A most curious tidbit is offered at The Rest is History podcast, hosted by Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook, and taken from episode 129, entitled “Cricket.”
Apparently, Jesus played cricket!
I couldn’t just let that pass…I had to do some digging, and found…
Dr. Abraham Terian writes:
"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.''
Actually, the walking-on-water part is the least amazing part of the story. But regarding cricket…from where does he arrive at such a view?
Dr. Terian was a visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as Fulbright Distinguished Chair in the Humanities, and he points to a rare manuscript as his source:
…the Armenian Gospel of the Infancy, translated into Armenian in the 6th century from a much older lost Syriac original….
There’s something you won’t find in the King James…. This apocryphal gospel was housed at the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem.
Fr. Vazken Movsesian is a priest in the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church. He wrote a short booklet on The Bible in The Armenian Church, devoting a long paragraph to this text:
It is one of the more fascinating books of what is called the New Testament apocrypha or “hidden books.”
Fr. Movsesian offers: Jesus, still in the cradle, looks up to his mother and says “Mary, I am the Son of God”; the oil used by Mary Magdalene came from a box of old oil that included Jesus’ “naval string”; Jesus and some other boys made clay animal toys, and His toys came to life – walking and flying. You get the idea.
More is offered from a compilation of the Apocryphal New Testament, published by Oxford University Press in 1924:
Joseph finds Mary through and with the help of Eve – yes, that Joseph and Mary, and that Eve; the magi are from Persia, India, and Arabia; Jesus, accused of causing the death of a child, is saved when the dead child comes to life and exculpates Jesus; Jesus learns from Gamaliel, who is confounded by His wisdom (presumably the same Gamaliel that was the teacher of the Apostle Paul when he was still Saul).
Today is Sunday. I suggest that you bring this up with your pastor or priest only if he is tremendously high in openness…or if you attend an Armenian Church.
After all, just because it isn’t canonical doesn’t mean it isn’t true!