The Protevangelium of James tells stories about the life of the Virgin Mary that are absent from the New Testament Gospels: her miraculous birth to Anna and Joachim, her upbringing in the temple, and her marriage at the age of twelve to the aged widower Joseph. The text also adds significant details to the well-known stories of Jesus' conception, birth, and escape from the slaughter of innocents perpetrated by Herod the Great. Despite its noncanonical status, the Protevangelium of James was extremely influential in churches of the East, and since its publication in the West in the sixteenth-century has captured the imagination of readers all over the world. This study edition presents a fresh, new translation of the text with cross-references, notes, and commentary. The extensive introduction makes accessible the most recent scholarship in studies on Mary in Christian apocrypha, offers new insights into the text's provenance and relationship to Judaism, and discusses the text's contributions to art and literature.
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