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Jesus Christ, supersport

india Updated: Aug 11, 2008 21:40 IST

So Jesus of Nazareth, despite his divinity, was one of the boys after all. Decoding a 6th century Armenian manuscript, Professor Abraham Terian at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, has found out that the first Christian was not all sermons and miracles but had a sporty side too. The Armenian Gospel of the Infancy — which seems to be a prequel of sorts to the apostles’ version of Christ’s life — has the immaculate son of Joseph and Mary playing, according to Prof. Terian, a sport that involves a club and a ball.

Now before the Board of Control for Cricket in India decides to co-opt Christ into its pantheon of deities, it would be worthwhile to consider field hockey as a possible very early Christian invention. Considering that Terian states that the Armenian gospel has the nine-year-old Jesus “taking the boys to the seashore and, carrying the playing ball and the club...” going over the waves of the sea “as though he was playing on a frozen surface, hitting the playing ball,” the possibility of ice hockey can’t be dismissed.

But ice hockey in 1st century modern-day Israel? Well, get acquainted to yet another miracle.