Does the Book of Mormon Contradict the Bible?
Critics of the Book of Mormon often try to say that it contradicts the Bible. They do this by taking one passage from the Book of Mormon out of its context and placing it next to a biblical verse and saying, “See, look, they’re different.” This sort of trickery is dishonest and, as many Mormons can testify, nowhere does the Book of Mormon contradict the Bible. Instead, it confirms and validates the meanings and doctrines of the Bible. Some biblical doctrines are examined and explained in the Book of Mormon, making them easier to comprehend.
One of the most common claims is that the Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible by teaching that Jesus was born in Jerusalem, not Bethlehem. However, these critics do not quote that verse in its full context. The passage reads:
For behold, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth. And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem, which is the land of our forefathers … (Alma 7:9-10, pg 224).
The people that this prophet, whose name was Alma, was addressing lived in America and, though they were descended from Israelites, knew nothing about the land of Israel. They knew the name Jerusalem, but Bethlehem, which was a very small village near Jerusalem, was meaningless to them, so the prophet referred to the one place they did know. Imagine you were from a small town just outside of New York City. Would you tell people you were from that small town or just say New York City. Since they wouldn’t know where your town was, it makes sense to refer to a place they would recognize. Alma also makes it clear that he was referring to the land of Jerusalem, or the land around Jerusalem. The city of Bethlehem is only a few miles south of Jerusalem and so could easily be described as in the “land of Jerusalem” to someone who had never been there and did know anything about it.
Most of the supposed contradictions that critics charge the Book of Mormon with are similarly taken out of context, or presented in an unfavorable light to make their position seem stronger. All honest persons who desire to know the truth about Mormonism and the Book of Mormon are invited to read it for themselves.