The Lost Books of the Bible

The Lost Books of the BibleThe Lost Books of the Bible

   The phrase "lost books of the Bible” fills our minds with romantic images of dusty parchments and scrolls found by an Indiana Jones-style archeologist in an ancient tomb. However, in reality all the "lost books” can be readily named and have been known by the Church for centuries. They shouldn’t really be called lost at all.

   There are three main categories of lost books, as follows:

The Pseudepigrapha

   Some of the books are called the Pseudepigrapha. The Oxford American Dictionary notes the word originated in the 17th century from the Greek pseudepigraphos, which literally means "with false title.” Read a list of pseudepigraphical books

   Some people who doubt the validity of the Bible feel that these books pose a valid counter to the present makeup of the Bible. They say that because the Pseudepigrapha contains content that counters the existing canon, the decision to exclude the lost books is biased.

   Some books have strong support from modern sources, such as the support the "Gospel of Judas” recently enjoyed from National Geographic. Yet all of them were written long after the original New Testament canon had been closed. These books were never accepted as genuine by the early Church fathers. Read about how early believers chose what to include in the canon?

The Didache

   Another "lost book" was written just after the time of Christ and is known as the Didache or "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles.” It is thought to have been written between 65 and 80 AD.

   The Didache is a catechism or handbook of Christian procedures. Many of the instructions in the Didache are based on Biblical concepts but are added to with rituals and direction that are not supported in the Word of God, as we can see from the section on baptism:

   -And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19 in living water. But if you have not living water, baptize into other water; and if you can not in cold, in warm. But if you have not either, pour out water thrice upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whatever others can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.

   Jesus gave no instruction in the Gospels about how or where to be baptized. Although He did encourage fasting, nothing was said about fasting as a prerequisite to baptism. In fact, Acts 8 tells the story of a man who wanted to be baptized as soon as he understood the good news. Philip, the man who was helping him understand Scripture, did not tell him to fast first, but instead baptized him immediately in the nearby river:

   -And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him (Acts 8:36-38).

   All the other books of the Bible intertwine and support each other. This book cannot be included as it is not endorsed by the rest of Scripture.

The Apocrypha

   Another group of books often called "lost books” is the Apocrypha. While the pseudepigraphal books were written within 200 years of the time of Christ (centered on the New Testament time period), the apocryphal books were written during the period of the Old Testament, but long after the original Old Testament Scriptures were completed. Read a list of apocryphal books

   The apocryphal books are rejected by both Jewish and Protestant scholars, but widely accepted by Roman Catholic scholars. The books include portions that support justification for both suicide and assassination, lying if the end justifies the means, prayers for the dead, belief in purgatory, and worship of idols. These and many other doctrines are acceptable to Roman Catholic theologians largely because the Roman Catholic Church accepts tradition as having equal authority with Scripture. Protestants, who respect only Scripture as the ground for belief, do not accept these writings.

   None of these books call themselves inspired by God. Also, the suggested authors often did not live in the same era the books came about. Even the early Church believed these books to be fraudulent, and did not give them same authority as the inspired Scriptures. Read some examples of the clashes in doctrine between the Apocrypha and the true Word of God

Author: Keith King

admin 19-06-2018, 11:00 390 0


Adding a comment

The World of the Bible