"Extra" books of the Bible?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Larry in Tennessee, May 15, 2003.

  1. Larry in Tennessee

    Larry in Tennessee
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    Are the 66 books that are in the cannon of our Bible the only books that we should consider Scripture. There are several books in the Catholic Bible which are not included in ours. Several other writings have survived as well. The Apocolypse of Peter, The Gospel of Thomas, ect.

    Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. (Colossians 4:16)

    Pauls epistle to Laodicea is still in existence, but it is not in our Bible, even though it is mentioned in the Bible. I don't see anything in Laodicea that would be heretical.

    Should Christians give any credibility to any of these writings, or should we only accept the books in the cannon? Why or why not? All opinions appreciated.

    Love in Christ,
    Larry
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    It still exists. We know it as "Ephesians" in our Bibles. It was a "circular letter" that went to all of the churches and actually has no church name (just a blank) until nearly AD300 when the largest church in the region - Ephesus - got placed in it.

    Common practice in many of the NT epistles.

    BTW, what we call 1st and 2nd Corinthians are really the 2nd and 3rd letters. No trace of the original. So what do we think? What was the first letter of Paul to Corinth may NOT have been inspired (since it was not preserved). God does things like that!

    Wonder how many other letters Paul wrote - we certainly don't think over 15 years that he only wrote 13 letters!!

    The apocryphal books contain errors and give internal evidence that they are not inspired. The pseudopygraphical books are so "far out" that no one believes them to be inspired.

    I personally would stay far, far away from most. I'd enjoy Shepherd of Hermas or the Didache as good literature but certainly FAR from inspired.
     
  3. Ben W

    Ben W
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    This is a really interesting subject. The bible does refer in places to other writings which we do not know of. I think that the book of Jude is interesting in this when it refers to the book of Enoch. WHich is available. It is a very hard call on whether or not to include Enoch.
     
  4. Larry in Tennessee

    Larry in Tennessee
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    Dr Bob, My dad had a book called "The Lost Books of the Bible" at one time. It contained Paul's epistle to Laodicea. If Ephesians is really the Laodicea referred to in Colossians, is this one a forgery?

    I assumed it was authentic, because it reads just like all of Paul's letters that are in the Bible. Maybe it is a later, second epistle to Laodicea.

    I've always felt that God controled the cannon of Scripture, but I'm always curious as to other's opinions. I agree that many of these writings are way out, and even contradictory to our Bible, but a few, like Laodicea, seemed to follow along with Scripture completely. I suppose it could be a forgery.

    Love in Christ,
    Larry
     
  5. Wisdom Seeker

    Wisdom Seeker
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    This is what my church teaches as well. I tried to read the apocrapha once, but it was very bizarre. I didn't feel right. So I discontinued trying to read it.

    The gospels according to Thomas...I've heard of this book through a religion of modern Gnostisism...ie: Sylvia Browne. I haven't read it myself, but know people who have. Other than that I can't comment.

    I often wodered why in the Bible there are passages of scripture referring to books that are not included in it. I'm sorry if I am being ambiguous, I just don't remember exactly where I read that. I do however believe that it was in the Old Testiment.

    Laurenda
     
  6. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Most of the "lost books of the Bible" are not "lost". They include forgeries and over 100 others that were rejected out of hand by the early church as the canon was being established.

    It is a really neat study to see "how we got our bible" - if you can believe it, the best layman version is Reader's Digest big book called "How We Got our Bible".

    The Book of Enoch is lost. The Book of Jasher is lost. Modern replicas are not close to the original, if an original ever actually was known. Book of Enoch was pre-flood. And Gospel of Thomas and I & II Clement are fun reads but not to be taken seriously.
     
  7. Daniel Dunivan

    Daniel Dunivan
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    First of all, what evidence is there that the book we know as Ephesians is the same as the epistle to the Laodiceans? That is quite a jump! The most logical conclusion is that the epistle is simply lost for unknown reasons.

    There are several other jumps that must be made to propose that all non-canonical books are flawed, inferior, or "out there" in some way.

    1. That the books in the canon are not flawed in some way.

    2. That no interpretations are being superimposed on historical events by the canonical authors like the interpretations of the non-canonical works.

    3. That the apocalyptic writings in the Protestant canon are not "out there."

    4. That canonicity can be determined by something other than usage of a work through an extended tradition.


    As far as I'm concerned, reading non-canonical books does not and cannot change the importance of the canonical for the formation of our theology. They can, however, give us some important clues into the world behind the texts of our canon. One very important example of this can be found in the recent "New Perspective" in NT scholarship. Besides, books like Tobit have excellent stories and some of the proverbs in the Wisdom of Ben Sira are better than the canonical ones (at least they directly speak of God).

    Additionally, overtly biased degredation of the non-canonical literature can never prove the inerrancy of the canonical. Inerrancy is a leap of faith that cannot be based on comparative studies. In other words, no matter what ground one fights the battle, it is always without empirical proof. I say this because I hear many attempt to dismiss these other books as flawed without ever studying them honestly. They only do so with an obstantly overt theological bone to pick.

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     
  8. Keith M

    Keith M
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