“ADD UNTO…TAKE AWAY”
Revelation 22:17-21 – “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 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: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” These verses are a solemn warning to those who would seek to tamper and alter the Word of God. It is dire condemnation to them proclaimed in these verses if they add unto or they take away words from the Holy Scriptures. The New Testament refers to the “Book of Life” eight times (Philippians 4:3, Revelation 3:5, 13:8, 17:8, 20:12, 21:27 and 22:19). Two times it referred to as the “Lambs book of life” (Revelation 13:8 & 21:27). A similar admonition as this one in Revelation 22:18-19 is found in Deuteronomy 4:2 – “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”& 12:32 – “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” given by Moses and in Malachi 4:4 – “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” given by God Himself to close out the Old Testament.We need to first examine and review some of the changing (the adding to and taking away) of God’s word that is happening today. People were warned not to alter God’s word some 2,000 years ago in this passage in the book of Revelation. God takes His word seriously and He expects us to take His word seriously as well.
BIBLE VERSIONS? God promises to preserve His Word. This is called the Principle of Preservation. (Psalm 12:6-7 – The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.) The Bible is the verbal (every word, I Corinthians 2:13 – Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.), plenary (entirely, II Timothy 3:16 –All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:), inspired Word of God. There are over 5 thousand existing manuscripts of the New Testament. They are divided into 3 main groups: 1) Western texts– related to Rome, 2) Alexandrian texts, and 3) Syrian Texts – related to Antioch. The Syrian texts is where the vast majority of the texts come from, and this is where we get our King James Version of the Bible. There are over 64 thousand less words in the other versions of the Bible compared to the KJV.
EXAMPLE COMPARISONS OF KJV AND OTHER VERSIONS:
Luke 4:4 – And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. – KJV
Luke 4:4 – Jesus answered him, “It is written, Man does not live by bread alone. – NET – The rest of the verse is omitted. The “word of God” was left out of the Word of God! – also left out of the NIV as well.
Mark 11:26 – But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. – KJV
Mark 11:26 – Omitted from the NIV. The NIV jumps from verse 25 to verse 27. A great principle of forgiveness is left out.
Acts 3:13a – The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; – KJV
Acts 3:13a – The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. – NIV – changed Jesus from the Son of God to just a servant of God.
Acts 8:37 – And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. – KJV
Acts 8:37 – Was omitted from the NIV. The NIV jumps from verse 36 to verse 38. – By removing this verse from the NIV one may think all he needs to do is to get baptized to be saved, instead of believing with our heart in the Lord Jesus for salvation.
WHERE’S THE BLOOD?
Colossians 1:13-14 – Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: – KJV
Colossians 1:13-14 – For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – NIV – WHERES THE BLOOD?! – The most important thing in all the Bible is the blood of Christ and it was taken out of this verse!
THE NIV IN ISAIAH 14:12 SEEMS TO CALL JESUS THE DEVIL.
Isaiah 14:12 – How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! – KJV
Isaiah 14:12 – How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to earth, you who once laid low the nations! – NIV
Jesus call himself the morning star in Revelation 22:16 – “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” The “morning star” is Jesus Christ. He is the sinless Savior. Jesus did not fall from Heaven.
NO COMFORT FOR THE BROKEN HEARTED?
Luke 4:18 – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, – KJV
Luke 4:18 – “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, – NIV – “heal the brokenhearted” completely removed from the NIV.
This omission by the NIV is impossible to substantiate. There is no reason this should have been removed from the Word of God, because the passage in question is when Jesus was in the synagogue reading from Isaiah 61:1,2 which contains the phrase in question. The same phrase as found in the KJV Isaiah 61:1 – “He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted” & as found in NIV Isaiah 61:1 – “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted”
A PECULIAR PHENOMENON HAS OCCURRED TO SOME OF THESE OTHER VERSION TRANSLATORS. (Psalms 12:3 – The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things) Time Magazine had this to say about Kenneth Taylor (The Living Bible) this is from the July 1972 issue “Mysteriously half way through the paraphrase Taylor lost his voice and still speaks in a hoarse whisper. A psychiatrist who examined him suggested that the voice failure was Taylor’s psychological self-punishment for tampering with what he believed to be the Word of God.” Psalm 31:18 says “Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.” Phillip Schaff who was a collaborator on the ‘New’ Greek committee which formed the basis of the New American Standard Version also suffered from severe voice problems. His son had this to say about him “his voice so affected that he could not speak in public so as to be heard.” Finally by 1892 the power to articulate speech was gone. Proverbs 10:31b – “the froward tongue shall be cut out.” Westcott’s (of the Westcott and Hort Greek text from which all new versions are translated from) biographer cited that by 1858 “he was quite inaudible” and by 1870 “His voice reached few and was understood by still fewer”.
GODS WORD IS RELEVANT AND NEEDED FOR TODAY. HIS PRESERVED WORD FOR ENGLISH SPEAKING PEOPLE IS THE KING JAMES VERSION OF THE BIBLE – In 1611 the King James Bible translation was finished. It took 54 scholars 6 years to translate the Bible into English. That is how careful and serious they took their job. His word is an enduring word (I Peter 1:25a – But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.). His word is a living word. His word is a guiding and molding word. His word is an all powerful word (Hebrew 4:12 – For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.). The world needs God’s Word. The Christian young person needs God’s Word. The world we live in is increasingly rejecting and even mocking God and His Word. We live in a world that thinks God is old fashioned and out of style. But God’s word has the answers to all of life’s problems and difficulties. Everything we need to get through life is found in the Word of God. His Word is life. His word is truth. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.
Revelation 22:18-19 – “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: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
TREE OF LIFE, BOOK OF LIFE & LAMBS BOOK OF LIFE – There are 3 main views on this passage. We will examine each below.
TREE OF LIFE VIEW – some hold that since verse two of Revelation 22 references the “tree of life” that this “book of life” in verse 19 is just actually referring back to verse two. They believe this verse means someone’s life will be cut short because of adding to or taking from God’s word. This position is hard to defend once you look at the original Greek. The word translated at “tree” in verse two is “xulon” meaning a staff, timber, wood or tree. The word translated as “book” in verse 19 is “biblos” meaning a sheet or scroll or writing or a book.
SINGLE BOOK VIEW – meaning the “book of life” and the “Lamb’s book of life” are one in the same. This view holds that everyone’s name is written in the “book of life” at birth and if we are saved are name becomes permanent in that book. Usually Revelation 3:5 is used for this position. (Revelation 3:5 – He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.) – This view holds that verse 19 means a premature death as well. If someone adds to or takes away from God’s word their name will be removed from the “book of life” in other words their life will be taken from them possibly along with their salvation. This view seems to indicate a saved person would either never alter God’s word or that if a saved person altered God’s word they could lose their salvation. This seems to go against the promise of eternal security of the believer we find in God’s word if a saved person would alter the Bible. The Bible clearly teaches once truly saved a person is always saved. (John 10:28 – And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.)
TWO BOOK VIEW – this view holds that the “book of life” and the “Lamb’s book of life” are two different books. The major difference between the two is that the “book of life” contains all the names of all living people. The “Lamb’s book of life” contains the names of those who have received eternal life from the Lord. One’s name may be blotted out of the “book of life” but not out of the “Lambs book of life”. This view holds that Revelation 22:19 is referencing the “book of life” as in the catalogue of record of all living people; and if someone adds to or takes away from God’s word they will have a premature death. This view basically is when a person enters the world their name enters the “book of life”; when and if they call on Jesus to be saved their name is entered into the “Lamb’s book of life”. When a saved person passes away their name becomes permanent in the “book of life”. Once a person’s name is written in the “Lamb’s book of life” there is no way for it to be blotted out or removed. It is permanently and eternally in the “Lamb’s book of life”. Their entrance to heaven is therefore guaranteed. (Revelation 21:27 – And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. & Ephesians 1:13-14 – In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.)
IN CONCLUSION: The Bible warns us not to take away anything out of the Word of God. (Revelation 22:18-19 – And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.) I think this clearly shows how serious God takes his Word and the tampering with it. The Bible says we are not to add to or take away from the Word of God. Remember how there are over 64,000 less words in the other translations? Those translations the NIV and the rest have changed, altered and dramatically taken away from God’s Word. (Deuteronomy. 4:2 – Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.) The Bible instructs us to honor and reverence God’s word. The Bible warns us to not dishonor God’s Word, it warns us to not alter God’s word or we will receive plagues of some kind (loss of speech?) and our life would be shortened as a result of this grievous sin.