“Jesus Christ was first person to play cricket and baseball” – Historians claim

Jesus Christ, according to certain historians, was the first person to play baseball and cricket.

Bat-and-ball games are played between two teams who alternate between batting and fielding in both baseball and cricket.

The assertion was made following a discussion on the “Rest Is History” podcast between historians Tom Holland, Dominic Sandbrook, and John Hotten over the game’s earliest known player.

During the podcast, Holland said; 

“Do you know who it was? It’s a big name. It’s Jesus.

“Shall I tell you what Armenian professor Dr Abraham Terian thinks it came from?

“He found in the manuscript library of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem an eighth century copy of a much earlier gospel which described the infancy of Jesus.”

He also spoke about how the game we know as cricket today more or less derived from the game Jesus played. 

Holland added; 

“And in this gospel Jesus is described as playing something faintly similar to cricket, i.e people throwing balls and he’s hitting it – and the catch is Jesus, when he chases the ball, can run onto the sea.”

The Gospel itself in which this claim originated from apparently translates as; 

“He (Jesus) would take the boys to the seashore and, carrying the playing ball and the club, he would go over the waves of the sea as though he was playing on a frozen surface, hitting the playing ball.

“And watching him, the boys would scream and say: ‘Watch the child Jesus, what he does over the waves of the sea!’

“Many would gather there and, watching him, would be amazed.”

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