Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Studies in the Bible and Antiquity

Article Title

“We Believe the Bible to Be the Word of God, as Far as It Is Translated Correctly”: Latter-day Saints and Historical Biblical Criticism


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Bible studies, religious scholarship


In 1842 Joseph Smith published the basics of Latter-day Saint (LDS) belief in thirteen articles of faith.1 In Article of Faith 8 he succinctly set forth their belief about the Bible: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God.” While there is no evidence that Smith was familiar with Maimonides or his writings, in a strange coincidence Maimonides, in the twelfth century, also set forth thirteen principles of Jewish belief, and number 8 in his list also dealt with the Bible: “I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah that is now in our possession is the same that was given to Moses our teacher, peace be upon him.”

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