The Mystery of Jesus Christ’s “Missing Years” — Books Claim to Know Jesus’s Movements from Age 12 to 30

A look at what we do know...

This is not a new topic, but it is gaining steam lately with the release of a couple of new books that are bringing it back to the forefront.  For as long as people have known about Jesus Christ, people have wanted to find out everything they could about this polarizing historical figure.  The motivations are often quite different.  Some want to know more to try to disprove the Bible and Christians’ claims about his divinity.  Some, namely Christian believers, want to lend more credence to their faith.  And still others simply find it mysterious and want to discover more about this enigmatic figure.  Naturally, a man that lived over 2000 years ago can be hard to track down.  Of course, the gospels in the New Testament of the Holy Bible outline some of his life, although non-believers are not inclined to believe these accounts are necessarily accurate.  However, even in the Bible, a mystery has arose.  The life of Jesus Christ is heavily chronicled through childhood up until the age of twelve.  Then, there is a hole in Jesus’s life that the Bible is completely, totally silent on.  The narrative doesn’t pick back up until Jesus is 30 years old and about to start his world-changing ministry (whether you believe or not).

Those eighteen years of Jesus’s life are often referred to as “The Missing Years” and they are a source of great intrigue for historians and theologians.  Many, many books have been written about this hole in the historical record.  Science and archaeology has generally fallen on the side that Jesus Christ was indeed a real man and walked the Earth.  This is not debated by many.  However, there is little or no evidence of what Jesus was doing during his late teens and twenty-something years.  For Christians, it is assumed that those years were just formulative for the man, and it isn’t part of the Bible’s narrative because it simply didn’t matter to the overall message.  Those on the other side of the fence find it spellbinding that someone so many people hinge their lives and faith upon would not have been chronicled every minute of his life.  Now, a recent book claims to know the truth.

Why are we not revealing the name of the book?  Simple.  It is just another in a long line of books that claim the same thing, and we don’t want to give it an endorsement.  There is little doubt that any of you could find the book by what we have said before if you wish to examine it further.  We are not opposing the book or any of its ideas in earnest, but merely choosing not to link to the book to give it more Internet love when we are not certain that its subject matter is on the level.

The book we are referring to makes some pretty amazing claims.  It says that Jesus Christ spent some of these mysterious 18 years in Great Britain and even suggests that Jesus may have visited Stonehenge.  It gets uglier though.  The book also claims that Jesus studied other religions, including Islam, during this time.  Here’s the problem…the book uses pretty spotty “evidence” to back its claims, most of which cannot be corroborated by any other source.  The irony here is that so many people refuse to accept the Bible itself as a historical record because of supposed bias.  And yet, a fellow can write a book about Jesus Christ and basically throw out whatever “facts” he likes, and the next thing you know it is an international bestseller.

Here’s the reality, people.  The missing years of Jesus are just that.  Missing.  No one knows what happened during those years.  There is no record, and not just the Bible, but history in general doesn’t seem to reveal anything to help us unravel the secrets.  Of course, for many Christians, anything involving Jesus’s life is special and worthy of inquiry.  But when there is simply no information, what can you do?  Here’s what we do know.  Jesus was a carpenter and the Bible does mention that people were aware of him before he started his ministry.  He didn’t just show up on the scene.  People knew who he was as a member of their community.  He hadn’t been away for eighteen years and then burst on the scene.  He was known as a carpenter and as a member of the Nazareth community.  Most likely, the years between 12 and 30 were nothing more than Jesus living a humble life, making a living, and maturing for the things that would come later.

It is a fascinating subject, however.  We don’t want to give the idea that we don’t think it’s a great thing to talk about, wonder about, and even debate about.  We just have a special place in our hearts for those that present their views as “facts.”  And a lot of these book are doing just that, hoping to stoke a little controversy and create a little buzz for themselves.

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