I shall address an issue that has been used by the Catholics, Mormons and other groups that attack the Bible. The idea that there are lost books of the Bible. Yes I know that the Bible mentions some books or writings that are not anywhere in the Bible. Books that existed at one time or another.
In the Old Testament the following are mentioned.
1. Book of the Covenant, Exodus 24:4, 7
2. Book of the Wars, Numbers 21:14
3. Book of Jasher, Joshua 10:13, 2 Samuel 1:18
4. Book of Statutes, 1 Samuel 10:25
5. Book of the Acts of Solomon, 1 Kings 11:41
and many more.
In the New Testament we know about the following
1. Missing Epistle of Paul, 1 Corinthians 5:9
2. 2nd Missing Epistle of Paul, Ephesians 3:3-4
3. 3rd Missing Epistle of Paul, Colossians 4:16
4. The book of Enoch, Jude 14
And of course there are the extra canonical books like the Apocrypha and of course the spurious books like
1. The Lost Gospel of Peter
2. The Gospel of Thomas
3. The Gospel of Matthias
and many others
The list of the "Lost" books of the Bible is a long one. There are many reasons why these books were lost, such things as wars, fires, floods, and other events. Yet the main reason these books were lost is because they were not considered inspired by God.
The people of God have always safeguarded the word of God even at the cost of their own lives. Christians under extreme torture refused to reveal the whereabouts of the holy books. The books were secretly transferred from place to place to keep them safe.
The priests of Israel were in charge of the scriptures and had a very strict policy regarding the copying and passing down of the scriptures. The Jewish Scholars knew about those "missing" books in the Bible, yet they never considered them as sacred books.
It is unfortunate that many of those books have been lost, and I am sure they would give us a better understanding of the ancient cultures and people. But they were not books that deserved to be included in the Bible. Otherwise God in his infinite power would have preserved them just like he did the other books which we still have.
We still have some of these supposedly lost books around. The Catholics have added the Apocrypha to the middle of the testaments. And some have published some of these "lost" books. So obviously some of these books were not lost, but rejected from being included in the Bible, and indeed those books deserved to be left out.
I have read some of those "lost" books, and I can say that none of them contain any new doctrine or commandment that we should keep. Most of them are clearly spurious, and full of mistakes and false doctrines, while some of them are interesting to read and help to explain some obscure passages in the scriptures, but none of them ever gave me a new revelation or teaching from God.
The book of Jasher is a book that is mentioned in the Bible, most scholars think that the authentic book of Jasher was lost, what we have now is a forgery. Of course there are people who insist we have the real book of Jasher, whether it can be demonstrated it is the authentic book of Jasher or not is not certain. Yet this book has such nonsense as the sons of Jacob taking down cities just by screaming. The nonsense in this book is too much for anyone to give it credit as being written by God. Of course even if it were the real book of Jasher it would only serve as a poor witness to ancient events. For it mixes reality with fantasy to such an extent that it is hard to know where each begins.
The shepherd of Hermas has so many spurious insertions that anyone familiar with it will quickly admit to it having been tampered with. The author of Hermas supposed that he saw the Holy Spirit as a woman "fair and gladsome, and her form fair". Later he imagined that he saw certain "holy spirits," "powers of the Son of God," as virgins who kissed and embraced him and then spent the night with him. Such utter blasphemies are not in accordance with God's holy word.
Pious people inserted their own ideas into fictitious books without regard for the accuracy of their statements, and only revealed their own superstitions. For example the Epistle of Barnabas, for example, says that the hyena changes its sex from year to year, that in every year of its life the hare acquires a new passage through its body, and that the weasel "conceiveth with its mouth" utter nonsense yet quite common on those days.
The real books of the Bible avoid sensationalism, even the greatest miracles are given in simplicity, there is no attempt made to elaborate on the greatness of the miracle or to embellish the account with added adjectives. The parting of the Red Sea is given in simple detail, no dramatic telling of how Moses grabbed the rod, every step that he took. There is no great and lengthy discourse given here either.
In the second century there was a sudden surge of spurious gospels written by heretical sects which wanted to teach some heresy as coming from the Apostles, from those close to Jesus and even from Jesus himself. These writers were so bold as to put words in the mouth of Jesus that were in reality blasphemies.
The following selection from The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, written about 125 AD. Should convince anyone that this gospel is obviously not in the spirit of Christ.
3.1. But the son of Annas the scribe was standing there with Joseph; and he took a branch of a willow and (with it) dispersed the water which Jesus had gathered together. 2. When Jesus saw what he had done he was enraged and said to him: "You insolent, godless dunderhead, what harm did the pools and the water do to you? See, now you also shall wither like a tree and shall bear neither leaves nor root nor fruit." 3. And immediately that lad withered up completely; and Jesus departed and went into Joseph's house. But the parents of him that was withered took him away, bewailing his youth, and brought him to Joseph and reproached him: "What a child you have, who does such things."
4.1. After this again he went through the village, and a lad ran and knocked against his shoulder. Jesus was exasperated and said to him: "You shall not go further on your way," and the child immediately fell down and died. But some, who saw what took place, said: "From where does this child spring, since his every word is an accomplished deed?" 2. And the parents of the dead child came to Joseph and blamed him and said: "Since you have such a child, you cannot dwell with us in the village; or else teach him to bless and not to curse. For he is slaying our children."
5.1. And Joseph called the child aside and admonished him saying: "Why do you do such things that these people (must) suffer and hate us and persecute us?" But Jesus replied: "I know that these words are not yours; nevertheless for your sake I will be silent. But they shall bear their punishment." And immediately those who had accused him became blind (5).
Anyone remotely familiar with the Jesus of the Bible will clearly see that Jesus could not have possible done any of these things. According to the scriptures Jesus did not want to do any miracles until his time came. Jesus went around doing good to people and healing people, the idea of him making people blind or lame or even killing anyone is totally against his character. Obviously it is blasphemy to impute such acts to Jesus our Lord.
The men who wrote such blasphemies were not inspired by God for their words go clearly against the character of Jesus. They were fiction writers who wrote fictional accounts and stories and then declare them to be true accounts.
Some of these writings attempt to embellish their accounts with incredible miracles without a reason. They attempt to explain more than it would be needed, and exhort the unbelievers to blindly believe some nonsense.
Just because a writer mentions Jesus or puts the title Gospel to his book does not automatically make it a gospel. To be a real gospel it must give a faithful account of Jesus life and have the inspiration of God. And those other gospels clearly do not qualify.
Some were so brazen in their writings of these fictitious accounts that they even wrote in their account that they were inspired by God to write such lies. But God does not contradicts himself or says things that go against other teachings in his word or things that lack common sense.
Yes there are books mentioned in the Bible that are missing, yes there are extra canonical books around, yes there are other "gospels", yes there are books of historical interest but the most important truth is that there are no real "Lost books of the Bible."