Carefully looking at the Book of Mormon and the Bible
By Jacob Howard
My Mormon friend and I were discussing some more stuff between the Bible and the Book of Mormon and we got on the subject that the Bible has been changed hundreds of times but the Book of Mormon has not changed at all.
I challenged that and brought up some statistics for the friend. After our talk I told him I would put more of my research on this website, so I have.
The following list was taken from the Institute for Religious Research (http://mit.irr.org/changes-latter-day-scripture). Note: these errors come from a book that is called, “”the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” Spoken by Joseph Smith (History of the Church, 4:461).
Might I add this to clarify the utter perfect-ness this book is supposed to represent:
“I went to Provo to a quarterly Stake Conference. Heard Joseph F. Smith describe the manner of translating the Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith the Prophet and Seer, which was as follows as near as I can recollect the substance of his description. Joseph did not render the writing on the gold plates into the English language in his own style of language as many people believe. But every word and every letter was given him by the gift and power of God. So it is the work of God and not of Joseph Smith, and it was done in this way … The Lord caused each word spelled as it is in the book to appear on the stones in short sentences or words, and when Joseph had uttered the sentence or word before him and the scribe had written it properly, that sentence would disappear and another appear. And if there was a word wrongly written or even a letter incorrect the writing on the stone would remain there.” (Journal of Oliver B. Huntington, p. 168 of typed copy at the Utah State Historical Society)
The following is from the Institute for Religious Research:
While the following short sampling of changes do not affect the meaning of the text, they do reveal the human origin of the book.
Improper use of “was” in 1830 edition later changed to “were”:
“… Adam and Eve, which was our first parents …” [p. 15]
“… the bands which was upon my wrists …” [p. 49]
“… they was angry with me …” [p. 248]
“… there was no wild beasts …” [p. 460]
Improper use of “is” in the 1830 edition later changed to “are”:
“… the words which is expedient …” [p. 67]
“… But great is the promises of the Lord …” [p. 85]
“… And whoredoms is an abomination …” [p. 127]
“… here is our weapons of war …” [p. 346]
Improper use of “a” in the 1830 edition, later deleted from text:
“… As I was a journeying …” [p. 249]
“… he found Muloki a preaching …” [p. 284]
“… had been a preparing the minds …” [p. 358]
“… Moroni was a coming against them [p. 403]
Improper or slang word usage in 1830 edition deleted, correct words inserted in later editions:
“Behold the Scriptures are before you; if ye will arrest them, it shall be to your own destruction.” [p. 260] The word “arrest” is now changed to “wrest”
[Alma 13:20].”… they were exceeding fraid…” [pp. 354, 392, 415]. The phrase “exceeding fraid” is now changed to “exceedingly afraid”
[Alma 47:2; 58:24; Helaman 4:3].”… my soul was wrecked with eternal torment …” [p. 214]. The word “wrecked” is now changed to “racked” [Mosiah 27:29].
My thanks to the IRR for that great research.
In 1 Nephi 11:18, 21, 32 and 13:40 the word “Son” was added into the current Book of Mormon. The 1830 text did not have the word “Son”. This changes the meaning of the text as the original would say (added words in [brackets]):
1 Nephi 3, pg. 25 (the 1830 text did not have verse divisions so location seems different but they are the same verse):
And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother [of the Son] of God, after the manner of the flesh.
1 Nephi 3, p. 25:
And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, even [the Son of] the Eternal Father!
1 Nephi 3, p. 26:
And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, [the Son of] the Everlasting God, was judged of the world.
1 Nephi 3, p. 32:
These last records … shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is [the Son of] the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world.
Quite a Difference
There is quite a difference between “the Eternal Father” and the “Son of the Eternal Father”. If the Book of Mormon is the most correct book how come Mormon leaders had to add and change words? And some of them are so important!
Without those additions made the “most correct book” God would be, directly, the Lamb of God! That contradicts the Bible on multiple areas, especially in the last chapters of Revelation.
If there was one more note I could add it would be the way Mormons often state the Bible has been changed multiple times. This only exists in the Mormon’s Bible for Joseph Smith made over 600 changes to the Bible. I stress to point out that not one change has been made to the Bible that would affect the meaning of the text.
The Book of Mormon has had about 1% changes. That includes adding words, taking out words, etc. The New Testament alone has had 0.5% (this is at most and with the oldest NT documents and worst-case scenarios today). These are all slight errors done by the scribes who copied them.
Now, the Book of Mormon was translated in early 1820-1830. That leaves 182-192 years between then and now. The NT however, has been in existent since, about, A.D. 70-90. That makes 1,922-1,942 between us and the NT.
Now, at the current rate, the NT would have 1% changes in another 2,000 years, making it 3,922-42 years old. However, for the Book of Mormon, at the current rate it changes, it would be at 6% changes in another 2,000 years, making it 2,182 years old. That would mean 4,300 lines would be added out of the 25,800 it has. The Bible, however would only have 1 out of every 1,000 added (in 2,000 years).
If it (the Book of Mormon) were to be as old as the NT (with the same rate as earlier) it would have almost 11% changes. That is pretty crazy. That means that more then every 1 out of 10 lines of the Book of Mormon would be added.
If you are interested in seeing more evidence for the changes in the LDS scripture you can receive a $5 (free except for the 5$ shipping) copy of a book that has it all documented, from here.
Moroni 8:8 tells Mormons that children are not capable of sin because they do not have a sinful nature. This contradicts the Bible on two levels. According to the Bible sin entered the world when Adam disobeyed and ate the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This sin brought death to mankind (Romans 5:12). If the Book of Mormon and the Bible are correct then children cannot die.
But, children do die. Babies, toddlers and young children all die. So, what causes them to die if they have no sin? This is a problem for Mormons.
It also contradicts the Bible in as scriptures tells us, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” Psalms 51:5 (NKJV). That tells us right there that humans are born in sin, even conceived in it.
Curse of Midnight
In 2 Nephi 5:21, the BoM tells Mormons that black skin is a curse set forth by God and that white-skinned people are morally superior. However, this contradicts the Bible multiple times.
God tells us that all men are the made of the same blood (Acts 17:26) and that all issues between ethnicity, social groups, etc. are erased in the unity of Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:28). Not only that, but God has strictly condemned favoritism toward any person for any reason (James 2:1).
Faith or Works
Mormons are taught, in 2 Nephi 25:23, that “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” This greatly contradicts the Bible as it states, multiple times, that we are completely saved by grace. The Bible teaches that we are dead in sin outside of Christ (Ephesians 2:1 and 5) and any bit of “righteousness” is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
We are taught in the Bible that works are a result of a relationship with God, not a means to a relationship with God (Ephesians 2:10).
Reading the above makes one wonder how well the Bible and the Book of Mormon really coincide . . .