Mary’s Pregnancy and Joseph’s Dream: the Protoevangelium of James Continues

This is a continuation of the Christmas Story in the apocryphal Gospel of James [also sometimes called the “Infancy” Gospel” or the Protoevangelium of James].

The Gospel According to James 12-14

12.1 “So Mary spun the purple and red cloth and returned them to the temple. The priest praised her and said, “Mary, the Lord God is glorifying your name among every race on the earth, and you will be praised by the Lord.” Mary found some joy in this and went to her relative Elisabeth and knocked on her door. When Elisabeth heard, she threw up her hands and rant to open the door and greet her, saying, “From where is it that this comes to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me! Look, the child which is in me has jumped and blessed you.” Mary had forgotten the mysteries which Gabriel had mentioned to her, and she looked up to heaven, saying, “Who am I that all the women are blessing me?”

She spent three months with Elisabeth and then returned to her on home. As each day went by, her stomach grew larger and she was hiding herself from the sons of Israel. She was then fifteen years old, when these mysteries were happening.”

13.1. In the sixth month, Joseph came from his building and returned to his home and found Mary, who was growing. He struck his forehead and threw himself to the ground and wept, saying, “With what kind of face can I look to the Lord, my God? What shall I say about this girl, who I took from the temple of the Lord as a virgin and did not keep her safe? Who set a snare for me? Who did this terrible thing in my home and defiled the virgin? Hasn’t Adam’s story been repeated in me? For just as Adam  was in the hour of his thanksgiving, a snake came, found Eve alone, and deceived her. That has happened to me too.

And then Joseph rose up from his his sackcloth and called Mary and said to her, “beloved to god, why did you do this? Why did you lay your soul low? Have you forgotten the Lord, your God? Your soul was raised up in the Holiest of Holies and took food from the hands of an angel and danced among them.” She wept, bitterly, saying, “As the Lord God lives, I am clean and I have not known a man.” Joseph said to her, “Where this this thing in your stomach come from?” And she said, “As the Lord God Lives, I do not know where this thing in my stomach came from.”

14“And Joseph, because he was terribly afraid, departed from her and was debating what he should do about her. He said to himself, “If I should hide her error, I will be found to be fighting the law of the Lord. And if I make this clear to the sons of Israel, I fear that, should what is inside her be angelic seed, I will be found to betray innocent blood to a punishment of death. What should I do about her? I will let her leave me in secret.” As he considered these things, night overtook him.

And, look, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not feel fear about this child. For this offspring has been sewn in her from divine breath. You will give him the name Jesus. For he will save his people from their sins.” Then Joseph woke from his dream and believed that the God of Israel had given to him this blessing—so he guarded the girl.”

12. Καὶ ἐποίησεν τὴν πορφύραν καὶ τὸ κόκκινον καὶ ἀπήνεγκεν αὐτὰ τῷ ἱερεῖ, καὶ εὐλόγησεν αὐτὴν ὁ ἱερεὺς καὶ εἶπεν: Μαριάμ, ἐμεγάλυνε κύριος ὁ θεὸς τὸ ὄνομά σου ἐν πάσαις ταῖς γενεαῖς τῆς γῆς καὶ ἔσῃ εὐλογημένη ὑπὸ κυρίου. 2 χαρὰν δὲ λαβοῦσα Μαριὰμ ἀπῆλθε πρὸς τὴν συγγενίδα αὐτῆς Ἐλισάβετ καὶ ἔκρουσε πρὸς τῇ θύρᾳ. καὶ ἀκούσασα Ἐλισάβετ ἔρριψε τὸ ἐν χερσὶν, καὶ δραμοῦσα ἤνοιξεν αὐτῇ καὶ εὐλόγησεν αὐτὴν καὶ εἶπεν: πόθεν μοι τοῦτο, ἵνα ἡ μήτηρ τοῦ κυρίου μου ἔλθῃ πρὸς ἐμέ; ἰδοὺ γὰρ τὸ ἐν ἐμοὶ βρέφος ἐσκίρτησε καὶ εὐλόγησέν σε. Μαριὰμ δὲ ἐπελάθετο τῶν μυστηρίων, ὧν εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτὴν Γαβριήλ, καὶ ἀτενίσασα εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εἶπεν: τίς εἰμι ἐγώ, ὅτι πᾶσαι αἱ γυναῖκες μακαριοῦσί με; 3 ἐποίησε δὲ τρεῖς μῆνας πρὸς τὴν Ἐλισάβετ καὶ ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς. ἡμέρᾳ δὲ ἀφ’ ἡμέρας ἡ γαστὴρ αὐτῆς ὀγκοῦτο, καὶ ἔκρυβεν ἑαυτὴν ἀπὸ τῶν υἱῶν Ἰσραήλ. ἦν δὲ ἐτῶν πεντεκαίδεκα, ὅτε τὰ μυστήρια ταῦτα ἐγένοντο.

13.1 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἕκτος μὴν καὶ ἦλθεν Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τῶν οἰκοδομῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰσῆλθεν ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ αὐτοῦ καὶ εὗρε τὴν Μαριὰμ ὀγκωμένην. καὶ ἔτυψε τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔρριψεν ἑαυτὸν χαμαὶ καὶ ἔκλαυσε λέγων: ποίῳ προσόπῳ ἀτενίσω πρὸς κύριον τὸν θεόν μου; τί δὴ εἴπω περὶ τῆς κόρης ταύτης, ὅτι παρθένον αὐτὴν παρέλαβον ἐκ ναοῦ κυρίου καὶ οὐκ ἐφύλαξα αὐτήν; τίς ὁ θηρεύσας με; τίς τὸ πονηρὸν τοῦτο ἐποίησεν ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ μου καὶ ἐμίανεν τὴν παρθένον; μήτι εἰς ἐμὲ ἀνεκεφαλαιόθη ἡ ἱστορία Ἀδάμ; ὥσπερ γὰρ Ἀδὰμ ἦν ἐν τῇ ὥρᾳ τῆς δοξολογίας αὐτοῦ καὶ ἦλθεν ὁ ὄφις καὶ εὗρεν τὴν Εὔαν μόνην καὶ ἐξηπάτησεν αὐτήν, οὕτως κἀμοί συνέβη. 2 καὶ ἀνέστη Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τοῦ σάκκου καὶ ἐκάλεσε τὴν Μαριὰμ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ: μεμελημένη τῷ θεῷ, τί τοῦτο ἐποίησας; τί ἐταπείνωσας τὴν ψυχήν σου; ἐπελάθου κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ σου, ἡ ἀνατραφεῖσα εἰς τὰ ἅγια τῶν ἁγίων καὶ λαβοῦσα τροφὴν ἐκ χειρὸς ἀγγέλου καὶ χορεύσασα ἐν αὐτοῖς; 3 ἡ δὲ ἔκλαυσε πικρῶς λέγουσα: ζῇ κύριος ὁ θεός, καθότι καθαρά εἰμι ἐγὼ καὶ ἄνδρα οὐ γινώσκω. εἶπε δὲ αὐτῇ Ἰωσήφ: πόθεν οὖν ἐστι τοῦτο ἐν τῇ γαστρί σου; εἶπε δὲ αὐτῷ: ζῇ κύριος ὁ θεός μου, καθότι οὐ γινώσκω, πόθεν ἐστὶ τοῦτο τὸ ἐν τῇ γαστρί μου.

14.1 Καὶ ἐφοβήθη Ἰωσὴφ σφόδρα καὶ ἠρέμησεν ἐξ αὐτῆς καὶ διελογίζετο, τί αὐτὴν ποιήσει, εἶπε δὲ ἐν ἑαυτῷ: ἐὰν αὐτῆς κρύψω τὸ ἁμάρτημα, εὑρεθήσομαι μαχόμενος τῷ νόμῳ κυρίου: καὶ ἐὰν αὐτὴν φανερὰν ποιήσω τοῖς υἱοῖς Ἰσραήλ, φοβοῦμαι, μήπως ἀγγελικόν ἐστι τὸ ἐν αὐτῇ καὶ εὑρεθήσομαι παραδιδοὺς αἷμα ἀθῷον εἰς κρίμα θανάτου. τί οὖν αὐτὴν ποιήσω; λάθρᾳ αὐτὴν ἀπολύσω ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ. καὶ ταῦτα αὐτοῦ ἐνθυμουμένου κατέλαβεν αὐτὸν ἡ νύξ. 2 καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄγγελος κυρίου φαίνεται αὐτῷ κατ’ ὄναρ λέγων: Ἰωσήφ (υἱὸς Δαυίδ), μὴ φοβηθῇς τὴν παῖδα ταύτην. τὸ γὰρ ἐν αὐτῇ γεννηθὲν ἐκ πνεύματός ἐστιν ἁγίου, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν: αὐτὸς γὰρ σώσει τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν. καὶ ἀνέστη Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕπνου καὶ ἐδόξασε τὸν θεὸν Ἰσραὴλ τὸν δόντα αὐτῷ τὴν χάριν ταύτην, καὶ ἐφύλασσε τὴν παῖδα.

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