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Sacred texts must be read with caution

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  • Tornogal LITTLE ROCK, AR
    June 6, 2012 10:27 a.m.

    How does it make sense that a god would require such careful reading of scriptures? Wouldn't he want us to be able to read them and learn from them "straight up"?

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    May 22, 2012 4:00 p.m.

    @Red Corvette,

    The power of thinking through the lens of reality .... we can all be happier, more prosperous, and more generous, and most of all less judgmental of others through the simple act of love. Religious texts, doctrines, revelations, and prophecies ...

    Karl Marx said it best. "Religion is the opium of the people"

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    May 21, 2012 7:36 a.m.

    So many of you get so tied up on this subject.
    You're emotionally getting in a know over fictional stories meant to instruct and guide written by men. That's right, everything you've discussed thus far was written by men.

  • Swedish reader Stockholm, Sweden
    May 21, 2012 5:55 a.m.

    Sometimes when people place a lot of importance on individual words as if the scriptures were a Nostradamus quatrain to be deciphered, I wonder why we can't try to understand the message rather than getting hung up on how it's said. A translation can't always carry every nuance of meaning from the original, because sometimes words in the original have several meanings or connotations that aren't found together in any word in the language into which it is being translated. As to the JST, it was done in the first half of the 19th century. The use of words in the English language has changed since then. Sacred writings can give us so much more light if we try to understand the principles they teach rather than getting hung up on individual words.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 20, 2012 8:17 p.m.

    No fit in SG

    Should investigators exercise the type of caution Dr. Peterson was talking about when reading LDS scripture? Absolutely. I was taught that from the get go.

    We read to understand.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    May 20, 2012 5:15 p.m.

    unless you can translate ancient greek and hebrew, I dont' see what business someone would have taking a "literal" view of the bible.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    May 20, 2012 11:42 a.m.

    Perhaps this may provide thought to LDS people why others not of their faith question what is in written in the Mormon Scriptures.
    Are investigators of the LDS to read Mormon scriptures with caution, as well?

  • Samwise Salt Lake City, UT
    May 20, 2012 11:40 a.m.

    I agree with the main idea presented in this article. I think religious texts should be important for anyone, even if you don't agree with the religion that considers the text sacred. The Bible and Quran have both had a lot of influence on the World (both secularly and religiously). The Book of Mormon, if it is what Joseph Smith and millions of others claim it is, could be considered the most important book in the history of the world. Even just from a secular perspective, it has had a fair amount of influence on the world. So all three books are important.

    On a different note, I agree that the placement of the books in the picture probably had no intentional hidden meaning. It is just how the photographer placed them. No offense was intended, but unfortunately there are many people who are far to willing to take offense when none is intended.

  • Give Me A Break Pullman, WA
    May 20, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    It is always entertaining, though not often beneficial, how some here love to make one an "offender for a word", or to "strain at a gnat and swallow a camel" in relation to how some view all things LDS. You know who you are.

    AN illustration: The placement of the Book of Mormon on the top in the photo has do mean the Book of Mormon is superior. But it could mean that it is the newest contribution to Sacred texts. Or it could mean that the Bible is more foundational, or it could mean nothing at all. Some just always have to put the Mormons down. They cannot see the good in anything Mormon. Well did the Savior speak of them...

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    May 20, 2012 1:12 a.m.

    Capella posted: Is this placement of the Book of Mormon on top of the other two of any significance?

    So, are you implying that placement of the Book of Mormon means we give it more creedance than the Bible? Then what does it mean when the Holy Bile is listed first at the LDS website? Or the first of the four books in the quad? ;-)

  • Capella Bakersfield, CA
    May 19, 2012 8:47 p.m.

    "Sacred texts are deeply important"- to whom? Obviously to the adherents of that religion. This is why Mormonism is vetted seriously on its doctrines, not its lifestyle or charity. Muslims live a religious lifestyle, pray in public uncompromisingly, have an austere charity and missionary program, and protect their founder's dignity with their lives. Fanaticism does not equate with similarity or veracity of claims.

    This is why it is important to look carefully at the meaning of the words in the text as to their original language. When Jesus says "You will know them by their fruits", what is the "fruit"? If it's just membership growth or charity, Islam has all denominations beat.

    If it's discipling, mentoring, and sharing the original message, then that's what Christ meant. Because the Apostle Paul went to great lengths to emphasize this in all new countries in which he evangelized: 'Do not accept another gospel, another apostle, another Jesus'.

    This is why Biblical believers are exacting in who they accept as fellow believers in "the Body of Christ". Just having some similarities, a religious lifestyle, charity and evangelism means nothing. It's what gospel, what salvation, what Jesus you declare.

  • Capella Bakersfield, CA
    May 19, 2012 7:43 p.m.

    Dadof5sons- Excellent comment on the cultural taboo of a book on top of the Qur'an.

    Here's a Biblical taboo: Other books on top of the Holy Bible. Is this placement of the Book of Mormon on top of the other two of any significance? I would say there is no coincidence in the photographer's mind, in a LDS publication.

    Here are some further interesting facts about the doctrines of all three books:
    1- Each one shares some similarities with the others on particular topics.

    2- All three have distinct differences in their doctrines of salvation, justification, exaltation, forgiveness, rewards for charity and good works, prayer times, communion, tithes and giving, eternal destination, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the efficacy of the Blood and Cross of Jesus Christ, the Creation of the world, the essence of God and the Godhead, Judgment Day, angels and demons, the person/works/diety of Jesus, and the validity of Jesus as Messiah.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Hamblin and Peterson that "sacred texts deserve careful attention". That is the entire argument that Biblical purists have with non-purists. You can share, borrow, live Biblical. You cannot tweak it and still claim purity.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    May 19, 2012 6:18 p.m.

    RE: Ranch Hand, before attempting to use them to validate your point, you should try to find out the context.
    Dr. Peterson, The passage almost certainly refers to “vultures” rather than eagles. .(Mt 24:28 NIV).
    Wheresoever the carcass is, there will be “eagles”..(Mt 24:28 JST&KJV).

    Eagle(aetos) also a vulture,These birds gather where the carcass is, so the judgments of God will descend upon the corrupt state of humanity. The figure of the Eagle is used in Ezek 17 to represent the Great Powers of Egypt and Babylon to punish Israel faithless Israel.

    ...heard an 'angel' flying…(Rev 8:13 KJV&JST), I heard an eagle=(aetos G 105) that was flying in midair (Rev 8:13 NIV) Modern translations are helpful.

    Re: The verb "to wax" is simply an archaic equivalent of the modern English verb "to grow”?
    Greek N.T. *Psygsomai, future passive, made or ”grow cool or cold”.

    … the love of most *“will grow cold,”(Mt 24:12 NKJV,NIV ).

    …the love of many “shall Wax cold” (Mt 24:10 JST& 24:12 KJV)

  • John Brown 1000 Laketown, UT
    May 19, 2012 5:01 p.m.

    Eagles actually DO eat carrion. How do I know? I live up at Bear Lake. Each winter we get plenty of Bald and Golden eagles. You'll find them usually either in the trees or gathered round eating the roadkill deer and rabbits and the occasional dead sheep or cow out in the field. We had a road kill fawn on the road 50 meters from our house and enjoyed watching a massive bald eagle come feast for a number of days along with some crows, ravens, and magpies.

    Other than that, excellent article and sentiment.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 19, 2012 3:46 p.m.

    I saw a young eagle this very afternoon swoop down on the road in front of me and snatch up a bit of road kill.

    Eagles will eat carrion.

    Not only should you actually read your verses before attempting to use them to validate your point, you should try to find out the context in which they were used. There is an entire world of difference between usage since the time of those who actually wrote the bible and how we use words today.

  • Dadof5sons Montesano, WA
    May 19, 2012 2:43 p.m.

    in the photo there is a cultural taboo done! The Quran is not to have any other book on it! just FYI from a person who lived over there for a few years.

  • Clinton King (Ephraim) Ephraim, UT
    May 19, 2012 1:32 p.m.

    Re: sharrona
    Yes, but what kind of eagle? Golden eagles?
    Bald eagles? Black-chested buzzard-eagles? Harpy eagles? Gier eagles? There are more than 50 different species of birds known as eagles. Which species was intended?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    May 19, 2012 10:48 a.m.

    Sacred texts must be read with caution: Modern translations are helpful:
    RE: The passage almost certainly refers to “vultures” rather than eagles.True,
    Wherever there is a carcass, there the “vultures” will gather.(Mt 24:28 NIV).

    Re;: The verb "to wax" is simply an archaic equivalent of the modern English verb "to grow”.True,
    Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will “grow” cold,(Mt 24:12 NIV).

    The Inspired Version disagrees, Wheresoever the carcass is, there will be “eagles”..(Mt 24:28 JST)
    …the love of many shall WAX cold(Mt 24:10 JST)