2 Nephi 11-25

Is Christ – God, The Eternal Father❓ Do we worship Jesus❓ How did the name Lucifer get into the Bible – and, how did it end up in the Book of Mormon❓ Why is the definition of grace in the Book of Mormon – so different from the definition of grace in the Bible❓ We will discover the answer to these questions today.

 

Highlighted text – Verses that are similar or exactly the same in the Bible.

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Nephi ends with his brother Jacob’s teachings, and explains his purposes for now quoting Isaiah. 

2 Nephi 11:2 “And now I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul delighteth in his words.  For I will liken his words unto my people, and I will send them forth unto all my children, for he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him.”  Nephi is claiming to have seen the Savior just as Isaiah saw the Savior.  We will read about that in 2 Nephi 16:1-5.  The words “my soul delighteth” is also in Isaiah 42:1.  

2 Nephi 11:3 “And my brother, Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen him; wherefore I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true.”   The words “God hath said, I will” is also in 2 Corinthians 6:16.

Now, here are some reasons Nephi wants his people to study Isaiah:

2 Nephi 11:4 “Behold, my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ; for, for this end hath the law of Moses been given; and all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of him.”  The word “typifying” means “symbolizing”.    

2 Nephi 11:5-6 “And also my soul delighteth in the covenants of the Lord which he hath made to our fathers; yea, my soul delighteth in his grace, and in his justice, and power, and mercy in the great and eternal plan of deliverance from death.  And my soul delighteth in proving unto my people that save Christ should come all men must perish.”   The phrase “the covenants of the Lord which he hath made to our fathers” is similar, to 1 Kings 8:21.

Now, Nephi is going to use some logic in proving that Christ is God. 

2 Nephi 11:7 “For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation.  But there is a God, and he is Christ, and he cometh in the fulness of his own time.”   The words “But there is a God” is also in Daniel 2:28. I have to emphasize what Nephi is saying – that Christ is God.  Remember in the Introductory Pages to the Book of Mormon lesson, we read from the Title page – written by Moroni – what the purpose of the Book of Mormon was, “And also to the convincing of the Jews and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD.”  That statement along with 2 Nephi 11:7 here, confirms that Jesus Christ our Savior is in fact, God.  I’ll bet most Latter-day Saints today would tell you otherwise – that Eternal God is referring to Heavenly Father.  Always keep in mind that Joseph Smith was monotheistic in his beliefs when he wrote or translated the Book of Mormon. 

2 Nephi 11:8 “And now I write some of the words of Isaiah, that whoso of my people shall see these words may lift up their hearts and rejoice for all men.  Now these are the words, and ye may liken them unto you and unto all men.”  In other words, they could apply to anyone and everyone. 

The Come Follow Me manual says: “Engraving on metal plates is not easy, and space on Nephi’s small plates was limited.  So why would Nephi go to the tedious effort of copying a large among of Isaiah’s writings into his record?  He did it ‘that who… shall see these words may lift up their hearts and rejoice’”.   I just want to mention here, that all of the original Hebrew manuscripts were on papyrus, rather than on metal. 

2 Nephi chapters 12-24 and 27 are the writings of Isaiah.  Most people find these chapters very difficult to understand.  Some skip over them in their reading of the Book of Mormon – while others read every word, without getting much out of them.  Few achieve, some understanding – but miss much of its meaning.  And a large number give up entirely on reading the entire Book of Mormon. 

The story was told about a young Latter-day Saint army soldier who always carried a small Book of Mormon in his shirt pocket.  One night the enemy opened fire on his squad.  The exchange was intense and there were casualties on both sides.  This LDS soldier was hit in the chest and taken to the medical unit for examination.  Miraculously, it was discovered that the Book of Mormon he was carrying in his left shirt pocket – stopped the bullet from penetrating his heart.  Amazingly, the bullet had stopped right at 2 Nephi chapter 12.  Which really was no surprise to the young man – since the Isaiah chapters had always kept him from getting through the rest of the book. (joke)

 

There are similarities and differences from the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon – and the comparative Isaiah chapters in the Bible.  For example, we learn from the 2 Nephi 12, footnote 2a, in the Book of Mormon that a “Comparison with the King James Bible in English shows that there are differences in more than half of the 433 verses of Isaiah quoted in the Book of Mormon, while about 200 verses have the same wording as KJV.” 

At this point we need to talk about – proper interpretation of scripture.  The term “exegesis” is the explanation of a text based on careful, objective analysis.  The word “exegesis” literally means “to lead out of” or, “to draw out of”.  It is drawing out – the text’s original meaning in accordance with the author’s intention.  The opposite approach to interpreting scripture is “eisegesis” (spell it for the listeners).  The term “eisegesis” literally means “to lead into”.  It is injecting one’s own ideas, presuppositions, agendas, and biases into the text – making it mean whatever you want it to mean.  Eisegesis is a mishandling of the text, and often leads to a misinterpretation.  Obviously, only exegesis does justice to the text.  We want to stay objective not subjective when properly interpreting scripture.

So, with that in mind – let’s see how the Book of Mormon handles the text of Isaiah. 

The Chapter Heading summary for 2 Nephi 12 states “Isaiah sees the latter-day temple, gathering of Israel, and millennial judgment and peace – The proud and wicked shall be brought low at the Second Coming – Compare Isaiah 2.” Right away, we notice the use of eisegesis in the Book of Mormon to interpret the text of Isaiah.     

2 Nephi 12:2-3 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, when the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it.  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”  In these two verses, eisegesis is being used by the LDS Church to interpret the phrase “mountain of the Lord’s house” to mean “the temple in Salt Lake City”.  And, during the Millennium there will be two “headquarters” for the LDS Church – one in “Zion” meaning Jackson County, Missouri and one in Old “Jerusalem”.  Now, if you were to apply exegesis in understanding these verses properly it would be referring to the gospel-church in the last days leading up to Christ’s return in 70 A.D.  Christianity is the mountain of the Lord’s house that was built upon a rock, so that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.  It’s the gospel that will be a beacon and an ensign to the world. 

The King James translation of 1611 AD, inserted additional words not found in the original texts to help clarify the translation.  These additional words were distinguished by italicizing them. We would not expect the Book of Mormon, which was completed by 421 A.D. to include the identical words that the KJV added centuries later.  Yet, we see this effect throughout the Book of Mormon.  For example:  2 Nephi 12:7 italicized words “is there any” is used twice in this verse found in the KJV.  Those words were not in the original manuscripts from which the KJV was translated – but were added later.  How did those additional words get into the Brass Plates of Isaiah- no less?  Because translation errors in the Kings James Version are mirrored in the Book of Mormon – Joseph Smith had to have copied – passages from the 1769 edition of the KJV Bible instead of from ancient plates.

We will touch on each of these Isaiah chapters 12 through 24 in the Book of Mormon by quoting only the Chapter Headings – in order to get a general idea of the message in each chapter. 

I just want to point out in 2 Nephi 12:9 that a word has been added since the original 1830 edition.  The first part used to read, “And the mean man boweth down”.  In the 1964 edition, the word “not” was added to read, “And the mean man boweth not down”

2 Nephi 13 “Judah and Jerusalem shall be punished for their disobedience – The Lord pleads for and judges his people – The daughters of Zion are cursed and tormented for their worldliness – Compare to Isaiah 3.”

2 Nephi 14 “Zion and her daughters shall be redeemed and cleansed in the millennial day – Compare to Isaiah 4.”

2 Nephi 15 “The Lord’s vineyard (Israel) shall become desolate and his people shall be scattered – Woes shall come upon them in their apostate and scattered state – The Lord shall lift an ensign and gather Israel – Compare Isaiah 5.”

2 Nephi 16 “Isaiah sees the Lord – Isaiah’s sins are forgiven – He is called to prophesy – He prophecies of the rejection by the Jews of Christ’s teachings – A remnant shall return – Compare to Isaiah 6.”

2 Nephi 17 “Ephraim and Syria wage war against Judah – Christ shall be born of a virgin – Compare to Isaiah 7.”

2 Nephi 18 “Christ shall be as a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense – Seek the Lord, and not peeping wizards – Turn to the law and to the testimony for guidance – Compare Isaiah 8.”  Interesting, that it says, “Seek the Lord, and not PEEPING wizards”.  Is that anything like “peep stones” that Joseph Smith used in the translation of the Book of Mormon?

2 Nephi 19 “Isaiah speaks Messianically – The people in darkness to see a great Light – Unto us a child is born – He shall be the Prince of Peace and shall reign on David’s throne – Compare Isaiah 9.”  

2 Nephi 19:6 is quoted word for word from Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The prince of peace.”  This confirms a traditional monotheistic view.  This child is The Mighty God – The Everlasting Father.  Joseph Smith could have changed it in the Book of Mormon, or at least later clarified it – when he wrote his Inspired Revision of the Bible, by adding “son of the” to make it read “The son of the everlasting Father” but he did not.  He left it exactly as it was, because the Inspired Revision was written between 1830 and 1833, which was also during Smith’s ‘monotheistic’ period. 

 Nephi 20 “Destruction of Assyria is a type of destruction of wicked at the Second Coming – Few people shall be left after the Lord comes again – Remnant of Jacob shall return in that day – Compare to Isaiah 10.”

2 Nephi 21 “Stem of Jesse (Christ) shall judge in righteousness – The knowledge of God shall cover the earth in the Millennium – The Lord shall raise an ensign and gather Israel – Compare Isaiah 11.”

2 Nephi 22 “In the millennial day all men shall praise the Lord – He shall dwell among them – Compare Isaiah 12.”

2 Nephi 23 “Destruction of Babylon is a type of destruction at Second Coming – It shall be a day of wrath and vengeance – Babylon (the world) shall fall forever – Compare Isaiah 13.”

2 Nephi 24 “Israel shall be gathered and shall enjoy millennial rest – Lucifer cast out of heaven for rebellion – Israel shall triumph over Babylon (the world) – Compare Isaiah 14.” 

The name “Lucifer” comes from an improper translation in the King James Version, which name only appears once in Isaiah 14:12. “Lucifer” is an invented term in Jerome’s Latin Vulgate Bible from the 5th century.  Todays, modern translations corrected this, as the passage does not refer to the devil – but to the King of Babylon.  That the Book of Mormon repeats the KJV error in 2 Nephi 24:12 is evidence against its alleged ancient origin and inspired translation.  Over the centuries, the idea that the word “Lucifer” represented Satan became accepted throughout Christianity.  The question is – How did this all get into the Brass Plates, centuries before?  In addition, “Lucifer” appears as a name in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 76:26, and the LDS Church still uses the name “Lucifer” within the Mormon temple endowment ceremony.  There is no chance that Lucifer could be the premortal name for Satan.  Well, I could say much more about this problematic issue for the Book of Mormon, D&C, and temple endowment – but we must move on. 

Nephi is now going to explain what was taught in these previous Isaiah chapters.  In 2 Nephi 25:1-8, he explains that his own people had difficulty understanding Isaiah. 

2 Nephi 25:2 Nephi admits that he has avoided teaching his people many things about the life among the Jews in Jerusalem – because of the wicked lifestyle of that culture.  The phrases “the manner of the Jews” is the same in John 19:40 and, “works of darkness” is same in Romans 13:12. 

2 Nephi 25:3 The phrase “know the Judgments of God, that they” is similar, to Romans 1:32.

2 Nephi 25:4 Nephi says, that “my soul delighteth in plainness unto my people, that they may learn.” ^The phrases “house of Israel, and give ear” is similar, to Hosea 5:1 and, “the spirit of prophecy” is the same as Revelation 19:10, and “according to the spirit” is also in Romans 1:4.

2 Nephi 25:7 Nephi says that he is going to teach Isaiah in his own words “according to my plainness”

2 Nephi 25:8 Nephi prophesies that in the last days people will understand the writings of Isaiah. 

Now, Nephi begins his explanation of the Isaiah chapters – which he tediously included in his small plates.

2 Nephi 25:9-10 He speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity that happened immediately after his father Lehi left with his family.  The phrase “those which are carried away captive into Babylon” is similar, to Jeremiah 39:9. 

2 Nephi 25:11 Then, Nephi predicts the return of the Jews to the land of Jerusalem.  

2 Nephi 25:12 Nephi says, they “shall have wars, and rumors of wars” which is in Matthew 24:6.  And, he explains that Isaiah prophesied that the Son of God would come to earth and live among the Jews.  The phrases “the Only begotten of the Father” is the same in John 1:14 and, “manifest himself unto them in the flesh” is similar, to 1 Timothy 3:16.  But the Jews will reject Him.

2 Nephi 25:13 They will crucify Him, but He “shall rise from the dead” same in Mark 12:25, “with healing in his wings” same as Malachi 4:2. 

2 Nephi 25:14 He will “manifest himself unto his people, unto as many as will believe on his name.”  Then Nephi, states that “Jerusalem shall be destroyed again.”  Which would take place about 70 A.D.  ^The words “them that fight against God” is similar, to Psalm 35:1.

2 Nephi 25:15 Nephi says, “the Jews shall be scattered among all nations.”

2 Nephi 25:16 After many generations, eventually the Jews “shall be persuaded to believe in Christ, the Son of God, and the atonement, which is infinite for all mankind – and when that day shall come that they shall believe in Christ, and worship the Father in his name, with pure hearts and clean hands, and look not forward any more for another Messiah, then, at that time, the day will come that it must needs be expedient that they should believe these things.”   The phrases “they have been scattered” is in Ezekiel 34:12 and, “Christ the Son of God” is in Luke 4:41 and “worship the Father in his name” is similar to John 4:23 and “pure hearts and clean hands” is similar, to Psalm 24:4. 

Nephi’s prophecy now begins to broaden to include the gathering of all of Israel in the last days. 

2 Nephi 25:17 “And the Lord will set his hand again a second time to restore his people from their lost and fallen state.  Wherefore, he will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men.”  The familiar phrase “the Lord will set his hand again the second time” is similar, to Isaiah 11:11 and, “will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder” is similar, to Isaiah 29:14.  The LDS Church uses these verses as proof of the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith. 

2 Nephi 25:19 “For according to the words of the prophets, the Messiah cometh in six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem; and according to the words of the prophets, and also the word of the angel of God, his name shall be Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” The phrase “Jesus Christ, the Son of God” is taken from Mark 1:1. The name “Jesus” has a long history. “Jesus” is a Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, meaning Savior.  The angel told Mary in Matthew 1:21 “thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”  Moreover, the name Jesus means “Jehovah Salvation”.  The name “Iesous” is the name in the Greek New Testament and “Yeshua” in the Aramaic New Testament.  When the Greek New Testament was translated into Latin in the 4th Century, this name was written as “Iesus”.  Eventually, the word became “Jesus” – still pronounced the same way as “Iesus”.  It wasn’t until about the 15th Century that the letter “J” took on the “Ja” sound we are familiar with today.  So, the modern name of “Jesus” came from the Latin “Iesus” which came from the Greek “Iesous” which came from the Aramaic “Yeshua” and the Hebrew “Yehoshua”.  So, for Nephi to write the name “Jesus” in 550 BC is totally anachronistic.  Get it?   

2 Nephi 25:20 The phrases “up out of the land of Egypt” is the same in Micah 6:4 and, “smite the rock and the water should come forth” is similar, to Exodus 17:6 and, “there is none other name” is also in Acts 4:12.

2 Nephi 25:21-22 Then Nephi goes on to say that God has promised the Book of Mormon will be handed down from generation to generation – and nations will be judged by it. 

The last part of this next verse is a BIGGIE! But let’s listen to the entire verse, 2 Nephi 25:23 “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”  Nephi leaves no doubt as to the need for both faith plus works in order to have the grace of Christ to save us.  This is called performance-based religion.  It rejects the teaching of Paul who taught in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are we saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  Our works are not a part of the requirements for salvation.  Jesus told us to believe on Him and be saved.  Paul taught, Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”   The words “to be reconciled to God” is similar, to Romans 5:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:20

Mormon leaders have even gone so far as to claim that this doctrine of faith alone was “originated by Satan” himself (see Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122, 1989, p. 36).  But, to deny salvation by faith alone is to reject the full sufficiency of Christ’s atonement.  Paul taught in Romans 11:6 “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.  But if it be of works, then is it no more grace.”   If grace only applies after all you can do – how do you know when you have done enough?  Have you truly done ALL you could do?  If not, it appears that grace will not apply.  The Christian – on the other hand – rejoices in grace (unmerited favor) as presented in the Bible.  The question is: Can a person be saved BEFORE anything that can be done?  The Mormon would have to answer “no”.  According to the LDS Bible Dictionary grace is defined as “an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts…grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient.  Hence the explanation, ‘It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do’ (2 Nephi 25:23).”  According to this definition, grace does not mean “unmerited favor.”  Rather, it is an “enabling power” that helps Mormons gain eternal life after exerting “their own best efforts.”  If grace only applies after you have done all you can do – when have you ever done all that you can do?  Nobody but Jesus has done this.  And, He did it for the whole world.  We only have to acknowledge that – and receive His grace. 

2 Nephi 25:24-25 “And, notwithstanding, we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled.  For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments.”  The phrase “we are made alive in Christ” is similar, to 1 Corinthians 15:22.  We can see the contradiction here within these two verses.  The Nephites believe in and describe themselves as “alive in Christ” and yet they keep the Law of Moses – a law which has become “dead” to them.  This is a very strange way to behave and not consistent with the Jews in the Old Testament. 

The next verse is used by Latter-days Saints to quote to anyone – who claims that Mormons don’t believe in Christ. 

2 Nephi 25:26 “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”  The phrases “rejoice in Christ” is in Philippians 3:3 and, “remission of their sins” is also in Luke 1:77. 

Once again, the title “Christ” was an English created word long after the Savior lived.  There is no B.C. word for “Christ” and – it is not one that Nephi could or would have known or used in ANY language.  The concept of a “Messiah” is one thing, but “Christ” is entirely another.  Lehi and Nephi were supposedly Jews – and Jews were and, still remain – monotheistic.  The idea of “the Son of God” or “Jesus Christ” is not a concept that existed in Judaism.  That is why, when Jesus told the Jews that He was the Son of God – they wanted to kill Him for blasphemy. 

2 Nephi 25:27 Nephi goes on telling his people that the purpose of the Law of Moses was to prove that it could not save them.  The Law would be done away with in Christ.

2 Nephi 25:28 It appears that Nephi’s people are becoming less and less committed to God.  Nephi says to them “ye are a stiffnecked people” which is from Exodus 33:5.    

2 Nephi 25:29 “And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.”  This verse is a conglomerate of Isaiah 60:14; Luke 10:27; and John 6:37. This verse is teaching us to worship Christ as does 1 Nephi 11:24 and 3 Nephi 11:17.  But this conflicts with counsel given by modern LDS Church leaders, who teach that Father in Heaven should be the object of our worship – that God will not have any divided worship. 

Finally, 2 Nephi 25:30 “And, inasmuch as it shall be expedient, ye must keep the performances and ordinances of God until the law shall be fulfilled which was given unto Moses.”  That is basically true for the Jews.  Once Christ came to fulfill the law of Moses the “performances and ordinances” were done away with.  If that is the case, then – why are there performances and ordinances still being done in the “Restored” Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

And this concludes our study for today.  Please subscribe so you won’t miss any of our future episodes.  For More you can find this podcast on demand were ever you listen to podcasts and on YouTube. You can also find us on Facebook. And share this with your friends.  Or, you can go to our website at Talking to Mormons.com where you can download this script and learn much more.

Remember, Jesus is enough!

 

God Bless!

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