The Bible is a collection of many different books. So how many books make up the Holy Bible? That depends on which books you believe are inspired by God. There are a common included 66 books of the Bible. The inclusion of these certain inspired by God scriptures makes up the Biblical canon.
So there’s a core Biblical canon, then there are these books that are related writings, but are not believed to be inspired by God, that fall into a category called apocrypha. Different religious traditions have different views about these books and some include a secondary canon in their Bibles, these books fall into a category called deuterocanonical. And then there’s this word for some of these books and writings called pseudepigrapha. It can all leave you wondering, “What is the Bible?“!
It’s important to remember, the Bible just didn’t fall out of the sky, it was written by many different authors, over many different centuries, with God at work since the beginning of creation until the end. What the Bible does, in all of these different books that one may or may not include, is it gives us a look at humanity, our fallen world, and a picture of God’s plan in our need for a savior. God works in mysterious ways to us. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”Isaiah 55:8-9 (New International Version)
Which books to include in the Bible, which books you should just know and read, is going to vary with each individual believer, and in all these books are many seemingly trivial details. The Biblical authors reference some of these books not found in every Bible, and reading and understanding these bonus books is all part of why the Bible is not boring!
God knows our heart and tests our mind. How can you believe in a book when you don’t even know which books are required reading and which books are bonus books? Believing in what’s written in the Bible, despite not having all the answers, is called faith. Pray and trust the Spirit to lead you into truth and open your mind.
“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”Jeremiah 17:10 (English Standard Version)