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Christianity / Apocryphal gospels /
Infancy Gospel of Thomas

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In Christianity, apocryphal gospel dating most probably to the 2nd century CE, telling stories from the early life of Jesus.
Although scripts like this generally have had minimal impact on Christian theology, they have been very popular. One story from the Infancy Gospel of Thomas had a dissemination large enough to have been included in the Koran, the one of Jesus and the clay birds (Chapter 2).
The Gospel of Thomas and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas must not be mixed or confused, they are two separate scripts. However, in many cases, references in church literature to a "gospel" of Thomas referred in reality to the "infancy gospel".

The introduction to this gospel, where an "Thomas the Israelite" presents himself as the author of the text is not original. The exact original language is unknown, but was probably Greek or Syriac.

This gospel is not lain out as a continuous story, contrary to the Infancy Gospel of James.
Central to this gospel were miracle stories, stories always popular among the laymen of the church. The stories depict a young Jesus as precocious, clever and even destructive; very much like child-gods in other mythologies. On occasion, Jesus goes so far as to kill playmates. This is used in the mythology to explain that he needed direction, to find a way to use his capacities in a positive way. To achieve this, he is taught by his elders, and the gospel culminates with his trip to the Temple of Jerusalem, indicating the child achieving wisdom. This is also the point where the canonical gospels begins the narrative on Jesus.

By Tore Kjeilen