Author: Ron Graham

Bible Authority

Was God’s Word Fully Revealed?
—We discuss latter day revelations

In this lesson we look at the question of whether God’s word was fully revealed in the time of the apostles.

1 The Last Word

Another way to ask this question, is whether the last word in the last of the New Testament writings completed all the revelation God intended the world to have.

There have been several claims, mostly in more recent centuries, of “latter day” revelations. New prophets have arisen claiming to bring newly revealed words from God, additional to the revelation of the first century apostles of Christ.

2 The Whole Word

For a while, in the first century, the apostles and prophets by their ministry were revealing the word of Christ part by part. However, that was a very temporary situation. The gifts of revelation would pass away once the word of Christ was fully known.

Paul said the gifts would cease. "As for tongues, they will pass away. As for prophecies, they shall cease. As for [the gift of] knowledge, it will pass away" (1Corinthians 13:8). These gifts would pass because the revelation was a completed work.

As Paul said next, For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when the whole comes, the partial will pass away" (1Corinthians 13:9).

The apostles regarded their work as providing a full and complete revelation of Christ’s word. The following ten passages from the New Testament establish that the revelation of the apostles and prophets of the first century was the whole revelation of Christ, not a partial revelation which would be added to centuries later.

God’s Revealed Word Completed

3 The Written Word

The teachings of the apostles and prophets were not only by word of mouth, but also written in their letters. In the following centuries and even in our 21st century, those letters provide the whole counsel of God.

The apostles understood that their writings could impart their teachings even when they were not present. Paul said, ¶“When you read [what I have written] you will understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ the Son of God” (Ephesians 3:4).

John likewise wrote, ¶“Jesus did many other signs not written in this book; but these I have written to make you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God —and in believing, you may have life in his name.” (John 20:30-31).