The Holy Bible has been studied more than any other book in history. For thousands of years, theologians and scholars have pored over every word, producing volumes of commentary on every chapter and verse.
It’s a bit surprising, then, that the Bible still holds so many mysteries. There are passages in both the Old and New Testaments that continue to baffle historians and scholars to this day, ranging from hidden “codes” that supposedly predict the future, to mysterious people and places that defy explanation.
In this article, we examine 4 of the Bible’s most intriguing unsolved mysteries…
The 17 Missing Books of the Bible
Have you ever wondered why certain books made it into the Bible, while others were excluded? It’s a question that gets to the heart of Christianity and continues to divide Bible scholars today.
Ever since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1952, the Bible’s “missing books” have sparked intense controversy. The scrolls, discovered in caves along the banks of the Jordan River, contain copies of many familiar Bible passages, including the entire book of Isaiah. But they also contain unfamiliar works like the “Book of Enoch” and the “Book of Tobit.”
Some Christians dismiss these as purely historical documents that don’t belong in scripture. But the Bible itself refers to other missing passages. For example, 1st Chronicles 29:29 refers to the “book of Nathan the Prophet” and “Gad the seer.” Numbers 21:14 mentions a passage called the “Book of the Wars of the Lord.”
In all, the scripture mentions 17 books that don’t appear in the Bible as we know it. What happened to these missing books? What secrets do they contain? We may never know.
Jesus’ Missing Years
The Bible gives us a glimpse into Jesus’ childhood, and several detailed accounts of his ministry which began in his thirties. But no one seems to know where Jesus was — or what he did — from age 12 to 30.
Those 18 missing years have been the subject of endless debate and speculation. Hundreds of books have been written on the topic, with some convincing (and some downright outlandish) theories.
Some believe he lived quietly in Galilee working as a carpenter and studying scripture. Others believe he traveled to far corners of the globe — with speculation ranging from England to the Far East.
Unless one of those 17 missing books is found, and contains the secrets of Jesus’ missing years, this is one Bible mystery that’s likely to remain unsolved for a long time.
The Lost City of Ophir
The Bible is full of descriptions of regions and cities that you won’t find on a modern map.
But perhaps the most intriguing is the lost city of Ophir.
Mentioned several times in Genesis, Job, and Isaiah, Ophir is described as a city filled with riches. Gold, silver, ivory, precious gems… even strange exotic animals. The idea that there may be a lost “city of gold” has lead many archaeologists to search for the true location.
Modern scholars believe it was located somewhere in either Africa or India – and the specific mention of peacocks points to India in particular. But for the time being, it remains one of the Bible’s most enticing mysteries.
The Tree of Life
Of all the Bible’s unsolved mysteries, none are quite so intriguing as the mythical Tree of Life. Along with the Tree of Knowledge, it was one of two trees with special importance in the Garden of Eden.
While the Tree of Knowledge was forbidden, God specifically told Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Life. It seems to be a sacred gift to the first man and woman — a perfect food for God’s perfect humans.
While some claim it was just a symbol or metaphor, Ancient Biblical scholars such as Thomas Aquinas believed the Tree of Life was a real tree. Aquinas pointed to verses in Genesis that suggest the Tree had divine healing properties that allowed Adam to live over 900 years.
The question is, what happened to the Tree of Life? Did it produce seed, and spread over the earth? Or was it perhaps destroyed in the great flood during the time of Noah?
Some believe it survived, and its descendants are actually living on earth today. They point to a family of trees discovered in a remote corner of the South American jungle with remarkable healing properties — currently being researched for everything from cancer to diabetes.
In fact, a controversial video is now circling the Internet with details of this theory.
Click here to learn more about the modern-day “Tree of Life”