25. The mystery of the lost years of Jesus of Nazareth
Possibly no other person in the collective history of humanity across the globe has been more closely studied by historians, archaeologists, theologians, and philosophers, than the itinerant Jewish teacher known as Jesus of Nazareth. Yet more than half of his generally accepted lifespan remains a mystery. Eighteen of his 33 years of life on earth are undocumented, or are documented in books labeled as heresies and falsehoods by Christian authorities. Despite the rejection of the books of the apocrypha, many of the stories which they contain are included in the Koran, and many continue to be referenced as legends and folklore.
The decade between the ages of two and twelve, and the eighteen subsequent years leading up to Jesus being baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist, are blank. Outside of the books of the Bible and the Apocrypha, other records, including those of Josephus, record Jesus as having siblings, including James “the brother of Jesus who is called Christ”. For the Christian church it seems that the mystery of faith is enough, but for historians the details of the life of Jesus – his biography – remains a mystery both elusive and intriguing.
Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources: