Doctrinal Matters: Mormonism
The Bible Versus the Book of Mormon
Similar to the insecure person who hangs around the rich and famous for the sole reason of establishing himself, the Book of Mormon has attempted to make a name for itself by “cozying up to” the Bible. The very first line in the “Introduction” to the Mormons’ revered text states: “The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible.” Even the Book of Mormon’s subtitle (“Another Testament of Jesus Christ”—emp. added) lends credibility to the Bible. Obviously, the Mormons have attempted to give credence to their scripture by comparing it to the Bible. Furthermore, a crucial element of the Mormon religion found in their Article of Faith #8 says: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God” (emp. added). If both the Bible and the Book of Mormon are inspired by God, then reason demands that they must never contradict one another. No book from God’s hand will contain factual mistakes because He does not make mistakes. By definition, He is omniscient and perfect in all His ways (cf. Psalm 139:1-6; 1 John 3:20). The truth is, however, they do contradict one another.
The Book of Mormon contains numerous passages that contradict what the Bible says. The following examples are conspicuous instances of such contradictions.
Rather than God confusing “the language of all the earth” at the tower of Babel as the Bible records (Genesis 11:9), the Book of Mormon contends that the language of Jared, his brother, as well as their friends and family members “were not confounded” (Ether 1:33-37).
Contrary to the Bible prophecy concerning the Lord’s birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), and the fulfillment of that prophecy in Matthew 2:1, the Book of Mormon reads: “And behold, he (Jesus) shall be born of Mary at Jerusalem” (Alma 7:10, parenthetical comment and emp. added). The writer of the Book of Mormon was simply wrong.
The Bible tells us that at the crucifixion of Jesus, darkness covered the land for three hours (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44). However, the Book of Mormon states three different times that there was darkness “for the space of three days” (Helaman 14:20,27; 3 Nephi 8:3, emp. added). Of course, this is a big difference.
Finally, whereas the Book of Mormon has people wearing the name Christian in about 73 B.C. (Alma 46:13, 15), the Bible clearly reveals that the disciples of Christ “were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26, emp. added). This was in approximately A.D. 40, and thus represents a difference of over 100 years. Which account are people to believe? After all, according to Mormons, both books are inspired.
The fact that there are numerous disagreements between the Bible and the Book of Mormon does not disparage the Bible in any way. In fact, a Bible believer would expect there to be contradictions between the two, since the Bible never gives any legitimacy to the Book of Mormon, but actually condemns it (cf. Galatians 1:6-9, Revelation 22:18-19, 2 Peter 1:3, and Jude 3). On the other hand, the Book of Mormon easily is exposed as fiction when compared to and contrasted with the Bible, which Mormons claim is “the word of God.”
Simply put, if both the Bible and the Book of Mormon were inspired by God, then they never would contradict each other. However, since they do disagree with one another (in a number of places), the Book of Mormon is obviously a fraud, written by con men, not inspired men.