Thursday, January 18, 2024

Memo to Mormons: Your Prophet was a Fake

I love the dedication that many members of the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" have.  Even though their ridiculous bogus "revelation" given by the phenomenally false prophet and teacher of lies Joseph Smith Jr. has been debunked and demonstrated to be nothing but a tall tale dreamed up on the basis of a dime-store novel back in the early 1800s, they still insist that they can't be wrong because of a "burning in the bosom" they have.  

That "burning in the bosom" might be indigestion, or heartburn, or a psychosomatic semi-euphoria elicited by a person's desire to belong to the elite members of the family of God.  Your mileage may vary, but I suspect that in very many cases, a Mormon's conversion to Mormonism was elicited by peer pressure from family members or friends or a cute Mormon girl whose modesty and promise of eternal faithfulness were enough to push a brother's brain off a cliff.  Oh the things we do for love.

But I digress:  what I wish to point out here is a little textual detail in the Book of Mormon - supposedly translated by Joseph Smith Jr. from golden plates he dug up in New York state - which bear a suspicious resemblance to the King James Version's text of Mark 16:9-20:  Here's the quotation from the Book of Mormon 9:22-25:
"For behold, thus said Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto his disciples who should tarry, yea, and also to all his disciples, in the hearing of the multitude:  Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned; And these signs shall follow them that believe - in my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover; And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth."

This material (which was the focus of an essay by Jeff Lindsay in the Mormon journal Interpreter - A Journal of Mormon Scripture (Vol. 25 - 2017, pp. 283-321, "The Book of Mormon vs. the Consensus of Scholars:  Surprises from the Disputed Ending of Mark, Part 1")) brings to mind Mark 16:15-18, with a little bit of Joseph Smith Jr.'s sanctimonious and-it-came-to-pass blubbering thrown in.   The two passages are so similar when one compared the King James Version's English rendering to what Joseph Smith Jr. claimed to have translated from golden plates - I seriously doubt if that blatant liar and blasphemer had any idea how heavy a golden plate is - that I personally can attest that the prophecy he gave has come true: the nature of all his words is indeed confirmed to me, and I have no doubt about it whatsoever:  JOSEPH SMITH JR. WAS A FALSE PROPHET and the sooner you realize it, the better.

Zoom in on the part of the Book of Mormon chapter 9 where it says "they shall take up serpents."  This would be a perfectly adequate rendering of the Byzantine text, which is basically what the King James Version was translated from (with about 1,005 reading that are not attested by a majority of Greek manuscripts - technically the KJV's base-text is the printed Textus Receptus).  In the first half of Mark 16:18, the King James Version says, "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them."  Well lo and behold:  the Book of Mormon 9:24 aligns perfectly with the English translation that was available to Joseph Smith Jr.  It's almost as if the English text of the Book of Mormon was derived from the King James Version.

And therein lies a problem for the poor gullible Mormons who think Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were authentic prophets instead of lying manipulators who enjoyed taking other men's wives.  There is a little bit of text that is missing from both the Book of Mormon 9:24, and from the KJV's English rendering of Mark 16:18.  In quite a few manuscripts, there is more text:  the Greek equivalent of "and in their hands" belongs in the text after "they shall take up serpents."

The Greek words that are missing in the Byzantine text are "καί ἐν ταῖς χερσὶν."  The editors of the Nestle-Aland/UBS compilation don't seem to have been very sure what to do with this phrase ("And in their hands"); it's in the 27th edition but not in the previous edition.  Perhaps they did not give it much attention and treated it as a matter of trivial importance since they double-bracketed the entire section of Mark 16:9-20.  It wasn't in Griesbach's compilation.    But it is, though not the majority reading (not even close!), very well-attested in the Alexandrian transmission-stream.  

It is super-obvious that Joseph Smith Jr. committed the moral equivalent of plagiarism and fraud when he took the KJV's words and made them part of the narrative of the Book of Mormon.  

More examples of his immoral and dishonest use of the KJV - including the KJV's inaccuracies in its rendering of some fine details in the Hebrew and Greek base-texts - could no doubt be provided; others are welcome to provide them in the comments.  But considering that the only acceptable definition of a true prophet is that all his prophecies come from God, this should serve as a demonstration that Joseph Smith Jr. was not a true prophet.

           (On a pastoral note, watch the video here for more information about the roots of Mormonism.)



Susan Humeston said...

I lived in Boise, Idaho for 3 1/2 years and that is a Mormon stronghold. There were "churches" on every corner and a huge recently "Temple" that I dubbed "The Abomination of Desolation". Also? Take the "I" away from Moroni and what do you have? Right. My husband's brother and his wife were Mormons for many years right up to the secret garments. Then, they realized what a lie it was and they were off "religion" or faith for life. Mary, his wife, would say that the Bible couldn't be trusted, and Mike, my husband's brother, would say, "You just have to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ," which, while true, was not what he understood or meant in the way solid Christians do. As usual the double speak - same terms, absolutely different meaning. My hubs and I witnessed and talked with them as often as was tolerated. But as far as I know - which of course, I don't - they are still not believers. I hope I am wrong. I love your descriptions of Joseph Smith and his cohorts.....sounded just like me.

Susan Humeston said...

Recently built Temple.....