In his Commentary on Matthew, however, Origen offered a different approach.
Answering criticisms that there was no mention of this incident in any of the many non-Christian sources, he insisted that it was local to Palestine, and therefore would have gone unnoticed outside.
As one writer puts it, "accompanying miracles become more fabulous and the apocalyptic portents are more vivid".
A number of accounts in apocryphal literature built on the accounts of the crucifixion darkness.
The Gospel of Peter, probably from the second century, expanded on the canonical gospel accounts in creative ways.
Burton Mack describes it as a fabrication by the author of the Gospel of Mark, W. Davies and Dale Allison similarly conclude "It is probable that, without any factual basis, darkness was added in order to wrap the cross in a rich symbol and/or assimilate Jesus to other worthies".
The image of darkness over the land would have been understood by ancient readers as a cosmic sign, a typical element in the description of the death of kings and other major figures by writers such as Philo, Dio Cassius, Virgil, Plutarch and Josephus.
The Crucifixion darkness is an episode in three of the Canonical Gospels in which the sky becomes dark in daytime during the crucifixion of Jesus.
Ancient and medieval Christian writers treated this as a miracle, and believed it to be one of the few episodes from the New Testament which were confirmed by non-Christian sources.
One of the defining features that makes a television program a soap opera, according to Albert Moran, is "that form of television that works with a continuous open narrative.
Each episode ends with a promise that the storyline is to be continued in another episode".
It appears that the Luke Gospel originally explained the event as an eclipse.