We are told nothing about Jesus childhood except what is recorded in the second chapter of Luke.

Luke Chapter 2 KJV

21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;

23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)

24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.

40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.

46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

Since Jesus at age twelve was keenly aware that he was the son of God, it begs to question whether or not Jesus ran and played with the other children or not.

  • 3
    Well, He didn't have a normal conception, birth, or adulthood or a normal death. I'm not sure, though, how any answer could be anything other than conjecture.
    – Narnian
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 15:46
  • @ Narnian you are most likely right but there are other writings from that time such as Josephus, and I am not aware of all f them.
    – BYE
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 15:49
  • Steven Curtis Chapman says yes
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 1:28

3 Answers 3


James: Why don't you ever punish Jesus? Is He your favorite?

Joseph: He never does anything wrong.

James: Jesus always knows the right answer, its not like He is God or something.

Mary: Actually He is, so go back and try again.

Humor aside, this is illustrative.

We know that He had siblings according to Mat 13:55-56

“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”

So He had at least 4 brothers and 3 sisters based on the grammer.

We also know that had emotions. He often greeted His friends/disciples with "Rejoice". "Rejoice and be exceeding glad" (Matthew 5:12). Also consider that The One enthroned in heaven laughs (Psa 2:4). He also cried, see Jhn 11:35-36

Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

Jesus is fully human and fully God according to many passages; like Hbr 2:9

But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Based on all this we can surmise that Jesus did normal childhood things, except he always obeyed and never got in trouble. There is no recorded history of Him running and playing or having a dirty diaper or scraping His knee but I am reasonable sure He did all of those things and more. It is important, according to the Bible, that we be able to identify with Him.

  • 1
    Welcome to Christianity SE! This was my first thought as well, but we're an academic Q&A (as you know) and this answer really doesn't qualify as a good answer. Please stick around though, and I want to add a couple more links to help you get used to this community quickly (you may or may not find them useful): what makes us different and we are not Christians.
    – Ryan Frame
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 17:43
  • @RyanFrame Thanks for the feedback. I updated my answer, if you still think the humor is unwarranted then I will remove it. Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 18:38
  • @ Joshua Wilson It is not the humor that makes your answer not fit it is that even though you quote scriptures which depict Jesus as a human they do not address the question. Of course Jesus was a human, but the question remains was he permitted to be a normal child or not. He was certainly not the average man in his actions, thoughts, and even deeds.
    – BYE
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 19:51
  • To be clear my question about the humor was in response to @RyanFrame explaining that "only" humor was not very academic, to which he was right so I tried to fix it. In response to your comment; if I understand your question correctly, you want to know if Jesus was doing things like He did when was in His 30's. If so, I don't think so. I think he went to Synagogue, did whatever schooling was appropriate and worked with His father in carpentry AND played. But these are just opinions. His very humanness leads me to believe that He led a "normal" life until He started preaching. Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 20:20

There are simply no extant records on the life of Jesus that are recognized by scholars as having any validity.

There are fictional accounts of the life of Jesus, such as the Gnostic Infancy Gospel of Thomas which relate stories such as:

  • Jesus making sparrows out of clay on Sunday

  • Jesus blinding Pharisees

  • Jesus resurrecting one of his playmates.

The problem is that this fictional account is just that - it was never recognized as anything other than a story by any of the respected church fathers. These stories are inconsistent with the character of the Jesus recorded in the Gospel.

  • @ Affable Geek I suppose there are no records of Jesus childhood I guess it was just wishful thinking on my part that since two of his brothers were active in the Church and wrote two of the books of the new Testament that they might also have left some record of their childhood together. Maybe it is better that we not know some things until we get to ask him in person.
    – BYE
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 19:57

Exactly how normal of a childhood Jesus had is unclear. The Bible is mostly silent on the matter: we never hear even hear what happened to Joseph after the incident in the temple.

That said, I find the passages already quoted in this question and the answers to it to be telling in their own way. Consider Matthew 13:55-56, quoted in @Joshua's answer: the people who knew Jesus and his family while he was growing up still don't seem to have had any clue as to his origins. It's surprising what can happen in normal-seeming families, but there are limits: there may well have been extraordinary elements to the childhood of Jesus, but at the same time, it must have been normal enough to pass for mundane in the regular society of the time.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .