Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, Part XVIII

By Marvin W. Cowan

Joseph Smith finished “translating” the Book of Mormon (B. of M.) just before he started the LDS Church in 1830. Ever since Mormonism began it has questioned the reliability of the Bible. In the B. of M., I Nephi 13:24-26 says “the great and abominable church” has “taken away from the gospel of the lamb many parts which are plain and most precious and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away” (from the Bible). The B. of M. dates that LDS text between 592 and 600 BC which was more than 600 years before Christ even revealed the gospel! While writing the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST), Smith said on Feb. 16, 1832, “Upon my return from Amherst Conference, I resumed the translation of the Scriptures (the 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; History of the Church, vol. I, p. 245). But in the B. of M., I Nephi 13:40 also says: “These last records (the B. of M.)…shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them (in the Bible).” But, did the B. of M. or JST restore those “important points touching the salvation of men” or any of the gospel or the covenants of the Lord that I Nephi 13:24-26 say were taken out of the Bible? When LDS are asked for examples of those “restored things” in the B. of M., they usually can’t give any. In reality it is LDS scripture that has serious problems, not the Bible. In this series of articles we have given numerous examples of changes and problems in the JST and other LDS scripture. But LDS believe their scripture was revealed by God without error.

The following paragraphs are based on the content in Isaiah 49:24 through 52:2 in the King James Version Bible (KJV). That content, with Smith’s alterations, is also in the same verses in the JST and on pp. 75-78 of the original 1830 B. of M. and in II Nephi 6:16 through 8:25 in the current B. of M. Some verses in the JST are longer or shorter than in the B. of M. because of Smith’s alterations or because some verses were combined, so the verses don’t always start or end the same in each book. The same content in Isa. 50 in the  KJV is II Nephi 7 in the B. of M. and both chapters have eleven verses, but the JST of Isa. 50, has only has eight verses but still has all of the same content, because some verses were combined. The original 1830 B. of M. has no verses and the chapters are longer and start and end in different places than the current B. of M., so we refer to page numbers in that edition.

Isa. 49:25 in the JST is II Nephi 6:17 in the B. of M. After the phrase “And the prey of the terrible shall be delivered,” both books add “for the Mighty God shall deliver his covenant people.” That phrase is not in the KJV or any real translation of this verse, but it is on p. 75 in the original 1830 B. of M. which Smith published two or three years before he wrote the JST Bible. So, he apparently copied that phrase from his B. of M. into his JST.

Isa. 50:1 in the JST is II Nephi 7:1 in the B. of M. Both begin with, “Yea, for thus saith the Lord, Have I put thee away, or have I cast thee off forever? For”…and then the content in Isa. 50:1 of the KJV follows that. Isa. 50:1 in the JST also ends with “Yea, to whom have I sold you?” That phrase is in the middle of II Nephi 7:1 in the B. of M. because half of the next verse (Isa. 50:2 in the JST) was added to Isa 50:1. Those two phrases aren’t in the KJV or any true translation of Isa. 50:1, but they are on pp. 75-76 of the original B. of M., so Smith must have copied them into his JST.

Isa. 50:4 in the JST is II Nephi 7:4 in the B. of M. After the phrase, “I should know how to speak a word in season,” both books add, “unto thee, O house of Israel when ye are…”. That phrase isn’t in the KJV or any other translation of Isa. 50:4, but it is on p. 76 in the 1830 B. of M., so Smith again copied it into his JST.

Isa. 50:5 in the JST is II Nephi 7:5 in the B. of M. The JST says “The Lord God hath appointed mine ears…” and so does p. 76 of the original 1830 the B. of M., so Smith must have copied it into his JST. But after that text in the original B. of M. became II Nephi 7:5 in the current edition, the word “appointed” became “opened” just like it is in the KJV of Isa. 50:5. Now it says, “The Lord God hath opened mine ear” which makes more sense. Did God or Joseph Smith make a mistake in the original B. of M. and the JST?

Isa. 50:6 in the JST is II Nephi 7:8-9 in the B. of M. (except the first sentence). After the words “Let him come near to me,” in both books it says, “and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth.” Those words are not in the KJV or any other real translation, but they are on p. 76 of the original 1830 B. of M., which the JST of Isa. 50:6 evidently copied.

Do the underlined words in this article restore important points of salvation, the gospel or the covenants of the Lord which Smith and the B. of M. said were missing from the Bible? And do any of the additions and changes mentioned in this entire series of articles restore important points of salvation, the gospel, or the covenants of the Lord? If they don’t do that and they don’t clarify anything, they are essentially worthless additions! If important points of salvation, the gospel and covenants of the Lord that were supposedly lost or taken out of the Bible aren’t “restored” in the B. of M., then the B. of M. cannot be the fullness of the LDS gospel like they claim. And if those things have not been restored in the B. of M., the LDS Church is no better off than the churches they claim are apostate!

Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, Part XVII

By Marvin W. Cowan

Mormons believe Isaiah 29 contains two prophecies about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon (B. of M.). Our last article discussed the first ten verses of Isaiah 29 where LDS believe the first “prophecy” is located. LDS believe the second prophecy about the Book of Mormon is found in Isaiah 29:11-14 in the King James Version (KJV) which says: (11) “And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this I pray thee; and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: (12) And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. (13) Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near to me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men; (14) Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”

The LDS interpretation of Isaiah 29:11-14 does not come from that text in the KJV or any other real translation of the original Hebrew text. It comes from Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. His interpretation of Isaiah 29:11-14 is found in the Book of Mormon in II Nephi 27:6-35. It was later put verbatim (except for a few words) into the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of Isaiah 29:11-32. So, the LDS interpretation of Isaiah 29:11-14 is in two LDS books of scripture that Smith wrote and which LDS accept without any evidence to support them! Smith said he “translated” the B. of M. from “Reformed Egyptian” by 1830 and he “translated” the JST of Isaiah by 1833. But Isaiah was originally written in Hebrew, and Smith said the B. of M. was originally written in “Reformed Egyptian,” so how did Smith “translate” two different books from two different languages into the KJV English of 1611 AD with identical words and content? He must have copied II Nephi 27:6-35 into the JST of Isaiah 29:6-26 since the B. of M. was published first. But why would an omniscient God have Smith “translate” those two books into the archaic KJV English of 1611 AD instead of the English spoken in America in 1830? Since those texts are quite long we will only quote a few verses with the LDS interpretation.

Both II Nephi 27:6-7 in the B. of M. and Isaiah 29:11-12 in the JST say, “And it shall come to pass, that the Lord God shall bring forth unto YOU the words of a book; and they shall be the words of them which have slumbered. And behold, the book shall be sealed; and in the book shall be a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof.” II Nephi 27:9-10 and Isaiah 29:14 in the JST also say, “But the book shall be delivered unto A MAN, and HE shall deliver the words of the book, which are the words of those who have slumbered in the dust; and HE shall deliver these words unto another, but the words that are sealed HE shall not deliver, neither shall HE deliver the book.” And both II Nephi 27:15-20 and Isaiah 29:20-22 of the JST say, “But behold, it shall come to pass, that the Lord God shall say unto HIM to whom he shall deliver the book, Take these words which are not sealed and deliver them to another, that he may show them unto the learned, saying, Read this I pray thee. And the learned shall say, Bring hither the book and I will read them…And THE MAN shall say, I cannot bring the book for it is sealed. Then the learned shall say, I cannot read it. Wherefore it shall come to pass, that the Lord God will deliver again the book and the words thereof to HIM that is NOT LEARNED; and the MAN that is NOT LEARNED shall say, I am NOT LEARNED. Then shall the Lord God say unto HIM, The learned shall not read them, and I am able to do mine own work; wherefore THOU shalt read the words which I shall give THEE.” Notice that the subject in these texts is “the words of a book” instead of the vision as it is the KJV and real translations. In that vision in Isa. 29:11-12 of the KJV and all real translations the words of a sealed book are delivered to an educated man first and then to an uneducated man and neither of them read the words. But Smith’s scripture says the UNLEARNED MAN (Smith) did read them! Smith claimed that he copied some words in the Reformed Egyptian language from the gold plates and had Martin Harris take them to Prof. Anthon, the learned man, who couldn’t read them. Smith said HE was the UNLEARNED MAN enabled by the Lord to translate the B. of M. from the gold plates. And Smith’s “scriptural” accounts indicate that is the way it was to happen! LDS say the “marvelous work and a wonder” in the KJV of Isaiah 29:14, and in II Nephi 27:26, and Isaiah 29:26 in the JST is the “coming forth of the Book of Mormon.” Words in CAPITAL LETTERS in this paragraph refer to Joseph Smith and words in bold type are the subjects in these two LDS texts. Smith wrote both LDS books of scripture and HE fulfilled his own “prophecy.” Does that raise any questions about this “prophecy?” There is no evidence that Smith’s scriptures ever existed before Smith wrote them nor does any other evidence exist to support them!

Bible verses must be interpreted in the contexts where God put them to correctly understand them. The KJV of Isaiah 29:1-10 and all other real translations is clearly about the impending destruction of Jerusalem and the unstableness of her enemies. It did not change in Isaiah 29:11-12 which says: “And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed.” The subject is “the VISION of ALL” (all that was revealed in Isaiah 29:1-10) became to YOU (Jerusalem) “as a book that is sealed” (can’t see what is in it). The original Hebrew word for “book” literally means a “letter” or “writing,” not a book like those in a library. Isaiah told Jerusalem that his message to them was like a sealed letter they couldn’t see or understand because of their spiritual blindness. In the vision, the writing was given FIRST to a learned (educated) man who was told to read it. He replied “I can’t, because it’s sealed.” The writing was then given to a man who was not learned (illiterate) who was also told to read it. He replied, “I can’t read.” So, neither man read the writing which was the vision that Isaiah revealed to Jerusalem. Because Jerusalem was spiritually blind, the Lord said in Isaiah 29:13, “This people (the Jews) draw near to me with their lips but their hearts are far from me” which is why they couldn’t read or understand Isaiah’s message. Verse 14 continues, “Behold, I will do a marvelous work and a wonder among this people (Jerusalem)…The wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding (discernment) of their prudent (discerning) men shall be hid” (concealed). That, and Jerusalem’s destruction mentioned in Isaiah 29:3-4, is the “marvelous (or amazing) work and wonder” (astonishment). So, the Lord did not foretell the coming forth of the B. of M. while He was telling Jerusalem about their impending destruction!

Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, Part XVI

By Marvin W. Cowan

Mormons claim that the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) was inspired or revealed by the Lord, yet some changes in the JST add words that don’t clarify the text and sometimes even distort it. Our last two articles discussed Isaiah chapter 2 where such distortions were made. Most of the changes in the JST are worthless or they confuse or distort texts. Such changes are too numerous to even list them all. But there are also significant changes in the JST that add new material that is not in any real translation of the Bible or in the original Bible documents. Most of the changes we discussed in the JST of Genesis were that type of change.

Isaiah 29:1-10 is addressed to Ariel (Jerusalem) in all Bible translations including the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible and in the original documents. It tells of Ariel’s soon coming destruction. However, LDS take the KJV of Isaiah 29:4 out of context and say it is a prediction about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon (B. of M.). It says, “And thou (Ariel) shalt be brought down, and shall speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.” LDS say that the “familiar spirit” or voice out of the dust of the ground is the Nephite record known as the B. of M. that was written on gold plates and buried in the Hill Cumorah in New York State by Moroni before he died in 421 AD. He came back as the Angel Moroni in 1823 and revealed the gold plates to Joseph Smith who translated and published them as the B. of M. in 1830. LDS say the message in the B. of M. is as if the ancient Nephites are speaking to people now through its message since it came “out of the ground.” But “familiar spirits” are mentioned 15 times in the Old Testament and every time it refers to witchcraft or an evil spirit, including in Isaiah 29:4. In that verse Isaiah said Jerusalem will be brought down or destroyed and will speak out of the dust like an evil spirit’s voice produced by a medium which whispers from the dust. In this context the Lord is speaking about Jerusalem’s destruction, so why would He digress in verse four to predict the coming forth of the B. of M.?

The JST of Isaiah 29:4 says, “And she shall be brought down, and shall speak out of the ground, and her speech shall be low out of the dust; and her voice shall be as one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and her speech shall whisper out of the dust.” Notice that the JST changed the 2nd person pronouns “thy and thou” that are in the KJV to 3rd person pronouns “she and her” which indicates the Lord is talking about Ariel or Jerusalem to someone else instead of talking to Ariel as the KJV indicates. Second person pronouns are used when someone addresses “you.” When someone talks about a person or persons to someone else, they use third person pronouns like “him,” “her,” or “them,” so the 2nd and 3rd person pronouns are different in all languages including the original Hebrew of Isaiah. Surely the Lord would have known the difference in those pronouns!

II Nephi 26:16 in the B. of M. sounds a lot like Isaiah 29:4. In that B. of M. text the prophet Nephi supposedly foresaw the future destruction of the Nephites because of their unbelief. LDS believe the Nephites and Lamanites in the B. of M. are ancestors of the American Indians. II Nephi 26:16 says, “For those (Nephites) who shall be destroyed shall speak unto them (their descendants) out of the ground, and their speech shall be low out of the dust, and their voice shall be as one that hath a familiar spirit; for the Lord God will give unto him power, that he may whisper concerning them, even as it were out of the ground; and their speech shall whisper out of the dust.” The similarity between II Nephi 26:16 and Isaiah 29:4 is obvious, so Joseph Smith probably plagiarized some of the words from the KJV of Isaiah 29:4 when he wrote II Nephi 26:16. But II Nephi 26:16 is about the destruction of the Nephites while Isaiah 29:4 is about the destruction of Ariel or Jerusalem. LDS believe that II Nephi 26:16 refers to the gold plates that Moroni buried in the Hill Cumorah and later revealed to Joseph Smith who translated and published them as the B. of M. So, LDS give the same interpretation this LDS text as they do to Isaiah 29:4. It is supposedly a prophecy about the Nephite record written on gold plates that Joseph Smith published as the B. of M. Its message from the gold plates was as if the ancient Nephites were speaking “out of the ground.”

LDS consider II Nephi 26:16 in the B. of M. to be a great “prophecy,” but unfortunately nobody saw it until after Smith published the B. of M. in 1830. Therefore, that “prophecy” had no real value since no one saw it until after it was supposedly “fulfilled!” Suppose someone in 2015 A. D. said they found an ancient document dated about 400 A. D. that had a prophecy in it that said in the 21st century A. D. the President of the USA would speak from his office in Washington DC and be seen and heard all over the world as he spoke. We know that satellites and TV make it possible to do that today, so we might think it was a great “prophecy.” But if there is no evidence that this “ancient document” existed before it was “found” in 2015 A. D., it would indicate that the document was a fraud and therefore that “prophecy” was a deception. A similar kind of problem exists with the B. of M. prophecies. There is no real evidence that they existed prior to 1830 when Smith published the B. of M. So, “predictions” or “prophecies” in the B. of M. about things that were common knowledge in 1830 can lead to skepticism about how genuine they are. Sincere LDS often base their hope of eternal life with God on “scripture” like this. It would be wise to first see if there is any real evidence to substantiate their trust in it. How someone “feels” about the B. of M. or anything else is not good evidence since people often feel good about things that ultimately hurt them!

Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, Part XV

By Marvin W. Cowan

Joseph Smith said His Inspired Version of the Bible, which LDS call the Joseph Smith Translation (JST), and the Book of Mormon (B. of M.) were translated or inspired by the Lord. Our last article compared Isaiah 2:1-10 in the JST with II Nephi 12:1-10 in the B. of M. II Nephi 12 quotes Isaiah 2, so they should be the same, but there is at least one difference in this chapter and more differences in other chapters where the B. of M. quotes the Bible. Those texts were also compared with the same verses in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible and the original Hebrew text. We will now continue our discussion of the JST version of Isaiah 2 to give more insight into the kind of changes Smith made in his JST in just one chapter of Isaiah. Isaiah 2:11 says, “And it shall come to pass that the lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of man shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.” The words “And it shall come to pass that” are also in II Nephi 12:11, but they are not in the KJV or original Hebrew text and they don’t clarify the verse, so they just take up space. The JST of Isaiah 2:11 says “the haughtiness of man,” but II Nephi 12:11 says “men.” It is also “men” in the original 1830 edition of the B. of M., the KJV and the original Hebrew text. Since LDS claim the Lord inspired both the JST and the B. of M. why are they different if II Nephi 12:11 was quoting Isaiah 2:11? Surely the Lord knew that “man” is singular and “men” is plural when He inspired the original Hebrew text of this verse, so did he forget when He inspired the JST?

Isaiah 2:12 in the JST says, “For the day of the Lord of hosts soon cometh upon all nations; yea, upon every one; yea, upon the proud and lofty, and upon every one who is lifted up and he shall be brought low.” There are no “yea’s” in this verse in the KJV nor in the original Hebrew text. The phrase “soon cometh upon all nations” is not in the original or in any genuine translation in English because it is out of place. Isaiah clearly addressed his message to Judah and Jerusalem (Isaiah 1:1; 2:1; 2:5) not “all nations.” But, all editions of the B. of M. has the same wording as the JST. The word “one” appears twice in the JST and the KJV of this verse, but it is italicized in the KJV which means it was not in the original but the KJV translators supplied it to smooth out the reading. It is not italicized in the JST, so did the Lord add that word or did Smith just copy the KJV? Isaiah 2:13 in the JST says, “Yea, and the day of the Lord shall come upon all the cedars of Lebanon, for they are high and lifted up; and upon all the oaks of Bashan.” There is no “yea” in this verse in the KJV or the original Hebrew text. Nor does this verse contain “the day of the Lord shall come” in the KJV or the original because those words were in verse 12, so they are redundant and do not add clarity to this verse. The JST also has “for they” where the KJV has “that” in italics. “For they” is not in the original and doesn’t improve what the word “that” means in this context. The JST of Isaiah 2:14 says, “And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills, and upon all the nations, which are lifted up.” The words “and upon all the nations” are not in the KJV or in the original, but they are in all editions of the B. of M. Those words are out of place since Isaiah was writing about Judah and Jerusalem as we pointed out in verse 12. The JST of Isaiah 2:15 says, “And upon every people, and upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall.” The words “upon every people” are not in the KJV or in the original, but the author of the JST included all people and nations in what Isaiah said! The JST of Isaiah 2:16 says, “And upon all the ships of the sea, and upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures” (imagery). The words “upon all the ships of the sea” are not in the KJV or the original. “All the ships of the sea” would include “all of the ships of Tarshish,” so this is a redundant statement. The additional words in the JST of Isaiah 2:16 don’t clarify anything!

The JST of Isaiah 2:17-18 are identical in the KJV. But Isaiah 2:19 says, “And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for the fear of the Lord shall come upon them, and the glory of His majesty shall smite them, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” The words “shall come upon them” and “shall smite them” are not in the KJV or in the original, but they are in II Nephi 12:19 which shows that Smith copied them from the B. of M. since it was completed before the JST. How does the Lord’s glory smite people? Isaiah 2:20 in the JST reads much like the KJV except it leaves out the italicized words in the KJV and also changes “he” to “they.” The JST of Isaiah 2:21 says, “To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for the fear of the Lord shall come upon them, and the majesty of the Lord shall smite them, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” This verse is similar to verse 19 and the JST again added the words “shall come upon them” and “shall smite them” even though they are not in the KJV or the original. How does the Lord’s majesty smite people? The last phrase of this verse in the KJV says, “and for the glory of his majesty when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” So, this verse simply says the idol worshipers will flee into the rocks because they are afraid that the Lord’s wrath will come on them because of their idolatry and they are also frightened by the glory of his majesty. The JST has distorted the meaning of this verse! The JST of Isaiah 2:21 is identical in the KJV and says to quit trusting in frail men whose breath is in his nostrils today, but will it be tomorrow? Smith’s changes this chapter of the JST don’t clarify or improve it, so did “the Lord” really reveal those changes to him?

Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, Part XIV

By Marvin W. Cowan

The Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of Genesis in the Bible has been our focus so far in this series. Many other problems exist in the JST of Genesis and other Bible books but it would take a large book to discuss them all so we can’t do that in these brief articles. But, we want to discuss some interesting changes in the JST of Isaiah. Chapter one of Isaiah in the JST is exactly the same as the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible including all 17 italicized words, but those words are not italicized in the JST. Knowledgeable Bible readers know that the italicized words in the KJV Bible are not in the original text but were supplied by the KJV translators in 1611 AD to smooth out the reading in English. So, how did those same words supplied by translators of the KJV in 1611 AD get into Smith’s JST about 1832? Were the King James translators inspired over 200 years earlier than Joseph Smith to put them in the KJV, or did Smith just copy the KJV? Since the only thing Smith had while he was “translating” the JST was a copy of the KJV Bible, it is obvious what he did.

In the Book of Mormon (B. of M.) II Nephi 11:8 says, “And now I write some of the words of Isaiah….” Then much of Isaiah chapters 2 through 14 of the KJV is quoted in II Nephi 12 to 24 in the B. of M. But when the JST of those chapters differ from the KJV, the JST is exactly the same as II Nephi 12 to 24 in the B. of M. LDS claim that the exact wording in those two LDS scriptures is because God revealed both to Joseph Smith. But Smith didn’t begin to “translate” the JST until after the B. of M. was published in 1830. So, when the JST of Isaiah 2 through 14 is the same as the B. of M. in II Nephi 12 through 24, Smith could have copied his B. of M. version of Isaiah. Translators know that when you translate the same message from two different languages into English, you should get the same message, but not exactly the same English words. The book of Isaiah was originally written in Hebrew while Smith claimed the B. of M. was written in “Reformed Egyptian.” So, how did both of Smith’s scriptures end up with exactly the same 1611 AD English words from two different languages in 1830 AD?

The KJV of Isaiah 2:2 says, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills…” “That” is italicized in the KJV. But both Isaiah 2:2 in the JST and II Nephi 12:2 in the B. of M. changed “that” to “when the mountain of the Lord’s house…” LDS teach that the Bible is unclear but the JST and the B. of M. clarify it. Why Smith changed the word “that” to “when,” is not known, but does it really clarify this verse? LDS often claim this verse was fulfilled when they built the Salt Lake Temple. But anyone who has seen the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City knows that it is not “in the top of the mountains” nor is it “exalted above the hills,” but it is in one of the lowest parts of the Salt Lake Valley! There are mountains and hills in every direction from the LDS Temple that are considerably higher than it is, so does it really fulfill this verse?

The KJV of Isaiah 2:6 says “Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people, the house of Jacob…” But, II Nephi 12:6 and Isaiah 2:6 in the JST add the words “O Lord” after “Therefore.”
But no original text of that verse has “O Lord” in it nor do those words clarify anything. Isaiah 2:7 in the KJV says, “Their land is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots.” The words “is there any” are in italics twice in the KJV of that verse just like it is quoted here. Those same italicized words appear in the JST of Isaiah 2:7 and in II Nephi 2:7 but they are NOT italicized! Remember that italicized words in the KJV were not in the original language but were supplied by the KJV translators in 1611 AD. Neither the B. of M. nor the JST even existed until about 220 years after the KJV was published, so Smith obviously copied the KJV.

The KJV of Isaiah 2:8-9 says, “Their land is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made. And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself; therefore forgive them not.” Smith apparently didn’t understand the context, so he changed II Nephi 12:9 in the original B. of M. to read, “And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself not; therefore forgive them not.” The original B. of M. did not have the same chapters and verses as the current editions so this text is found in chapter 8 on p. 87 of the original B. of M. After the current chapters and verses were put into the B. of M., someone added a 2nd “not” to verse 9 so that it now reads, “And the mean man boweth not down, and the great man humbleth himself not; therefore forgive them not” which reversed the actual meaning of Isa. 2:8-9! Verse 8 has just said their land is full of idols; they (Israelites) worship the work of their own hands…” Verse 9 then explains: “And the mean or common man bows down (before the idols) and the great man humbles himself (before the idols) and that is why the KJV says, “forgive them not.” But Isaiah 2:9 in Smith’s “inspired” JST says the mean or common man does not bow before the idol and the great man does not humble himself before it, so forgive them not! That sounds like God wanted Israel to worship idols! That is how the current edition of the B. of M. reads in II Nephi 12:9 but different from the original B. of M. Why was that text changed? Smith claimed that the original B. of M. was translated by the gift and power of God, so did someone improve on what God did? Or, was the scribe who wrote it careless like LDS claim the Biblical scribes were? If B. of M. scribes were careless, LDS cannot claim the B. of M. is more reliable than the Bible!

Smith added the words,O ye wicked ones…” in the JST of Isaiah 2:10 and II Nephi 12:10 before completing the rest of the verse as it is in the KJV. But Isa. 2:9 in the JST and in II Nephi 12:9 it says the people did not bow or humble themselves before the idols, so God shouldn’t forgive them and then in verse 10 he calls them wicked! Were they wicked because they didn’t worship idols? Does that make sense? When Isaiah chapter 2 is read in context it is clear that God will judge idol worshipers and He wants idolatry ended in Israel as verses 18 and 20 clearly state. So, did God inspire Smith’s JST and does it really clarify this text?

Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, Part XIII

By Marvin W. Cowan

The Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 50 added 12 verses that are not in the Bible or in any ancient manuscripts of the Bible. In those 12 verses it says “the Lord” told Joseph, (the son of Jacob in Genesis) about the “future coming” of both Moses and Joseph Smith. But until around 1830 AD when Joseph Smith put those “prophecies” in his JST there is no evidence that they ever existed! The death of Joseph, the son of Jacob is recorded in Genesis 50:26 and Exodus 1:6. Moses’ birth is recorded in Exodus 2:2-10 which was long after Joseph died, so if Joseph prophesied about Moses it would have been a marvelous prophecy! But Moses was the inspired writer of both Genesis and Exodus and the original Hebrew manuscripts of those books do not contain that prophecy by Joseph. Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, appointed Joseph, son of Jacob to rule under his authority. While Joseph was a ruler in Egypt he had his father Jacob and his entire family move to Egypt. Exodus 12:40-41 says the Israelites (who were descendants of Jacob) had been in Egypt 430 years when Moses led them out of Egypt. So Moses lived many years after Joseph’s death. But Moses’ name and what he did was recorded in the Bible in Exodus over 3000 years before Joseph Smith. So, when Smith added to his JST of Genesis 50 the “prophecy” that Joseph, the son of Jacob supposedly gave about Moses, it looks phony! Someone today could use content from the book of Acts to write a “prophecy” about Paul, the Apostle, and put it into his own version of Genesis and there would be just as much “evidence” to support it as there is for the JST “prophecy” of Moses in Genesis 50!

The 12 verses Joseph Smith added to the JST of Genesis 50 also “prophesies” about the coming of “Joseph the Seerin the latter days, which obviously refers to Joseph Smith. Anybody could write a “prophecy” about himself and insert it into Genesis or any book of the Bible and there would be as much evidence to support it as there is for this “prophecy” about Joseph Smith in the JST of Genesis 50, which is no evidence at all! In the JST of Genesis 50:26-33, Joseph the son of Jacob in the Bible, said, “A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins. Thus saith the Lord God of my fathers unto me, A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins, and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren. And he shall bring them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers; and he shall do whatsoever work I shall command him. And I will make him great in mine eyes, for he shall do my work; and he shall be great like unto him whom I have said I would raise up unto you to deliver my people, O house of Israel, out of the land of Egypt…And again, a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins, and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins; and not to the bringing forth of my word only, saith the Lord, but to convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them, in the last days; Wherefore the fruit of thy loins shall write, and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together unto the confounding of false doctrines, and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to a knowledge of their fathers in the latter days; and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord. And out of weakness shall he be made strong, in that day when my work shall go forth among all my people, which shall restore them who are of the house of Israel, in the last days. And that seer will I bless and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise I give unto you; for I will remember you from generation to generation; and his name shall be called Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his father; and he shall be like unto you; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation.” Following are our comments on the content in bold print in this text.

The 12 verses added to Genesis 50 in the JST have a “second witness” in II Nephi 3:5-18 of the Book of Mormon. The caption over II Nephi 3 says, “Joseph in Egypt saw the Nephites in vision—He prophesied of Joseph Smith, the latter day seer.” The prophecy about “Joseph Smith, the seer” in II Nephi 3:5-18 says the same thing as Genesis 50:26-33 in the JST except for a few words that were changed. LDS say the similarity exists because God inspired both texts, but it is also possible that the similarity exists because Joseph Smith wrote both texts! Genesis was originally written in Hebrew while Smith said he translated the B. of M. from “Reformed Egyptian.” So, how did Smith “translate” two different texts from two different languages into almost identical wording in English? Translators know that isn’t possible. The main B. of M. story is about a few descendants of Joseph, son of Jacob in Israel, who left Jerusalem in 600 BC and came to America and divided into good, light skinned Nephites and bad, dark skinned Lamanites. LDS believe the Lamanites were ancestors of the American Indians and they annihilated the white skinned Nephites about 421 AD. The choice seer in this prophecy was to be a descendant of the Biblical Joseph and bring God’s word to his descendants. The B. of M. identifies Smith as “the choice seer” in this prophecy, but his genealogy shows his ancestors were English, not Israelites or Native Americans. Smith’s ministry was not to Joseph’s descendants who are Israelites, nor was it to Native Americans as the B. of M. indicates!

Genesis 50:33 in the JST and II Nephi 3:15 says the choice seer “shall be called Joseph and it shall be after the name of his father.” Joseph Smith’s father’s name was Joseph, so that helps to identify Joseph Smith as the “Seer.” Genesis 50:26-29 in the JST and II Nephi 3:7 both say “Joseph” will be esteemed highly and “the Lord” said, “I will make him great in mine eyes.” Smith wrote that about himself, so it sounds egotistical. Genesis 50:31 in the JST and II Nephi 3:12 say the Biblical Joseph’s descendants are to write scripture (LDS say it is the B. of M.) and Judah’s descendants were also to write scripture (the Bible) and those two books would end false doctrines, contentions and bring peace to Joseph’s descendants. Smith’s B. of M. was published in 1830, the same year that he organized the LDS Church. Since then the LDS Church has had 200 schisms or factions, so the B. of M. and Bible together did not end false doctrines and contentions or bring peace to Joseph’s descendants! Genesis 50:33 in the JST and II Nephi 3:14 in the B. of M. say, “They that seek to destroy him (Joseph Smith) shall be confounded.” The “omniscient God” who supposedly inspired that prophecy in LDS scripture apparently didn’t know that those seeking to destroy Smith would succeed! Smith was shot and killed by his enemies while he was in jail in Carthage, IL on June 24, 1844. Smith had a six shot revolver and fired it probably killing two or three men according to the LDS History of the Church, vol. VI pp. 616-620 and Introduction to that volume on p. XLI, yet LDS call Smith a martyr.

Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, Part XII

By Marvin W. Cowan

LDS historical records show that Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith compiled the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible between June 1830 and July 2, 1833. Previous articles in this series have shown that the JST version of Genesis contains several LDS doctrines. One LDS practice the JST of Genesis contains is when children are accountable and when they should be baptized. In the JST of Genesis 17:5-6, Smith wrote, “God” said to Abram, “They have not observed mine anointing, and the burial, or baptism wherewith I commanded them; But have turned from the commandment and taken unto themselves the washing of children…” The “washing of children” refers to the baptism of infants or young children, which Smith rejected. But baptism was not an Old Testament doctrine and is not found in any authentic ancient manuscript of Genesis, so it is out of context in the JST of Genesis. But in the JST of Genesis 17:11 “God” told Abraham, “Children are not accountable before me until they are eight years old.” Joseph Smith said God told him the same thing in Doctrine and Covenants 68:27 which he said he received as a revelation in November 1831. It said, “And their (LDS) children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of hands.” D. & C. 68:25 also says eight year old children are accountable for their sins and should be baptized then. That doctrine wasn’t in LDS “scripture” or anywhere else until Smith put it in both the JST and D. & C. in 1831. So, was it Smith’s idea or did the omniscient God reveal it for the first time in 1831 after millions of people had lived and died without knowing about it?

Genesis 18 through 47 of the JST is essentially the same as the King James Version of the Bible except for some verse numbers and some unnecessary words that have been added in various places. After Genesis 48:6 of the JST, Smith added 5 verses in which Jacob’s son, Joseph, and his descendants, are blessed above his brethren. That is very important to LDS for two reasons: 1. Because the Book of Mormon is primarily about descendants of Joseph who came to America and 2. Because of what the JST of Genesis 50 says. Genesis 49 to Genesis 50:24 of the JST is the same as the KJV. Then in the middle of Genesis 50:24, twelve verses are added which “predict” the coming of Moses and his ministry (verses 24, 29, 34, 35) and the coming of Joseph Smith and his ministry (verses 25-33). Did Joseph Smith think more people would accept him as a prophet if in his JST of Genesis the Lord told Joseph in Egypt about his (Smith’s) coming in the latter days? We will give more details about the “prophecy” of Joseph Smith’s coming in the last days in our next article. In the added verses in the JST of Genesis 50 God also supposedly told Joseph, the son of Jacob, that Moses would come in the future to lead Israel out of Egypt. But anyone in 1831 AD could make that kind of “prophecy” since it had already happened about 3300 years before 1831! If someone wrote a book of “scripture” in 2015 that predicted George Washington would be the first President of the United States, would you think it was a marvelous prophecy? Why?

In Genesis 50:29b of the JST, God supposedly spoke to Joseph, the son of Jacob, about “him whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel, out of the land of Egypt; for a seer will I raise up to deliver my people out of the land of Egypt; and he shall be called Moses. And by this name he shall know that he is of thy house; for he shall be nursed by the king’s daughter, and he shall be called her son.” Genesis 50:34-35 of the JST also says “And the Lord sware unto Joseph (son of Jacob) that he would preserve his seed forever, saying, I will raise up Moses, and a rod shall be in his hand, and he shall gather together my people, and he shall lead them as a flock, and he shall smite the waters of the Red Sea with his rod. And he shall have judgment and shall write the word of the Lord. And he shall not speak many words, for I will write unto him my law by the finger of mine own hand. And I will make a spokesman for him and his name shall be called Aaron.”

This “prophecy” in Genesis 50 of the JST was supposedly addressed to Joseph, the great-grandson of Abraham long before Moses was born. Exodus 12:40 says it was 430 years from Abraham to Moses and the Israelites became a nation when Moses led them out of Egypt. Before that, Abraham’s descendents were just family clans named after the sons of Jacob. So, when Smith’s JST of Genesis 50:29b has God speak to Joseph concerning “my people, O house of Israellong before Israel was even a nation it is out of context! In the Bible, the “house of Israel” is first mentioned in Leviticus 10:6, which was long after Joseph died in Egypt. In the JST of Genesis 50:29, 34 & 35 the Lord told Joseph about Moses and Aaron, who were born long after Joseph’s death, so those names were meaningless to him. If those names were in any ancient document before they were born, it would be an impressive prophecy but they weren’t in Genesis until Smith wrote his JST between 1830 and 1833 AD. In Genesis 50:29b of the JST God told Joseph that Moses “is of thy house,” which means Moses should be a descendent of Joseph. But Exodus 2:1 says Moses and his wife were both of the tribe of Levi, so did God make a mistake? Smith’s JST of Genesis 50:34 says that Moses “shall smite the waters of the Red Sea with his rod.” But Exodus 14:21 says, “Moses stretched out his hand over the sea” and the waters parted and Exodus 14:27 says he did the same thing when the Red Sea returned to its normal position. The JST of Exodus 14 says exactly the same thing as the KJV so there is no record of Moses “smiting” the Red Sea with his rod in the Bible or in Smith’s JST! Moses did smite the river in Egypt with his rod when it turned to blood in Exodus 7:20, so did God confuse those two events, or is this just more evidence that Smith wrote the JST himself?

Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, part XI

By Marvin W. Cowan

Mormons often say that the LDS Church has “so much more than other Christians.” LDS do teach more doctrines that are not part of mainstream Christianity such as: people were born first as baby spirits as offspring of God the Father and Mother in a pre-mortal spirit world; eternal progression; three heavens; baptism for the dead; eternal marriage and sealing families together for all eternity and many other things. But are those things true? LDS also have more laws, ordinances, commandments and more “scripture.” But having “more” things to do or believe doesn’t necessarily make it true or better! If more desert is available so you take more but it is full of salmonella, more does not make it good or good for you! And Mormonism’s claim that it has “more” doesn’t make it true or good for you either! Christian beliefs come from the New Testament and it teaches a clear and simple way of salvation. Matt. 1:21 says of Christ, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.” John 6:47, and Acts 16:31 etc. say belief in Christ will give one eternal life or salvation. Heb. 7:25 says, “He is able to save them to the uttermost that come to God by Him.” I Tim. 2:5 declares, “There is one God and One Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” In John 14:6 Jesus said HE is the Way to the Father. And Colossians 2:10 tells believers, “You are complete in him.” But LDS say that is not enough and that we also need all of the LDS things mentioned above as well as their four books of scripture, counting the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible. But are those LDS “scriptures” helpful when they contradict each other and the New Testament? Mormonism teaches that those who want to go to the “celestial heaven,” must obey all of the LDS laws, ordinances, and commandments, go through temple rituals and study “more LDS scripture,” etc. When more things are added to Jesus Christ, the One and only Mediator, it is a distortion of the gospel, not something better! So, all of those added LDS beliefs and works do give them “more to do,” but do they provide salvation or eternal life?

Some of the content in Smith’s JST of Genesis was not revealed until New Testament times so it is completely out of historical context in Genesis! “Enoch’s sermon” that Smith added to his JST of Genesis 6 and 7 has no valid historical evidence to support it. Joseph Smith said texts like “Enoch’s sermon” were lost or removed from the Bible by unscrupulous men. When Smith put “Enoch’s sermon” in Genesis of his JST, he tried to show that the Bible is incomplete because that sermon is not in it. But evidence shows that it was Smith who added “Enoch’s sermonand other content to the Bible. Smith ended his elaborate story of Enoch in Genesis 7:78 of the JST when he had the entire City of Enoch caught up to God instead of just Enoch as the Bible says in Genesis 5:24. The Bible also says that Enoch lived 365 years and then was translated, but Smith’s JST says Enoch was 430 years old when he and his city were caught up. Did Smith change Enoch’s age in an attempt to show that our Bible is not accurate? No Bible manuscript supports Smith’s JST but they all support what the Bible says! Smith’s JST of Genesis 7:79-85 has added some “wordiness” that clarifies nothing but otherwise it has the Biblical story found in Genesis 5:25-32.

Smith’s JST of Genesis 8 generally follows the Bible account in Genesis 6 through 8:14 with some “filler material” added in places that doesn’t add anything helpful to the Biblical story. Part III in this series of articles mentioned that the content of Genesis 1:1 through 8:18 in the JST is exactly the same as Moses chapter 2:1 to 8:18 in the Pearl of Great Price, but they have different chapter and verse numbers. The book of Moses ends with Moses 8:18 in the Pearl of Great Price. The first chapter of Moses is not in Smith’s JST but it has some unique LDS doctrines and it says God spoke to Moses and he saw God’s glory and creations. In Moses 1:41 God told Moses that in the future he will write some words (in the Bible) that will be taken out by evil men, but will be restored through another prophet like Moses (Joseph Smith)! Moses 1:41 sounds like those words must be very important, but there is nothing in the book of Moses that anyone needs for salvation. The JST essentially contains the King James Version of the Bible from Genesis 8:19 to the end of the book of Revelation except for “filler material” that Smith added in several places. Genesis 8:19 to the end of chapter 9 in the JST has the content of Genesis 6 through 9 in the real Bible. Genesis 10:1 is the same in both the JST and the KJV Bible. From Genesis 10:1 through the end of Genesis the chapters are the same in both the JST and Bible but the verse numbers are often different because of the extra content Smith added.

Genesis 14 in the Bible only has 24 verses but the JST has 40 verses. Smith added 16 verses after Genesis 14:24 and mentioned several things that LDS do not teach or practice. In Genesis 14:27-28 in the JST it says that Melchizedek “was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, it being after the order of the Son of God.” LDS also claim their Melchizedek Priesthood is “after the order of the Son of God.” Genesis 14:30-33 in the JST then says, “For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world. And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven. And now Melchizedek was a priest of this order.” Notice that everyone ordained to this order…have power to do these things! Yet, Melchizedek was not translated! And not one LDS Melchizedek Priesthood holder has done any of these things, not even Joseph Smith, the “translator” of the JST! Why don’t LDS Melchizedek Priesthood holders have power to do these things? Don’t they have enough faith or are they apostates? Or, did Joseph Smith get carried away by his own imagination as he “translated” his JST?

Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, Part X

By Marvin W. Cowan

In this series of articles about the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible we have discussed only a few of the changes in the first seven chapters of Genesis. Yet, God’s “Only Begotten” Son, the Holy Ghost, and some LDS doctrines have been mentioned several times. Such things are out of place in these early chapters of Genesis. But Genesis 7 in the JST has more changes and additions. Noah was born long after God took Enoch to heaven, but Gen. 7:49-51 in the JST says God revealed to Enoch that Noah would build an ark which would save his descendants from a great flood. And Gen. 7:57-58 in the JST says, “Enoch continued to cry unto the Lord, saying, I ask thee, O Lord, in the name of thine Only Begotten, even Jesus Christ, that thou wilt have mercy upon Noah, and his seed, and that the earth might never more be covered by the floods. And the Lord could not withhold; and he covenanted with Enoch, and sware unto him with an oath, that he would stay the floods; that he would call upon the children of Noah; and he sent forth an unalterable decree, that a remnant of his seed should always be found among all nations while the earth should stand.” Did Enoch have more compassion for Noah and his family than the Lord Himself? And does “the Lord” have an “Only Begotten” named “Jesus Christ” in the Old Testament as the JST says in Genesis 7:57?

In the JST of Gen. 7:61-62 Enoch said, “When the Son of Man cometh in the flesh shall the earth rest? I pray thee show me these things. And the Lord said unto Enoch, Look; and he looked, and beheld the Son of Man lifted up on the cross, after the manner of men.” Notice that it says Enoch saw the “Son of Man lifted up on the cross, after the manner of men.” But the cross was used by the Romans many centuries after Moses wrote Genesis and it was not the “manner of men” when Genesis was written. The JST of Gen. 7:66-67 also says, “And Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend up unto the Father; and he called unto the Lord, saying, Wilt thou not come again upon the earth? For inasmuch as thou art God, and I know thee and thou hast sworn unto me, and commanded me that I should ask in the name of Thine Only Begotten; thou hast made me, and given me a right to thy throne, and not to myself, but through thine own grace; wherefore I ask thee if thou wilt not come again on the earth? And the Lord said unto Enoch, As I live, even so will I come in the last days…” In this text Enoch is talking to “the Lord” when he asks, “Wilt thou not come again upon the earth?” Then Enoch said to “the Lord,” Thou hast sworn unto me, and commanded me that I should ask in the name of thine Only Begotten…” So, again, Enoch says “the Lord” has an “Only Begotten” Son in the JST of Gen. 7:66. Genesis 7 in the JST mentions the crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord as well as His Second Coming and His millennial reign on the earth! Those doctrines were not taught in the Old Testament, so they are out of place in the JST of Genesis!

The JST of Gen. 7:78 says “And it came to pass, that Zion was not, for God received it up into His own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is fled.” Moses 7:69 in the Pearl of Great Price says exactly the same thing. The Bible says that only Enoch was caught up to God, but these LDS scriptures teach that the City of Enoch or Zion was caught up to God. Just before that text, the JST in Gen. 7:70-72 says, “And righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine own elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare; an holy city that my people may gird up their loins and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion; a New Jerusalem. And the Lord said unto Enoch, Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there; and we will receive them into our bosom; and they shall see us, and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other; and there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years shall the earth rest.” The P of GP says the same thing in Moses 7: 62b-64.

LDS Apostle, Bruce R. McConkie explained LDS beliefs about these texts in Mormon Doctrine, on pp. 854-855, “After the Lord had called his people Zion, Enoch ‘built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion.’ This ‘Zion in the process of time,’ after 365 years, ‘was taken to heaven….for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, ZION IS FLED.’ Between that time and the flood ‘many’ persons ‘were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.’ It is this City of Zion (City of Enoch or New Jerusalem) which is to return in the last days, probably shortly after the ushering in of the millennial era. Moses 7:18-69; D. & C. 38:4…” McConkie also says on p. 532, “In addition to the rebuilding the Jerusalem of old, the latter days are to see the initial building of a New Jerusalem on the American continent, a city which like its ancient counterpart will be a holy city, a Zion, a city of God (3 Nephi 20:22). This New Jerusalem is to be built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Jackson County, MO, is the spot designated by revelation for its construction…This New Jerusalem on the American continent will have a duel origin. It will be built by the saints on earth and it will also come down from heaven, (the City of Enoch or New Jerusalem) and the cities so originating will be united into one holy city.” See D. & C. 84:1-5 also. This is not in any real Bible but Joseph Smith claimed that much had been lost or taken out of the Bible and he was replacing it in his JST. The problem is that no ancient manuscript or historical document supports Smith’s claim. The only support for this information is what Joseph Smith said!

Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, Part IX

By Marvin W. Cowan

The Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible is one of four books of scripture that LDS have in addition to their official King James Version (KJV) Bible. Joseph Smith wrote all four of the LDS scriptures between 1830 and 1844. He said the Book of Mormon (B. of M.) is a sacred history of the ancestors of the American Indians like the Bible is of the Israelites. No ancient documents support the B. of M. as real history and no scientific evidence supports it either. Smith said that the B. of M. was written in a “Reformed Egyptian language” on gold plates that he found near Palmyra, NY and that he translated it into English by the gift and power of God. However, no “Reformed Egyptian” writing has been found in the Americas and Egyptologists say there is no such language. Smith also said by the gift and power of God he translated the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price (P. of G. P.) from ancient Egyptian papyri purchased in 1835 in Kirtland, OH. Facsimiles of three of those papyri are in every copy of the Book of Abraham along with Smith’s explanations. Egyptologists say the papyri are common funeral papyri and have nothing to do with Abraham or Smith explanations. Smith’s “translation” of Abraham contains stories of creation and other early Biblical events that are very different from the Bible. Smith also claimed that the book of Moses in the P. of G. P. was written by Moses, but was lost until God restored it through a revelation to him. It also has stories of creation and other early Biblical events that are different from the Book of Abraham as well as the Bible. No historical document or evidence of any kind supports Smith’s book of Moses.

The Doctrine and Covenants (D. & C.) contains revelations from God primarily to Smith, so there are no historical documents to support his “revelations.” Smith also made changes in the KJV Bible and called it the Inspired Version or the JST, but no ancient manuscripts or other historical documents support his changes. LDS claim Satan led some early religious leaders to add and delete Bible content, but Smith corrected those errors through revelations from God in his JST. The Bible has thousands of ancient manuscripts that support its content, but not even one supports Smith’s corrections in his JST! None of Smith’s scriptures have any valid evidence to support them! So, was the new content in Smith’s scriptures something he made up?

In Genesis 6 and 7 of the JST, Enoch supposedly preached a long sermon which contains several unique LDS doctrines. Smith claimed that many things in the Bible had been distorted or were missing and that he restored them in his JST and in the book of Moses in the P. of G. P. In Genesis 6:60 of the JST and Moses 6:57 of the P. of G. P, Enoch mentioned the language of Adam or the “pure Adamic language” as it was called in the LDS temple ceremony. LDS believe they will speak that language during the millennium (Mormon Doctrine, p. 19).

Genesis 7:9-10 in the JST and Moses 7:8 in the P. of G. P. say the land of Cainan was cursed and “a blackness came upon all the children of Cainan, that they were despised among all people.” LDS taught that those of the Negroid race were cursed with black skins and were to be excluded from the LDS priesthood. That curse also excluded them from entering Mormon temples which meant they couldn’t go to the highest heaven after they died so they couldn’t become gods. The Negroid curse was part of the Mormon beliefs until June 1978 when it was cancelled by LDS Prophet Spencer Kimball’s revelation (Official Declaration—2 in the D. & C.). The curse of black skin had LDS scriptural authority because it is mentioned in Genesis 7:29 of the JST and in Moses 7:8 & 22 and Abraham 1:21-26 in the P. of G. P. But LDS believe their President is a Prophet who gives “current revelation” and his “revelation” ended that curse.

Genesis 5:24 in the Bible says that Enoch was translated or taken up to heaven. But Genesis 7:23-27 in the JST and Moses 7:18-21 in the P. of G. P says the Lord showed Enoch that the City of Enoch or “Zion in the process of time was taken up into heaven.” So, LDS teach that the City of Enoch or Zion was taken up to heaven, where it will remain until the millennium begins. It will then return to earth with the New Jerusalem and be merged with the New Jerusalem or Zion that the Mormons will build in Independence, Missouri where Christ will reign for 1,000 years (JST of Genesis 7:70-71; D. & C. 84:1-5; Moses 7:62-64 in the P. of G. P.).

In Genesis 7:42 of the JST and Moses 7:35 in the P. of G.P God said, “Behold, I am God; Man of Holiness is my name; Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my name also.” In D. & C. 19:10-12 God said, “For behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore—Eternal punishment is God’s punishment. Endless punishment is God’s punishment.” A pamphlet published by the LDS Church entitled “The Plan of Salvation” explains on p. 29, “Eternal punishment is God’s punishment; everlasting punishment is God’s punishment; or in other words it is the name of the punishment God inflicts, He being eternal in His nature. Whosoever, therefore, receives God’s punishment receives eternal punishment, whether it is endured one hour, one day, one week, or an age.” So, LDS “eternal punishment” is not eternal, but “eternal lifeis eternal and never ends! Is that consistent?