Changed LDS Scripture/Part 3
|By: Marvin W. Cowan; ©2009|
|Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, declared, “From sundry revelations which had been received (by him), it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.” That is a serious charge but Smith and other LDS leaders use it to try to prove there is a need for the new LDS “scriptures.” They also claim that the Bible has been corrupted by errors in translation and by deliberate changes made by careless, unscrupulous scribes who also deleted or lost at least 20 books from it
Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, declared, “From sundry revelations which had been received (by him), it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 9-10). That is a serious charge but Smith and other LDS leaders use it to try to prove there is a need for the new LDS “scriptures.” They also claim that the Bible has been corrupted by errors in translation and by deliberate changes made by careless, unscrupulous scribes who also deleted or lost at least 20 books from it. Many LDS books make those claims, like LDS Apostle Mark E. Petersen’s book, As Translated Correctly. In it he said, “Many ancient manuscripts (of the Bible) are known to exist, but none are originals” (p. 3). Because of that he questioned the reliability of any translation of the Bible even though he admitted that many ancient manuscripts of the Bible exist in the original languages.
Since there are thousands of ancient copies of the Bible in the original languages they can be compared to help determine the original text. It is hypocritical for LDS to claim that the Bible is unreliable because there are no original manuscripts for it when they have no original for the Book of Mormon, yet they accept it “without qualification” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 764). LDS do not have the original Book of Mormon that Joseph Smith said was written on gold plates in “Reformed Egyptian.” Nor do LDS have one copy of the Book of Mormon written in “Reformed Egyptian.” They don’t even have one document of any kind written in that language, and Egyptologists say there is no “Reformed Egyptian” language. And LDS only have small fragments of the original English “translation” made by Smith and his scribe about 180 years ago!
Chapter 2 in Apostle Petersen’s book quotes I Nephi 13:20-40 from the Book of Mormon which was supposedly written between 592 and 600 BC. It “predicts” that “the great and abominable (Catholic) church” will take “many plain and precious” parts out of the gospel (even before the gospel was revealed)! Verses 34-40 “predict” that those “plain and precious” parts of the Bible that were taken out of it will be made known in the records (Book of Mormon) that God will reveal in the last days. Of course, no one saw that prophecy until Joseph Smith published the Book of Mormon in 1830 AD. Mormons need to explain exactly what was taken out of the Bible that is now in the Book of Mormon. They have had the Book of Mormon for 180 years, so they should be able to do that!
Chapter 3 in Apostle Petersen’s book is entitled “Much Missing Scripture” and is about the 20 books of the Bible that LDS claim have been lost. Petersen says “The Book of the Covenant” mentioned in Exodus 24, the “Book of the Wars of the Lord” mentioned in Numbers 21 and the “Book of Jasher” mentioned in Joshua 10:13 are among the missing books of the Bible. Orson Pratt, one of the original Twelve Apostles of Mormonism and one of their greatest apologists, also said, “We all know that but few of the inspired writings have descended to our times, which few quote the names of some twenty other books which are lost, and it is quite certain that there are many other inspired books that even the names have not reached us” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p. 47). James Talmage, one of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church and one of their most admired theologians also listed the twenty lost books of the Bible and where they are mentioned in the Bible on page 501 of his book, Articles of Faith.
If the Bible mentions a book, must it only be a book that is part of the Bible? If we read a book that mentions another book, do we automatically assume that it must be part of the book we are reading? Mormons often claim that the “lost books of the Bible” prove that Christians don’t have all of the Word of God. When LDS have used that argument with us, we have asked them if they have those “lost books?” Their answer is usually a deafening silence because they don’t have them either! And when Joseph Smith wrote the Joseph Smith Translation [JST] or Inspired Version of the Bible he didn’t restore a single one those “lost books!” In fact, Joseph Smith’s Inspired Version has one less book because he deleted the Song of Solomon! So, when LDS mention the lost books of the Bible, it is not because they believe those books really contain important scripture, it is just to discredit the Bible so that they can promote their three other books of “scripture.”
The King James Version of the Bible says in Genesis 1:1-3, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” But Genesis 1:1-3 of the JST or Inspired Version Bible says: “And it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven and this earth; write the words which I speak. 2. I am the Beginning and the End; the Almighty God. By mine Only Begotten I created these things. 3. Yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest.” Moses 2:1 in the Pearl of Great Price is exactly the same as Genesis 1:1-3 in the JST. In fact, Moses 2:1 through 8:30 is exactly the same as Genesis 1:1 through 8:18 in the JST except for chapter and verse numbers. The text sounds like the KJV Bible, but there is not even one Hebrew manuscript that supports the changes Joseph Smith made in his Inspired Version or the JST Bible.
More can be read about the Inspired Version by Smith in my book Mormon Claims Answered. Next time we will discuss some of the other changes Smith made in the Bible.