Can Mormons Trust the Bible?

It is easy for Mormons to claim, as Joseph Smith did, that “Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors” in the transmission of the Bible. Defending such a position, however, is much more difficult.

In this eight-minute video Ryan Turner of Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry discusses facts regarding the textual reliability of the Bible in contrast to the Mormon claims of a corrupted biblical text.

For more information see “Does Scholarship Support Article Eight of the Articles of Faith?” by Bill McKeever.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.

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9 Responses to Can Mormons Trust the Bible?

  1. Mike R says:

    I can appreciate the following quote because it provides a basis for fruitful dialogue between
    Mormons and non-Mormons :
    ” Mormons believe, revere and love the Holy Bible . We see it as a powerful important , and
    sacred holy record which serves as the bedrock of all Christianity . The Bible is rich in history
    doctrine, stories, sermons and testimonies , all of which witness that Jesus Christ is the Divine
    Son of our Heavenly Father. The Bible is the word of God and came from the writings of holy
    men of God as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost( see 2 Peter1:20-21) . ”
    [ FAQ Mormon.org ” Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the Word of God ? ” ]

    Are there some transmission errors in the Bible ? Yes. Are there some things within it’s pages
    that we don’t fully comprehend ? Yes. Do these things obscure /change any fundamental
    doctrine relative to gaining a right relationship with God unto eternal life ? No.
    I understand the Mormon position of the Bible being only one of their Standard Works, but
    I also realize that for Mormons to look into their faith it should start with embracing the Bible
    in the way that was cited above, this is beneficial and can also help facilitate meaningful inter-
    action with non -Mormons. The issue is’nt transmission problems as much as it is interpretation
    methods .

  2. falcon says:

    I was talking to Andy Watson today and I asked him to ask his professor for his “History of Christianity” class if it was true that after the death of the apostles, the gospel disappeared from the earth. Andy got a big laugh out of that.
    Sad as it is, Mormons base their religion on this and other false claims. A little study and they would figure out that claims such as the corrupted Biblical text are pure folly. I’ve often said that Mormon scholarship is like amateur night at karaoke. Actually it’s worse than that. At least at karaoke people are aware that the whole program is a lark. Mormons think their religion is true. That’s not very funny.

  3. falcon says:

    Wait a minute. Can we trust the BoM?
    What would happen if we could check the first edition of the BoM with the latest edition. Would they be the same or would there be changes?
    Better yet, if we compared the BoM with the gold plates written in Reformed Egyptian, would they be the same? OPPS, no gold plates.
    But we do have the manuscript from which Joseph Smith “translated” the BoA. What do we find? They’re nothing a like. In addition to that, the facsimile depicting the Mormon god is actually a depiction of a Egyptian fertility god exposing himself.
    Oh I know. It doesn’t matter. I bear my testimony, right?

  4. parkman says:

    Because of the work done by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons) you can own your own copy of the Dead Sea Scrolls. A hi-tech photocopy of the originals and translations done by renowned Jewish and Christian scholars.
    http://cpart.byu.edu/?page=55&sidebar
    http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/10372

    It seems strange that the LDS Church would work so hard to make public something that you claim is evidence that LDS teachings are false.

    As I have read from LDS scholars on the subject of the “minor” differences spoken of here, I see that there is a good chance that the teacher from CARM did not have all the facts, or that he was ignoring some of the facts.

    You should check to see if this teacher is a “true teacher”.

    THE TROLL
    (I am called a Troll because I keep asking you to prove that your version of Christianity is true. I believe you should treat your religions teachings and doctrine the same as you treat mine.)

  5. parkman says:

    (more info on what the Mormons are doing to bring you the Dead Sea Schrolls in case you want your own copy.)

    The Dead Sea Scrolls Electronic Library
    http://www.brill.com/dead-sea-scrolls-electronic-library-0
    New and comprehensive electronic reference work on The Dead Sea Scrolls.
    Prepared by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, under the editorship of Emanuel Tov.
    The Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) probably represent the most significant manuscript discovery in recent history. These ancient texts have revolutionized the field of biblical and Judaic studies, and they have become an indispensable source for scholars and students alike.
    Although most of the texts have been published in some form or other, scholars have now only begun to grasp the true meaning and relevance of the scrolls for our understanding of ancient Judaism, the transmission of the biblical texts, and the origins of Christianity.
    . . .
    The database is powered by version 7 of WordCruncher®. This version is fully Unicode compatible, meaning that you can cut and paste from the database into Microsoft Word etc. The software makes full accommodation of the features of the Hebrew and Aramaic languages, by allowing users to search for words according to their root forms in these languages.
    The database has an improved image set. Many images have been replaced with higher resolution copies, additional images have been included, and each fragment or scroll image is individually labelled.
    . . .
    DSSEL – System requirements
    • Operating System: Windows 2000, XP
    • Processor: Pentium 3 or equivalent, or better
    • RAM: 256 MB minimum
    • Free hard disk space: 2GB (installed)
    • CD-ROM drive: 16x speed, preferably faster
    • Screen Resolution: 1024×768, or higher

    The Dead Sea Scrolls Electronic Library was awarded Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2007.

  6. johnsepistle says:

    Parkman wrote, “As I have read from LDS scholars on the subject of the “minor” differences spoken of here, I see that there is a good chance that the teacher from CARM did not have all the facts, or that he was ignoring some of the facts.”

    It would be especially productive, I think, if you brought to us some of the fruit of the labors of these LDS scholars on the subject and showed us how they constitute facts that significantly affect the presentation in the video. Would you consider doing us this honor, parkman?

  7. parkman says:

    “It would be especially productive, I think, if you brought to us some of the fruit of the labors of these LDS scholars on the subject and showed us how they constitute facts that significantly affect the presentation in the video.”
    A good question. The video was longwinded and short on substance. Please list the 13 variations and which church fathers did he look at and which church fathers did he ignore.

    Martin Tanner of Religion Today gave a good overview of what you are asking.

    Parkman, please summarize, in your own words, the main arguments presented in the broadcast you mention–in addition to posting a link–per the Mormon Coffee comment policy. Thank you. -Sharon

  8. Rick B says:

    Parkman,
    You sure talk a lot about how we have no clue what your church teaches, yet you claim you studied and prayed and found the truth. But then you need to keep telling us to read these websites and give us links to other sources. Is it really that hard to speak for yourself and tell us in your own words?

    Your track record sure seems to say that is the case. And you wonder why I think the way I do about you.

  9. johnsepistle says:

    Parkman said: “A good question. The video was longwinded and short on substance. Please list the 13 variations and which church fathers did he look at and which church fathers did he ignore.”

    Thanks, Parkman. I would disagree that the video was longwinded, of course (since it was less than eight minutes in length), but I would never argue that it was perfect, and I noticed a couple things that were overstated. (For instance, I seem to recall that the ‘all-but-11-verses’ thing was actually somewhat of a mistaken rumor – actually, it’s closer to 46% of the New Testament found in the Church Fathers.) I’m afraid I cannot, however, make out the logic behind your request: that is, what you mean by “13 variations” (by all means, refresh my memory on this) or why you believe that only certain Church Fathers were included in whatever study purportedly lies behind this video. In the meantime, would you be able to bring to bear a few specific insights from LDS scholars for us here?

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