I’m going to blog about chapter 28 of my book. In many older systematic theology textbooks, Rev. 22.18-19 are cited as the proof text of the closing of the canon. The idea goes something like this. The NT is a closed canon, and this verse proves that God has pronounced a curse on those who want to add or subtract from the number of books in the Bible.
The problem of the canon is a complex one. In the early church, there are many lists of the canonical NT. We can’t be sure all the list have all the books, in fact. This goes to show that the number of books that should be included were still being debated within different Christian communities. How do we reconcile such data.
My answer to such a question is, “There is no reason to reconcile such data.” Why? It is because this text is not talking about the canon. The verse clearly says the pronouncement was about the scroll. We’re talking about John closing the scroll he’s writing. That’s very much it.
As I always say, the texts are not at fault. The interpreter is!