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Open Canon

Many doctrines or beliefs follow the premise that God no longer speaks today, and that following the final words in the Book of Revelation, there was to be no more scripture added.  These assumptions comes from two misunderstandings.  First, that the words "this book" found in Revelation, chapter twenty-two, refer to the Bible as a whole and not simply the Book of Revelation, and second, a lack of understanding concerning the formation of the Bible.

When John wrote the Book of Revelation, the Bible as we know it today did not exist.  In fact, the scriptures as a whole were loosely comprised of several books or letters, including Revelation. However, the number of writings that the early Church considered to be scripture varied not only through the years, but by scholars as well.  The same is also true for the Old Testament.  It was not until 200 B.C. that the various scrolls were actually collected into three separate scrolls or into a single scroll.  From there, the number of writings included as scripture from God varied greatly until 400 AD.  Of course, if the verses from Revelation and Deuteronomy, which are presented in the section below, were to be applied to the whole Bible, we would not have much left.

The following graphs depict the formation of both the Old and New Testament through the centuries.  The Old Testament today is divided into three main divisions, namely the Pentateuch [Gen, Exo, Lev, Num, Deut], the Prophets [Josh, Jud, Ruth, 1 & 2 Sam, 1 & 2 Kings, Isa, Jer, Lam, Eze, Hos, Joel, Amos, Oba, Jon, Mic, Nah, Hab, Zep, Hag, Zech, Mal], and the Hagiographa, which means the writings [Ezra, Neh, Job, Psa, Dan, 1 & 2 Chr, Pro, Est, Ecc, Songs of Solomon].  However, during the years not only were other books accepted, but the Bible itself references 14 books that we do not have in the Old Testament today, and 2 letters that we do not have in the New Testament.  And with the formation of the Vulgate Bible in 400 AD, at least 6 other books that we know of were excluded from the New Testament.

In conclusion, the Bible we have today is not the only word of God ever written, simply it is a book comprised of various writings that men deemed at one time were worthy to be considered scripture.  For almost 400 years after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Church had an open canon of scripture.  The brethren would add new revelations from God to existing scriptures just as the Israelites did long ago during the time of the writing of the Law and the Prophets.

Though many still view the canon as closed today, we believe that God revealed other scriptures to the world in 1827 which had been hidden in the earth for almost 1,400 years.  In 1827, the canon of scripture was opened once more when God revealed these Scriptures from the ancient inhabitants of the Americas to a young man who translated them into English by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Scriptures to Consider

Revelation 22:18-20 (KJV)

18 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: 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. 20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Deuteronomy 4:1-2 (KJV)

1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. 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.

2 Timothy 3:14-17 (KJV)

3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

John 21:25 (KJV)

25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen

Principles to Consider

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Falling Away

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first,"

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Open Canon of Scripture

How did we get the Bible that we have today? Is the canon open today?

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Restored Gospel

"Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder:"

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Warning Voice

"What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops."

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Eternal Life

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

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Why the Restored Gospel?

"For behold, this life is a time to prepare to meet God..."

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