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Monday, December 7, 2009

A Bible! A Bible!


via The battle for truth in Bible translation
In some ways, the Conservative Bible Project reflects an ancient debate over Scripture. The Bible as it's known today more or less took final shape in the 4th century after hundreds of years of debate over which books were canonical.

The debate flared up again during the Protestant Reformation, when Martin Luther fruitlessly yearned to cut the Book of James because of its fairly explicit contradiction of his belief that salvation could be attained by faith alone.

"People have always done this with the Bible," said Philip Jenkins, a professor of history and religious studies at Pennsylvania State University. "Virtually everyone in a mainstream Protestant or Roman Catholic church in the United States is reading a doctored version of the Bible."

The idea that the Bible was somehow lowered on a string from heaven and compiled into one book all at once (even across thousands of years) has never made sense to me.

Schlafly's project is distinctive, though, because non-experts collaborate Wiki-style on the Internet to produce their version.

"The best of the public is better than a group of experts," said Schlafly...

Jones says the project is a misguided effort to read contemporary politics back into the text.

"Ironically, there's a long tradition of the liberal twisting of scripture," Jones said. "Scholars have rightly deemed those translations illegitimate, and this conservative Bible is every bit as illegitimate."

Perhaps that is why the following does make sense.
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.

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/a_of_f/1/8#8
And this:

THE SECOND BOOK OF NEPHI
CHAPTER 29

Many gentiles shall reject the Book of Mormon—They shall say: We need no more Bible—The Lord speaks to many nations—He will judge the world out of the books thus written. Between 559 and 545 B.C.

1 But behold, there shall be many—at that day when I shall proceed to do a marvelous work among them, that I may remember my covenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may set my hand again the second time to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel;
2 And also, that I may remember the promises which I have made unto thee, Nephi, and also unto thy father, that I would remember your seed; and that the words of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed; and my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel;
3 And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.
4 But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?
5 O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.
6 Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?
7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.
10 Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.
11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.
12 For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.
13 And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.
14 And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in one. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever.

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/2_ne/29/1-14#1
God didn't just create Jews and Christians in the Middle East. He created ALL mankind. He caused the Jews to be scattered into the crowds of the Gentiles. So did He just write those scattered Jews off as "unsaved" just because they had lost access to the scriptures due to their initial disobedience? Is there no balm in Gilead for them as well? Or was it just for people living in and around Jerusalem and in the area of the 7 churches mentioned in Revelation?

Did not Christ Himself state "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."?

It just makes sense to me that God saw this coming and so prepared a miraculous second witness (The Book of Mormon) to identify and confirm the lost or twisted truths of the first. I don't think He wanted us to have to take some professors' or the public's word for it as to which translation is correct. Some Christians seem to refuse to believe God is powerful enough to speak again through prophets, though. I just don't understand it.