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.Yes, we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. That means that we believe parts of the Bible have been mistranslated. So does that mean we are doubting of God's abilities? No. Not at all. People who make this accusation do not realize a number of key things:
- THEY do not believe that God is capable of giving us a Perfect Bible. I say this because, well, how many different English versions of the Bible are circulated among Christians today? Hundreds? Why do all of these different versions exist? Because someone did not trust the versions already available. Some sectarians will tell you things like "The best way to gain a clear understanding of the Bible is by reading multiple different translations and comparing them." Well, if that is the case, then that only proves that there is no perfect Bible in existence. If you had a perfect translation of the Bible, what would be the point of comparing it to imperfect translations?
- The English Bible did not come from God anyway. In order to write scripture, one must be a prophet called of God, having power and authority bestowed upon him by God. Any Christian would agree with this. And yet, the men who selected which books of scripture would be in the Bible were not prophets called by God. Neither were the ones who translated the Bible into English. Those scholars did not even CLAIM to be called of God to do what they did. Likewise, the Protestant and Catholic leaders who issue their interpretations of Biblical scripture do not even dare to claim that they have prophetic authority. Why is prophetic authority necessary to write scripture, but not necessary to translate and interpret it or to decide what is or is not scripture?
- We believe that God HAS given a perfect translation of the Bible. Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God - just as Moses, Isaiah, Peter, and John before him. Being a prophet of God, he had the power and authority to write, correctly translate, and correctly interpret scripture. Because he had that power and authority, Joseph Smith corrected the errors of translation in the King James Bible. Though we Latter-day Saints still largely use the King James Version so that we may maintain a certain level of dialogue with our Protestant brothers, we do flip to the Joseph Smith Translation (which we have in an appendix) whenever we are dealing with verses that have translation mistakes.
So yes...we DO believe that God is capable of giving us a perfect Bible. And those who scoff at the idea that God would send a prophet to correct the English translation obviously do NOT believe that God is capable of giving us a perfect Bible - because that is the only way by which it could be done.
- Ironically, those who make this accusation do not believe that God is capable of giving us a perfect Church. Christ laid the groundwork for an actual Church led by apostles and a descending hierarchy of authority. It was not just an effluvial body of believers, but a firm, organized Church with the structure that is necessary to maintain purity of doctrine and facilitate Christian charity. According to Protestants, that Church does not exist anymore; it has been replaced by thousands of warring sects that admittedly do NOT possess the essential apostolic authority.
He already has. He has sent us Joseph Smith.
It is ludicrous to think that the bickering, confused, disorganized state of sectarian Christianity today is pleasing to God, and it is sacrilegious to say that God is not capable of doing something about it or that He does not care.
God is quite capable of giving us a perfect Bible, just as He is capable of giving us a perfect Church. The only person qualified to be the Lord's instrument in doing either of those would be a prophet called of God as Moses and Peter were. If you think someone else has a stronger claim to that title than Joseph Smith, I would sure like to know his name.