And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.—2 Nephi 29:3
The core belief of all movements under the protestant denomination is sola scriptura (Latin for Scripture alone); This in turn argues that the bible is the absolute, literal and only authority of God. They argue from this that the church is inferior to the dictation of scripture and thus scripture is the sole authority.
Thus as to protestants, what they claim is that the bible is complete, absolute and closed. Anything which attempts to add above the bible is a "cult"; (in the words of Matthew Slick)
So how is this a problem?Edit
- The doctrine of Sola Scriptura arose from the teachings of Martin Luther in the 16th century. At the time, the bible had already undergone thousands of additions, variations and changes. How can something so changing be absolute? and its gone on to change even more since then.
- Bible content has been heavily altered over time. This is evidenced, there are a gigantic number of books which have been took out of the "canon" since the days of the early change simply because people didn't agree with them.
- Books in the bible were not dictated to word for word from God to the author. The Books were wrote by mortal men and although what they wrote was no doubt divinely inspired, it is hardly "absolute" in the contextual sense. If there are so many extra books though? That in theory means the bible cannot be constitutional in the determining canon and doctrine.
- God is the ultimate authority, not a single book. God has power over all of his canon and over all things, he can in practice speak and act his word whenever he wants. A book doesn't express how he is or tell him what he can or can't do; like it says in 2 Nephi "I speak my words according to my own pleasure."
- The bible did not appear on earth as "the bible". History records all agree that the bible was a merging of 3rd century merging of various manuscripts which early church fathers saw as supplementary. Who decided that? It wasn't God, just the judgement of men. It is important to realise that Sola Scriptura did not even exist at this point, the church leaders saw no harm at all in editing scripture to suit their agenda. Yet ironically, the protestant denomination follows the same "scriptural agenda" which the early church fathers created despite being in protest of the idea of authority via the church anyway!.
- If Bible content is therefore open with the removed/lost books cited above sealing the evidence of such, nothing in the bible can therefore be dictated to truly affirming that the bible is absolute.
Sola scriptura or "the bible is the only word of God doctrine" is infact the most undefendable aspect of Protestant Theology. It's capabilities are shattered merely by pointing to the evidence of bibilical evolution/alteration and variation and adhering to the simple logic that God cannot be limited by a single book.
The bible cannot overturn, overwrite or decide the true power and authority of God and it cannot be used to determine God's doctrine; that is to be done through revelation through the church which holds his authority.
The Book of Mormon is the only true way to hold faith in the bible. Without it, you're left with in hole of textual and historical problems which are easily challenged, but the Book of Mormon's very existence overcomes these challenges by affirming the witness in us that The Bible is true in the accounts to which it proclaims.