Changed LDS Scripture/Part 19
|By: Marvin W. Cowan; ©2011|
|Joseph Smith made changes in the King James Version of the Bible and copied some of them into his original 1830 Book of Mormon. He later copied some of those same texts from the Book of Mormon into his Joseph Smith Translation. But sometimes he missed words while copying the KJV into the Book of Mormon, as he did when he copied Isaiah 50:10 onto page 76 of the 1830 Book of Mormon (II Nephi 7:10).|
Our previous articles showed that Joseph Smith made changes in the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) and copied some of them into his original 1830 Book of Mormon. He later copied some of those same texts from the Book of Mormon into his Joseph Smith Translation (JST). But sometimes he missed words while copying the KJV into the Book of Mormon, as he did when he copied Isaiah 50:10 onto page 76 of the 1830 Book of Mormon (II Nephi 7:10). There he missed the phrase, “Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God,” so it isn’t in the Book of Mormon. But that phrase is in the JST of Isaiah 50:7, which is exactly the same as Isaiah 50:10 in the KJV. So perhaps Smith didn’t have the Book of Mormon with him and he copied the KJV instead. The JST and KJV of Isaiah 51:2 end with “and increased him,” but page 76 of the original 1830 Book of Mormon (II Nephi 8:2) ends with the phrase just before that, so maybe he didn’t have the Book of Mormon then either. That may also explain why the JST and KJV of Isaiah 51:15 say, “But I am the Lord thy God that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The Lord of hosts is his name.” The words in bold italics aren’t on page 77 of the original 1830 Book of Mormon (II Nephi 8:15). The Book of Mormon changes “his name” to “my name” at the end of that verse, but the KJV and JST don’t. Are all these just a coincidence?
Smith apparently didn’t understand the KJV of Isaiah 51:19-20, so he changed the “two things” in it to “two sons” on page 78 in the 1830 Book of Mormon (II Nephi 8:19-20). Then verse 20 says: “Thy sons have fainted, save these two, they lie at the head of all the streets.” The words in bold type are not in the KJV or any real translation of this text. But the JST of Isaiah 51:19-20 has exactly the same words as the Book of Mormon, so it was obviously copied from it. The “two things” in the KJV of Isaiah 51:19 refer to the destruction of: 1. Jerusalem’s property, and 2. it’s people. So, did Smith’s changes really clarify that?
Isaiah 65:1 in the JST says, “I am found of them who seek after me; I give unto all them that ask of me; I am not found of them that sought me not, or that inquireth not after me.” Part of that verse is quoted in Romans 10:20 in the JST where it says, “But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.” The JST of Romans 10:20 says the opposite of the JST of Isaiah 65:1 which it quoted! Did God really inspire both texts? No other translation of the Bible has that contradiction. LDS often don’t know that the KJV “Esaias” is the Greek transliteration of “Isaiah.” All modern Bible translations use the word “Isaiah” instead of “Esaias” since that is who it is.
Third Nephi 24:1 says, “And it came to pass that He (Jesus) commanded them that they should write the words which the Father had given unto Malachi which he should tell them. And it came to pass that after they were written he expounded them. And these are the words which he did tell unto them, saying: Thus said the Father unto Malachi….” Then, pages 503-505 in the 1830 Book of Mormon (III Nephi 24 and 25) copied the KJV of Malachi 3 and 4 except for deleting the italicized words in Malachi 3:5 and 16 and changing“ Sun” to “Son” in Malachi 4:2. But the JST of Malachi 3 and 4 is exactly the same as the KJV except for changing “Sun” to “Son” in Malachi 4:2! The JST includes all of the italicized words in the KJV and that makes it different from “the words which the Father had given unto Malachi,” in III Nephi 24:1.
In LDS scripture, Joseph Smith also claims the Angel Moroni appeared to him four times on September 21-22, 1823, and each time he quoted Malachi 4:1, 5-6, with a little variation like this:
- For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch…Behold I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith 1:36-39, 45-46, 49).
Since that content is not in the KJV, JST, or in the words of Malachi that the Father told the Nephites to write in III Nephi 24:1, just what was Moroni quoting? But complicating the matter even worse, Joseph Smith quoted Malachi 4:5-6 exactly as it is in the KJV, and then said, “The word turn (v. 6) should be translated bind or seal” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 330). He didn’t say anything about any other part of those verses. Has Smith’s “latter day revelation” and inspiration really clarified the word of God in these verses?
More can be read about Smith’s revelations in my book, Mormon Claims Answered. Next time we will look at some of the changes in the New Testament of the JST.