Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Books of the Apocrypha”


I was talking to my brother who told me that the Bible we use now was constructed by the Catholics, and they left out numerous books and stories. When I said that it was probably stories that the other prophets covered, he said that they left one out about Jesus killing sparrows and a boy and then bringing them back to life in "Thomas' Gospel of Infancy":

"Later he was going through the village again when a boy ran and bumped him on the shoulder. Jesus got angry and said to him, "You won't continue your journey." And all of a sudden, he fell down and died."

I'm trying to make sense of this because I know the Bible is true, but was it constructed by false christians? And if so, is it still pure, true, and the whole Word of God? Please help me.

Sincerely, Truth Only Please

Dear Truth Only Please,

The books that your brother referred to are called ‘apocryphal’ books. An apocryphal book (apocrypha means hidden) is a book that was rejected from the Bible because it was considered inauthentic. These books are not written by God and never were accepted by God’s people as divinely inspired. The Bible was not constructed by Catholics, but that is a common misconception. The most famous historical document that includes the entire list of all the New Testament books was written at the Nicene Council in 325 AD. The Nicene Council is considered to be one of the defining moments that led to the formation of the Catholic church, and therefore people say that Catholics constructed the New Testament. It just isn’t true though.

The Nicene Council did write down a list of the New Testament books, but they didn’t create that list – they just reiterated what people had already known and accepted for a couple hundred years. Most of the New Testament books were written as letters to different congregations that personally knew the apostles and prophets that wrote the letters. Paul would even mention his penmanship as being distinctive (Gal 6:11). Those churches were able to tell the difference between a letter that was actually written by an apostle and one that was a forgery. The church of the first century collected, copied, and distributed these letters just as God intended (Col 4:16, 1 Thess. 5:27). Well before Catholicism showed up on the scene, the books of the Bible were uniformly accepted, and the apocryphal books had been rejected. God made sure that His Word was properly preserved and established.