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Alma 7:10 — Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
December 17, 2019 7:31 am

Alma 7:10 — Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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One member's agreement 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 welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM we are looking at a passage in a controversial passage in the book of Mormon.

It's found in the book of Alma Elma 710 says, and behold, he speaking of Jesus shall be born of Mary at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers. She being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost and bring forth a son gay. Even the son of God. Why is this such a controversial passage both obviously because it uses the word Jerusalem. When describing the birthplace of Jesus.

However, Mormon apologists have argued that it's not really talking about the city of Jerusalem.

It's talking about the region and since Bethlehem is a few miles away from the city limits of Jerusalem.

Although you would say Eric that while he comes right up to it nowadays because the city is expanded well. If you are in Jerusalem and you are going to go to Bethlehem you have to cross the border because Bethlehem is in the West Bank and you have to. So it seems further away, perhaps because you'll have to wait in line a little bit. I go through the checkpoints to be able to get into the more the Church of the Nativity and the other sites are the Mormon apologists to put together a video and we encourage you to go look at that video, the foundation for apologetics information research puts that on and it shows Dr. Daniel Peterson from BYU and carry shirts. He was a former Mormon. He's no longer Latter Day Saints.

He has left the Mormon church since that video was made defending Elma 710 but we want to look at their defense. We also want to look at the defense of others in the Mormon church to see if this is really a defendable position because they are saying that it's the critics that are making the big deal out of this and we are merely saying that we think that Joseph Smith merely had a slip of the pen and as we demonstrated in our last broadcast that this can be shown to be true. Another documents that we presented, including a manual that was produced by the LDS church a manual title gospel lessons for the Lamanite people, in which it did say that Jesus was born across the ocean in Jerusalem that Dr. Peterson would imply that we think that Joseph Smith was stupid for saying Jerusalem and not Bethlehem were not saying that at all were merely thinking that Smith just made a mistake, as the writer of this manual made a mistake and as George Reynolds and John so dull made a mistake in their commentary on the book of Mormon and volume 3, page 133 where they say that Jesus the son of God was born in Jerusalem it's a mistake I don't think they really believe that it was just a mistake but they have made the big issue out of this and so were merely responding to Dr. Peterson, argues and he says this in the review of books on the book of Mormon, volume 5, page 73. It was it's really where the source comes from is really kind of the context is unrelated but the point that he makes I think is very much related and this is what I mean. He says the most reliable way to determine what a given phrase means. In the book of Mormon, therefore, is to look at the book of Mormon. Would you agree with that. That's a reasonable point. Okay, I would. I would go with that if we want a reliable way to determine what a given phrase means. In the book of Mormon. We need to look at the book of Mormon.

Okay that works. What were going to do and remember the apologists like to say that the phrase the land of Jerusalem talks about the region.

The problem is, is the phrase the land of Jerusalem is not found in Elma 710 yes, it's found in other passages in the book of Mormon, but it's not found in Elma 710, the land of Jerusalem is not a phrase found in Alba 710. We cannot stress that enough. But that seems to be the argument they're trying to make making that argument because we know the passage doesn't say that it says at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers that we have to ask where did Lehigh live.

We know that according to the book of Mormon narrative Lehigh appears at the very beginning of the book. It's primarily two sons that a lot of attention is focused on in the book of Mormon narrative that would be Nephi and Lehman Lehigh. According to the book of Mormon was a of the tribe of Manasseh or of Semitic background. Let us assume for a moment that Elma was a real person in the book of Mormon does actually have historical veracity. Let's ask this question. How would Elma 710 have been understood when read during Elma's time.

How would it have been understood. Let's sit that's taken a step further. What if King Herod had read Elma 710 now course, he didn't have access down the 17 and it wasn't even the same hemisphere during the course didn't exist anyway but let's just assume that's what Herod had and he's going to destroy the children, lest someone grow up to take over his throne, and all he has is Elma 710. Where do you think he would've sent his troops to kill the children. He certainly would've gone to Jerusalem, the city itself and the surrounding areas maybe but not have limited himself to Bethlehem where the slaughter of the innocents did take place historically. I think that's the key point. Okay, now let's go on a simple word search of the phrase at Jerusalem results in 19 occurrences in the book of Mormon.

If you were to do a word search using one of their own programs. How do you think I did this I have one of their own programs.

I just typed in at Jerusalem, and in the book of Mormon. We find that phrase shows up 19 times in the book of Mormon. Now how we're going to understand this phrase is very important and if were going to use Dr. Peterson's guidelines. We need to go to the book of Mormon to see how this phrase is used and how it's understood.

That's fair. Let's do that if it can be determined that the phrase at Jerusalem was understood to mean in Jerusalem, then why would Elma's readers think that the phrase at Jerusalem could mean anything other than the city itself and if we can demonstrate by going through the book of Mormon that the phrase at Jerusalem is speaking of the city and all these other instances, why would it not be speaking of the city here and remember you're just using Dr. Peterson's test exactly that's all were doing were just going to the book of Mormon trying to understand that if the neophyte people were real people. How would they have understood this passage in Elma 710. That's what were doing were trying to look at it through the eyes of the neophyte people if they really existed. The first use of this phrase can be found at the very beginning of the book of Mormon.

The narrative begins. We know 600 years before Christ with a man named Nephi explaining how his father Lehigh. The book of Mormon says was a prophet, was told by God in a vision to gather his family and flee the coming destruction of Jerusalem.

Nephi states that Lehigh had and I'm quoting now from first Nephi 14 that Lehigh had quote dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days. That's what first Nephi 14 says if you got your book of Mormon. If you're not driving grab your book of Mormon.

You might want to follow along in the next few days on this Nephi states that Lehigh dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days in verse seven of first Nephi one. We are told that this vision took place while Lehigh laid on her bed quote in his own house at Jerusalem noticed twice that phrase at Jerusalem is used, what would you get out of that. Where would you think that Lehigh live based on just these two verses that we have just now looked out sounds like he lives at Jerusalem sounds that are in Jerusalem when you say well how Jerusalem sounds like his talk about injuries. Well that's what he nimbly says will that's is the interesting part.

Hugh Nibley when he was alive was smart enough to know that if you put Lehigh in the city of Jerusalem. You start having some problems because now the at Jerusalem phrase can signify the city of Jerusalem. So what is he argue he argues that Lehigh could not have possibly lived in the city of Jerusalem in a book he wrote called Lehigh in the desert. Page 6. This is what BYU professor Hugh Nibley says he says that that Lehigh and his family lived at Jerusalem, but that this cannot possibly be within or even very near the city.

It has to be outside of the city. In other words, he has to put Lehigh outside of the walls of Jerusalem were assuming but it it it seems like it's pretty clear his own house at Jerusalem. How can you infer that that seems to be a stretch there it went. This seems to be a stretch but he has to stretch this because if he's going to concede that the phrase at Jerusalem in first Nephi 14 and first Nephi, 17 can be understood to mean in Jerusalem, you start to now break down the argument that Mormon apologists have use for Elma 710 and trying to make it sound like at Jerusalem, the land of our forefathers could mean the region round about which of course would include Bethlehem, which is around 56 miles away from Jerusalem that Dr. Kelly Ogden.

He wrote for Mormon book called the sure foundation. This is what he said dictionary definitions of at include close by, and near. Thus Jerusalem could mean near Jerusalem. There is another example in the book of Mormon in which the word at main mean near the record does not say that Lehigh and his family lived in Jerusalem, but at Jerusalem.

Does that sound a bit like circular reasoning being used here while and again we come to Micah 52. Why was Mike at the prophet so specific at pinpointing Bethlehem and never once do you see this idea of at Jerusalem that it was a surrounding area or that when somebody said they were going to Jerusalem. That meant some area, perhaps miles away. We just don't see that in the biblical text. Well here's the point.

Dr. Kelly Ogden as well as Dr. Hugh Nibley have got to point out that the phrase at Jerusalem cannot mean in Jerusalem, but it must mean outside using his rationale. He's concluding the Ogden concludes that Lehigh quoting Lehigh could have live several miles away and still lived at Jerusalem, just as Jesus could be born several miles away in Bethlehem, but still be born at Jerusalem.

So the question that I asked in the previous broadcast was Jesus born in Bethlehem or at Jerusalem Mormon would say will both in our next broadcast you look at this argument just a bit closer to see if it really stands the test.

Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is have you ever wondered what you can going downtown Salt Lake City to browse the largest inventory of Christian books on the Mormon religion. Well, the answer is that Utah lighthouse bookstore located at 1358 S. and West Temple just across the street from the Smith ballpark whether you looking for a basic introduction for a more scholarly work. Sandra Tanner and her staff will assist you in finding the appropriate resources so you can better understand the LDS religion Utah lighthouse bookstore also carries dozens of books that Sandra and her husband Gerald have written over the past five decades.

This includes their comprehensive work. Mormonism shadow reality. So once again, if you have questions about the LDS faith there is always somebody behind the desk you would be more than happy to assist you. Utah lighthouse bookstore is open Monday through Friday 10 AM to 5 PM and on Saturdays from 1 to 5.

Remember when in Salt Lake City. Be sure to come check out Utah lighthouse bookstore located right there at 1358 S. and West Temple

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