Over at Cracked.com is a list of the top 5 miracles that didn’t make it into the Bible but found in the apocryphal literature of the first few centuries of Christianity. They say in the title that the stories were “deleted”, but that probably isn’t accurate, especially when the Bible we have probably developed in the 2nd century and some of the stories are possibly later than that.
Some of the stories are odd to us, and there may be textual issues. For example, the Gospel of Peter says that the cross which Jesus was crucified on spoke on the day of resurrection to bear witness to the event. Yes, a walking, talking cross. However, Mark Goodacre has made the plausible argument that it wasn’t the cross but the “crucified one” that is speaking. It’s at least a more coherent idea. But you still get a giant Jesus. Hope there wasn’t any lightning on that Sunday.
With Jesus as the talking star from the Revelation of the Magi, that may be related to another star story from one of the letters of Ignatius of Antioch. His letter to the Ephesians mentions a bright star in the sky which has a chorus of other stars about it all singing who-knows-what, and there is reason to think the star is Jesus yet again. Most are thinking this story is coming from the birth of Jesus, so this is baby Jesus in star form, but I will argue in a future book that the story may be from the resurrection stories in the 2nd century. Nonetheless, Jesus is a star child in one late 2nd/early 3rd century story. Remember that next time you watch the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
So yeah, a lot of crazy stories were created in antiquity. Good thing none of those made it into the Bible, right?
HT: James McGrath