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Experts discover earliest records of Jesus' childhood after deciphering 2,000-year-old Egyptian manuscript

19:44, June 12

Experts have discovered the earliest records of Jesus' childhood after deciphering a 2,000-year-old Egyptian manuscript.

This papyrus tells the little-known story of the “revival of the sparrows,” when the five-year-old Messiah turned clay doves into living birds. The story is known as the "second miracle."

The awkwardness of the handwriting has led researchers to speculate that it was likely written as part of a class exercise in a school or religious community in 4th- or 5th-century Egypt, which was a Christian society at the time.

The original story of Jesus' miracle is believed to have been written around the 2nd century as part of the Gospel of Thomas, a book detailing the youth of Jesus of Nazareth that was eventually omitted from the Bible.

But before this discovery, the earliest written example of the Gospel dates back to the 11th century.

Until now, the aforesaid papyrus lay unnoticed in the Hamburg State and University Library. Experts have told The Daily Mail that they came across the papyri while analyzing the manuscripts, and noticed the name of Jesus in the text.

“It was thought to be part of an everyday document, such as a private letter or a shopping list because the handwriting appears clumsy,” said Professor Lajos Berkes, a lecturer at the Faculty of Theology at Humboldt University.

“We first noticed the word ‘Jesus’ in the text. Then, after comparing it with numerous other digitized papyri, we spelled it out and quickly realized that this could not be an everyday document,” he added.

The Infant Gospel of Thomas describes the life of Jesus from the ages of five to 12 and was written in the 2nd century as a way to fill in the gaps of his youth. But this Gospel was excluded from the Bible because it was considered unreliable.

The Bible was supposed to focus solely on Jesus' ministry, miracles, and what led up to his death on the cross.


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