Obviously Not the Bible
In the wake of the best-selling book, The Da Vinci Code, questions have arisen about certain “lost books” of the Bible. Many want to know why the books we find in the Bible are there, and why other books are not. The simple answer to such an inquiry is that the 66 books in the Bible can be proven to be inspired by God, while the others can be proven not to have come from God.
Numerous books allege to be part of the divine collection—books such as the Gospel of Nicodemus, the Infancy Gospels, the Protevangelion, 1 and 2 Clement, Shepherd of Hermes, and so on. Some of these apocryphal books claim to be “additions” to the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Others claim to be epistles from men like Barnabas or Paul. A brief look at a few selected passages in one of these writings quickly reveals a few of the more obvious reasons why these books did not make it into the biblical canon.
In the first Infancy Gospel, Jesus is portrayed as a young boy who does amazing things. On one occasion, while playing with some other boys, Jesus’ playfellows ran and hid from Him. Upon finding them hidden in a furnace, He turned them into goats. The women watching the scene begged Jesus to turn the goats back into boys, which Jesus promptly did (1 Infancy 17:10 in The Lost, 1979, p. 54). About two chapters later, 1 Infancy states: “Another time, when the Lord Jesus was coming home in the evening with Joseph, he met a boy, who ran so hard against him, that he threw him down; to whom the Lord Jesus said, As thou has thrown me down, so shalt thou fall, nor ever rise. And that moment the boy fell down and died” (1 Infancy 19:22-24 in The Lost, p. 57). Narratives such as these directly contradict the personality of Christ as presented in the canonical gospels, and are evidence of the lack of divine inspiration in such works.
Jesus did not turn his playmates into goats, nor kill boys who bumped into Him. Neither did God allow any pertinent books to be left out of the canon of Scripture. Truly, “all things that pertain to life and godliness” can be found in the 66 inspired books of the Bible.
The Lost Books of the Bible (1979), (New York: Random House).