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What Does Sandra Tanner have to say about Biblical Forgeries?

In our next conversation with Sandra Tanner, I’ll ask her about biblical forgeries, the Documentary Hypothesis, multiple Isaiahs, and several other theories critical of the Bible. Is she a Christian?

Sandra:   Yes. I’m a committed Christian….I go a local church here in town, Discovery Christian community. We would just be a standard middle of the road Christian congregation just following the Bible.

Given her background on forgeries, what does she think of these theories?

Sandra: I’ve read critical material on the Bible. I feel there is sufficient historical confirmation for me to accept the record. I mean, there really are Jewish people that live in Jerusalem, and, there really are ancient documents relating to the Bible. We have the Dead Sea Scrolls that show the preservation back before the time of Christ and we have New Testament documents back into, as early as the 130 A.D.  We have part of the Gospel of John, so I feel that historically we can show the preservation of the texts and on the New Testament, we are really on strong ground as far as the documents being the earliest record of Christianity. Now one can say, “I don’t accept their story.” One can say, you could say that’s really what the early Christians believed, but did it really happen?  So, then it’s a matter of faith whether you’re going to accept Christ’s resurrection.

GT:   Well, and even tying this back to Hofmann, because another word instead of a forgery would be pseudepigrapha. We don’t know that Matthew wrote the Book of Matthew, Mark wrote the Book of Mark, Luke wrote the Book of Luke. We have no idea who these authors were. A lot of these early…

Sandra: Well I don’t know that that’s necessarily true. The earliest Christian writers accepted the designations. I mean, they were always known as being written by those guys.

There are some scholars who believe that the Book of Isaiah was written by more than one author, although most scholars at BYU believe in a single-Isaiah theory.  What does Sandra think?

GT:   …as far as the argument, that the BYU scholars would make that there was just one Isaiah not four Isaiahs, would you tend to agree with?

Sandra:  I would be more to their side of view than the critic side of Isaiah.

Are you surprised?  Do you agree with Sandra?  Check out our conversation…. and don’t forget about our other interviews with Sandra!

179: Jerald’s Forensic Background (Tanner)

178: The Cowdery Forgery (Tanner)

177: How Jerald Tanner Identified Fake Salamander Letter (Tanner)

176: When Mark Hofmann met Sandra Tanner (Tanner)

How does Sandra Tanner feel about evolution, biblical literalism, and biblical forgeries?
How does Sandra Tanner feel about evolution, biblical literalism, and biblical forgeries?
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Is Evolution Compatible with the Bible?

In Sunday School we learn that God created the earth in 6 days.  Many people believe that this is about 6000 years.  On the other hand, evolution and geology seem to show the earth is much older than that.  Were Adam & Eve the first humans on the earth?  What does Dr. Ugo Perego think about these topics?

Ugo:  Even if I am a scientist and I like to push boundaries of knowledge, when it comes to things that pertain to the church either you sustain brethren or you don’t.  Either you can go with what they are doing or try to see things why they are doing and you accept that or you don’t.  In my mind is if the church openly has said that we don’t have an official position on what happened before Adam and Eve, how Adam and Eve came to be as physical beings, we don’t have an opinion or revelation or a position on evolution.  We don’t have a position with Book of Mormon geography.  We don’t have a position on the Nephites, of the biological population of the Nephites to the American continent, then you are leaving a lot of room open for everything.  Everybody can be correct and everybody can be wrong when it comes to their point.

Maybe I’m too naïve but I still don’t understand why some people become so feisty—is that the right word, feisty—about issues where the church has decided not to take a position on it.  There must be some reason why they didn’t.  I don’t think it is fear.  I don’t think they have the answers and they don’t want to tell you.

It doesn’t matter if Bruce McConkie said so and so, if Joseph Fielding Smith said that, if Joseph Smith said that.  If the church says today that we don’t have an official position about Book of Mormon geography, that is the final answer.  That is it.

Just express your thoughts, share your conclusion, share what evidence that you have about your ideas, but don’t impose them, don’t come to me and say you are wrong because I am right.  I am sticking with the brethren.  This is my position.

Going to your question, can there have been people living in America 15,000 years ago, pre-flood time, pre-Adam and Eve time?  The answer is, why not?  Because the [LDS] Church does not have a position about who lived before Adam and Eve.  We know through revelation there was an Adam and Eve.  We know that we are descendants of them, but the Church has never said there was nothing before.  They haven’t said that.

Dr. Perego is a population geneticist.  What do you think of Perego’s position?  Check out our conversation…..