Wrest

    The mingling of scripture with the philosophies of men, resulting in error.1Wrest comes from the Old English word wræstan, which meant “to twist or wrench.”2 The term is further defined by the Greek word strebloó (στρεβλόω), which connotes “wrest” with “to pervert” or “to torture language to a false sense.”3 In modern language, wrest means “to distort; to turn from truth or twist from its natural meaning.” This is how it is used in the Book of Mormon: Behold, the scriptures are before you; if ye will wrest them it shall be to your own destruction (Alma 10:12). For behold, some have wrested the scriptures and have gone far astray because of this thing (Alma 19:9). The Lord warns that: Satan does stir up the hearts of the people to contention concerning the points of my doctrine, and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures and do not understand them (JSH 10:20). The verb wrest also means to forcibly take something from another’s grasp. Joseph Smith described how John the Baptist “wrested the keys, the kingdoms, the power, the glory from the Jews, by the holy anointing and decree of heaven.”4 “When Christ came the first time, God took down [or wrested from the Jews] a previously established hierarchy using an orderly process, informing us about His house of order. He ordained John to bring it to an end, which put him on a collision course with the hierarchy. John the Baptist was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power: to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord (T&C 82:14). For His return, we should expect something similar to His first coming. That is, an orderly take down of a competing hierarchy using someone ordained to accomplish that end that is put by God on a collision course with the targeted power structure.”5

    1 “Alma 13:23,” June 17, 2010, blog post.

    2 Online Etymology Dictionary, https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=wrest.

    3 Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, s.v. “στρεβλόω,” No. 4761, 590.

    4 TPJS, 276; WJS, 234, 236.

    5 40 Years in Mormonism Lecture 10, “Preserving the Restoration,” 5.






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