There is mention of the Book of Jashar in the Old Testament. Is this a missing book of the Bible?
—Joe O., via e-mail
The Book of Jashar is one of the lost source books of early Israelite poetry from the Amarna Age (15th and 14th centuries B.C.). It is excerpted twice or possibly three times in the Old Testament. Jashar is a common Hebrew word meaning “one who is straight, honest, just, righteous, upright.” This means that the Book of Jashar may also be translated the “Book of the Upright.” It is often assumed that this title either refers to the heroic people identified in the stories or to all Israel as the upright people. Some scholars doubt there ever was a written book, attributing the Book of Jashar instead to a collection of traditional oral expressions.