Are New Testaments Unscriptural?
by Dr. Ken Matto
(Rev 22:18-19 KJV) 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.
(Deu 12:32 KJV) What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
(Deu 4:2 KJV) 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.
For many years individual Christians (including myself), churches, Bible societies, and a plethora of others have been distributing New Testaments to literally millions and it still continues to this moment. But does giving New Testaments by themselves constitute a violation of the above 3 verses by diminishing from the Word of God? Let's investigate:
Rev. 22:19 - "Take Away From" = It comes from 2 Greek Words. "aphaireo" which is a verb that means "to take away, remove, or cutoff" and "apo" a preposition that means "from, away from, or cut off."
Deut. 4:2 & 12:32 - "Diminish" comes from "gara" which is a verb that means "to shave or reduce." It is the same word in both cases.
When we compare the New Testament Only (NTO) philosophy to the above verses of Scripture, we find that the NTO philosophy fails and it is a sinful practice. When we completely remove the Old Testament (OT), isn't that shaving, diminishing, taking away from, cutting off, removing, and reducing the Word of God to less than half of its content?
How did this erroneous practice begin? I haven't a clue but I can almost guarantee two excuses behind it. It is a belief that since Christ has come and the NT is the pattern and guideline for the church, the OT has been negated and therefore is no longer needed. Second, excuse is that many do not realize the Bible is one cohesive whole and both testaments are of equal value. We can see the devaluing of the OT by a little trick that the publishers use in the NT and that is putting all the words of Jesus in red. It makes people think the Words of Jesus are more significant than the words of Zephaniah. Therefore, the Bible has been made into a book of levels of importance:
Level 1 - The Old Testament
Level 2 - The New Testament
Level 3 - The Words of Jesus
God's Word is equally authoritative from Genesis to Revelation. Isn't it interesting how many clergy avoid the OT but when it comes time for the collection they quote Malachi 3:10? Have you ever been to a funeral and then out to the grave site? What is normally read? Psalm 23! Next time read Matthew 23:13-33 to the family and friends at the site and see what happens.
Have you ever seen the Mormons hand out half a book of Mormon? Have you ever seen the Islamics give half a Koran? Do New Agers print half of the Urantia Book? Christians are the only ones who leave half their weapons at home and then go to battle. God is not pleased with the practice of truncating His Word, because He has already forewarned us on the subject. Can a person get saved by just reading the New Testament? Of course, because it is the Word of God! Can a person get saved reading Nahum? Of course, because it is the Word of God! If you were an idol worshipper in a tribe somewhere in a remote area and you received a New Testament only, you would not have benefit of the following:
(Hab 2:18-20 KJV) What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? {19} Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. {20} But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.
(Psa 135:15-18 KJV) The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. {16} They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; {17} They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. {18} They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.
Now let's see what would happen if we link the Habakkuk and Psalms passages with 1 Thessalonians 1:9. If this person only had the NT, he would wonder what an idol is since he has only known his gods for his life but if the verse was combined with Habakkuk and Psalms, this person would instantly know what Thessalonians means by an idol because these 2 passages spell it out.
(1 Th 1:9 KJV) For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
Do you now see the importance of the OT in missions work? If an idol worshipper does not have a true definition of an idol, he will not recognize that he has been standing before one all his life!
What about Bible Translating teams overseas?
Overseas Bible Translating teams like Wycliffe would not be in violation of this warning unless their intent was to only translate the NT and not the OT. The same Holy Spirit who gave them understanding of the New Testament can give them understanding of the Old Testament.
What about Bible Tracts?
Bible tracts are just what they claim to be and that is EX-tracts from the Scriptures. They are not meant to be a full Bible but are designed to bring a special message in shortened form. It is like a written sermon. A spoken sermon does not contain all 31,102 verses in the Bible neither should a tract.
Doesn't The New Testament Differ from the Old Testament in Concept?
The fact is that both testaments complement each other. There is much OT Scripture quoted in the NT. Genesis 6:8 states, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." All the way back in Genesis we read about grace. The word grace shows up 39 times in the OT. Isn't grace a NT concept? Apparently not! Grace is a binding word between the OT and the NT. Here is the major binding element between the OT and NT.
(Psa 40:7 KJV) Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
(Heb 10:7 KJV) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.


The major binding element between the OT and NT is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. If He is in the OT, do you think the OT should be lopped off? Especially Genesis 1:26!
As a final comment I would just like to say that the Bible is one cohesive whole and the OT and NT complement each other. God gives us the principle for interpreting His Word in 1 Cor. 2:13 and that is to "compare spiritual with spiritual." Much NT interpretation comes from understanding the OT, one situation in point is Matthew 19:9 being linked with Deuteronomy 23 & 24.
If the OT is invalid, then God would have told us but the very opposite exists. He warns that judgment will be upon those who take away from His Word in any fashion and the production and dissemination of New Testaments without the Old Testament definitely falls into that category. I would therefore counsel the reader not to purchase and pass out New Testaments but to purchase complete Bibles and give them out instead. Don't worry about whether the person you are giving the Bible to understands or doesn't understand the OT. The Holy Spirit's job is to give understanding of the Scriptures, not yours and you don't stand in judgment of who has ability to understand or not, that is God's business whose spiritual eyes He will open. You just be obedient! - 4/26/98