“Did Christ’s Sinlessness Begin Only After His Baptism?”
I recently heard someone state that Jesus did what all children do: lie, steal, etc. When I confronted him on this, he stated that the sinless life of Christ didn’t begin until after His baptism. Is there a particular individual (i.e., Aquinas, etc) or a particular group that espoused this belief? I want to bring this up with the person again.
Thanks for your question. It’s difficult to know where this person got this information. They obviously didn’t get it from any of our canonical gospels (or any other canonical text). It could be that this person imbibed such ideas from reading something like the (fictional) Infancy Gospel of Thomas—which does portray the young Jesus as quite mischievous, temperamental, and even deadly! But no scholar of any persuasion regards this gospel as giving us historically reliable information about the young Jesus.
Bottom line: the person who made this statement needs to give some account of how they know this. Where did they get this information? How reliable is their source of information? Why do they believe their view is correct? If they don’t have good grounds for saying or believing such things (and they most certainly don’t), then they need to be shown the error of their ways. The Bible affirms that Jesus was without sin (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:22; 1 John 3:5; Heb. 4:15; etc.). It does not say that He was sinless from His baptism on.