Little Known Propaganda: 3 – Don’t Trust the Bible

14 Jan

This is my second response to the list of “little known facts” referenced at the blog Sound Doctrine. On this blog the author presents the list along with responses to each from a F.A.I.R. Mormon scholar, known only as CleanCut. In addition the author of this blog, known as Damon, gives a response to CleanCut. As I said in my introduction blog, I am writing a response to each fact in a lengthy series. I will not, however, comment on what CleanCut or Damon said.

See also Fact #1, #2

 

FACT #3. Mormons are taught to doubt the reliability of the Bible and their leaders have consistently attacked its accuracy.

Joseph Smith claimed:  “… it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.10)

The Bible answers this attack: “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

 

This little tidbit is actually false. It is an assumption that people make based on other aspects of our doctrine. The real fact is that we study the Bible more than any other scripture; we love and cherish its doctrine; and we hold it as equal, if not greater than all other scriptures. When read with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in light of the rest of God’s revealed word it becomes the greatest scriptural work ever written. In fact, God commanded the saints to “teach the principles of [his] gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon.” (D&C 42: 12) You will notice that the Bible is listed first here.

Now, it is true that Joseph Smith taught that much truth was removed from the Bible, but far from attacking its accuracy he used it more than any other scripture to teach the gospel. The quote given above makes no mention of its accuracy, but of its completeness.

Joseph Smith made a new and more correct translation of the Bible, and the vast majority of changes were additions, replacing that which was taken out; not fixing that which was changed. Most of the changes that Joseph Smith made are printed with every copy of the Bible that the church produces. These are frequently referenced in discussions and lessons. Far from causing doubt concerning the Bible, these passages reinforce its authenticity and make it an even greater work of scriptures than that which was originally preserved through the ages.

 

On a last note, let us look at the passage that the compiler tries to use in order to try and disprove the original idea. Disregarding the fact that the claim is false, this passage from Isaiah wouldn’t prove it wrong anyway. God’s word shall stand forever, but the written record of his word is never mentioned, nor is it promised that the written record would stand forever. As the Bible is the written record, and not the actual words of God, the truth that Isaiah taught does not apply to it.

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6 Responses to “Little Known Propaganda: 3 – Don’t Trust the Bible”

  1. shematwater January 22, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

    My response to Cleancut
    On this point Cleancut again resorts to a claim of semantics, trying to claim that the LDS don’t view ‘translation’ according to the meaning of the word, but use it more as transmitting. This is false. Now, we do not use the term exclusively for translating from one language to another. The literal meaning of the term is to change from one state to another. Thus Joseph Smith made a new translation of the Bible; not changing the language, but changing the level of inaccuracy and completeness.
    In addition to this, while some things Cleancut says are true, he is essentially denying the fact that God commanded Joseph Smith to retranslate the Bible because it did have many errors in the books that are in it. While I have no doubt that many books never made it into the Bible, and they likely contain much concerning the doctrine of God, that is not the only way in which the Bible lost truth. There are large sections of scripture, such as the Book of Moses, that Joseph Smith replaced, since they had been removed from the original record. He also changed the order of many verses, and on occasion corrected outright errors in the record. We should never deny these things as they stand as an additional witness to the truth of the gospel and Joseph Smith’s calling as a prophet.

  2. shematwater January 22, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

    My Response to Damon
    However, Damon simply continues the false assumption that the original article tries to perpetuate. He actually goes a little farther and claims that “Mormons do not believe the Bible” and uses as support for this assertion that Joseph Smith did produce an inspired translation of the Bible. The problem here is that if we didn’t believe in the Bible than what would be the need of a new and more correct translation of it? If we didn’t believe it than we would simply not us it.
    He also accuses Cleancut of contradicting himself. He points out that in the previous point Cleancut had said there is “not a single verse of the Bible which Mormons do not agree with.”
    He then claims this contradicts the statement on this point that “We believe that the Bible was inerrant as it was originally written by the inspired prophets and apostles, and that it is the word of God, as long as it is translated correctly.”
    Now, on the face of it this does seem like a contradiction. However, it doesn’t take into account Cleancut’s statement that “We understand the word “translate” more loosely to mean “transmit” or “interpret”. So we actually love the Bible as God’s Word and use it often, but we believe that it must be interpreted correctly.” So, Cleancut did not contradict himself. To his understanding we believe every verse of the Bible, but only if they are interpreted correctly.
    While I disagree with Cleancut on both points, he has not contradicted himself.

  3. Thomas September 1, 2016 at 7:05 pm #

    The real fact is that we study the Bible more than any other scripture; we love and cherish its doctrine; and we hold it as equal, if not greater than all other scriptures. When read with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in light of the rest of God’s revealed word it becomes the greatest scriptural work ever written.

    Likely because you are so used to it, you don’t realize how much this debases the Bible. Much like the as far as it is correctly translated language, you make the Bible which contains the Words of Jesus subject to a guy, Joseph Smith and his claims.

    Joseph Smith made a new and more correct translation of the Bible,

    More correct? Like when Joseph Smith corrected both the Book of Mormon and the King James Bible translation of the Sermon on the Mount?

    Was his work as a translator on the Book of Abraham new and more correct as well?

    • shematwater September 1, 2016 at 8:32 pm #

      Your comments here have no logic and they fail to grasp the truth of the issue.

      First, nothing I said, and nothing the prophets have said, debases the Bible. All of it uplifts and honors the Bible.
      What is does debase is your doctrine and interpretation of the Bible, which is what is offensive to you. If the Bible is missing points of doctrine than your claims that it is perfect and complete are wrong, which destabilizes your entire doctrine. The claim flies in the face of basically everything you believe. So you are offended and feel that we debase the Bible, but that is truly a misplaced accusation.

      Also, none of this makes the Bible subject to a man, any more than the fact that men originally wrote it, and that men are the ones that translated and preserved it over the years. The restoration of the Bible comes from God, not Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith was merely the means by which God worked.

      As to being more correct, the changes that Joseph Smith made to the sermon on the mount are a more accurate rendition of what Christ taught than what is had in the KJV or any other version of the Bible.

      However, the Book of Mormon records a somewhat different sermon, which is understandable as the audience was different.

      As to the Book of Abraham (which I am not getting into right now, beyond this point). It is a completely separate record. It never claimed to be a translation of any part of the Bible, but a new record brought to light by the power of God. It is more akin to the Dead Sea Scrolls than the Bible.

  4. Thomas September 2, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    Also, none of this makes the Bible subject to a man, any more than the fact that men originally wrote it, and that men are the ones that translated and preserved it over the years. The restoration of the Bible comes from God, not Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith was merely the means by which God worked.

    Unless he actually wasn’t and was just a guy with a rock in a hat and multiple different versions of his supposed first vision.

    Again, you are so used to Smith’s debasement of the Bible that it doesn’t compute. Let’s start with the fact that a foundational claim is that the Bible was corrupted. That is not debasing at all, right?

    And coincidentally, only Joseph Smith was is able to lead you to correct understanding of what was corrupt and not — only one man could lead you to the truth — is it Jesus?, no again it was the guy with the rock and hat.

    It is no coincidence that the Jehovah’s Witness take this same tact — they also claim the Bible is corrupt but for them only the Watchtower can tell you what is right and what is wrong as it is a wonderful way to shift control over to the human. Follow the Watchtower’s version of Jesus, follow Joseph Smith’s version of Jesus.

    So the Word of the Lord that stands forever did not actually stand forever – God failed to protect His word – and God’s church that Jesus says very clearly He will build and over which the gates of hell will never prevail fell to Satan — there was no true and living faith on the earth and that was why Joseph Smith was praying according to one of the versions of his vision, right?

    So the Bible is corrupt, was as written in the incorrect and wrong until Smith came along and can only be properly understood through Joseph Smith and his additional writings and you don’t think there is any debasement going on?

    As to being more correct, the changes that Joseph Smith made to the sermon on the mount are a more accurate rendition of what Christ taught than what is had in the KJV or any other version of the Bible.

    However, the Book of Mormon records a somewhat different sermon, which is understandable as the audience was different.

    Sorry, this doesn’t deal with how the sections were identical in the Book of Mormon and the King James until Joseph Smith made his later changes. So it was the same Sermon on the Mount until after Smith revised the King James.

    Re; the book of Abraham, say what you will but its foundation was the same as the Book of Mormon etc, the supposed ability of Joseph Smith to translate anything.

    He claimed to discover it and to be able to read the Egyptian Heiroglyphics on it and translated based upon that specific basis. When it was later found complete with the supposed translators notes on it after the discovery of the Rosetta Stone it was shown to very clearly not say what Smith claimed. It was a complete and total fraud.

    • shematwater September 2, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

      “Unless he actually wasn’t and was just a guy with a rock in a hat and multiple different versions of his supposed first vision.”

      And as you have no proof of this claim, it doesn’t really matter. You are trying to argue a point of faith with nothing to support it beyond your own opinions.

      “Let’s start with the fact that a foundational claim is that the Bible was corrupted. That is not debasing at all, right?”

      No, it isn’t. The corruption itself was debasing it, but we never did that. Acknowledging this and seeking to restore it to its original glory is elevating, not debasing. It is like restoring an ancient painting. You don’t accuse the restorer of debasing the painting. You express your gratitude to them for helping you to see what the original was supposed to look like.

      “only one man could lead you to the truth — is it Jesus?, no again it was the guy with the rock and hat.”

      Again you show your ignorance. Joseph Smith restored the Bible to its original state, but it is the Holy Ghost that leads to all truth. Without the witness of the Holy Ghost Joseph’s efforts are rejected by the world. It was Jesus that instructed Joseph, and the Holy Ghost that moved him in translating the Bible. It is the Holy Ghost that leads us to a knowledge that Joseph was indeed acting under the direction of Christ. Through this we know the truth, not through Joseph Smith.

      “Sorry, this doesn’t deal with how the sections were identical in the Book of Mormon and the King James until Joseph Smith made his later changes. So it was the same Sermon on the Mount until after Smith revised the King James.”
      I am assuming you have never actually read the first edition of the Book of Mormon, because the differences are most definitely there. For instance, Matthew 5: 3 says “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Yet, in the first edition of the Book of Mormon, this passage in rendered “Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit, which cometh unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” You can check it out here.

      Now, you also try to being in many things that are not directly related to the subject at hand, and I have chosen not to comment on them. Please keep the discussion focused on the topic of the Bible and the way in which the LDS church treats it.

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