I suggest that the writer of the Corpus Lucanum in the New Testament was at least familiar with the Metamorphoses. Yes; you're right; I have in mind Luke 2:7sqq, and the pericope at Acts 14: 8-18. Surely, if one met these passages in profane literature of the same period, one would cheerfully analyse them as witty, even frivolous, expressions or inversions of the topos of the Theoxeny of the Unrecognised Gods, as at Metamorphoses VIII: 611-724 (there are, of course, famous Callimachean exemplaria ... Hecale ... Molorchus ... Hollis remarks that "between them, the two stories clearly set a vogue in Hellenistic poetry"; he points out that elements in such accounts go back to the visit of Odysseus to the hut of Eumaeus).
An inversion and a frivolity almost worthy of Naso himself, you would tell me.
Indeed so. I would agree with you. I generally do. But I want to pitch the hypothesis a tadge more broadly.
Perhaps the theme most central to the Metamorphoses is the stylistic metamorphoses within the work itself*, as it swings gaily from genre to genre pastiching wildly as it goes ... Homer and Ennius and Accius and Vergil and Theocritus and the 'neoterics' and the elegists and Euripides and Lucretius and Callimachus ... you never know where you are; or, if you do, you enjoy every moment of it.
Surely, the writer who composed the first two chapters of the Ad Theophilum I in such a convincing Septuagintal pastiche could, if he had wished, have claimed elegiacally if naughtily Naso magister erat.
But S Luke has pressed his lusus into the service of God, rather than drawing his gods into the service of his lusus.
He has bequeathed a very jolly Christmass prezzy for us all!
Finally: would it be wildly excessive ... is it totally mad ... to ascribe to a wise and whimsical Providence the notion that the enthusiasm in Greek and Latin Literature for Allusion, Imitatio cum variatione and Intertextuality provided a fertile cultural praeparatio for the 'Typological' approach to Holy Scripture?
I go for it!! Even poor Milton might have agreed!
*Surely we must, with Tarrant's OCT, emend the mss reading of the last word of Metamorphoses I:2.