Are There More Scriptures Than the Bible?

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Image by Clarisse Meyer. Adapted for Redemption of Humanity. Used under licence.

Last edited on 12/Dec/2020

Introduction

No. There are no more Scriptures, i.e. sacred or divinely-inspired texts, than the Holy Bible. The Bible as we have it, which consists of the 66 books of the Old and New Testament, is the perfect and complete Word of God (2 Timothy 3:15–17; Deuteronomy 4:2), and Christians have always believed this. This is in contrast to the Mormon cult,¹ the Unification Church cult, the Christian Science cult, and several other cult groups, which each have their own “Scriptures” in addition to the Bible. There are several fundamental reasons for why Christians have always rejected additional “Scriptures” and always will.

The Only Revelation to Come Is Jesus’ Second Coming

Firstly, while the Old Testament is clearly open to more spiritual revelation with its predictions of the Messiah’s coming, which the New Testament fulfils with Jesus Christ’s coming and deeds, the only spiritual revelation that is yet to come according to the New Testament is Jesus’ second coming, which will happen at the end of the world (John 6:40; James 5:7–8). The New Testament says that Jesus Christ will come again on the last day to bring his saints into his heavenly kingdom and judge all people in the world:

But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgement, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:26b–28, ESVUK)

Nowhere does Scripture even hint at the idea that there will be new spiritual revelations or Scriptures revealed between Jesus’ earthly ministry and his second coming. In addition, notice that the passage says that Christ “appeared once for all at the end of the ages” and that he will “appear a second time” publicly in order to save all Christians. This clearly means that Jesus will not appear secretly to give new revelations to certain people between now and his second appearance/coming, as some so-called additional revelations and Scriptures claim, otherwise the Word of God is made void, and his second appearance will not actually be his “second” appearance.

Jesus’ Works for Our Salvation Are Perfect and Complete

Secondly, the New Testament is the fulfilment of the Old Testament because in it we see that Jesus fulfiled the Messianic prophecies and the entire Old Testament Law (Luke 24:44–47), and did everything that was necessary for our salvation on our behalf: he lived a sinless life, died for our sins on the cross, and rose again from the dead (1 Peter 2:21–24; 1 Corinthians 15:1–4). Jesus himself declared that his saving works were complete just before he died on the cross and after he had risen from death:

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30, ESVUK)

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (Luke 24:45–47, ESVUK)

Therefore, when certain people speak about “new” revelations and “additional” Sacred Scriptures, Christians rightly question: “What could you possibly add to Christ’s already perfect and complete works?” Were Christ’s works and teachings not enough? Were they incomplete and therefore not perfect? Note that according to Hebrews 12:1–2, Jesus is the “perfector of our faith”. Furthermore, what greater message or good news can you give people other than the assurance of salvation, eternal life, and the forgiveness of sins (1 John 5:13), as a free gift of God’s grace (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8–9), received through faith in Jesus Christ?

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:14–15, ESVUK)

In the same way that having a “New” Testament implies having better revelations than an “Old” Testament (Hebrews 8:6), when people say that there are “new” Scriptures, hence new revelations other than the Bible, they are implying that there are better revelations than Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection for our salvation, and God’s free gift of eternal life given to all who believe in Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10–12), which is blasphemous.

Having Additional Scriptures Exalts Humans and Their Works Over Christ

Thirdly, in light of what has been mentioned above, having additional Scriptures, hence better revelations than Jesus Christ, his righteousness, death on the cross, and resurrection for our salvation, denigrates Christ, and takes the focus away from the gospel of salvation in Jesus and places it on humans and their “righteousness” and works instead. This is exactly what Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon cult and author of the Book of Mormon, did when he infamously said:

I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. — Joseph Smith (History of the Church, vol. 6, pp 408–409) ²

Notice how according to this quote, Joseph Smith has become the key figure in keeping the true church together rather than Jesus Christ (In contradiction to Matthew 16:18). Again, this example shows that having prophets who deliver additional Scriptures and revelations shifts the focus away from Jesus Christ, his perfect merits, and his saving grace, to whichever “prophet” has delivered the new Scriptures. After all, had these “prophets” not come and delivered the new Scriptures, the church would have “remained in apostasy”, as the claim often goes.

Bible Passages—the Faith Has Been Delivered Once for All

Fourthly, there are Bible passages within the New Testament itself which indicate that the content of faith which the Christians received 2,000 years ago is complete. For example, the apostle Jude starts his letter in the following way:

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 3, ESVUK)

The passage is clear: the Christian faith was delivered once for all 2,000 years ago to Jesus’ earliest disciples. A faith that is still expecting additional Scriptures and revelations which are not mentioned in the current Scriptures is not “once for all” delivered. In addition, in the first chapter of Galatians Paul says:

But even if we or an angel from 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. (Galatians 1:8–9, ESVUK)

Here, we clearly see that 2,000 years ago the Christians had already “received” the Gospel—the central message of salvation in Christianity—from Paul (See: 1 Corinthians 15:1–4). A faith that is still expecting a greater revelation of the Gospel is not a faith that has already received the Gospel. For anyone to say that the Gospel was lost after the Church supposedly fell into apostasy, and that their Scriptures teach the true Gospel, they are denying Christ’s promise that the “gates of hell” will not prevail against the Church (Matthew 16:18), and are preaching a false Gospel according to Paul.

The Bible Alone—God’s Word—Determines Truth from Falsehood

Fifthly, we are to use the Bible, God’s Word, as the golden and ultimate standard for discerning truth from falsehood. Jesus warned us:

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:23–24, ESVUK)

As Christians, we should heed Jesus’ warning seriously and be on the lookout for false prophets. With that being said, the Bible teaches us not to be paranoid and always despise prophecies, but rather to test them all (1 Thessalonians 5:20–21). The way in which we do this, according to Scripture, is by testing them against the Word of God, the Bible:

The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:10–11, ESVUK)

Notice how Scripture calls the Berean Jews above noble because they tested even the apostle Paul’s words against the testimony of the Bible; therefore, we should do the same in all matters concerning doctrine (See also: 1 Corinthians 4:6). It is true that the Holy Spirit teaches and guides Christians throughout their lives, and thus provides us with spiritual insight or revelation, but notice how he does it according to the Bible: by reminding us of Jesus’ words (John 14:25–26). He points us back to the Bible, the Word of Christ (Romans 10:17), not to new revelations or Scriptures.

The Bible, therefore, is the ultimate and final standard for all matters concerning doctrine. This, therefore, rules out all other “Scriptures”, which seek to undermine the Bible’s authority through promoting unbiblical teachings and placing themselves above the Bible, such as the Book of Mormon, which, according to Joseph Smith, is the most correct book on earth.³

Conclusion

There are no Scriptures, i.e. sacred or divinely-inspired texts, other than the Bible, which is the perfect and complete Word of God. Christians believe this because:

  1. New Testament revelation teaches us that the only revelation that is left to come is Jesus’ return to judge the world.
  2. The Bible teaches that Jesus’ works for our salvation are perfect and complete; furthermore, there is no greater revelation than the salvation that Christians have in Jesus Christ.
  3. Having additional “Scriptures” and “revelations” takes the focus away from Jesus and his saving grace and puts it on human “prophets” and their works instead.
  4. The Bible indicates that the content of the faith which the Christians received 2,000 years ago is complete and that the Gospel will not be lost at some point.
  5. The Bible teaches that it is the ultimate authority by which we are to judge all things pertaining to doctrine, since it is God’s Word, and all other supposed “Scriptures” undermine the Bible’s authority by elevating themselves above the Bible and then teaching contrary things.

Notes

1. A cult, in this article, refers to a group with unorthodox or heretical teachings which distinguish it from mainstream Christianity, or whichever religion the cult is based on.

Reference List

2. Slick, M, Joseph Smith boasted that he did more than Jesus to keep a church together., CARM.org, viewed 5/Nov/2020. https://carm.org/mormonism/joseph-smith-boasted.

3. Wise, R 1994, Mormon Beliefs About the Bible and Salvation – Attacking Salvation through Christ’s Grace, Probe Ministries, viewed 7/Nov/2020. https://probe.org/mormon-beliefs-about-the-bible-and-salvation/.

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