They all seem legitimate. What’s your opinion?
It is hard to know exactly how to respond to this article, because the author is not specific as to which “entire books” were removed from the Bible. If he does not specify his charges, then it is hard to respond. But, there is an entire section, many or all of which the author may be referring to. Here is that list:
This list has a few different kinds of examples, and the author does not distinguish them. Nor does he provide evidence or even an argument, so there is not much to go on. Basically, there are three categories of materials that this Muslim guy is claiming were removed from the Bible. 1. Parts of the Old Testament Apocrypha. 2. Uninspired letters by early Christian authors. 3. Sources for the Old Testament histories which are mentioned or quoted in the Old Testament.
Let me deal with the Old Testament Apocrypha. This is a set of writings, which include the Wisdom of Solomon, Tobit, Judith, Baruch, Bel and the Dragon and a few more. These books were never included in the Jewish Old Testament by any Jew. Most of them were originally written in Greek, not Hebrew. They are not inspired books, and they do not have the marks of inspiration. For example, Wisdom of Solomon has sayings that are clearly unbiblical, for example teaching works salvation. Tobit has historical errors and does not even seem inspired when it is read! I can go on. Now, it is true that some collections of the Greek Old Testament included some of these books, but this was done by Christians after the second century. The Jews NEVER included these books in their canon. You cannot remove a book from the Bible that was never part of the Bible. These books were never part of the Old Testament, if we allow that the Jews get to decide what is in their Bible. This claim that the Old Testament Apocrypha was removed from the Bible is completely untrue, as this Muslim author probably knows! What is a bit confusing about these books is that some Christians from about the third to the sixteenth centuries did include these books in their Bibles. Yet, the greatest early Christian Bible scholar, Jerome, wanted to remove them for the reasons I already gave. After the Protestant reformation, pressure from Christian scholars finally resulted in these books being removed from most Bible translations simply because they were never part of the Old Testament of the Jews, who should know what books are part of the Jewish Bible! There are a couple of other Jewish writings which were never part of the Apocrypha, but are on this person’s list, such as 1 Enoch and 4 Enoch. There is even LESS basis for saying that these were ever part of Scripture than the Apocrypha.
The second list of books is a small number of letters from early Christian authors, none of which were written by apostles, and none of which were ever accepted by the majority of the early church. This includes The Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas. Both books are nice Christian writings, but certainly are not inspired. There is antisemitic material in the Epistle of Barnabas. The Shepherd of Hermas does not meet the most basic requirement to be considered inspired. Like I already said, none of these were every considered by the majority of the church to be inspired, nor to be part of the New Testament. I would hazard to guess that this Muslim author is very well aware of this fact. He is being truly dishonest to falsely declare that these two books, which were never part of the New Testament, were removed from the New Testament. Again, you cannot remove a book from the Bible that was never part of the Bible, and the Shepherd of Hermas certainly was never part of the accepted New Testament canon, as any scholar with the most rudimentary training will know.
As for the third set of writings, none of them have even come down to us. These were ancient sources which have been lost for over two thousand hears. The Old Testament writers were careful to use accurate sources for their historical information, and then to tell us, the reader, where they got their information. These sources were OBVIOUSLY never part of the Old Testament. Honestly not a single well-informed person believes that they were ever part of the Hebrew canon. Surely this Muslim author is well aware of this fact, yet he has the gall to claim that they were removed from the Bible. This is quite irresponsible and it proves that this author is not to be trusted at all. Not a single book on his list has any evidence whatsoever that any of them were ever generally accepted by Jews as part of the Old Testament or by Christians as part of the New Testament. This person’s claims are thoroughly debunked and should be ignored or rejected with prejudice.