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Controversial Versions Of Popular Bible Stories You're Not Supposed To Know

Updated 1 Jul 2019 31.0k views14 items

Among Christians, it is generally accepted that the Bible is made up of the Old and New Testaments, with a few extra texts forming the Apocrypha. However, the road to this broad consensus took thousands of years, major theological councils, and several lives. It also left many texts behind - texts that could easily have been included in the Bible but for an accident of history. Some of these pseudo-canonical texts include the so-called "Gnostic gospels."

The bulk of the New Testament was written in the 200 years after Christ passed. The latest of the four gospels, John, was written around a hundred years after the birth of Christ, and it is unlikely any of the gospels were written by eyewitnesses to the events they describe. Unsurprisingly, several other gospels exist - gospels that often contradict the events of the canonical Bible.

Enter the Gnostic gospels. Found in 1945 near the town of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, these texts were mostly written after the canonical gospels, but largely deal with the same events: the life, infancy, ministry, and passing of Jesus Christ. These gospels were suppressed by the early church for a number of reasons - some because they indirectly deny the divinity of Christ, some because they radically reinterpret important biblical stories.

While the church rejects them, the Gnostic gospels were written in close proximity to the days of Christ, and they contain tantalizing clues to alternate versions of Christianity that very easily could have been.

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