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Joel Kramer Interview Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
December 6, 2020 8:13 pm

Joel Kramer Interview Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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December 6, 2020 8:13 pm

Joel Kramer, who has produced a number of videos on Mormonism as well as on biblical archaeology, is our guest this week in a rerun series. You need to check out his new book, Where God Came Down, available on


.1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective 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 it's Monday welcome of this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM but also with us today is a good friend of ours Joel Kramer D has been living in Israel for how many years Joel about 10 years. About 10 years welcome to the show and we have a lot of things that we want to talk about and it's going to be a little bit different than what we normally cover, but I think it's important.

One thing that really impresses me up about you is you are like a perpetual student everything to you is something to learn and I admire that intensely, but you have been over in Israel for the past many years studying biblical archaeology and certainly we want to get into that a little bit that you have studied under Shimon Gibson who we all had Eric and myself had the pleasure of meeting when we took a group over to Israel and we need to talk about this to the fact that you have led groups in Israel to various sites in the Bible and one of the things I like we have you with groups that we have taken over. There is we going to areas that tourists normally never go and I think would probably would really substantiate a Christian's faith to see some of the things that are not on the regular list of tourist attractions, but I know when when listening to you when we go to somebody's places like Bethel and I like quiche and places like that. I walked away with a very strengthen faith in the Bible and that's one of the reasons why you went over to Israel in the first place because I think we have to tell our listeners.

Your background is really pastoral that effect. When we first meet it had to be when I moved to Utah in 2004.

We've known each other a long time. I don't remember specifically when we met that guy pastored a church for eight years in Brigham city, Utah, and I think we got connected through the videos that we were producing at their and and we want to talk about that videos as well. Let's talk about why did you want to go to Israel, why did you want to live in Israel and start studying archaeology came up. First of all, I was raised in the Middle East.

My father worked for an oil company and in Saudi Arabia so I grew up there grew up in the middle eastern culture there and found myself here in Utah. After I graduated from college in Arizona and I got into ministering to Mormons and had developed a heart for Mormons. I found that you know just purely talking theology with them. Sometimes that we go round and round because ultimately they believed that the Bible had been corrupted and I restored three to Joseph Smith and through Mormonism and so I got interested in trying to deal with evidence in those discussions and that led to doing video work that was intended to try to help.

Reason with them and that seemed to be effective. And so it became important to me in reaching Mormons to teach them primarily that the Bible is trustworthy and to use evidence to do that and to grow in my own understanding of that led me to move to Israel and to formally study in the University there and I thought maybe I do that for six months or a year or two years and next thing I knew, 10 years went by, so you mention how you having to respond to a lot of Latter Day Saints regarding their I'm assuming here's meaning here's their doubt in the authenticity of the Scripture. Would you say that that is probably why when a Mormon loses faith in Mormonism that they tend to go off and atheism. Yes, definitely. It is because I think that there isn't really a legitimacy for the Mormon belief system.

If there's not a corrupt Bible that that's a good point because that was one of the accusations that Joseph Smith certainly made was that the Bible according to article 8 is to be believed only as far as it's translated correctly but I think we both know that that's not really what the Mormons are saying they believe that the Bible is not transmitted accurately down through the years and so even if it may be a good translation. It's a good translation of a corrupt text yeah and if if all these plain and precious portions are missing from the Bible and restored in Mormonism, then a way to battle. That is to show that the whole claim that the Bible has been corrupted is not true. And so to focus on the ways that we know of the Bible is reliable and the evidence that supports the Bible was something that became important to me in my quest to reason with Mormons and that's really was a major motivation for me to move to Israel and study it personally when you went over to Israel to study archaeology where you immediately impressed by the way you were being taught over there because from what I understand most archaeologists are secularist. They're not Christians. It's not like in let's say the early 19 century when this archaeology movement was really going big guns.

The purpose back then was more to validate a lot of the biblical stories and even though a lot of modern archaeologists might validate some of the biblical stories there's seems to be a lot of politics and presuppositions in there to where if you think you're going to Israel to take a class in archaeology to have it strengthen your faith well so do you think that is probably going to happen. In most cases, the answer to that is absolutely not an the reason is is because biblical archaeology just the title of it is very confusing and often gives the wrong impression when you hear that title biblical archaeology and you come from a biblical worldview. It sounds very positive. If I could give a title myself to the field that would help people understand the feel better.

I would call it anti-biblical archaeology because that's much more. The agenda I think it's important to understand two things about the field of biblical archaeology number one it's a secular field and number two it has always been a secular field and so back in the early days when explorers came and started digging in the land and so forth. There was a much higher degree of respect for the Bible is a historical text, and therefore it was considered the tool to use to understand the land in the archaeology and the evidence that is not the case anymore. That is become less and less over the years to where now it's really driven and it has been for a long time by an agenda, a dominant agenda that is really aimed at criticizing the Bible.

There's a few exceptions to that as there always is, but am not very many will only say this when you have taught groups that we have brought over to Israel. I've always been impressed when we go to a lot of these sites you will pull out your Bible and you will read what the text says, and I remember especially when we were written by you mentioned something about a tower somewhere in and lining it up with Bethel and how the Bible talks about Bethel being west of I, and so you would showing the geographical location that with the Bible is saying is absolutely accurate and I was impressed by the fact that even though I would. I'm very aware as you said, that archaeology is very secular and it isn't really the goal of many archaeologists to bring you to a faith in Christ at certainly not the goal but yet you bring it out in a way that was just incredibly amazing because it seemed to line up exactly with what the text says because it does because it does lineup and that's that's the thing that my experience here in Utah was that here is Mormonism who believes that the book of Mormon is historical and it can be frustrating because it's not historical doesn't have the evidence and so you find yourself trying to reason with people that something that is not historical that they believe is historical in all the arguments in Israel. It's the opposite.

The Bible is historical and has all the evidence and is as you say obvious and yet most believe that it's not historical and are teaching that it's that it's dealt on legends and in so where you find the illogical arguments in Mormonism is from the scholars that are trying to defend something is historical, that is an historical and where you find the illogical arguments in biblical archaeology is from the scholars that are trying to say something that is historical isn't historical. One of the highlights of all of our trips that we've done though. We've gone five different times at Joe's been involved in all of them in one way or the other is doing exactly what you say is going and looking at the site for yourself and I remember the last trip we did in 2015 we went to the Valley of the law and that overlooking that valley. You showed us the river where the stones were picked up and you showed us where the Philistines were and where the Jews were in and it was just amazing to be able to see that and you do that so well because you're a good storyteller but really, you just are reading out of the Bible and just restating it in your own words right it's it's easy it's really easy because you're showing what the Bible says and then you can show him you know in real life, the geography and in the Bruins from the city and that the Bible is talking about. It's it's awesome. I mean it's it's so profound because it's so simple know the three days it will be spending with us in February you'll be doing that again and going to these different places. We actually have a full trip for the most part going in February 2017 but if anybody's interested. We still have two spots open so what if you would like to see Joe Kramer in action out in Israel to be able to see the sites that you normally wouldn't see go to our website I should mention that on our website. We have a lot of video clips of you teaching at some of these sites, but you are going to be bringing a lot of that expertise here in the state of Utah in the next several weeks, and so wanted to explain Virgil's going to be talking yeah you want to come out here what Joel has essays you speak three or four different times in Utah, including October 25 at Alta Canyon Baptist Church that's in Sandy and I will be at 7 PM November 6. You'll be at E from church of the Bible and Sanpete County at the Sunday morning service.

You also be on November 13 at Canyons church in Salt Lake City at the 930 Sunday school and 11 o'clock at the church service and then on November 8. You'll be at the Alta Canyon in the morning for morning special morning 7 AM if you want to get up early for that. All of that is on our website you can find out the names of the churches you can find out the times and the addresses but I would highly recommend in these next few weeks. Find one of those times to go in here Joel himself speak absolutely. We've been talking with Joe Kramer good friend of ours.

He has a Masters in archaeology studied over in Israel. And I guess you could say your archaeologists and apologist, a teacher, a pastor, a filmmaker, you have a lot of things to include in your resume and if you get a chance to hear Joel. I'm sure you're going to be encouraged by the many things that he's going to say I know I of always been impressed when I listen to you when you're leading groups over in Israel, II just sit there and just hang on every word that you had to say. I just love the way you verify everything you're talking about. From what the Bible has to say and guaranteed visa number one, a favorite activity that we do on any of these trips because that they all come back talking about Joe Kramer. Joel, thanks for being with us today. Hey, my pleasure.

Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request our free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is looking for a resource written for young people.

That explains the Mormon religion from a biblical worldview. Mormonism 101 13 Mormonism research ministry Sarah Johnson addresses basic LDS doctrine while answering important questions such as, is it okay to date my Mormon friend.

This book will help you better understand what can otherwise be a complicated religion.

Mormonism 101 preteens available at the Utah lighthouse bookstore in Salt Lake City for purchase online and

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