The Missing Books of the Bible

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by foundationist.org, Apr 4, 2003.

  1. foundationist.org

    foundationist.org New Member

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    Found this list on another site, which refers to books mentioned in the Bible but which no trace exists. Thought it may be of interest:


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    There are between eighteen to twenty-four books mentioned in the Bible, but not included. The variation is due to possible double mentions using differing names for the same book.

    Book of the Covenant
    Exodus 24:7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.
    There are those that believe the Book of the Covenant is found in Exodus chapters 20 through 23. There are no authoritative sources for this text.

    Book of the Wars of the Lord
    Numbers 21:14 Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon,
    Certain sources believe that this is to be found by drawing text from several Old Testament books. There are no authoritative sources for this text.

    Book of Jasher (note - there is at least one copy of a book of this name, claiming to be the one referred to - brian)
    Joshua 10:13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
    2 Samuel 1:18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)

    The Manner of the Kingdom / Book of Statutes
    1 Samuel 10:25 Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the Lord. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.

    Book of Samuel the Seer
    1 Chronicles 29:29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,

    Nathan the Prophet
    1 Chronicles 29:29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,
    2 Chronicles 9:29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat?

    Acts of Solomon
    1 Kings 11:41 And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?

    Shemaiah the Prophet
    2 Chronicles 12:15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually.

    Prophecy of Abijah
    2 Chronicles 9:29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat?

    Story of Prophet Iddo
    2 Chronicles 13:22 And the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the story of the prophet Iddo.

    Visions of Iddo the Seer
    2 Chronicles 9:29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat?

    Iddo Genealogies
    2 Chronicles 12:15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually.

    Book of Jehu
    2 Chronicles 20:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Jehu the son of Hanani, who is mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel.

    Sayings of the Seers
    2 Chronicles 33:19 His prayer also, and how God was intreated of him, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they are written among the sayings of the seers.

    (reference to Book of Enoch removed - this is extant pseudopigrapha - brian)

    Book of Gad the Seer
    1 Chronicles 29:29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,

    Epistle to Corinth (Missing) (perhaps why the Apocryphal 3 Corinthians exists - or was it original? ;) - brian)
    1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

    Epistle to the Ephesians (Missing)
    Ephesians 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

    Epistle from Laodicea to the Colossians (Missing) (note there is an apocryphal version)Colossians 4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.

    Nazarene Prophecy Source
    Matthew 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene

    Acts of Uziah
    2 Chronicles 26:22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.

    The Annals of King David
    1 Chronicles 27:24 Joab son of Zeruiah began to count the men but did not finish. Wrath came on Israel on account of this numbering, and the number was not entered in the book of the annals of King David.

    Jude, the Missing Epistle
    Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
     
  2. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web New Member

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    I now remember seeing something of those mentions. Thank you for bringing the list. I wonder how many may ever be recovered? The next big Dead Sea Scrolls events perhaps?
     
  3. Mr Ecumenical

    Mr Ecumenical New Member

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    Missing books are a shame. Destroyed books are a tragedy. That is why we need to value what we have even more.
     
  4. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web New Member

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    And some merely remain unnoticed in some dark and dusty place waiting top be rediscovered. That is what I always wait for, for it furthers our knowledge and betters it.
     
  5. Polycarp

    Polycarp New Member

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    A couple of quick comments:

    Some scholars see the "angry letter" portion of II Corinthians (chapters 10-13) as an extract from a letter written before I Corinthians and placed near the end of II Corinthians to fill up a scroll.

    And there is a large school which believes Ephesians to have been an encyclical sent to several churches, of which the copy to Ephesus has survived (one ancient manuscript has no reference to Ephesus or personal greetings), of which the church in Colosse would have gotten the copy sent to (nearby) Laodicea -- the idea being that the leaders of the Colossian church would have sent to Laodicea for a copy of the letter that Paul had sent TO there -- the "from" being that they would get it from the Laodiceans.
     
  6. WHKeith

    WHKeith New Member

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    Here's a possibly related question. John 7:38 says, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

    Now, fundies generally link this with Zechariah 14:8: "And it shall be, in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem. . . ."

    The link is tenuous, at best. In John, Jesus speaks of living waters flowing from His believers; in Zechariah, the prophet speaks of literal rivers flowing from Jerusalem, half toward the "former sea," half toward the "hinder sea." Arguably, this could be living water flowing from the Messiah, and the "former" and "hinder" seas, rather than being the Mediterranean and the Dead Seas, could be metaphorical references to the nations of the world, Jews and Gentiles. At least, that's how fundies interpret it.

    So . . . is Jesus referencing a lost text? Did He misremember the scriptural reference? Or did His followers misremember--or deliberately twist things to improve the Jesus-Messiah connection? And what does this say about Biblical inerrancy?

    In regard to straining at scriptural gnats (if you'll excuse the exegetic double entendre), I'm put in mind of the famous Nazarene quotation in Matthew 2:23. There is an alternate explanation--the rod--"netzer"--of Jesse (Isa. 11:1) providing the root for "Nazarene," as opposed to the seemingly more likely reference to the Nazoreans of Numbers 6. Was Matthew a little too eager to make his point?

    What's your take on the living waters scripture referenced by Jesus, Polycarp?
     
  7. Polycarp

    Polycarp New Member

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    Spectacularly good questions! I'm wondering whether the Septuagint versions will have readings more closely in line with the New Testament. (remember that "modern, more accurate translations" always refer back to early manuscripts as opposed to relying on the Septuagint -- but that Matthew at least knew the Septuagint versions well and often works from the Septuagint in making his points.

    And I presume that you are aware that, while John invests "living waters" with spiritual meaning (as he does half the rest of the basic vocabulary, it sometimes seems), the literal meaning of the term is "streams and rivers, flowing (as opposed to sessile) water" -- which was of course safer to drink in the First Century area than standing water.
     
  8. brian

    brian Administrator Admin

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    On the issue of the reference in John, I'd suggest that the fundies are playing in the right arena in directly trying to reference Zechariah - after all, it's a common habit acorss the NT to reference the OT.

    The flaws in the use of said reference could certainly be reflective on the actual author of the Gospel of John - or of the secretary, or of the translators, if that sounds too unpalatable.

    Unless, of course, the reference isn't intended at all to be an allusion to any OT text. Due to the general referencing of the OT by the NT, though, I wouldn't think that so strong a solution.

    As for John referencing a lost text - this is actually quite quite possible, When I compiled the NT Apocrypha section of this site, I originally tried to include OT apocrypha and pseudepigrapha. The problem with this approach wasn't simply that the list relating to OT texts is so extensive - but also because the vast majority of which appear to be unavailable offline. Thus there was little point establishing a resource comprising a poor fraction of the actual total. But it is an issue I will look to follow up.

    How this relates to the original post - well, I found a resource that claimed to list all of the actual texts named by the OT that we no longer have any portion of. But there are plenty of others that we apparently do.
     
  9. WHKeith

    WHKeith New Member

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    Right you are. One problem with fundy narrow/literal mindedness is the assumption that a word we use in English is exactly and literally the same in Greek, or Aramaic, or Hebrew. When John quotes Christ as saying "as it says in the scriptures," they tend to assume he's talking about THEIR scriptures, which generally means the King James version of the OT!

    [A favorite joke of ours, even when we were fundies, was . . . if the King James Bible was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!]

    In fact, whilevarious traditions loosely grouped various of the OT books--the Pentateuch, for instance--there was in the First Century no single "approved" collection of defioning religious work. I would assume that we have today less than ten percent of all POSSIBLE Jewish writings of the period, and I guestimate the number that high only because of the high degree of correspondence between the books we have in our OT and the books collected by the Essenes at Qumran. The Essenes were one of a large number of Jewish sects, some of which contributed ideas to Christianity [viz. teachings of John the Baptist, and some of the truly haunting references to the Messianic "Son of Righteousness" discussed in the Qumran trexts.] ... and many that did not.

    However, and for the record, my guess--Occam's Razor, I suppose--is that John was referencing Zecharia. If Christ twisted things a bit, well . . . hey! I've heard fundy preachers do MUCH worse damage with Daniel, Revelations, and the Second Coming!

    ANd, BTW! Thanks, Polycarp, for the news about moving versus standing water. I'd never thought of that. Of course, that same issue is one reason why the fuss was made over the wine incident at Cana!
     
  10. Elizabeth May

    Elizabeth May New Member

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    One problem with the fundy approach is that if Jesus was such an obvious fulfillment of Jewish Prophecy then why wasn't Jesus accepted by the Jews? If it were that convincing an argument in the first place the early Christians wouldn't have had to turn to the Gentiles for converts..
     
  11. brian

    brian Administrator Admin

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    I believe early Christianity took both routes...hence why Peter's vision was requierd to address the issue of Mosaic Law.
     
  12. WHKeith

    WHKeith New Member

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    Christ himself addressed the idea that his own people would reject him. Remember the verse about "No prophet is without honor save in his own country." He also made reference to an OT passage--Isaiah, I believe--as prophecy, the one about "The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner."

    What's often forgotten, and as Brian correctly reminds us, many, many Jews DID accept Jesus as the Messiah. The Book of Acts has a lot of juicy gossip about the ongoing battle between those, like Peter and James, who felt that Christianity was ONLY for the Jews, and Paul and Barnabas, who felt His message was for all nations. The Jewish Christian community continued to observe certain aspects of the Torah, or Law of Moses, such as requiring circumcision and not eating meat sacrificed to idols--and required new converts to Christianity to observe the Law. I imagine the circumcision bit was a little daunting, a true test of whether or not your conversion was genuine! Observing or not observing the Mosaic Law became a major thread in Paul's writings, especially in Romans.

    Unfortunately, the entire Jewish-Christian congregation was pretty much wiped out when the Romans raized Jerusalem in 70. Gentile-Christian communities were widespread throughout the Empire by that time, and were thriving in Rome itself. Jewish communities were too, but had not been touched as much, as yet, by the Christian message. Most of the Jewish-Christian communities appear to have remained in place in and around Jerusalem, under the leadership of James the Just, possibly in expectation of Christ's near-immediate return in glory to the holy city.

    Oops! Bad call. . . .
     
  13. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Just a point of note to myself I really have to try and collect as many of the apocryphal OT writings. It's a while since I looked, so I'm hopeful that more must have become available online.
     
  14. aged hippy

    aged hippy drifting gently

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    I, Brian said:
    Dare i suggest the Nag Hammadi Library?

    Warmest Regards
     
  15. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    There's a lot of copyright issues associated with the translations - I've managed to collect copies of most of the writings directly relevant to the New Testament. However, a lot of the specifically non-canonical Judaic material is actually quite restricted. I guess it's simply because there are so many Christian scholars happy to put their own words about the public sphere.
     
  16. iKwak

    iKwak New Member

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    Fascinating.

    Wonder if those books do exist or ever be found.
     
  17. DeaconJustin

    DeaconJustin New Member

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    If you want to get technical, nothing is missing from the New Testament. It was canonized by the bishops of the early Church, and presumably closed afterwords. A mention of other gospels or epistles doesn't mean that they are, or ever were, a part of the New Testament. I'm of the opinion that defining a canon of scripture was a bad thing.
     
  18. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web New Member

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    I agree that the missing books of early belief are simply that. I am sometimes surprised at the extent to which canonisation was so narrow.
    I am also seeing strange " throughout this thread. Is that an issue that was supposed to have been resolved before now?
     
  19. Marsh

    Marsh Disagreeable By Nature

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    Canon, or cannons?

    I agree. You know, the worst part about churches is the fact that they are run by people, and people have personal agendas, and truth doesn't always fit into those agendas. Think about it for a second: at some point, these bishops had the power to include or exclude things may in fact be as true as the Gospels. What if what is good for God wasn't good for the bishops?

    Thank God for the Holy Spirit; no human's agenda will ever take him away from us!

    By the way, do you think Malachi's prophecy that Elijah will come and restore all things before the end applies to the Bible?
     
  20. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Absolutely - and although I haven't yet encountered a proper write up of the meeting, the (unverified) supposed excerpts I have come across are hardly pretty. There was some fierce arguing going on in there, not least between the Athanasian and Arian groups. Ultimately, there is always the very real danger that politics - not least that of Constantine - played a very real role to some degree in the decision making.

    That being said, it has to be added that from the writings of the Early Church Fathers that are preserved, there tends to be a general agreement on the core books that were read extensively in the early church - the four Gospels, for example, especially from the middle of the second century (notably, though, after Marcion's Diatession made it's appearance). It's the Epistles that can be particularly problematic for choice of inclusion in the NT.
     

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