Saturday, January 1, 2011

Refuting Mormon Claims Against Biblical Inerrancy



Recently, this question was posed by a mormon, as an attack against the inspiration of scripture, and the Bible's inerrancy:

"How is the Bible inerrant when it contains contradictions like Exodus 33:11 and 20 or Acts 9:7 and 22:9?"

First lets start with Acts 9:7 and 22:9

  • Acts 9:7 says, “The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing... no one.”
  • Acts 22:9 states, “"And those who were with me saw the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me.”
How is this a contradiction? The men who traveled with Paul, stood speechless. They heard the voice, yet could not see anyone. Verse 22:9 says they saw the light, and did not understand the voice of the One speaking with Him. Where is the contradiction?

The men:

A) Heard the voice
B) Did not understand the voice
C) Saw the light
D) Saw no one speaking

There is no contradiction.

As far as Exodus 33:11, and 20:

  • Exodus 33:11 says, “Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.”
  • Exodus 33:20, “But He said, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!”

“The phrase “face to face” in Hebrew usage means personally, directly, or intimately. Moses has this kind of unmediated relationship with God. But he, like all other mortals, never saw the “face” (essence) of God directly. The Bible is clear that “God is a spirit” (John 4:24). And “a spirit does not have flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39). So, God does not have a physical face. (Geisler and Rhodes, Correcting the Cults)”


The Word of our Lord stands forever!

2 comments:

Acts 9:7
7And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

JST Acts 9:7 And they who were journeying with him saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him who spake to him.

Acts 22:9
9And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

At first blush the two scriptures seem to contradict each other.

In 7: The men were speechless, heard a voice but saw no man.
In 9: Saw a light heard not the voice.
I can only guess they were speechless in verse 7 because they were afraid.

The Joseph Smith Translation sheds some light. Luke may have been misquoted by translators down threw the ages and he (Joseph) brought it more into line with Paul’s own 1st person account.

Contraction I don’t think so. Just men being men, making mistakes.

Exodus 33: 11 and 20
11And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
20And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

Again we can turn to the JST and find this:

20 And he said unto Moses, Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger be kindled against thee also, and I destroy thee, and thy people; for there shall no man among them see me at this time, and live, for they are exceeding sinful. And no sinful man hath at any time, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time, that shall see my face and live.


The error in Exodus is that Moses spoke face to face with God as one speaks to a friend and then turns around a tells Moses that know one will his face and live.


JST sheds a bit more light on the scripture and the climate at the time. I believe the Lord destroyed a few thousand people for sin here. The Lord was angry with the Israelites again and told us that he can not allow sin to be in his presence. As we all know you sin don’t repent, you don’t see or be with God his anger is kindled.

It nice that the Lord does not change and still has and uses Prophets to help up understand what those who have gone before have said. If there is a diffrence in the scriptues quoted I assume that you are using a different version of the bible. I quoted from the KJ.
Food for thought, Randy

Actually Randy, no you would be wrong. You were incorrect in what you posted your summary in:

You said, "At first blush the two scriptures seem to contradict each other.

In 7: The men were speechless, heard a voice but saw no man.
In 9: Saw a light heard not the voice.
I can only guess they were speechless in verse 7 because they were afraid."

That is NOT correct.

* Acts 9:7 says, “The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing... no one.”

* Acts 22:9 states, “"And those who were with me saw the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me.”

How is this a contradiction? The men who traveled with Paul, stood speechless. They heard the voice, yet could not see anyone. Verse 22:9 says they saw the light, and did not understand the voice of the One speaking with Him. Where is the contradiction?

The men:

A) Heard the voice
B) Did not understand the voice
C) Saw the light
D) Saw no one speaking

There is no contradiction.

So your summary is what is fallible, and mistaken, NOT the Biblical text. And the JST obviously has a contradiction in it. He is wrong, and trying to add to the Bible, added an error. Not surprising.

As far as Exodus goes, you attempt to show my a contradiction by comparing the Biblical text to the JST? Seriously? The Bible is the only one of the two books with ANY manuscript support. Please show me a manuscript that says anything remotely close to what the JST says please. I would love to see it.

The JST sheds only darkness on what it already does not understand. As I said in my post, "“The phrase “face to face” in Hebrew usage means personally, directly, or intimately. Moses has this kind of unmediated relationship with God. But he, like all other mortals, never saw the “face” (essence) of God directly. The Bible is clear that “God is a spirit” (John 4:24). And “a spirit does not have flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39). So, God does not have a physical face. (Geisler and Rhodes, Correcting the Cults)”

Lastly, even your own version of the Bible produces a problem for you.

"20 And he said unto Moses, Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger be kindled against thee also, and I destroy thee, and thy people; for there shall no man among them see me at this time, and live, for they are exceeding sinful. And no sinful man hath at any time, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time, that shall see my face and live."

Hmmm, thats interesting considering Smith's supposed revelation.

The word of God, The Bible, not the JST, Stands forever!