This may well be old news to some of you reading this, but I was nonetheless intrigued when I learned of the discovery in 2013 of an ancient Coptic text, written in the name of St Cyril of Jerusalem, that described Jesus as a shape-shifter. You can read the article on the Ancient Origins site for yourself, if you wish, but the text in question reads:
“Then the Jews said to Judas: How shall we arrest him [Jesus], for he does not have a single shape but his appearance changes. Sometimes he is ruddy, sometimes he is white, sometimes he is red, sometimes he is wheat coloured, sometimes he is pallid like ascetics, sometimes he is a youth, sometimes an old man …”
As I’ve only just learned of this matter, it stands to reason that I’ve not had time to look up any learned discussion of Jesus as a shape-shifter, if indeed any such exchange exists, but I would be surprised if anyone remotely familiar with the New Testament found anything out of the ordinary here, because three verses from the Gospel of Luke effectively spell out and bear witness to this curious ability:
“And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
But he passing through the midst of them went his way…”
I looked into this episode in my 2009 book The Missing Years of Jesus, remarking that this ability sounded similar to the capacity of the ancient Druids to make their way unharmed through opposing armies, but wherever Jesus acquired this bizarre ability to transform his appearance, it’s interesting to see that it’s been remarked upon both inside and outside the canonical works of the New Testament.