Some false teachers and skeptics claim that some books like the Gospel of Thomas were “lost” from the Bible (1). This is still an important issue. An agnostic employee of mine saw one of those “lost books” shows on TV and was captivated by it. He asked me a lot of questions and seemed convinced by the DaVinci Code-type reasoning that Constantine and/or those misogynistic church fathers deliberately left out books they disagreed with.
But whether you think that the Bible is divinely inspired or not, it is bad reasoning to claim that any books of the Bible have been lost. Greg Koukl has a great summary of this in No “lost” book:
Regardless of how you view the Scripture – as supernatural or as natural – there is no sense in which there could be lost books of the Bible. If the Bible is supernatural – if God is responsible for its writing, it’s transmission and its survival – then God, being God, doesn’t fail. He doesn’t make mistakes, He doesn’t forget things and He’s not constrained by man’s limitations. God can’t lose his lessons.
However, if the Bible is not supernatural, as many will contend, especially those who claim to have found lost books – one faces a different problem. By what standard do we claim that these are bona fide lost books of the canon of the early church? If, from a human perspective, the Bible is that collection of writings reflecting the beliefs of early Christianity, then any writings discarded by the church fathers were not books of their Bible by very definition.
The good news is that my employee has an open mind and saw the wisdom in this reasoning. He’s still exploring, but I’m encouraged.
Whether one believes that the Bible is divinely inspired or not, there is no rational basis to claim there are any lost books. God doesn’t lose things, and if it was a purely man-made creation then by definition they put in what they wanted.
Anyone claiming the name of Christ who believes that books were lost is, at best, “saved and (very) confused,” and most likely a false teacher.
(1) See this example where false teacher Chuck Currie claims that the Gospel of John does not belong in the Bible but that the Gospel of Thomas does (So long, John 3:16 and more!). Of course, that tips his hand as to not believing in any real God at all, because Chuck’s “god” isn’t powerful enough to preserve his teachings.
You’d think that such a transparent wolf in sheep’s clothing would be booted out of any church, yet Chuck is a spokesperson for the UCC.
The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry has an excellent collection of articles on the supposed lost books. You can read the Gospel of Thomas there, for example. Note that the Bible critics and false teachers rarely quote passages like this one:
114 Simon Peter said to them: Let Mary go forth from among us, for women are not worthy of the life. Jesus said: Behold, I shall lead her, that I may make her male, in order that she also may become a living spirit like you males. For every woman who makes herself male shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.
They just use the existence of these books to cast doubt on the real Bible. Just your basic Satan-inspired actions.