The Bible and the Book of Mormon

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Home Scripture CRITICISM Revelation or scriptures?

Revelation or scriptures?

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(C) Copyright by Massimo Franceschini all the rights reserved

There is a great debate between the students of religion, or better between the different churches. The great majority of these, I'd say the 98% maintain that the knowledge of truth can be gained only with studying the scriptures and with the aid of a person that is well acquainted with the scriptures.

This fascinating perspective is soon frustrated if you consider that every church differs in understanding and discuss even the easiest verse of the scriptures. Let's take for example the salvation's topic, the Christian world is divided at least in two factions, one believes that salvation is just by grace and the other one in salvation by works. Yet these students are all well trained in religious schools.

If, by chance, we start to discuss about the resurrection the problem will become bigger, here the beliefs will become a lot more than two. How do we have to minister the sacrament? Here we have a very large difference of opinions. Certain churches take it just once a year, who take just an host other the wine and the bread and so on. If we should listen to all the students of the different churches we will be driven crazy, and think about all of these went in religious school to have the degree, but who gave them the degree? God or some men? I am speaking like a person that has no idea regarding the Christianity, how could I know who is in charge or which belief is the right one? Surely I could go and talk to a catholic minister and he for sure will say:"We have the power of tradition!" and people could agree, but what could happen if after that I go to talk to a Protestant minister and he could say:" Have you ever heard about the apostasy? Have you check the terrible things like the holy inquisition and the indulgences?" Probably you should admit that it would be better to take a closer look at the new situation.

I'd say that if you start to listen to the people you will be in their hands more than in God's hands, are you sure that this is what you want? Let me tell a true story that it happened to me just 3 weeks ago.

I went in Las Vegas because my parents never visited it and they wanted to go there. Suddenly my car was down so I asked to the person in charge in the motel where I could find a mechanic. It was 22.30 in the night. this guy kindly told me:"Don't worry I am an ex mechanic I will help you" I was happy. He told me:"I am sure it is your alternator we could go to pep boys tomorrow morning and buy an used one for just 40 dollars and probably with other 60 dollars for labor you will be fine." I went to sleep happily thinking:"I am in good hands"

The next morning I was speaking with the owner of the motel and she told me:" I wasn't aware that my manager was an ex mechanic, please be careful I don't want you to be in trouble." When they guy showed up said"Bad news! I was calling for almost one hour everywhere but nobody has the part and nobody is available to do the job for today, but don't worry you could buy a new alternator and I will replace it for just 50 dollars, is that OK for you?" It seemed I had no choice but the owner called me aside and told me:"Let me try this, we could go around and find out if it is true that nobody is available to repair your car." I agreed and we find a Sears and they were available to do the job if I was able to get the car there. That woman (her name was Angela, a true angel) helped me to get the car to Sears and what a surprise! It was not the alternator but just the battery was dead. I spend just 90 dollars and I was fine in just few minutes.

Angela told me a phrase that made me think:"Never trust the first person who claim to be something without proof, always go to the certified persons." Turning back to my topic, we have the problem to know who are the certified persons in religion, who are the certified person from God. I am sure that they exist and are the people who hold the priesthood of God, but how can the people find them? Do they just trust their words? I could enter in a debate trough the scriptures but this could lead just to MY opinion and this has the same problem referring to the other people. Then I prefer an easy approach. On my page there are articles that already are covering this topic like "the prayer" "the Holy Ghost" and "The revelation" and those are scriptural essays, right or wrong according to the different viewpoints. I believe that the more difficult questions are easily answered in the simple logic of the life, even Jesus answered to questions that seemed very difficult to answer with an easy way, sometimes irritating because the logic made sense. Can we forget the question:"Should we pay the tribute to Caesar?" The answer was sharp and very simple.

I'd like to do my point asking two simple questions.
1) What is the purpose of the prayer?
The easiest answer should be:" to have the chance to have a personal discussion with our heavenly Father."

2) What is the purpose of the scriptures?
The easiest answer should be:" To know the will and the purposes of God."

If the scriptures contain this it shouldn't be difficult to compare them to a manual for instructions for mankind. The interesting thing is that as such it is easy to be interpreted according to the human understanding, otherwise we can't explain all the differences between the various denominations, from what are they provoked? Simple, from the different personal interpretations! Peter gave a wonderful warning regarding this 2 Peter 1:19-21
2 Peter 1
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

have you ever thought about what it is this "more sure word of prophecy?" have you ever took a closer look at the meaning "any private interpretation?"
If these interpretation came from the Holy Ghost we should have now JUST ONE FAITH, the bottom line for the church is Ephesians 4:12-13
Ephesians 4
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
When Paul wrote this there was just ONE church and therefore he was referring to the unity of faith of every other beliefs, heathens included, surely not to the hundreds of different denomination of today, because at that time they were unknown, even though he knew about an apostasy, either way this scriptures fits for both of them.
Let's pretend to be in a school, where we receive several manuals to study. Each student studies and after gives his interpretation of the text, luckily there is a teacher that explains what the text contains and how this text should be used properly, otherwise you will see what kind of confusion could be generated from the different viewpoints. When the student receive an interview with the teacher, it is the teacher that gives a score, surely not the student. when there is written test it is the same thing. therefore the figure of the teacher is not of a secondary importance but surely of main importance because HE JUDGES our opinions. Let's put God at the teacher's place, because He gave us the scriptures and nobody better than Him knows everything about them even the slightest and difficulties interpretations of them. God has the perfect knowledge of His laws, doctrines and revelations, mankind perceives the outlines but without the aid of the Holy Ghost cannot see clearly. The Holy Ghost is called in the scriptures like the God's mind and it is given to teach and remember all that Jesus taught. It is easy to show that the majority of mankind has not the holy Ghost, the hundreds of different denominations are the best proof of it.
How do we can gain the sure knowledge of the truth?

The answer is not difficult but very easy, if you are in a classroom and you have problems to solve or something you are not sure, what do you do to remove this problem? I am sure you will ask the question to the teacher, if you ask to your fellow man next to you, probably you could have the wrong answer. Obviously this gives to the teacher the possibility to fully fulfill his real purpose: to teach, to clarify, to expound and so on. Our manuals without a teacher are useful but with a teacher will become perfect because He can explain them to you in the right and perfect way, make sense?
Why many people want for us to depend just on the Bible? Simple they want to teach us, they want the glory and above all they want that you guys think like them so in that case they become leaders, have you ever notice how many churches are depending on men like Luther, Calvin and so on. Power is the reason why people want you to depend just on the Bible. If you depend on God where is their power gone? We are taught to give glory to God not just men. All the churches maintain that prayer is important but they fight against it when the problem involved is the truth, many students are maintaining that prayer could be a device to deceive people, what are they talking about Jesus taught if you ask a bread you CAN'T RECEIVE A STONE. Students of religion are people taught from other people, they are learned from the mentality of the world, but God promised that only the people guided from the Holy Ghost can understand His Will, the students of the world probably will suggest you to buy an alternator when you need just a battery.

The scriptures, intended as a manual, are the clearest proof that this manual was modified during the centuries to better fit to the needs of the new generations. The scriptures differs from the other books because, even though the conductor wire is God, the proposed topics in them are changing in deep way. Let's take the Old Testament, this contains, History, songs, prayers, parables, genealogies, codex of conduct, prophecies, poetry and debates. Like every other work when is translated in other languages, has lost something. "We believe in the Bible as far...." this has scandalized many people but we know that even the book of Mormon in English cannot have the same impact that could have if we could read it in its original language, with the full understanding of who wrote it in its time. Also the other great works of other nature suffer when they are translated. Who reads Shakespeare in English and after reads him in German he should admit that it is not the same thing, and if you read Goethe in German and after in English he will see the same problem. For this is very hard to have the scriptures well understood in languages different from the language in which was written, consider that Jesus spoke in Hebrew but the gospels were written in Greek and after translated in every other languages. Do you really think that in this task they didn't lose anything from the initial meaning. I hope so but I am pretty sure that if, by chance we could have the originals in their own language with the perfect understanding of their language it would be more and more easy to perfect understand them. Have you ever see how many debates we have just for the meaning of just one word sometimes? Because how the people interpret that word could give us a different perspective.

Elder John A. Widtsoe gave an interesting point of view:"The message of the scripture is divine; the words in which it is clothed are human. Failure to make this distinction has led to much misunderstanding. Intelligent readers will separate the message of the scriptures from its form of presentation." (the articles of faith in everyday life)
We have to consider that the books of the 2 testaments contain specified instructions for that particular time and don't have a great value, just of human experience.
That the scriptures are always in expansion it is easily demonstrated from the evolution of them.

To Moses was given the Law and Jesus gave the Gospel. To Abraham was given the circumcision and Christ took off it. The Bible like canon was formed just after several centuries after the death of Christ, but even the old testament, did you know that until 150 a.c. the Hebrew had in their canon just the first five books of the law and the prophets? In fact the other writings were not considered sacred in the same way, in fact Jesus Himself affirmed that "love your fellow man like yourself and love your God with all your heart" were the whole law and the prophets, He didn't mention the historical books. Matthew 22:36-40
This doesn't mean that the historical books and the poetry were not inspired, but just that they were acknowledged from men later, and this it says a lot regarding the human influence on the scriptures. Martin Luther did fight a lot against the epistle of James and against Revelation. The Catholics have the apocrypha in their Bible, no the Protestants, who is right?
The scriptures are not a static document produced once and for ever, complete and unalterable, but even the opposite, they were and they are always in expansion, it is the man that doesn't wish more scriptures that he fears about what he doesn't know. What about the Qumran's manuscripts? Not only they have proven that Hebrews kept for sacred many other documents unknown to us, but further these documents are proving that Christianity at the very beginning was a lot more different from what it is considered Christianity today.
Hebrew 1:1-2
Hebrews 1
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

at sundry times and in divers manners means that He never spoke once and forever. Sometimes God has given lower laws like the Law of Moses to mankind with a purpose, in this case to be a teacher to bring people to Christ, Or He gave a king to Israel because they wanted a king, but God didn't like that. This is to say that the manual (scriptures) was evolving according to the need and the purpose of God. So if we are not aware of the extreme need to involve the Teacher, the students will wander without any certainty. If this one is our wish we can do it, but even the great manual of instruction given to us from the great Teacher evokes this principle in an obsessive manner even from the very beginning, unfortunately mankind never stops to recommend his fellow man and above all never stops to graft him in his opinions. For this reason it is extremely important to ask God to avoid to be forced to buy an alternator instead of a battery.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 January 2011 13:11  

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