THE CHILDHOOD OF JESUS
THE GOSPEL OF JAMES

Biographical Gospel of the Lord

- Chapter 10 -
An Informer Hastens Back To Jerusalem


 
T
WO WEEKS after this occurrence a great council was held in Jerusalem, because it had been ascertained from a few Romans residing there that the emperor would have the whole Jewish nation counted and recorded.
 
2
These tidings caused great consternation among the Jews, to whom it was forbidden to count people.
 
3
For that reason the high priest summoned a great assembly which all the elders and craftsmen, of whom Joseph was one, were to attend.
 
4
Now Joseph had just undertaken a little trip into the hills to gather wood for building and stayed away for several days.
 
5
And the messenger from Jerusalem, who came during that time to bring Joseph the call to the great council, gave the summons to his oldest son with the admonition to most urgently inform Joseph upon his return.
 
6
When Joseph already came home the following morning, his son Joses immediately informed him of the tidings from Jerusalem.
 
7
At this Joseph said, 'For five days now I have been climbing around in the hills and have become very tired, any my feet would never carry me if I first did not rest for a couple of days - hence I am not compelled to follow the call from Jerusalem this time.
 
8
Besides, this whole assembly is not worth a straw, for the mighty emperor of Rome, who already swings his scepter over the lands of the Scythians, will take little notice of our consultation and will do as he pleases. So I shall stay right at home.'
 
9
Three days later Joseph was visited by a certain prominent scribe from Jerusalem named Annas, who asked him,
 
10
'Joseph, you who are a man from the tribe of David learned in the crafts and scriptures. I must ask you why you did not come to the assembly?'
 
11
Here Joseph turned to Annas and replied, 'See, I was in the hills for five days and did not know that I was called.
 
12
When I did get home and received the message through my son Joses, 1 was too weak and tired to make my way up to Jerusalem. And besides, I could see at the first glance that this whole great assembly would be of little if any use.'
 
13
While Joseph was speaking, Annas looked about and unluckily discovered the highly pregnant maiden.
 
14
He accordingly left Joseph as if speechless and hurried to Jerusalem as fast as he could.
 
15
Arrived there quite out of breath, he hastened at once to the high priest and said to him,
 
16
'Hear me, and do not ask me why the son of David did not come to the assembly, for I have discovered unheard-of abominations in his house.
 
17
See, Joseph, for whom God and you gave witness, in that you entrusted the maiden to him, has offended against God and you in an indescribably low and sensual way!'
 
18
The high priest, quite horrified at the tidings of Annas, asked brusquely, 'How is that, in what way? Speak the complete truth to me, or you shall pay with your life even today!'
 
19
Annas replied, 'See, the maiden Mary, whom according to the witness of God he received into his care from this temple of the Lord, he has thoroughly defiled - for her already high pregnancy is a living witness thereof!'
 
20
Here the high priest declared: 'No, Joseph has never done this. Can God also give a false witness?'
 
21
And Annas retorted, 'So then send your most trusted servants there, and you will be convinced that the maiden is in fact highly pregnant - and if she is not, then you can have me stoned here!