Book of Nathan

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The Book of Nathan the Prophet

Read it Forward Read it first. This writing—which continues to be published despite the lack of evidence for its authenticity—is viewed to be a forgery produced no earlier than the eighteenth century see Christensen, 14[5]; McClintock, It no longer exists in its original form, and the five different recent works are almost universally rejected as forgeries. Also called the Book of the Wars of the Lord, this composition is quoted in Numbers The quotation is in lyrical form, so it is possibly a book of poetry or a hymnal.

Some have suggested that the Book of Jashar and the Book of the Wars of Yahweh are the same work Christensen, 14[5] 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. However, some compositions now exist as mere citations in the Old Testament. If this is a form similar to the 1 Chronicles reference to Samuel using the composite authors for the citation , then it is possible that this was a single compilation cited by mentioning its authors.

Another possibility is that these, along with the Acts of Jehu Son of Hanani 2 Chronicles , are all sections in a single work titled Acts of the Seers, which is mentioned in 2 Chronicles Since the authors were prophets or seers, their works could have been gathered into a single book of prophetic revelation, similar to the manner in which the works of the twelve minor prophets were gathered into a single book the Twelve Prophets.

It is possible that Ezra used the composite work if they were placed together , or the individual works, as additional source material in composing Chronicles, or that he cited them in the same manner as the single historical work. So far as we know, these books no longer exist, except in name.

Two other non-extant, but cited, works are commentaries on certain books. The Midrash of the Prophet Iddo 2 Chronicles was a commentary on a specific writing that contained the record of King Abijah of Judah. Another possibility is that it was Kings itself. These midrashim could have been a single work, with the two citations referring to different parts of it. Ezra used these midrashim either as sources for his inspired composition of Chronicles, or as places to look if the reader wanted more information—but the originals have been lost.

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Two remaining Old Testament-era books no longer exist except through citations: the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia, and a book by Samuel. It seems to be referenced in Esther and , where the King of Persia is shown placing records in the book and reading from it. The Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia is a lost secular historical record.

It is not a lost biblical record. The citation possibly could be a reference to the part of Samuel composed by the prophet Samuel 1 Samuel Six others were written by prophets and seers, and might have been sections in a non-extant prophetic work known as the Book of the Seers.

Two more were commentaries, which also could have been a single work, and two more were books of hymns or poetry. Paul, in Colossians , mentioned an epistle that he sent to the church at Laodicea. Since an epistle by this name is not found in our New Testament, some have claimed that it is non-extant. While this is one option, there are other possibilities. Some scholars say that it may actually exist in the canon of the Bible, but under a different name. There is internal and external evidence to support this theory. However, there is another possibility. The text never stated that the epistle was from Paul to Laodicea. It simply says that the Colossian church was to procure a certain letter in the possession of the Laodicean church.

This would mean that the church at Laodicea probably had some canonical writing that Paul wanted the Colossian church to read, which would mean that there is no missing Laodicean letter. Of the three explanations lost Laodicean letter, encyclical Ephesians, or canonical epistle in the possession of the Laodiceans , the latter appears to make the most sense. Apparently, there was a section of it that Paul desired the Colossian brethren to read, and so he gave them directions for its procurement.

Technically, the epistles of 1 and 2 Corinthians could be called more properly 2 and 3 Corinthians, because Paul actually did write an earlier letter to the church in Corinth. What are we to say? This truly is a lost writing of the apostle Paul, and nothing is known about it except that it existed, it was sent to the Corinthian church, and it dealt with sexual immorality. Others were historical references used as sources for inspired books, such as Kings and Chronicles, and so the Jews saw no need to treat them with special reverence, nor to strive to preserve them.

Some were books of poetry or song that were uninspired, but served as a record of Hebrew culture. Others were non-Hebrew sources, making them non-biblical compositions and therefore not canonical writings. However, we must face the fact that some compositions cited by the Old and New Testament writers no longer exist.


While under subjugation to the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman empires, the Jews ultimately were able to preserve only those books that were holy and inspired—everything else was destroyed or lost. While this is unfortunate, it should not affect our faith adversely. The books we have are inspired, and came from inspired men who sometimes mentioned non-inspired sources for recording historical fact, giving places to find additional information, or simply to make a point. These men, like modern researchers, felt compelled to cite their sources, but did not intend these sources to become writings on a par with Scripture.