In 1945, two Egyptian farmers dug up a sealed jar containing 12 papyrus codices near the town of Nag Hammadi. These documents turned out to be second-century Christian Gnostic texts considered heretical by the early Church, including the Gospel of Thomas, The Apocryphon of John and The Three Steles of Seth. Some scholars believe Christianity would be very different today if these Gnostic Gospels had not been suppressed. Recently, a codex turned up in a Prague antique shop containing another text believed to have been smuggled out of Nag Hammadi. Here, for the first time, translated from the original Coptic, is The Apocryphon of Timmy:
Peace, grace, love and faith be with you. And a good pair of shoes. I think we can all agree a good pair of comfortable shoes can really make the difference between grace and no grace, so shall it be revealed.
I am not going to deceive you; it was not in my plans to write to you. It was supposed to be the task of my brother, Harry the Prophet. “Harry the Horny” would be more like it. He is momentarily tied up — to a whipping post, for allegedly doing unspeakable acts with a vestal virgin. So instead I write to you to bestow all blessings upon you and implore you to send me some more of that fish — you know, the ones that grill up so nice when you cook them with just a touch of olive oil?
Where was I? Oh, yes. I send to you a missive, which the Savior has revealed to me. It is a message from his father Our Lord, who is also him and vice versa, which can be confusing so your best bet is to pay really good attention and obey them both. They will not steer you wrong and you almost never catch them disagreeing with each other, so it’s usually not a problem.
Anyhoo, the Lord said, “As long as I am with you, give heed to me and obey me,” which was not really all that surprising because, let’s face it, what is the alternative? But then the Lord said something that frankly caused me to spit out a mouthful of wine in that way that is so comical to the Thessalonians. (And this was not cheap Akhetaten swill, either. It was the good stuff that comes from that wine cave at Party Stable.)
The Lord said, “Harry I say unto you (he hadn’t heard about Harry), go forth and proclaim that I have frankly had enough worship.”
Well, you could have crucified me with a feather. But he wasn’t kidding. He went on, “Hey, I like compliments as much as the next God. For the first couple of thousand years, worship was pretty cool. Who doesn’t like a pat on the back for a job well done? But frankly, this Lord is sick and tired of it. God is old and wants to spend more time with his family.”
And I answered to this and said, “Lord, it’s me, Timmy. Harry’s … um, tied up. I just want to make sure I’ve got this right before it ends up in a Bible or something crazy like that: You don’t want us to worship you?”
“Not anymore,” said the Lord. “Frankly, I just want some peace and quiet. Enough with the worship, already.”
And I said unto the Lord, “But why, Lord?”
And the Lord said, “You know how when you invite everybody over for a party and you kill the fatted calf and it comes out perfectly done, with a nice, seared outside but tender and pink on the inside, and everybody’s like, ‘Oh, God, this fatted calf is DIVINE,’ and they won’t shut up about it? It’s sorta like that. For the first couple thousand years it makes you feel pretty good, but then it starts to get old. And then the next thing you know, they’re not just telling you how awesome your cooking is, but how awesome you are and then they go totally nutso and start building golden temples and nailing people to trees and starting wars and … I dunno, it just seems like too much. You’re embarrassing yourselves. The Lord has spoken. Don’t make me come down there and smite you.”
And so let it be known that from this day forward, no one shall worship the Lord. He who does is really asking for it. Glory to … er, peace out. —Timmy