Sunday21

Book on corruption of the Bible

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Does anyone happen to know of a book that discusses the corruption of the Bible? I found the following in an lds Book of Mormon manual.

“As we read the words of the angel, we discover that the world never has had a complete Bible, for it was massively --even cataclysmically --corrupted before it was distributed. Of course, in addition to the major willful corruption of the Bible in the early Christian era, the manuscripts have also continued to suffer the gradual and relatively mild changes, due to errors of hand and eye, that the scholars talk about. Thus there have been two processes at work: (1) a major, sudden, and deliberate editorial corruption of the text and (2) a gradual promulgation of variants that has occurred as a natural consequence of copying and translation” (Robert J. Matthews, A Bible! A Bible! [1990], 74–75).

The angel is angel in 1 Ne 13

24 And the angel of the Lord said unto me: Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God.
25 Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God.
26 And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away

Who is the ‘They’ in  ‘they have taken away from the gospel’. Do we know? 

Thank you!

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I've never heard of anyone narrowing it down to a named person or organization as we currently define "organization".  I think we only know that it was "that great and abominable church" - which has been defined as those who do Satan's bidding or as those who fight against Christ.

I'm also not aware of a book discussing specific biblical corruptions, but it seems like the JST version of the Bible, and the Book of Mormon, are the best sources for learning to recognize it.

I can't really remember reading about the organized, planned, editorial manipulation of the Bible as your quote describes, but the idea doesn't surprise me.  In fact, the notion of it not happening is what would be surprising.  If you plan to use religion for something other than (or even in addition to) preserving the true doctrine of Christ, manipulating the Bible seems like a logical step in your plan.

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1 hour ago, zil said:

I've never heard of anyone narrowing it down to a named person or organization as we currently define "organization".  I think we only know that it was "that great and abominable church" - which has been defined as those who do Satan's bidding or as those who fight against Christ.

What she ^^ said. 

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19 hours ago, zil said:

I've never heard of anyone narrowing it down to a named person or organization as we currently define "organization".

Some say that it is better to first learn of these things from Church friendly sources rather than from the Ex-Mormon/Anti-Mormon crowd. I would point out that it is well known that Elder Mckonkie, in the first edition of Mormon Doctrine (1958), specifically identified the Catholic Church as the great and abominable church mentioned in these verses (implying that Catholicism was responsible for the corruption of the Bible). In early 1960, Church leadership decided to cease publishing the book, due to criticisms of these kinds of stances the Elder McKonkie included in the book. Removing these kinds of references to the Catholic Church was a big change to the later editions of the book. My intention is not to drum up a discussion of Mormon Doctrine, just to make you aware that there have been some in Mormonism who have tried (unsuccessfully, because these claims usually get struck down) to identify the Catholic Church as the abominable church. There could be value in being aware of the history, because this still comes up in Mormon - Catholic interactions (a short discussion of this part of Mormon Doctrine made someone's talk show on Catholic radio just last fall).

Wikipedia articles for reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_Doctrine_(book)   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_and_abominable_church

The only references to the corruption of the Bible that I see in Mormonism are mostly individual points that go something like, "Here's a doctrine unique to Mormonism (revealed to Joseph Smith or in the BoM or similar) that is not readily derived from Biblical references only. It is, therefore, evidence of corruptions of the Bible." Whether every such argument really works in all cases can be debated. It sometimes seems to me that we are quick to invoke "corruption of the Bible" whenever we can't otherwise defend one of our beliefs/practices.

FWIW, Textual criticism of the Bible is a large, multi-denominational effort to trace the Bibilical texts as far back as possible and try to document changes to the text through history. Good Bible commentaries and other publications will talk about different aspects of textual criticism of the Bible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textual_criticism#Application_to_religious_documents

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4 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

Elder Mckonkie, in the first edition of Mormon Doctrine

Yes, I knew of that, but didn't feel like adding a footnote about it given that it was retracted (though I suppose that needs a footnote1), nor did I feel like getting into a discussion of the Catholic church's impact on scripture.

1Darkness. I think I just need to stop posting about anything which involves facts.

Edited by zil

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21 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

Does anyone happen to know of a book that discusses the corruption of the Bible? I found the following in an lds Book of Mormon manual.

“As we read the words of the angel, we discover that the world never has had a complete Bible, for it was massively --even cataclysmically --corrupted before it was distributed. Of course, in addition to the major willful corruption of the Bible in the early Christian era, the manuscripts have also continued to suffer the gradual and relatively mild changes, due to errors of hand and eye, that the scholars talk about. Thus there have been two processes at work: (1) a major, sudden, and deliberate editorial corruption of the text and (2) a gradual promulgation of variants that has occurred as a natural consequence of copying and translation” (Robert J. Matthews, A Bible! A Bible! [1990], 74–75).

The angel is angel in 1 Ne 13

24 And the angel of the Lord said unto me: Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God.
25 Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God.
26 And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away

Who is the ‘They’ in  ‘they have taken away from the gospel’. Do we know? 

Thank you!

*** Trigger Warning*** 

I was always told the Catholic church compiled the books to make the first Bible and it was modified again to what we have today. One of the early Bishops called by Christ left the Church and helped to start what is today known as the Catholic Church. 

I have no idea if this is true or not. My Grandparents on both sides of my biological families converted to Mormonism from Catholicism. So I am not sure if they were biased against the Catholics.  I remember studying up on it many years ago. At the moment I am not really in the mood to look it up again. A polygamist relative of mine has told me the LDS church is the "whore" of all the earth, corrupting the truth. Haha so at this point I don't really care who the harlot is, the whole world is a mess and all Christians need to come together.

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Overwatch said:

*** Trigger Warning*** 

I was always told the Catholic church compiled the books to make the first Bible and it was modified again to what we have today. One of the early Bishops called by Christ left the Church and helped to start what is today known as the Catholic Church. 

I have no idea if this is true or not.

It's totally not.  That's a way over simplication of history and mega anti-Catholic smear slant on things actually.  

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Hugh Nibley points out that we know a great deal about the 4th-5th centuries AD, when the philosophically minded fathers of the newly legalized Christian Church assembled the Bible--we have their letters written to each other. One of the main persons involved in corrupting the Bible was Jerome. The favorite means of corrupting the Bible was leaving things out--which is why the Book of Mormon says that many plain and precious parts were lost, and why the brass plates of Laban were said to be more numerous than what we have today. Of course the brass plates consisted of the Old Testament up to the time of Lehi, so many parts of the Old Testament were lost even before the Bible was assembled in the 5th cent. AD.

 

They left out the use of the word "plan", the plan of salvation, pre-mortal life, etc. They liked the Greek idea of pre-destination. They did not like many books that are apocryphal, which were left out. Enoch got a couple of verses in the Bible. Our Pearl of Great Price gives a much fuller summary of Enoch's ministry.

 

In some places the text was altered. For example, I believe John 4:15 was altered: 

"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."  

The "God is a Spirit" was inserted by uninspired compilers. The Joseph Smith translation restores the text to what Jesus actually said: "For unto such hath God promised his Spirit. And they who worship him, must worship in spirit and in truth."  This fits exactly with what Jesus was teaching in the whole sermon. And it does not teach a false doctrine that God is a spirit. God is an exalted Man with a tangible body, not a body-less spirit.

But the 4th century compilers wanted to believe in Greek philosophy, that God is immaterial. so they altered the verse in John.

 

A good book is "Apostasy from the Divine Church" by James Barker. This book was the text for the Melchizedek Priesthood Quoroms 1952-4.

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On 7/1/2018 at 4:19 PM, David1c said:

One of the main persons involved in corrupting the Bible was Jerome.

Disclaimer -- I am far from an expert in Biblical history and/or textual criticism. I decided to see if I could find more about this allegation. My impression from what the search engines bring up around the internet is that this claim is mostly Protestant based Anti-Catholic rhetoric. (It seems that such Anti-Catholic ideas have frequently seeped into Mormon thought throughout our history). Do we really believe that Jerome is the source of much of the corruption of the Bible? I just told someone last night not to drink too heavily from the Anti-Mormon Kool-Aid -- I would hate to then be guilty of taking long swigs of the Anti-Catholic Kool-Aid.

Re: John 4:15 or 24, I don't see any mention of textual variations to this verse: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textual_variants_in_the_New_Testament#Gospel_of_John I'm not sure exactly what the JST for this verse represents. If it really is a restoration of the original, it is the only source of such variation extant (and I find myself unconvinced that the JST universally represents a restoration of the original text of scripture).

Edited by MrShorty
correct typo

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I take a decidedly minority view (in Mormon circles) on this issue. I think the Roman Catholic Church, which truly began in effect around the time of Constantine, inherited an already-corrupt Bible. I give the Catholic Church and its regular (i.e. non-ordained) clergy the lion's share of the credit for preserving our Bible in as good shape as we have it today. If not for the efforts of many thousands of monks and even priests over the centuries, we would have only scattered remnants of scripture and multigenerational stories about Jesus.

In my opinion, the New Testament's problem is not primarily corruption. It's how badly incomplete it is. Four gospels, one brief book of post-Resurrection apostolic acts, a few of Paul's letters and a very few from other apostles, and John's revelation. That's it. We should have ten times that amount of material, maybe a hundred times. Instead, we have a few hundred pages.

The Old Testament is another story. In my (heavily Nibley-influenced) opinion, the many changes, omissions, and corruptions we have there stem largely from rabbinic rewritings and emendations in the post-temple period. By the time the Masoretic text was established, the rabbis had been picking through the scriptures for centuries. I'm not imputing bad motives to the majority of them, and I am sure that many of them through the ages were honest and good men. But when you first establish your narrative and then choose your sacred texts, the texts invariably reflect the narrative.

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I don't know the answer to who "they" are, however, might I recommend the following books that can testify to the veracity of the books of the New Testament that we do have.

Evidence that Demands a Verdict Volumes I and II -  by Josh McDowell

The Case for Christ - by Lee Strobel.

The above three books are great works on Christian Apologetics (although Josh McDowell's book does contain an anti-Mormon blurb).

 

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On ‎6‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 7:24 PM, Sunday21 said:

Does anyone happen to know of a book that discusses the corruption of the Bible? I found the following in an lds Book of Mormon manual.

“As we read the words of the angel, we discover that the world never has had a complete Bible, for it was massively --even cataclysmically --corrupted before it was distributed. Of course, in addition to the major willful corruption of the Bible in the early Christian era, the manuscripts have also continued to suffer the gradual and relatively mild changes, due to errors of hand and eye, that the scholars talk about. Thus there have been two processes at work: (1) a major, sudden, and deliberate editorial corruption of the text and (2) a gradual promulgation of variants that has occurred as a natural consequence of copying and translation” (Robert J. Matthews, A Bible! A Bible! [1990], 74–75).

The angel is angel in 1 Ne 13

24 And the angel of the Lord said unto me: Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God.
25 Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God.
26 And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away

Who is the ‘They’ in  ‘they have taken away from the gospel’. Do we know? 

Thank you!

 

I think you may be searching for the wrong thing.  Try "Biblical textual criticism" and "variant Biblical interpretations".    Also I do not know if it is still the case but there use to be a publication of the King James Version  that had indefinite meanings in italics.   Reading such a publication there is hardly a page without italics and in many cases half the page is in italics.  Most biblical textual criticism and variant interpretations (basically all in my research) comes from non-LDS sources.

In answer to you question concerning "they" = I am 99% sure it refers to Scribes.  There are dozens and dozens of "family" types of ancient texts and thousands of copies of Biblical Books.   There are no two copies that are the same.  With rare exception there are few translations of any individual text - which means no single text is considered reliable.   There are no original autographs or autograms of any Biblical text.  There has not been a time in recorded Traditional Christian history when there was consensus on what books should comprise the Bible - let alone which of the ancient text are the most accurate.  Many claim that there is a current convergence - but that simply is not true.  The discovery of the Dead Sea Scriptures has turned everything upside down - some say of just the Old Testament but because the Dead Sea Scriptures are contemporary to the New Testament - it has created controversy for New Testament meaning and interpretation.  There never has been more divergence of opinion than there is now. 

 

The Traveler

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On 6/29/2018 at 10:20 PM, Sunday21 said:

@zil Thanks so much! Yes the JST versions of the Bible and the Book of Mormon would be good sources for recognizing the changes. Good thought! 

How does the JST version used by the Community of Christ vary from the KJV used by The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints?  If I understand correctly, the JST is not the official version used by the church but not sure why.

Thanks,
Jim

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6 minutes ago, theplains said:

How does the JST version used by the Community of Christ vary from the KJV used by The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints?  If I understand correctly, the JST is not the official version used by the church but not sure why.

Thanks,
Jim

I am not certain but I have heard that the copyright is held by the Community of Christ. We read selections from the JST when we read the bible

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6 minutes ago, Sunday21 said:

I am not certain but I have heard that the copyright is held by the Community of Christ. We read selections from the JST when we read the bible

Thanks.  Is there any part of the JST rejected by the main LDS group?

Jim

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From my understanding and study of the scriptures I have come to find that it is not so much what is in Bible but was is missing which is the major problem.  The biggest problem being many plain and precious prophecies of the coming of Jesus Christ removed from the Old Testament.  Many prophecies were restored in the book Moses contained now in our Pearl of Great Price.

We read in the book of I Nephi 13:26:  " . . . thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away."

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On ‎7‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 4:04 PM, warnerfranklin said:

Evidence that Demands a Verdict Volumes I and II -  by Josh McDowell

The Case for Christ - by Lee Strobel.

The above three books are great works on Christian Apologetics (although Josh McDowell's book does contain an anti-Mormon blurb).

 

The above listed books are approachable, and the writers communicate well. Another author to consider is F. F. Bruce. He is probably one of the most recognized Evangelical scholars, in the area of biblical criticism. 

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On 7/19/2018 at 1:53 PM, Still_Small_Voice said:

From my understanding and study of the scriptures I have come to find that it is not so much what is in Bible but was is missing which is the major problem.  The biggest problem being many plain and precious prophecies of the coming of Jesus Christ removed from the Old Testament.  Many prophecies were restored in the book Moses contained now in our Pearl of Great Price.

I think one of the biggest things missing from the BOM, POGP, and DC is the tearing of the temple veil at Christ's
crucifixion. This is beautifully explained in the Book of Hebrews.  Most of the Jews don't understand its
significance and implications either.

Jim

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My guess is that when the doctrine of the early Catholic church was being debated and decided upon by Constantine and the Council of Nicea, any sacred texts that were available that were found to be not consistent with the agreed upon doctrine were probably destroyed or downgraded in importance and therefore did not make it into the Bible. 

If you haven't already done so, as a first step, I suggest reading what it says in the Bible Dictionary under the heading Bible. It contains some helpful information on the preservation of the text of the Old and New Testaments. 

It's also worth keeping in mind John 21:25, noting that the Book of Mormon has similar verses:
25  And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.  Amen.

As to who "they" is referring, I think it's pretty clear that its referring to the takers away of the gospel. And I don't even have a Ph.D ) 

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