What is the Book of Jasher (Joshua 10:13)?

BibleAsk Team

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Speaker 1

So Nancy is asking, what do you know about the Book of Joshua mentioned in Joshua 10:13 and Second Samuel 118?

Speaker 2

All right, Nancy. I’m glad you asked. We’ve gotten questions about similar books, for example, like the Book of Enoch. So thanks for asking about the book of Joshua. Book of Joshua actually is mentioned twice in the Bible, as Nancy mentioned. We could take a quick look. Joshua 1013 reads, so the sun stood still, and the moon stopped till the people had revenge upon their enemies. Is this not written in the book of Joshua? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven and did not hastened to go down for about the whole day. All right, so what’s this mysterious book of Joshua? Similar things. Second Samuel 118 and he told them to teach the children of Judah the song of the bow. Indeed, it is written in the book of Jesher when we like to see it. It seemed to be it might be a book that scripture because the other scripture is referencing it, but we actually do not have a copy of it. It’s not with the Dead Sea Scrolls in a way that we feel comfortable with it, confidence in it. It doesn’t seem to be a part of the Jewish canon that we have that has become the Bible.

Speaker 2

There are some books that Josh are floating around, and actually there’s multiple types of them, but they all seem to have very new origins and very questionable origins. One came out around the 1600, and that was a time where a lot of things popped up and don’t seem to have really credible sources. Person found it, says, oh, it came from this library in Alexandria. Someone else says, it was protected in Spain, and Roman found it just before Jerusalem was destroyed and took it up there. There’s absolutely nothing historical to back that up. And when you go and read these books, many people have said it just really feels like it’s written by a different spirit. It doesn’t mesh with what’s in the Bible whatsoever. So there’s no reason at all to believe the real books and the ones that we really have in our canon continue to be consistent. They affirm support when each other and the spirit of God really shines through them. And I don’t think you need to waste your time with these books, really. They do seem to be more pulled fiction than anything else.

Speaker 3

Yes, I would agree with that. I remember when I was younger and I read, I was like, what’s this book of Joshua that’s not on the Bible? And I was kind of bummed because I was like, I want to read it. And I got excited thinking there was more truth out there or something. And I read some copy of something that’s supposed to be the Book of Joshua. And I was like, this is not quite right. It didn’t really align with scripture. And so I was like, I don’t think so. And the thing that I had to eventually come to terms with is that throughout history, there’s going to be other books and things written that maybe you can reference that are just interesting books. But that doesn’t mean that they’re part of the canon. That doesn’t mean that they should be part of scripture. We shouldn’t hold them to the same pedestal. Maybe they’re just for that point in time in earth’s history and God just kind of let them fade away because they wouldn’t be helpful for people later on. And so we kind of see that in the here and now. We have some really great books out there that are written by some great authors I can think of, like Pilgrim’s Progress.

Speaker 3

That was a really good book. It gave us some really good insights. But does that mean it’s part of scripture? No, it’s just an interesting book. CS. Lewis had a lot of other great books, too. But it doesn’t mean they’re biblical. They’re just something that nowadays you might have a little bit that have more meaning for us than if this book was written several thousand years ago. Like when The Book of Josh was written, people wouldn’t get it. So anyways yeah.

Speaker 2

And just because we slap on a name of some biblical figure like, this is the Book of Thomas, this is the book of this person, that person, doesn’t mean it really was written by them.

Speaker 3

Yeah, exactly. And the fact that, like, you’re saying it wasn’t in the Dead Sea Scrolls, we are not finding old text of it. It doesn’t mean that it’s something that we need to worry about at this point in time. We really need to be worrying about is the actual Bible and focus seeing on that book and just recognizing that there sometimes are other books that we can read that are helpful for a Christian walk and they’re good and there’s something wrong with them, but there’s just not scripture.

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