various minor cleanups Ⓣ
The '''''Protevangelion of James''''' also sometimes known as the '''''Gospel of James''''' or the '''''Infancy Gospel of James''''' is generally ascribed to the 2nd century AD. It is an [[apocrypha|apocryphal gospel]], that was widely read but never accepted into the New Testament canon.
The document presents itself as written by James: "I, James, wrote this history in Jerusalem." Thus the purported author is [[James the Just]], the brother of [[Jesus Christ|Jesus]]. Over one hundred and forty Greek manuscripts containing the Gospel of James have been discovered. The echoes and parallels of the Old Testament appear to derive from its use of phraseology from the [[Septuagint]]. In content, it dedicates a significant portion, not to the circumstances of
Jesus’ birth, but to the birth and life of [[Theotokos|Mary]]. This is the earliest text that explicitly claims that [[Joseph the Betrothed|Joseph]] was a widower, with children, at the time that Mary is entrusted to his care. The first mention of it is by [[Origen]], who refers to the work as the Book of James. Many critics feel that the work is a composite of other works or existing traditions.
The ''Gospel of James'' was translated into Syriac, Ethiopic, Coptic, Georgian, Old Slavonic, Armenian, Arabic, Irish, and Latin. No early Latin versions are known, but it is relegated to the apocrypha in the Gelasian decretal. As with the canonical gospels, the vast majority of the manuscripts come from the tenth century or later. The earliest known manuscript of the text, a papyrus dating to the 3rd or early 4th century, was found in 1958; it is kept in the Bodmer Library, Geneva (Papyrus Bodmer 5). Of the surviving Greek manuscripts, the fullest surviving text is a 10th century codex in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris (Paris 1454).