The Bible and the Book of Mormon

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Home Anti-Mormonsm pages RENDERING FICTION


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BY David J. Sheperd page 367


Clearly I am not educated in this topic so I am not going to discuss his views but there are few thing that as reader doesn't sound good to me and so I am going to point them out.

"Given the exceptional nature of revelation to which Joseph Smith laid claim, it is hardly surprising that he felt to secure the signed testimony of several witness as a guarantee of the Book of Mormon's authenticity......while in later editions of the Book of Mormon this testimony and the title page of the work refer to Smith as a "translator" The original edition PREFERRED instead to bestow on him the titles of "Author and proprietor" AT FACE VALUE this might seem a significant change, HOWEVER Fawn Brodie, one of Smith's more skeptical biographers ADMITTED long ago that the terms "author and proprietor" were used in COMPLIANCE WITH THE COPYRIGHT FORM OF THE DAY. Indeed, whatever the legal conventions of the time, the claim of Joseph Smith, the "witnesses" and contemporary supporters leave little doubt that the role being ascribed to Smith was that of translator, rather than author, in the traditional understanding of both terms."

In my opinion Mr. Sheperd could avoid to mention this just because he admits that was legally right to declare such things and also the same book of Mormon point out that Joseph was just a translator.

the title page declares

To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof-

The writer didn't need to point out his opinions, they are clearly clarified from the very book of Mormon, Joseph was just a translator, but still he was the Human author of it in fact I really doubt that he could receive a copyright for God from the office of the copyright, so to define him as translator and author are both correct at least legally speaking. The problem arises because Mr. Sheperd wants to point out :"To his doubters, Smith was nothing more than the author of an elaborate deception; but to those who believed his claim, he was nothing less than the translator of a divine revelation" page 369

Anyway I am surprised form his words:"Given the exceptional nature of revelation to which Joseph Smith laid claim, it is hardly surprising that he felt to secure the signed testimony of several witness as a guarantee of the Book of Mormon's authenticity..."

This guy is a Professor of Old testament and he is not aware of this simple law, given in the old Testament and reiterate in the New Testament from Jesus Christ Himself to prove his points.

Deuteronomy 17:6
6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; [but] at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

Even though here it seems that this law it was just to put at death we have fortunately proofs that  it was even used for many other occurrences

Deuteronomy 19:15
15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

John 5:31
31 ¶ If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

John 5:32
32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

John 5:33
33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.

Matthew 18:16
16 But if he will not hear [thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

2 Corinthians 13:1
1 ¶ THIS [is] the third [time] I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

1 Timothy 5:19
19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

for a more detailed point go here

Mr. Sheperd writes at page 369

"The author of a text, be it literary or otherwise, has long enjoyed the interest and examination of the academy. It is ONLY COMPARATIVELY RECENT that translators and their work have been recognized as deserving specialized scrutiny into a SMALL but vital field of inquiry with scholars in Britain, America Europe, and Israel making substantial contribution..........of course, part of the academic enterprise is not merely to identify but also to name such complexity, even if such labels are NECESSARILY CONTINGENT AND TENTATIVE." Practically Mr.Sheperd is saying that maybe it could be right or maybe wrong, just pure speculation.

In the same page:"The purpose of the following discussion is to scrutinize the Book of Mormon through the lens of translation studies IN THE HOPE (thanks) of moving toward a CLEARER (now they don't have it!) of its status, function and classification."

Mr. Sheperd, who is a professional scholar of the Bible spent about thirty pages discussing volatile topics as:

Types of translation and pseudotranslation

intralingual translation


Differentiating Genuine translation from pseudotranslation

I bet that for the common people, as I am (sic) this will sound as algebra more or less and will not give any profit to the writer that he could spend his time better trying to show by the Bible why he is thinking that the Book of Mormon's story is a fake, but that it was already proven wrong from about 160 years of debates by the scriptures that they are admitting in this book that they are losing this battle on the main battlefield and that is the Bible.


"As editors, we readily confess that this book is FAR FROM being the last word on Mormonism. Indeed, there is much more that could have been said from our side of the divide. This book does not contain chapters on topics such as deification, the Hellenization of early Christianity, and the theological philosophical framework of the patristic fathers. WE ARE AWARE THAT LDS SCHOLARS HAVE RAISED IMPORTANT ISSUES IN EACH OF THESE AREAS, AND COGENT RESPONSES FROM an orthodox Christian perspective have thus FAR BEEN LACKING.......There is a mistaken notion that Mormonism has no plausible apologetic arguments to raise support of its own truth claims. Eyes need to be open to the fact that the Mormon religion has a sophisticated body of scholarly apologetic that appears persuasive to MANY INTELLIGENT PEOPLE. Unfortunately, the challenge here has been exacerbated because some figures within the evangelical apologetics community have, for various reasons, insisted that LDS defensive scholarship should not be responded to in any kind of detailed manner. Others have displayed a hostile attitude toward scholarship in general, indicating a preference that evangelicals in the academy leave the subject of Mormonism alone.

Since Mr. Sheperd didn't bring any conclusion by the Bible regarding this "fiction" I'd like to take few moments to point out what the Bible says about the Joseph Smith' assertions

Joseph Smith had a vision in the last days. First vision The Bible support this idea.

He received a book from an angel, containing an eternal Gospel Galatians 1:8 the Bible support this idea.

This book was prophesied in the Bible and contained a story prophesied in the Bible

and to end this I would like to tell you the most important thing about this topic, no one aside God can help you to find the truth and the Bible gives us the way to get it The Prayer The Holy Ghost . The Bible is the manual of instruction for the believer if you follow it you will know the truth and it will make you free.

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Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 10:07  

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