Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is the Book of Mormon Modern or Ancient?

Is the Book of Mormon Modern or Ancient?

If the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be…a translation of ancient golden plates holding the religious history of the forefathers of the American Indians… then it’s version of Christ’s sermons, found in 3 Nephi , should be the most pure, direct version of Christ’s sermons in existence. For it would not have to gone through all the alterations and human errors that were inherent in the reproduction process that produced our current Bible. In other words the Book of Mormon was not exposed to the errors of men and had the added advantage of coming to man directly through the gift and power of God Himself.

Because of the pure process that gave us the Book of Mormon, one would not expect to find any of the mistakes found in our current Bible’s rendering of Christ’s sermon….because the Book of Mormon was not dependant on the same process that gave us the Bible …right?

Prior to the printing of the Book of Mormon, mankind relied on ancient Greek manuscripts from the second century, translated, transcribed, added to, deleted from through 1000’s of human hands and 1000’s of years to give us the words of Christ. A comparison of the earliest copies of these Greek manuscripts to later copies has shown that there were hundreds of changes, errors and additions from those early manuscripts. Because each of these changes occurred after the original documents were written in the first century AD and after the events supposedly took place in America…one would NOT expect to find the same mistakes, changes and additions that are found in the King James Bible to be found in the Book of Mormon’s versions of christ’s sermon on the mount.

But does this claim stand up to scrutiny? Is the Book of Mormon an actual translation of the abridged written words of an ancient American prophet named Mormon or the product of a talented but flawed mind? Did Mormon abridge plates that he had inherited giving a purer version of Jesus Christ’s sermon or did Joseph Smith merely plagiarize and then change a few words around to produce his version of Christ’s sermon?

A close examination of the various versions of the Lord’s Prayer as found in Matthew 6 shows some surprising revelations.

We are all familiar with the widely used King James Version of the Lord’s Prayer and the one found in the Book of Mormon.

King James Matthew 6:9-13

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

And 3 Nephi 13:9-13

After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

It’s interesting to note that these two versions differ in several key areas. The Book of Mormon failed to include 2 sentences found in the common KJV of the Lord’s Prayer.

01. Thy kingdom come.
02. Give us this day our daily bread.

So are we to conclude that Christ did not say these words to the Nephites…or had men merely added these words in the many years since Christ had supposedly uttered these words to the masses in Galilee and the Book of Mormon represents a purer form of Christ’s sermon?

But wait…there is more…our current Lord’s Prayer found in today’s King James version…is NOT the same as the original 1611 A.D. first edition copy of the KJV.

The Lord’s Prayer as it was originally printed in the 1611 A.D. KJV

“Our father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Amen. “

Note that in the original KJV Both of the sentences left out of the Book of Mormon version were included in the BoM…but the last sentence …” For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” is NOT found in the original first edition 1611 A.D. KJV nor in ANY earlier version of the Lord’s Prayer.

It doesn’t take a Biblical scholar to see that this last line was added…in fact it started to show up in the versions of the KJV of the Bible in 1700 and it is NOT present in any prior version nor in ANY of the original Greek manuscripts.

A simple comparison of the 1611 AD KJV Bible and latter versions show that this line was added by “man” to the JKV of the Lord’s Prayer in the early 1700’s. so it begs the question...why would it be in the Book of Mormon?

But wait these is still more…

An exact translation of the Lord’s Prayer from our earliest Original Greek Manuscripts into English… reads…

"This, then, is how you should pray:

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one'

Note how both sentences removed from the Book of Mormon ARE found in translations from our earliest Greek Manuscripts…yet do NOT include the last sentence found in the Book of Mormon’s version which had been added by man in the 1700’s

So is the Book of Mormon what it claims to be?

If it IS a translation of ancient scripture…why does it include man-made additions from the 1700’s?

If it is a more pure rendering of Christ’s sermon, why doesn’t it include the same words given in our earliest Greek formats?

If during the translation process, Joseph took a short cut when he saw Christ familiar sermon being given again to the Nephites, why did he remove those 2 sentences if he was trying to give a more pure form of Christ’s sermon and still leave in the man-made parts?


Smorg said...

Heh, would love to hear an apologist's answer to this. :D

Mormography said...


Before looking up the apologetic response I took a guess at how they would respond and I was right. Since no one knows what the original Matthew manuscript contains, it is plausible that the original Matthew manuscript was recorded the way it is in the BoM and that whoever added the doxology to the KJV may have been inspired to do so. But just in case some future evidence comes out against this, the apologist than prepare an out by suggesting it is “possible” that Jesus gave more than one rendering of the Prayer for different occasions, etc. Yes, yes, anything is possible. As usual the apologist response is to construct a hypothetical universe that is impossible to disprove and as such will always remain a hypothetical universe.

What is most curious about this hypothetical universe is its rejection of Occam’s razor. Not only are extensively complicated and intricate schemes required for every explanation, but it implicates divinity in actively engaging in deception in order to make things appear as they are not. Jesus chose to give a rendering of the Lord’s Prayer in the BoM that falsely makes it appear that is a copy of the 19th century KJV. Now, why Jesus do that?

Cr@ig said...

Thanks Mormography for the apologetic link. But FAIRS argument goes against all logic. Standard Biblical scholership and logic would suggest that the most accuate text would also be the earliest...which also would have been copied from even more early copies. To even suggest that the doxology was in original texts and then reinserted in the 18th century defies all laws of logic and science...but then...what really would one expect from FAIR's seudo-science/apologetics.

Mormography said...

With religion the observable universe and science does not really apply. Therefore the apologists have an abundance wiggle room for intricate and complex schemes that explain away the obvious and loosely maintain plausible consistency in an alternate reality. Kinda of like a comic book universe.

So in FAIR’s universe, Why would Jesus deliberately make the Lord ’s Prayer(s?) rendition in the BoM deliberately appear to be a poor copy of a 19th century KJV? To test people’s faith of course. FAIR’s hypothetical universe in response then would make the critics the good-guys in facilitating Jesus’ will and makes apologetics an exercise in futility if Divinity is constantly and deliberately making things appear as they are not.

Not that the Bible is much different. In it Divinity tricks Abraham in to believing he had to murder a loved one, just to see if he would do it.

Cr@ig said...

Hi Anonymous...

Yes still married and going strong. But it has not been without difficult days and many ups and downs. A real roller coaster ride. But I am still married.

My wife sounds as if she is the female clone of your husband. She remains very much a believer and very active in her ward. It has been very difficult for her to accept my apostasy...to her the church is all it claims to be and she just can't understand why I can't believe it’s claims...yet at the same time she refuses to engage in any discussion as to why I no longer believe...for fear that I my destroy her testimony.

Funny but I could only destroy her testimony if what I had to share with her was true...wink wink...

Oh well...we have found a level of mutual respect...to allow each other the right to follow the dictates of our own respective consciences. It is I believe the only way forward for couples wanting to remain married in our particular circumstances...

If I can be of any further assistance please don't hesitate to ask.


Praying Hands said...

My name is Sarah and I'm not a Mormon but a Christian. If you're ever confused or looking for answers, read the Bible. God gives all of the advice you need, and pray. Prayer is powerful and its a time when you can just pour your heart out to God and he listens. He may not answer in the way you were expecting or wanting but he always comes through. In the Bible, it says, "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." God wants all of you to know him more and have a closer relationship with him. He's your heavenly father and he loves you. He wants you to come back to him. God didn't have to send his son to die for us. We all deserve death the Bible says, but God promised that Jesus would come back to save us and he did, so now we can have a closer relationship with him. God loves everyone so much, all he asks is that you spend some time going after him with all of your heart, seeking him first and living for him, to be the person that he's designed you to be.

Praying Hands said...

I'm not a Mormon, but a Christian. If you're struggling with anything, go to God and seek him first. He wants you to talk to him, he wants to hear your problems and he wants you to be happy. He may not answer the way you want him to and sometimes it takes time, but God always comes through. He loves you so much that he was willing to send his son, Jesus, to come and die for us. Jesus paid the price for our sins by dying, even though he didn't have to. The Bible says that we deserve death, but because Jesus died for us, we have a chance to be with him for eternity. Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the light. No one comes to the father except through me." Its important to remember this verse because there are no other ways to get to heaven except through Jesus. I hope you all know that God loves you and is waiting for you to ask him into your heart.

Anonymous said...


THE works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught.

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 3:1)

This discourse is addressed to ALL OF YOU, but more particualry to the Idolaters and the Adulamites; and principally to all the apostates and dissenters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Hear my words and give heed to my speech for the LORD has spoken it saying:

THE works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught. For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.

Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men.

For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him.

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 3:1 - 4)

Brethren, is this:

The Best Conference Talk You Never Read

Cr@ig said...

Dear Anonymous Poster...

You are so fucking full of shit...

First off your premise supposes that there is a god whose designs can be frustrated...god is myth and only real in your imagination...but if you enjoy believing in magic,fairy dust and mormon priesthood power...be my guest.

Oh and while your at it...PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE use your magic to curse me with all of the priesthood power your temple worthy ass can muster...go ahead and curse me deaf and dumb dude...turn me into the real life version of your fictional Book of Mormon charactor Korihor...with all of your imaginary priesthood powers...go ahead bitch...I'm waiting...

Still waiting...

Next time you wish to post on my blog...have a name Bitch.

Mormography said...

Anonymous – There are countless examples of historical of factions violently opposed to each other each claiming they represent God’s will. The losing side usually explains their loss by declaring that it was God’s will they lose or they offended God somehow, etc. In the end the definition of God’s will becomes whatever actually happened. Modern Physic’s understanding of entropy will tend to agree that things cannot happen in reverse (be undone). Ergo your belief that what has happened in the universe cannot be undone, that is, God’s will cannot be frustrated, is in line with modern thought.

However, all you have really argued is that “Shit Happens”, to which you are living testament.