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During the early years of Christianity, there were a lot of divergent beliefs surrounding the figure of Jesus, all semi-coexisting in harmony until emperor Constantine organized the first Council of Nicea; by then one ‘canonical’ story was supported by the Roman empire, while the rest were considered apocryphal & therefore heretic.

A recent translation of a 1200-year-old Coptic text, found in the ruins of the Egyptian Monastery of St. Michael, offers us a glimpse of perhaps one of the rarest beliefs shared by the ancient Coptic monks: According to the translation of Roelof Van den Broek –of Ultrecht University (Netherlands)– Jesus had the ability to change his appearance, and even become completely invisible!

The text goes on to explain that Jesus’ ability to change his appearance necessitated identification via a kiss from Judas rather than Judas simply pointing him out to the authorities.

“Then the Jews said to Judas: How shall we arrest him [Jesus], for he does not have a single shape but his appearance changes. Sometimes he is ruddy, sometimes he is white, sometimes he is red, sometimes he is wheat colored, sometimes he is pallid like ascetics, sometimes he is a youth, sometimes an old man…”

This peculiar version of the crucifixion’s tale also states how when Pilate gave Jesus a chance to flee from prison –offering his own son in his place as a way to appease the crowd– Jesus showed him how he could easily escape anytime he wanted to, and to prove that he became incorporeal in front of the flabbergasted Roman prefect.

A shape-shifting Jesus. Wait ’til David Icke gets a hold of this!

In any case, this ancient Coptic text goes to show how Gnostic Christians were heavily influenced by the Classic Greek culture. Jesus’ Mistique-like superpower is not so different of how Zeus would often turn into a swan, a bull or whatever he fancied, in order to have a little ‘quality time’ with some clueless mortal woman.

Link: Translation of 1,200-year-old Egyptian manuscript proposes Jesus could change his appearance and shape at will

[H/T Kat]