Jeff Lindsey, an apologist for the latter day saints (Jews) recently wrote an interesting but somewhat lengthy two part article which is posted by our Jewish friends at the Interpreter.
It is titled:
The beginning of the extract states:
Abstract: Following the account of the ministry of Christ among the Nephites as recorded in the Book of Mormon, Christ gave a charge to His New World disciples (Mormon 9:22–25). These words are very similar to the commission of Christ to His apostles at the end of the Gospel of Mark (Mark 16:9–20).
The article points out that according to the consensus of modern Bible scholars, Christ did not speak those words; they are a later addition to the ancient text. If that supposition is true, it poses a real credibility problem for the Book of Mormon.
According to the research done by Lindsey, recent modern scholarship by some scholars offers compelling reasons for overturning the old consensus against the longer ending of Mark. This happy news solves the credibility problem of the Book of Mormon pertaining to that issue.
What are the Doctrinal Implications?
IMO the true underlying controversy pertaining to the validity of the long ending of the Gospel of Mark has to do with priesthood authority and the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation.
The only truly compelling statement from the words of Christ himself that declare the necessity of baptism and the priesthood authority of God’s ordained servants, is found within the longer ending of the Gospel of Mark.
It is my belief that uninspired theologians and combinations with an agenda want to discredit the longer ending of Mark containing the great commission given by Christ to his disciples because they question the need for water baptism and the authority to perform it.. Even many Christian denominations that accept the longer ending still maintain that the ordinance of baptism is not mandatory for salvation.
For this reason, this topic of whether the longer ending of Mark is valid, is a really important theological topic.
I am going to be honest and admit that I have only skimmed through a hand full of paragraphs in the article.
This is because I don’t find the effort by latter day
saints Jews in convincing Protestants and Catholics that the Book of Mormon is true, from the Latter day Jewish point of view, and the work of secular scholars to be particularly relevant to my work.
Nevertheless, as I skimmed through part of the article I came upon this very revealing observation by the author.
“One could argue, as some Latter-day Saint [Jews] have, that the Book of Mormon is somehow an expanded text that builds on … ancient “truthy” ideas, with Joseph’s added commentary and thoughts taken from modern sources…”
The Latter day Jewish apologist that wrote the article is admitting that some of the other LDS Jews are defending the inclusion of the questionable ending narrative in the Gospel of Mark into the Book of Mormon by simply characterizing the inspired teachings in the Book of Mormon as “commentary” on “ancient truthy ideas“.
In other words they seem to believe that Book of Mormon is not a literal history with credible doctrine, rather, it is semi-inspired fiction.
Some of these Latter day Jews are conceding that the long ending of the Gospel of Mark was not written by the original writer of the Gospel of Mark.
They are rationalizing the inclusion of the commission into the Book of Mormon. they do this by stating the the ancient truthy ideas in the end of the Gospel of Mark that were also incorporated into a Book of Mormon narrative is not a problem because the Book of Mormon is really just a commentary on ancient truthy claims.
That is Abso-damn-lutely amazing to me.
Why do I find such an apologetic response from those claiming to believe in the LDS restoration so appalling?
A) The Joseph Smith Translation that was done by the gift and power of God through God’s latter day Seer validates the long ending of the Gospel of Mark as authentic! It includes the long ending of Mark and makes precious few changes to it, validating it as being an accurate original part of the writings of Mark.
B) The longer ending of the Gospel of Mark is substantiated in Modern Revelation. The same commission, much of it given almost verbatim, is given in modern revelation.
C) Other Gospels in the New Testament as well as the Book of Mormon confirm the commission given in the long ending of the Gospel of Mark. Numerous other snippets from the long ending of Mark, including keyword terms such as “taking the gospel into all the world” and preaching it to “every creature” are also found in modern revelation, the Book of Mormon, and other Gospels in the New Testament.
The Latter day Jews Only begin to believe
In past years I would simply scratch my head when latter day Jewish apologists would manifest a lack of belief in the literal rendering of the scriptures that Joseph Smith brought forth. However it has become apparent that the dispersed of Judah have gathered into the condemned church and gained control over the leadership positions and teaching curriculum. I realize now that these people are the latter day Jews that the Book of Mormon refers to.
Sadly, one of these apologists has informed me that he and many of his brethren also refuse to take the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible seriously. They consider the changes in it to simply be commentary by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon.
This acknowledgement shed quite a bit of light on why the folks at Mormon Interpreter refused to believe and refused to respond to the article I sent them years ago demonstrating that the JST reveals that John the Baptist in the New Testament was literally the manifestation of Elijah the Tishbite from the Old Testament.
The Latter day Jews call themselves Latter day Saints
One of the truly amazing discrepancies between the end times narrative presented in the scriptures Joseph Smith brought forth vs. the commonly accepted narrative, is that-
A) The Book of Mormon teaches that in the latter days, the Jews would begin to believe in Christ BEFORE they gathered to the lands of their inheritance.
B) They would gather to America instead of to the Old World because it is the land of the Abrahamic land covenant.
Those two verities contained in the Book of Mormon throw an industrial sized wrench into the commonly accepted narrative regarding the gathering of the Jews in the latter days.
The gathering of the Jews narrative in the Book of Mormon is diametrically opposed to the protestant belief, (which has been adopted by the Mormon Church), that the gathering of the unbelieving Ashkenazi Jews to the Old World Jerusalem beginning in about 1948 was fulfilling the Biblical prophecy.
Having had this epiphany and being armed with this knowledge that many of the latter day leaders and scholars of the LDS church are the real Jews from the loins of Judah who have gathered into the latter day church, I now understand why they take the scriptures Joseph Smith brought forth so lightly and don’t seem to believe the fulness of the gospel and the Doctrine of Christ as detailed in the scriptures Joseph brought forth.
The Book of Mormon teaches that the latter day Jews in the Mormon Church only have the capacity to begin to believe. They do not have the capacity to fully believe.
And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ shall also become a delightsome people. 2 Nephi 30:7
The narrative never states that these latter day descendants of the ancient Jews would ever progress beyond the state of beginning to believe.
Hence it is understandable that despite the fact that the JST validates the long ending of Mark, and the Lord reiterates the same commission almost word for word, in both the Book of Mormon and again in modern revelation, many Latter day Jewish apologists still find the most palatable answer to the dilemma to be a non-literal view of the passage in the Book of Mormon.
I am here to state unequivocally that the long ending of Mark is the authentic and original ending provided by the original writer and I don’t need to rely on secular scholars to prove it. I have the Book of Mormon and modern revelation to prove it.
Side by Side Comparison
Shown below is a side by side comparison of the commission from the JST gospel of Mark, Book of Mormon, and the latter day commission given in Section 84
[the header for Mark 14 is wrong. It should be JST 16:14-21]
Praise God for revelatory work accomplished by the Lord’s Seer during the 2nd Watch which has laid the foundation for the 3rd Watch which is soon to break forth.