Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Becoming Gods/Use of sources/Changing Biblical text

Table of Contents

Use of sources: Did a BYU professor change Biblical text to support baptism for the dead?

A FairMormon Analysis of: Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century Mormonism, a work by author: Richard Abanes

The Claim

Becoming Gods, page 273

The book asserts the following:

Interestingly, when BYU professor Robert L. Millet attempted to justify baptism for the dead using the Corinthians verse, he actually changed the second sentence of biblical text, replacing the word "they" with "we." The substitution, of course, makes it seem as if Paul was saying that he and all the Corinthians were baptizing the dead.

The References

Endnote 91, page 446

The Problem

This is an accusation of deception on the part of a LDS speaker. The text makes it appear as if Millet attempted to "put one over on us" by changing a biblical verse in order to support his point that the Bible supports the practice of baptism for the dead. When one looks at the Ensign article, however, here is what was actually said:

“Else what shall they do … ?”

The Apostle Paul refers to the practice of baptism for the dead in 1 Corinthians. Probably written about a.d. 56–57, this book is a masterpiece of religious literature and a remarkable testimony of the Savior and his gospel.
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“Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Cor. 15:28–29)
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Interpretations of Paul’s Words
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Many non-Latter-day Saint scholars believe that in 1 Corinthians Paul is denouncing or condemning the practice of baptism for the dead as heretical. This is a strange conclusion, however, since he uses the practice of baptism for the dead to support the doctrine of the Resurrection. In essence, he says, “Why are we performing baptisms in behalf of our dead, if, as some propose, there will be no resurrection of the dead? If there is to be no resurrection, would not such baptisms be a waste of time?” (emphasis added)

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Answer

== The book clearly tries to lead the reader to believe that Millet deceptively altered a biblical verse: "...he actually changed the second sentence of biblical text, replacing the word 'they' with 'we.'" Millet did no such thing. He not only correctly quotes the word "they" in the verse in question twice, but the section in which he says "we" is clearly titled "Interpretations of Paul's Words." The average reader, of course, won't go to the actual Ensign article to verify this claim. For convenience, we link to the article here: "I Have a Question,"

Further reading

A FAIR Analysis of Critical Works