Q. I have heard that there are books that are missing from the Bible. Is this true?
The Bible is the source of Truth, revealed from God to Man. Jesus said:
“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
This Truth was given by divine inspiration to reveal to man the mind of God. Paul told Timothy in 2 Tim. 3:16-17:
2 Tim. 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
The apostle Paul makes this clear in Eph. 3:3-5:
3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
God wanted to reveal himself to man, he chose to reveal himself in words, which are written down, which we can read and understand. In fact, the very words are inspired. This is what is indicated in 1 Cor. 2.
1 Corinthians 2:6-16
6* ¶ Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;
7* but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;
8* the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;
9* but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND WHICH HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
10* For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
11* For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
12* Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
13* which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
14* But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
15* But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.
16* For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.
God’s revealed will is called the “complete” or perfect revelation in 1 Cor. 13:
1 Cor. 13:9-10
9 “For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.”
God’s Word is complete. Peter says:
2 Peter 1:3
3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
3 ¶ Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
The Hebrew writer says:
1 ¶ For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.
2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty,
3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,
4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.
35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
1 Peter 1:23-25
23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
24 ¶ For, “ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF,
25 BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.” And this is the word which was preached to you.
With all of this Scriptural evidence, it is obvious that God would inspire the writing of everything he wanted man to have, and providentially watch over its transmission through the centuries to make certain that man received all that he wanted man to receive. Nothing less, and nothing more.
There are no missing books from the Bible! The canon of the Old Testament was established before Jesus was born. The 39 books as we have them (22 in the Hebrew Bible) are found in the LXX, and were acknowledged by Jesus and the New Testament writers under the three divisions of the “scriptures,” the law, the prophets, and the psalms (Luke 24:44-45; Matt. 21:42, 26:54, John 7:38, 41-42, 19:36-37; Rom. 4:3, 1 Cor. 15:3-4; 1 Tim. 5:18; James 2:23).
The canon of the New Testament, consisting of 27 books, was established at the close of the first century through the miraculous gifts of the ability to discern spirits, and demonstrate who was a genuine prophet (1 Cor. 12:7-11). The entire New Testament, as we have it today, was quoted by early church Fathers such as Barnabas (71 A.D.), Clemens Romanus (96 A.D.), Ignatius (108 A.D.), and Polycarp (108 A.D.) We also have early versions (such as the Syriac) which prove that the New Testament as we have it today was accepted as genuine and authentic in every century since the apostles.
What we have today is what God has always wanted man to have, the objective, complete Word of God.