The 66 books of the Bible, and there are 39 book in the Old Testament, which were primarily written in Hebrew.
The Catholic Bible (a.k.a., The Jerusalem Bible) has additional books in their Old Testament called the Apocrypha. We do not accept the Apocryphal books as the canon of Holy Scripture. Here are some reasons why.
APOCRYPHA = doubtful
For example, Philo (20 B.C. – A.D. 40), a very famous Jewish teacher quoted extensively from every canonical book but never once quoted from the Apocrypha.
Josephus (A.D. 30-100), A Jewish historian, explicitly excluded the Apocrypha.
According to Romans 3:1-2, it was the Jews who were entrusted with the Old Testament canon. The Apocrypha books did not pass the litmus test of the Jewish Rabbis and scholars then or now. Interestingly, only the Roman Catholics have accepted these books as scripture.
Furthermore, neither Jesus, nor any of the Apostles ever referred to or quoted from any of the Apocryphal books. It is apparent then that these books were not considered scripture.
All of the books of the Old Testament were written by a Prophet of God or an “accredited spokesman.” This simply means that their writings came to pass and could be authenticated by acts of God. His fingerprints were all over them!
The Apocryphal books also contain significant doctrinal, ethical, historical and theological errors. For example, they contain teachings on prayers for the dead and salvation through almsgiving which are heretical.
There are 27 books in the New Testament, and these books are primarily written in Greek.
The New Testament books were also written by Apostles and Prophets of God, who were confirmed by acts of God, and their books were immediately accepted into the growing canon of Scripture.
For example, Luke acknowledges that other volumes (the Gospels) were written (Luke 1:1) in his time. In 1 Timothy 5:18 Paul cited the Gospel of Luke (10:7) as Scripture alongside the Old Testament. The Apostle Peter referred to Paul’s epistles (Romans through Hebrews) as Scripture (2 Peter 3:16). The early Christian fathers, beginning in the first century, collected every one of the 27 books in the New Testament. From the second century on there were collections of these 27 books and translations into other languages.
Just as with the Old Testament, there came along Apocryphal books during the second and third century A.D. to be included with the New Testament, but these were universally rejected by the Christian Church. There are many good reasons why these were rejected. For one thing, they contained heresy and many doctrinal errors. They claimed to contain the childhood miracles of Jesus, but John said Jesus did not perform any miracles until He was an adult (see John 2:11). They contain highly embellished accounts of the Gospel stories, indicating they were fabrications. These have also been rejected by every section of official Christendom.
The Mormons claim to have the “Other Gospel.” Unfortunately, the three Mormon books, The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price completely depart from the standard doctrines of Holy Scripture. For example, they believe that the worlds were fashioned “by the Gods.” In Mormonism one is not saved by the atoning work and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ but by obedience to Mormon principles as laid out in their three books listed above.
Mormonism is a cult! They do NOT have another Gospel of Jesus Christ, so do not read their writings.
UNDERSTANDING BIBLE VERSIONS
As was stated above, the 66 books of the Bible were primarily written in Hebrew and Greek. What we have today are versions of the Bible that have been translated from the original languages. But how they were translated tells a lot about each individual version of the Bible.
Of all of the versions of the Bible available today, only FOUR are a word-by-word translation of the original Scriptures.
- King James Version
- New King James Version
- New American Standard Bible
- New American Standard Bible – Updated
No other Bible versions translate the Scriptures word-by-word from the Hebrew and Greek. That’s right! None of them.
The translation procedure of all other Bible versions was to determine what the translators believed to be the “meaning” of the verses, and then translate the Bible in that fashion. IMPORTANT: A meaning-by-meaning translations will always result in a paraphrase.
This means that you do not get everything the Lord is saying to you in these versions; only what the translators believed the Lord meant by what was written in the Holy Scriptures. In other words, their individual doctrines (belief system) are how they interpreted the “meaning” of the Scriptures, and that is what is contained in those Bible versions.
In addition, if they did not like a particular verse, or if those verses contradicted their individual doctrines, those verses were completely left out of the Bible text. In other cases, portions of the verse are eliminated.
This means that using any of these Bible versions as your daily reading Bible, let alone to use for the formation of Bible doctrine, will often create severe error because of the omissions from the original text of Holy Scripture.
Many of these Bible versions have sacrificed accuracy for readability. In an effort to make the Bible easy to read, they have at times forfeited what the Word of God actually says. In addition, some of the translators of many of today’s most popular Bible versions do not even accept the deity of Jesus Christ.
A paraphrase is a retelling of something in your own words. A paraphrase of the Bible is different from a translation. A paraphrase takes the meaning of a verse or passage of Scripture and attempts to express the meaning in the words the author of the paraphrase would use to say the same thing.
Of course this means that what is written is entirely based upon the belief system of the author. For example, several paraphrase versions were written by men who did not believe in the infallibility of the Word of God, of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, of his deity, or in salvation through the shed blood of Jesus.
And in several paraphrase versions the verse numbers are eliminated. The reason for this is that when they didn’t agree with a particular verse they simply left it out of the text.
Absolutely no paraphrased version of the Bible should ever be used as your source of daily Bible reading and devotion. Amazingly, some pastors are using these paraphrased versions as their preaching Bible. No wonder the Body of Christ is plagued with so much false doctrine and heresy!
Bibles such as the NIV, the Amplified Bible, The Message, The Living Bible, etc., all contain errors to some degree, but they can still be used as TOOLS to use along with a Bible that is an actual word-by-word translation. As long as you are aware of the problems with these various translations and paraphrases, they can be a helpful addition to your personal Bible study. But they should not be considered accurate enough for daily Bible reading and devotion.
There are Bible versions and Bible perversions. Any Bible that does away with the Blood of Jesus, His virgin birth, etc. is trash and should be treated as such. The American Bible Society has been notorious for hiring “translators” who do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, or that the Bible is the Word of God.
Specifically, two of their Bible perversions are the Today’s English Version (a.k.a., Good News for Modern Man) and the gender-neutral, Contemporary English Version. If you have a copy of either I would recommend you put them where they go – in the trash can!