Are Books of Scripture Missing from the Bible?
The so-called lost books of the Bible are those documents that are mentioned in the Bible in such a way that it is evident they were considered authentic and valuable, but that are not found in the Bible today. Sometimes called missing scripture, they consist of at least the following:
|Book of the Wars of the Lord||Numbers 21:14|
|Book of Jasher||Joshua 10:13; 2 Samuel 1:18|
|Book of the acts of Solomon||1 Kings 11:41|
|Book of Samuel the seer||1 Chronicles 29:29|
|Book of Gad the seer||1 Chronicles 29:29|
|Book of Nathan the prophet||1 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Chronicles 9:29|
|Prophecy of Ahijah||2 Chronicles 9:29|
|Visions of Iddo the Seer||2 Chronicles 9:29; 12:15; 13:22|
|Book of Shemaiah||2 Chronicles 12:15|
|Book of Jehu||2 Chronicles 20:34|
|Sayings of the Seers||2 Chronicles 33:19|
|An epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, earlier than our present 1 Corinthians||1 Corinthians 5:9|
|An earlier epistle to the Ephesians||Ephesians 3:3|
|Epistle to the Laodiceans||Colosians 4:16|
|Prophecies of Enoch, known to Jude||Jude 1:14|
|Book of the covenant||Exodus 24:7 (may or may not be included in the current book of Exodus)|
|The Manner of the Kingdom, written by Samuel||1 Samuel 10:25|
|Acts of Uzziah, written by Isaiah||2 Chronicles 26:22|
|The “Acts of Abijah…in the Story of the Prophet Iddo”||2 Chronicles 13:22 (seems to not be the same as the Prophecy of Ahijah or the Visions of Iddo)|
The foregoing items attest to the fact that our present Bible does not contain all of the word of the Lord that He gave to His people in former times, and remind us that the Bible, in its present form, is rather incomplete. Matthew’s reference to a prophecy that Jesus would be a Nazarene (2:23) is interesting when it is considered that our present Old Testament seems to have no such statement. There is a possibility, however, that Matthew alluded to Isaiah 11:1, which prophesies of the Messiah as a Branch from the root of Jesse, the father of David. The Hebrew word for branch in this case is netzer, the source word of Nazarene and Nazareth. Additional references to the Branch as the Savior and Messiah are found in Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12; these use a synonymous Hebrew word for branch, tzemakh.
Luke noted (Luke 1:1) that “many” had written about “those things which are most surely believed among us,” yet our Bible has only two earlier Gospels, those of Matthew and Mark (John having been written after Luke). The Bible doesn’t contain the earlier books to which Luke had reference. The books of 1-2 Kings frequently speak of the “rest of the acts” of the kings contained in the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah and the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. Some readers undoubtedly believe that these refer to the books known as 1 and 2 Chronicles in our present Bibles. But an examination of the latter shows that they generally do not reveal any of the additional information about these kings that we expect to find there. Moreover, there is good evidence that the biblical books of Chronicles are really later reworkings of 2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings, with deletion of much more material than they add. Consequently, they cannot be the chronicles referred to in the earlier books.
Another reference to a writing not found in the Bible is in 2 Chronicles 35:25, where we read that Jeremiah’s lamentation for the slain king Josiah is “written in the lamentations.” Many Bible readers have assumed that Josiah is the “anointed of the Lord…taken in their pits,” mentioned in Lamentations 4:20. There are two problems with this identification, however: 1) The book of Lamentations was written after the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC, two decades after the death of Josiah, and 2) The “anointed of the Lord” taken in the pit clearly refers to the last king of Judah, Zedekiah, who, at the time the Babylonians took Jerusalem, was caught “in their pit” and taken captive to Babylon (Ezekiel 19:8-9). In connection with the Nazarene prophecy, we might add that the scriptural quotes by Jesus found in Luke 11:49 and John 7:38 are not found in today’s Old Testament. Similar unsupported quotes are found in Ephesians 5:14 and James 4:5f, as well as in Acts 20:35, where Paul attributes to Jesus a saying found nowhere else in the Bible, including the Gospels.