“What does the eighth article of faith mean when it says, ‘We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly’?” New Era, September 2015, 41
What does the eighth article of faith mean when it says, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly”?
The Bible is not inferior to other scriptures. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “We believe, revere, and love the Holy Bible. We do have additional sacred scripture, … but it supports the Bible, never substituting for it” (“The Miracle of the Holy Bible,” Ensign, May 2007, 81).
The eighth article of faith says, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.” In Joseph Smith’s day, the word translate didn’t just mean to take something from one language into another; it also could mean to transfer, convey, interpret, or explain. And although errors do appear in various renderings from the original Hebrew and Greek, the bigger issue is that in the delivery of the ancient texts to the present day, “many plain and precious things [were] taken away” (1 Nephi 13:28). So, as the Bible texts were transmitted to us, certain teachings were lost. That’s one reason people have so many different interpretations of the Bible, as Joseph Smith experienced (see Joseph Smith—History 1:12). So one way modern revelation helps clarify and confirm the truths in the Bible is by restoring other truths that were lost (see 1 Nephi 13:39–40).