Saturday, August 11, 2012

God has nothing to hide (The Bible is Reliable, part 3)

I mentioned before that I read, and yes, enjoyed, the Book of Mormon.  I knew all the stories, I memorized verses.  Like every good Mormon, I prayed to know if it was true. I admit I never had the "burning in the bosom" I hoped for, but I still told everyone how great the book was because I really believed it and wanted, some day, to feel it. I thought something was wrong with me, that I just didn't have enough faith yet.

LDS missionaries and members tell everyone to pray about the Book of Mormon to know if it's true.  They do not tell people to compare it to the Bible (although they do highlight the part where Jesus supposedly visits the Americas, perhaps because it copies the Sermon on the Mount and sounds Biblical).  They avoid discussions of archaeological support.  They do not advocate deep research into details. And there are no manuscripts from ancient times to use for translation comparison.

So for decades I believed God worked on the principle of blind faith.  WRONG.  God has nothing to hide.  He is perfect. He understands us, His creations.  He provides lots of evidence and His work can withstand scrutiny.

Archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon: ZERO.

Archaeological evidence for the Bible: peruse the local library, the Internet, scholarly journals, and expect to spend a long time absorbing it all.

Manuscript evidence for the Book of Mormon: only the documents Joseph Smith and his scribes wrote, along with various editions and corrections of the Book of Mormon, from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Manuscript evidence for the Bible: I've only touched on the Old Testament so far in prior posts; wait till I get to the New Testament.  LOTS.

God invites us all to research His work for ourselves.  He provides confirmation for our minds and hearts.

Acts 17:11, New Living Translation (italics mine)
And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.

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