Friday, February 19, 2010

Book of Mormon Contradicts Bible

Joseph Smith called the Book of Mormon “the most correct of any book on earth” (Introduction to the Book of Mormon). That means it is superior in its accuracy to the Bible, according to the LDS church. When confronted with a contradiction between the Bible and the Book of Mormon a Latter-day Saint will prefer the Book of Mormon. However, there is one contradiction that Mormons recognize but try to justify. That pertains to the place of Jesus’ birth. Was he born in Bethlehem? Or, in Jerusalem? Christians and the Bible agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. History corroborates this as well.

Micah 5:2 says, “But thou Bethlehem Ephrata, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

In the Book of Mormon, Alma 7:10 says, “And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel…”
This is a clear contradiction between the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Mormons will try to say that Bethlehem, just five miles from Jerusalem, is “in the land of” Jerusalem, a major city. But the Bible calls Bethlehem “in the land of Judah,” not the land of Jerusalem. Jerusalem, too, was “in the land of“ Judah.

Matthew 2:1-8 describes the meeting between Herod and the Wise Men from the East. Herod, upon hearing that the Messiah, the “King” of Israel, was born asked religious leaders where this was to occur. He was told “Bethlehem, in the land of Judah” (vs. 6).

In this same passage you have both Jerusalem and Bethlehem mentioned. There is no confusion or mixing of the locale as if to generalize the location. They are discussed as different places in the context of Jesus’ birth. It is very specific. The question for a Mormon is which is he going to believe? The Mormon will most likely believe the Book of Mormon because he has been taught that the Bible has been tampered with and is not fully reliable. However, in this case the Bible is the valid record because of Old Testament prophecy that specifically identified Bethlehem as the Messiah’s birthplace, not Jerusalem.

In a historically Christian nation where we all sing the words “O little town of Bethlehem” from the Silent Night Christmas carol the sense of contradiction is abundantly obvious.