The Bible and the Book of Mormon

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Home Controversial beliefs Moses did die or?

Moses did die or?

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(C) Copyright by Massimo Franceschini all rights reserved

Did Moses die or was he translated?

This question arises because our church teaches that there are some people who have not died but were translated, such as John, the Beloved. According to Deuteronomy 34:5-6, it would seem that Moses died. In Judas 1:9, even though is not perfectly clear, it seems to say the same thing.

The Book of Mormon instead leaves a space for a doubt (see Alma 45:18-19.)

Who are translated beings? According to the Bible, they are people who are taken off the earth without dying. As such, they continue to remain alive in their physical state. In other words, they have not been resurrected, but they are incapable of dying. Thus they are "translated" beings, as apposed to being mortal or resurrected.

The Bible mentions three people who fit this category. According to Genesis 5:24 and Hebrew 11:5, Enoch's was translated In 2 King 2:1-12 we learn that Elijah was also translated, and in John 21:20-24 we read in an oblique way that the Lord promised his beloved apostle that he wouldn't die.

The important fact to keep in mind is that the Bible clearly states that Elijah was taken up into heaven without tasting death. Since the Bible also tells us that Jesus was the first person to be resurrected, therefore Elijah neither died, nor was he resurrected. (see Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:17-21)

In Matthew 17:2-4 we read of an incident where Jesus took Peter, James and John up into a moutain and was transfigured in front of them. By "transfigured" we mean "his face did shine as the sun and his raiment was white as the light." (vs 2). But this was not all, "Behold there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him." It is clear from this that Moses could not have been the spirit of a dead man while the other five people at this meeting were all living beings. Everyone involved with this incident was a living, breathing, live person.The question of Peter:" If you want i could prepare 3 tends, one for you, one for Moses and another one for Elijah" shows us that Peter saw them with the body and he was trying to give them something to be confortable This could not be the case if Moses had actually died.

But why then does the account in Deuteronomy 34:7 say he died? Those who claim that every word in the Bible is exactly the correct word that was originially written by the inspired prophets of God have no way to reconcile this discrepancy. Therefore, they ignore the story of the transfiguration and rely on the words found in the Old Testament. However, even here they are faced with a problem. The Old Testament gives three differing accounts of how King Saul died (see 1 Samuel 31:4, 2 Samuel 1:14, and 1 Chronicles 10:4-5.)  And what about the death of Juda Iscariot?

Obviously, Moses didn't write about his own death. Therefore it's just as obvious that someone else did. Just who put this part in there is unknown, but we do know that this incident happened almost 5,000 years ago. Since then, the books of the Bible have been copied and recopied untold number of times. To say that in all that time there were no errors made in copying these texts is not consistant with historical facts.

Of course, it is not important to our salvation to know whether Moses was translated or not, but according to the Bible we can't say with certainty that he actually died. Therefore, the possibility that he was translated is certainly not unbiblical.

Other things to consider:
Here we have the proof that John didn't dye because of the Jesus' promise to him.
John 21:20-24
Even though this doctrine is strange for the other believers, still it is a biblical doctrine and above all promulgated from Jesus Himself. Not only Jesus promised this to John but He said something more Matthew 16:28

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 10:32  

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