Lost Books of the Bible
By searching for lost books of the Bible, I assume you are attempting one of two things: looking for proof against the Christian Bible, or looking to support your beliefs in the Christian Bible. My goal with this article is the latter.
I hope after reading this article you will feel more comfortable believing what you read in the Bible, subsequently bringing you closer to your Creator.
Whether you are new to the Christian faith, well versed in Bible theology, or looking to pick a fight with the nearest Christian, I challenge you to read this article about lost books of the Bible from start to finish. Think about what is said, and dig deeper if you have to. You're here for a reason - take advantage of that time.
The article explores when the Bible was written, who wrote the Bible, how it all got put together, and tackles the issue of whether there actually are lost books of the Bible.
When Was the Bible Written?
The Bible is actually a collection of letters and writings that were created and compiled over a span of about 1500 years. Obviously, having been written over that much time, several authors contributed to the Bible pages.
Having said that, I'd like to point out the first cool thing about the Bible: manuscripts written hundreds of years apart reference each other. Generally, these references either confirm prophecy in earlier manuscripts, or reference the same events from a different perspective.
For instance, the book of Isaiah was written around 700B.C. and the book of Mark was written around 70A.D.. Mark confirms several prophecies about the coming and death of Jesus Christ. Two authors. 800 years apart.
Archaelogists have also discovered over the years that the Bible is the most bibliographically referenced historical book. This means that the Bible is supported or referenced by more "external" ancient manuscripts than any other book.
In man's quest to find lost books of the Bible, 6000 ancient manuscripts (full or partial) dating back to 114A.D. of the New Testamant have been discovered (only about 50 years after it was actually written). In comparison, the famous ancient book Iliad by Homer has been traced back to the earliest around 400B.C. (about 400 years after it was actually written), and only 643 ancient manuscripts exist for this book.
"The records for the New Testament are vastly more abundant, clearly more ancient, and considerably more accurate in their text [than comparable ancient writings]."
Originally thought of lost books of the Bible, the Dead Sea scrolls are the oldest known Old Testament manuscripts discovered, dating around 200B.C.. Still, these copies only date about 300 years after the last Old Testament books were thought to have been written. Compared to an average of 1000 years difference between copies and original writings of "classic" ancient books, the accuracy of content in our Bibles is backed significantly.
Who Wrote the Bible?
Since I am discussing lost books of the Bible, I will give you a quick overview of who wrote the Bible in this article. However, You may want to read my article about who wrote the Bible stories by clicking here.
The Bible was written by over 40 men spanning a period of around 1500 years. As the Bible tells us, these men were divinely inspired through visions, dreams, messengers from God, circumstances, and experiences to write what God wanted them to tell his children.
The men come from a variety of backgrounds. For instance farmers, shephards, kings, priests, doctors, tentmakers, and fishermen all contributed to the Bible. Why such a variety? Read my "Who Wrote the Bible Stories" article to get more details!
How Was the Bible Formed Into A Book?
The books found in the Christian Bible is know as the "canon". Canon derives its meaning from the Greek word "kanon" which means "measuring stick". So the books contained within our Bible are the measuring stick we have to measure our relationship with God. For centuries, that measuring stick has been used to teach the world about God without worrying about finding lost books of the Bible.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Contrary to popular belief, man did not put the Bible together. No "church" group, religious sect, board, or committee sat down together to decide what manuscripts to include or exclude from the Bible. God inspired his church body (church means people, not an organized religion or building) to choose which writings to include through prayer and meditation on his word.
The Old Testament books were chosen on the basis of their authoritative content, and the belief that they were divinely inspired. If a book did not meet either of these two criteria, they were not included.
In Deuteronomy, Moses wrote the scrolls of laws and placed them "beside the ark". These laws were a testimony of God's will for his people, and to be used for teaching, correcting, and rebuking. God instructed the kings of Israel to make copies of the laws and study them in order to not lead his people astray. That said, if any book did not agree with the first five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) it was not included in the final version.
The New Testament books were chosen using three main criteria. The book had to be: 1) centered on Christ, 2) accepted by the Christian church body, and 3) written by an apostle (or someone near to them). If any of these criteria were not met, the book was excluded.
In reading the New Testament you will see countless times how it references Old Testament verses, establishing the original message, overall accuracy, and authority of the Bible in its entirety.
Why Are There Christian Bibles That Have Different Books?
In Ecclesiastes 12:11-14, Solomon tells us:
The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails - given by one Shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole [duty] of man.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.
Solomon concludes his book by telling us to focus on what God wants (which is key to answering the next question below). He also warns of adding anything to God-inspired scripture.
The very question "Are there lost books of the Bible?" places doubt in one's heart, which brings us to satan.
satan's goal is to turn us away from God. He hates God and he hates us, so he is doing everything he can to destroy the relationship between us and God. Using our pride, ego, inner desires, and weaknesses satan twists our "best efforts" into weapons of mass destruction.
Introducing the concept of having lost books of the Bible is right up his alley.
The fact is, we live in a corrupt "generation". Since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, the human race has been condemned with the knowledge of good and evil. The problem with having knowledge of evil is that we have been given the capacity to use it.
God warned them, they chose not to listen.
Between satan working in our lives and us satisfying our own desires anything in this world can be corrupted, including the Bible. satan is a master of taking truth, mixing in a big lie, and calling it a new truth. These "new truths" are claimed as gospel. The new or different gospel causes questions as to whether there are, in fact, lost books of the Bible.
However, God is fully prepared to deal with those who chose to follow satan's schemes by setting out some pretty hefty penalties for adding to or taking away from his word in Revelation 22:18&19.
How do we Determine Who Holds The True Christian Version?
If you're looking for me to tell you which religion is right you will be disappointed. Besides, God doesn't like religion he likes relationship.
To answer this question appropriately, prayerful meditation and returning to the only source of truth (Jesus Christ) is required.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
The difference between every other religion and Christianity is Jesus Christ. No other religion boasts a Savior who died for us in order that we may live forever with the Creator of the universe. Jesus Christ is the answer to who holds the true version of the Bible, or whether there are lost books of the Bible.
The entire Old Testament points to Jesus Christ. His name is not mentioned specifically, but the fact that he was coming, how he would be coming, and what he would do when he got here is mentioned in almost every Old Testament book.
That said, when chosing a Bible to study, you must chose a Bible in which the teachings, attitudes, and behaviors of Jesus Christ are lifted up, talked positively about, and pointed to as right. If the book includes anything that teaches practices contrary to those of Jesus Christ it must be discarded.
Throughout my childhood, it was made quite clear that I was not to question my father. When he made a ruling that was the final answer (I had a great childhood, don't get me wrong). Read 1 John 4:1-3 and 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21.
We see that God takes quite the opposite approach to the rules that I adhered to as a child. God wants you to test everything you are exposed to in relation to his Spirit. He can handle the corruption and lies because he knows the truth is found in Jesus Christ. Any doctrine that teaches otherwise is false and therefore must be rejected.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness...
1 Thessalonians 4:3-6
It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.
What God wants for us is two-fold: he wants us to seek his kingdom and he wants us to be free from sin. Any book of the Bible contrary to those two desires is contrary to God. If a book encourages you to seek help through the dark arts that is not seeking God - reject the book. If a book encourages you to "save yourself" by following rules that is not from God, reject the book. Get the idea?
Are There Lost Books of the Bible?
No one knows for absolute sure if we are missing a piece to the puzzle. There may very well be lost books of the Bible hidden somewhere in the Middle East.
I highly doubt that is the case given we have used the same book for centuries with no other authoritative, God-insprired findings. Many discovered "lost books of the Bible" that people have tried to include as scripture, but have been rejected for the very reasons discussed in this article.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
Instead of searching for lost books of the Bible, God desires a personal relationship with each of his children. He wants you to go to him for the answers, and has provided a book filled with instructions and expectations that lead you to him.
You simply go to him in prayer to find the answers you seek. He will not steer you wrong. If you truly seek God forget looking for lost books of the Bible and read what you have with the above points in mind.
If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.
- Quickverse 2009 Version 13.0.0
- Encyclopedias > Encyclopedia of Bible Facts > The number and early date of the New Testament manuscripts
- Encyclopedias > Encyclopedia of Bible Facts > The canon of Scripture
- Encyclopedias > Encyclopedia of Bible Facts > Jewish, Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant Bibles
- The Holy Bible, New International Version, Zondervan Publishing 1973