“Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests…”

Mormonism’s founding prophet Joseph Smith taught that “Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests” altered the ancient biblical text (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 327). Daniel B. Wallace, professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, looks at this idea and the state of the biblical text we have today.

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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11 Responses to “Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests…”

  1. Mike R says:

    The church that Jesus established through His apostles never died and became extinct after
    their deaths , and the gospel of salvation which He sent out to preach far and wide never
    became unavailable to mankind for 1700 years until 1830 because of a great apostasy like Mormonism has claimed . That kind of ridiculous claim was created by these latter days false
    prophets ( Matt 24:11 ) so that they could convince people to follow them . It’s a clever ploy .

    God has preserved His word down through the centuries so that sinful men and women could
    know about Him and the salvation He has provided . The Bible contains that information .
    Mormonism is not the answer .

  2. falcon says:

    Excellent video! One of my all time favorite topics.
    I remember way back when on MC, Andy Watson agreed to a series of e mail presentations with our Aussie friend Ralph regarding the doctrine of the Trinity. Andy showed Ralph that the doctrine went way back to the founding of the Church and wasn’t an invention of the Emperor at the Council of Nicaea. Ralph had to give-it-up and agree. So Andy’s challenge to him was why did he support the LDS church’s position when it was obvious that they were wrong on this important fact?
    A video presentation like this one virtually sheds the foundational beliefs of Mormonism as regards the Bible and the early Christian church. The one thing that the LDS church has going for it is that its members just accept what they are told and continually repeat it to one another.
    Mormons generally know nothing about their own religion and even less about Christianity. Lynn Wilder, her son Micah and numerous other former Mormons will testify that when they turned to the Bible in earnest, their belief in Mormonism was blown-up.
    If Mormons continue to belief in Mormonism based on spiritual experiences they say they have had, they will never come to know God.

  3. merrick says:

    Wow! That was amazing! I am in the middle of packing to move and was just taking a “short” break, but couldn’t stop watching. Thanks for sharing!

  4. falcon says:

    It’s not that I was unaware of the information presented in the video, it’s that the presenter has a very engaging and entertaining way of presenting it. It’s good stuff whether heard for the first time or again.
    He addresses the issues Mormons like to continually repeat thinking they’ve hit pay-dirt in their quest to undermine Christianity and bolster the religion of Smith and his magic rock.
    So where do Mormons go for solace when they discover that the foundational claims of their religion against Christianity are false? Well it depends on where the Mormon is at the time that God reveals this information to them. A lot depends on how deep in the Mormon program a person is and how attached emotionally they are to what they think are spiritual experiences they have had.

    I was thinking the other day about one of the “observations” made by a TBM that use to visit here. He said that in his experience, people who left Mormonism did so because they had stopped reading the BoM. I don’t think he could bring himself to realize that the “leavers” stopped reading the BoM because they had lost faith in Mormonism. For the TBM types, not believing in or abandoning belief in Smith and his book is beyond comprehension.
    Does the original manuscript of the BoM exist? What did Joseph Smith do with it? Is today’s BoM the same as when it popped out of Smith hat with the magic rock in it or has it been changed countless times? Do any of the changes in the BoM effect the doctrine of the LDS church?

    I think that these questions would be something a thoughtful Mormon might want to explore.

  5. spartacus says:

    A great quote that every LDS needs to hear, and there’s more in the MRM article:

    Should a Mormon doubt the trustworthiness of the above scholars, perhaps they should give heed to BYU Professor Richard L. Anderson. Mr. Anderson spoke on the accuracy of the New Testament at the Fourteenth Annual Symposium of the Archaeology of the Scriptures and remarked:

    “For a book to undergo progressive uncovering of its manuscript history and come out with so little debatable in its text is a great tribute to its essential authenticity. First, no new manuscript discovery has produced serious differences in the essential story. This survey has disclosed the leading textual controversies, and together they would be well within one percent of the text. Stated differently, all manuscripts agree on the essential correctness of 99 percent of all the verses in the New Testament.”

    This is from a short but impressive article on MRM.

  6. Mike R says:

    The Bible contains the truth about God and the facts about the Savior of the world —Jesus .
    The gospel that saves is in the New Testament and is there still , even after hundreds of years
    because God preserved . It’s that simple . The scriptures suffered damage by men so that
    enough information about God , Jesus, and how to be completely forgiven and receive salvation became unavailable for those who read or heard them read ? Sorry , but that theory is just plain
    “out there ” . Yet that is the message latter days false prophets like those who run the Mormon
    church would come up with , why ? Simple , it affords them a convenient way to convince people
    to accept the new truths ” restored ” through them . Sincere people buy the lie that since the
    Bible has been rendered deficient to reveal enough truth to know in order to be saved , then
    the prophet is needed to fix that problem , thus salvation is now only by submitting to him and
    accepting the long lost or corrupted truth he has ” restored ” . This type of reasoning has
    fooled sincere people into following those false prophets Jesus predicted would come —
    Mk 13:22-23 .

    May the Mormon people come to discover that God has preserved His word in order for all
    to read and come to know who He is , and the salvation He offers through coming to His Son
    Jn 17:3 . Mormonism is not the answer because God’s word contains the answer , and has for
    many centuries .

  7. cattyjane says:

    Im glad you guys posted this. I was just researching this week on the timeline events of how Christianity developed, the accuracy of the NT texts, and Constantines involvement in all of this. He presented his information very well.

  8. Old man says:

    This is just my brief attempt to apply a little logic and common sense to the LDS argument.

    If the truth was lost following the deaths of the Apostles then it follows that Gods first attempt to save the world was a failure and people remained in darkness for another 1700 years. It further follows that his second attempt via Joe Smith, having reached in 200 years such a tiny proportion of the world’s population, (around 0.1%) must also be deemed a failure.

    As the Mormon god started life as a man and, according to Mormon doctrine, is continually learning, can we expect to see at some time in the future yet more attempts to get it right? Can we expect to see the Mormon god raise up another ‘prophet’ who will restore the ‘precious truths’ lost by the men who succeeded Joe Smith?

    Possibly one of the Mormon ‘lurkers’ would care to answer the above.

  9. falcon says:

    I’d say that’s pretty much it. We have this Greek Mythology form of LDS religion with its roots in the herky jerky Mormonism of the 19th century. It’s a constantly evolving and changing spectacle of speculation and magical thinking. Take a look at the spectrum of doctrinal beliefs of the different sects that trace their origins back to the days of Joseph Smith and his magic rock. There is no definitive restoration in these groups. They can’t even agree on the most basic fundamental aspect of any religion, the nature of God.
    The LDS sect thrives on a modern day fog bank. Just keep the money rolling in and whatever you do, don’t address the doctrinal issues that are distinctive to this sect and are a real head scratcher for anyone gaining knowledge of this group.

  10. Mike R says:

    Old Man ,
    good to hear from you again . Is’nt it sad what Mormon leaders have misled their followers into
    believing about God’s word — that supposedly by the time we get to J.S. day there was’nt
    enough in the Bible to inform men about God , how to be saved , and experience a personal
    relationship with His Son . Mormon leaders need to say the Bible was’nt enough to know
    about Jesus because that lie fits in with their lie that His church as well as His gospel of
    salvation were both corrupted/ overcome by evil men to the extent that for 1700 years
    spiritual darkness covered the earth , until 1830 was J.S. claimed he was fixing this problem.
    Mormon apostle LeGrand Richards taught that :
    ” … the everlasting gospel could not be discovered through reading the Bible alone ….”
    [ Marvelous Work and a Wonder , p.40 ]

    It’s worth noting that this whole notion about the Bible being deficient etc , that there are
    statements by some Mormons that the Bible is in fact in fine shape after having come thru
    so many centuries . Those Mormons are closer to finding the truth in the Bible to realize
    they don’t need their prophets in order to know the truth about God and have right
    relationship with Him .
    We should pray for them .

  11. JimSpace says:

    Overall this was a very good presentation in my estimation.
    I’m frankly surprised he left the 666 or 616 issue with uncertainty. I believe the discrepancy is based on the Nero Caesar interpretation of gematria. Nero Caesar in Greek was converted in Hebrew to NRON QSR, which as numerals totals 666. But when the Latin version is used with only one N, the value of 50 is removed and the sum is 616.

    I was also hoping that he would read John 1:1 in Greek.

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