Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Mormon Claims About Poor Transmission Are False

One of the lies by Joseph Smith was about the Bible and why no one could trust it.  The following is recorded in the History of the Church 6:57:

I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors.

In the previous article I posted, by Bill McKeever of Mormonism Research Ministry, McKeever addressed these claims.  However, on the issue of transmission of the Scriptures through history, it is important to note that, contrary to LDS claims, we have plenty of evidence demonstrating how very little has changed from the earliest manuscripts to the latest ones.  The transmission has been very accurate.

Mormonism Research Ministry recently published the article, “What a charred lump of a 2,000-year-old scroll can tell us about Mormonism.”  Written by Sharon Lindbloom, the article definitely destroys the LDS claims against the accuracy of the Bible.

In June of 1843 Mormonism’s founder, the Prophet Joseph Smith, told his followers,

“There are many things in the Bible which do not, as they now stand, accord with the revelations of the Holy Ghost to me.” (Jo­seph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 310. See also History of the Church 5:425)

Four months later, in another sermon, Joseph Smith explained,

“I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors.” (History of the Church 6:57)

This view of a corrupted Bible has been accepted and perpetuated throughout the history of Mormonism. The Church’s 8th Article of Faith (written by Joseph Smith) clearly states that Mormons believe the Bible to be the Word of God–with a caveat: “as far as it is translated correctly.” An LDS scholar clarified,

“Here the word trans­lated appears to be used in a broader sense to mean transmitted, which would include not only translation of languages but also copying, editing, deleting from, and adding to documents. The Bible has undergone a much more serious change than merely translation from one language to another.” (BYU Professor Robert J. Matthews, A Bible! A Bible!, 72. Italics in original).

So, throughout the history of the Mormon Church members have been told that when Joseph Smith’s teachings deviate from biblical doctrine, it is because the text of the Bible has been carelessly transcribed and deliberately falsified (for a refutation of Smith’s assertion see “The Joseph Smith Translation: Inspired by Whom?”). Therefore, an article published this week by the Associated Press is of interest to those concerned with Mormonism.

On Wednesday (21 September 2016) journalist Daniel Estrin reported,

“The charred lump of a 2,000-year-old scroll sat in an Israeli archaeologist’s storeroom for decades, too brittle to open. Now, new imaging technology has revealed what was written inside: the earliest evidence of a biblical text in its standardized form.”

Through the use of digital technology, researchers were able to unwrap (“virtual unwrapping”) the brittle scroll and read the ancient text, finding passages from the book of Leviticus.

“The text discovered in the charred Ein Gedi scroll is ‘100 percent identical’ to the version of the Book of Leviticus that has been in use for centuries, said Dead Sea Scroll scholar Emmanuel Tov from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who participated in the study.

“‘This is quite amazing for us,’ he said. ‘In 2,000 years, this text has not changed.’”

Continue reading at Mormonism Research Ministry.

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