credible? the apocrypha - the missing books of the bible

The apocrypha, the missing books of the bible, are a bit of a mystery to me.

How did they come to be missing, or why were they excluded from being in the bible?

How to they compare to the four books that comprise the NT?

The Apocrypha is merely the set of books that are generally not included in biblical canon. It’s not a fixed set - some books have made it into some versions of the bible, some sects include different books, and they have come and gone over time.

Generally, the apocrypha is controversial because many of the books do not ‘fit’ with the others. In some cases they contradict official doctrine, in others they are simply politically incorrect.

The books aren’t lost or missing. You can read them on the net, if you want. They just aren’t part of mainstream canon any longer.

They are not and never have been “missing.” The word missing comesfrom the title of a 19th century translation of several of the Christian apocrypha that used that word to drum up sales (since many people who were not educated on anything except the bible were unaware of their existence.

The Apocrypha (literally, “hidden”) are those books, written to promote various aspects of spirituality, that have been judged to be outside the list of books that are recognized as inspired by God. (The various lists of apocryphal books tend to differ, because different groups differ on what they consider inspired.

A fairly good list of the Apocrypha, with on-line translations of nearly all of them, can be found at the Wesley Center at Northern Nazarene University.

The same link that Dex gave in your thread about the Gospels discusses this. If for some reason that’s not sufficient for you, pick up a Catholic Bible and read them yourself.

First of all, your terms are going to be confusing. What Catholics call apocrypha, Protestants call pseudopigraphia. What Protestants call apocrypha, Catholics call Deuterocanonical and include within the canon of the Bible.

If you go by the Catholic meaning of apocrypha, they’re not “missing” as much as that they didn’t make the cut. When the canon was set, these books were considered to not be inspired and therefore not Scripture. A lot of them are still around…not missing at all.

And there are quite a few more than four books in the New Testament. Four Gospels, yes, but 21 Epistles as well as Revelation. So 27 books in the New Testament.

Erm, and Acts as well, which still makes 27 because I counted it but didn’t list it…

What’s up with the “lost books of the Bible”?

I faintly remember them having found some thereto unknown christian books in Egypt some years back - or do I? Supposedly they were written very close to the time of Jesus.

The library at Nag Hammadi. They were mostly Gnostic Christian texts, though, and therefore considered heretical.

Guh. Let’s try that again… The Library of Nag Hammadi

The Library of Nag Hammadi

I think you’re referring to the Nag Hammadi books. Thirteen codices were discovered in the peasant village of Nag Hâmmadi (Chenoboskion) in December 1945. Most of the codices were Gnostic texts.

The most famous is the Gospel of Thomas, supposedly written by the disciple Thomas. It collects 114 sayings attributed to Jesus Christ. Unlike the canonical Gospels, Thomas does not refer to Jesus as “Christ” or “Lord” as the New Testament does, but simply as “Jesus.” It ignores Christian doctrines such as Satan and Hell, the second coming, Trinity, etc. Some parables and events are retold differently in Thomas. The last saying of Jesus in Thmas states that women are inferior to men.

The manuscripts themselves date from the 3rd or 4th centuries. The original Gospel of Thomas probably dates from the early 2nd century.

GThom could be as early as Mark or even Q.