What Does It Mean to Add to or Take Away from God’s Word?

What Does It Mean to Add to or Take Away from God’s Word? BY Adriel Sanchez for Core Christianity

The book of Revelation says that anybody who adds or subtracts from the word of God will be punished. How does that work for the Catholic Church and the Mormon church that have added things to the word of God? The Mormons have the Book of Mormon and the Catholic Church has four or five books that aren’t in the Bible, but they’re still thriving after all these years.

The thriving of a particular organization or church isn’t evidence that what they’re teaching is true. There have been all sorts of movements over the last 2,000 years that have thrived for a period of time. Even today, things like the prosperity gospel seem to be growing like wildfire in various parts of the world. Does that mean that it’s true? Does mean that it has God’s blessing? No, it just means that it’s a deception that a lot of people are falling for.

This idea of adding and taking away from the word of God comes from the end of the book of Revelation: “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city” (Rev. 22:18–19).

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The Roman Catholic Church includes in their canon of Scripture a number of books which we sometimes refer to as deuterocanonical or apocryphal books. They’re books that were written during those 400 silent years between the Old and New Testaments. I’d distinguish that from what the Mormon church does. The Mormon church essentially says, “Well, we have another revelation of Jesus Christ—another gospel altogether.” It’s a false gospel. And so I would distinguish a bit. I don’t agree with the inclusion of the Roman Catholic Church’s inclusion of the apocryphal books, but I think that we want to differentiate.

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