The Magi, Herod, and A Flight to Egypt

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 21–22.

22. “And, look, Joseph was prepared to leave to Judea and there was trouble in Bethlehem. For the Magi had come from the East in Persia, saying, “Where is the child born King of the Jews? For we saw his start in the East and we have come to bow before him. When Herod heard this, he was upset and he sent attendants to the Magi and he also summoned the high priests and asked them, “Where has this “Christ” been born?” and they answered, “In Bethlehem of Judea—for it was written thus.” And he let them go. Then he questioned the Magi, saying to them, “What sign did you see for a king who was born?” And the magi said to him, we say the greatest start blazing among the these stars and making them seem dull. We knew from this that a king had been born for Israel. For this reason we came to bow before him.” And Herod responded, “Go and seek out the child carefully. And when he is found, send me news of it so that I can go and bow to him too.

And so the Magi left and, look, the star which they saw in the east led them on until they came to that place where the cave protected the child’s head. And when they saw him with his mother Mary, they bowed and took from their strongboxes the gifts they brought: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Because they had been warned by a sacred angel not to enter Judea near Herod, they took another route to return to their country.

22 But once Herod figured out that he had been evaded by the Magi, he was enraged and he sent assassins whom he ordered to kill all infants under two years. Once Mary heard that the infants were being killed, she took her child in fear and left to Egypt with Joseph, just as was predicated to them. But when Elisabeth took John and went into the hills and looked around for a place to hide him, there was no safe sanctuary. Then, she said as she cried, “Mountain, mountain—take a mother with her child. For she was not able to leave. And then suddenly, the mountain split into two and welcomed her. The mountain itself was alight for them and there was an angel of the lord looking over them.”

21.1 Καὶ ἰδοὺ Ἰωσὴφ ἡτοιμάσθη ἐξελθεῖν εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν, καὶ θόρυβος ἐγένετο ἐν Βηθλεέμ. ἦλθαν γὰρ μάγοι ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν (ἐκ Περσίδος) λέγοντες: ποῦ ἐστιν ὁ τεχθεὶς βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων; εἴδομεν γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀστέρα ἐν τῇ ἀνατολῇ καὶ ἤλθομεν προσκυνῆσαι αὐτόν. 2 καὶ ἀκούσας Ἡρώδης ἐταράχθη καὶ ἔπεμψεν ὑπηρέτας πρὸ(ς) τοὺς μάγους, καὶ ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ ἀνέκρινεν αὐτοὺς λέγων: ποῦ ὁ χριστὸς γεννᾶται; οἱ δὲ εἶπον: ἐν Βηθλεὲμ τῆς Ἰουδαίας: οὕτως γὰρ γέγραπται. καὶ ἀπέλυσεν αὐτοὺς καὶ ἀνέκρινε τοὺς μάγους λέγων αὐτοῖς: τί εἴδετε σημεῖον ἐπὶ τὸν γεννηθέντα βασιλέα; καὶ εἶπον οἱ μάγοι: εἴδομεν ἀστέρα παμμεγέθη λάμψαντα ἐν τοῖς ἄστροις τούτοις καὶ ἀμβλύνοντα αὐτοὺς τοῦ (μὴ) φαίνειν καὶ ἔγνωμεν, ὅτι βασιλεὺς ἐγεννήθη τῷ Ἰσραήλ: καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἤλθομεν προσκυνῆσαι αὐτόν. καὶ εἶπεν Ἡρώδης: πορευθέντες ἀκριβῶς ἐκζητήσατε περὶ τοῦ παιδίου: καὶ ἐπὰν εὕρηται, ἀπαγγείλατέ μοι, ὅπως κἀγὼ ἐλθὼν προσκυνήσω αὐτόν. 3 καὶ ἐξῆλθον οἱ μάγοι, καὶ ἰδοὺ ὁ ἀστήρ, ὅν εἶδον ἐν τῇ ἀνατολῇ, προῆγεν αὐτῶν, ἕως οὗ ἐλθὼν ἔστη εἰς τὸ σπήλαιον ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς τοῦ παιδίου. καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸ οἱ μάγοι μετὰ τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ Μαρίας προσεκύνησαν αὐτὸ καὶ ἀνοίξαντες τοὺς θησαυροὺς αὐτῶν προσήνεγκαν αὐτῶν δῶρα, χρυσὸν καὶ λίβανον καὶ σμύρναν. καὶ χρηματισθέντες ὑπὸ ἁγίου ἀγγέλου (μὴ εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν πρὸς Ἡρώδην) δι’ ἄλλης ὁδοῦ ἐπορεύθησαν εἰς τὴν χώραν αὐτῶν.

22.1 Γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἡρώδης, ὅτι ἐνεπαίχθη ὑπὸ τῶν μάγων, ὀργισθεὶς ἔπεμψεν τοὺς φονευτὰς κελεύσας αὐτοῖς ἀνελεῖν τὰ βρέφη ἀπὸ διετοῦς καὶ κατωτέρω. 2 ἀκούσασα δὲ Μαριάμ, ὅτι τὰ βρέφη ἀναιροῦνται, φοβηθεῖσα ἔλαβεν τὸ παιδίον μετὰ Ἰωσὴφ καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν εἰς Αἴγυπτον, καθὼς ἐχρηματίσθη αὐτοῖς. 3 ἡ δὲ Ἐλισάβετ λαβοῦσα τὸν Ἰωάννην ἀνέβη εἰς τὴν ὀρεινὴν καὶ περιεβλέπετο, ποῦ αὐτὸν ἀποκρύψει: καὶ οὐκ ἦν αὐτοῖς τόπος ἀποκρυβῆς. τότε στενάξασα λέγει: ὄρος, ὄρος, δέξαι μητέρα μετὰ τέκνου . οὐ γὰρ ἠδύνατο πορεύεσθαι. καὶ παραχρῆμα ἐδιχάσθη τὸ ὄρος καὶ ἐδέξατο αὐτήν. καὶ ἦν τὸ ὄρος ἐκεῖνο διαφαῖνον αὐτοῖς καὶ ἄγγελος κυρίου ὁδηγῶν αὐτούς.

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Virgin Birth in the Wilderness: The Apocryphal Gospel of James for Christmas Eve

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 19–20

19. And then I saw a woman walking from the hills and she said to me, “Man, where are you going? And I said to her, “I am looking for a midwife.” And she answered, “From Israel?” and I said to her, “Yes, mistress.” And She said to me, “Who is the woman who is giving birth in the cave?” and I said, “She is my betrothed.” And she responded, “She is not your wife?” and I said to her, “She is Mary and I drew her as my lot to be a wife, but she was raised in the Holiest of Holies. And she is not my wife, but she has become pregnant from the holy spirit. And she said, “Tell me the truth,” and I told her, “Come and see.” And she left with him.”

They stood were the cave was and there was a cloud shading over it. The midwife said, “My soul is ennobled this day because I recognize a new sight and a miracle—since a savior is born for Israel.” Then, immediately, the cloud withdrew from the cave and a great light appeared in it which our eyes could not bear. Soon, that light too receded until the infant appeared and took the breast of its mother Mary.

Then the midwife shouted out, “Today is a great day because I have seen a new wonder.” And then the midwife left the cave and met Salôme and said to her, “Salôme, Salôme, I have a new wonder to explain to you. A virgin gave birth, a thing which human nature does not allow.” And Salôme said, “As the Lord God lives, if I do not see this—if I do not put my hand into her—I will not believe that a virgin gave birth.”

And Salôme entered the cave and said, “Maria, prepare yourself, for no small test of you is at hand.” Then she examined her. And Salôme yelled out and cried, saying, “Oh, my lawlessness and lack of faith, that I tested the living God. And look, my hand is burning and falling away. Then Salôme bent her knees and said toward her Lord, “the God of our fathers, remember me, that I am the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jakob—do not make an example of me before the sons of Israel, but return my poverty to me. And, look, an angel of the Lord appeared saying to Salôme, “Salôme, Salôme, the Lord God heard your prayer. Come near the child and lift him up and he will be your safety.”

Then Salôme went to the child and lifted him up and said, “Truly, a great king has been born to Israel.” Then she was suddenly healed and she left the cave filled with justice. And, look, a voice sounded out and said, “Salôme, Salôme, do not spread the news of the miracles you have witness around until the child enters Jerusalem.”

19.1 Καὶ εἶδον γυναῖκα καταβαίνουσαν ἀπὸ τῆς ὀρεινῆς καὶ εἶπέν μοι: ἄνθρωπε, ποῦ πορεύῃ; καὶ εἶπον αὐτῇ: μαῖαν ζητῶ. καὶ ἀποκριθεῖσά μοι εἶπεν: ἐξ Ἰσραήλ; καὶ εἶπον αὐτῇ: ναί, κυρία. καὶ εἶπέν μοι: τίς ἐστιν ἡ γεννήσασα ἐν τῇ σπηλαίῳ; καὶ εἶπον ἐγώ: ἡ μεμνηστευμένη μοι. καὶ εἶπέν μοι: οὐκ ἔστι σου γυνή; καὶ εἶπον αὐτῇ: Μαριάμ ἐστιν καὶ ἐκληρωσάμην αὐτὴν εἰς γυναῖκα, ἥτις ἀνετράφη εἰς τὰ ἅγια τῶν ἁγίων: καὶ οὐκ ἔστι μου γυνή, ἀλλὰ σύλληψιν ἔχει ἐκ πνεύματος ἁγίου. καὶ εἶπεν: εἰπέ μοι τὸ ἀληθές. καὶ εἶπον αὐτῇ: ἐλθὲ καὶ ἴδε. καὶ ἀπῆλθεν μετ’ αὐτοῦ. 2 καὶ ἔστη ἐν τῷ τόπῳ τοῦ σπηλαίου, καὶ ἦν νεφέλη ἐπισκιάζουσα ἐπὶ τὸ σπήλαιον: καὶ εἶπεν ἡ μαῖα: ἐμεγαλύνθη ἡ ψυχή μου τῇ σήμερον ἡμέρᾳ, ὅτι εἶδον καινὸν θέαμα καὶ παράδοξον: ὅτι σωτηρίον τῷ Ἰσραὴλ ἐγενήθη. καὶ παραχρῆμα ἡ νεφέλη ὑπεστέλλετο ἐκ τοῦ σπηλαίου, καὶ ἐφάνη φῶς μέγα ἐν τῷ σπηλαίῳ, ὥστε τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἡμῶν μὴ φέρειν. καὶ πρὸς ὀλίγον τὸ φῶς ἐκεῖνο ὑπεστέλλετο, ἕως ἐφάνη τὸ βρέφος (καὶ ἦλθεν) καὶ ἔλαβεν μασθὸν ἐκ τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ Μαρίας. (καὶ ἀνεβόησεν ἡ μαῖα: ὡς μεγάλη ἡ σήμερον ἡμέρα, ὅτι εἶδον τὸ καινὸν θέαμα τοῦτο.) 3 καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἐκ τοῦ σπηλαίου ἡ μαῖα καὶ ἀπήντησεν Σαλώμην, καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ: Σαλώμη, Σαλώμη, καινόν σοι ἔχω διηγήσασθαι θέαμα: παρθένος ἐγέννησεν, ὅ οὐ χωρεῖ φύσις ἀνθρωπίνη. καὶ εἶπεν Σαλώμη: ζῇ κύριος ὁ θεός, ἐὰν μὴ κατανοήσω (ἐὰν μὴ βάλω τὴν χεῖρά μου εἰς αὐτήν), οὐ μὴ πιστεύσω, ὅτι παρθένος ἐγέννησεν.

20.1 Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν Σαλώμη καὶ εἶπεν: Μαρία, σχημάτισον σεαυτήν: οὐ γὰρ μικρὸς ἀγὼν περίκειται περὶ σοῦ. καὶ κατενόησεν αὐτήν. καὶ ἠλάλαξεν Σαλώμη καὶ ἐκραύγασε λέγουσα: οὐαὶ τῇ ἀνομίᾳ μου καὶ οὐαὶ τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ μου, ὅτι ἐξεπείρασα θεὸν ζῶντα: καὶ ἰδοὺ ἡ χείρ μου ἐν πυρὶ φλέγεται (ἀποπίπτει). 2 καὶ ἔκλινεν τὰ γόνατα αὐτῆς Σαλώμη πρὸς τὸν δεσπότην λέγουσα: ὁ θεὸς τῶν πατέρων μου, μνήσθητί μου, ὅτι σπέρμα εἰμὶ Ἀβραὰμ καὶ Ἰσαὰκ καὶ Ἰακώβ: μὴ παραδειγματίσῃς με τοῖς υἱοῖς Ἰσραήλ, ἀλλὰ ἀπόδος μοι ἐμὴν ὁλοκληρίαν. 3 καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄγγελος κυρίου ἔστη πρὸς Σαλώμην λέγων: Σαλώμη, Σαλώμη, ἐπήκουσε κύριος ὁ θεὸς τῆς δεήσεός σου: ἔγγισον πρὸς τὸ παιδίον καὶ βάστασον αὐτό, καὶ ἔσται σοι σωτηρία μεγάλη. 4 καὶ προσῆλθεν Σαλώμη καὶ ἐβάστασεν αὐτό, καὶ εἶπεν: ὄντως βασιλεὺς μέγας ἐγεννήθη τῷ Ἰσραήλ. καὶ εὐθέως ἰάθη Σαλώμη καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἐκ τοῦ σπηλαίου δεδικαιωμένη, καὶ ἰδοὺ φωνὴ λέγουσα αὐτῇ: Σαλώμη, Σαλώμη, μὴ ἀναγγείλῃς, ὅσα εἶδες παράδοξα (ἕως ἔλθῃ εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ).

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Travel Plans for the Holidays: On to Bethlehem with the Protoevangelium of James

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 17–18

17. “Then there was a summons from Herod the King [or Augustus] to record how many people there were in Bethlehem of Judea. And Joseph was compelled to return from Nazareth to Bethlehem. So Joseph said, “I will record my sons, but what should I do about the girl? How will I record her? As my wife? I am ashamed to do that. But as my daughter? The sons of Israel know that she is not my daughter. This day of the Lord will accomplish as it wishes.

And he prepared a donkey and put the girl on it and his son led it as [Samuel and] he followed after. Once they came about three miles from the city, Joseph turned and say her looking despondent and said to himself, “Perhaps what is in her is causing her pain.” And then Joseph turned back again and say her laughing and said, “Mary, what is this that I see your face now in laughter and then suddenly in pain?” And she said, “Joseph, I see two people with my eyes, one weeping and mourning and one rejoicing and feeling glory.”

Then they arrived near the middle of the journey, and Mary said to him: “take me down from the donkey, for that which is within me is pressing me to come out.” And he took her down and said to her, “Where will I take you and hide your impropriety, since this place is empty?”

18. Then he found nearby a cave and took her into it and stationed his sons near her as he left to seek a Hebrew midwife in the area near Bethlehem. “Now I, Joseph, was walking and I was not walking. I looked up into the curve of heaven and I saw it stop still. And I looked into the sky and I saw it still, all the birds of the sky had deserted it. And I looked toward the earth and I saw a dish lying there and workmen were placing it there. Their hands were in the vessel. Those who were chewing were not showing and those who were lifting food were not lifting it and those who were pressing something to their mouth were not pressing it. But everyone had their faces looking upward. I saw flocks which were being driven, but the sheep stood still. And The shepherd raised his hand to strike them, but his hand did not come down again. And I looked at the flowing of the river and I saw kids there and even though they had their mouths right next to the water, they did not drink. And then, all of a sudden, everything returned to its normal course.

17.1 Κέλευσις δὲ ἐγένετο ἀπὸ (τοῦ Ἀόστου) Ἡρώδου τοῦ βασιλέως ἀπογράψασθαι, ὅσοι εἰσὶν ἐν Βηθλεὲμ τῆς Ἰουδαίας. (ἠναγκάζετο δὲ Ἰωσὴφ ἀπελθεῖν ἐκ Ναζαρὲτ εἰς τὴν Βηθλεὲμ καὶ εἶπεν) καὶ εἶπεν Ἰωσήφ: ἐγὼ ἀπογράψομαι τοὺς υἱούς μου. ταύτην δὲ τὴν παῖδα τί ποιήσω; πῶς αὐτὴν ἀπογράψομαι; γυναῖκα ἐμήν; ἐπαισχύνομαι. ἀλλὰ θυγατέρα; οἶδαν οἱ υἱοὶ Ἰσραήλ, ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν θυγάτηρ μου. αὐτὴ ἡ ἡμέρα Κυρίου ποιήσει, ὡς βούλεται. 2 καὶ ἔστρωσεν τὸν ὄνον, καὶ ἐκάθισεν αὐτὴν καὶ ἧλκεν ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἠκολούθησεν Σαμουήλ (αὐτός). καὶ ἤγγισαν ἐπὶ μίλιον τρίτον, καὶ ἐστράφη Ἰωσὴφ καὶ εἶδεν αὐτὴν στυγνὴν καὶ ἔλεγεν: ἴσως τὸ ἐν αὐτῇ χειμάζει αὐτήν. καὶ πάλιν ἐστράφη Ἰωσὴφ καὶ εἶδεν αὐτὴν γελοῦσαν καὶ εἶπεν: Μαριάμμη, τί ἐστίν σοι τοῦτο, ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπόν σου βλέπω ποτὲ μὲν γελοῦντα ποτὲ δὲ στυγνάζον; καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ: Ἰωσήφ, ὅτι δύο λαοὺς βλέπω ἐν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς μου, ἔνα κλαίοντα καὶ κοπτόμενον καὶ ἔνα χαίροντα καὶ ἀγαλλιῶντα. 3 καὶ ἤλθωσεν ἀνὰ μέσον τῆς ὁδοῦ, καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Μαριάμμη: κατάγαγέ με ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄνου, ὅτι (τ)ὸ ἐν ἐμοὶ ἐπείγει με προελθεῖν. καὶ κατήγαγεν αὐτὴν ἐκεῖ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ: ποῦ σε ἀπάξω καὶ σκεπάσω σου τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην, ὅτι ὁ τόπος ἔρημός ἐστιν;

181 Καὶ εὗρεν ἐκεῖ σπήλαιον καὶ εἰσήγαγεν αὐτὴν καὶ παρέστησεν αὐτῇ τοὺς υἱοὺς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ζητῆσαι μαῖαν ( Ἑβραίαν) ἐν χώρᾳ Βηθλεέμ. 2 ἐγὼ δὲ Ἰωσὴφ περιεπάτουν καὶ οὐ περιεπάτουν. καὶ ἀνέβλεψα εἰς τὸν πόλον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ εἶδον αὐτὸν ἑστῶτα, καὶ εἰς τὸν ἀέρα καὶ εἶδον αὐτὸν ἔκθαμβον, καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἠρεμοῦντα. καὶ ἐπέβλεψα ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν καὶ εἶδον σκάφην κειμένην καὶ ἐργάτας ἀνακειμένους, καὶ ἦσαν αἱ χεῖρες αὐτῶν ἐν τῇ σκάφῃ. καὶ οἱ μασόμενοι οὐκ ἐμασῶντο, καὶ οἱ αἴροντες οὐκ ἀνέφερον, καὶ οἱ προσφέροντες τῷ στόματι αὐτῶν οὐ προσέφερον. ἀλλὰ πάντων ἦν τὰ πρόσωπα ἄνω βλέποντα. 3 καὶ εἶδον ἐλαυνόμενα πρόβατα, καὶ τὰ πρόβατα ἑστήκει: καὶ ἐπῆρεν ὁ ποιμὴν τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ τοῦ πατάξαι αὐτά, καὶ ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ ἔστη ἄνω. καὶ ἀνέβλεψα ἐπὶ τὸν χείμαρρον τοῦ ποταμοῦ καὶ εἶδον ἐρίφους καὶ τὰ στόματα αὐτῶν ἐπικείμενα τῷ ὕδατι καὶ μὴ πίνοντα. καὶ πάντα ὑπὸ θῆξιν (θήζει, θίζει, θρίζιν, ἔκπληξιν) τῷ δρόμῳ ἀπηλαύνοντο.

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The Trial of an Unexpected Pregnancy: The Protoevangelium of James

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 15-16.

“Then the Scribe Annas came to him and said to him, “Why didn’t you appear at our assembly?” And Joseph said to him, “Because I was completely worn out from my travel and I had rested only a day.” Then Annas turned and saw the pregnant virgin. Then he left the house quickly and told the top-priest, “Joseph, whom you will witness, has broken the law severely.” And the Priest said, “What is this?” and Annas responded, “The virgin whom he took from the temple of the Lord, he has defiled her. And the priest said to him in response, “Joseph, Joseph did this?” And Annas said, “Send your attendents and you will discover a pregnant virgin.

So the attendants left and they found her, just as he said, and they led her with Joseph to judgment. The priest said, “Mary, why did you do this and lay low your soul and forget the Lord, your God, when you were raised up in the Holiest of Holies and took food from an angel’s hand—you even heard their hymn and you danced among them? Why did you do this?” She wept bitterly, saying, “As the Lord God lives, I am clean before him and I have known no man.”

So then the priest said, “Joseph, why did you do this?” And Joseph responded, “As the Lord, my God lives, I am innocent concerning her.” Then the priest said, “Do not bear false witness, but speak the truth. You hid your marriage and you did not declare it openly to the sons of Israel, and you did not bow your head under the powerful hand so that your seed would be blessed.” Then Joseph was silent.

Then the priest spoke, “Give the virgin whom you took from the temple of the Lord back. And, as he cried, Joseph stood still. Then the Priest said, “I will make you drink the Lord’s water of testing and it will make your sins clear in your eyes.” Then the priest had Joseph drink the water and sent him to the hills. And he came back, whole. He also made the virgin drink and sent her into the hills. She came back too. The whole people wondered at this, that there was no sin revealed among them. And the priest said, “If the Lord God does not make their sin manifest, then I do not judge them and he has freed them.” Then Joseph took Mary and returned to his own home, feeling joy and glorying the god of Israel.”

151 Ἠλθεν δὲ Ἄννας ὁ γραμματεὺς πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ: διὰ τί οὐκ ἐφάνης ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ (συνόδῳ) ἡμῶν; καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἰωσήφ: ὅτι κεκμηκὼς ἤμην ἐκ τῆς ὁδοῦ καὶ ἀνεπαυσάμην ἡμέραν μίαν . καὶ ἐστράφη Ἄννας καὶ εἶδεν τὴν παρθένον ὀγκωμένην. 2 καὶ ἀπελθὼν δρομαίως πρὸς τὸν (ἀρχ-)ἱερέα εἶπεν αὐτῷ: Ἰωσήφ, ὅν σὺ μαρτυρεῖς, ἠνόμησε σφόδρα. καὶ εἶπεν ὁ ἱερεύς: τί τοῦτο; καὶ εἶπεν Ἄννας: τὴν παρθένον, ἥν παρέλαβεν ἐκ ναοῦ κυρίου, ἐμίανεν αὐτήν. καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἱερεὺς εἶπεν αὐτῷ: Ἰωσὴφ; Ἰωσὴφ τοῦτο ἐποίησεν; καὶ εἶπεν Ἄννας: ἀπόστειλον ὑπηρέτας καὶ εὑρέσεις τὴν παρθένον ὀγκωμένην. καὶ ἀπῆλθον οἱ ὑπηρέται καὶ εὗρον αὐτήν, καθὼς εἶπεν, καὶ ἀπήγαγον ἅμα τῷ Ἰωσὴφ εἰς τὸ κριτήριον. 3 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ ἱερεύς: Μαριάμ, τί τοῦτο ἐποίησας καὶ ἐταπείνωσας τὴν ψυχήν σου καὶ ἐπελάθου κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ σου, ἡ ἀνατραφεῖσα εἰς τὰ ἅγια τῶν ἁγίων καὶ λαβοῦσα τροφὴν ἐκ χειρὸς ἀγγέλων, σὺ ἡ ἀκούσασα τὸν ὕμνον αὐτῶν καὶ χορεύσασα ἐνώπιον αὐτῶν; τί τοῦτο ἐποίησας; ἡ δὲ ἔκλαυσε πικρῶς λέγουσα: ζῇ κύριος ὁ θεός, ὅτι καθαρά εἰμι ἐγὼ ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἄνδρα οὐ γινώσκω. 4 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ ἀρχιερεύς: Ἰωσήφ, τί τοῦτο ἐποίησας; καὶ εἶπεν Ἰωσήφ: ζῇ κύριος ὁ θεός μου, ὅτι καθαρός εἰμι ἐξ αὐτῆς. καὶ εἶπεν ὁ ἀρχιερεύς: μὴ ψευδομαρτύρει, ἀλλὰ λέγε τὸ ἀληθές: ἔκλεψας τοὺς γάμους καὶ οὐκ ἐφανέρωσας τοῖς υἱοῖς Ἰσραήλ, καὶ οὐκ ἔκλινας τὴν κεφαλήν σου ὑπὸ τὴν κραταιὰν χεῖρα, ὅπως εὐλογηθῇ τὸ σπέρμα σου. καὶ Ἰωσὴφ ἐσίγησεν.

16.1 Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ ἱερεύς: ἀπόδος τὴν παρθένον, ἥν παρέλαβες ἐκ ναοῦ κυρίου. καὶ περίδακρυς γενόμενος ὁ Ἰωσὴφ ἔστη. καὶ εἶπεν ὁ ἱερεύς: ποτιῶ ὑμᾶς τὸ ὕδωρ τῆς ἐλέγξεως κυρίου καὶ φανερώσει τὰ ἁμαρτήματα ὑμῶν ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς ὑμῶν. 2 καὶ λαβὼν ὁ ἱερεὺς ἐπότισε τὸν Ἰωσὴφ καὶ ἔπεμψεν αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν ὀρεινήν: καὶ ἦλθεν ὁλόκληρος. ἐπότισεν δὲ καὶ τὴν παρθένον καὶ ἔπεμψεν καὶ αὐτὴν εἰς τὴν ὀρεινήν: καὶ ἦλθεν ὁλόκληρος, καὶ ἐθαύμασε πᾶς ὁ λαός, ὅτι ἁμαρτία οὐχ εὑρέθη ἐν αὐτοῖς. 3 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ ἱερεύς: εἰ κύριος ὁ θεὸς οὐκ ἐφανέρωσεν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ὑμῶν, οὐδὲ ἐγὼ κρίνω ὑμᾶς καὶ ἀπέλυσεν αὐτούς. καὶ παρέλαβεν Ἰωσὴφ τὴν Μαριὰμ καὶ ἀπίει εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ χαίρων καὶ δοξάζων τὸν θεὸν τοῦ Ἰσραήλ.

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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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By Philippe de Champaigne

“Will I Conceive Like Other Women?” Mary and Gabriel in the Protoevangelium of James

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, 10–11

10.“There was another council of the priests where they were saying, “Let’s make a veil for the temple of the Lord.” Then a priest said, “Call to me her seven unsullied maidens from the tribe of David.” So his assistants went out and looked for seven and found six. Then the priest remembered that Mary was from the tribe of David and was unsullied. So his assistants went and brought her back.

The priest led the virgins into the temple of the Lord and said, “Draw lots for me here as to who will weave the gold and unsullied cloth and the silk and linen and hyacinth and the red and the undiluted purple. The red and purple lot fell to Mary. She took it and went to her home. In that season, Zakharias went silent. Mary took the red and was weaving it.

11. Later, she went out with a pitcher to fill it with water, and , look, there was a voice speaking, “Greetings, most gracious one, the Lord is with you and you are blessed among women.” Then Mary was looking left and right for where the voice came from. Filled with a tremble, she returned to her house where she put the pitcher down, took up the purple again, sat down on a seat and was working it. Then, look, an angel of the Lord appeared and said to hear, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace from the Lord openly and you will conceive from his word.”

Once Mary heard this, she responded, asking, “Will I conceive, as every woman bears children?” and the messenger responded to her, “Not, in that way, Mary. For the power of God will cast a shadow over you and from that a sacred child will be born from you who will be called the Son of the Highest. And you will give him the name Jesus. For he will save his people from their sins.” And Mary said, “Look, I am the slave of the Lord. May it happen according to your word.”

10.1 Ἐγένετο δὲ συμβούλιον τῶν ἱερέων λεγόντων: ποιήσωμεν καταπέτασμα τῷ ναῷ κυρίου. καὶ εἶπεν ὁ ἱερεύς: καλέσατέ μοι ὧδε ἑπτὰ παρθένους ἀμιάντους ἐκ φυλῆς Δαυίδ. καὶ ἀπῆλθον οἱ ὑπηρέται καὶ εὕρησαν ἑπτά (εὗρον ἕξ). καὶ ἐμνήσθη ὁ ἱερεύς, ὅτι Μαρία ἐκ φυλῆς Δαυίδ ἐστι καὶ ἀμίαντός ἐστιν. καὶ ἀπῆλθαν οἱ ὑπηρέται καὶ ἤγαγον αὐτήν. καὶ εἰσήγαγεν αὐτὰς ὁ ἱερεὺς ἐν τῷ ναῷ κυρίου καὶ εἶπεν: λάχετέ μοι ὧδε, τίς νήσει τὸ χρυσίον καὶ τὸ ἀμίαντον καὶ τὸ βύσσινον καὶ τὸ σηρικοῦν καὶ τὸ ὑάκινθον καὶ τὸ κόκκινον καὶ τὴν ἀληθινὴν πορφύραν. καὶ ἔλαχεν τὴν Μαριὰμ τὸ κόκκινον καὶ ἡ ἀληθινὴ πορφύρα. καὶ λαβοῦσα ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς. τῷ δὲ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ Ζαχαρίας ἐσίγησεν. Μαριὰμ δὲ λαβοῦσα τὸ κόκκινον ἔκλωσεν.

11.1 Καὶ λαβοῦσα κάλπιν ἐξῆλθεν γεμίσαι ὕδωρ, καὶ ἰδοὺ φωνὴ λέγουσα: χαῖρε κεχαριτωμένη, ὁ κύριος μετὰ σοῦ, εὐλογημένη σὺ ἐν γυναιξί. καὶ περιεβλέπετο δεξιὰ καὶ ἀριστερά, πόθεν αὕτη ἡ φωνὴ ὑπάρχει, καὶ ἔντρομος γενομένη ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς. καὶ ἀναπαύσασα τὴν κάλπην ἔλαβε πάλιν τὴν πορφύραν καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἐπὶ τὸν θρόνον καὶ εἷλκεν αὐτήν. 2 καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄγγελος κυρίου ἐπέστη λέγων αὐτῇ: μὴ φοβοῦ, Μαριάμ, εὗρες γὰρ χάριν ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ συλλήψῃ ἐκ λόγου αὐτοῦ. ἀκούσασα δὲ Μαριὰμ διεκρίθη ἐν ἑαυτῇ λέγουσα: ἐγὼ συλλήψομαι, ὡς πᾶσα γυνὴ γεννᾷ; 3 καὶ λέγει πρὸς αὐτὴν ὁ ἄγγελος: οὐχ οὕτως, Μαριάμ: δύναμις γὰρ θεοῦ ἐπισκιάσει σοι, διὸ καὶ τὸ γεννόμενον (ἐκ σοῦ) ἅγιον κληθήσεται υἱὸς ὑψίστου, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν: αὐτὸς γὰρ σώσει τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν. καὶ εἶπεν Μαριάμ: ἰδοὺ ἡ δούλη κυρίου: γένοιτό μοι κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου.

The Annunciation (detail) by Philippe de Champaigne

Deep (Adult) Thoughts with Aristotle: On Drinking and Sex, and Combinations Thereof

From Aristotle’s Problems:

872b

“Why can’t drunk people have sex?”

Διὰ τί οἱ μεθύοντες ἀφροδισιάζειν ἀδύνατοί εἰσιν;

874b

“Why are the drunk more prone to tears?”

Διὰ τί οἱ μεθύοντες ἀριδάκρυοι μᾶλλον;

 

“Why is it hard to sleep when you’re drunk?”

Διὰ τί τοῖς μεθύουσιν οὐκ ἐγγίνεται ὕπνος

 

“Why does someone who is buzzed act more inebriated than either the drunk or the sober?”

Διὰ τί ὁ ἀκροθώραξ μᾶλλον παροινεῖ τοῦ μᾶλλον μεθύοντος καὶ τοῦ νήφοντος;

876b

“Why does a drinker’s tongue stumble?”

Διὰ τί τῶν μεθυόντων ἡ γλῶττα πταίει;

 

877a

“Why is being barefoot not an advantage for sex?”

Διὰ τί ἡ ἀνυποδησία οὐ συμφέρει πρὸς ἀφροδισιασμούς;

 

“Why does sex wear humans out more than other animals?”

Διὰ τί ἐκλύεται μάλιστα τῶν ζῴων ἀφροδισιάσας ἄνθρωπος;

 

877b

“Why do people fasting have sex so quickly?”

Διὰ τί νήστεις θᾶττον ἀφροδισιάζουσιν;

878a

“Why is it harder for people for have sex in water?”

Διὰ τί ἐν τῷ ὕδατι ἧττον δύνανται ἀφροδισιάζειν οἱ ἄνθρωποι;

 

880b

“Why does a person’s eyes weaken if they have sex?”

Διὰ τί, ἐὰν ἀφροδισιάζῃ ὁ ἄνθρωπος, οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἀσθενοῦσι μάλιστα;

 

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A series of responses by poet and reader Eric Sigler:

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