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Are scriptural narratives “true” and “accurate?” Do they depict actual historical characters and events? Why do Joseph Smith’s scriptural translations contain some material that seems more at home in nineteenth-century America than in the ancient Old and New Worlds?
Scriptures contain the “mistakes of men” (Book of Mormon Title Page) because humans are fallible, because God communicates to His “servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language” (D&C 1:24), and because all of us—including prophets—process information according to preconceived assumptions and expectations.
Rethinking Revelation illustrates that prophets rely on inspiration and intellect when called to co-author scripture. While a prophet’s contributions may include personal assumptions, expectations, and cultural beliefs, God’s influence ensures that scripture serves as Consecrated Narratives that can help bind us to Him and to His Covenant People.
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