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June 26, 2020 10:26 am
.1 Mormonism examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a viewpoint when 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. Our thanks to Ed and Roberto for that musical introduction welcome to this addition. A viewpoint on Mormonism.
I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM we are looking at the book, articles of faith written by a Mormon apostle by the name of James Talmage Talmage was also the author of the book we looked at last week, Jesus the Christ. Both books were commissioned to be written by the first presidency of the LDS church and Talmage was the man that they chose to write those books, the articles of faith was given as a gift for Christmas in 1984 and again in 2010 so as you can imagine, this book has a bit of a special feel to it that the church leadership filter that needed to be given away twice not just once, so were looking at the book today and were looking at chapter 13. As I explained yesterday the outline used for this book was a letter that was written by Joseph Smith to the editor of the Chicago Democrat. A man by the name of John Wentworth.
In that letter, Smith outline these basic teachings that his church believed in yesterday we talked about the word creed we know that Mormons don't like to say that they have a creed but yet this really does fit the definition of a creed. What James Talmage did was basically put flesh on those 13 brief articles and went into each one of them elaborated on what those brief statements really meant in the context of Mormonism. So were looking at page 236 what he has to say about the Bible and yesterday we were saying that for the most part he's pretty complementary of the Bible, but in this bottom paragraph, page 236 he's going to expose his reservations as he calls it, he writes. Nevertheless, the church announces a reservation in the case of erroneous translation, which may occur as a result of human incapacity, and even in this measure of caution, we are not alone for biblical scholars generally admit the presence of heirs of the kind both of translation and of the transcription of the text. Let's stop there because this is an important distinction that we have to make it foregoing to fully understand what article 8 tells us Smith said we believe the Bible to be the word of God. As far as it is translated correctly but did you notice what Talmage does in this paragraph he expands it from translation to what he says is transcription or trans mission of the text. I personally think that's the real issue.
Mormon leaders have said rather loudly that our Bibles can't be trusted because they been corrupted over the years, that would be a transmission error. It's interesting that he uses both words translation and transcription.
But I would say that translation is only as good as the translators of the Bible them. So I mean there are many different kinds of translations out there. Even Joseph Smith himself has written a translation and so are we gonna put reservations on Jeff's mistranslation just because of article 8, and doesn't seem to make sense, but if there had been corrupt priests and others who were making changes to the Bible to fit their own purposes that seems to be with the gist of what Joseph Smith meant when he said we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.
So let me see if I understand you correctly, or what you're saying is that Smith probably didn't use the correct word. He uses the wrong word because if it's just a translation problem that sounds like a pretty easy fix. All we need to do is go back to the manuscripts that are available to us to see if the translation fits with the manuscript actually says, and there are rules in translation and so there are right ways to translate and there are wrong ways and whenever you put your own presuppositions into the text you are doing it wrongly.
I mean the Jehovah's Witnesses are known for doing this in their New World translation that mangles versus completely, and changes them to fit their own theology and you can even see that in their interlinear where on the left-hand side with the Greek Francis in the New Testament all have the literal words for it, but you don't translated that way, but the have a little literal words there, but then they have different words and different meanings in the actual New World translation text and so scholars would say across the board. It's a terrible translation meant for a purpose of indoctrinating the people who belong to the watchtower tract Bible Society so so the idea of translation it's important to understand that distinction between that and transcription. Yeah. And when he uses the word transcription that opens up a whole new area in which we can criticize what Talmage is saying because if he's trying to argue the case that if the transmission was not accurate. Basically, folks.
It doesn't matter if it's a good translation because it would only be a good translation of a bad transmission bullet.
Those words confuse you there very important and now I think is really what a lot of Mormon leaders have been trying to get across to their membership. Now it doesn't work with Bible scholars and he's going to try to use Bible scholars in this paragraph to make a point for himself, but I don't think that most Bible scholars would take his conclusions quite so far and I still think that even though we recognize there is no perfect translation and there is also no perfect transmission.
We have enough evidence available to us as Christians that we can get a pretty good understanding as to what the Bible is supposed to say to us or what the authors intended when they wrote one, they wrote, he continues writing the Latter Day Saints believe the original records to be the word of God onto man and as far as these records have been translated correctly. The translations are regarded as equally authentic, the English Bible professes to be a translation made through the wisdom of man in its preparation. The most scholarly men have been enlisted yet not a version has been published in which heirs are not admitted. I don't think anybody would argue that statement because we know that translations are works of men. Men are finite in their knowledge and understanding. It shouldn't surprise us anymore. Then it surprises us that the Mormon church has produced a lot of translations of their book of Mormon and they've had to go back and re-translate those and come out with new revised editions because the earlier editions of that particular translation of the book of Mormon was not quite as accurate as they now think it could be sold. They are just as guilty of this.
When it comes to the book of Mormon nobody has a translation of the book of Mormon outside of the English they would say that comes directly from the original. The gold plates. We don't have the gold plates so really the English that we have is a second generation would not be asset that that would be called an autograph. We don't have the original autographs of the Bible. We don't have the autograph of the book of Mormon either. That's plain and since it was written first level from the reformed Egyptian allegedly to English.
That means let's say since I was using the Russian version the Russian version couldn't have come from the autograph it had to come from a translation allegedly from the autograph so if you use this is a is an argument. The argument goes both ways here and I think by the very fact that the Mormon church has seen fit to have to do revisions of their translations shows that they run into this difficulty as well. But what Russian Mormon wouldn't say that his Russian edition of the book of Mormon is trustworthy. They would all think it's trustworthy. Just as we would say that our English editions of the Bible are trustworthy but they all if you have a Russian with his Russian version of the book of Mormon, and he was a retranslate that back in English. I guarantee you it would not be exactly the same as what the English book of Mormon is today. I had a chance to study under two men who were translators of the new international version. The NIV back in the 1970s Dr. Ronald Youngblood and you had a chance to study under him as well. His and I had him for hermeneutics class and also Dr. Wessel and in the Greek in the New Testament and I listened to many many stories because they would tell stories. It was fascinating to hear of how the translation process went on. I think a lot of Latter Day Saints do not understand why there are so many different translations because it's not up Word for Word kind of way of taking the Greek and moving it right over to the English and making it all work out. There's a lot to it.
There's nuances and there are different ways of going about it and I guarantee you, neither Dr. Youngblood nor Dr. Wessel would have agreed with every single way that it was translated. I mean, they had to vote on it and there were other things they had to do because there were different possibilities and so it's a very challenging way of going about taking the original and then taking it and put it into another language.
So there is no perfect translation. But let me ask you this. Eric Dr. Youngblood, France, and since both of us had him as a professor.
Do you think he was trying to corrupt the text or corrupt the meaning of the text in any way. I got the impression that Dr. Youngblood loved the text. Why would he want to purposely inject errors into the text and even when he disagreed with the scholar on the way that a certain word should be put into the English he never said well that professor obviously does not want what I want. They both agreed they wanted what was the right way to translate it is just that there are different ways of doing it because this is very complicated. There's not 1 Perfect Way of doing it and he would certainly acknowledge that but yet many Mormon leaders have given the impression that over the years. The reason why the transmission of the text was corrupted as they say, was because there were people purposely trying to take something out or to make sure something was inserted that supported their personal views rather than what the author intended the first place. And I think that's deceptive and one of the things about Bible translation is you have to take the manuscripts and be able to go back to the earliest and most authentic because yes, as time goes on and you get into the eighth, ninth, 10th century A.D. pick time. You're not going to trust those manuscripts as much as you trust the earlier one so and you also would take a look and you go with the harder reading when you're when you're taking a look at which taxes is correct because there are variations and they would grade them based on the idea of something that was smooth over probably was something that had been changed by a scribe who is trying to help make sense of that.
But you go with the harder reading is probably will be more likely to be the original reading in a scribe as you just described is interpreting. Then at that point he's not really translate right he's interpreting and that's what they're not supposed to do. So the challenge would be for the Mormon to prove where that happened.
If they're going to make a case like that, where did that happen then is this verse not believable is that verse believable. What test did you used to come to this conclusion. Whatever tested is should be able to be used on all other verses as well will tomorrow organ of again by a statement by James Talmage on page 237 where he seems to admit that the errors these alleged errors are not all that many thank you for listening you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research.
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