Missing Books in the Bible
By Quran and Bible Blog Contributor stewjo004
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
“God had taken a Covenant from the Children of Israel… But they broke their Covenant, so I cursed them and made their hearts hard. They changed the words from their original places and have forgotten a huge piece of what they were told to remember over and over again, so you will continue to find treachery against you or cheats from a few of them. Overlook this and forgive them because God loves those who excel in doing good. I had also took a Covenant from those who say: “We’re Christians,” but they too forgot part of what they were told to remember. So I released animosity and hatred among themselves until the Day of Judgement, when God will tell them what they used to manufacture.”
– The Quran, Surah Maidah 5:13-14
This will be a short and sweet post this time. In the verse of the Qur’an quoted above, God says that the Jews and Christians have forgotten a piece of the Scripture. Dr. Joel Hoffman in his book “The Bible’s Cutting Room Floor” states (emphasis mine):
“The Bible you usually read is the abridged version. Its contents were culled from a much larger selection of holy scriptures when new realities forced religious leaders to discard some of their most cherished and sacred books, resulting in what we now call the Bible. Some writings were left out for political or theological reasons, others simply because of the physical restrictions of ancient bookmaking technology. At times, the compilers of the Bible skipped information that they assumed everyone knew. Some passages were even omitted by accident. For these reasons and more, your Bible doesn’t give you a complete picture. […]
In the end, correct answers to the question, How many books are in the Bible? range from thirty-three to seventy-eight. Yet even with seventy-eight books, more material was left out than was included. Additionally, different groups of people order the books of the Bible differently. The modern Jewish order is different from the traditional Jewish order. Christians put the Old Testament books into a third order yet. (For instance, Christians put Daniel near the other famous prophets like Ezekiel and Isaiah, to underscore his centrality. Jews marginalize Daniel by grouping him with the other “writings.”) The Apocrypha, too, appear variously as part of the Old Testament, as an addition to the Old Testament, or—as we just saw—not at all. Underlying all of these differences is the simple fact that there used to be lots of holy writings, and different groups of people compiled different collections of them to form a single book.”
Today we’re going to look into various places in the Torah where references will be made to books that don’t exist in the present day Bible. Here are a few examples:
- Moses (peace be upon him) quotes a verse to comfort Aaron (peace be upon him) that doesn’t exist in the Bible.
- The Book of the Wars of the Lord.
- The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel and Chronicles of the Kings of Judah.
- The “Book of Shemaiah, and of Iddo the Seer” (also called Story of the Prophet Iddo or The Annals of the Prophet Iddo.
- The Acts of Solomon.
- The Annals of King David.
- The Book of Nathan the Prophet.
- The book of Samuel the seer and the Book of Gad the Seer.
- The Story of the Book of Kings.
- The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
- The Sayings of the Seers (or Sayings of Hozai, in the Masoretic Text).
- The Book of Jasher.
- The Laments for Josiah.
So this leaves an interesting issue. Jews and Christians might argue that these are apocryphal books or that they don’t matter to the Bible’s overall message. There are two points to make:
- If they are “apocryphal books” as some might claim, then why would the canon mention them?
- We don’t know the impact the books would have to the message because we don’t have said books.
The Bible’s preservation as a whole is seriously called into question because as we have seen, lost texts are clearly mentioned within the official canon itself. And keep in mind these are only books we know of because as Dr. Hoffman stated:
“Some writings were left out for political or theological reasons…”
God however will not allow mankind to remain unguided. After He tells of how the Jews and Christian forgot pieces of the Scripture, in the next verse of the Qur’an, He gives hope saying:
“People of the Scripture! My Messenger has come to you; clarifying what you used to keep hidden of the Scripture and who overlooks much of what you changed. A light has now come to you from God, along with a Scripture making things clear, which God uses to guide to the ways of peace, all who are looking to follow what pleases Him. Leading them from their various shades of darkness into the Light, by His will, and onto one straight path.”
For anyone interested in more detail about this subject, I highly recommend Hoffman’s book. Check it out at your local library.
With that being said, I’m going to give a choice for what you guys want to hear about next. Leave a comment with your vote below.
- The foretelling of the Caliphate in the Bible
- Did the Prophet copy from the Bible?
- Contentions against the story of the Crucifixion (aka The Passion of the Christ).
 Dr. Joel E. Hoffman, The Bible’s Cutting Room Floor: The Holy Scriptures Missing From Your Bible (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2014). Kindle Edition.
 Leviticus 10:3.
 Numbers 21:14.
 1 Kings 14:19, 29.
 2 Chronicles 9:29; 2 Chronicles 12:15; 2 Chronicles 13:22.
 1 Kings 11:41.
 1 Chronicles 27:24.
 1 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Chronicles 9:29.
 1 Chronicles 29:29.
 2 Chronicles 24:27.
 2 Chronicles 32:32.
 2 Chronicles 33:19.
 2 Samuel 1:18, Joshua 10:13.
 2 Chronicles 35:25.
 Surah Maidah, 5:16-17.