The one that was always thrown at us are some of the very last verses in the Bible, Revelation 22:18-19 which says:
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.
So it seems to say that if anyone tries to add to the bible, or add more scripture then God will smite such people with plagues and whatnot, implying that there can be no other scripture.
This is wrong considering a few things:
1. When John wrote that, there was no bible. "This Book" does not refer to the whole bible, but only to the Book Of Revelation. Because there was no Bible, the Bible as we know did not exist until around 300-400 AD. Before then all of the books of the bible were floating around in circulation. Revelation is guessed to have been written anywhere from 60-100 AD and it was just one of many texts that the early Chrisitans had. It wasn't until about 400 AD that some people got together and decided what was canon and what wasn't canon, they basically voted on what should go into the bible. And that's how we got the Bible.
2. John's other book in the Bible, the Gospel of John, is thought to have been written from 90-100 AD. Indicating that it was perhaps written after the Book Of Revelation. Which may be very well true, as the greek in the gospel of John is a lot smoother, more polished, whereas the greek of Revelation seems to be far more "primitive" full of grammatical errors and whatnot. Of course we don't have the original copies so we can only speculate. But there's a lot of evidence for the Gospel of John being written after Revelations. Thus if we were to go with the common Christian assertion that you can't add to the bible, John just added to the bible.
3. It says that if any man should take away from the book again he would be similarly cursed. Well if this were to mean the whole bible then a lot of people have been smitten indeed for there are at least 18 books, that are mentioned in the bible, but aren't there. The Book of Jasher, the Book of the Wars of the Lord, the Book of Nathan, etc. There are lot of books missing from the bible. A clear indication that the book isn't a perfect impervious monolith containing all we need to know about God and his gospel. Though I suppose one could argue that God didn't intend to have all of that info and it was his will that such books should be held from us.
4. Here's the crusher, this is the best one to combat this false doctrine of there cannot be more scripture. Deuteronomy 4:2 says the following:
This is the one that would make people very angry and red faced. This is the ultimate ownage right here. Even the most conservative biblically based believer knows that Deuteronomy was written by Moses, and that Moses lived a looonnnggg time before John. So should one conclude that you can't add more scripture based on Rev. 22: 18-19, then by this same reasoning everything written after Deu. 4:2 is a frivolous addition to scripture and whoever wrote all of that is deserving of plagues indeed. Thereby making pretty much all of the bible false and only the first 5 books of the bible correct.
Pretty faulty logic if you ask me. The obvious conclusion here is that Rev. 22: 18-19 and Deu. 4: 2 refer only to their respective books and not to the bible as a whole. Thus the bible does not say that there cannot be other scripture outside of itself.
Ah, I was hoping someone would bring this up. We've got doctrines that cover this issue too
Firstly if you believe in a divine all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect being, naturally this being would be perfectly just, a perfect sense of justice. Know surely a just god would not consign those ignorant of him to an endless torment.
In my church we've got at least two doctrines to cover this:
1. God grants salvation to those who 'would' have accepted him and his gospel during their mortal life. This would only make sense if one believes that god knows all, and would be the only being capable of unbiased judging, as he would know everything about us, our thoughts, desires, actions, etc.
2. The way he does that is through what we call 'Vicarious Ordinances for the dead'. It says many many times in the scriptures that you have to be baptized to be saved. It's a requirement, we believe that wholeheartedly. So if baptism is a necessary requirement for salvation (also I might add that baptisms that are performed with the proper authority, which is a huge discussion in itself, basically it means being baptized in any church doesn't count, its gotta be the right one). So then what all of the billions of people that never got a chance to be baptized? Well we believe someone has got to do it for them. We call them 'Baptisms For the Dead'. Note that its baptisms for the dead, not baptisms of the dead, lest you conjure up in your minds a weird image of people digging up graves and baptizing corpses, (as I did when I was kid and was first taught the principle). Basically its this: My great great grandfather was never baptized so we've got this special ordinance where I could be baptized in his place, and thus he would have the requirement checked off for him. Which is why our church is obsessed with collecting genealogical information. Looking up names and dates of deceased ancestors going back hundreds of years. We pour over records from all over the world as far back as we can find. I think for my own family it goes back to 17th century Wales and Scotland, we've not yet found any family records older than that. In fact I think our church has the world's largest genealogical research center in the world here in Utah, and all, regardless of faith or belief can come and access the records we've amassed to find out about their family history for free. You can do it online for free as well. It's pretty neat.
Though that brings up another element of what we believe about the after life. What I stated in my earlier post is only half of the picture. We believe that there's a space in between heaven and mortality. We call it the 'Spirit World', it's neither heaven nor hell nor here in the physical world. The closest mainstream Christian doctrine that you all might be familiar with is that of purgatory. We believe that once you die your spirit leaves your body and goes to this spirit world. In this world there are two divisions, a paradise and a prison. Those who go to paradise were those who believed in God, were good people, were baptized with the correct authority, and continued being faithful church members throughout their lives. Those who go to prison are those who didn't do so well or who didn't even know about God or Jesus or any of that stuff. Now this might seem unfair at first. But firstly the prison isn't a torture chamber, no flames and no suffering for your sins. For those who were actually bad, and knew it, they might be rather uncomfortable up there, having to dwell on their not so stellar performance and un-repented of mistakes. The people in paradise don't sit around and chill, they go over to the prison side and teach those who never had a chance to hear the gospel while they were alive. Now these people, after they've been taught simply await someone on earth, someone alive, to be baptized for them, when that happens they get to switch over to the paradise side. They stay up there until the end of the world and the 2nd coming and all of that stuff, then comes the resurrection, then the final judgement, then the placing of everyone into their proper place into the graded heaven that I talked about earlier.
So we believe that there are all of these people up there waiting for us to find their info and get baptized for them. That's why we work so feverishly in this genealogical stuff. Now there are people who's records we will likely never find, think of all the people who've died without reading and writing who didn't keep written records, or who's records have been lost from history. Well that's where #1 comes in. God will make up for those who's info we couldn't find. Nevertheless he expects us to do our best to get as many as we can. Also we believe that during the Millennium, (the 1000 year period after the end of the world but before the judgement and all that) there's gonna be some neat new information and tools available for us to find info for those who we couldn't previously.
So in that sense everyone's covered. Everyone's got an equal chance at salvation, wether you've heard of God or not.