Everyone but the most sheltered Christians have known for centuries about the alternate, or apocryphal gospels. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were the four canonical or “official” gospels that were accepted by the mainstream church but there were dozens of other gospels with wildly varying versions of the story of Jesus.

With my love of mythology I first got into those other gospels when I was 18 and that was long before Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code fouled the territory by attracting countless conspiracy kooks to the subject of these obscure writings. It complicates conversations now because when  many people hear you discussing the apocryphal gospels they think you’re a paranoid crackpot looking for the  descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene around every corner. 

At any rate it’s fun to wonder what form Easter celebrations would have taken if the following rejected gospels had been accepted as “official.” And remember, this is NOT an April Fool’s Day joke.

6. THE ACTS OF THECLA – Since the Gospel of Mary has gotten so much attention following the success of Dan Brown’s writings and their screen adaptations I decided to throw a spotlight on the neglected woman named Thecla instead. Thecla supposedly became a follower of the man called “Saint” Paul after hearing him speak in Iconium. In this book Paul is depicted as an advocate of refraining from all sex, even when married, which points to the probable Gnostic origins of The Acts of Thecla.

Thecla abandons her fiancee and her family to follow Paul. In Antioch she finds herself in trouble for rejecting the sexual advances of a highly placed official. Thecla is arrested for this (on a charge of “felony cockblock” I’m assuming) and undergoes a series of persecutions. Naturally she prevails in the end and in her ballsiest (as it were) move she baptizes HERSELF, and not just in any old body of water but in a pool filled with ravenous seals. Take that, John the Baptist, with your prissy “seal-free” baptisms. Thecla is at last reunited with Paul, who authorizes her to share fully in spreading the word of Jesus.

5. THE INFANCY GOSPEL OF THOMAS – I like to refer to this enjoyable book as “The Young Jesus Christ Chronicles”. This banned gospel deals with the infancy and childhood years of Jesus in much greater detail than any of the other gospels, official or otherwise. Much of the Infancy Gospel centers around a toddling Jesus getting used to his godly power and being reproached by his parents when he shows off by performing miracles like molding clay pigeons and then bringing them to life. He also uses his power to deal with bullies, mess with his teachers and do his chores. I’m serious. Various African myths also deal with  their demigods coping with their extraordinary abilities during childhood.   

This gospel should not be confused with The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, which consists of 114 (yes, Rosicrucian conspiracy kooks, 114) sayings attributed to Jesus. Most are fairly unique, while others bear similarities to Jesus’ teachings in the canonical gospels. There is also The Acts of Thomas, describing Thomas’ deeds as a Christian missionary in India after the Crucifixion. If you’re also into Manichean and Hindu myths this book of acts makes for some nice comparative mythology, especially regarding the “enlightening twin” of Mani’s teachings. (Remember, Thomas was sometimes considered Jesus’ twin)

4. THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS – Yes, it’s the “tell-all” memoir of the figure remembered as the traitorous apostle. Among the many explosive aspects of this gospel is the credence it gave to the long-argued possiblity that Judas  lived on for a time after Jesus’ death and may have even had disciples of his own, like the other followers of Jesus when they dispersed. The other gospels generally depict their attributed author (yeah, right) as being the apostle who was closest to Jesus and who understood his teachings the best. The Gospel of Judas plays the same game, even going so far as to imply that Judas alone was privy to a particularly secret teaching of Jesus. 

This “secret” is a full-on, flat-out Gnostic interpretation of Jesus and his mission. Jesus is shown laughing at the disciples’ misunderstanding of who he really is and identifies the god of the Old Testament with the Demiurge. The “Savior” is even referred to in connection with the goddess Barbelo from Gnostic myths. The gospel gives us a Judas who is the only apostle who understands the real  nature of the cosmic drama that Jesus is taking part in, and that he needs Judas to betray him to his death in order to facilitate his return to the Pleroma, Gnosticism’s version of Heaven ( to simplify the concept for the sake of brevity)   

This is also one of the alternate gospels that deals with Docetism – the belief that Jesus did not have an actual physical body. Christ is presented here appearing to his apostles with the body of a child at some times and as an adult at others.             


© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.        



Filed under Mythology


  1. God this was fascinating…I’m not sheltered but obviously ignorant…a soon to be redressed fact.

  2. Wonderful! I can’t get enough of these shocking subjects that you write about! “The young Jesus Chronicles” had me laughing so hard!

  3. If anyone wants more forgotten books of the Bible try this site…they are all online and you can read them for free….

  4. The Gospel of Judas sounds almost Satanic. Kind of creepy.

  5. Bomb post! But I don’t get the 114 stuff.

    • Thanks! The 114 stuff is big with various occult conspiracy kooks. You may have heard of gematria and related subjects in which letters in the alphabet are assigned certain numerical values. With names the letters are added together to get a value. That’s how Jesus as the Messiah has a value of 358, the Antichrist’s number is 666, etc. 114 is the value of L, P and D added together. L,P and D are letters on many (possibly all, but I’d have to double-check)Masonic Temples.

      By one interpretation the letters stand for “Light, Pressure and Density”, three essentials of the alchemical process (for people who believe this stuff) but there are many other versions of what the letters supposedly stand for, just as there are plenty of versions of what the letters INRI over Jesus’ head supposedly stand for.

      The 114 theme is carried further, with 114 being the number of lines in some esoteric poems, the number of sonnets in some collections of mystical poetry and if you go in for the whole “Invisible College” bullshit, the occult operatives of that organization supposedly function openly for 114 years, then go underground for 114 years, and so on over and over again.

  6. I really enjoyed this. I’m more of a believer than you are but I’m not shy about reading other takes on the teachings I believe in.

  7. Load em up! You should do more of these like with your other myth posts.

  8. I love the remarkable topics you write about. Pay no attention to the flack you must get for the topics. Keep writing no matter how many people feel threatened by these ancient religious writings.

  9. I am really enjoying the way u study these older and alternate versions of the Christ story.

  10. Your blog is always so daring and bohemian I love it! These other gospels are so interesting.

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  12. Rose

    Fascinating!….absolutely fascinating. Your blog is not only enjoyable but I feel as if I am getting and education also.

  13. You are like the David Lynch of the web! It’s funny how some people accuse you of being a satanist and others think you’re a Christian!

  14. Superior look at these! I only ever saw the learning channel thing on them but you do some real interesting ones that were too daring for tlc.

  15. You are incredible! This article was so dangerous but so interesting. Wonder how the Christian rligion wouldhave developed if any of these had been official.

  16. Definitly informative and very funny. Loved the young Jesus Christ chronicles and the seal free baptism jokes!

  17. Great topic and great choice of gospels.

  18. This site is really fascinating but it scares me sometimes like with these gospels.

  19. If it was anybody but u writing this I’d be skeptical. Damn! u r the pope of obscure beliefs.

  20. Great piece of writing! I tried reading these gospels but couldn’t get through them. Good to see their content distilled and summarized so nicely!

  21. Looking 4ward to reading more of ur shit dude. Balls to the wall madman! These gospels must freek the shit out of religious trash.

  22. thank you for all your efforts that you have put in this. Very interesting info. “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” by Clive Staples Lewis.

  23. omg these r so scary but so interesting … love the Manichean tie in.

  24. Wow! I feel like I may go to Hell just for reading this! Are you a Satanist? lol

  25. Really thought-provoking takes on all of these gospels.

  26. Very well done! May the Goddess smile upon you.

  27. U r creeping me out with these bro! Luv ur other stuff but this is a bit freaky.

  28. Your articles like this are scary but fascinating.

  29. Pingback: Glenda

    • In the mythical context of that gospel Jesus was Sabaoth, trying to thwart the demiurge Yaldabaoth by guiding humanity to break free of the material prison Yaldabaoth created to trap spiritual matter.

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  31. Awesome look at these other gospels!

  32. Lee

    Scary but awesome!

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  34. Great post but scary stuff!

  35. Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I want to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and in no way seem to get one thing done.

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  41. I really can’t believe how great this site is. Keep up the good work. I’m going to tell all my friends about this place.

  42. Wynona R

    Do you ever worry about going to Hell?

  43. Charlesetta

    Dangerous but so appealing! I like how you cover these topics.

  44. Rufus

    I like Balladeer’s Blog! It’s a master piece ! .