Unknown Books Used in the Bible

Have you ever noticed that the Bible references books that we know nearly nothing about? Here are a few:

  • Book of the Wars of the Lord (Numbers 21:14)
  • The Book of Jasher (Joshua 10:13; 2 Samuel 1:18)
  • Book of the Acts of Solomon (1 Kings 11:41)
  • Book of Nathan and Gad (1 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Chronicles 9:29)
  • Book of Shemaiah and Iddo (2 Chronicles 12:15)
  • Book of Jehu (2 Chronicles 20:34)

What are we to make of this information? Some people would have us believe that the biblical authors plagiarized other material and that the Bible itself is not really inspired. One has to ask and answer whether or not God cannot work in inspiration through a method such as research or some uninspired venue.

For example, when you read the prologue of Luke’s gospel (1:1–4), we gather that Luke researched what he wrote. Given the amount of material in his gospel account that’s dedicated to Mary, Jesus’ mother, we might presume that one of Luke’s sources was Mary—especially when you consider the episode from when He was twelve that appears in chapter two. We also know that Luke was a traveling companion of Paul as the “we” statements in Acts indicates. If Luke himself wasn’t inspired, which I’m not saying that he wasn’t, we do know that he was closely associated with Paul the apostle, who was in fact inspired by God.

Paul also used a scribe to write Romans. Tertius identifies himself at the close of the Roman letter as the actual author of the letter (Romans 16:22), though it would have been dictated by Paul. Since a possible uninspired medium was used, does that make the work uninspired? I don’t believe so.

These works, regardless of their methods of composition, are inspired because the people who composed them were inspired or closely associated with inspired people. God used various methods, we might say, to give us the works that are actually of divine origin. It should pose no threat or worry to the Christian who accepts the Bible as from God if they do so on faith. We know that faith is necessary to please God (Hebrews 11:6), so why think that He couldn’t and wouldn’t use such means?

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