Pseudo-Matteus

Eg studerer framleis i ledige stunder den koptiske tradisjonen om flukta til Egypt. I den samanhengen har eg i dag sett på forteljingane i Pseudo-Matteus’ evangelium eller Matteus’ barndomsevangelium. Dette er eit apokryft evangelium av usikkert opphav. Skriftet sjølv gir seg ut for å vera skrive av evangelisten Matteus på hebraisk og omsett til latin av Hieronymus (347-420).

Barndomsevangelia er “fromme” forteljingar om Jesu oppvekst, forteljingar som var svært populære i oldkyrkja. Eg har tidlegare skrive litt om andre barndomsevangelium her.

I dag fann eg altså fram til Pseudo-Matteus fordi ein relativt stor del av skriftet (kap 17-25) handlar om flukta til Egypt.

Her er ei av forteljingane, frå Pseudo-Matteus 18:

And having come to a certain cave, and wishing to rest in it, the blessed Mary dismounted from her beast, and sat down with the child Jesus in her bosom. And there were with Joseph three boys, and with Mary a girl, going on the journey along with them. And, lo, suddenly there came forth from the cave many dragons; and when the children saw them, they cried out in great terror. Then Jesus went down from the bosom of His mother, and stood on His feet before the dragons; and they adored Jesus, and thereafter retired. Then was fulfilled that which was said by David the prophet, saying: Praise the Lord from the earth, you dragons; ye dragons, and all you deeps. And the young child Jesus, walking before them, commanded them to hurt no man. But Mary and Joseph were very much afraid lest the child should be hurt by the dragons. And Jesus said to them: Do not be afraid, and do not consider me to be a little child; for I am and always have been perfect; and all the beasts of the forest must needs be tame before me.

Elles er det Pseudo-Matteus som første gong nemner at det var ein okse og eit esel til stades ved Jesu fødsel! For oss som kjenner julesangen Et barn er født i Betlehem, er dette så naturleg at me neppe tenkjer over at dette ikkje er nemnt i juleevangeliet i Lukas 2. Her er det aktuelle avsnittet i Pseudo-Matteus 14:

And on the third day after the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the most blessed Mary went forth out of the cave, and entering a stable, placed the child in the stall, and the ox and the ass adored Him. Then was fulfilled that which was said by Isaiah the prophet, saying: The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master’s crib. (Isaiah 1:3) The very animals, therefore, the ox and the ass, having Him in their midst, incessantly adored Him. Then was fulfilled that which was said by Abacuc the prophet, saying: Between two animals you are made manifest. In the same place Joseph remained with Mary three days.

Heile teksten til Pseudo-Matteus finn du blant anna på den katolske sida New Advent. Wikipedia har ein artikkel om skriftet her.

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