Missing Bible books

Baby Yoda

Well-Known Member
What do you say to those who oppose the Gospel because they claim missing Bible books may say something different? I have friends who claim that many books have been suppressed or hidden over the years. I say God made sure we have the books we need (to which they then say what about the people who never saw a Bible in the earlier ages?) Thoughts?
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
This might be helpful:

https://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher/the-books-of-the-bible/

Q
There are so many versions of the bible out, NKJ, NIV, etc to name just a few, and then there is the Catholic Bible with the Apocrypha. How do we know that we have the right books in the bible? Maybe that’s why there are cults out there that state that the bible has been changed and by man. Could you explain why certain books are in our bible and why there are certain books that were not accepted and why is it that the Catholics have additional books that the Protestant world doesn’t? Are those “missing books” not the word of God?

A

Deciding which books were to be included in the Old Testament was done by senior priests based on the general agreement that each book was authentic (written by the person identified as its author) and divinely inspired. This was completed at about 425 BC.

The New Testament had pretty much come together by 150 AD but there continued to be discussion about a few books until about 400 AD. It was not officially canonized until the Council of Trent in the 1500s. There were three basic criteria for inclusion.

1. Were the authors either eyewitnesses to the events they wrote about or at least directly taught about them by the Apostles?

2. Was each book’s teachings consistent with church practice and tradition?

3. Was each book already in general use by the church, and accepted as the Divine Word of God?

In both Old and New testaments, the books included had to be generally viewed as the work of divinely inspired writers who faithfully converted God’s Word into written form. (2 Peter 1:20-21)

The extra books in the Catholic Bible are called The Apocrypha. They were written after the Canon of the Hebrew Bible was complete. The word Apocrypha means “hidden, or secret”. Due to their doubtful authenticity, the word has come to mean “fraudulent or forged” by some scholars.

Although some feel there are many more, The Apocrypha is normally made up of fourteen books which are found in Greek and Latin translations but never in the Hebrew Old Testament. When Jerome translated the Old Testament into Latin he refused to include them within the body of the book and established a separate section he named “The Apocrypha”. Only 11 of these are included in the Catholic Bible Today but all 14 can still be found in the Orthodox Bible.

The Apocrypha was removed from the Protestant Bible altogether at the time of the Reformation. Here are several reasons why many Christian authorities reject the writings of the Apocrypha:

1. The Apocrypha was never in the Hebrew Canon.

2. Neither Jesus Christ, nor any of the New Testament writers, ever quoted from the Apocrypha. (Jude mentioned Enoch, but Enoch was not the author of the books that bear his name.)

3. Josephus (a well-known historian from the Biblical era) excluded them from his list of sacred scripture. He felt they were lacking authenticity or validity in essence or origin.

4. During the first four centuries, there was no mention made of the Apocrypha in any catalogue or canonical book. They were believed to be slipped in during the fifth century. There are reputed to be 263 quotations and 370 allusions to the Old Testament in the New Testament and not one of them refers to the Apocryphal writings.

5. The books of the Apocrypha were never asserted to be divinely inspired or to possess divine authority in their contents.

6. No prophets were connected with these writings. Each book of the Old Testament was written by a man who was a prophet.

7. These books are replete with historical, geographical and chronological errors. In order to accept the Apocrypha, one would have to reject the Old Testament narratives.

8. The Apocryphal doctrines and practices are contrary to the Canon of Scripture.

There is some historical insight to be gained from the Apocrypha, since they were written in the time between the Old and New Testaments. But extreme caution must be exercised. These books weren’t written by the people whose names are mentioned in their titles, and they are neither theologically nor historically accurate. You should test the things they say against other reliable sources before accepting them as valid.
 

SarahRose

Well-Known Member
I would just put the burden of proof back on them and ask which books specifically and why they think those should be included. If they're even able to come up with anything, I would then respond with why those books aren't in the Bible -- they have contradictions within them (either historically, doctrinally or contextually).
 

Salluz

Aspiring Man of God
What do you say to those who oppose the Gospel because they claim missing Bible books may say something different? I have friends who claim that many books have been suppressed or hidden over the years. I say God made sure we have the books we need (to which they then say what about the people who never saw a Bible in the earlier ages?) Thoughts?

Adding on to what the others have said, we know God is always consistent and always establishes things by two or three witnesses. I can't think of any doctrines that are only based on one book of the Bible.

And we already have everything we need to know about the gospel, namely that we recieve eternal life by faith alone in Christ alone because of His sinless life, substitutionary death, and resurrection. Rather than this hypothetical missing book changing anything about the gospel, it would just be rejected outright as "another gospel" if it was not the already proclaimed message of salvation as a free gift.
 

Reason & Hope

Well-Known Member
What do you say to those who oppose the Gospel because they claim missing Bible books may say something different? I have friends who claim that many books have been suppressed or hidden over the years. I say God made sure we have the books we need (to which they then say what about the people who never saw a Bible in the earlier ages?) Thoughts?
They may be thinking of the "Gospel of Thomas" and other Gnostic works. Most people have a pretty vague idea of these and have never read them. All they know is there's something that was "left out" of the Bible -- and probably for nefarious reasons.

The big difference between the Gospel of Thomas and the real gospels is that the Thomas one was written in the late second century, maybe later. Obviously, the real Thomas was dead by then. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were all written within 30-40 years of Jesus' death and resurrection. Matthew, Mark and John were eyewitnesses, and Luke interviewed eyewitnesses, including Mary and the apostles.The other big difference is that "Thomas" reads differently. It's a collection of sayings, many nonsensical.

People think of the Council of Nicea deciding on the Canon of scripture from some big list tossing out stuff they didn't like, but the church leaders had a very consistent consensus on which books were authentic (written by apostles, etc.) long beforehand.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Matthew, Mark and John were eyewitnesses, and Luke interviewed eyewitnesses, including Mary and the apostles.

:nod

Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.


Acts 15:1-9
 
Top