Exegetical and Hermeneutical Commentary of Revelation 22:18

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:

The final Testimony of the Seer and his Benediction, Rev 22:18-21

18. For I testify ] Omit “for.”

If any man shall add &c.] Deu 4:2; Deu 12:32. The parallel of those passages proves, that the curse denounced is on those who interpolate unauthorised doctrines in the prophecy, or who neglect essential ones; not on transcribers who might unadvisedly interpolate or omit something in the true text. The curse, if understood in the latter sense, has been remarkably ineffective, for the common text of this book is more corrupt, and the true text oftener doubtful, than in any other part of the N. T. But it may be feared that additions and omissions in the more serious sense have also been frequently made by rash interpreters. It is certain that the curse is designed to guard the integrity of this Book of the Revelation, not to close the N. T. canon. It is not even certain that this was the last written of the canonical books.

unto these things] Better simply unto them: an unemphatic pronoun being used. Though it cannot grammatically refer to “the words of the prophecy,” i.e. it no doubt does so refer ungrammatically.

Fuente: The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

For I testify – The writer does not specify who is meant by the word I in this place. The most natural construction is to refer it to the writer himself, and not to the angel, or the Saviour. The meaning is, I bear this solemn witness, or make this solemn affirmation, in conclusion. The object is to guard his book against being corrupted by any interpolation or change. It would seem not improbable, from this, that as early as the time of John, books were liable to be corrupted by additions or omissions, or that at least there was felt to be great danger that mistakes might be made by the carelessness of transcribers. Against this danger, John would guard this book in the most solemn manner. Perhaps he felt, too, that as this book would be necessarily regarded as obscure from the fact that symbols were so much used, there was great danger that changes would be made by well-meaning persons with a view to make it appear more plain.

Unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book – The word heareth seems here to be used in a very general sense. Perhaps in most cases persons would be made acquainted with the contents of the book by hearing it read in the churches; but still the spirit of the declaration must include all methods of becoming acquainted with it.

If any man shall add unto these things – With a view to furnish a more full and complete revelation; or with a profession that new truth had been communicated by inspiration. The reference here is to the book of Revelation only – for at that time the books that now constitute what we call the Bible were not collected into a single volume. This passage, therefore, should not be adduced as referring to the whole of the sacred Scriptures. Still, the principle is one that is thus applicable; for it is obvious that no one has a right to change any part of a revelation which God makes to man; to presume to add to it, or to take from it, or in any way to modify it. Compare the notes at 2Ti 3:16.

God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book – These plagues refer to the numerous methods described in this book as those in which God would bring severe judgment upon the persecutors of the church and the corrupters of religion. The meaning is, that such a person would be regarded as an enemy of his religion, and would share the fearful doom of all such enemies.

Fuente: Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Rev 22:18-19

If any man shall add unto these things.

The Divine Word, and the doom of its defacers

The perfection of Gods Word. Man may not intermeddle with it, either to add or to take away. Can man improve the works of God?–the mountains, rivers, flowers?–the blue sky, the stars, the sun? Even so is the Word of God too perfect for him to touch.

The honour God puts on it. He has magnified it, even above His works; so that he who disparages the Word of God is more guilty than he who disparages the works of God. It is the fullest expression of His mind, the completest revelation of His character.

Our responsibilities in regard to it. It is not given us for mere speculation or gratification; but for something far higher. We are responsible for the way we treat it, study it, profit by it. Its perfection makes our responsibility very great, and appeals to our consciences most powerfully.

The sin of tampering with it. Every low thought about the Bible is sin. Every attempt to touch it, either in the way of addition or subtraction, is sin.

The danger of meddling with it. The danger is exceeding great; and the punishment awarded to the intermeddlers is the declaration of the danger. God will not be mocked in this thing. (H. Bonar, D. D.)

Fuente: Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Verse 18. If any man shall add] Shall give any other meaning to these prophecies, or any other application of them than God intends, he, though not originally intended, shall have the plagues threatened in this book for his portion.

Fuente: Adam Clarke’s Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

18. For I testifyNone of ourmanuscripts have this. A, B, Vulgate, and ANDREASread, “I” emphatic in the Greek.Itestify.”

unto these thingsA, B,and ANDREAS read, “untothem.”

add . . . addjustretribution in kind.

Fuente: Jamieson, Fausset and Brown’s Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

For I testify to every man,…. These are not the words of a scribe, who having wrote out a copy of this book, added the following adjuration to it, to deter persons from adding to it, or diminishing it; for the book is not yet finished, and both Christ and John speak after this; and to insert such a passage into the text would be a bold and daring action; nor are they even the words of John, the inspired writer of it, but of the Lord Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, as appears from Re 22:16 who in a most solemn manner declares to every man, high or low, rich or poor, of whatsoever character, or however dignified, either in a civil or ecclesiastic way,

that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book read or explained,

if any man shall add unto these things. To “add” to the things contained in this book, is not to deliver, or write an exposition of it, in a modest manner, with a sincere view to give light into it, agreeably to the analogy of faith; for to expound Scripture, or to preach from it, consistent with it, is not to add unto it, but to give the sense of it; but then may it be said to be added unto, and so this book, when it is wrested and perverted, and a false gloss is put upon it, as the Pharisees did upon the law; and when unwritten traditions are made to be equal to it, or above it, as the same persons made the traditions of the elders, whereby they transgressed the law, and made the word of God of none effect, and so broke through the precept given, De 4:2 as do the Papists in like manner; and when men pretend to visions and revelations, and make them the rule of faith and practice, and to confirm things that are neither in this book, nor in any other part of the word of God; and when men interpolate it, and set up human fictitious writings upon equal authority with it; which shows the authenticity of this book, and of all the whole Scripture, and the perfection of it, whose canon is closed with it: the punishment of such a crime follows,

God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book; the things threatened to the antichristian party, Re 2:22 the seven last plagues in which the wrath of God is filled up, which will be inflicted on the same, Re 16:1, the lake of fire and brimstone, into which the beast, the false prophet, the devil, and all wicked men will be cast, Re 19:20 see Pr 30:5.

Fuente: John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

I testify ( ). Commentators disagree keenly about the words in verses Rev 22:18; Rev 22:19. Charles rejects them as an interpolation and out of harmony with the rest of the book. Beckwith takes them to be John’s own warning, drawn from De 4:2 “to every man that heareth” ( , dative of the articular present active participle of , which compare 1:3). Swete properly holds these verses to be from Jesus himself, still bearing solemn witness to this book, with warning against wilful perversion of its teachings.

If any man shall add ( ). Condition of the third class with and the second aorist active subjunctive of , with added with , as also in the conclusion (future active). This warning is directed against perversions of this book, not about the New Testament or the Bible as a whole, though it may be true there also. Surely no warning was more needed when we consider the treatment accorded the Apocalypse, so that Dr. Robert South said that the Apocalypse either found one crazy or left him so.

Fuente: Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament

1) “For I testify unto every man,” (marturo ego panti to) “I witness to everyone,” give witness or testimony to every responsible person. This “I” is the Lord Jesus Christ, himself, who testifies or certifies the following, Psa 119:160.

2) “That heareth the words of the prophecy of this book,” (akouonti tous logous tes propheteias tou bibliou toutou) “To all who hear the words of prophecy of this scroll,” this book of Revelation, in particular, and the Bible as a whole, which it complements, Rom 10:17.

3) “If any man shall add unto these things,” (ean tis epithe ep’ auta) “If anyone adds to them,” to the words of the prophecy of Revelation, he becomes in such actions a liar, Deu 4:2; Deu 12:32; Pro 30:5-6.

4) “God shall add unto him,” (epithesei ho theos ep auton) “God will add or place upon him,” such a one, a judgment for the grave sin. To add to God’s word is to mar it, to reject as true, trustworthy, and sufficient, Psa 119:160; 2Ti 3:16-17.

5) “The plagues that are written in this book,” (tas plegas tas gegrammenas en to biblio touto) “The plagues that have been recounted (announced) in this scroll; See also Psa 7:11-13; Pro 1:22-30; Pro 20:1; Rom 2:4-9; 2Th 1:7-9.

Fuente: Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Strauss Comments

Text Rev. 22:18-19

18 I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which 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 from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.

Initial Questions Rev. 22:18-19


What warning does God give us in Rev. 22:18?


What will God do to those who disobey Rev. 22:18?


Does God condemn taking away as well as adding to this word Rev. 22:19?


How severe is Gods judgment upon all adders or subtracters of His Word Rev. 22:19?

Rev. 22:18

Jesus is still speaking (see Rev. 22:16). I witness to everyone hearing the words of the prophecy of this scroll, if anyone adds to these things (auta is a neuter plural to them), God will add upon him the plagues having been written in this scroll: We must all heed Jesus warning do not tamper with the Word of God! God revealed it just as He wanted it. If He would have needed our advice, I am quite certain that He would have asked us. The emphasis in this verse was do not add (epith) to Gods revelation.

Rev. 22:19

In this verse we read the same warnings being issued to those who would subtract from the Word of God. This is such a serious matter that God imposes a very severe judgment upon the person who takes away (aphal) from the Words. What is judgment? God will take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city.

Either adding or subtracting from Gods Word are explicitly condemned. God expects us to witness to His Word neither more nor less!

Discussion Questions

See Rev. 22:20-21.

Fuente: College Press Bible Study Textbook Series

(18-19) I testify unto every man that heareth.Omit For, and read, I testify to every one that hears . . . The I is emphatic; it introduces the final warning; the revelation must not be tampered with. If any one shall have added to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if any one shall have taken away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his portion from the tree of life, and out of the holy city which are written (or printed) in this book. We may compare Deu. 4:2; Deu. 12:32. The words are a solemn protest against the spirit which handles rashly or deceitfully the word of God; which adds its own thoughts, or makes its wishes the parent of its interpretations; which dilutes the force of its warnings, or impoverishes the fulness of its promises. The right of continual access to the tree of life was the promise of Rev. 22:14; this right or freedom is forfeited by those who deal falsely or faithlessly by the words of Christ here. In a minor degree, it is true that those who leave this book unstudied and unprayed over, lose much spiritual sustenance and comfort. How much more do they lose who trifle with it, ignore its spiritual teachings, and sin against the laws of that kingdom whose progress it so vividly portrays.

Fuente: Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

18. For This word is pronounced spurious by the best authorities.

I testify Who, here, testifies? The testifieth of Rev 22:20 shows that it is Jesus.

Add unto these things With purpose to corrupt the apostolic truth. The words refer not so much to additions to the text of the manuscript, as to the adding unholy falsehood to holy truth.

God shall add unto him Remaining unrepentant.

Fuente: Whedon’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

The Final Warning.

‘I testify to every man who hears the words of the prophecy of this book that if any man shall add to them God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book, and if any man shall take 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.

Compare Deu 4:2; Deu 12:32. We cannot add to the seriousness of this warning. Such warnings were often put by apocalyptic writers who wanted their message to be taken seriously. And this writer is particularly serious. What he has written is holy revelation. it must not be altered. To add to it is a sign that that person is not of God. Thus they will not have the protection of the seal of God. To take away from the words is to lose any hope to partake of the tree of life or to enter the holy city, the New Jerusalem.

Fuente: Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

‘He who testifies these things says “Yes, I come quickly”. Amen, come Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with the people of God. Amen.’

But how appropriate that the final P.S. should be “Yes I am coming soon”. To which all His own can only reply, ‘Amen (so be it). Come Lord Jesus.’ The final sentence then reminds us that all the blessings for God’s people depend on the undeserved love and favour of God. Amen, so be it.

Excursus. The Coming Age.

When the prophets looked forward to the day when God would deliver His people they did so in terms of a coming age of peace and plenty, where there was no bloodshed even among animals (e.g. Isa 11:6-9). Men in those days thought very much in physical terms. As we have seen (see the article ” ” and , the idea of an after-life was almost unknown, rarely being thought of except by the few, and never spelt out in detail. The future of Israel was firmly linked to this earth. The Old Testament is full of such references.

Even the resurrection spoken of in Isa 26:19 gives the impression of a rising in order to enjoy the future life of blessing on earth. Any other concept would have been so revolutionary as to be meaningless to the people, for men’s minds were not tuned in to that kind of idea, and these were therefore ‘pictures’ speaking to them in earthly terms they could understand, of what was to come. But note above in Rev 22:1-5 how Ezekiel 47 is seen as fulfilled in the vision of Heaven. Note also how the coming future is spoken of in all the prophets as referring to what is ‘everlasting’ (Isa 9:6-7; Eze 37:25-28 (three times); Dan 2:44; Dan 7:14; Dan 7:27; Mic 4:7). Such ideas are especially prominent in Isaiah. He sees the future glorious Jerusalem, as having eternal connections and as being part of the everlasting kingdom (study carefully Isa 1:27; Isa 4:3-5; Isa 12:6; Isa 18:7; Isa 24:23; Isa 26:1-4; Isa 28:16; Isa 30:19; Isa 33:5; Isa 33:20; Isa 35:10; Isa 46:13; Isa 51:3; Isa 51:11; Isa 51:16; Isa 52:1; Isa 59:20; Isa 60:14; Isa 61:3; Isa 62:1; Isa 62:11; Isa 65:18-19; Isa 66:10; Isa 66:13; Isa 66:20). All this does not speak of a Millennial kingdom but of one that is everlasting.

We have seen in the Book of Revelation that this use of the Old Testament to refer to the eternal kingdom is in fact assumed time and time again (compare also, especially, Heb 11:10-14). John draws hugely on the Old Testament, as do the visions. He was describing how he saw the Old Testament promises as being fulfilled. However, some godly people do think that the Old Testament promises must be taken absolutely literally, although in our view they only do so even then by selecting out what they wish to emphasise, and ignoring the remainder. It is not something to fight over. What really matters is that these promises are the guarantee of final blessing for the people of God.

Certainly the prophets wanted to offer hope and the certainty of God’s future mercy, and they did it in vivid pictures in a way that could speak to the people at the time. But so many and vivid are the Old Testament pictures of this glorious future life on earth that some are unwilling to accept that they were just pictures of what would later be revealed as an after-life with God in Heaven, pictures of future happiness and joy, of incomparable peace, prosperity and plenty. They therefore argue that there must yet be such a kingdom on earth.

The problem is that a careful study of the different pictures makes it difficult to reconcile them, (consider for example the differing futures shown as facing Egypt and the other nations, or the different ways described of observing the feasts). This does not matter if they are physical descriptions of a heavenly reality presenting ideas rather than facts, but is vital if they are to be taken literally. But certainly they do all contain the idea of peace and plenty, and benefit for other nations as well as for Israel.

Those who take the literal view seek to read it into the passage in Rev 20:1-6 discussed above, but if they are not careful they offer only a second best. And it is a second best that most of them do not want for themselves, for they either tend to exempt themselves from it, or make provision for the ‘best’ of them to avoid it. God’s mercy does not offer second best. What is bought with the life-blood of God’s Son can surely only be the best. After that there can be nothing better.

The idea of a ‘kingdom age’ is often presented as ‘another chance’ for the half-believer. But any application of it can only result in inconsistency and a dilution of the Gospel. The ‘ideal’ conditions of a ‘kingdom age’ will not result in those who are made strong through being tried in the fire, but could only result in a false apathy and life of pretence – such is human nature! And, interestingly enough, to this most would agree. It is suggested that the millennium has partly this purpose in mind. But a kingdom age is not required to demonstrate this fact. Our lives of ease in some Western countries are sufficient to demonstrate it fully. Jesus makes clear to His listeners, as to us, that the chance is now. If we refuse it, He says, we must take the consequences we have brought on ourselves. There will be no second chance. If they will not hear Moses, neither will they believe if one rise from the dead. And we can add, neither will they believe in a Millennial kingdom.

But one thing is certain. Differences on such questions are only of secondary importance. Whatever our view it will not affect the course of God’s timetable. What is of primary importance is that we all work together in love and fellowship, looking for His glorious appearing, and seeking to be faithful servants ready for Him when He comes. We can then leave Him to do what He will.

Fuente: Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

Rev 22:18-21 . The close of the book in which the prophet has communicated to the churches the revelation given to him. Instead of the commendation, accompanied by rich promises, of the prophetical book, which stood in the beginning, [4438] there appears here likewise a threatening corresponding to its Divine authority against all who corrupt it (Rev 22:18 sq.). The prophet then once more declares, as a word of the Lord himself, the chief sum of the entire revelation, by, on his part, meeting this promise of the Lord with the believing prayer for its fulfilment (Rev 22:20 ), and then concludes with the Christian farewell greeting, corresponding to the address to the churches (Rev 1:4 ).

The threatening (Rev 22:18 sq.) has developed from the allusion in Deu 4:2 , [4439] but has been shaped ( . . , . . . , Rev 22:18 ; . . . , . . . , Rev 22:19 ), according to the standard of the preceding descriptions, the threatened “plagues” being not only those described in ch. 16, which indeed in Rev 15:1 ; Rev 15:8 , are co-ordinated as the last described in the former visions, [4440] and is marked in its righteousness by the paronomastic mode of expression (

). [4441] The threatening is presented in the most formal way, , . . ., i.e., to every one who, through the reading in the church, hears the prophetic discourses written in the present book. [4442] From this personal designation it results, at all events, that the threatening with the curse is not directed against inconsiderate transcribers; [4443] but on the other hand, Ew. i. and De Wette improperly press the expression . , when they refer the threat to the danger that what is received only with the ear in oral communication is easily falsified, and thus a distraction of Christian hope could be produced. Then the threatening must by its injustice create offence. [4444] But the come into consideration, not as mediators of the literary tradition, but as those who are to appropriate “the contents” of the prophetical book, revealed to them by God, notice that , is first said, for their own wrarning and encouragement, and are to maintain it in its purity, and to act accordingly. These fall under the curse when they arbitrarily falsify the revelation of God that has been given, because they will not approve the righteous ways of God, which are here described, [4445] and consequently call down upon themselves the wrathful judgments of God, which impend over unbelievers.

, Christ. Cf. Rev 1:2 , Rev 19:10 . With a word of the coming Lord himself, which contains the very marrow of the entire revealed testimony given to the prophet, [4446] he concludes his book, not, however, without sealing with his his believing acceptance of the Lord’s promise, [4447] and expressing his own longing for the Lord’s coming, in the sense of Rev 22:17 .

[4438] Rev 1:3 .

[4439] LXX.:

, . . .

[4440] On . ., . . ., cf. Rev 21:8 . Ewald: “Shall withdraw fellowship.”

[4441] Cf. Rev 11:18 .

[4442] Cf. Rev 1:3 . Ew., Dc Wette.

[4443] Vitr., Zll., Bleek, etc.

[4444] De Wette. Cf. also Luther, Introduction of 1522: “Besides, I think that it is entirely too much that he severely commends and threatens with respect to such a book of his own, more than other holy books, as though it were of much more Importance.”

[4445] Cf. Rev 15:3 sq., Rev 11:17 sqq.

[4446] Cf. Introduction, p. 28.

[4447] Cf. Rev 5:14 , Rev 19:4 .

The epistolary closing wish (Rev 22:21 ) corresponds to the dedication (Rev 1:4 sqq.) whence also the obtains its limitation. This is expressed incorrectly in the addition , but correctly in the . Rec., Luth.

Fuente: Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer’s New Testament Commentary


Rev 22:18-19. 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: 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.

THE voice of inspiration carrying with it the authority of Jehovah, it might be expected that persons, eager to establish particular sentiments of their own, or to draw disciples after them, would profess to have received revelations from heaven, that so they might obtain a more entire and extended influence over their adherents. To prevent such impositions under the Mosaic dispensation, God said to the whole of Israel, Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it [Note: Deu 4:12.]. In like manner, at the close of the Christian dispensation, our Lord directed his servant John to record this solemn declaration: 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: 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.

In its primary sense, this declaration seems to refer to the particular book which contains the Revelation of St. John: but, as this book completes and closes the sacred canon, I consider the warning as extending to the whole of the New Testament Scriptures; and as making known to us,


The perfection of the Scriptures

That may be considered as perfect, to which nothing can be added, and from which nothing can be withdrawn. Now the Scriptures, in this view of them, are perfect: for there is nothing in them either superfluous or defective. They are perfect,


As a revelation from God

[That they might discover to us many things which are at present either altogether hid, or but obscurely revealed, is certain; but they have made known to us all that we are concerned to know; and the secret counsels, which, if revealed, would have only administered to our pride, are better hidden from our view. Indeed, God has hidden many things on purpose, that, whilst we behold much which he alone could reveal, we may be constrained to humble ourselves before him as creatures who are altogether indebted to him for all the light they enjoy, and dependent on him for the instruction which they hope yet farther to receive. In the Holy Scriptures, Jehovah displays, as it were, before our eyes, all his glorious perfections, and opens to us his eternal purposes, especially respecting the redemption of the world by the incarnation and death of his only-begotten Son. In them too, the person, work, and offices of Christ are all set before us; and that with such plainness that we cannot err, and with such a weight of evidence that we cannot doubt.]


As a directory to us

[In this view also they are perfect: for whilst, on the one hand, there is nothing revealed for the mere purpose of gratifying our curiosity; so, on the other hand, there is nothing withheld that could in any way conduce to the welfare of our souls. Respecting the whole of spiritual life, we have all the instruction that can be desired. The manner in which that life is imparted, and carried on unto perfection, is so fully delineated, that there is nothing wanting either for our direction or encouragement. And for our behaviour towards men, there is a path marked out for us in general principles, which are applicable to every situation and circumstance in which we can be placed; and it is yet further traced out to us in examples, which serve to illustrate every virtue which we can be called to exercise. Nor have we any cause to complain that the rules were not more minute and numerous: for to have made a specific rule for every possible case would have been of no service, because the Scriptures would have been so voluminous, that a whole life of study would not have been sufficient to make us acquainted with them: but by laying down a few general principles, and embodying them in living examples, God has given us all the information that we can need. In every relation of life, whether as husbands or wives, parents or children, masters or servants, magistrates or subjects, we have rules laid down for us, from which we cannot greatly deviate, if only we implore of God the guidance of his good Spirit. Only let our eye be single, and our whole body will be full of light.]
In the prohibition to add to, or take from, the Holy Scriptures, we also behold,


Their sanctity

Nothing can exceed the strictness with which the smallest alteration of Gods blessed word is forbidden
[If we add to the inspired writings, God will lay on us all the plagues which are there denounced against sin and sinners: and, if we take from them, God will take away our part from the book of life, and never suffer us to taste any of those blessings which they hold forth in rich abundance to the upright soul. In many other places we read of specific judgments denounced against sin; but in no place are the denunciations of Gods wrath so full and comprehensive as in the passage before us. It was necessary that a fiery sword should be thus waved before our eyes, to prevent us from trespassing on that hallowed ground: and though some slight alterations might seem allowable for the purpose of accommodating the expressions of Scripture more to our own apprehensions or desires, yet will God on no account suffer us to suppress or add one single word.]
Nor is the severity of the prohibition at all more alarming than the occasion requires
[In no other way can we offer a greater insult to God, or do a greater injury to man, than by erasing what God has spoken, or by obtruding any conceits of our own under the sanction of his authority. If we presume to leave out any thing which God has revealed, what is it but an impeachment of his wisdom in revealing it? And if we presume to add any thing to his word, what is it but a denial of his goodness, in withholding from us information which he ought to have communicated? And both in the one case and the other, it is a most impious imposition upon man, whom we defraud by our concealment of the truth, or deceive by substituting our own fallible dogmas in the place of it.
When Moses made the tabernacle, this solemn injunction was repeatedly given to him; See thou make all things according to the pattern shewn to thee in the mount. And it would have been at his peril to have deviated in any respect from it; because the whole structure, together with all the furniture thereof, was typical of things which were to be more fully revealed under the Christian dispensation: and any departure from the instructions given him would have destroyed the beauty and harmony of the whole. So will it be at our peril to change or modify any part of that system which God has revealed in his word. We must take the whole simply as we have received it, and not in any respect presume to be wise above what is written.]
The prohibition to alter the Scriptures yet farther marks,


The reverence due to them

If we are not to change the word of Scripture, neither are we to elude its force. On the contrary, we are to maintain the strictest jealousy over ourselves, that we make not any portion of the inspired writings void, but that we adhere to them with the utmost possible fidelity,


In our exposition of their import

[It is perfectly surprising to see with what unhallowed boldness many will put their own construction upon Gods blessed word, denying its plainest import, and annexing to it a sense totally contrary to its most obvious meaning. To what a fearful extent this liberty has been taken by Papists is well known: but, to the shame of Protestants, I must confess, that in this guilt they also participate to a great extent. Nor do I here speak of those only who fearlessly expunge those parts of Scripture which are hostile to their views, but of those adverse parties in the Church, who, whilst they profess to reverence the whole of the inspired volume, wrest and pervert its plainest assertions, in order to maintain a system of their own. This it is that has introduced endless dissensions, divisions, and bitter animosities into the Church of Christ. Men have adopted sentiments of their own, instead of submitting to be taught of God; and then they have laboured, by forced constructions and ingenious criticisms, to make the Scriptures accord with their views. The different parties all see and condemn this disingenuousness in their adversaries, whilst yet, without remorse, they practise it themselves. In truth, so fettered are the great mass even of teachers themselves by human systems, that there are scarcely any to be found, who will dare to give to the whole of Scripture its true import, and to bring forward in their ministrations all that God has spoken in his word: and so vitiated is the taste of the generality of their hearers, that scarcely any would be found to approve of this fidelity, even if it were exercised towards them. The pious reformers of the established Church were of a different mind; they have faithfully declared to us the whole counsel of God: but amongst their degenerate children there are few who follow their example; almost all having ranged themselves as partisans of opposite and contending opinions, instead of conforming themselves simply to the declarations of Holy Writ. But I hope the time is not far distant, when all the articles of our Church will be equally esteemed, and every truth of Scripture be impartially brought forward in our public ministrations.]


In our submission to their authority

[To every part of Gods blessed word we should bow with meek submission; not regarding any doctrine as an hard saying, or doubting the truth of it because it exceeds our comprehension. We are but children; and, as children, we should receive with implicit reverence whatever has been spoken by our heavenly Instructor. And if with simplicity of mind we receive the first principles of the oracles of God, we shall have our understandings progressively enlarged, and be gradually guided into all truth. In relation to those things which we do not at present understand, we should be content to say, What I know not now, I shall know hereafter.
So likewise, in reference to the commands of God; no one of them should be considered as grievous, but all be viewed as holy, and just, and good. To explain them away, or to lower them to the standard of our own attainments is criminal in a high degree. We should have no wish but to be conformed to the mind and will of God, and to have our whole souls poured, as it were, into the mould of his Gospel. As far as respects the impiety of the act, it matters very little whether we change the words or the sense of the Holy Scriptures: in either case we greatly offend God, and entail on ourselves all the judgments that are denounced against us in the text.]


[The words immediately following my text may well serve to enforce every word that has been spoken. It is the Lord Jesus Christ himself who testifies of these things, and who, to impress them the more deeply on our minds, says, Surely I come quickly. He will come quickly: and whatever he has spoken shall surely come to pass; not one jot or tittle of it shall ever fail. We may now take away from his word, or add to it, as seemeth us good; but in that day his word shall stand; and his judgments be dispensed in perfect accordance with it. We may deceive others by our perversions of Scripture, and may even deceive ourselves: but him we cannot deceive: nor, when he shall pass sentence on us for our temerity, shall we be able to elude his vengeance. I pray you then to regard the Scriptures with the veneration that is due to them. Imagine not that they were given us for the purpose of displaying our skill in controversy; though I deny not but that we ought to combat error, and to contend earnestly for the faith delivered to the saints: but the inspired volume is holy ground: and we should put off our shoes, as it were, whenever we enter upon it, and implore help from God, that we may be enabled to receive it with meekness as an engrafted word, and find it effectual to save our souls.]

Fuente: Charles Simeon’s Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

(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.

Here is a solemn testimony, and of Christ himself, the faithful And true witness, and delivered in the most decisive manner possible that the adding to, or taking from the words of the prophecy contained in this book, shall bring on the utter ruin, and everlasting misery of any and everyone so offending. And the reason is very obvious. Christ is God’s witness, and his own. He hath delivered the whole truths necessary to salvation. He hath confirmed it in all ages, by Prophets and Apostles, by miracles and signs, and, above all, by his death, resurrection, and return to glory, and by the sending down the gifts of the Holy Ghost. And in the hearts of his people he hath given yet further confirmation, by the regenerating and quickening influence of God the Spirit. So that, attested by such evidences, for any man to call those words of Christ in question, to prevent or mutilate, to gainsay or resist, cannot but bring down the just judgment of God. Lord! give grace to thy people, to receive with meekness thy engrafted word, and to esteem it more than their necessary food.

Fuente: Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

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:

Ver. 18. If any man shall add unto these things ] Either to this or to any of the foregoing books of Scripture, Deu 4:2 ; Pro 30:6 ; Gal 3:15 ; 2Ti 3:16-17 . All which notwithstanding, the Jews have added their Deuteroseis, the Turks their Alfurta, the Papists their unwritten verities, which they equalize (at least) to the Scriptures.

Fuente: John Trapp’s Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

18 20 .] Final solemn warning of the Apostle . I (emphatic) testify to every one (or, “ of every one,” by a very common N. T. construction: see reff. for both usages) who heareth the sayings of the prophecy of this book, If any one add (aor. = futurus exactus, shall have added) to them, God shall add to him (lay upon him, as he has laid his own additions upon them: the verb being from ref. Deut., where the plagues of Egypt are threatened to the Israelites in case of their disobedience) the plagues which are written in this book: and if any one shall take away from the sayings of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his portion from the tree of life (strike out his portion from the aggregate of those of which the whole participation of that tree is made up), and [ out of ] the holy city, which are written in this book (see Deu 4:2 ; Deu 12:32 . The adding and taking away are in the application and reception in the heart: and so it is not a mere formal threat to the copier of the book, as that cited from Irenus in Eus [126] H. E. Rev 22:20 , . , . All must be received and realized. This is at least an awful warning both to those who despise and neglect this book, and to those who add to it by irrelevant and trifling interpretations).

[126] Eusebius, Bp. of Csarea, 315 320

Fuente: Henry Alford’s Greek Testament

Luther strongly objected to the extravagant threat of this editorial note. The curse is certainly not only an anti-climax like the editorial postscript in Joh 21:24-25 (both indicating that either when published or when admitted to the canon, these two scriptures needed special authentication) but “an unfortunate ending to a book whose value consists in the spirit that breathes in it, the bold faith and confident hope which it inspires, rather than in the literalness and finality of its disclosures” (Porter). But the words are really a stereotyped and vehement form of claiming a canonicity equal to that of the O.T. ( cf. Jos. Ant. xx. 11. 2, ). They are adapted from Enoch cvi. 10 f. where the author expects his book to be a comfort and joy to the righteous, but exposed to perversion and alteration: “Many sinners will pervert and alter the words of uprightness” instead of refusing to “change or minish aught from my words”. Similar threats to careless or wilful copyists especially in frenaeus (Eus. H. E. Rev 22:20 ), and Rufin. pref. to Origen’s ( cf. Nestle’s Einfhrung , 161 f.). This nervous eagerness to safeguard Christian teaching was part and parcel of the contemporary tendency to regard apostolic tradition ( cf. Rev 18:20 , Rev 21:14 , etc.) as a body of authoritative doctrine, which must not be tampered with. An almost equally severe threat occurs in Slav. En. xlviii. 7 9, 56. (also Rev 3:3 ), so that the writer, in this jealousy for the letter rather than for the spirit, was following a recognised precedent ( R. J. 125 f.), which was bound up with a conservative view of tradition and a juristic conception of scripture (Titius, pp. 206 f., Deissm, 113 f.). Rabbinic librarii got a similar warning in that age ( cf. Bacher’s Agada d. Tann , i. 254), and Christian copyists, if not editors, required it in the case of the Apocalypse, although apparently they paid little heed to it, for as early as the time of Irenus there were serious discrepancies in the copies circulated throughout the churches. John had himself omitted a contemporary piece of prophecy ( cf. on Rev 10:4 ). But he explains that he was inspired to do so; this verse refuses to let others deal similarly with his book.

The prayer of Rev 22:17 is answered in Rev 22:20 , which repeats the assurance of the messiah’s speedy advent. This , in the prophetic consciousness (Rev 19:10 ), is specifically eschatological. The close and sudden aspect of the end loomed out before Judaism ( cf. 4 Esd. 4:26, 44 50, Apoc. Bar. xxiii. 7, lxxxiii. 1) as before the Christian church at this period, bat it was held together with calculations which anticipated a certain process and progress of history. The juxtaposition of this ardent hope and an apocalyptic programme, here as in Mar 13:5-37 ; Mar 13:4 Esd. 14:11, 12, is one of the antinomies of the religious consciousness, which is illogical only on paper. In Sanhed. 97 a , a rabbinic cycle of seven years culminating in messiah’s advent is laid down; whereupon “Rab. Yoseph saith, There have been many septennial cycles of this kind, and he has not come Rabbi Zera saith, Three things come unexpectedly: the messiah, the finding of treasure-trove, and a scorpion” ( cf. Drummond’s Jewish Messiah , 220). . The Lordship of Jesus is defined as his right to come and to judge (Rev 22:12 ), which is also the point of Rom 14:9-12 ( cf. Kattenbusch, ii. 609, 658 f.). , is the Greek rendering of the Aramaic watchword of the primitive church ( cf. on Rev 22:17 ), which possibly echoed a phrase in the Jewish liturgy ( cf. on 1Co 16:22 , and E. Bi. 2935, 2936).

Fuente: The Expositors Greek Testament by Robertson

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Rev 22:18-19

18I 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; 19and 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.

Rev 22:18-19 These verses are obviously related to the first hearers of the message as well as all future readers/hearers of this book. It is a common literary practice of the OT to put severe warnings addressed to those who might be tempted to tamper with God’s word (cf. Deu 4:2; Deu 12:32). This was not meant to be taken literally, but it is a very strong Oriental overstatement of the seriousness of altering God’s message. This does not refer to believing interpreters or scribes who pray earnestly and seek God’s will, but according to Ireneaus in his Contra-Heresies, 30:12, it referred to false teachers who add, change, or delete the words of Scripture, which is the thrust of this passage. Remember that we cannot proof-text one verse to establish a doctrine which goes against other clear teachings of Scripture.

“if. . .if” These are both third class conditional sentences which denote potential action.

Fuente: You Can Understand the Bible: Study Guide Commentary Series by Bob Utley

For. Omit.

I. The texts read I (emphatic).

testify. As Rev 22:16, with the texts.

every man = every one.

words. App-121.

any man = any one. App-123.

these things. The texts read “them”.

unto. Greek. epi, as above.

Fuente: Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

18-20.] Final solemn warning of the Apostle. I (emphatic) testify to every one (or, of every one, by a very common N. T. construction: see reff. for both usages) who heareth the sayings of the prophecy of this book, If any one add (aor. = futurus exactus, shall have added) to them, God shall add to him (lay upon him, as he has laid his own additions upon them: the verb being from ref. Deut., where the plagues of Egypt are threatened to the Israelites in case of their disobedience) the plagues which are written in this book: and if any one shall take away from the sayings of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his portion from the tree of life (strike out his portion from the aggregate of those of which the whole participation of that tree is made up), and [out of] the holy city, which are written in this book (see Deu 4:2; Deu 12:32. The adding and taking away are in the application and reception in the heart: and so it is not a mere formal threat to the copier of the book, as that cited from Irenus in Eus[126] H. E. Rev 22:20, . , . All must be received and realized. This is at least an awful warning both to those who despise and neglect this book, and to those who add to it by irrelevant and trifling interpretations).

[126] Eusebius, Bp. of Csarea, 315-320

Fuente: The Greek Testament

Rev 22:18. [249] ) See Appar. on this passage.[250] In Rev 22:18-19, there is a most severe testimony, a most weighty admonition to all hearers of the Apocalypse. If any man shall add, there shall be added upon him plagues: if any man shall take away, from him shall be taken away blessings. Repayment in kind [talio]. It is more grievous, as it appears from the annexed threatenings, to add, than to take away: though many critics actually show that they entertain a contrary opinion, being more timid in the erasure than in the admission of glosses. To change, is at once both to add and to take away. First, any hearer may offend in this matter, when he endeavours to pass off as Apocalyptic writings which are not such, or suppresses those which are truly Apocalyptic. An unskilful expounder, who is blind and rash, offends, and especially if he deems himself to be endowed with a singular prophetical gift and faculty. An unfaithful translator and copyist, who writes out the text incorrectly, exceedingly offends: for while the text is uncorrupted, especially at the foundation, the offence of the expounder and of the hearer may be corrected; but when the text is corrupted, the injury is much greater. Yet in all these modes the offence may be committed in a greater or less degree, the faithful being hindered, so that they cannot learn to hear the Lords I come, and to answer Come, and thus to enjoy the truth and fruit of the whole book or of the separate parts and portions, and to recognise the glory of Jesus Christ: Rev 22:17; Rev 22:20. Nor is theirs a slight fault, who perversely, unfairly, and unseasonably bring forward mysteries, and produce in the world and its princes envy and suspicion towards the kingdom of God. It is not the modest endeavour, joined with the desire of progress, and not blocking up the way to the truth arising from other sources, which is here condemned; it is profane boldness, arising from carnal sense, which is condemned. And John especially forewarned Cerinthus, who afterwards incurred this censure. This clause applies to the case of all the books of Holy Scripture: comp. Deu 4:2; Pro 30:6; but it especially applies to the Apocalypse, the crowning point of prophecy, which was exposed to peculiar danger, and the minute and admirable connection of which might be disturbed or obscured by the change of even a single word. The separate parts of this book, guarded as it is by so severe an interdict, are of great moment. The extraordinary multitude of various readings in the Apocalypse cries aloud, that all have not at all times acted with religious caution in this matter. [In this very interdict, about the not adding or taking away, I have noticed twenty-four varieties of reading introduced by copyists.-Not. Crit.] Thanks be unto God, who has preserved to us marks and traces of the genuine reading through the dangers of so many ages!- , …, if any man add) To add, according to the interpretation of Lange, is to put off to the future those things which are already accomplished: to take away, is to regard future things as already accomplished. Comm. Apoc. f. 250. Let another see, that he does not add; I am on my guard, that I do not take away.

[249] , Come) The whole matter hinges on this, that you may confidently and with joy be able to hear the announcement I come, and to reply, Come. But if you have not yet attained to this, take care that you do attain to it.-V. g.

[250] So ABh; but Rec. Text, : and Vulg. contestor ego.-E.

– , he that heareth) The Spirit and the bride saying, Come.-V. g.

Fuente: Gnomon of the New Testament

Chapter 63

The perfection and sanctity of the scriptures

‘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’

Rev 22:18-19

Rev 22:18-19 stands as a flaming sword planted by God to guard the canon of Holy Scripture from profane hands. Similar passages are found in the Old Testament Scriptures. After the giving of the law, God gave strict command forbidding anyone to add a single word to it or take a single word from it (Deu 4:2). And when he gave his final word of prophecy in the Old Testament, the Lord placed the same prohibition upon the words of the prophets (Mal 4:4; cf. Deu 4:10). Here, as he concludes the volume of inspiration, in the most solemn manner possible, our Lord warns all men that none dare add anything to or take anything from the Holy Word of God. Any who dare to do so shall suffer all the terrible wrath of God forever in hell without mercy.

The Person speaking in this text is the Lord Jesus Christ himself. He holds the volume of Holy Scripture before us, elevating it to the position of highest possible reverence. It is written in the Psalms, ‘Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name’ (Psa 138:2). The warnings given here indicate that God regards nothing more sacred than his Word and looks upon the contempt of his Word as the highest crime and most hideously evil thing in the world.

That Book which God has so highly magnified is the inspired Word of God. Without question, there is a particular reference in this text to the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. This last Book of the Inspired Volume is of equal value and authority as the other sixty-five. However, because this book, by the arrangement of divine providence, closes the Sacred Volume, it is reasonable for us to assume that the warnings of this text extend to and include the entire Bible, from the opening word ‘In’ in Genesis to the final ‘Amen’ in Revelation. The entire Bible is the Word of God, authoritative, complete, perfect, and holy, a Book to be reverenced, believed, and obeyed.

The Lord Jesus here declares the divine authority of the scriptures

I cannot stress the importance of what I am about to write enough. It may seem trite and insignificant to some. But this is one of the most profound statements you will ever read or hear, and one of the most important. That Book, which we call the Holy Bible, the Book you probably have open before you as you read these words, is the Word of God! Its every word is inspired, infallible, and holy. It contains no errors, contradictions, or inaccurate statements. It was written by ‘holy men of God (who) spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost’ (2Pe 1:21).

The Bible is a book with one message

Its message is redemption by the blood of Christ and salvation by his grace. The scarlet thread which runs through every page of the Book and binds them all together is the message of blood atonement by Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Luk 24:27; Luk 24:44-47; Joh 1:45; Joh 5:39; Act 10:43; Act 13:29). The Word of God might be compared to that alabaster box that was brought into Simons house in Bethany (Mar 14:1-9) containing ‘ointment of spikenard very precious.’ When the box was broken and the ointment poured out, the sweet fragrance filled the room. Gospel preachers are like the woman who brought the box and broke it open. They come to the house of God with the Word of God, break it open, and as they expound the Scriptures the sweet fragrance of Christ crucified fills the house. Those who faithfully expound the Scriptures faithfully proclaim Christ crucified (1Co 1:23; 1Co 2:2), for he is the theme of all the Scriptures. The Old Testament declares that the Redeemer is coming. The four Gospels and the Epistles tell us that the Redeemer has come. The Book of Revelation promises us that the Redeemer is coming again.

This Bible alone is able to make us wise unto salvation (2Ti 3:15)

It raises and answers every question regarding life and death, and eternal life and eternal death. If we want to know where and how life began, we need only to read the Word of God ((Gen 1:1; Gen 2:7; Joh 1:1-3; Heb 1:1-3). The facts of creation given throughout the Scriptures, unlike the theories of speculative science and vain philosophy, are in total agreement with one another and cannot be refuted.

If anyone is interested in knowing how the human race got into the mess it is in, he needs only to read the Word of God. We got into the shape we are in through the sin and fall of our father Adam (Genesis 3; Rom 5:12). We all became sinners by his sin. He was our representative before God. In him, the whole human race died spiritually. From him we all inherit our sinful nature. All human beings are born, as the children of Adam, in spiritual death, with depraved hearts, and go forth from the womb speaking lies (Psa 51:5; Psa 58:3; Mat 15:19; Eph 2:1-3).

If anyone wants to know the way out of the mess we are in, he needs only to read the Word of God. Gods remedy for mans ruin is his own dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the sinners Substitute, the last Adam (Joh 3:14-16; 1Co 15:21-22). By his obedience to the law and will of God as their Representative, Christ brought in everlasting righteousness for his people, which God the Father imputes to all who believe on him (Rom 5:19; 2Co 5:21). The Lord Jesus took upon himself the sins of his people, died in their place, and by his blood took away the curse of the law and the wrath of God, having satisfied the justice of God for their sins (Gal 3:13). Sinners must be born again by the grace and power of God the Holy Spirit. There is no other way of salvation and life (Joh 3:5-7;Eph 2:8-9). This great salvation is freely given to every sinner who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 3:28). And even the faith by which we believe on Christ is the gift of God (Eph 2:8). So the whole work of salvation is by the grace of God and for the glory of God (1Co 1:30-31).

All men know by nature that there is life after death. All are conscious of that fact. But should anyone want to know what awaits him in eternity, again, he needs only to read the Bible (Luk 16:19-31; 2Co 5:1-11; Heb 9:27; Rev 20:11 to Rev 21:8). We are all creatures with immortal souls. We will spend eternity somewhere, either in the torments of the damned or in the bliss of the saved, either in the presence of the devil or in the presence of God, either in hell or in heaven. In the resurrection day our bodies and souls will be reunited, either to everlasting damnation or to everlasting righteousness and life with Christ (Joh 5:28-29).

The Bible is able to meet every moral, spiritual, and emotional need of our lives (2Ti 3:16-17)

Everything that is needed for the temporal and eternal welfare of our souls is revealed in the Word of God. As we have already seen, the Bible tells us how spiritual life is imparted to the soul by divine regeneration, through the preaching of the gospel, and preserved and carried on to perfection by divine grace. The Bible tells us how to behave in every relationship and circumstance of life. The path of life is plainly marked out for us in the Word of God. The Bible teaches us how to live in this world in patience, comfort, and hope (Rom 15:4), submitting to the will of God, trusting the providence of God, waiting for the promises of God (Hab 2:3; Hab 3:17-19).

The Bible alone is authoritative in the church and kingdom of God

It is our only rule of faith and practice. We have no right to believe any doctrine that is not specifically taught in the Bible. And we have no right to reject any doctrine that is taught in the Bible. We have no right to practice any form of worship that is not specifically taught in the Bible. And we have no right to reject any form of worship that is taught in the Bible

Our Lord is also declaring the perfection of the scriptures

That to which nothing can be added and from which nothing can be taken away is perfect and complete. When John wrote, ‘Amen,’ at the end of Rev 22:21, the Scriptures were perfect, complete, lacking nothing. It is this perfection to which Paul makes reference in 1Co 13:8-10. As the Revelation of God, the Scriptures are perfect. There are many things about God which are, for the present, hidden from us. Those secret things belong to the Lord. But everything needful and useful for our souls is revealed in this Book, revealed fully, and revealed perfectly. There is nothing to be known about God in this world which is not revealed in his written Word. It clearly reveals and teaches the perfections of his Being (Exo 33:18-19; Isa 45:20; 1Jn 5:7), the purpose of his grace (Eph 1:3-14; Rom 8:28-30; Rom 9:11-23), the meaning of his providence (Rom 8:28), and the fullness of his perfect will (Pro 3:5-6).There is nothing lacking in the Word of God, nothing to be added to it, no additional visions, prophecies, or revelations are needed; and none are to be accepted.

The Son of God declares the sanctity of the scriptures, too

A very solemn warning is given by God regarding his Word. Any alteration of it is strictly forbidden, upon penalty of the most severe consequences. If any man adds to the inspired Writings, God shall add to that man all the plagues of eternal damnation. If any man takes away from the inspired Writings, God shall take away from that man all that he appears to have: all life, all grace, and all hope. The denunciations of Gods wrath are never so full and comprehensive as they are in these two verses. God will not allow any man to suppress or add a single word. This is the sanctity of the Scriptures. If we presume to suppress, or leave out, anything God has revealed, that would be a denial of Gods wisdom. If we presume to add our words to the Word of God, that would be a claim of equality with God. We dare not modify Gods law. We dare not modify Gods gospel. We dare not modify Gods ordinances. We must take the whole Word of God, just as it is given. To alter it in anyway is to court eternal damnation. This is the sanctity God has placed upon his Word. No man is to touch it; no preacher, no church, no denomination! Our Lord demands our reverence for the Scriptures. The Bible is the Word of God. Let us reverence it as the Word of God. It is to be read prayerfully, preached faithfully, heard believingly, submitted to willingly, and obeyed implicitly!

Fuente: Discovering Christ In Selected Books of the Bible

testify: Rev 22:16, Rev 3:14, Eph 4:17, 1Th 4:6

heareth: Rev 1:3

If: Deu 4:2, Deu 12:32, Pro 30:6, Mat 15:6-9, Mat 15:13

God: Rev 14:10, Rev 14:11, Rev 15:1, Rev 16:1, Rev 19:20, Rev 20:10, Rev 20:15, Lev 26:18, Lev 26:24, Lev 26:25, Lev 26:28, Lev 26:37

Reciprocal: Exo 9:14 – send all Neh 13:15 – I testified Isa 28:22 – lest Jer 36:32 – there Mat 15:9 – teaching Mar 7:7 – the commandments Gal 1:8 – though Gal 1:9 – than Rev 22:20 – which

Fuente: The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Rev 22:18. It is asked if the phrase this book refers to the book of Revelation or to the whole Bible. Its direct application is to this book for it is the one that John was engaged to write. But the principle applies to the entire word of God, for 1Deu 4:2 commands “any man” who speaks to do so as the oracles of God1Co 4:6 would not be done were he to make any change in the Sacred Text, eith2Ti 3:16-17 g to it or by taking from it. To add unto these things would not be done only by literally writing some uninspired words to the document; no person is apt to do that. But when a man assumes1Ti 1:19-20 ege2Ti 2:17-18 ing things not authorized in the book, he thereby adds to Rom 1:22-25 ip2Th 2:8-12 agues were symbolized and were repeated in various forms. The idea is that such a man will be plagued as severely as those described.

Rev 22:19. There is nothing put in the book of God that is not necessary, therefore it is sinful to take any of it out. That would be done by rejecting any of its requirement. (See Heb 2:2.) Take awRev 22:20 rt. No man actually has possession of any part of the things in the holy city,Rev 1:1 d has prepared a part for each person who will prepare himself for it by faithfulness to the word.

Comments by Foy E. Wallace

Verses 18-19.

Verses 18-19: If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this boo2Ti 4:8 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.

These verses were prefaced by the statement of John for I testify unto every man. The preposition for connects this verse with the preceding verse seventeen. It conveys the meaning: in view of which, or in consideration of whiRev 22:20 th reference to which–that is, the universal invitation brought forth a universal admonition, a caution and a warning: the fateful consequences of adding to or taking from the Word of God. Though the restriction in itself was limited to these things and this book, the other portions of the Word of God in the other epistles are not less important than the book of Revelation, and the injunction therefore applies with equal appeal and penalty to all of the inspired scriptures. It means that any alteration of them in any degree is criminal in the sight of God.

The same injunction was included in the Mosaic law (Deu 4:2); and the principle was embodied in the apostolic epistles (1Co 4:6). The effect in its application of all scripture would be the same (2Ti 3:16-17) and the consequences therefore the same. An instance of the evil results of presumptuous men changing the truth was put into the recoMat 23:36 casMat 24:34 enaeus, Alexander and Philetus (1Ti 1:19-20 ; 2Ti 2:17-18); and the direfRev 19:11-13 ch presumption is damnation. (Rom 1:22-25 ;2Th 2:8-12)

The consequences of such interpolation and deduction were the anathemas of the plagues and forfeiture of all portion in the book of life, the holy city, or the promised rewards. The names of all who would thus divert and pervert divine revelation would be erased from the registry of the citizens of the city of God.

Fuente: Combined Bible Commentary

Rev 22:18-19. It seems best to suppose that we have the Apostle before us as the speaker in this verse. Nothing in it is stronger, or more incompatible with what we know of his meekness and humility, than are the words of chap. Rev 1:3 to a very similar effect. Besides, we have not so much the man as the prophet before us, one who is in the Spirit, who speaks in the consciousness of his Divine commission, and to whom are imparted the boldness of his Master and His cause. For a similar command of Moses, see Deu 4:2; Deu 12:32.

Fuente: A Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Here we have a dreadful commination and severe threatening denounced by Christ against all such as shall add any thing to the scriptures in general, and to this prophecy in particular; not by way of true interpretation, but either formally, by joining any thing to be received as scripture which God never revealed to be such; or virtually, by putting such a sense and meaning upon scripture as God never intended, and the words cannot rationally bear.

Almighty God here declares, that he will add to such his plagues, and shut them out of the holy city, the New Jerusalem, the kingdom of heaven: and if so, learn we what great guilt the church of Rome contracts, and what a dreadful curse she lies under, by making oral tradition of equal authority with the scriptures, and by adding new articles of faith, new points of doctrine: which is, in effect, to accuse God of ignorance or inadvertency.

True, the doctrine of christianity is a tradition; it was delivered by Christ to the apostles, and by the apostles to their successors; but now they being long since dead, we cannot receive from them the doctrine of life by word of mouth, but must stick to the scriptures or written word, for these things were written for our sake. But if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.

We reject not all traditions, because scripture itself is a tradition; but we blame the church of Rome, and deservedly sure, for making her private unwritten traditions of equal authority with the scriptures, and for urging that they ought to be received apri pietatis affectu, with the same pious affection with which we receive the holy scriptures.

And thus they set their post by God’s post, and equal their traditions with the doctrines of faith: thier opinion is bad, but their practice is worse; for they value their own traditions above the scriptures, and prefer them before the scriptures; they never called their own traditions ” a nose of wax, and dead letter, a dumb rule, an obscure doctrine;” but in this manner have they stigmatized the holy scriptures; and how they will escape Christ’s severe commination here before us, for adding to, and taking from, the word of God, concerns them to look to it; for they must certainly answer for it at the bar of God.

Fuente: Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Similar warnings have been written in other places. ( Deu 4:2 ; Deu 12:32 ; Gal 1:6-9 ) The message of this book should be tampered with in no way. To add to it, would be to add to God’s word and willcause one to have the terrible plagues of this book added to him. Taking away from it will cause one’s place in the book of life to be taken away. Remember, one would only have to ignore or refuse to teach a part of the book to take away from it.

Fuente: Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

Rev 22:18-19. For I testify Here the Lord Jesus adds a solemn admonition, not only to the churches of Asia, but to all who should ever hear or read this book. To him that adds to the things contained in it, shall all the plagues mentioned in it be added; and from him that takes away from the words of this prophecy shall the blessings spoken of in it be taken. And doubtless this guilt is incurred by all those who lay hinderances in the way of the faithful, in order to prevent them from hearing their Lords words, I come, and answering, Come, Lord Jesus. This may likewise be considered as an awful sanction given to the whole New Testament; in like manner, as Moses guarded the law, (Deu 4:2; Deu 12:32,) and as God himself did, (Mal 4:4,) in closing the canon of the Old Testament. It is true, however, that this solemn caution particularly refers to this book of the Revelation. But, as Doddridge observes, God forbid we should imagine every honestly mistaken criticism, where there is a question respecting receiving or excluding any particular verse, should affect a mans salvation, in consequence of what is here said. Such a passage, however, should make men very cautious, that they may not rashly incur any censure on this account; though, undoubtedly, the terror of the threatening is planted against any designed erasement or addition. It may be observed further on this verse, that since God threatens the plagues written in this book, and the loss of a part in the holy city, as what might be the portion of those who should presume to corrupt it, and such corruption might happen in any age of the church, it is very evident that the holy city spoken of in the preceding chapter is a representation of the heavenly state to be enjoyed by all good men; how applicable soever it may seem to any glorious scene preceding the final judgment: and that Rev 20:11-12, refers to the universal judgment.

Fuente: Joseph Bensons Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

22:18 {9} 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:

(9) The supplication of John (which is the third part of the confirmation) joined with a curse of abhorrence, to preserve the truth of this book entire and uncorrupted in two verses.

Fuente: Geneva Bible Notes

Jesus continued to speak. The high degree of authority of this statement, which continues in the next verse, supports this conclusion. This warning contrasts with the invitation that the Lord just extended (cf. Deu 4:2; Deu 7:15; Deu 12:32; Deu 28:27; Deu 28:60; Pro 30:5-6; Jer 26:2). "This book" refers to the Book of Revelation. The prophecy of it summarizes the contents of the book. Those who hear it are everyone in the seven churches and all subsequent hearers (cf. Rev 1:3). This includes copyists, translators, and teachers of it.

"He is not concerned about possible mechanical errors in transmission or mistakes of judgment in interpreting his message, but in deliberate distortions and perversions of it." [Note: Ladd, p. 295. Cf. Swete, p. 313.]

Adding material to or deleting sections from the prophecies contained in this book will result in punishment from God. Specifically, God will visit the offender with the plagues written in this book. This seems to imply that anyone who does this will either lose his or her salvation or not be a believer in the first place. Another possibility is that Jesus was using hyperbole to stress the heinousness of this sin. The best solution seems to be that the plagues written in this book are severe judgments from God. What Jesus meant was that anyone who perverts the teaching of this book will experience judgment from God that is similar to the judgments that will come on the earth-dwellers during the Tribulation. Jesus warned of plagues, not loss of salvation. How important it is to understand and communicate God’s truth accurately, especially the truths God revealed in this book (cf. Gal 1:6-7)! Thomas believed this verse announced the termination of the gift of prophecy and the cessation of revelation in the church. [Note: Robert Thomas, "The Spiritual Gift of Prophecy in Revelation 22:18," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 32:2 (June 1989):201-16.] However this seems to be going beyond what Jesus really said.

Fuente: Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)