Ship of Fools, always one of my favorite websites, has come up with a weighted scoring system for judging the apocryphality of New Testament apocrypha. Short version:
Horrible and graphic deaths, 5 points. God talks directly to everyone, 10 points.Even shorter version: New Testament apocrypha are what you’d get if you handed the New Testament to a bunch of comics writers and said “Here’s the existing continuity—see what you can do with it.” (via Almeda’s Journal)
Friendly lions, 15 points.
Talking statues, 20 points.
Simon Magus makes a pest of himself, 25 points.
Random miracles, 30 points.
Really obvious anachronisms, 35 points.
The Devil gets beaten up, 40 points.
The Romans are the good guys, 45 points.
Jesus gets medieval, smiting right and left: 50 points.