The first part of Mormonism’s 8th Article of Faith states: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.” This is a huge point of disagreement and discussion between Mormons and Christians. As is evidenced in many of the responses on this blog, both sides bring a lot of “expert ammunition” to the fray. And much of that is worth-while. I myself have studied both formally and informally the transmission of the Bible.
But right now I would like to lay that all aside and consider, from a different angle, Mormonism’s claim that the Bible has been corrupted. Over the years I have read literally dozens of official LDS church manuals. In all those manuals they quote the Bible extensively. Over the years I have also talked with hundreds of official representatives of the LDS church including missionaries, bishops, stake presidents, institute teachers, and the like. They too make extensive use of the Bible. I see the same thing in many of the LDS responses to this blog. The assumption I make is that if the LDS church uses that specific Bible verse, it must believe that that specific verse was not corrupted. (If that assumption is wrong, then it would mean that the LDS Church is intentionally using corrupted verses to validate their beliefs.) Here’s my point: if I gathered all the Bible verses that all the LDS manuals and representatives have cited, it would constitute the majority of the Bible! In other words, the very small percentage of the Bible never cited would be the only verses that the LDS church could claim were corrupted.
Here’s a tangent on this point. Sometimes, when talking with some of the LDS representatives listed above, they would say that the verse I was citing was corrupted. I then would bring out of the manuals that cite that same verse in defense of LDS belief and ask, why then does this official manual use it in this way. It can’t be both. It can’t be corrupted when I use it and correct when the LDS church uses it. Our interpretations of that verse would more than likely differ, but that’s not what the 8th Article of Faith is talking about.