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March 3, 2021 8:07 pm
One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 limited 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 viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today as Johnson. My colleague at M. R. M. Inerrancy.
What is it what is it not, that's what we been discussing this week and we been kind of spring boarding off of the statement that was made by the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Joseph Smith.
This can be found in the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 327 where he said, I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers, ignorant translators, careless transcribers were designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors that Eric and yesterday show. We ended with a couple of citations from Mormon scholars and we were making the case that you don't usually find a lot of the scholars within the Mormon church citing many of the same arguments that perhaps a layperson in the LDS church might be making in reference to the Bible you quoted Lloyd Anderson and Donald Peary, both of whom seem to I would say give high accolades to what we have in our Bibles today, and yet most Latter Day Saints. When they find out that Joseph Smith was not a true prophet of God in the LDS church is not a true church tend to want to throw the Bible out thinking that it's not trustworthy now that statement from Donald Peary that you read yesterday as well as the other statement doesn't seem to give that impression. In other words, the scholars don't seem to agree with a lot of the miss understanding that many laypeople in the LDS church have. I think that's important. Many of them I think would go along with what a lot of Bible scholars New Testament Bible scholars would say. So what we do with that. We were talking about how we believe in inerrancy deals specifically with the original manuscripts. The autographs the problem of course is we don't have any autographs any longer Mormon stone either folks. Not when it comes to the book of Mormon.
They don't have any autographs. If they did they would have the gold plates and they don't have the gold plates but we do have one autograph that the church has and that would be the book of Abraham.
That's cause a lot of problems because before 1966. Everybody thought that that document had been burned in a Chicago fire from many years before, and yet it was rediscovered in New York in a museum in New York and it was given to the church and when you take a look at what this manuscript says in Egyptian, you find very clearly it's nothing close to what Joseph Smith said it was when he translated the book of Abraham, and so the church is even had to come out with the gospel topics essay to say it was in a translation in the normal sense it was a spiritual translational that's a problem because a translation means you're taking something and you're making it go into a different language, but if you have nothing to work off of.
Then how can you say that that is a translation of this manuscript when it has no words like let's go back to this whole idea of okay Bill, you're admitting that some errors could have crept into the manuscripts. Why are you so sure that what we have today is a good rendition of what the original had let me give you an example, let's say, for instance, we have a man in the first century. He's writing in a cave with a candle in the country of Syria and he decides as Joseph Smith implies that he is actually a corrupt priest and so he is going to purposely commit many errors he's going to re-copy the text and insert his erroneous views. How do we know where his erroneous views can be found.
Well, what we would do is we would take what ever copies he made with those erroneous views and we compare them with other copies. Let's say copies from Turkey or ancient Anatolia. We see that a number of manuscripts coming from Turkey all say one thing but they don't say what that Syrian scribe had in his text. We look at other manuscripts that were hand copied let's say from northern Africa and we notice they too do not include the alterations that were made by this corrupt priest in Syria in some cave somewhere you could do that with a number of manuscripts taken from various parts of the old world and you're noticing something all of them say pretty much the same thing, but what they don't include are the alterations that are fictitious scribe made in that cave in Syria and that's how the fraud is exposed, we would know to reject what those manuscripts happen to say it because it does not conform to the great majority of other texts that are out there for us to examine is my analogy correct.
I think it is. I think that we have to ask the question what's the motive of the scribe in Syria that you mention of him trying to change things. Because yes, that there were sometimes scribes who would write notes and or maybe try to correct something, but they were always trying to make it more understandable not less understandable, but then for that corrupt scribe in Syria to get his ideas across to the whole world. He's got to go find the other manuscripts and make the exact same notations in each one of those. But today we have the benefit of 5700+ Greek manuscripts 24,000 total in other languages, plus the church fathers were continually quoting Scripture in the New Testament.
I've heard it said that all but maybe a dozen verses were cited one time or another in the hundreds of years of the church fathers and so that I think that's a really strong point.
But yesterday, I gave you a citation from Lloyd Anderson that was from the manuscript discoveries of the New Testament in perspective from the papers of the 14th annual symposium on the archaeology of the Scriptures that he presented April 13, 1963 and read the whole quote but let me give you the rest of it that goes along with what you're saying.
He said the second great fact that such a survey demonstrates is the progress that has placed the world in possession of manuscripts very near to the time of the writing. One would have to be a student of ancient history to appreciate how much superior. The New Testament is to any other book in its manuscript tradition though. I mean as far as ancient manuscripts go. We have great wealth with all of these manuscripts that we do have all these copies and we have more evidence of what the New Testament especially is saying then anything that Plato wrote anything that Homer wrote or these other ancient people, and yet a lot of scholars don't have any problem to say what this is what Homer's Odyssey is or the Iliad, and we have copies that go many years after. And yet we have copies of the Bible that go within the lifetime of disciples of the apostles.
We have one piece of John from John chapter 17 is called P 52, and a date that to it at least 125 A.D. so we have pieces going way back to very close within the lifetime of the apostles and I'm going to suggest if you're somebody who doesn't have a whole lot of respect for the Bible and the wealth of information. I'm talking about a good book, an easy book to read is by an former atheist, a reporter Lee Strobel called the case for Christ.
The first third of his book deals with these kinds of issues were talking about any talks about how we have reliable evidence to help us understand what the original autograph said very clearly this is the strength of the Christian story of why we believe in the Bible and why we trust it to be able to understand what God has for us today just throw some doubt there, because both of us have talked to a lot of former Latter Day Saints and many of these former Latter Day Saints would at best claim that their agnostic and usually it's not the evidence that were presenting that causes them to not want to believe the Bible is just they don't want to believe what it says they just don't like what God wanted us to know that's what I'm saying it it's more volitional, rather than evidential and and I can understand that. If that's the way they want to go but I guess I get a little bit weary when I talk to people who don't want to believe the Bible and they think they have good evidence to just dismiss it all, but yet I find also in talking to them what we've been saying this past week. They wouldn't even know about this stuff because they never took the time to look into it which I feel is so tragic and what is sad is when they attend a church like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which pays lip service to the Bible all the Bible is part of our standard works. We've heard Mormon leaders call it our precious holy Bible. While at the same time putting out writings were giving speeches that cast doubt on our Bible's accuracy. This is so sad because many of them don't bother to look at this and maybe they just like they said they don't want to believe what it has to say but I think there's probably a lot of very sincere former Mormons out there who don't realize there's good evidence out there to believe about what you don't have to become an agnostic, you have to go into atheism you can trust this Bible and it can transform your life as it has transformed millions of others.
We have a mutual friend, Michael Wilder, who became a Christian I think around 2005.
He was a Mormon missionary and a Christian pastor basically told him to read the Bible as a little child, and so so Micah took that seriously, and he read the New Testament. Dozens and dozens of times, and by the end of his mission. He actually had become a Christian. He actually had a belief in the biblical Jesus. It got him kicked off the mission the last week before he was supposed to return with honor. He actually got sent home a week early and cause a major problem, but Michael Wilder believed the Bible for what it was in working or recommend that a Latter Day Saints or a former Latter Day Saints.
Just read the Bible as a little child see what it has to say. I would recommend reading the book of John read the book of Romans. Having read it all the way through without any presuppositions like a little child is that pastor told Micah, and I think that you'll find that what the Bible is teaching is nowhere close to what the Mormon church leaders are saying you are to believe. I remember having a conversation with a former Mormon missionary who did just that. He read the New Testament. He read the Gospels and he realized that's not the Jesus.
He was told to believe in what he was seen in the Gospels did not reflect a version of Jesus that his church was propagating as a result of that, he came out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You can go onto the Internet. If you don't have a modern version of the Bible go to Bible Gateway.com and a good version we could recommend is English standard version read it in version you've never read before in an version you might be able to understand and I think you're going to be surprised at what the Bible says thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research.
We hope you'll join us again as we look at another viewpoint is beginning on Saturday, March 6 Utah lighthouse bookstore will be reopening on Saturdays.
If you're in the downtown Salt Lake City area.
Be sure to stop by to say hello to either Bill McKeever for Eric Johnson will be there from 1 to 5 PM. Now once again the bookstore is located just west of Smith ballpark at 1358 S. on W. Temple St. in Salt Lake City. That's on Saturdays from 1 to 5 PM Bill or Eric will be there. And of course they look forward to seeing you