Friday, July 04, 2008

The Bible - Inspired and Imperfect

Translations and versions of the Bible.

According to the United Bible Society, at the start of 2008 the full Bible was available in 438 languages. Various portions of the Bible were available in 848 more languages. One of the two Testaments [probably the New Testament] was available in 1,168 other languages. In addition, in English, there are numerous versions. I use the King James version.


Ken Collins compares some of these versions. He has this to say about the King James version.

The King James Version is almost incomprehensible to anyone who has not been brought up on it. For example, the word comfort means strengthen, suffer means let (or allow), let means prevent, and prevent means precede. Some verses are completely incomprehensible or misleading; for example, Psalm 5:6, 1 Kings 11:1, and Ezekiel 27:25. The textual scholarship underlying the King James Version has been superseded in the last two centuries. Most US editions do not include the Apocrypha, the translator’s footnotes, or the translator’s preface, all of which were part of the original edition. Many US editions contain the epistle dedicatory, which was the translators’ cover letter presenting it to the king. The King James Version makes a distinction between the second person singular (thou, thee, thy, thine) and the second person plural (ye, you, your, yours) which is not easy in modern English. If you think that ‘thou’ and ‘you’ are synonyms, or get ‘thou’ and ‘thee’ mixed up, or don’t understand the difference between ‘ye’ and ‘you,’ this is not an advantage.

Anyone who speaks more than one language, and who has spent some time reading, studying, pondering, and trying to understand what is in those nearly sixteen hundred pages, and who has compared several of the available versions and translations, will be surprised to learn that many Christians believe the bible to be perfect and infallible.

Catholic statements on the inerrancy of the Bible.

According to The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, the books of the Bible "are sacred and canonical because, having been written by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that have God for their author, and as such have been handed down to the Church. The inerrancy of the Bible follows as a consequence of this Divine authorship. Wherever the sacred writer makes a statement as his own, that statement is the word of God and infallibly true, whatever be the subject-matter of the statement." Pope Benedict XV, in Spiritus Paraclitus, paraphrases Pope Leo XIII as confirming "the ancient and traditional belief of the Church touching the absolute immunity of Scripture from error: So far is it from being the case that error can be compatible with inspiration, that, on the contrary, it not only of its very nature precludes the presence of error, but as necessarily excludes it and forbids it as God, the Supreme Truth, necessarily cannot be the Author of error."

I say Benedict paraphrases his predecessor because in Providentissimus Deus, Leo actually says this.

It follows that those who maintain that an error is possible in any genuine passage of the sacred writings, either pervert the Catholic notion of inspiration, or make God the author of such error. And so emphatically were all the Fathers and Doctors agreed that the divine writings, as left by the hagiographers, are free from all error, that they laboured earnestly, with no less skill than reverence, to reconcile with each other those numerous passages which seem at variance - the very passages which in great measure have been taken up by the "higher criticism;" for they were unanimous in laying it down, that those writings, in their entirety and in all their parts were equally from the afflatus of Almighty God, and that God, speaking by the sacred writers, could not set down anything but what was true.

Protestant statements on the inerrancy of the Bible.

In 1978 a gathering of American Protestant churches, including representatives of the Conservative, Reformed and Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Baptist denominations, adopted the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. Here is their position regarding the inerrancy of the Bible.

  • God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God's witness to Himself.

  • Holy Scripture, being God's own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God's instruction, in all that it affirms: obeyed, as God's command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God's pledge, in all that it promises.

  • The Holy Spirit, Scripture's divine Author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.

  • Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God's acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God's saving grace in individual lives.

  • The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited or disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible's own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.

What non-Christians think about the Bible.

Many people say the Bible is merely a literary work - that it contains no revelation - and that there is really no God. These folks are all dressed up in coffins with nowhere to go. What is so amazing is that many of the people in this group are doctors of religion - the very people one would think should most staunchly defend the Word of God. If you want to expose yourself to some anti-Bible material, check out the Skeptic's Annotated Bible or Joseph Frances Alward's website. Just a brief foray into this material will leave you shaking your head. These people have spent an enormous amount of time commenting on things they don't understand. Some say ignorance is bliss. These folks must be ecstatic.

Latter-Day Saint statements on the inerrancy of the Bible.

The Latter-Day Saint eighth Article of Faith says "we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly." That puts us squarely in the middle: the Bible is an inspired book, but it is also an imperfect book.

One of the things that most infuriated Joseph Smith’s neighbors was his assertion that the Bible was imperfect and incomplete. Some people think polygamy was the fly in the ointment, but very few people knew about this restored principle until after the Saints were in Utah. It was the Bible that, more than any other thing, caused the persecution of the Saints. The fact that none of the Saints owned slaves, and that they were moving into slave states, was a second huge factor. But it was the Book of Mormon that gave the sectarian religious leaders so much distress. Of course, Nephi was shown this latter-day condition and wrote about it.

2 Nephi 29:3 - And because my words shall hiss forth--many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.

Prior to this, an angel taught the prophet Nephi some things about the Bible - which wouldn't be put together for another thousand years. You should read this entire chapter.

1 Nephi 13:23 - And he [the angel] said: Behold it [the Bible] proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew. And I, Nephi, beheld it; and he said unto me: The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets; and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many; nevertheless, they contain the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles.

This same angel told Nephi that evil men, or perhaps ignorant men, had changed the Bible, and that because of it people "do stumble exceedingly."

1 Nephi 13:34 - And it came to pass that the angel of the Lord spake unto me, saying: Behold, saith the Lamb of God, after I have visited the remnant of the house of Israel--and this remnant of whom I speak is the seed of thy father--wherefore, after I have visited them in judgment, and smitten them by the hand of the Gentiles, and after the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly, because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb--I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day, insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb.

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism (Vol. 2, Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible) has this to say about Nephi’s vision.

The Book of Mormon presents an account of a vision in which an angel, looking to the future, describes the Bible as a "record of the Jews" containing writings of "the prophets" and of the "Twelve Apostles of the Lamb." The vision asserts (1) that the ancient authors wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, (2) that originally their words contained the fulness of the gospel and were plain and easy to understand, but (3) that many things which were plain and precious, and many covenants, would be "taken away" from the original manuscripts; as a result, afterward (4) a great many persons, even with a Bible, would not understand the fulness of the gospel, but (5) the lost material would be restored through "other records" that the Lord would bring forth (1 Ne. 13:21-41). A somewhat parallel statement came to Joseph Smith in June 1830 while he was restoring a revelation received by Moses, declaring that many things would be taken "from the book" which Moses would write, but that the missing information would be restored through another prophet and thus be "had again" among those who believe (Moses 1:41). Latter-day Saints believe that the "other records" referred to include the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, the JST, and other records still to come forth, and that the prophet divinely raised up to begin restoring the lost material is Joseph Smith (see Scriptures: Forthcoming Scriptures). In light of the foregoing statements, it is worth observing that the principal difficulty in the Bible apparently has been omissions. The remaining text may be generally correct in itself, but many important doctrinal items (resulting from the loss of a single word, a verse, a longer passage, or even whole books in some instances) are now missing.

A number of authors have noted that the Bible suffers more "from losses than glosses." In other words, some things have been taken away, but for the most part what's there hasn't been changed very much.

Reynolds and Sjodahl, Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 5, p.11 - When Lehi left the Land of Jerusalem, where he had resided all his life and where his children had been reared, he took with him a copy of the Hebrew Scriptures which were engraved upon plates of brass. These, it may be assumed were complete. Besides the writings of Moses and the prophecies of Isaiah which they contained, Lehi's son, Jacob, and other Nephite servants of God, often quoted the words of the Prophets Zenock and Zenos also found thereon. The wonderful parable of the vineyard given by Zenos and recorded by Jacob in his own book is almost incomparable. The writings of these holy men are now omitted from all available Old Testament compilations. There are other missing records. The excuse is sometimes made that all the books presently comprising the Bible are old; that there are no original manuscripts accessible to us for collation. Those who make that apology infer that it would be fruitless to compare the versions now in use with those of a thousand years ago because, they say, "the same conditions prevailed then as now."

Hugh Nibley, Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, p.4 - And then Professor Albright, who has talked here and has an honorary degree from here; the most distinguished biblical scholar America ever produced, William Foxwell Albright. I'll never forget what he said as we came from the airport, "My, it feels good to get away from those anemic Protestants," he said. Well, the Pearl of Great Price is not anemic. It carries a wallop. As Professor Albright puts it, "Our Hebrew texts have suffered more from losses than from glosses." Glosses are changes and corrections by scribes—alterations, notations, those things. That isn't what has damaged the Bible. It's losses, the stuff that has been removed. That's where it really suffers. And he proceeds to illustrate the point from a number of books showing he says, "Future translations will have to expand the text substantially, including some passages of great importance in their content that are missing from the Bible because they have been removed." They are being restored now.

Hugh Nibley, quoted above, is a world famous antiquities scholar. Dr. Nibley had this to say about Nephi’s vision and the idea that wicked men had taken "plain and precious" things out of the Bible.

Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Semester 1, p.258-260 - The final idea: Why do so few people know anything about the Atonement? We leave it up in the air—we don't know what we are talking about. Why do so few know anything about the gospel, for that matter? But the point is, here is this thing which is the central point of the teachings of Jesus Christ—his atoning blood. The term is used over and over [in the Book of Mormon]; it's dominant. It's a central theme, and yet, as we saw here, there is no agreement about it [in the world]. People are trying to figure out what it is. There is one very good explanation of that—something has been taken away. As I told you about Johanan Ben Zakkai, they didn't want the temple. They didn't want any of this. Remember, the main purpose of the temple was the carrying out of the sacrifices of the Atonement. That's what you find described in the books of Moses. The rabbis, who were teachers and not priests, were glad to get rid of it. Ben Zakkai took his school and went over in Jamnia and founded the first rabbinical school. They didn't want any of this, so these things were removed. As the Book of Mormon tells us, many precious things were removed. That's why people stumble. It's very obvious that the Atonement stands right there, and yet it's a vacuum. There's something missing. The explanation is very clearly given by Nephi at the first that many precious things have been removed; therefore, many stumble because of that. The Gentiles stumble, etc. It's obvious that has happened, but the Book of Mormon replaces that. It replaces those parts that have been removed, and that's why we need it—-among other things. Precious things have been removed from the Bible.

In his book Articles of Faith, Apostle James E. Talmage wrote this about "missing" scriptures.

p.501, Footnotes - Those who oppose the doctrine of continual revelation between God and His Church, on the ground that the Bible is complete as a collection of sacred scriptures, and that alleged revelation not found therein must therefore be spurious, may profitably take note of the many books not included in the Bible, yet mentioned therein, generally in such a way as to leave no doubt that they were once regarded as authentic. Among these extra-biblical scriptures, the following may be named; some of them are in existence today, and are classed with the Apocrypha; but the greater number are unknown. [See my list of lost books below.]

This is from Elder Talmage’s book Jesus the Christ.

Ch.9, p.119 - p.120 - Missing Scripture. -- Matthew's commentary on the abode of Joseph, Mary and Jesus at Nazareth, "and he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, he shall be called a Nazarene" (2:23), with the fact that no such saying of the prophets is found in any of the books contained in the Bible, suggests the certainty of lost scripture.

Well, enough of the preliminaries. Let's get into the evidentiary portion of this brief.

A list of lost or missing books of the Old Testament.

2 Chronicles 9:29 - Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, [are] they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat?

King Josiah is mentioned in 2 Kings 22-23 and also in 2 Chronicles 34-35. In 2 Kings 23:28 we read that the "rest of the acts of Josiah" can be found in "the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah." Is this a reference to a lost book, or merely to 2 Chronicles? Since the 2 Chronicles version doesn’t add much to the story I suspect this is talking about another book.

Exodus 24:7 - And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.

Jude 1:14 - And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

1 Chronicles 29:29 - Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they [are] written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,

2 Chronicles 9:29 - Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, [are] they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat?

2 Chronicles 12:15 - Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, [are] they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And [there were] wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. [Note: are the two above the same as the one below?]

2 Chronicles 13:22 - And the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, [are] written in the story of the prophet Iddo.

Joshua 10:13 - And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. [Is] not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

2 Chronicles 20:34 - Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they [are] written in the book of Jehu the son of Hanani, who [is] mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel.

2 Chronicles 9:29 - Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, [are] they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat?

1 Chronicles 29:29 - Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they [are] written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,

2 Chronicles 33:19 - His prayer also, and [how God] was intreated of him, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they [are] written among the sayings of the seers.

2 Chronicles 12:15 - Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, [are] they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And [there were] wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually.

1 Samuel 10:25 - Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote [it] in a book, and laid [it] up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house. (I suppose this could merely be the Book of Samuel.)

1 Kings 11:41 - ¶ And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, [are] they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?

Numbers 21:14 - Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the LORD, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon,

2 Chronicles 26:22 - Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.


A list of lost or missing books of the New Testament.

A missing epistle to the Colossians, written from Laodicea: Colossians 4:16 - And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the [epistle] from Laodicea.

A missing epistle to the Corinthians: 1 Corinthians 5:9 - ¶ I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

A missing epistle to the Ephesians: Ephesians 3:3-4 - 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).

A missing epistle of Jude: Jude 1:3 - Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

A declaration of belief mentioned by Luke: Luke 1:1 - ¶ FORASMUCH as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,


Joseph Smith’s "Inspired Revision" of the Bible did not restore any of these missing scriptures.

Merrill Y. Van Wagoner, The Inspired Revision of the Bible, p.17-18 - The Prophet Joseph Smith did not restore any of the missing books mentioned in the Bible. On June 25, 1833, seven days before ceasing the work of revision, the Prophet stated in a communication to the brethren in Zion, "We have not found the Book of Jasher, nor any other of the lost books mentioned in the Bible as yet; nor will we obtain them at present." (History of the Church 1:363.) Such books as the book of Remembrance kept in the days of Adam, the book of the Covenant, the book of the Wars of the Lord, the Acts of Uzziah, the book of the Prophet Shemiah, the book of Jehu, and others yet remain to be restored when the Lord deems it necessary.

One need not think that the many "plain and precious parts" taken from the Bible were the result of one person. Rather, they are the result of the efforts of the Adversary working over thousands of years with fallible mortals.

Merrill Y. Van Wagoner, The Inspired Revision of the Bible, p.33-34 - To summarize, many changes which were indicated by the Prophet's inspired corrections are of such great regularity and of such vital nature that they appear to have been made deliberately to keep the truth from man. Some of the most important of these changes include the first statements of the Gospel plan and its ordinances, statements about the work of the Messiah who was to come, and statements of the higher Priesthood, all of which show that these facts were made known to man as soon as he was placed on the earth. "Who brought about these changes?" we ask again. And again the answer is, "We do not know." In this connection we are certain of only two things: First, that when the books of the Bible were first written, they were correct; moreover, they were understandable. Second, that as they are today, there are many important items missing, and too many passages border on in-comprehensibility. It is difficult to imagine any one individual, group, or organization having had sufficient power and influence to cause the changes to be made in both the Greek and Hebrew texts as well as in the many versions. We must lay many of those changes which we label planned to the workings of the Spirit of Darkness, influencing various individuals in different ages in order to thwart the purposes of the Lord.

There is also evidence throughout the scriptures that men have taken earlier writings and, as Mormon did, compiled and abbreviated them. Whether they were commanded and inspired in what they did, as was Mormon, or had a darker motive, probably has no simple answer. The next quote talks about the true meaning of "and it came to pass."

Franklin S. Harris, Jr., The Book of Mormon: Messages and Evidences, p.119 - Elders E. Cecil McGavin and A. S. Reynolds note that the phrase "and it came to pass" is characteristic of an abridgment both in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. It occurs 386 times in the Old Testament and 81 times in the New Testament. It is entirely missing from 15 books of the Bible, and also entirely absent in the Moroni appendix of nearly 7,000 words which Moroni adds to the abridgment of the rest of the Book of Mormon. Though the phrase occurs 1,382 times in the Book of Mormon, every time it is in the midst of summarized material.

One interesting thing to do is to compare the chapters of Isaiah given in the Old Testament and in the Book of Mormon. I have written a fairly complete series of articles about Isiaiah which include information about these chapters. If you email me, I'll mail you a CD.

A few years ago I did a study called Women of the Old Testament. As I did my research I noticed a lot of textual errors in the King James Version. Most of these seem to be merely the result of poor proof-reading. Was this the fault of ancient scribes, or of the King James translators? I wonder how many of these discrepancies appear in other versions of the Old Testament. The ones I found are presented below for your consideration.

A list of discrepancies in the text of the Old Testament.

ABI/ABIJAH - The daughter of king Zachariah. Also notice the variant spelling of Zachariah/Zechariah.

2 Kings 18:2 - Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also [was] Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.

2 Chronicles 29:1 - ¶ HEZEKIAH began to reign [when he was] five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.


ABIJAH/ABIJAM - Also note the variant spelling of his mother’s name.

1 Kings 15:1-2 - 1 ¶ NOW in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah. 2 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

2 Chronicles 13:1-2 - 1 ¶ NOW in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah. 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also [was] Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.


ABISHALOM/URIEL - Maachah was also the name of one of the wives of Rehoboam, king of Judah. notice that her father is called Abishalom in one place and Uriel of Gibeah in the other. Perhaps Uriel was Absalom’s son, or was married to Absalom’s daughter? It is all pretty confusing!

1 Kings 15:1-2 - 1 ¶ NOW in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah. 2 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

2 Chronicles 13:1-2 - 1 ¶ NOW in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah. 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also [was] Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.


ABSALOM’S SONS - did he or didn’t he?

2 Samuel 14:27 - And unto Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name [was] Tamar: she was a woman of a fair countenance.

2 Samuel 18:18 - Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which [is] in the king's dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom's place.


AHAZIAH/AZARIAH - Ahaziah is called Azariah in 2 Chronicles 22:6.

2 Chronicles 22:6 - And he returned to be healed in Jezreel because of the wounds which were given him at Ramah, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria. And Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab at Jezreel, because he was sick.

2 Kings 8:25 - ¶ In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel did Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign.


ASRIEL/ASHRIEL & MANASSEH’S WIVES - Manasseh the son of Joseph had a wife who bare Ashriel, and an Aramite concubine who bare Machir, the father of Gilead. But we also read that Machir was Manasseh’s firstborn. Notice that there are two spellings for the name of one of the sons of Manasseh.

Joshua 17:1-2 - ¶ THERE was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh; for he [was] the firstborn of Joseph; [to wit], for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead: because he was a man of war, therefore he had Gilead and Bashan. 2 There was also [a lot] for the rest of the children of Manasseh by their families; for the children of Abiezer, and for the children of Helek, and for the children of Asriel, and for the children of Shechem, and for the children of Hepher, and for the children of Shemida: these [were] the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph by their families.

1 Chronicles 7:14 - The sons of Manasseh; Ashriel, whom she bare: ([but] his concubine the Aramitess bare Machir the father of Gilead:


ATHALIAH - Athaliah is said to be the daughter of Omri in 2 Kings 8:26 and 2 Chronicles 22:2, but she was really his granddaughter! Notice that Omri’s son was Ahab, and Ahab’s son was Ahaziah.

2 Kings 8:26 - Two and twenty years old [was] Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel.

2 Chronicles 22:2 - Forty and two years old [was] Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also [was] Athaliah the daughter of Omri.

1 Kings 16:28 - So Omri slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria: and Ahab his son reigned in his stead.

1 Kings 16:29 - ¶ And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years.


AZARIAH/UZZIAH - Many of these errors appear in parallel versions of a story. And many of these things are merely name spelling differences. I wonder if these names are identical in the original Hebrew?

2 Kings 15:1-2 - 1 ¶ IN the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign. 2 Sixteen years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned two and fifty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Jecholiah of Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 26:1 - ¶ THEN all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who [was] sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.


BATHSHEBA/BATHSHUA & AMMIEL/ELIAM - David’s whore Bathsheba and her father also have a name problem. Since Eliam looks a lot like Ammiel spelled backwards, maybe this is some weird kind of translation error.

1 Chronicles 3:5 - And these were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shimea, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, four, of Bathshua the daughter of Ammiel:

2 Samuel 11:3 - And David sent and enquired after the woman. And [one] said, [Is] not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?


BATHSHUA - Another Bathshua was one of Judah’s wives. Her name means "daughter of wealth." I wonder if this was not a name at all, but merely a description of her father? See Shua below for this same question.

BITHIA’S SONS - The following verse says, "these are the sons of Bithia," but doesn’t give their names. Something is missing. Another wacky example similar to this one is Miriam. Check it out too.

1 Chronicles 4:18 - And his wife Jehudijah bare Jered the father of Gedor, and Heber the father of Socho, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. And these [are] the sons of Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took.

CHERUBIM - The plural of cherub is cherubim, but the King James Version of the Bible uses cherubims 59 times in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament. Cherubim is never used. This is like saying, "the three deers crossed the road." The Book of Mormon, Moses, and the JST of Genesis all use cherubim. We think of a cherub as some kind of cute baby, but these angels were actually mighty warriors. Think of the guardian angel in Rose is Rose whenever Pascuale is threatened.

CHILEAB/DANIEL - David’s second son. His mother was Abigail.

2 Samuel 3:3 - And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;

1 Chronicles 3:1 - ¶ NOW these were the sons of David, which were born unto him in Hebron; the firstborn Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; the second Daniel, of Abigail the Carmelitess:


DINAH - Dinah was the daughter of Leah. If you look up Dinah in the LDS King James Bible dictionary, you’ll discover that she was the daughter of "Leach." So errors can creep into dictionaries as well as into the Bible itself.

EPHRATAH - Caleb’s wife’s name is spelled two ways.

1 Chronicles 2:19 - And when Azubah was dead, Caleb took unto him Ephrath, which bare him Hur.

1 Chronicles 2:50 - These were the sons of Caleb the son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah; Shobal the father of Kirjathjearim,


ESAU’S WIVES - One of my sources claims that Esau’s wife Bashemath was also called Adah and Mahalath. But from the text it would appear that Esau married two daughters of Elon; Adah and Bashemath, and he married two daughters of Ishmael; Mahalath and Bashemath. And then he also married Judith and Aholibamah. Confusing at best.

Genesis 26:34 - ¶ And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:

Genesis 28:8-9 - 8 And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; 9 Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham's son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.

Genesis 36:2-3 - 2 Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; 3 And Bashemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth.


FORESKINS - Saul was envious of David. He sought to kill him by offering him his daughter Merab in return for a certain number of Philistine foreskins. How many foreskins did David bring back? This was "full tale," which means it was what had been promised. Saul, assuming David wouldn’t make it back, had given Merab to another man, so he gave David another daughter, Michal. Maybe David was just being generous by bringing 200 foreskins instead of the requested 100.

1 Samuel 18:25 - And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.

1 Samuel 18:27 - Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.


HODIAH - The sons of Ezra’s wife Hodiah the sister of Naham were the father of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maachathite, but their names are not given. It sounds like there is something missing here. One of my sources says "The King James Version erroneously translates this section to identify Hodiah as the wife of a man named Ezra. Actually Hodiah was a man, an ancestor of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maacathite."

1 Chronicles 4:19 - And the sons of [his] wife Hodiah the sister of Naham, the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maachathite.

ISAIAH - The chapters of Isaiah that are found in the Book of Mormon are all indicated in the LDS King James Version of the Old Testament. Except for Isaiah 50 and 51. Somehow these were overlooked. Check it out!

JAEL - The wife of Heber the Kenite, Jael is highly regarded in Hebrew tradition for the murder of Sisera. Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, and Jael hold equal prominence. Eve is not held in high regard, is blamed for most of mankind’s problems, and is call "treacherous." Isn’t it nice we know the truth about mother Eve? Most of the errors I’m showing here are not doctrinal - but the misunderstanding regarding Eve and the Fall certainly fall into the category of "plain and precious parts" missing and causing "many to stumble." But I digress. The two versions of Sisera’s death sound as though he either died while drinking, or in his sleep.

Judges 4:21 - Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

Judges 5:24-27 - 24 ¶ Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent. 25 He asked water, [and] she gave [him] milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish. 26 She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples. 27 At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.


JALON - Since Miriam is usually a woman’s name, perhaps 1 Chronicles 4:17 should say "and Miriam bare Shammai,..." or perhaps it should say, "and he bare Miriam..." (ie., Miriam was Jalon’s son or daughter.) Or perhaps the "she" in verse 17 refers to "Bithia" in verse 18. You tell me.

1 Chronicles 4:17-18 - And the sons of Ezra [were], Jether, and Mered, and Epher, and Jalon: and she bare Miriam, and Shammai, and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa. 18 And his wife Jehudijah bare Jered the father of Gedor, and Heber the father of Socho, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. And these [are] the sons of Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took.

JEHORAM/JORAM - King Omri’s son Ahab married the infamous Jezebel. Their son Joram, mention in 2 Kings 9:23 is called Jehoram in the next verse.

2 Kings 9:23-24 - 23 And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, [There is] treachery, O Ahaziah. 24 And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot.

JEHOSHABEATH/JEHOSHEBA - One of Jehoram’s sons by his wife Zibiah, named Joash, was rescued by Jehosheba in 2 Kings 11:2, or by Jehoshabeath in 2 Chronicles 22:11. This lady was the daughter of king Joram, mentioned above.

2 Kings 11:2 - 2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons [which were] slain; and they hid him, [even] him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.

2 Chronicles 22:11 - 11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not.


JOZACHAR/ZABAD - Shimeath was the Ammonite mother of Jozachar or Zabad.

2 Kings 12:21 - For Jozachar the son of Shimeath, and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, smote him, and he died; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Amaziah his son reigned in his stead.

2 Chronicles 24:26 - And these are they that conspired against him; Zabad the son of Shimeath an Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith a Moabitess.


MAACHAH/MICHAIAH - There are several women named Maachah in the Old Testament. In the verses below we learn that David’s son Absalom was the son of Maachah the daughter of Talmai, and that Absalom’s daughter was also named Maachah. One of my sources says "a careful study of her genealogy bears out the ancient historian Josephus’ statement that [she] was a granddaughter of Absalom." This generation skipping happens frequently in the Hebrew genealogies. Also see the entry for Absalom’s sons.

1 Chronicles 3:2 - The third, Absalom the son of Maachah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur: the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith:

2 Chronicles 11:20 - And after her he took Maachah the daughter of Absalom; which bare him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith.


MAACHAH/MICHAIAH - Maachah was also the name of one of the wives of Rehoboam, king of Judah. Her name is also spelled Michaiah. And notice that her father is called Abishalom in one place and Uriel of Gibeah in the other. Perhaps Uriel was Absalom’s son, or was married to Absalom’s daughter? It is all pretty confusing!

1 Kings 15:1-2 - 1 ¶ NOW in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah. 2 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

2 Chronicles 13:1-2 - 1 ¶ NOW in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah. 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also [was] Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.


MERAB/MICHAL - Who brought up the sons of Adriel? Merab and Michal were both Saul’s daughters. Saul gave Merab to Adriel. Michal was given to David, but never had any children because she criticized David for dancing naked in public.

2 Samuel 6:23 - Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.

2 Samuel 21:8 - But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:


MIXED STORIES? - Here’s an example from Numbers 25 where there may be three separate stories somehow mingled. While the Israelites abode at Shittim, some men began to go over to the daughters of Moab and committed whoredoms both with the Moabite women and with their gods, especially Baalpeor. The Lord commanded the people to hang up the heads of all those who had participated. One man, Zimri, a Simeonite, brought a Midianite woman, Cozbi, the daughter of Zur, to the tabernacle, apparently so he could have sex with her! Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, followed them into the tent and thrust both of them through with a javelin. For this righteous act, Phinehas was promised that he and his seed would always have the Priesthood. This stopped some kind of plague which had killed 24,000 Israelites. Read this whole thing and you’ll be as amazed as I am.

PHALTI/PHALTIEL - During the years David was an outlaw, Saul gave Michal to another man. What was his real name?

1 Samuel 25:44 - But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which [was] of Gallim.

2 Samuel 3:15 - And Ishbosheth sent, and took her from [her] husband, [even] from Phaltiel the son of Laish.


RACHAB/RAHAB - In Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:4-5) we read that "Naasson begat Salmon; and Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse." Most scholars think the Rahab mentioned here is the famous woman of Jericho who helped the spies sent in by Joshua in chapter 2 of that book. But the fall of Jericho occurred in about 1451 B.C., and David was born in about 1078 B.C. As near as I can figure, from my own genealogy, this works out to at least 12 or 13 generations, not merely 5. So there are some missing pieces in this genealogy. The text should probably say that Booz was a descendant of Salmon and Rachab and so forth. Also note the Rachab vs Rahab spellings.

REBEKAH/SARAH - There are two very similar stories told about Abraham (Genesis 20) and Isaac (Genesis 26) and their wives. Both husbands prevaricated and said their wives were merely their sisters. Both women were strikingly beautiful. Both stories took place in a land called Gerar. Etc. I wonder if these are really just one story which the ancient chroniclers somehow ascribed to one couple or the other incorrectly.

SARAH/SERAH - The daughter of Asher, who, according to Jewish tradition, was asked to hint to Jacob that Joseph was still alive before his sons told him who they ran into in Egypt, so the shock wouldn’t kill the old man. For this kindness, Jacob supposedly "blessed her with eternal life." Perhaps this woman was named after her illustrious great grandmother.

Numbers 26:46 - And the name of the daughter of Asher [was] Sarah.

Genesis 46:17 - And the sons of Asher; Jimnah, and Ishuah, and Isui, and Beriah, and Serah their sister: and the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel.


SHIMRITH/SHOMER - Jehozabad’s mother was Shimrith. Was Shomer his father, or is Shomer another spelling for Shimrith?

2 Kings 12:21 - For Jozachar the son of Shimeath, and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, smote him, and he died; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Amaziah his son reigned in his stead.

2 Chronicles 24:26 - And these are they that conspired against him; Zabad the son of Shimeath an Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith a Moabitess.


SHUA/SHUAH - One of my sources said her name was Bathshua - daughter of wealth - so this may not even be an actual name, but a description of the family’s social status. Also see Bathshua.

Genesis 38:2 - And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name [was] Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.

1 Chronicles 2:3 - The sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah: [which] three were born unto him of the daughter of Shua the Canaanitess. And Er, the firstborn of Judah, was evil in the sight of the LORD; and he slew him.


TAMAR/THAMAR - I’ve mostly used examples from the Old Testament. Here’s one that includes the New Testament.

Genesis 38:6 - And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name [was] Tamar.

Matthew 1:3 - And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;


UNLIKELY STORIES!! - One of the most incredible stories in the bible is the account of the Levite’s concubine found in Judges 19-21. A Levite gave his concubine to some wicked men. These men "abused her all the night until the morning" and then let her go. She dropped dead on the Levite’s doorstep. So he cut her into twelve pieces and sent the pieces to the twelve tribes. The result is that 40,000 Jewish soldiers and 45,100 Benjamite soldiers were killed, along with all the women and children of Benjamin except for a few of the young Benjamite boys, and all the people of Jabeshgilead, a city that hadn’t sent any men to help in all the other meaningless fighting. And there are other pointless cruelties and barbarisms. Whatever happened here, this recounting of it must surely be mostly distortion and hype.

ZACHARIAH/ZECHARIAH

2 Kings 18:2 - Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also [was] Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.

2 Chronicles 29:1 - ¶ HEZEKIAH began to reign [when he was] five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.


Conclusion.

You probably noticed that none of the examples above reveals any problem with the doctrines of the Bible. At the same time, this is certainly enough information to dispel once-and-for-all any notions about the inerrancy of the Bible.

Unfortunately, some minds are like concrete: thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

What do you think about all this?

2 Comments:

At 6/20/09, 8:46 AM, Blogger David Milo Pearson said...

Of course the Bible is not inerrant. In fact, when someone says that the Bible is inerrant, the question can be asked, 'Which one?', for, as you have pointed out, there are at least dozens of versions, and they don't all agree on the translation of various passages.

I really like your 'concrete' conclusion! (I'll have to use that myself sometime).

A few years ago while debating 'traditonal Christians' regarding this issue, one said that the "original autograph" of the Bible is/was inerrant. Of course, that is the position we Mormons take. But, the "...we believe the Bible to be the word of God inasmuch as it is translated correctly..." portion of the article of faith, without a corresponding caveat of The Book of Mormon is taken as a "Mormons hold the Book of Mormon to be superior to the Bible."

Of course, I would hold that, actually, we hold the Book of Mormon to be the word of God inasmuch as it is understood correctly. I see a misapplication very often of the oft-repeated, "If ye keep my commandment ye shall prosper in the land" promise in the Book of Mormon. The misunderstanding, in my view is, if I'm prospering, I must be keeping the commandments, which may or may not be the case.

The opposing corollary of that promise is its accompanying curse. "If ye keep not my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence." Therefore, the curse is more a spiritual measure aspect. Why shouldn't we assume that the promise is also?

My belief regarding the Bible is that it is, by-and-large, translated correctly. There are, to be sure, many missing books and passages. Joseph Smith restored a few of the passages. However, I am of the opinion that there were many passages which he did not necessarily restore.

I believe that they will be restored in large measure, at least in part, when the brass plates are translated. Note what Alma prophecied (or pointed out about Lehi's prophecy on the subject)—

3 And these plates of brass, which contain these engravings, which have the records of the holy scriptures upon them, which have the genealogy of our forefathers, even from the beginning—

4 Behold, it has been prophesied by our fathers, that they should be kept and handed down from one generation to another, and be kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord until they should go forth unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, that they shall know of the mysteries contained thereon.

(Book of Mormon | Alma 37:3 - 4)

We understand, also, that the abbreviated version of the Old Testament contained in the brass plates had more material than the entire Bible we now have!

I was watching a video on YouTube last night of a Hugh Nibley lecture. He quoted Professor William Albright, whom he said was the greatest American Biblical scholar, that more is missing from the bible due to "loss than gloss", meaning, as Nibley explained it, that missing material accounted for more of the problems in the Bible than mistransmission (errors made in copying, etc) do.

 
At 6/20/09, 8:48 AM, Blogger David Milo Pearson said...

A very easy verse to see where a word got dropped is—

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

(New Testament | Matthew 10:29)

Without "your Father" what? Probably "noticing", or some such word. The sentence, as given, is incomplete, and really doesn't make sense, does it?

I don't know if you've ever read "The Book of Jasher", which was being brought to light during the lifetime of the Prophet Joseph Smith, without him being aware of it. Of course, I've read that "LDS scholars" do not believe that this "Book of Jasher" is not the one mentioned in the Bible. I don't know why "they" don't. It is mostly genuine scripture. It is apocryphal, to be sure, and must be understood according to the Spirit of God.

However, it sheds a great amount of light on much that is missing in Genesis, and perhaps, if my memory serves me right, possibly even beyond. A verson of it was printed in Salt Lake City in the 1870's or 1880's. But you can find, copy and save from one of the online versions, since it is out of copyright.

 

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