A Bible, A Bible

31Mar07


A post over at Faith Promoting Rumor asked why does it seem that most members of the Church are deficient when it comes to the New Testament, or the Bible as a whole. I have thought about my own experiences with the New Testament and why I often prefer the Book of Mormon, or say, the Pearl of Great Price in my study of the scripture.

Redding California, back in 1998, was the first place that I ever attempted to read the NT, mostly in effort to be able to missionary work in a community that had a high concentration of Evangelical Christians. I made it through the four gospels and the Acts, but when I reached the first Pauline Epistle, I felt like I had slammed up against a brick wall. I had no idea what Paul was talking about. To me, his words were not plain, and I would only come to appreciate his words after years of scripture study.

As I mentioned, the language was my big hang up. Part of the problem is with who translated the New Testament for the King James Version. They were the most learned men of their time, doing a translation that would largely be read by other educated people. From what I know, the KJV represents the best scholarship of the times, and from what I know about scholars, their words are not often accessible to the common man.

For me, that was the only obstacle. I knew that the NT was valuable, and therefore I invested the time and effort to understand the Epistles, and have since come to love them.

Language obstacle aside, many members, especially those only familiar with Latter-day Scripture, see the Bible as inferior because of the “plain and precious parts” that have been removed by the Great and Abominable Church. Unfortunately they fail to realize that though Nephi pointed out that sacred truth had been removed, he never discounted the value of that record and saw that it would be the means of keeping the coals of faith burning throughout centuries of apostasy and darkness.

Those with this perspective, forget that it was that the General Epistle of James that inspired Joseph Smith to ask god in prayer which church was right, something that he had never thought of.

But that said, I have made the Bible part of my personal study. I will still say that while I prefer the Book of Mormon and am most familiar with that sacred record, I know that all the testaments of Christ, which contain sacred truth, will make anyone a better person if they will but embrace and live by the truth contained in those records.

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