The question of the authenticity of the Bible is challenged by the existence of other books that seem to have a flavor for Holy writ. There are the apocryphal books written during the years separated by the Old and New Testament. Some of the books include the books of Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, Susanna, and others. Through the years other books surface that create an interest in whether the sixty-six books of the Bible (as we have them divided) are complete and why other books are not included. As with the apocryphal books these are not considered canonical or belonging to the canon for a number of reasons. The Jews were the keepers of the Hebrew scriptures or “oracles of God” (Romans 3:2) and never accepted them as part of the book of Scripture. The New Testament was established as canon by textual scholars who followed the same pattern of establishing which books were canonical.
Returning to the question of whether vital information is being excluded by the absence of the Old Testament and New Testament apocryphal books, should these books be considered part of scripture? When these “missing books” of the Bible gain a following, renewed interest in their stories and teachings create more of a curiosity than the very obvious question about the Bible. Should we take a book (for example) like the Book of Enoch and question if the Bible is all we need in the absence of this book? Could it be safe to say the critics of the Bible who desire inclusion of these other books have investigated the sixty-six books of the Bible and found lacking what they need to know about God’s will? The curious crowds who intently read and study the apocryphal books must be asked if they have intently read and studied the Bible with the same veracity. If after a complete examination of Genesis through Revelation there are questions of incomplete knowledge; who is to blame for such results?
The Bible itself claims to be complete. When men question the fullness of God’s message in the Bible in seeking other books they deny Genesis 1 and the power of God. The question is often asked, “How can we know we have all the books of the Bible?” That is suggesting God cannot create the world in six days. If the Lord cannot give mankind what needs to be known in a book secured through the centuries of time as complete, then the Lord cannot say, “Let there be light” and there be light. Would not the creation of the world be a more “powerful” event than keeping a book secure through time?
Peter writes to the early Christians and gives them assurance that the word of God is complete: “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3). Jesus told His disciples, “When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13; cp. 14:26). Paul declared, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). What more can there be than “God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16)?
If the Bible is not complete then God is a liar and Jesus is a fraud. The Bible is given by the providential wisdom of God for all truth. Anything beyond that is false (Revelation 22:18-19). Salvation is found in one book alone — the Bible!