The Lost Books of the Bible

Book Descriptions
A Partial List
Part 4

The Remaining Chapters of Esther
The Remaining Chapters of Esther were declared canonical by the Councils of Laodicea and Carthage. Jerome found parts of the book in Hebrew and he transposed them to the end of the Book of Esther. He found all 16 chapters contained in 10 chapters in the Greek manuscript. The Council of Trent also declared all of the Book of Esther to be sacred, canonical scripture. The Remaining Chapters of Esther is supposed to have been written by Madocheus.

Prayer of Manasseh
The Prayer of Manasseh is found in the Greek and Slavonic Bibles, but is considered non-canonical by the Catholic church. Manasseh is remembered as probably one of the worst kings of Judah because of his worship of false gods. According to 2nd Chronicles 33-10-17 Manasseh was taken captive by the King of Assyria who took him to Babylon. While in prison there he repented of his gross sins against God. He prayed to God who heard his humble prayer and delivered him out of captivity and returned him to his kingdom in Jerusalem where he reformed his government and did away with all false gods and their alters. He then restored the pure worship of God to Judah.

The Epistles Of Ignatius
Ignatius was the Bishop of Antioch in Syria in 67-107 AD. He wrote seven letters to the various congregations of his time. The collection of Epistles was preserved by Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. This collection was mentioned by Irenaeus, Origen, Eusebius, Jerome, Athanasius, Theodoret and other ancient authorities. The Epistles were translated into Latin by Archbishop Usher, ancient pure Greek by Vossius and English by Archbishop Wake. The Wake English text was translated from the text of Vossius. The Epistles deal with morality, faith, martyrdom and the proclamation of Jesus as the Christ. They were written to the various congregations as Ignatius was a prisoner and on his journey to Rome to martyrdom.

The Non-Canonical Psalms
Found in the caves at Qumran in the 1950s, the Dead Sea Scrolls are a font of historical information. Discovered in Cave 11, the Psalms Scroll is one of the most intact and well preserved of the scrolls. It contains forty-one canonical psalms and seven non-canonical psalms. Of the seven non-canonical psalms, four are known from earlier translations in Greek and Syriac. These four are Psalms 151, 154, 155 and part of Sirach 51. The three new Psalms are named "Plea for Deliverance", "Hymn to the Creator" and "The Apostrophe to Zion".

The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to Seneca, with Seneca's to Paul
The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to Seneca, with Seneca's to Paul are a collection of letters exchanged between the Apostle Paul and Annaeus Seneca, his friend. The letters are presumed to be genuine. Salmeron and Jerome both considered them to be authentic. Salmeron cites the Epistles to show that Seneca was a person of Caesar's household. Jerome considered Seneca to be a "Holy Writer" on account of the Epistles. The letters are of high antiquity according to learned scholars. The present translation of the Epistles comes from Sixtus Senensis' "Bibliotheque" pages 89-90.

The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians
In The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians, Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, praises the Philippians for their faith and their love towards their Christian brothers who suffered for Christ. Although the genuineness of the Epistle is questioned by some scholars, Archbishop Wake believed in its accuracy and its genuineness. Wake's translation of The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians is considered one of the best translations. Dr. Cave has also done a translation of the text.

The Letter of the Smyrnaeans or the Martyrdom of Polycarp
The Letter of The Smyrnaeans or the Martyrdom of Polycarp is a letter written from by the church at Smyrna to the church of Philomelium. It describes the martyrdom of Polycarp and gives a detailed account of his execution, an execution carried out because the elderly Polycarp would not renounce Christ Jesus and pledge his allegiance to Caesar. It is thought his martyrdom took place in either 155 or 166 CE. It is believed that the post script to the manuscript probably came from the pseudo-Pionus, a manuscript compiled probably in the middle of the fourth century and thought to be a total fiction and of no value. This is the post script that is disputed: "This account Gaius copied from the papers of Irenaeus...and I, Socrates, wrote it down in Corinth...and I, Pionius again wrote it down", The many extracts from the Letter of the Smyrnaeans quoted by Eusebius guarantee the text to be genuine in the ancient manuscripts.

The Story of Ahikar (Haiqar)
The Story of Ahikar is considered to be one of the most ancient sources of wisdom and thought. The influence of The Story of Ahikar can be found in the legends of various peoples and also The Koran. Some of the thoughts in the story can also be found in the Old and New Testament. The original story of Ahikar was found in Dlephantine in an ancient Aramaic papyrus dated approximately 500 BC. There is a moasic found in Treves, Germany that dipicts Ahikar among the wise men of the world. The Story of Ahikar is generally thought to be fiction and not history. It can also be found in the supplementary pages of The Arabian Nights. The narrative can be divided into four parts; "The Narrative", "The Teaching", "The Journey to Egypt" and "The Similitudes or Parables". It is a delightful story full of intrigue and action.

The Apostles Creed
The Apostles' Creed is a brief statement of the fundamental tenents of the Christian belief. According to tradition, the authors of The Apostles' Creed were the Twelve Apostles. One legend has The Apostles' Creed dating back to the 6th century. In this legend it was believed that The Apostles' Creed was written by the Twelve Apostles on the day after Pentecost while they were under the direct influence of the Holy Spirit. Harnack asserts that the Creed was written at a much later time than the Apostolic Age. Archbishop Wake believed the Creed was not written by the Apostles. Justice Bailey also stated that the Apostles' Creed was not formulated by the Twelve Apostles and that it did not exist as a creed during their time. He also stated that there is no way of telling how long the creed existed before the year 600.

The Epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans
The Epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans exist only in Latin. The oldest copy known is the Fulda manuscript written for Victor of Capua in 546. Several writers from the Fourth century onward mention it, Gregory The Great being one of them.
It is a very short Epistle encouraging the members of the congregation in Laodicea to hold fast to the faith and to live in a Godly way.

The Saying Of The Seers
The Saying of the Seers (aka The Reord of the Seers) is recorded in the books of Joshua, Numbers, 2nd Samuel, 1st Kings, 1st Chronicles and 2nd Chronicles. These passages give reference to the different seers named in the Bible and books not found in the modern Bible. Most of the books mentioned have been lost in antiquity.

The Letter Of Aristeas
The exact date of the writing of The Letter of Aristeas is unknown, but it is thought to have been penned by a Hellenistic Jew during the lifetime of Queen Arsinoe who died in 270 BC. Although some scholars consider the letter a fiction, it is the basis for the name of the Greek Bible, the Septuagint. The letter tells the story of Ptolemy Philadelphus, the world's first bibliophile. Ptolmey wanted to have a collection of the world's greatest books for his library at Alexandria. His greatest desire was to have one great book, "The Jewish Laws" and his passion for obtaining that book caused him to trade 100,000 captives in exchange for a copy of that book. The book was dedicated to Philocrates, his friend and fellow lover of learning. The Letter of Aristeas details court life of the time in great detail. Social problems are thoroughly discussed, also. The Letter of Aristeas is a fascinating example of a very ancient manuscript.