" We believe the Bible to be the Word of God, as far as it is translated correctly"
--- LDS Articles of Faith, # 8 ---
When I was LDS, I believed that the Bible was "mistranslated". That is to say, I didn't believe the Bible was completely in error, but had been "mishandled" in the translation process over the years and "plain and precious" truths had been removed. There is a kind of mind set in the LDS church that the Bible is "hard to understand" not as easy to read as the Book of Mormon. LDS are biased in their belief that the Book of Mormon is more "pure" than the Bible. Although they do recognize the Bible and use it in their Sunday School classes , there is a underlining mistrust in the Bible.
The above quote, at the top of the blog entry, is from the LDS Articles of Faith. ( similar to a statement of faith).
The LDS church believes the Bible is "correct" as long as it is translated correctly. So "who" decides if a particular passage is translated correctly or not? Mr. Joseph Smith, founder and first LDS prophet believed that the Bible was mistranslated and as such changed verses and passages from the Bible. LDS today call his translations the "inspired" translation or Joseph Smith Translation. These changes and alterations can be found in the back of the LDS published version of the King James Bible. ( the only authorized Bible LDS are encouraged to read).
The Book of Mormon, "another" book of scripture for the LDS states the following about the Bible:
" ... for behold they have taken away from the gospel of the lamb many parts which are plain and precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away. And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men. Wherefore thou seest that after the book ( the Bible) hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church , that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book which is in the book of the lamb of God." ~ 1 Nephi 13: 26-28
" And because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men.... because of these things which they have taken out of the gospel of the lamb an exceedingly great many do stumble , yea insomuch that Satan hath great power over them." ~ 1 Nephi 13:29
The Subheading for Chapter 13 of 1 Nephi in the book of Mormon, states the "loss of many plain and precious parts of the Bible".
These passages from the the Book of Mormon ( a book that LDS believe is the most correct of all books) clearly states that LDS believe that the Bible has "missing" parts/truths that cause men to stumble. The believe that the "abominable church" ( once believed by many LDS to be the Roman Catholic Church, but now no longer taught) took out truths from the Bible. This was done with the "intent" to blind men and harden their hearts.
Later on in the Book of Mormon, it goes further to state:
" ... Many of the gentiles ( non mormons) shall say A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible! and there cannot be any more Bible.... O fools they shall have a bible, and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. Thou fool that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible." -- 2 Nephi 29: 3,4,6
For non LDS readers, now you understand "why" LDS have a hard time trusting God's Word found in the Bible. Their own set of Scripture, that they view as the most correct of all books, teaches them that it is a "fool" who says that God's Word, found in the Bible is enough. They have been taught that the Bible is missing truths, that the great and abominable church ( once believed to be the roman catholic church) took out "plain and precious" truths to harden mens' hearts and to blind man.
Do you see why the distrust in God's Word?
Joseph Smith undertook the daunting task of re-translating the Bible. Most passages stayed the same as the original KJV version, but there are some key passages that have been changed.
Recently the LDS church announced that they have re-translated the Spanish Version of the KJV Bible. For LDS readers you can read more about this on http://www.lds.org/ This is not added footnotes and such as found in the LDS KJV, but a whole "new" translation. I wonder if the English KJV is next in line to be "re-translated" by the LDS. Time will tell.
When I began to read the Bible from cover to cover, it changed me from the inside out. My eyes were opened and God's word did a mighty work in my heart. It was not difficult to understand, but very plain and simple. THe gospel of John affected me the most. It so simply and clearly pointed me to the Messiah -- the Lamb. My heart was not hardened, nor were my eyes blinded. On the contrary after a lengthy study of the Bible, I came to the conclusion that Christ alone is all I need to inherit eternal life. That is how powerful God's word is.
" The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand forever." Isaiah 40:8
" So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth, it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. " Isaiah 55:11
"For the word of the Lord endureth forever. " 1 Peter 1:25
God did a great work in my heart and mind thru the reading of the Bible. I was not "looking" to leave the LDS church, when I began my extensive study of the Bible. God clearly pulled me out, and the Word of God, found in the Bible had a mighty affect on me.
I realized the Bible can be trusted! It is reliable! It has not been mistranslated as the LDS claim.
After leaving the LDS church I began to study the History of the Bible and how it came to be put together. Amazing. I recently purchased a book that helped my children and I understand the painstaking process of compiling the bible. I recommend this book not only for LDS readers, but also for Christians. It's a great book, especially for kids because it is a visual book, with lots of photos. How We Got the Bible by Clinton E. Arnold, published by Zondervan.
There is so much archaeological research that also supports the Bible as authentic and reliable. There is NO doubt that places like Jerusalem, the Jordan River and the Dead Sea existed! They exist today! Ancient ruins have been uncovered, places like Jericho, that show that the walls were indeed destroyed/torn down. The oldest form of any portion of the Hebrew Bible is over 2,600 yrs old and contains portions of Numbers chapter 6. This was discovered in an excavation of a burial tomb near Jerusalem in 1979. The Dead Sea Scrolls also reveal evidence that the Bible is not only authentic, but recent translations support the translations of years past. There is congruence and continuity. The oldest fragment of the New Testament is a portion of John's gospel that dates to AD 125. It was discovered in Egypt in the 1920's.
Contrary to what the LDS church teaches, the Bible has not been mistranslated. So far the Dead Sea scroll translations show that the translations are congruent with Biblical texts today. Men like William Tyndale, John Wycliffe and Mart Luther went thru extraordinary feats to translate the bible from the Greek and Latin and Hebrew so that the common Christian can know God's word. The Bible continues to be translated today into many languages and dialects. The Bible continues to be the World's Best selling book.
The LDS reader may question whether the Bible is still accurate after 2,000 yrs?
The answer to that question is a resounding YES!!!!! The Bible was translated thru a very careful process with many checks and balances along the way. Furthermore, the scribes working on copying the text of scripture took extraordinary care not to make careless mistakes. They had great respect and reverence for God's word and handled it carefully. Today we also posses the advantage of having many ancient manuscripts that can be dated back not far from the originals. When we compare the Bibles we use today the result is an astonishing degree of correspondence.
The Bible is God inspired and God breathed. John wrote :
" And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true and he knoweth that he saith truth that ye might believe. " John 19:34
The apostle John, walked and talked with Jesus and bore His record in written form. His record is true, and he does so that readers may believe that Jesus truly is the WAY!
The Bible is God's record of His dealings with His people, of their falling away, and of their need for salvation thru Christ the Lord. It is relevant for us today and it is most definitely reliable and translated correctly.
I challenge my LDS readers to put my words to test. Sincerely open God's word, and read for yourselves. I have faith and trust in God that He has preserved His word for generations.
I promise you that if you do read God's Word with sincerity of heart, your heart will undergo radical changes. For those of you who are reading who already know the Bible to be God's word, that endures forever, I challenge you to continue your study of it.
" For the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. " - Hebrews 4:12
Now you understand why your LDS friends may not accept the Bible as God's word and may express a distrust of sorts. The LDS church has recently been attempting to show forth a different face when it comes to the Bible. A recent video by an LDS leader depicts the bible as a "miracle" and "inspired". Be careful, and remember that in their statement of faith, they openly declare that it is translated correctly only to their approval. The book of mormon also declares that the Bible has been tampered with. Although the LDS church has made recent attempts to place more focus on the Bible, the fact does stand that their scriptures teach that the Bible can not be trusted as accurate. The truth of the matter is that the LDS will take into consideration Joseph Smith's translation over what the Bible states. ( for an example of this, you may compare John 1:1 from the KJV to the Joseph Smith translation of the same passage of scripture) .
I testify to my LDS readers that the Bible is indeed God's word! It has withstood the test of time, and will continue to do so. It continues to testify of the need of the Lord Jesus Christ and of His sacrifice for our sins. It can be trusted. It is reliable. It is not mistranslated as you have been taught. It can be trusted! Don't take my word for it, but go and read it for yourselves. God is the author of the Bible, and His word surely has not returned void.