The Trustworthiness of the Infancy Narratives
Are the infancy narratives real history or literary forms?
The answer is both: the narratives are real history presented in a customary literary form. We must beware of eliminating from the realm of the historical anything that is supernatural or miraculous. This would be a prejudice that itself is not very historical or scientific. If the author intends to exclude these aspects, then he needs to say so from the beginning, so that the reader will know that he is reading a historical refutation of the text and not just a literary study.
The best book to read on the infancy narratives is the third volume of Pope Benedict XVI's triology on the life of Our Lord. It is a short little book, but in it Pope Benedict shows the compatibility of scholarship with a trusting faith in the reliability of the Gospel accounts. It is called Jesus of Nazareth: the Infancy Narratives and is available from Ignatius Press.