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The Bible

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"And now, it has hitherto been wisdom in God that these things should be preserved; for behold, they have enlarged the memory of this people, yea, and convinced many of the error of their ways, and brought them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls."

Alma 37:8
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The Bible

Questions and Answers about The Bible

 

1. If the Bible is God's Word, what parts of the Bible were written directly by God? In what language did he write in?

None of the Bible, or any scripture, was written by directly God. Most scriptural writings are historical accounts, letters or personal thoughts by the writer. However, those passages in the scriptures which quote God were basically taken by dictation. God gave the prophets messages, and they wrote them down.

"And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation." (Doctrine and Covenants 68:2)

One wouldn't argue that a memo coming from a CEO of a corporation that was typed by a secretary was actually authored by the secretary. The originator of the written thoughts is the author. The language it was written in would have been subjective to the prophet writing the dictated message from God, i.e. Hebrew, Greek, Adamic, Aramiac, or Latin.

2. Did God personally choose the men who were responsible for choosing which religious writings were to be included in the bible?
How did that happen?

No, God did not choose the men who selected the writings to be canonized as part of the Bible. Councils consisting of Jew and then Christians were held over the years to discuss and debate which books should be part of the official canon and which ones shouldn't. The final councils held by the Jewish Rabbis to complete the canon for the Old Testament were in 90 A.D. and 118 A.D. The final council closed the canon at the 39 books that are currently part of the Old Testament.

The idea to organize all the sacred writings into one book started around 100 A.D. Councils were held and books were voted on. This process lasted into the 400's A.D. After that, certain books of the apocrypha were debated until the Council of Trent in 1545-1563. The books of the apocrypha were finally agreed upon and accepted, and the Catholic Church has maintained their canon since.

Another change in canonical books happened during the reformation when Protestants started weeding out the apocrypha. One must remember this important point though. God may not have chosen the people who made up these councils, more importantly God chose those prophets who would write the texts that were voted on.

President Ezra Taft Benson said,

"To fulfill the purpose of His omniscient design, our Heavenly Father foreordained certain valiant spirit children and assigned them to come to earth at specific times and places to fulfill their appointments. The greatest of these spirits He reserved to come as prophets and priesthood leaders in His kingdom. 'Every man' said the Prophet Joseph Smith, 'who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of Heaven before this world was'"

3. Why is it that there are books of the Bible that are included in the Catholic Bible and not in the Protestant version?
Wouldn't God have something to say about which religious writings are to be included in the bible?

Catholics accept the Apocryphal books because the Council of Trent, in 1546, accepted the authority of the books as being comparable to the established canon. Later, Pope Eugenius IV declared the books inspirations. The apocryphal books were included in the original 1611 version of the King James, but were later filtered out do to disputes among Protestant leaders as to their value or validity as canonical. By the 19th century the books were vacant from all Protestant Bibles.

In 1833, God revealed this concerning the nature of the Apocrypha:

"There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly; There are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men. Verily, I say unto you, that it is not needful that the Apocrypha should be translated. Therefore, whoso readeth it, let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth; And whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom; And whoso receiveth not by the Spirit, cannot be benefited. Therefore it is not needful that it should be translated." (Doctrine & Covenants 91.)