Why Is There NOTHING Written In The Bible About Jesus' Early Years?

by minimus 25 Replies latest jw friends

  • minimus

    Why doesn't the NT have ANYTHING about Jesus on record prior to his baptism? After all, he was a PERFECT boy. You would think that little Jesus would've been talked about by everyone in the town,

    "Why can't you be like little Jesus? He NEVER talks back to his parents!"

    "Did you see the unbelievable work, Jesus did working on that house?"

    "I've been keeping my eye on Jesus. He's 25 years old now and he would make a perfect husband for any of my girls!"

    Not ONE comment about the perfect baby/child/adult? I don't get it.

  • Ding

    Perhaps the Bible writers focused on what they considered important rather than trying to write a complete biography as people do today.

  • minimus

    Growing up as God's perfect son is important, I would think.

  • blondie

    There is some about his life until he is 2 and about his life when he is 12. Actually, I tried thinking about any "important" person in the bible and if there is much about their childhood or young adulthood; couldn't think of any offhand.

  • cheerios

    wasnt there quite a bit written about joseph?

  • blondie

    When he was 17 and older. But not much. He spent 10 years about in prison before he got a way to get out and there is no day to day byblow of that.


    Why doesn't the NT have ANYTHING about Jesus on record prior to his baptism?

    So the birth narratives, and Luke's accounts of two visits to Jerusalem don't count?

  • Leolaia

    The "gap" only came into existence when the two nativity stories of Matthew and Luke were added to the Markan gospel narrative. Aside from the Lukan story re the time when Jesus was 12, there isn't any interest in the growth of Jesus as a man. The synoptic gospels really are only interested in the last year of Jesus' life. It was left to later infancy gospels (such as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas) to fill in the gaps. Modern pseudepigrapha like the Aquarian Gospel and the Life of Saint Issa also seize upon the "gap" as a point of departure for attributing their unique message to Jesus (usually under the guise of Jesus receiving special instruction in a far-off Eastern land during that time).

  • wobble

    I wonder if a big part of why we have no information on these years is the time the stuff was written.

    In jewish society a male was not considered as grown or adult or whatever until he was thirty, what he did before that was infantile and not important.

    I imagine it is only in modern times, since Freud and others have pointed out the importance of what happens to us in childhood, that there has been great interest in the formative years of anybody.

    For example, we know little about the really youthful Alexander the Great, William the Conqueror or Napoleon.

    As Leo points out, the pseudepigraphal type writings of the 2nd. century and later, on this part of Jesus' life, are filling a gap in the market, the religious tracts that we call the Gospels, written as they were to promote Jesus as a credible leader of a new movement that would move Judaism on, would be unlikely to focus much on those early years, as such tales would alienate many readers.

  • minimus

    I tend to think most young ones were not considered as "important", BUT Jesus was not just another kid on the block. He was PERFECT! So, why no commentary is made about his exploits or younger life is perplexing to me.

  • cantleave

    Because the perfect, God man, Jesus, did not exist!

  • Leolaia

    As I said, there is a book devoted to the exploits of the young Jesus. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is actually quite interesting because it tackles a difficult problem....What is a powerful divine being capable of miracles supposed to be like as an immature kid? If Jesus was truly man, then he had to have had a childhood, and so that raises some questions about what such a person is like. Superman, Smallville, etc. tackles a similar theme.

  • aniron

    Maybe by the time the Gospels came to be written, those who knew him on his early years were all dead.

    Besides would it make any difference to anyones views if we did know?

  • Satanus

    "I tend to think most young ones were not considered as "important""

    I think, that's the answer. Children and women were considered chattel. The christ kid was no different. Kinda weakens the whole jesus messiah, god the son concept, doesn't it??


  • Ding

    Why does this weaken the concept of Jesus as the Messiah, son of God, etc.?

    Moses was a major figure in the OT, of course, but the Bible gives little information about his younger years.

  • Satanus

    Because the claim is that jesus was god incarnate. God growing up from childhood, adolescence and 20's might have something of interest for the spiritual minded, no? I mean, this IS god walking around on the earth.


  • doofdaddy

    I like the Gnostic theory that the wise men at Jesus birth would have watched over Jesus (Who paid for their exile in Egypt? Why just accept him at birth but never show interest again?) and waited until he was of age to be taken to India and the far east to learn from the great mystics. They saw him as the Messiah, so of course he needed to be taught as much ancient wisdom as possible to be a fit spiritual leader.

  • tec

    There is stuff written in the bible about Jesus as a child. Just no play-by-play, and why would there be? Plus, who says Jesus was a perfect child?

    Isaiah 7: 14-16

    Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right. But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kinds you dread will be laid to waste.

    Tends to imply that he had to learn to reject the wrong and choose the right, not that he was born perfect and knowing.


  • agonus

    The Gospels of the traditional canon were specifically chosen for their content (or lack thereof) to support a particular theology or worldview. As has been mentioned above, don't discount the apocryphal stuff.

  • GLTirebiter

    The simple explanation: narrators of the Gospels weren't there to witness the story, so what little was included in Matthew and Luke is what they heard from others decades later--not recent events and their own experience.

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