Skip to content

4.4 Jesus Early Years

The Gospels are silent on what Jesus did, and where he was, between the age of twelve and thirty, and many legends try to fill this lack of information. These sources are not sacred as the Bible is to the believers but, with this restriction in mind, non-canonical documents can give us some further knowledge. They answer the following questions:

i- How did Jesus learn so much if he never left Nazareth? Is it not possible that he studied other cultures such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, … and visited the countries where these religions are followed?

According to the Aquarian Gospel based on “Levi’s Akashic records”, Jesus left home when he was twelve and travelled to the Far East. He went to Persia (present day Iran) to meet the Magi who followed the star of Bethlehem. He is also supposed to have travelled to Tibet where he clashed with the Lamas, the Buddhist monks. These monks threw him out the city expecting him to be eaten by some wild animals, but Jesus survived and even made friend with a tiger. Another source says that he studied for seven years under the Brahmins at the Kashmir-Tibet border where he was known as the Prophet Isa. Brahmins are priests of the Hindu religion who believe in a God called Brahma. They also believe in castes, and they tried to kill Jesus when he said that all the men are born equal. He escaped and returned to his homeland when he was twenty-nine. Jesus may have travelled to Persia where the Jews had been exiled twice before Jesus was born. There are also some similarities between Zoroastrianism and the Judeo-Christian tradition, even if Zoroaster lived around 500 BC. The Zoroastrian conception of God is monotheist as Judaism, and there is little doubt that they influenced each other. It is also possible that the early Christians were influenced directly by Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism is a Dualistic religion in which the forces of good, represented by angels, and the forces of evil, represented by demons, are fighting each other. Zoroastrianism teachings include final judgement and even resurrection. Of course this influence, if any, remains unproved. (30)

ii- The Resurrection of the dead and other doctrines are not exclusive to the Christian religion. Does Jesus have visited some countries, such as Egypt, where these concepts were taught?

Some apocryphal sources also say that Jesus travelled to Egypt, Greece and England. If this is true he became aware of the religion beliefs of these countries. In Egypt, for instance, the religion included the story of Osiris, the hero who resurrected after his death by dismemberment. Jesus must have been exposed to Greek and Roman mythology in his homeland and, although they were based on polytheism, that is the exact contrary of what the Jews believed, they must have influenced Jesus. Some legends say that he travelled to Britain with his uncle Joseph of Arimathea, the tin merchant. A letter, probably false, from St Augustine to Pope Gregory the Great, claims that he built a church in Glastonbury. However if he did build a church, it was two centuries before the first such building was recorded in history. Initially the word “Church” meant the assembly of his believers, later known as Christians. After Jesus’ death it is also believed that Joseph of Arimathea returned to Britain with the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. This cup, known as the Holy Grail, was the object of many pursuits by King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. It is even thought that King Arthur, who was buried in Glastonbury, is a descendant of Joseph of Arimathea. But if Jesus did visit Britain he must have learned about the druids since this religious group existed at least since 200 BC. It was an order of priests, active in Gaul and Britain, and it disappeared with the rise of Christianity.

All these journeys, if true, would have brought Jesus in contact with most of the religions of his time. There is however no mention in the Bible that Jesus travelled anywhere outside his homeland, Galilee, between the age of twelve and thirty. In addition the Bible does not recognise the influence of any other religion on Christianity, with perhaps the exception of Zoroastrianism. These stories attempt to explain how Jesus developed his later powers.

The many references to Jesus’ travels are to be found in Gnostic texts such as The Gospel of Truth and The Gospel of Thomas that were discovered in a Gnostic library in Egypt, and are known as the Nag Hammadi Manuscripts. Gnosticism is a form of mysticism that emphasised magic. It collided with orthodox Christianity in the Middle age and was considered a heresy. It originated in ancient Egypt.

iii- Since the Jews thought that every young man should marry, was Jesus Married?

According to a book called “Urantia” a young woman of Nazareth fell in love with Jesus. Her name was Rebecca and she was the oldest daughter of Ezra, a rich merchant and trader. Jesus chose not to marry according to this book.

iv- Could Jesus have been known under other names in some countries?

A story says that when he studied under the Brahmins at the Kashmir-Tibet border he was known as the Prophet Isa. (30)