We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
This is one of my favorite articles of faith. The bible as you know has been translated numerous times and had numerous different versions. Every Christian denomination seems to have a different idea of what the truth as preached in the bible is. Some take it literally to the core. For example some believe it literally only took 6 days or 144 hours to create the earth and that the world is only 6000 years old as well because the bible states that in 6 days God created the Earth.
There are also numerous scriptures in the bible that when we look at them they simply don’t make sense. For example in first Samuel 16:14
“the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him”
as well as chapter 19:9
“and the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul”
If we actually accept this scripture as bible truth then we also have to accept that an evil spirit comes from God, one is who is perfect, holy and completely righteous. Such a statement simply does not make sense. How could evil come from one who is perfectly righteous? When we cross-reference we see that from the Joseph Smith translation these passages of scriptures translate into “an evil spirit which was NOT from the lord”. Because of this proper translation we have clarity to what the scriptures actually say.
Lets not forget as well that throughout the bible we read about the historical position of women in the church and society as a whole. When reading the bible it would appear that it has been translated in a way the specifically puts women down in many ways and the laws put women in a second class citizen position. for example A woman who has a female child is required to spend much more time away from the camp of Israel than if she were to have a male child. She is often referred to as a whore or harlot which is a common reference in the bible when it comes to women. This condemnation of women throughout the old testament does not ring as God’s truth in most christian theology but it is there none the less. From time to time it has been a point of frustration for my wife as we read scriptures. Often the punishment for a woman breaking the law of Moses was more severe than for a man. Much of it has been presented in an extremely male dominated and controlled society in which women are subordinate and servile to men.
Despite that however many in the christian community believe women to be equal and not second class citizens and seek to treat all regardless of gender with respect and equality. The True christian rejects these ideas in the bible and seeks to love all regardless of gender. The true christian knows that women should not be treated as the bible suggests in so many circumstances and thus knows in their heart and spirit that the translation could not possibly be correct as the true christian knows God does not want his daughters treated in such a way.
Another example of this can be found in the book of Numbers chapter 5
18 And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord, and uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse:
19 And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse:
20 But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband:
21 Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The Lord make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the Lord doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell;
22 And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.
24 And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter.
27 And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.
when reading the verses before and after this part of the chapter, I seems to me to be coming across as essentially saying that if a man for any reason accuses his wife of cheating he can take her to the priest and have her drink poison water and if the poison causes her belly to swell and her thy to rot then she is guilty. Guilt was proven by whether or not poison makes you sick or not. As I understand basic human biology poison will make you sick regardless of any moral indiscretion. period. I don’t believe that this passage in the bible could possibly be translated correctly
Because of this and many other examples we know that the bible has not been translated correctly and because of that we cannot know the fullness of the gospel and truly understand what God wants of us if we solely rely on a book that was translated and used by power-hungry corrupt men who spent their lives searching for power and control. This is not to say the bible has no truths. Only that much of the translations that has been done distorts the original intent of the message in many ways. most notably in the old testament.
It was this confusion and so many interpretations that led young Joseph Smith to pray to God to know the truth. As a result we have the book of Mormon. A sacred book of scripture that has been translated once. This book we believe to be the word of God and serves to uphold many aspects of the bible and also clarifies and reveals doctrines not found in the Bible. Because of the confusion and some misleading and false translations of the bible we need a second source of scripture to ensure we are understanding the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ without prejudice and confusion.
The book of Mormon we believe to be the word of God because it was translated from a single source and given to Joseph Smith by God directly for the purpose of bringing the gospel to the world. As a result it is the only book that has the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. as Joseph Smith once said “A man will get nearer to God by abiding by the precepts in this book than by any other book”.
And that is the Gospel According to Andrew