Free Online Bible Library | Book of James

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Book of James

“Protevangelium”. An apocryphal infancy gospel of the late second century professing to have been written by James the Lord's brother. The original Greek text has survived, and also various oriental versions are in existence, the oldest being the Syriac, though there is no Latin version. It describes the miraculous birth and infancy of the Virgin Mary, whose parents are here for the first time given the names of Joachim and Anne. It then goes on to deal with her relationship to Joseph and the birth of Jesus (using the early chapters of Matthew and Luke as a basis). Here Joseph is presented as an old man who already had sons. The story of the death of Zechariah seems not to belong to the original. The “Protevangelium,” as it has been called since the sixteenth century, may have been known by Clement of Alexandria. It was certainly known by Origen, for he refers to it when asserting that the brothers of Jesus were sons of Joseph by a former wife.