Removing the Myths from Jesus Christ's Birth and Childhood

You are here

Removing the Myths from Jesus Christ's Birth and Childhood

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×

What do we know about Jesus’ birth and early childhood? Two thousand years later myths shroud the history of the early childhood of Jesus Christ.

One fable has Jesus learning to do miracles from Egyptian magicians when His family fled to Egypt to escape King Herod’s wrath. Another describes the young Jesus making pigeons of clay and impressing other children by making them come to life.

How can we separate fact from fiction? Is it important for those who believe in Jesus as their Savior to get the facts straight? Jesus Christ embodied truth. Shouldn’t His followers, then, insist on believing only what is true?

Millions of people believe Jesus was born on Dec. 25 and that He had no brothers and sisters and that his mother lived in perpetual virginity.

How can we separate fact from fiction? Is it important for believers in Jesus as their Savior to get the facts straight?

Jesus Christ embodied truth. Shouldn’t His followers, then, insist on believing only what is true? Didn’t He say: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”? (John 8:31-32 John 8:31-32 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
American King James Version×
).

Shouldn’t we free ourselves from the legends and outright falsehoods that envelop the birth and life of Christ?

The Scriptures themselves provide facts that dispel many myths and errors which have crept into the accounts of His childhood. By carefully reviewing Bible prophecies and the four narratives of Jesus’ early years, we can separate truth from error.

A birth predicted 700 years in advance

The first thing to remember about the early history of Christ is that numerous prophecies predicted the manner, place and approximate date of His birth.

Some 700 years before Jesus was born, God prophesied through Isaiah that “the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel’ ” (Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 7:14Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
American King James Version×
). This prophecy was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus. “So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us’ ” (Matthew 1:22-23 Matthew 1:22-23 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
American King James Version×
).

The birth of Jesus Christ to a virgin was predicted 700 years before the actual event. Even the miraculous circumstances of the Messiah’s birth were foretold!

Time and place of predicted

Not only was the manner of his birth predicted, but also the place. Four hundred years before Jesus’ birth, God inspired the prophet Micah to announce: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2 Micah 5:2But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
American King James Version×
).

Was it evident that this was a prophecy of the birthplace of the Messiah? When King Herod heard that the wise men were searching for the recently born Jesus, he asked the Jewish religious leaders where the Messiah was to be born. The priests and scribes quoted the same verse from the book of Micah and said, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet” (Matthew 2:5-6 Matthew 2:5-6 5 And they said to him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And you Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, are not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of you shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
American King James Version×
).

Even the time of Jesus’ birth was roughly known through another prophecy. God had told Daniel by way of an angel: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until [the coming of the] Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks …” (Daniel 9:25 Daniel 9:25Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
American King James Version×
). Therefore 69 prophetic “weeks” would elapse from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the appearance of the Messiah.

Actually, in the original Hebrew, the text does not say 70 “weeks” but 70 “sevens,” which can mean 70 groups of seven days, weeks or years. The time span of this extensive prophecy could not be 69 groups of seven days, or 483 days, roughly 40 months, nor 69 groups of seven weeks, or about 9⅓ years. The only other explanation would be 69 groups of seven years, or a total of 483 years.

John Walvoord discusses this prophecy in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: “Daniel was first informed that God’s program would be consummated in 70 ‘sevens.’ Since Daniel had been thinking of God’s program in terms of years (v. 1; cf. Jeremiah 25:11-12 Jeremiah 25:11-12 11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, said the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.
American King James Version×
; 2 Chronicles 36:21 2 Chronicles 36:21To fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill three score and ten years.
American King James Version×
), it would be most natural for him to understand these ‘sevens’ as years. Whereas people today think in units of tens (e.g. decades), Daniel’s people thought in terms of sevens (heptads) … Seventy ‘sevens,’ then, is a span of 490 years” ( Logos Software, 1996).

Although Persian kings issued several decrees concerning the rebuilding of Jerusalem, when fit into this prophecy most bring us close to the time of the appearance of Jesus Christ, either of His birth or of His ministry. Without going into detail, the main point here is that during Christ’s lifetime there was an expectation among the Jews of the coming of the Messiah (Matthew 11:2-3 Matthew 11:2-3 2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3 And said to him, Are you he that should come, or do we look for another?
American King James Version×
; Luke 3:15 Luke 3:15And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;
American King James Version×
; John 1:40-41 John 1:40-41 40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first finds his own brother Simon, and said to him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
American King James Version×
).

Expectation of the coming Messiah

Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian, mentions the Jews had the belief that “about that time one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth” ( Wars of the Jews, Book VI, Chapter V, Section 4).

This first coming of the Messiah would be a partial fulfillment of Malachi 3-4. The remainder of that prophecy will be completed only with Christ’s second coming. Many specific details of the coming of the Messiah were foretold. Nothing had been left to chance regarding Chrsit’s birth.

The Bible speaks of this expectation of the Messiah in Christ’s time: “And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel [the fulfillment of the Hebrew prophecies about the Messiah], and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God …” (Luke 2:25-28 Luke 2:25-28 25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was on him. 26 And it was revealed to him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
American King James Version×
).

Even the learned Romans had heard of the Jewish prophecies of the coming Messiah, for they applied them to one of their rulers—a contemporary of Jesus, Caesar Augustus. Suetonius, a Roman historian, tells us the Romans turned the prophecies upside down: “There had spread over all the Orient an old and established belief, that it was fated at that time for men coming from Judea to rule the world. This prophecy, which refers to the emperor of Rome, the Jews applied to themselves” ( Life of Vespasian, 4:5).

Tacitus, another Roman historian, writes of the same belief that “there was a firm persuasion … that at this very time the East was to grow powerful, and rulers coming from Judea were to acquire a universal empire” ( Histories, 5:13).

It was no surprise, then, to note the expectation of some and the dismay of others when a group of “wise men” came to Jerusalem searching for the newly born Messiah. They asked, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him. When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him” (Matthew 2:2-3 Matthew 2:2-3 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
American King James Version×
).

The Jews were filled with hope, but also with apprehension, for they knew of Herod’s ruthlessness when he perceived any threat to his throne. Their fears proved well-founded when Herod ordered the massacre of the infants in Bethlehem (verse 16).

A prophecy continued

The Jewish people were well aware that the last Old Testament prophet predicted the coming of the Messiah to the temple (Malachi 3-4). They also knew God would first send a messenger to prepare the way for the Messiah. “Behold, I will send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple” (Malachi 3:1 Malachi 3:1Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: behold, he shall come, said the LORD of hosts.
American King James Version×
).

It is fitting, then, that the first scene of the New Testament, chronologically speaking, opens with the description of that coming messenger. The scene is found in Luke 1 and is actually a continuation of Malachi 3-4. It begins with the priest Zacharias in that temple hearing from an angel that he would father the very messenger (John the Baptist), who would prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. The four Gospels begin where the Old Testament prophecies leave off, continuing and complementing them and showing their fulfillment in the events around Jesus Christ’s coming.

This first coming of the Messiah would be a partial fulfillment of Malachi 3-4. The remainder of that prophecy will be completed only with Christ’s second coming. Many specific details of the coming of the Messiah were foretold. Nothing had been left to chance regarding Christ’s birth.

Importance of genealogies

Other prophecies concerned the physical lineage of the Messiah. The official Jewish genealogies were kept in the temple. These perished when the temple and the archives in Jerusalem were burned by the Romans in 70. Since it was prophesied that the Messiah would descend from Abraham and David (Genesis 12:1-7 Genesis 12:1-7 1 Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you: 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed. 4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. 6 And Abram passed through the land to the place of Sichem, to the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And the LORD appeared to Abram, and said, To your seed will I give this land: and there built he an altar to the LORD, who appeared to him.
American King James Version×
; Jeremiah 33:15 Jeremiah 33:15In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up to David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.
American King James Version×
), it was necessary for anyone who claimed to be the Messiah to be able to verify his ancestry through these official genealogical records.

The Jews had a legitimate concern over genealogical records, for these determined who was an Israelite and who was not. If a man were of Abrahamic descent, these records would confirm his religious, hereditary and biological rights. If not, he was considered a gentile and wasn’t regarded as part of the Israelite nation or of its inheritance.

These records were also important to authenticate the Aaronic descent of the priests and those who claimed Levitical descent. We can see its importance in Ezra 2:62 Ezra 2:62These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
American King James Version×
, when certain people claimed to be priests. “These sought their listing among those who were registered by genealogy, but they were not found; therefore they were excluded from the priesthood as defiled.”

So in Jesus’ time if one claimed to be the Messiah he would have to prove through his genealogy that he had descended from Abraham and David. To prove this was the case for Jesus, the Gospel writers placed His genealogies at the beginning of Matthew (Joseph’s genealogy) and in Luke 3 (Mary’s genealogy) for all to see and verify.

It would have been easy for Jesus’ adversaries to have refuted His claims to be the Messiah by simply comparing his genealogies with the official records of the time and have shown this was not the case. Scripture doesn’t record any instance of the Jewish leaders challenging Jesus on this point.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary points out: “Matthew’s genealogy answered the important question a Jew would rightfully ask about anyone who claimed to be King of the Jews. Is He a descendant of David through the rightful line of succession? Matthew answered yes!” ( Logos Software, 1996).

Once the official genealogical records were destroyed in 70, there was no way to confirm if one who claimed to be the Messiah was descended from David. Now no Jew can officially prove he is descended from Abraham and King David.

The birthdate of Jesus

It is remarkable that, while the manner, place and genealogy of Jesus are carefully described in the opening chapters of Matthew and John, none of the Gospel writers mentions the date—or even the month—of His birth. There is no recorded celebration of the birth of Christ for the first four centuries. The first recorded “Christ mass” was not held until 435, when Pope Sixtus III conducted it in Rome.

Cambridge historian Henry Chadwick explains when and why Dec. 25 was chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus: “Moreover, early in the fourth century there begins in the West … the celebration of December 25th, the birthday of the Sun-god at the winter solstice, as the date for the nativity of Christ” ( The Early Church, 1967, p. 126).

Dec. 25 was arbitrarily selected, not because Jesus was born on that day, but because it was already popular in pagan religious celebrations as the birthday of the sun. Gerard and Patricia del Re explain: “… The tradition of celebrating December 25 as Christ’s birthday came to the Romans from Persia. Mithra, the Persian god of light and sacred contracts, was born out of a rock on December 25. Rome was famous for its flirtations with strange gods and cults, and in the third century [274] the unchristian emperor Aurelian established the festival of Dies Invicti Solis, the Day of the Invincible Sun, on December 25.

“Mithra was an embodiment of the sun, so this period of its rebirth was a major day in Mithraism, which had become Rome’s latest official religion with the patronage of Aurelian. It is believed that the emperor Constantine adhered to Mithraism up to the time of his conversion to Christianity. He was probably instrumental in seeing that the major feast of his old religion was carried over to his new faith” ( The Christmas Almanac, 1979, p. 17).

The origins of Christmas cannot be traced either to the teachings or practices of the earliest Christians. The biblical feast days of Jesus and the apostles were neglected by later religious leaders who instituted a new set of holidays in their place.

Jesus not born in December

The Bible records two circumstances relating to Christ’s birth that show that December—or any time during the winter—was a highly unlikely time for Christ’s birth. These were the Roman census that took place at the time of His birth and the fact that shepherds were in the fields at night.

The origins of Christmas cannot be traced either to the teachings or practices of the earliest Christians. The biblical feast days of Jesus Christ and the apostles were neglected by later religious leaders who instituted a new set of holidays in their place.

The Romans periodically conducted a census for taxation and military recruitment purposes. They were not done in winter, when the temperatures often dropped below freezing and the roads were muddy. A census under such conditions would have been largely self-defeating.

In the book Holy-Days and Holidays, author Cunningham Geikie explains: “This census could hardly have been at that [winter] season, however, for such a time would surely not have been chosen by the authorities for a public enrollment, which necessitated the population travelling from all parts to their natal districts, storms and rain making journeys both unsafe and unpleasant in winter, except in specially favorable years.”

Luke, in describing Christ’s birth, tells us that shepherds were in their fields at night at the time Christ was born. “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8 Luke 2:8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
American King James Version×
). As the Evangelical Commentary on the Bible tells us: “The shepherds would take turns watching the flock at night to guard against wolves and thieves. The text does not indicate the time of year, although December would be an unusual time of year to be outside at night” ( Logos Software, 1996).

The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary adds regarding this verse: “These humble pastoral folk are out in the field at night with their flock—a feature of the story which would argue against the birth [of Christ] occurring on Dec. 25 since the weather would not have permitted it.”

So, from the testimony of the Bible itself, a Dec. 25 date for the birth of Christ is unrealistic.

Flight to Egypt

Sometime after the birth of Christ, Herod received the disquieting news about the birth from the wise men. Since Herod wanted to destroy Him, he waited impatiently for the men to return so he could find exactly where Jesus lived and have Him killed. But an angel warned the wise men not to return to Herod.

“Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.’ When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod …” (Matthew 2:12-15 Matthew 2:12-15 12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. 13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be you there until I bring you word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. 14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
American King James Version×
).

Based on this account some books speculate the young Jesus might have learned His miracles from the Egyptian magicians. Yet a careful reading of the text shows Jesus was in Egypt only a short time during his infancy—”until the death of Herod.” A comparison of Roman and Jewish historical records and the Bible shows Herod died within months or at most a year or two of the birth of Jesus.

What did Joseph do when he heard of Herod’s death? The Bible explains: “But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.’ Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel … and dwelt in a city called Nazareth” (Matthew 2:19-21 Matthew 2:19-21 19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appears in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life. 21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
American King James Version×
; Matthew 2:23 Matthew 2:23And he came and dwelled in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
American King James Version×
).

We see Christ was in Egypt only for a short time during the first years of His life. He could not have learned anything from any Egyptian magicians.

Christ’s childhood years

Some point out that little information is in the Gospels about the childhood years of Christ. This is perfectly understandable since the focus of the Gospels is on His ministry beginning at the age of 30. Yet the Bible includes more about His youth than first meets the eye.

This verse explains that Jesus had four half brothers and at least two half sisters. Some have tried to say these brothers and sisters of Jesus were only “cousins” to bolster the claim that Jesus was an only child and Mary remained a perpetual virgin.

For instance, we know that during his youth Jesus kept Israel’s religious feasts every year with his family. “His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast” (Luke 2:41-42 Luke 2:41-42 41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
American King James Version×
).

We also know Jesus lived most of his life up to the age of 30 in the environs of Nazareth. “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read” (Luke 4:16 Luke 4:16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
American King James Version×
).

We see two things from this verse. First, Jesus kept the Sabbath day, going to the synagogue “as His custom was.” We also see that Jesus had grown up in Nazareth, because if Jesus had lived somewhere else he could not have “been brought up” in Nazareth.

Beside, He was well known in Nazareth for his profession as a builder and carpenter. When He began His ministry the people from Nazareth asked, “Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” (Mark 6:3 Mark 6:3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
American King James Version×
).

This verse not only explains what Jesus’ profession was during his adulthood in Nazareth, but that He had four half-brothers and at least two half-sisters. (They would be half-brothers and sisters since Jesus had God as His father and Mary as His mother. The brothers and sisters had Joseph as their father and Mary as their mother.)

Some have tried to say these brothers and sisters of Jesus were only “cousins” to bolster the claim that Jesus was an only child and Mary remained a perpetual virgin. Yet the Greek term used here is the normal word for “brother,” adelphos, whereas the Greek term for cousin, anepsios, is not used here (though it is used elsewhere in the New Testament, in Colossians 4:10 Colossians 4:10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner salutes you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom you received commandments: if he come to you, receive him;)
American King James Version×
).

The Bible contains many other instances of clear references to the literal “brothers of the Lord” (Matthew 12:46-47 Matthew 12:46-47 46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said to him, Behold, your mother and your brothers stand without, desiring to speak with you.
American King James Version×
; John 2:12 John 2:12After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brothers, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.
American King James Version×
; John 7:3-5 John 7:3-5 3 His brothers therefore said to him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that your disciples also may see the works that you do. 4 For there is no man that does any thing in secret, and he himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world. 5 For neither did his brothers believe in him.
American King James Version×
; 1 Corinthians 9:5 1 Corinthians 9:5Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
American King James Version×
; Galatians 1:19 Galatians 1:19But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.
American King James Version×
).

As for the supposed virginity of Mary after having given birth to Jesus, both Matthew 1:25 Matthew 1:25And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
American King James Version×
and Luke 2:7 Luke 2:7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
American King James Version×
call Jesus her “firstborn Son” ( prototokos ). They do not use the term “only child” or “only son” ( monogenes ), although the term for an only son is used elsewhere in the Gospels (Luke 7:12 Luke 7:12Now when he came near to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
American King James Version×
). Clearly, the use of “firstborn Son” to describe Jesus means other children were later born to Mary.

Facts or fiction?

Another persistent myth tells of Christ doing miracles as a child. This goes back to legendary stories told of Him during the first centuries.

Yet this contradicts the biblical account, for we read in John that the first miracle done by Jesus was turning the water into wine in the wedding feast in Cana. “This beginning of signs [miracles] Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed Him” (John 2:11 John 2:11This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
American King James Version×
).

If Christ had performed miracles before this time, under the inspiration of God, John could not have written that the miracle at Cana was the first sign or miracle performed by Jesus Christ.

When all is said and done, there is sufficient information in the Gospels to dispel the myths that have crept into the extrabiblical accounts of Christ’s life through the centuries. Most of His life as reflected in the Gospels deals with His ministry, because this was the time of His public teaching. His early life is briefly mentioned to confirm that He fulfilled prophecies about the Messiah and to establish the background for His all-important ministry.

One of the responsibilities of a Christian is to believe and faithfully transmit biblical teachings in all their purity and to avoid all falsehoods. It is important to get the record straight about Christ’s life. It is the only way we can follow the biblical principle that “no lie is of the truth” (1 John 2:21 1 John 2:21I have not written to you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
American King James Version×
).

You might also be interested in...