So you’re talking to someone and you ask them if you could give them a Book of Mormon. Immediately they jump back as if they just saw a rattlesnake. “I’m not going to read that book because the Bible says that you shouldn’t add to or take away from it. You Mormons are trying to add scripture to the Bible and are cursed for it.”
Whenever I hear this, my eyes light up like I’m standing in a batters box and someone just lobbed me a giant softball. The people that are still using this argument are referring to Revelation 22:18. (Most people don’t really know where the scripture is that they are referring to so its helpful if you know where it is so that you can open up to it for them.) The scripture says “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.
“The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, tà biblía, “the books”) is a canonical collection of texts considered sacred in Judaism and Christianity. There is no single “Bible” and many Bibles with varying contents exist.” Riches, John (2000). The Bible: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 7–8.
So… each of the books within the Bible are considered separate books. Most Bibles have 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books for a sum total of 66 total books in the Bible. None of them are in chronological order which is a very important thing to know in the context of the argument. See, most people believe that because the Book of Revelation is last, that it must have been the end of the Bible and that John the Revelator is referring to the entire Bible as we now have it. However, John had no idea when he received this revelation that his book was going to be last or that the Bible was even going to contain 66 books. Heck, most scholars believe that he wrote the Gospel According to John after he had written down the Revelation on the isle of Patmos.
The key is to review the wording of the verse. Notice “this book” in bold that pops out at you twice. “This book” is referring to the the prophecy contained within the Book of Revelation. It’s not referring to any other book in what we have today as “The Bible”. Check out Deut 4:2 “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it” and Proverbs 30:6 “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” If we are to apply the same argument from Revelation 22:18, then the entire New Testament could be considered null and void because it is “in addition” to the word of God that was already established in the Old Testament.
The Book of Mormon or latter day scripture does not add to or take away from “the prophecy” in that book, The Book of Revelation, in any way, shape, or form. Most scholars and pastors don’t even use this argument or tell it to their congregations anymore because it is so obvious and easy to explain.
God always has added His voice and additional insight to his “Word” through prophets and it would take a revelation from God to tell the world that He has closed His cannon and we can expect nothing more from Him. I am not aware of that Revelation having taken place. If you are…then comment below with where its located.