“Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit” (CCC 81)
The Holy Bible is a word of God, the written Apostolic Tradition, yet it is NOT the only source of divine truth. As what the Holy Church teaches that “the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, ‘does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.'” If the sacred Scripture contains the sufficiency of all truths, then why did it reference from other non-canonical books?
Below are some of the non-biblical references used in writing the books of the Old Testament:
⚫ The Book of Jasher (whose title fully translated means the Book of the Upright or the Book of the Just) is mentioned in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18. From the context in the Book of Samuel it is implied that it was a collection of poetry. Several books have claimed to be this lost text, but are widely discounted as pseudepigrapha.
⚫ The Book of the Wars of the Lord is referenced at Numbers 21:14.
⚫ A Book of Songs is referenced at 1 Kings 8:12–13 (Septuagint).
⚫ The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel and Chronicles of the Kings of Judah are mentioned in the Books of Kings (1 Kings 14:19, 14:29). They are said to tell of events during the reigns of Kings Jeroboam of Israel and Rehoboam of Judah, respectively. The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel is again mentioned in 1 Kings 16:20 regarding King Zimri, and many other times throughout 1 and 2 Kings.
⚫ The Book of Shemaiah, and of Iddo the Seer (also called Story of the Prophet Iddo or The Annals of the Prophet Iddo) is mentioned in the book of 2nd Chronicles. (II Chr 9:29, 12:15, 13:22). Iddo was a seer who lived during the reigns of Solomon, Rehoboam, and Abijah. His deeds were recorded in this book, which has been completely lost to history, save for its title. However, it is interesting to note that Zechariah was the son of Iddo, but this was likely not the same Iddo (Ezra 5:1, Zechariah 1:1).
⚫ The Manner of the Kingdom is referenced at 1Samuel 10:25.
⚫ The Acts of Solomon is referenced at 1 Kings 11:41.
⚫ The Annals of King David is referenced at 1 Chronicles 27:24.
⚫ The Book of Samuel the Seer also called Samuel the Seer or The Acts of Samuel the Seer, which could be the same as 1 & 2 Samuel is referenced at 1 Chronicles 29:29.
⚫ The Book of Nathan the Prophet also called Nathan the Prophet or The Acts of Nathan the Prophet or History of Nathan the Prophet is referenced at 1 Chronicles 29:29, and also 2 Chronicles 9:29.
⚫ The Book of Gad the Seer is referenced at 1 Chronicles 29:29.
⚫ The Prophecy of Ahijah, might be a reference to 1 Kings 14:2–18 is referenced at 2 Chronicles 9:29.
⚫ The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel is referenced in 2 Chronicles 16:11, 2 Chronicles 27:7 and 2Chronicles 32:32. It might be the same as 1 & 2 Kings.
⚫ The Book of Jehu, could be a reference to 1 Kings 16:1–7 is referenced at 2 Chronicles 20:34.
⚫ The Story of the Book of Kings is referenced at 2 Chronicles 24:27.
⚫ The Acts of Uziah, also called The Book by the prophet Isaiah, perhaps the same as the Book of Isaiah is referenced at 2 Chronicles 26:22.
⚫ The Vision of Isaiah is referenced at 2Chronicles 32:32.
⚫ The Acts of the Kings of Israel also called The Acts and Prayers of Manasseh, which may be identical to The Book of the Kings of Israel, is referenced at 2 Chronicles 33:18.
⚫ The Sayings of the Seers is referenced at 2Chronicles 33:19.
⚫ The Laments for Josiah, also called Lamentations (this event is recorded in the existing Book of Lamentations) is referenced at 2Chronicles 35:25.
⚫ The Chronicles of King Ahasuerus is referenced at Esther 2:23, Esther 6:1, Esther 10:2, and Nehemiah 12:23.
⚫ The Book (or Wisdom) of Ahikar is referenced by Tobit 1:22, Tobit 2:10, Tobit 11:18, Tobit 14,10
Sirach (verse numbers vary slightly between versions)
⚫ The Aesop’s fable of The Two Pots is referenced at Sirach 13:2–3
⚫ The Egyptian Satire of the Trades, or another work in that tradition is referenced at Sirach 38:24–39:11
⚫ The Archives is referenced by 2 Maccabees 2:1
⚫ The Memoirs of Nehemiah referenced by 2 Maccabees 2:13, could be the same as the book of Nehemiah.
⚫ The Letters of the Kings is referenced by 2Maccabees 2:13
⚫ The Five Books by Jason of Cyrene is referenced by 2 Maccabees 2:23: the author of 2 Maccabees here tells us that the work is abridged from the history by Jason.
⚫ The King’s Letter is referenced by 2 Maccabees 11:22
BELOW are also some of the non-biblical references used or mentioned by the authors in writing the New Testament books:
⚫ Menander, Thais 218 is referenced in 1 Cor. 15:33.
⚫ Aeschylus (525–456 B.C.), Agamemnon, line 1624 — or lines 2341 & 2342 is referenced in Acts 26:14.
⚫ Epimenides (and later Aratus, Phaenomena 5) is referenced in Acts 17:28. St. Paul introduced another quotation from Epimenides (de Oraculis) by calling him a prophet of the Cretans (Titus 1:12–13).
⚫ The Book of Enoch is referenced in Jude 4,6,13,14–15, 2 Peter 2:4; 3:13.
⚫ The Epistle to the Laodiceans is referenced in Colossians 4:16 — “read the epistle from Laodicea”.
⚫ The Life of Adam and Eve is referenced in 2 Corinthians 11:14 — “Satan as an angel of light”; and 12:2 — “Third Heaven”.
⚫ A lost section of the Assumption of Moses is referenced in Jude 9 — “Michael … body of Moses”.
⚫ The Martyrdom of Isaiah is referenced in Hebrews 11:37 — “they were sawn in two”.
ON THE other hand, the non-canonical books are those books which were not considered by the Jews and the holy Catholic Church as inspired by the Holy Spirit, thus they are not included in both the canon of the Sacred Scripture. However, quoting from those non-canonical books by the biblical authors indicate that the Holy Bible cannot stand alone, that the Holy Bible is supported by other sources — called by the Holy Church as the Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium (Church’s Teaching Authority).
In fact, it is nowhere found in the Holy Bible, word-for-word or verse-by-verse, how the books were chosen or how many books must be included in the canon because “It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned which writings are to be included in the list of the sacred books” (CCC 120).
The plain and simple truth is: the Holy Bible did not canonize itself, the Church does.