by Ernest Liu
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  • Random Sniplets
  • Systematic Study of Biblical Preservation

    Here, we will study the topic of Biblical preservation – whether we should keep it as it is without adding, subtracting, or repurposing the canon, or if there is in fact a reason to change it from its current form.

    First, let’s take a look at some religious cults that have, in fact, changed the Bible by adding, subtracting, or repurposing the Bible.

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    The Koran of the Islamic faith

    In the Bible, it clearly states that Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried, and rose three days later. This fact is recorded in all four Gospels within the Bible (books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).

    The Koran makes this claims in Sura 4:157 – “But they killed him [Christ] not nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them. They killed him not. Nay, God raised him up unto himself.”

    This is an extremely dangerous claim, because if Christ was not sacrificed, this means that none of our sins have been paid for! That means everyone must still be punished eternally in Hell. The fact that Islam is so widespread and claims that Jesus did not indeed die for our sins is sad. Plus, the Koran contradicts the Bible in many other ways… and also contradicts itself.

    References
    http://www.scripturessay.com/article.php?cat=&id=511
    http://www.godonthe.net/evidence/koran.htm
    http://www.jacksonsnyder.com/arc/2004/quran.htm

    The Council of Trent on Justification of the Catholic faith

    There are many things that were introduced in the Catholic faith. Below is a small list of additions:

    1) Catholics pray to angels and saints. No follower of God in the Bible ever prayed to angels or saints. The Bible commands to cast all our cares on God (1 Peter 5:6-7). If we pray to angels or saints, it’s basically telling God that He isn’t good enough to help us, so we turn to others.

    2) Catholics teach that we are saved by works! This is, like the teaching of the Koran, a dangerous change to the Bible. In the Bible in Ephesians 2:8-9, it says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” If you teach that people can work their way to Heaven, then it’s saying Jesus died for nothing. It’s saying we don’t need God, because we can work our way to Heaven. This is not true.

    Reference: http://www.justforcatholics.org/a14.htm

    Beliefs of other religions added to the Bible

    Mormans: They added to the Bible the belief that humans can become a god of their own. This contradicts the basic Biblical commandment in Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other gods before me.” Reference: http://www.secretsofmormons.com/mormon-beliefs.htm

    Jehova’s Witness: They added beliefs that Christ died on a stake, not a cross, that the wicked will not be punished eternally but will just disappear, that only 144,000 people will go to heaven, and a ton of other stuff. Reference: http://www.godandscience.org/cults/jwdiff.html

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    These are just a few of the thousands of examples of people coming around and adding beliefs to the Bible. We see that it has a devastating effect, where many people end up not accepting Christ as their Savior and only way to Heaven, which is clearly taught in the Bible.

    Well… how about we still add to the Bible, but only let “enlightened” individuals do so? That makes things complicated – who gets to decide who is enlightened? Who says that all these other people mentioned above weren’t “enlightened?” Yet, all of their writings contradict each other, the Bible, and itself!

    John MacArthur, Francis Chan, CJ Mahaney, Albert Mohler, and Joshua Harris – Most genuine Christians in the world believe that these five people are very well “enlightened,” because they read the Bible every day, study it every day, and live what’s taught in it as God’s word. If you asked any one of these five people if they would add anything to the Bible, they would absolutely say no. They would claim that the Bible is complete, and would point you to Revelation 22:18-19, “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, which are described in this book.” These words were a direct revelation from God and penned by John. If anyone denies these words, they deny God’s authority, a serious offense to God.

    JK Rowling has finished her Harry Potter series. It doesn’t matter if anyone else adds to it – only Rowling’s original story is true to her creation. But this is only fiction. Let’s talk about real life.

    In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, it states, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” In the Revelation verse, God warned against those who add or subtract from the Bible, stating that it is finished. It doesn’t matter if anyone else wants to add to it – only God’s original word is true. And this is real life, so it is even more serious!

    Reference: http://www.bible.ca/b-science-evidences.htm

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    But let’s ignore that verse from Revelation for now and assume we can still add to the Bible. As seen above, adding new beliefs is too dangerous, as everyone has different beliefs. What if we add historical events to the Bible and treat the Bible as a history book? Well, God’s intent for the Bible was not for it to be a history book… but let’s do it anyways!

    Let’s add World War II to the Bible, because everyone agrees it was bad. Let’s add that dropping a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima was VERY bad, because it instantly killed many people.

    But wait… is it necessarily bad that the nuke was dropped? It stopped the war. If the bomb was never dropped and the war continued, even more people would have died! Also, they would have to die a longer, more painful death. The bomb was a painless death for many people. Who says that dropping the bomb, which stopped the war and stopped a lot of suffering, was bad?

    Who gets to make the ultimate decision on what is good and what is bad? Do humans get to make that decision? Humans make mistakes all the time, so humans should not get to decide what is right and what is wrong. However, an all-knowing, all-powerful God can decide what is right and what is wrong. No one else.

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    Okay… what if we just add new laws that will be good for everyone? Such as wearing a condom when having sex outside of marriage.

    Well, Exodus 20:14 commands, “You shall not commit adultery.” Following that command prevents unfaithfulness to your wife, prevents sexually transmitted diseases, prevents dishonesty, and so forth. It is a simple commandment that covers many other things. Thus, adding “You should wear a condom when having sex outside of marriage” does nothing. If anything, it encourages individuals to be unfaithful to their husbands and wives, telling them to go ahead as long as they have a condom.

    How about we add a commandment that tells us not to have war? And we can even add in wars from history!

    In Exodus 20:13, we are commanded, “You shall not murder.” In Matthew 22:39, Jesus speaks, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” These commandments are easy to understand, and cover much more than “You shall not have war.” If a man loves his neighbors like he loves himself, then he will not cheat, lie, steal, kill, or anything else he wouldn’t want others to do to him.

    The fact of the matter is that if everyone in the world followed all of God’s commandments, the world would be perfect. It doesn’t matter if it is the year 2011 or 3011. It doesn’t matter if society changes and people start to believe in different things. God’s commandments are still perfect, and no human moral or belief can trump it. God is by definition holy, perfect, and righteous, and no human can come close.

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    Various examples here show that adding, subtracting, or repurposing the Bible does not make it better. If anything, we have been shown that it only gets worse if you try to do it. The most moral, God-loving Christians in the world are ones who stay true to the Bible.

    It is important that we preserve the Bible just how it is. God has told us that it is completed, and it only remains perfect as long as God is the only author.

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