Main Street Church
SCRIPTURE & DOCTRINAL REFERENCE GUIDE
• bible passages used to support mormon doctrine • contradictions within mormon scriptures
• bible & book of mormon contradictions
• same words, different meanings

Scripture Reference:
Bible Passages Incorrectly Used to Support LDS Teachings

Oftentimes Mormonism will refer to Bible passages to support some aspects of its doctrine; however, in nearly all cases, it represents an eisegetical use of the Bible--forcing a preconceived doctrinal position into the text, often by misinterpretation, extrapolation, and frequently taking things out of context.

Biblical doctrine requires an exegetical approach--letting the text speak for itself, in its full context.

Given here is a representation of some of the more common Bible passages that Mormons use to support their doctrine, that fail to use an exegetical approach.

LDS Doctrine / Teaching
Biblical Reference
Response
The "Burning in the Bosom" Luke 24:32
("our hearts burned within us"--the road to Emmaus reference)

Spurious application. Nothing in the text (or anywhere else in the Bible) suggests that an emotional response was intended to be "proof" of the truth of Jesus' words.

Traditional Christianity is in complete apostasy.

Acts 20:30

2 Thess. 2:3

1 Timothy 4:1

Matthew 24:24

Mark 13:22

 

There is nothing in these verses that suggest a total or universal apostasy, but rather, a limited falling away. Note also Matthew 16:18, "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Salvation is (at least partially) by works. James 2:17 et al., "faith without works is dead."

Mormons presume that the James passage teaches salvation is by works. Biblical Christianity understands this verse in light of many other passages (e.g., Ephesians 2:8-10) that works, while an important part of the life of a Christian, are not the means of salvation. Works are evidence of faith (and a lack of works is therefore suggests a lack of faith).

The Book of Mormon is prophesied of in the Bible ("The Two Sticks" prophecy) Ezekiel 37:16-17 Spurious application. This is a long-time "favorite" passage that Mormon apologists have used. However, the prophecy refers to the reunification of the tribes of Israel (and in fact the Bible explains this metaphor clearly a few verses later). There is nothing to suggest a reference to any other book of scripture. This is an example of "grasping at straws" to find vague, unsubstantiated references to Mormon teachings.
The other "sheep not of this fold" (claiming a reference to Jesus' visit to the Americas) John 10:16 Spurious application. The context clearly is in reference to the Gentiles (non-Jews) and is backed up by the unfolding of the New Testament story. See for example Acts 15; Ephesians 2:11 ff.
The Three Heavens of Mormonism

1 Corinthians 15:40-41 (heavenly bodies & earthly bodies)

2 Corinthians 12:2 (Paul's reference being caught up into "the third heaven")

 

The "third heaven" in Hebrew thinking refers to the dwelling place of God. The "first heaven" refers to the sky (atmosphere); the "second heaven" is what we would today call "outer space": the sun, moon and stars. So the "third heaven" is God's dwelling place. There is no biblical basis for the three heavens as understood by Mormonism. Furthermore the passage about "heavenly bodies and earthly bodies" is in reference to our own human bodies, not to celestial objects.
Baptism of the Dead 1 Corinthians 15:29 ("why do they baptize for the dead?") Paul is not condoning the practice (he says "they" baptize for the dead, not "we"); his point is to defend the reality of the resurrection and appears to use the example of baptism of the dead as an ironic statement, concerning those who do not believe in the resurrection. No where else in scripture is there any reference to this practice.
Exaltation / Man becoming gods

1 John 3:2 ("we shall be like him");

Psalm 82:6 ("you are gods");

Matthew 5:48 ("be perfect as your Father is perfect")

Leviticus 11:45 ("you will be holy for I am holy.")

Revelation 3:21 ("sit with me on my throne")

1 John passage indicates that we will be made immortal and perfected, not God;

Psalm 82's reference to the "gods" is ironic when taken in the context of the passage; Verse 7 reads "but you will die like mere men."

Other references to becoming perfect, becoming holy, or sitting on the throne cannot be extrapolated to mean achieving godhood. The Bible does teach that people who die in Christ will be changed and perfected, but no where does God say he shares his divinity.

Pre-existence Jeremiah 1:5 Incorrect application; the Jeremiah passage states that God "knew" Jeremiah before being formed in the womb. This is often interpreted by Mormons to mean that he existed prior to his birth. The concept most fitting the context is foreknowledge, that is, that God knew about and planned for Jeremiah's existence before he came to be. Together with a total lack of biblical support for the pre-existence as taught by Mormonism (linked with the doctrine of exaltation), and a number of passages that counter the idea entirely (e.g., 1 Cor. 15:46-47) there is no biblical means of supporting this doctrine.


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