Biblical scholars have unearthed the first known original copy of a manucript which reveals Jesus’s ‘secret teachings’ to his brother, James.
The manuscript was unearthed at Oxford University by biblical scholars from the University of Texas at Austin.
The ancient narrative describes the secret teachings of Jesus to his brother James, in which Jesus reveals information about the heavenly realm and future events, including James’ inevitable death.
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Some Christians believe that James was not Jesus’s brother but instead a cousin or step-brother.
The heretical text was thought only to survive in Coptic translation – until two researchers found several fifth- or sixth-century Greek fragments of the First Apocalypse of James.
‘To say that we were excited once we realized what we’d found is an understatement,’ said Geoffrey Smith, an assistant professor of religious studies.
‘We never suspected that Greek fragments of the First Apocalypse of James survived from antiquity. But there they were, right in front of us.’
‘The text supplements the biblical account of Jesus’ life and ministry by allowing us access to conversations that purportedly took place between Jesus and his brother, James — secret teachings that allowed James to be a good teacher after Jesus’ death.’