You will find so much said about the “Lost Books” in the bible. Many people today don’t trust the bible because they assume that we are missing Inspired books from Gods word.
Answer: Many times we hear about these “Lost books”. Are there any lost books of the bible? The simple answer is no, there are no lost or missing biblical books. The bible tells us that God will preserve his word (Psalm 12:7). You will find many rumors and legends of missing books of the bible. Some will say that the Apocrypha books belong in Scripture but we have covered in the past many reasons why they were rejected. For example, 1 Maccabees is a historical account of the Jewish people during the first century BC. They are healthy to read as historical documents but not books inspired by God.
In the book of Numbers, you find a book called “The book of wars” (Numbers 21:14). In Joshua, you will find as you read the old testament a book called “Jasher” (Joshua 10:13). 1 Chronicles speak of “The book of Gad” (1 Chron. 29:29). 2 Chronicles you can find “The books of the Kings of Israel and Judah” (2 Chron. 27:7). There are many more books mentioned in the Bible we don’t have in our possession today. Just because a book is named in the old and new testament doesn’t make it inspired. Many of these books are historical, past records or accounts that the nation of Israel had but never included them in the canon for the simple reason they were not inspired by God.
List of additional books
Below is a list of books mentioned in scripture:
The Book of Jehu–2 Chron. 20:34
The Book of Gad–1 Chron. 29:29
The Chronicles of David–1 Chron. 27:24
The Book of Jasher–Josh. 10:13
The Chronicles of Samuel the Seer—1 Chron. 29:29
The Book of Wars–Num. 21:14
The Chronicles of Nathan the Prophet—1 Chron. 29:29
The Book of Life–Dan. 12:1; Rev. 20:11
The seven-sealed book–Rev. 5:1
The Book of Judgment–Dan. 7:10; Rev. 20:12
The Words of Shemaiah the Prophet—2 Chron. 12:15
The Book of the Prophet Iddo–2 Chron. 13:22
The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah—2 Chron. 27:7
The Book of Remembrance–Mal. 3:16
The Record book of Ahasuerus–Esther 2:23
The Deeds of Uzziah by Isaiah the Prophet—2 Chron. 26:22
The standard of selecting books
The early church was very careful when it came to the selection of the canon. One thing we need to make clear is that God promised to preserve his word. So regardless of the process, he decides to use it will still be preserved. In this case, he decided to use men filled with the spirit to select and reject certain books. The early church had a three-step process they used to determine which books would be accepted into the canon of scripture.
Was this writing or text written by an apostle or associate of an apostle? They called this Apostolicity. If an apostle or an associate of an apostle wrote or claimed to write the book it was elevated to a more important text then the others. The apostles were people that had seen the risen Jesus and were sent out. The word apostle literally means “one who is sent out”. In the new testament, we see 2 ways the word apostle is used, the first is in regards to the 12 apostles of Jesus. The second is speaking of people who had a mission to deliver a message and be ambassadors of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The last apostle to live was John, the one whom Jesus loved. He died around 98AD. Many of these so-called “Lost Gospels” or as others call them “Gnostic” Gospels were written many years after his death. All books written after the death of John can’t possibly be apostolic nor be included in the canon of scripture.
Did these books circulate in the early church? The early church called this Catholicity. One confusion many make is to relate this word to the Roman Catholic church theology. All Catholicity means is Universal. The word Catholic was coined during the early second century to describe the pure body of Christ/The church. This would help determine if the church was reading this book house to house as was the custom in the first century.
Was the book or books in question consistent with other writings? This they called Consistency. If these books were truly inspired then God’s word would never contradict itself. The early church was looking for consistency with other writings of the New Testament and examining everything being written just like the Berean’s in Acts chapter 17.
Did the council of Nicea determine which books belong in the Bible?
Many skeptics and internet trolls will say that the Council of Nicea determined which books belonged in Scripture which would be rejected. The main concern at the Council of Nicea was in regards to the relationship of Jesus and the father. Is Jesus a created being or eternal with the father. Many Mormons and skeptics love to bring up the Council of Nicea and claim this was the time in history men decided to accept and reject certain books. None is true nor historically correct. Martin Luther the great reformer would call this council “the most sacred of all councils“. It all began on June 19, 325 AD. Rome was unsuccessful in abolishing Christianity. 14 years had passed since the final threat on Christians under the power of Emperor Galerius.
Around 318 AD, Arius began to teach against the teaching of Alexander the bishop of the time. Arius would say that Jesus the son of God was a created being. Alexander defended that Jesus was not a created being but was eternal with the Father. Arius after a few years was considered a heretic in a local council in 321. Arius then moved to Palestine and grew a following there to the point where it began to become a big issue with the local churches of the time.
Constantine became aware of the situation and called the council in 325. Many historians believe that over 320 bishops attended the council. The debate ended with Arius being considered a heretic. Jesus was not a created being but truly God. Eternal with the father and of the same substance (Homoousios).
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