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June 26, 2020 10:28 am
Mormonism 101 is research ministries Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson for so many more to understand what separates Mormonism from the Christian faith. Mormonism 101 is what your favorite Christian bookstore online. MRM.org .1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 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 welcome to this edition of your point on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson my colleague MRM we continue looking at the book, articles of faith written by a Mormon apostle by the name of James Talmage.
This book came out in 1899, Talmage was actually commissioned by the first presidency of the church to write this book and this book has been given away by the first presidency as a Christmas gift on two occasions, so obviously they feel there's a lot of doctrinal value in this book, and so were looking at what James Talmage has to say regarding the Bible. This is chapter 13.
In the book and as I mentioned yesterday, this book was patterned after the articles of faith 13 very brief points of doctrine. You find them at the back of the triple combination and it was originally from the letter called the bratwurst letter Wentworth was the editor of the Chicago Democrat, and Joseph Smith in 1842 sent him this letter and in this letter were these articles of faith and as I mentioned also. Mormons don't like to say that they have any creeds, but certainly this does meet the definition of a creed. Yesterday we were talking about some of things that Talmage had to say about the Bible very typical very traditional. You might say that comes to his position and he was talking about some of the erroneous translations and he was talking also about translation and of transcription of the text which would make you think that perhaps the LDS church as a point in being very cautious when it comes to the Bible, but then on page 237 he finishes this paragraph after talking about how even the English Bible professes to be a translation made through the wisdom of man and its preparation. The most scholarly men have enlisted yet not aversion has been published in which errors are not admitted but then he says this.
However, an impartial investigator has caused a wonder more at the paucity of errors then that mistakes are to be found at all. The paucity of errors or the scarcity of errors. That's a sentence that I don't think a lot of Latter Day Saints take seriously what Talmage is saying is is okay you're going to see over the centuries that there have been things that have crept into the transmission of the text. There have been translations over the years that could be questionable, but at the same time, Talmage admits that an impartial investigator has caused to wonder more at the paucity or the scarcity of errors than that mistakes are to be found at all, and that would cause us to ask.
Well, these errors that Mormons like to mention are they serious errors, though there's a quote that was given back in 1963 from a BYU professor's name is Lloyd Anderson.
We've use this quote before on the show, but he was giving his talk at the papers of the 14th annual symposium on the archaeology of the Scriptures, and this is what he said on pages 57 and 58 just part of what he said.
He said first no new manuscript discovery has produced serious differences in the essential story. This survey has disclosed the leading textual controversies and together they would be well within 1% of the text. Stated differently, all manuscripts agree on the essential correctness of 99% of all the verses in the New Testament. I think that's even better than what many evangelical scholars would say I've heard 98% 99% that's a pretty encouraging figure when you determine how much of the Bible there is in only 1% of errors and then again nothing of any major consequence. I like to point that out to Latter Day Saints that I am talking to when it comes to the authenticity of the Bible because it's not uncommon to have Mormons kind of rolled her eyes when it comes to the Bible. And that gives them they think an excuse to reject its importance in our spiritual lives. But at the same time I think they need to be challenged to tell you as a Christian, what are those areas that are so serious that you think we need to examine.
I can guarantee you that even if they came up with some of these problem areas are not difficult to explain and as you said there probably not all that major even when you have a Mormon scholars admit that I think that's important. Also, again, that shows the difference between what a scholar would think regarding the, the accuracy of the Bible and what some laypeople in the LDS church might think about. There's a really huge disconnect between the two, and I think that needs to be mentioned in our conversations with Latter Day Saints in the next paragraph on page 237 Eric James Talmage starts moving into what probably should be produced regarding an accurate translation of the Bible.
He writes there will be there can be no absolutely reliable translation of these or other Scriptures, unless it be affected through the gift of translation as one of the endowments of the Holy Ghost. The translator must have the spirit of the prophet if he would render in another tongue. The prophets words and human wisdom alone leads not to that possession. 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 heirs of men. There is so much just in that paragraph the list try to dissect what he says here, there will be there can be no absolutely reliable translation of these or other Scriptures, unless it be affected through the gift of translation as one of the endowments of the Holy Ghost. There's a probably a couple ways you can look at what he saying here. Let's look at one of them does not.
The prophet senior and rebel leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have the ability to translate.
Yes, Joseph Smith certainly felt he did. That's why we have the book of Mormon. That's why we have the pearl of great price. The book of Abraham I should say or the book of Moses within the pearl of great price. He also gives us Joseph Smith the inspired translation of the Bible in 1833.
He works on it for three years. He has the gift of translation which is interesting. There's a phrase that that Talmage uses the gift of translation. If Joseph Smith had the ability to do that and he produces a Bible that is the product of that gift. Why is it that the LDS church does not use it as their text. You would think that even though some might argue and I think badly that it wasn't finished, and therefore shouldn't be used. You would think even in its quote unquote unfinished state, it would be at least more accurate in the eyes of the LDS people then the best Bible version we can produce as evangelicals.
Would you not build you think that perhaps since the church does not have the copyright to the Joseph Smith translation is that a reason that scares them away from actually using that officially I have heard that argument used and to be quite honest I think that's one of the silliest arguments they could ever bring up who cares whether or not you have the copyright to the Bible.
Now there is no copyright necessary for the King James because it's been out for so many years. But just because you don't have the copyright my church uses the English standard version. We don't have the copyright to the English standard version, but yet we find it valuable, and we use it. There's probably other churches that use the NIV that you had mentioned earlier, they don't have the copyright but they still find it to be a valuable asset in learning from the Scriptures so I think that argument is really bad, but when he says the translator must have the spirit of the prophet if he would render in another tongue. The prophets words you and I were talking about this silly.
Why would you have to have the spirit of a prophet to render a translation of translation is supposed to be in this case, an English rendition of what the Greek says you're trying to find a word in English that matches the word or words that are used in the Greek while there are rules that we talked about yesterday and the rules are going to be the same for an atheist, a Muslim and a Christian if the scholar is whatever religious persuasion it doesn't matter.
He doesn't need to have the gift of the Holy Ghost to be able to make a good translation. He may not understand all the nuances there and I would say would be better for the translator for certainly the Bible to be a Christian who understands God's word.
But that's left to the hands of the interpreter. The interpreter is the one who determines what it's saying, but the translator is just writing down what the original author intended to say. And that's why we would disagree with that sentence there when he says the translator must have the spirit of the prophet. That shouldn't be necessary if these are merely just taking one word from the Greek and putting it in English. Hopefully he has the knowledge to be able to do that properly. Then he goes on to finish out that paragraph on page 237 to say 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 will if that's possible. What I think it is, then what's the problem I think we should all read the Bible prayerfully and reverently we want to seek the light of the spirit that we might discern between truth and the heirs of men.
But how would you know what the heirs of men or unless someone with the proper knowledge informed you ahead of time. For instance, there's a portion in the epistle of first John that many use to somehow support the Trinity now that portion found in the King James was added later. Everyone seems to know that but the only way we know it is because Bible scholars and historians have researched this and told us that how would you know that unless somebody told you up front but yet many Christians, even to this day they go to first John 57 and they think that is a verse that clearly supports the Trinity.
You don't need that verse to support the Trinity folks. There's other passages that do that. That's not a very good one to use because it is in fact questionable. We know that, but we don't need to throw out the doctrine of the Trinity. Because of that bill. During this series we been asking for help for our radio ministry.
We have a special offer that our listeners might like to consider for a generous gift of any size. We will send you an electronic PDF copy of Bill's book in their own words is to compile elation about the excitations that is close to 400 pages in length. All you have to do is go to MRM.org go to the donate button on the right side of the top main page and then put in your amounts and in the added notes section. If you would not mind putting the letters PDF and then provide your radio station call letters or if you listen on podcast mention the state where you live, we will send you an electronic copy of Bill's compiled quotes in their own words and we thank you in advance for your help. At this time. We might also mention that if someone was to want the quotations that we are citing today and others in other radio broadcasts in the series where can they find those quotes. They can just go to MRM.org and in the search engine and type in Christmas book and the first article to come up contains links to all of the books in this Christmas series and so to do further research. We invite you to go to MRM.org. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research.
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