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are not your words, and so I also will keep silent for your sake. But those others will bear their punishment.” And imme­ diately those who were accusing him were blinded. 2 Those who saw these things were frightened and disturbed; they began saying about him, “Every­ thing he has said, whether good or bad, has become an amazing reality.” When Joseph saw what Jesus had done, he rose up, grabbed his ear, and yanked it hard. 3 The child was irritated and said to him, “It is enough for you to seek and not find; you have not acted at all wisely. Do you not know that I am yours? Do not grieve me.”


There was an instructor named Za­ chaeus standing off to the side who heard Jesus say these things to his father. And he was amazed that he was speaking such things, though just a child. 2 After a few days he approached Joseph and said to him, “You have a bright child with a good mind. Come, let me have him that he may learn to read, and through reading I will teach him everything, including how to greet all the elders and to honor them as his ancestors and fathers, and to love children his own age.” 3 And he told him all the letters from Alpha to Omega, clearly and with great precision. But Je­ sus looked the instructor Zachaeus in the face and said to him, “Since you do not know the true nature of the Alpha, how can you teach anyone the Beta? You hyp­ ocrite! If you know it, first teach the Alpha, and then we will believe you about the Beta.” Then he began to ques­ tion the teacher sharply about the first letter, and he was not able to give him the answers. 4 And while many others were listening, the child said to Zachaeus, “Listen, teacher, to the arrangement of the first letter of the alphabet; observe here how it has set patterns, and mid­ dle strokes which you see collec­


tively crossing, then coming together, and proceeding upward again till they reach the top, so that it is divided into three equal parts, each of them fundamental and foundational, of equal length. Now you have the set patterns of the Alpha.”


When the teacher Zachaeus heard the child setting forth so many al­ legorical interpretations like this of the first letter, he was at a complete loss about this kind of explanation and teach­ ing, and he said to those standing there, “Woe is me! I am wretched and at a complete loss; I have put myself to shame, taking on this child. 2 I beg of you, brother Joseph, take him away. I can not bear his stern gaze or make sense of a single word. This child is not of this world; he can even tame fire. Maybe he was born before the world came into be­ ing. I cannot fathom what kind of uterus bore him or what kind of womb nour­ ished him. Woe is me, friend. He has befuddled me; I cannot follow his rea­ soning. I have fooled myself and am mis­ erable three times over. I was struggling to have a student, and I have been found to have a teacher. 3 My friends, I know all too well my shame: though an old man, I have been defeated by a child. I may grow weak and die because of this child. For at this moment I cannot look him in the face. When everyone says that I have been defeated by a young child, what can I say? And how can I explain the things he told me about the set pat­ terns of the first letter? I have no idea, my friends. For I do not know itsa begin­ ning or end. 4 And so I ask you, brother Joseph, take him back home. I do not know what kind of great thing he is— whether a divine being or angel; I do not know even what to say.”


Or: his

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