Non-canonical books referenced in the Bible
The non-canonical books referenced in the Bible includes pseudepigrapha, writings from Hellenistic and other non-Biblical cultures, and lost works of known or unknown status. By the "Bible" is meant those books recognised by most Christians and Jews as being part of Old Testament (or Tanakh) as well as those recognised by Christians alone as being part of the Biblical apocrypha or of the Deuterocanon.
It may also include books of the Anagignoskomena (Deuterocanonical books § Eastern Orthodoxy) that are accepted only by Eastern Orthodox Christians. For the purposes of this article, "referenced" can mean direct quotations, paraphrases, or allusions, which in some cases are known only because they have been identified as such by ancient writers, or the citation of a work or author.
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The following are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible:
- The Book of Jasher is mentioned in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18 and also referenced in 2 Timothy 3:8. From the context in the Book of Samuel, it is implied that it was a collection of poetry. Several books have claimed to be this lost text, some of which are discounted as pseudepigrapha. Certain members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints secured the copyright to a particular English translation of one of these and republished it in 1887 in Salt Lake City.
- The Book of the Wars of the Lord. Referenced at Numbers 21:14 with possible association with War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness. The Book of the Wars of the Lord is also cited in the medieval Book of Jasher (trans. Moses Samuel c. 1840, ed. J. H. Parry 1887) Chapter 90:48 as being a collaborative record written by Moses, Joshua and the children of Israel.
- The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel and Chronicles of the Kings of Judah are mentioned in the Books of Kings (1 Kings 14:19,29). They are said to tell of events during the reigns of Kings Jeroboam of Israel and Rehoboam of Judah, respectively. The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel is again mentioned in 1 Kings 16:20 regarding King Zimri, and many other times throughout 1 and 2 Kings.
- The "Book of Shemaiah, and of Iddo the Seer" (also called Story of the Prophet Iddo or The Annals of the Prophet Iddo) is mentioned in the 2nd Book of Chronicles. (2 Chronicles 9:29, 2 Chronicles 12:15, 2 Chronicles 13:22). Iddo was a seer who lived during the reigns of Solomon, Rehoboam, and Abijah. His deeds were recorded in this book, which has been completely lost to history, save for its title. The prophet Zechariah was "the son of Iddo", but this was likely not the same Iddo. (Ezra 5:1, Zechariah 1:1)
- The Manner of the Kingdom.
Referenced at 1 Samuel 10:25.
- The Acts of Solomon.
Referenced at 1 Kings 11:41.
- The Annals of King David.
Referenced at 1 Chronicles 27:24.
- The Book of Samuel the Seer. Also called Samuel the Seer or The Acts of Samuel the Seer, which could be the same as 1 & 2 Samuel.
Referenced at 1 Chronicles 29:29.
- The Book of Nathan the Prophet. Also called Nathan the Prophet or The Acts of Nathan the Prophet or History of Nathan the Prophet.
Referenced at 1 Chronicles 29:29, and also 2 Chronicles 9:29.
- The Book of Gad the Seer.
Referenced at 1 Chronicles 29:29.
- The Prophecy of Ahijah, might be a reference to 1 Kings 14:2–18.
Referenced at 2 Chronicles 9:29.
- The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
Referenced in 2 Chronicles 16:11, 2 Chronicles 27:7 and 2 Chronicles 32:32. Might be the same as 1 & 2 Kings.
- The Book of Jehu, could be a reference to 1 Kings 16:1–7.
Referenced at 2 Chronicles 20:34.
- The Story of the Book of Kings.
Referenced at 2 Chronicles 24:27.
- The Acts of Uziah. Also called The Book by the prophet Isaiah. Perhaps the same as the Book of Isaiah.
Referenced at 2 Chronicles 26:22.
- The Vision of Isaiah.
Referenced at 2 Chronicles 32:32.
- The Acts of the Kings of Israel. Also called The Acts and Prayers of Manasseh. May be identical to The Book of the Kings of Israel, above.
Referenced at 2 Chronicles 33:18.
- The Sayings of the Seers.
Referenced at 2 Chronicles 33:19.
- The Laments for Josiah. Also called Lamentations. This event is recorded in the existing Book of Lamentations.
Referenced at 2 Chronicles 35:25.
- The Chronicles of King Ahasuerus.
Referenced at Esther 2:23, Esther 6:1, Esther 10:2, and Nehemiah 12:23.
- Book (or Wisdom) of Ahikar referenced by Tobit 1:22, Tobit 2:10, Tobit 11:18, Tobit 14,10
- Aesop's fable of The Two Pots referenced at Sirach 13:2–3
- The Egyptian Satire of the Trades, or another work in that tradition referenced at Sirach 38:24–39:11
- "The archives" referenced by 2Maccabees 2:1
- Memoirs of Nehemiah referenced by 2Maccabees 2:13, could be the same as the Book of Nehemiah.
- "letters of the kings" referenced by 2Maccabees 2:13
- "five books by Jason of Cyrene" referenced by 2Maccabees 2:23: the author of 2 Maccabees here tells us that the work is abridged from the history by Jason.
- "the king's letter" referenced by 2Maccabees 11:22
- Menander, Thais 218 (1 Cor. 15:33)
- Epimenides, de Oraculis, (Titus 1:12-13, where Paul introduces Epimenides as "a prophet of the Cretans," see Epimenides paradox)
- Aratus, Phaenomena 5, (Acts 17:28, where Paul refers to the words of "some of your own poets")
Non-canonical books quoted or alluded to:
- Book of Enoch (Jude 1:4, 1:6, 1:13, 1:14–15,, 2 Peter 2:4; 3:13, and John 7:38 ).
- Book of Jasher (2 Timothy 3:8, 2 Samuel 1:18, Joshua 10:13)
- Epistle to the Laodiceans (Colossians 4:16 "read the epistle from Laodicea")
- Life of Adam and Eve (2 Corinthians 11:14 "Satan as an angel of light", 12:2 "Third Heaven")
- A lost section of the Assumption of Moses (2 Timothy 3:8, Jude 9 "Michael.. body of Moses")
- Martyrdom of Isaiah (Hebrews 11:37 "they were sawn in two")
- Paul's letter to the Corinthians before 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 5:9 "I wrote to you in my letter...")
- An unknown messianic prophecy possibly from a non-canonical source, quoted in Matthew 2:23 that states "...he will be called a Nazorian." ("ὅτι Ναζωραῖος κληθήσεται"). "Nazorian" is typically rendered as "Nazarene" ("from Nazareth"), as in Acts 24:5, where Christians are referred to as "the sect of the Nazorians/Nazarenes" ("τῶν Ναζωραίων αἱρέσεως"). This is speculated to be a vague allusion to a quote by Samson in Judges 13:5 that uses a similar-sounding word: "the child shall be a Nazirite" (ναζιρ)
- An unknown version of Genesis (possibly a targum, midrash or other commentary), quoted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:45, as a reference to Christ's being "the Last Adam who became a life-giving spirit" (οὕτως καὶ γέγραπται· Ἐγένετο ὁ πρῶτος ἄνθρωπος Ἀδὰμ εἰς ψυχὴν ζῶσαν· ὁ ἔσχατος Ἀδὰμ εἰς πνεῦμα ζῳοποιοῦν.). It has been speculated that Paul is simply paraphrasing Genesis 2:7, but there is no clear indication that this is not a complete quote.
- An unknown text quoted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:9, suggested by Origen to be a lost apocryphal book : "But as it is written, 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him." This may also be an allusion to the similar Isaiah 64:4, "For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.'".
- An unknown messianic prophecy, possibly from a non-canonical source, quoted in Luke 24:46, speculated to be a vague allusion to Hosea 6:2 : "Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day."
- An unknown messianic prophecy, possibly from a non-canonical source, quoted in Mark 9:12, speculated to be a vague allusion to Isaiah 53: "and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought."
- Books of the Bible
- Jewish apocrypha
- List of Gospels
- List of names for the Biblical nameless
- New Testament apocrypha
- oble lase (2014-12-01), Ancient Book of Jasher/Audio Version, retrieved 2016-06-18
- Sometimes called The Book of the Wars of Yahweh. One source says "The quotation is in lyrical form, so it is possibly a book of poetry or a hymnal...Moses quoted it, so the date of its composition must have been prior to the completion of the Pentateuch, perhaps during the wanderings in the wilderness. Nothing else is known about it, and it survives only in Moses’ quotation."
- Also called The Book of Statutes or 3 Samuel.
- Also called The Book of the Acts of Solomon Archived 2006-06-23 at the Wayback Machine.
- Also called The Book of the Annals of King David or The Chronicles of King David, which could be a reference to the rest of 1 Chronicles.
- "Are There Lost Books of the Bible?".
- Also called Gad the Seer or The Acts of Gad the Seer
- Also called The Prophesy of Ahijah the Shilonite .
- Also called The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.
- Also called The Book of Jehu the son of Hanani
- Also called Midrash on the Book of Kings
- Also called The Vision of the Prophet Isaiah. May be identical to the pseudepigraphal Ascension of Isaiah. May also refer to the existing Book of Isaiah
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-06-23. Retrieved 2006-06-29.
- Also called The Acts of the Seers
- Also called The Book of Records of the Chronicles or The Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia
- See footnote to the Biblical passage in The Jerusalem Bible, Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1966
- Rollston, Chris A. (April 2001). "Ben Sira 38:24–39:11 and The Egyptian Satire of the Trades". Journal of Biblical Literature. 120 (Spring): 131–139. doi:10.2307/3268597.
- Ewert, David (1 July 1990). "A General Introduction to the Bible: From Ancient Tablets to Modern Translations". Zondervan – via Google Books.
- Holloway, Gary (1 January 1996). "James & Jude". College Press – via Google Books.
- Charlesworth, James H. (24 October 1985). "The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament". CUP Archive – via Google Books.
- "Jude 1:14 - 1:15". www.kingjamesbibleonline.org. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
- Witherington, Ben (9 January 2008). "Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1-2 Peter". InterVarsity Press – via Google Books.
- Porter, Stanley E.; Pearson, Brook W. (19 December 2004). "Christian-Jewish Relations Through the Centuries". A&C Black – via Google Books.
- Book of Enoch (Ethopic Version), accessed 3 November 2018
- Martin, Ralph P. 2 Corinthians Word Biblical Commentary 40,
- "1 Corinthians 2:9 Commentaries: but just as it is written, "THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."". biblehub.com.
- "Isaiah 64:4 Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him". biblehub.com.
- "Did Jesus Err when He Spoke of Prophecies about His Resurrection?". apologeticspress.org.