This article contrasts the compositional techniques used in the Synoptic birth narratives with those used by the author of a work which is almost universally recognized as midrashic, the Protevangelium of James. While "James" created his "history" from OT narratives, he was apparently unaware of the many OT dependencies in the Synoptic Gospels asserted by midrash critics. Unlike the Synoptic writers, the author of the Protevangelium of James created some of his narrative by retrojecting words and events from the later ministry of Christ into his account of Jesus' birth. These disparate compositional techniques suggest that the Synoptic Gospels and the midrashic Protevangelium of James belong to different literary genres.

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