Friday, February 12, 2010

Why Does the Book of Mormon Quote the Bible?

There are numerous passages in the Book of Mormon that are strictly word for word from the Bible. Mormons explain this by pointing out that the "brass plates", which were obtained by Nephi after he killed their rightful owner, were actually the Old Testament. As Nephi studied the brass plates, he put his favorite quotes into his own writing and that is why they appear in the Book of Mormon. Plausable, not likely, but plausable.

For the Mormon's sake, lets say that they are right. The brass plates actually were the Old Testament. That being the case, we should expect to find that all the quotes in the Book of Mormon all come ONLY from the Old Testament.

There is no possible way that text from the New Testament could show up in the Book of Mormon because the two books were being written at the same time on opposite sides of the world. It would have been impossible for Nephi to quote from the NT, because it had not been written yet. In fact, Nephi was around 600 plus years before the authors of the NT.

Thus, if it were shown that text from the NT did actually appear in the Book of Mormon, what would that imply? It would imply that whom ever wrote the Book of Mormon had access to the New Testament. But how can that be, seeing as how the two Books were thousands of miles apart from each other?

If the Book of Mormon was really true, there would be no text AT ALL from the New Testament.

But there is...


III Nephi 12:3-48;13;14


Matthew 5-7

Now, of course, Mormons will say, "Of course they are the same because Jesus is sharing the same teachings to both groups of people."

Sure, if that was true, the text would be similar. But word for word?

The Bible has undergone extensive revisions and translations. The Book of Mormon was abridged by Mormon. What are the chances that the two sections of text turn out identical? Keep in mind that the LDS use the King James version of the Bible. Yes, the teachings would be similar, but the chances of them being word for word are almost nothing.

The same argument could also be made for the Old Testament quotes. They are even older than the New Testament quotes, and yet, somehow, they show up in the Book of Mormon word-for-word. The only plausable explanation is that whom ever wrote the Book of Mormon had access to a King James version of the Bible.

Mormon didn't.

Nephi didn't.

Joseph Smith did.


Seth R. said...


The King James Bible was the common religious tongue of Joseph Smith's day.

Since the Book of Mormon was written for the people of Joseph Smith's day, it would need to repeat the language familiar to them.

Well, solved that problem.


Mormon411 said...

Wow! Wouldn't it be wonderful if all of Mormonism's problems could be "solved" so easily?

Seth R. said...

Mormonism wouldn't be a religion worth taking seriously if it didn't have difficult problems without easy answers.

But this wasn't one of them.

Jared Mclean said...

You cant argue with someone who has commited their life to somthing that is ultimately false.. Its like arguing with someone who doesnt want to see whats in front of them...

Mormon411 said...

Isn't that the sad truth? As this Mormon defender above demonstrates, any answer is acceptable as long as it IS an answer.

Seth R. said...

More like any criticism is acceptable, as long as it is a criticism.

Mormon411 said...

Ok, Seth, if you want to delve into why your answer is pathetic and lame, here we go..

First off, why have new scripture if it is just going to mirror the Bible? If it repeats word for word, what's the point?

Second, repeat language familiar to them? Is that really your best answer? All the people are just frickin' idiots who are too dumb to comprehend anything new?

Third, if JS translated by the gift and power of god, then he wouldn't have needed to refer to the Bible to get a point across.

The BoM stories and the NT were mostly written during the same time periods, but on opposite ends of the globe. How could the BoM quote the NT if that was the case? Unless, of course, one of the books was produced much later than the other...

You are avoiding and explaining away what you consider "any criticism" because you know that by delving deeper into the question, you are going to find things you don't like. So, stay on the surface. Avoid actually exploring any questions. Take the superficial answer, because sticking your head in the sand is so much easier than restructuring your entire belief system if is was to fail.

Diving any deeper into the criticism, whether it be difficult or easy, means that if you discover a vaild point, you might have to reconsider your entire way of thinking. Nope, it's much easier to just accept any answer and call "Next!" in order to display an aire of confidence in your truth.

The fact remains that the BoM quotes the NT, even though the two Books were written at roughly the same time on different continents. This is a major problem for the person who is serious about finding truth. You, sir, are NOT serious about finding truth. You are serious about defending your life-long beliefs by any and all means, because you are too terrified of what will happen if you discover you are actually wrong.

Mormon411 said...

So you're telling me that in all his awesome power, god has to resort to having JS use the KJV to translate? That's really lame, especially since the LDS believe the KJV is full of translation errors.

The first King James Bible was produced in 1611. This is LONG after the golden plates were buried in the ground by Moroni. Please tell me how a book abridged and compiled in approx. 400 A.D. can quote a book that was produced 1,200 years later.

My best guess is that you can't, without resorting to some silly and absurd explanation.

Mormons will always be able to come up with some sideways explanation. They will always have some convenient retort that slips around the issue so that it never really is explored at all.

Seth R. said...

I see nothing wrong with almighty God reaching down to speak to people in their weakness.

As for the insult game you wish to use as a crutch here for your bad argument,

You sir, are merely desperate to defend your emotionally charged decision to leave Mormonism - by any means possible.

See, two can play at that game.

But is there really any point?

Wouldn't it be better to stick to the issues and act like adults instead?

Mormon411 said...

I am sticking to the issue.. I notice that you, again, avoid talking about the real question here. You instead choose to take the "persecution" route. Show me where I actually insulted you. Did I say, "you're stupid" or anything like that? No, if I thought you were stupid, I wouldn't even bother engaging you.

I was willing to look at my faith with a critical eye. I was willing to admit that I could be wrong. So everything I say of you is not an insult, but a call to wake up and be truly open minded. I have been there, so I am just saying that if you want to debate on my level, you need to be willing to explore where I have gone. Put yourself in my shoes, so to speak. I have been in your shoes...

My "bad argument" is that an old book quotes a younger book. Calling it a bad argument does not excuse you from avoiding it. Again, to the person who is serious about truth, this is a great argument. I know, because it challenges your true faith, it is an insult.

Sometimes the truth hurts. If you can't deal with some criticism and tough questions without sidestepping them and crying "insult", then don't come here on my blog and engage me.

Now, if you wish to continue, please address the problem. The Book of Mormon quotes the New Testament. That is the issue. Either face the issue, or go away.

Mormon411 said...

The only answer that truly satisfies the question is that JS wrote the BoM himself.

In the TBM mind, it is easy to justify. Jesus Christ is talking in both books. Naturally he would say the same things.

If it were all true that would be the case. However, how is it that all the translation errors copied over? I would expect the message to be the same. It would be unreasonable to NOT expect that if Christ really had appeared in the Americas. But word-for-word...

The BoM, written before the KJV, contains every single translation error and spelling error. This is the problem. JS used the Bible to create the BoM. This is the only answer that fits the evidence without a heap of mental gymnastics.

Mormon411 said...

I know, I know...

Since I said "mental gymnastics", I am insulting you again.

Seth R. said...

TBM... you're mentally compromised by your biases, gymnastics.

Yes, these are insults.

Yes, these are ad hominems.

And yes, these are trademarks of the groupthink over at the MormonThink echo chamber.

And I did respond to your argument ALONG with pointing out the interesting choice you've made to personalize this debate.

Seth R. said...

It's also not accurate that "all" the translation errors copied over. Only a few did. If you want to talk about specific ones, I'm fine with that.

But it'll have to be later since I have to go to work.

Mormon411 said...

And you are not mentally compromised by your own biases as well? The difference between you and me is that if you are able to provide me with sound arguments backed by evidence for your case, then I will be willing to take a good look and change my views if necessary. You are not. You have already determined that you have the complete truth and are therefore closed off to any new ideas.

The term TBM means True Believing Mormon, and I do not use it in any way to be demeaning. Now, if I used it to imply "Truly Baffled Moron", then yes, that would be inappropriate of me.

Honestly, the small details such as translation errors have little significance to me. Even if it was translated perfectly, it wouldn't matter. The Bible is a very old collection of myths and stories, some of which may have elements of truth and some which are completely fictional.

From the eyes of an atheist, when I see people debating points of doctrine, what I really see is, "My BS is truer than your BS."

So, no, I really wouldn't care to discuss translation errors. Because like you said, "Is there really any point?"

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.