early Christian writings

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Infancy of Jesus Christ

Gospel of Nicodemus



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The translations of Jeremiah Jones (1693–1724) are found in The Lost Books of the Bible (1820), collected by William Hone.

the first Gospel of the
Infancy of Jesus Christ

translated by Jeremiah Jones

Note (Hal’s):
Early parts of this story, when Jesus is a baby, mostly involve Mary’s using his bath water or discarded swaddling cloths as miraculous healing instruments.

There’s a certain humorous style to the later miracles, exemplified by these samples.

— end note


And Joseph, wheresoever he went in the city, took the Lord Jesus with him, where he was sent for to work to make gates, or milk-pails, or sieves, or boxes; the Lord Jesus was with him wheresoever he went.

And as often as Joseph had anything in his work, to make longer or shorter, or wider, or narrower, the Lord Jesus would stretch his hand towards it.

And presently it became as Joseph would have it.

So that he had no need to finish anything with his own hands, for he was not very skillful at his carpenter’s trade.


Then the Lord Jesus calling the serpent, it presently came forth and submitted to him ; to whom he said, Go and suck out all the poison which thou hast infused into that boy;

So the serpent crept to the boy, and took away all its poison again.


Then a certain principal Rabbi asked him, Hast thou read books?

Jesus answered, he had read both books, and the things which were contained in books.

text checked (see note) Dec 2009

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Gospel of Nicodemus
also called the Acts of Pontius Pilate

translated by Jeremiah Jones


Pilate said to him, What is truth?

Jesus said, Truth is from heaven.

Pilate said, Therefore truth is not on earth.

Jesus said to Pilate, Believe that truth is on earth among those, who when they have the power of judgment, are governed by truth, and form right judgment.

Note (Hal’s):
A major part of this story is the Harrowing of Hell, including this falling-out between Satan and the Prince of Hell (Beelzebub).

— end note


Satan answering, replied to the prince of hell, It is the very same person, Jesus of Nazareth.

Which when the prince of hell heard, he said to him, I adjure thee by the powers which belong to thee and me, that thou bring him not to me.

For when I heard of the power of his word, I trembled for fear, and all my impious company were at the same time disturbed;

And we were not able to detain Lazarus, but he gave himself a shake, and with all the signs of malice, he immediately went away from us; and the very earth, in which the dead body of Lazarus was lodged, presently turned him out alive.

and I know now that he is Almighty God who could perform such things, who is mighty in his dominion, and mighty in his human nature, who is the Saviour of mankind.

Bring not therefore this person hither, for he will set at liberty all those whom I hold in prison under unbelief, and bound with the fetters of their sins, and will conduct them to everlasting life.


O Satan, prince of all evil, author of death, and source of all pride, thou shouldest first have inquired into the evil crimes of Jesus of Nazareth, and then thou wouldest have found that he was guilty of no fault worthy of death.

Why didst thou venture, without either reason or justice, to crucify him, and hast brought down to our regions a person innocent and righteous, and thereby hast lost all the sinners, impious and unrighteous persons in the whole world?

While the prince of hell was thus speaking to Satan, the King of Glory said to Beelzebub, the prince of hell, Satan, the prince shall be subject to thy dominion for ever, in the room of Adam and his righteous sons, who are mine.

text checked (see note) Dec 2009

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