The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16164 Message #150068
Posted By: Abby Sale
15-Dec-99 - 07:55 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Mary Mild / Bitter Withy / Holy Well
Subject: Bitter Withy
I've been disturbed by my own post here. The blessed Leach wrote that the story is based on hagiographic literature. Hesitant as I am to gainsay the my own mentor, it seems unlikely that the story, no mater how folk Processed, could be based on any Old Testiment story or comment on one. Further my memory insists that I've seen reliable reports it was based on New Testament Apocrypha or Pseudepigrapha. (Or perhaps that's the same thing.) O.T. Apocrypha is easy to come by but N.T. is kinda obscure to me. But I've never seen a specific citation to the possible source.
I found the following as cited. It seems as good a possibility as any. There were other child-play stories for Jesus in other online sources but this seemed closest.
I post for what it's worth.
New Testament Apocrypha
THE GOSPEL OF PSEUDO-MATTHEW
HERE beginneth the book of the Birth of the Blessed Mary and the Infancy of the Saviour. Written in Hebrew by the Blessed Evangelist Matthew, and translated into Latin by the Blessed Presbyter Jerome.
To their well-beloved brother Jerome the Presbyter, Bishops Cromatius and Heliodorus in the Lord, greeting.
CHAP. 26.--And it came to pass, after Jesus had returned out of Egypt, when He was in Galilee, and entering on the fourth year of His age, that on a Sabbath-day He was playing with some children at the bed of the Jordan. And as He sat there, Jesus made to Himself seven pools of clay, and to each of them He made passages, through which at His command He brought water from the torrent into the pool, and took it back again. Then one of those children, a son of the devil, moved with envy, shut the passages which supplied the pools with water, and overthrew what Jesus had built up. Then said Jesus to him: Woe unto thee, thou son of death, thou son of Satan! Dost thou destroy the works which I have wrought? And immediately he who had done this died. Then with great uproar the parents of the dead boy cried out against Mary and Joseph, saying to them: Your son has cursed our son, and he is dead. And when Joseph and Mary heard this, they came forthwith to Jesus, on account of the outcry of the parents of the boy, and the gathering together of the Jews. But Joseph said privately to Mary: I dare not speak to Him; but do thou admonish Him, and say: Why hast Thou raised against us the hatred of the people; and why must the troublesome hatred of men be borne by us? And His mother having come to Him, asked Him, saying: My Lord, what was it that he did to bring about his death? And He said: He deserved death, because he scattered the works that I had made. Then His mother asked Him, saying: Do not so, my Lord, because all men rise up against us. But He, not wishing to grieve His mother, with His right foot kicked the hinder parts of the dead boy, and said to him: Rise, thou son of iniquity for thou art not worthy to enter into the rest of my Father, because thou didst destroy the works which I had made. Then he who had been dead rose up, and went away. And Jesus, by the word of His power, brought water into the pools by the aqueduct.