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Old 06-11-2001, 02:47 PM   #11
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I am not sure that I am following either Norm's point or Echo's here.

The Book of Mormon is said to have been handed down directly to Joseph Smith by an angel (the name of this angel is somewhat muddled, but I believe it is Morani). Smith was the only to actually translate the golden tablets, and the language that he translated is not known to have ever existed. The Bible, by contrast, is written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, all common ancient languages. There is no archeological evidence to support the BoM at all, nor, according to the BoM will there ever be any such evidence. God supposedly destroyed it all. So when Enoch asks if the Bible should be tested against archeology, the answer from Christians is an unequivocal yes. Obviously the same cannot be true for Mormons and their Book.

There is no extant (or even fragmentary) evidence of older texts of the BoM. With the case of the Bible, we have many such sources, and archeology holds out the hope that many more such ancient sources can and will be found. It is from the need to reconstruct thesefragments into a whole that the science of textual criticism came into existence. This science works a lot like paleontology, which was invented to study dinosaurs from fragmentary evidence.

Here is my question to Enoch or Norm. What evidence do you have from archeology that contradicts the Bible? What evidence do you have from other sciences that disproves any claims in the Bible? I will grant that the miracles are hardly provable by science, but by the same token, it is equally certain that science cannot disprove them either. So let's stick with the natural claims made by the authors of the Bible, and see what evidence is available for or against it.

Now, in follow up, what evidence is there, independent of the Book of Mormon, that ANY of the things reported in its pages is true? Can you offer a single example?

Thank you.

Nomad
 
Old 06-11-2001, 03:16 PM   #12
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by madmax2976:
Many Christians have no problem with evolution. Not all Christians adhere to biblical innerrancy. Lots of the questions you ask have been discussed or are being discussed in other threads. </font>
This is true madmax, but the problem then becomes, if you "don't" believe the Bible from cover to cover, as fact....where DO you sign on? Noah? Abraham? The New Testament only? If you are a faithful, "born-again in the spirit" Christian, and not just a one-foot-in/one-foot-out Christian by heritage and hung up on your family "tradition" (like a Catholic), then you are COMPELLED to accept the Holy Bible, from cover to cover, as the inerrant, infallible and wholly-inspired "Word of God". This also implies a belief and acceptance of the doctrine of "sola scriptura", and accepting that Scripture is the final court of arbitration for all matters of faith, both doctrinally and practically. Now given that, where DO you sign on to the Bible?? This is the great Christian dilemma, and why it becomes a matter of faith to the believer since you basically have to commit intellectual suicide to accept it all. If you don't believe any part of it, as a believer, then I have to ask you, "What parts DO you believe? And who are you, as "fallible" man, to stand in judgment of the Bible which is the infallible inspiration of God??" There is NOTHING in the style or prose of Genesis to indicate that this is supposed to be allegories or mythological tales to guide men in their moral pursuits. If you TOTALLY believe in God and have complete faith in Christ as your Savior, then you are compelled to believe Scripture in its entirety as historical fact!

THIS IS THE WHOLE PROBLEM. Unless you are willing to completely white-wash all scientific study and naturalistic evidence with the supernatural wand, you can never accept what the Scriptures hold as truth. When you constantly try to marry the two...all you do is trip and stumble, BELIEVE me.
 
Old 06-11-2001, 03:41 PM   #13
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Nomad

I will quite happily agree that there is sufficient documentation which proves the bible's historical pedigree as a book (or group of books), and that many of the events said to have happened actually did. I do not think that anyone could really deny this.

I will also agree that there is absolutely no evidence to support Smith's claim.

But there is no evidence against the BoM either, and my Mormon visitors happily acknowledged that God (or Moroni, I forget which) took back the gold plates after Smith finished his "translation" and had showed them to the eleven witnesses.

BTW, I am trying to read it at the moment, but it is a much tougher read than the Bible, and I often find myself, BoM in hand, falling asleep.

Norm
 
Old 06-11-2001, 04:33 PM   #14
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Nomad:

Like I said in an earlier post, I'm not interested in proving the bible true/false or the BoM true/false. My interest in this thread is the methodology one uses to determine that either the bible or BoM is true or false. It seems that non-Mormons have rejected the BoM solely on the basis of evidence- either the lack of substantiating evidence for it or the presence of evidence against it. Faith doesn't seem to have anything to do with it.
But where the Mormons are concerned, faith has just about everything to do with it. They have asked God himself if the BoM is true and he has done so. Mormons don't tell me they "believe" the BoM to be true, they tell me they KNOW it to be true because God has filled their heart with the knowledge of its truth.

So which is the preferable methodology?
 
Old 06-11-2001, 05:28 PM   #15
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Echo, I think what Nomad is saying is that Christians have faith, but we also have a good amount of archaeology to help our belief.

More so, at least in my opinion, than other religions.

Ish
 
Old 06-11-2001, 05:57 PM   #16
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Ish

Just curious, but since Mormons do accept the Bible and Jesus, they can make a claim to be Christians. Just because they have added a somewhat wierd book, have some wierd beliefs (by my standards anyway) and used to accept polygamy (uummm polygamy :-}).

I mean some Christians probably "believe" in astrology and UFOs, but does that mean God will turf them out of New Jerusalem?

Norm
 
Old 06-11-2001, 06:16 PM   #17
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by MOJO-JOJO:
This is true madmax, but the problem then becomes, if you "don't" believe the Bible from cover to cover, as fact....where DO you sign on? Noah? Abraham? The New Testament only? If you are a faithful, "born-again in the spirit" Christian, and not just a one-foot-in/one-foot-out Christian by heritage and hung up on your family "tradition" (like a Catholic), then you are COMPELLED to accept the Holy Bible, from cover to cover, as the inerrant, infallible and wholly-inspired "Word of God". This also implies a belief and acceptance of the doctrine of "sola scriptura", and accepting that Scripture is the final court of arbitration for all matters of faith, both doctrinally and practically. Now given that, where DO you sign on to the Bible?? This is the great Christian dilemma, and why it becomes a matter of faith to the believer since you basically have to commit intellectual suicide to accept it all. If you don't believe any part of it, as a believer, then I have to ask you, "What parts DO you believe? And who are you, as "fallible" man, to stand in judgment of the Bible which is the infallible inspiration of God??" There is NOTHING in the style or prose of Genesis to indicate that this is supposed to be allegories or mythological tales to guide men in their moral pursuits. If you TOTALLY believe in God and have complete faith in Christ as your Savior, then you are compelled to believe Scripture in its entirety as historical fact!

THIS IS THE WHOLE PROBLEM. Unless you are willing to completely white-wash all scientific study and naturalistic evidence with the supernatural wand, you can never accept what the Scriptures hold as truth. When you constantly try to marry the two...all you do is trip and stumble, BELIEVE me.
</font>
I could imagine several ways to address certain parts of the Bible and still maintain belief in it. It wouldn't be all that difficult. Since I'm an atheist I'd probably agree that it wouldn't be a very rational position to have. My point to James remains. Rather than spout off about creationism and dinosaurs and so forth he should have at least a basic appreciation for the large diversity that exists within the Christian faith.
 
Old 06-11-2001, 07:17 PM   #18
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As to archeological evidence that the Bible contains errors, here goes:

* In the Book of Jonah, Jonah convinces the people of Nineveh to repent of their sins, but there is no record of this event has been found in the ruins of Nineveh, and it is unrecorded elsewhere in the Bible.

* There is no destruction of Canaanite cities corresponding with when the Israelite invasion was supposed to occur.

* There is no evidence of a few hundred thousand people wandering in the Sinai Peninsula 3500 years ago.

* There is no record of the Exodus in Egyptian records, even one twisted to seem like some great triumph.
 
Old 06-11-2001, 07:54 PM   #19
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by madmax2976:
My point to James remains. Rather than spout off about creationism and dinosaurs and so forth he should have at least a basic appreciation for the large diversity that exists within the Christian faith. </font>
I don't see anywhere in my post where I showed a lack of appreciation for the diversity of the Christian faith. The fact is that TrueThinker made a statement that the Bible passes historical and scientific rigor and I stated that he was false and simply named some examples of why he was false. I have no doubt that there are many liberal Christians who don't fall in line with fundie party-line thinking. I myself tried to hold a liberal Christian position at one time in my life (trying to assert that the Bible was the Word of God "in spirit" but not in a literal sense), but quickly came to the conclusion that this position was irrational and I departed from Christianity completely.


 
Old 06-11-2001, 10:52 PM   #20
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by fromdownunder:

I will quite happily agree that there is sufficient documentation which proves the bible's historical pedigree as a book (or group of books), and that many of the events said to have happened actually did. I do not think that anyone could really deny this. </font>
Hi Norm

I have just been trying to get a handle on what point you are actually trying to make on this thread. Are you suggesting that the level of evidenciary support for the Bible and BoM are equivalent? If that is the case, then such a belief is clearly a fallacy. The Book of Mormon is entirely without ANY external supports, and that is not even denied by Smith, the LDS or any of their apologists (so far as I am aware).

Given your next statement, I do not think that you are making this point, but that simply begs the question don't you think?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I will also agree that there is absolutely no evidence to support Smith's claim.

But there is no evidence against the BoM either, and my Mormon visitors happily acknowledged that God (or Moroni, I forget which) took back the gold plates after Smith finished his "translation" and had showed them to the eleven witnesses.</font>
Given that one can not prove a negative, and the BoM remains entirely non-falsifiable, it remains one of those areas in which I simply will not debate. Moroni did take the tablets, and they will not return until Jesus returns. The archaeological record was wiped clean in disasters authored by God. So we will never find any evidence of the civilizations described in the BoM. None of this is true of the Bible. One of its most powerful claims is that it CAN be tested against the historical record.

Thus, for example, if we can find actual evidence that contradicts the Bible, then Christians (and if it is from the OT, Jews as well) must address these issues. Mormons will never face such a challenge. Smith closed the circle nice and tight.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">BTW, I am trying to read it at the moment, but it is a much tougher read than the Bible, and I often find myself, BoM in hand, falling asleep. </font>
It helps if you love the KJV Bible, since Smith very deliberately wrote it in the same style and language. He even lifted whole passages from the KJV. That said, I also found it to be a tedious read, although some of the stories about its creation are quite interesting (especially what happened when his soon to be EX-wife ran off with the first 160 odd pages of his original translation, forcing him to start over, and leaving him with NOTHING to help him make sure that he got it exactly the same the second time through).

In any event, have fun with the read, and if you do have any questions regarding it or the Bible, please let me know.

Peace,

Nomad
 
 

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