Changed LDS Scripture/Part 7
|By: Marvin W. Cowan; ©2010|
|In 1979 the LDS Church published an edition of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible that has parts of the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) in the margins and appendix and which is now their official Bible. Smith’s complete “translation” is called the Inspired Version of the Holy Scriptures and was published by the RLDS Church.|
Joseph Smith Translation
In 1979 the LDS Church published an edition of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible that has parts of the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) in the margins and appendix and which is now their official Bible. Smith’s complete “translation” is called the Inspired Version of the Holy Scriptures and was published by the RLDS Church, now called the Community of Christ Church.
Why didn’t the LDS Church publish all of Smith’s “translation?” Robert J. Matthews, Professor of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University said,
While there were several reasons why the entire text of the Joseph Smith Translation 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)
But the Preface of the Inspired Version says the manner of translation “was done by direct revelation from God.” Was space more important to LDS than having all of God’s revelation? Although Joseph Smith had no proof, he claimed parts of the Bible were lost or deliberately taken out so that it is incomplete. He said on February 16, 1832, “I resumed the translation of the scriptures (JST). From sundry revelations which had been received, it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of men had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 9-11). That is still one of the claims LDS often make against the Bible. But, LDS leaders chose not to include some parts of the JST in the official LDS Bible, and Matthews and other LDS think that is fine!
IF the JST really came by “direct revelation” from God, why should any of it be excluded from the LDS Bible? Why did God “reveal” it if it wasn’t to be included? In the above quotation Matthews said, “While there were several reasons why the entire text of the JST was not incorporated in the 1979 edition of the Bible, unreliability of the JST was not one of them.” So, according to Matthews, there were “several reasons” for not publishing “direct revelation” from God! That is quite an admission!
Genesis 5:44-45 in the JST says: “And thus the gospel began to be preached from the beginning, being declared by holy angels, sent forth from the presence of God; and by His own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost. And thus all things were confirmed unto Adam by an holy ordinance; and the gospel preached; and a decree sent forth that it should be in the world until the end thereof; and thus it was. Amen.” Moses 5:58-59 says exactly the same thing. Those texts contradict the LDS doctrine of a universal apostasy which says there was no gospel on earth from the time of the Apostles of Christ until Joseph Smith restored it in 1830 (History of the Church, Vol. I, Introduction, pp. XXXIX-XLI). If there was a universal apostasy for 1700 to 1800 years when there was no gospel on earth as LDS claim, how could the gospel be in the world “from the beginning…until the end thereof”?
This text also says that the gospel was preached from the beginning by holy angels sent from God and by His [God’s] own voice! Angels did many things in the Bible, but preaching the gospel was not one of them! Why did the Lord give the great commission to men in Matthew 28:19-20 if God Himself and angels preached the gospel “from the beginning”? It wouldn’t take much faith to believe the gospel if one saw and heard God or angels preaching it! God wants men to accept the gospel by faith when men preach it, not because of miraculous communications from Him or angels. Since man wasn’t on the earth in the beginning, to whom did God and the angels preach?
Genesis 4:25-26 in the Bible is Genesis 6:2, 4b & 5a in the JST. Before and after those JST verses is more non-biblical content. Genesis 6:5b-6 in the JST mentions “the language of Adam…which was pure and undefiled,” a concept which is very important to Mormons and was even part of their temple ceremony until 2005. LDS temple patrons would raise their hands high above their heads and while lowering them would say the words “Pay Lay Ale, Pay Lay Ale, Pay Lay Ale” in three different parts of the ceremony. Mormons were told that the words “Pay Lay Ale” were the “pure Adamic Language which everyone will speak during the millennium.” In 2005 that part of the LDS temple ceremony was changed and “Pay Lay Ale” became “Oh God, hear the words of my mouth, Oh God, hear the words of my mouth, Oh God, hear the words of my mouth” which is now said in the same three areas where they used to say “Pay Lay Ale.”
Genesis 5:1-21 in the Bible is Genesis 6:9-26 in the JST along with some non-biblical material in those verses. Genesis 6:26b-7:75 in the JST contains 123 verses about Enoch and a long message he preached that are not in any other Bible or in any ancient manuscript. Enoch is also mentioned in Genesis 9:17 and 21 of the JST. But in the Christian Bible Enoch’s birth is recorded in Genesis 5:18-19 and the four verses in Genesis 5:21-24 contain almost everything else we know about him. He is not mentioned again in the Old Testament and is only briefly mentioned three times in the New Testament: He is in Jesus’ genealogy in Luke 3:37; Hebrews 11:5 says he pleased God and was translated; and Jude 14-15 says he prophesied of the Lord’s coming in judgment upon the ungodly. That is all the Bible has to say about Enoch. But in the JST, Enoch gave a lengthy message teaching several LDS doctrines.
LDS leaders know it is easier for people to believe something if it is in the Bible! But Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:6 and Revelation 22:18-19 say it is a very serious matter for anyone to put things in the Bible that God did not authorize.
More can be read about Smith’s Inspired Version or JST in Mormonism, Shadow or Reality by Jerald & Sandra Tanner. Next time we will discuss the doctrines in Enoch’s message.