Now a certain Jewish schoolmaster named Zachyas 1669 heard Jesus thus speaking; and seeing that He could not be overcome, from knowing the power that was in Him, 1670 he became angry, and began rudely and foolishly, and without fear, to speak against Joseph. And he said: Dost thou not wish to entrust me with thy son, that he may be instructed in human learning and in reverence? But I see that Mary and thyself have more regard for your son than for what the elders of the people of Israel say against him. You should have given more honour to us, the elders of the whole church of Israel, both that he might be on terms of mutual affection with the children, and that among us he might be instructed in Jewish learning. Joseph, on the other hand, said to him: And is there any one who can keep this child, and teach him? But if thou canst keep him and teach him, we by no means hinder him from being taught by thee those things which are learned by all. And Jesus, having heard what Zachyas had said, answered and said unto him: The precepts of the law which thou hast just spoken of, and all the things that thou hast named, must be kept by those who are instructed in human learning; but I am a stranger to your law-courts, because I have no father after the flesh. Thou who readest the law, and art learned in it, abidest in the law; but I was before the law. But since thou thinkest that no one is equal to thee in learning, thou shalt be taught by me, that no other can teach anything but those things which thou hast named. But he alone can who is worthy. 1671 For when I shall be exalted on earth, I will cause to cease all mention of your genealogy. For thou knowest not when thou wast born: I alone know when you were born, and how long your life on earth will be. Then all who heard these words were struck with astonishment, and cried out: Oh! oh! oh! this marvellously great and wonderful mystery. Never have we heard the like! Never has it been heard from any one else, nor has it been said or at any time heard by the prophets, or the Pharisees, or the scribes. We know whence he is sprung, and he is scarcely five years old; and whence does he speak these words? The Pharisees answered: We have never heard such words spoken by any other child so young. And Jesus answered and said unto them: At this do ye wonder, that such things are said by a child? Why, then, do ye not believe me in those things which I have said to you? And you all wonder because I said to you that I know when you were born. I will tell you greater things, that you may wonder more. I have seen Abraham, whom you call your father, and have spoken with him; and he has seen me. 1672 And when they heard this they held their tongues, nor did any of them dare to speak. And Jesus said to them: I have been among you with children, and you have not known me; I have spoken to you as to wise men, and you have not understood my words; because you are younger than I am, 1673 and of little faith.
Tischendorf thinks that the text is corrupt. But the meaning seems to be: You are not a whit better than your neighbours; for all of you teach what you have named, and you can teach nothing else. But he alone (ipse, i.e., Christ) can teach more who is worthy.379:1672
Comp. John viii. 56-58.379:1673
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