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Encyclopedia > Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible
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Part of a series on the
Latter Day Saint Movement
Latter Day Saint movement
Denominations

Mormonism · Latter Day Saint
Mormonism and Christianity The efforts of translating the Bible from its original languages into over 2,000 others have spanned more than two millennia. ... A number of Old English Bible translations were prepared in mediaeval England, translations of parts of the Bible into the Old English language. ... The age of Middle English was not a fertile time for Bible translations but saw the first major translation that of John Wyclif. ... Early Modern English Bible translations are those translations of the Bible which were made between about 1500 and 1800, the period of Early Modern English. ... There are many attempts to translate the Bible into modern English which is defined as the form of English in use after 1800. ... Jewish English Bible translations are modern English Bible translations that include the books of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) according to the masoretic text, and according to the traditional division and order of Torah, Neviim, and Ketuvim. ... These are other translation projects which are worthy of note which are not easily classified in the other groups: Anchor Bible Series - The Anchor Bible is a translation treating the Bible merely as a historical text; each book is translated by a different scholar, with extensive critical commentary. ... The original Nauvoo Temple of the Latter Day Saint movement built in Nauvoo, Illinois. ... The Latter Day Saint movement is a religious movement which began in the early 19th century and is generally considered to be founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. ... Mormonism is a term used to describe religious, ideological, and cultural aspects of the various Latter Day Saint churches. ... A Latter Day Saint is an adherent of the Latter Day Saint movement, a group of religions tracing their heritage to the teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr. ... Mormonism and historic Christianity have had an uneasy relationship with each other since shortly after Joseph Smith, Jr. ...

Movement history
Church of Christ · Succession crisis
LDS Church history
Community of Christ history
Latter Day Saint texts
Book of Mormon · Book of Commandments
Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible
Doctrine & Covenants · Book of Abraham
Pearl of Great Price
Significant leaders
Joseph Smith, Jr. · Oliver Cowdery
Sidney Rigdon · Brigham Young
Joseph Smith III · James Strang
Unique beliefs
Views on Godhead · Views on Jesus
Priesthood · Articles of Faith · Restoration
Mormonism and Judaism · Temples

The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, also called the Inspired Version of the Bible or the JST, is a version of the Bible dictated by Joseph Smith, Jr. The work is the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) with some significant additions, clarifications, and revisions. It is a sacred text in Mormonism, and part of the canon of the Community of Christ (formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints). Smith considered this work to be "a branch of his calling" as a prophet. The Latter Day Saint movement is a religious movement within Christian Restorationism beginning in the early 19th century that led to the set of doctrines, practices, and cultures called Mormonism and to the existence of numerous Latter Day Saint churches. ... The Church of Christ was the original name given to the church formally organized by Joseph Smith, Jr. ... The Succession Crisis in the Latter Day Saint movement occurred after the violent death of the movements founder, Joseph Smith, Jr. ... The early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is shared by the larger Latter Day Saint movement, which originated in upstate New York under the leadership of Joseph Smith, Jr. ... The history of the Community of Christ covers a period of approximately 200 years. ... The Book of Mormon (originally, The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi) is one of the sacred texts of the Latter Day Saint movement, named after the prophet/historian Mormon, who according to the text compiled most... The Book of Commandments is among the most rare and valuable books in American history because the original printing was almost entirely destroyed by a mob. ... Doctrine and Covenants The Doctrine and Covenants (sometimes referred to as the D&C) is a part of the open scriptural canon of Mormonism. ... The Book of Abraham is a text published by Joseph Smith, Jr. ... For other uses of Pearl of Great Price, see the Pearl of Great Price page. ... Joseph Smith, Jr. ... Photograph of Oliver Cowdery, taken c. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Brigham Young (June 1, 1801 – August 29, 1877) was the second prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ... Joseph Smith III — Leader of the 1860 Reorganization of the Latter Day Saint church. ... 1856 daguerreotype of James Strang, taken on Beaver Island, Lake Michigan, by J. Atkyn, one of his assassins. ... Mormonism, depending on era and denomination within the Latter Day Saint movement, has accommodated a diverse range of views of the concept of the Christian Godhead including forms of modalism, binitarianism, tritheism, henotheism, and trinitarianism. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, priesthood is considered to be the power and authority to act in the name of God, including the performance of sacred rites and ordinances, and the performance of miracles. ... In Mormonism, the Articles of Faith are a creed composed by Joseph Smith, Jr. ... In the Latter Day Saint movement, the Restoration was a period in its early history during which a number of events occurred that were understood to be necessary to restore the early Christian church as demonstrated in the New Testament, and to prepare the earth for the Second Coming of... This article on Mormonism and Judaism describes the views of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormons, with respect to Jews and Judaism, and includes comparisons of the Mormon and Jewish faiths. ... The Salt Lake Temple, operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the best-known Mormon temple. ... The word Bible refers to the canonical collections of sacred writings of Judaism and Christianity. ... Joseph Smith, Jr. ... This page is about the version of the Bible; for the Harvey Danger album, see King James Version (album). ... Many religions and spiritual movements believe that their sacred texts (or scriptures) are the Word of God, often feeling that the texts are wholly divine or spiritually inspired in origin. ... Mormonism is a term used to describe religious, ideological, and cultural aspects of the various Latter Day Saint churches. ... Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Missouri, USA. Dedicated 1994 RLDS redirects here. ...


Smith considered the translation necessary because of his view that the Bible was not always translated correctly, or contained interpolations by copyists. (See The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints's (LDS) "Articles of Faith", stating "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.") The work, however, was not a literal "translation" (modern usage) from ancient documents. Although it is certain that Smith took Hebrew, Greek and German lessons in Kirtland, Ohio, as early as 1833, the "translation" is rather a purportedly inspired "rendering" or "restoration" of the Bible to its original or intended meaning. Smith's work on the volume took place from about 1830 until Smith's death in 1844 when he was preparing the manuscript for publication. The bulk of the work took place from 1830-1833, and 3,410 Bible verses were in some way altered. There is some dispute among scholars as to whether Smith considered the translation to be complete and why he made changes to the manuscript as late as May 1844, a month prior to his death. The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest attraction in the citys Temple Square. ... Articles of faith are formal creeds, or lists of beliefs, sometimes numbered, and often beginning with We believe. ... Kirtland is a city in Lake County, Ohio, USA. The population was 6,670 at the 2000 census. ... Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix commemorates the July Revolution 1830 (MDCCCXXX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... 1844 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix commemorates the July Revolution 1830 (MDCCCXXX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... 1833 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...

Contents

Process of translation

Smith's "translation" was a work in progress throughout his ministry. Some parts of the translation (parts of Genesis and the four Gospels) were dictated from beginning to end, including unchanged verses from the KJV; some parts were dictated more than once; other parts were revised one verse at a time. The manuscripts were written, re-written, and in some cases, additional edits were written in the columns, pinned to the paper or otherwise attached. Smith relied on a version of the Bible that included the Apocrypha, and marked off the Bible as verses were examined (the Apocrypha was not translated). Skeptics view this nonlinearity as evidence that Smith's translation was not inspired; however, Latter Day Saints see Smith's translation as representing a gradual, developing inspiration. H:For other uses of King James Version, see King James Version (disambiguation). ... Apocrypha (from the Greek word απόκρυφα meaning those having been hidden away[1]) are texts of uncertain authenticity or writings where the authorship is questioned. ... A Latter Day Saint is an adherent of the Latter Day Saint movement, a group of religions tracing their heritage to the teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr. ...


It is possible, but not certain, that Smith's process of receiving "revealed text" is the same for this volume as it was for his earlier translation, The Book of Mormon, and his later translation, The Book of Abraham; however, these other works appear to have been dictated much more quickly from beginning to end, with little revision, and they were purportedly based on an original ancient document. To translate, he may have used a seer stone, or a purported set of seer stones which he called the Urim and Thummim. According to most accounts, however, most of the translation of the Bible took place without any physical mediums, but by direct revelation through the Holy Spirit. The Book of Mormon (originally, The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi) is one of the sacred texts of the Latter Day Saint movement, named after the prophet/historian Mormon, who according to the text compiled most... The Book of Abraham is a text published by Joseph Smith, Jr. ... Seer stones within historical Mormonism were used by Joseph Smith, Jr. ... Urim and Thummim (Hebrew: ‎, Standard Urim vÉ™Tummim Tiberian ; Arabic: اوريم وتميم, ŪrÄ«m waá¹®ummÄ«m) — typically translated as lights and perfections or revelation and truth — were a scrying medium or divination process used by ancient Hebrews (usually Israelites) in revealing the will of God on a contested point of view... In various religions, most notably Trinitarian Christianity, the Holy Spirit (in Hebrew רוח הקודש Ruah haqodesh; also called the Holy Ghost) is the third consubstantial Person of the Holy Trinity. ...


Content of the translation

The majority of corrections are minor clarifying statements and language modernization. In some instances, these minor changes seem to coincide with the Septuagint, recent discoveries in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hammadi library, other translations of the Bible, and other ancient documents not available to Smith. This fact has been used by Latter Day Saints as evidence that Smith was inspired. On the other hand, skeptics suggest that Smith may have had access to traditions that would have led to some of his "correct guesswork," and point to the fact that some lengthy changes, such as the prophecies of Moses are not included anywhere in any known documents, traditions or other accounts. Some Latter-day Saint apologists and scholars point to similarities of the prophecies of Enoch and Joseph (one of the twelve sons of Jacob or Israel) to Kabbalistic, Masonic and (Egyptian) Gnostic traditions as evidence of Smith's inspiration (although Smith was aware of Masonic tradition). The Septuagint: A page from Codex vaticanus, the basis of Sir Launcelot Lee Brentons English translation. ... The current version of the article or section is written like an essay. ... The Nag Hammadi library is a collection of early Christian Gnostic texts discovered near the Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945. ... The word Bible refers to the canonical collections of sacred writings of Judaism and Christianity. ... Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt Moses or Mosheh (Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה Standard Tiberian ; Arabic: موسى, ; Geez: ሙሴ Musse) was an early Biblical Hebrew religious leader, lawgiver, prophet, and historian. ... // For the original Hebrew name, see Hanoch. ... This article is about traditional Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). ... The Masonic Square and Compasses. ... Gnosticism is a blanket term for various religions and sects most prominent in the first few centuries A.D. General characteristics The word gnosticism comes from the Greek word for knowledge, gnosis (γνῶσις), referring to the idea that there is special, hidden mysticism (esoteric knowledge...


Many of Smith's revisions to the Bible led to significant developments in the doctrines of Mormonism. During the process of translation, when he came across troubling Biblical issues, Smith often dictated revelations relevant to himself, his associates, or the Church. About half of the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants are in some way connected to this translation process, including background on the Apocrypha (LDS D&C section 91), the Three Degrees of Heaven (LDS section 76), the Eternal nature of marriage and plural marriage (LDS section 132), teachings on baptism for the dead (LDS section 124), various revelations on priesthood (LDS sections 84, 88, 107) and others. In addition, many other works that have been considered canon by various Latter Day Saint faiths, including the Lectures on Faith and the Pearl of Great Price are largely the result of the translation. Mormonism is a term used to describe religious, ideological, and cultural aspects of the various Latter Day Saint churches. ... Doctrine and Covenants The Doctrine and Covenants (sometimes referred to as the D&C) is a part of the open scriptural canon of Mormonism. ... Apocrypha (from the Greek word απόκρυφα meaning those having been hidden away[1]) are texts of uncertain authenticity or writings where the authorship is questioned. ... Doctrine and Covenants The Doctrine and Covenants (sometimes referred to as the D&C) is a part of the open scriptural canon of Mormonism. ... Plural marriage among Latter-day Saints is a sort of polygamy (more properly called polygyny) formerly practiced by some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the Churchs 19th century founding days and currently practiced by splinter groups. ... Baptism for the dead is an ordinance performed today in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for those who have died without having been baptized by one having authority. ... In Mormonism, priesthood is considered to be the power and authority to act in the name of God, including the performance of sacred rites and ordinances, and the performance of miracles. ... The document Lectures on Faith is a set of seven lectures on the doctrine and theology of the Latter Day Saint movement. ... For other uses of Pearl of Great Price, see the Pearl of Great Price page. ...


For some of Smith's revisions, critics argue that the change has more to do with supporting Latter Day Saint theology, than with restoring original meaning or intent. For example, one of Smith's revisions includes a prophecy about Joseph Smith himself.


Publication and use

The Community of Christ (formerly the RLDS church) publishes Smith's translation as the "Inspired Version" of the Bible. Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Missouri, USA. Dedicated 1994 RLDS redirects here. ...


Smith was killed prior to the publication of the translation. He led some early Latter Day Saint leaders to believe that he had not completed his inspired translation, as he continued to work on the documents throughout his lifetime. There is some evidence that Smith's wife Emma and others may have removed Smith's references to plural marriage to protect his character. This may have been done by multiple individuals including Community of Christ leaders in the 1860s, prior to their first publication of the work in 1867. A Latter Day Saint is an adherent of the Latter Day Saint movement, a group of religions tracing their heritage to the teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr. ... Emma Hale Smith Emma Hale Smith (10 July 1804 - 30 April 1879) was the wife of Joseph Smith, Jr. ... // Events and trends Technology The First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States is built in the six year period between 1863 and 1869. ... 1867 (MDCCCLXVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


Following Joseph Smith's death, Dr. John Milton Bernhisel asked permission of Emma Smith to copy the notes that were made into his own Bible. He spent much of the spring of 1845 working on this project. For many years the "Bernhisel Bible" was the only source for the LDS members living in the Salt Lake Valley.


Most scholars believe that the current edition of the Inspired Version as published by the Community of Christ renders the manuscripts accurately, although it generally does not include most of Smith's later changes. Later editions of the Inspired Version include omitted portions that may have intentionally been discarded. It is apparent that the more recent editions published between 1920 and 1967 carefully preserve the majority of Smith's changes, although some passages had multiple, "conflicting translations" (meaning that there were more than one edit which were not consistent with each other— possibly showing the writer's intent versus actual writing versus modern interpretations) within the manuscripts. This is also indicative of the fact that many verses may be rendered accurately in more than one way. Most scholars who have studied the manuscripts also concur that recent editions do not attempt to push any particular theological agenda, although the published Inspired Version uses an earlier version (pre-1842 in most cases) of the manuscripts.


Possibly because of any uncertainties, and the fact that the Community of Christ owned the original copyright on the work, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) does not accept the work as part of its canon. However, the translation of Genesis 1:1-6:13 is canonized in the Pearl of Great Price as the Book of Moses, and Matthew 23:39–24:51 as Joseph Smith-Matthew. The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest attraction in the citys Temple Square. ... For other uses of Pearl of Great Price, see the Pearl of Great Price page. ... The Book of Moses is a text published by Joseph Smith, Jr. ...


The LDS church does accept many of the changes as doctrinally significant. Nearly 1000 of the more doctrinally significant passages from the translation are included as excerpts in the current LDS edition of the King James Version of the Bible.


A book was recently published, titled Joseph Smith's New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts, culminating nearly ten years of joint research from both Community of Christ and LDS scholars, showing all of the known changes, notes and marks in margins and additional notes that were pinned on the pages of the manuscripts and Bible that were used.


Additional resources

  • Joseph Smith's "New Translation" of the Bible, Herald Publishing House, 1970; ISBN 0-8309-0032-2 (all JS changes or additions to King James version shown in parallel columns - not the complete Bible)
  • Robert J. Matthews, "A Plainer Translation:" Joseph Smith's Translation of the Bible: A History and Commentary, Brigham Young University Press, 1985. ISBN 0-8425-2237-9
  • Robert L. Millet and Robert J. Matthews, Plain and Precious Truths Restored: The Doctrinal and Historical Significance of the Joseph Smith Translation, Bookcraft 1995. ISBN 0-88494-987-7
  • Kent P. Jackson, Robert J. Matthews, Scott H. Faulring, editors, Joseph Smith's New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts, Deseret Book Company, 2004. ISBN 1-59038-328-1

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1192 words)
Smith considered the translation necessary because of his view that the Bible was not always translated correctly, or contained interpolations by copyists.
Although it is certain that Smith took Hebrew, Greek and German lessons in Kirtland, Ohio as early as 1833, the "translation" is rather a purportedly inspired "rendering" or "restoration" of the Bible to its original or intended meaning.
Smith relied on a version of the Bible that included the Apocrypha, and marked off the Bible as verses were examined (the Apocrypha was not translated).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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