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Arabic Gospel of the Infancy

ARABIC GOSPEL OF THE INFANCY. One of the later Infancy Gospels (see APOCRYPHAL NT 2 [c]), combining into one account various stories about the birth of Jesus, the flight into Egypt and the events which took place there, and the miracles wrought by the boy Jesus. The birth story (II-IX) is based on the Protevangelium of James (q.v.), the section about the miracles (XXXVI-LIII) on the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (q.v.). The narrative of the flight into Egypt (9) begins from Matthew 2:13 f., but the miracles of this section have no canonical basis, although the description of the demoniac in ch. 14 draws upon Mark 5:1-5. These wonders in Egypt and in Bethlehem are wrought through contact with the child, his clothes, or even his bath water; a notable feature is the prominent role played by Mary. Part of the book is contained in Syriac in the History of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ed. E. A. W. Budge [1899]), and it is possibly of Syr. origin. Its tr. into Arab. made these legends available to Moslems, and some passed into the Koran.

Bibliography

ANT 80ff. (summary); NTAp. I. 404f. (discussion; see also A. de Santos Otero, Los Evangelios Apocrifos, Madrid 1956, 327, for bibliography). Full translation in Ante-Nicene Christian Library XVI (1870), 100ff.

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