Topical Guide/Scripture and Influential Writings/Bible

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  • Inerrancy and the Bible
    Brief Summary: It is claimed the Bible texts, at least in their pristine form, were inerrant. Therefore, it is incorrect for Joseph Smith to teach that the Bible contains errors, mistakes, or omissions. (Click here for full article)
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  • Textual criticism
    Brief Summary: What can textual criticism tell us about the Bible? Does it have anything to say about the Bible being without error, as some Christians claim? (Click here for full article)
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  • Translations
    Brief Summary: The Church insists on using the Authorized ("King James") Version as its official Bible, even though more modern translations are easier to read, are more accurate, and include more recent manuscript discoveries. Critics sometimes complain that the eight Article of Faith about believing the Bible "as far as it is translated correctly," implies that Bible translators are trying to hide God's truth. (Click here for full article)
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  • Transmission versus translation
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that by using the term "translation" in the eighth Article of Faith, that we really mean "transmission." (Click here for full article)
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  • Is the Bible trustworthy?
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that Latter-day Saint leaders consider the Bible to be untrustworthy. Yet, Latter-day Saints study the New and Old Testaments in Sunday School and Seminary. (Click here for full article)
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  • Completeness and sufficiency
    Brief Summary: It is claimed the Bible contains all necessary or essential knowledge to assure salvation. Therefore, things like modern prophets or additional scripture (such as the Book of Mormon) are unnecessary or even blasphemous. (Click here for full article)
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  • "Adding to" or "taking away" from the Bible
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that the Book of Mormon cannot be true because nothing should be "added to" or "taken away from" the Holy Bible. (Click here for full article)
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  • Insufficient?
    Brief Summary: Critics interpret a statement by Orson Pratt to mean that Latter-day Saints believe that the Bible is "insufficient." (Click here for full article)
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  • Lost scripture
    Brief Summary: I've heard about "lost scripture" mentioned in the Bible. What does the Book of Mormon mean when it says that "plain and precious" things have been taken out of the bible? What is this about, and what implications does it have for the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy and sufficiency? (Click here for full article)
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  • Open canon vs. closed canon
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that the Church is in error because Christianity requires a "closed canon" (no more authoritative revelation) instead of the Church's "open canon" (potential for more binding revelation). (Click here for full article)
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  • Animal sacrifice
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith favored "Old Testament practices" including "teaching animal sacrifice." (Click here for full article)
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  • Cursing of enemies
    Brief Summary: Some Christians claim that Joseph Smith focused on Old Testament ideas and concepts, such as the "cursing of enemies." They appeal to New Testament prohibitions of cursing enemies (e.g., Rom. 12:14, and then argue that restoration scriptures or remarks by Church leaders are inconsistent with the Christian command to "bless, not curse." (Click here for full article)
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A collection of articles responding to criticisms related to the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. (Click here for full article)

  • Isaiah, multiple authors of
    Brief Summary: The "Deutero-Isaiah" theory is the claim that parts of Isaiah were written later than others. The critical issue raised is that the Brass Plates of Laban quote from sections of Isaiah that this theory ascribes to Deutero-Isaiah, so how could the Nephites have these writings if they weren't written until after they left Jerusalem? (Click here for full article)
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  • Archaeology and the Bible
    Brief Summary: Sectarian critics who accept the Bible, but not the Book of Mormon, sometimes claim that the Bible has been "proven" or "confirmed" by archaeology, and insist that the same cannot be said for the Book of Mormon. (Click here for full article)
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  • Flood, global or local
    Brief Summary: Modern scientific knowledge regarding the diversity of species, language and evidence of continuous human habitation does not support the Biblical story that a global flood wiped out most life as recently as 4,400 years ago (Click here for full article)
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Creation and related issues

  • Age of the Earth
    Brief Summary: Do Latter-day Saints believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old? Why does Doctrine and Covenants section 77 say that the history of the earth covers only seven thousand years? (Click here for full article)
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  • Death before the Fall
    Brief Summary: Does LDS doctrine hold that there was no death before the Fall of Adam? (Click here for full article)
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  • Did Adam and Eve really exist
    Brief Summary: Do Latter-day Saints believe that Adam and Eve were real? (Click here for full article)
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  • Dinosaurs
    Brief Summary: How do dinosaurs fit into God's plan? (Click here for full article)
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  • Evolution
    Brief Summary: How does the Church reconcile the theory of evolution with the story of Adam? (Click here for full article)
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  • Fall of Adam and Eve
    Brief Summary: If it was God's plan for Eve to eat the fruit, then why did God forbid it? Why did God not simply create Adam and Eve as mortals? (Click here for full article)
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  • Pre-Adamites
    Brief Summary: There is scientific evidence of human habitation for many thousands of years. How do we reconcile this with the idea that Adam lived approximately 6,000 years ago? (Click here for full article)
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  • Procreation before the Fall
    Brief Summary: Did procreation exist before the Fall of Adam? (Click here for full article)
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  • Global or local Flood
    Brief Summary: How do we deal with the fact that there is no scientific evidence of a worldwide flood? How can the scriptures and prophets teach of a worldwide flood, when this contradicts the evidence? The biodiversity of plants and animals on the earth could not have occurred within the span of a few thousand years. Did the continents separate during the flood of Noah? Doctrine and Covenants 133:23–24 seems to imply that they did. How do we reconcile this to scientific fact? Didn't Brigham Young, John Taylor and Orson Pratt teach that the Flood was the baptism of the Earth? (Click here for full article)
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