Mormons and the Bible: Reuben Clark’s 16 Points

Related Posts: Mormons and the Bible: Missing Scripture and Inerrancy; Mormons and the Bible: King James Version and the Joseph Smith Translation

J. Reuben Clark’s 16 points

This post is based on a talk given by Apostle J. Reuben Clark in 1954 (“Our Bible,” General Conference, April 1954). In it he outlines 16 differences between the Received text (essentially the King James Version) and the Revised texts (represented by the Revised Standard Version). This talk is included in the Resource Edition CD-ROM of the official LDS scriptures. Elder Clark’s talk compares only NT passages.

I have listed the verses from Elder Clark’s sixteen points as they are found in the KJV, NASB, NIV, ASV, RSV (1946 and 1971), and ESV for comparison. At the end of this post there is a summary of the results in a pass/fail format. My criteria for pass/fail is consistency with the corresponding KJV passage. Elder Clark also brings up points of dispute with some of the RSV footnotes because they cast doubt on the validity of traditional interpretation. I have not considered the footnotes in my evaluation. Continue reading

Mormons and the Bible: King James Version and the Joseph Smith Translation

Related Posts: Mormons and the Bible: Missing Scripture and Inerrancy; Mormons and the Bible: Reuben Clark’s 16 Points

The King James Bible and the Joseph Smith Translation

The King James Version of the Bible is likely the most honored English Bible ever published. It is also official Bible for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When the church was organized in 1830 the KJV was the de facto Bible for the English speaking world, and continued to be so until the 20th century. During the twentieth century many new English Bibles were published, several of which became popular: such as the New American Standard Bible (NASB), the New International Version (NIV), and the New King James Version (NKJV). By the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century a number of other notable versions were published: the English Standard Version (ESV), Today’s New International Version (TNIV), the Net Bible (NET), the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), and the New Living Translation (NLT).

After 1948 the rate at which English Bible translations were being published increased dramatically. From 1800 to 1900 the number of English Bibles increased at a rate of 0.31 per year. Continue reading

Mormons and the Bible: Missing Scripture and Inerrancy

Related Posts: Mormons and the Bible: King James Version and the JST; Mormons and the Bible: Reuben Clark’s 16 Points

The traditional Protestant Bible consists of 66 books: 39 in the Old Testament (OT) and 27 in the New Testament (NT). The Greek word for testament is “diatheke…[which] in classical Greek [means] an arrangement, and therefore sometimes a will or testament, as in an arrangement for disposal of a person’s property after his death.” (“Bible”, LDS Bible dictionary). Diatheke corresponds to an OT word meaning covenant.


The LDS Quadruple Combination

The LDS’ attitude toward the Bible is stated in our Articles of Faith: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly” (Articles of Faith 1:8). The LDS cannon is referred to as the Standard Works which consists of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

FYI: when these books are bound into a single volume it is referred to as a quad.
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The First Vision

Related Posts: Godhead: God or Gods?; Who is Jesus?—to a Mormon; Whom do we Worship?; The Trinity

Joseph Smith’s first revelatory experience is known among Mormons as the first vision. Joseph’s four known accounts of this experience are from 1842, 1838, 1835, and 1832. These accounts were either written by Joseph himself or were dictated by him to a scribe.

The first vision experience

Between the age of fourteen and fifteen Joseph began to wonder which of all the religious denominations is correct, and was concerned about his own standing before God. One night as he was reading the Bible he came First Visionacross a passage from the book of James: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God” (James 1:5). Joseph decided to do as James suggested and pray for guidance. He writes, “for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible” (JS-History 1:12). With these questions in mind he retired one morning to a secluded place to pray. As he began to offer his prayer Continue reading

Images, Icons, and the Christian Cross

Related Posts: Mormon Temple Garments; Christ, The Nature of; Mormon Temple Worship

Modern Christian Symbols

The cross has symbolic and/or liturgical use in nearly every Christian denomination. It has many iconic forms such as the crux immissa (), crux simplex (|), crux decussata (X), crux commissa (T), and the Greek forms (+). A cross that has an image of the body of Christ hanging on it is known as a crucifix. Most Protestant denominations do not use this symbol, but instead use an empty cross to symbolize Christ’s resurrection.[1]

CrossThe Christian writer Tertullian (circa A.D. 200) says in his Apology, “if any of you think we render superstitious adoration to the cross, in that adoration he is sharer with us” (Apology 16), referring to the Christian practice of using the cross as part of the worship of God and to the pagan tendency to worship images that in form resemble a cross.[2] Christians were generally reluctant to display any outward Christian symbols for fear of persecution. But after Christianity became universally recognized (A.D. 313) the public display of crosses became common. Continue reading