Lost Books Of The Bible With Pictures
Apocrypha, Gospel of Q and Gnostic texts
Hidden texts, lost texts, and ancient secretive writings of the Bible with Apocrypha, Gospel of Q and Gnostic texts, which are non-canonical books. Are these writings inspired by God? I think not, but will let you decide. Listed on: Online Directory at DMEGS.
What is Apocrypha
Some Christian denominations accept the "Apocrypha" in whole or in part, but many Christian religions view those books as non-canonical or not part of the Bible canon.
Some religions view the Apocrypha as deuterocanonical, meaning "of the second (or later) canon" as distinguished from the protocanonical. The Apocrypha or apocryphal works can be (for some) an entire 3rd section sandwiched between the Old and New Testaments or just a few books scattered throughout the Old Testament such as: Tobit (Tobias), Judith, Maccabees 1 and 2. Some denominations using the Jerusalem Bible (JB) also accept a fifth book, namely Baruch. While some have added these books to their Bible, the JB version has also deleted some. So who is correct? Let's first discuss what apocrypha means.
What does Apocrypha mean?
Apocryphal comes from the Greek word meaning "to hide away", and apocrypha comes from the Greek word apo'kry-phos referring to things "carefully concealed". When it was applied to writings it meant not publicly read, hence concealed from others. Did you know that the Bible actually addresses concealed texts or hidden texts? Mark 4:22, Luke 8:17, and Col 2:3 address apocryphal writings.
Mark specifically states "For there is nothing hidden except for the purpose of being exposed; nothing has become carefully concealed but for the purpose of coming into the open." So why is it that Jesus' apostles never heard of these apocryphal writings FIRST? Some say because many of them were written much after the days of the apostles, but still that is NOT WHY.
The book of Amos (a canonical writing) states the Sovereign Lord will not do a thing unless God has revealed confidential matters to the servants, the prophets (Amos 3:7). So IF God wanted you to know something, then the almighty would not conceal it and it would be revealed to the prophets who would then reveal it to us. That has not been done, unless you are of the belief that only certain people who can find and interpret hidden texts are entitled to be saved.
Scholars have studied these works and determined the Apocrypha not to be part of the Christian Bible. But why?
These apocryphal writings were careful looked over when they came to surface, for Jerome, (best Hebrew scholar that ever lived) reviewed these works around 405 A.D., and prior to that theologian and Biblical scholar Origen reviewed them in 3rd century A.D., and neither of them found the works to be inspired of God. Even earlier than that was Josephus, a 1st century Jewish historian, who reviewed them in 1st century A.D. That means Josephus was living near the time of Christ. What better time to review those works?
When the Apocrypha books were examined, it was found that they were not in harmony with the rest of the entire Bible. The book of "Wisdom" (of Solomon), which is not the same thing as "Song of Solomon" (found in other Christian Bibles) speaks about pagan concepts, which is abhorrent to God. The entire 66 books of the Holy Bible are against this, so one book that admonishes it, and encourages it - is in total opposition to the 66 others, which cannot stand on its own merit.
The book "Maccabees II", is at times turgid, and frequently pompous. The writer also makes no pretense of writing under divine inspiration, yet the other 66 books of the Holy Bible say ..... and God inspired me to write, or it is said, .... and God gave me a revelation to write. In 2nd Maccabees there is no mention of God inspiring the writing, but instead the writer devotes part of the second chapter to justifying his choice of the particular method used in handling the subject material.
Furthermore, the writer of this uncanonical book concludes his work by saying: "Here then, I will make an end of writing; if it has been done workmanly, and in historian's fashion, none better pleased than I; if it is of little merit, I must be humored none the less." (2 Maccabees 15:38, 39, version Kx) Does this sound like the inspired work of God, in which this writer would have to question himself as to whether it was worthy? And he says "none better pleased than I", which shows that he wasn't concerned whether God would be pleased, but instead himself. Additionallty, it is quite flippant for him to write, "I must be humored none the less".
DISCLOSURE: These are not fragmented texts nor are they only kept in a museum, for my family has a Bible over 110 years old with the entire Apocrypha works included. So yes I have seen the texts for myself.
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Gnostic Texts or Apocryphal New Testament
Gnostic Texts were mainly written during postapostolic times, (after days of apostles) and are known as the "Apocryphal New Testament" or New Testament Apocrypha (not same as Apocrypha seen above). Photo credit: own work - digital creation
One website on these later apocryphal works gives a brief synopsis with pictures and history of the Gnostics texts. Gnostic is a term that's etymologically connected with the word "to know". It has the same root in English, "kno" and is related to "gno" the Greek word for gnosis.
The Gnostics (not agnostics) are people who claim to know something special as this website points out that Gnostics know certain secretive writings that no one else knows. So God only wants Gnostics to know the truth? Hhmm, doesn't sound very Christian.
Gnosticism has been associated with heresy, esotericism, alchemy, and symbolism. In fact Sophia is their heavenly and earthly Eve - the Mother of all creatures and under her are the four material elements: water; darkness; abyss; and chaos. Gnostics share this idea with Rosicrucians, who believe in Secret symbols and the virgin Sophia. Now let me ask, why do we need secrets? Wouldn't a kind, loving, and just God want all people to come to know him? Moreover, if heavenly and earthly Eve, Sophia is their mother of all creatures, then what does that say about God? I thought God was the creator of all creatures. Well then, there is a dilemma because their scriptures are NOT in harmony with Christian scriptures.
Therefore, Gnosticism is not Christianity and has a contaminating influence on some professed Christians and undermines rather than strengthens faith in the Bible. Irenaeus of Lyon wrote that those who had apostatized from Christianity had "an unspeakable number of apocryphal and spurious writings," including gospels that "they themselves have forged, to bewilder the minds of foolish men".
The Gnostic text contains 13 leather bound codices written in Coptic and found near Nag Hammadi Egypt, which is now housed in a Coptic Museum in Cairo. Let's explore those texts more carefully in the next section.
Nag Hammadi Library Scrutiny
The Nag Hammadi Library housed in a museum in Cairo is the basis for the Gnostic religion known as Gnosticism. If you scrutinize their texts more closely, you will see they are NOT in harmony with Christian scriptures.
The Gnostic book titled The Gospel of the Nativity of Mary (picture above) describes Mary's birth, (with incorrect parents I might add), and her childhood, her marriage to Joseph, as well as promoting the idea of the perpetual virginity. The first line in Chapter one of that Gnostic book says "ever-virgin", which is incorrect since Jesus did have brothers namely: James, Joseph, Simon and Judas. In the Christian Bible at Matthew 13:55 and 56 it says in regards to the children of Mary and Joseph that they had daughters and several other sons, as named above, so the Gnostic text is not in harmony with the Holy Bible. All these Bible translations show Jesus' syblings here at Mt 13:55.
Additionally, the Gospel of Peter seeks to exhonerate Pontius Pilate and the recently discovered Gospel of Judas portrays Judas Iscariot in a positive light and as the only apostle who really understood who Jesus was. These also are not in harmony with the 66 books of the Christian Bible. (Note: This is not the same Judas who wrote the book of Jude in the Christian Bible.) Also, it is important to understand the Bible has to have continuity, agreement, and oneness and these texts do not, but instead further seek to divide Christians.
The Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Truth (the latter being of the Jung Codex or known as Codex I part 3) found in the Gnostic Society Nag Hammadi Library present various mystic ideas as if coming from Christ. These works along with others found in December 1945, contained 13 papyrus manuscripts with 52 texts dating from the 4th century A.D. contained elements mixing religion with Greek philosophy, paganism, and mysticism, which Christianity does not approve. Again Gnosticism has nothing to do with Christianity, so you either believe in the Christian Bible and call yourself a Christian, or you believe in works like this and continue your long and never ending search for endless discoveries that prove nothing.
Gnosticism is nothing more than alternative Christianity, so therefore is NOT Christianity. Many Gnostics believe in multiple creators so that doesn't promote unity, which the Bible does. They also believe special knowledge and not faith in Christ brings salvation, which just further perpetuates the division and really isn't that what Satan the Devil has in mind.
Mysterious Gospel of Q
Document "Q" is supposedly a lost document of Christian text purportedly the lost sayings of Jesus, (which are logia texts). It is also known as Gospel of Q or Q Gospel, or Document Q, and even just Q. Photo credit: own digital creation
There were supposedly numerous copies made of Document Q, yet there is NOT ONE copy in existence today, and no one can prove it EVER existed. In fact "Q" is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible nor was it ever mentioned by any of the church fathers of ancient times. Religious leaders today do not mention it in their sermons, nor is it taught in religious or Sunday school classes.
In fact in the first 17 centuries of this NEW millennium (notice I did not say "new" century) of A.D., there was no mention of this "Q" or the reliability of the other Gospels (such as Luke and Matthew above). This has only come up and been questioned by some scholars since the 19th century forward.
Furthermore, this Document Q which supposedly existed (hypothetically) and supposedly was a source for other gospels (hypothetically) and which is said to support the hypothetical PRIORITY of Mark's Gospel as first, is nothing more than one hypothesis built upon another hypothesis. Neither Biblical scholars nor ancient history scholars can or should rely on the hypothesis of men; this is a colossal FAIL.
"Q" comes from the German "Quelle" meaning origin, prototype or "source" and nothing more. The mysteriousness that surrounds lost Document Q is only mysterious in the sense that supposed scholars and misleaders of truth invent christian mysteries, and it's a mystery how some can believe it. But then again, people love a good mystery.
Scholars' flawed theory on missing Q ...
If missing texts were found like the illusive Document Q, then what IF anything would they reveal and how could those texts be important?
Some people feel that Gospel of Q is or would be important, because they believe missing Document Q is supposed to have been the words of Jesus himself, and written by him from which others copied from this said Doc Q (along with Mark). Using the words of James M. Robinson, a professor of religion, "Q is surely the most important Christian text that we have." But is this true?
There are so many gaping holes in that statement that I don't know where to begin.
#1) If "Q" text is the most important Christian text we have, how is it that we don't have it, and no one has seen it?
#2) If Gospel of Q was written by Jesus, the Christ himself, don't you think that ONE book would have been the most preserved, and not gone missing?
#3) If Christ's own words in Document Q were to be found true, (which is not a new concept), then why is it that the 4 accepted Gospels in some Bibles already have shown the parts spoken by Jesus in red? Do the inventors of Q mystery think this would be a first to show Jesus actually spoke words or that their gospel would contain them?
Their hypothesis can't explain that.
- This link provides a vague hypothesis on how this Gospel of Q myth got started.
- Additional reading can be found here on Lost sayings Document Q as part of early Christian writings.
Concentration on hypotheses of origin distracts the Bible student from studying the text itself.— George W. Buchanan, Professor of Theology
Conclusion of Hypothesis
Conclusion and what one professor of theology had to say
George W. Buchanan, professor of theology had this to say about hypotheses "Concentration on hypotheses of origin distracts the Bible student from studying the text itself." Likewise apostle Paul counseled Timothy not "to pay attention to false stories and to geneologies, which end up in nothing, but which furnish questions for research rather than a dispensing of anything by God in connection with faith." (1st Timothy 1:4)
MY NOTE: These scholars have decided to question God, because they are faithless people, and instead of spending so much time trying to discredit that which they do not understand, they should try real Bible study. Then and only then can they call themselves scholars.
Hypothetical priority of Mark's Gospel
Was the Gospel of Mark first among the gospels and a source for others as the skeptics, so-called scholars, and Q supporters put forth? Or is it another hypothesis again without study?
Some questions to ponder:
#1) If Matthew and Luke simply were just compilers of Mark's work and "Q", then why are there more than 180 passages and details that are found in Mark's work that are not copied over into the other two?
#2) If as some scholars say, that the Gospel of Mark was 1st and Matthew and Luke relied on it when they penned their works, then since Mark has an additional 180 passages not found in the other two, then why is Mark not the longest? It's the shortest.
#3) Why would one think that Matthew needed to copy or rely on Mark's work, when Matthew WAS an apostle, who directly experienced it first hand, whereas Mark was not even an apostle?
Scriptural Facts on Mark:
#A) Mark was not an apostle as proof in the book of Acts at Chapter 1 verses 12 and 13. Those verses are detailing the replacement of Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus, who was replaced by Matthias. The "Judas" listed in these verses as one of the remaining 11, is the son of James, not Iscariot the son of Simon. There were many Simons and many Judes in the Bible, BUT still Mark is definitely not listed.
#B) The Gospel of Matthew also records the 12 apostles, which lends credence to the book of Acts. The original 12 apostles prior to the betrayal of Judas are listed at Matthew 10:2 through verse 4. Mark's name is also not listed there either.
#C) Mark (also known as John Mark) did have reliable sources even though he was not an apostle or eyewitness. Mark had been acquainted with persons who had known Jesus, such as Peter and Paul as evidenced by scripture. Mark was in Rome during Paul's 1st imprisonment, and thereafter with Peter in Babylon (1 Pe 5:13), and then during Paul's 2nd imprisonment in Rome, Paul asked Timothy to bring Mark with him (2Ti 4:11). Also Jesus' early disciples met in the home of Mark's mother.
Conclusion (this section):
Therefore although Mark wrote a book with accurate information, it was not a precursor or source for other gospels. There is no real evidence suggesting Markan priority.
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Is the reliability of gospels in question?
Why are the gospels even in question at all? Some question the four canonical gospels of the Christian Bible, while accepting fodder of the nonexistent Gospel of Q, or the uncanonical texts of Apocrypha or esoteric texts of the Gnostics, of which none are God inspired. But why?
A good part of the doubt for reliable gospels can be explained easily, because many people believe man and man alone penned the works, and man being human is prone to error. The Holy Scriptures however, tells us differently.
#1) The Bible states that all scripture is inspired of God (2 Timothy 3:16)
Ok stop - "all", it says ALL scripture. Confused? Let me explain.
The key word is "scriptures" and IF everything that someone wrote on a tablet, in a notebook, or on a scrap piece of paper was considered scripture, then we could all claim to be writers of the Bible. Does that make sense? Now if I personally pen some work on papyrus would you believe me then? No of course not. If I told you my work was inspired by God, but it was a grocery list for the market, then would you believe? Gosh, I hope not. My point is that not all penned work on religion is in fact a book of the Bible accepted into canonicity, EVEN if it is ancient.
Additionally, the writers of the Old Testament, properly termed Hebrew scriptures, ceaselessly credited their messages to God with the announcement that "This is what God has said'. The Bible contains that phrase and similar phrases giving credit to God for the inspired work more than 300 times. The uncanonical books and text not inspired by God do not say this.
#2) The Holy spirit would help Bible writers, (paraphrased). (Joh 14:26)
You may ask, but HOW would they (Bible writers) remember or know what to say? Jesus also spoke to his disciples saying that the holy spirit would bring back to their minds all the things he had told them, and that is found in the Gospel of John at 14:26. So it is reasonable and not surprising that the Gospel writers remembered and recorded the events with ease.
That same scripture in John would ALSO explain why they recorded the same events, but with each gospel writer's flair for words, and yet they never compromised the facts. The 4 gospels vary slightly, because each writer had different backgrounds with different skills and personalities. Luke for example was a physician and so he would have spent more time discussing the physically wounded Jesus, whereas Matthew was a tax collector and would have concentrated on figures like the 30 pieces of silver. Just because a Gospel writer does not mention the exact same thing as another does NOT mean they left anything out, BUT instead adds more credibility BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT written the same word for word.
While some skeptics say the 4 gospel writers of Bible canonicity can't agree on the events (because they are not word for word), they also bounce around to the opposite idea and then claim these gospel writers copied from each other. They need to make up their mind. Although there are 4 separate accounts covering the life and ministry of Jesus in these 4 canonical gospels they ARE in harmony with each other, and the rest of the Bible, and have the same message, whereas the Apocrypha works and Gnostic texts are not in harmony with the Christian Bible containing 66 books.
#3) Bible writers were not plagiarists, but cited work and gave credit, (such as this example in 2 Pe 3:15)
Some scholars have claimed that the 4 Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) used each other's works for compiling their own, which reduces the writers to mere plagiarists.
Actually it is a fact that writers of the Bible read and quoted other writers' work at times, but that is because they WERE familiar with it, and because they had the same unity to deliver the same message. In 2nd Peter 3:15, Peter recalls the work of Paul, but notice he gave credit where credit was due. On the other hand, the writers of Bible canonicity did not credit another writer from the non-canonical books of Tobit, Judith, Esdras or any of the myriad of other Apocrypha texts or Gnostic writings. They also did not quote from those texts or even acknowledge those texts.
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