From one of our locally owned-and-operated bookstores, I bought this deeply discounted tome called Lost Books of the Bible, compiled by William Hone, and published in 1926, though my copy was considerably newer than that. One reviewer says the work “marked the beginning of a new era in Biblical scholarship. They are of inestimable value to an understanding of Christianity past and present.” In the preface, Hone writes: “This collection…is published, without prejudice or motive, save that the reader…may be free to enjoy and hold his own opinion of these ancient and beautiful writings.” For instance, in the First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus, Joseph had sought a midwife, but this proved to be unnecessary.
One current position about these books notes: Are there lost books of the Bible? No there aren’t. “But that hasn’t stopped people from saying there are. The Christian church didn’t establish the Word of God. Instead, the Christian church recognized it.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me,” (John 10:27).
Interesting to me, the books that are part of the Roman Catholic, or Douay–Rheims, Bible are considered apocryphal. I find this to be too bad. The inclusion of the warriors in the Maccabees books make a better contrast to the non-warrior Savior.
Whereas others claim: Most followers of churches using the King James Bible feel they have the complete book with all the writings used by the first church and the nation of Israel before it. This work presents evidence that this is not true.
My suggestion has always been to read for oneself. There are interesting stories in these “lost books ” about the gaps in Jesus’ life; the standard Biblical narrative skips from infancy to the story at the temple when He was about 12, then skips again to being baptized by John the Baptiser. I must say that The Childhood of the Saviour (Infancy Gospel of Thomas) suggests a less than Prince of Peace-like fellow.
But what also interests me is how the Bible that is extant, with the 66 books, was also not always as it now presented. Origen (215) omits the epistles of James and Jude. The inclusion of Hebrews is doubted by a few writers. Cyril (340), the Bishops of the Council of Laodices (364), and Gregory (375) all omit Revelation, though by 390, the Bible “perfectly agrees with ours.” Revelation, it is safe to say, is the most perplexing book of the Bible.