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When a Gospel Meets the Twilight Zone: As Time Stands Still in the Proto-Gospel of James
October 12, 2023
In my previous post I mentioned one of the most significant passages of the Proto-Gospel, where the midwife Salome doubts that a virgin had given birth (note: she does not doubt whether a virgin could have *conceived* [although no doubt she *would* have doubted it!]; what she doubts is that a woman could give *birth* and still have her hymen intact. That, obviously, would be impossible), and gives Mary a postpartum examination only to find that in fact she really is still a virgin (i.e., “intact”).
Immediately before that amazing scene is another that I find at least as entrancing. In it, Joseph himself describes – in the first person – what happened when the Son of God came into the world. This was such a cosmic event, that time stopped. And Joseph describes how, by explaining what he saw at that moment.
Every time I read this passage I think of a Twilight Zone episode that I saw once where everything slowed down to a virtual standstill except the main character, who observes everyone and everything moving slower than a slug but among other things sees a little girl on a tricycle moving ever so slowing (an inch an hour?) behind a car carelessly backing out of a driveway. The plot: how can he stop it?