Hi brother Bon!
I just want to ask: What about the Apocrypha and other lost books of the Bible? Should they be part of the Bible?
I have known one brother who makes the lost books of the Bible (as he claims it) to be his reference in his teachings. For him, these books are also inspired by God and they should also be part of the Bible. Is this true? Have you already encountered them?
Yes, I read them during my College days. One friend of mine who is a student of a well-known Roman Catholic school here in the Philippines had lent me this book which claimed to contain these “Lost Books of the Bible.” We can actually read them all over the internet nowadays.
First of all, there are actually no “lost books” of the Bible or books that are missing from the Bible. Every book that God intended to be in the Bible is among the 66 books of the Bible we have. Those “lost books” were actually rejected books. They were not accepted by the Old Testament Prophets and the early Church for the reason that they are not in-breathe of God. They contain errors. For a book to be included in the Bible, it should be perfect. It should be error free For God cannot make any error.
But let me clarify first that these “Lost Books of the Bible” are different from the Apocrypha. Although the Apocrypha are also considered by many as “lost books,” they are not actually lost. The word “Apocrypha” means “hidden.” And these apocryphal books are actually present in the Roman Catholic Bible.
So again to clarify things, the Apocrypha are the books that are not included in the 66 books of the Bible but are included in the Roman Catholic Bible, while the “Lost Books” are books that can neither be found in the Bible nor in the Roman Catholic Bible.
Let’s first tackle these so-called “Lost Books of the Bible.” There are many books that are included in these, but the well-known ones are the following:
1. The Book of Enoch
2. The Book of Jasher
3. The Gospel of Judas Iscariot
4. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
The reason why these books are not included in the Bible is that they are uninspired. Moses who wrote the first 5 books of the Bible (The Pentateuch), including all the Old Testament prophets and the Old Testament Jews, did not accept the book of Enoch and the book of Jasher as inspired books. Remember that in order for a book to be part of the Holy Scriptures, the first requirement is it needs to be inspired (in-breathe) of God as written in 2 Tim. 3:16:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”
God cannot breathe error, therefore, all 66 books of the Bible are infallible or error-free. Every writing in them is God-breathe. That’s why all the 66 books of the Bible are perfect books because they are error-free. And this is not the case in the book of Enoch and the book of Jasher. Although the Book of Jasher was mentioned in Joshua 10:12-13 and in 2 Samuel 1:18-27, this book is not error-free. It has some truth in it but not everything in it is the truth. Most of them are not inspired by God and are just observations of man. Any book that has errors cannot be included in the Bible. It should be perfect to be included and only God can do that. The Book of Jasher for example are just records of events like the history books mostly in poetic from but is fallible and not in-breathe of God. That’s why the Old Testament prophets and Jews did not include it in the Old Testament Scriptures.
There is also a book called “The Book of Jasher” today, but it is not the same book as mentioned in the Old Testament. Instead, it is an eighteenth-century forgery that alleges to be a translation of the “lost” Book of Jasher by Alcuin, an eighth-century English scholar.
The book of Enoch on the other hand, is a very questionable book. First, its origin is unknown and was dated much, much more recent than the days of Enoch. The first time that I read this book, I can readily say that it is uninspired. It is not only full of error, it also contradicts the written Scriptures. For example, you can read in the book of Enoch 15:2-3 and 8-9:
“5.2 And go say to the Watchers of Heaven, who sent you to petition on their behalf: You ought to petition on behalf of men, not men on behalf of you.
15.3 Why have you left the High, Holy and Eternal Heaven, and lain with women, and become unclean with the daughters of men, and taken wives for yourselves, and done as the sons of the earth, and begotten giant sons?
15.8 And now, the giants who were born from body and flesh will be called Evil Spirits on the Earth, and on the Earth will be their dwelling.
15.9 And evil spirits came out from their flesh, because from above they were created, from the Holy Watchers was their origin and first foundation. Evil spirits they will be on Earth and ‘Spirits of the Evil Ones’ they will be called.”
Here, the author of this book is telling us that the giants were born because of the Angels who left heaven and married the daughters of men. First of all, angelic beings cannot procreate with humans who have physical bodies. Second, according to Rev. 12:9, angels did not leave heaven to marry humans, they leave heaven to follow Satan which happens long before humans were ever created. Third, we all know that the giants were not the offspring of angels and humans but the offspring of the descendants of Adam (sons of God) and the descendants of Cain (sons of men).
As for the Gospel of Judas Iscariot and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, if you have read Dan Brown’s book entitled “Da Vinci Code,” most of the “facts” he claims there are actually taken from these Gospel of Judas Iscariot and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. These books are actually claiming that the Lord Jesus has an affair with Mary Magdalene and that they have a child. These books are not only uninspired, they are also very contradictory to the other books of the Bible and were written to destroy our faith in the Bible. That’s why we need to be rooted and grounded in the Bible so that we will not be swayed by these false books. These books were not accepted by the early Church.
As to the Apocrypha or the books included in the Roman Catholic Bible (like the Tobith, Judith, Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom and the books of Maccabees) but were not included in the 66 books of the Bible, this article had lay down why they are also uninspired books:
To conclude, in this world, we only have one perfect book – that is the Holy Bible. It is perfect because no error is present on it. All its contents are in-breathed of God and that’s why we make it our Absolute. If any book with an error will be added to it, it will automatically become unperfect. It cannot be considered an in-breathe of God anymore. That’s why our Lord will not let it happen that His book will be tainted with error.
If you are asking “So why are there exactly 66 books in the Bible?” The answer is found in the Menorah, one of the things that can be found in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle. The Menorah represents the Word of God that gives light. If you will take a look, you will see that it has 66 “decorations” on it split into 39 on the first 4 arms and 27 on the last three arms. This corresponds to the 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. This is why we shouldn’t be trying to add or subtract more!
We have many books today, but only the Bible that is authored by God is error-free. This is why, the books written by Martin Luther, John Wesley or William Branham although they are true servants of God, cannot be included in the Bible. Their books are fallible, the Bible is not. If their books will be included in the Bible, then it cannot be called error-free anymore. The Bible is a perfect book already.