This official Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints source asserts:

As the Bible was compiled, organized, translated, and transcribed, many errors entered the text. The existence of such errors becomes apparent when one considers the numerous and often conflicting translations of the Bible in existence today. Careful students of the Bible are often puzzled by apparent contradictions and omissions. Many people have also been curious about references by biblical prophets to books or scriptural passages that are not currently in the Bible.

What are notable examples of contradictions and omissions in the Bible that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has identified?

See also: How do Latter-day Saints determine which manuscripts should be considered Scripture?


3 Answers 3


The question refers to plain and precious truths that were removed from the Bible before the earliest manuscript copies we have access to, as described here:

they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.

The most reliable resource I have found is Joseph Smith's Inspired Translation of the Bible, (some resources are linked in this other answer). Naturally, if a verse was expanded by the restored translation or corrected from a contradictory state, it answers the question. Importantly, the retranslation was never fully finished, so it cannot be assumed that no errors or potentials for clarification remain.

Some notable examples include:

Genesis 9:10-15, JST, which clarifies that animal life is sacred, that God will require the blood of beasts at the hands of man in the day of judgment, but animal life of lesser value than the life of mankind, and animal meat may be used to sustain human life. God forbids the shedding of man's blood.

The JST of Exodus 33:20 and 23 corrects a contradictory passage that in its altered state claimed that no man can see God and live, despite numerous prophets in the Bible having seen God and lived. The correct translation says,

no sinful man hath at any time, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time, that shall see my face and live.

Similarly, Genesis 6:6 says that God repented, but this is contradicted in Numbers 23:19, which says that God cannot repent. The corrected translation identifies Noah as the one that is "repenting" or regretting.

Joseph Smith's translation of the Book of Moses also illustrates that the Bible has been heavily redacted, removing almost every direct reference to the Son of God (although the devil missed one in Daniel chapter three), which among other issues causes the Old Testament to read very differently from the New. The Inspired Translation of the Old Testament reads much more coherently with the New Testament. God's Only Begotten Son and His role as the Creator and Redeemer is introduced in Moses chapter 1, which is completely missing from the Old Testament.

There are also numerous corrections to doctrines taught by Paul and the other New Testament writers.

I highlight the Gospel of Christ in my Scriptures with a green highlighter, and I underline each of its principles with a colored pen. The King James Version of Genesis and most of the Old Testament is nearly empty but the Book of Moses and JST are in full bloom with green.

The redacted Scriptures contain accounts of Adam's baptism, the issuing of the Gospel of faith in Jesus Christ, repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, and of laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost beginning with Adam, and through all the prophets in every dispensation of the Gospel.

Clearly, followers of Christ are to

expect opposition, because the adversary does not want you to discover the power of Jesus Christ. (Overcome the World and Find Rest, President Russell M. Nelson, 2022)

This is just a very small sampling that I can expand on more given time.

  • "Repented" at Genesis 6 is an unfortunate translation. It signifies a deep sigh of grief, as of a Father over the behavior of a wayward child. Changing the verse to apply to Noah rather than God is inaccurate. Commented May 1 at 12:43
  • @MikeBorden the JST is not intended to be an Ur-text. The Genesis 6 JST appears to be a clear example of bullet #4 of the purposes of the JST outlined in my post here. It guards against false doctrine which can be perpetuated by the unfortunate translation. Commented May 2 at 3:31
  • @HoldToTheRod How does it guard against false doctrine when it wrongly applies the questionably translated action to Noah rather than God? This seems, instead, rather like creating or guarding false teaching through overreaction to translation. The verse in question has to be massively altered in order to make Noah the subject and no manuscript I know of supports doing so. Commented May 2 at 13:20
  • @MikeBorden see my prior comment - it's not an Ur-text. If the JST adds true information about the past that wasn't originally in the Bible, Latter-day Saints don't have a problem with that. I don't see any reason why both God & Noah couldn't have been grieved for the wickedness of the world. Commented May 2 at 14:28
  • @MikeBorden Be reminded that the extant manuscripts are not known to be accurate reflections of the originals, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has multiple sources of prophecy that indicate the surviving Biblical manuscripts were indeed "massively altered". (This is one reason why textual criticism is a relatively weak tool. The originals cannot be reconstructed without revelation.) The same thing happened during the translation of the Book of Mormon by the enemies of the church. Lucifer loves to tamper with records to deceive the minds of men, and history repeats itself.
    – pygosceles
    Commented May 2 at 16:10

The OP source references some of the omitted scripture:

The Bible itself speaks of other authoritative books of scripture, including books of Nathan the prophet and of Jehu and Enoch, the prophecy of Ahijah, the visions of Iddo the seer, and even missing epistles of Paul.

From Bible Dictionary: Lost Books:

Sometimes called missing scripture, they consist of at least the following: book of the Wars of the Lord (Num. 21:14); book of Jasher (Josh. 10:13; 2 Sam. 1:18); book of the acts of Solomon (1 Kgs. 11:41); book of Samuel the seer (1 Chr. 29:29); book of Gad the seer (1 Chr. 29:29); book of Nathan the prophet (1 Chr. 29:29; 2 Chr. 9:29); prophecy of Ahijah (2 Chr. 9:29); visions of Iddo the seer (2 Chr. 9:29; 12:15; 13:22); book of Shemaiah (2 Chr. 12:15); book of Jehu (2 Chr. 20:34); sayings of the seers (2 Chr. 33:19); an epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, earlier than our present 1 Corinthians (1 Cor. 5:9); possibly an earlier epistle to the Ephesians (Eph. 3:3); an epistle to the Church at Laodicea (Col. 4:16); and some prophecies of Enoch, known to Jude (Jude 1:14). To these rather clear references to inspired writings other than our current Bible may be added another list that has allusions to writings that may or may not be contained within our present text but may perhaps be known by a different title; for example, the book of the covenant (Ex. 24:7), which may or may not be included in the current book of Exodus; the manner of the kingdom, written by Samuel (1 Sam. 10:25); the rest of the acts of Uzziah written by Isaiah (2 Chr. 26:22).

The foregoing items attest to the fact that our present Bible does not contain all of the word of the Lord that He gave to His people in former times and remind us that the Bible, in its present form, is rather incomplete.

@pygosceles makes a good reference to Joseph Smith Translation which probably has a majority of contradictions, omissions, and/or clarifications (Joseph Smith didn't necessarily finish before his death). Much of Doctrine of Covenants was in response to Joseph Smith Translating the bible.1 I believe most of the JST can be found in the book Joseph Smith's Translation of the Bible, Kent P Jackson (the link has at least several of the pages as PDF to view)

1 Precious Truths Restored: Joseph Smith Translation Changes Not Included in Our Bible

  • 2
    Note that the references in the Bible Dictionary entry are not unique to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Biblical scholars almost universally recognize all or most of these as missing or possibly missing books and passages. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – pygosceles
    Commented Apr 30 at 19:01
  • "Sometimes called missing scripture". Scripture just means writings, which is definitively different than "missing inspired word of God". Commented May 1 at 12:35

To supplement the answers already provided, I'll provide details on one specific, meaningful case of omission. I'll quickly highlight other examples and then provide some general background.


The Bible speaks of baptism, but does not answer questions such as:

  • How is a baptism performed?
  • At what age can someone be baptized?
  • How does one obtain the authority to perform a baptism?
  • What are the details of the covenant made at baptism?

Each of these details of this essential ordinance are found in texts of the restoration.

Instructions on physically performing the ordinance of baptism are found in 3 Nephi 11:23-26

Moroni 8:10-11 teaches that little children/infants should not be baptized. Doctrine & Covenants 68:7 identifies the age of 8 as the age of accountability (i.e. a person is sufficiently capable of understanding right, wrong, faith, and repentance at this age to make a binding covenant with God).

3 Nephi 11:21 and Articles of Faith 1:5 provide basic instructions on receiving priesthood authority to baptize (much more detailed instructions have also been provided).

Mosiah 18:8-10 and Doctrine & Covenants 20:77 outline specific details of covenant promises made between God and man.

These are the kinds of details that would have been known to those practicing the ordinance of baptism anciently, but were not handed down in the written records that became the Bible. Modern revelation has restored the knowledge of how to perform this sacred ordinance, by whom, for whom, and what it entails.

Other examples

There are many other examples of knowledge that is hinted at in the Bible, and texts of the Restoration have provided details & clarity.

In some cases, Biblical passages that can be interpreted in multiple ways have resulted in competing theological truth claims (this site demonstrates this reality so very well), and the texts of the restoration resolve that ambiguity. Examples include the role of the Fall in the Plan of Salvation, the meaning of grace (my thoughts here), and the nature of the atonement of Jesus Christ.

In other cases, Biblical authors make passing reference to something that apparently their audience already knew about (hence no need to elaborate), but the modern audience lacks those background details. Texts of the restoration have restored knowledge on several such matters, including key features of God's plan such as the premortal existence, kingdoms of glory (not just heaven & hell), what happens between death & the resurrection, and baptisms for the dead.

General background

Was there ever a version of a Biblical manuscript that contained some of these details? I don't know, but I doubt there was ever a version of the New Testament that contained all of them.

The first 4 books of the New Testament are biographies of Jesus, Acts is an introductory history of the Christian movement with an eye towards legally defending Christianity, Revelation is an apocalyptic vision, and the balance of the New Testament is made up of letters responding to specific needs at a specific time and place. None of them provide a "Gospel Principles" manual, and most presuppose the audience already knows the basics.

In another post I reviewed the most famous passage in the Book of Mormon discussing "what's missing" from the Bible:

...because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book [the Bible], which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble... (1 Nephi 13:29)

I proposed several means by which plain & precious truths can be lost, and in the examples noted above I see in each case that there were details known anciently that were not preserved, either because they were never recorded, or that they were recorded but lost before the Biblical texts were compiled. These then would be omissions with respect to the knowledge had by the apostles.

As far as contradictions are concerned, I shared some thoughts here. Another very simple set of "contradictions", though, would be passages which appear contradictory to the modern reader and spawn contradictory contemporary religious dogmas because those passages require some cultural background understanding. E.g. does Paul in Romans & Galatians contradict the epistle of James? No, but without some knowledge of the culture & terminology of that era, their arguments can appear contradictory.


We do not reject the inspiration of the Bible; we acknowledge, rather, that God still speaks, that He often reveals answers to contemporary questions through contemporary prophets (e.g. He told Noah how to build Noah's ark and told Moses how to build Moses' ark, but not vice-versa), and that the Bible does not contain everything God has ever revealed or everything He ever intends to reveal (see Articles of Faith 1:9).

As He Himself stated through the prophet Nephi:

And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever. Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written (2 Nephi 29:9b-10)

Disclaimer - these thoughts are products of my own study and do not constitute official statements by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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