Hello! Shalom! Aloha! Mabuhay!

If this is your first visit to Modern Apocrypha, I have only two recommendations for continuing on with minimal confusion:

1) Please begin with the first introductory post (found HERE) and work your way forward. Almost all the posts on this blog flow chronologically and will make more sense with the background and context of previous ones. Jumping in anywhere might be disorienting.

2) Please read along in the texts posted off to the right. I try not to summarize too much in the commentary and discussion, and being at least somewhat familiar with what we're discussing or I'm commenting on will be most beneficial and edifying for all involved. Plus, going along with the theme of this blog, any hidden truths to be brought to light will be found within the text itself and not necessarily within my ramblings.

Okay, fine, three recommendations:

3) Please read with an open heart, mind, and spirit. See what truths you can find in these works--ones which speak to you. Namaste : )

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Wait, hold on, Jesus. The Bible doesn't contain all of God's word?
This segment on the Bible and God's word will be interestingly familiar to LDS readers. Jesus begins by saying that the Bible contains the pure word of God... except for the mixed-up parts caused by transmission errors, etc. (He conveniently leaves out which are the good parts and which are the bad ; ) We apparently have to figure that out for ourselves.) This echoes the teachings of Joseph Smith:
- We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. (Article of Faith 8)
- I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors.
- From sundry revelations which had been received, it was apparent that many points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.  
In other words, the message of the Bible is held to be true, while details of accuracy and completeness are accepted within certain limits.

In vision, Nephi is instructed by an angel of the Lord:
Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God. (1 Nephi 13:24)
Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God. (25)
And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, 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. (26)
And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men. (27)
Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God. (28)
And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles,... thou seest--because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, 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, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them. (29)
Nephi learns that the writings within the Bible once contained the fulness of the Gospel in its purity but that many truths and covenants were lost or corrupted. These would be restored in God's own time.

Jesus reiterates that God speaks to many nations and peoples and that anything spoken by God is, obviously, His word. And since God Himself is limitless, infinite, and eternal, so too is His word. Jesus reminds Elisha of the last verse of John's gospel:
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. (John 21:25)
Hyperbole? Exaggeration? Or reality. John claims here that not all of Jesus' doings and sayings are, or even could be, contained in his account or any other combination of records.

Again, Jesus tells Elisha that the Bible has preserved a record of some of His words and works, but many teachings, writings, and truths were lost or not preserved because of the weakness of men (see above). He gives the Book of Enoch as an example; it is not found in the Bible (considered apocryphal or pseudepigraphal by most Christian denominations), yet He says He taught from it and had His disciples learn from it. (As an aside, there are at least three different Books of Enoch. You can find some translations HERE; they're fun reads. More than likely Jesus would be talking about 1 Enoch, which was well known at His time and even quoted by Jude in verses 14-16 of his epistle.) But Jesus wants to remind Elisha that we shouldn't degrade the Bible or think it weak or inferior because of these issues. It has brought millions to Christ and will stand forever as the foundation and measuring rule (Greek: kanon) for His word.

However, to preach that the Bible alone contains all of God's word is a different gospel than the one Jesus taught. As He said before, God's works are manifest in all the world and made known through the books and records of the nations of the world. Logically, neither Jesus nor His apostles taught from the Bible as we now have it; it didn't exist at that time and wouldn't for centuries. Jesus says they taught from the scriptures, meaning inspired writings of the various ancient prophets, many of which aren't contained in today's Bible. Jesus warns those who say, "I only accept the Bible," that they're following Satan and, thus, committing a grave sin. Satan lies to men to lead them away from Christ, whereas Jesus' words are pure and holy and come from the Father. Jesus finishes this segment with the counsel to read the words of the Bible, for they are good, but to not be afraid to read other books that contain His word. (This segues nicely into our next section...)

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