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What are the differences between the Book of Mormon and the Bible? How are they similar? What do they have in common?

Please provide an overview of the major differences. I prefer a Mormon perspective.

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    This is a VERY broad question that could be answered multiple ways, from a high-level overview to an in-depth discussion on differences in doctrinal teachings. I'm not sure this is answerable in a StackExchange format. Can you clarify your question? Make it more focused so that it's possible to give a reasonable answer? Already, this is attracting varied answers that could all be "right". see Real Questions Have Answers – David Stratton Mar 12 '15 at 2:49
  • In the mean time, welcome to the site. We are glad you decided to participate. Here are some meta posts about this site to help you learn how we do it here: What Christianity.StackExchange is (and more importantly, what it isn't) and How we are different than other sites Please also take the tour and see the help center. I hope to see you post again soon. Please also keep in mind that I and other users are willing to help you, so ask us anything if you need help. – 3961 Mar 12 '15 at 3:06
  • I've edited this into an overview question. Ref: I'm not clear exactly how "overview" questions work – 3961 Mar 12 '15 at 3:14
  • I also added that you prefer a Mormon perspective, in light of your self answer. – 3961 Mar 12 '15 at 3:15
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    I think it's still too broad. An overview would need to look at history, literary aspects, theology, and more. – curiousdannii Mar 12 '15 at 5:41
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The Book of Mormon has a much greater consistency of style than does the Bible, which is much more clearly the work of many authors over a period of centuries. In the Bible, only Mark's Gospel has sentences frequently begin with 'And', whereas sentences frequently begin with 'And' in any book within the Book of Mormon. This consistency seems somewhat unlikely to have resulted from translation, and suggests that the various authors of the Book of Mormon were influenced to adopt the same style as Mark.

In the Book of Mormon many sentences start with an extension through to 'And it came to pass ...': opening the pages at random, I see Jacob 5:25: "And it came to pass that when the Lord of the vineyard ..." and Alma 50:35: "And it came to pass that the army which was sent ..." The Mormon community maintained a surprisingly consistent literary style over many centuries.

The Old Testament never mentions Jesus by name, and passages often interpreted as referring to the Messiah are seen as having other possible interpretations. The Book of Mormon directly mentions Jesus Christ by name more than 500 years before his birth (2 Nephi 20: "... and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved."

The New Testament is somewhat ambiguous as to when Jesus was born. In the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 1:19 tells us that the date of Jesus' birth was unmistakable because there was no night that day, right across the world; a footnote tells us the exact year - 1 AD.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, with some Aramaic in places, then translated into Greek, while the New Testament was written wholly in Greek. They were translated into Latin and then various styles of English, including the somewhat archaic KJV English (and into other languages used around the world). The Book of Mormon was first translated in 1830 into the English of the KJV Bible and subsequently translated from English into other languages around the world.

The Bible and the Book of Mormon both have similar objectives: persuade people to believe in God and live peaceful/productive lives. In terms of theology and doctrine, most of what is in the Bible and the Book of Mormon is unproveable and must be taken on faith.

  • I can't find the quote at the moment, but I recall reading that all those "Ands" are actually a grammatical necessity in the ancient Egyptian language, which the Book of Mormon narrative claims to have used as a basis for their writing due to its great compactness. – Mason Wheeler Mar 12 '15 at 4:00
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    @MasonWheeler Mormon 9:32-33 tells us that the books were written in the Hebrew language, only using Egyptian characters for conciseness. In other words, there is no suggestion that the Egyptian language (syntax, grammar, etc) were involved. – Dick Harfield Mar 12 '15 at 4:35
  • One of the biggest differences is that there are actually several commonly accepted 'Bible's, though they share a lot of the same books, and the formation process of the Bible and what books different Churches include in it is examinable from a historical standpoint. There is only one 'version', so to speak, of the BoM (i.e. all BoM contain the same 'books' with the same verses) and the decisions made as to the inclusion or exclusion of the (presumably many) various possible works were theoretically made by God, wheras the Bible was compiled over time through the authority of the Priesthood. – Please stop being evil Mar 12 '15 at 7:19
  • @thedarkwanderer - "the inclusion or exclusion of the (presumably many) various possible works were theoretically made by God" Where do you get that idea from? The canon of the Book of Mormon was arranged by the Prophet Mormon. More than once in the BofM Mormon states: "I cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people." It was Mormon, by the authority of the Priesthood that compiled the Book of Mormon from a library of records. The resulting BofM is a hundredth part of the records in the New World that were available to him. – ShemSeger Mar 12 '15 at 16:26
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    @ShemSeger and thedarkwander. You may have completed your conversation about the diversity of content in the BoM to your mutual satisfaction; if so, good. If not, please continue in a chat room. Comments placed here should be those that might helpful in improving my answer. – Dick Harfield Mar 12 '15 at 20:48
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To understand the differences between the BOM and the Holy Bible, we first must look at these two volumes of scripture within the context of their similarities. So here is what they have in common:

  1. They are both volumes of scripture written by prophets.
  2. Millions of people study (and believe in) each, though manifestly at least 100X more people accept the Bible than the BOM.
  3. They both have similar objectives: persuade people to believe in God and live peaceful/productive lives.
  4. In terms of theology and doctrine, most of what is in the Bible and the Book of Mormon is unproveable and must be taken on faith.
  5. Both were written over a very large span of time.

Here are the significant points of difference between the Bible and the Book of Mormon:

  1. The Book of Mormon contains a consistent theme from start to finish: persuading people to believe and follow Jesus Christ. In the Bible, a similar theme exists in the New Testament, but it's often harder to detect in the Old Testament, and our Jewish friends would presumably conclude that there is no such theme in the Old Testament (Torah/Talmud).
  2. The Bible has numerous sections that are non-doctrinal in nature, such as historical, proverbial, and legalistic. The Book of Mormon has elements of these as well, but is mostly either doctrinal on the surface, or contains doctrinal undertones.
  3. Nearly all Catholics, Protestants, and Evangelicals believe that the Bible is the word of God and the BOM is not. Nearly all Mormons believe that both are the word of God.
  4. BOM prophetic writers frequently make reference to the Bible, especially to the writings of Isaiah. The Bible makes no direct reference to the Book of Mormon, but Mormons believe there is a veiled reference to BOM peoples in John 10:16..."And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." Mormons believe that Jesus visited the people on the American continent shortly after His ascension spoken of in the Bible.
  5. Nearly everything in the Bible takes place in the Middle East. While the Book of Mormon begins in Jerusalem, describing a family that flees the city into the desert, the vast majority takes place on the ancient American continent (long before the term "America" existed).
  6. The Book of Mormon was translated from a single collection of ancient metal plates, and all within a single year. The Bible was pieced together over thousands of years and translated by many different people.
  • Your 12th point is comparing apples to oranges. You start by talking about translation of the BoM then say the Bible was pieced together over thousands of years. You are referring to different things. The rest is fine. +1 and welcome to the community. – 3961 Mar 12 '15 at 3:20
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    Did you get this from a source, by the way, or is this all original? – 3961 Mar 12 '15 at 3:21
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    Point 6 is incorrect. The Bible is not translated from translations of translations. – curiousdannii Mar 12 '15 at 5:17
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    @curiousdannii - Point 6 is not incorrect, not all translations of the Bible were translated from codecies, many modern language translations were made using the KJV as their source. Even those codecies that were used in the more authoritative translations aren't original manuscripts, they're merely the oldest available. Christ didn't preach in Greek, and I don't think Moses spoke the same form of hebrew as the Jews did during the Roman occupation. – ShemSeger Mar 12 '15 at 15:55
  • I removed point 6 about translations and renumbered. Thanks for the input. – HerrimanCoder Mar 12 '15 at 16:17
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Most theology of Book of Mormon is similar to the Bible's.However, these five distinctive theological positions are Mormon's, I gather:

Though I am not a Mormon, I ( now this is a subjective statement, not part of the answer) find Mormon position on children and non-Christians is generous compared to orthodox Christianity's. It is more closer to people general perception of God's justice and mercy.

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