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March 5, 2021 4:08 pm
When one examines 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 hoping you're having a very pleasant Friday. Welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM what is in error and see when it comes to our Bible. That's what we been talking about this week and as I've mentioned in every show we've kind of played off a statement made by Joseph Smith where he said, I believe the Bible is it red when it came from the pen of the original writers. The point we been making this I don't think there's any Bible scholars out there that would disagree with that. Of course the problem for Joseph Smith. Is he felt that the Bible was purposely corrupted over the years and because it was corrupted, it cannot be trusted any longer.
Most Mormons would look to article 8 where it talks about. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it's translated correctly and even though Joseph Smith in that statement goes on to say that ignorant translators careless transcribers are designing and corrupt priest have committed many errors. I think the main argument.
Probably most Latter Day Saints have.
Eric is not so much with translation as they do transmission and certainly Joseph Smith seems to have a problem with that as well. But that's the question was it transmitted correctly, was it written down properly and handed down properly to where we can look at our modern Bibles today and say you know what I think the evidence shows that what this says goes right along with what God meant when he spoke to the person who wrote it down for the first time what we call the autograph manuscripts we don't have any autograph manuscripts of our Bible, we admit that, but we think there is a way that you can be sure that what we have is what God intended. And yesterday show I spoke of a fictitious Syrian scribe writing in a dark cave with a candle and purposely taking manuscripts and correcting them and corrupting them as let's say Joseph Smith assumed in that statement that I read from page 327 of the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
How would we know that the manuscripts that he was producing are faulty, and as I mentioned yesterday, you would compare it with other manuscripts that are out there to see if what he's saying, concurs with what the other manuscripts have the say no going a little bit further. Greg Koegel has an analogy that he uses Inc. and Eric, I want you to read what Greg Koegel has to say because I think it goes along pretty much with what we were trying to explain yesterday, and maybe his analogy of aunt Sally might help a lot of people better understand what were saying. I think you can, because what were trying to show in yesterday show in today is how we can believe the inerrancy of the Bible and what God and originally intended can be still meant for us today because that we do believe we have a direct line to those original sources.
We have an article on our website MRM.org/Bible inerrancy Bible-inerrancy. You might want to go there. There's more information there that we have written, but aunt Sally's letter. I thought I read this many years ago and I think it's a perfect illustration of what we call textual criticism and being able to understand what the original set. He says let me illustrate how such a test can be made.
It will help you to see how scholars confidently reconstruct an original from existing manuscript copies. Even though the copies have differences and are much younger than the autograph pretender aunt Sally learns in a dream that the recipe for an elixir that preserves her youth when she wakes up she scribbles the directions on a scrap of paper then runs in the kitchen to make up her first glass in a few days. Aunt Sally is transformed into a picture of radiant youth because of her daily dose of Sally secret sauce.
Aunt Sally is so excited she sends detailed handwritten instructions on how to make the sauce two or three bridge partners. She doesn't have any photocopiers or email. They in turn make copies for 10 of their own friends all goes well until one day aunt Sally's pet dog eats the original copy of the recipe in a panic. She contacts her three friends who have mysteriously suffered similar mishaps so the alarm goes out to the others and attempt to recover the original wording Sally rounds up all the surviving handwritten copies 26 and all when she spreads them out on the kitchen table.
She immediately notices some differences. 23 of the copies are exactly the same. Of the remaining three.
However, one has misspelled words. Another has two phrases inverted mix then shop instead of chopped and mix and one includes an ingredient. None of the others has on his list. Do you think aunt Sally can accurately reconstruct her original recipe from this evidence. Of course she can. The misspellings are obvious errors. The single inverted phrase stands out and can easily be repaired.
Sally would then strike the extra ingredient reasoning is more plausible. One person would add an item in there then. 25 people would accidentally omit it, even if the variations were more numerous or more diverse. The original could still be reconstructed with a high level of confidence. If Sally has enough copies. This in simplified form is how scholars do textual criticism and academic method used to test all documents of antiquity, not just religious text. It's not a haphazard effort based on hopes and guesses it's a careful linguistic process allowing an alert critic to determine the extent of possible corruption of any work, so another words he's explaining something very similar to what we are talking about yesterday you would merely compare them with all the other manuscripts that are in existence. It would seem to make sense that a newer manuscript that says less is leaving something out if a lot of older manuscripts said more in that particular verse or sentence when we learn how to interpret the Bible in seminary, one of the things that the professor taught us was to rule's number one you always want to go with the oldest copy, not the youngest copy because as time goes on.
Your certainly going to have more ability to have heirs put in so you want to go with the earliest manuscripts and this was interesting for me, but you want to go with the harder reading manuscripts over the easier reading.
Because it would be more likely that the scribes and I think most of the scribes were godly men who are seriously wanting to preserve God's word by writing it down so future generations could read and they would make changes that they thought would make it easier to understand or they thought you know this is kinda complicated. Let me just simplify it, but when you reconstruct aunt Sally's letter the same idea is there that if somebody adds in a word, and the other 26 manuscripts don't have that, then it's unlikely that they had forgotten to put that word in.
And so you say well that might've been in addition, so they have different ways of figuring this out and then they can rate the difference writings to help us understand which is more likely.
So there is an actual science to this call textual criticism. I wish more latter-day Saints understood that because I think it would prevent them from having such heartache going off in the let's say agnosticism or atheism when they can be having the glory of sharing in Christ's salvation and resting in his promises.
I think another point needs to be made and we brought it up earlier in this series Joseph Smith tries to give the impression that there was some sinister act going on to purposely corrupt tax and I think you you made a comment here that needs to be addressed when the early Christians were copying the manuscripts we assume that they were Christians, wouldn't you think that they would want an accurate copy of the text to be handed down to fellow believers.
Why would they want to purposely corrupt the text and put something in there that was not in any other manuscript. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
I'm not discounting that there probably could've been people doing sinister things in copying the manuscripts I have to ask myself why they would do that. Why would they even be interested in this, especially when you consider that for the first few hundred years of Christian history, they were being harshly persecuted by the government. Why would they want to risk being a part of the Christians knowing that they could face persecution if they really didn't even believe what Christians were believing. So it tends to be a little difficult for me to go along with what Joseph Smith is saying here, although I think making these alleged priest being corrupt certainly would fit in the Joseph Smith narrative that there is something sinister going on that he's going to solve. Now we know that there were some sinister people out there who were trying to change the Christian message and we have a term for that Gnostic Gospels.
What we know about Gnostic Gospels Bill is a good point to bring up because there are a number of Gnostic Gospels as they're known, such as the gospel of Judas, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip. There's a number of these writings that are out there. I think that raises a good point Eric, how do we know we shouldn't believe them. How do we know they're not authentic and should be accepted as part of the canon iPad Latter Day Saints bring that up.
It's not hard to respond to a latter-day St. on that subject, because all you have to say is well does your church embrace. Let's say the gospel of Judas through the Gospel of Thomas Bill Slate will know within. Why is this an issue with you. It's not an issue with me. That's not an issue with you. So why do you want to discuss this, I think, quite simply, I would explain that we can use a very similar test. It's not so much seeing if what they say in a particular verse or line compares with another verse or line because these are original ideas you might say but do those ideas conform to what we already know should be trusted. For instance, if one of these Gnostic Gospels says something that is so off-the-wall and contradictory of what we already have. Let's say in the Gospels that Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John wooden that play suspicion on that particular writing as early as the second century and especially going into the fourth century when the New Testament canon was formed. These people who were putting the canon together never included any of these Gnostic Gospels. They knew about them, but they refuse to put them in there. They did not want anything in the canon that was going to be opposite of what the truth was about Jesus and his teachings as well as the apostles and their writings and also that they knew Jesus personally.
These Gnostic Gospels were written at the earliest the second century had no communication with the authentic disciples of Christ or Jesus himself. I think what we need to do in ending the show is just put out a heartfelt lead to any Latter Day Saints that are listening and have come to the realization that Joseph Smith was not a true prophet of God. I know it's easy and it's there's a temptation to just get rid of everything, but I implore you don't do that before you walk away from the Bible before you walk away from Jesus at least look into these claims.
Do some serious study on it and hopefully you're going to realize why millions and millions of people throughout our history have come to embrace the Bible to be the word of God, thank you for listening you would like more information and research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter research. We hope you 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 bookstores 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