BIBLE TRANSLATIONS ARE ALWAYS CRITICIZED FOR MANY REASONS. Paraphrased Versions Are The Most Frequently Criticized As Being Only The Thoughts Of One Man. Translations that are done by committees are considered to be more reliable.
The book of Revelation finishes with a warning that relates to that specific book. When the book of Revelation was written, the Apostle John was on the Isle of Patmos (Revelation 1:9) and dictating what Lord Jesus Christ and the angels were telling him to write:
I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to them, may God add to him the plagues which are written in this book. If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, may God take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18–19)
In the book of Proverbs, we read:
Every word of God is flawless. He is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Don’t you add to his words, lest he reprove you, and you be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5–6)
The Bible is a book that bears witness to Lord Jesus Christ and the purpose of God for mankind. Anyone who writes a book that is a commentary can be charged with adding to the words of God. Paraphrasing the Bible is a form of commentary because the person doing the paraphrasing is actually providing an interpretation of what the text means.
However, to suggest that a person paraphrasing the Bible is adding or taking away from the word of God is a false charge. For everyone who has commented on the Bible has added to what is already written. Every testimony a person has of encountering Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Savior, when written down, is adding to the written word of God. Yet these individuals are proclaiming the word of God because they are bearing witness to Lord Jesus Christ.
However, when you get a translation of the Bible that has words inserted to change the meaning of the Scriptures to guide people away from directly seeking Lord Jesus Christ, this is adding to the word of God. The following quote from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (1984) has words inserted to direct people away from Lord Jesus Christ:
that from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through the faith in connection with Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15)
What this says is that “salvation is obtained through the faith” in connection with Christ Jesus. Now this faith is different to the saving faith that come through Lord Jesus Christ. This faith is a body of doctrines. These doctrines can be anything. But they are not the truth. The truth is this:
and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:15)
When you read the RSV translation, you see that the words “in connection with” are missing. The translation clearly states that salvation is obtained through faith in Christ Jesus. There is no “salvation through thefaith”, which is the body of doctrines that have been made up “in connection with Christ Jesus”.
Whatever is developed in connection with Lord Jesus Christ is that which is added, and this is false. This is really what adding to the word of God is about.
One way to add to the word of God is by putting insertions in the Scriptures to deliberately distort the truth and misdirect people away from knowing Lord Jesus Christ.
Another way of adding to the word of God is for people to write another book that does not bear witness to Lord Jesus Christ and salvation through Him and claim that this is the Word of God. This is not the same as writing an explanation to elaborate on what might be meant by the Scriptures. This is the presentation of another gospel, other than the true gospel which is found in the Scriptures.
Anyone who deliberately distorts the Scriptures or develops doctrines that teach people that they are not saved by faith through Lord Jesus Christ—i.e. saved by grace alone or before the foundation of the world—are adding to the word of God and will be proved liars. So are those who teach these false doctrines rather than what the Bible teaches, which is “repent from dead works and exercise faith in God” (Hebrews 6:1).
If Kenneth N. Taylor did not purposefully direct people away from obtaining “salvation through faith in Lord Jesus Christ” he did notviolate the warning in Revelation 22:18, 19 by paraphrasing the Bible.