Skip to comments.Unraveling Jesus' mystery years in Egypt
Posted on 07/31/2005 5:38:30 AM PDT by NYer
|"Behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him." - MATTHEW 2:13
How much do we really know about Jesus?
Not as much as we might think, according to a new film documentary focusing on the little-known childhood of Christianity's savior.
Titled "Jesus in Egypt," the film is based on a book of the same name by author Paul Perry, widely known for his work on near-death experiences.
Like Perry's book, the film focuses on the flight of Jesus' family to Egypt from Israel after King Herod threatened to "destroy" the boy Jesus, as St. Matthew wrote in the New Testament.
The film was prepared by a team led by Perry that includes Florida archaeologist John de Bry, 61. De Bry is a veteran of many projects, including a quest for the ships of the pirate Capt. William Kidd off Madagascar in 2000.
The film, providing information little known outside Egypt, takes viewers on a long trek through the nation's ruins and dusty desert towns, looking at the predominantly Muslim country's Christian past.
It also talks about the boy Jesus toppling idols and maturing quickly into a spiritual leader as his family traveled through Egypt.
For centuries, Christians in the northeastern African nation have kept records and documents about the family's journey there, but the Bible, with the exception of a few verses, concentrates primarily on the last three years of Jesus' life.
Because of that, the majority of the world's Christians know little about Jesus in Egypt, the 54-year-old Perry said from his home in Paradise Valley, Ariz.
While Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country, it also is home to several million Coptic Christians and the group's headquarters.
Perry, for his part, says he decided to write the book after learning how vital the story of Jesus' family is to Christians living in Egypt.
He made two journeys to scores of places the family is said to have stopped in the country, according to Coptic tradition. The first journey was for the book in 2001, and the second for the documentary, which took seven weeks to film in early 2004.
Because of concern about possible Muslim threats, the Egyptian government in 2004 gave the filmmakers plenty of security, as they had for Perry during his first trip in 2001. No incidents occurred either time.
The film shows many scenes and images, all of which are based on the centuries-old oral traditions and documents gathered by the Coptic Church but not on any new archaeological or documentary evidence.
Even without new evidence, de Bry, before leaving for Cairo in June, said, "We can no longer deny that there is a certain degree of truth to the tradition of the Holy Family in Egypt, a tradition based on a collective memory of historical events. The burden of proof is not on those who believe in the tradition but those who do not."
Of his latest venture, de Bry added, ''I'm not a born-again Christian, but this experience has changed me spiritually. It's been enlightening.''
I'm glad someone out there took this project. There really isn't much outside of Egypt on the topic and it would be interesting to know more.
Very interesting. We really don't know much about our Lord's childhood.
It would be interesting for the Coptics to provide more information about their tradition.
Here's a link to an icon showing the flight into Egypt. Note that St. James the Brother of the Lord takes up the rear:
I'm sure that by the time the revisionist "History" Channel gets a hold of the story, they'll add the missing chapters of Jesus' adolescence years in present day Utah.
"... missing chapters of Jesus' adolescence years in present day Utah."
More likely Cornwall.
Good stuff there!
Isis influence has largely been purged from Christianity except in southern France.
"Isis influence has largely been purged from Christianity except in southern France."
. . . and maybe Bosnia, if you're thinking of Albigensian dualism. It was called Bogomilism in Bosnia, "the Bosnian religion".
Study into the doctrines of regeneration, salvation, and discernment between body, soul and spirit indicate that the significant aspect of Christianity is being born again, regenerated, in the spirit. Until that action by the Holy Spirit, we remain dead to God in the spirit. For this reason, the phrase, "this experience changed me spiritually" without being born again, if truthful, might mean the person's soul has been possessed by a fallen angel or that the person confuses soulish emotionalism with the spirit.
Interestingly, the author uses buzzwords also associated with those who study the occult such as 'enlightenment'.
"Interestingly, the author uses buzzwords also associated with those who study the occult such as 'enlightenment'."
In Orthodox Christianity, the newly baptized are said to be enlightened. So the concept of enlightenment is not owned by devotees of the occult.
Interesting note. I haven't studied Eastern Orthodox belief as much as simply Scripture. I don't find the word "enlightenment" or "enlightened" in Strong's Concordance, but simple searches regarding the word associated with spirit lead to New Age and numerous other belief systems outside of Christianity. I find issues such as spiritual baptism and new birth or rebirth or regeneration to be Scripturally based, but in the author's context, it appears he avoids that association in favor of an alternate religious belief.
"Interesting note. I haven't studied Eastern Orthodox belief as much as simply Scripture."
After the baptism, the newly baptized receives Holy Communion as the deacon or priest says, "The newly enlightened N. receives the Body and Blood of Christ."
Brian. The babe they called 'Brian',
He grew,... grew, grew, and grew--
Grew up to be-- grew up to be
A boy called 'Brian'--
A boy called 'Brian'.
He had arms... and legs... and hands... and feet,
This boy... whose name was 'Brian',
And he grew,... grew, grew, and grew--
Grew up to be--
Yes, he grew up to be
A teenager called 'Brian'--
A teenager called 'Brian',
And his face became spotty.
Yes, his face became spotty,
And his voice dropped down low
And things started to grow
On young Brian and show
He was certainly no--
No girl named 'Brian',
Not a girl named 'Brian'.
And he started to shave
And have one off the wrist
And want to see girls
And go out and get pissed,
A man called 'Brian'--
This man called 'Brian'--
The man they called 'Brian'--
This man called 'Brian'!
"..every man did that which was right in his own eyes". Judges 21:25
Note that the verse mentions that men were doing that which was 'right' in their own eyes. While not following the Law to the 't', still, they were probably trying to do some things in a religious/moral fashion.
That's the way so much of 'Christianity' has been: following scripture to an extent, but allowing unspiritual leaders to lead.
Is an 'enlightening' experience a conversion (born again)?
What saith the Word?
Paul was blinded and heard a voice claiming to be Jesus. That was enlightening, but not a conversion. Acts 9:1-19; 22:4-16
The Samaritans were glad and joyful when told the gospel (sounds like some sort of enlightenment), but were not born again yet. Acts 8:5-17
The vision from the Lord that Cornelius had was 'enlightening', but he wasn't born again yet. Acts 10.
The Lord was smart in not putting into the inspired word the month or day of his fleshly birth or his baptism. Regardless, people have made a commercial bonanza out of his birth. If his baptism had been recorded by date, multitudes would put off baptism until the aniversary of that day, causing busy baptistries one day out of the year.
Small wonder he didn't inspire writers to record his life while in Egypt. I'm sure he could see the commercialism that would have come to pass. Imagine: "Come to Nile to see where 5 yr old Jesus learned how to swim", "Hike the same trail 6 yr old Jesus did to go fishing". And on and on it would go.
His emphasis is the Gospel of the kingdom of God. At best, everything else is a distant second place.