The Bible is an amazing book…as long as you 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 that were not always eyewitnesses to the events that took place in it. It was recorded by apostles and disciples 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 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 stones 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.
One day 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. 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 guy and his congregation were introduced to the ‘what’ of the Fall…in the Bible, but had been 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 “convince the Jew and the 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, “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.” (Jeffrey R. Holland, Safety For The Soul, Oct 2009 General Conference)