No “Comedy of Errors”

The game Chinese Whispers (known as Telephone in the US) is a long-time favorite at parties. Someone whispers a phrase or sentence to another, who in turn repeats the words to another, and so on until reaching the last player, who then says the words out loud. The fun of the game is in the outcome — the last person usually repeats a wildly different message than what was uttered by the first player due to errors that were introduced and expanded nearly every time the message was passed on.

I’ve often talked with Mormons who relate the game of Telephone to different translations of the Bible. They assert that the Bible has been translated and retranslated and retranslated until it has become “a comedy of errors,” leaving us with a sadly corrupted text.

Early LDS Apostle Orson Pratt also believed the Bible has been debased. He wrote,

“Who knows that even one verse of the whole Bible has escaped pollution, so as to convey the same sense now that it did in the original?” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, No. 3, page 47).

I’ve found that people often confuse the issues of translation and transmission. Most of the English Bible translations we have today use the ancient manuscripts written in the original languages as their source. That is, the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek have been translated directly into English; they have not, as some Mormons assert, been translated into English from (for example) a Latin translation of the original languages.

Revisions to translations (e.g., the American Standard Version and the New American Standard Version) primarily result from two things: 1) the discovery of new ancient biblical manuscripts; and 2) changes in the English language over time. Yet even these revisions go back to the ancient manuscripts for accuracy. There is no game of Telephone here.

On the issue of transmission, it is true that the biblical manuscripts were copied and recopied as they were distributed across the then-known world, and during this process textual variants (errors) appeared. Nevertheless, because of the substantial number of ancient manuscripts and fragments that exist today, there is little question about the original biblical text. Respected Bible scholar F.F. Bruce explained,

“Fortunately, if the great number of MSS [manuscripts] increases the number of scribal errors, it increases proportionately the means of correcting such errors, so that the margin of doubt left in the process of recovering the exact original wording is not so large as might be feared; it is in truth remarkably small” (The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?, page 14).

Christian theologian Wayne Grudem expanded the same idea:

“It may first be stated that for over 99 percent of the words of the Bible, we know what the original manuscript said. Even for many of the verses where there are textual variants (that is, different words in different ancient copies of the same verse), the correct decision is often quite clear, and there are really very few places where the textual variant is both difficult to evaluate and significant in determining the meaning. In the small percentage of cases where there is significant uncertainty about what the original text said, the general sense of the sentence is usually quite clear from the context. (One does not have to be a Hebrew or Greek scholar to know where these variants are, because all modern English translations indicate them in marginal notes with words such as “some ancient manuscripts read… ” or “other ancient authorities add… ”)

“This is not to say that the study of textual variants is unimportant, but it is to say that the study of textual variants has not left us in confusion about what the original manuscripts said. It has rather brought us extremely close to the content of those original manuscripts. For most practical purposes, then, the current published scholarly texts of the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament are the same as the original manuscripts. Thus, when we say that the original manuscripts were inerrant, we are also implying that over 99 percent of the words in our present manuscripts are also inerrant, for they are exact copies of the originals. Furthermore, we know where the uncertain readings are (for where there are no textual variants we have no reason to expect faulty copying of the original). Thus, our present manuscripts are for most purposes the same as the original manuscripts, and the doctrine of inerrancy therefore directly concerns our present manuscripts as well” (Systematic Theology, page 96).

Regarding the historical transmission of the Bible, just as in the translation of the Bible, there is nothing that warrants the assertion that it is like a game of Telephone, or a comedy of errors.

Bill McKeever once wrote,

“To argue that the existence of various versions of the Bible is reason enough to mistrust all of them is just a smokescreen. Mormons mistrust the Bible because it is the book that refutes their doctrines” (Answering Mormons Questions, page 44).

And that is the real issue.

For more information on Scriptural transmission see:
Is the Bible Reliable?
Is Today’s Bible the Real Bible?


Comments within the parameters of 1 Peter 3:15 are invited.


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.
This entry was posted in Truth, Honesty, Prayer, and Inquiry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

95 Responses to No “Comedy of Errors”

  1. setfree says:

    “[The Masoretes wrote] with the greatest imaginable reverence, and devised a complicated system of safeguards against scribal slips. They counted, for example, the number of times each letter of the alphabet occurs in each book; they pointed out the middle letter of the Pentateuch and the middle letter of the whole Hebrew Bible, and made even more detailed calculations than these.”

    I knew I’d read something like that before. I hope every one will go read the two links Sharon provided, to get the more detailed info. Especially OJ, for whom this issue comes up a lot. 🙂

  2. falcon says:

    This is just another game, a slogan they learn down at the wards with little to substantiate their claims. It of course makes life easier when you can repeat these catchy little phrases, makes you sound smart to the rest of the Mormon faithful and you really don’t have to do any thinking. It all goes under the Mormon heading of “Christianity is all messed-up, the original was lost and there was a need for a restoration.”
    When Christians talk about inspiration of the Scriptures we are talking about the process that God used to convey His message. The Apostle Paul called it spiritual “breathing.” The Greek word theopneustos literally means “God-breathed”. So when we talk about inspiration we are referring only to the initial “breathing” of God upon the authors of Scripture. It’s the original text of Scripture, revealed by God and faithfully recorded by His servants, that the Church claims infallibility.
    Now there are literally thousands of copies and fragments of the manuscripts preserved with only minor transmissional mistakes made by scribes. The accuracy of the Bible copies increases rather than decreases. Today there is a relatively small percentage (less than 1/2 of 1 percent in the NT of questionable material. Finally, no transmissional error has ever affected a single doctrine of the Word of God which touches the means of our salvation, the evangelization of the world, our own spiritual maturity, or the Church’s ultimate conquest of evil.

    (attribution: “Essential Christianity: A Handbook of Basic Christian Doctrines” by Dr. Walter Martin)

  3. subgenius says:

    transmissional errors aside, the translation can be misleading. Even within our own language words and turns of phrase have mutated and sometimes changed their meaning over a relatively short time period. So while some may argue that the gist may be preserved, it is naive to think that it is not the translation that one should be skeptical of….but rather be aware of the “translator”. Just looking closely at modern translations can often reveal the “gist” unique to each….a signature of sorts.

  4. mobaby says:

    I read part of a book that was scholarly and yet for the layman, written by a Biblical scholar who has studied the Bible extensively and yet does not come to the same conclusion as those of the Jesus Seminar and other skeptics. It seems to me that the skeptical scholarship amounts to wild speculation about errors and problems with the Bible as well as unsubstantiated speculation about the “historical Jesus.” That is one of the basic conclusions I can to from reading of “Fabricating Jesus.” Scholars throw up this smoke screen about errors in the Bible, when most of the errors they tabulate come down to misplaced punctuation or a letter misplaced etc. If the Bible is inspired by God, would He not have the power to preserve it’s message through the ages? When we read scripture or hear it preached, we can hear the very voice of Jesus speaking to us telling us everything necessary for salvation. The Bible is sufficient as a foundation for who God is and how we are to relate to Him. God has made Himself known to man through the holy scriptures, and any doctrine or idea that does not line up with the Bible must be thrown out based on the testimony God has given through His Holy Spirit inspired scripture.

  5. gundeck says:


    Your comment that “translation can be misleading” is one reason that many denominations require pastors to study and show a familiarity with Greek and Hebrew, the languages that make up most of what was “immediately inspired by God” in the bible.

  6. Ralph says:

    Many things can be lost in translation if one does not know the common vernacular. For example the word hippopotamus literally translated is river horse. Now if one was well versed in ancient Greek, but not having seen or heard of a hippopotamus before, use the literal translation and describe a large, hairless horse that resides by a river and likes to frolic in it. Totally different image to what we know it to be.

    But why stop there. In Finnish they older generation usually say that they wish they were in anothers’ pants. This means that they wish they were in anothers’ shoes in the English translation, but if someone did not know this it would really make an interesting story about an employee and their boss if literally translated over.

    But then there is also the problem with the words translate and interpret. Many people think they mean the same thing. They are similar in meaning, but different in application. I only found this out on my mission as I learned another language. Because scripture is not for private interpretation, one needs to interpret it the proper way, which is through the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:20-21). This is how God wants it interpreted so one gets His meaning and not a person’s meaning. This can also be what is meant by the Bible being translated incorrectly – that it is actually interpreted incorrectly.

    Since we do know there are some parts of the current Bible that have been added post-original MS, and we do not have the originals, then we cannot be 100% sure how many errors there are within the Bible. I do agree that we are getting a better translation with all the new older MSS being found, but until we have the very originals we do not know if there are or how many errors are in the translation. And with all the different interpretations, we know that there is only one true interpretation – just which is it? (I’ll give you a hint – it starts with The Church of Jesus Christ…)

  7. gundeck says:


    Can a fallen and sinful humanity be 100% sure about anything without God? Scholars tell is we can be 98-99% sure. I find the glee that Mormons have when they attack the Bible instructive.

  8. setfree says:

    Ralph, your discussion broke down in the middle for me.

    The way you know what the Bible is talking about is to carefully compare it to the rest of the Bible. Studying the original languages, having terrific teachers who have done the learning and know the scholarship, all of this helps to appropriately interpret the Bible.

    The Holy Spirit is, above all, ready to help you pull more and more meaning out of the text everytime you read it, as reading the Bible is where you really hear from God.

    But the way you say it sounds so Mormon, as to suggest that such things as proclaiming that what Ezekiel meant by “two sticks” was the Bible and the Book of Mormon, for heaven’s sake. That is not at all what he meant. Typical LDS think that there are secrets hidden in certain places in the Bible, and only the elite (i.e. priesthood holders and up) in the elite church know how to find them!

    That last part you said, and i’m serious, made me a little sick

  9. mobaby says:

    Believing scripture is an infallible guide to our relationship with God is such an awesome foundation for faith. Having examined and read of the evidence for the Bible has brought me to the conclusion that God did indeed preserve His Word – His testimony and revelation of who He is. Scripture has been preserved through the ages and points us to the God who has made Himself known through His prophets but now in these last days has spoken to us by His Son (Hebrews 1:1 – 2). Scripture reveals that Jesus fulfills and supplants the prophets. I do not worship the Bible, I worship a God powerful enough to sustain His testimony of His nature and His message of salvation. I am persuaded not only by God’s Holy Spirit of the truth of scripture, but also by the historical evidence attesting that it is indeed a historical book (and not a fabrication without outside testimony of the world it presents). Also, I see the spiritual world it presents and that it corresponds with reality. I am a sinner – we all are – no matter how hard we may try to perfect ourselves. Human sinfulness never disappoints me in it’s universal reality. The Bible accurately describes the condition of man. Children are born sinners, no one needs to teach any child to sin – they come by it naturally (as any parent can tell you). My helplessness to save myself and beauty of free grace given by the death of Christ on the cross transcends all natural understanding and is revealed by God. It is so amazing. We know that God became man and gave Himself for us because of the Bible. The Bible makes sense with the world around us, and it transcends the world around us – revealing God in a way we could never know otherwise.

  10. falcon says:

    A couple of things that Mormons must do to sustain their faith in the Joseph Smith’s fable. One is that they have to claim that the Bible is chuck-full of transmission errors and therefore doesn’t accurately reflect God’s revealed Word. Unfortunately for the Mormon cause their claim is not true. But Mormons must keep repeating that falsehood just like they have to keep repeating that the Nicean creed doesn’t reflect the Christian faith as handed down by the Church fathers. I would guess that the Bible must be the most studied book of all time and its accuracy is beyond question. Now whether or not the Bible is “true” is a whole different question. But accurate, yes.
    I think we’ve all been treated to what passes as Biblical scholarship within Mormonism. We’re dealing with folks (Mormons)who have virtually no structured approach to interpreting Scripture. Mormons are very creative as to how they understand what the Bible is saying. They violate every basic rule of acceptable Biblical interpretation. But when a religion is based on how you feel about something, the result is bound to be a free-for-all of exotic and creative meaning.
    Mormonism exists mainly because Mormons repeat what they’ve been taught rather than taking a hard look at the facts. But it makes them feel good.

  11. subgenius says:

    Whn one looks at the commandment “thou shalt not steal”…the Hebrew and greek origin of the word is really a reference to kidnap…a far cry to what our modern “translation” is.
    Which, on the subject of “commandments”…the 10 commandments present an interesting discussion for “translation”. The Hebrew and Greek origin of the “decalogue” is actually the “ten terms” not commandments…now putting aside the ritual or ethical decalogue discussion, these “10” are translated differently among some denominations.
    I realize the Ev disposed of the “10” in Matthew 19 and 22, even though JC is clearly referencing the OT. But my point is that this assumption that 1% may be lost in translation is misleading.
    Though many Christian faiths prefer the Hebrew origin for translation, that is not always the case. Even the Masoretes influenced their “compiled-standardized-translation by necessarily adding vowels….this addition of vowels required certain “interpretations” to be made.
    So, in fact many of the current Christian texts have actually been “cherry-picked” from the Masoretes, the Vulgate, the Septuagint etc. This raises the probability of the Chinese Telephone scenario to, imho, higher than 1%.
    However, no surprise that the current translators would promote the idea that “their” translation is 99% accurate.
    I would correct the notion that the “originals” are still around…it is common knowledge that the Greek “autographs” are long gone.

    There is a huge difference in Dynamic, Literal, and Idiomatic translations.

    just for fun google the “Turker’s Gospel”

  12. mobaby says:

    Joseph Smith and Mormonism asserted that many plain and precious things were removed from the scriptures. From all historical evidence, this is just a flat out lie. Muslims assert the same thing – the Bible has been distorted and the Muslim history is the accurate one, not the Bible. But in both cases, Mormon and Muslim, their religious texts have no foundation whatsoever. The Book of Mormon literally floats in thin air – nothing supporting it historically at all. Similarly, the story that Islam puts forth of an alternative history of not only Christ like the Mormons, but also of the entire Bible. Neither religious book has any historical basis other than the assertions of their founders – Joseph Smith and Mohammad. So Christian scripture is criticized for minor textual errors which in essence prove that there are errors to be detected. With all the copies and manuscripts available, you would think some of these plain and precious things Mormons assert were removed would begin to be apparent from divergent copies of scripture going back through history – not so. No historical test of the Book of Mormon text is possible because there is nothing to test it against. It is a work of religious fiction. It comes down to the word of Joseph Smith. Is there any other evidence pointing to the truthfulness of Joseph Smith’s testimony or prophecies??

  13. Kevin says:

    As I look at the two contrasting works, The Bible, and the BOM; I would take evidence – both Archaeological and Spiritual of the Bible – Over a fable that doesn’t have a shred of archaeological evidence (Assuming Mormons are going to report the BOM authenticity with “personal testimony” as spiritual evidence)that has been peer reviewed by someone outside the Mormon Walls.

    What other choice did Joe Smith have? He was trying to peddle his book as an authentic work of God; people were not buying it. Isn’t this just another marketing tactic.

    Take for instance the current marketing of Apple vs. Microsoft. Some 90% of computers have windows installed on them. So what does Apple do? They have no choice, as they see it, to attack Microsoft. Apple works very hard at creating doubt about the bigger brand.

    JS faced a similar problem. So he had to create doubt in people regarding the Bible. JS discredits the Bibles reliability, thus creating an environment that causes followers to become even more dependent on JS as the “Official” authority of proper translations.

    I would take the Bible with all of it’s mis translations over a fictitious story with Zero credibility from the work itself and the proprietor JS.

  14. falcon says:

    The thing that I find really disgusting with Mormons is that the things we discuss here regarding say the accuracy of the Biblical text or the creeds reflecting first century Christian dogma are knowable. The historical evidence is available for anyone who wants to take the time and make the effort to understand. The problem is that when a religion like Mormonism, which is built on false claims, has to deal honestly and accurately with these matters, the false premises of Mormonism fall a part.
    Truth in Mormonism is a massaged reality based on mental impressions and transient feelings. Truth in Mormonism is layered much like plywood: the outer surface is attractive, but, like the inner layers, is incapable of sustaining much weight. The Mormon concept of truth has little to do with what is historically verifiable. It’s based on what is expedient for the Mormon church.
    The Mormon church routinely changes its own history and its own scriptures to fit what ever new reality the (church) is peddling. Quite frankly, a member of Joseph Smith’s 1831 church with that version of the BoM would be certainly aghast at a current church which teaches that God has a physical body and once lived on another earth; that man can himself progress to godhood; or that temple worship, eternal marriage, and genealogical research are essential for “exaltation” or eternal life. These things are all apart of current SLC LDS belief but as we all know they don’t appear any where in the BoM and certainly not the Bible.
    Other sects of Mormonism have jettisoned these aberrant and false notions and have chosen a route that’s more compatible with early Mormonism and certainly closer to the Biblical reality. Mormons are taught to stay away from anything that isn’t consistent with what is currently fed to them by the church hierarchy. A Mormons quest for truth must stop with whatever currently strikes the fancy of the church’s false prophet.
    The blind leading the blind would be an apt description.

  15. falcon says:

    One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my time here on MC, is how Mormons view the “truth” and process information. In the culture that is Mormonism, there is a particular way the members process information. The Christian trying to communicate biblical truth to a Mormon must never forget that the Mormon culture often extends beneath the level of formal, written doctrine. That is, there’s a big difference between the Mormon system of thought as taught and the way in which it is believed and practiced. It’s hard to get at Mormon “truth”.
    The key to Mormon truth is found in how they view the Mormon god. The Mormon god who made this earth was once a mortal human. Armed with the doctrine of eternal progression; their god is changing, becoming more perfect each day, implies that this god was less than perfect each day in the past. So if one accepts the untenable premise that such a being exists, then one must also accept the logical implication that Mormon truth, like it’s creator, is constantly changing and ultimately of human origin.
    As historical, orthodox Christians we focus on truth as absolute and unchanging precisely because God is absolute and unchanging-Hebrews 13:8.

  16. setfree says:

    I was just thinking something similar.
    My thought was that it is useless to talk about faith/grace vs. works until and unless someone knows who we are actually talking about when we talk about God or Jesus.

    Unless a person actually believes that God is the end-all-be-all of everything everywhere, the only one there is, all-powerful, omniscient, omnipresent, etc. and that Jesus has been forever a part of the three parts that make up one God, how can they understand the rest of God’s truth?

  17. subgenius says:

    you as an “orthodox?” Christians…really?
    Ev may focus on absolute and unchanging, because otherwise their fountainhead Paul begins to reveal himself as less-than-perfect.
    On a side note about your Mormon God diatribe.
    We are made in His image…once We walked together with Him, He has hands and a face, We are commanded to return to Him, to be Holy like Him, to eventually receive eternal life thus making us “like” Him (actually the verse reads like “us”).
    Additionally, in the book of Life, names are able to added and deleted…which means that God has yet to “determine” a person’s fate…this is very revealing about a notion of progression, free-will, and “pre-determination”. Which is the core of the dynamic God of Mormonism versus the static God of the boilerplate Ev (or worse, the watered-down culturally biased Pauline who loves their chinese telephone).

  18. liv4jc says:

    It seems that our friend subgenius believes he has found the right button to push to stir the hornets nest with his “Pauline” comments. Your assertions were refuted on another thread Sub. I’m not biting.

    Ralph wrote

    Because scripture is not for private interpretation, one needs to interpret it the proper way, which is through the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:20-21). This is how God wants it interpreted so one gets His meaning and not a person’s meaning. This can also be what is meant by the Bible being translated incorrectly – that it is actually interpreted incorrectly.

    The words that were written are the interpreted prophecy (teaching) of the Holy Spirit written by men as they were moved by Him to write absolute truth. Because they were written in human language we are to translate and interpret verses within their grammatical historical context. We do not need to have some special authority to say, “Hmmmm, what does the Holy Spirit tell me this verse really means, ‘cuz I’m not very comfortable with what the text actually says.”

    This was the basis of the reformation teaching of Sola Scriptura. When men like Martin Luther and Tyndale actually read the original text they quickly realized that that “official church doctrine” was not supported by scripture. To this day the Roman church teaches the doctrines of tradition and inteprets scipture accordingly, just like Joseph Smith’s Salt Lake sect does.

  19. mobaby says:

    Recently I heard a good explanation of different responses people have to the preaching of the cross and the death of Christ granting the forgiveness of sins & eternal life. The 3 basic different responses were described as: One, they realize their need for forgiveness and turn with joy to Jesus completed work on the cross. Two, they have their own agenda or spiritual system which is threatened by the gospel and they fight against the preaching of salvation by grace through faith attempting to destroy the Christian faith and it’s message because it contradicts what they believe or teach. Three, they say “so what, I don’t care” and go on with their lives. Joseph Smith I would categorize as number 2. He rejected the gospel and went so far as to put a “Christian minister” in the temple ceremony to ridicule the message of forgiveness. The good news of salvation by grace through faith contradicted the message of works, temples, etc. that he believed and preached. Here on Mormon Coffee, the Mormons tend to fall into category 2 – attacking the message of the gospel and the book with the message, tearing the scriptures down with subgenius even asserting that Paul’s writings are apostate and that Paul apparently fell away – I guess making the Bible a work of heresy according to sub? The message of the Bible does not align with Joseph Smith, so Mormons attack the Bible. I choose to hold fast to the gospel which God has revealed in the scriptures, and instead toss out Joseph Smith and his heretical teaching and unsubstantiated BOM.

  20. Mike R says:

    Ralph said,”We know that there is only one true
    interpretation- just which is it?” He then goes
    on to say that the Mormon Church’s interpretation
    of the Bible is the correct one etc.
    The following is a short list of the Mormon
    Church’s “true interpretations”:

    – Apostle Mark Peterson used Deut.32:7-9 to teach
    pre-existence.He used Deut 7 to teach against
    inter-racial marriages.
    – LDS general authorities once used verses in
    Psalms 45; Matt.25, and John chapter 2, to
    teach that Jesus was a polygamist.
    – Brigham Young interpreted old Testament verses
    that spoke of Jehovah in human terms, to teach
    that God the Father was an exalted man.
    – Brigham Young re-interpreted the Biblical
    account of man’s creation.He pubically taught
    Adam was created from the dust of another earth.

    – Add to these the fact of the First Presidency
    issueing a directive to Bishops,Stake and
    Branch presidents that a cetain intimate act
    between husband and wife was not allowed(if you
    expected to pass your Temple recommend inter-
    view). The offical letter stated, ” The First
    Presidency has INTERPRETED oral sex as constit-
    uting an unnatural, impure,or unholy practice.”
    This was in 1982.[Jehovah’s Witnesses were told
    this EXACT SAME THING by their prophet! They’ve
    since had “new light” on this! }

    With this type of “true interpretations” what
    must we think of the following: “…If you want
    to know what the word of God is, go to the
    Council of the Twelve or the First Presidency.
    They are the foundation of the Church; they
    will keep you on the right track so that you
    will not need to worry.”[Teachings of the
    Living Prophets, Apostle Mark.Peterson,p.30 ]

    I believe the vast majority of rank and file
    LDS hold the Bible in high esteem,believe it
    to be God’s Word, and look to it for spirit-
    ual truth.These sincere people we can sit down
    with and examine their leaders’ interpretations.

  21. falcon says:

    Quite frankly, in the Mormon system the Bible and the BoM aren’t really all that crucial. You see they have a living prophet who gets direct messages from the Mormon god who reveals all updated knowledge as he (Mormon god) becomes progressively more perfect. So the stuff revealed to Joseph Smith and his unlawful successor Brigham Young; like Blood Atonement, Adam-God, sexual relations with Mary by the Mormon god, polygamy, blacks in the priesthood, the intro. to the BoM, temple rituals, on and on get changed with more knowledge and light provided to the Mormon prophet.
    Why would anyone need an ancient book rife with errors (in the Mormon view).
    The Bible is in the “kind of nice to have” category (for Mormons) especially with Mormon creative interpretation. And the revelation gig is really a good deal because it doesn’t require much from the rank and file Mormon. Once the Mormon prophet speaks, the thinking is done.
    Mormonism is kind of like multilevel marketing because they have an “up line” and new products (revelation) to market and new people to recruit and build the organization. In fact in BY’s day, some Mormon men were getting people (men as well as women) “sealed” to them for that very purpose. That was just for a little while and was halted when BY got an update from the Mormon god I guess.

  22. gundeck says:


    Where did you get the information that about the Hebrew word in Exodus 20:13 interpreted “steal” actual means “kidnap”? Did you check this out before you made this comment? Did you look at the 31 other times this word is used in the Bible to see if that even makes since?

    I pulled a couple of books off the shelf and I am unable to see where this definition is warranted in this context. “ganab (gā∙nǎḇ)” is rendered “kidnap” in Gen 40:15 in many modern translations but to claim that this is the only proper use of the word is far from the truth.

    You should also understand that the disagreement about the 10 commandments generally focuses on how to divide them (1,2, or 3 divisions), and how to count them not how to translate them.

  23. gundeck says:

    I meant Exodus 20:15

  24. subgenius says:

    the Ev never bites on anything….just nibbles here and there.
    For example, the idea of “one” to the Ev is a stae of sameness, or not-different. This is seen in the trinty arguments when a verse like John 10:30 is invoked. Failure to see “one” as a unity in purpose, mind, and heart while being seperate is the common Ev roadblock, its unable to be comprehended…except through verse John 14:28.

    While the Ev would accuse the Mornon of being polythristic i would correctly state that yes, many possible gods, but only worship a single God, Our Heavenly Father.

    you speak of Lev 19:11, but i refer to exodus. think hermeneutics, or “context”. also consider that not stealing is commanded elsewhere (ie. Lev 19:11). Also the 2 previous commandments where capital offenses (context) which would support kidnappin/slavery over theft of property (again context)
    The traditional Jewish view of this commandment is against kidnaping/slavery (see Rashi), and supported by Albrecht Alt.

    Also this same argument is similar across the denominations that debate thou shalt not “kill” vs “murder”.
    Again the chinese telephone is a very real scenario that can be applied to more than 1%.

  25. setfree says:

    please answer this question:
    isn’t it Jehovah/Jesus who gave the 10 commandments, one of which is
    NO God before ME?

  26. subgenius says:

    just to be facetious, yes one of which is to have no gods before Me (gods-plural). Some have also translated this as “No gods in hostility to Me”.
    However, the important thing to remember here is that this complete comandment is where God establiches a covenant – He deliberately makes the statement preceeding this verse about His authority and how it was He that set the Hebrew free frm Egypt. More importantly, God does NOT establish monotheism, He does not say He is the Only God.
    Actually it is at this time that the Ev should familiarize themself with the term
    Many have supported evidence that earl Israel was, in fact, monolatrist. The first commandment is one of many points of evidence.
    The modern Ev has mostly disregarded the first 2 verses of the 1st commandment and basically made the 3rd verse the commandment. But a strong argument can be, and has been made that this first commandment actually hints more towards the existence of many gods than not.
    Additionally the ancient Hebrew did not subscribe to the many “metaphorical” interpretations of this commandment as we see occur amongst the modern Pauline.
    So, again History and a critical look at this issue of “Chinese telephone” is actually a real influence on the scripture, an influence that reinforces the actual apostasy Mormons refer to and one that Evs often perpetuate.
    By the way which 10 do you consider? Exodus 10? Exodus 34? Deuteronomy 5?….and which translation?.. 😉

  27. falcon says:

    Well it’s good to see the creative Bible interpretation is alive and well in the cult known as Mormonism. That’s how these folks make their bones. What’s that old rock song with the lyrics that go something like, “bend me shape me anyway you want me”. That pretty much reflects the ignorant and in many cases down right deceitful spins the cults give to the Word of God.
    Truth is definitely a stranger to Mormonism since it’s founded on a basis of larceny. Joseph Smith concealed his youthful occultic pursuits as a peepstone-gazer and treasure-digger. After introducing the doctrine of polygamy, he practiced it while denying that he was doing so. Joe was excellent at “progressive” truth as we can see from his ever changing stories of his first vision. By the time he got done the six inch bass he caught was three feet long and weighed thirty pounds.
    Polygamy was of course “renounced” later but in typical Mormon deceitful fashion Joseph F. Smith continued on with it under cover (pun intended) and even solemnized such unions. Truth gets a little fuzzy sometimes without creative understanding.
    And dare we forget how inspired and hearing from the Mormon god the prophets of the church were when they got hoodwinked by Mark Hofmann. The LDS leadership were involved in a deliberate cover-up as they stonewalled the investigation of the scam forged-documents debacle which these false prophets purchased.
    But none of this matters you see because the LDS church is “true”. Now we must ask, “Define true”. There is Mormon “true” and the “true” the rest of the world functions under.
    So if we Christians weren’t so dedicated to a real definition of “truth”, we could do some creative Mormon hocus pocus and come up with “creative truth”. I’ve interacted enough with Mormons out here that I can shift into Mormon “think” at a drop of a hat. The problem is, like most Christians, integrity means something to me.

  28. subgenius says:

    nice attempt to substitute style for substance, with some practice you might actually convince yourself.
    So what is “true”? Typically Pauline response, unable to actually take words and phrases for their meaning..always has to be something else, always has to be a conspiracy or a hiiden meaning or a behind-the-scenes….oh yes, and of course al of this must always be tied back to Joseph Smith and stigma of polygamy! The only one i ever see on this board obsessed with JS is falcon.
    Unfortunately your diatribes speak to a different integrity, perhaps you should answer questions, not just say you have and toss insults, suppositions, and accusation, but hey i am sure that is just your “translation” of what the Gospel means. Maybe the misunderstanding is in phonetics…i mean, to you, Gospel probably sounds a lot like gossip.

  29. falcon says:

    In an article titled “Mormonism and The Question of Truth” by Latayne C. Scott (Christian Research Journal, Summer 92) the author (a former temple recommend holder)offers the following:
    “The Mormon concept of, and approach to the subject of truth is RADICALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE BIBLE (my caps)in at least nine ways. A Mormon sees truth as (1)constantly changing,(2)as going, in culture and practice, far beyond written doctrine,(3)as determined by subjective feelings, and(4)as often divorced from its history. (5)The Mormon approach to truth is compromised by a heritage of deception as practiced by leaders from founder Joseph Smith to today’s Elder Paul Dunn. In addition, (6)truth to a Mormon is “layered” in the way that it is presented to prospective converts. and (7) the Church itself routinely edits both its own history and doctrine to make it seem consistent and palatable. In practice, therefore, (8)truth often yields to what the Church views as expedient. In the final analysis. (9)the Mormon concept of truth depends upon the character of its god, who as defined by LDS doctrine is constantly changing and himself ultimately human in nature.”
    So when we Christians attempt to engage Mormons in a discussion of the Bible, we have to be mindful of the mind-set and thought processes of those caught in the tangle of deception known as Mormonism. In-a-word, as Christians we’re dealing with a whole different approach to truth and the culture of Christianity seeks to illuminate while that of Mormonism seeks to obfuscate, shade and hide what is true. It’s almost a type of mental pathology were reality becomes like “Alice in Wonderland”. Our frustration level can be dialed back significantly when we realize we’re dealing with folks whose mental processes and “understanding” come from a much different tradition and culture.

  30. falcon says:

    A good example of how Mormonism handles the “truth” can be found in the story of Elder Paul H. Dunn of the First quorum of the Seventy. The Elder Dunn, it was discovered had lied for years about having played baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals and being the only uninjured survivor of his thousand man combat group in WWII. Dunn was a most sought-after inspirational speaker for the LDS church. Elder Dunn was also a best-selling author of books and tapes. His stories served as inspiration for generations of LDS. He included dramatic, eyewitness accounts of his “career” as a professional athlete, miraculous rescues and of course divine protection (in his stories).
    The problem was, of course, that none of it was completely true. Dunn admitted the fabrications and combinations of events and said that doing so was necessary to “illustrate points that would create interest.” This tendency to exaggerate and fabricate and sometime to outright lie is an inherited quality from the predecessors in Mormonism.
    It’s instructive to observe how the LDS church deals with folks whose facts include “awkward or embarrassing detail”. BYU teacher Lynn Packer publicly revealed the discrepancies in Dunn’s stories. Dunn was given “emeritus” status due to “factors of age and health.” And then Dunn went traveling and speaking around the nation with young men on a baseball tour. His books and tapes continued to be available in the church-owned Deseret Book chain.
    What happened to Packer who exposed the truth? He was warned not to publish his findings about Dunn’s stories. He published anyway and was terminated from his BYU teaching position. The reason; for violating church and university policies that prohibit public criticism of church leaders, even if the criticism is true.
    That is the price one pays for maintaining integrity in an organization that’s primary goal is to keep the faithful living in a perpetual fairy tale state of mind.
    (attribution to Latayne C. Scott)

  31. grindael says:

    I’m back. For all here, I found out the true meaning of hell: being in a hospital for 3 days after a major surgery.

    I was thoroughly convinced (by my smithian brothers) that the Bible was of little value when compared to the ‘most correct book on earth’ the BOM while I was a member of their cult. I can almost see the Chinese whispers going on in my mind as smith ‘translated’ the plates, (most of the time without the plates being there).
    His method was to look in a hat using a stone, and then call out a sentence to the scribe – have them repeat it, confirm (by warm fuzzy) that it was correct, and then have the scribe write it down. (this is true lather, rinse, repeat) With this method, one would assume there would be no margin of errors, but it came to pass that there is error after error in smiths book. And the scribe did not even repeat it to someone else, just wrote it down AS TOLD BY SMITH.
    With no gold plates to compare it with, (no reformed Egyptian language except a piece of paper with “caractors” on it,) we are to use the same criteria that smith used, and accept the BOM by praying about it.

    Well, if smith’s scribes could not even get it right, how are we to believe that it is the ‘most correct book on earth’? We have no basis of anything for comparison. Unlike the Bible, where events, locations, and archeology have been verified time after time, we come up with a big ZERO for the BOM.

    My love affair with the Bible started when I read it after being freed from the bonds of smithism. It is altogether unique and holy. It is God’s ultimate truth, and gives us the answer to every question about life. Mostly though, if you read the Bible in spirit and truth you come up with one very crucial deduction.

    The BOM (and smiths “revelations”) are not, and were not EVER needed. The Bible wins every time, the BOM is not even a contender.

  32. mobaby says:

    If Mormons are going to attack the Holy Scriptures of the Bible one must ask – WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE??? I want to see ancient manuscripts that show Joseph Smith was correct with all his additions to the Bible in the Joseph Smith version.

    All evidence points the other direction – the BOM is false, Joseph Smith’s additions to the Bible are false, and the Bible is true. It seems that for Mormons the assertion that many things have been removed from the Bible and that scripture is corrupted is enough. No evidence needed. “Joseph Smith said it and I follow him without questions.”

    Falcon – I don’t think that all Mormons are confused about the nature of truth. I think your observations in the past that they must bend and twist in order to hold on to a belief system which is threatened by the preaching of the cross and forgiveness by grace through faith is more often the motivation. Mormons try to figure the .005% way this system could be true and ignore the 99% accuracy of the Bible in order to hold on to what they’ve committed themselves to (and their own perceived goodness). Staying where they are is easier than change. EVERYONE experiences that at some point when it comes to repenting of sin in our lives.

    When I read through the Bible when my life was in utter crisis mode the message of the scriptures became real to me. God’s message of forgiveness shines through all the decay in this world and in my life.

  33. falcon says:

    Good to have you back. I’ve been concerned, wondering if you came out of your surgery OK. I hate going under. Whenever I’ve had a procedure done I tell them to give me the least amount of the joy juice they have in the tube.

    I don’t know if I follow your rationale. Of course, there isn’t going to be 100% of any group that will think in a prescribed way. I was thinking primarily about a form of thinking that I observe on a daily basis on MC. I find myself often coming away after reading such comments scratching my head and asking “What?” Frankly, I had the same experience dealing with the Amish.
    Also, I base my comments on what I’ve read from those who have spent considerable time in the Mormon culture. They report some very distinctive forms of thinking. One such form is when Mormons add two plus two, come up with five and comment “therefore the church is true”. Also the observations of Walter Martin author of the Kingdom of the Cults play a part in my comments. Perhaps some of the exMormons here can comment further.
    Some exMormons I’ve read talk about the process of “cognitive dissonance” or what Mormons have to do in order to make, what is obvious false and doesn’t fit, true and fit (the Mormon narrative). Another term could be “disconnect”. The basic premise of Mormonism is that the Mormon church is true. So everything has to fit into that premise. So when encountering information that runs contrary to the Mormon narrative, a Mormon must either deny the evidence or make it fit. That’s a distinctive form of thinking and way of making what is false, true.
    We could say the same thing about Jehovah Witnesses. Andy Watson has spent considerable time in that world in the past several months and has some very interesting observations of that cult. One example is how the JWs reconcile that the Watchtower is true and God’s oracle on earth with the fact that they’ve made several “prophecies” that are documented and false.

  34. Kevin says:

    Sub ~ “unable to actually take words and phrases for their meaning..always has to be something else” I couldn’t agree more, this is exactly why Mormons cannot and will not except the Bible, they have to add more to it and or change it.

    “The only one i ever see on this board obsessed with JS is falcon.” You should try going to a LDS ward on Sunday, attend all three hours, it’s all about JS – hardly ever hear anything about Jesus.

    Falcon, you are hitting on a touch subject of cognitive dissonance. Take this statement for example, “The personal experiences of the group members are subordinated to the “Truth” held by the group-apparently contrary experiences must be denied or re-interpreted to fit the doctrine of the group” (Lifton) When LDS members disagree, or find issue with a specific doctrine, it is common to here someone say Study and pray about it. That is until the holy ghost witnesses to you the Truth; which will be in line with Mormonism.
    In addition,
    “Consequently, past historical events are retrospectively altered, wholly rewritten, or ignored, to make them consistent with the doctrinal logic.” (Lifton) enough said!

    Interestingly these words were not written about Mormonism, they were wrote about the depth of cult-ish behavior. So why does the LDS, JW, Moonies, all use the same approaches to their integration of people into their organizations? I bet if you where to ask any TBM, Moonie, or JW, if their organization is a cult, they would say no it is not. But then why do each one of these organizations implement all eight of Lifton’s examples? (Only One example was disused in this post)

    Lastly, Lifton Says, (Milieu control) “When non-members are labeled as ignorant, unspiritual, satanic, etc., group members conclude that outsiders have nothing worthwhile to teach them” Mormon Apologists definition?

  35. Mike R says:


    Good to see you’re up and feeling well.My wife
    and I will be praying that you heal up fully.


    What you mentioned about “cognitive dissonance”,
    and “disconnect”, seems to be a thread that runs
    through groups that have a unhealthy submission
    to a Prophet that alone speaks for God to mankind.
    You mentioned Jehovah’s Witnesses.[my wife is a
    ex-JW] They,re authoratative claims are similar
    to LDS.They’ve changed doctrines so many times,
    each time it is called “adjustments” or the term,
    “new light”. and a scripture is always used to
    justify the change! Their favorite is Prov.4:18.
    Jehovah’s prophet, the Gov. Body of JW’s, is
    never questioned over these changes, many of which
    contradict the former “truth”.Yet this prophet
    uses the word,”reliable” to advertise it’s record
    of Bible teachings etc.How do sincere people fall
    for this? The answer is that once a person has
    been indoctrinated to believe that he or she needs
    a Prophet to guide them, that God uses this
    prophet alone to speak to mankind today, that to
    please God they must submit to His prophet, then
    anything they receive from this prophet is bene-
    ficial to them.The Watchtower Society is Jehovah’s
    Organization: ” He does not impart His holy spirit
    and an understanding and appreciation of His Word
    apart from His visible organization.” [W.T.mag.
    7-1-1965, p.391 ].
    Also, the Watchtower Society of JW’s is God’s
    “channel of communication”. So we see this claim:
    “Unless we are in touch with this channel of
    communication that God is using,we will not
    progress along the road to life, no matter how
    much Bible reading we do.” [W.T.mag.12-1-1981,p27]

    So Falcon and others keep proclaiming JESUS as
    living Lord, our mediator, our Savior and our

  36. gundeck says:


    My reference was to Exodus 20:15.

    There are a couple of problems, first you are quoting 11th century AD Rabbinic tradition and even then there was disagreement, for instance there was belief that this also referred to theft of non material objects such as knowledge. Second, the word “ganab (gā∙nǎḇ)” lacks a specific object in Exodus 20:15 so to limit it to a particular type of theft is not called for by the text (remember context). Third, when you see a total lack of any penalties covered in Exodus 20 there is nothing in the context of this passage to cause legal penalties to be determinative of the meaning.

    Fourth and most important is the language used in the New Testament for this passage. In Matt 19:18 the Greek word “kleptō” is used when Jesus says “Thou shalt not steal”. Christ should be our best commentator on revelation, not an 11th century Rabi. This is also the same word used in the Septuagint/LXX Exodus 20:15. There is a perfectly good Greek word for kidnap “plagion” we do not see this word used in the Septuagint/LXX version of Exodus 20:15 or the New Testament.

  37. subgenius says:

    Oh Boy!, the original point of this thread was about the ‘integrity’ of different and varied translations of the Bible. All the comments i have seen from LDS seem to be contrary to the article above – that is to say the Mormon position is that the Holy Scriptures are as valid as their translation. Which was assumed by the article to be an across the board 99% accurate.
    This extent of this accuracy has been refuted, but this does not detract from the scriptures…just some translations. Many of my own posts were not LDS originated, they are common scholarly points, mainly pop-Christian and Jewish.
    No Mormon post seem to be “critical” of the scriptures, yet that is the way the Ev wants to detour the discussion. Typical Pauline tactic, false accusations followed by the inevitable “Joseph Smith” blather.
    this notion of 100% for translation, prophecy, etc…is way off the mark for this debate.
    But i would be willing to entertain the relative success rates of prophets.


  38. mobaby says:


    I generally agree with your assessment. I think I may be just describing the same phenomena in a different way. I think that Mormon’s don’t necessarily have a different definition of truth, rather they contort their thinking so as to find some possibility of truth and latch on to that together with their personal internal subjective testimony. The same with the JWs – they redefine the prophecies so that they are “true” in some sense after the fact. (However, cognitive dissonance is not uncommon though and can be seen in Christians as well – myself included sometimes.) But when something can be seen plainly to be untrue, generally I think Mormons and JW try to find some way it could possibly be true. Thus, when the Bible contradicts, they discount the Bible and apply strict standards for truth, while at the same time having no standards (other than personal subjective testimony) for the BOM. One common tool to keep from engaging the truth is to squelch all dissent as can be seen from the sad story you retold of the lying Mormon leader and his inspirational stories. My point is they may not have different definitions for truth, it is just that they selectively apply those standards. I remember on the i love mormons blog where the writer posted an article dealing with a letter Joseph Smith allegedly wrote on who should lead after him (with Strang I think being the one who supposedly received this letter). The Mormons were all over it and all the ways it could be shown to be false. Then the author stepped in and said “what kind of tests for truth are you applying here?” I thought it was a great way to illustrate that Mormons understand how to “test all things” they just refuse to do it with Joseph Smith and the BOM. To do so would threaten their beliefs. Also, to open up to the possibility of salvation/eternal life by grace through faith threatens their beliefs and must be destroyed.

  39. subgenius says:

    without invoking any birds of prey, here is how some Ev would “correctly translate” John 14:28, because surely the way it is written now is disagreeable.

    “You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to Myself, for Myself is greater than I. ”

    so good to see that you agree, you even point out the controversy of my references.
    But the context of capital offenses for “theft” is fairly clear. The Septuagint has already been mentioned by me above, proves nothing (klepto may not have been in autograph and Hebrew is in conflict)…the point is there are points of contention and influence due to “translation”, and these points are greater than 1%, so glad you agree.

  40. liv4jc says:

    All, especially those who question the transmission of the biblical text and its translation, I would like to suggest an inexpensive resource related to this thread.

    New Testament Text and Translation Commentary by Philip W. Comfort. The introduction explains the basics of textual criticism, common forms of copying errors, methods used for determining the preferred reading, and gives a critique of the major manuscript families. The compilation explains the various major textual variants, includes their effect on all major Bible translations, and shows major translation differences. For about $35.00 this is a resource that is well worth the investment. If that is out of your budget the Netbible (the New English Translation online) has much of the same information, although condensed, and it is FREE.

    What I find interesting about most Bibles, and the work mentioned above, is the honesty with which the variants are dealt with. There is no hiding of the truth about known variants and their impact on the meaning of different translations. It is all laid out for the reader to see and make their own conclusions. Do we see this with LDS church texts? I’m not as well versed in LDS church documents as many here, but my guess is: NO.

  41. grindael says:


    I agree that some smithians will say “go and pray about it” but the first response is usually are you keeping the word of wisdom, (or some other rule in the cult). Any question of authority is usually answered with some kind of attack on the person doing the questioning. (Then they go behind the persons back and start contacting relatives to see if the person has been talking to anyone else, who they have spoken to/read, etc.) Stop the “infection.”

    This is the normal course of business for any cult because the leader is god to his people and how dare you question him?

    That is the major reason for the smithians stand on the Bible, to denigrate it as being ‘just barely’ from God, enough to point you in the right direction, and if you listen to their “take” on the scriptures, and add their revelations to it, you will be all right. The JW’s were not subtle in this, they retranslated the Bible to suit their needs. I think I still have a copy of the “green dragon” around here somewhere…

    David Koresh was a modern day expert at this. Only HE had the answers to the 7 seals of Revelation, and only through his teachings could you be saved. That is why it keeps coming back to smith and always will.

    smith actually taught at one time that God the Father was a spirit, the son had a body and the HG was the mind of God. In 1843, he then lied saying he had always taught the plurality of gods.

    It is classic cult all the way, even though the smithians have tried to water it down and make it pretty over the years.

    All you get from smithians about bible personages is a sense that they were somehow inferior – (Poor Paul is still being persecuted). smith even claimed to have met him saying he had a whiney voice.

    Their rejection of the Bible only makes me cherish it more, and the fantastic way it has come down into our hands. God is great, no doubt about it.

  42. jackg says:

    It seems that this discussion is void of the understanding of dogma, doctrine, and opinion. Some things are absolutely necessary to believe in order to be called a Christian; some things are necessary to believe in order to belong to a certain denomination; and, some things just don’t matter with regard to salvation. That’s the big thing being being forgotten in this matter. What is necessary for salvation? And, does the Bible contain all the knowlege necessary to understand and accept the salvation offered by Jesus Christ? Do the teachings of JS add anything that is absolutely necessary for man to be saved in the kingdom of Heaven? The understanding of God’s character is necessary to the discussion, because a claim that the Bible does not contain all necessary truth for salvation runs into the problem of portraying God as unable to protect His Word from humanity, as if humanity has the power to render the Spirit-breathed biblical text unauthoritative because of “precious truths” that have been taken away. Such a premise is preposterous. But, that’s how Mormonism operates: on fallacious premises. Then, the next tactic is to appeal to the personal revelation of the Holy Spirit that contradicts what He has already revealed in and through the biblical text. The Mormon cannot even fathom that he/she just might be following a false spirit, which can be detected with an appeal to the Bible. The Bible may not be perfect, but the salvation message rings clear and strong despite the fact that God has chosen to use a broken humanity to convey His will for us.


  43. mobaby says:


    Thanks for the resources.

    There are no documents to lay out for the BOM. There is no historical evidence supporting it – no textual fragments, no ancient scrolls, no engravings with portions, nothing. ZIP, ZERO, NADA. Unless you count the portions lifted from the King James Bible…

    For the Book of Abraham, some LDS may lay out the real meaning of the Facsimiles and try to get the true meaning behind the Egyptian scrolls that can be proven to be the source for the BA, but if a Mormon were to write a scholarly work laying this all out, my guess would be they would not be Mormon for long as it would not be faith promoting.

  44. gundeck says:


    Please don’t put words in my mouth by rudely claiming I agree with you when you know I do not. You claim that “the Hebrew and greek origin of the word is really a reference to kidnap” and I believe this is false.

    Let me give you a little personal advice, I know that some people think this is cute little trick and a way to score points but it is generally the first sign of a lost argument. I have refrained from making personal attacks and making dings at your less than convincing argument and have taken the time to respond in a forthright manner. Please return the favor.

    I don’t see the Hebrew in conflict, I see you taking an interpretation and margin notes (masorah) and trying to canonize them.

    There is no reference to any capitol punishment in Exodus 20. There is not a single human imposed penalty in Ex 20, the only penalty you see in in Ex 20:5, the “visiting the iniquity” and this is God not man dispensing justice. It is eisegesis to read punishment into the context, it simply is not present. Without the supposed connection to capitol crimes your kidnapping position falls apart.

    On top of punishment being missing from Ex 20:15 an object is also missing to make this command more restrictive. When a prohibition against kidnapping is clear as we see in Deut 24:7 the command against stealing has a particular and closely defined object.

    This is not so much a transmission or translation issue as it is an interpretation issue. You really are conflating a medieval rabbinic tradition with biblical translation. The text in the Hebrew (גָּנַב (gā∙nǎḇ)) is clear, the text in the Septugint/LXX (kleptō [klepto /klep·to/]) is clear, the text in the New Testament (kleptō (kleptō)) is clear.

    Being from a religion that has excluded itself from historic Christianity I am sure you don’t care but we also see the same language used by Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, and other early Church fathers.

  45. subgenius says:

    you make a good argument, very good indeed. However the Ev can not have it both ways. The Ev insists on throwing the baby out with the bath water on the BoM, yet when the Ev doctrine is simply “examined” – foul is cried, issues are distracted, facts distorted and the ever reliable “its beside the point” is excalimed.
    i would be interested in your take on the many “breathed texts” which have been knowingly omitted from the Bible. Every issue i address is supported by either the OT or NT and those are all i reference here. This is because the modern day Pauline has severed the direct line to God. They personally have “cut-off” all communication. Yet they can not explain why there is so much said after verse John 19:30 😉

    But hey these are the same Paulines that insist upon God being schizophrenic in spite of John 14:28.
    You see the Ev can never reconcile that they worship either, at least, 2 gods (Our Heavenly Father and Jesus), or that they may be misguided by claiming that Jesus has more clout than God…so, they insist that both of them are the same (actually they enjoy the bargain of 3 for 1), even though the text of the Bible clearly defines them as two seperate beings several ways and in several places….again even by JC’s own words in John 14:28. Its is simple “greater” is grammatically a comparative term, which occurs between 2 seperate ‘things’. Merely one of a plethora of examples which goes against the Pauline marching orders meant to buttress their own “translation”.

    at last honesty from the Ev front….when it comes to matters of Mormonism most Ev actually are just “guessing”

  46. subgenius says:

    if it is respect you seek then it will be asked of you. First note that i did not say anything about “punishment”. My point, which is actually a Hebrew point, is that the 2 commandments preceeding the “steal” commandment are in-an-of-themselves capital offenses (“offenses” in case you missed it). So the point is that why would there be two blatant capital offenses mentioned then followed by a minor offense in context? which sounds more relevant to the Hebrew people at the time? People who were in bondage in Egypt…are they worried about personal property or are they more concerned with the notion of slavery?
    seriously, you respond with arrogance, claiming the weakness of an argument when you present none of your own,,,you are here trying to argue semantics and the subject is better than that.
    I sugeest you heed your own “personal” advice, i seem to have no use for your smug suggestions.

  47. jackg says:

    The Bible is not perfect. That’s the result of God working through a broken humanity. The Bible, however, is inerrant with regard to what is called “heilsgeschichte,” or “salvation history.” If a man or woman wants to know how to be saved, the Bible is not lacking in providing this information. That’s the crux of the matter, because JS claims that the Bible does not contain everything necessary for salvation. But, then, we will only get into a debate regarding the Mormon definition of “salvation” and the definition offered by Christians as revealed in the Bible.

    It’s common for the authority of the Bible to be challenged by any group who wants to excuse their teachings or behaviors. It is inherent for us (sin nature) to seek autonomy and to establish rules for ourselves. The Bible teachings go against this mindset and is, therefore, attacked as imperfect and unable to guide us. This is usually where one’s “personal experience” is used as the measuring stick to dictate our thinking and beliefs. I used to buy into the propaganda that espoused a low view of God’s Word and a low view of God Himself. But, when I took off the filter of the LDS 8th AOF I was able to see what God was revealing to me through His inerrant Word.

    As for the Trinity, I will be the first to admit that it is difficult for me to wrap my brain around it, just as it is to wrap my brain around the Creation story. I am limited where God is unlimited, so how can I expect to understand the mystery that does surround God (which is the result of a high view of God)in the things I must accept by faith? I don’t know how the Trinity works, but I have faith in God who reveals Himself in three persons. C.S. Lewis said: “In God’s dimension, so to speak, you find a being who is three Persons while remaining one Being. Of course we cannot fully conceive a Being like that…” (Mere Christianity,162). And I can’t…but I believe!


  48. falcon says:

    This is all pretty simple, acutally. The Bible is true, the BoM is not. The Bible leads us to eternal life, the BoM leads no where expect to separation from God for eternity. Christians scholars have poured over the Bible for centuries in pursuit of the most accurate rendering of God’s Word. While we claim inerrancy for the original autographs, we fully acknowledge any errors in transmission that occur in copies. We know that any errors in transmission are miniscule and don’t effect in any way the basic doctrines of the Christian faith.
    Christians work hard to get it right, to make sure the Scriptures we follow are the best available in regards to copies of the original.

  49. Andy Watson says:

    Part 1

    The only communication that has been “cut-off” is by the Mormons who have decided to entrust their souls into the story of a 14 year-old farm boys misguided adventures in the woods of upstate in New York and have given themselves over to a false spirit which deceives and blinds them. By not accepting what God has already said to be truth (John 17:17) in His holy Scriptures, the Bible, they have subjected themselves in allowing a “strong delusion” to be given them by believing a lie (2 Thes 2:10-11).

    How does that happen? Doing an unbiblical thing like praying over and over about a book to find out if it’s true and waiting for a warm feeling to overtake them as confirmation. James 1:5 does not support this. Proverbs 28:26, Jeremiah 17:9 and Proverbs 14:12 should be their guide instead of Moroni 10:3-5. If Mormons would engage in serious Bible study, then they could be taken seriously by the outside world. This is not possible because their leaders have no training in the ancient languages and won’t go outside of BYU to learn anything related to the Bible.

    The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve know a lot about banking, finance, science, law, medicine, business and flying commercial jets (Uchtdorf), but know nothing about textual criticism, Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew, translation, etc. If they did, then they would have the guts to ditch the KJV which they slam and use their title of “seer and translator” and put out their own Bible after reading the ancient languages of the Bible and thus giving the supposed “most correct book on earth” (the LDS Bible) that would go along with the claimed BoM (not hardly correct).

    The JW’s had the guts to do it and they have taken a hit since 1950. The LDS Church couldn’t bear the fallout that would take place and the world would forever ignore them, as they should more than they do, as a masquerade of historical, orthodox Christianity.

  50. Andy Watson says:

    Part 2

    With that said, let’s now rid ourselves of Mormon claims of “schizophrenia” and kindergarten scholastics and approach the Bible with sound exegesis of the Scriptures. It doesn’t take advanced schooling at a Christian seminary to understand the context of John 19:30.

    I have plenty of reasons why God is still communicating to His people today and it has nothing to do with John 19:30. I will cite John 16:13. The real Holy Spirit of the Bible speaks to me. The communication with the Almighty is wide open. Once again, Mormons should do some Scripture study outside of the LDS “firesides” and quit repeating what has been told to them by BYU professors who have no LDS Church authority.

    John 19:30 is talking about the COMPLETED redemptive work of Christ – not God now being silenced. This coincides with Hebrews 9:12, 28 where Christ died ONCE for the sins of man. What is the context of John 19:30 and the scene: Christ on the cross and it’s crucifixion time. He is taking our place for our sin debt (substitutionary atonement). Our Mormon friends need to a better job of finding verses to present the goofy canard of thinking that we have somehow silenced Almighty God. Nothing could be further than the truth! Am I about to tell an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Being that He now has to be quiet and not talk? I’m not that crazy or bold!

    I would like to ask our Mormon friends what the new revelation was that came forth at last conference just two weeks ago? What does the Mormon god have to say to the world that is in such chaos? What…nothing? When was the last section of the D&C? The Mormon god couldn’t shut his mouth when Smith was playing prophet. Somehow after Smith got filled full of lead at Carthage Jail the Mormon god drew silent. Mormons have “modern revelation”. Okay, I wait every 6 months for that modern revelation when I read the Conference Reports and every week when I read the LDS Church News that comes in my mailbox – nothing.

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