Saturday, November 5, 2016

Lost Books of the Bible?

There are professing Christians out there who think that there are lost books of the Bible. Many of the people who push the idea that there are lost books of the Bible are either New Age or belong to some cult or another. Here is just a small sampling of some books these people claim belong in the Bible:

Gnostic Gospels
  • Gospel of Thomas
  • Gospel of Peter
  • Gospel of Mary Magdalene
  • Gospel of Judas
Pseudepigraphal Books
  •     Epistle of Barnabas
  •     First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians
  •     Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians
  •     The Letter of the Smyrnaeans or the Martyrdom of Polycarp
  •     The Shepherd of Hermas
  •     The Book of Enoch
  •     Gospel of Judas (130-170 AD)
  •     Gospel of Thomas (140-180 AD)
  •     The Psalms of Solomon
  •     The Odes of Solomon
  •     The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
  •     Second Baruch
  •     Third Baruch
  •     The Books of Adam and Eve
  •     The Acts of Phillip
It is understandable why those involved in New Age and members of cults would think these books belong in the Bible. Often times they are seeking to justify various false teachings they hope to believe. When professing Christians attempt to argue that these books were removed from the Bible and should be included in it, it is an argument made entirely out of ignorance. First, through ignorance of never having read, paid attention to, or studied the 66 canonized books of the Holy Bible. Second, through ignorance of never having read, paid attention to, or studied any of the so-called "Lost Books." If ignorance is bliss, these people are living in paradise.

Take the Gospel of Thomas, for example. Not only is it a Gnostic Gospel, but it is also Pseudepigraphal, meaning "false," because it is falsely attributed to the Apostle Thomas. Verse 14 says, "Jesus said to them, 'If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits. When you go into any region and walk about in the countryside, when people take you in, eat what they serve you and heal the sick among them. After all, what goes into your mouth will not defile you; rather, it's what comes out of your mouth that will defile you.'" Does that honestly sound like it belongs in the Bible? Does it honestly sound like something our Lord and Saviour would say? "If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourself. If you pray, you will be condemned. If you give to charity, you will harm your spirit." Jesus fasted. Jesus prayed. Jesus was very charitable. Verse 114 says, "Simon Peter said to them, 'Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life.' Jesus said, 'Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven.'" Does that honestly sound like it belongs in the Bible? Does it honestly sound like something our Lord and Saviour would say? "Females don't deserve eternal life. Women have to become men in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven." Really?!? These two verses are just some of the examples that hugely contradict the teachings of the Bible, especially that of the New Testament.

These books are not included in the Bible for a number of reasons. (See Canonicity of the Bible.) These books did not claim to be the Word of God; they lacked apostolic or prophetic authorship; and they were never referenced by Jesus. It would help if professing Christians did not blindly believe everything that was told them by someone in a trusted position, but that they would read, pay attention to, and study the Bible carefully. These so-called "Lost Books" are self-refuting when someone actually knows the Word of God.