In 1945, a pair of Egyptian brothers in Nag Hammadi - an area on the lower Nile - uncovered the initial set of Gnostic gospels about Jesus. Over the next 15 years, more scrolls turned up at the site, where researchers discovered a set of codices comprising the largest identified collection of extra-Biblical Christian documents. There were over 50 texts, most of which were Gnostic gospels removed from the original Bible, remaining hidden since the church's infancy.
Long before the religious conflicts between Catholics and Protestants, the early church was divided over Christianity's basic tenets and beliefs. Factions with differing beliefs bickered and occasionally tussled over the nature of God, His relationship with humanity, and how people should worship Him. Of all the branches, the Gnostics were considered one of the greatest perils to Orthodox Christianity.
Many Gnostic documents were lost during the subsequent power struggle between the differing theologies. Since then, much of the Bible has changed, including how Jesus is depicted. Thus, Gnostic beliefs remained a mystery, but the collection at Nag Hammadi revealed new information about early Christianity.
One of the most shocking texts from the Nag Hammadi site is called the Infancy Gospel Of Thomas, which contains a record about Jesus's childhood. This gospel portrayed the young prophet as someone unfamiliar to even the most devoted of Christians: Jesus punishes people for no reason and shows no respect for his parents. While the Infancy Gospel is not a canonical part of the New Testament, it is a fascinating glimpse into what some early Christians believed might have constituted Jesus's childhood.