“The Bible says you can’t change anything in it!”
Misquote: “The Bible says you can’t add to or take away . . .”
Like in my last misquote (“In Jesus’ Name”), this misquote is really more of an annoying misunderstanding than anything. Here’s the misused biblical reference:
I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. —Revelation 22:18-19.
This is the only place in the Bible you’ll find such a warning. And, it pertains to a very specific message given directly from God through Jesus to the Church at large. This makes sense, as it’s the only such direct admonishment from God through our Christ to us. We MUST NOT alter the message!
Having said that, I don’t think I’d want to be responsible for changing the intent of any of the writings of the prophets or Moses in the Torah or the apostles in our New Testament!
Here’s a great rule of thumb: always do your due diligence to understand a biblical writer’s intended message and not interpret it for personal significance or bend it to address a particular situation. In other words, avoid: “this is what it means to me . . .”
“There’s only ONE meaning, but many possible applications . . .”
For more information regarding the return of our Christ and our ‘marriage’ to Him, and of the end of our world as we know it, please consider studying my very comprehensive guide “Finding the End of the World”. You’ll easily find it in paper and electronic format at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and www.ronbraley.com.
Next week, we’ll look at more great examples of personal interpretation and bad hermeneutics as we continue to explore common misquotes and abuses of Scripture. The next topic: “Judging Others”