Many Christians believe that James was not Jesus’s brother but instead a cousin or step-brother – and the manuscript is considered heretical and not part of the ‘true’ Bible.
Pictured is a fragment of ‘Dialogue of the Saviour’ 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.’