Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Scripture Alone?

“Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written. For I command all men, borne in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world every man according to their works according to that which is written.” (2 Nephi 29:10-11)
So this is a peculiar passage. Notice the word Bible is never used in the Bible? Wonder why that is? Bible is of even later origin than Greek. It is Latin for book. The Romans, speaking Latin, came along about a hundred years after the Greeks into the area of Israel. The word means book, and we capitalize it when we use it to mean The Bible, which is really a collection of bibles, or books. The idea that descendants of Nephi leaving 5-600 years before the Romans entered the Holy Land would be using the word Bible to refer to something that wasn’t collated in its present form until about 361 A.D. Again though I don’t know “Reformed Egyptian” I have studied Greek and Hebrew. God’s word was always Torah in the Old Testament, sometimes the 5 most sacred to the Jewish faith, written by Moses would be referred to as the Pentateuch. The word Torah is most often, and often confusedly so, translated Law, though it is more analogous to teaching or instruction. It just makes one more than a little skeptical concerning this so called “Reformed Egyptian,” and the ability of Joseph Smith to translate Pig Latin.
Now as for the Bible, as we have it today, containing all the words of God, well I don’t know, nor do I care if it does. I do know that it has all I need to know to be saved. I need nothing more than what is in the Bible. In fact, being Lutheran I think we could jettison a couple books and still be o.k. Because what we need for salvation is pretty basic, we don’t need a Bible. We need to know, believe, that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and freely forgives them, that three days after he died he rose from the dead and conquered death on our behalf.
Us Christians believe that people were saved just being told that for 20 some years between Christ’s death and resurrection, and the first Epistle Paul ever wrote. In fact we still believe people are saved without ever being able to read the Bible themselves. We believe that people were saved for some almost 400 years before the books of the New Testament were ever collected together and collated as they are today. We also know that there are some letters Paul wrote that are missing, and it bothers us none! Us Lutherans are a bit skeptical yet of the apostolic authority behind a couple of books the Roman Catholic Church wishes it could declare to be the word of God, and yet have a lot more historical evidence in their behavior than the Book of Mormon will ever have, liver shivers notwithstanding.
You see a lot of pressure is off when you don’t believe you are saved by what you do. Christians realize that we are sinners, that by all accounts even with the relative few laws we have compared to the “more complete” list of rules the Mormons have, we are still guilty. We don’t need to worry about being guilty of breaking even more rules, the rules we have broken so far as sufficient enough to send us to the lake of fire. God’s law has accomplished its task. Now we can turn to Christ and bask in the sunshine of his grace, knowing that all our sins are forgiven, and our faith has saved us as a blessed gift from God himself. If God wants to judge us by the law, he already has enough to sufficiently condemn the whole world. Romans 3:23 (ESV)
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
The third point in the awkwardness of this passage is it matters not if God could have written more or not to others. Of Course he could have. All things are possible for God. If he wanted to have Indians write his law, and that is the secret to the petro glyphs that is his concern. The question is did he do this? From the writings of the Apostles who witnessed His resurrection we know that he did write to us. We know what he wrote and that it is sufficient for our salvation. He there also told us to test the spirits and not be blown about by every wind of doctrine. We therefore take another book claiming to be the word of God, and compare it to that which we are sure of, the apostolic writings. If it meshes we are free to accept it. When it contradicts, we through it out. I think I have shown sufficiently that the Book of Mormon contradicts what we have in the Bible.

2 comments:

Rev. Daniel Robert Skillman said...

I love when you write on Mormon doctrine from a Biblical perspective. I hope to work closer with you one day. Keep up the good work. I'm reading.
In christ,
dan

Bror Erickson said...

Thanks Daniel,
We'll try to work something out. Perhaps I can rework these notes into a book.