I like Michael Heiser’s — not a Mormon, but a believing Christian scholar — view that accounts for the data.
He doesn’t get pigeonholed on how he must think or not think about scripture. It’s not a choice between these 2 options: 1) Moses wrote the Torah or 2) The first 5 books of “Moses” are a lie and deception.
He says he believes the Bible is a “divine, human book.” You need both adjectives, not 1 adjective. Smart dude. Speaks like a Latter-day Saint!
Or did human prophets and editors write and in some cases rewrite the Bible?
Latter-day Saints believe what is true: the latter. Scholars have manuscripts and can use historical methods to understand the development of and changes to the biblical scriptures.
Gotta give lots of credit to those over at LDS Perspective Podcasts. They’ve lined up many wonderful LDS scholars on this and other topics.
The first podcast below — with Ben Spackman — says the following:
“It would be more helpful to approach the Bible as if it were a library that contained books of many different genre instead of being all the
same type of writing. No Christian would presume to label all scripture as parable. Likewise all scripture should not be labeled as history. The Bible contains books of satire, law codes, poetry, parables, myth, conquest narratives, and prophetic revelation among other things.”
An analogy Julie likes to use is that to her, Mark is the stake president in California who lets a homeless family sleep in the cultural hall because he’s not much of a rule-follower kind of a guy; whereas Matthew and Luke work for CES in Salt Lake and wear a suit and would never dream of breaking a rule.
James L. Kugel is an orthodox Jew and biblical scholar who became somewhat legendary for revisiting ancient paradigms. When he taught at Harvard, one of Kugel’s students said the professor began a course by offering a disclaimer to the class: “If you come from a religious tradition upholding the literal truth of the Bible, you could find this course disturbing.”
Kugel tells the MIPodcast that isn’t exactly the case—there’s much more to the story. This episode is about religious faith and critical biblical scholarship.
How early Christians interpreted the Bible, with Peter Martens:
Martin Tanner discusses papyrus, the NT manuscripts, and the resurrection below:
Does the Church take an official position on Evolution? Nope.
Let’s all remain open and humble in our pursuit of all kinds of truths. And let scientists do Science. After all, we have nothing to fear from discovery in any field.
Living the restored Gospel principles saves us. Scientific principles — even established ones — don’t exalt anyone. But it doesn’t hurt to understand truths of Science.
Further, there’s so much we don’t know. For example, the world’s best physicists don’t know what light and energy are. We are only a few hundred years from the Enlightenment. We’re all in the dark to a great degree, and thus must very much live by faith.
Science is only a method, and can ask how. God answers why.
Read this October 2016 New Era article. The first paragraph quoted below:
“The Church has no official position on the theory of evolution. Organic evolution, or changes to species’ inherited traits over time, is a matter for scientific study. Nothing has been revealed concerning evolution. Though the details of what happened on earth before Adam and Eve, including how their bodies were created, have not been revealed, our teachings regarding man’s origin are clear and come from revelation…”
Jeff at Latter-day Saints Q & A shares insight and some history of this subject:
Ben Spackman shares valuable insight with Gospel Tangents:
Interestingly, Joseph, Hyrum, and Orson Hyde believed that people lived before Adam. Among other things, they discussed the use of the word “replenish” and that prophets existed before Adam.
Dr. Henry Eyring — the father of current Apostle, Pres. Henry B. Eyring — was a world-class chemist and believing Latter-day Saint. After a full career in Chemistry at Princeton, he returned to Utah Brother Eyring served on the LDS General Sunday School Board.