Many Christians don't realize that dozens of books left out of the Bible circulated in the centuries after Jesus passed. Some of those texts, known as the Gnostic Gospels, reveal a completely different side of Jesus and the apostles. In one, a young Jesus slew another boy. Others declared that Jesus had a secret brother or that Judas never betrayed Jesus. In the most controversial texts, including the Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter and the Second Treatise of the Great Seth, Jesus didn't perish on the cross.
The story of the crucifixion has been told for nearly 2,000 years, in the Bible and in stories. We expect inaccuracies from films like The Passion of the Christ since they're Hollywood adaptations. But what if the Bible itself got the crucifixion wrong? According to these Gnostic texts, Jesus may have hidden in a tree while he watched someone else expire on the cross. Since the 2nd century, mainstream Christians have claimed these texts represent heresy. Is the Jesus portrayed in the Gnostic texts more accurately than the Jesus of the Bible?