For those who don't know (and that included me, until very recently), the Gnostic Gospels area collection of writings made around the same time as the Synoptic Gospels but were frowned upon by the orthodox Christian hierarchy. One has to be careful about lumping these texts together because there are many disparate views expressed and they range from views that will still shock today such as, Christ did not suffer during the crucifixion because He was not human, but a God, or that He did not rise bodily from the tomb, to less heinous texts such as that of Mary - hopefully, we are now able to accept a woman as a significant figure; if not, GET OVER IT!!!
These books make uncomfortable reading: it is cosy to believe that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet, or Bible but, they have as much claim to historic authenticity as the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It is my experience that to subjugate views that question one's beliefs is always going to lead to trouble at some stage and these books deserve to be read. I have to be honest, my preconceived views do mean that I may not have been as fair to some of these ideas as I should; maybe, they will worm into my credence over time: in some cases, I truly doubt it but, I am glad that I have read them and they deserve to be exposed to the light f day.
Now I understand why these were not included in the holy scriptures! They are nothing like the Gospels in the Bible and they are not even interestingor more informative. I had hoped they would give some more background - they didn't.