Of the non-traditional gospels, the most notorious are the Gnostic Gospels, which were unearthed in Egypt in 1945 after a 1,500-year burial.
But here--less known, and unearthed elsewhere--are a few others.
The Epiblastic Gospel
Animated by the Holy Spirit, He burrowed into the Virgin's womb, and grew and grew and grew.
And, when He had acquired the general shape of a vertebrate embryo--at that curious stage where there exists very little external difference between a sheep and a man--His translucent lips vibrated in the amniotic fluid, in order to form these words:
"I am the Lamb of God."
The Sarcastic Gospel
"Born of a Virgin..." said the Oriental king, rolling his eyes. He had traveled a long way, perhaps, and all at the promise of a star, but he was not an utter fool.
"Riiighhht..." he said in an exaggerated stage whisper, while congenially elbowing Joseph.
The Caustic Gospel
It was a tricky chemistry: water into wine. And--son of God, or not--it was nothing that a child ought to have undertaken.
He would retain, long after, the shattering guilt of it: a shadow, which persisted over the whole of His ministry.
Water, transformed, not into wine, but instead into acid.
At the toast, at Cana, the liquid had sloshed, hissing, over the brim. And, when the bride and groom--and the entire wedding party--had raised their cups, their throats had been horribly burnt, and their faces permanently disfigured.
"My God," He would wonder, that night and every night, as he grew into a man, "Why did you abandon Me?"
The Diabetic Gospel
The hypodermic needle was a miracle in its own right: sleek and sharp, and with intricate retractable parts.
But more striking still was the liquid that it delivered.
Under its influence, dying men lost their gauntness, and became rosy-cheeked and whole.
"I cure you in the name of insulin," said Jesus solemnly, each time that He depressed the plunger.
The Apoplectic Gospel
Year after year, the fig tree had been barren.
So Jesus punched it and He punched it, until the flesh of His knuckles peeled back.
"Ligneous trash!" He yelled, as He ripped off the branches, one by one, and then smashed the entire trunk to sawdust. "Selfish heap of twigs!"
The Hypnotic Gospel
"You are feeling very alive," Jesus said to Lazarus. And He set the watch chain to sway, rhythmically and persuasively, before the dead man's closed lids.
The Autistic Gospel
His intonation was flat; His gestures were awkward. And He stood too close.
"No thank you," said the leper firmly, too disconcerted by His affect to really listen to the offer.
"Really..." murmured the fishermen uneasily. Until finally, finding no polite pretext for escape, they simply slipped away, mid-parable, while stifling uncomfortable laughter.
So He spoke to the wind, instead; and to the birds He promised grace.
The Homoerotic Gospel
He washed my feet, attentive and slow. His fingers, against my instep, were terrifyingly--and exquisitely--warm.
"What is it, Peter?" He asked, when I made a small, involuntary sound. His eyes, meeting mine, were wide and dark and beautiful.
"The tension," I said, though, through my constricted throat, it came out as barely a whisper.
"I cannot bear the tension."
The Slapstick Gospel
"I said lepers, you knuckleheads!" Jesus shouted, gesturing angrily toward the pack of unruly--and entirely unwanted--leopards which were now making mischief in the marketplace.
Then, with a growl, He grabbed Thomas by a tuft of his curly hair, and pulled back hard.
"Ow! Ow! Ow!" Thomas cried, snatching at his scalp, and dancing for pain.
Jesus came after Peter, too, two fingers extended. But Peter set his palm flat, and with it extended the bridge of his nose, so that, even as Jesus jabbed, his eyes remained safe.
"Nyuk! Nyuk!" cried Peter.
The Arctic Gospel
Across the ice floes, the crowds hurried, eager to taste of the loaves and the fishes.
And enjoy it they did: devouring every fish to the last, though they mostly left behind the bread.
To His sermon, however, they were largely indifferent. So, eventually, crying, "Arkh! Arkh! Arkh!" they lurched away disinterestedly, at the propulsion of their flippers, and retreated back into the sea.
The Transatlantic Gospel
After a four-month journey, the Captain and His apostles disembarked, wobbly legged, from their tiny fishing vessel.
"We come bearing the Word of my Father," He said, smiling disarmingly at the natives, who met Him at the shore.
Then He showed them the pustules on His hands, where the disease had spread, and He urged them to probe the marks with their own fingers, so that they would believe.
The Lactic Gospel
He squeezed His nipples carefully, filling each of the twelve cups equitably, and up to the brim. The liquid was warm and sweet--sweeter than the milk of any cow.
When the cups were full, and the pressure relieved, He tucked His breasts back into His nursing bra.
"Take," He instructed the apostles, handing each of them a cup. "And drink of Me."
The Socratic Gospel
"Therefore," said Jesus, "money-changers are fish. And Samaritans are grasshoppers."
The disciples stared at Him, glassy-eyed.
Something had gone wrong, somewhere. And, once again, starting from perfectly sensible precepts, He had led them, piecewise--and via apparently impeccable logic--to a conclusion that was utterly silly.
This had been going on for days.
Judas snorted, breaking the uncomfortable silence.
"Drink this, my Lord," he said. And then, with an exaggerated motion--not in the least bothering to hide it--he emptied a vial of hemlock into Jesus' wine.
The Athletic Gospel
During the entire first day and a half of the decathlon, He had shouldered the Cross.
Crippled by the burden of it, He had been lurching and slow: last in the 100-meter dash, last in the 400-meter dash, and last in the 110-meter hurdles.
And O, how the crowds had jeered.
But on the afternoon of the second day, as He prepped for the pole vault, something shifted.
Down the field He pounded, faster than He--or anyone--ever had. Then, with a deft motion, He planted the upper tip of the Cross on the runway, just before the mat, and went soaring into the sky.
The bar, far beneath Him, did not even quiver.
The Robotic Gospel
With the addition of each new nail, wires crunched and circuits frizzled.
"Bee-oop! Bee-oop!" He cried mournfully. His eyes flashed madly: 0101010101. Arcs of current, too, extended from His chest, static and blue: Blatt! Blatt! Blatt!; each arc weaker than the one that preceded it.
Until, with a final twitch, He went quite still.
But then, furtively, from beneath her cloak, Mary Magdalene removed a package of fresh batteries.
The Intergalactic Gospel
On the second day, unable to wait, Peter rolled away the stone.
"I will take You to Your Father," he promised in a whisper, while cradling the limp, cold head.
Mary Magdalene beamed them aboard the ship. Thomas, the medic, enclosed the Body in a stasis chamber. The chamber would forestall any further decomposition, ensuring that, when they did reach His Father--however long that would take--a true Resurrection would still be possible.
Peter settled into the Captain's chair. From there, he stared out, grim and determined, into the vast expanse that lay before them, where no man--but only God--had ever been before.
"Maximum warp," he instructed Mary Magdalene.
The ship shuddered. Then, through the viewing screen, all of the stars blurred together, into a single smear, and they proceeded into Light.