DID THE WRONG BOOKS GET IN THE BIBLE?
Ever since the publication of Dan Brown’s best-selling novel, The DaVinci Code, it’s become common knowledge that there were more Gospels than the four in our Bible. So how do we know that we have correct books in our Bible? This is a common question many ask.
Let me share six reasons that most Protestants reject the Gnostic Gospels
(such as the Gospel of Judas) and the Apocrypha in general.
1) The New Testament writers never quote them as authoritative.
2) Jesus never cites them as authoritative.
3) They never claim to be inspired.
4) The church fathers rejected them.
5) They are not in the Jewish–Hebrew Canon.
6) They contain faulty theology (i.e. purgatory, etc.).
Many evangelicals are surprised to learn that the early English versions of the Bible—Wycliffe (1380), Tyndale (1526), Coverdale (1525), and the King James Version (1611)—contained the Apocrypha. (Later editions of the KJV omitted the Apocrypha). But just because these versions included the Apocrypha does not mean they viewed them as inspired. Sometimes they were included as a courtesy due to their historical significance.
The first English Bible to intentionally exclude the Apocrypha was the Geneva Bible. The bottom line is that are good reasons to know that we have the right books in our Bible. If you want to read further along this line, I’d recommend Michael Kruger’s book, Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books (Crossway, 2012). This is a scholarly work, but it’s accessible to the layman.
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor