Saturday, November 1, 2008
Evangelical critics of the Book of Mormon use many arguments to call into question the validity of the Book of Mormon. However, many of them are double standards. Evangelical critics usually throw out these arguments against the Book of Mormon while they ignore the fact that these same arguments can and have been used against the Bible. Here is a sampling:
5. The Book of Mormon has textual changes.
While this is true, it is even truer for the Bible, which, over the centuries of transmission and translation, has accumulated hundreds of thousands of textual variations in between manuscripts.
4. We Don't Have the Gold Plates to the Book of Mormon
Neither do we have the original manuscripts to the supposedly inerrant, complete, perfect Bible.
3. DNA Disproves the Book of Mormon
Many genetic scientists have also been using the exact same DNA data and methods to call into question the veracity of the fundamentalist Protestant interpretation of the opening stories of the Book of Genesis, such as Adam and Eve and Noah's Flood covering the entire world.
2. Archaeology Disproves the Book of Mormon
There is a popular, albeit false, notion amongst some Evangelical critics of the Book of Mormon that the Bible has been proven by archaeology and that the Book of Mormon has been disproven by archaeology. However, many of the historical claims of the Bible (such as the Israelite captivity in Egypt, the exodus from Egypt in the wilderness for 40 years and the Israelite conquest of Canaan, to name only a few) have been questioned by top biblical archaeologists.
1. The Bible is Sufficient and Disqualifies the Book of Mormon as being Scripture.
The current Bible as we have it now did not spring up automatically but was compiled and edited over a course of many years. The passages used by Evangelicals to somehow prove that the Book of Mormon cannot be scripture because there cannot be anymore scripture could easily be applied to the Bible in its current form. For example, the Gospel of John is believed by many biblical textual critics to have been written after the Book of Revelation. If Evangelicals insist on using those verses from Revelation 22:18-19 and apply it to the Book of Mormon because the Book of Mormon came after the Book of Revelation, then, for the sake of consistency, they too would have to use it against the Gospel of John because it too postdates the Book of Revelation.
Please note that I do not bring up these points because I am "bashing" the Bible. I affirm the Bible as the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly. I love the Bible and its teachings have had a deep impact on my life. However, I do bring up these points to show that the Evangelical critics of the Book of Mormon should be careful in their criticisms of the Book of Mormon because many of their arguments could be used against the Bible. In other words, I am trying to show that these arguments are double standards and cannot be used by Evangelical critics.