How Do You ‘Add’ to God’s Words?
By David W. Daniels
A recent reader of my book, Look What’s Missing, wrote with a question about the other half of the formula: “What’s been added?” We could simply say that adding to and taking away from His words are pretty self-explanatory: If we take away His words, then there are less words. If we add to His words, there are more words.
But if we change His words, there are two things going on: 1) God’s words were removed; 2) man’s words were added. So, when the Bible says the way is “narrow” that leads to life, in Matthew 7:14, those are God’s words. When the New King James, for instance, changes “narrow” to “difficult,” two things have happened. God’s clear word “narrow” was removed. Man’s opinion, “difficult,” was added.
And the doctrine is changed. Now the way to life is “difficult,” according to the NKJV, the Common English Bible, the Holman Christian Standard, the NET Bible, the New Living Translation, and the Revised Patriarchal Greek Orthodox New Testament, (“hard” in the ESV, Catholic New Jerusalem Bible, New Revised Standard, and the RSV; “full of trouble” in God’s Word to the Nations).
Can you think of any reason why taking away “narrow” and adding “difficult” could cause any trouble for someone seeking salvation?
What about Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30? “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Or Mark 10:13-16? “And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”
Is Jesus making it easy or difficult to come to Him, the Way, the Truth and the Life? (John 14:6)
The way is narrow. There’s only one way to heaven, and people only go to heaven one at a time. But that’s nothing like someone making it difficult to enter heaven. There’s a big difference between passing through a turnstile and climbing over a roadblock.
Truly, it is very dangerous to add man’s words. As He, Himself, inspired these words: Proverbs 30:5-6: “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”