There was a woman named Ellen White. If you have seen a Seventh Day Adventist church, she is probably the biggest reasons this denomination still exists. She never technically claimed to be a prophet but a "messenger" instead. I grew up in this church. And I promise I'm getting back to apocrypha soon. They used the bible as a primary source but... they also use a bunch of writings by this Ellen White person, believing that God had sent her.
The wikipedia article leaves out a lot of information on why people believe she was telling the truth. I believe that she believed... that she was special and chosen and all of that. But this belief was based on what she desired and believed to be true. So if you convinced her that 2+2=6 then she would tell you that 2 x 2 = 9. If you lie to someone and they believe you then what they will convince other people will also be a lie. They just wont know they're lying. Like many children, she was convinced that Jesus was going to return very soon and so she was convinced that it would be in her lifetime.
And what the White Estate has tried to cover up is the simple fact that she was spectacularly wrong in her visions of the future. She thought God was revealing to her things she was seeing in dreams. The bible opens the door for this by saying dreams and visions are an avenue that God uses to communicate without any caveat. Dreams and visions are created by the mind. The mind will use whatever you believe in order to construct a dream. If you believe in ghosts you have a nightmare where you'll see a ghost. So if you feed your mind all this belief that Jesus is about to come back then you may have multiple dreams seeing it happen or witnessing events leading up to it. Because that's what your mind is focused on. She thought it was God but it was really just her powerful imagination.
She would use her imagination to write more detail into the already known stories of the bible, adding more detail to different characters, why? The answer is in psychology. Why did it need more detail? There have been a number of rabbis and the like who have had questions. It would be fair to say that they were critical of certain aspects of stories; like, for example, who did Adam's children have sex with? Apparently the original author (who is supposedly inspired by God) didn't think this was important enough to include in the original manuscript. And maybe that's because the original author wasn't trying to tell that story or maybe it wasn't a literal non-fiction story at all. So someone else steps (to add to God's previous inspiration) in to "fix" it to their own satisfaction. How? By using their imagination. Goliath was the smallest of 10 brothers. They wanted revenge and David, being such a Luke Skywalker type hero, he slew them all with his mighty glowing magic sword, Excalibur!
Obviously... not. But people, even in the bible, exaggerated the tales of David's victories because that was part of their culture. They weren't sitting there thinking about how best to document all this for people thousands of years into the future.
But this is what story tellers do. And its not like the biblical authors had copyrights and patents. The reason we have these things today is because, if we don't, (and still even though we do) people will copy, rewrite, change, etc. Many movies have been sued because they ripped off earlier films without even changing that much. It happens in music all the time too. So yes... it also happened to the bible, both OT and NT. Everybody wanted to get in on this popular library of tales because it was like the Star Wars saga of their time. Do you know how many Star Wars books there are?
But this is why I've never gone down the rabbit hole when it comes to the "Extended Universe" of the bible. Once I read the "Extra" stuff about Noah, I was already like... "yeah... I just can't buy this." It seems to me to be too obvious that these writers exaggerate in order to make their own writings appear more relevant. And for this and other good reasons people far more expert than myself categorized these books as apocrypha and psuedepigrapha because they couldn't justify including them in canon. They couldn't legitimize them because they knew they were spurious. It's one thing to not know who the writer is. Many biblical books suffer from that issue. But when it seems like the writer has read the previous book and wrote too far into the future about a time period they may not have even been born in... you have to draw the line somewhere.
So I understand. There is a certain level of excitement that these are kind of "new books" but in most cases (I'm not saying all), it's probably not remotely accurate. And in my mind, even though I know there are lies, I do believe certain things were true and certain things happened even if they were exaggerated. And if I mix even more true-sounding fictional elements into that story, as a critic of the original story, I feel like it wouldn't be fair because I feel like I would subconsciously judge the original story unfairly based on stuff it never even said. So as a critic I now want to stay away from those other books, if that makes sense to you. Some people treat these books like Ellen White's writings are treated. And I don't think that's fair to the bible. Each of those books needs to be treated separately and researched for authenticity separately. Just because one sounds plausible doesn't mean it or the rest are any more credible. Ellen White sounds very credible but that's because of a few different factors; such as borrowing from other writers.
There's nothing wrong with gathering wisdom from these or any other books. I personally think there's a lot to learn from Star Wars, Tron, and the Matrix. In fact, I like sci-fi more because there's no chance of people taking these stories literally and thus missing the point to them. There are different kinds of writers. Some are journalists and are interested in preserving an accurate account of history. But many want to tell a story that people can learn from or grow from. We have libraries separating fiction from non-fiction, from science fiction. In the old world a book was a book. And religion mixed everything together... on purpose. The gods were imaginative actors that were used to tell stories for education about how the earth and humans came to be.
Creation myths weren't meant to be taken literally, but rather to give children a sense of pride and power because humans struggle with that just like we struggle with our own mortality. So hence, you are secretly a prince of the universe that the king of the universe personally sculpted out of clay and you might die but not really because the king will bring you back to life.
We told ourselves what we needed to hear. That's what the bible is about. Because even when we did bad things, we told ourselves what we needed to hear to pacify that voice in our head. "Men and women are equal... but didn't God say that you could have two or even three wives if you can afford it".
If this reminds you of the serpent in the garden, it should. But what if there was never a talking snake and Eve was simply tempted within her own mind, questioning God. After all, this story is about questioning God. And the moral of it is, "don't do it".
It therefore is the perfect preamble to Exodus because it conditions you to accept what Moses said God told him the same way you should have accepted what God told Adam. Questioning was demonized and so the woman was demonized and pushed down into a servile position.
It was because the woman was ALREADY in a servile position that the writer chose to blame women for the original sin in order to justify how men were treating women. Which came first? The story? Or the behavior they wanted to justify? The egg? Or the chicken? Maybe some people were questioning the status quo; questioning why women weren't being treated as equals? Perhaps there was a feminist movement that they were trying to suppress. Maybe there were matriarchal societies they felt threatened by. Whatever the case, I think we need to contemplate the real reason why these stories exist and why they are told the way they are told.
If you know a person's motives you can't be fooled by them.