Scala / Art Resource, NY

THE NON-BIBLICAL JESUS. The Christian apocrypha (which means “secret,” but came to be understood pejoratively as “false” or “spurious”) depict many diverse images of Jesus and early Christian theology that are different from those found in the New Testament. Many of these texts were written to adapt the Jesus movement to the writer’s particular context. This fourth-century opus sectile (stone inlay) floor mosaic of the head of Jesus from a building near Porta Marina, Ostia, Italy, is contemporary with many of the apocryphal gospels and reflects one artistic interpretation of Jesus.