Share This Episode
Viewpoint on Mormonism Bill McKeever  Logo

10 Common Mistakes Made When Reading the Bible Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
February 8, 2021 8:16 pm

10 Common Mistakes Made When Reading the Bible Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 662 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

February 8, 2021 8:16 pm

Bill and Eric talk about an article Eric wrote at MRM concerning the most common mistakes that are made when reading the Bible. For a look at the article, visit

Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Truth Talk
Stu Epperson
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Alex McFarland Show
Alex McFarland

Unprepared to engage Mormon missionaries when they knock on your door? Perhaps the book Mormonism Research Ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now your host for today's Viewpoint on Mormonism. On our website at

What's the address for this article, Eric? slash 10 common mistakes with hyphens between each one and 10 is one zero. And it is titled, as he said, 10 common mistakes Latter-day Saints make when reading the Bible. But as we mentioned in yesterday's show, these are mistakes that even a well-meaning New Testament Christian can make as well. And if we're going to use the Bible to try and support our position as a Christian, we certainly want to understand the Bible correctly as it was intended by the author. And in yesterday's show, we were talking about the importance of verses not being taken out of context. But as we were going through your list, Eric, you made the comment to me off air that really all of these 10 points can be traced back to the problem of taking a verse out of context.

So that is the number one important rule we should always follow. Are we looking at this verse the way the author intended it to be looked at? And not the way that the reader interprets it to be. As we've often said, one of the worst things you can do is ask yourself, what does this verse mean to me? No, no, no, no, folks. What did those words mean to the author and what is he trying to get across to me?

That's the question we need to be asking. We're looking at point number three today. In point number three, Eric, you write, Thinking a particular verse or passage is alluding to the Book of Mormon and the situation in ancient America. The example that you give is Ezekiel 37, which, of course, has been used by many Latter-day Saints to try to prove that the Book of Mormon must be an authentic book, because Ezekiel refers to it not by name, but he certainly alludes to it in Ezekiel 37 that talks about the two sticks and how Ezekiel was to take these two sticks and join them one in his hand. Of course, Mormon leaders, and I should say Russell M. Nelson, the 17th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, loved quoting Ezekiel 37 as his proof text for the existence of the Book of Mormon, even though the word sticks in that passage is a word used for literal pieces of wood, not books. That would be a completely different word that Ezekiel would have used. But it's important to show that Isaiah was not referring to either the Book of Mormon or even the Bible as many Latter-day Saints understand it.

Another verse that's used is John 10 16, And other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring. And that was a verse that was just used recently with me by an LDS leader. But let me just say that we're not going to go too deep into those two passages, but if you go to our book, Answering Mormon's Questions, that was published by Kriegel back in 2013, we have an entire chapter, chapter 33, if the Book of Mormon is just a novel, then why do Isaiah and Ezekiel predict it's forthcoming, the question a Mormon might ask? And I think that will have lots of answers for anybody who is interested in learning more about Ezekiel 37 in John chapter 10. I have to ask this question, though, Eric, if you can convince a Latter-day Saint that Ezekiel 37 is not talking about the Book of Mormon at all, would that put a dent in this whole theory that the Bible actually refers to it? Now, they can also use another passage out of Isaiah, and I've heard them do that as well, but even that one is badly understood by most Latter-day Saints. You see, again, folks, it's important to go back to the context.

Context is always important. And when you don't do that, you can make the mistake that you bring out, Eric, in point number three, thinking that a particular passage is talking about something that it's really not talking about at all. There's another verse that's not written in the article, but we were talking about, and we'd like to talk about now, Isaiah chapter 2, verse 2. And that says, and shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains. And it goes on to say that in this Lord's house, the word of the Lord will be taught. But it says later in Isaiah 2 that the word of the Lord is going to come from Jerusalem, the city Jerusalem. And yet the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, page 1255, says the LDS presence in the Salt Valley was compared to a fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy of the latter days, the city of God established in the top of the mountains where people from all nations could gather to the house of the Lord to learn his ways. I don't think a lot of people reading Isaiah would have assumed that that's talking about a place that's in the new world. We don't hear maybe about this verse so much now, but it certainly has been a favorite with many different leaders. For instance, in April 1971, Apostle LeGrand Richards said this about Isaiah 2-2, which also is cited in 2 Nephi 12-2 in the Book of Mormon.

He said how literally that has been fulfilled, in my way of thinking, in this very house of the God of Jacob, right here on this block. He's referring to Temple Square there. This temple, more than any other building of which we have any record, has brought people from every land to learn of his ways and to walk in his path. Robert D. Hales, another apostle, has talked about that at General Conference. Gordon B. Hinckley has talked about this and used it to support this idea that this is referring to Salt Lake City. And in fact, an Isaiah scholar of the LDS church, Donald W. Perry, this is what he said, fascinating. The prophecy ultimately refers to the Salt Lake Temple, nestled in the hills and mountains, as well as the future temple of Jerusalem, which will be established in the mountains of Judea. But he broadens the prophecy, and he allows that, quote, Isaiah's prophecy of the mountain of the Lord is fulfilled as temples are built throughout the world.

Now, he is admitting that this is referring to the future of Jerusalem, so he does have that in there. But he says, but ultimately it's referring to the Salt Lake Temple. But not just the Salt Lake Temple, Bill, but all the temples, even if they're not anywhere close to a mountain. It could be in Arizona or Texas, because that is part of this mountain of the Lord, fulfilled through Salt Lake City. Well, I know Jerusalem itself is in the mountains, the biblical Jerusalem. But is the Salt Lake Temple really technically in the mountains? Isn't it technically in the Salt Lake Valley? Now, surely there are mountains around the Salt Lake Valley, but it seems odd that they would use this and stretch its meaning so far to try and include a building that they have put up. And I still think, Eric, they need to explain clearly how they get around and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. I don't see Latter-day Saints ever referring, really, to Salt Lake City as Jerusalem. Now, I know there was a prophecy in early Mormonism about the New Jerusalem being established in Missouri.

But am I wrong in assuming that usually Salt Lake and other places are more encompassed in what they call Zion, not necessarily a city called Jerusalem? And this proof that you can make any verse out to be whatever you want it to be, Mountain of the Lord, that we live in an area that is surrounded by mountains here in Utah, and so it's easy to say, oh, look, Mountain of the Lord, how can I apply that now to this religion? And I think it's not a very good job of exegeting what Isaiah 2 is saying.

We have an article on our website. It's titled, Is Salt Lake City Isaiah's Mountain of the Lord? A Look at Isaiah 2. It was written by our good friend Ed Malott, who used to work with us years ago.

And Ed did some really great research. And this article, I think, could help a lot of people better understand what Isaiah was trying to get across. But he mentions Hinckley's use of this verse. And like Ed says, as I've mentioned also here, that the prophecy refers to Jerusalem is obvious in verse 3.

I mean, it is obvious. It's not giving you any type of indication that it could be just about anywhere in the world. By giving it that title and looking at the context again, it appears that Isaiah is speaking to Jerusalem as it was understood at that time. Now, certainly the temple would be destroyed and be rebuilt. And as Ed brings out in his article, he says, In the midst of these words of censure and judgment, Isaiah looks ahead to the time when the Lord will speak again. The author of the letter to the Hebrews recognized this when he wrote, God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world. And of course, as I mentioned yesterday, we're quoting from the King James version of the Bible, because that is the Bible version that Mormons respect.

And since we're exegeting those passages, we want to give it in a format that we hope a Mormon will recognize and respect. But they can find that passage in Hebrews chapter 1 verse 2. In point number 4, very quickly, Eric, you write, Believing that a verse or passage is true just because it was stated, disregarding who said it.

This is what I write in the first paragraph. Quoting Satan, Genesis 3-5 says, For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Church leaders have used this verse to support the doctrine of exaltation in the celestial kingdom and show how people can become gods of their own right in this next state, with families being together forever. As taught by LDS leaders in Church manuals, 2 Nephi 2-25 in the Book of Mormon says that Adam did a positive thing when he fell, allowing humans to leave the pre-existence in their mortality, and that's called a transgression and not a sin. And that's an important point because they have turned the original sin of Adam into a positive thing. In fact, Charles B. Harrell, a BYU professor, writes in his book This Is My Doctrine, an LDS thought, Adam and Eve's decision to transgress gradually came to be regarded even more favorably than an innocent error in judgment. It is now seen as a wise and righteous decision made with God's full commendation. Did Paul think that in Romans 5 when he's comparing what Adam did with what Jesus did? What Adam did caused all people to sin, and what Jesus did brought life. And so I can't see how you can take Genesis 3-5 and turn that into a positive. And you also mention in your article that Satan is called a liar and the father of lies. Let me just caution you listeners that whenever you see a quote from Satan, you might want to be careful as to whether he's telling you a truism or not. You better very carefully analyze what's being said, lest you make one serious mistake. You will join us again as we look at another Viewpoint on Mormonism. that will probably come up in a typical conversation. You can find these informative articles at That's Crash Course
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-26 12:18:56 / 2023-12-26 12:24:09 / 5

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime