Protoevangelium of James Chapters 19 through 22 - Thoughts

I’ve made quite a bit of progress since my report on chapters 16, 17, and 18. I expect to finish up reading the entire thing today. This document is a very quick read. The Greek is definitely on the easy side of the spectrum.

Just in case I haven’t mentioned it before, you can find the Greek text of the Protoevangelium on Wieland Willker’s site or you can get it as a free module for BibleWorks.

In chapter 19 of Prot. Jas. Joseph comes out of his vision, looks, and finds a handmaiden for Mary. Interestingly enough, this is related first-person from the point of Joseph. Anyway, the handmaiden (μαῖα) doesn’t believe him at first that Mary is a virgin, but she believes later. Here in chapter 19 we finally get to the birth of Jesus. After this the handmaiden leaves the cave and talks to the previously unknown character Salome. Salome does not believe her.

In chapter 20 Salome goes in to check to see if Mary is a virgin. She sees that she is and is quite convicted of her sin.

In chapter 21 the happy parents are planning on go into Judea, but there was a disturbance. Magi had shown up looking for the one who was born king of the Jews. At this point we’re quoting verbatim from Matthew it seems. The story continues on and the magi meet Herod, bring their gifts to Jesus, and then depart so Herod cannot find the boy.

In chapter 22 Herod gets mad. Mary flees with Joseph to Egypt. Elisabeth then goes and hides on a mountain, though has a little trouble until an angel comes and helps.

What’s next? I don’t know, I’ve never read it. But I soon will!

My only Greek question in this section was the form ἀποκρυβῆς. My assumption at this point is that it is an adjective that would form like ἀποκρυβῆς, -ές, and it comes from the same root as ἀποκρύπτω. Any thoughts on that anyone?


Benji Overcash 2008-04-19 02:37:12

Might it be the GS of ἀποκρυβή? According to LSJ, it means "concealment." I don’t know how that fits the context.

Eric 2008-04-19 06:50:56

Well...huh. That’s obviously it. I must need to get my eyes checked. Thanks, oh anonymous one!

Eric 2008-04-19 06:51:34

Oh, and it fits into the context perfectly.