Saturday, July 14, 2012

What The Bible Says About Mormons -- Part Seven


About the Bible, Joseph Smith wrote: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.”

About itself, it is written in the Bible: Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.  Deuteronomy 4:2

The Mormons staunchly professed the authority of the Bible, and were quick to quote its verses, particularly those that supported their doctrine.  But The Book of Mormon protected them from the passages that ran contrary to their beliefs by proclaiming: many “plain and precious things” had been lost or expurgated from the Scriptures.  In this manner anything in the Bible that contradicted Mormon doctrine was explained away as mistranslation, which arrogantly questions God’s ability to keep the word perfect in any language over any length of time.

When a commandment or sentiment of particular importance appears in the Bible, it is frequently repeated for emphasis.  So it is when warning men of the dangers of tampering with the word of the LORD.

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
  Proverbs 30:5-6

Despite the stern warnings contained in its pages, and despite the fact that he knew neither Hebrew nor Greek (the languages in which the Old and New Testament were written) from 1830-1833 Joseph Smith undertook to ‘translate’ the Bible, which, according to his claim, had been circulating in mistranslation for eighteen centuries. Working from the King James version, and guided by revelation, Smith produced the Joseph Smith Inspired Translation of the Bible.   Despite all its preposterous and glaring shortcomings, the Mormons still link to it on their website here.  

To get a little sampling of Joseph Smith’s butchery of the Scriptures I decided to do a side by side comparison of some verses from the Gospel According to Saint John.  Here are several for you to decide if Smith’s handiwork qualifies as adding to or removing from the word of God.

King James version, John 1:1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Joseph Smith’s Inspired Translation, John 1:1: In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son.  And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God.

King James version, John 1:16-17: 16And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. 
17For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

The Joseph Smith Inspired Translation of those two verses is so clumsy and verbose that it becomes three verses.  John 1:16-18: 16For in the beginning was the Word, even the Son, who is made flesh, and sent unto us by the will of the Father. And as many as believe on his name shall receive of his fullness.  And of his fullness have all we received, even immortality and eternal life, through his grace.
17For the law was given through Moses, but life and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18For the law was after a carnal commandment, to the administration of death; but the gospel was after the power of an endless life, through Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father.

And here is Smith's reworking of the very verse that refutes and disproves his contention that God Almighty himself appeared to Joseph Smith on several occasions.  Notice how it is conveniently altered to be availed in support of Smith’s claim.

King James version, John 1:18: No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Joseph Smith Inspired Translation, John 1:19: And no man hath seen God at any time, except he hath borne record of the Son; for except it is through him no man can be saved.

Now let us turn to the very last words of the Bible, where the warning about tampering with the Word is yet again made crystal clear and gravely dire.

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.  Amen.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen.
  Revelation 22:18-21

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