Changed LDS Scripture/Part 38
|By: Marvin W. Cowan; ©2012|
|Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, and his successors claimed the Bible was unreliable because: 1. it was mistranslated; 2. It was corrupted by copyists; 3. Whole books of the Bible were lost or deliberately deleted; 4.The plan of salvation had been changed. Did the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible correct those problems?|
Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, and his successors claimed the Bible was unreliable because: 1. it was mistranslated; 2. It was corrupted by copyists; 3. Whole books of the Bible were lost or deliberately deleted; 4.The plan of salvation had been changed. Did the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible correct those problems? The heading of Doctrine & Covenants Section 35 says the Lord revealed it to the Prophet (Joseph Smith) and Sidney Rigdon in December of 1830 when he “was engaged almost daily in making a translation of the Bible.” In Doctrine & Covenants 35:20, “The Lord [through Smith] commanded Sidney Rigdon, ‘Thou shalt write [the JST of the Bible] for him [Smith]; and the scriptures shall be given, even as they are in mine own bosom, to the salvation of mine own elect.’” Smith read his “revealed translation” aloud and Rigdon and other scribes wrote it down. So, the JST should be as perfect as scripture in the bosom of the Lord! That is why the JST was originally called the Inspired Version of the Bible. This series of articles discussed the content of the JST, so the following is a summary of how the JST corrected the above four problems that LDS said made the Bible unreliable.
1. The eighth LDS Article of Faith says, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly,” so, LDS are taught that the Bible contains mistranslations. Most LDS don’t know what is or isn’t translated correctly, so their eighth Article of Faith just causes them to question the reliability of the Bible. The only document Smith used while “translating” the JST was the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) which was written in 1611 English. Smith didn’t have an original Bible manuscript, but he couldn’t have read it even if he had one because he didn’t know Greek or Hebrew. Yet, Smith claimed the title of “translator” for himself and all the LDS Presidents. But “translation” requires a message in one language be put it into a different language so that it contains the same content as the original. Smith didn’t do that and Mormon scholars know it, so some now call the JST a “revision of the KJV.” But “the Lord” repeatedly called the JST a “translation” in the Doctrine & Covenants, and the official History of the Church also calls it a translation.
Smith’s JST often added useless words and some LDS doctrine to the Bible in 1611 KJV English! Does “The Lord” only know 1611 English since He inspired Smith to write it in the 1830’s in the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants and the JST? 1611 English is very different from English in the 1830’s. The LDS Church has only published “selected parts” of the JST in their official LDS KJV Bible, but it has not published the entire JST! Robert J. Matthews, past Professor of Ancient Scriptures at BYU, said, “While there were several reasons why the entire text of the JST was not incorporated in the 1979 LDS edition of the Bible, unreliability of the JST text was not one of them. Passages of doctrinal significance were given preference, and since space was a major factor, not everything was included” (The Ensign, June 1992, p. 29).
Was space more important than having the entire Bible “as it is in the Lord’s own bosom?” If “the Lord” gave the JST, as LDS scripture says, why did LDS leaders only publish part of it? LDS claim our Bible is not reliable because men withheld some of it, so why is it okay for LDS to withhold “God inspired scripture?” LDS leaders know if all of the JST was published it would show that it is not “inspired revelation.”
2. LDS say the Bible was corrupted by copyists who added and deleted content as they chose, but there is no credible evidence to support that claim. LDS cannot identify any deliberate corruptions in the Bible when the translation is compared with the original manuscripts, so that LDS charge was primarily to make people question its reliability. The JST content shows that Smith added, changed or deleted texts without any original Bible manuscripts to support such changes. But original manuscripts do support real Bibles translations!
3. LDS author’s list 20 books that are mentioned in the Bible which they claim were lost books of the Bible (The Articles of Faith, p. 501). But there is no evidence that those books were ever books of the Bible! Should Stoic and Epicurean philosophy be books in the Bible since it is mentioned in Acts 17:18? Just because books are mentioned in the Bible doesn’t mean they must be part of the Bible! Smith’s “inspired” JST doesn’t have even one of those “lost books” in it! In fact, Smith’s JST only has 65 books instead of 66 like other Bibles because he deleted the “Song of Solomon,” so it is even more incomplete!
4. Joseph Smith said, “Many important points touching the salvation of men had been taken from the Bible or lost before it was compiled” (History of the Church, vol. I, p. 245; Articles of Faith, pp. 236-253, 497-501). Smith’s JST rarely changed anything dealing with the subject of salvation, and when it did, it didn’t clarify anything! But LDS have another problem, because LDS Prophets and scripture say that no one will get to the highest degree of the celestial heaven without keeping all of the laws and ordinances of the LDS gospel. That includes: being baptized and confirmed as a member of the one true (LDS) Church by proper priesthood authority, keeping the Word of Wisdom, paying a full tithe, going to an LDS Temple to receive endowments, be married or sealed for all eternity and also receive endowments, get baptized, married by proxy for dead relatives in an LDS Temple.
But neither the “inspired” JST nor the Book of Mormon (which Doctrine & Covenants Sec. 20:8 & 27:5 calls the “fullness of the gospel,”) mention any of those requirements! So, LDS have deficient scripture because those required LDS “essentials for salvation” aren’t in them! LDS try to discredit the Bible in order to get people to accept “the superior LDS scripture.” LDS scripture needs to be tested by the Bible since it has stood the test of time and LDS scripture hasn’t! Biblical Christians know Hebrews 7:25 declares Jesus is able to “save them to the uttermost who come to God by Him.” So, nothing is missing or lost about salvation!
This concludes our discussion of the JST. Next time we will look at some changes in the LDS scripture called the Doctrine and Covenants.