Whenever scripture is read.. the learning process begins. While reading about
God and what he wants from us, we can see that there is love there. So much
love even when were are not doing that which we should.. lessons are taught and
we are shaped. The more we read about God and his dealings with mankind.. the
more we think about him. Which in turn brings us closer to knowing him. He
already knows us.. but all scripture is for us to get to know him. Christ put it in his intercessory prayer: 3 And this is life eternal, that
they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Whenever scripture is read, you have to ask yourself..."what does that mean?
It's vague, obsolete language couching a narrative that is
incomprehensible. It says so little, it could mean anything, yet believers
expect it to be enforced as if it were as indisputable as a mortgage contract.
Wars have been started, guilt has stricken millions, and untold numbers of
children mercilessly beaten based on this work of plagiarism and fiction. We
aren't necessarily 'honoured' in this case, but there still could
be harry potter readings at the library.
Maybe the minimum regular readers get from reading the bible is a change of
heart. Some folks believe the bible is absolutely perfect in every way. If that
helps them change their thinking and thereby their behavior then so be it.
Others look at the bible as a portal through which we find wisdom even in the
book's imperfections. However if you only look for weakness and
imperfection then that is all you will find.
The Bible is so important in the history of the world, particularly the West,
that we should have mandatory study of the Bible in our public schools. Not the
"teaching" of the Bible, but honest, serious, informed, critical study.
Not as "God's word" but simply as an ancient, man-made text
without special status or privilege. Same way other important subjects are
studied.Utah should be honored to start such a nation-wide
movement.Although that approach led me, personally, to leave
Christianity and Mormonism, that would not be the point. More importantly, it
left me with a greater love for the Bible. and a hugely expanded appreciation of
the challenging investigation of the men – and possibly women – who
wrote it (when, where and why), combined & compiled it, edited &
redacted it, and who changed, used, interpreted, adapted, and translated &
transmitted it.By the time they've graduated from high school
our students should be in a much better position of informed, personal
accountability to form their own conclusions about what the Bible is and what
Why does "God" need to be honored?He's God. He doesn't
Whenever scripture is read.. What does that mean? asks a non believer who then
begins a critical narrative comparing words written about God and his dealings
with mankind to a mere mortgage contract.. which can easily be walked away from.
No.. mankind is not perfect, and thus the reason God gave man
scripture. But even though he gave him the messages he wanted him to have he
also left him with his free agency to choose good over evil. And the non
believer is right. Some have chosen unwisely. But as much as this non believer
would like to blame it all on the scripture for the woes of the world like
children being beaten mercilessly and the guilt stricken millions feeling bad
for what they have done,(hopefully for beating their children) Harry Potter
seems to be the go to book in this persons mind. I am sure that if Harry Potter
readings were what people turned to, there would be many who would abuse those
words as well. Fantasy and fiction? Ah.. they day does come when all will be
revealed and many unbelievers will be so surprised to find what they called
fiction is real. Whoops!
I agree the Bible is written in riddles in some places. But the people who
wrote it weren't thinking with a modern 21st century paradigm where we
expect that if we plop down a bunch of money at a university to take a course
where we are spoon-fed knowledge then we will have the knowledge. In their
paradigm (as in many other non-traditional societies) knowledge is sacred. You
have to make some sort of an effort. With the Bible if you dig around in some
simple stuff like the Four Gospels, you can get started and get some
understanding. If you have the desire you'll eventually be seeing the
outline and structure in Isaiah or Hebrews.It is a lot easier than
reading poems and stories in a dead language that were handed down orally for
hundreds of years because the people couldn't write until the 1800's
(which is a hobby of mine), or interpreting Mayan glyphs in a Guatemalan jungle.
No ancient literature has survived in its original form; everything we have is
derived from copies of the originals. The NT is no exception. However, in
comparison with any other ancient literature, the NT is without a
peer—both in terms of the chronological proximity and the surviving
number. Several ancient authorities are preserved in only a handful of
manuscripts. Not so with the NT. There are approximately 5,500 Greek witnesses,
ranging in date from the second century AD into the middle ages. 1,000,000
quotations from the NT in the church Fathers. NT textual criticism
has always had an embarrassment of riches unparalleled in any other field.
The original text can be reconstructed 99% accuracy. There is a distinction
between the text and the truth of the text. While we have 99% of the original
text, 100 % of the truth comes through. The quotes from the(2nd
c)disciples of the apostles and early church fathers can reconstruct the N.T.
less 11 verses.The original articles of faith. #8 We believe in the
Word of God recorded in the Bible; we also believe the Word of God recorded in
the Book of Mormon,...
Why is it that many ex-Mormons feel it is their duty to denigrate the beliefs of
others and to mock Mormons and often other Christians at every opportunity?
They obviously have rejected Joseph Smith's 11th Article of Faith: "We
claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our
own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how,
where, or what they may." If you want to worship Mother Earth or Satan or
Allah, go ahead. Just leave Christians alone.
@donnlayton, UTUnfortunately, none of that supports one word
or story of the Bible as divine, or divinely inspired, and not of purely human
invention.Even the profs at BYU-Neal Maxwell and the apologists at
FAIR will admit that, based on the common body of evidence, that it would be
reasonable and rational and defensible to conclude that the Bible is totally a
creation of Homo sapiens sapiens.
It's an honor for Salt Lake City, headquarters of the LDS Church, to be
chosen for a non-denominational Judeo-Christian gathering such as this. The fact
that non-LDS clergy promoted this celebration and that it involves both LDS and
Non-LDS presenters is indicative of the good will that we're attempting to
achieve in our State of Utah. We can all each value our own holy works
separately, be they the Book of Mormon, the Quran, even Native American
ceremonialism, with value to our individual selves. But I hope we'd be
respectful of the right and opportunity to learn from such an important work
that has so obviously affected the history of mankind. The Bible has promoted
much good, in spite of associated problems arising from evil or misguided
interpretations of some historical figures. I plead for us to give the
celebration the respect it deserves.
Donn (and I assume Sharrona since he/she used the same post nearly word for
word)Please cite your reference the changed article of faith.As far as I know, the Wentworth Letter is the earliest source document
here. Per the document on Project Gutenberg, the text is as follows:"We believe the bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated
correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God."We have gone over this issue before so I would like some clarity here
and to fully settle this issue.
Joseph Smith was warned early on about certain tricks that would be used to
attempt to discredit his work. When the 116 pages of his manuscript were lost,
he was told, in essence, that alterations would be made; then his gift of
translation would be questioned. Today, that comes in the form of spin,
redaction, quoting secondary sources or gossip, selective editing,
proof-texting, begging the question, non-sequiturs, red herrings, cherry-picking
history, twisted interpretations of ancient documents and languages, etc. The
list goes on ad infinitum. In Utah particularly, it seems like we can't
have a discussion on a general story about religion without the LDS critics
You honor a ficitonal being for saying nothing. Interesting.
@Ranch – “You honor a ficitonal being for saying nothing.
Interesting.”I don’t get it either… The Bible does not contains anything that could not have been known by people
living in the 1st century – nothing about computation, electricity,
chemistry, how life (really) began, disease, the world, our solar system, etc.,
etc., etc…On top of that – since many will say it was
not meant to provide facts about the natural world – it is claimed to be
our only guide to absolute morality and yet it contains far more moral
relativism than is found in similar wise books of that era (e.g., Aristotle,
Confucius, Buddha). In fact the only absolute (true for all time) moral
directive I can find in the Bible is, obey God no matter what he says. We’re taught to revere this book from a young age and yet when I
read it as an adult, employing the same rational & critical faculties I
would with any book, it simply did not measure up to the hype – granted,
when you claim the Big Guy upstairs wrote it that’s a lot to measure up
RE: Shelama, What makes the (Biblos)Bible Holy=(hagios G. Separated) from other
good books is prophecy. There are over 300 prophecies alone, about Jesus
Christ in the O. T., that are fulfilled in the N.T.. No other logical reason
than by divine origin.RE: Semi-Strong, Please cite your reference
the changed article of faith.The "A of F" as published at
the back of the LDS scripture, P. of G. P, have under gone a number of changes
through the years. In 1841 Orson Pratt published a pamphlet entitled An
Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions. This pamphlet was the
forerunner to J S's "As of F.". Smith reworked Pratt's
statement and published the revised text,with 13, in the Times and Seasons. In
1850 Orson Hyde published another revised list of articles in the Frontier
Guardian. Hyde's account listed “14 articles”. This is the one
that was reproduced in Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Vol. 2.Current
#8 “… as it is translated correctly ..." IF that is a true
statement, like snow is white? There are many modern Bible translations
today. Or I can literally translate Biblical (Koine) Greek for you.
RE: Shelama, What makes the (Biblos)Bible Holy=( hagios G., Separated ) from
other good books is prophecy. There are over 300 prophecies alone, about
Jesus Christ in the O. T., that are fulfilled in the N.T., No other logical
reason than by divine origin.RE Tyler, But if you don’t
believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if
I tell you about heavenly things. (John 3:12) If men will not
believe the “earthly things” of the Bible (Creation, Flood,
dispersion, etc.), which human records and research can verify, then why should
they believe the “heavenly things” it speaks about (salvation,
heaven, eternal life, etc.) which must be accepted strictly on faith.RE: Semi-Strong, I’ve tried to respond several times, but censored.
@donn – “No other logical reason than by divine origin”You mean there’s no way the writers of the NT could have conformed
their story to match what was “predicted” in the OT? Just not
possible… had to be divine?@donn – “But if you
don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you
possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things.”So if
you (the Bible) tell me all sorts earthly things that turn out to be untrue
(creation, flood, etc.), how do you possibly expect me to believe you about
things we have no way of proving? When I was a child I spoke about
and believed childish things; when I became a man I put away childish things
donn,No need to use URLs, just the precise document names. Note
that there are many recitations of things like the articles of faith by others
that have many variations. These are not at issue. Also, there are
"history" books that cite the precise text you do but these do not
appear to have any original source behind them.I am only concerned
with whether you have a citable source for a change in the Articles of Faith as
accepted by the LDS as they appear in the Pearl of Great Price.
Tyler, Jesus fulfills the meaning of Jewish feasts?"The first
4 of the 7 feasts occur during the springtime (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First
Fruits, and Weeks) they have already been fulfilled by Christ in the N. T..1) Passover (Lev 23:5) – the Messiah as our Passover lamb (1 Cor
5:7) whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of
preparation for the Passover at the same hour that the lambs were being
slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening. 2) Unleavened Bread
(Lev 23:6) – the Messiah's sinless life (as leaven is a picture of
sin in the Bible), making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus'
body was in the grave during the first days of this feast, like a kernel of
wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as “the bread of life”. 3) First Fruits (Lev 23:10) – the resurrection as the first
fruits of the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, one of the
reasons that Paul, 1 Cor 15:20 as the "first fruits from the dead."4) Weeks or Pentecost (Lev 23:16) –(see Acts 2).
@donn – “Tyler, Jesus fulfills the meaning of Jewish feasts?"I understand that you believe these things and in retrospect I apologize
sincerely if I have been insulting to your beliefs.No matter what is
“out there” that we don’t know or what happens after we die, I
truly hope your beliefs make you a better person here & now. If
they do that then no matter what our other differences I would be happy to have
you as a neighbor and fellow citizen.Peace…
I hope all you skeptics about what the Bible means, and how it has been
interpreted, realize that your skepticism only goes to affirm the need for
modern day revelation and prophets. Ironic that the athiest
convention is also slated to be in Salt Lake City next year. Are you speaking
at it Hutterite? If so, don't forget to bring your copies of Harry Potter
so the folks will know who to follow in life.
Donn,Sorry I had missed your post dated Nov. 25 at 3:50 (not sure
how – but sorry nonetheless).From Fairmormon:Pratt’s “sketch” was made up of twenty paragraphs that
covered a multitude of principles and doctrines. There was no attempt to number
or categorize the beliefs. And an attempt to number them as 13 or 14 is futile;
it was a simple pamphlet or tract.Some anti-Mormon authors claim
that this was the original “Articles of Faith.” There is absolutely
no basis for such a conclusion. This publication:Was never presented
as scriptureWas never presented as the “Articles of Faith” by
the Church or anyone elseNever used the word “article”Never presented as “14″ or any numbering at allHope