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Volume 57, Issue 1, June 2017

Rossana Barcellona
Pages 35-56
DOI: 10.5840/agstm20175713

La natività nei Vangeli apocrifi dell’infanzia
costruzione di un racconto ‘mitico’

This article examines the story of Jesus’ birth as it is presented in some of the so-called Apocryphal Infancy Gospels that have always aroused great interest in popular culture and in the arts. These texts describe the birth of Jesus by means of an important ‘narrative expansion’: the childbirth of Mary takes place in a cave, one or more midwives as well as two animals, the ox and the donkey, are added to the scene. These narratives do not relate the preaching of Jesus, his death on the cross and his resurrection, but they present the event of his birth as a new beginning for all mankind. In doing so they reflect early Christian questions concerning Jesus’ nature. Examining some characteristic elements of this narrative development of the birth of Jesus, this article tries to show how this nativity may correspond to the construction of a myth.

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