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Friend Becoming A Mormon

A friend of mine is converting to Mormonism? Do any of you Christians have any advice as to what I should say to him?

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While you are worrying about what to say, also worry about being the kind of friend you should be. It would be nice if everyone were always making decisions based on truth, but often it is based upon where they feel accepted, comfortable, loved, appreciated, needed, etc. A lot of times we worry about how we can preach better to friends and family, when we should be worrying about how we can better live as a christian and be an example of the believers.
---Lori on 4/2/09

Ken (Heb- yes). But far from a scholar. Fortunately...

"God chose what is insignificant in the world, what is despised, what is nothing, in order to destroy what is something." 1 Cor 1:28 International Standard Version
---scott on 4/2/09


You have not answered my question.

Have you done ANY study of the Hebrew language?
---John_T on 4/1/09

Can you please provide the page number from the Scofield Notes that you have cited?

It appears that your comment on 4/1/09 was cut and pasted from another poster on another site. It's verbatim with the exception of the copyright date given for the "Notes."

In addition it doesn't appear to be a quote from the "Notes" as much as a comment with his source (Scofield Notes) cited at the end. I'm not saying the comment about Elohim isn't in the "Notes," however I'd like to read it for myself.
---scott on 4/1/09

Samuel -
The Book of Abraham speaks of the gods worshipped by "the heathens". ... It tells the story of Abraham. ... You don't know the gods of these people were "made up." You choose to follow those who say this book isn't what it claims - there is much to refute those accusations that you and those like you will never bother to investigate. HappyLDS

I have researched those names and they are made up false names. So yes I do know.

What evidence do you have it is true? I have investigated it for myself. It is a false.

I have read the Book of Mormon, as well as all of the other books that make up the sacred literature written by the first Joseph Smith. When compared to the Bible they are false.
---Samuel on 4/1/09


It's true that "Many have suggested this...reflect(s) the plurality of the Trinity."

But you have to ask yourself if those "suggestions" can be supported with the Hebrew language itself or if it's a special pleading on the part of trinitarians.

"I have said, Ye are gods (elohim), and all of you are children of the most High." Ps 82:6 (People as a three-in-one God?)

Why is there only special meaning attached to this basic hebrew feature (pl) when applied to YHWH?

To say that this "may be deliberate word play" is hardly a resounding vote of confidence for a trinitarian argument that on closer examination (of the Hebrew language) cannot be supported.
---scott on 4/1/09


Try this

Elohim is a plural, and can mean gods, but is applied also to the God of the Bible. Many have suggested that this grammatically plural form is designed to reflect the plurality of the Trinity. It also appears that El, which appears often in compound forms (El Shaddai, etc.), suggests strength and power, although we should be careful not to read earlier meanings into later occurrences of words. (We may be justified in doing this with Jehovah/Yahweh, however, since Ex. 3:14 may be a deliberate word play.) from Handbook of Bible Study (Scofield notes) Copyright 1994 by Paul Karleen

I have other sources if you want to read them
---John_T on 4/1/09

Samuel -
The Book of Abraham speaks of the gods worshipped by "the heathens". It speaks mostly of Jehovah being the God worshipped by Abraham. It tells the story of Abraham. It's 5 chapters long and you concentrate on only a few verses which speak of other gods. There are many today that worship other gods - money, beauty,etc. You don't know the gods of these people were "made up." You choose to follow those who say this book isn't what it claims - there is much to refute those accusations that you and those like you will never bother to investigate. I suggest you read the entire book and stop concentrating on a few verses that enable you to twist it into something it isn't.
---HappyLDS on 3/31/09

As to the original question. If a friend of mine were converting to Mormonism, I would ask him why? I would ask him what he believes. I would tell him what I believe and why. I would do this without anger, beligerance or belittling. If I were to notice that anger, beligerance or belittling words were creeping into my speech, I would try to stop and recognize that I am not being motivated out of love towards my friend, but either out of ego, or outright bigotry.
---grant on 3/31/09

Samuel - could you tell me where in the Book of Abraham "makes up gods" or where it says we teach that Jesus isn't truthful? I've not read these things and I have read the BOM completely, most of the PoGP and D & C. Maybe I missed it.

There are a number of gods mentioned in the Book of Abraham that Joseph Smith translated from Hieroglyphics when no one else could. But today many can. The gods that Smith said were worshipped are not found in any list of gods that I can find.

JESUS said you must be born again. Do you teach you must be born again?
---Samuel on 3/31/09

Yes, agreed. But my sloppy, phonetic transliteration aside, what is your response?

Your comments smack ever so slightly of "dag maluah adom" (red herring).

At your request, I have re read your comments about the shemah. My response stands. There is nothing in the hebrew word 'elohim' that suggests multiple three gods IN ONE. The 'im' ending is plural, either suggesting multiple gods (three, thirty or three thousand) or as scholars suggest, the 'plural of majesty.'

Again Bael is called "Elohim" and he, though a false god, was not viewed or worshipped as a trinity.
---scott on 3/30/09

Scott wrote: To use your reasoning here based on the Hebrew language- the plural use of "EL" (God) does not give us multiple Gods *in one* but multiple Gods period. Polytheism. That's how the Heb language works.

Precisely where did you study Hebrew, for how long, and at what level?

The reason I ask is because your transliteration of the im ending "eme" is so far off that it gives me reason to doubt your knowledge of what you say.

I suggest that you re read my comment about the "Shemah"
---John_T on 3/28/09

Yes, I agree with Samuel! Everyone should get a copy of the Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants! By the way, Mormons have one Bible, it contains the Old and New Testaments and is the KJV. If they were read with an honest agenda - one simply searching for the truth, one would find that the things they have seen and heard on the internet and from the pulpits are twisted distortions of the truth about LDS beliefs.

Samuel - could you tell me where in the Book of Abraham "makes up gods" or where it says we teach that Jesus isn't truthful? I've not read these things and I have read the BOM completely, most of the PoGP and D & C. Maybe I missed it.
---HappyLDS on 3/26/09

Get a copy of not just the Book of Mormon but you get some of the rest of the Mormon Bible.

Some parts like the Book of Abraham can be showed to be outright lies since it makes up gods that do not exist and this can be reserched easlily. Also the Book of Mormon can be shown as false since none of the places it speaks of can be shown to exist.

On the other hand many cities of the Bible can still be found. Also they teach that GOD was once a man which the Bible as pointed out before says is a lie.

Lastly they do not teach that JESUS was truthful when he said a Man must be Born again.
---Samuel on 3/26/09

JohnT- Re "Eloheme"-

1. In hebrew one king is "Melech." Many kings are Melech-eme (plural).

To use your reasoning here based on the Hebrew language- the plural use of "EL" (God) does not give us multiple Gods *in one* but multiple Gods period. Polytheism. That's how the Heb language works.

2. "Grammarians call it a plural of majesty or rank, or of abstraction, or of magnitude." Gesenius, Grammatik, 27th ed., nn. 124 g, 132 h.

This is a trinitarian "proof text" that is never used in Israel.
---scott on 3/25/09

John T - On "Eloheme" 2

At Exodus 7:1 God says to Moses "I have made you God (eloheme) to Pharoah."

1. Were there many Moses' within the one man?

2. Was Moses also part of a triune God or the almighty himself?

3. 1 Kings 18:27 refers to Bael as "Eloheme" as well.
---scott on 3/25/09

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Scott and others

The shemah indicates oneness, or unity. The Hebrew word for one is transliterated as ahad. But more significant is the im ending of ELOHIM (Jehovah) and it is also found in Genesis 1:1 and where Gos says "let US (plural pronoun in Hebrew) make man in the image of God" That im ending is plural.

Therefore while it does NOT eliminate nor does it teach per se the doctrine of the Trinity, there are other verses for that. Specifically, no one can rule out the plurality of ELOHIM vis a vis the doctrine of Trinity, and that is very important
---John_T on 3/24/09

There are scriptures that can be quoted on both sides and the triune hypothesis is only one modern explanation for a trinitarian concept. I admit that this has been a point of confusion since at leat the first century after Christ. Since the trinity concept was so hard for so many to swallow or even comprehend, the doctrine of the incomprehensibility of God got heavily emphasized in the centuries after Christ and it still is today as soon as anyone starts asking real questions. Oddly, Christ never seemed to try to make God the Father seem incomprehensible, but understandable to all, which always strikes me as the way of all those who are espousing the truth.
---jackie on 3/17/09

Sorry to jump, uninvited, into your conversation with Jackie but...

You are citing the Jewish "Shema" (which actually in Hebrew says "Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah." Deut 6:4 ASV)

Are you saying that the Jews who said (and who even today continue to say) this prayer as an expression of faith believed/believe in a triune God?
---scott on 3/10/09


Consider these verses:

"To whom will you liken Me...and compare Me, that we should be alike."

"Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one!"

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

"I and My Father are one."

"...God, who cannot lie...has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior...peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior."

"Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall be after Me. I am the LORD, and besides Me there is no savior."

---Laurie on 3/9/09

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The questions you presented are reasonable. The problem is, we can't set aside any of these verses, whatever we believe about God must line up with all of them. They tell us there is only one God and one Savior, not two, not three.

God is a Being like no other, so we can't compare Him to a person or anything in our experience.

To say there are two gods, or three, violates scripture.

Here's the thing, we must come to scripture not demanding that it explain what we don't fully understand, but understanding that God has revealed a mystery that will one day be fully explained.
---Laurie on 3/9/09

Ok. Thanks for sharing.
---scott on 3/9/09

I'm interested Laurie as to how you interpret the scriptures, can you please explain:
1. Christ said he was SENT by the Father?
2. Christ said he DID NOT COME TO DO HIS OWN WILL, BUT THE WILL OF HIS FATHER. Requiring seperate and differing wills?
3. Christ says he is THE SON. No person or thing we know of is its own son.
4. Christ says no man knows the timing of the end,not even the son, but only the Father. Requiring God and Christ to have different knowledge.
5. Christ prays to his Father (both secretly and publicly).
6. Stephen sees Christ at God the Father's right hand. Requires different location and different bodies.
---Jackie on 3/7/09

Scott wrote I will add yours to the list of criticism and accusations I have been blessed with on this forum.

What is your purpose in stating that? Are you playing martyr? If so, your statement is pathetically disingenuous because you FIRST wrote the nasty stuff, and I called you on that.

My response to you was a discussion on an academic matter, for some strange you morphed an academic disagreement into a personal attack. Why??

BTW what I meant was "Any other translation [not making a verbal equation due to the stative verb] doing that is balderdash. The antecedent to the "that" was in the previous paragraph.
---John_T on 3/6/09

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Joel Olsteen, along with the others of the Word Of Faith Movement (which their are many) do not believe Christ is the only way to God and Heaven.

Too many people who follow their FALSE TEACHINGS DON'T KNOW THIS.
---Rob on 3/6/09

Do they believe in the Blood of Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven? If not, they are not worshiping the true living God. And, SO therefore, they are worshiping an idol. And we all know and understand how God feels about idols. They are offensive TO THE TRUE God....VERY
---catherine on 3/6/09


I believe with all my heart that there are good-hearted, honest people in religions I don't agree with, I also believe that anyone who is in a false religion or cult deserves to be warned that they are in danger.

You are in danger because you're following the teachings of a false prophet. I say this in love, not with any desire to attack you but to draw you away from false teachings back to the Eternal God and Savior Jesus Christ.

I was not endlessly tutored to believe a Trinitarian concept, in fact, I was warned against it all my life. It was not until I became a Christian that I began to study to see for myself what the truth was.

---Laurie on 3/5/09

It is Blasphemous to say that GOD who created all things was a created man. It is against scripture and reason to say that JESUS is was in the Beginning with GOD had a time he did not exist.

It is also New Age to say that men will become gods.
---Samuel on 3/5/09

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Laurie -
I believe that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I believe that it is only through him that I can return to my Heavenly Father. I believe that Jesus is, as we've been told in the Bible, the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh - SON of God. I believe that Satan is a fallen angel. If the belief that the two are spiritual brothers diminishes Jesus Christ, I certainly don't see it.
---HappyLDS on 3/5/09

I stand by my previous comments and observations. I am entitled to my humble, though often long-winded, opinion. If you find it "egregiously rude" that is your inherent right, though that was certainly not my intention.

God bless you (and the freedom of speech).

I will add yours to the list of criticism and accusations I have been blessed with on this forum.
---scott on 3/5/09

Scott wrote although it's clear from your tone it's not something you care to have a reasonable exchange about.

It is for egregious rudeness like this that I left before.

FYI I cited both. The second time was E Colwell's

Your view is a theological one rather than an exegetical view, and that is because you desire to make Jesus subordinate to God, which is unwarranted.

Instead of following either, I stated the fact that "be" is a stative verb, making a verbal equation that demands the definite article for both nouns.

Please refer to the same constructions in a previous post
---John_T on 3/5/09

It is no more blasphemous to say that god created Satan, than to say God created all the spirits of men and angels and that one of those angels turned towards the evil. Mormons are not trinitarians. They literally believe that when Christ was showing us how to pray to our Father in Heaven, that he was likewise praying to his/our father - in other words that all mankind is spiritually a brother with Christ. This may seem odd to those who have been raised and endlessly tutored to believe a trinitarian concept, but to those who clear their minds of man made creeds and their own biases will see that the new testment supports the Mormon, non-trinitarian view.
---Jackie on 3/4/09

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As to why Mormons use the King James Version, all it would take is a little honest research. Mormons have always used the King James Version. This version was a dominant version used in the new england states where the mormon church was founded. It was believed by early church members to be the most correct english version available to them and so they used it. You act like everything in the mormon church, as well as some of the other churches you attack, has some ulterior motive. I do not suppose this of most other people or religions. I'm sorry if your past experience has so hardened you towards your fellowmen that you cannot accept that there are good hearted, honest people in religions that just happen to disagree with you.
---Jackie on 3/4/09

Happy LDS,

Saying Jesus and Lucifer were brothers ABSOLUTELY diminishes Who Jesus is. He is God, so to say Hes anything less is like saying God was once a man like us...oh yeah, Mormons say that, too. Saying Jesus and Jerry Falwell are brothers, as in Jesus is a child of God just like Jerry, would ABSOLUTELY produce the same "freak out" effect.

The Jews used to tear their clothes when they heard blasphemy, so freaking out communicates the same outrage.
---Laurie on 3/4/09


Thanks for your comments as well. I appreciate the discussion, even when we don't agree, because it challenges me and forces me to stretch my brain. And I learn a lot. If I only talk to people who agree with me, how will I know if what I am thinking and believing stands to reason?

Mormons, I hear, typically use the KJV. In my opinion, this translation doesn't support their polytheistic views, but from what I understand they believe it's the least corrupt of the versions available today.

I'm thinking they use the KJV because it's one of the most accepted by Christians and they want to be thought of as Christians, too. What's your opinion?
---Laurie on 3/3/09

Janine -

I had sworn off answering on these blogs (too much narrow mindedness can give one a huge headache). In your case - I feel it necessary to point out your ignorance.

1st - Since we believe ALL of us are children of God and Lucifer was once in heaven (can't be cast out of someplace you've not been) - yes, we believe that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers. This DOES NOT diminish the role of Jesus Christ in our lives, nor does it in anyway exalt Lucifer. Saying that we believe that Jesus and Jerry Falwell are brothers (which we do) wouldn't produce quite the freak out effect would it?

---HappyLDS on 3/3/09

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John T,
You cited, not Colwell's "Rule," but "Sharpe's" in reference to John 1:1. And I think you have probably now figured out (and the reason I included information on both) is because Sharpe's rule has no bearing on the Greek construction of John 1:1.

Any other translation that What is gibberish?

If you care to respond please do so on the "accurate bible translation" thread. It's a better forum for this topic, although it's clear from your tone it's not something you care to have a reasonable exchange about.
---scott on 3/3/09

In 1933 E.C.Colwell stated:
[The data] show that a predicate nominative preceding the verb cannot be translated as an indefinite...noun solely because of the absence of the article, if the context suggests the predicate is definite, translate it as a definite noun despite the absent article.

The argument is if the anarthrous noun is a predicate nominative, or a predicate adjective. Many scholars debate that.

However the sentence is like a scale, making two parts equal since "be" is a stative verb, indicating a state of being.

Thus if theos is a PN or PA, the result is the same, it has the same designation and essence as ha logos: the word.

Any other translation is gibberish.
---John_T on 3/3/09

Thank you for your comments. My response (for what its worth to you) will appear on the "Accurate Bible Translation" thread.

I don't want to give the impression that somehow my comments (on any topic) are in support of LDS teachings.

So unless the topic deals with the LDS specifically, my comments will no longer appear there (here).
---scott on 3/3/09


Most of us agree that this discussion isn't about the character and morality of Mormons. I've known Mormons, too, and have nothing bad to say about them as individuals. The problem is their theology, not them.

In regard to BF's and GW's religious attitude, I think it's one thing to say people should have religious freedom (which Mormons have) and another to say it's not necessary to share the gospel, defend the faith and warn people against false teachers.

The Bible says that as much as is in our power, we should have peace with all men, it also says we are to be salt and light.
---Laurie on 3/3/09

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I have lived in Southern Utah among mormons for almost 20 years. I do not believe in their theology, but most of them have been great neighbors. I was just reading Benjamin Franklin's autobiography again and ran across a section today where he talks briefly about his religious experience with Presbyterianism. In talking about that and about christian religion in general, I noticed his comments about how he had learned to not attack another's religious views. Interesting to note that both he and George Washington also made statements about the benefits that they saw from people with religious beliefs and wanted to allow people to have freedom to worship as they liked.
---Luke on 3/3/09

Yes, tell him it is a cult, just like the Jehovia Witnesses, and Hari Christnas. Momanism's believe that Jesus Christ was a brother of satan? They also believe that they came from a planet called Colog, and they wear these invisible underwear that is supposed to give them power. They also say that if you leave the morman church that they will kill you. He needs to research this, the mormans pull people in with their love, but they are deceptive and he can go to any christian bookstore and read for himself how they operate. They also pray in a temple with the sign of the third eye which is pagan worship.
---Janine_Henschel on 3/2/09


The NWT is the anonymous work of the New World Bible Translation Committee. JWs claim the anonymity gives credit to God, although of course this protects the translators from any accountability and prevents real scholars from checking their academic credentials.

This translation is reported to be the first intentional effort at producing a complete version of the Bible that is edited and revised for the specific purpose of agreeing with a group's doctrine. As new editions to the NWT were published, and biblical Christians continued to point out Scriptures that clearly argue for the deity of Christ (for example), the Watchtower Society would publish a new edition of the New World Translation with those Scriptures changed.
---Laurie on 3/2/09

John T

John sorry if this is a duplication. Seems every other posting does not show up or is out of order.

Re Sharp's Rule:

"Unfortunately, at this period of Greek we cannot be sure that such a [Sharp's] rule is really decisive." Dr. Nigel Turner, Grammatical Insights into the New Testament, 1965

"The grammatical argument...[Re Sharp's] is too slender to bear much weight, especially when we take into consideration not only the general neglect of the article in these epistles but the omission of it before Savior in 1 Timothy 1:1, 4:10." Dr. N. J. D. White, The Expositors Greek Testament
---scott on 3/2/09

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John T. Re "Colwell's Rule" 1

"From the point of view of grammar alone, [theos en ho logos] could be rendered "the Word was a god." This leads me to affirm that one may not infer (as is often done) from Colwell's rule that anarthrous predicte nouns which precede the verb are usually definite. Indeed, such nouns will usually be qualitative in emphasis." Murray J.Harris PhD, professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis and theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Colwell himself cited 15 exceptions to his "Rule."
---scott on 3/2/09

John T. Colwel's Rule 2

"The use of the anarthrous predicate qualitative in 65 out of 74 occurrences, or 88% probability. When the anarthrous predicate nominative precedes the verb it is qualitatative in 50 of 53 occurrences, or 94% probability. When it follows the verb the anarthrous predicate nominative is qualitative 13 of 19 occurrences, or 68%.The implications of this are equally significant. No longer should Colwell's rule mislead us into thinking that an anarthrous predicate nominative preceding the verb is just as definite as the articular predicate nominative following the verb." The Significance of the Anarthrous Predicate Nominative in John
---scott on 3/2/09

Laurie, Hmmm let's see...

You stated that the NWT "made a grammatical change to John 1:1."
Of course that's untrue if, as you later admitted, it was technically grammatically correct.

So then your rejection of 40 translations cannot be not based on the accuracy of the translations but on your theological preference.

Your argument is not with me but with the likes of James Moffatt, Hugh Schonfield and Edgar Goodspeed who argued for (and who's revered translations reflect) a qualitative rendering like "The word was divine" rather than your preferred "was God."
---scott on 3/2/09

The Greek grammar of John 1:1 DEMANDS that one person in meant here.

"The NWT violates what Greek grammarians call Granville Sharp's rule. "Sharp's rule states that when two singular personal nouns (such as God and Savior) of the same case (as we have here) are connected by `and' ( kai), and the modifying article `the' ( ho) appears only before the first noun, not before the second, both nouns must refer to the same person."

The same Greek construction is found in -
2PE 1:11 "...our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
2PE 2:20 "...the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,..."
2PE 3:2 "...the Lord and Savior".
2PE 3:18 "...our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...."
---John_T on 2/28/09

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"Your dismissive point of view is based on theology..."

You say that like it's a bad thing. Let's see, theology is the study of God...yep, that's what I'm doing when I examine the inspired text. We've agreed that John 1:1 with the "a" is technically correct. That means it can be rendered either way, so now we have to decide whether it belongs there or not and that means discerning what the writer's intent was. It must line up with what the rest of scripture says about God, so it's a no-brainer, the "a" is out.

I'll dismiss 100 translations if they're wrong. My comment about understanding where you're coming from was not about the translations, it was directed at you.
---Laurie on 2/27/09

Laurie, Re the Emphatic Diaglott 1.

Dr. J.J. Griesbach is responsible for the key, word for word, interlinear or "recension" aspect of this translation, not Wilson. Wilson's rendering appears next to the, more significant, interlinear.

Ironically, if you had looked beyond the pedestrian trinitarian apologist site for your information you would have found that (re John 1:1) it is Griesbach who renders the verse "a god," while Wilson does not in the accompanying apparatus.

But you have already dismissed Wilson as cultic so now it is Griesbach you will need to defame. Cont.
---scott on 2/27/09


You're right, I don't take the broad view that others may take on topics such as the proper rendering of John 1:1. I absolutely believe there's a right and a wrong way to translate it. I do not accept just any translation as good and worthy of study. I wouldn't use any of the ones you listed.

It is very difficult to express myself in 125 word increments. I end up having to delete most of what I wrote, so you'll just have to forgive me if I'm not as focused as you think I should be.

If you think I've said something wrong, tell me what it was, but I think I've been clear on why I believe Mormonism is false and Joseph Smith a false teacher and prophet.
---Laurie on 2/26/09


Fascinating. So that I'm clear, 40 translators or translation committees (over 100 years) that have rendered John 1:1 differently that the KJV are all part of a deviant cultic brotherhood? Amazing. That makes the (silly in my opinion) Divinci Code pale in mysterious significance by comparison.

Look to the inspired Greek, the inspired Hebrew before dismissing 40 translations. The original languages are your friend.

I still agree with you on your earlier point however, that the NWT (and I would then add the others with such a rendering) was "technically grammatically correct."

Your dismissive point of view is based on theology and not on the actual inspired text.
---scott on 2/26/09

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I started looking into some of the translations you mentioned, because I wasn't familiar with them. The Emphatic Diaglott by Wilson, from what I understand, was reprinted in 1902 by the JW's Watchtower Society, that should tell you something. Reportedly Wilson never studied biblical Greek in college and was a follower of John Thomas, who is said to be a false prophet and cultist.

Archbishop Newcome's translation was published by a society that is Unitarian (Unitarian promotes the cult teaching that Jesus was only a good man, nothing more).

I don't need to look at any more to understand where you're coming from.
---Laurie on 2/26/09

Whether you agree that a "prophet could be more than someone who foretold events" is of no great consequence to me. The fact is a prophet was more than that, they were spokesmen for God. (To my knowledge Abraham didn't make any significant predictions about the future).

I've already stated that I am opposed to LDS theology. But I think my concern about your particular approach on this and other subjects is what comes across as a rather narrow, judgmental focus without a complete view of the topic you are attempting to discuss or the point your are trying to defend.

That was certainly the case with your criticism of the NWT for their rendering on John 1:1.
---scott on 2/26/09


I don't disagree that a prophet could be more than someone who foretold events, but not all OT saints or NT believers were called prophets, this was an office that was appointed by God.

To be a spokeman/woman for God, you would have to identify yourself as such and/or start making statements that you claim you were given directly by God. Someone who is teaching or preaching God's word is not necessarily claiming to be doing that.

LDS prophets fall short in many regards, racism is one example, but worse than that are their teachings on God, Jesus, man and salvation.
---Laurie on 2/25/09


My point is (perhaps muddied with my example of Mr. Graham) scripturally, a prophet was much more than a forteller of events. Many never made any real "predictions." They were spokesmen (or women) for God. Ex.7:1.

In addition to unfulfilled predictions being an identifying mark, Moses said false prophets would be recognized if they encouraged God's people to "Walk after other gods, whom you have not known, and let us serve them,' you must not listen to the words of that prophet" Deut. 13:1-4

It seems to me that LDS "prophets" fall short in this regard because many of the teachings conflict with God's clear, scriptural teachings. The shocking history of racism for starters.
---scott on 2/25/09

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I don't follow Billy Graham's ministry, so I did a little research. I've not come across any claims made against Billy Graham that I feel are trustworthy so I can't really comment on him. I'm not aware that he has claimed to be a prophet.

Again, you are making a really broad brush claim about denominations and not explaining exactly what you're talking about. All denominations do not claim to have prophets.
---Laurie on 2/24/09

You don't think that Billy Graham feels that he is speaking in the name of God? You might consider reading the book "A Prophet with Honor : The Billy Graham Story." Available at Amazon.

All denominations feel that theirs is a message blessed with divine approval.

It would be ludicrous to assume that prophetic statements (that have been made by all denominations) have been made without the express notion that the individuals speaking them are in fact speaking in the name of God as they follow their own, preferred, theological persuasion.

Again, is Billy Graham a false prophet?
---scott on 2/24/09

Happy LDS,

If you're walking away because you think I just want to argue with you, or because I'm an "all-knowing biblical authority", that would be a shame. I hate to argue with you about this, but I'm not all-knowing, about the Bible or anything else.

You strike me as an intelligent, sincere individual, and boy, do I wish we had you on our side. There are not a lot of people out there who can articulate, explain their faith and support it with scripture like you can. If you were to put your complete and total faith in the Bible as God's word alone and Jesus Christ as the Eternal God, what a warrior for heaven you would be!
---Laurie on 2/24/09


Deut. 18:20-22 reads "But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken? when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken, the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you shall not be afraid of him."

I would have to read those articles in their entirety to know if those statements qualify as false prophecies. If you've read them you can answer this, were these people claiming to be prophets and speaking in the name of God?
---Laurie on 2/24/09

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"and a god was the Word" (Wilson, B. Emphatic Diaglott 1865)
"the Word was a god" (Newcome, Archbishop N.T. 1808)
"the Word was god" (Note lower case "g") (Torrey, C.C. The Four Gospels 1947)
"and the Word was a god" (Kneeland, A. N.T. 1823)
"and the Word was a god" (Greber, J. N.T. 1937)
"and the Word was a god" (Tomanek, J.L. N.T. 1958)
"the Word was a god" (Belsham N.T. 1809)

These versions (and many more with a rendering of "DIvine" "Godlike" or similar) reflect the missing definite article before "theos" at John 1:1c.
---scott on 2/24/09

Laurie, Re the NWT rendering of John 1:1 being "Technically grammatically correct."

Your statement is true enough.

And the forty other translators or translation committees that have chosen to stick very closely to the actual Greek language (with an eye on the missing definite article of John 1:1c) would no doubt argue that theology and not the text itself, has perhaps, played a role in your preferred rendering.
---scott on 2/24/09


"Two years and its all going to be over." Billy Graham, 1950 (See US News & World Report, Dec. 1994, p. 67

Lutheran Church
"In 1590 the Gospel would be preached to all nations and a wonderful unity would be achieved." Apocalypticis, Lutheran Reformation, Barnes, page 64

The Presbyterian Church
Between 1650 and 1695 [we] would see the conversion of the many Jews and a revival of their nation in Palestine...the destruction of the Papacy.... Thomas Brightman (one of the fathers of Presbyterianism) A Great Expectation, E.J. Brill, page 117

Add to the list Catholics, Baptists. Assembly of God, Methodists, etc., etc.

Is Billy Graham a false prophet?
---scott on 2/24/09


Oh boy, I guess sharing that I took a class is going to haunt me... I'm aware there are translations that don't render John 1:1 exactly the same, but the meaning should not change. Adding the a, although technically grammatically correct, does not correctly convey the meaning the writer intended, and so should not be used. I agree with the position that it should NOT be used.

As translations go, most consider the KJV one of the best translations, and it doesn't render this verse as "a god". The NWT usually tops the list of worst translations.

I checked 20 different translations and none of them rendered the verse "a god". Which ones did you look at?
---Laurie on 2/24/09

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Laurie, Re your statement: "The JW's...made a grammatical change to John 1:1, changing "the Word was God" to "the Word was A god".

Your comment here reflects a lack of knowledge of the Greek at John 1:1 which has resulted in approximately forty translations rendering the verse differently than "The word was God." ("Divine," "A God," etc.) The NWT is far from alone here.

It is likely that your "class" on "cults" failed to inform you of that small detail.
---scott on 2/24/09

Laurie, Re your statement: "The JW's...made a grammatical change to John 1:1, changing "the Word was God" to "the Word was A god".

Your comment here reflects a lack of knowledge of the Greek at John 1:1 which has resulted in approximately forty translations rendering the verse differently than "The word was God." ("Divine," "A God," etc.) The NWT is far from alone here.

It is likely that your "class" on "cults" failed to inform you of this small detail.
---scott on 2/24/09


Any person or group who falsely prophesies, claiming it's from God, should be considered a false prophet. The standard applies to everyone.

In regard to your statement about most major (Christian) denominations, I don't know what you're basing that on, it's a pretty broad statement. That's not to say I don't think there have been people within Christianity who have done it, there have been, and it's wrong. The Bible is very clear on this issue so anyone who ignores these warnings and prophesies or teaches falsely should be called on it.

Blogs like this are one of the ways we can draw attention to these problems and warn people not to get involved with false prophets, teachers or cults.
---Laurie on 2/24/09

I am fundamentally at odds with LDS teachings for a variety of reasons but re your statement about unfulfilled prophecy:

"Even [if] ONE does not come to pass, He is a false prophet, and that has already happened."

Are you aware that, historically, most major (Christian) denominations have made prophetic statements (usually about the end times) that have not come to pass or that have not been fulfilled? Would you classify or categorize all who have done so as "False prophets?"
---scott on 2/24/09

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Happy LDS,

Strongaxe makes a good point, there have been textual revisions, which indicate problems that needed to be corrected. This shows Joseph Smith's statement that the BOM was the most correct book of any other was not correct.

To try to dismiss the revisions as merely grammatical in nature is to ignore the ramifications as being insignificant. The fact is, these types of changes can make a huge difference to what was being said. Case in point, the JW's, in their NWT, made a grammatical change to John 1:1, changing "the Word was God" to "the Word was A god". This allowed them to support their false doctrine that Jesus is not THE God, but merely "a" god.
---Laurie on 2/24/09

"Yet the Book of Mormon has undergone many different textual revisions since the original - indicating that the editors thought that there was something wrong that needed fixing."

The Book of Mormon hasn't had any significant textual changes - they have been grammatical...punctuation and changing words like "that" to which". This is a statement that even the Tanners agree with.

Laurie -
Obviously we won't find an area of agreement so I think I will walk away. It would be silly to continue debating with an all knowing biblical authority such as yourself! I'll stick to what I know to be true and allow you to dazzle others with your wisdom. I wish you well.
---HappyLDS on 2/23/09

Happy LDS,

I haven't distorted any of your words. What I said is that if God is omniscient as He claims, His prophecies should never be wrong, and in fact He set the standard Himself, 100% accuracy. For God to set this standard and not be able to attain to it Himself would make Him a liar.

I don't really care how many of JS's prophecies may or may not have come to pass, that number isn't important. The number that IS important is if even ONE does not come to pass, He is a false prophet, and that has already happened.

We have many copies (over 5,000) of the Old and New Testament in their original languages, by which we know the hundreds of translations haven't changed what was originally written.
---Laurie on 2/23/09

Happy LDS,

I took a class on the cults and have studied both pro and anti-Mormon literature as well as that of other religions. I've engaged in conversations with people who are anti-Christian, because I'm interested in what others believe and why. I've been attacked for my faith many times, and feel that if it can be torn down it wasn't solid to begin with. So far the Bible has proven superior to all other holy books.

The word attack can be defined as directing unfavorable criticism against. To say the Bible has translational problems, failed prophecies, etc., is unfavorable criticism, to say the least. I believe I have been fair in using the word attack to describe your comments.
---Laurie on 2/23/09

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I find it curious that part of the Mormon statement to faith believes that the Bible is the Word of God "inasmuch as it's translated correctly", and that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God - but that same proviso does NOT apply there. Yet the Book of Mormon has undergone many different textual revisions since the original - indicating that the editors thought that there was something wrong that needed fixing. Are we to believe that it's now perfect and will never need to be changed again?
---StrongAxe on 2/23/09


Let's make this PERFECTLY clear - I have NEVER attacked the Bible, nor have I EVER called God a liar. My whole point was that God has ultimate control over what prophecies come true and that He and He alone will or will not make them happen. This is a perfect example of how you distort my words! Mormons revere the Bible, we believe it to be the word of God BUT we are not naive enough to believe that it has never been translated incorrectly through the hundreds of translations is has undergone. We haven't discussed any of the modern scriptures so your statement regarding what I haven't said truly disingenuous.
---HappyLDS on 2/23/09

Laurie -

It's apparent that your anti-mormon literature failed to mention that over 400 of Joseph Smiths prophecies were fulfilled. Of course, that wouldn't be on their agenda. In regard to the "failed" prophecies - they probably didn't provide the means by which these may also not be "failed."
I love my faith because my leaders feel no need to tear up the faith of others. We spend absolutely NO TIME in our meetings discussing what others believe. We concentrate on studying the scriptures, discussing our own beliefs. We respect the faith of others and hope that one day their hearts will be open to the truth offered by the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
---HappyLDS on 2/23/09

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