Sunday, July 6, 2008

Accusation: The Truth About Mormons - Part 3

“Although the bible stays the same as today (word for word when the sea scrolls were found)- dont you ever questions why the mormon book has been changed 100's of times? Do you realize that the bible is the only book EVER to have 40 different authors, 3 languages, 3 contents, over 1500 years and none contradicted itself?”

I can appreciate your earnestness in defending the Bible and it’s divine origin. Most people in the world don’t realize that the one of the main purposes of the Book of Mormon is to serve as “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”

Unfortunately, many pastors and religious teachers dismiss the Book of Mormon without actually reading what it has to say. This is how many misnomers are promulgated about the Book of Mormon and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

We also defend the Bible because, quite simply, if the Bible is not true, neither is the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon testifies of the divinity of Jesus Christ and his role as the savior of mankind. We however recognize that the Bible has gone through many translations and has undergone many modifications over the past 1900+ years. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered they did not correlate “word for word” as you said, but did however have many of the same writings. Curiously, there were many other books of scripture discovered with the Dead Sea Scroll cache that are not in our current version of the Bible. This is no big surprise, seeing that even today protestants and other non-Catholics exclude the deuterocanonical texts that are found in the Catholic Bible.

Interestingly enough, if you take the time to study the dead sea scrolls (I own a great version called “The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls,” by Geza Vermes), many teachings actually support what Mormonism teaches.

Now, as far as changes to the Book of Mormon, I’m surprised you low-balled the number that much. There have been thousands of changes to the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon. And if I left it that, I would be doing exactly what many ill-informed critics do. –Not clarifying what that means. We have most of the original hand-written manuscript on record and it is actually printed for all to see and compare to all who wish to see it (see The Critical Text Project for the Book of Mormon, Royal Skousen). Those changes were mostly punctual or grammatical. Much to the chagrin of nay-sayers, the doctrines and stories found in the Book of Mormon have not changed.

Next, let’s talk about your following comment: “Do you realize that the bible is the only book EVER to have 40 different authors, 3 languages, 3 contents, over 1500 years and none contradicted itself?”

It’s important to recognize that the Bible is not one book, but a collection of books. Bible comes from “biblia,” which is the Latin word, meaning library, or books. So, it is not ONE book that has the qualifications you just mentioned.

Just to humor you, the entire Book of Mormon (which is also a collection of books) has many authors too. It also contains fragments of at least 3 languages, spans at least 3 continents, and covers at least 2,600 years. –By the way, the Bible covers much more than 1,500 years, more like 4,100 years.
Hope that cleared things up a little bit.

Best Wishes,

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