A new manuscript about Jesus as a boy surfaces in Germany

The mystery of the ‘Infancy Gospel of Thomas’ is rekindled

Jonathan Poletti
I blog God.


An old papyrus had been sitting around for decades in the library of a state university in Hamberg, Germany. Then someone noticed the word ‘Jesus’.

It turned out to be the earliest known copy of a very strange text in the bowels of Christian history, known as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. One of the many texts about Jesus that Christianity tried to trash, it was once very popular, telling the story of the Bible’s messiah as a boy.

The contents were startling. Jesus was one angry kid.

Midjourney graphic; Papyrus fragment of Infancy Gospel of Thomas (edited)

Copies of the ‘Infancy Gospel of Thomas’ have been found all over the world, in many languages.

Until now, the oldest copy known to survive was from the 11th century. The ‘new’ copy is from the 4th or 5th centuries. I’m reading a scholarly report by Lajos Berkes and Gabriel Nocchi Macedo. How the University of Hamberg obtained the old papyrus is apparently unknown. Apparently found in Egypt, the school forgot how it got there.