39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
Obviously, The Lord was not referring specifically to our bibles. The bible was not put together yet. He was talking of individual books well-known by the Jews and accepted as the word inspired by God.
Traditionally, we understand that all the books in the bible were written by men and inspired by God.
We believe on everything that is written as the word of God.
Who decided that those books were inspired?
Who decided that these books belong into the bible?
There were individual scriptures where the most important was the book of the law or the Pentateuch ( The first 5 books of the bible).
It wasn’t until around the year 70 when the old testament was put together.
We obtained our New Testament after many attempts to gather, what was going to be the authentic word of God. There were many disagreements. And some of those disagreement persists still today. Not all Christian bibles are composed by the same books.
The Christian bible was first organized around the years 300 and 400.
The protestant church rejected the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha are five to nine other books belonging to the Catholic bible. But what many protestants ignore is that the Catholic bible is older than the protestant bible. I also thought at one point that our bible was first.
One thing that always bug me about the number of the books of the bible, is that the bible itself says in Revelation that 6, is a number of man and incomplete. So we have 66 books in most of our protestant bibles.
Another thing is that the bible refers to some books that were never found. These are the lost books of the bible.
Examples of these references are:
Joshua 10:13, 2 Samuel 1:18, Numbers 21:14, 1 kings 4:32 & 11:41, 1 Chronicles 29:29, 2 Chronicles 9:29 and some others.
There is also the Nag Hammadi library. This one was unknown until the past century. I believe, it was 1945. Correct me if I am wrong.
As a Christian, I believe that there is more to know about our Lord. That the bible is our road-map to heaven, yet not complete without at least taking a look to those other scriptures not included in our cannon.
Like Paul said in 2Timoty 3:16
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”
He also says in 1 Thessalonian 5:21
“Test everything. Hold on to the good.”