Thursday, September 1, 2022

Will the Bible ever have new books added to it?

  When I answer questions on my website, I tend to present the relevant passages from Scripture, give my interpretation, and allow for the reader to come to his own conclusion. However, due to the seriousness of this topic, I would like to give the answer to this question before I get into more detail about what the Bible says.

There will never be new books of the Bible, there will never be another version of the Gospel, and there will never be revelation that contradicts what the Bible has already said. Again, the Bible we have received is the final version, there will be no additions, nor any revisions.

I have felt the need to answer this question, since I see so many people being deceived by the teachings of Joseph Smith, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or even men like Brian Simmons (creator of the Passion Translation). I will go into more detail about the three examples I have mentioned, but I want to explain why we know that the Bible is complete.

In Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia, he excoriates the Galatians for their willingness to be led astray by the teachings of those who wished to impose the Mosaic Law upon Christians. The group of people trying to impose the Mosaic Law on Christians were known as “Judaizers” , and they had been seeing some success in convincing the churches in Galatia to live according to the law of the Old Testament, despite Christ having died and been resurrected, thereby fulfilling the Old Testament law, and liberating the Christians from the laws that the Jewish people were required to adhere to.

Paul makes a very strong case for why Christians are not bound by the Old Testament law. Paul also explains the way that, by requiring adherence to the Mosaic Law, people were rejecting the salvation that was given to them by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The book of Galatians is a fascinating look into the inner workings of the early Christian church, but I would like to cover this book in a separate essay (or series of essays).

With the context of the book of Galatians in mind, let us go to verses 8 and 9 of the first chapter:

But even if we or an angel of heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

I think that the verses in question make it very clear that the Gospel has already been given to us, and that there will never be a new version. Why, then, do people believe that certain individuals have received a new gospel? The biggest cause of people believing that there is some new form of the Gospel is (in my opinion) a lack of understanding of the Bible. The reason why I write all these essays about seemingly obscure topics is that I want everybody to know the truth of salvation through Christ, and to educate others, so that they will not be deceived by the men and women who distort the Word of God. Paul makes things very clear when he tells us that we have already received the Gospel, and that anybody who claims to have a new gospel is to be accursed by God. The phrase “accursed by God” is another way of saying the term “anathema”.

Now that we have gone over the relevant Scripture, let us take a look at the three aforementioned examples of false teachings.

  1. Joseph Smith

I own a copy of the Book of Mormon, and I have done quite a bit of research about the topic. The cover of the book has, written in capital letters: “ANOTHER TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST”. This is not an old copy of the Book of Mormon, it is a recent printing of the book, and it includes the logo of the modern version of the Mormon Church, known as “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. For the sake of brevity, I will refer henceforth to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as “LDS”. The LDS believe that Joseph Smith Jr. had been visited by an angel named Moroni, who had revealed the location of golden plates to Joseph. These golden plates, according to Joseph Smith, were written in “reformed Egyptian”, and were used as the basis for the Book of Mormon. It is worth mentioning that there is no historical evidence to suggest that there ever was such a language as “reformed Egyptian”, but that is the language that was used on the golden plates, so make of that what you will. I would love to get into more of the teaching of the LDS, but, as with many other topics I have mentioned, I want to discuss Mormonism in more depth, in a separate essay. Let us compare Joseph Smith’s claims to what we read from Galatians 1:

  • Galatians tells us that the gospel we have received is the only gospel.

  • Joseph Smith Jr. claimed to have received another gospel, from an angel.

  • Galatians also tells us that, even if an “angel of heaven” were to present us with a gospel that is contrary to one we have already received, “let him be accursed”.

In short, the teachings of Joseph Smith are contrary to what the Bible tells us, so we know that Mormonism is a false doctrine.

  1. The Jehovah’s Witnesses

Next, let us take a quick look at the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The teachings of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society are very complicated, they change frequently, and the beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses undergo a drastic change whenever the leaders of the group change. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Watch Tower group is the only legitimate source for sound Biblical doctrine. Therefore, when the Watch Tower tells its members that Jesus is not God, or that Jesus is actually Michael the Archangel, or that there is no such thing as the Holy Spirit, the Jehovah’s Witnesses accept what they are told. After all, if God chose the Watch Tower to be the “faithful and discreet slave” (a claim that they make, based on a misunderstanding of the “Parable of the Faithful Servant”), whatever they claim to be the truth must be the truth, right? As with the LDS, when anybody claims to have a new gospel, a new revelation, or some new interpretation that would contradict the Bible, we can conclude that that person is a deceiver.

  1. Brian Simmons

Last, but certainly not least, I would like to mention the lesser known false-teachers. The main example I will use in this section is a man named Brian Simmons. Simmons is known for being the lead translator behind The Passion Translation. I am sure that I will receive some criticism for the position I am taking here, but I am willing to defend my position with Scripture. Believe me, I have many essays about this man planned, as there are many things that he claims that contradict the teaching of Scripture.

The most notable example of Brian Simmons presenting a new version of the Gospel can be found on a podcast appearance that he did a few years ago. On an episode of Sozo Talk Radio, Brian Simmons claimed that he had been taken up into Heaven, that he had been taken to a library, and that he was shown two books. The first book is something that he claims he cannot discuss (I suppose God had him sign an NDA), but the second book is something he is excited to share with others. Brian Simmons claimed that he had seen the text of John 22. You may be asking, “Daniel, doesn’t John end with chapter 21?” Why, yes, yes it does. Simmons claims that, not only does he have a new chapter to add to the Bible, he has a chapter to add onto the most widely-known of the four Gospels. Such a claim sounds like a parody or something, but I am being completely serious. I will include a link to the podcast episode.

Some other notable claims of Brian Simmons include:

  • “Everything that was said about Christ can be said about you.”

  • While talking about the version of the book of Revelation that would be included in The Passion Translation, Simmons claimed that he had been given the meaning of the book, and that those who think they have read the book of Revelation already “haven’t got it [the book] yet”.

  • God has given him the key to understanding the book of Proverbs.

  • Jesus visited him and touched his forehead, telling Simmons, “I have increased your capacity to know Me.” This claim was verified by an unknown expert in the field of brain-study or something, who told Simmons that, if Jesus had touched the part of his forehead that Brian claimed He did, then Brian’s knowledge would have been expanded greatly. I am unsure as to what difference it would make where Jesus touched his forehead, considering that Jesus is God, and He could do whatever He wants to.

  • This whole sermon is wild.

  • That Jesus let Brian Simmons have two books from the heavenly library checked-out at a time. This entire video makes my teeth itch.

  • The Song of Solomon is actually about Jesus and the church, despite the verses describing the breasts of the bride, as well as her neck, her eyes, and the way her thighs look. If you read Song of Solomon, in The Passion Translation, on the YouVersion Bible application, you will notice that there is red-lettering in the Old Testament.

  • Proverbs 31 is also about Christ and the church.

  • The New Testament was actually written in Aramaic, despite all the earliest manuscripts being written in Greek, and the fact that there is no respected scholar of the Bible who will vouch for Simmons’ claim.

I could go on and on about Simmons (believe me, I will), but I think I have said enough. We look at what he says, we examine the Scripture, and we can reject the claims of Simmons’. He is a false-teacher, and his translation is not something I would recommend, nor would I sell if I owned a bookstore. I treat The Passion Translation in the same way I treat the New World Translation, or the Joseph Smith Translation. There are good Bible translations, bad Bible translations, and then there are the intentionally perverted versions of the Bible, such as the version that Simmons has created. I say “created” because that is exactly what he did. I would like to believe that Brian Simmons genuinely loves Christ, but I am not sure that he knows Him. Simmons definitely loves the Christ He portrays in his “translation”. 

If you want to listen to the podcast with Brian Simmons, click here.

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