Are there other books a Christian can read other than the Bible? What books existed before the Bible?
There are many books that a Christian can read, and there are some books a Christian should not read. But there are no other sacred or divinely inpsired books in the Christian faith.
Other Books To Read?
God has not given us a list of books that we should avoid. Some folks have tried to give us guidelines for just about everything. Often we hear people ask, “What would Jesus do?” I have always struggled with that statement because it is too general. The question assumes that we completely understand Jesus, and we do not. Instead, God has given us some guidelines. Here is one of the most important guidelines that apply to our thought life and things that we allow to pass through our mind, including what books to read.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (NKJV) Philippians 4:8-9
This passage gives us guidelines we can understand. The first part of the test asks us to decide the moral value of the thing we are considering. Is it true, noble or honorable, just, pure, lovely, or of good report? The second test asks, “Is it the best?” “Is it excellence?” The Greek word for “virtue” has the idea of “excellence.” Can you find anything that is missing? God calls us to a holy standard.
Books Before The Bible
The book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible. We are not sure how old it is. Consequently, we cannot answer your question, ” What books existed before the Bible? ” The books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy were written about 1445 B.C. Archeologists believe there are some Sumerian books – clay tablets – that are as old as 3,000 B.C. The book of Job may be older but we do not know. In fact, the dating of the Sumerian tablets may not be that old either.
When the Bible was written, it was written by prophets who wanted to know more about the Messiah – Jesus Christ. Even the angels wanted to know more about Jesus.
As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things into which angels long to look. (NASB) 1 Peter 1:10-12
Today, we have the privilege to read the Bible and to know more about Jesus than they did. Oh, but would I like to know more!