Tag Archives: Apocryphal Gospels

TWO MORE ALTERNATE EASTERS

CrossBalladeer’s Blog examines two more ancient works which – if they had been deemed “authentic” (LMAO) – might have resulted in very different versions of Easter celebrations.

THE GOSPEL OF THE EGYPTIANS – This Apocryphal Gospel is also referred to as The Gospel According to the Egyptians. This particular work is dated to around the 100s A.D.

The surviving references to this Gospel center around conversations between Jesus and one of his female followers – Salome. The gist of the material is the Gnostic condemnation of procreation, since in their view the reproductive process does nothing but entrap even more spiritual matter in the physical world created by Yaldabaoth, the Demiurge.

Jesus calls for humanity to reject and despise “the shameful garment” called the body. He also hinted that once spiritual matter returns to the Pleroma that all duality will cease, including the notions of male and female, which will no longer be separate states of being.    

One of the key sayings in The Gospel of the Egyptians is found when Jesus tells Salome “Death will endure as long as women give birth.” This concept is also alluded to when Jesus says “I have come to destroy the works of the female,” referring, of course, to all of us since our bodies – our physical prisons to the Gnostics – all emerged from the wombs of women.   Continue reading

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GOSPEL OF THE SAVIOR: COMPARATIVE MYTHOLOGY

Jesus ResurrectedBalladeer’s Blog continues examining various accounts of dead and resurrected deities, as is customary at this time of year.

THE GOSPEL OF THE SAVIOR – The narrative of this gospel centers around dialogues between Jesus and his apostles in the last few days before his arrest and crucifixion.

Some of the material is similar to the Gospels of John and Matthew, but  some is Gnostic, with references to discarding the useless garment of the body so the soul can return to the empyrean realm. 

The most striking departure in this gospel comes in the Garden of Gethsemane segment, when Jesus, as God the Son, traditionally prays to God the Father to spare him the ordeals that lay ahead. In The Gospel of the Savior Jesus transports himself and his apostles to the throne-room of God the Father  where he makes his appeal in person. Continue reading

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COMPARATIVE MYTHOLOGY: THE GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS

Balladeer’s Blog continues examining various accounts of dead and resurrected deities, as is customary at this time of year.

facepalm jesusTHE GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS – Despite the title of this gospel, Nicodemus doesn’t even show up until section five. This alternate scripture started out as The Acts of Pilate, and covered the story of Christ’s trial and execution from the point of view of Pontius Pilate. This half of the gospel serves the purpose of making Pontius Pilate look even more reluctant to prosecute Jesus than the canonical gospels do. Continue reading

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THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS

Jesus laughingIt’s the time of year when Balladeer’s Blog highlights comparative mythology, both in terms of other cultures’ dying and resurrected deities or in this case by showcasing alternate gospels that Christian authorities of long ago deemed to be non-canonical. 

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. Continue reading

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THREE POTENTIAL ALTERNATE EASTERS

Jesus ResurrectedTry imagining how different modern-day Easter celebrations might be if any of the following Gospels had been deemed “authentic” (lol) instead of just the traditional four. This continues Balladeer’s Blog’s annual examination of the Apocryphal Gospels that provide the best opportunities for comparative mythology. 

THE GOSPEL OF PETER – This Gospel was in wide use in the Middle East until at least the 2nd Century A.D. Its contents would still be completely unknown if not for a fragment of the Gospel being discovered in the tomb of a Christian monk in Egypt late in the 1800s.

In The Gospel of Peter when Jesus emerges from his tomb upon being resurrected he is the size of a giant “whose head reaches above the Heavens” and is being helped from the tomb by a pair of equally giant-sized angels. Next the Cross itself emerges from the tomb for some reason and a voice from the Heavens asks “Have you preached to those who are sleeping?” The cross speaks and replies “Yes.”   Continue reading

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EVEN MORE ALTERNATE EASTERS

Jesus ResurrectedTry imagining how different modern-day Easter celebrations might be if any of the following Gospels had been deemed “authentic” (lol) instead of just the traditional four. This continues Balladeer’s Blog’s annual examination of the Apocryphal Gospels that provide the best opportunities for comparative mythology. 

THE GOSPEL OF PETER – This Gospel was in wide use in the Middle East until at least the 2nd Century A.D. Its contents would still be completely unknown if not for a fragment of the Gospel being discovered in the tomb of a Christian monk in Egypt late in the 1800’s.

In The Gospel of Peter when Jesus emerges from his tomb upon being resurrected he is the size of a giant “whose head reaches above the Heavens” and is being helped from the tomb by a pair of equally giant-sized angels. Next the Cross itself emerges from the tomb for some reason and a voice from the Heavens asks “Have you preached to those who are sleeping?” The cross speaks and replies “Yes.”   Continue reading

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ALTERNATE EASTERS

If you're fine with this picture but crawl on your belly when Muslim savages are offended you're a gutless hypocrite.

If you’re fine with this picture but crawl on your belly when Muslim savages are offended you’re a gutless hypocrite.

It’s always fun pondering how different today’s Easter celebrations might be if any of the fascinating    apocryphal gospels (meaning the rejected and obscure gospels outside of the four accepted by mainstream Christianity as “authentic”) had been deemed canonical. 

This continues Balladeer’s Blog’s annual examination of the Apocryphal Gospels that provide the best opportunities for comparative mythology. These particular three depict:

a) a Jesus who transports himself and his Apostles from the Garden of Gethsemane directly to God the Father’s throne-room in Heaven,

b) Hell as a living entity unto itself that converses with Satan,

and c) a Jesus who has mastered the esoteric traditions of many other faiths before facing his ultimate destiny on the Cross     

If you don't believe me about what it says read it for yourself.

If you don’t believe me about what it says read it for yourself.

THE GOSPEL OF THE SAVIOR – The narrative of this gospel centers around dialogues between Jesus and his apostles in the last few days before his arrest and crucifixion. Some of the material is similar to the Gospels of John and Matthew, but  some is Gnostic, with references to discarding the useless garment of the body so the soul can return to the empyrean realm. 

The most striking departure in this gospel comes in the Garden of Gethsemane segment, when Jesus, as God the Son, traditionally prays to God the Father to spare him the ordeals that lay ahead. In The Gospel of the Savior Jesus transports himself and his apostles to the throneroom of God the Father  where he makes his appeal in person. The apostles, who stay awake for once in this version, look on as Jesus and God the Father converse in this scene, which serves as this gospel’s substitute for the traditional transfiguration episode of other gospels.  Continue reading

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PART TWO OF THE TOP SIX ALTERNATE GOSPELS AND SCRIPTURES

As promised, here is the second part of Balladeer’s Blog’s look at the top six apocryphal gospels, meaning the rejected and obscure gospels outside of the four accepted by mainstream Christianity as “authentic”  (snicker). I’ll be examining different versions of the Koran soon, too, so start those death threats coming in again, Muslim fanatics! 

Those four gospels I mentioned are, of course, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There were dozens of others and I’ve selected the six that provide the best opportunities for comparative mythology.

3. THE GOSPEL OF THE SAVIOR – The narrative of this gospel centers around dialogues between Jesus and his apostles in the last few days before his arrest and crucifixion. Some of the material is similar to the Gospels of John and Matthew, but some isGnostic, with references to discarding the useless garment of the body so the soul can return to the empyrean realm.

The most striking departure in this gospel comes in the Garden of Gethsemane segment, when Jesus, as God the Son, traditionally prays to God the Father to spare him the ordeals that lay ahead. In The Gospel of the Savior Jesus transports himself and his apostles to the throneroom of God the Father  where he Continue reading

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THE TOP SIX ALTERNATE GOSPELS AND SCRIPTURES: 6-4

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. (I’ll also be covering alternate versions of the Koran in the near future, so start those death threats coming again, Muslim fanatics!)

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.”

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 supposedlybecame a follower of the man called “Saint” Paul after hearing him speak in Iconium. In this book Paul is depicted as Continue reading

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THE TOP SIX ALTERNATE GOSPELS AND SCRIPTURES PART TWO

As promised, here is the second part of Balladeer’s Blog’s look at the top six apocryphal gospels, meaning the rejected and obscure gospels outside of the four accepted by mainstream Christianity as “authentic”  (snicker).

Those four are, of course, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There were dozens of others and I’ve selected the six that provide the best opportunities for comparative mythology.

3. THE GOSPEL OF THE SAVIOR – The narrative of this gospel centers around dialogues between Jesus and his apostles in the last few days before his arrest and crucifixion. Some of the material is similar to the Gospels of John and Matthew, but some is Continue reading

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