I went to see the musical "Wicked" last week with my daughters and one of their friends. It tells the backstory of the Oz witches, the good one and the wicked ones. I will not be spoiling the story to say that the title character turns out not to be so wicked, but misunderstood. She is the only one who understands the true nature of the magic of Oz and its wizard.
There has been a bit of a flap recently about the "Gospel of Judas," an ancient Gnostic text recently translated and made available to the public. It tells the backstory of Jesus' apostles, the good ones and the wicked one. I will not be spoiling the story to say that the title character turns out not to be so wicked, but misunderstood. He is the only one who understands the true nature of the gospel of Jesus and His God.
Both seem to me to be interesting explorations of possible alternative pasts. Neither is likely to shake my understanding of the nature of reality. Nor is either text likely to convince me of the intellectual's favorite fantasy – that the universe has a secret at its heart that only special people can know and understand.
And "Wicked" has better songs.