Another Prison Epistle

By Steve Willis

The Apostle Paul is believed to have written several of his epistles and letters from prison. Among the Pauline prison epistles and letters are: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon. The fact that these may have been penned in the “pen” makes them no more (or less) inspired, but it is of interest if we seek to know the situation of the writer.

Some are proposing that we accept another prison epistle. It- was not written by Paul, Peter or one of the apostles, but by Martin Luther King. The Today Newspaper (Cocoa, Florida) reported this item August 20, 1979. “A group of black ministers from across the country aims to add a new book to the Bible – a letter by the late . . . Martin Luther King.” Muhammad Kenyatta, a Baptist minister said, “We believe that God worked through Dr. Martin Luther King (Jr.) in that jail in Birmingham in 1963 to reveal his holy word.” The article explains that while in jail, King penned the letter in response to a group of “eight white Alabama clergymen who criticized him as an outside agitator and termed his actions as `unwise and untimely.’ ” They hope to make this addition available later this year.

Though not a racial issue, this issue is certainly black and white; the Bible is plain about this matter. To add to the word, “which was once for all delivered to the saints,” is wrong (Jude 3; 2 John 9; cf. Dt. 4:2; Rev. 22:18, 19). Joseph Smith (Mormon), Mary Baker Eddy (Christian Scientist), Ellen White (Adventist), Judge Rutherford (Jehovah’s Witnesses), and the Pope (Roman Catholic) have done the same thing that these men propose to do with Martin Luther King’s writings: add them to the Bible under the guise of “new” revelations from God. Occasionally the “new revelations from God” is in harmony with the Bible. More often than not, it contradicts the scriptures.

Let us not add any man’s word to the scriptures that God has delivered to us. And, let us expose those who would seek to make additions, or deletions, in the scriptures.

Truth Magazine XXIII: 41, p. 664
October 18, 1979