What Are The 14 Books Removed From The Bible?

The Bible, as we know it today, is a collection of 66 books that have been widely accepted as the inspired Word of God. However, there are several other texts that were once part of earlier versions of the Bible but were later removed. These are often referred to as the 'missing' or 'removed' books of the Bible. This blog post aims to shed light on these 14 books and the reasons behind their exclusion.

The Missing Books

The 14 books that were removed from the Bible include 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, The Book of Tobit, The Book of Susanna, Additions to Esther, The Book of Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, The Epistle of Jeremiah, The Prayer of Azariah, Bel and the Dragon, Prayer of Manasses, and 1 Maccabees. These books were part of the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Jewish scriptures, which was the authoritative text for early Christians.

Reasons for Removal

The removal of these books was not due to their heretical content, but rather because they lacked apostolic authorship or were considered too shallow in spiritual content. Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, played a significant role in this process. He assumed the Masoretic text, a Hebrew version of the Old Testament, to be the original and removed these books to match this new Jewish canon.

Controversial Content

Some of these removed books contained controversial teachings that contradicted established biblical doctrines. For instance, the Book of Tobit advocated the use of magic and suggested that forgiveness of sins comes from almsgiving. Similarly, the Book of Judith incorrectly stated that Nebuchadnezzar was the king of the Assyrians when he was actually the king of the Babylonians.

The Role of Church Fathers

Early Church fathers like Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, Eusebius, Athanasius, Jerome, Augustine, and others heavily influenced what books would be included in the Bible. They led the slow and careful acceptance of the books in the New Testament as we know it today.