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Apocryphal Gospels

GOSPELS, APOCRYPHAL. The canonical gospels are not biographies, and record only a small part of the life and work of Jesus. Later a growing biographical interest led to the composition of works intended to fill the gaps, most of them based on imagination or drawing on myth and legend. The [[Infancy Gospels]] recount tales of His childhood, or carry the story back to the birth and childhood of Mary. The passion and resurrection, the descent into hell, and the terrors of the underworld are described with additional detail ([[Gospel of Peter]], [[Acts of Pilate]], Bartholomew lit.). The Gnostics in particular composed “gospels” containing revelations given in the period between the Resurrection and the Ascension. Rarely can one look for the survival of authentic early tradition, and only in the earliest of these documents. (See [[Apocryphal New Testament]] 2 and separate articles.)