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.
Thank you very much for that edifying post. Good notes for my study and by His spiritual metabolization in my thinking processes.
"The Lord was smart in not putting into the inspired word the month or day of his fleshly birth..."
Based on the Tradition (including, of course, the Holy Scriptures), the Church has determiend that our Lord was born on December 25, A.D. 1 (Julian). You did not know this?
Are you familiar with the Holy Thorn of Glastonbury?
If not, click on http://hocna.org/defense/thorn.htm
Your welcome; freely receive, freely give!
**Based on the Tradition**
Sometimes I see that there are 'Traditionists' that gladly use science to try to prove a scriptural or 'Traditional' theology.
So, using science, I believe it has been proven that during Dec. thru mid-March the pastures in the high elevations (say, a 20 mile radius around Bethlehem) would have been dormant, even 2,000 yrs ago. Science and historical records have proven that the climate has changed very little over that span. Shepherds would no longer have been in the fields watching the flocks by night. The flocks would be in pens and fed forage, and the shepherds in their homes when the angels sang.
Note how cool it must have been in late March-early April when Peter tried to warm himself by a fire, and the cock was crowing.
I borrowed a book on this very subject years ago, but I will have to research the name.
You don't believe the Church and what she teaches? How sad. It's your funeral.
Well, someone named Graves probably knows a thing or two about funerals. :)
Your church does not believe the conversion commanded by the Lord in John 3:3-8 "..thou hearest the sound...so is EVERYONE that is born of the spirit"; Peter (you know, the man some call the first 'pope') in Acts 2:38,39; 10:44-48; and Paul's own conversion in Acts 9:17,18; 22:16. If your church believed it, they would command water and Spirit baptism (I think your church believes in repentance).
I debated others of your persuasion on this forum before. Feel free to read those 'swordfights'.
You say, "How sad. It's your funeral."
Interesting. Oh great almighty mr. Graves, how many have you judged and can confirm are in hell (or heaven)?
He was an interesting rabbi.
LOL !!! But how did you slip in from an Art Bell thread?
It was raining. It was cold
West Bethlehem was no place for a twelve year old
So he packed his bags and he headed out
To find out what the world's about
He went to France. He went to Spain
He found love. He found pain.
He found stores so he started to shop
But he had no money so he got in trouble with a cop
Kids in trouble with the cops
From Israel didn't have no home
So he cut his hair and moved to Rome
It was there he met his Irish bride
And they rented a flat on the lower east side of Rome... Italy that is
Music publishers, book binders, Bible belters, Money Changers,
Spoon Benders and lots of pretty Italian chicks.
Charley bought some popcorn
Billy bought a car
Someone almost bought the farm
But they didn't go that far
Things shut down at midnight
At least around here they do
Cause we all reside down the block
Inside at....23 Skidoo.
Wine was flowing so were beers
So Jesus found his missing years
So He went to a dance and said "This don't move me"
He hiked up his pants and he went to a movie
On his thirteenth birthday he saw "Rebel without a Cause"
He went straight on home and invented Santa Claus
Who gave him a gift and he responded in kind
He gave the gift of love and went out of his mind
You see him and the wife wasn't getting along
So he took out his guitar and he wrote a song
Called "The Dove of Love Fell Off the Perch"
But he couldn't get divorced in the Catholic Church <
P>At least not back then anyhow
Jesus was a good guy he didn't need this shit
So he took a pill with a bag of peanuts and
A Coca-Cola and he swallowed it.
He discovered the Beatles
And he recorded with the Stones
Once He even opened up a three-way package
In Southern California for old George Jones
The years went by like sweet little days
With babies crying pork chops and beaujolais
When he woke up he was seventeen
The world was angry. The world was mean.
Why the man down the street and the kid on the stoop
All agreed that life stank. All the world smelled like poop
Baby poop that is..the worst kind
So he grew his hair long and threw away his comb
And headed back to Jerusalem to find Mom, Dad and home
But when he got there the cupboard was bare
Except for an old black man with a fishing rod
He said "Whatcha gonna be when you grow up?" <
P>Jesus said "God"
Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into?
I'm a human corkscrew and all my wine is blood
They're gonna kill me Mama. They don't like me Bud. <
P>So Jesus went to Heaven and he went there awful quick
All them people killed him and he wasn't even sick
So come and gather around me my contemporary peers
And I'll tell you all the story of
Jesus...The Missing Years
"I debated others of your persuasion on this forum before."
I have found nobody of my "persuasion" in any debate with you about anything.
Did you even bother to read the short article about the Holy Thorn at the link I provided you?
Or are you a "know it all"?
You think someone can be condemned if they don't believe Jesus was born December 25th, in spite of the strong scriptural evidence that Jesus was in fact NOT born in December?
You don't seem to be making sure of the more important things. When I examine the scriptures with regard to what you are saying, I find:
"One man judges one day as above another; another man judges one day as all others; let each man be fully convinced in his own mind." Romans 13:5
"You are scrupulously observing days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that somehow I have toiled to no purpose respecting you." Galatians 4:10,11
Quite frankly, it isn't important what day Jesus was born. What is important is that he died, and rose and reigns as King.
The early Christians did not maintain December 25th as the "birthday" of Jesus. Early church fathers like Clement of Alexandria thought Jesus was born in November, other documents indicate maybe March.
December 25th was eventually chosen by the Church because that corresponded with the Roman festival of Saturnalia. It's clearly pagan in origin. As are the Christmas trees, the mistletoe, the "yule log", and other traditions associated with Christmas. They're all pagan in origin.
We should be wary about mixing light with dark, Christ with Belial. But if you insist on celebrating Christmas anyway, you have no standing to judge those who are honest about it.
Well, I can see you are full of opinions.
"Quite frankly, it isn't important what day Jesus was born"
Come back after you've dumped all your opinions and want to discuss questions intelligently.
I'm not really trying to learn from you. I was correcting you. If you are a Christian, you should be mindful of correction. You were judging someone because they don't believe Jesus was born on the 25th. This is not a worthy subject to judge someone, as there are no indications from Scripture that Christians must believe Jesus was born on the 25th or on ANY particular date.
"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."
Paul Perry is first going to have to explain HOW Jesus spent any YEARS Egypt.
A simple reading of Scripture says that Jesus' parents presented him to at the Temple in Jerusalem, and his
was received by a former High Priest and a Prophetess.
The High Priest pronounced a fulfill prophecy that he
would see the Messiah before he died.
First Century Judaism required, in fulfillment of Scripture, that children had to be presented at the Temple when "the days of her [Miryam's--Mary's] purification according to the Laws of Moses were accomplished." This period was 40 days. Herod died within that same 40 days. [The Scripture is Luke 2:22.}
If Jesus had not been presented that soon, his Messiahship would have been tainted by the violation of Scripture. How could the Jews or anyone else believe in a Messiah who violated his own Word--the Tenakh?
Jesus came to fulfill Scripture, not to supercede it. "Well, I want all of the Jewish children to be presented at the Tempe within 40 days except me?" I really think not.
So where did Joseph and Mary take Jesus when they were warned to flee into Egypt. Probably to Egypt for 40 days Because Herod died, and then they could return.
Then what? They turned around and went BACK to Egypt when everything was then okay, and they could stay at home because Herod had perish? Again, that doesn't make any sense.
Perry's thesis falls apart in view of Scripture.
"Perry's thesis falls apart in view of Scripture."
Has anyone bothered to do the obvious, study the patristic Tradition on the subject?
***March 25th or April 6th. If you add nine months to both of those dates, you get December 25th (Christmas) or January 6th (Epiphany). ***
There is another way of counting.
John the Baptist's father worked in the temple in the course of ABIA which occured about 12-18 Sivan, or June 13-19.
Give him time to get home and his wife conceive John, then 6 months later the Holy Spirit comes upon him. This means Mary would have conceived Jesus about Dec. 25 and his birth would have been about Sept 29.
Conception of John..23 Sivan or June 23-24.
Birth of John...7 Nisan or March 28-29.
Christ begatting... 1 Tebeth or Dec 25.
Nativity...15 Tisri or Sept 29.
All based on when John's father worked in the temple in the course of ABIA.
This has gotten a little off the thread, but maybe I caused that.
The Levite duties were divided in twenty-fourths. If they were divided evenly through twelve months (Ancient Hebrew Calendar), each term was slightly over two weeks.
My studies show that the first month (Nisan) was about the same as our April. Zacharias was appointed to 'the course of Abia', which was the eighth 'course' (1 Chron. 24:10). That would be the last half of our July (Tammuz).
Here's where the dates are harder to pinpoint. How quickly did Elizabeth conceive? I don't think the Lord would have procrastinated the opening her womb, and I doubt Zacharias would have delayed getting together with his wife after his journey home (whatever distance that was). So I'll be helpful to the 12/25 crowd and say Elizabeth conceived in late August (Ab).
Elizabeth hid herself five months. We would be at late Jan. The Angel appears to Mary 'in the sixth month'. Let's be kind once more to the 12/25ers and say that Mary conceived in the last few days of that sixth month, Feb (Shebat).
Nine months later we find ourselves at late Nov (Bul). So now we can see the real meaning of 'Thanksgiving Day'.
I helped the 12/25 folks and still came up a month short.
Personally, I think that the birth was probably earlier than that, maybe as much as a month. Who knows.
That's why I follow the Lord and his apostles lead, and emphasize the kingdom of God and being born again.
seamole, I can't speak for the shepherds in the holy land 2000 yrs ago. I was an active beef producer for over 30yrs, and therefore know a little about animal husbandry. But here's some facts about raising sheep from my sheep producer neighbor.
When all there is available is primitive shelter, shepherds are not going to allow breeding to cause winter lambing. The wet newborns can die from exposure. 40F or below is not good.
Winter lambs and their mothers (ewes) require 3 or 4 times the care of ewes alone. This causes greater stores of resourses such as hay, grain, straw, etc. (which cut into bottom line).
Early spring lambs get to start in a warmer climate, the pasture is cleaner than a cramped stall, and the grass is easier to their little mouths to chew and digest than dried forage.
So I remain skeptical about hebrew shepherds in 1 A.D. lambing in Dec or Jan. Therefore, I believe the Word, that the shepherds were in the fields (probably mid-fall) watching their flocks by night when the angels sang (WOW, just try and picture being there!).
Added thoughts are of course welcome.
What's to know?
We know from scripture that Jesus was with his family in Egypt until shortly after Herod's death, when an angel then commanded them to return to Israel. Since Herod died in 4 AD, we can assume that Jesus had not learned much of anything from anyone in Egypt in those 4 years. And since he was in fact the Lord incarnate, the idea that he would have to learn anything from anyone about spiriual matters is quite laughable. Much is made about the "missing 18 years' from 12 to 30 as well, but since Jesus was already teaching Levites and religious leaders in the temple when he was 12, this idea that he 'went to India to learn from the Hindus' or variations of that theme are equally ridiculous.
"The Tradition of the Church somewhere comes back to an arbitrary decision..."
If that's what Tradition is, I have no desire for it.
Me neither, in light of this:
Mark 7:5 The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?" 6 And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: `THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. 7 `BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' 8 "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." 9 He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition."
"...you hold to the tradition of men."
That is not the only place where tradition is mentioned in Holy Scripture.
Quite obviously, when I refer to the Tradition, "the tradition of men" is not the Tradition to which I refer.
Therefore, I would think you would have scoped out that I was referring to some other tradition.
That other tradition, THE Tradition, is referred to in Jude 3 and also in II Thes 2:15.
Well, I agree, not all tradition is bad. Some is quite edifying. However, the church in general, both Catholic and protestant, is filled with things that are placed on people that the Lord never mandated through scripture, for no other reason that "it's always been this way." Frankly, it has NOT always been this way . This is simply an undeniable fact.
Of course, I'll be the first to admit, I don't know everything! In fact, not much, probably.
1Co 13:12 - For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.
If you ain't born again, you ain't a Christian.