Sixty-Six Books???

Have you ever wondered how the Christian Bible came into existence? I never gave it much thought until about six years ago when I started reading early church fathers’ writings. In an effort to stamp out gnosticism, stoics, and the likes of Marcion, who taught a lawless gospel, people like Ireneaus, Origen, Tertullian, Jerome and Augustine wrote volumes of books to clarify what should be considered scripture and what was heretical. It was quite a process over hundreds of years, with various books coming and going out of the canon. That is only taking into consideration Christianity, because Judaism also had it’s share of wrestlings with texts, especially with second temple books that had too many messianic prophecies for their liking. So, rather than thinking a leather bound King James Bible fell out of the sky one day like I did, here are a few things to look at that will hopefully spark enough interest to make someone reading this open their bible and search out the truth.

Psa 119:151 Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.

Joh 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Let’s start with some authors from the standard, Westminster Confession, sixty-six book bible.

Jesus speaking here to some Sadducees:

Mat 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Which scriptures are Jesus referring to here? Enoch speaks of this subject.

You being spiritual, holy, and possessing a life which is eternal, have polluted yourselves with women; have begotten in carnal blood; have lusted in the blood of men; and have done as those who are flesh and blood do. These however die and perish. Therefore have I given to them women, that they might cohabit with them; that sons might be born of them; and that this might be transacted upon earth. But you from the beginning were made spiritual, possessing a life which is eternal, and not subject to death forever. Therefore I made not women for you, because, being spiritual, your dwelling is in heaven. CHANOK (ENOCH) 15:3-7 את CEPHER

Enoch may be too far fetched for some to consider valid at all, even though Peter and Jude also quote from it, so let’s reel it in to the Apocrypha that was included in the Tyndale, Wycliffe, 1560 Geneva and 1611 King James Version Bibles. These were all English, Protestant Bibles.

Here is Jesus, in the Gospel of Matthew, quoting from one of the Apocrypha books, 2 Esdras:

Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Mat 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Mat 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

This is the passage out of 2nd Esdras:

2Es 1:28 Thus saith the Almighty Lord, Have I not prayed you as a father his sons, as a mother her daughters, and a nurse her young babes,
2Es 1:29 That ye would be my people, and I should be your God; that ye would be my children, and I should be your father?
2Es 1:30 I gathered you together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings: but now, what shall I do unto you? I will cast you out from my face.
2Es 1:31 When ye offer unto me, I will turn my face from you: for your solemn feastdays, your new moons, and your circumcisions, have I forsaken.
2Es 1:32 I sent unto you my servants the prophets, whom ye have taken and slain, and torn their bodies in pieces, whose blood I will require of your hands, saith the Lord.
2Es 1:33 Thus saith the Almighty Lord, Your house is desolate, I will cast you out as the wind doth stubble.

During the English revolution, after King Charles was beheaded, members of the Long Parliament, along with some “divines”, as they were called, drafted the Westminster Confessions, which set as a standard the sixty-six book Bible we have today. After approving a list of the sixty-six books here is what they had to say about the Apocrypha:

“III. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.”

So, in 1648, books that had been commonly accepted since the 3rd century BC, were tossed out like yesterday’s news. Who were these men who did this? What were their motives? The Westminster Confessions contained thirty-three chapters and produced a sixty-six book bible, which should be interesting clues to those paying attention. It is a Calvinistic document, which supports the predestination doctrine.

The Dead Sea scrolls found in caves at Qumran in the 1940’s have been helpful validating old texts. This is where the oldest fragments of Genesis that we have were found, along side Enoch and Jubilees. The English Standard Bible translation will give what both the masoretic text and the fragments found at Qumran say, if they differ.

Here is one such difference:

King James Version

Deu 32:8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

English Standard Version

Deu 32:8 When the Most HighR1gave to the nations their inheritance, when heR2divided mankind, he fixed the bordersN1of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.N2

N2   (ESV+)
[variant] Compare Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint; Masoretic Text sons of Israel

The Masoretic Text says “Children of Israel”, where older texts say “sons of God”, with sons of God being similar to the divine council of Yahweh, יהוה, spoke about in Psalms 82.

Psa 82:1 A Psalm of Asaph. God stands in the congregation of the mighty; in the midst of the gods He judges.
Psa 82:2 How long will you judge unjustly and lift up the faces of the wicked? Selah.
Psa 82:3 Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Psa 82:4 Deliver the poor and needy; save them out of the hand of the wicked.
Psa 82:5 They neither know nor will understand; they walk on in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
Psa 82:6 I have said, You are gods; and all of you sons of the Most High.
Psa 82:7 But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
Psa 82:8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; for You shall inherit in all nations.

How can Yahweh, יהוה, be the most high God, if there were no other gods? It would cheapen the title of Most High, if it were only talking of gods of wood and stone. A subject needing more discussion in the future.

Jasher is another book that has being ridiculed for being a corrupted text. Paul seems to have read a version of it here:

2Ti 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

And when Phar`oh heard their words he was greatly terrified before them, and he said to them, Go today and come back to me tomorrow, and they did according to the word of the king. And when they had gone Phar`oh sent for Bil`am the magician and to Iannes and Iambres his sons, and to all the magicians and conjurors and counselors which belonged to the king, and they all came and sat before the king. YASHAR (JASHER) 79:26-27 את CEPHER

Peter and Enoch:

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Great fear and trembling shall seize them, even to the ends of the earth. The lofty mountains shall be troubled, and the exalted hills depressed, melting like a honeycomb in the flame. The earth shall be immerged, and all things which are in it perish; while judgment shall come upon all, even upon all the righteous: But to them shall he give peace: he shall guard the elect, and towards them exercise clemency. Then shall all belong to YAHUAH; be happy and blessed; and the splendour of YAHUAH shall illuminate them. CHANOK (ENOCH) 1:6-8 את CEPHER

2Pe 2:4 For if God did not spare sinning angels, but thrust them down into Tartarus, and delivered them into chains of darkness, being reserved to judgment.
2Pe 2:5 And He did not spare the old world, but saved Noah the eighth one, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.

A large portion of Enoch deals with the angels that sinned, a concept Augustine claimed was about the evil sons of Cain and the godly sons of Seth, referring to Genesis chapter six. Peter is writing about the angels that sinned and were chained in Tartarus, much like the Titan Demi-God’s of the Greeks that mated with human women. This is all explained in Enoch and would be familiar to Peter’s audience. It also explains “ancient aliens” and their technology, First Nation’s star people, and many things that are just not addressed in the church any more and that are part of scripture.

Of course, Jude directly quotes Enoch:

Jud 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Jud 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
Jud 1:15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

So here is a list books, that once you have read the standard sixty-six book bible and are familiar with it, are well worth reading.

Epistles of Clement, Epistles of Polycarp, Epistle of Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, Gospel of Hebrews, Gospel of Peter, Baruk 1 and 2, Esdras 1 and 2, Wisdom of Solomon, Tobit, Jubilees, Jasher, Enoch 1, Maccabees, and Sirach. Some of these books provide the second and third witness to things only mentioned once in the sixty-six book canon. Most can be downloaded for free on bible software like eSword, while is another good source for old texts.

%d bloggers like this: