The Bible clearly warns:
“Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar” (Proverbs 30:5 NASB).
Not surprisingly, the atheist Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has ignored this warning and therefore according to the Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference:
“New editions [of the Bible] must not contain any content that goes against the beliefs of the Communist Party…Paragraphs deemed wrong by the censors will be amended or re-translated…[R]eligious authorities must follow President Xi’s instructions and interpret the ideologies of different religions in accordance with ‘the core values of Socialism’ and ‘the requirements of the era.’”
But while Chinese leaders boldly announce their alterations of Biblical text, American leaders rewrite the Scriptures in more subtle ways. For example, on Christmas Day, Mayor Pete Buttigeg tweeted:
With one tweet, Mayor Pete reached 1.6 million followers with his inaccurate politicized version of Luke 2, blatantly ignoring the actual words of this iconic passage:
“Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth…And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child” (Luke 2:1, 3-5 NASB).
Jesus was not a refugee, nor was His family. They were living in their own homeland, for they were “of the house and family of David”—the famed King of Israel—and therefore they went to their nearby ancestral birthplace in Israel to register. The passage and its story had nothing to do with immigration or refugees.
Earlier this year, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi similarly tweeted her re-interpretation of another passage of Scripture:
Anyone who reads Luke 10 realizes it isn’t about immigration policy. Furthermore, Pelosi conflated individual responsibility with governmental responsibility—two very different Biblical jurisdictions, with two very separate Biblical functions.
Reshaping God’s Word
While America has not rewritten the Scriptures in the same way China has, it nevertheless has deviously attempted its own rewriting of many passages. The Bible is God’s Word, not ours. It should be read and applied without alteration, just as God gave it, for it is His unchanged Word that conveys His life-changing power. As Constitution signer James McHenry affirmed:
“Bibles are strong protections. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience.”
If we reshape God’s Word to match our own personal agendas, beware!
“…if anyone adds to them [God’s words], God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and 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” (Revelation 22:18-19 NASB).