Lost Years


The unknown years of Jesus (also called his silent years, lost years, or missing years) generally refers to the period of Jesus’s life between his childhood and the beginning of his ministry, a period not described in the New Testament.The “lost years of Jesus” concept is usually encountered in esoteric literature (where it at times also refers to his possible post-crucifixion activities) but is not commonly used in scholarly literature since it is assumed that Jesus was probably working as a carpenter in Galilee, at least some of the time with his father Joseph, from the age of 12 to 29, so the years were not “lost years”, and that he died on Calvary.In the late medieval period, there appeared Arthurian legends that the young Jesus had been in Britain. In the 19th and 20th centuries theories began to emerge that between the ages of 12 and 29 Jesus had visited Kashmir, or had studied with the Essenes in the Judea desert. Modern mainstream Christian scholarship has generally rejected these theories and holds that nothing is known about this time period in the life of Jesus.The use of the “lost years” in the “swoon hypothesis”, suggests that Jesus survived his crucifixion and continued his life, instead of what was stated in the New Testament that he ascended into Heaven with two angels. This, and the related view that he avoided crucifixion altogether, has given rise to several speculations about what happened to him in the supposed remaining years of his life, but these are not accepted by mainstream scholars either.