Thursday, March 21, 2013

13 things I didn't know when I was a Mormon

These things weren't part of the Sunday School curriculum. Heck, they might not be on a Christian church's curriculum either.

  • There weren't necessarily three Magi that came to see the baby Jesus. There might have been more or less than three. Take a look and see if the Gospels actually name how many came.
  • The New Testament was written in a form of Greek called koine and yet Jesus may have originally spoken Aramaic, so even the earliest manuscripts may have been translations of what he said.
  • The Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible created by Jews. The Greek Orthodox church's Old Testament is based on the Septuagint translation. When the early Christians quoted the Bible, they were often quoting from the Septuagint.
  • Speaking of translations, I had absolutely no idea how many English translations of the Bible exist. Wikipedia has a big list
  • Some of the translation errors found in the King James Version are copied in the Book of Mormon. Now why would God perpetuate those errors in the "most correct book"?
  • Some women were leaders of churches in the New Testament. Check out Phoebe, a deacon in Cenchreae.
  • And speaking of deacons, I haven't yet seen how the LDS church can say their "priesthoods" are a restoration of anything Biblical. If so, wouldn't Aaronic priesthood holders have to sacrifice animals at the temples?
  • And there's Deborah, a prophet in the book of Judges.
  •  I found out that Mormons aren't the only church that say their way is the only way to salvation. 
  • God didn't "give" multiple wives to Old Testament men like Abraham and Solomon. They chose to have more than one woman and they and their wives usually suffered for it.
  • A lot of the scary, ugly, nasty stories in the Old Testament aren't there because God was condoning the bad things that happened. The stories highlight the mistakes people made and how God works with imperfect humans anyway.
  • Having a liturgical calendar sure adds variety to worship.
  • And I'll stop with my new understanding of grace as compared to how I used to think about it. In the past, I was a fan of a book called "Believing Christ" by LDS author Stephen Robinson. He told a "parable" where a little girl really wanted a bicycle so she gave all her money, a pittance, to her father, who then made up the difference and bought her the bike. I thought that was great--I do my very best, which amounts to very little, then God makes up the rest. I just had to hope that my very best would be enough to stretch up to God's hands. Now I know that's NOT grace. Grace is a free gift. God did it ALL. I can choose to accept it or not. It's about what God did, not about how much genealogy I did or if I gave the neighbors a Book of Mormon. I can't save myself. And actually, I'm relieved.

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