Adding to the Bible
When in discussion with Mormons I bring up the concept of the closure of Scripture and how we are not to add to the word ie. the Book of Mormon. This why we do not believe that another testament is acceptable or verifiable today. The book of revelation is the closing book for God’s revelation through his prophets to the Church.
We are told several times throughout the Bible not to make additions to God’s word that is called Scripture. Deut. 4:2 “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Deuteronomy 12:32 “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”
Mormons will say this means not to add to the book of Deuteronomy. But although this command is found in this 2nd book of the law it is not exclusive to this one book.
Proverbs 30:5-6 “Every word of God is pure; he is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.”
Mormons will say this means not to add to the book of Proverbs. Again if we look at the context it says “Every word of God”, do not add to His words.
The Bible refers to its writings as Scripture 1 Cor. 4:6 “that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.”
Paul was reiterating what has been said in Deuteronomy and Proverbs. To go beyond what Scripture says means one is motivated by pride, the same character trait that made the Devil fall into sin.
Jesus and the apostles all concurred, “The entirety of Your word is truth” (Psalms 119: 160).
The importance of God’s word held in this respect is clear by saying in Psalm 138:2 “You have magnified Your word above all Your name” When a Mormon inadvertently states the book of Mormon is considered the word of God alongside the Bible they have removed the Bibles authority replacing it with a mans.
To clarify what they have done I would like to point out “After Joseph had translated the Book of Mormon from the gold plates, the Lord COMMANDED him to TRANSLATE THE BIBLE. ...[T]his young man, Joseph Smith, ...was commanded to translate the Bible BY INSPIRATION.” LDS “Apostle” Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 15, pp. 247-249)
According to Mormonism Joseph Smith rewrote the Bible in the early 1830's. Without any knowledge of Hebrew or Greek language or manuscripts, he 'restored' what had been lost. This 'restoration of the bible' is known today as the Joseph Smith Translation (JST). What makes this more intriguing is that the Inspired version tells us how Joseph Smith received this revelation to write a NEW Holy book “narrating the experience of Moses when he “was caught up into an exceeding high mountain, and he saw God face to face, and he talked with him”’
Joseph Smith was commanded by God to publish the new translation of the Bible “... I have commanded you to organize yourselves, even to shinelah [print] my words, the fulness of my scriptures ...(Doctrine and Covenants, 104:58).... the second lot ... shall be dedicated unto me for the building of a house unto me, for the work of the printing of the translation of my scriptures ... (ibid. 94:10).…hearken to the counsel of my servant Joseph,... and publish the new translation of my holy word unto the inhabitants of the earth (ibid. 124:89).
Joseph wrote: “I COMPLETED the translation and review of the NEW TESTAMENT on the 2nd of February, 1833, and sealed it up, no more to be opened till it arrived in Zion.” (LDS “Prophet” Joseph Smith, February 2, 1833, and Times and Seasons 5:723) “We returned gratitude to our Heavenly Father... having finished the translation of the Bible a few hours since....” LDS “Prophet” Joseph Smith, LDS “President” Sidney Rigdon and LDS “President” F. G. Williams, History of the Church, Vol. 1, pp. 368-369, July 2, 1833. In its completion there would be over 9000 changes.
February 1995 a BYU professor stated, “With the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible, the Prophet restored truth lost through the corruption of ancient texts and gave us the scriptures 'even as they are in [God's] own bosom, to the salvation of [his] own elect' (D&C 35:20).” (Kent P. Jackson, Ensign, 2/95, p. 63).
So we are to accept these just as one would accept the former 66 books of the Bible. Further we are to accept the fact the Bible is corrupted that it needed a modern prophet to restore its truth.
“Important changes were made in several thousand verses, but there are yet thousands of passages to be revised, clarified, and perfected. After his work of revision, the Prophet frequently quoted parts of the King James Version, announced that they contained errors, and gave clarified translations -- none of which he had incorporated into his prior revisions of the Bible. (Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie, p.384, under Inspired Version of the Bible)
Joseph Smith’s “Inspired” version did not make any changes to Esther, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Malachi, Second John or Third John, all of which were deemed “correct” by Smith. However, The Song of Solomon was designated “not inspired writing” and was excluded. Joseph Smith made changes in the book of Genesis 32 different statements about the book of Genesis.
For example in his Inspired Version King James Version Genesis chapter1:1 And it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven and this earth; write the words which I speak.
2 I am the Beginning and the End; the Almighty God. By mine Only Begotten I created these things.
3 Yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest.
Yes it all sounds like the Bible but it is not God’s word but a mans misinterpretation and addition of it. There is no Hebrew text that says this, so one can only wonder where Smith found these words? (Maybe he pulled them out of a hat). Clearly the phrase I am the Beginning and the End is a New Testament phrase as is Only Begotten (which is Greek -monogenes for God’s son). This proves Smith did not translate the Bible of which he knew NO Hebrew or Greek.
In Genesis 1-8 he taught that Adam, Enoch, and Noah all accepted and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ, this is impossible since the one the gospel centers on was not even yet born, died or raised.
188 changes were made in Psalms. Isaiah received more changes than any other Old Testament book.
The New Testament received more than twice as many changes as the Old Testament. Which makes not sense since we have more manuscript evidence for the New Testament than any other ancient literature. Smith was not aware of this because of his lack of education and the many discoveries that took place since he did his translation. Fourteen books remained unchanged after Smith completed his revisions, three of these (Philemon and 2 and 3 John) were in the New Testament. Smith proceeded to make 560 changes in the book of Luke. 483 in Matthew. John had 159 changes.
Smith said he helped translate only the books that we have difficulty with. What is very contradicting is that their church does not accept the Joseph Smith Translation as one of their Standard Works. Instead of his translation they use the King James Version that Joseph Smith found needing to be repaired because of it corruption. Go figure.
Now back to the Bible…
Prov. 30:6 “Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” This was written long before the book of Revelation and as I have already pointed out it is not exclusive to this book. God is saying for MAN not to add to his words (God can expand on His Word, man cannot). So we need to ask if a man would be a liar if he added to God’s word? Would Joseph Smith qualify for this?
God says in the last book of his word Revelation 21:8 “and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
To sum this all up Joseph Smith said an incredible statement: the book of Revelation was the plainest book God caused to be written.
Revelation 22:18-19 “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
I ask the Mormons would these curses would be in effect if anyone added or subtracted to the Book of Revelation in any way. Their reply is this would obviously be so.
Unaware that in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible: he (Joseph Smith) had added to, or subtracted from the Book of Revelation over 85 times.
What does God say to those who do this?