Q&A: Will there ever be new Scriptures?

Will there ever be new Scriptures?

Question

Are there going to be any new Scriptures? Is God capable of producing any new books of Scripture?

Answer

While God is certainly more than capable of inspiring as many books as he desires, I find it doubtful and unnecessary that he will inspire any others to be written. I say this for two primary reasons: (1) The Scriptures we have are sufficient in and of themselves. (2) God has revealed in our present Scriptures that there would be no new revelation. (Please see the Westminster Confession of Faith chapter 1.6.)

As to the first reason, we may look at 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Here we observe that God has not failed in any way with the Scriptures he has already given us. Paul offers two reasons why. First, the sixty-six books that we have are sufficient to make us "complete." In other words, there is nothing lacking. There is nothing else needed. Second, what he has already given us is sufficient to equip us "for every good work." Therefore, we already have the true and only gospel that we need, and there is no need for any another (cf. Gal. 1:6-9). (Please see "Does "all Scripture" in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 mean both testaments?" below.)

As to the second reason, we may look at Revelation 22:18-19:

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

Most Christians consider the book of Revelation to be the last book of the Bible that was written. While some think that John's words only apply to the book of Revelation itself, others like myself believe John, through the Spirit, is speaking of all of Scripture (cf. Deut. 4:2; 12:32). After all, the plagues mentioned in the book of Revelation have their foundation in the Old Testament. [1] However, the main point here is that John specifically states that we should not "add" or "take away" from Scripture.

And notice what Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:3-5:

How the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.

Paul says the mystery of Christ has already been revealed to holy apostles and prophets. Moreover, Peter speaks of these two sources of revelation — the prophets and the apostles — in 2 Peter 3:2 (cf. Eph. 2:19-22).

Since it's already been revealed, there's no need of further revelation. So, since divine revelation comes through the prophets and the apostles, and their spirits are already in heaven, then there can be no more revelation. Moreover, the disclosure of the mystery of Christ has already accomplished. What's complete is complete and there isn't a need of anything else.

Even if God wanted to add more to Scripture (he is God and can do as he pleases), he wouldn't contradict what he has already divinely inspired. So that begs the question, why would he?

Note

[1] Running parallel with the seven seals (Rev. 6:1-8:5), seven trumpets (Rev. 8:6-11:19), and seven signs of eschatological combat (Rev. 12:1-15:4) are the seven bowls of judgment (Rev. 15:5-16:21). There are similarities between the trumpet and bowl judgments. Moreover, there are similarities between the Exodus plagues and those found in the Book of Revelation. For instance, (1) the water becomes blood (Exod. 7:20; Rev. 8:8-9; 11:6; 16:3-6); (2) frogs (Exod. 8:6; Rev. 16:13); (3) flies (Exod. 8:24; Rev. 11:6); (4) lice (Exod. 9:6; Rev. 11:6); (5) food source (Exod. 9:6; Rev. 8:9); (6) boils (Exod. 9:10; Rev. 16:2); (7) hail (Exod. 9:23; Rev. 8:7; 16:21); (8) locusts (Exod. 10:13; Rev. 9:3); (9) darkness (Exod. 10:22; Rev. 8:12; 9:2; 16:10 ); (10) the death of the first born (Exod. 12:29) - the first born of Adam and Eve was Cain (Gen. 4:1) representing all the reprobate of the world in eternal torment (Rev. 20:11-15).

Related Topics

Does "all Scripture" in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 mean both testaments?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).