LDS: Why do your leaders discount the Bible as having "errors of men", but NOT the BoM?

“We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly,” states the eighth article of the Mormon Articles of Faith.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie asserted: “There are no people on earth who hold the Bible in such high esteem as [Mormons] do. . . . But we do not believe . . . the Bible contains all things necessary for salvation.”

. Mormon apostle James E. Talmage, in his book A Study of the Articles of Faith, urges: “Let the Bible then be read reverently and with prayerful care, the reader ever seeking the light of the Spirit that he may discern between truth and the errors of men.” Orson Pratt, an early Mormon apostle, went further: “Who knows that even one verse of the whole Bible has escaped pollution?”

On this issue, though, the Mormons do not appear to be aware of all the facts. True, the Bible text has been copied and translated repeatedly over the years. Yet, the evidence of its essential purity is overwhelming. Thousands of early Hebrew and Greek manuscripts have been scrutinized alongside more recent copies of the Bible. For example, the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah, dated from the second century B.C.E., was compared with a manuscript dated over a thousand years later. Had serious corruptions crept in? On the contrary, one scholar’s analysis stated that the few discrepancies found “consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling.”

After a lifetime of intense study, former British Museum director Sir Frederic Kenyon testified: “The Christian can take the whole Bible in his hand and say without fear or hesitation that he holds in it the true Word of God, handed down without essential loss from generation to generation throughout the centuries.” Thus, the psalmist’s words are still true today: “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6, King James Version) Do we really need more?

“Thou fool,” reproaches The Book of Mormon at 2 Nephi 29:6, “that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible.”

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Galatians 1:8 (KJ): “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

16 Answers

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  • ?
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In terms of the writings of Joseph Smith being God's true word, I feel the Mormon people may have been conned.

    Smith translated some Egyptian hieroglyphs, claiming they were the book of Abraham, that were incorporated into LDS scripture in “The Pearl of Great Price,” but later turned out to be a very common Egyptian funerary text dating from around the time of Christ; some 2,000 after the time of Abraham. The real translation bore no resemblance to that of Smith's. At the time he translated it no one in America could read hieroglyphics; so, he saw an opportunity to pull a con. That Egyptian papyri is the basis used for Mormons becoming gods.

    Moreover, Smith interpreted the female goddess Isis as a male king on one of the facimiles.

    http://www.carm.org/lds/ldspapyri.htm

    Even worse than the hieroglyphs is when Smith claimed to translate ancient writings from THE KINDERHOOK PLATES, which some guys made as a prank and gave to Smith.

    The following is a quote from an article:

    "In 1843, 6 brass, bell shaped plates were found in a mound in Kinderhook, Illinois and given to Joseph Smith.

    According to the History of the Church, Joseph Smith claimed to translate a portion of them:

    "1 have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth. (History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 372)

    W. Fugate later admitted that the plates were forgeries made by himself and two other men to trick Joseph Smith. (see Fugate's letter printed in the LDS publication, Improvement Era, Sept. 1962)

    For many years all 6 plates had been lost. Then in 1962 the official Mormon publication, the Improvement Era, announced that one of the original Kinderhook plates had been rediscovered."

    http://www.challengemin.org/moon.html

    So, the people who presented Smith with the plates (that Smith claimed to understand) later admitted they created them themselves. Isn't that proof that Smith was a con-artist and false prophet?

    The link above also shows Joseph Smith and Brigham Young saying people lived on the moon.

    As far as Smith being a true prophet, some of his prophecies didn't pan out. Here's one.

    THE NAUVOO HOUSE.

    In D&C 124.56-60, Smith prophesied that the Nauvoo House in Nauvoo, IL. would be in his family forever (1841). It did not remain in his family, and is not owned by them today. This makes for a very false prophecy.

    EDIT

    Tyler Read,

    The Book of Mormon has gone through many revisions. It's not the same as Smith penned it as later people in the church revised some of it's statements. So, you're incorrect about it being handed down without error from Smith.

    http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/3292

    http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/response/qa/bom...

    Against the accuracy of the book of Mormon are these scientific criticisms:

    The lack of any correlation between locations described in the Book of Mormon and American archaeological sites.

    References to animals, plants and technologies in the Book or Mormon that did not exist in pre-Columbian America.

    The lack of any linguistic connection between any Native American language or language family and any Near Eastern language or language family.

    The absence of any DNA evidence linking Native Americans with descendants of Israel.

    2nd EDIT

    R Rosskopf,

    That other person who wrote of Smith translating a portion of the Kinderhook plates was Smith's personal secretary. Regarding the book of Abraham, we have drawings smith made of some of the facimiles with his own hand, and on one he identified the female goddess Isis as a male king. And it was what was found on that common Egyptian funerary text that was re-discovered showing Smith was indeed wrongly translating it. Don't dispute for the sake of apologizing and not treating it fairly.

    As far as other books of Abraham being discovered that support Smith's translation of it, you need provide some kind of source. That sounds like garbage.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There are 12 articles of the Mormon faith that basically sum up their religion. The 8th article states, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God."

    The Latter-day Saints believe that having the Bible been translated so many times through different languages and over time it became subject to an incorrect translation.

    They believe the Book of Mormon to be without error because it was written directly through the first prophet, Joseph Smith. The original version is written in English which conveniently is one of the major reading audiences to the book, thus there is no reason to believe it would have errors from conversion.

    That is why Mormons believe the Bible is subject to errors of men. Errors through time and translations.

  • The Bible has been translated and interpreted several different times of several different people. With man selecting the words to use or not to use. That's never been the case of the Book of Mormon. Read the Joseph Smith Translations of the Bible and compare the differences in the words to the King James Bible.

    In the intro of the Book of Morman there is a statment saying that if there are errors in the book, grammatically, that it is the errors of man. Other than that the Book of Morman has only had one translator. Joseph Smith. The 2 Nephi quote is referencing those who won't accept the Book of Mormon because they already have a Bible, so why do they need a second Testament of Jesus Christ.

  • 1 decade ago

    We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it IS translated correctly.

    We believe that many plain and precious truths may have been left out.

    We do NOT believe the Book of Mormon to be any more perfect than the Bible.

    We believe that the Book of Mormon is more CORRECT than the Bible, but not more perfect, or complete (we know that only about one third of the plates were translated, so we know there's more).

    The words of the Lord are pure words, indeed, but man is not nearly as pure as God. No man is perfect, except for Jesus Christ and He never took pen to paper that we know of. Man wrote as inspired by God, but not perfect.

    If the Bible is ALL we need, then why does the Bible end up fracturing the church of Christ more than it EVER brings them together? Why is there, close to where I live, about six or so churches with in a two block area. All teach the Bible as they interpret it, but they can't come together on anything. Or i$ there a more obviou$ an$wer? I can't say.

    2 Nephi 29:6 Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

    7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

    8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

    9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.

    10 Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.

    11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.

    Gal. 1:8 what "other gospel" was Paul talking about?

    Read Galatians 2 and Acts 15. It has nothing to do with "the angel Moroni". Or the Book of Mormon which is another TESTAMENT, not another gospel.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Book of Mormon does not claim to be infallible. Neither does the Bible. The Bible does not claim that God will lose his voice or stop sending prophets, or that God has revealed all of his knowledge to us. These are claims that people make for the bible that it doesn't make for itself. There is no reason to assume that the writings of all prophets are contained in the Bible. The Bible itself refers to inspired books that are not found in the Bible. All inspired writing is worthy of study, not just those accepted by the priests of the Catholic church - the ones who to this day still wear the robes of the Greek philosophers.

    P.S. - There is no evidence that Joseph ever translated the Kinderhood plates, only rumors. The statement attributed to him was actually found word for word in the journal of someone else, and there is no reason to believe that it was based on anything but rumor.

    Anti-Mormon antagonists claim that the Book of Abraham was based on the poorly preserved fragments that have been recovered from the original collection. This is another example of wishful thinking. The eyewitness testimony regarding the appearance of the original manuscript of the Book of Abraham does not describe in any way the fragments that have been found from the original collection. The original transcript was 40 feet long, well preserved, had illustrations of the Garden of Eden, and was written in red and black ink. The manuscripts that were found were just a few pages, written in black ink, with large parts missing because of decay.

    Since the Book of Abraham was discovered and translated, two other books of Abraham have been found. One is the Apocalypse of Abraham and the other is the Testament of Abraham. Not suprisingly, the Book of Abraham translated by Joseph Smith contains many of the same elements that can be found in these other two books. They are a strong testimony of the authenticity of the Book of Abraham.

    It is true that scholars do not agree with Joseph's translation of certain segments of the facisimilies. I don't know how they can read the same thing and come up with such contradictory translations. In all fairness, the experts don't agree with each other on the proper translation in some places, and in other places they must concede that Joseph got the translation right - and he did it before anyone had unraveled the mysteries of the ancient Egyptian language.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well for one, the translation of the Book of Mormon is a lot more recent (a little before 1830) and I'm pretty sure we still have the original manuscripts to compare the current editions to.

    As for the "errors of men" in the bible let me reiterate the phrase “consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling.” Not exclusively, chiefly. If you where to look at most of the corrections in the King James Version of the Bible that the LDS church uses, most of the changes are minor grammitical changes or the occasional phrase that was missing a key word that would help make a verse make a lot more sense.The bible still contains the word of God and we are supposed to read it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think you answered your own question: "we do not believe . . . the Bible contains all things necessary for salvation.”

    also:

    Galatians 1:8 (KJ): “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

    Since mormons DO believe that the Book of Mormon was given to Joseph Smith by God, it would obviously take precedence over Galatians.

    I think a key difference is that the bible has been translated several times over, from Hebrew, Greek, etc, has been edited multiple times by multiple churches.

    The book of mormon, being fairly new, was translated once by Joseph Smith and printed for distribution for a hundred years without major changes. No church came in and chicken picked through it, took books out of it, changed phrases....It was translated once and that was that.

    Tyler Read basically sums up my answer.

  • 1 decade ago

    There are several tip-offs here to say that you are not looking for my answer:

    -"The Dot Dot Dot technique", used to take selected quotes out of context

    -Non-Mormon archaeology shows original manuscripts of the Bible were first recorded secondhand and put in print hundreds of years after they were spoken. Studies of the Dead Sea Scrolls show strike-through lines and rewrites on one of the most ancient manuscripts found. I would assume you know this.

    -Latter-day saints preach a gospel consisting of:

    +Christ's life and example

    +Christ willingly suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, dying and being resurrected as Old Testament prophets prophesied

    +faith in Jesus Christ

    +salvation by grace through faith

    +the necessity of baptism, repentance, and being a living example of the fruit of the spirit.

    That is the exact same gospel preached in the New Testament, so I fail to see how Galatians 1:8 applies.

  • 1 decade ago

    "...The Bible has been translated and interpreted several different times of several different people. ..."

    And still, it is God's Word!

    If this is your argument, are you telling me that the Book of Mormon is only available in English? Or are the other translations of the BoM in error because of multiple translations?

    What about the Book of Abraham? Joe said that it was in some sort of slang Egyptian (that doesn't even exist) and he 'translated' it. Do you still believe in it, even though actual Egyptologists that have translated it confirm that it was nothing more than a common funerary scroll and contained none of what Joe said it did? Bad translation?

  • 1 decade ago

    Three words for the answer...Joseph Smith Translation.

    The LDS church has proven over and over, throughout their history...when things get to sticky and topics just dont add up the current leadership can and does change it!

    EDIT: Please see Dan the mans answer... very informative. Joseph Smith "translated" the BOM with a rock in a hat..

    Joseph Smith claimed that after he translated the gold plates, he returned them to an angel - so there is no way to inspect them or check the accuracy of the translation.

    Source(s): ex mormon
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    LDS answer: Actually, we've acknowledged the BoM does contain 'errors of men' in the printing process - where grammatical errors have been corrected from time to time for successive reprints of the BoM. The Bible is not discounted by our leaders for it's 'errors of men'. Readers are simply cautioned to read it prayerfully, thus allowing for the Spirit of God to inspire its readers despite any 'errors of men' that may be contained in the writings. As noted by Elder Bruce R McConkie - LDS are a people on earth who hold the bible with great esteem. As stated, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly" and because the Book of Mormon has been translated only once, we consider it to be a more pure work of inspiration, as originally written by its authors. If you consider how many times the Bible has been translated and rewritten since its original authors first wrote their manuscripts, its easy to recognise how the 'errors of men' have crept in over a period of many years, thus dilluting the original writings of inspiration for us to benefit from. This is why it's recommended by our leaders, for anyone to use prayer when reading from the Bible or Book or Mormon. Prayer, before reading from any book of scripture, invites the Spirit of God to help us learn from the inspired words that have been written for us. Hope this answers your question - it was a good one...

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