The Bible is unique. Written by more than 40 persons over multiple centuries, it is a miracle it can read like a single piece of literature. When you read the Bible from cover to cover and not just as a collection of 66 books, universal themes are unearthed. These themes reveal there is only one Author: God.
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.2 Peter 1:20, 21
What a shame many will not embrace the Bible as God’s divinely preserved word! Many, instead of focusing on what God has revealed, seem more concerned with what is not included in the Bible. I am referring to the so-called “lost books” in the Bible. Really, there are no books “missing” from the Bible.
Every word of Scripture has been divinely preserved for you to read today.
Sometimes the information recorded in Scripture was borrowed from existing works. The Bible authors usually name their sources. These sources are mistakenly referred to as the “missing books of the Bible.” Some examples of these so-called “missing books” are:
- The Book of Wars (Num. 21:24)
- The Book of Jasher (Josh. 10:13; 2 Sam. 1:18; and
- The Book of Nathan (2 Chron 9:29).
Another set of so-called “missing books” are works that were rejected by the Early Church. The first Christians simply did not recognize God’s Spirit as their author. They might be good books with historic information of interest or inspiration but were not believed to be 100% scripture. Some example of these are the “apocrypha” books such as:
- The Book of Judith
- The Book of Bel and the Dragon.
- The Book of Tobit
There are examples of apocryphal literature written during and after the first century that the early church rejected. Their standard for identifying scripture is preserved in Paul’s final epistle to Timothy:
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.2 Timothy 3:15-17
Scripture was known by Timothy as a child! It was identifiable in that:
- It led to salvation in Christ Jesus
- It was God breathed
- It was profitable for righteous instruction
- It enabled one to do good.
God has given you everything He wants you to study about His thinking. Discovering “missing” manuscripts would shed no new light on God’s revelation. Channel your energies into reading the Bible you have. It is eternally deep with wisdom reflecting its Author – the Most High, Eternal God.