Dr Abraham Terian, recently a visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as Fulbright Distinguished Chair in the Humanities, points to a rare manuscript as his source.Obviously, this is not about the historical Jesus. But it's very interesting that a Syriac apocryphal tradition that made it into Armenian has Jesus playing something like cricket. The Armenian manuscript is from the thirteenth century, but I would think that the Syriac tradition might well go back to late antiquity, as Professor Terian suggests. I hope Tony Chartrand-Burke takes this one up at Apocryphicity.
He notes that in the Armenian Gospel of the Infancy, translated into Armenian in the 6th century from a much older lost Syriac original, a passage tells of Jesus playing what may well be the precursor of cricket, with a club and ball.
Terian discovered the manuscript more than a decade ago at the Saint James Armenian Monastery in the Old City of Jerusalem.
His English translation of the book has been published by Oxford University Press.
"The most amazing part of the story of the nine-year-old Jesus playing a form of cricket with the boys at the sea shore, is that he would go on playing the game on water, over the sea waves.''
He gives the following translation: "He (Jesus) would take the boys to the seashore and, carrying the playing ball and the club, he would go over the waves of the sea as though he was playing on a frozen surface, hitting the playing ball. And watching him, the boys would scream and say: 'Watch the child Jesus, what he does over the waves of the sea!' Many would gather there and, watching him, would be amazed.''
Friday, August 08, 2008
JESUS PLAYED CRICKET, MANUSCRIPT SUGGESTS: