children.


Chapter 18

(1) Another year later, a man building a house died after falling from the full height of it. And after a great commotion began, Jesus stood up and went there. (2) And seeing the dead man lying there, he grabbed his hand and said, "I say to you, man, arise, do your work." And rising up immediately, he worshipped him.

(3) When the crowd saw, they were amazed and said, "This child is a heavenly being. For he has saved many souls from death and has the power to continue saving souls throughout his whole life."


Chapter 19

(1) When he was twelve years old, his parents went to Jerusalem with a caravan for the festival of Passover, as was their custom. (2) And after the Passover, they returned to their home. When they departed, however, the child Jesus returned to Jerusalem, although his parents thought he was in the caravan. (3) After traveling along the road for one day, they sought him among their relatives. When they did not find him, they grieved. And they turned back to the city, searching for him.

(4) And after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the middle of the teachers and listening to the law and questioning them. (5) Everyone paid attention to him and was amazed at how this child was questioning the elders and teachers of the people so closely, interpreting the chief points of the law and parables of the prophets. (6) Then, his mother Mary came to him and said, "Why did you do this to us, child? See how we are troubled as we search for you."

(7) And Jesus said to them, "Why are you searching for me? Do you not know that I must be in my father's house?"

(8) Then, the scribes and Pharisees said, "Are you the mother of this child?"

(9) She said, "I am."

(10) And they said to her, "Blessed are you among women because God has blessed the fruit of your womb. For we have never seen or heard such glory or virtue or wisdom."

(11) When Jesus got up, he followed his mother and submitted to his parents. And his mother treasured everything that had happened. (12) And Jesus continued to grow in wisdom and age and grace.

(13) To him be the glory forever and ever, amen.

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Kirby, Peter. "Infancy Gospel of Thomas." Early Christian Writings. <>.