BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly

Article Title

Is the Bible Reliable?


Eric A. Eliason


BYU Studies, Bible, case study


The eighth article of faith proclaims, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.” This statement by itself suggests that the Bible as we have it may or may not be fully and reliably the word of God. In 1 Nephi 13:28, we read, “Many plain and precious things [were] taken away.” This passage more expressly indicates that the Bible we have now is indeed not as complete as originally intended. Joseph Smith elaborated on this theme with his statement that “ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors.”1 Nevertheless, Elder M. Russell Ballard reminded us that “we believe, revere, and love the Holy Bible. We do have additional sacred scripture, . . . but it supports the Bible, never substituting for it.”2