Jesus' Childhood


How did the Gospels have any account of Jesus’ childhood? It is clear that Jesus started his ministry late into his life. How did the apostles have any knowledge of lets say “12 year old Jesus at the temple”?

Just pondering this issue. Thanks!


Jesus spoke with his Apostles during his ministry and appeared to them several times and spoke with them after his resurrection. (Acts 1:1-3) During these times Jesus could’ve told them any additional facts He wanted them to know. In addition, after Pentecost the disciples have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. From that time on they’re experiencing heavenly visions (Acts 9:10; 10:9-20; 16:9), interacting with angels (Acts 5:19-20; 8:26; 12:1-11) and hearing the Holy Spirit speak to them (Acts 13:2; 16:6). So God could’ve shown the Gospel writers in a vision what took place, had an angel instruct them, or for that matter had the Holy Spirit dictate the text to them directly. Note that Paul says plainly that he received the gospel, not by being taught by others, but by revelation directly from Jesus (Gal 1:11-12).

This issue of how the Gospel writers could have known certain things is really only a problem for those who try to read the Bible in a way that eliminates the supernatural element from the Scriptures.


Another thought, other witnesses including Mother Mary may have related the story to the authors of Holy Scripture.


The apostles spent three years with Jesus and knew His mother. Both would have been sources.


“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” Lk 2:19

Clearly his mother would have been the best source. Living with John she no doubt could have talked to the other disciples and made his story well known.

Other times, we have to wonder: how did the disciples know what Jesus was praying while they were all asleep? Who knows. Perhaps Jesus told them what he was going to pray for, perhaps he told them afterwards, when he was risen.


The episode in the Temple and many other aspects of Jesus’ Childhood occur only in Luke. As he notes in his prologue, he gathered his information from eye witnesses; he never met Jesus. He spent much time with Mary; so I presume he got the childhood episodes from her.


We also have this reference:

Jn. 21[25] But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to add, “many other things Jesus said…” to this verse. St. Paul quotes Our Lord saying things the Gospels do not record. The NT is not a complete history of Jesus’ life and words–it’s only a glimpse. One day, when we see him in heaven, perhaps he will “fill us in.” We’ll have all eternity to listen to the greatest story ever told. :slight_smile:


In the online book “The Mystical City of God”, which is a detailed revelation of the life of Mary, the Mother of God to a nun and approved by Popes and bishops for the Faithful, we learn that Mary was present during the writing of each of the Gospels and that She requested that they not reveal much about Her or Her great contributions to the founding of the Church, due mostly to the propensity of the peoples of the day to idolatry.

But, St. Luke prevailed upon Her to include something about the Incarnation and youth of Jesus.

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