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Introduction to the New Testament


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Title: Introduction to the New Testament

Introduction to the New Testament
  • Testament means covenant.
  • C.S. Lewis warned us about saying the really
    foolish thing that people often say about (the
  • Im ready to accept Jesus as a great moral
    teacher, but I dont accept His claim to be God.
    That is the one thing we must not say. A man who
    was merely a man and said the sort of things
    Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher.
    He would either be a lunatic - on a level with
    the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he
    would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your
    choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of
    God or else a madman or something worse. You
    can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him
    and kill Him as a demon or you can fall at His
    feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not
    come with any patronizing nonsense about His
    being a great human teacher. He has not left
    that open to us. He did not intend to.

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  • It does not surprise me that Satan would thus try
    to influence the painting of pictures of a Jesus
    Satan never saw. Satan encountered no effeminate
    Lord on the Mount of Temptation. Satan did not
    go up against a frail Lord in the preexistence,
    nor was he dispatched out of the presence of a
    fragile Lord. Indeed, the Lord whom Satan often
    has had represented in religious art is just the
    opposite of that Being of whom he is so fearfully
    jealous. There is not truth in Lucifers art
    (Neal A. Maxwell, Deposition of a Disciple,

  • President David O. McKay, a latter-day prophet
  • What you sincerely in your heart think of
    Christ will determine what you are, will largely
    determine what your acts will be. No person can
    study this divine personality, can accept his
    teachings without becoming conscious of an
    uplifting and refining influence within
    himself...Members of the Church of Christ are
    under obligation to make the sinless Son of Man
    their ideal - the one perfect being who ever
    walked the earth (C.R., Apr., 1951, 93, 98).

What is the Gospel?
  • What is the gospel then?...So often I hear my
    brethren saying something that I wish we would
    not say quite that way - that the gospel is a way
    of life. It is not a way of life - it is the way
    to eternal life. It is the science of salvation
    (Harold B. Lee, C.R., April, 1959, 68).

Gospel - means God news, or Good news!
  • Brigham Young said, The Gospel of the Son of
    God that has been revealed is a plan or system of
    laws and ordinances, by strict obedience to which
    the people who inhabit this earth are assured
    that they may return again into the presence of
    the Father and the Son (JD, 13, 233).

  • The perceptions necessary for the ultimate
    diagnosis of human ills are, in my judgment,
    contained in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some
    secular prescriptions, ironically, would amount
    to giving mankind an aspirin when surgery is
    required (Neal A. Maxwell, A Time To Choose, 15).

  • Granted there is not full correlation among the
    four Gospels about the events and participants at
    the empty garden tomb. Yet the important thing
    is that the tomb was empty, because Jesus had
    been resurrected! Essence, not tactical detail!
    (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, November 1984, 11).

Why we are not considered Christians by the World!
  • 1. We do not come from the traditional Catholic
    or Protestant line.
  • 2. We do not believe in The Trinity.
  • 3. Our unusual doctrines.
  • Concerning mainstream Christianity, they say
    Youre not like us, and we say, youre right,
    and we dont want to be!
  • John Taylor

  • Quiet Christianity is a necessary counterpoint to
    the rumble of the kettle drums and the crash of
    cymbals of those Christian acts which are, by
    their very nature, visible and hard to ignore.
    We also need the behavioral equivalent of the
    flute and the violin in order to have the kind of
    symphony that can make a difference in mortality
    (Neal A. Maxwell, A Time to Choose, 28).

  • By organizing our concern we become more
    involved, more effectively involved, enlarging
    our circles of concern. Otherwise, we might
    become mere checkbook-Christians, contributing
    money but not involving ourselves with others,
    and checkbook-Christianity is simply monetary
    monasticism (Neal A. MaxwellA More Excellent
    Way, 12).

Doctrine of the Holy Trinity
  • Fundamental to the Catholic and Protestant
    faiths is the acceptance of the God of their
    creeds. Known to us today as the doctrine of the
    Holy Trinity, this teaching first found formal
    expression in the Nicene Creed and then in its
    successor, the Athanasian Creed. It reads as
  • We worship one God in trinity and trinity in
    unity neither confounding the persons nor
    dividing the substance. For there is one person
    of the Father another of the Son and another of
    the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father,
    of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one
    the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.
  • Such as the Father is such is the Son and
    such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreate the
    Son uncreate and the Holy Ghost uncreate. The
    Father incomprehensible the Son
    incomprehensible and the Holy Ghost

  • So the Father is God the Son is God and the
    Holy Ghost is God And yet they are not three
    Gods but one God. So likewise the Father is
    Lord The Son is Lord and the Holy Ghost is
    Lord. For like as we are compelled by the
    Christian verity to acknowledge every person by
    himself to be God and Lord so are we forbidden
    by the Catholic religion to say, there be three
    Gods, or three Lords (Smith, Restoration of All
    Things, 49).
  • The Nicene Creed is not found in any Gospel. It
    derives from no utterance of Christ nor from the
    words of any of His Apostles. It directly
    contradicts the plain language of the New

  • Its ideas cant even be expressed in scriptural
    language they are cloaked in that of the Greek
    philosophy from whence they came. Its best
    defense is the admission that it is a mystery and
    as such is indefensible.
  • Of the Athanasian Creed, which was formulated
    about a century after the Nicene Creed, James E.
    Talmage said, It would be difficult to conceive
    of a greater number of inconsistencies and
    contradictions expressed in words as few
    (Articles of Faith, 44).

  • Parley P. Pratt would observe when once the
    light of the restored gospel had risen
  • It is painful to the human mind to be compelled
    to admit that such wonderful inconsistencies of
    language or ideas have ever found place in any
    human creed. Yet, so it is. It is but another
    way of saying that there is a God who does not
    exist, a God who is composed of non-entity, who
    is the negative of all existence, who occupies no
    space, who exists in no time, who is composed of
    no substance, known or unknown, and who has no
    powers or properties in common with any thing or
    being known to exist or which can possibly be
    conceived of as existing either in the heavens or
    on the earth (Key, 18).

  • The following is a literal translation, as
    published by the Nicene Creed then adopted
  • We believe in one God the Father Almighty,
    Maker of all things visible and invisible and in
    one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the
    Father, that is, of the substance of the Father,
    God of God, begotten not made, of the same
    substance with the Father, through whom all
    things were made both in heaven and on earth who
    for us men and for our salvation descended, was
    incarnate, and was made man, suffered and rose
    again the third day, ascended into heaven and
    cometh to judge living and dead. And in the Holy
    Ghost. Those who say There was a time when He
    was not, and He was not before He was begotten
    and that He was made out of nothing or who
    maintain that He is of another hypostasis or
    another substance (than the Father), or that the
    Son of God is created, or mutable, or subject to
    change, (them) the Catholic Church

The Nicene Creed
  • Constantine called a council of Catholic bishops
    to meet at Nicaea in 325 A.D. Their work was to
    adopt a creed which would settle the then
    politically explosive problem of the Arianism a
    concept that the Son had been created by the
    Father, was subordinate to him, and was therefore
    unequal as to eternity, power, and glory.
  • The Council was opened by Constantine. He made
    sure that all the Bishops had taken their seats
    before making his entry. He was clad in gold and
    covered with precious stones. A chair of gold
    had been made ready for him.

  • The current version of this creed is called the
    Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed and was probably
    adopted by the Council of Constantinople in 381
    A.D. (Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 11, 49-50).

  • The Gospels cover about 31 days of the Saviors
  • The Synoptic Gospels, which mean, taken from the
    same point of view include Matthew, Mark, and
  • Johns account seems to have been an independent

  • Gospel                             Exclusive      
  • Mark 7
  • Matthew 42
  • Luke 59
  • John 92
  • Language           
  • Old Testament           Hebrew
  • New Testament        Greek and Aramaic

  • Moses 1300 B.C
  • David 1000 B.C.                                  
  • Babylonian, 587 B.C. (Lehi leaves)
  • Ezra, 520 B.C.                                    
  • (Turns the people from idles to Law of
  • (fall to Alexander the Great)
  • Alexander the Great, 333 B.C.                   
  • Roman Empire, 60 B.C.                             
  • Christ, A.D.                                      

  • What do Jews believe?
  • Its like asking what Christians believe.
  • What does following the Law of Moses mean?
  • It is fractured, because of the different groups
    within Judaism.

Political and Religious Groups
  • Pharisees
  • Their aim was to preserve their national
    integrity and to strictly conform to the Mosaic
  • They were the most numerous and influential of
    the religious sects of Jesus day.
  • They acquired for themselves an influential
    position in the state.

  • They were the most prominent of the Jewish
    sects. Josephus said there were approximately
    6,000 in the first century.
  • They prided themselves on being set apart or
    separated from the rest of the Jews by their
    strict observance of the minutest requirements of
    the law of Moses.
  • They claimed that Moses had received the law on
    Mount Sinai in two parts, one written and one
    oral. Their strength was in the local
    synagogues, which they controlled. Their
    religious leaders were called rabbis (meaning
    teachers or masters).

  • Pharisees were generally scholars and preachers
    rather than priests.
  • The oral law was a body of decisions or
    judgments in oral form, explanatory of the
    written law, the tradition of the elders or
    the oral tradition. It was memorized.
  • Prince Judah, 200 B.C. wrote down the oral
  • 1. Misnah    6 volumes
  • 2. Talmud    18 volumes

  • We know very little regarding them. What we do
    know is recorded by their enemies. So needless
    to say it is not a good source!
  • They were members of the ruling class, and they
    did not believe in the resurrection
  • A small party of very wealthy and influential
    aristocrats. Most Sadducees were priests. They
    controlled the Jerusalem Temple and derived
    wealth, power, and influence from it.

  • They were the head of the Sanhedrin (the
    governing council of the Jews). Politically they
    cooperated with the Romans in return for the
    continued exercise of their privileges.
  • They exerted almost no moral influence on the
    common people who resented them because of their
    cooperation with Rome.
  • They were suspicious of the popular faith in the
    coming of the Messiah.

  • Their authority as interpreters of the Law met a
    serious challenge from the Pharisees, who
    developed their own oral tradition.

  • The third major Jewish sect according to
  • There may have been more than one type of
  • The best known were those who lived in a desert
    community on the shores of the Dead Sea (Qumran).
  • They were not very numerous.
  • They believed that the Sadducean Jerusalem
    priesthood was illegitimate and that all who
    associated with Sadducean priest were apostate.
    They were waiting for the end of the world and
    their own vindication.

  • They were more strict and rigorous than even the
    Pharisees, whom they called seekers after smooth
  • Their beliefs were very similar to the
  • They were anti-Romans! They held all things in
    common without distinction of property or house,
    with special provisions made for the relief of
    the poor.

  • They should be considered as a branch of
    Pharisaim, because their theology was basically
    that of the Pharisees. They resisted Roman rule
    of the Jews even to the point of armed
  • They believed that if Jews would only rise up
    and fight, God would send them victory. The
    militant wing of the Zealot movement was called
    Sicari (Latin for daggers). The best way to show
    support for their God was to fight for Him.

  • Zealots, Essenes, and Sadducees were basically
    all gone by 70 A.D.
  • Only the Pharisees remained to rebuild Judaism.

Am Ha-aretz
  • The vast majority of the population in Jewish
    Palestine did not go to church, that is, they did
    not have an active affiliation with any of the
    Jewish sects.
  • Most people accepted the views of the Pharisees
    on the interpretation of the law, but few
    actually became Pharisees.
  • They were considered nonaffiliated Jews and made
    up probably 90 of the crowds and multitudes to
    which John the Baptist and Jesus preached.

  • Interpreted and applied the Law. Their
    functions were three-fold
  • 1. Preserve the Law (Oral law was more
    important than written).
  • 2. Gather many pupils to instruct in the law.
  • 3. They were referred to as lawyers and
  • It was knowledge alone which gave them power.
  • Scribes could come from any segment of Jewish

A Brief History of the Bible
  • Why were books bound?
  • It was easier than hiding scrolls.
  • It wasnt until 1200 A.D. that the Bible came to
  • Only 50 fragments existed from the first 300
    years of Christianity.
  • There were no printing presses until the 1400s.
  • Latin was the standard language before the
    printing press was invented.

  • The Bible was the dominant book over the people
    and the people had no access to it. It
    controlled the people economically and
  • The first English Bible was created in 1384 by
    John Wycliffe. Wycliffe was against
  • John 654 According to Catholic and Eastern
    Orthodox dogma transubstantiation is the
    miraculous change by which the sacrament at their
    consecration becomes the body and blood of Christ
    while keeping the appearance of bread and wine.
    The moment the wafer touches the tongue or the
    wine their lips it literally turns into the flesh
    and blood of Jesus Christ (Webster Dictionary).
  • During the 1400s there were two Popes which
    excommunicated each other. Wycliffe believed
    that the scriptures had more authority than the

  • John Wycliffe was called
  • The Morning Star of the Reformation
  • Though he lived two hundred years before the
    Reformation, his beliefs and teachings closely
    match those of Luther, Calvin and other
  • He called the Pope an anti-Christ.
  • He believed that all men should have access to
    the Bible.

  • It took one small herd of sheep to provide the
    parchment for one Bible.
  • Wycliffes followers were burned by the hundreds
    and thousands. What was there crime?
  • They had a page or two of the Bible.
  • Wycliffes bones were exhumed from his grave and
    burned 44 years after he was martyred. They
    pounded his bones to dust symbolizing that he
    never existed.
  • He translated the Bible from Latin to English.
  • The Gutenberg Bible (1453-55), It was printed
    in Latin and intended for the church. It was
    considered the greatest contribution to Western

  • Martin Luther A great scholar who translated
    the Latin Bible into German. He also studied the
    Bible in Greek before it was translated into
    Latin. He was told to renounce his beliefs or be
    burned alive. His 95 Thesis was written during
    the 1500s.

  • Martin Luther (1483-1546)
  • The 95 item thesis was written in 1517 and
    nailed to the doors of the Church in Wittenberg
    Germany. He was later buried there with
  • Philipp Melanchthon to Luther was like Oliver
    Cowdery to Joseph Smith.
  • Luther wrote the 95 thesis in Latin so that only
    scholars would know what he had written. He was
    not trying to offend anyone and was being
    respectful. During that time period scholars
    would often nail questions to the church door in
    hope of future discussions or debates.
  • The 95 thesis was not 95 different points, it
    was different points related to the following
  • 1. Selling of indulgences
  • 2. Celibacy
  • 3. The Grace of God
  • 4. The Pope not having the authority to forgive

  • Penance
  • Punishments which a repentant sinner had to
    undergo to show their sorrow for their sins.
  • Purgatory
  • The place after death where repentant sinners
    completed the portion of punishment for sins not
    completed while living.
  • Indulgences
  • A waiver from the Pope that excused the sinner
    from doing penance and shortened the time one had
    to stay in purgatory.

Non-Biblical Doctrines and Practices Developed
within the Catholic Church
  • Monasticism
  • The church encouraged many to withdraw from
    society believing that in so doing they would be
    alone with God men who practiced monasticism
    were called monks and women were called nuns.
  • Celibacy
  • Monks, nuns, and priests believed they should
    not be married
  • (I Timothy 43, Doctrine Covenants 4915-18).
  • Praying to Mary or Saints
  • Deceased persons who were officially recognized
    by the church as holy. They believed Mary or the
    saints could stand before God on behalf of

  • Transubstantiation
  • The belief that elements of the Sacrament
    actually become the body and blood of Christ
    (John 653-57).
  • Infant baptism
  • The belief that infants must be baptized to
    overcome original sin (Moroni 89, Doctrine
    Covenants 13710).
  • Pilgrimages
  • Those who visited the Holy Land or visited holy
    churches with select religious relics were able
    to shorten their time in purgatory.

  • Relics
  • Melanchthon visited the Schlosskirch, with its
    thousands of special, holy relics displayed in
    fabulous gold and silver casements --- 17,443
    relics which could help a person reduce his
    future stay in purgatory by as much as two
    million years (Melanchthon The Quiet Reformer,
    Clyde Leonard Manschreck, 21).

  • The thorn that had brought blood to the brow of
    Jesus was always displayed on a special altar on
    All Saints Day, while the other relics were
    shown from emporiums and balconies built along
    the sides of the church. Pilgrims came to
    behold, and they contributed.

  • Melanchthon gazed at a piece of the cloak of John
    the Baptist.
  • A rock from Mount Calvary.
  • A portion of the rock on which Jesus stood when
    he wept over Jerusalem.
  • Some of the milk of the Virgin Marys breast.
  • A part of Marys gown.
  • Four strands of Our Ladys hair.

  • Four pieces of Our Ladys girdle.
  • A tear that Jesus shed at Lazarus tomb.
  • Thirty-five splinters from the cross of Christ.
  • Three pieces of myrrh and one piece of gold
    brought by the Wise Men to the baby Jesus.
  • A strand of Jesus beard.
  • One of the nails driven into his hands.

  • A piece of bread served at the Last Supper.
  • A part of the stone on which Jesus stood before
    ascending into heaven.
  • A twig from Moses burning bush.
  • An angel feather.
  • Bones and teeth from an array of saints including
    Chrysostom, Bernard, Augustine, Jerome,
    Anastasia, Apollonia, and Lucia, along with one
    complete skeleton and 204 odd bones of the
    innocent children of Bethlehem slain by the order
    of Herod (Clyde Leonard Manschreck, Melanchthon
    The Quiet Reformer, 22).

  • It was the work of others who took his writings
    and had them translated so that the common people
    could read it.
  • Some say that when Luther hammered his thesis to
    the door, the sound was heard in Rome.
  • Wittenberg, Germany is to Protestants what
    Temple Square is to us.
  • Luther translated the Bible into German (Joseph
    Smiths favorite translation).

  • When Luther was ordered to give up his work, he
    boldly declared Unless I be refuted by
    Scriptural testimonies, or by clear arguments
    for I believe neither the Pope nor the councils
    alone, since it is clear that they have often
    erred and contradicted one another I am
    convinced by the passages of Scripture, which I
    have cited, and my conscience is bound in the
    word of God. I cannot and will not recant
    anything since it is insecure and dangerous to
    act against conscience (Henry Eyster Jacobs,
    Martin Luther The Hero of the Reformation,
    1843-1546, 192).
  • Luthers resistance led to his excommunication
    from the church and to his being placed under the
    ban of the empire, which made him an outlaw.

Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Philipp Melanchthon
The Chapel door that Martin Luther nailed his 95
The Chapel in Wittenberg Germany
Martin Luthers Grave
  • William Tyndale (1494-1536)
  • He was Englands Martin Luther.
  • He knew eight languages fluently.
  • Knowing those languages were helpful when he was
    fleeing English authorities seeking to take his
  • He read the Bible in Latin and translated it
    from Greek to English.
  • Why? Because Wycliffe's Bible was pretty much

  • Tyndale standardized the English language. He
    translated the Old Testament from Hebrew to
    English. He finished his work to the Book of
    Chronicles before he was caught and put in jail
    for 18 months.
  • He was admitted to Oxford when he was eleven
    years old.
  • He helped to open the eyes of England.
  • He was also burned at the stake.
  • His last words were,
  • If God grants me breath to finish this
    translation then the simplest plow boy will be
    able to read it and will know more about it than
    you in the clergy.

  • In 1524, at the age of thirty, William Tyndale
    left England to pursue his work outside the
    repressive spy-state set up by Henry VIII and
    Cardinal Wolsey. He would never return.
  • He met Erasmus and later Luther, the two key men
    in the movement towards what became
    Protestantism. He settled in Cologne and began
    single-handedly to translate the New Testament
    not from Latin but from the original Greek and
    Hebrew. It was this, no doubt, coupled with
    Tyndales genius for language, which made his
    translations so telling and memorable.

  • Two years later, six thousand copies had been
    printed abroadevidence of the substantial nature
    of the patronage Tyndale must have received from
    the wool merchants of Gloucestershire, and of the
    speed and efficiency of print. The new Bibles
    were packed and sent to the coast ready to be
    smuggled into England. Yet again English comes to
    England from across the sea, this time written
    English, some of the most sublime ever put on

  • But Henry VIII and Wolseys spies informed them
    of this invasion. It now seems quite
    extraordinary, but the whole country was put on
    alert. In order to prevent the word of God in
    English landing in the land of the English, naval
    ships patrolled the coastal waters, boats were
    stopped and searched, men were arrested and a
    great many Bibles were intercepted. The action
    taken was indistinguishable from being on a war
    footing, and to Henry VIII and Wolsey it was just
    that. Latin was the only word of God allowed by
    the state and now the state came out in full
    armed force to defend its most loyal ally, the
  • At first tens and then hundreds got through the
    lines. The Bishop of London then tried another
    tack he sought to buy the entire print run
    through an intermediary.

  • O he will burn them, Tyndale is supposed to
    have said when he heard of this. I am the
    gladder, he went on, for these two benefits
    will come thereof. I shall get money of him for
    these books to bring myself out of debt and the
    whole world shall cry out upon the burning of
    Gods word. And that is what happened. The
    bishop bought and burned the books and Tyndale
    used the money to rework, prepare and print a
    better version, as it were at the Churchs
  • Tyndales aim was simple I had perceived by
    experience, he wrote, that it was impossible to
    stabilize lay people in any truth unless the
    scripture were to be plainly set before their
    eyes in their mother tongue so that they might
    see the process, order, and meaning of the text
    (The Adventure of English by Melvynn Bragg).

  • The Geneva Bible (1560), it was the first
    English Bible. Because of Bloody Mary people
    escaped and settled in Geneva. People were able
    to study the Bible in English. It was the first
    entire Bible written in English.
  • This was the Bible that the Puritans and the
    Pilgrims brought to the New World.
  • King James, (1611) Forty seven scholars worked
    on it. It was not really completed until 1900.
    King James had nothing to do with it, but he was
    the King when they worked on it. We are really
    reading Tyndales words, not so much Gods.
  • The Wicked Bible Thou shalt commit adultery!

  • The Bay Psalm Book, 1782 This was the first
    publication in America because of copy right
    problems with the King James Version.
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls
  • They found 18,000 segments, they did not find
  • They were 2,000 years old.
  • They legitimize that Jesus once lived there.

More information on the Bible
  • By the Bible we mean the collection of writings
    that contain the records of divine revelation.
  • the word itself is of Greek origin, being
    derived from ta biblia, the books.
  • By the word Bible therefore we must understand
    not a single book, but a divine library.

  • The books of the New Testament have varied in
    sequence somewhat through the centuries but are
    generally in this order the four Gospels and
    Acts, being primarily historical the epistles of
    Paul (arranged according to length, except
    Hebrews) the general epistles of James, Peter,
    John, and Jude and the Apocalypse or Revelation
    of John.
  • Martin Luther and many scholars today think the
    Hebrews was written by Apollus the Alexandrian
  • We are comfortable with Hebrews being written
    by Paul.

  • The Bible used by most non-Catholic churches
    today has 66 books --- 39 in the Old Testament
    and 27 in the New Testament. The books called
    Apocrypha have generally not been printed in the
    non-Catholic Bibles in the past century, although
    in recent years these books have been gaining in
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls, some of which are believed
    to be as early as the 2nd century B.C., give
    evidence that the Old Testament text was
    corrupted at least by that time.

  • Forerunners to the Reformation
  • John Huss (1369-1414)
  • Objected to the selling of indulgences (which
    were to reduce time in purgatory).
  • He was greatly influenced by Wycliffe.
  • He was excommunicated in 1411, therefore his
    doctrines could not be taught and his books were
  • In June of 1415, still refusing to recant his
    beliefs and teachings, he was found guilty of
    heresy and sentenced to death to be burned at the

  • The first English Version of the whole Bible is
    associated with the name of John Wycliffe. There
    were two editions of this version beginning in
    1382. These versions were made from the Latin.
  • The honor of making the first translation of the
    Bible into English from the languages in which it
    was originally written belongs to William
    Tyndale, born about 1490.

  • The Church has held to the King James Version as
    being doctrinally more accurate than these recent
    versions. The newer versions in many instances
    easier to read, but are in some passages
    doctrinally weaker in their presentation of the
    gospel. Therefore, the King James Version
    remains the principal Bible of the Church of
    Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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