Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mormonism And Polygamy

The Mormon church is well known for its equivocations. The new and everlasting covenant of plural marriage is perhaps the best example of Mormon equivocation. Under threat of exile to Mexico the Mormon church officially abolished polygamy in the earthly realm in 1890. However, by virtue of secret temple ceremonies Mormon males like Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, as well as contemporary Mormon leaders remain sealed to multiple wives in the heavenly realm. Thus, the practice of polygamy promoted by Smith - who, by the way, had 27 plural wives, and Young, who had 55 wives and 57 children - was merely transferred to the Celestial Kingdom.

By relegating polygamy to the eternal realm Mormon leaders managed to comply externally with societal norms while still maintaining an eschatological basis for the subjugation of women. Such spiritual sanctioning of polygamy was not only an affront to the value and dignity of women, but stands in direct opposition to Jesus' teaching that at the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage.

The Mormon practice of polygamy finds its genesis in the teachings and practices of Joseph Smith who, in 1843, received an eternally binding revelation. According to Smith, apart from the practice of polygamy there was no hope of attaining to godhood. The everlasting commandment of polygamy revealed to Smith was considered so binding that Brigham Young ominously declared "If any deny the plurality of wives and continue to do so, I promise you that you will be damned."

And, of course, the Old Testament clearly reveals the strife and temptations that accompany the practice. Solomon, of course, is the quintessential example of one whose legacy of faithfulness was compromised because of his polygamous behavior. Despite world-renowned wisdom Solomon's peaceful and prosperous rule ended in idolatrous strife, scandal and in civil strife as well because the Bible tells us his wives turned his heart after other gods. There is, therefore, absolutely no biblical support for the Mormon practice of polygamy either in this life or the next.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's utterly startling to think that Blomberg came to this conclusion. Strobel interviewed him for The Case For Christ and Blomberg seems to be a well-studied theologian, and yet he believes the God of Mormonism is the same as the (true) God of Christianity. ?????

Nick said...

I agree that polygamy is not taught as a good thing in the Bible, and neither in the Book of Mormon. Both actually teach that we should be faithful within our marriages.

However, sometimes we don't understand everything that the Lord commands. For example, the Lord taught us that we should not murder, but he commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son (which Abraham proved he was willing to do until stopped by an angel). Then He also wiped out the world in a flood and the destroying angel took the lives of the children during the times of Moses. We don't understand why the Lord would do these things that seem so harsh.

As for Abraham, we don't read about him being commanded to have more than one wife, but did he? Why? Would the Lord denounce it enough to pull from him the blessings that he was promised?

Who else had more than one wife, and why? Sometimes the Lord will command things that we don't understand, and it was commanded during the restoration of the Lord's church in the early 1800s. These men didn't enjoy it, and much less their wives, but they did it because the Lord commanded it - the same way that prophets of old did.

For further information from an LDS standpoint, you can either research the truth for yourself, or trust that Hank is teaching the absolute truth. The consequences are too great for that if you ask me.

http://www.fairlds.org/apol/ai049.html

Lori said...

The Mormon men didn't enjoy their many wives? Sure they didn't.
Those poor women and children. Yes, God allowed polygamy in ancient days, but by the 1800's, people should have known, even thru common sense, that polygamy is destructive, sinful and anti-biblical; especially for those purporting to be followers of Christ.

It's strange that Mormons want to call themselves Christians but according to Joe Smith, all of the creeds, professors, books, etc of Christendom were apostate and therefore new revelation had to come. So why do you want to call yourself Christian, if all that is/was Christian is apostate?

God doesn't contradict himself but Smith's claims of revelation from God have clearly contradicted what God has already delineated in His Word. Mormonism contradicts biblical/historic Christianity. And that is utterly detestable.

Don't take it personally. You don't have a problem with us. You have a problem with God's Word.

something good here said...

Amen Lori.

Nick said...

Hi Lori,

I'm sorry, but your posting was simply another unsupported attack. If you would like to provide any specific examples to the claims that you made, I would be happy to address them.

I get the feeling that people do not understand the religious atmosphere that existed during the revivals during the 1830s. Again, I'm sorry if you don't understand the history, but the Evangelical church leaders that Joseph referenced were fighting against each other, not him. It was their ignorance and arrogance that caused him to go to God directly in prayer to find his answers.

I recommend the same for you. Don't trust in the arm of flesh. God is the ultimate source of eternal truth, and if we ask, He will provide.

Again, the Lord Himself did and commanded many things that we today would consider non-biblical, such as sending plaques to the wicked - which we would today call terrorism. God is the ultimate authority. If he commands anything (even if it is to sacrifice your child as in Abraham's case), then you do it. Polygamy was a commandment for a select few during the times of the restoration. You can deny it all you want, along with any other teachings from the Lord that you choose to deny. It's your loss to close your heart and deny the truth.

Brad said...

Christians do not call God's sending of plagues, Abraham's (near) sacrificing of his son, or anything else He chooses to do, as "non-biblical". But apparently Nick, you do, which supports the fact that Mormons contradict God's Word and through arrogance and ignorance, decide what God has said or hasn't said.

How convenient, "Polygamy was a commandment for a select few during the times of the restoration." Of course Christians deny this, it didn't come from God.

I didn't see any rebuttal of Lori's statement of:

"It's strange that Mormons want to call themselves Christians but according to Joe Smith, all of the creeds, professors, books, etc of Christendom were apostate and therefore new revelation had to come. So why do you want to call yourself Christian, if all that is/was Christian is apostate?"

In Yeshua haMashiach -Jay said...

Nick,
King Solomon had what, 700+ wives and do you know what he got out of that? An understanding that when you go against Gods word then all you get is anguish. He wrote about it in Proverbs. He wrote about how he tried everything there was and found that when it was against Gods will it brought sadness and sorrow. As for Abraham and his "close call", if you read closely you will see the key words he said to his servants in Gen 22:5 Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you." (ABraham had faith that he AND his son would be back because God had promised him that many nations would come from him and if God took Issaac then that promise would be broken. And ABraham also proves that he already knows no harm is intended for his son by saying in verse 22:8And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. So you see Nick, if Abraham knew that nothing was going to happen then how close did he really come to killing his son? Not close at all, that is why Abraham was counted as righteous in the eyes of God. Does the book of mormon contain these same verses?

Nick said...

Hi Brad,

It seems like your a little frustrated, so I apologize if you misinterpreted anything I wrote. I am trying to clarify what I believe, but you try to clarify what I believe as well, which makes these postings a little difficult.

First of all, you are correct that Christians don't take the things that God did as non-biblical. I agree, but I was saying that the acts alone would be viewed as non-biblical if it wasn't the Lord himself (or His servant that He commended) that did these things. For example, we accept the biblical teaching that we shouldn't murder, but when God commanded it of Abgraham as a test, it was ok. If any mortal today caused destruction, Christians would judge that as non-biblical - and they would be right. My point is that when God commands something it is the right thing to do, no matter what it is.

You can deny all you want about the things that happened during the restoration. I believe that most so-called Christians deny many things of the Bible as well. I feel bad that you lose out on that blessing because of your lack of understanding.

How convenient, "Polygamy was a commandment for a select few during the times of the restoration." Of course Christians deny this, it didn't come from God.

As for Lori's statement, do you think that I need a rebuttal of anything about Mormon's calling themselves Christians? We know who we believe in, and to be honest, we don't take offense of what others think that we are. I think if Christ walked the earth today, most people wouldn't consider Him Christian, just like it was 2000 years ago.

It would be nice if she can provide references to her claims. It is absolutely true that the religious revivals during the time of Joseph Smith were not completely accurate, similar to how it is today. Ask two pastors from two different churches something about a major doctrine of Christianity, and see if you get the same answer.

As for the books that Lori referenced from Joseph Smith, does she think that Joseph was saying that the Bible was apostate? Absolutely not.

The bottom line is you can't provide me a detailed list of what would classify someone as a Christian. There isn't one, and the generic reply that the Bible lays it out just isn't going to work. We believe the Bible, and I would be happy to discuss any part of it over this blog.

Nick said...

It's interesting that Solomon is the only person referred to in the Bible as having had more than one wife. Why? Because it is easy to see negative things with his situation, which the world thrives on - Negativity. The bottom line is people whom we respect in the Bible also had more than one wife, but you never want to figure out why on those. That's ok, ignorance is bliss, right?

Also, how interesting it is that we never continue on with the scriptures. We stop when we get out of the story what meets our needs. Let me expand on Genesis 22:8 with verses 9 & 10.
9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

Makes sense huh, that even with faith that the Lord would deliver, he was still willing to be obedient, to the point where he stretched forth his hand and took the knife to slay his son. My point wasn't to question Abraham's faith, especially since this entire story is about His faith. My point was that the Lord asked something of someone that would seem unchristian. I have made this clear over and over again, that I agree that when the Lord asks anything of us, we should obey, even when we don't understand.

To answer your last question - no, this story is not in the Book of Mormon. Should it have been?

I'm sorry if my words seem strong, but you two are fighting the Lord in ignorance, and your pride is getting the best of you. The Lord died for these sins, so I hope we can all realize our weaknesses and repent so we don't continue to lose out on the blessings of the gospel.

In Yeshua haMashiach -Jay said...

Nick,
The reason I mentioned Solomon, instead of others that committed adultry like King David (2Sam 12), Lemech, Abraham, Esau, Jacob, and Gideon to name a few, is because he was the wisest man in the world. If HE could figure out what he was doing was WRONG then I would think we would believe him when he says it. Or are you smarter than the wisest man of the bible? That is the reason for using Solomon. Are you understanding my point now Nick? The smartest man in the world says it is wrong. And you and other mormons want to argue with it....beautiful.

Nick said...

I guess the best point you could make now is providing the references of such claims (smartest man in the world, marrying many wives led to his fall, etc.), then I can walk you through why I agree with you on certain aspects of your claims, and why I disagree. Are the numbers most important, or the "who(s)" that are most important. Let me know what you think.

Just to clarify, I don't want to argue with anything. I may disagree, but through these postings, it will be clear why!!

Nick said...

And for the record, I think that you should repent of your evil speaking of those men whom the Lord anointed to the positions they held.

Just because you don't understand why the Lord would allow (or command) something that you disagree with, it doesn't mean that you should talk badly of them. That is your sin.

In Yeshua haMashiach -Jay said...

Nick,
What does this sentence mean to you?

1Kings 10:23 "So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom."

Does this mean he was smarter than everyone else or am I missing something?

Evil Speak? Just because you do not think that adultry is a sin is not my problem it is yours. For me to say that they were commiting adultry is a true fact, one you can not deny. The fact is you agree that they are commiting adultry, you just don't think anything is wrong with it. Yeshua (Jesus) did though. Unfortunately, you do not believe in the same Yeshua (h=Jesus) as I do and thus is points on adultry to you are not valid. Again, that is your problem not mine.

Nick said...

I take it to mean that "king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom." Yes, all of the kings up until that point, and all of the kings, not necesarily all men. My belief is that Jesus was much smarter and wiser than Solomon, since he was omniscient. Do you disagree?

You are wrong that these men were adulterous. Do you think that God Himself would have entrusted "adulterous" men to the positions they were in? Show me where Jesus said that these men shouldn't have had the wives that they did, and be specific for each of them please.

Also, you did not provide the references showing that Solomon fell because he married many women, and not because of the women that he did marry. It will be interesting to continue this discussion when you provide the details of these things. As for now, I don't see any support for your claims, and I see that you still have a problem with your sinning against the Lord and speaking evil towards His chosen servants.

In Yeshua haMashiach -Jay said...

Nick,
Yes I do believe God would intrust them even though they may have done sinnfull things. King David had a man murdered (sent him to the front lines of a battle so he would most likely be killed) in order to have the mans wife and yet King David is one of the most blessed men of all time. Look at Paul, he was a crucifier of Christians and he wrote most of the Apostolic Scriptures. Just because these men were chosen by God to do great things DOESN'T mean they are perfect sinless people.

There is no area that I recall where Solomon says because of all my wives I have sinned. He does say in Ecclesiastes that he had trieds everything under the sun and they have shown him that they do nothing for him. In 1Kings chapter 11 it talks about how the many wives turned his heart away from God. Not, don't have many wives but more, how the many wives caused problems for him.

Mathew 19:18 Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

proverbs 6:32 [But] whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he [that] doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

mathew 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

mark 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

Nick said...

It's great that we finally agree on something. I agree with the scriptures that you quoted, but Abraham was not an adulterer, neither were many of the others that you listed. Of course, you couldn't provide an example showing that it was Solomon having many wives that led to his downfall - because that's not the reason. The wives led him away from God, which was his ultimate failure (not the number of wives). Look at who he took as his wives, and it starts to make sense.

As for David, "his sin with Bathsheba was followed by a series of misfortunes that marred the last 20 years of his life. The nation as a whole was prosperous, but David himself suffered from the consequences of his own misdeeds. There were constant family feuds, which, in the case of Absalom and Adonijah, ended in open rebellion. These incidents are a fulfillment of the pronouncement of Nathan the prophet upon David, because of his sin (2 Sam. 12: 7-13)." You're absolutely right that the Lord trusts mortal men, even when they fall short, such as with David, Judas, etc. The difference is it is clear when these servants of the Lord fall short, and how the Lord deals with it. In the case of the great men that had more than one wife, we don't see that. This is why I asked for examples, which I still have not seen.

One more thought. Please define adultery for me.

Anonymous said...

Nick,
Adultery is when a married person is unfaithful, wether it is by looking lustfully at another person or physically acting upon the lust. If you are preparing to tell me that being faithfully married to multiple wives is okay and not commiting adultery then fine. It is still wrong.

1 Timothy 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

(are we held to lesser standards than the deacons?)

1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

(Why didn't they use wives instead of wife or husbands instead of husband? I hope you are not going to say that fornication is wrong not only for non-pol. couples but for polig. couples as well. What is being said here is you are married to one person not multiple.)

What is your point about David? The reason I said what I said about him is because your were chastizing me for saying he sinned and that I should repent because I said this. Because David was anointed by God I can't say something bad about him even though it is the truth. (He had some one killed to get his wife) The point is that I can and will say whatever I chose about the people of the bible as long as it is true and just. God will not condem me for saying the truth about David. It's in the bible for crying out loud.

Nick said...

I am happy to see that we agree on these things. I hope that you don't think that I am against any of the truths of the Bible, because I am not. I don't mean to accuse anyone else of this either.

My point is that I agree that we should be faithful to our spouses, but I know that there is no support to claims against Abraham having more than one wife, or any of the other righteous men that the Lord anointed. I believe that sometimes the Lord's will for specific individuals is slightly different than we are used to. I believe that having more than one wife is one of those examples. We can share scriptures all day long showing that the Lord wants us to be faithful to one spouse, and that is great. However, until you can provide support for the claim that it is impossible that He would command otherwise for certain scenarios, I don't know how else to defend this position. And at that, I don't think that I'm the one that needs to defend any position, because I am not the one claiming that something "cannot" be.

Anonymous said...

Nick,

You have made the claim that God has in the past commanded specific individuals to marry more than one woman. Will you please provide for us a verse, in context, from The Bible that quotes God commanding such a thing to someone? I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Nick said...

Do you believe that the Bible includes every word that God has ever said, every action that He has ever had, etc. This is not a belief even amongst modern Evangelicals, so it confuses me as to why someone could expect such an example. Here are a few scriptures to help clarify what I mean:

John 20:30 - And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.

John 21:25 - And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Not to mention all of the scripture that is referenced in the Bible, but is not contained in our current Bible. Here are several examples:

Ex. 24: 7 - took the book of the covenant.
Num. 21: 14 - book of the wars of the Lord.
Josh. 10: 13,(2 Sam. 1: 18) - book of Jasher.
1 Sam. 10: 25 - Samuel . . . wrote it in a book.
1 Kgs. 11: 41 - book of the acts of Solomon.
1 Chr. 29: 29 - book of Samuel the seer.
2 Chr. 9: 29 - book of Nathan the prophet.
2 Chr. 12: 15 - book of Shemaiah the prophet.
2 Chr. 13: 22 - acts of Abijah . . . in the story of the prophet Iddo.
2 Chr. 20: 34 - book of Jehu.
2 Chr. 33: 19 - written among the sayings of the seers.
Matt. 2: 23 - spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
1 Cor. 5: 9 - I wrote unto you in an epistle.
Eph. 3: 3 - as I wrote afore in few words.
Col. 4: 16 - read the epistle from Laodicea.
Jude 1: 3 - when I gave all diligence to write unto you.
Jude 1: 14 - Enoch also . . . prophesied of these.

Nick said...

I apologize if my last posting sounded at all negative towards your request. As I read it, it sounds differently than I intended it to. I was simply trying to explain that I don't believe that just because something is not in the Bible does not mean that it can't be true.

Again, sorry if it came off as condescending in the way that I worded it.

Anonymous said...

I take it to mean that you cannot find one, then?

The Bible is God's only written Word. That is why the other writings mentioned in the Bible are not Scripture. They may contain valuable historical information, and they may even contain truth, but they are not Scripture because they are not God-breathed.

If someone claims to receive a revelation from God, then they must test the information given to them in their experience against what the Bible teaches. If the two are in conflict, then the truth of the Bible always wins. The experience was not from God. Otherwise, you are relying solely upon subjective experiences with no objective standard by which to measure them. This is why Paul says in 1 Thess. to "Test everything. Hold on to the good." And in Acts we read that the Bereans "examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."

I can see that you feel very strongly that you are right, and I admire your desire to defend your position. I also sense that you are doing it out of a desire to share the truth, because you feel that we are lost and in error. But you have to understand that we feel the same about you. We are convinced that you are not following the Real Jesus. We have a strong desire to share the Truth with you out of love, not a desire to win an argument. But if you do not believe that the Bible is the ONLY source of God's redemptive revelation, and that the one we have today is an accurate representation of it, then I am afraid we will always be talking around each other.

Anonymous said...

Nick,

Sorry, I posted my reply before I saw your comment. I also forgot to address it to you. But don't worry about it. I hope my response doesn't come off that way either, because sometimes these things sound better in your head than they do when read.

Nick said...

I'm sorry, but the claim that there is not additional scripture other than what is in our current Old and New Testament is the most unsupported claim that I know of. The reality is that nowhere in the Bible is there a claim that there is no additional scripture. Anyone who holds this belief isn't very familiar with the canonization of the Bible that began as early as the 200s AD.

I do agree with the scriptures provided. I do think that we should test doctrines to make sure they are from Christ. I do think we should and need to refer to the teachings of Paul and other apostles to know why and what we believe. The problem is that we make claims about things that aren't true because of our own lack of understanding - most of which can and will be easily clarified through discussions like these.

There are many additional scriptures, and the world is missing out because people close their hearts to this teaching. Christ taught that we should live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. If there are additional scriptures, then it is vital that people know about it.

I can't do anything more than ask that you provide every reference that you can to support your claim that there are no additional scriptures. Afterwards, I will give an explanation of each example that you provide, or show my support to what is provided. In some cases, there are going to be dozens of articles written by Biblical scholars to support my point, so I may need to refer you to these articles (but I will provide the links).

Anonymous said...

Nick,
Everyone knows there are more "books" of the bible. The "infamous" gnostics are spoken of often. They are not reliable text though. Much of them are second hand hearsay and mysticism. Not the Word of God. I do agree that they are good to read for some historical value just as the talmud and other rabbiniic teachings are good to study to know more about what was going on during the time of the appostles. We have no proof that these teachings are much more than man made teachings and seeing that we are falible and sinfull creatures, why should we trust ourselves to better Gods own words?
The fact that we know there are more writings out there is not reason enough for us to insert our own assumptions that somewhere God said we could have multiple wives or anything else for that matter....it is dangerous. God said not to "add to" or "take away from" His words for a reason. He gave us what He wants us to have anything else is mans addition and thus WRONG. The Catholic church did this very thing when they did away with the Sabbath and changed the festival and feast days the Jews were celebrating, to the point of outlawing them. Man made reasons have said it's okay to change the days because we have super special reason for changing them even though God did not. This leads to problems and misunderstandings just like exemplifing the Gnostics.
In Yeshua Ha Mashiach,
-Jay

Nick said...

Hi Jay,

I agree that there are books that other reference that wouldn't be classified as scripture, but I believe there are many others that are. My point was to have you provide support for your claim that there cannot be any additional scriptures.

It is interesting that people try to claim that the "do not add to or take away from these things" could possibly be referring to the Bible. I hope that you didn't mean that, because it clearly is in reference to adding to or taking away from the Book of Revelation. Similarly, you will see that claim in Deut. 4:2. The Bible as we have it was not a book back during the days of the Apostles - there were several "books", scrolls, etc.

Until you provide details showing that there could not be any additional scripture, I suggest that don't show your lack of faith that God can do anything, because that is what it boils down to. There are additional scriptures that come from God, and whoever desires to know if they are from Him can ask Him directly, not to mention see tons of evidence that they are true.

Now what it also comes down to is that most people want substantial evidence that the Book of Mormon is from God. A well known anti-mormon family in Utah were once asked by a BYU professor, "How much evidence would be enough for you to believe that the Book of Mormon is true?" They could not provide an answer, but if any of you could, I would like to know how much evidence you would require to believe it for yourself. Then, if I showed you research to support that evidence, would anything change in your opinion? If there are certain types of evidences you require to know if the Book of Mormon is true, so you need that same evidence to know that the Bible is true?

Anonymous said...

Nick,
Does the BOM have prophecies that have come true? Why has the BOM had to revise itself to fit in with todays world like the view of blacks they used to have? It seems that changes can be made whenever something is disproved. The bible is, by in large, the same as it has always been. Translation after translation it has the same teaching and story. Can the BOM claim the same thing?

-Jay

Anonymous said...

Nick,

Can you give us a definition of what "Scripture" is in your view?

Nick said...

Let me start by defining scripture: “When holy men of God write or speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, their words "shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation"

From the LDS Bible Dictionary, we get the definition: “The word scripture means a writing, and is used to denote a writing recognized by the Church as sacred and inspired. It is so applied to the books of the O.T. by the writers of the N.T. (Matt. 22: 29; John 5: 39; 2 Tim. 3: 15).”

Anonymous said...

Nick,

Thanks for the definition. And in your view, do these words and their definitions accurately describe God?

ALMIGHTY - having unlimited power

PERFECT - entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings

INFALLIBLE - absolutely trustworthy or sure

UNCHANGING - Remaining the same; showing or undergoing no change

SOVEREIGN - having supreme rank, power, or authority; being above all others in character, importance, excellence, etc.

SUPERNATURAL - being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena

PERSONAL - Concerned with, and directly involved in the affairs of humanity

Nick said...

Absolutely.

Nick said...

I would definitely add a few, but I imagine that your list wasn't meant to contain all attributes of God.

Anonymous said...

Nick,

You would be right in that assumption :)

So here is my next question. It's a little long-winded but bear with me.

Given the above description of God, is it possible that He would supernaturally superintend the writing of Scripture so that the human authors wrote down, word for word, exactly what God intended them to write, and then allow any of His work to become lost or corrupted?

Nick said...

Absolutely. I don't believe that the gospel is fantasy. I believe that God had His hand in the bringing forth of all scripture, but since mortal men played a major role in bringing forth these scriptures, I believe there is inevitably going to be error.

Now, my focus isn't on what God could or couldn't do, because He could do anything He chooses. However, it's not a matter of it being God's mistake if there confusions with scripture, because it is man's mistake.

The truth is that there are mistakes in the Bible. Of the thousands of Greek manuscripts that we have, none of them match completely. I'm not saying that all the differences are major - some are, many aren't. The bottom line is that if you are unfamiliar with the fact that there are discrpancies, then it is because you choose to believe that without doing your research.

Nick said...

You might find this link helpful:

http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_
Conferences/1999_Corruption_of_Scripture
_in_the_Second_Century.html

Oftentimes, when I provide a link in this blog, I am attacked for not putting the information into the blog. I don't expect anyone to read what the link says, but if you want to know partly why I believe what I do, then I provide it for your reference. It contains detailed sources to where this information was taken, so you can see that it's not a mormon bias.

Anonymous said...

Nick,

To assume error in all human writing is self-defeating. This human idea that the Bible must contain mistakes because it was written by men would be suspect by the same standards. The Book of Mormon and the other Mormon Scriptures would also be suspect by this standard. The fact is, human beings can and do produce writing with no errors. It happens all the time. Even without God's supernatural intervention.

But we both agree that God WAS supernaturally involved in the writing of the Bible, so would it not be logical to assume that He is also involved in it's preservation? And do man’s liabilities supersede God's power?


(Incidentally, I am very aware of the science of Textual Criticism. And I am also aware that we can get back to the originals of the Bible with over a 99% certainty. I have done my homework. I'm just trying to focus on one line of thinking right now.)

Nick said...

That is a great point; however, I don't think that the Bible MUST have error in the sense that it is impossible not to, but I do claim that it is inevitable that it will have imperfections. It is a simple fact that it does have errors.

There are countless sources of research that show the changes that have been made during the canonization of the Bible over time. Do you honestly believe that there are no errors in the Bible? If so, would you be interested in going over various examples and providing your feedback?

I would be happy to provide examples, but I am not willing to defend myself to a faulty claim that the Bible is inerrant. The resource I provided in my last post has more than enough information for you to give me examples of how that information is not correct (if you can make such a claim).

Once I see that you actually have an interest in seeing both sides, I can provide additional sources and scriptural discrepancies to show that, even though God is perfect, He let mortals have their agency and participation in His great work.

I look forward to seeing your response to the article I provided that details the claim I have made. If you choose not to at least read it, then your claims will always be incomplete and without any foundation.

Just out of curiosity, do you think that your claim is supported by other modern Evangelicals, or perhaps only some? From what I have read, it seems as though that if your claim has any significance, then the vast majority of Evangelicals are in conflict with one another. Would you say that any Evangelical that believes that the Bible has errors would be labeled as "non-Christian"?

Nick said...

I heard a lecture this evening focusing on strengthening our families, and a statement was quoted (sorry, I forgot the reference) that I would like to share. It was in reference to the way we treat our spouses, and the quote was: "It's not about who's right, but it's about what is right."

When I heard that, I started to think about the postings we have had on this blog relating to proving or disproving the Bible and the Book of Mormon, or if the Bible is inerrant or infallible, etc. I felt like we (myself included) have been taking the approach of showing who's right, and not what is right. I will speak only for myself and say that my motives have not been on the what is right part of this discussion, just on me trying to prove my point.

My true desire is to be better, and focus only on what is most important, and that is "what is right." In all reality, to me what is right is to defend the Bible - even if my life depends on it. I know that perhaps many of you feel otherwise, but I believe the same about the Book of Mormon. My intention as a Christian is to proclaim the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

What is right is the doctrines taught in the scriptures about salvation coming only through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Our salvation depends on our commitment to God, and doing our best to follow His plan for us. This is the position I want to proclaim to the world, along with everything else we have been commanded to proclaim. The Spirit can and will testify of the truths of the gospel, not to the infallibilities of people or religious beliefs.

I do believe that defending our faith is important, so much of the postings by both sides are valid. However, with future postings with your questions or beliefs about the LDS church, I will try harder to address the doctrines without teaching about faults or errors in other things that we all believe in, such as changes to the Bible throughout the centuries.

We can still discuss these topics, I just won't use them as a means to defend other topics, such as the changes to the Book of Mormon.

Anonymous said...

I wrote this before seeing your last post, Nick, so this one is in response to the one that came before. I figured it wouldn't hurt to post it anyway.


Nick,

We both agree that the Bible was inspired by God, and we both agree that God is Trustworthy, All Powerful and Deeply Concerned with humanity. We can apprehend these attributes by simply observing the natural world and the way it works. My argument then, is that if God is Deeply Concerned enough to inspire someone to write down His Words (the very words that bring salvation), He is therefore INCAPABLE of allowing those words to be lost or corrupted. Because if He did He would cease to be Trustworthy, All Powerful and Deeply Concerned. Instead He would be irresponsible, inept and apathetic. In other words, He would cease to be God, because God is not capable of contradicting Himself or doing anything that is inconsistent with His own nature.

So how would we be able to rightly call God "trustworthy" if we cannot trust Him to preserve the integrity of His own work? Why should we put any trust at all in a god who would be that irresponsible with his own words? Or one who cares so little for us that he would allow generations upon generations of human beings to dwell in spiritual darkness before bothering to "restore" those words?

If my reasoning is sound, and I believe that it is, then we can rest assured that there are no lost scriptures and that there has never been a need for a restoration of God's word because the saving message of the gospel was never corrupted. We can also be confident that the translation that I hold in my hands is a faithful representation of the original inerrant inspired writings. A claim that can be supported by the evidence found in the science of textual criticism.

I wanted to thank you, Nick, for the discussion. It has been very educational and has caused me to think more clearly about why I believe what I believe. You gave me a lot of valuable information to think about, and I can only hope that I gave you something to think about, too. It's been a pleasure :)

Nick said...

I'm glad that we have both learned much from these postings. To go along with my desire to do "what is right," I thank you for your posting, and I believe it is a wonderful thing that you are so devoted to the gospel and to understanding the word of God.

To confirm your beliefs, I believe with all my heart that the Bible is truly the word of God, and that living by the teachings within it will bring us closer to Him. It is amazing to think of the blessing of having a source to provide us insight to the life and teachings of Christ, and to help us in all aspects of our lives. What a great thing!!

I know that we differ in this aspect, but along with the Bible I do believe that the Book of Mormon is the word of God also. Christ taught us to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, and knowing how people can misjudge the Book of Mormon, I hope that you can learn more to find out if it is true. If you are very against it, then I encourage you to only read the Bible to see if you can gain insight to the idea that other scriptures might exist.

Thanks for participating in the blog with me, and if anybody has any additional questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

John said...

Nick, I understand your wanting to show the LDS to be right, but I don’t feel that apologizing for your belief to be prudent. I wonder if these good Christians (anti-Mormons) would ever speak to you and any other LDS for that matter with any admiration. I think not, after all there god is considerably different than yours, the crux of the matter is that the LDS God can be found in the Bible. While theirs is a conglomerate of tradition and superstitions. Fact of the matter is that his three personage one God is not to be found anywhere in the Bible. This isn’t the only problem he has, it seems to me that the different Christian sects do not believe in the same god he does. Which is a problem Christian sects have when they have no prophets.

Eph. 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

And I would have to ask that if the Bible is the inerrant complete work of God, why hasn’t he said so, he would if it where true would he not? Yet God has kept his mouth shut on the matter. Further no where in the Bible does it make the claim that it is inerrant nor complete. I listen to Hank every chance I get, he is quite entertaining, today it was an assault on Mormonism and polygamy in general. He called it an abomination and pointed to Saul I believe to make his point. But he had left out Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and Solomon and the blessings they receive by virtue of plural wife’s. Go figure. Then he points to D&C 132 as he proclaims that the Mormons believe that one needs to practice polygamy to enter heaven, wanting to incite confrontation. When in fact his supposed quoting of D&C 132 says no such thing. And as a matter of fact the LDS believe that all righteous people, members or not will receive eternal life, not just Mormons as he supposed. This is a particular teaching of Hank I would venture to say that if you don’t believe as he does you will be condemned to hell. I have never heard him say so, but I have heard other Christians say as much. The problem to his polygamy tirade is this. First, it is an abomination when not instructed by the Lord to do so, second, JS was admonish by the Lord for not instituting it until later on, thirdly, yes, JS was sealed to many women, young girls and young men. The anti’s want to spin this that he was having intercourse with all he was sealed to. This is blatant in its conceived purpose to alienate the LDS. But it was poorly perceived. I know many LDS men that are sealed to women other than their wife’s. There is no intercourse and the endowment only has authority in heaven until God say other wise. I find it interesting that Hank has to attack people of other faiths, when it seems he has little knowledge of the LDS which he choose to persecute with great fervor.

Big Daddy Productionz said...

It's amazing that one who is of God and spiritual has developed an outlet for individuals or companys don't agree with your percieved beliefs. Doesn't being spiritual fulfill you with a sense of humbleness? It wasn't more than 50 or so years ago that people were killed for differences of religous beliefs, attacking those opposed to yours is the same thing, don't you think? As opposed to the public display of punishment its done with intellectual property.

Let me ask you something. Are you so identified with the thought that if you let it go you will essentially lose a big piece of yourself? Are you incapable of being self-aware and objective to let your percieved set of belifs, mental labels, and self applied identity that will uncontaminate your somewhat hateful mind to those that don't agree with you. How can one have absolute truth if one cannot be objective about all things?

- BERT
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