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Mormonism and Eternal Truth

Truth is not only
violated by falsehood;
it may be equally
outraged by silence.
(Henri-Frederic Amiel)

IS THE BIBLE TRUSTWORTHY?

The Bible has been under greater scrutiny for a longer period than any other book in the entire history of the world. And it has come out squeaky clean. Archeology, historical records and ancient secular literature have all proved its accuracy and reliability, over and over again.

In the early 1800’s, the University of Paris printed an academic paper denouncing the Bible. They claimed that more than eighty historical facts it mentioned were untrue. However, within 100 years archaeological discoveries had confirmed the accuracy of the biblical record concerning every one of those so-called errors.

We have literally thousands of ancient, independent documents that support the trustworthiness of the Bible. Archaeologists have confirmed the existence of biblical cities, nations, and individuals. They’ve also unearthed countless coins, artifacts, and evidence of civilizations and wars recorded in the Bible. On the other hand, nothing has ever been discovered that has contradicted or disproved the Bible’s accuracy.

Compare this with the dismal record of absolutely no proof of any kind ever having surfaced concerning the validity of the Book of Mormon, which the LDS maintains is more accurate than the Bible.

THE OLD TESTAMENT

Strict regulations were enforced in the copying of Old Testament scriptures. An authentic specimen had to be used, and copyists weren’t allowed to deviate from it in any way. Nothing was permitted to be written down from memory. If any mistakes were made, the faulty copies were either burned or buried, as was every document that showed any sign of wear. Many other precautions were also taken, such as the counting of every letter on each page. So it’s unlikely that errors would have crept into the copying of the Old Testament.

It doesn’t make sense to imagine that people who were so fanatically fastidious about the accuracy of their scriptures, and so in awe of them, would adulterate them or hack portions out of them. Nor would they permit others to do so. Those Jewish folk guarded their scriptures jealously. Don’t forget that the primitive church was completely Jewish at the start. And a large number of the early church membership were also converted Jews, all of whom had this same reverence for scripture.

DEAD SEA SCROLLS

In 1947 an Arab shepherd boy discovered a vast quantity of ancient manuscripts in some caves, which became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. They pre-dated anything we’d previously possessed, and included portions of every Old Testament book except Esther. Many of the scrolls were in fragments, but those they have pieced together agree with our modern Bibles.

Amongst them was a complete copy of the book of Isaiah, written in an early form of the square letter, which dates it as far back as the second century before Christ. This means that it was the same rendering of Isaiah that was read and quoted by Christ. He accepted and proclaimed it as the true Word of God. And this very ancient copy of Isaiah agrees with our modern English translations of today. So the LDS will need to come up with another excuse to justify Joseph Smith’s alterations to the book of Isaiah in his own so-called translation of the Bible.

THE NEW TESTAMENT

We possess more than 3,000 New Testament manuscripts dating from the fourth century.

Neither Luke’s Gospel nor his book of Acts mention the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem, or the apostle Paul’s execution. So they must both have been written some time after Paul’s imprisonment, but prior to his appearing before Nero. This dates them within thirty years of Christ’s ministry. And in their book Eyewitness to Jesus, Drs. Carsten Theide and Matthew D’Ancona refer to a fragment from the Gospel of Matthew, which scientific evidence reveals was also written before AD 70 and possibly as early as AD 30. This means that these three books, and possibly all the others too, were written and circulated during the lifetime of the eyewitnesses to the events recorded. And they surely would have objected to any inaccuracies.

Some copies of John’s writings dating from 200 AD have come to light. They agree with our Bibles. We also have the writings of the apostolic fathers and the church fathers. (The apostolic fathers were the disciples of the apostles, and the church fathers were the disciples of the apostolic fathers.) Their combined writings contain the entire New Testament, except for sixteen verses that form the introductions to the epistles. And their versions of New Testament scriptures agree with our modern translations.

Besides these, there are literally thousands of other early Christian writings citing verses from the Bible. And they too agree with our Bibles of today. So we can rest assured that our modern New Testament is in line with the original writings.

“In real terms, the New Testament is easily the best attested ancient writing in terms of the sheer number of documents, the time span between the events and the document, and the variety of documents available to sustain or contradict it. There is nothing in ancient manuscript evidence to match such textual availability and integrity.” (Ravi K. Zacharias, page 162, Can Man Live Without God?

Evidence indicates that it is unlikely that errors could have crept into our versions of either the Old or New Testaments.

OUR STANDARD OF TRUTH

The Bible is the standard of truth provided by God to enable us to test the veracity of all other spiritual teachings and/or claims. But once we start relying on it, Satan knows that he will have lost the battle for our souls. So he puts a great deal of effort into trying to discredit it. Remember what he said to Eve in the garden of Eden? He insinuated that what God had said wasn’t quite true, so she shouldn’t take Him too seriously. And instead of taking God at His Word, she believed Satan. As a result both Adam and Eve lost their righteous natures, their immortality and their fellowship with their Creator.

Satan is carrying on that same campaign of disinformation today, except this time it’s against God’s written word, the Bible.

The LDS has never been able to produce any evidence whatsoever, that even suggests that the Bible was corrupted, as they maintain it was.

The following article explains why the Bible is so important to us:

This site is dedicated to helping Mormons understand the Bible.

Copyright © 2013 by Yvonne Gibbs. All rights reserved.

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