The Acts of Paul and Thecla
The Acts of Paul and Thecla, also called the Acts of Paul or the Acts of Thecla, details the life and journeys of the young Christian convert, Thecla. Thecla was a young virgin who was engaged to a wealthy and powerful man in the city of Iconium. When she heard Paul preaching about chastity, however, she refused to marry the man and was sentenced to be burned at the stake. God, however, intervened and saved Thecla’s life.
Thecla joined Paul on his journey to Antioch where she ran afoul of the magistrate of the city when she refused to sleep with him. The magistrate ordered Thecla to be killed several times, but each time she was saved by God. In one of her final trials, Thecla threw herself into a body of water filled with sharks. The sharks were killed by God, and Thecla baptized herself.
It is theorized that the Acts of Paul and Thecla was kept out of the official canon because Thecla’s actions were too powerful for a woman. She acted with all the power of a man, something unacceptable at the time.