The Accuracy of the Bible:
Before I start off by telling you what I have read in the Book of Mormon and on the LDS website regarding the accuracy of the Book of Mormon, let me start by telling you of the Word of God.
There is an estimated amount of 24 000 manuscripts in existence, 5,000 of which were written in the original Greek language. The below indicates how many years after the events took place the manuscripts were written. Although there are some variations in these manuscripts it is easy to fish out the errors because there are so many manuscripts out there.
|Name||Number of years between original and earliest surviving manuscript||Number of existing manuscripts|
|Caesar’s Gallic Wars||900||10 good ones|
|History of Herodotus||1,300||8|
|New Testament||150-200||1 (entire book of John)|
|250||1 (almost entire New Testament)|
|Less than 300||2 (complete New Testament)|
|Within first few centuries||Over 5,000 Greek fragments; 24,000 in other languages|
Interestingly enough the centre for the study of the New Testament manuscripts actually has some of the copies scanned in and you can take a look at each of the scans on their website at http://www.csntm.org/manuscript.
The Old and New Testament are the most accurate and reliable historical documents on the face of the earth. If we compare them to other well known historical documents and measure them by the same standards it is by far the most reliable and trustworthy manuscript in existence.
To put things in perspective, Caesar’s Gallic Wars only has 10 manuscripts in existence, the first of which was written 1000 years after the events took place and is regarded as a historical document. You will see when we get to the Book of Mormon the shocking amount of the original manuscript that is in existence.
Let us examine what the Bible says about the words of God:
Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.
Luke 16:17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for a single stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.
Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.
Psalm 119:89 Your word, O LORD, is everlasting; it is firmly fixed in the heavens.
1 Peter 1:25 but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was proclaimed to you.
Matthew 5:17-19 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
I would like to elaborate on the above scripture. The word jot is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet (yōd) and in the smallest letter of the Greek alphabet (iōta). Tittle is the is the Greek word keraía – which means a little horn, a little hook, an apostrophe on letters of the alphabet, distinguishing them from other like-letters, or a separation stroke between letters.
I would like to emphasise that to Jesus punctuation mattered. Punctuation changes the meaning of what is said. He goes as far as saying that if anyone were to break the smallest commandment and teach anyone else to the same he would be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.
So let look at what the Bible says about adding to or taking away from its writings:
Revelation 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
Deuteronomy 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Proverbs 30:5-6 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
We are taught to prove the things that people say by the word of God, and that any person whose words or teachings are contrary to the word of God is a Liar and therefore a false prophet.
The accuracy of the Book of Mormon:
When I started reading the Book of Mormon I decided to read it from cover to cover, this included a one pager titled a brief explanation about the book of mormon as well as the introduction (There are other sections as well which will be dealt with at a later stage).
The very first sentence of the introduction encourages people to compare the Book of Mormon with the Bible:
“The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible.”
The introduction boasts of Joseph Smith claiming that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book:
“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”
Both of these are bold statements, a part of me wonders if they gave these statements much thought at all. Did they bargain on the majority of people not really taking the time to use the Bible as the standard by which this book would be measured? I wonder how many people who have been deceived even took the time to measure the teachings to that of the Bible? It would be great to have those statistics wouldn’t it.
Literally 5 pages later my breath was blown away when I came across the following in the section titled “A Brief Explanation About the Book of Mormon” in which it was confirmed that there was indeed some kind of error with the script and that it needed to be corrected.
About this edition: Some minor errors in the text have been perpetuated in past editions of the Book of Mormon. This edition contains corrections that seem appropriate to bring the material into conformity with prepublication manuscripts and early editions edited by the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Upon further investigation on the LDS website to see if the original manuscript was even still available for them to reference these so-called minor errors in test it was determined that on 28 percent of the survived and that some of these are not completely legible. The original manuscript was given John H. Gilbert who was the typesetter at the Grandin Press (the company who was going to print copies of the manuscript for the first edition) to correct punctuation he added 30 000 to 35 000 punctuation marks. Something curious also mentioned in the same article is that while Joseph Smith was alive two or more editions were printed after the first edition, each time with new corrections.
All of this is available on their website: https://history.lds.org/article/the-book-of-mormon-from-manuscript-to-press?lang=eng
Does this sound like the same God who what so meticulous and who commanded that the smallest letter or stroke of a letter may never be added or removed from his original word?
Isn’t it odd that they then go on to justify the multitude of mistakes in the original manuscript by stating:
“When the Prophet Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon was “the most correct of any book on earth,” he wasn’t speaking of grammar, spelling, and punctuation, as we can clearly see by the many corrections that have been made over the years. He was speaking of the precious truths it contains, including witnesses of Jesus Christ and His gospel that have not changed since they were written by prophets centuries ago. From metal plates to manuscript pages to printed books, these truths have remained unchanged through the centuries.”
It doesn’t say that in the Book of mormon? Why would they say it on their website? Possibly because they know that it isn’t the most correct of any book on earth?
Lets sum it all up:
There is not a full original manuscript of the Book of Mormon available today, only 28% of the original (Only the printer’s manuscript is still preserved but there are over 35 000 changes in it from the original manuscript).
The Bible has roughly 25 000 copies available, between all of them there is only 1200 variants which are easily identifiable.
The word of God tells us that you may not add or remove punctuation or a single letter to what is originally said.
The LDS church admits to the very first edition containing 30 000 to 35 000 changes from the original writings, and then again 2 or more editions were printed with additional changes (the amount of which is unknown).
The God I believe in is the same yesterday, today and forever. God does not change his words because God is the Word and Jesus is the Word who was made flesh and dwelt among us.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Psalm 89:34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth
The Book of Mormon: Introduction and A Brief Explanation About the Book of Mormon there are no page numbers or references to the edition of the book that I have. It was however printed in 2004.
King James Version Bible