Here’s theÂ passage I was looking for today in Bartholomaeus Anglicus:
“Al Ã¾e membres ben ischape som and som, nouÈ[t] aile at ones. Crist alone was al at ones ischape and distinguid in his modir wombe when he was conseyved Ã¾erinne. So seiÃ¾ Austyn.” (On the Properties of Things, 6.4 [p.298])
It suggests that whatÂ distinguishes the human is the slow, incremental, accidental process of unfolding. Human childhood is an imperfect, even monstrous moment in the life-cycle. Maturity — spiritual or otherwise — is not guaranteed.
Christ evidently did not materialize “som and som.” He was formed all at once!
However, other texts from the same period suggest that the fetal and infantile life of ChristÂ was not so different. As Julie Couch observes, the infancy gospelÂ â€œimagines the life of a child who possess omnipotence but not the full-fledged identity and focused missionâ€ of an adult Jesus.
— Ã†lfricus Hafoc (@b_hawk) January 12, 2017
For more on this this body of medieval literature seeÂ Â Julie Nelson Couch, “Misbehaving God: The Case of the Christ Child in MS Laud Misc. 108″ (2006); MaryÂ Dzon, â€œJoseph and the Amazing Christ-Child of Late-Medieval Legendâ€ (2005);Â Jacqueline Tasioulas, â€œHeave and Earth in Little Spaceâ€: The Foetal Existence of Christ” (2007); and Kathryn A.Â Smith, â€œAccident, play, and invention: three infancy miracles in the Holkham Bible picture bookâ€ (2006)