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I know that Mormons say the Bible and the Book of Mormon don't contradict. I don't know about that, but I would like to know whether there actually is a verse in the Bible that could support the belief in an exterior source such as the Book of Mormon, so highly regarded -by Mormons- as another revelation from God.

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This is a valid question. –  Affable Geek Feb 12 '12 at 5:05
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I did last night. I was responding to the negative votes already on the question. I felt the -1 was unjust, and wanted to clarify against a vtc –  Affable Geek Feb 12 '12 at 13:24
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'the' Bible (any one you care to name) is no more evidence of anything than the BOM is. You might take the numerous discrepancies between versions of 'the' Bible as the proof of that statement. –  Andrew Thompson Feb 12 '12 at 13:45
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Unfortunately, too many people on this site think Mormons are off topic. I may not think Mormons are in the same category, but for this site they are. You are asking good questions, and should be earning rep. As you answer, unfortunately youll probably get dv from people who dont distinguish their viewpoi ts from well reasoned answers and thoughtful on topic questions, just from a different perespective It's a harder road, unfortunately, but I think you're up to the ask. –  Affable Geek Feb 12 '12 at 13:59
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@AndrewThompson that's an answer, not a comment. Please be brave enough to make it one, and then let people vote on how well sourced or reasoned they think it to be. –  Affable Geek Feb 12 '12 at 14:01

10 Answers 10

up vote 23 down vote accepted

The problem is that the Bible doesn't really have an infallible table of contents. So, while there is nothing in the Bible definitively suggesting that there is another set of infallible documents inspired by God which relate to the Old Testament, the Bible also doesn't exclude that possibility either.


Because I have seen multiple comments on this, I think it might be good to address the two verses in the Bible which condemn addition or subtraction. The first is

Deut. 4:2.

You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it; that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. (RSV)

Now, in the context, it is fairly clear that the "Word" is the Torah (the book of the Law, which is the first five books of the Old Testament1). The verse preceding is talking about the law, and the verse after is talking about when the law was written and what has happened to those who have strayed.

If this is to be taken in the sense that it is referring to the whole Bible, this means that we must take that to exclude the New Testament. After all, Christ most certainly added to and subtracted from the Law (the dietary restrictions are removed, while the laws on forgiveness and loving of one's neighbor were expanded). So, clearly, this must be taken as a reference to the book of Deuteronomy itself. Especially since there were prophetic and historical books written both before and after Deuteronomy2.

Rev. 22:9-10

I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (RSV)

Ok, so we will posit that the canon of Scripture is the sole deposit of faith (a point I am not willing to cede, but I will allow us to make that assumption for the sake of argument). But, what is that canon? The early Church could not agree for one hundred years after that phrase was written.3 So, if the people who knew the author had no idea which books he was referring to, then it is more than presumptuous to assume that we know. Since it is clear that we are missing books from Paul4, can we really assume that something else isn't lost? After all, the Pauline Epistles are scripture5. Of course, then there are questions of the Deuterocanon (you might call it apocrypha), which I simply do not have the time to deal with at the moment.

Then there is the question (assuming that we can agree on what should be in the canon) of which version. As a Catholic, I can definitively state that the woman caught in adultery is part of scripture6, but can everyone else? The unfortunate answer is, "No, they can't7".

So, if we are to assume that Rev. 22 is referring to the Bible as a whole, we have to admit that we aren't sure which documents it is referring to, or which books. That pretty much means that unless we can find a collection of documents which dates to the late first century, we can only asume that some piece of the NT has been added or taken away. This means that your copy of the Bible is probably blasphemous and should be thrown out.

Then there is the problem of translation. In order to translate scripture, you have to make choices. Some words simply don't translate well. Others are ambiguous. My favorite example is Gen. 3:15

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."

The problem is "He shall strike your head." In more modern manuscripts that is clearly הוּא, and you will notice the little dot by the wav. Unfortunately, that dot was added in the middle ages, which means that the word, "he" in that sentence could very well be the ancient word for "she".

So... what are you left with? The Bible you have at home is a dubious collection of dubious manuscripts collected and translated by a dubious translator. Considering that this is the best you will ever have available without knowledge of at least several versions Hebrew, Aramaic, Syrian, Greek, and Latin8 (and possibly French, German, and Ecclesiastical Latin, and even then you are probably not qualified9), are you really willing to say that your copy is necessarily infallible? Are you really willing to say that you have an inspired table of contents? Honestly, I hope not. Because if you are, then you are basically saying that the canon of scripture fell out of the sky... That is a story which sound oddly familiar.


1. Testament is actually an antiquated translation of the Greek word for covenant.
2. If you do not have access to the Navarre Bible, the New Jerome Bible Commentary, the New Interpreter's Bible, the New Oxford Annotated RSV (or NRSV), the Anchor Bible, or some form of modern theological library, you can find these ideas summarized (reasonably well) in Wikipedia. (as a side note, the New Oxford Annotated RSV (and even the NRSV) is truly a magnificent work of Biblical scholarship. Of all of the documents I just named, it is the one I recommend the most)
3. As above, Wikipedia is a reasonable source if you can't get your hand on a more scholarly analysis. (and I recommend Oxford above pretty much everyone else)
4. As above, you can use Wikipedia, or, The Lost Books of the Bible
5. This one's easy: 2 Peter 3:16
6. See the NAB commentary on John 7:53 ff.
7. This gentlemen makes all of the relevant points and he isn't in an overly priced commentary! (He's also Protestant, if anyone cares)
8. There are very early Latin translations based on documents superior to the ones which made up the KJV
9. Here's an SE answer which explains the folly.

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What about Revelation 22:9: "and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.". I'm just curious here. –  David Morton Feb 12 '12 at 13:06
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@DavidMorton Deut. has a similar quote, and the book of Rev. hadn't been added yet... are you saying we should throw out the NT? –  cwallenpoole Feb 12 '12 at 20:10
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Also see this question and its answers and also note Revelation 1:10-11 which puts "this book" into context, being the Book of the Revelation of St. John the Divine. –  Matt Feb 12 '12 at 21:52
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@Matt Another extraordinarily good point. –  cwallenpoole Feb 13 '12 at 2:20
    
הוּא never means "she," with or without the "dot." –  H3br3wHamm3r81 Dec 24 '13 at 7:46

Cwallenpoole made it clear, that the Bible, as we have it today, is not complete. If one is not careful, it is easy to run into a negative evidence fallacy by supposing that simply because the Bible doesn't mention something, that something must be false. (That would be like saying "Jesus Christ" of the New Testament is false because that Name is never mentioned in the Old Testament.)

Before I also attempt to answer your question, let me prelude with a disclaimer: most members of the LDS church will hesitate to show "proof" or even "evidence" of the Book of Mormon's truthfulness, for the very existence of the Book itself is evidence of what is known as the Restoration, which is the fulfillment of prophecies concerning the dispensation of the fulness of times (the days before the Second Coming in which the Lord would send prophets to the earth again after a falling away first).

Mormons will remind anyone that the only way to truly believe in the Book of Mormon, or have a testimony of its truthfulness, is not by scholarly study, but by reading it and praying to ask God if it is true, and that an answer will come by the Holy Ghost.

So with that in mind, the following verses (in addition to those I've linked to) should be instructive. Keep in mind that while many people interpret these verses in many ways, this is one way the LDS population understands them:

  • Ezekiel 37:15-23 (The Stick of Judah and the Stick of Joseph. The Stick of Judah is written by Jews, in other words, is the Bible. The Stick of Joseph is the Book of Mormon, written by descendants of Joseph. More details about the sticks here.)

  • Isaiah 29:4,11-14 (A voice out of the dust. The Book of Mormon was buried for centuries until it came out of the ground and was translated. Because it is the same gospel that Christ teaches from the Bible, it is a familiar voice. Also, a vision of a sealed book taken to a learned man, and an unlearned man that could not read them. Plus the transcript of Joseph Smith's First Vision experience in 1820. These were fulfilled as recorded in JS-H 1:11-26,63-65.)

  • Ezekiel 17:22-23. (The highest branch of the high cedar is the royal family of Israel; the young twigs are the children, and the tender one is a man named Mulek, son of Zedekiah, who actually escaped and was led to the Americas. Lehi's group had already left Jerusalem, and later we learn that Mulek's group joined the Nephite nation.)

  • John 10:16. (Jesus refers to "other sheep" which would hear His voice. True, the gospel later did go to the Gentiles, but they heard the voice of His prophets and apostles, not His voice directly. These are the people of the Americas, and others. This is made clear in the Book of Mormon, where Jesus visited and ministered to them personally, established His Church on the American continent, and ordained prophets and disciples there, fulfilling all sorts of prophecies.)

  • Revelation 14:6-7. (An angel flying in the midst of heaven that had the everlasting gospel. This was Moroni, who buried the Book of Mormon, who later as a resurrected being, brought forth the Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith to go forth to all the earth.)

  • Amos 3:7. (Why would inhabitants of the American continent not have the gospel, if God loves all His children and wants them to know of His Son? So, God at least probably called prophets in America and they obviously prophesied. God's works are without end and His words never cease, so that God's canon of scripture is closed would not be logical, at best.)

  • Isaiah 5:26-27. (An ensign, or standard, would be lifted up to all nations to gather Israel before the Lord's coming.)

There are others. This list is not comprehensive, but I hope others will add to this as is proper.

The Bible and the Book of Mormon support each other. The Book of Mormon supports what the Bible says. All the prophets since the world began (including those in the Book of Mormon) knew there would be an apostasy of the Christian church in the New Testament and that God would set his hand a second time to recover His people. For example, see 2 Nephi, chapters: 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33, and Mormon 7:8-10 are a few, although the doctrine of Christ's mercy and Atonement is found all throughout the entire book.

Of particular interest is 1 Nephi 13 (especially the second half of the chapter) which discusses Nephi's vision of the settling of colonial America, the coming of Christians from Europe, and the introduction of the Bible ("which proceedeth forth from the mouth of a Jew") among the Native Americans, that it is holy and true, but that many plain and precious parts are actually missing.

So, I add these references to the Book of Mormon because they should help support the Bible references mentioned here that help to directly answer your question.

Finally, the notion of "infallibility" in scripture is misleading, because while God does inspire true scripture, imperfect but holy men write it down.

From the Title Page of the Book of Mormon (emphasis added):

... Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations—And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.

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Matt briefly mentioned Ezekiel 37:15-23 in his answer, but it deserves greater emphasis. The linked article starts out by very briefly mentioning writing on staves, and then discounts it, saying that had Ezekiel meant a staff, he would have used a different word. And then it goes and gives several examples of 'ets meaning all sorts of things, many of which had their own specific words. But on the other hand, we have many translators and commentators throughout the ages calling Ezekiel's "wood" a staff, a rod, or a stick. People centuries closer to the author (and thus more likely to be familiar with his cultural context) than we are consistently call the "wood" a rod of some sort, so it's worth understanding why someone might do what Ezekiel describes to an actual stick.

LDS scholar Hugh Nibley has a thorough treatment of the subject in his article, The Stick of Judah. He begins from the premise that what Ezekiel is doing, writing on two halves of a rod and joining them together so that they become one in his hand, is familiar to his audience, even though it's not familiar to us. Then he explains the historical context:

Since ancient times, formal contracts have been represented by inscribing the terms on a rod and then cutting it down the middle, through the inscription. One half was given to each party to the contract. When it came time to fulfill the contract, both parties would bring their sticks before a priest, magistrate or other legal authority, who would join them together in his hand. This made fraud impossible, as only if the two pieces of wood matched perfectly, grain for grain, could the contract be verified, and changing the engraving would require physical access to both halves.

This use of tally-sticks to signify contracts is of ancient date, and survived until surprisingly late in history. The official British archive of fulfilled tally-stick contracts was kept in the Houses of Parliament until 1834. (Interestingly enough, the official written language of such contracts was not English or even Latin, but Hebrew!)

So the Lord has Ezekiel prepare a tally-stick, signifying a formal contract in which one side represents writings of Judah, and the other, writings of Joseph, that will be joined together into one "in my hand." The writings of Judah are obviously the Bible, which leaves an obvious question: what can the identity of the stick of Joseph be? This prophecy requires a writing similar in nature to the Bible, containing the Lord's covenant with his people, as the Bible does, but coming forth from Joseph, not Judah.

The Book of Mormon contains the sacred records of an offshoot of the House of Israel descended from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph. It speaks of God's commandments and his gospel, and testifies of Christ just as the Bible does, and it specifically mentions that its words are to be joined with the testimony of the Bible. (2 Nephi 29:8, read the entire chapter for context.

In other words, the fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy requires something that looks exactly like the Book of Mormon, and for which no candidate other than the Book of Mormon exists that I know of.

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A little different Mormon angle is what you would read in Amos 3:7.

According to that verse the Lord doesn't do anything without consulting his prophets. This makes perfect sense because that's exactly what the bible is, the Lord gave his prophets direction in how to lead his people and the prophets wrote down it down.

Following this logic, it makes sense that wherever God has had people who followed him he would give them leadership through prophets, and those prophets would write down the direction they were given in the form of scripture.

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The Mormon beliefs are one of the few I haven't studied. I'm not sure if what they say is in harmony with the bible or not. 2 Timothy 3;1-7 Shows the actions and qualities of those who are not walking on God's path to life. The bible warns about the men who try to subvert the truth. It says towards the end of that paragraph from 2 Timothy in verse 5 those men would be "Having an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power". In that same chapter Paul goes on to say that men will go on misleading and being misled and that we need to use the holy scriptures to avoid being misled.

Another way of looking at this question is to ask are their actions in harmony with the bible teaches? If you are looking to see if they are possibly a form of true religion then you can turn to the bible for that answer. Matthew 7;15-20 shows us that by his worshipers fruits, or that is to say actions, you will know them as God's people.

The bible gives us a list of qualities that identify his worshipers. First and foremost is Love for God and second love thy neighbor which means everyone not just those in your congregation (John 13;35, Mark 12;31)

His true worshipers will teach the people of all nations about Jehovah God's name, his purpose for the earth and those on it, and baptize them in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit (Matthew 28; 19-20 ).

They observe the moral standards set by God in the bible and follow Jesus example. They are no part of the world. That involves not involving yourself in any form of politics, war, worldly lifestyles that conflict with christian morals, etc..(John 18;36) If the laws of the land you live in do not conflict with God's laws then you are to follow them (Romans 13;1).

Lastly true worship must accept Jesus's ransom sacrifice as their only means of salvation. The bible states that "There is no salvation in anyone else" (Acts 4;12)

Adding onto the bible is already addressed above so there is no need for me to do so.

Based on the statements of identifying true worship do you think The Mormons beliefs and actions Harmonizes with the bibles?

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+1 for a remarkably fair, Christian answer. Christ would often answer difficult questions with rhetorical questions, and this answer does similarly by inviting one to personally examine and be his own judge. –  Matt Dec 27 '13 at 3:14
    
I'm glad you identified that Matt. In teaching we should all imitate Jesus's example. I try as much as possible to present information and ask questions to help the reader/listener arrive at their own conclusion. My knowledge just guides them to it. –  Jeremy Dec 30 '13 at 20:07

The Bible itself doesn't provide any explicit definition of the Biblical canon or even a process to follow to decide whether a text should be in the canon. But it does give some principles.

Firstly, in John 14:23-26 Jesus said that those who love him and belong to him will obey him. They are able to do this despite his absence because he promised to send the Holy Spirit who would teach and remind his followers of all that he said. So one of the important factors that is used to determine whether a text should be included in the canon is its author: was the author a follower of Jesus when he was here in person? Not all New Testament authors were followers of Jesus before he died (Paul, James, and the author of Hebrews is anonymous), but it is believed that they all met with Jesus after he rose to life again, and so this principle still holds for them all.

The second major principle is that future texts must not contradict the earlier ones. In Galatians 1:8-9 Paul says that if anyone ever preaches a different gospel they must be eternally condemned, even if they are an angel! Which tells us a lot about what the early church thought about those they did accept as canonical - despite seeming differences between, for example, Paul's writings and James, they did not consider these books to be teaching different gospels.

We should hold the Book of Mormon to the same standards as we do to any of the other books of the canon. Is the author from or linked to the time of the Apostles? Is what it teaches incompatible with what came before?

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I realize this is several years late, but I thought I would add my own two cents. In its context, the Book of Mormon isn't an "addition" to the Bible. The Bible is an account of the Lords ministry and teaching in Israel and the Middle East. The Book of Mormon is basically an account of the Lords ministry and teachings somewhere in the Ancient Americas (seeing theorized locations for the events that took place is something in its own, and is interesting to research). So, the verses in revelations that speak concerning the addition and subtraction of doctrine from the Bible wouldn't apply to the Book of Mormon.

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Welcome to the site. As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following two posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": help page and How we are different than other sites? Also, this doesn't really answer the question. It looks like it should be a comment, but you haven't yet earned enough to leave comments. (Again, see the help page.) Hopefully, soon! –  David Stratton Apr 23 at 14:56

The Bible, in current form does not mention the Book of Mormon. It does however provide clues to other documents that are potentially inspired by God. It also provides the tools to verify truth. Many cite Revelations as the end of the Bible when scholars agree that the Gospel of John was the last written chronologically, while exiled on the Isle of patmos. I refer you to the last verse written John 21:25. Now, whether or not the references noted by others posting speak directly of the Book of Mormon, the only way is by a test of faith.
1. Is the entire wisdom and knowledge of God limited to the pages of a book compiled by imperfect men, copied by hand over centuries and translated countless times? 2. Does the Bible, by itself, unify all Christian faith in belief and doctrine? 3. If God were to impart additional instruction today, would you refuse it because it is not contained in the Bible? 4. Do those who claim the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, in principle, strive to follow the Savior as He is described in the Bible? If we are truly striving to follow Christ, which is the underlying foundation of Christianity, it is at very least worth being put to the test. Because you see, if it is true as so many claim, the church that points to that book as evidence of restoration, how the book came to be and who was responsible for its translation can likewise be verified through prayer.

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As I have read and studied the Bible I have become convinced of three important truths: God has more to say (Deuteronomy 8:3, Proverbs 29:18, John 21:25), He will talk to the world through his Prophets (Amos 8:3), and He will talk to us if we will ask Him (James 1:5-6, Matthew 7:7).

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If he spoke to the ancients, why would he not speak to us? Telling Noah about the Flood didn't save the Children of Israel in Egypt's bondage. Telling the Children of Israel what they had to do to escape Egyptian bondage didn't save the Kingdom of Judah from Babylonian captivity. God, who doesn't change or vary, spoke to his ancient children through prophets. Doesn't it follow that He would still speak, or want to speak to us through Prophets?

Christ said that there would be many false prophets in the last days, and that they way to tell them apart from the true prophets would be by their fruits (Matthew 7:20). Moses, Noah, Abraham, Isaiah, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and Peter all had fruits by which people could know whether or not they were of God.

Read the Book of Mormon, compare it to the Bible, then, as James and Christ suggest, ask God if the Book of Mormon is from Him. If it is, then God speaks to men as He did anciently and has more of His word to give us through His modern Prophets, such as Joseph Smith. If it is true or false, you can know from the same source that gave us the Bible: God himself.

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Non-restorationists believe that God does still speak to us today, through the scriptures. We don't need new revelation because he has completed his revelation, see Hebrews 1:1-2. Is there any Biblical basis for the idea that his revelation isn't complete now? –  curiousdannii Jun 24 at 1:54

This is a really good question. We might not always find the answers to our questions from the Bible. We don't always know what Gods plans are.

Deut. 4:2.

You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it; that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. (RSV)

This was said in the 3rd book of the Old Testament. Why is there 36 more books written after this verse in the Old Testament? The verse above stated to not add to the word, and more prophets wrote down more records.

I guess it doesn't matter because the WORD is the same, it is a testimony of Jesus Christ our Savior. Same goes for the verse in Revelation which reads :

Rev. 22:9-10

I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (RSV)

Why is it hard to accept the Book of Mormon as another witness? Its not adding or taking away any true doctrine of Jesus Christ and God. Its the same WORD, it testifies of Jesus Christ as our SAVIOR.

We don't know Gods plan, but through him, everything is possible. With prayer we are able to receive truths, comfort, peace, and guide through the Holy Ghost.

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