Is it possible that more books can be added to the Bible?  Even from modern times?

The Christian churches have what we call a “closed canon,” meaning that the books contained in the Old and New Testaments — all written by the turn of the first century C.E. — are definitively known as the sum of sacred scripture. So the answer is no; no further books will be added to the Bible.

The Second Vatican Council taught that God chose certain authors to write “whatever he wanted written, and no more.” The purpose of the inspired books is to “teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided in the sacred scriptures.” (Dei Verbum 11) Of course this does not mean that we can’t look to other writings, ancient or modern, to help us understand our faith or our religious heritage, or to gain new insights into who God is. They may not be considered scripture, but other writings and books have been an invaluable addition to the faith lives of many since the earliest days of the church. There is no reason they will not continue to be. They will just never be accepted as part of the canon of the Bible, which has been set for hundreds of years.

Ann Naffziger

Ann Naffziger

Ann Naffziger is a scripture instructor and spiritual director in the San Francisco Bay area. She has has written articles on spirituality and theology for various national magazines and edited several books on the Hebrew Scriptures.


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