I woke up this morning at 3:30AM with an urgency in my spirit. I had been sick in bed for a few days and couldn’t work on my message for this week. I started my morning prayer; Lord, get me out of this bed and…
At first, as my feet hit the floor, I felt weak and jittery. My emendate thought was, “get back in bed!”
Choices, life is full of options. I preach that all the time; now, it was my turn to make a choice.
Getting up and doing what I felt, without a doubt, was what the Holy Spirit was telling me to do or accept defeat and crawl back in bed.
As I started the day, I kept a running conversation going with the Lord as I did my morning routine. Many people who don’t know me would probably think I was talking to myself as I did these things, but in truth, this is an excellent time for a one-on-one with God.
He told me to keep asking and answering challenging questions from believers and non-believers alike.
Here’s one that jumped out at me the moment the Lord said that; Are there more books to the bible than we are told?
Wow! That was one I received from a reader just before the China pandemic (covid), so this is a great time to get into it.
Where do we start? ( The inspired Holy Word of God)
Did you answer that question right?
Let’s get started with the first of many concerning this question.
If God has revealed Himself to humanity in several divinely inspired books, why didn’t He provide a Bible with a divinely inspired table of contents for humanity? Why didn’t He set the limits of His authoritative Word?
God Has Not Told Us Why He Did Not Give Us A Divinely Inspired List Of Books.
To begin with, we were never told why God did not provide a list of books in Holy Scripture. For reasons known only to Him, He did not give any authoritative list. Consequently, any answer would only be speculation, and Scripture is clear that we should never speculate about the ways of God. The Lord has said. My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8,9).
Paul wrote. O, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (Romans 11:33)
Different authors wrote the Books of the Bible at various times.
There is another point to remember. The various books were initially written on individual scrolls and not produced simultaneously. This process was 1,500 years in the making. The only practical way such a list could come about is that either God predicted in advance the exact number of books along with their title and author or, in the last book written, there could have been some exhaustive list of the books that He divinely inspired. God did neither of these things.
Early On, There Was No Need For A Fixed List
During the New Testament era, there did not seem to be a need for such a list. The Extent of the Old Testament was clear to everyone. When the New Testament was written, the apostles of Jesus were still living and able to give eyewitness and authoritative testimony to His words and deeds. The need arose after the completion of the New Testament and the death of the last of the Apostles.
God Has Given The Extent
However, the extent of the Scripture has established the limits of the OldTestament at the time of Christ. There was no honest debate over which books are divinely inspired and which are not. As far as the New Testament is concerned, there is sufficient evidence available that the books that now make up this part of Scripture are the correct books with nothing added and nothing lacking.
There Are Three Categories Of Old Testament Books That Claim God’s Authority In the New Testament
We can list books that claim divine authority into three different categories. In the Old Testament, some books were accepted by all, books that were accepted by some, and books that were rejected by all.
The books accepted by all would include the present thirty-nine books of the Old Testament.
The Roman Catholic Church includes several additional books in the Old Testament that Protestants and Jews reject. These books are the “Apocrypha” by Protestants and “The deuterocanonical books” by the Roman Catholic Church. The books accepted by some would be the books of the Old Testament Apocrypha.
The Ethiopic Bible includes two other books to the Old Testament that are not in the Apocrypha: 1 Enoch and Jubilees. However, there is no compelling evidence why it should consist of either. In the Old Testament? Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
The books rejected by all would be the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (forgeries). Neither Protestants nor Roman Catholics accept these writings as Scripture.
The New Testament Also Has Three Categories
The books that have had divine authority claimed for them in the New Testament period can also be divided into three categories. In the New Testament, the books accepted by all would be our present New Testament writings. Some Christians received several books in a limited geographical area for a short period. These books include works such as the “Shepherd of Hermas” and “Third Corinthians.” Many books were never given serious consideration for being Holy Scripture. These include the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Philip. They were always rejected as Scripture. There Was Unanimous Agreement On The Old Testament Books Among Jews and Christians concerning the divine inspiration of the Old Testament; there is unanimous agreement upon the thirty-nine Old Testament books. The Samaritans, who are half-Jew and half-Gentile, accept only the Law of Moses as authoritative Scripture.
Among Christians, there is no doubt concerning the authority of the twenty-seven New Testament books. The only exception is some branches of the Syrian church, which reject 2 Peter, 2,3 John, and Revelation.
Apart from these two obscure groups, there is unanimous agreement on the divine authority of the sixty-six books of Scripture among Christians.
There Were Some New Testament Books Questioned
There have also been questions concerning seven New Testament books: Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation. However, the case for the canonicity of all these books is solid. Summary The Scriptures do not contain any divinely inspired table of contents. God has not told us why this is so. Since He has not told us, it would only be fruitless to speculate.
Seemingly, the only way He could have done so was to predict the exact number of books and their titles or authors ahead of time or to have an exhaustive list of the last book in which He divinely inspired. He chose to do neither. However, He did not leave us in darkness. The Old Testament had been complete for about four centuries before the time of Christ and had clearly defined limits.
The evidence also demonstrates that the New Testament contains exactly those writings that God intended to be added with the Old Testament as Holy Scripture. Therefore we are not in darkness when it comes to recognizing the Extent of the canon of Scripture.
Concerning the Old Testament canon, we can classify the books into three categories: books that were accepted by all, books that were accepted by some, and books that were rejected by all.
Regarding the New Testament, there were books accepted by all, books taken by some, and books rejected by all. Seven of the New Testament books have been disputed at one time or another during church history, but there are no strong reasons to doubt their divine inspiration. I believe this is true of all books in our Holy Scriptures. While there is no heavenly table of contents, all books found in Holy Scripture belong there.
I profoundly hope this answered some of your asked and un-ask questions about other existing books of the Bible. Of course, the answers are and always will be controversial. One thing isn’t, though, and you can take it to the bank; we’ll all know for sure when we meet our savior face to face on that glorious day.
Until next time, stay safe, be blessed, and always, “KEEP LOOKING UP!”
Our faith and trust lay in You, Lord. Without You, there is no hope. Your word is the sword against evil and the answer to the questions of life.
Lord, please forgive us of our sins and guide our paths to do your will, not ours. Jesus, I pray for a revival to start in this nation and roar worldwide, destroying ALL the evil and bringing peace, tranquility, and love to this unholy world. I pray for an instant healing for all these satanic, man-made diseases. In other words, I pray for one of your greatest miracles. Lord, I ask for this message to reach the multitudes in all walks of life, and it’s in Your precious name we give all the praise and glory, for it’s in Your name we pray.