Difficult Questions — ‘All Truth’ vs. continuing revelation and prophets
1/ Question: Most Christian religions believe that the last scriptural revelation given by God to man was received by John on the Isle of Patmos. John 16:13 states, “…when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into ALL TRUTH, for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak, and he shall show you things to come.” If Christ gave ALL TRUTH to his apostles, through the Spirit, how can members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claim that ‘more truth’ was given to Joseph Smith?
2/ Response: Christ did give all truth to the apostles through the Holy Spirit, but did the Apostles give ALL TRUTH to man? Matthew 10:1-5 tells us that Christ chose 12 apostles, and Matthew 10:8 tells us He gave them great powers. We read in Acts 2:1-4 that the apostles received the Holy Spirit, and in Acts 8:13-20 we learn that they gave the Spirit to others. However, the ‘ALL TRUTH’ mentioned in John 16:13 was only given to the apostles, and we only have the writings of 5 of the 16 apostles chosen in New Testament times. In Matthew 13:11, Christ told the apostles, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given.” Here Christ plainly mentions that He gave truth to his Apostles that He did not give to the people. Also, Peter did not know ‘all truth’ that was to be revealed, only ‘all truth’ that was necessary for his salvation. Why is that so? Peter was killed in 66 A.D. in Rome, and the doctrine found in the Book of Revelation, as revealed to John on Patmos, was not received and recorded until approximately 96 A.D. Also, in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 Paul states that he was caught up into a third heaven, and heard unspeakable words, which it was not lawful for a man to utter. Thus, Paul was taught TRUTH that had not been revealed to man.
3/ Question: In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 it states that ‘ALL SCRIPTURE’ is given by inspiration of God, so how can the Church of Jesus Christ claim that more has been given in our time?
4/ Response: It can again be pointed out that John the Revelator had not yet received his revelation on the Isle of Patmos, so ‘all scripture’ could not have been given at the time Paul wrote to Timothy. The scriptures that were available in Timothy’s time were the writings of Moses and the Old Testament prophets, so the statement in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is more a definition of what scripture truly is rather than any kind of statement that no more scripture was to be revealed.
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