By Michael Garrison
There is a popular assumption among some, that there are other books or epistles that should be in our Bible. The idea is that these writings have been lost down through the ages, or were intentionally left out by scribes over the years. Of course, those who make this claim, attempt to get us to accept something else as a rule of faith to go along with the Bible.
Some years ago, I had a study for several weeks with some so-called Mormon “elders.” I say “so-called” because the Bible teaches that elders are older married men with children and certain other qualifications (see 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5). (Note: elders and bishops for overseers] are terms which refer to the same people; see Titus 1:5, 7 and Acts 20:17, 28.) During this study, these Mormons gave me a list of “Books the Bible talks about, but it doesn’t contain, which makes it not perfect and complete.” I answered this list of Books not in the Bible and gave it to the Mormons, but they decided it was time to go and never responded. I share their list and my answers to them with you here.
1. Book of the Covenant – Exodus 24:7. No missing book here. The book of the covenant was simply the book where the covenant was written. We find this covenant in Exodus and Deuteronomy.
2. Book of Wars – Numbers 21:14. “It would seem from the fragment in vv. 14b, 15 that the Book of the Wars of the Lord (v. 14a) was a collection of popular songs, like the book of Jasher (Josh. 10:13; 2 Sam. 1:18), made perhaps in the early days of the monarchy to preserve some of the most notable traditions of the tribes” (The Interpreter’s Bible 11:244).
3. Book of Jasher – see answer number 2.
4. Book of the Acts of Solomon – 1 Kings 11:41. “There were other writings extant at the times covered by the biblical ones, besides those included in the Bible; inspired writers referred to them (Josh. 10:13; 2 Sam. 1:18; Acts 17:28)” (E.M. Zerr, Commentary I:110).
5. Books of Nathan and Gad – 1 Chronicles 29:29. Nathan and Gad were historians of David and Solomon’s reign. See The Jewish Encyclopedia. They could certainly write things other than what God inspired them to write. And others could refer to these writings.
6. Book of Jehu – 2 Chronicles 20:34. He was another history writer and, like others, could write without God’s inspiration upon him.
7. Another epistle of Paul – 1 Corinthians 5:9. If there is a missing epistle, we can be assured that the Holy Spirit saw fit to include all of that teaching in other epistles (as is here indicated). There is no evidence that any necessary Truth has been left out of the New Testament (see Matt. 24:35).
8. Another epistle of Paul to the Ephesians – Ephesians 3:3. To get another (missing) letter out of this is a grand assumption! As we have it, Paul had already written two chapters before what he was now writing. Why think he had any thing else in mind?
9. A former epistle of Jude – Jude 3. This is simply wishful thinking!
10. Prophecy of Enoch – Jude 14. No mention is made in this verse of Enoch’s having written his prophecies. The Holy Spirit knew of these prophecies, so informed Jude that we might know at least one of them.
If one is truly interested in Truth, he will “study to shew (himself) approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15) and believe, not fight against, the Bible. The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, quoted by E.M. Zerr at 1 Kings 14:19 says, “Chronicles contains a reliable history, being drawn from the official records of the Israelites.” Let us not be like atheists, agnostics, or infidels and find fault with, and try to tear down, people’s belief in the Bible, God’s word. When we have a genuine question about something in the Bible, rather than condemn the Bible, let us really study and find out the right answer to the problem. If we have the kind of faith God expects us to have, we will trust the Bible, because we know it is God’s Truth. There may be some things I do not know or understand right now, but I can have faith in the Bible because of what I do know!
I pointed out these things to the Mormons and then asked, “Since the Book of Mormon makes the claim ‘that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book’ (referring to the Bible, mlg) – 1 Nephi 13:28, why don’t we find the so-called ‘missing’ books, as listed by you, in the Book of Mormon or other ‘new revelations’?” They never would give me an answer! And I think I know why – they see they are trapped! These so-called ‘missing” books were never intended to be in the Bible and their “new” revelation is not from God.
It is a sad truth, but no book has ever been more abused, more attacked, nor more criticized than the Bible. With all the attacks heaped upon it over the years, by those claiming to be its friends, as well as its enemies, not one genuine fault has ever been found which stands upon investigation. It does not contradict one scientific fact, nor has any of its history been found to be in error. It is truly the Book given by God’s inspiration (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Let us put our faith in it!
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4).
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 21, pp. 660-661
November 5, 1992