The four canonical Gospels, which are universally accepted by Christians as the inspired Word of God, present a synopsis of the most essential elements of the life, death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, in themselves, they tell us little about the life of the Virgin Mary, or Joseph, or even the childhood and youth of Jesus himself. These omissions do not mean, of course, that those details were not wondrous and significant, but merely that they are beyond what Divine Wisdom determined as the fitting scope of the Sacred Scriptures. The canonical Gospels, despite their narrative form, are not detailed biographies, but rather eternal and sacred expressions of the Divine Word.
This is where texts such as the Protoevangelium of Saint James step in as they relay other accounts about Jesus and those around Him. The very early traditions which they encapsulate are in no way inconsistent with the canonical Gospels themselves, or the information available from other reliable sources. In fact, the liturgy of the Church and the writings of the Church Fathers draws upon, or closely corresponds with, material contained in inspiring documents such as this.
Reading this text can supplement our reading of the canonical Gospels and open our eyes to understand more about the birth of the Blessed Mary and of Jesus our Saviour.
Translated by: Fr Robert Nixon
Publisher URL: www.stshenoudapress.com
Publication Year: 2022