Category:History/Apostasy/Doctrinal change/Biblical inerrancy

Biblical Inerrancy

Parent page: History/Apostasy/Doctrinal change

Loss of biblical text(s)

Likewise, one can now see that there were significant losses of text, and even of whole books, from the Bible.2 A significant stir of criticism is now afoot in Christian theology, asking why certain books were excluded from the Bible and wondering what makes a text scriptural. Thomas Hoffman writes of the theoretical possibility "that a lost epistle of an apostle could still be accepted into the canon." He remarks that the reasons why "such books as the Shepherd of Hermas, the First Epistle of Clement, or the Epistle of Barnabas . . . were eventually dropped from the canon are not that clear."3 Robert Detweiler sees it as "entirely conceivable" that if the Latter-day Saints become more influential, people will "come to view the Book of Mormon with something of the same regard [as Christians now] give to the Pentateuch."4 The old cry, "A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible" (2 Nephi 29:3), is giving way in some circles like scarcely before.

These developments bear out Nephi's prophetic words. The Book of Mormon was written "for the intent that [we] may believe [the Bible]" (Mormon 7:9). This is indeed achieved by restoring our understanding of the gospel and its covenants and by making people respectfully receptive to the knowledge that all the Lord's words are not found in the Bible.[1]


  1. John W. Welch, "The Plain and Precious Parts," in Reexploring the Book of Mormon, edited by John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1992), Chapter 10.