The Bible is an amazing book . . . as long as people will see it for what it is and what it’s not. The Bible is certainly not infallible, and it’s definitely not complete. Anyone who tells you that just doesn’t understand where the Bible came from and what it went through in order to reach us.
The Bible has stood alone for many years, but in the last days, it’s becoming evident why the Bible needs the Book of Mormon.
The Bible is, by definition, a “collection of books” written by various authors who were not always eyewitnesses to the events that they recorded. It was recorded by ancient scribes, apostles and disciples often many years after the events took place. In some situations, no one was even present to become an eyewitness and thereby had to be given the knowledge of the event by revelation. This fact alone proves that Joseph Smith was not way off base in claiming revelation for various events such as those described in the Book of Moses and the Book of Abraham.
Take, for instance, the most important event in the history of the world and the climax of all events in the Bible: the Atonement. It took place in the Garden of Gethsemane, and although Peter, James, and John went with Jesus to Gethsemane, they stopped a stone’s throw away and subsequently fell asleep. They didn’t witness blood coming from every pore, the pleadings of Christ with the Father, or the angel that strengthened Him while He was in pain. Therefore, that event had to have been revealed to someone through revelation in order for it to be recorded in the Gospels.
So, when someone says the Bible is complete, my question is, where did they get that from? Who said that God was going to stop talking to us through prophets? Why would He? He’s been doing it since the day He dropped a garden in Eden . . . so why would He stop now when we need it the most?
As you read the Bible—if you get deep enough into it—you’ll start to realize that there are some very serious unanswered questions. But if you read the Book of Mormon, in connection with the Bible, you’ll start to realize that those questions begin to be answered. In many cases, the Bible tells us what happened, while the Book of Mormon tells us why it happened.
On my mission I met with a man in Michigan who was a junior pastor for his local congregation. He loved meeting with us, and we with him. He was a very nice and respectful guy and super interested in what we had to say. One day we shared a message with him that included some teachings about the Fall. The next time we came over to his house to meet with him, he told us that he taught his congregation about the Fall out of 2 Nephi 2 in the Book of Mormon . . . but didn’t tell them where he had learned the things he was teaching. He conceded to us that 2 Nephi Chapter 2 was the best explanation of the Fall that he had ever heard (and the guy had a library like I had seldom seen).
This pastor and his congregation were introduced to the ‘what’ of the Fall in the Bible but were transformed by the ‘why’ of the Fall as explained in the Book of Mormon.
The title page to the Book of Mormon (which was actually the last thing Moroni wrote before he buried the plates) states that the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to “the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ” in the last days. It was sent as another witness of Christ in a day when people are discarding the Bible and leaving Christ for atheism or agnosticism.
Many people cite leaving Christianity due to a lack of evidence in biblical stories and traditions. So the Book of Mormon comes on to the scene and says in effect, “Wait a minute . . . I’ve got something to say.” For over 500 pages, the Book of Mormon goes on to testify of the Bible and of Christ. Literally. Christ is referenced on 95% of the pages in the Book of Mormon, which makes Elder Holland’s great-grandfather look pretty wise when he said “no wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.”
If you liked this post on how the Bible can be redeemed by the Book of Mormon, we invite you to watch this Maxwell Institute lecture by Samuel M. Brown provocatively titled “To Save the Bible, First You Must Kill it”, first given on July 25th, 2017: