[sword-devel] New Web Site

Barry Drake sword-devel@crosswire.org
Thu, 19 Jul 2001 15:23:23 +0100

Hi David ........

On 19 Jul 2001, at 7:59, David Overcash wrote:
> Here is what I don't understand, why do we support mormon texts?  It is well
> known that they are a cult, what are we trying to do with this?

I was referring to the Joseph Smith text - we have it as a cult text on the 
download site.  My understanding of the reason for this (and for any other 
such texts we have) is that they are there so that scholars can see for 
themselves interpretations that have been put in which most of us feel to 
be erroneous.  The Watchtower 1942 Diaglott text which we also have, is 
a particular example of unscholarly manipulation in my opinion - but it is 
useful in learning to be very aware of the ways in which the art of 
translation has been plundered in the interests of a viewpoint that a good 
translation cannot support.

IMO it is useful to have the maximum number of dubious translations 
available as well as those we consider good - and there is not complete 
agreement about which good ones can be considered 'sound'!  Many 
scholars feel the NIV to be very biased in a conservative evangelical 
direction.  Some might feel that the New Jerusalem is equally biased in a 
different direction.  Looking at both together can be a help.  The 
extremes (as long as we know they are extreme) can also be a help.

You might say to me personally that I ought not to read "Mein Kampf". I 
have a copy.  As a student of Jewish-Christian relations and of 
antisemitism, it is helpful to keep it for reference.  This does not mean 
that I could in all conscience agree with what it claims.

OpenSword (if that is the current name) might be another way of 
supporting open mindedness along with our own faith, and not being 
quick to condemn fringes that we neither understand nor agree with.  
Personally, I don't find Mormons a threat - and some of them are real 
nice folk.  I just happen to think they are misguided in their belief.  They, 
in turn think the same of me!  At least they believe in God - surely that's 
a good thing.

God bless,


>From Barry Drake (The Revd - minister of Arnold United Reformed Church,
Nottingham - see http://www.arnold-urc.supanet.com for our church homepages).

Replies - b.drake@ntlworld.com
Fax: 0705 069 8746