Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, Part VI

By Marvin W. Cowan

In all genuine translations of Genesis 1-3 in the Bible it says “God said…” or “God did…” something. But the Joseph Smith “Translation” (JST) of Genesis 1-3 says, “I, God…” 33 times and “I, the Lord God…” 32 times and “I…” (God) said or did something 11 other times. So, in Smith’s JST God Himself tells the creation story even though not even one ancient Hebrew manuscript of the Old Testament says that! Moses 2 and 3 in the Pearl of Great Price (P of GP) is also LDS Scripture and has the same text verbatim as Genesis 1 & 2 in the JST. LDS often claim that truth is established by two witnesses. But Joseph Smith wrote both the JST and Moses in the P of GP, so those two books can’t be called two witnesses! In the P of G P the creation story is told in both Moses 2-3 and in Abraham 4 & 5, but Abraham 4-5 is very different from Moses 2-3 as well as Genesis 1-2 in the JST. Instead of saying “I God” created everything like Moses and the JST say, Abraham 4:1 says “They, the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.” At least 30 times in Abraham 4 & 5 it says “the Gods” said or did something! So, was it “I, God” or “they, the Gods” who did the creating? Genesis 1-3 in the JST and Moses 2-4 in the P of GP also mention God’s “Only Begotten” six times, and it is mentioned several times later in Smith’s JST of Genesis. But God’s “Only Begotten” was an unknown concept in Old Testament times so is never mentioned in the real Old Testament. LDS claim their Prophets and scripture “clarify” the Bible. Do these quotations really clarify the Bible?

Genesis 3:1-5 in the JST is not in any real Bible. Those verses say that while Satan was still in the pre-mortal spirit world he wanted to become the Savior of mankind. That doctrine is also in the P of GP in Moses 4:1-4 and Abraham 3:27-28. In 2010 and 2011, LDS adults studied the 2009 edition of Gospel Principles which explains this LDS doctrine. It says, “All men and women are literally the sons and daughters of God. ‘Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal (physical) body’” (p. 9)…. “When the plan for our salvation was presented to us in the pre-mortal spirit world we were so happy…We understood that we would have to leave our heavenly home for a time…We needed a Savior to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father. Our Father said, ‘Whom shall I send’ (Abraham 3:27). Jesus Christ, who was called Jehovah, said, ‘Here am I, send me’ (Abraham 3:27; Moses 4:1-4)…Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came, saying, ‘Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost’…Under his plan, we would not be allowed to choose…our purpose in coming to earth would have been frustrated …After hearing both sons speak, Heavenly Father said, ‘I will send the first’” (pp. 13 and 15).

Notice that last sentence: “After hearing both sons speak” God said He would send the first (Jesus). So, LDS believe Satan and Jesus Christ are both sons of God and therefore, brothers! Gospel Principles was first copyrighted by the LDS Church in 1978 and several editions have been published since then. All previous editions made this LDS doctrine even clearer. In the 1997 edition when God the Father asked “Whom shall I send” to be the Savior it says, “Two of our brothers offered to help. Our oldest brother, Jesus Christ, who was then called Jehovah, said, ‘Here am I, send me’” (p. 17). It goes on to tell what Satan (the other brother) said. LDS leaders changed the wording after the 1997 edition to make it less obvious that they teach that Christ and Satan are brothers. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was asked about Mitt Romney’s Mormon beliefs on a national TV program. He responded, “Don’t they believe that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers?” For asking that question, some LDS called him a “Mormon basher” while others in the media criticized him for it. LDS leaders didn’t defend their own doctrine because they know that it is offensive to non-LDS people and defending it would make it more difficult to proselyte them. LDS leaders tried to “manage” that problem by changing some words that offended non-Mormons, but they did not change LDS doctrine because it is in LDS scripture!

Genesis 3:32 through 5:3 in the JST is not in any real Bible or any original manuscript. Genesis 4:1-5 in the JST says Adam and Eve had other children who married and had children before Cain and Abel were born. Genesis 4: 6-9 of the JST says an angel appeared to Adam and explained “the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father” and mentions the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But there is no evidence that people in Old Testament times were taught those doctrines. In Genesis 4:10-13 of the JST Adam & Eve rejoice because their transgression made it possible to reproduce and know good and evil, which are LDS doctrines. Genesis 5:4-9a in the JST contains basically what is in Genesis 4:1-7 in real Bibles. Genesis 5:9b-16 in the JST says Cain made a deal with Satan so he could kill Abel, but that is not in any real Bible. Genesis 5:17-34 in the JST again has the basic content in Genesis 4:8-24 of other Bibles. Genesis 5:35-6:1 in the JST says that Lamech made a secret covenant with Satan and was cursed because of it, but that is not in any real Bible. These examples show that Smith changed and added content to his JST Bible. But Smith’s JST contains the King James Version (KJV) of Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:6 and Revelation 22:18-19 and those verses say that no one is to add or change what God revealed! Did Smith obey the instructions in those three texts that he also put into his JST?

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