Bible and Book of Mormon
How can one believe the Book of Mormon to be scripture when the Bible says we shouldn’t add to the Bible (Revelation 22:18-19)?
Those who level this accusation against the Book of Mormon usually note that Revelation is the last book in the Bible, and conclude that its warning refers to the entire Bible. Actually, the words “the prophecy of this book,” “the book of this prophecy,” and “this book” refer only to the book of Revelation. (Read More)
The Book of Mormon’s extensive borrowings from the Bible prove that it is a modern book, since no ancient scripture could be expected to quote from so many different Bible books.
This a priori assumption is without merit. The New Testament quotes extensively from the Old Testament, while some Old Testament prophets quote from their predecessors (e.g., Jeremiah from Isaiah, Isaiah from Hosea, Obadiah from Jeremiah, etc.). (Read More)
New Testament Quotes in the Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon contains quotes from the New Testament that were not written until long after the time of Lehi and would not have been available to the Nephites, who left Jerusalem six centuries before Christ’ s birth.
Some of these “New Testament” quotes are merely common phrases found in the Jewish culture from which Lehi came but did not end up in the Old Testament. In other cases, the New Testament is actually quoting from the Old (which was available to the Nephites via the brass plates of Laban) and the critics have simply not recognized that connection. In a few instances, the New Testament and Book of Mormon seem to be quoting from a common source other than the New Testament. (Read more)
Some of these “New Testament” quotes are merely common phrases found in the Jewish culture from which Lehi came but did not end up in the Old Testament. In other cases, the New Testament is actually quoting from the Old (which was available to the Nephites via the brass plates of Laban) and the critics have simply not recognized that connection. In a few instances, the New Testament and Book of Mormon seem to be quoting from a common source other than the New Testament.
Sufficiency of the Bible
The Book of Mormon purports to be a volume of scripture in addition to the Bible; however, the Bible says that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). If all the scripture we need is already given we have no need for additional scripture such as the Book of Mormon.
Paul’s statement to Timothy only speaks of the usefulness of scripture in general and does not limit the amount of scripture that God can or will give through authorized prophets. When scripture is given it can be used for many things. The scriptures Paul refers to are the ones Timothy had known since he was “a child” (2 Timothy 3:15), which can only mean the Old Testament, since the New Testament had not yet been compiled and some of its books had not yet been written. (Read More)
Temples Outside Jerusalem
The Bible requires that all sacrifices be offered at the temple in Jerusalem, the place chosen by God (Deuteronomy 12:5-18, 26-27; 14:23-25; 15:20; 16:2-7, 15-16; 26:2). But the Book of Mormon has the Nephites building temples in the cities of Nephi (2 Nephi 5:16), Zarahemla (Mosiah 2:1-7), and Bountiful (3 Nephi 11:1), contrary to the law of Moses, which they claimed to be following (1 Nephi 4:15;. 17:22; 2 Nephi 5:10; 25:24; Jacob 4:5; Jarom 1:5; Alma 25:15; 30:3).
The Deuteronomy passages notwithstanding, the Israelites did build other temples, as archaeological excavations have discovered in places such as Dan, Beer-Sheba, and Arad. Indeed, the Arad temple is thought to have been built in the time of Solomon (after it was patterned, though on a smaller scale) and stood for three centuries. The temple in Beer-Sheba was probably dismantled during the time of King Hezekiah of Judah, and the stones comprising its altar were reused in a nearby building and only reunited after excavation of the site. (Read More)
Jewish Festivals in the Book of Mormon
While the Old Testament frequently mentions Jewish festivals, none of them are mentioned in the Book of Mormon, despite the fact that the book claims to be the history of an Israelite group.
Though none of the Old Testament festivals are mentioned by name in the Book of Mormon, there is much evidence of their practice that has been published. (Read More)
Passover Missing in Book of Mormon
Why is the Passover mentioned 71 times in the Bible, but 0 times in the Book of Mormon?
The Old Testament does not mention Passover in the context of a regularly-celebrated festival, so why should we expect more of the Book of Mormon? (Read More)
No Man Has Seen God
In the Book of Mormon men see God (1 Nephi 1:8; Alma 36:22; Ether 3:13-15). This is contradicted by the Bible, which says that no man has seen God (John 1:18, 1 John 4:12).
People see God in the Bible too (Genesis 17:1; 18:1; 26:2; 32:30; 33:11; 48:3; Exodus 24:9-11; Joshua 5:13-15; Isaiah 6:1; Matthew 11:27; Acts 7:55-56; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; 3 John 1:11; Revelation 1:17-18), and Jesus promised that “the pure in heart . . . shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Obviously, the statements found in John’s writings need clarification. (Read More)
Why would Lehi, a descendant of Manasseh, son of Joseph (1 Nephi 5:14; 6:2; 2 Nephi 3:4, 22; Alma 10:3), perform sacrifices when, in Old Testament times, only members of the tribe of Levi were allowed to do so?
Even in the Bible, there are instances of men of non-Levite lineage offering sacrifices. One example that comes to mind is that of Gideon, a judge of Israel, who, like Lehi, was from the Josephite tribe of Manasseh. Commanded of God to build an altar, Gideon made an acceptable burnt offering to the Lord, and was in no way condemned for his action (See Judges 6:24-26). (Read More)
The Role of Judges in the Book of Mormon
When Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, he was misled by the use of the term “judge” in the KJV Bible. He assumed that the judges of ancient Israel were like those of his own day, holding court to hear cases against wrongdoers. But we know that the Old Testament judges were actually charismatic political leaders who arose spontaneously in ancient times, not elected judicial officials.
Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon mention rule by judges, and the Nephite record also terms them “governor” (Alma 2:16; 30:29; 50:39; 60:1; Helaman 1:5, 13; 3 Nephi 1:1). The office of judge existed in the time of Moses, who had commanded “the judges of Israel” to slay a group of sinners (Numbers 25:5). The mosaic law provided for judges to “hear the causes between your brethren,” making “diligent inquisition” of witnesses, and settling every “controversy between men” (Deuteronomy 1:5; 16:18; 19:17-19; 21:1-2; 25:1-2). Judges in the time of Joshua are listed with the elders and officers (Joshua 8:33; 23:2; 24:1). (Read More)