Who Is the Mormon Jesus?

In today’s post I am talking with Anxious Bench blogger and George Mason professor John Turner about his new book, The Mormon Jesus: A Biography. John has written previous books on Brigham Young, and on Campus Crusade for Christ.

TK: Your book is called The Mormon Jesus. What do Mormons actually believe about Jesus? Has that view changed over time, and have Mormons argued among themselves about this question?

JT: First off, it’s important to know that early Mormonism in its scriptures, revelations, and rhetoric was intensely christocentric and that contemporary Mormonism is as well. The Book of Mormon revolves around the figure of Jesus Christ, and the Christian Savior looms very large within the contemporary LDS Church.

In the intervening two centuries, Latter-day Saints have expressed a host of ideas about Jesus Christ. That’s why I appended A Biography as a subtitle to The Mormon Jesus. Mormons engaged many questions that have animated Christians for the last two millennia. Who is Jesus Christ? What is his relationship to God the Father? How does Christ’s death enable human salvation? When will Jesus return?

The church’s first seven decades (following its 1830 founding) were an especially fertile and creative era of reflection. Brigham Young identified Adam as humanity’s God, and he taught that the exalted Adam had returned to earth to impregnate Mary. Jesus was thus Adam’s son. In the early 1900s, the church definitively rejected this idea. Partly through the writings of LDS apostle James E. Talmage, the church achieved a rough consensus on the person and work of Jesus Christ in the early twentieth century.

TK: What are the key differences between evangelical Christian and Mormon beliefs about Jesus?

JT: Two things. First, Latter-day Saints believe that God and Jesus Christ are two distinct corporeal beings. For example, a recent issue of an LDS children’s periodical explained that “Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost [are] three different people.” Correspondingly, Mormons have generally understood Jesus’s sonship in a more literal sense than have most Christians.

A second key difference pertains to the role of Jesus Christ for human salvation. The LDS Church teaches that Christ’s atoning sacrifice enables the resurrection of all human beings and provides an opportunity for individuals to progress toward exaltation, meaning a higher level of glory within the celestial kingdom. Only those individuals who make and keep covenants with God on earth — beginning with baptism but also including additional ordinances — will be exalted into the presence of God and their savior for eternity.

That being said, Mormons and evangelicals have far more common ground than most typically realize. Latter-day Saints believe in Jesus Christ as God’s divine son, the divine agent of the world’s creation, the resurrected savior and redeemer of the world, and the earth’s coming king.

Finally, one more small difference. Evangelicals talk about “Jesus” in a very familiar manner and with informal language. Mormons object to such familiarity and instead refer to “Jesus Christ” and “the Savior.”

TK: You write that “American Protestant readers found in the Book of Mormon a Jesus who was familiar to them, a major reason for the book’s appeal and ongoing usefulness as a missionary tool.” Do you mean that Mormonism flourished in part because it was not that different from prominent types of Christianity in nineteenth-century America?

JT: Within its Protestant American context, there was both a familiarity and a distinctiveness about early Mormonism. The Book of Mormon itself is intensely christocentric, and the Jesus in its pages very much resembles the Jesus of the New Testament. Careful readers would have noticed the way that the Book of Mormon engages and resolves intra-Protestant disputes about topics such as infant baptism and the scope of human salvation. Also, the Book of Ether (the penultimate of the Book of Mormon’s fifteen books) teaches that Jesus Christ had a spiritual body prior to his earthly life. For the most part, though, Protestants who read the Book of Mormon would have found a very recognizable Savior. Converting to Mormonism was a matter of concluding that the LDS Church (simply called the Church of Christ initially) was that savior’s true, restored church.

In many other ways, early Mormonism was far more distinctive. No other church called on its converts to decamp for the western frontier and gather in an American New Jerusalem in anticipation of Christ’s imminent return. And by the early 1840s, Joseph Smith and his close followers had introduced a number of new doctrines and rituals that made Mormonism an original and distinct form of Christianity.

TK: How do Mormon ideas about Jesus’s ongoing revelations differ from evangelical beliefs on that topic?

JT: During the earliest days of what became the LDS Church, Joseph Smith dictated scores of revelations containing the words of Jesus Christ to his church. That method of ongoing revelation faded over time. Nowadays, church leaders teach that while revelations may come through an audible voice or contain discrete words, they are more likely to come through the “still, small voice” of God’s spirit. At the same time, many Latter-day Saints believe that the Savior personally appears to the highest-ranking leaders of the church.

One major difference between Mormons and evangelicals on the subject of revelation is that Latter-day Saints believe that God has appointed modern-day prophets and apostles to receive revelation for Christ’s church. All church members may receive revelation appropriate for their particular callings or positions within the church and their families, but never in contradiction to church doctrine or policy. So Mormonism has both a democratic practice of revelation that would resonate with evangelicals, but also a hierarchical, institutional understanding of revelation foreign to evangelicalism.

TK: I was surprised to learn that some Mormons once taught that Jesus was married. How common was that belief, and how was it connected to the Mormons’ view of marriage?

JT: It’s hard to know how many rank-and-file nineteenth-century church members accepted the idea that Jesus was married (to multiple women) and fathered children, but the idea received support from many high-ranking leaders, including Brigham Young and Joseph F. Smith (the founding prophet’s nephew). I could not trace the idea of a married Jesus to Joseph Smith, but many Latter-day Saints articulated it in the 1850s, roughly at the same time that the church began its not very successful public defense of polygamy. Some church members concluded that they were the very descendants of Jesus Christ.

Evangelicals writing critiques of Mormonism have frequently used nineteenth-century quotes about a married Jesus as evidence that the Latter-day Saints follow a radically different and heretical savior. It’s important to note that LDS leaders publicly backed away from the idea more than a hundred years ago. Also, while I do not think there is any persuasive biblical evidence for a married Jesus, I don’t think Christians need to hyperventilate at the notion.

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  • Brian Hill

    “…the Book of Ether….teaches that Jesus Christ had a body of flesh and blood prior to
    his earthly life.”
    This is not true: Here is the actual reference from the Book of Ether, Chapter 3, vs 16: “Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit;
    and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I
    appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the
    flesh.”

  • John Turner

    Brian, Thanks. I botched that here but, fortunately, not in the book. I fixed it up above.

  • Brian Hill

    It was a very interesting article, otherwise. Good Job!

  • Faith Writer

    A spirit does not have a body as this fictitious Book of Ether claims. The quote you give has no credibility.

  • mormonado

    Do we have spirits? Do we have bodies? Therefore, a spirit can have a body.

  • Faith Writer

    You give a perfect example of a fallacious syllogism. Syllogisms do not have questions. Your second question has nothing to do with the first. Your conclusion is a non sequitur. Now get back in class.

  • Minjae_Lee

    I enjoy reading what Prof. Turner has to say about my faith and culture. Obviously, he is an “outsider” (gentile, if you will) but he has done his homework and gives us a fair shake. Thank you for the effort you have made to understand us and your open minded fairness. I look forward to getting this new book.

  • sfcanative

    It should be noted that the original version of the Book of Mormon used in the 1830’s was very clear that the godhead was a trinity rather than separate beings–akin to the protestant reformation. That verbiage was changed in later versions of the Book of Mormon as were numerous references in the text to white skin being the normal (in the image of God) and dark skin being a curse.

    One of the most notable departures from mainstream Christianity is the central LDS belief in eternal families, uniquely bound together by their priesthood authority in LDS temples. That theology (eternal families) appears nowhere in scripture, including the Book of Mormon.

    More recently the LDS church has published a series of essays (available on their website lds.org) about controversial topics including the discredited Book of Abraham, another translation purported by founder Smith. One of those essays confirms historical evidence showing Smith’s translation of the Book of Mormon was done by peering into a hat with supernatural stones providing the word-by-word text rather than actually translating reformed Greek characters from gold plates.

  • bytebear

    Well, not really. At least not consistently. The Book of Mormon does still say the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is one God (2 Nephi 31:21, Mormon 7:7)

    And the verbiage about skin color is likewise inconsistent. For example Alma 3:6 was not changed, and in Jacob 3:9, the Lord specifically commands His people to stop reviling their enemies because of their dark skin. But, perhaps you believe that the Lamanites had literal scales of darkness on their eyes that became “white” (2 Nephi 30:6). But I think the change to “pure” clarifies the meaning.

  • sfcanative

    No more so than later in the chapter where the Lord God will apparently smite the earth with the rod of his mouth.

    It’s very clear throughout the Book of Mormon that the Lamanites were cursed with a dark skin due to their wickedness. If anything has been consistent throughout the history of Mormonism, it is the closely held belief that white skin is delightsome and the native American savages on the Western Frontier were the remnants of a fallen civilization cursed by the Mormon god for being wicked.

  • bytebear

    And as I said, 2 Nephi 5:21 still uses the term “white”. If the church is trying to change doctrine, or meaning, why did they forget this verse?

  • sfcanative

    I’m not a spokesperson for your church. You’ll have to ask them why they’ve made over 2,000 alternations to the original text of the Book of Mormon and left other things untouched. Perhaps that seer stone, revealed last year by the LDS leadership http://www.sltrib.com/news/2802019-155/mormon-church-to-release-more-documents told them what to do?

  • Faith Writer

    There were no such people as the Lamanites. Nothing gives evidence for this fiction.

  • sfcanative

    Oh, come on, play along . . .

  • bytebear

    As for the eternal marriage not appearing anywhere in scripture, a quick search on the LDS topical guide comes up with these:

    cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh: Gen. 2:24 . ( Gen. 2:18 ; Matt. 19:5 ; Moses 3:24 ; Abr. 5:18 . )

    whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: Eccl. 3:14 .

    whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: Matt. 16:19 . ( Matt. 18:18 . )

    What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder: Mark 10:9 .

    neither is the man without the woman … in the Lord: 1 Cor. 11:11 .

    a man … shall be joined unto his wife … be one flesh: Eph. 5:31 .

    heirs together of the grace of life: 1 Pet. 3:7 .

    Note: there are cross references to the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price as well)

    And certainly, the LDS Doctrine and Covenant clearly defines eternal marriage.

    new and everlasting covenant of marriage: D&C 131:2 .

    shall be of full force when they are out of the world: D&C 132:19 . ( D&C 132:1–66 . )

    See also 4 Ne. 1:11

  • sfcanative

    Vague references about things being bound and joined don’t really count Bytebear. I’ll repeat, nowhere in Christian scripture or the Book of Mormon is there any reference, pronouncement or teaching whatsoever that families are “eternal and forever”. In fact, the clearest pronouncement is Matt. 25 which pretty much says there is no marriage after the grave. Such a central tenet of Mormonism about the very nature of mankind, earth’s primary purpose for existing, and the premise of there even being “eternal life” should have shown up somewhere along the way don’t you think? Crickets, my friend.

  • bytebear

    You changed your criteria. Originally it was LDS scripture, now it’s only the Book of Mormon and the Bible? Why did you conveniently omit the D&C?

  • sfcanative

    When I referenced “scripture” I was referring to accepted Christian scripture. The Mormon’s D&C is not even recognized completely by any other faction of Mormonism other than the LDS church.

    Address the various topics I brought up rather than mincing words. You knew what I meant. Obviously the Mormon’s Doctrine & Covenants covers eternal marriage and families. It also proclaims polygamy as an everlasting law of God, among other ridiculous notions.

  • Sam Garner

    Matthew 22 does not state there is no marriage in heaven, it says that no one is “married or given in marriage” after the resurrection. This also coincides with LDS beliefs that any marriage not sealed by proper priesthood authority while in mortality or the post-mortal spirit world will be void after the resurrection from the dead. Nor do we believe that two individuals can enter into this order of marriage after the resurrection – by then it is too late.

  • sfcanative

    To the billions of people who have come and gone on this planet with no vital statistic record, I wish them well.

    I find the entire LDS presumption (without an iota of biblical support) to be fraught with nonsense. Why would a loving god not present this incredibly critical component (eternal marriage and eternal families) in every dispensation of time since it is such a vital earthly requirement to exaltation?

    Perhaps you can also explain what Mormon temples will be used for once all of this work for the dead is completed and no one is married by “priesthood authority”.

  • Sam Garner

    You pose a good question: and the LDS answer is that we believe that God has revealed this critical doctrine (eternal marriage) in every gospel dispensation since the days of Adam. The fact that no direct reference to it can be found in the Bible is the result, we believe, of uninspired or malicious transcribers who removed these things from the scriptural record. Hence the need for a restoration of this doctrine as well as others.

    As you’ve already alluded to, those who have lived & died without an opportunity to enter into this order of marriage, may have an opportunity to do so in the world of spirits; the ceremony being performed vicariously for them in a Holy Temple.

    And I suppose that once all vicarious work for the dead has been completed (which I imagine would take quite some time) the Lord will declare it done. I don’t know what, if any, purpose the Temple would serve after that.

  • Jeb Barr

    None of those passages from the Bible refer to something eternal. Reading them in their textual context makes this clear.

    Genesis 2:23-24 is speaking of the new family unit formed when the man leaves his family and unites with his wife. The “one flesh” refers both to the sexual component of marriage and the single new family unit formed. By saying “one flesh”, the passage makes it clear it refers to this life only because, according to I Corinthians 15:50 15:50 “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”

    Ephesians 5:31 just quotes the Genesis passage, and is thus talking about the same thing.

    Ecclesiastes 3:!4 is simply contrasting God’s works, which last forever, with man’s work, which is always fleeting. This is a key theme of the book. Now, I suppose you could say that Jesus called marriage a work of God in Mark 10:9. This might be compelling were it not for the fact that Jesus specifically says just a few chapters later that there will be no marriage in heaven (Matthew 22:23-30).

    I Corinthians 11:11 is talking about origins. Man originates from woman through birth, and woman originates from man through Adam, and both originate from God. This isn’t as clear as it could be in the King James Version, but it’s crystal clear in the original Greek and in more recent translations. “However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. “1 Cor 11:11-12 NASU
    I Peter 3:7 is merely referencing the fact that they are both heirs of grace i.e. salvation., so he is to treat her as having equal value in the Lord. They are both eternal, both nothing is said of the marriage itself being eternal.

  • https://mineeyesmind.wordpress.com/ Eric Lopez

    Blake Ostler actually wrote something addressing these charges of modalism and the trinity in the Book of Mormon and has soundly refuted that it teaches either of these.

    http://www.smpt.org/docs/ostler_element1-1.html

  • sfcanative

    The original 1830 Book of Mormon clearly implies a trinity. Later revisions removed those references.

  • vidottsen

    You say that, but give no scriptural reference. The original Book of Mormon declares the visit of Christ to those in this hemisphere. It mentions, then, that Christ prayed to the Father and for Him to bless the people.

  • sfcanative

    In all likelihood you won’t read it because it is considered by some an anti-Mormon website, but you can get a very good idea of the before and after evolution of the trinity-modalistic-godhead progression of LDS thought since 1830.

    http://blog.mrm.org/2011/06/what-happened-to-the-trinity-in-mormonism/

    And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh.(1830)

    And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God. (1 Nephi 11:18) (Current altered text)

    And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, even the Eternal Father! (1830)

    And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, even the Son of the Eternal Father! (1 Nephi 11:21) (Current altered text)

    These last records…shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world. (1830)

    These last records…shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world. (1 Nephi 13:40) (Current altered text)

    And this from Lectures on Faith 5:2:

    Q. What is the Father?

    A. He is a personage of glory and of power. (5:2.)…

    Q. What is the Son?

    A. First, he is a personage of tabernacle. (5:2.)…

    Q. Why was he called the Son?

    A. Because of the flesh.

    Q. Do the Father and the Son possess the same mind?

    A. They do.

    Q. What is this mind?

    A. The Holy Spirit.

  • Sam Garner

    I believe you’re reading your beliefs into the above quotes (assuming they’re accurate). LDS would see no contradiction with the above statements and their beliefs; because, they see the above comments & quotes as being made in context of early LDS belief in three-separate beings.

  • sfcanative

    Then why was the phrasing changed? And why were later versions of the First Vision story embellished with the claim that two different personages appears, not simply “The Lord”?

  • Sam Garner

    Answer to question one: I can’t say for sure, but I would guess that the changes were made to either correct what was an original error of transcription, or to further clarify the meaning of the scriptural passages in question. In our faith, the living prophet & the living twelve apostles would have the authority to do such things if they felt inspired to.

    Answer to question two: I, and most LDS, don’t believe that the later versions of the First Vision story were embellished. In fact, I believe that the later additions illustrate Joseph’s growing understanding & appreciation of that sacred experience. Naturally a 14-15 year old boy would not begin to comprehend all the doctrinal significance of seeing the Father & the Son in vision; however, it would be expected that as he grew older & wiser, his comprehension would increase and by extension his emphasis on certain aspects of that experience would change & mature.

  • sfcanative

    I would rather image, seeing two divine personages in a grove of trees with a shaft of light brighter than the noonday sun, with one of them (god–who, by the way can’t be seen in the flesh without dying as a result Exodus 33:20, John 1:18, etc.) introducing the other, would be fairly straightforward from the onset–even for a 14 year old writing about the incident as a 26 year old. Moreover, the Joseph Smith Papers clearly indicate that his alleged motivation for the supplication in the first place had nothing to do with an inquiry about which church to join. He, in fact, joined a protestant church after the alleged “vision” in 1820.

  • Sam Garner

    LDS theology differs from traditional Christianity on that point of seeing God which you referenced. We believe that man can see & converse with God, face to face, as long as they are transfigured so as to be able to endure the physical presence of God without being destroyed. The Bible records several instances in which men (Moses being the most obvious) have seen & conversed with God without perishing. We do believe however that no natural, sinful man can see the face of God and live.

    In regards to Joseph Smith’s multiple First Vision accounts, it seems to me that the first recordings are personal in nature i.e. they focus on what it meant for him as an individual; hence, the lack of discussion on doctrinal aspects. But the later accounts clearly indicate that he had grown in his understanding of the event’s application for all men, hence his focus upon doctrinal matters, etc.

    As for your specific reference to the Joseph Smith Papers and his alleged motivation for praying in the first place, I haven’t read/studied them yet, so I can’t comment on it. But it sounds interesting, so I’ll likely look into when I get a chance.

  • sfcanative

    Here’s your chance. Chapter and verse. (Don’t worry, it’s an official LDS website)

    http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/history-circa-summer-1832?dm=image-and-text&zm=zoom-inner&tm=expanded&p=3&s=undefined&sm=none

    He prayed for mercy and the “Lord” apparently forgave him of his sins. Therefore, if he was in fact in the presence of the Father as he later claimed, he wasn’t without sin (before being forgiven) and should have perished. So much for your theory.

    Do note that there is no mention whatsoever about his supposed confusion about which church to join. He simply sought mercy, likely the result of some Burned Over District, Second Great Awakening tent preacher putting the fear of god in him.

  • Sam Garner

    No offense intended, but I think I’ve already addressed the points you raise in my previous post. But I’m curious though: are you a member or former member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?

  • sfcanative

    Whether a member, nonmember, inactive member, or ex-member, it really isn’t relevant to the issues being discussed on Patheos. Let’s just say I’m well informed and interested in the un-sugarcoated truth.

  • dhrogers

    All men are imperfect and have committed sin. God appeared to Moses who was not perfect and to other Biblical prophets. None of them were without sin. So, God can appear to a sinful man if He wants to. In such cases the person is protected from destruction deliberately by God’s power.

  • sfcanative

    Joseph Smith was not a prophet. He was a kid who had done enough bad things in his life that he supposedly went into a grove of trees to seek god’s mercy (his musings in the Joseph Smith Papers).

    Even if the implausible story were true, I have absolutely no confidence that “God” appeared to him. Even in the temple endowment ceremony there is no occasion where the Mormon God comes to earth. He sends his messengers, PJ&J or Adam or Michael or Jehovah. He didn’t even create the earth according to the endowment ceremony. He sent his underlings. Something tells me this Mormon “God” is a little too busy with other things to micro-manage a branch office in the outskirts of the universe. Just saying . . .

  • dhrogers

    There are multiple accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. Some accounts contain information that is omitted from other accounts.

    Scholars and historians know that multiple retellings of an event almost always results in different wording and even different details appearing in the several accounts, even when retold by the same person. This is particularly true when sacred things are shared with different audiences. Joseph’s reluctance to share complete details early on is understandable given the opposition that almost immediately arose. Soon after receiving the first vision in 1820 Joseph told it to a minister he trusted and the minister rebuked Joseph saying that such visions had been done away with, that no one can see God, and that it was of the Devil. Joseph learned very quickly that persecutions were in store if he told the full story

    A red flag is raised if the accounts are identical. Identical accounts mean that the claim to multiple retellings over time is false.

    A non-LDS scholar agrees:

    “Critics of Mormonism have delighted in the discrepancies between the canonical [1838 Pearl of Great Price] account and earlier renditions, especially one written in Smith’s own hand in 1832. For example, in the 1832 version, Jesus appears to Smith alone, and does all the talking himself. Such complaints, however, are much ado about relatively nothing. Any good lawyer (or historian) would expect to find contradictions or competing narratives written down years apart and decades after the event. And despite the contradictions, key elements abide. In each case, Jesus appears to Smith in a vision. In each case, Smith is blessed with a revelation. In each case, God tells him to remain aloof from all Christian denominations, as something better is in store.” (Stephen Prothero, American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003), 171.)

  • sfcanative

    And yet Smith joined a protestant church after this supposed vision.

    Stories change, yes. And more often than not they get embellished–especially when it’s several decades after the fact. It’s a little hard to believe that the original written account closest to the incident isn’t the most accurate wherein Smith indicated there was one personage, one voice and an entirely different narrative for why he prayed in the first place. I have a very hard time believing Smith would have overlooked the detail the GOD and Christ appeared to him rather than simply “the Lord” as one being. The recitation that there were two personages has no accounting until decades later.

    Even if I were to give you the benefit of the doubt, and also believe this tale, there is virtually no reason why God would appear. Your own temple ceremony is rather clear that EVERYTHING having to do with this earth; the animals, day and night, the continents, creating Adam and Eve, issuing commandments, establishing a church, granting a priesthood authority, etc. ALL happened with Jehovah, Michael, Peter, James, John, John the Baptist or Moroni, etc. Did the Mormon God ever show up to do any of these tasks? The LDS temple endowment confirms He didn’t.

    It’s an absurdity to presume that the creator of the universe with an endless parade of planets “like unto” this one would pay a visit here for such a routine thing as chatting with a fourteen year old farmboy in Upstate New York.

    It didn’t happen, that’s the simple answer. and it’s still possible the rest of it can be true. Why not admit the story got embellished and simply run with the instruction from the temple that all those characters in this Christian drama were simply on the errand from on high?

    Or is the temple endowment a miscalculation and man made?

    Now, back to General Conference.

  • dhrogers

    Soon after receiving the first vision in 1820 Joseph told it to a minister he trusted and the minister rebuked Joseph saying that such visions had been done away with, that no one can see God and that it was of the Devil. Since this minister rebuked Joseph for saying that he saw God, then Joseph obviously told him that.

    Joseph learned very quickly that persecutions were in store if he told the full story so it is understandable that he would tell or omit details depending on the audience. A non-LDS scholar agrees:

    “Critics of Mormonism have delighted in the discrepancies between the canonical [1838 Pearl of Great Price] account and earlier renditions, especially one written in Smith’s own hand in 1832. For example, in the 1832 version, Jesus appears to Smith alone, and does all the talking himself. Such complaints, however, are much ado about relatively nothing. Any good lawyer (or historian) would expect to find contradictions or competing narratives written down years apart and decades after the event. And despite the contradictions, key elements abide. In each case, Jesus appears to Smith in a vision. In each case, Smith is blessed with a revelation. In each case, God tells him to remain aloof from all Christian denominations, as something better is in store.” (Stephen Prothero, American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003), 171.)

  • dhrogers

    You claim to know that God, the Father does not appear in the Temple Endowment. Are you sure? How do you know this? Are you a former Mormon who has been through the temple at some time? Have you forgotten? Are you guessing? It is common for people who have fallen away from the truth of testimony and knowledge they once had to forget what they once knew.

    You say it is “an absurdity” that God would have much to do with a “routine” visit to someone on this earth? Really, You know this……. How? I don’t think you speak for God regarding what He will and won’t do for his children.

  • sfcanative

    If memory serves me correctly, God, in the LDS temple endowment, instructs others to create the world, animals, Adam and Eve, instruct them on good and evil . . . on and on . . . and report back to Him. Did it all change since I routinely went many years ago?

  • dhrogers

    Critics claim that Joseph Smith joined three different churches after the 1820 first vision. He would not have done this if he were really commanded to join none of them.

    Facts: There is no historic evidence that Joseph joined any church after the First Vision including the Methodist, Baptist, or Presbyterian churches. Claims that he did join a church are late claims that come from third hand accounts. Early documents show that he did not join a church.

    Wesley P. Walters, a well know critic of the Mormon Church tends to use less than reliable third-hand accounts to create a negative sounding account of Joseph Smith. This is a tactic often used by critics of the Church. He cites the Amboy Journal of 1879 [1] which recounts a debate in 1879 between Joseph Lewis and Heil Lewis (cousins of Emma Smith) on one side, and a Mormon named Edwin Cadwell over events that took place 51 years earlier, in 1828. Joseph Lewis was only 21 years old and Hiel Lewis was only 11 years old in 1828. The Amboy Journal claims that “while he, Smith, was in Harmony, Pa., translating his book….that he joined the M[ethodist] [Episocpal] church.”

    At that time Joseph and Emma were living with Emma’s parents who attended the Methodist church. The Methodist minister, Nathaniel Lewis, was Emma’s uncle. So, it would not be surprising that Joseph and Emma may have attended Church with Emma’s parents, perhaps out of courtesy to Joseph’s in-laws. The Methodist minister added Joseph’s name to the class book. So, Joseph did not join the Methodist faith but simply attended some meetings with Emma’s family while he and Emma were living with her parents.

    Another criticism is that Lucy Mack Smith writes in her diary that she joined with a church around 1823 or 1824. The critics argue that she would not have done that if Joseph Smith had really been told not to join any of them. However, Lucy Smith does not say she joined any of the churches. Rather, she writes about attending some meetings after the death of Alvin Smith in order to get some comfort.

    Changing Lucy’s words from “attended” to “joined” is not very accurate of the critics. Using debate arguments made 51 years after the event and made by someone hostile to Mormonism alleging Joseph’s possible (and non-problematic) attendance at Methodist church meetings does not make Joseph a member of that church. The Amboy account states that the minister put Joseph’s name on the book, not that Joseph requested that his name be added.

    1. Joseph and Hiel Lewis, “Mormon History. A New Chapter, About to Be Published,” Amboy Journal [Illinois] 24 (30 April 1879): 1; reproduced in Vogel, Early Mormon Documents 4:300–306.

    Other more contemporary accounts indicate that Joseph was not affiliated with any Church.

    Reminiscence About 1830
    In October 1830 Peter Bauder spoke directly to the Prophet. Bauder commented: “he could give me no Christian experience,” meaning he did not belong to a church before his experience with the angel and plates. (Peter Bauder, The Kingdom and Gospel of Jesus Christ (Canajoharie, New York: A.H. Calhoun, 1834), 36.)

    1830 Document
    Four LDS men from New York teach that at the time the angel appeared to Joseph Smith (22 September 1823) he “made no pretensions to religion of any kind.” (Observer and Telegraph, 18 November 1830 (Hudson, Ohio).)

    1831 Document
    The editor of a Palmyra, New York newspaper claims that he has been “credibly informed,” and is “quite certain,” that “the prophet…never made any serious pretensions to religion until his late pretended revelation” meaning the Book of Mormon. (The Reflector, 1 February 1831 (Palmyra, New York).)

    1832 Document
    Orson Pratt and Lyman Johnson teach on 8 April 1832 that “in 1827 a young man called Joseph Smith of the state of New York, of no denomination [or not belonging to a church], but under conviction, inquired of the Lord…[and] an angel [appeared to him]…who gave information where the plates were deposited.” (The Catholic Telegraph, 14 April 1832 (Cincinnati, Ohio).)

    Reminiscence About 1825
    Josiah Stowell, Jr. (a non-Mormon): “I will give you a short history of what I know about Joseph Smith, Jr. I have been intimately acquainted with him about 2 years. He then was about 20 years old or thereabout. I also went to school with him one winter. He was a fine, likely young man and at that time did not profess religion.” (Letter, Josiah Stowell Jr. to John S. Fullmer, 17 February 1843.)

    Reminiscence About 1827
    In 1827 David Marks went to Palmyra and Manchester where he “made considerable inquiry respecting…[Joseph] Smith” and learned from “several persons in different places” that Joseph was “about 21 years [old]; that previous to his declaration of having found the plates he made no pretensions to religion.” (Morning Star, 7 March 1833 (Limerick, Maine).)

  • Mavin Swapp

    John 6:46; Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Hebrews 12:14, John 8:47
    Genesis 26:24; And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.

    Genesis 32:30; And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

    Genesis 33:10; And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.

  • sfcanative

    This sort of post has absolutely no value to anyone. If there’s anything to be detested on these boards it’s people who quote scripture and have nothing else to say. Boo on you.

    Obviously before Jesus of the New Testament received a body–a man we learn in the Mormon temple created many other worlds before the earth as instructed by Elohim–apparently came only to this planet to get a body? Or does he and Michael go to every planet created and get a body? Are there planets where people never die because the first man didn’t fall, thus no redemption and no resurrection?

    If the god of the old testament was an exalted man of flesh and bone, and his sidekick (Jesus) didn’t have a body yet, what where these Old Testament characters actually seeing?

  • dhrogers

    Critics charge that after the first printing of the Book of Mormon changes were made to correct “errors” that Joseph Smith made when he allegedly made up the book or to correct the book to match an evolving theology which Joseph was making up as he went. However, real scholars and historians know otherwise.

    Let’s look at two examples which show how the critics don’t understand the issue and history of the Book of Mormon printings and/or they are being dishonest.

    EXAMPLE 1:1 Nephi 11:18

    In the printers manuscript we see that all the words are there,:

    “behold the virgin whom thou seest is the Mother of the son of God after the manner of the flesh” (of 1 Nephi 11:18)

    The 1830 (First Edition) the printer incorrectly left out “the Son of” when he printed the first edition.

    “Behold, the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh.”

    The 1837 edition was corrected to put “the Son of” back in as intended:

    Behold, the virgin whom thou seest, is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.”

    So, we see that the 1837 edition was corrected to read as the printer’s manuscript intended rather than the way the printer erroneously printed the 1830 edition.

    EXAMPLE 2: 1 Nephi 13:40

    Again, in this example the printers manuscript has all the words. of 1 Nephi 13:40:

    “& shall make known unto all Kindreds Tongues & People that the Lamb of God is the the son of eternal Father & the saviour of the world” (1 Nephi 13:40:)

    The 1830 (First Edition) the printer incorrectly left out “the Son of” when he printed the first edition.

    “and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Saviour of the world;”

    The 1837 edition was corrected to put “the Son of” back in as intended:

    “and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father and the Saviour of the world;”

    So, we see AGAIN that the 1837 edition was corrected to read as the printers manuscript intended rather than the way the printer erroneously printed the 1830 edition. Real scholars and historians know this and they know it is not a deception or an evolution of doctrine but simply correcting the printer’s error. Almost all first printings have such errors that are corrected in subsequent editions.

  • sfcanative

    How curious the printer would make the exact same mistake in two places.

    http://www.mormonthink.com/mormonstudiesscribe.htm

  • dhrogers

    Yes it it’s curious. Perhaps the printer did it deliberately. Sometimes printers, especially 185 years ago, would change text to what they thought the author meant.

    At any rate, we have the “printers manuscript “that was submitted by Joseph Smith to the printer and we have the first edition and it’s a fact that the printer changed the text. It’s a fact that Joseph Smith and/or the LDS Church had later edtions corrected to read as originally intended.

    The allegations that it was Joseph Smith or the Church changing the text as Church doctrine evolved is absolutely false and critics need to be more honest and/or knowledgeable about this issue.

  • sfcanative

    I would love to read for myself in the printers manuscript where it is clearly written “behold the virgin whom thou seest is the Mother of the son of God after the manner of the flesh” (of 1 Nephi 11:18)

    I realize the chapters and verses are completely different now. It would be nice to put this issue to bed once and for all. Any idea where it appears (page #) in the manuscript? The original 1Nephi 11 starts on page 80 but that’s not the present day 1Nephi 11.

    This is about as close as I can get to the book/chapter but I’m not seeing it”

    http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/printers-manuscript-of-the-book-of-mormon-1923-photostatic-copies#!/paperSummary/printers-manuscript-of-the-book-of-mormon-1923-photostatic-copies&p=82

  • dhrogers

    The Church has printed high resolution photographs of the printer’s manuscript in the Joseph Smith Papers “Revelations and Translations, Volume 3: Printer’s Manuscript of the Book of Mormon.”

  • sfcanative

    Yes, that’s the link I provided above. And I asked you to help me identify where in the manuscript it says “the Mother of the son of God”. Sheesh.

  • dhrogers

    Your link is pointing to page 80 which is the beginning of 2 Nephi chapter 25. The verses we have been talking about are in 1 Nephi chapters 11 and 13. These are pages 16 and bottom of page 22 in the link. This takes some amount of time and perseverance to find. You could have done this yourself. Sheesh!

    I think that people who want to criticize should do their own work. Critics are perfectly happy to believe any and all kinds of false information about the Church that they find on the web but they seem unwilling to believe the truth or to make the effort and take the time to look things up for themselves.

  • sfcanative

    Not quite sure why you’re laying blame on me when the chapters and verses today are completely different from the original manuscript. It’s true, I could have spent a couple of days trying to figure it out in the absence of any completed cross reference. I suppose that is coming.

    In any event, thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Rather than being a critic, I’m only trying to get at the truth, wherever that takes me. I’m not sure you need to be so quick to judge others.

  • sfcanative

    Thanks for finding those. It confirms my suspicion all along. Those “mother of the son of god” phrases were added later, after the book was published. And that’s why they didn’t appear in the original book!

    Those additions were not there at the time of publication. It’s as clear as day. Obvious to any objective person looking at it! No printer would have missed those ^INSERTS, rather they would have called attention to the clarification when setting the type.

    These changes to the printer’s manuscript were made after the first publication which supports the theory that Joseph Smith’s concept of the godhead evolved over time.

  • dhrogers

    No. That’s incorrect. The printer’s manuscript has errors all the way through that were made by Joseph scribes when writing. These were corrected before taking the manuscript to the printer. . They were there at the time of the first edition publication. Scholars and historians know this.

    Some people just can’t accept the facts and they have to look for reasons (excuses) to make themselves feel better about leaving the Lord’s true and restored Church. So, to them, everything is interpreted in the most negative way. For these, it is almost impossible to be fair or objective.

  • sfcanative

    That is an absolute falsehood. I just compared word for word pages 31, 32 and 33 of the original 1830 Book of Mormon against the printer’s manuscript (page 22) with EVERY ^INSERT/CORRECTION MADE before and after “Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and Savior of the world.” NONE OF THOSE INSERTS AND CORRECTIONS APPEAR IN THE ORIGINAL BOOK OF MORMON. NONE OF THEM!

    Either you have been lied to, haven’t compared the two yourself (done your homeework) or you are consciously lying about the facts.

    The original Book of Mormon reflects Joseph Smith’s concept of the trinity which was later changed when he evolved his religion into something apart from the protestant reformation.

    The simple fact that the printer’s manuscript shows a MULTITUDE OF corrections and/or inserts NONE OF WHICH APPEAR IN THE 1830 BOOK OF MORMON is ample proof that these changes were made after the 1st edition was published.

    Some Mormons simply can’t accept the fact that they have been purposely LIED TO in order to make themselves feel better about the religion they embrace. To them, everything is interpreted in the most positive way . . . [to paraphrase back at you your previous assertion]

  • sfcanative

    Tell you what brother Rogers, I’ll gladly send you a PDF file of the original 1st edition of the Book of Mormon if you don’t have one. Look at it yourself and compare the printer’s manuscript to the original 1st printing. You will quickly find that the corrections which appear in the printer’s manuscript DO NOT appear in the E. B. Grandin 1830 Book of Mormon. Those changes were all added later when the book had it’s subsequent printings.

    And don’t try to tell me that Grandin simply didn’t make any of the several hundred changes in the printer’s manuscript he was working from.

  • sfcanative

    Here you go brother Rogers. You can actually do all the comparing you want using this reproduced copy of the original text from one of these sites:

    http://www.originalbookofmormonrestored.com/OrigBofM_Nephi.html

    http://www.xristian.org/ft/mormbomtext.pdf

    And if you’d rather see it as scanned from the original volume as printed by Grandin, I can sent you that as well.

    Happy reading. Happy comparing. Happy revelation about the truth you will discover.

  • dhrogers

    You have a point in part of what you are saying (see next paragraph below). Joseph Smith made some corrections for the 2nd printing (1837), and the 3rd printing (1840). As I have said, most of the changes were made to correct errors made by the printer to make the text faithful to the Printers manuscript. The printer was not particularly friendly to Joseph Smith and the Church. In fact, the printer has been quoted as saying that he allowed many “ungrammatical” errors to be printed.

    However, in the 1837 edition (2nd printing) Joseph Smith made some editorial changes and the “son of God” additions were inserted then. So, you are right that these particular phrases were added later. Critics argue that Joseph started out with a Trinitarian viewpoint and the later modified the Book of Mormon to conform to a changing viewpoint that the Father and the Son were separate beings. However, many other places in the Book of Mormon teach that the Father and Son are separate beings. In reality, when the Book of Mormon was first printed, Joseph had already been teaching for ten years that the Father and Son were separate beings – a fact that he had learned during the First Vision in 1820. These changes being discussed were made in the 1837 printing to avoid ambiguity and misunderstanding of what could have easily been viewed as Trinitarian doctrine.

    One can disagree with Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and the LDS Church regarding the doctrine of the Godhead but it is not historically supported that Joseph was changing his doctrine as he went along.

    Obviously ones mindset is going to affect how data is interpreted. If you don’t want the Church to be true you may choose to interpret these corrections in a negative way. They can just as easily be seen as confirming the inspired and prophetic mission of Joseph Smith. Ultimately, for any individual, whether the Church is true or not doesn’t depend on these types of issues. It depends on whether one lives the gospel and receives the witness of the Holy Ghost. The Lord said ”For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.” (Luke 19:26; Matt. 13:12; Mat. 25:29; 2 Ne. 28:30). Though they once had a real testimony and felt the spirit and once knew that the Church was true, people who leave the Church forget that they had those witnesses and they often later deny that they ever had them.

    Some people just don’t want the Church to be true and they grasp onto any and every bad argument against the Church that they can find in order to make themselves feel better. He who is convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. No amount of evidence, no matter how high in quantity and quality, will convince someone who doesn’t want to believe. That is the test of life. What do we want the truth to be? God has restored his truths to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. He has opened the heavens and again gives revelation to prophets on earth. What a great blessing

  • sfcanative

    I fully respect your spin on the issue but obviously reserve the right to see the historical matters in a different light. At the end of the day we’re speculating over minutia — and, as you said, the ultimate determination on a personal level is based upon faith, and one’s own inner conclusions from study and prayer. There is an ample audience supporting both ways of looking at it. Admittedly, my conclusion on the veracity of the JS story is not faith based.

  • dhrogers

    Agreed. I also respect your right to your viewpoint. I have enjoyed our exchange. Maybe we’ll talk again sometime.

  • Mavin Swapp

    Father

    Christ is the Father of the earth and the Heavens, and all things created, because He created all things. Christ is the Father by adoption of those that accept Him and His Atonement by keeping His commandments and enduring until the end.

    Psalms 89:26; He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

    Isaiah 22:21; And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.

    Isaiah 63:16; Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O Lord, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

    Isaiah 64:8; But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

    Isaiah 9:6; For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

    Ephesians 1:5; Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

    2 Corinthians 6:18; And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

    Revelation 21:7; He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

    1 Nephi 11:18, 21, 32; And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh. And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw? And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.

    1 Nephi 13:40; And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.

    Alma 11:38-39; Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last;

    Mosiah 15:2-5; And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father (Christs Father in Heaven), being the Father (Creator) and the Son— The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; (It was this power that created all things.) and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father (Father of heaven and the earth, and adopted followers.) and Son — And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth. And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people. Christ is the Son of His Father in Heaven and Christ is also the Father of the heavens and the earth as the creator, and is the Father by adoption of his followers, and thus Christ is both the Father and the Son. Christ is not his own Father or the same Being as some would say.

    Mosiah 16:15; Teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father. Amen. Not His own Father but Christ is the creator, the Father of the Heaven and the Earth and He is also the Father by adoption of his followers.

    Ether 3:14; Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters. The Father in this verse is Christ, the creator, the Father of Heaven and the Earth.

  • dhrogers

    The changes to verses in the Book of Mormon having to do with God and Jesus, that is, having to do with the trinity issue you bring up, were made to correct errors and omissions made by the printer in the first edition. When typesetting from the hand written “printers manuscript” the printer made errors. The errors were noticed and corrected in subsequent editions to make those editions read as originally intended. Almost every book that is ever printed contains errors in the first edition which are corrected in subsequent editions – even Bible printings.

  • dhrogers

    The 1830 edition of 2 Nephi 30:6 in the Book of Mormon reads: “…they shall be a white and a delightsome people.” The change from “white and delightsome” to “pure and delightsome” occurred during Joseph Smith’s lifetime for the subsequent edition which reads they shall be a pure and a delightsome people.” . The 1837 edition was used for the European editions, which were in turn used as the basis for the 1879 and 1920 editions, so the correction by Joseph Smith was lost until the 1981 edition at which time the oversight was discovered and corrected.

    It was clearly Joseph’s intent to avoid having people think that white referred to skin color in this passage. Rather, it means pure. This is purely a printing error and historians know this. Only critics looking to twist things use this argument.

    In Joseph Smiths day, “white” was a synonym for “pure” as shown in Webster’s dictionary of 1828, (Noah Webster, An American Dictionary of the English Language (New York: S. Converse, 1828), s.v. “white)

  • mormonado

    The exclusion of temple ordinances from holy writ in many religions is a historical norm.There was no change to the B of M in regards to the nature of Christ that I know of. Can you show a reference? Have you actually read the original Book of Mormon edition?

  • alleYcat

    Mr. Turner, good luck with your book. I enjoyed the dialogue. I’ve always thought it curious that I’ve spent an inordinate amount of effort trying to convince my evangelical friends that we believe in the same Jesus, and we are on the same team. I’m very familiar with the objections. While I cringe at references to Adam-God theory, I am confident we will stand shoulder to shoulder in the great judgment day singing praises to the same God. I pray that my evangelical friends will see past minor variations, and unite in the common cause of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, obedience to the commandments of God, repentance for our shortcomings and be filled with the love for God and all men. Best wishes.

  • Bill Fitzgerald

    Ongoing revelation faded over time? You know very little about this church if you believe that. And there are so many holes in this article it would take a book to correct the errors.

  • John Turner

    Bill, I wrote that a particular method of ongoing revelation faded over time. I don’t think that’s controversial.

  • mormonado

    Bill, that is very critical. I thought the article, while not precisely accurate, was generally accurate and very fair to our beliefs. Thanks John for actually doing your research.

  • Mike

    Enjoyed the article and overall I would agree it is a fair treatment of our beliefs. I would correct one statement: “Only those individuals who make and keep covenants with God on earth — beginning with baptism but also including additional ordinances — will be exalted into the presence of God and their savior for eternity.” Actually, one of the beauties of LDS doctrine is the belief that those who have already passed on without having made the above mentioned covenants and participated in those ordinances, will have the opportunity to hear the gospel and to freely accept or reject it in the next life. Meanwhile, much of the work that occurs in LDS temples is performing these ordinances vicariously on behalf of our ancestors so that they too might receive exaltation if they accept the gospel and the ordinances performed on their behalf, and are otherwise deemed worthy by the Savior.

  • David Tiffany

    Mormonism does follow a different Jesus and a different gospel. And Mormon doctrines and teachings contradict the Word of God. The Smithsonian has said there is no archaeological evidence supporting the claims of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith fits the bill of a false prophet.

    All evidence shows Mormonism to be false and something to stay away from.

    http://downtown ministries.blog spot.com

  • J. Inglis

    Very similar to what Catholics and protestants have claimed about each other for hundreds of years (and some still do). The other is not a true christian but rather a heretic and teacher of false doctrine. Indeed, many protestants claimed that the Catholic church was the Babylon of Revelation.

  • ADG

    Some still do

  • bytebear

    Not sure, but I don’t recall the Smithsonian using the Bible to find Eden or the Tower of Babel either.

  • David Tiffany

    Did you get the part about no evidence? None? You do know, I am sure, there is archaeological and historical evidence to support the claims of the Bible.

    But it is not unusual for Mormon’s, when having no way to defend the Book of Mormon, to call the validity of the Bible into question.

  • Sam Garner

    There are ways to defend The Book of Mormon. And it is not our intent to call into question the Bible’s validity – we also believe it to be the word of God – but to provide some perspective to our Christian friends belief. For instance: there is no archaeological or historical evidence that Jesus Christ was miraculously conceived by a virgin, that he rose from the dead (as in resurrected), ascended into heaven, etc. Many non-theological claims the Bible makes are also up for debate (from a secular perspective) as to whether they are true or accurate.

  • Finn Jacobsen

    LDS scholars are striving hard to find minute pieces of material that may in any way point to what is written in the book of Mormon. But there is not a trace of evidence of the great societies mentioned in the book, and no trace of Jewish DNA. And how can it be from a book dictated by a mentally confused man sitting with his head in a hat looking at two stones?

  • Sam Garner

    That’s simply inaccurate, there are traces of evidence of the societies in The Book of Mormon. See bookofmormonevidence.org for information about some of the findings that have come to light (one website among many). And in regards to your last comment, I do not believe that Joseph Smith was not a mentally-confused man; he was a true prophet of God (petty insults cannot change that).

  • Finn Jacobsen

    Your belief differs from mine, so that is no valid argument. If somebody found you sitting with your head in a hat reciting a translation of hieroglyphs found on golden plates hidden under a cloth somewhere in the room, would you be considered mentally disturbed? If it really was true what is in the Book of Mormon, the whole scientific community would rise and applaud. I know of no evidence produced by non-LDS writers, and I trust the Smithsonian more than fairmormon and other LDS sources. Please direct me to evidence from independent scientists. Will you agree with me that it is not enough with traces of evidence for a small part of Joseph Smith’s fantasies, the whole story will have to be true and proven, including the Book of Abraham?

  • Sam Garner

    I’ll agree that the head-in-hat scenario while translating hieroglyphs through the use of seer stones is indeed strange; and outsiders would be justified in questioning my mental stability. But, equally strange is a man that claims to have been born of a virgin mother & divine Father, possess Messianic powers to forgive sins & save all mankind, and whose followers claimed he rose from the dead & ascended into heaven. You don’t think non-Christians in the apostolic age found that a little preposterous? My point is not to knock the story of Jesus Christ (I, for one, believe it) but to illustrate that new religious experiences & revelations always appear bizarre & heretical to the established religious tradition of their day. Likewise the secular community (scientists, scholars, etc.) rejects it as foolish & vain.
    Also, I do not think there will ever be definitive proof of Joseph Smith’s claims sufficient to satisfy the non-Mormon world; just like I do not think there will ever be definitive proof to convince the non-Christian world of Jesus’s status as the Messiah. I believe it’s the Lord’s intent that these things be received primarily on faith i.e. an individual receiving a revelation from God declaring the their truth or error.

  • dhrogers

    Many details mentioned in the Book of Mormon are turning out to be authentic pre-Columbian features such as horses, pigs, barley, cement, cattle, elephants, writing on metal plates, head plates and body armor and scimitars, silk. Other features of the Book of Mormon are also being confirmed such as Hebraisms, chiasmus, correct details of the incense trail including the correct location of Nahom and Bountiful, metalworking and steel swords, authentic names, various customs, methods of warfare, demographics and population studies, and more. These were not known in Joseph Smiths day. He could not have fabricated them and happen to just guess right. Yet the Book of Mormon gets these and other details correct.

    New evidence continues to be found supporting many details of the Book of Mormon’s accuracy and supporting other LDS doctrines and practices. The critics still use the old outdated arguments and get a lot of mileage out of them because people don’t know better

  • dhrogers

    DNA-related attacks on the Book of Mormon misrepresent scientific findings by falsely claiming that Native American DNA originated solely from Asia. While Asia appears to be the leading source of ancient immigrants to the Americas, and Latter-day Saints don’t disagree with that, there is plenty of room for additional groups coming to the continent, and several studies have found evidence for non-Asian DNA that cannot be explained by modern European admixture. Some of this evidence is found in pre-Colombian burial sites with DNA connections to Europe and the Middle East.

    Studies of Native Americans are still in their infancy. DNA tests have been conducted on a couple thousand Native Americans, representing only a tiny fraction of individuals. The tested individuals represent only a fraction of the tribes and native languages in the Americas. We must not assume that we understand the origins of all the present native inhabitants of this continent on the basis of such limited testing.

    It is often assumed that if the Book of Mormon is true the people would have typical Jewish DNA. The problem with this is, we don’t know what typical Jewish DNA looked like 2600 years ago. Furthermore We don’t know if Lehi’s DNA was typical Jewish DNA. Lehi was not of the tribe of Juda from which most Jewish DNA comes from. We don’t have a sample of Lehi’s DNA. So how can a comparison be made? It can’t.

    In addition, some Native American DNA studies are finding DNA types that are also found in Jewish people.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    There is no archaeological or historical evidence that jc existed. If he did, why didn’t he write anything down?

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    But more to the point, how could you possibly have EVIDENCE that jc was MIRACULOUSLY conceived by a virgin?

  • dhrogers

    Humans have learned how to impregnate a woman without a sexual act by artificial insemination. . If we can do that then certainly God is smart enough to cause Mary to conceive as a virgin without a sexual act.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    Do you have evidence?

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    Thought not!

  • dhrogers

    Gary Habermas’s works “The Historical Jesus” [1] and “The Case for the Resurrection”[2] walk through some 120 facts from sources outside the Bible which corroborate the existence of Jesus. Another book which does the same thing is “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.” [3]. A belief in Jesus, or at least his historic reality, is founded in real evidence and so it is the more rational position. Another source of documentation for the historic Jesus is Lee Strobel’s “The Case for the Real Jesus” [4].

    There are 42 extra-Biblical sources on Jesus within the first 150 years. These includes Roman sources, Jewish sources, Christian sources, and even pagan source. There are also those sources which opposed him. Even these attest to his reality. All of these attest to the actual existence of the Biblical Jesus and all these sources tend to confirm the Biblical story of Jesus. Only a few scholars question the existence of Jesus.

    Other people in the New Testament are also attested in sources outside the Bible. This shows the consistency and accuracy of the Bible as an historic document. John the Baptist is mentioned by the Jewish Historian Josephus. James the brother of Jesus, Herod the great, Pontius Pilate, Agripa and others are confirmed in historic sources outside the Bible. In just the first several verses of Luke chapter 3 eight people are mentioned who have been corroborated outside the Bible. Thirty people in the New Testament are corroborated in outside historic sources [5].

    What about the reliability of the Bible? We have only 7 copies of Plato. We have 49 copies of Aristotle. The New Testament has between five and six thousand copies. Not only are we looking at the number of copies but we also look at the time period from whence those copies come. How close to the events are the copies? The writings of Josephus or Plutarch are 800 years after the events.

    Ceasar existed between 100 to 44 BC and we have 10 historic documents that attest to his existence that were written 1000 years later. Plato existed between 427 to 347 B.C. and we have 7 documents on him written 1,200 years later. Yet the existence of these people is not questioned. The New Testament was written between about 40 to 100 A.D. and documents begin in 125 A.D. That’s within about 50 years of the events.

    The story of William Ramsay is an atypical example. Ramsay was a scholar and archeologist and an atheist. He set out to prove the Bible false using archeology. He ended up consistently affirming the accuracy of the Bible with archeology and as a result he became a Christian. He demonstrated how Luke got 32 countries right, 34 cities right, 9 islands, and 29 kings from 10 nations right [6].

    Eighty four eye witness details from the second half of the book of Acts have been confirmed. [7]. In the Gospel of John 59 historic details have been confirmed or identified as historically probable [8] and in light of so many confirmed details the Bible emerges as a history book to be relied on.

    1. Habermas, Gary. The Historical Jesus, Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company, 1996. 250.
    2. Habermas, Gary & Michael Licona. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2004. 233.
    3. Turek, F. & N. Geisler. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2004. 270.
    4. Strobel, Lee. The Case for the Real Jesus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007.
    5. Turek, F. & N. Geisler. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2004. 270.
    6. Ramsay, William M. The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, 1915. 222; Ramsay, William M. St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen, 1982. 8.)
    7. Hemer, Colin J. The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990. Last 16 chapters.
    8. Bloomberg, Craig. The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press. 69-281.

  • Nayajja

    And you do know, if you are willing to look, that there is archeological and historical evidence that supports the Book of Mormon. Look at the correspondences identified by John Sorensen, and also look at the correspondences between the Arabian peninsula and the Book of Mormon account of Lehi leaving Jerusalem.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    Show me true historical or archaeology evidence with reverting to religious scripture, which, as we all know, is a bunch of hooey.

  • dhrogers

    David,

    I have dialogued with you many times in the past. I have provided many examples of details in the Book of Mormon that are documented by scholars and archaeologists. These are details that nobody could have guessed right in 1830 when the Book of Mormon was published – yet the Book of Mormon gets them right.

    Now, what do you call someone who is corrected when he says things that are not true but still keeps saying them anyway? It’s one thing to be mistaken. But when you are corrected and you still keep saying what is not true then it’s deliberate.

  • Sam Garner

    There is some evidence supporting the claims of The Book of Mormon. The Smithsonian, if what you claim is correct, is wrong. LDS scholars have brought to light a number of things. Here are a couple of websites that you can check out if you’re interested: fairmormon.org, bookofmormonevidence.org, and mormoninterpreter.com.

  • dhrogers

    David, I am surprised that you use the argument that Mormonism must be false because the Smithsonian doesn’t find proof of it. Many of the same archaeologists and scholars who argue against the Book of Mormon also discredit the Bible. So, by your logic the Bible must also be false.

    Funny thing though – many of the things supposedly not substantiated for the Book of Mormon were, in fact, substantiated in the Smithsonian’s own research but nobody at the Smithsonian had actually read the Book of Mormon and made the connection to the evidence. As the years went by more and more of the things the Smithsonian said were not found were found and more and more evidence for both the Bible and the Book of Mormon was discovered and documented by archeologists and scholars.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    A dangerous, crazy cult – as with all religious institutions.

  • mormonado

    C’mon. They might kill you with kindness and service I suppose.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    No, they are weird. They believe in this weird, hippy guy, who was a troublemaker. Don’t even know if he even existed. No evidence of him in history books…

  • Nayajja

    If you are talking about Jesus, he is mentioned by a number of histories–do you pretend the New Testament is some conspiracy or something? Also, he is mentioned, as is John the Baptist, by non-Biblical historian Josephus.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    No, the new testament is not a conspiracy. We don’t know who wrote it and it was written in the iron age. Men still thought the world was flat. Show me the evidence.

  • Nayajja

    “At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good and his learning outstanding. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon their discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after the crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.” From an Arabic translation of Josephus.

    If you acknowledge that the New Testament could not have been a conspiracy, then the only reasonable alternative is that it is, at least to some degree, historical.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    Not in the least!
    I can cut and paste, too!

    When addressing the mythical nature of Jesus Christ, one issue repeatedly raised is the purported “evidence” of his existence to be found in the writings of Flavius Josephus, the famed Jewish general and historian who lived from about 37 to 100 CE. In Josephus’s Antiquities of the Jews appears the notorious passage regarding Christ called the “Testimonium Flavianum” (“TF”):

    A False Witness
    Despite the best wishes of sincere believers and the erroneous claims of truculent apologists, the Testimonium Flavianum has been demonstrated continually over the centuries to be a forgery, likely interpolated by Catholic Church historian Eusebius in the fourth century. So thorough and universal has been this debunking that very few scholars of repute continued to cite the passage after the turn of the 19th century. Indeed, the TF was rarely mentioned, except to note that it was a forgery, and numerous books by a variety of authorities over a period of 200 or so years basically took it for granted that the Testimonium Flavianum in its entirety was spurious, an interpolation and a forgery. As Dr. Gordon Stein relates:
    “…the vast majority of scholars since the early 1800s have said that this quotation is not by Josephus, but rather is a later Christian insertion in his works. In other words, it is a forgery, rejected by scholars.”
    So well understood was this fact of forgery that these numerous authorities did not spend their precious time and space rehashing the arguments against the TF’s authenticity. Nevertheless, in the past few decades apologists of questionable integrity and credibility have glommed onto the TF, because this short and dubious passage represents the most “concrete” secular, non-biblical reference to a man who purportedly shook up the world. In spite of the past debunking, the debate is currently confined to those who think the TF was original to Josephus but was Christianized, and those who credulously and self-servingly accept it as “genuine” in its entirety.
    To repeat, this passage was so completely dissected by scholars of high repute and standing–the majority of them pious Christians–that it was for decades understood by subsequent scholars as having been proved as a forgery, such that these succeeding scholars did not even mention it, unless to acknowledge it as false. (In addition to being repetitious, numerous quotes will be presented here, because a strong show of rational consensus is desperately needed when it comes to matters of blind, unscientific and irrational faith.) The scholars who so conclusively proved the TF a forgery made their mark at the end of the 18th century and into the 20th, when a sudden reversal was implemented, with popular opinion hemming and hawing its way back first to the “partial interpolation theory” and in recent times, among the third-rate apologists, to the notion that the whole TF is “genuine.” As Earl Doherty says, in “Josephus Unbound”:
    “Now, it is a curious fact that older generations of scholars had no trouble dismissing this entire passage as a Christian construction. Charles Guignebert, for example, in his Jesus (1956, p.17), calls it ‘a pure Christian forgery.’ Before him, Lardner, Harnack and Schurer, along with others, declared it entirely spurious. Today, most serious scholars have decided the passage is a mix: original parts rubbing shoulders with later Christian additions.”
    Following is a list of important Christian authorities who studied and/or mentioned Josephus but not the Jesus passage:
    • Justin Martyr (c. 100-c. 165), who obviously pored over Josephus’s works, makes no mention of the TF.
    • Theophilus (d. 180), Bishop of Antioch–no mention of the TF.
    • Irenaeus (c. 120/140-c. 200/203), saint and compiler of the New Testament, has not a word about the TF.
    • Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-211/215), influential Greek theologian and prolific Christian writer, head of the Alexandrian school, says nothing about the TF.
    • Origen (c. 185-c. 254), no mention of the TF and specifically states that Josephus did not believe Jesus was “the Christ.”
    • Hippolytus (c. 170-c. 235), saint and martyr, nothing about the TF.
    • The author of the ancient Syriac text, “History of Armenia,” refers to Josephus but not the TF.
    • Minucius Felix (d. c. 250), lawyer and Christian convert–no mention of the TF.
    • Anatolius (230-c. 270/280)–no mention of TF.
    • Chrysostom (c. 347-407), saint and Syrian prelate, not a word about the TF.
    • Methodius, saint of the 9th century–even at this late date there were apparently copies of Josephus without the TF, as Methodius makes no mention of it.
    • Photius (c. 820-891), Patriarch of Constantinople, not a word about the TF, again indicating copies of Josephus devoid of the passage, or, perhaps, a rejection of it because it was understood to be fraudulent.
    Arguments Against Authenticity Further Elucidated
    When the evidence is scientifically examined, it becomes clear that the entire Josephus passage regarding Jesus was forged, likely by Church historian Eusebius, during the fourth century. In “Who on Earth was Jesus Christ?” David Taylor details the reasons why the TF in toto must be deemed a forgery, most of which arguments, again, were put forth by Dr. Lardner:
    • “It was not quoted or referred to by any Christian apologists prior to Eusebius, c. 316 ad.
    • “Nowhere else in his voluminous works does Josephus use the word ‘Christ,’ except in the passage which refers to James ‘the brother of Jesus who was called Christ’ (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 20, Chapter 9, Paragraph 1), which is also considered to be a forgery.
    • “Since Josephus was not a Christian but an orthodox Jew, it is impossible that he should have believed or written that Jesus was the Christ or used the words ‘if it be lawful to call him a man,’ which imply the Christian belief in Jesus’ divinity.
    • “The extraordinary character of the things related in the passage–of a man who is apparently more than a man, and who rose from the grave after being dead for three days–demanded a more extensive treatment by Josephus, which would undoubtedly have been forthcoming if he had been its author.
    • “The passage interrupts the narrative, which would flow more naturally if the passage were left out entirely.
    • “It is not quoted by Chrysostom (c. 354-407 ad) even though he often refers to Josephus in his voluminous writings.
    • “It is not quoted by Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 858-886 ad) even though he wrote three articles concerning Josephus, which strongly implies that his copy of Josephus’ Antiquities did not contain the passage.
    • “Neither Justin Martyr (110-165 AD), nor Clement of Alexandria (153-217 ad), nor Origen (c.185-254 AD), who all made extensive reference to ancient authors in their defence of Christianity, has mentioned this supposed testimony of Josephus.
    • “Origen, in his treatise Against Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 47, states categorically that Josephus did NOT believe that Jesus was the Christ.
    • “This is the only reference to the Christians in the works of Josephus. If it were genuine, we would have expected him to have given us a fuller account of them somewhere.”

  • Nayajja

    Yup, you sure did cut and paste a lot.

    I did not quote the translation of Josephus to which all your cutting and pasting refers. I quoted a translation that comes from the Arabic; it still refers to Jesus as an historical figure.

    Believe what you want, but to do so you have to ignore the historical record.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    Don’t you get it. There is no historical record.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    Show me your source. I found the exact same words on Josephus.org. Is that your source?

  • mormonado

    That’s funny.

  • Emil Söderman

    “Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost [are] three different people.”

    That’s ARIANISM Patrick!

  • mormonado

    It is what the early Christians believed.

  • Faith Writer

    Emit, that is polytheism

  • Emil Söderman

    It’s a joke based on this:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQLfgaUoQCw

    But to arianism isn’t polytheistic since there’s only one God, Jesus isn’t God but a creation of God.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism

  • Faith Writer

    So, what exactly is your point or premise? You are not getting it across. If you are joking, when your point is still not clear.

  • Faith Writer

    Kidd, proposes that Mormonism was and is Christocentric. This form of Christocentric is very loosely defined or not defined at all. I take strong exception to this claim on the fronts.

    First, Mormons do not even view Christ in the same way. I admit that Kidd recognizes this. However, this recognition is very loosely held. The Christ Mormons hold is one of an idolatrous nature. This Christ is not the one we know biblically. Mormonism neither see Christ as God the second person of the Trinity or one with two natures. Consequently, this Christocentrism bears no resemblance to the biblical doctrine of Christ. Therefore, this is not Christocentric but man-centric and doctrinally untenable. There is no relationship between the Mormon Christ and the biblical one.

    Second, the Christ of Mormonism is one of the created order that Mormonism created. This Christ is from its imagination. That is Christocentric but again man-centric concocted in the imagination.

    Third, the Christ of Mormonism arises from the rejection of the Bible and how it portrays and teaches Christ When one rejects the Bible, one rejects the God of the Bible and tends to create one found external to it. With Mormonism, this Christ arises from its own writings and the fiction arising from its founders. While Mormonism claims the Bible as one of its sacred writings, it does so only seemingly and only to attempt to show that it is mainstream Christian.

    It is evident that they reject the Bible when they place the Book of Mormon above it and make

    Mormonism cannot be called Christocentric when they reject the Christ of the Bible, reject the Bible itself and make the, “The Bible is also the word of God as long as it is translated correctly. This is a devious caveat in that translation has nothing to do with whether the Bible is the word of God or not. That is simply a justification for rejecting the Bible as the word of God and a distraction.

  • Joseph M

    D&C 19
    Jesus is speaking.
    16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

    17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

    18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—

    19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.

    http://easter.lds.org
    https://www.lds.org/bible-videos/videos/jesus-is-resurrected?lang=eng

  • Faith Writer

    How is yours a response? No premises and no conclusions.

  • MormonForever

    I think his “Joseph M” is a wonderful comment

  • Faith Writer

    Simply giving citations supports nothing, and was a non-reply If you think what he said is wonderful, then this discussion has digressed to total irrationalism, including grammatically incorrect sentences.

  • Joseph M

    Sorry to be slow getting back to you it was a busy weekend.

    I was merely providing some data points,to go with your assertions, on the theory that what we spend our money on is a good indicator of what we actually believe. For example as of this morning we have dedicated 150 Temples and have another 37 announced or under construction. These buildings are completely without purpose if Christ is not raised.

    On the Sabbath day we partake of the lords supper recommitting ourselves to take the name of Christ and always remember Him and keep His commandments. I spent two years in Argentina, on my own dime, to “make disciples of [that] nation. Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”

    I freely acknowledge the difference in our metaphysics, I find the description “unmoved mover” completely inconsistent with the God who has “graven [me] on the palms of his hands”. but honestly I think its beside the point. What I believe about the Risen Christ the Carpenter of Galilee, my Lord and my God, is secondary to the fact that I believe in him and know that his promises are sure and his Grace is sufficient even for me.

  • Faith Writer

    Again, I say, “How is yours a response? No premises and no conclusions.”

    All that you wrote is a non sequitur. I have no idea what you are talking about since it is totally unrelated to anything I said. You may want to reread what I wrote originally, and give some thought to it prior to providing another response.

  • Joseph M

    Your right I was not very clear in my answer. I thought the first quote might be sufficient to establish that we see Jesus Christ as fully God, and fully Man, if as you say we “reject the Bible”, then my quoting the Bible to establish our doctrine would be pointless.
    But consider this passage and see if its the same Christ you recognize.
    Mosiah 3

    5 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.

    6 And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men.

    7 And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.

    8 And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.

    I suspect you are accusing us of Arianism, though your language is very confusing. I must confess that despite many years of reading I still haven’t figured out what “Second Person of the Trinity” is supposed to mean beyond that it is not what we mean when we say “Second Member of the Godhead”. As I read the Gospels I see two distinct individuals that are “one” in purpose, thought and deed. And “Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence” honestly makes no sense to me, and I don’t see that the Bible requires I believe it. The only real compelling(1 john 5:7) doesn’t appear in any of the Greek manuscripts before the 15th century (http://www.kjv-only.com/doug/1john5_7.html)

    Regarding your issue, re the Bible.

    It is quite true that we are neither literalists nor inerrantists. But in this we are not alone (http://www.patheos.com/Books/Book-Club/Peter-Enns-Inspiration-and-Incarnation/Excerpt-091015)

    I provided the links in my first post so that people could see what we believe and judge for themselves, you seem to have made up your mind. You provided Assertion not argument, that basically boils down to we don’t believe like you do. I can state that I love the Bible, quote the Great commission, Christ speaking through Isaiah and Thomas in Johns Gospel and you don’t seem to think that is relevant.

    Now we believe that one of the purposes of the Book of Mormon is to support the Bible. I just think it doesn’t agree with your interpretation.
    From 1 Nephi chapter 13:
    38 And it came to pass that I beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the book of the Lamb of God, which had proceeded forth from the mouth of the Jew, that it came forth from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren.

    39 And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true.

    40 And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.

    41 And they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; wherefore they both shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth.

  • Faith Writer

    Joseph,

    Thank you for your response. However, one thing I do not do is follow links to read something. A person needs to be able to support one’s position without referring to links. Otherwise, one just quotes another without having thought through what one believes. Simply citing someone else without any kind of critical analysis of that person’s claim suggests that you have not truly thought through and digested the claim.

    After having read what you say about not having figured out the Second Person of the Trinity, what comes to mind for me is wondering what books or authors you have read on the Trinity.

    As to what I wrote as being confusing, I am unsure what you mean unless you cite something I wrote that was confusing to you. Just to claim confusion over what someone writes without identifying what it is suggest that you either do not know what confuses you or you really have not read it thoroughly. Such an approach does not do justice at arriving a conclusions. It also suggests that you are willing to give up understanding rather than pursuing understanding. I would gladly explain and expand on what I wrote, but I cannot read your mind to determine what you do not understand.

    However, allow me to address some of your remarks. First, what authors have you read on the Trinity, and how did what they say not make sense? If you have not read authors on the Trinity, then you really cannot adequately address the subject. One must read first before one can draw conclusions. Drawing conclusions without having read on a given topic prevents one from engaging in thoughtful analysis and simply accepting what someone tells them. That is not true critical thinking but rather blind acceptance without thought.

    Second, what biblical passages have you read that gives you the impression of two separate individuals (the Father and the Son) “that are one in purpose, thought, and deed?” You never named these passages. Did you attempt to read the surrounding contexts? Did you ask about the author’s intent? Did you use a dictionary to look up words? Did you check a Concordance to delve into the meaning of specific Greek or Hebrew words in the biblical text? Just to claim something in the Bible does not make sense to you without having taken the previous steps is just remaining on the surface and waiting for someone else to give you the insights. That is the way into dangerous error. The Bible never claims that Jesus and His Father are two separate individuals or beings. There is not even a hint that the Bible teaches this doctrine of God. It is little wonder that you are confused. You have either adopted the wrong terminology or taken terminology from someone else.

    Third, when one wishes to delineate the doctrine of God from the Bible, one must read all salient passages relating to Him. If one does not do that, of course that person will come to the wrong conclusion. This gathering and reading of related passages is called systematic theology based on inductive reasoning. You have not informed me of the biblical passages you have read. You simply cite passages from the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. Once one has read all related passages, then one engages in inductive reasoning, premise building, and conclusions.

    Just because the Bible does not mention the word “Trinity,” does not mean that God as Trinity is false. The words “gravity” and “atom” do not appear in the Bible but they are nevertheless true. Aristotle knew of gravity centuries before Christ, and atoms are real and always have been. Leucippus of Miletus named atoms in 440 BC. Therefore, reaching the conclusion that if a specific word is not in the Bible does not constitute that it is not true. That is a logical fallacy that anti-Trinitarians have claimed for centuries, and it is faulty reasoning.

    Let me go on. You quote from the Athanasian Creed but not all of it. Quoting or reading in isolation without reading an author’s related works cannot lead to sound conclusions. You fail to read what Athanasius himself has written. You also fail to look up words to discover their meaning. If you do not understand something, then research is required. The first book you should use is a dictionary.

    Just reading a single quote from a creed out of context does not further understanding at all, that is if you actually did read that creed rather than some other book that quotes from that creed. Besides, creeds are not the final authority; the Bible is. If you read that quote from a Mormon author without doing further research, you are not benefiting from reading the entire creed and Athanasius’ works concerning how he formulated the Trinity. Additionally, you are also shutting yourself off from real learning by not going to the primary sources.

    Understanding the Scriptures is not simply quoting them or reading them isolated from their contexts as many do. You must read them as a whole in their contexts (chapter, book, NT, OT, culture, author intent as some contexts). If you do not consider context, you will obviously miss a lot.

    Reading is hard work, and a good reader will wrestle with the test rather than skim over it. Those who cherry pick from what others wrote or go to a secondary source for a particular quote are not benefiting. That is how cults begin – naively believing what others tell them without doing one’s homework into primary sources. That is called gullibility.

    Fourth, you claim that you believe what you quote. I see scant references to the Bible. What you do cite from the Bible, you discount. Most are from the Book of Mormon or the D&C. Why do you ignore the Bible so much or treat it as a secondary source especially since Mormonism claims it to be the word of God?

    Fifth, your quotes from the D&C and Book of Mormon claim that Jesus is the Father (Mosiah 3:8) and the Son of the Eternal Father (1 Nephi 13:40). How can Jesus be the Father and the Son? Is He his own Father according to the Book of Mormon? Talking about confusing. You also claim that Jesus is God as is the Father but separate individuals. That is polytheism. Arianism hardly went that far because Arius denied Jesus was God and remained monotheistic while denying the Trinity. Your reference to Arius informs me that you have never read his works and know nothing about him. It is not good to reference someone you know nothing about and then create a straw man argument by claiming I accuse you of Arianism.

    Sixth, let me walk you through inductive reasoning. We know:

    PREMISE #1 – the Bible teaches one God (Deut. 6:1-4).

    PREMISE #2 – the Bible teaches that Jesus is God (John 1:1 and many related passages).

    PREMISE #3 – the Holy Spirit is God (Matthew 28:19-20; Note, the passage refers to “in the name” in singular in both English and Greek, thus referring to one God in three persons.)

    PREMISE #4 – all three are God and each is a separate person,

    CONCLUSION: then we logically conclude that God is one while existing as three persons. Paul Copan explains it well when he writes,

    “Second, threeness pertains to persons whereas oneness pertains to essence or nature. What makes you a human being and not a kangaroo or a warthog? Although billions of humans live on earth, we all have one and the same nature in common. It is no contradiction to say that I am one of many people who possesses the same nature that makes each of us human. Although there is a deeper unity to God than merely possessing the same divine nature (which we will explore below), for now this important distinction between person and nature helps in building a case for the coherence of the doctrine of the Trinity. Basically, Christians do not hold that there are three natures or just one person in the Godhead. The charge that Christians do not know how to count is due to the (sometimes unfortunately justified) assumption that three and one refer to the same thing. For example, a Jehovah’s Witness or a Muslim might ask a Christian, “If Jesus was divine, whom was he crying out to when on the cross he said, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” The questioner assumes that if Jesus is God, no other persons can possess the divine nature. But Christians simply reject this. In fact, a Christian could respond with this question: “If the Father is God, to whom is he speaking when he says to the Son (in Heb. 1: 8), ‘Your throne, O God, will last for ever’?” (Copan, Paul (2001-11-01). That’s Just Your Interpretation: Responding to Skeptics Who Challenge Your Faith (pp. 122-123). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.).

    However, by Mormons claiming that Jesus is God and that the Father is God but that they are separate beings is deferring to polytheism and confusing being and person. I would suggest that you do more reading and research and apply reasoning and logic for arriving at conclusions. Otherwise, you will conclude that Christians believe what they do not believe. That is known as a straw man logical fallacy.

  • Joseph M

    I’m an engineer “see here for details” is how we do things, I am also disgraphic (like dyslexic but for writing instead of reading) so writing takes awhile (especially around small children) but I will endeavor to address your response as best I can as I have time.

  • Joseph M

    Sorry to be slow getting back to you it was a busy weekend.

    I was merely providing some data points,to go with your assertions, on the theory that what we spend our money on is a good indicator of what we actually believe. For example as of this morning we have dedicated 150 Temples and have another 37 announced or under construction. These buildings are completely without purpose if Christ is not raised.

    On the Sabbath day we partake of the Lord’s Supper, recommitting ourselves to take the name of Christ, and always remember Him, and keep His commandments. I spent two years in Argentina, on my own dime, to “make disciples of [that] nation. Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”

    I freely acknowledge the difference in our metaphysics, I find the description “unmoved mover” completely inconsistent with the God who has “graven [me] on the palms of his hands”. But honestly I think its beside the point. What I believe about the Risen Christ the Carpenter of Galilee, my Lord and my God, is secondary to the fact that I believe in Him and know that His promises are sure and His Grace is sufficient even for me.

  • dhrogers

    The areas of difference between the Mormon Jesus and the
    Jesus of other Christians is the difference between the Biblical Jesus and the
    Jesus of the extra-Biblical creeds.
    Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or
    Mormon) hold to the Jesus of the Bible not the Jesus of the creeds. The “two natured” Christ you refer to is the
    Christ of the extra-Biblical debates and creeds, not the Christ of the Bible.

    The
    Book of Mormon clearly testifies of the Jesus of the Bible – not “another
    Jesus” as some Christians falsely allege.
    The Book of Mormon testifies of the Jesus who lived in the area of
    Jerusalem between about the years of 0 to 33 A.D, who was born a virgin birth,
    whose mother was Mary, who is the Son of God, who was preceded by one named
    John who prepared the way for Jesus and baptized Jesus, and who ministered to
    the people and healed the sick and the lame and raised the dead, and who called
    twelve others to assist him in the work.
    (See these references in the Book of Mormon for a few examples: 1 Ne.
    11:13,18, 20-21,24,27-29,31-33; 2 Nephi 26:12; Mormon 3:21; Mormon 7:5,8)

    Additionally, Mormons
    constantly study both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, Mormons highly respect and value the Bible
    and often do research and write articles defending it. In supporting the Bible Mormons regularly use
    the Book of Mormon as a second witness of the Jesus of the Bible

  • dhrogers

    Many Christians believe in a Jesus defined, not by the bible, but by extra-Biblical creeds and councils formulated centuries after the time of Jesus and the Apostles. Then, if Mormons don’t accept these later extra-Biblical definitions, they (the Mormons) can’t be Christian. That makes pre-Creedal Christians not Christian either. Mormons don’t feel obligated to accept non-Biblical doctrines and creeds as belonging Christ.

    God through the Apostle Paul warned Christians not to adopt extra-Biblical creeds (See Galatians 1:6-9. Well, they did adopt extra-Biblical creeds not taught by Jesus or his apostles. There was a prophesied falling away and Mormonism fulfils the Biblical prophecies of a subsequent restoration of Christianity to the earth (See Acts 3:19-21; Malachi 3:1; Malachi 4:5-6; Rev. 14:6-7; Matt. 24:31)

  • Faith Writer

    Do you realize that the Book of Mormon is extra-biblical fiction?

  • mormonado

    You obviously have not read the Book of Mormon. Anyone, including Christian scholars, see how focused that book is on Christ. In the words of the Catholic theologian Steven Webb, it is “obsessed with Christ”.

  • Faith Writer

    The Book of Mormon is “obsessed with the” wrong Christ, a Christ created in the image of Joseph Smith, a created Christ of the material order and not one separate from the created order. This “Christ” fails to make the distinction between the Creator and the created but merges them.

    Your comment brings me back to what Thomas Kidd claimed – that Mormonism is Christocentic. To be Christocentric is to have the right Christology. Mormonism does not have the right Christology, because the Christ it claims is not the Christ of the Bible, the Second Person of the Trinity.

    Therefore, Mormonism is Christocentric but man-centric as I claimed earlier.

  • mormonado

    We just disagree on this.

  • Faith Writer

    Yep, I disagree with your irrational approach to discussion. Bye.

  • Faith Writer

    Your disagreement is based on an uninformed position. You do not know about what you speak.

  • mormonado

    Not uninformed.

  • cwayneu

    If you have read any biographies on Joseph Smith, by a non-Mormon, this guy seemed really whacked. I put him on the same par as L. Ron Hubbard, except I think Hubbard knew his Scientology creation was whacked.

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  • dhrogers

    Many “histories” of Joseph Smith are highly inaccurate. Often sources are non-existent, some are the result of exaggeration, and some the result of inventive imagination. The best histories of Joseph Smith, those that use better historical research and the more reliable historic sources, tend to vindicate Joseph Smith as an honest and good man who was telling the truth.

  • cwayneu

    Sure, and his golden tablets and secret decoder key (that no one else but him ever saw), and his magic Abe Lincoln hat all makes it crystal clear why only Mormons are safe, and the rest of us are doomed to hell. Seriously? At least the Scientology is story with space aliens is more colorful.

  • mormonado

    I can understand that if you read only anti-mormon literature on Joseph Smith how you would think that. I would look deeper though. No comparison.Joseph was a man of huge intellect and vision, more importantly of spirit, heart and sacrifice. Of course he had flaws too.

  • cwayneu

    You may be right about bio author biases. Smith probably was very intelligent, with vision, heart, and spirit. But the whole bizarre, mystical, secretive, and just unbelievable circumstances surrounding the creation of The Book Of Mormon, leaves honesty a real challenge for me.

  • mormonado

    That is completely understandable. I’ve moved beyond that from further study. Many things are ‘on the shelf’ for me. I do believe JS character was good. The 19th century folklore stuff is strange but was prevalent in US however, Hard to relate to. If you are Christian, I would see it similar to clay to heal eyes, washing in Jordan 7 times (prophet Elisha to Naaman), the long hair of Samson, etc. Just more recent. If you are ever interested, though written by a Mormon, a good scholarly book on JS is Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Bushman. Also, anything from Harold Bloom, professor at Yale and a quasi-atheist.

  • cwayneu

    Thanks. I will check out Harold Bloom. I am an X-Mormon, now atheist.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    Good for you! You wised up?

  • mormonado

    I wish you well.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    Good for you!

  • Bill Scudder

    The former president of the Mormon church said in a speech that they the Mormons serve a different Jesus than the Evangelicals. I agree and their Jesus is a counterfeit Jesus.

  • Finn Jacobsen

    Which is also the case with “your” Jesus if you are a Christian. It is hard to see why one myth should be more reasonable than another.

  • mormonado

    Technically, atheism is a myth as well.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    How so?

  • mormonado

    A traditional story concerning early history and origin

  • cwayneu

    So then you must also agree that technically, not believing in leprechauns, Big Foot, and Loc Ness is also a myth. What? How can not believing in a non-proven anything, be called a myth? Your statement makes no sense.

  • mormonado

    I’m not knocking it, though I disagree with it. Atheism does have a story. Much is unproven. It usually starts with the Big Bang but has no ‘story’ to precede it. In other words, I agree, likely, with much of your likely ‘proof’ for atheism. But there is a story layered over it science. That story is atheism. We interpret the facts differently. I want faith because science falls far too short. I want science because it informs my understanding. Faith and atheism is the actors vs non-actors, cause vs no cause. That is how I see it anyway. I am a strong believer in science, but also a strong believer in faith. My ‘observations’ and experience give me a trust in unseen principles such as loyalty, love, trust, potential. Both, when approached sincerely, seek truth.

  • cwayneu

    You seem a bit confused on what atheism is. It has nothing directly to do with the Big Bang. You could be an atheists and believe in string theory permutation instead of the Big Bang. Atheism is simply not believing in a god because of lack of evidence. Science says “We do not know yet, what happened before the Big Bang”. Atheists simply say that “Not knowing, in no way, makes god the default answer.”. There have been many phenomenon in our history attributed to god, that we now know exactly what is going on. Just like science does not yet explain how molecules first began to divide and replicate (simple life forms), but again not knowing is not evidence of a god.

  • mormonado

    But I would argue that your given definition of atheism is closer to agnosticism, ‘not knowing’. Atheism to me is a belief system

  • cwayneu

    I am an agnostic atheist. I admit that I cannot know absolutely, and choose not to believe in a god based on reason, and the lack of any verifiable evidence. Your definition also fits not believing in Loc Ness, Big Foot, Thor, Zeus, or any other unproven entity. If a lack of belief in something is a belief system to you, that seems like an oxymoron to me. Not sure what your point is. My point is, things I decide to support have to make sense, must have verifiable or empirical evidence that supports the topic, and my confidence level with each topic varies, based on the amount and quality of that evidence.

  • mormonado

    I appreciate your point of view. My ’empirical evidence’ is experience. I have a sincere question, do you love anyone and how would you show ’empirical evidence of that?

  • cwayneu

    Sure I do, and of course you cannot prove or measure love. The evidence boils down to my actions and motives. It is how I treat them, mentor them, spend time with them, share and give to them with no expectations, check in on them, all with a wish, but no requirement, that they love me back. If you were to ask them, I am positive they would respond that they feel loved for all those actions I listed.

  • mormonado

    I’m sure that is true. But what is love then? Is it real? Or a biochemical reaction only? Is it somehow shared with those you love, not by you sharing it, but actually an unseen element that is shared? That is my experience. I do not think that such things are not above a physical nature. To me they exist beyond my own experience and beyond my family’s personal experience. Another example is trust. Unseen but no way to fake it. It is also shared. It is a principle or a truth that I can try and work with. Just as the laws of physics can be worked with.

  • cwayneu

    Emotions like love and trust are absolutely a biochemical reaction, which are certainly real for the owner. They are the result of empirical experiences and learning. Would you trust leaving money lying around while drunk uncle Jim was visiting, when you caught him stealing money several times before. Trust is a learned emotion, not magic. Animals can learn to trust as well. Not sure where you are going with this, but it is certainly not magic. Can I touch it or measure it? Maybe not today, but lab experiments have actually videoed new neuron and synapse formation in the brain, during a learning process. So yes they can actually see a new memory form, or and old one get stimulated.

  • mormonado

    Not sure where ‘magic’ is coming from. I don’t believe in magic. I would expect that all things that are spiritual will one day be able to be explained through science. But that doesn’t signify that something is not spiritual. I fully believe in reason and science. They inform my intellect. But so does faith and experience. They are not ‘magic’. Today’s science would seem like magic to those living just a hundred ago. And reason and science only go so far. Reason is limited to the individual, their experience and capacity.

  • cwayneu

    Except there are parts of the brain, that if damaged or destroyed (accident, stroke), some of those spiritual feelings (love, trust, speech, even recognition) are lost as well. This to me it seems, is very likely to be a completely physical (neurons, synapse, elctro-chemical) process.

  • mormonado

    That’s a good point. Unless of course there is a spirit that is limited by its physical capacity.

  • cwayneu

    It is possible that there may be some spirit connection, but my preference is to go with what makes sense. If there was a supernatural spirit/soul associated somehow with our brain, that was not part of the physiological makeup (part of the normal physical process), it seems it would be unaffected by physical brain damage, otherwise it too would die when the brain dies.

  • Faith Writer

    Finn,

    Please support your “myth” of Jesus with hard evidence or admit that you do not know what you are talking about.

  • Finn Jacobsen

    I think the burden off proof for the existence of Jesus lies with you. It is logically impossible to prove that something does not exist.

  • Faith Writer

    Finn, you do not understand the first thing about defending an argument. Let me lay it out for you in very simple syllogistic language.

    Those who make a claim must defend the claim or admit that they do not know what they are talking about.

    You made the claim that Jesus is a myth. You must have knowledge of such an alleged “myth” as a basis for a defense for it. If you have knowledge for your claim, then be so kind as to share your sources for it. If you do not have knowledge for your claim, then you cannot defend it, and your claim is false.

    I did not make any claim about whether Jesus is a myth or not. YOU DID!! Therefore, you are the one who must defend YOUR claim. GOT IT?

    It is simple as that.

    Now support your claim or admit that you have no idea about what you speak.

  • Faith Writer

    Can you prove your myth assertion? Let’s examine your premises and conclusion in the syllogism you just created.

    PREMISE: “the burden off proof for the existence of Jesus lies with you.”

    PREMISE: “It is logically impossible to prove that something does not exist.”

    CONCLUSION: NONE.

    Now, if I can show that your premises are faulty, then your conclusion will not stand. Oh, that’s right, you have no conclusion derived from your premises.

    However, assume that you do, let us just examine your premises. You simply gave your opinion by claiming “I think…” The validity of a premise do not depend on what you think but on whether a statement is true and whether it makes logical sense. Simply to make a statement about what you think is irrelevant.

    Your first premise is faulty because I never made a statement about Jesus in the first place. That then brings in the issue of whether something is truthful about reality. If I never made a statement, you cannot claim the burden of proof is on me for something I never claimed. Since I never made a statement, then I have nothing to prove. Second, you fail to explain how any burden of proof lies with me. I could also say, the burden of proof is on you to prove Jesus is a myth. That means just as much as your statement.

    Your second premise is faulty, also. I can prove logically that there are no cats elected to the Senate. That alone demonstrates that your premise is faulty. I can also prove that Finn Jacobson is not a Congressman. All I have to do for both of these things is go to the record of elected Congressional representatives. Your second premise is woefully uninformed and faulty. I can also prove there are no square circles or triangular squares.

    As for your conclusion, you have none. By the way, your two premises have no relationship with one another.

    You are uninformed about the laws of logic and history.

  • dhrogers

    The “traditional Christ” President Hinckley spoke of is the Christ of the extra-Biblical creeds warned of by the Apostle Paul in Galatians. This modified extra-Biblical version of Christ became the “traditional” version within mainstream Christianity centuries ago. However, that modified Christ is not the Christ of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The Christ of the Bible and the Book of Mormon is the one true Christ. The Christ of the creeds is the incorrect Christ. Therefore, President Hinckley was absolutely correct!!!!!

    The Book of Mormon clearly testifies of the Jesus of the Bible – not the Jesus of the extra-Biblical creeds. The Book of Mormon testifies of the Jesus who lived in the area of Jerusalem between about the years of 0 to 33 A.D, who was born a virgin birth, whose mother was Mary, who is the Son of God, who was preceded by one named John who prepared the way for Jesus and baptized Jesus, and who ministered to the people and healed the sick and the lame and raised the dead, and who called twelve others to assist him in the work. (See these references in the Book of Mormon for a few examples: 1 Ne. 11:13,18, 20-21,24,27-29,31-33; 2 Nephi 26:12; Mormon 3:21; Mormon 7:5,8)

    People who say that Mormons and/or the Book of Mormon teach of a different Jesus haven’t read the Book of Mormon or they haven’t understood it.

  • Faith Writer

    “The Book of Mormon clearly testifies of the Jesus of the Bible…”

    Please define the Jesus of Mormonism and then the Jesus of the Bible.

    You are wrong. The Mormon Jesus is not the second person of the Trinity with two distinct natures. The Mormon Jesus is created and not God from all eternity. Rather, the Mormon Jesus is part of the created order and not the one who created all things.

    The Jesus of the Bible is the second personal of the Trinity, possesses two natures. The biblical Jesus is not of the created order but God from all eternity who took on human nature through the incarnation while remaining God.

    You show that you have never read the ancient and modern biblical scholars who have written on the Trinity (Tertullian, Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, John Calvin, and so on).

  • mormonado

    Faith Writer, you are reinforcing his point. You are teaching the doctrines of the creeds. And we do believe that Jesus did create the world and the cosmos. Many followers of Christ have a different interpretation of Jesus/God. The Orthodox Christians which is pushing 300 million members, would differ from you on many substantial doctrines of the nature of Christ. They still believe on the same Jesus as you and I do. We are all somewhat like the church against Copernicus. Wesee only the world from where we stand.

  • George Loper

    Do you believe in John 1:1? Not a creed, Holy Scripture! The Word was God. Logos en ho Theos. Jesus is Jehovah. Too many equivalences in titles and works to not see it, Unless the evil spirit of Joseph Smith has blinded your eyes.

  • mormonado

    Yes, Jesus is Jehovah. That is Mormon Doctrine.

  • Faith Writer

    >>>”You are teaching the doctrines of the creeds.”

    FALSE. You raise the logical fallacy of straw man by claiming I teach the doctrines of the creeds. You also raise a second logical fallacy called hasty generalization by not being specific and by not pinpointing what I wrote.

    Just because people have different interpretations of “Jesus/God” is totally irrelevant and still another logical fallacy of non sequitur. “Many followers” are not the final authority. The Bible is the final authority. That is what you dance around.

    Who cares what Orthodox Christians “push” and how they differ from me? That is two more logical fallacies of appeal to authority and non sequitur. Again, Christian Orthodox are not the final authority; the Bible is.

    Please do not include me in your “we.”

    Now, when you wish to write something, do a little thinking.

  • mormonado

    You are too kind! Your opinion is that the ‘Bible is the final authority’. Mine is that God is the final authority. You see them as the same because you think that God spoke only to one people over one certain period (or two, the OT & NT). I believe that God has often spoken with many different peoples to many ‘prophets’ and that God’s revelation is not to be bottled up by you or me.

    We are both human beings. That is the ‘we’. That was my reference, to our human behavior. You are an angry person.

    Also, your biggest ‘logical fallacy’ is that you accept that God revealed his word only where man has put a front and a rear book cover over it. Do you accept the Book of James, Hebrews, Revelation and the other books that Luther dismissed? So his ‘Bible’ is different that yours. What about the several books of scritprue such as Enoch, Jasher, The Acts of Solomon, Gad, Ahijah, Nathan, Shemaiah, Jehu, additional epistles from Paul and others that are referred to in the Bible? Most of these are lost books. If archaeology finds them, what do you do with them?

  • Faith Writer

    You just lost your argument through irrational rants, ad hominem, non sequitur, and hasty generalizations. You are not interested in a dialog but simply engaging in a rant. Please do not address me again, because I am not interested in your personal attacks, rants, and unsupported opinions.

  • Faith Writer

    Yes, indeed, the Bible is the final authority for life and practice, because it is the inspired word of God.

    You also place a bifurcation between the Bible and God, thus creating a false division between Him and His word. In doing so, you create a false dilemma and judge that which you do not understand.

    You do not understand logical fallacies. To claim accepting something is not a fallacy. Perhaps you should consult a dictionary before using the term logical fallacy again, because your use of it is incorrect.

    Your post informs me that you have not read anything on the canon of Scripture, how they came to be, and the other writings you cite. Which of the manuscripts you cite have you read? You haven’t because they do not exists!

    They were never considered to be the word of God, because no one knows about them and they cannot be verified. One cannot verify an unknown source and treat it as inspired. You probably cannot identify the criteria used to determine if a particular book inspired.

    Which leads to the next step of determining the word of God – inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16). Do you understand inspiration? From your post, I would surmise a no. Rather, you engage in personal assault, which is not defensible.

    You do well to become informed and widely read prior to making posts. Until you have become informed about the things of which you speak, all you are doing is engaging in uninformed speculation and attack. This discussion is not about attacking another but engaging in informed and educated dialog. You do not do that.

    Therefore, the issue is not about your disagreeing with me but the difference between being educated and informed and making accurate assessments from those two positions. From what you write, I can tell you are neither informed or educated about the Bible to make an assessment of it. So do not make claims from ignorance.

  • mormonado

    “Yes, indeed, the Bible is the final authority for life and practice, because it is the inspired word of God.”
    If I speak to my 22 year old married daughter about truths and advice, it may very well be different from what I tell my 15 yr old daughter. Both could be correct but different advice with the same principles in play. I agree that the bible is the word of God. Just not the only word.

    I am widely read thank you and know the canon of scripture quite well. I am conversation in Hebrew and read the OT in that language. I have studied Latin, and am fluent in Spanish and French, and know a slight amount of Korean and Portuguese. I have also read the NT, or what we have of it in Old English, even prior to Tynsdale. I have studied Biblical Scholarship for two decades on the side, as well as ancient civilization and ancient religion including Egyptian, Babylonian, Sumerian, Assyrian, Hittite and Canaanite. I know why Samson comes up with his riddle on bees in a loins’ corpse, why Gideon has 300 warriors, why many of the Psalms and Proverbs come from Egypt, why King Zedekiah betrayed King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and side with Egypt and sealed the doom of Judah and the Solomon’s temple. I know that the religion was already corrupted at that time removing Christ and the purpose for the atonement and wanting to kill Jeremiah becuase that is what he taught. I know why Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey with the praise of palm prawns to begin the holy week. I know why Revelation pulls from the book of Daniel and what it means. I know why Jesus is considerd the New Melchhizedek in the book of Hebrews. I know why John the Baptist is the one to be baptising. I now why there are 12 apostles called. I know wy I am given a change to repent and change to be more like Jesus and follow His example. I know that He suffered and died for me to give me that chance. I know there are other books and otherpeoples that God spoke to. The more pious Jews of the dessert such as the Essenes had different books apparently than the mainstream Jerusalem sect. Why? and there were different books held by the Jews in Alexandria and earlier all the way to Elephantine where they had there own temple. They also had temples in lower Egypt. Fully blessed by the Jewish high priest.

    I believe the Bible is inspired. I read it weekly and refer to specific passages often to learn from it. But it is the prophets and apostles I learn from, not the book itself. If you were present to hear Elijah speak, would that be revelation if it’s not in the Bible yet? The authority comes from the prophet, not the bible. If Elijah were alive after the bible was compiled and came to you and said of the book of Kings, this is not how it was, a scribe must have changed a couple of letters or words, there it was like this, who would you listen to more, the prophet who wrote the book and is alive speaking to you, or the book he wrote in?

    The ‘lost manuscripts’ I mentioned are mentioned or quoted in the bible. The Book of Enoch is a good example of a book that is quoted in the NT and that we have discovered.

    Also, I do not believe in ‘higher criticism, nor a literal translation of the bible. On the one hand there is an agenda to remove God from the Bible, on the other an agenda to force feed Him the words of the Bible and not let him speak anything out from the covers. Lock up the book and throw away the key.

    A superficial analysis of the growth of the early church show vast and quick expansion through europe and the middleeast. But there was no way to keep up with the growth and put systems and administration in place to teack and keep the church going in the right direction. Paul’s letter are already full of trying to keep the peace of the churchings and not let them fall into false doctrines. He was losing at it. By the second century ad, there were hundreds of differnt Christian sects, most of whom believed in baptism, baptism of the dead, physical resurrection, and the trinity as three separate gods. Then, when the apostles were all killed, holy water just ran down hill and further corruption entered the church. The Council of Nicea was called to get evryone on the same page. There was no real pope in charge. It was Constantine who was running things. And oh the things they came up with. You should read the Nicene Creed. It is your religion. It is, for the most part, a description of your beliefs about the bible. I reject the creeds and almost everything they say. The priesthood by this point is gone. What’s left is an imitation with a BLB operating manual (Blind Leading the Blind).I believe most of them were good men, just short sighted and not very inspired. 1600 years later, nut much had changed other than what was inspired through the reformation. And yes, I think the reformation was inspired specifically I think that the Lindisfarne Gospels, Wycliff and Tyndale, and even Joan of Arc. But it took a complete restoration of the gospel with all of its lost truths an its priesthood to restore the gospel and Jesus’ church again. That happenned in 1830 through a farm boy prophet that many professors call a religious genius. And yes, I have read plenty on Joseph Smith as well.

    Bottom line, the Bible is the Word of God to me. just not all of it.

  • Faith Writer

    Mormonado,

    There are many things you may have done, but one of them is not knowing how to respond to someone in a discussion. Rather you take the Mormon and Jehovah’s
    Witness way, and change the subject, twist arguments, raise the straw man argument, and boast about what you know.

    You do not have the foggiest idea about how to approach the Bible. You also do not know how to create a premise and argument from it for preparing a rebuttal.
    Rather, you approach it the way Mormonism taught you rather than think for yourself and approaching it from basic reading principles. From the meanderings of your first paragraph, you engage the logical fallacy of the non sequitur. You continue down that path to the end.

    Since you have a difficult time reading what people write
    and responding appropriately to them, it is little wonder you have a difficult time reading and understanding the Bible. For example, I did not inquire about if you knew the canon of the scripture [sic] (Proper names are capitalized). You either did not read what I said, twisted what I said, or have a hard time reading. You also failed to rely to my questions. You continue to talk about inspiration without responding to what I said about it.

    You may very well know some languages, but you do not know English history. You claim, “I have also read the NT, or what we have of it in Old English…” So, you have read the Bible in Old English. Please identify the
    version. Name some publications in Old English that you have actually read. Do not only tell me but explain them. Give some examples in Old English and translate. I want you to prove to me just how conversant (not “conversation”) you are in Old English. Show me. Please translate this Old English text:

    “And ealle þa ðe gehyrdon wundredon be þam þe him þa hyrdas sædon”

    Explain the parts of speech and declensions.

    You are wrong about your Old English comment. Therefore, the rest of your claims are suspect.

    I have read the Bible stories, too. Any child who grew up in a Christian environment knows those things you claim to know about the Bible. Therefore, what you claim is not unusual for a child growing up in a Christian household and attending Christian schools. The key to reading well is not simply knowing stuff but interpreting. I brought this point up in my previous post, but you totally ignored what I said, and turned from the point of interpretation to what you know. You meandered through a string of unrelated sentences without telling my much of anything about your interpretive skills. For example, you wrote, “I know that He suffered and died for me to give me that chance.” Unfortunate for you, God does not deal in chances. He deals with purpose.

    Another thing you overlook, which demonstrates your lack of education, is that you provide no support for anything you write. You claim to know church history without a single scholar reference. In fact, you
    show you know nothing about the Council of Nicaea. You make claims about archaeology without citing
    one archaeologist or scholar. You give no support for your knowledge. Therefore, your claims are suspect.
    I see no argument or sourcing for anything you claim. Your writing is substandard to say the most. For someone who claims to know a lot, you must have missed English composition classes.

    Besides, who mentioned anything about higher criticism? If you do not do a literal translation of a text, then you do not know how to translate at all. Please name one higher criticism scholar you have read. Identify their approach to the Bible. Do not go to Wikipedia or other Internet sources for your information, because I will recognize it if you do. I know those critics.

    Furthermore, if you do not believe in the “literal translation of the Bible,” then would you translate the Bible symbolically or metaphorically? Those are your only other choices. Your statement tells me that you are clueless about translation and its process. Your statement leads me to believe you do not know other languages, because in studying other languages, you learn to translate.

    You can tell me all day long what you claim to know, but what you write reveals otherwise. Bottom line, all your boasting is simply embarrassing for you, because your writing shows you know very little about what you boast.

  • mormonado

    I would interpret portions of the Bible symbolically, metaphorically and literally. Also, I don’t think you have referenced a single scholar either. You are way too formal for me and I’m not interested in how great your knowledge and skills in logic are. And no, I concede, I have no higher, formal education, I simply study for myself because I enjoy it. Of course, ‘when they are learned they think they are wise’ could apply here. It sounds to me like you prefer other formally trained scholars to chat with. That is not me. And I am not boasting, I was defending.

  • Faith Writer

    Then quit making claims you can’t support and find a discussion more suited for your pay grade

  • mormonado

    Right. Your kindness is overwhelming. I will stay with the ‘peasants’.

  • Faith Writer

    Since you are conversant in Hebrew and read the Old Testament in Hebrew, perhaps you would not mind translating something for me:

    אם לשפוט, אם כן, כי מה נתן לי שמחה כזאת לגלות היה מעניק הנאה, אם זה הועלה על כתב, לכל מי יכול לקרוא את זה, כתבתי בדרך הקצרה לאחר התמודדות עם שאלה זו, כמו גם כמה אחרת, מהנקודה מבט של אחד מנסה לגייס את דעתו להרהר אלוהים ובקש להבין את מה שהוא מאמין.

    I am still looking forward to your translation of the Old English I sent you. And please, do it yourself, because I can tell if someone else did the translation.

  • dhrogers

    Mormonado is right. You are making my point. The Bible contains no doctrine or wording at all saying that Jesus is “the second person of the Trinity with two distinct natures.” That is the extra-Biblical doctrine of the creeds. As a Christian I am not under obligation to accept extra-Biblical creeds. However, the Book of Mormon does testify and teach of the Jesus of the Bible and is a strong second witness for Him. See 1 Ne. 11:13,18, 20-21,24,27-29,31-33; 2 Nephi 26:12; Mormon 3:21; Mormon 7:5,8 for examples.

  • Faith Writer

    You have not replied to my request. Your reply also shows that you are not widely read and are uneducated in biblical theology.

    You also have not identified these “extra-Biblical” [sic] creeds. What are they? I know all of the Creeds of Christendom and have everyone of them in my library. However, I have no idea what you are talking about when you speak of “extra-Biblical” [sic]. Therefore, until you can reply to what I asked and define your terms, you really have nothing more to say, and you digress.

    Additionally, any reference to the Book of Mormon is a non-starter, since it was a plagiarized work stolen from an author who wrote it as a novel. It also lifts whole sections of the King James Bible. There is also no linguistic history of Reformed Egyptian Hieroglyphics. The Book of Mormon has no credibility.

    Furthermore, to give citations of references from it without comment or even without quoting it is not very academic. Therefore, it is NOT a “strong second witness. It has as much credibility as the “Lost Gospels,” the “Apocrapha,” or the post-biblical writings (2nd-4th centuries).

    You show nothing to support your claims.

  • dhrogers

    The term “extra-Biblical creeds” should be self explanatory. This refers to creedal formulations of doctrine, particularly post apostolic era creeds not found in or supported by the Bible. You are the first person I have ever encountered who did not know what I was talking about. This includes the Nicene Creed, the Apostolic Creed the Athanasian Creed and so forth. These contain many wording formulations and definitions not taught or found in the Bible. One of the most prominent of these non-Biblical doctrines is the doctrine of a one substance God. This is nowhere in the Bible.

  • Faith Writer

    “The term “extra-Biblical creeds” should be self explanatory.”

    First, Not true. It is the responsibility of the communicator to define terms. You have not done so.

    Second, the Nicene, Apostolic, and Athanasian Creeds are never referred to as “extra-Biblical [sic].” Writings that appeared after the close of the New Testament canon are referred to as extra-biblical (not “extra-Biblical”). The term “extra” refers to supposed books taken as sacred writings, which appeared in the 3rd – 5th centuries and are not considered part of the canonical books.

    I assume by your previous post that you do not believe in the Trinity. Is that true? If you do not believe in the Trinity, then I understand why you treat the writings of the early Church Fathers as “extra-biblical.” They are not.

  • dhrogers

    I believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. I do not believe in some of the post-biblical definitions of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost which are not scriptural.

    If I understand correctly you are saying that extra-biblical refers to writings not found in the Bible which claim to be scripture. Thanks for clarifying that. Let me restate. The post-biblical writings of the early church fathers are an invaluable resource for understanding Christian thought, doctrine and history. And it seems that many of them were admirable followers of Christ. However, I don’t give their writings the same weight as the canonized scripture. I find that the creeds in particular are troublesome because, for many, the creeds seem to be elevated, whether officially or unofficially, to the status of scripture. It seems that the creeds are paramount and the bible must always be interpreted through the lens of the creeds. I believe that scripture must be written by a prophet or apostle who is authorized by God to do so. I don’t quite place the people who hammered out the creeds into the same category as prophets and apostles. I find that the creeds contain wording, terminology and definitions not found in the bible but they are still often used to define what Christianity is supposed to be.

    However, I am not opposed to extra-biblical scripture if it comes from God through a prophet or apostle. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and as such we cannot say that His work is done or that He can’t give more scripture. Far be it from us to tell God what He can and can’t do. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon) I believe in continuing revelation to prophets and apostles today.

  • Faith Writer

    >>>”If I understand correctly you are saying that extra-biblical refers to
    writings not found in the Bible which claim to be scripture.”

    False. I did not say that. You created the logical fallacy of the straw man by claiming I said something I did not. Is that how Mormons think and write? You do not understand correctly. Again, you raise “extra-biblical” after I already refuted it. Do you never learn?

    >>>”The post-biblical writings of the early church fathers are an invaluable resource for understanding Christian thought, doctrine and history.”

    You deceptively changed terms from “extra-biblical” to “post-biblical.” They are not the same. Besides, I already refuted your “extra-biblical” false claim. You continue to raise the same old tired and refuted issue. Quit while you are behind. Your deception is not welcomed.

    Name the Church Fathers you have read as well as their works. while you are at it, give me the reason they wrote what they did and the main idea of each writing. It is easy for me to look them up since I have each in my library.

    So start listing, or admit that you do not know what you are talking about.

  • dhrogers

    The Book of Mormon was not plagiarized from a novel and it has been shown that it was not. You are. To claim that the Book of Mormon was plagiarized from a novel and not even mention what novel nor quote from it to show examples of plagiarism is not very academic of you. We can discuss this further if you will be more specific.

  • dhrogers

    The Book of Mormon states that their language started out consisting “of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians” (1 Nephi 1:2) and was further modified after the passage of many centuries. (See Mormon 9:33-34) thus becoming a kind of “Reformed Egyptian” language.After one thousand years of separation from the old world, the second to last record keeper among the Book of Mormon peoples explained that they wrote “in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech.” He also says that “none other people knoweth our language; (Mormon 9:32-34). In other words, the “characters” used were modified Egyptian characters and were not known to any other people. The language written with those characters may have been Hebrew.

    Recent discoveries provide actual examples of what the Book of Mormon describes, that is, a form of modified or reformed Egyptian. This is exactly the type of thing we see happening with the Egyptian Demotic and Coptic scripts.

    Indications are that the language of the Book of Mormon was Hebrew but the Hebrew was written in a reformed Egyptian script. This is the case of one language being written with the characters from a different language. Recent discoveries demonstrate just such a practice – Semitic language written with characters of another language.

    Examples are the recent discovery of the Northwest Semitic text London magical papyri, dating to the 14th c BC, and the Harris Magical Payrus dating to the 13th century BC , and the Papyrus Anastasi London dating to the 13th century BC.

    Another example is papyrus Amhust63 Written in Egyptian Demotic discovered in 2nd half of 19th century. Scholars could not translate it. The letters were clear but did not form intelligible words. In 1944 Raymond Bowman for the University of Chicago realized the letters were Egyptian but the language was Semitic. It contains the text of Psalms 20, a Hebrew text, but written in Demotic – just the type of thing the Book of Mormon describes. (See Note 1)

    Nobody knew that the Jews did this sort of thing in Joseph Smith’s day. Yet the Book of Mormon gets it right.

    Several more examples: 1965 during excavation at Arad a document dating to the 7th century BC written in Egyptian Hieratic characters but using Semitic language. Another example: an ostracon, discovered in 1967 dating to late 7th century B.C contains 17 words in Egyptian and 10 words in Hebrew.

    Ancient potshers discovered only a decade ago dating from Lehi’s time period and the area where Lehi was from contained a script composed of modified Egyptian hieroglyphs. This script was used almost exclusively by Israel and not any of the neighboring communities. Some Near Easter scholars now believe that scribes and students in Lehi’s day were trained in both Hebrew and Egyptian writing systems. This is completely consisted with the Book of Mormon and completely unknown by scholars in Joseph Smith’s day. This is also another example of a reformed Egyptian script – just the sort of thing the Book of Mormon describes.

    Other examples have also been discovered. Writing Hebrew in Egyptian is just the sort of thing we now know that the ancients did. Not only that but the popularity of writing in one language using the characters of another language centers around the time of Lehi and the beginning of the Book of Mormon. This was not known in Joseph Smith’s time. Another bulls eye for Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon published in 1830 describes the use of modified Egyptian characters to write Semitic language. Since that time discoveries have confirmed this practice as being authentic and at its height at exactly the time the Book of Mormon record begins.

    The Book of Mormon gets it right again!

    Note 1: (See John A. Tvedtnes and Stephen D. Ricks, “Jewish and Other Semitic Texts Written in Egyptian Characters,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 5/2 (1996): 156—63; William J. Hamblin, “Reformed Egyptian” (Provo, UT: FARMS, 1995); John Gee, “Two Notes on Egyptian Script,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 5/1 (1996): 162—76; Pressing Forward, 237—47; John A. Tvedtnes, “Ancient Texts in Support of the Book of Mormon,” in Echoes and Evidences, 233—35.)

  • Faith Writer

    I do not care what the Book of Mormon claims. No linguistic scholarship has ever verified Reformed Egyptian. And nothing you wrote has any support from linguistics or archaeology. The only sources for it are Mormonism and none else.

    As one whose background is in linguistics, you cannot bamboozle me with such nonsense.

    I once asked a Mormon about Reformed Egyptian, and do you know the answer. It was written before it was spoken. Complete nonsense. There is no language on earth that began in writing and then went to speaking.

    So do not even start with Reformed Egyptian, something that does not exist.

    So please reply to my original inquiry or give up. No more rabbit trails and circular reasoning. If you do not reply to it, then I will assume that you do not know what you are talking about, and you simply parrot what others tell you.

    ORIGINAL INQUIRY: “Please define the Jesus of Mormonism and then the Jesus of the Bible.”

  • dhrogers

    You say “So do not even start with Reformed Egyptian.” What? I didn’t bring that up – you did. You are the one who said: “There is also no linguistic history of Reformed Egyptian Hieroglyphics.”

    Once you bring something up it is only fair that I get to respond. And linguists and evidence do support modified or “reformed” versions of Egyptian. They exist. They are real. I already posted information on this noting some of the discoveries made by linguists. I’ll give you some more in a bit.

  • Faith Writer

    Wrong again. Linguists do not speak of modified, reformed, or versions. Languages are not modifications, reformed, or versions. Languages changes over time (centuries). They are not “modified.” You show that you know nothing about phonemes, morphemes, grammar, syntax, word declensions, or any other parts of speech as people migrate or as time progresses.

    For example, Old English (400 – 900 AD) derived from Lower German (Plattdeutsch). As time progressed, centuries later, it became known as Middle English (900-1200 AD), not because someone modified it or it became another version but because of dialects that came to be adopted and idioms that entered the language from other languages. Later grammar, syntax, changes and losses of declensions, and new vocabulary brought in Early Modern English.

    What you say is laughable, and you provide no sources for your claims. And not you didn’t provide anything for what you claim.

    You do not know what you are talking about. Do not try to BS me by going to Mormon writers who attempt to claim similarities between scripts and claim some sort of reformed Egyptian that no linguist has ever heard of. I studied linguistics and can spot a fraud or someone who does not know what they are talking about a mile away. And you do not know what you are talking about, because you have never studied linguistics or the history of languages. The way you write shows it. You just parrot what other frauds write. Mormonism is a fraudulent religion based on fraudulent fiction with no basis in history or language.

    Bye!!!

  • dhrogers

    Yes, languages do change over time due to the processes you describe and that makes them modified or reformed – that is, different from what it was in the past. What you described is exactly what I am talking about. We are in agreement! Furthermore some languages are modified deliberately in order to facilitate writing on different mediums or inadvertently because it is difficult to write exactly the same on different mediums. Additionally, as you describe in your post, language is modified or reformed to include or reflect changes in the spoken language when creolization of two or more languages occurs. Words from one language are adopted into another and so on. So, again, we are in agreement!

  • Faith Writer

    WRONG AGAIN. I know the LDS tactics of attempting to align its belief systems with what Christians claim. You are not saying the same thing. You would not have brought up what you just claim had I not discussed it first.

    You have no idea what you are talking about, because you are clueless about linguistics, especially historical linguistics. Historical linguists do NOT speak of language in terms of “modified” or “reformed.” You write gibberish and fell for my bait. It is totally false to claim that “some languages are modified deliberately.” That is a completely uninformed statement about linguistics. You have no scholarly evidence to support what you claimed. You also will not be able to cite one language that was “deliberately” modified” or “reformed,” because there aren’t any!! To deliberately change a language, one would have to change the entire grammatical structure, phonology, morphology, syntax, idioms. Some of these change even engage the physical structure of the speaker. That is, it is impossible for some speakers to make certain sounds because of anatomy.

    Languages ARE NOT modified to “facilitate writing on different mediums or inadvertently because it is difficult to write exactly the same on different mediums.” That is the most asinine thing I have ever heard. Languages are not modified to adapt to writing. Tell that to a translator. So, if I write on the medium of paper, I would have to change the language to type the same words on the medium of a computer. That is laughable.

    Your response does not even address the linguistic elements I surfaced, which tells me that you are totally uninformed about them. Do NOT try to bamboozle me. It is not working.

    Again, we are not in agreement, because you do not know what you are talking about, and you are way out of your league when it comes to linguistic theory.

    You embarrass yourself by your ignorance and attempt to discuss subjects about which you know nothing.

  • dhrogers

    You state “You do not know what you are talking about.”

    I have cited to you qualified, credentialed, and experienced experts in the field of language studies. I don’t know anything about your credentials or training.

  • Faith Writer

    >>>”I have cited to you qualified, credentialed, and experienced experts in the field of language studies.” In your dreams. You never cited their backgrounds or fields of study. You never gave a single scholarly article they wrote. You cited no one from the linguistic fields. In terms of my own background. I have three degrees: BA in English with emphasis in linguistics and language, an MBA, and a Master in Biblical Studies.

    I am a published author in two fields with two books to my credit and over 60 articles in theology and apologetics.

    What are your credentials for supporting your claims? Tell me of your courses in linguistics and biblical studies. What languages have you studied? Which biblical languages do you know? Tell me of your studies in historical linguistics since you are making historical linguistic claims. Tell me of your studies on morphology and phonology, and cite the texts you have read on these. Identify your studies language groups and linguistic theory.

    You can’t, because you demonstrate that you have no knowledge of these things. Just citing somebody without his credentials is totally insufficient. I looked them up.

  • dhrogers

    You say “So please reply to my original inquiry or give up. No more rabbit trails and circular reasoning.” What? You are the one who brought up all those other topics. It’s only fair that I get to respond to them when you bring them up.

  • Faith Writer

    When you bring up the book of Mormon, you raise the issues of authenticity and authority. One has every right to address and refute both of these.

  • dhrogers

    Again, you brought up the Book of Mormon and criticisms of that. Book. I responded. Critics of the Book of Mormon need to explain how anyone in Joseph Smith’s time could have included the many details that were unknown in Joseph Smith’s day but continue to turn out to be confirmed in subsequent discoveries and studies.

  • Faith Writer

    Rogers,

    You demanded proof of plagiarism. Well, sir, here you go. Below is a comparison between Isaiah 2 and 2 Nephi 12. The book of Mormon copies Isaiah 2 virtually word for word with some exceptions. Even much of the punctuation is the same. The really curious and amusing thing about this plagiarism is that it was published in Early Modern English that was out of style when the original book of Mormon was published. It carries antiquated and defunct words, also

    The laughable part of this plagiarism is that the verse citations are identical. There were no chapter and verse citations in the original Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic. Such breaks did not come until the 13th century with the Textus Stephenus published by Stephen Langton and Hugo de Santo Caro. However, that does not stop Mormonism from even copying the format of the King James Bible.

    This chapter sampling is only one of many chapters plagiarized without proper citation from the Authorized King James Bible. The book of Mormon copied 54 of the 66 chapters from Isaiah as well as the following:

    Malachi 4:1 [1 Nephi 22:15]
    Matthew 3:10 [Alma 5:52]
    Matthew 5-7 [3 Nephi 12-14]

    I could go on, but the above is sufficient to show plagiarism on the part of Joseph Smith and those who followed him. It is interesting that he claimed that he translated from golden plates in Reformed Egyptian. How in the world did so much of the Bible get into those golden plates with the same form and structure as the King James Bible?

    ISAIAH 2

    1. The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
    2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
    3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
    4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
    5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.
    6 Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.
    7 Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots:
    8 their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:
    9 and the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.
    10 Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty.
    11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
    12 For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
    13 and upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,
    14 and upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up,
    15 and upon every high tower, and upon
    every fenced wall,
    16 and upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.
    17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord
    alone shall be exalted in that day.
    18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish.
    19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
    20 In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his
    idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;
    21 to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the
    glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
    22 Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?

    2 NEPHI 12

    The word that Isaiah, the son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

    2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, when the
    mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it.
    3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
    4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall
    rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plow-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks—nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
    5 O house of Jacob, come ye and let us walk in the
    light of the Lord; yea, come, for ye have all gone astray, every one to his wicked ways.
    6 Therefore, O Lord, thou hast forsaken thy people, the
    house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and hearken unto soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.
    7 Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots.
    8 Their land is also full of idols; they worship the
    work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.
    9 And the mean man boweth not down, and the great man humbleth himself not, therefore, forgive him not.
    10 O ye wicked ones, enter into the rock, and hide thee
    in the dust, for the fear of the Lord and the glory of his majesty shall smite thee.
    11 And it shall come to pass that the lofty looks of
    man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
    12 For the day of the Lord of Hosts soon cometh upon
    all nations, yea, upon every one; yea, upon the proud and lofty, and upon every one who is lifted up, and he shall be brought low.
    13 Yea, and the day of the Lord shall come upon all the
    cedars of Lebanon, for they are high and lifted up; and upon all the oaks of Bashan;
    14 And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the
    hills, and upon all the nations which are lifted up, and upon every people;
    15 And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced
    wall;
    16 And upon all the ships of the sea, and upon all the
    ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.
    17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and
    the haughtiness of men shall be made low; and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
    18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish.
    19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and
    into the caves of the earth, for the fear of the Lord shall come upon them and the glory of his majesty shall smite them, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
    20 In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which he hath made for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;
    21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the
    tops of the ragged rocks, for the fear of the Lord shall come upon them and the majesty of his glory shall smite them, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
    22 Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils;
    for wherein is he to be accounted of?

  • dhrogers

    You cite 2 Nephi 12 as a plagiarism of Isaiah 2. However, in the prior verse (2 Nephi 11:8) Nephi says that he is going to write the words of Isaiah. Nephi gives proper credit. A plagiarism is copying text without giving credit to the source. However, that is not the case here. In several places in the Book of Mormon we learn that they had a record called the Brass Plates which was a copy of what we today call the Old Testament and Nephi explicitly states that he is copying from Isaiah. So, sorry, but no plagiarism here. Nephi gives proper credit.

    Additionally, as per your other examples, Bible prophets repeated the words of other prior bible prophets without giving credit. Does that make the bible a plagiarism of older works? They had a different standard for copyright law and plagiarism in those days.

    God can inspire one prophet to repeat the words of another prophet. God does have his prophets copy or repeat what other prophets have said. Here are examples:

    THIS PROPHET COPIED BY THIS PROPHET
    Isaiah 2:2–4 Micah 4:1–3

    Isaiah 3:1 Ezekiel 4:16

    Isaiah 11:9 Habakkuk 2:14

    Isaiah 29:14 Habakkuk 1:5

    Isaiah 52:7 Nahum 1:15

    Isaiah 59:7 Proverbs 1:16

    Jeremiah 49:14 Obadiah 1:1

    Jeremiah 49:16 Obadiah 1:3-4

    Jeremiah 49:9 Obadiah 1:5

    Jeremiah 49:7 Obadiah 1:8-9

    Jeremiah 49:7 Obadiah 1:8-9

    Jeremiah 49:12,17 Obadiah 1:16,18

    We expect real prophets and real scripture to teach the same gospel, not a different gospel.

    Out of the verses of Isaiah quoted in the Book of Mormon (with proper credit given) 234 of them have wording that varies somewhat from the KJV version of the Bible. It turns out that these verses which vary from the King James wording match up well with the same verses in an older copy of Isaiah from the Dead Sea Scrolls. This Dead Sea Scroll Isaiah dates about 1200 years earlier than the KJV documents and wasn’t discovered until 1945. Since the Book of Mormon Isaiah (from a Cir. 600 BC “Brass Plates” copy of Isaiah) published in 1830 matches the Dead Sea Scroll Isaiah discovered in 1945 then there is no way anyone in 1830 could have copied those verses from any Bible available at that time. The Dead Sea Scroll Isaiah wasn’t yet discovered. This is a great evidence of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.

    An example:
    Isaiah 2:16 from the King James Version reads as follows” “And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.”

    But when the Book of Mormon quotes the same verse of Isaiah (from the Brass Plates that date to over 1,600 years earlier) it adds the phrase “And upon all the ships of the sea” as follows: “And upon all the ships of the sea, and upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.” (2 Nephi 12:16 compare Isaiah 2:16)

    So we see that the Book of Mormon contains the additional phrase “And upon all the ships of the sea” which was not in any known Bible manuscripts in Joseph Smith’s day.

    The older copy of Isaiah not available in Joseph Smith’s day contains that very phrase “And upon all the ships of the sea,” just as the Book of Mormon does. Joseph Smith could not have made that up.

    The Book of Mormon gets it right again

  • Faith Writer

    You are wrong again. Joe Smith plagiarized 54 of 66 chapters from the Authorized King James Bible without giving due credit to it. The book he stole it from was the Authorized King James Bible not Isaiah. It is one thing to find similarities between one biblical book and another and almost total copying from one book, the Bible, to another, the book of Mormon.

    You failed to show you have read any scholarship on the similarities of the biblical passages you cite. You also fail to show that you understand hermeneutics. You are so intent of showing that one copied from the other without event taking the time to examine the texts to learn from them and to explicate their meaning, especially in the original languages. You probably do not even understand the meaning of “hermeneutics” without going to the internet to find it. Now be honest for once, if you can, and inform those in this forum where you are stealing your information. Which Mormon sources?

    It is quite another thing to analyze the two passages and find that not only did Joe Smith copy almost word for word (99%) from Isaiah but also the punctuation and even the same dialect and idioms of Early Modern English from the Authorized King James Bible. How did the same English punctuation, idioms, and dialect, which exactly matches the Authorized King James Bible, get into the golden plates from fictitious Reformed Egyptian? It is really strange that such punctuation came from Reformed Egyptian when no Egyptian, Hebrew, or Greek had punctuation. It is also strange how the Reformed Egyptian also had the exact chapter and verse breaks as Isaiah when chapter and verse breaks did not even arise for the Bible until the 14th century (as I posted earlier and you have not replied). I brought this up to you in a previous post, and you have ignored it because you have no rebuttal against plagiarism.

    Rather you hop from one topic to another hoping that no one has sufficient knowledge of the Bible, history, languages, and interpretation to catch you in your deception

    Not only do you not understand plagiarism but you just make stuff up. You got caught lying, and you continue to do so. Smith got caught in a large deception of plagiarism (theft). If he were living today, he would be spending a lot more time in prison. Yep, the stone peeper got caught up in his own lies – making up stories and then stealing from the Bible to try to give credibility to his theft.

    When you cannot tell the truth and fail to rebut arguments, you high tail it to another false claim and then another, much like the Jehovah Witnesses when they get caught not knowing the Scriptures. They Scripture hop just like you hop from one argument to another while evading the truth when you get pinned down when you show your ignorance.

    You even go so far as to cast aspersion on the Bible by claiming the one prophet plagiarized from another without your ability to examine context in the original languages. Furthermore, you do not even understand plagiarism just as you are clueless about how to support an argument.

    You lack credibility with your continued falsifications and are not worthy of any further discussions. You even show that Mormonism has not credibility by continuing to justify fiction and plagiarism rather than defend your own theology of polytheism (that the Father is God and the Son is God but two separate individuals).

    I do not hold discussions with uninformed and deceptive people. Now scurry along and find more Mormon sources to justify your claims, because I know that your claims are not original with you. It does not matter how many Mormon sources you throw out, they still remain fictitious, because the book of Mormon is a fictitious book with no historical backing which contains plagiarized works from the Authorized King James Bible stolen by a stone peeper (Joseph Smith).

  • Faith Writer

    >>>” In several places in the Book of Mormon we learn that they had a
    record called the Brass Plates which was a copy of what we today call
    the Old Testament and Nephi explicitly states that he is copying from
    Isaiah.”

    Then your book of Mormon is wrong. The Israelites and their prophets never used “brass plates.” What a bunch of hooey. I see no sourcing for your claim, and do not refer to the book of Mormon. It is a discredited source with no credibility.

  • Faith Writer

    I told you Joe Smith plagiarized the Authorized King James, and now you are proving it.

  • dhrogers

    ORIGINAL ANSWER:

    The Book of Mormon testifies of the Jesus who lived in the area of Jerusalem between about the years of 0 to 33 A.D, who was born a virgin birth, whose mother was Mary, who is the Son of God, who was preceded by one named John who prepared the way for Jesus and baptized Jesus, and who ministered to the people and healed the sick and the lame and raised the dead, and who called twelve others to assist him in the work. (See these references in the Book of Mormon for a few examples: 1 Ne. 11:13,18, 20-21,24,27-29,31-33; 2 Nephi 26:12; Mormon 3:21; Mormon 7:5,8)

    But you don’t like it when I don’t give the references without the text. So Here is the long version:

    The Book of Mormon clearly testifies of the Jesus of the Bible – not “another Jesus” as some Christians falsely allege. For example, just as Isaiah saw and prophesied of Jesus, the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi also saw the Jesus of the Bible in vision and prophesied of His birth, ministry, death, and resurrection. An angel tells Nephi of the birth of the Son of God saying “I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem….and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin” and “Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the motherof the Son of God (see 1 Ne. 11:13,18).

    This Book of Mormon prophet clearly describes the Jesus who is the Son of God whose Mother was a virgin in the city of Nazareth near Jerusalem. Nephi says “And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a childin her arms…. And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!” (1 Ne. 11: 20-21). Nephi then says he saw “the Son of God going forth among the children of men; and I saw many fall down at his feet and worship him.” (1 Ne. 11:24).

    Nephi goes on saying: “And I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world, of whom my father had spoken; and I also beheld the prophet who should prepare the way before him. And the Lamb of God went forth and was baptized of him; and after he was baptized, I beheld the heavens open, and the Holy Ghost come down out of heaven and abide upon him in the form of a dove. And I beheld that he went forth ministering unto the people, in power and great glory; and the multitudes were gathered together to hear him; and I beheld that they cast him out from among them. And I also beheld twelve others following him.” (1 Ne. 11:27-29)

    Here Nephi testifies of the Jesus who was baptized of John and who was followed by twelve others. And Nephi says “And I looked, and I beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits. . . .And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out. . . .And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.” (1 Ne, 11:31-33)

    The Mormon Jesus is the one who did all these things mentioned above including being slain on the cross for the sins of the world. That’s the Jesus of the Bible.

    One of the recurring themes of the Book of Mormon is to bring, not only non-Jews to Christ but to bring the Jews, who rejected Him, back to Jesus Christ their true Messiah. The Mormon Jesus is, therefore, clearly the Jesus of the Bible whom the Jews rejected and crucified. We see this in the following verses from the Book of Mormon:

    2 Nephi 26:12
    And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God;

    Mormon 3:21
    And also that ye may believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, which ye shall have among you; and also that the Jews, the covenant people of the Lord, shall have other witness besides him whom they saw and heard, that Jesus, whom they slew, was the very Christ and the very God.

    Mormon 7:5
    Know ye that ye must come to the knowledge of your fathers, and repent of all your sins and iniquities, and believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God, and that he was slain by the Jews, and by the power of the Father he hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the victory over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up.

    Mormon 7:8
    Therefore repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus, and lay hold upon the gospel of Christ, which shall be set before you, not only in this record but also in the record which shall come unto the Gentiles from the Jews, which record shall come from the Gentiles unto you.

    Mormon 5:14
    And behold, they shall go unto the unbelieving of the Jews; and for this intent shall they go—that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant;

    The Book of Mormon testifies repeatedly and clearly of the Jesus who was born of the Virgin Mary, who lived in the area around Nazareth and Jerusalem, who was baptized by John, who appointed twelve Apostles, who healed the sick and raised the dead, who was crucified and rose again on the third day and by who’s grace we are saved,

    The Book of Mormon and the Bible testify of the same Jesus.

    Joseph Smith taught “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it”. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 121).

    The central belief of Mormons is that Christ came into the world as the Son of God. He healed the sick, caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and restored life to the dead. He commissioned twelve Apostles to whom he gave authority. He suffered in Gethsemane, died on the cross, and was resurrected and will come again. He, and only He, provides the means for us to be washed clean in his blood from our sins, which sins we can never correct on our own or through our own works. If that is not Christian I don’t know what is.

  • Faith Writer

    Thanks for pointing out the passages that plagiarized or borrowed from the Bible.

    Just citing passages from the Book of Mormon, again, proves nothing and does not give the reply I requested. You have not told me about the Jesus of Mormonism and the Jesus of the Bible.

    So, does Mormonism believe that Jesus was the second person of the Trinity, the one and only true God? Or does Mormonism believe in two or three or four gods?

    The last time I checked in on Mormonism, its story has not changed. It does not believe in the Trinity and still holds that everyone can become gods: “As man is now, God once was; as God is now man may be.” (http://bit.ly/1kH4fIU).

    As though that is not enough to show what Mormonism believes, all anyone has to do is simply read its Doctrine and Covenants (D&C 130:22) to affirm that God has flesh and bones like man (http://bit.ly/1N4d4uw). Does the Father still have flesh and bones or has he now morphed into something else?

    You have not given a Christology statement of Mormonism or of the Bible. The god of Mormonism is one of the created order – materialism – and is not the same as nor does it describe Jesus Christ of the Bible.

    Biblical Christians recognize the Triune God of one essence or nature bur three distinct persons (Matt 28:19-20; John 1:1-10; 10:30-31; Colossians 1 and so on). The Bible never describes three separate gods as Mormonism does. The biblical authors independently came to the conclusion about the Triune God. They did not have to use a term “Trinity” because their interest and intent was not to defend a Trinity but to teach what God revealed to them. Ideas surface from intent and context and not in isolation.

    From the very beginning of the Church with the Apostles, the Church taught that Jesus was God as was the Father and the Holy Spirit – one God and three persons and not three separate Gods. Later writers who wrote to DEFEND what the Apostles taught used the word Trinity to describe the one true God (Tertullian, Origen, Athanasius, Augustine). They wrote about what others before them, including the Apostles, already believed and did not suddenly come up with a different doctrine. John passed down God’s revelation to him of the divine Trinity to Polycarp,

    I will not relitigate the writings of the early church fathers who wrote on the Trinity. I do suggest you read them, which you have not. Once you do, then you can speak intelligently of what they wrote of God. Otherwise, speaking from an uninformed position does not provide you the credentials to discuss the differences between biblical faith and Mormonism, which you still have not done.

  • dhrogers

    Re alleged plagiarism.

    The Bible contains the writings of prophets who taught the same thing as did other prophets. Therefore, according to you, the bible is full of prophets plagiarizing other prophets. (See examples below.) Putting it that way sounds very negative doesn’t it? But I would not put it that way. I say that bible contains the teachings of God given to multiple prophets and repeated by those prophets – not a plagiarism but a repetition of Gods words to man The Book of Mormon, also having been written by prophets, contains the same words of God to man – not plagiarisms. However, it is common that a double standard exists with critics. The same thing going on in the bible is OK but when the Book of Mormon teaches the same things it’s plagiarizing – double standard.

    THIS PROPHET COPIED BY THIS PROPHET
    Isaiah 2:2–4 Micah 4:1–3

    Isaiah 3:1 Ezekiel 4:16

    Isaiah 11:9 Habakkuk 2:14

    Isaiah 29:14 Habakkuk 1:5

    Isaiah 52:7 Nahum 1:15

    Isaiah 59:7 Proverbs 1:16

    Jeremiah 49:14 Obadiah 1:1

    Jeremiah 49:16 Obadiah 1:3-4

    Jeremiah 49:9 Obadiah 1:5

    Jeremiah 49:7 Obadiah 1:8-9

    Jeremiah 49:7 Obadiah 1:8-9

    Jeremiah 49:12,17 Obadiah 1:16,18

    We expect real prophets and real scripture to teach the same gospel, not a different gospel. One of the favorite arguments of the critics is that the Book of Mormon teaches the same things as the Bible and therefore it is false because it teaches the same as the Bible. Think about it. If the Book of Mormon teaches the same as the Bible and is false then the Bible is also false. If the Bible is true and the Book of Mormon teaches the same then the Book of Mormon is also true. God reveals the same words to different prophets – no problem there. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The Bible is true. The Book of Mormon is true.

  • Faith Writer

    So now, you are claiming to know Hebrew. by citing biblical texts in English. Which version of the Bible are you using? Please show the texts on the original language. Explain the contexts and the occasion for writing.

    Just simply citing passages does not cut it. You prove nothing and know nothing about the prophets you cite. Who are you parroting this time? What is the source for your citations? Who gave you these passages?

    Don’t try to bamboozle me.

  • dhrogers

    You have bamboozled yourself. I am just sharing what scholars have found.

  • Faith Writer

    You are not sharing what “scholars have found.” You have not provided on reputable scholar. I looked them up and discovered that they are all Mormon or what they said was totally unrelated to your claims. The next time you cite educated people, make sure that they are writing about the same thing you claim. And do not read into their published articles what they do not say.

  • dhrogers

    Flesh and bones.

    We should be careful to distinguish between popular Christian belief driven by post-Biblical creeds and original Biblical Christianity.

    For example; in the Westminster Confession of Faith, which is a non-Biblical creed, we read that “there is but one God, a most holy spirit, without body, parts or passions.” Thus, this creed states that God is without body, thus denying the resurrected Christ, for if Christ is not risen and we do not believe him when he tells us that he has an immortal body then we would have no hope of a resurrection (Phil 3:21.)

    Contrary to the creed Jesus taught after his resurrection: “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” (Luke 24:39). Jesus (God) will still have his physical body when he comes again. (Zech. 14:4; 12:10; 13:6; John 20:24-28, Acts 1:9-11; Rev 1:7; 1 Cor. 15:3-8, 12-20, 35-42; D&C 93:33).

    Furthermore we see that Jesus is God Incarnate in John 1:1-2,14 we read:
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    2 The same was in the beginning with God.
    14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

    Therefore God took upon himself a body and the resurrected Jesus said that he has a body of “flesh and bones.” Therefore the doctrine of God having flesh and bones is a biblical doctrine while the creedal doctrine of God not having body parts or passions is not biblical.

    Furthermore, since the creedal god is a one substance god (not a doctrine found in the bible) and the god of the bible is a god of flesh and bone, then the one substance of Jesus and the Father is a real substance of flesh and bone which makes the Father also of flesh and bone – since they are of one substance.

  • Faith Writer

    >>>”We should be careful to distinguish between popular Christian belief
    driven by post-Biblical creeds and original Biblical Christianity.”

    Yes you should, because nothing you say has credibility. The above statement from you makes no sense and is a non sequitur once again.

  • dhrogers

    Jesus and the apostles taught that man can become gods. Jesus said that the scripture which teaches it cannot be broken. (John 10:31-36; Psalms 82:6; 1 Cor. 8: 5-6; Romans 8:14-18; Revelations 3:21; 1 John 3:2-3

    Psalms 8:4-5 teaches that man is “a little lower than the gods.” That’s how it read in the Hebrew although modern translations often change “gods” to “angels” to make the scripture more agreeable to modern Christians.

    In the first verses of the Bible, in the Hebrew, Moses refers to the head God who called forth the other gods. It is not rendered this way in English translations. Yet, scholars have noted that throughout the Bible there is a theme of a head God who presides over the other gods.

    Thus, the head God says “Let US make man in OUR image and after OUR likeness” ( Genesis 1:26-27, emphasis added) Jewish teachers understood Genesis 1:26-26 to teach a plurality of Gods as taught in Kabbalistic (Jewish) readings of the verses. (Owens, “Joseph Smith and Kabbalah Ibid., 182-83.)

    God confirms this elsewhere when He speaks to the other gods, saying “Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil.” (Gen 3:22). Again, notice the reference to “us” – this group that the head God called together.

    And again, the head God speaking to the council said: “let US go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 11:5-7, emphasis added).

    This council of gods is recognized by Bible scholars as a concept that runs throughout the Bible and includes a head God and the council which He presides over. (Ps. 82:1,6).

  • Faith Writer

    What you write is a diversion and NOT a reply. Non sequitur argument.

    Now you claim to know Greek and Hebrew.

    Please provide a complete explication of the Hebrew and Greek texts of Psalm 8:4-5; Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 11:5-7, and Psalm 82:1, 6, John 10; Romans 8, Revelations [sic] 3:21 (that is “Revelation,” including declensions, parts of speech, word origin, how the words are used elsewhere in the Bible and where, their meanings within context, antecedents, etc.

    Show the text in the original language since you are now claiming that you know Greek and Hebrew, it would be easy for you to type the original language into a response box. And NO COPY AND PASTING either. I will know if you do copy and paste.

    Please DO NOT REFER to unknown scholar (“Yet, scholars have noted…,” and “is recognized by Bible scholars…”) unless you can cite them and give proper citation of their publications. I know the scholarship and their leanings of both OT and NT.

    Please do not copy and paste, either, as you have been doing. It is easy to determine when someone copies and pastes text in an html form.

    Quit being elusive and answer my questions:

    “So, does Mormonism believe that Jesus was the second person of the Trinity, the one and only true God? Or does Mormonism believe in two or three or four gods?”

    If you continue to be elusive, then everyone in this forum will know that you do not know what you are talking about and that you are a fraud.

    Also, please desist from interpretation as in the following:

    “God confirms this elsewhere when He speaks to the other gods, saying…”

    “Moses refers to the head God who called forth the other gods….”

    “Jesus and the apostles taught that man can become gods.”

    Rather, I want translation from the original and what the text concludes from the translation. Do not give your polytheistic interpretation. Perhaps you do not know the difference between translation and interpretation.

    So, own up to your ignorance or scholarship or go away.

  • dhrogers

    Furthermore the Early Christian bishops and theologians continued to teach man’s potential to become gods for centuries following Biblical times. These early Bishops and respected orthodox theologians taught the belief very bluntly and clearly:

    “God became man that man might become God.” (St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinis in: Philip Barlow, doctoral candidate in American Religious History at Harvard: Unorthodox Orthodoxy: The Idea of Deification in Christian History, Sunstone, Vol 8, no 5, pp 13-16))

    “He became what we are, in order that we might be what he is.” (Maximus in Ibid)
    “I may become God to the same extent as he became man.” (Gregory of Nazianus in Ibid)
    “The Holy Spirit aids man in being made God.” (Basil of Ceasarea in Ibid)

    “Flee with all in your power from being man and make haste to become gods.” (Origin in Ibid)
    Speaking of the soul which seeks to become pure Clement of Alexandria said: “The soul, receiving the Lord’s power, studies to become a god.” (Clement in Ibid)

    IRENAEUS, Bishop of Lyons [A.D. 130-200]

    “If the Word became a man, It was so men may become gods.” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, bk. 5, pref.)

    Irenaeus also taught: “We were not made gods at our beginning, but first we were made men, then, in the end, gods.” (Ibid, also in (Bettenson, H., The Early Christian Fathers, [London: Oxford University Press, 1956,] p. 94.)

    CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA
    In the second century, Saint Clement of Alexandria wrote, “Yea, I say, the Word of God became a man so that you might learn from a man how to become a god.” (Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks, 1; Also in Clement of Alexandria, Protrepticus 1, (8,4), in Bettenson, The Early Christian Fathers, p. 244.)

    Clement also said that “man becomes a god, since God wills it. So Heraclitus was right when he said, ‘Men are gods, and gods are men.’” (Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 3.1 See also Clement, Stromateis, 23.)

    And he says also: “‘they have received the title of ‘gods,’ since they are destined to be enthroned with other ‘gods’ who are ranked next below the Savior.” (Ibid pp. 243-244) This is very similar to what the apostle John taught: Revelations 3:21.

    JUSTIN MARTYR also taught it
    (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 124)

    ST. CYRIL OF JERUSLEM also taught it.

    JEROME (the Catholic Pope’s secretary) also taught it.
    St. Jerome explains Psalms 82:6 as did Jesus and other early Christian fathers:

    TERTULLIAN. Also:” (Tertullian, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Grand Rapids Michigan: Wm.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1885, vol. 3, p. 608)

    ORIGEN also: [A.D. 185-254], also teaches the same Biblical doctrine, of Genesis 1:1, that there is a head god who is “Lord of gods.”

    AUGUSTINE
    Finally, Saint Augustine himself, the greatest of the Christian Fathers, said:

    “But he himself that justifies also deifies, for by justifying he makes sons of God. If then we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods.” (Augustine, On the Psalms, 50.2 Augustine insists that such individuals are gods by grace rather than by nature, but they are gods nevertheless.)

  • Faith Writer

    Now be honest, have you even read their works? You are dishonest just lifting quotes from contexts and giving them your own meaning. That is the height of dishonesty. Now go away and quit plying your deception.

    DON’T EVEN BOTHER TO REPLY. Your false religion falls on deaf ears. You convince no one except yourself.

  • Faith Writer

    For the following quotes, please identify the primary source and NOT secondary sources. Place the quotes in their contexts and explain what the authors were saying. Please also explain the occasion for the why the particular Church Father wrote what he did. In all cases, they were polemical writings. So that we know that you really understand why they wrote what they did, please explain their intent and what they were contesting.

    The Church Fathers you cited did not write or speak in English. You gave an English translation. Therefore, provide the original language, who translated from the original language, and the publication that shows that translation. You have claimed that you know the languages of the Bible and early Church Fathers. So prove it. Perhaps a peep stone would help. Did Joe Smith pass his peep stone down the line?

    By explaining the above for each of the quote below, you will be able to inform me of your education level, your language expertise, if you actually read the original sources or just blindly copied from Mormon sources as you continue to do, and the actual theology of each Church Father.

    QUOTES FROM ROGERS

    From the Mormon Philip Barlow (no credibility):

    “God became man that man might become God.” Augustine (Uh, Augustine did not say this!!!)

    “He became what we are, in order that we might be what he is.” Maximus (Uh, Maximus did not say this. He did not speak English. Please give citation from Maximus to prove he said this, and give the citation in his language and not English.

    “I may become God to the same extent as he became man.” Gregory of Nazianus (Uh, oops, you are wrong again. Gregory never said this. Better check your sources, BECAUSE THEY ARE WRONG!!!)

    “The Holy Spirit aids man in being made God.” Basil of Ceasarea (Uh, you are wrong again. Basil never said this.)

    “Flee with all in your power from being man and make haste to become gods.” (Origin) Oops, you are wrong again. Origen (not Origin) never said this)

    “The soul, receiving the Lord’s power, studies to become a god.” Clement

    “If the Word became a man, It was so men may become gods.” Irenaeus

    “We were not made gods at our beginning, but first we were made men, then, in the end, gods.” – Irenaeus

    In the second century, Saint Clement of Alexandria wrote, “Yea, I say, the Word of God became a man so that you might learn from a man how to become a god.” Clement of Alexandria

    Clement also said that “man becomes a god, since God wills it. So Heraclitus was right when he said, ‘Men are gods, and gods are men.’” Clement of Alexandria

    I will be waiting for your reply. If you fail to reply or go off on your diversions, then everyone here will know you are a fraud. By the way, I have all of their writings in my library.

    By the way, Clement of Alexander lived in the 2nd-3rd century and never used the Early Modern English idiomatic expression, “Yea, I say…” He did not speak English anyway, so why are you placing an idiomatic expression from the English in his mouth? How very funny of you. You are a joke. AND ALL OF YOUR QUOTES ARE WRONG. The Church Fathers never made such statements. I check in my library sources. Told you I had a collection.

  • dhrogers

    If you are so “academic” then you should be able to get a copy of the Book of Mormon, there are even on-line versions you can access, and read the citations I gave. If you are so certain the the Book of Mormon does not testify of the Christ of the Bible then read the Book of Mormon and show me how it is not speaking of the Jesus of the Bible.

  • Faith Writer

    I am not interested in the fictitious Mormon literature. Your response is not an adequate reply.

  • dhrogers

    That’s fine. I respect your right not to be interested. However, it might be wise not to make claims about plagiarism that you can’t document. Have you even read the Book of Mormon? If not then maybe you shouldn’t be making claims about its content. It is not a plagiarism of any novel. It does clearly testify of the Jesus of the Bible.

  • dhrogers

    Hebrew and Egyptian in the New World

    The Book of Mormon specifically states that the Reformed Egyptian was a result of modifications the Nephites made to their language and was unique to them. “Reformed” is used as an adjective in the Book of Mormon, not a Noun. “Reformed Egyptian” is not the name of the language the Book of Mormon peoples used; rather, it is a description of the language they used. We don’t expect it to be known in other places in the world or to the scholars as the title of a known language. The Book of Mormon writers also said that they knew Hebrew as well.

    A preliminary study was conducted by Peter Balk of the New World Archaeological Foundation through which he reported similarities of word comparisons between Hebrew and the Native American language of Zapotec. The study was conducted among the Zapotec people living in the town of Zaachila, which is located at the base of the hill where the ruins of Monte Alban are situated. Zaachila is also near the city of Oaxaca.

    An additional hint of Hebrew culture at Monte Alban is derived from a four-horned incense burner that is on display in the Oaxaca Valley Room of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. The urn dates to Monte Alban Period I,500 BC to 100 BC, and is similar to the types of urns from Jerusalem dating to the same time period providing one more out of many links between the Old and New World. See John Sorenson’s “Mormons Codex” for many examples of contact between the Old and New world.Writing was first discovered in Mesoamerica at Monte Alban. However, it is different from Maya writing and has not yet been interpreted.

    Recent scholarly research establishes a link between Uto-Aztecan (a family of about 30 Native American languages) and Hebrew and also Egyptian. Brian Stubbs, one of the few scholars with expertise in Native American languages and Old world Semitic languages, and a leading scholar on the Uto-Aztecan language family, argues for numerous parallels between Hebrew and Uto-Aztecan. Stubbs has shown that languages of that group show major similarities with Hebrew and Egyptian. He did so in an early article: A Few Hundred Hints of Egyptian and Two Dialects of Hebrew (or Northwest Semitic) in Uto-Aztecan, a 142-page manuscript released in 2004. Stubbs earlier work [1] has now been expanded and published in his 400 page Exploring the Explanatory Power of Egyptian and Semitic in Uto-Aztecan, released January 2015.

    As a professional linguist, Dr. Stubbs avoids the pitfalls of amateurs who simply point out similar words between two different languages. Stubbs employs accepted techniques in the field which show a legitimate correspondence.

    In his 1988 report Stubbs found a “constant pattern of sound correspondences “ that involved over 200 roots. “The similarities (lexical, morphological, and semantic combinations) between Uto-Aztecan and Semitic [Hebrew] number about 1000.” [2] In his book Exploring the Explanatory Power of Egyptian and Semitic in Uto-Aztecan, released January 2015, Stubbs demonstrates that a variety of Uto-Aztecan data is explained by an infusion of two Semitic dialects and Egyptian that creolized with a native Uto-Aztecan tongue.[3] Stubbs finds that the Hebrew language was incorporated into the Native American languages about 2000 to 3000 years ago – just what the Book of Mormon indicates.

    Most scholars accept between 50 and 200 word correspondences between two languages as acceptable proof of their relatedness. Stubbs demonstrates 1,500 correspondences using accepted stringent methods. Stubbs concludes that the Uto-Aztecan family developed as a creole tongue formed from Hebrew, Egyptian, and a native ancestral language of central Mexico that then divided multiple times. Some, but not all, other Mesoamerican tongues show similar characteristics.

    This is not something that only Mormon scholars have noticed. Morris Swadesh, not a Mormon, and an expert in Mesoamerican languages, says: “I was surprised at the number and closeness of the parallels between the Sawi-Saa (Uto-Aztecan) and the Semitic languages.” [4] Agrinier and Swadesh found about 18 to 20 percent of the Zapotec words examined had recognizable parallels in the Hebrew language. Later work increased that list. [5]

    Swadish also stated that that “it is perfectly possible that a group of people having arrived speaking a new language [in the New World] eventually was absorbed into an already established linguistic community, [as in the cases of the] Dutch in [colonial] New York, Norman French in England, or Arabic in [late Medieval] Spain.” [6]

    Another non-Mormon language expert, Mary LeCron Foster, linguist at the University of California, Berkley, says: “The Mixe-Zoquean languages of southern Mexico…as well as the Mayan languages of Mexico and Central America, are demonstrably closely related to, and probably descended from, ancient Egyptian.”[7]

    Any two languages can have a few similar words by pure chance. What is called the comparative method is the linguist’s tool for eliminating chance similarities and determining with confidence whether two languages are historically—that is, genetically—related. This method consists of testing for three criteria:

    First, consistent sound correspondences must be established, for linguists have found that sounds change in consistent patterns in related languages; for example, German tag and English day are cognates (related words), as well as German tür and English door. So one rule about sound change in this case is that German initial t corresponds to English initial d. Some general rules of sound change that occur in family after family help the linguist feel more confident about reconstructing original forms from the descendant words or cognates, although a certain amount of guesswork is always involved.

    Second, related languages show parallels in specific structures of grammar and morphology, that is, in rules that govern sentence and word formation.

    Third, a sizable lexicon (vocabulary list) should demonstrate sound correspondences and grammatical parallels.

    When consistent parallels of these sorts are extensively demonstrated, we can be confident that there was a sister-sister connection between the two tongues at some earlier time. Stubbs has shown this to be the case between Uto-Aztecan and Hebrew.

    A few of Stubbs’ many examples are below showing on the left the Hebrew word with its meaning and on the right the New World word and its meaning. Stubbs and other scholars have documented many more examples:

    Hebrew-Semitic Uto-Aztecan
    kilyah/kolyah ‘kidney’ – kali ‘kidney’

    baraq ‘lightning’ – berok (derived from *pïrok) ‘lightning’

    sekem/sikm- ‘shoulder’ – sikum/sïka ‘shoulder’

    mayim/meem ‘water’ – meme-t ‘ocean’

    These are just a few examples out or many that Stubbs gives.

    Rhodes Scholar Dr. Roger Westcott, non-LDS Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Linguistics at Drew University, has made positive comments about Dr. Stubbs’ research:

    “Perhaps the most surprising of all Eurasian-American linguistic connections, at least in geographic terms, is that proposed by Brian Stubbs: a strong link between the Uto-Aztecan and Afro-Asiatic (or Hamito-Semitic) languages. The Uto-Aztecan languages are, or have been, spoken in western North America from Idaho to El Salvador. One would expect that, if Semites or their linguistic kinsmen from northern Africa were to reach the New World by water, their route would be trans-Atlantic. Indeed, what graphonomic evidence there is indicates exactly that: Canaanite inscriptions are found in Georgia and Tennessee as well as in Brazil; and Mediterranean coins, some Hebrew and Moroccan Arabic, are found in Kentucky as well as Venezuela [citing Cyrus Gordon]. “

    But we must follow the evidence wherever it leads. And lexically, at least, it points to the Pacific rather than the Atlantic coast. Stubbs finds Semitic and (more rarely) Egyptian vocabulary in about 20 of 25 extant Uto-Aztecan languages. Of the word-bases in these vernaculars, he finds about 40 percent to be derivable from nearly 500 triliteral Semitic stems. Despite this striking proportion, however, he does not regard Uto-Aztecan as a branch of Semitic or Afro-Asiatic. Indeed, he treats Uto-Aztecan Semitisms as borrowings. But, because these borrowings are at once so numerous and so well “nativized,” he prefers to regard them as an example of linguistic creolization – that is, of massive lexical adaptation of one language group to another. (By way of analogy, . . . historical linguists regard the heavy importation of French vocabulary into Middle English as a process of creolization.)….

    Lest skeptics should attribute these correspondences to coincidence, however, Stubbs takes care to note that there are systematic sound-shifts, analogous to those covered in Indo-European by Grimm’s Law, which recur consistently in loans from Afro-Asiatic to Uto-Aztecan. One of these is the unvoicing of voiced stops in the more southerly receiving languages. Another is the velarization of voiced labial stops and glides in the same languages. [8][9]

    Meanwhile, a number of other Native American languages have been shown to be connected to Old World sources, few of which had been suspected. [10]

    Linguistic experts continue to find indications of Hebrew and Egyptian influence in the Americas. The Book of Mormon specifically states that the Reformed Egyptian was a result of modifications the Nephites made to their language and was unique to them. “Reformed” is used as an adjective in the Book of Mormon, not a Noun. “Reformed Egyptian” is not the name of the language the Book of Mormon peoples used; rather, it is a description of the language they used. We don’t expect it to be known in other places in the world or to the scholars as the title of a known language.

    Charles William Johnson has done work similar to that of Brian Stubbs except that his work is with evidence for Egyptian in the new world. Johnson has shown that Egyptian words appear in multiple New World native languages including Mayan dialects, the Southwestern United States, and the Gulf coast. These include Taino, Quechua (Runa Simi), Purépecha, and native languages in Louisiana.

    Mary LeCron Foster argued that languages in Asia, Africa and America are related. She says that the spread “over a vast oceanic area” including America of “this ancient sea-born group of languages” is credited to boat people intermediately from China but ultimately “from beginnings around the Red Sea.” She also proposed a separate movement “from the Mediterranean across the Atlantic to the American coast.” She was also “astonished to discover a close phono-semantic relationship between the Mixe-Zoqueanloangages of Mexico’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec and ancient Egyptian.” She proposed in 1992 that “Afro Asiatic” (Semitic and Egyptian) languages had been influential in the formation of some Mesoamerican tongues. “Specifically,” she said, “the Mixe-Zoquean languages of southern Mexico … as well as the Mayan languages of Mexico and Central America, are demonstrably closely related to, and probably descended from, ancient Egyptian.” [11]

    In correspondence with Thomas Stuart Ferguson Near Eastern scholar William F. Albright of Johns Hopkins University also stated that a cylinder seal excavated in 1957 at Chiapa de Corzo in southern Mexico contained “several clearly recognizable Egyptian hieroglyphs.” [12]

    The Book of Mormon continues to make a serious impression on non-LDS scholars. As early as 1966 William FoxwellAlbright, though not a believer in the Book of Mormon, wrote a letter in response to an anti-Mormon critic, noting that Joseph Smith probably could not have learned Egyptian from scholars of his day, yet included some authentic Egyptian names in the Book of Mormon. “It is all the more surprising that there are two Egyptian names, Paanch[i] and Pahor[an] which appear in the Book of Mormon in close connection with a reference to the original language being ‘Reformed Egyptian.'” [13]

    The Book of Mormon added about 180 new words to the English language when it was published in 1830. Most of these are names of people and places. Now, many of these names have surfaced in ancient document discoveries in the very areas and time periods that the Book of Mormon assigns to them. This information was not available in Joseph Smith’s day. How did he get so many details right? When the archive at Elephantine, on the upper Nile River was discovered around 1900 we learned of a group of Jews who left Jerusalem not long before the time of Lehi and settled on the upper Nile river at Elephantine. It turns out that many names and words in the Elephantine archive match and verify the authenticity of the book of Mormon names No one in Joseph Smith’s time could have fabricated those names because Elephantine had not yet been discovered and yet archeological evidence discovered long after Joseph Smith’s time corroborates the Book of Mormon names that critics previously thought he made up.

    Albright then implied that Joseph Smith might have been some kind of “religious genius.” Given today’s impressive and growing list of authentic Semitic names in the Book of Mormon, it’s doubtful that the “religious genius” theory can survive. Joseph Smith was not a religious Einstein–he was a largely unschooled Prophet of God. The fact that he/the Book of Mormon gets so many things right that were not yet discovered in Joseph Smith’s day speaks to the authenticity of the Book.

  • George Loper

    Delusional and pagan. You believe in the spirit brother of Lucifer. Why not talk about true LDS heretical beliefs? You false teachers think you’re so smart.

  • dhrogers

    Since God created all things and all creatures, then Satan is one of His creations and therefore, in a sense a fellow creature to us all and a brother. To deny that is to claim that some things that exist were not created by God.

    The early Ante-Nicene Church father Lactantius (A.D. 260-330), wrote that God “produced a Spirit like to Himself” who is Jesus and “then He made another being, in whom the disposition of the divine origin did not remain” who was Satan. [1] Lactantius was an Orthodox Christian in his time and Lactantius portrays Jesus and Satan as brothers. Were the early Christians of Lactantius’s time then, not Christian?

    1. Lactantius, Divine Institutes 2.9. in Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 10 vols. (1885; reprint, Peabody: Hendrickson, 2004), 7:52–53

  • Faith Writer

    Again, dhrogers, you use several logical fallacies in your analysis and assertion that “Satan is…in a sense a fellow creature to us all and a brother.”

    What are your sources for this ridiculous claim? Satan is not my fellow brother nor anyone’s fellow brother. Sure, God created him, but he rejected God. Rather, he is God’s opposer and the tempter. He rejected God’s rule over Him and went his way to destroy all God created (Genesis 3; Job 1-2; Matthew 4). Your own documents claim that Satan was the younger brother of Jesus (D&C 93:21), a fictitious claim from a fictitious source.

    Your conclusion in your second sentence is a non sequitur in that it has nothing to do with your single faulty premise before it.

    Furthermore, using Lactantius for your support is also a non sequitur, because it fails to support your conclusion. Simly for Lantantius to mention Satan does not render support to your conclusion. You just attempt to use a Christian source to support Mormon teaching, something Mormons has tried to do from the beginning even to the point of incorporating (plagiarism) whole sections of the Bible into the Book of Mormon. And do not ask me to support my claim, because I already did in a previous post by showing that the Book of Mormon plagiarized 54 of 66 chapters of Isaiah in 2 Nephi 12 forward. You still have not replied to this claim, and you cannot.

  • Faith Writer

    Now I know where you got the phrase “extra-biblical,” not from reading these creeds yourself for determining their validity but from the leaders of your church. Your Hinckley has probably never read one of the creeds himself, but by throwing out a pejorative like “extra-biblical” (without defining what he means) he could cast aspersion on and discredit Christian authors. His and yours is a logical fallacy called “poisoning the well.” Anyone who does this, discourages others from the pursuit of personal investigation for validating the accuracy of a source. It also discourages others from thinking for themselves by filling their minds with such idioms.

    One of you other “authorities” and Latter Day Saint “scholars,” Stephen E. Robinson also uses this fallacious tactic (“Are Mormons Christians,” Robinson, 2010, Deseret Book). This tactic is not only a logical fallacy but is also deceptive, because it labels valid Christian sources with a pejorative. Not only is the word “extra-biblical” deceptive but also a misnomer and meaningless. Please break apart this compound word for gathering its meaning. Also, show me how your Mormon leaders define the term. You can’t, because they haven’t.

    Furthermore, your statement that people who say the Book of Mormon teaches a different Jesus have not read it is false on its face. If I were you, I would not tread that road. All one has to do is read Mormon leaders or even engage in a discussion with you or other Mormons.

  • Finn Jacobsen

    John Turner elegantly overlooks the story in the Book of Mormon of the atrocities committed by Jesus when he showed up in America after he rose from the dead. This is clearly not the Jesus of the Bible, but obviously the wicked fantasies of a mentally disturbed man (or snake oil from a gifted con man?) 3. Nephi, chapter 9: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/3-ne/9?lang=eng

  • Joseph M

    You have read the revelation of St. John right?
    http://biblehub.com/revelation/8.htm

  • Finn Jacobsen

    Do you mean that myth of the atrocities in America is “stolen” from St. John?

  • Joseph M

    No just that if your going to say natural disasters are inconsistent with the Character of God then Revelation, and the destruction of Jerusalem, and the 10 plagues and a whole lo else needs to be explained.

  • dhrogers

    God also killed everyone on earth except eight people at the time of Noah’s Flood. God can do that sort of thing because He is God. He has the right to do whatever He wants. God has repeatedly warned the people that the wicked will be destroyed and He sent many prophets to warn the people so that they could repent and avoid the destruction. God is merciful to give mankind so many chances. Then, He is merciful again to carry out the destruction of the wicked which prevents wicked practices from being perpetuated in subsequent generations – a very merciful and wise act which gives subsequent generations the chance to recover and escape from sin. This is sort of a re-set to give mankind a chance to start fresh. Additionally the people who lose their lives are prevented from committing further sin and falling under further condemnation and eternal punishment – again, God is merciful to them.

  • cwayneu

    Why does he hate animals so badly. Animals must live in a horrible blood and guts, dog eat dog world to survive by “design”, and through no fault of their own.

  • dhrogers

    Where did God say that he hates animals?

    The same could be said of mankind. Humans have suffered tremendously throughout history. This only appears to be a problem when we don’t understand God’s purposes and plans. This life is intended to be hard and even unjust as a test. The results of our choices and attitudes come in the next life.

  • cwayneu

    Seriously? You are kidding right? Have you ever seen any nature shows? If god did design this environment, where 99% of all animal and sea creatures must brutally kill and eat some other poor creature to survive, it does not require that god actually make a statement that they hate animals. It is obvious. Under ANY scenario, this cannot be seen as anything other than cruel and sadistic, if by design.

  • Finn Jacobsen

    I really hope for your sake that you don’t believe in what you write. There is no merciful God, He has never ever delivered a manuscript. Jesus could not (would not) write. All his prophets were delusional, they heard voices in their head or hallucinated visions. If your brain has not been harmed by childhood religious indoctrination, the lies of religion are quite plain to see. You seem occupied with God’s hate of his own “creation”, a father-figure no decent human would approve of.

  • Faith Writer

    Finn, what is the source and authority for your theology?

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    What? hahahahahaha What is your source?

  • Faith Writer

    I was not addressing you. I await Finn’s reply and not your “hahahahahah.” You response makes nonsense.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    My reply makes “nonsense?” I don’t understand that.

  • Faith Writer

    Then, I suppose there is no sense in carrying on a dialog with you if you cannot even read what you wrote and to what I replied. Again, I was not addressing you but Finn. You barged into the discussion, and now you claim you do not understand what you wrote or my reply. I will not repeat myself.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    I’m sorry. I thought this was America. Are you not familiar with the First Amendment? I jumped into an interesting discussion in a public chatroom on the worldwide web.

  • Faith Writer

    Andrea, it is quite apparent that you are not familiar with the Constitution, the Bill of Rights or the First Amendment nor have you ever read them. If you were, you would know that they limit government’s intrusion on the enumerated rights. The First Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with private discussions. How dumb.

    What you wrote is irrelevant to the discussion.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    I apologize for my inadequacies. However, I do hold a Masters Degree in History. If you know anything about scholastics and education, to achieve that, no one can possibly be dumb. I have read the Constitution, the Bill of Rights AND the First Amendment. Where you got it wrong was when you said this was a private discussion. Any time anyone writes something online, it become “public.” Hands down. No further discussion needed. So my response was entirely relevant.

  • Faith Writer

    You are making it worse on yourself. For someone who claims to have a Master [sic; not plural] of History, you fall short of not only not knowing the intent of the Bill of Rights but also not knowing the difference between private and public as commonly used in politics, government, economics, and sectors of society.

    You do not appear to recognize the two sectors of society: public and private. Anyone who has had at least one course in American history would have understood that.

    I do not believe you have any such graduate degree. Any further engagement in discussions with you would not prove to be useful.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    Where you got it wrong was when you said this was a private discussion. Any time anyone writes something online, it become “public.” Hands down. No further discussion needed. So my response was entirely relevant.

  • Faith Writer

    Wrong again. If you wish to continue down this digression, count me out. I am not interested in such rabbit trail discussions.

  • Finn Jacobsen

    I do not have a theology, and I do not need any or the authority that would go with it. It is actually possible to use one’s own brain and one’s life experience to find out what is right or wrong, up or down.

  • Faith Writer

    Finn, I knew you would say that. The below is a statement of your theology inasmuch as you like to deny it:

    “There is no merciful God, He has never ever delivered a manuscript. Jesus could not (would not) write. All his prophets were delusional, they heard voices in their head or hallucinated visions.”

    You gave your theology in these two sentences. It seems that you do not understand the meaning of theology, probably because you are not widely read and are uneducated in theological matters.

  • dhrogers

    Strange that you accuse me of being “occupied with God’s hate of his own ‘creation.’” You are the one who brought up the topic of “atrocities committed by Jesus.” I don’t see Jesus that way at all and I explained exactly why I don’t see it that way. So, I am not the one fixated or believing that God is cruel. As I already stated God is extremely merciful and kind and there are reasons why God does what he does which make sense and are kind. They are kind because they are designed to help us reach a better outcome.

  • springer

    Mormons don’t believe in the Holy Trinity — how you equate Christian and Mormon beliefs about Jesus Christ simply don’t make any sense.

    Like Finn Jacobsen says below — more “snake oil from a gifted con man”.

  • noel

    If a Jewish archaeologist like Israel Finkelstein in his book The Bible Unearthed shows no archaeological evidence for the Exodus and Conquest then more so could Abraham could have been a fictional character. That being so the Mormon scripture The Book of Abraham would also be fiction and Smith made it all up. The question of the historicity of the Book of Abraham has and will continue to challenge the prophetic claims of Smith. Just look at Facsimile 3 and see how Smith’s interpretations are contradicted by Egyptologists.

  • Jettboy

    I expected a well thought out and reasonable discussion much like this post, although I don’t always agree with Turner. Instead I get religious zealots and militant atheists defending turf. With such wonderful ignoramus haters why even have a comment section?