Something’s Missing From the Bible

Mormons claim that there are teachings and/or books missing from the Bible.  It’s an incomplete document (so incomplete, some would say its translation is in question).

  • Why doesn’t your prophet restore the lost books or correct the translation?
  • If your prophet has not felt the need to restore these missing books of the Bible how important can they be?
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25 thoughts on “Something’s Missing From the Bible

  1. Is this the next in the series? It seems like we already got to this question in the other thread. (Not that it shouldn’t have it’s own post, just that I want to know if you are asking something different.)

  2. It is the next in the series. I actually edited it a little bit so that it would have something of its own spin.

  3. Why doesn’t your prophet restore the lost books or correct the translation?

    Probably because they are not that important considering we have all of the latest revelation that fills in the gaps. no use restoring revelation meant for people 2000+ years ago when we have revelation directed at us today.

    If your prophet has not felt the need to restore these missing books of the Bible how important can they be?

    They aren’t important if you have continuing revelation.

  4. We don’t even have the missing parts of the Book of Mormon, so why should we have the missing parts of the Bible?

    In all seriousness, Jared C’s answer makes sense to me. If the Bible were the only source of written truth, then of course it would make sense to restore what’s missing (whatever “missing” means). But if you can get that truth from somewhere else, what difference does it make?

  5. The counter-question to the Evangelical is “Do you believe that the current Bible is everything that God ever said to anyone at anytime? Does the Bible contain every inspired writing ever written”

    If not, then you must believe the Bible is incomplete as well and you should naturally be open to any theological adjustments that may come if somebody finds some inspired scroll in a cave written by or some lost epistle of Paul.

  6. Jared, Eric: I don’t think it’s as simple as that. If those books/parts that are missing aren’t all that important, then why bother mentioning them?

    I doubt there’s an Evangelical anywhere who believes that “the current Bible is everything that God ever said to anyone at anytime.” But if you just argued that the missing parts aren’t important, why would you expect any “theological adjustments” if those parts were discovered?

    If I’m right about what Tim is getting at, I think this is also a good question (like the last one). Mormons shouldn’t make a big stink about the missing parts of the Bible if those parts don’t even matter. (That’s not a reason to leave Mormonism for Evangelism, but is a reason to leave Evangelicals alone.)

  7. The counter-question to the Evangelical is “Do you believe that the current Bible is everything that God ever said to anyone at anytime? Does the Bible contain every inspired writing ever written”

    But that doesn’t answer the question. Seth’s answer was a lame dodge, too.

    At the very least, when are we getting the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon or the scriptures from the other lost tribes? The Book of Mormon promises that they will come forward in the latter days.

  8. BrianJ:
    But if you just argued that the missing parts aren’t important, why would you expect any “theological adjustments” if those parts were discovered?

    I would expect theological adjustments from Evangelicals because their entire theology is built around an integrated interpretation of the Bible. If you add something to the mix you could (should) expect changes. (Which is one reason you have to have a closed canon theory, to avoid surprises and retractions of previously sanctified theology.

    (That’s not a reason to leave Mormonism for Evangelism, but is a reason to leave Evangelicals alone.)

    not sure what you mean, are you saying Mormons should not, in principle, spread the restored doctrines to Evangelicals? If, as a mormon, I am operating under the assumption that things that were lost and left out of the bible are not restored through the Book of Mormon, D&C Pearl of Great Price and other revelations, why shouldn’t I tell Evangelicals about them?

    and while doing so, don’t I HAVE TO explain to them that their Bible is incomplete in order them to open up their mind to anything extra-biblical?

    Kullervo,
    can’t see how this is a dodge. . .where is there any reason or necessity to restore all inspired writing when we have “enough” now? And in principle, God is the one who decides what “enough” is. Mormons can justifiably answer,
    ” I have no clue why God didn’t restore all of the books of the bible”. The fact that God hasn’t given more doesn’t mean that what he has given is incorrect in any way.

    Therefore I think my previous answer is (still)a great response. I think its completely defensible to say that the current bible is incomplete in view of modern revelation AND that its not necessary to discover, divine or translate everything that was ever written to any group that would somehow complete the current bible.

  9. Jared:

    If you add something to the mix you could (should) expect changes.

    Only if what you add is substantially different and/or large.

    Maybe I misunderstood your original comment. Maybe you meant that the missing parts of the Bible aren’t important to Mormons because we have those doctrines in other scriptures, but those parts are important for everyone else (which is why they need the LDS scriptures).

    are you saying Mormons should not, in principle, spread the restored doctrines to Evangelicals?

    No, I’m saying Mormons shouldn’t try to rub others’ faces in it unless Mormons are prepared to point to specific doctrines that are missing and why they are important. In my experience, Mormons generally can’t do this. (I know I can’t, and so I don’t.) When Mormons try, they often cite doctrines that arguably didn’t even exist until recently (e.g., the endowment as we know it today).

    Look, if the most important reason to have prophets today is to restore the missing parts of the Bible, then they should be done with it. If, on the other hand, it’s to have the continued guidance of God, then it really makes little difference whether the Bible is fatally flawed or in mint condition.

    If, as a mormon, I am operating under the assumption that things that were lost and left out of the bible…

    I’m just not clear what is the value of leading with that assumption. If you can point to doctrines you are certain are missing from the Bible, then great, go for it. Otherwise, why not simply tell people about the BoM, etc.?

  10. The counter-question to the Evangelical is “Do you believe that the current Bible is everything that God ever said to anyone at anytime? Does the Bible contain every inspired writing ever written

    No, I don’t think the Bible has every word He ever spoke. I do believe it has every word that every Christian needs to know in it.

    I am quite open to new epistles from the Apostles being added. We know that Paul wrote “pre- 1 Corinthians”. Perhaps there is a document “Q”. If we find them or others I’m willing to subject them to the rubric of the canon and include them. I don’t think either of the examples I listed will doctrinally tell us anything not already said in later writings.

    Brian, THANK YOU for acknowledging that what most Mormons claim to be the missing parts of the Bible weren’t there in the first place and that you don’t know what’s missing (if anything).

  11. “what most Mormons claim to be the missing parts of the Bible weren’t there in the first place and that you don’t know what’s missing (if anything).”

    I disagree.

    Mormons have an answer for at least some of the missing parts of the bible, i.e. the parts of the brass plates quoted and referred to in the Book of Mormon but which are not found in the canon (or anywhere else)

    Here is an article by Robert Millet about these missing prophets that were, in part, restored through the Book of Mormon

    http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=cf2379356427b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

  12. For those who don’t want to read the article there are four prophets quoted in the Book of Mormon that aren’t in the Bible

    Zenos, Zenock, Neum, and Ezias.

    The gist of the message is that these prophets specifically prophesied about the coming of Jesus. qouted sections include the allegory of the olive tree in the book of Jacob

  13. Tim, No prob. Of course, I could be totally wrong. {smile}

    I’m really no good at identifying “missing parts” of the Bible because I just don’t study that way. What difference does it make to me whether a doctrine is found in the Bible or the D&C? Nephi or Alma? Romans or Luke?

    And as we already discovered on the other thread, I’m terrible at identifying truths found in LDS scripture that are missing from other churches (e.g., the necessity of baptism). Again, I don’t study to learn what differentiates my religion from others. But as we also discovered in that thread, LDS scripture weighs in on certain doctrines that are disputed among Christians, so there’s no way you or I can view LDS scripture as redundant.

    There may be someone else who has studied out this issue and could provide a whopping list of Bible shortcomings. Maybe someone did this 80 years ago and it was such a long list that no one could remember it all—they just came away remembering that lots of stuff was missing from the Bible, and then that “take home message” is what got passed on. Whatever. I can see the limited utility for such a list, but it really is limited.

    Jared, that’s a nice article by Millet, but what new doctrines are introduced that aren’t in the Bible? He mentions prophets that spoke of Christ, the Son, the crucifixion, etc.—all in the NT now. Millet mentions the prophecy by Joseph (ancient) concerning Joseph (modern)—which is missing from the Bible, but really, if you believe the BoM then this is sort of redundant. Millet lists some other things, such as Abraham speaking to God directly. That’s very interesting information, but what new doctrine lies therein?

    I’m not arguing against LDS scripture. I’m definitely not arguing that the Bible is sufficient—I think Tim’s missing out big time because he rejects LDS scripture. I think in most cases we’d do better simply presenting the BoM et al as scripture without trying to (vaguely) knock the Bible down a few notches first. It’s clear enough that Christians can’t all agree on how to interpret the Bible, so why not present LDS scripture as clarification?

  14. PS. Tim, just to be clear, I said “arguably weren’t there in the first place” and that I “don’t know what’s missing” because I generally don’t care. Just don’t want you getting too excited. {smile}

    I’ll remind you that I wrote about this on my own blog a while ago and found at least one instance where I think the BoM versus Bible is quite interesting: regarding the Law of Moses. The Bible sort of presents the Law as a bit of a disaster (yes, that’s putting it harshly, but it’s late and I’m tired), but in the Book of Mormon we see people following the Law and talking about Christ, Mary, etc. It’s a pretty fascinating contrast. Now, that’s not that’s missing from the Bible in the sense that it was taken away/obscured/altered, but it is something we don’t see in the Bible and it is important.

  15. You don’t even understand what you have. What about the temple rituals? What do they mean? What about temple iconography? What does that mean? What about prophetic symbolism? What does that mean?

    Answer those questions first before looking for what we’re missing or what is yet to be revealed. If all that were to appear tomorrow, you’d not understand it any better than you understand what you have. It would just appear to be more of the same to you: strange, mysterious and inexplicable.

    Forget discussing what we don’t have when we don’t understand what we do have. What a waste of time.

  16. Jack, you can’t troll me. No way would I fall for that. I’m way too smart for that. You could try, but I wouldn’t even respon—D’oh!

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