From the Prison Bible Study

I want to thank everyone who passed on advice and encouragement about my joining a bible study at one of our local prisons. Your input was very helpful, intellectually and emotionally.

Some of you wanted updates now and then about my experience with the study. So from time to time I'll share a story "from the prison bible study."

Because of a paperwork delay last night was actually my first night at the study. And I already have a fun story to share.

One of the teachers was talking about the boyhood of Jesus and was commenting on how the bible says very little about the early years of Jesus. Reflecting on this, he asked the class "Why do you think the bible doesn't share much about the childhood of Jesus?"

No one answered until one man raised his hand and said, "I think it's because in the Coptic gospels Jesus appears to be a mean little boy."

Silence and a lot of confused looks followed.

I just smiled to myself and thought, "I might really like this class!"

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6 thoughts on “From the Prison Bible Study”

  1. Isn't it because they weren't really interested in Jesus' childhood? Paul thinks Jesus 'was declared to be Son of God with power at the resurrection', and isn't interested in the pre-resurrection, powerless Jesus. Mark seems to think Jesus got to be special at his baptism, when the Holy Spirit descended on him (of course, that's adoptionist heresy, and it'll bear an orthodox interpretation, else it wouldn't be in the NT), and isn't interested in anything before that. Matthew and Luke think Jesus was special from birth, but he didn't really do much that's relevant to their agenda when he was a kid, so they haven't got much to say about it. Same goes for John, who thinks Jesus was special from eternity. It's only when we get to the Infancy Gospels that we get much about the boy Jesus, but of course they're not in the NT, and we're not supposed to believe them.

    I wonder whether Matthew and Luke really knew anything about Jesus' childhood, or whether they made it all up themselves?

  2. I'm not really sure. But I do think you're right that most of this has to do with the various Christologies vying for attention among the early Christians.

  3. Oh!! If only those gospels were taken on! If Jesus was a mean little boy who grew up to be a God-drenched man, how much more hope for the world that would be!

  4. That made me smile too!

    I am becoming increasingly convinced that some of the best theology is done amongst supposedly 'non-theologians'...

    I hope that you'll get a great deal from your time in prison (as it were...) :)

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