Many of the New Testament texts familiar to Christians today were being used authoritatively already in the second century, but different congregations preferred some texts over others and included some texts that don't appear in the New Testament. Here are a few:
The Gospel of Peter
Only a fragment of this text was recovered in 1886 in Egypt, but it includes the only narrative account of the resurrected Jesus leaving his tomb. According to Peter's version, two giant angels descended to the tomb and escorted the resurrected Jesus, who was also suddenly gigantic. But the oddest note was that the three figures were followed by a floating cross that could talk.
"And they heard a voice from the heavens, saying, 'Thou hast preached to them that sleep.' And a response was heard from the cross, 'Yea.'"
The Gospel of Mary
Combs says that some apocryphal texts reflected theological and doctrinal debates going on within the early church, such as the role of women. In the Gospel of Mary (discovered in the late 19th century), Mary Magdalene is not only referred to as one of Jesus's disciples but perhaps his favorite one.
In this text, after Jesus' resurrection, he relays esoteric teachings to Mary, who then tells the other disciples. Peter asks why they should listen to a woman, to which another disciple Levi [Matthew] responds:
"If the Savior made her worthy, who are you then, for your part, to cast her aside? Surely the Savior knows her full well. That is why he has loved her more than us."
Purportedly written by the ancient prophet Enoch before the time of Noah, this text was well-known to early Christians like third-century theologian Tertullian and quoted as authoritative scripture.
The text is famous for its description of the "Watchers," fallen angels mentioned briefly in the Old Testament book of Genesis. These angels lusted after human women and came down to Earth to be with them, creating giant offspring. In 1 Enoch, these angels also introduce evil into the world in the form of weapons, magic and sexy makeup.