2. Apocryphal Literature and the Latter-day Saints

By Gerald E. Jones

Gerald E. Jones, “Apocryphal Literature and the Latter-Day Saints,” in Apocryphal Writings and the Latter-day Saints, ed. C. Wilfred Griggs (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1986), 53–107.

Apocryphal Literature and the Latter-day Saints

Gerald E. Jones

 

Gerald E. Jones was the director of the LDS Institute of Religion in Berkeley, California, when this was published.

 

Joseph Smith began his inspired translation of the Bible in June 1830, shortly after the Book of Mormon was published. During the next three years he made extensive corrections to the King James text. As recorded in the history of the Church under the date of March 9, 1833, the question of whether Joseph Smith should concern himself with the books known as the Apocrypha was presented to the Lord. The answer reads:

1. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning the Apocrypha—There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly;

2. There are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men.

3. Verily, I say unto you, that it is not needful that the Apocrypha should be translated.

4. Therefore, who readeth it, let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth;

5. And whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom;

6. And whoso receiveth not by the Spirit, cannot be benefited. Therefore it is not needful that it should be translated. Amen. (D&C 91.) [1]

Over three months later, on June 25, 1833, the First Presidency (consisting of Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams) wrote:

We have not found the Book of Jasher, nor any other of the lost books mentioned in the Bible as yet; nor will we obtain them at present. Respecting the Apocrypha, the Lord said to us that there were many things in it which were true, and there were many things in it which were not true, and to those who desire it should be given by the Spirit to know the true from the false. [2]

As a result of his revelation, Joseph Smith did not include the questionable texts in his “translation” of the Bible, which was first published in 1867 by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Since that time very little attention has been paid to the Apocrypha in Latter-day Saint literature. It is our intention to further explore this neglected area of study and to determine the Latter-day Saint view of apocryphal literature. First we will briefly review the Judeo-Christian use of the biblical apocrypha.

The meaning of the word apocrypha is usually given as “hidden” or “secret” writings. One view is that they are writings read only by the initiated or elite in the Judeo-Christian tradition. This is based on 2 Esdras 14:44, which indicates that Ezra was credited with dictating ninety-four books, though some manuscripts have 904 books. Of these, only twenty-four were found in the Hebrew canon and the balance were reserved for “the wise among your people.” The Esdras account follows as Jacob Myers has translated it. [3]

21. Because your law has been burned, no one knows what has been done by you or what is yet to be done.

22. If you please, now, grant me your holy spirit that I may write down everything that has been done in the world from the beginning, the things that were written in your law, so that men may be able to find [their] way and that, in the last times, those who want to live may do so.

23. He replied to me as follows: Go, call the people together, and tell them not to look for you for forty days.

24. In the meantime equip yourself with a good supply of writing tablets and engage Saraiah, Dabriah, Shelemiah, Elkanah and Ariel—those five because they can write rapidly.

25. Then you shall come here and I will light the lamp of understanding in your heart; it will not be extinguished until what you are to write is finished.

26. When you are through, you must publish some [of your works] but deliver others in secret to wise men. Tomorrow at this time you must begin to write . . . .

42. The Most High also gave understanding to the five men so that they wrote down what was spoken, in a series of characters which they did not understand. They kept at work forty days.

43. They wrote during the day, and ate food at night; but I spoke by day, and did not remain silent at night.

44. Ninety-four books were written in forty days.

45. Then when the forty days were ended, the Most High said to me: Publish the twenty-four books which you wrote first for the worthy and unworthy to read;

46. However, you must withhold the seventy last books and hand them over to the wise men among your people.

47. For in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain of wisdom, and the river of knowledge.

48. And I did so (in the seventh year, the sixth week, after five thousand years three months and twelve days of creation). (2 Esdras 14:21–26, 42–48.)

Only fourteen apocryphal books included in the Septuagint (which was used by the New Testament church) were later included in the Christian Bible. It is assumed by some that the Semitic originals were destroyed by the Jewish leaders during the latter part of the first Christian century. On the other hand, another reason for calling the books apocryphal is that some scholars hold that there never was a Hebrew original. In this tradition the notion of “hidden” or “secret” refers more to the authorship of the works than to the teachings contained in them. Jerome included some of these in the Latin Vulgate but referred to them as the Apocrypha, as they were not in the Hebrew Bible. Luther separated the books and attached them to the end of his translation of the Old Testament. They were included in nearly all English versions until 1827, when the British and American Protestant Bible societies decided to omit them. [4]

Some Old Testament apocryphal books are included in the current Roman Catholic Bibles: Tobit, Judith, the Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. These books also include some additions to Esther. Susanna and Bel and the Dragon have been added to Daniel, and Baruch and Jeremy are added to Jeremiah as appendages. Also added as supplemental, but not official, scripture are 1 and 2 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh.

Among Protestant churches, the Anglicans seem to be the most accepting of the Apocrypha. Regarding the Apocrypha, their sixth article of religion states, “The other books of the Church doeth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine.” The Apocrypha is required reading in the English Prayer Book. In the 1672 Jerusalem Council, the Orthodox Church accepted Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Tobit, and Judith as canonical where they had not been previously accepted. The rest of the Protestant world generally follows the Bible Society and ignores the Apocrypha.

Now to turn to Latter-day Saint use of the Apocrypha. Outside of the revelation given to Joseph Smith previously quoted, we look in vain for references by him to apocryphal books. One possible exception was his mention of “lost books” of the Bible and a specific reference to Jude 1:14–15 as a quotation from the “Prophecy of Enoch.” [5] In a Times and Seasons editorial of December 15, 1844, John Taylor noted that the Book of Jasher ought to be considered only historically and not as revelation. It is probably from this source that he obtained his view that Shem was the same person as Melchizedek. [6] Other Presidents of the Church have generally ignored the subject with the exception of Joseph Fielding Smith, who referred to it in his commentary on section 91 of the Doctrine and Covenants. [7] In a discussion of Elijah, President Smith once quoted from Ecclesiasticus (48:1–11) with the qualifying remark that “he was not one of the inspired writers, and this book is one of the books of the Apocrypha, but he gives us an idea of the feeling that existed among the Jews in his day in regard to Elijah.” [8]

J. Reuben Clark wrote a fairly extensive review of the canonization process and the place of the Apocrypha. His only evaluative comments came in a discussion of Professor Edgar J. Goodspeed’s comments, crediting the Apocrypha with teachings supposed to be exclusively of New Testament origin. Clark stated that this “surely debases the New Testament records and the status of Jesus.” [9]

Among the Apostles of the latter days, Bruce R. McConkie has given a two-page discussion on the Apocrypha in his Mormon Doctrine. After a historical survey, he concludes with the remark that “obviously, to gain any real value from a study of apocryphal writings, the student must first have an extended background of gospel knowledge, a comprehensive understanding of the standard works of the Church, plus the guidance of the Spirit.” [10]

Mark E. Petersen avoided use of the Apocrypha in his brief volumes of commentary on the Old Testament, except for some comments on Moses where he quoted from the Midrash Tanchuma Debarim, 2 Enoch, Wisdom, and the Assumption of Moses. After quoting from the latter, he concluded with the view that “no one regards it as scripture.” [11]

In an earlier day, James E. Talmage gave a one-page, non-judgmental discussion of the Apocrypha in The Articles of Faith[12] In Jesus the Christ, he quoted 2 Maccabees 2:19 and 10:1–8 in his historical discussion of the Maccabean revolt. [13]

There are no references to the Apocrypha in the published index to the Journal of Discourses, which contains the sermons of the General Authorities of the Church from 1854 to 1886, with an occasional earlier discourse included. There are two references, however, discussing the canon of the Bible. Charles W. Penrose stated on May 18, 1883, that “those books that are now compiled in the Bible—and a great many more that are not there—were scattered abroad, and hundreds of years after that, they were hunted up and examined; those that we now have were selected from a great mass of manuscripts and compiled; others were thrown away as noncanonical.” [14]

Orson Pratt went into more detail and mentioned the Apocrypha by name.

Esdras informs us in the Apocrypha that he was inspired of God to write a great number of the books of the Old Testament Scriptures, so that the Jewish people might again be in possession of them. But how are this generation to know whether Esdras was a true Prophet or not? How are they to know that he was actually inspired of God to perform so great a work? It seems that the learned have no confidence in him, or they would not have placed his books among the Apocryphal writings as being doubtful. But soon after the days of Esdras the sacred books again perished. How did the Jews again obtain copies? None of the learned can answer this question. [15]

Elder Pratt had previously stated: “It is believed by the learned that the Old Testament scriptures were all destroyed by the Assyrians nearly six hundred years before Christ. The Apocrypha informs us that Esdras was inspired to rewrite them.” [16] The only other Apostle to provide comments on the subject was Hyrum M. Smith, who, with Janne Sjodahl, included in his commentary on Doctrine and Covenants 91 a brief discussion of the Apocrypha, quoting a Protestant authority. [17] Little effort was expended on the Apocrypha because of the importance they placed on their commentary of the Doctrine and Covenants.

B. H. Roberts, another General Authority of the Church, devoted four pages to the Apocrypha in his Seventy’s Course in Theology. He largely used quotations from Protestant and Catholic works and gave no personal commentary of importance. [18]

Other Latter-day Saints have written concerning the Old Testament, but many make no mention of the Apocrypha. One exception was Sidney B. Sperry. He ventured the opinion that “had the Lord permitted [Joseph Smith] to do a thorough job on the Apocrypha it would have made more interesting reading to us today. However, it might have precipitated a storm of controversy. Moreover, it would have been of far more benefit to us to have had a more thorough revision of the Old Testament than he did.” [19]

W. Cleon Skousen has included two footnote references to 1 Maccabees 14:41 in his historical discussion of the intertestamental period. He gives no information or comment concerning the Apocrypha. [20] Victor Ludlow suggests reading about the subject in the new LDS Bible Dictionary, but makes no mention of it in his work on the Old Testament. [21]

Related to our subject are Latter-day Saint discussions of scrolls recently discovered near Qumran and Nag Hammadi. Hugh Nibley has made a large impact on the Latter-day Saint’s awareness of apocryphal writings with comments on the Dead Sea Scrolls and extensive use of apocryphal literature in his discussions of Enoch, Abraham, and the Book of Mormon. [22] Nibley has encouraged others to become linguists and thus discover positive truths in apocryphal and pseudepigraphical writings. C. Wilfred Griggs and S. Kent Brown have translated “The Apocalypse of Peter” from the Nag Hammadi Library to provide a scholarly translation for the Mormon audience. [23] And popular credence in this type of material was given impetus in 1968 by a five-part series in the Church News entitled “The Testament of Ancient Documents.” [24]

Contrary to popular opinion, the Latter-day Saints gave a great deal of attention to apocryphal and related literature long before the current interest generated by the discoveries of this century. An 1840 translation of the Book of Jasher was published in Salt Lake City by J. H. Parry in 1887 and reprinted in 1967. This translation is one of many versions of Jasher available today. Another well-circulated version is a much briefer Rosicrucian publication. [25]

Less familiar is an earlier publication of the first known complete English translation in America of “The Apocalypse of Abraham,” in the first volume of the Improvement Era. Translated by R. T. Haag and E. H. Anderson from a copy provided by the German translator G. Nathanael Bonwetsch, it appeared in two consecutive issues beginning in August 1898 and was titled “The Book of the Revelation of Abraham.” An editorial comment warned the reader, “How much of this story from the old Slavic manuscript is tinged with fable and how much represents the true visions of the patriarch Abraham, as related by himself, we cannot pretend to say.” Nevertheless, they presented it because “the writer observed many things of character both as to incidents and doctrines that ran parallel with what is recorded in the Book of Abraham,” particularly “the pre-existence of spirits of men.” [26]

A third article concluded the series with “comments on the Book of the Revelation of Abraham” by the editors. They felt that it could be read “with very great profit by the students of our church literature.” They noted six areas of agreement between the book of Abraham and the “half-apocryphal work” of the Apocalypse of Abraham. [27]

As early as 1842, W. W. Phelps read a publication of the Protoevangelium, or Gospel of James, which contains the story of Zacharias being murdered at the temple. Phelps published it as an unsigned editorial in the Times and Seasons[28] This was later credited to Joseph Smith, who was listed as editor, but he probably was not the author of the article in question. [29] The inclusion of the article, however, indicates the constant interest of Joseph Smith and the Latter-day Saints in apocryphal literature and their desire to find supportive material for Latter-day scripture and revelation.

Other scholars who have contributed to the positive acceptance of apocryphal materials are Stephen E. Robinson on the “Apocalypse of Adam” [30] and Thomas W. Mackay on “Abraham in Egypt.” [31] Spencer Palmer introduces an Oriental contribution to the genre when he asks “Did Christ Visit Japan?” [32] Very strong proponents of apocryphal literature, but less critical in their approach, are Marcus Von Wellnitz, [33] O. Preston Robinson, [34] Vernon W. Mattson, [35] Einar Erickson, [36] and Eugene Seaich. [37] An enlightening example of this latter approach is given by Seaich.

It is understandable that Ms. Layton and other “orthodox” believers are alarmed at the success of Erickson’s tapes. According to his own count, well over one hundred thousand have been sold from California alone, and numberless baptisms have resulted from them. Ms. Layton would dearly love to halt this success by exposing the weaknesses of his documentation: unfortunately, he has the advantage of being able to omit the scholarly arguments and hasten to the bottom line—which is that the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi texts do indeed support Mormon claims to possess genuine beliefs restored from the time of the ancient Church. [38]

Others have tended to be more critical of such open acceptance of apocryphal sources. Edward Brandt has exposed the shaky foundations of the Book of Jasher and has demonstrated how freely this very questionable work has been used by Latter-day Saints, including Hugh Nibley. [39] Richard Anderson has likewise enlightened us on the fraudulent Archko volume. [40] Lewis Rogers and Kent Brown have advised caution in our use of the Dead Sea Scrolls. [41]

With the exception of the examples mentioned above, there is still a lack of official sanction and directed effort to incorporate apocryphal literature into Latter-day Saint publications.

Let us now consider other types of apocryphal literature as discussed in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon. These scriptural records contain many reference to writings that may be considered apocryphal, whether they be hidden, secret, of unknown authorship, or simply not canonized.

The prophet Nephi wrote that “the things of the wise and the prudent shall be hid from them [the proud] forever” (2 Nephi 9:43). Because of the unbelief of the Lamanites, Moroni was commanded to hide the sacred records in the earth (Ether 4:3), and they were to be revealed and translated for the believers in the latter days (2 Nephi 27:12–22). The Lord has emphasized the fact that “parts of my scriptures . . . have been hidden because of iniquity” (DC 6:27). In the Lord’s answer to Joseph Smith’s query concerning Revelation 5:1 DC77:6), we are informed that there are other sacred records hidden from the world. This is reminiscent of the injunction given in Moses 1:42 regarding the restored writings of Moses: “Show them not unto any except them that believe.”

The Lord told Joseph on January 19, 1841, that he would “reveal mine ordinances . . . unto my people; for I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fulness of times” (DC 124:40–41).

Thus it is clear that the scriptures of the Latter-day Saints recognize as a principle the hiding up of sacred records so that they may be preserved for the righteous. It is a common practice to draw attention to the missing books of the Bible to emphasize the fact that other records may also be lost and, as in the case of the Book of Mormon, later brought to light. With this rationale, it is easy to see why Latter-day Saints would be open and receptive to apocryphal literature, especially newly discovered records. For many, however, the caution in Doctrine and Covenants 91:2 about the Apocrypha seems to have overridden the promise in verses 1 and 5 that “whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit” from the “many things contained therein that are true.”

There is yet another interesting facet of this subject. The modern connotation of “apocryphal”—that is, being of questionable authenticity or lacking canonicity—needs to be explored. We learn from Doctrine and Covenants 68:4 that not all the words of God are canonized, even though they may appropriately be termed scripture whenever they are inspired by the Holy Ghost. There appears to be ample evidence that God has at other times given written instructions to people that was not the fulness of the gospel. Perhaps a prime example is the law of Moses. The Levitical precepts and codes were tempered intentionally by God himself; for celestial laws he substituted those of a terrestrial order to make them compatible with the Hebrews, who were unable to live the higher law.

But this is not an isolated instance.

7. Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth. . . .

10. Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.

11. For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.

12. For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it. (2 Nephi 29:7, 10–12.)

Alma recognized it was wrong for him to desire to preach the full gospel as he knew it to all people, “for behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true” (Alma 29:8).

Thus we see that the total scriptural record consists of more than the record of the Jews (the Bible) and the record of the Nephites (the Book of Mormon). The ten tribes will evidently bring their records with them when they return (D&C 133:26–30). All other nations have writings in their own tongue so that they may be judged according to the law they have received, just as the Old Testament Israelites are to be judged by their obedience or disobedience to the law they received. Alma confirmed the principle taught by Nephi: the Lord gives the celestial law to those capable of receiving it or those who need to be challenged by it. On the other hand, some peoples strain as they struggle to lift themselves from the celestial law of selfishness; for them the Lord provides terrestrial laws of civilization and religion as goals to assist them. The laws of Moses, Nephi, and Alma all testify to the mercy and concern of a loving Father who desires to give as much law and as many blessings as his children are able to receive.

The modern prophets have helped to identify these non-canonical, non-celestial religious teachings which are in one sense apocryphal. On February 15, 1978, the First Presidency, consisting of Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, and Marion G. Romney, issued the following statement:

The great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God’s light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals. [42]

Latter-day Saints may look upon the Analects of Confucius, the Koran of Mohammed, and scriptures of other lands such as the Tripitaka, Granth, Tao Te Ching, and the Zend Avesta as evidence of God’s commanding “all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south. . . . I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.” (2 Nephi 29:11–12.)

These other religious books, then, may be considered “apocryphal” works, and are to be read in the sense of which section 91 of the Doctrine and Covenants speaks.

Elder Carlos E. Asay supports this idea in yet another way:

How very fortunate for mankind that God’s word was given in diverse ways to the people of India, of Persia, of Babylon, of Arabia, of China, of Greece, of Rome, and of America. Each spark of inspiration, each revealed law, and each guideline for living was an expression of God’s limitless love for the family of Adam. It mattered not whether the word came in high or low places. . . . What mattered was that saving truth was received by man from God. [43]

Though we have broadened the boundaries of what is usually known as the Apocrypha, as spoken of in Doctrine and Covenants 91, we must also remind ourselves that there are other types of apocryphal literature not discussed in this essay. For example, we have not discussed the many other forms of apocryphal literature used among the Latter-day Saints: secondhand accounts of what Joseph Smith taught; stories about other authorities of the Church; writings by Church leaders and other LDS writers in Church publications and elsewhere; and the endless supply of historical folklore and “doctrinelore” that pervades the Church. Even as much of the Old Testament is written by unknown authors, much Latter-day Saint history remains anonymous. Surely it too belongs to a category of apocryphal literature which all must confront with scholarship and discernment.

Notes

[1] Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B. H. Roberts, 7 vols. (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946), 1:331–32.

[2] Ibid., 363.

[3] Jacob M. Myers, I and II Esdras, The Anchor Bible (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1974).

[4] Some fine summary discussions of the Apocrypha may be found in The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1908), 1:212–24, and James Hastings, ed., Dictionary of the Bible (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1923), 1:110–23. See also Ira Maurice Price, The Ancestry of Our English Bible (New York: Harper Row, Publishers, 1956), 140–49, and P. Marion Simms, The Bible in America (New York: Wilson-Erickson, 1936), 62–65, 166–67. For current scholarship see the individual volumes as published in the Anchor Bible Series.

[5] History of the Church 1:132; see also 245.

[6] Times and Seasons 5:745–46.

[7] Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 2nd Series (Salt Lake City: The Council of the Twelve Apostles, 1948), 153.

[8] Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56), 2:107–8.

[9] J. Reuben Clark Jr., Why the King James Version (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1979), 188–90, 374.

[10] Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1958), 40–41.

[11] Mark E. Petersen, Moses (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1977), 48.

[12] James E. Talmage, A Study of the Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1899), 249.

[13] James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1950), 60.

[14] . Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1855–86), 24:209.

[15] Ibid., 7:24.

[16] Ibid., 23.

[17] Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl, The Doctrine and Covenants Commentary (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1951), 585–86.

[18] Brigham H. Roberts, Seventy’s Course in Theology: First Year (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1944), 42–46.

[19] Sidney B. Sperry, Doctrine and Covenants Compendium (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960), 466.

[20] W. Cleon Skousen, The Fourth Thousand Years (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 808–17.

[21] Victor Ludlow, Unlocking the Old Testament (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1981), 2.

[22] Examples include An Approach to the Book of Mormon, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1964); Since Cumorah (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1967); “The Expanding Gospel,” BYU Studies 7 (Autumn 1965): 3–27; “The Early Christian Church in Light of Some Newly Discovered Papyri from Egypt,” BYU Tristake Address, March 3, 1964; and The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1975).

[23] S. Kent Brown and C. Wilfred Griggs, “The Apocalypse of Peter: Introduction and Translation,” BYU Studies 15 (Winter 1975): 131–53.

[24] O. Preston Robinson and Christine H. Robinson, “The Testament of Ancient Documents,” Church News, November 9, 16, 23, 30, and December 7, 1968.

[25] The Book of Jasher (Salt Lake City: J. H. Parry, 1887); The Book of Jasher (San Jose, CA: The Rosicrucian Order A.M.O.R.C., 1934). Both claim to be the lost book mentioned in the Bible, though the latter is much shorter than the former. See Edward J. Brandt, “The History, Content, and Latter-day Saint Use of the Book of Jasher” (PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1976), for a thorough discussion of the topic.

[26] R. T. Haag and E. H. Anderson, “The Book of the Revelation of Abraham,” Improvement Era 1 (August and September 1898): 705–14, 793–806.

[27] Ibid. (October 1898), 896–901.

[28] “Persecution of the Prophets,” Times and Seasons 3 (1 September 1842): 902.

[29] Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1965), p. 261. But Matthew 23:35 and Luke 11:51 probably refer to 2 Chronicles 24:20–21, as Bruce R. McConkie implies in his Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966–73), 1:624. The Protoevangelium (Gospel of James) 22–23 twists the story and mistakenly identifies Zachariah as the father of John. The Protoevangelium was translated into English in 1797 and republished by Oxford in 1827.

[30] Stephen E. Robinson, “The Apocalypse of Adam,” BYU Studies 17 (Winter 1970): 135–58.

[31] Thomas W. Mackay, “Abraham in Egypt: A Collation of Evidence for the Case of the Missing Wife,” BYU Studies 10 (Summer 1970): 429–51.

[32] Spencer J. Palmer, “Did Christ Visit Japan?” BYU Studies 10 (Winter 1970): 135–58.

[33] Marcus Von Wellnitz, Christ and the Patriarchs: New Light from Apocryphal Literature and Tradition (Bountiful, UT: Horizon, 1981).

[34] O. Preston Robinson, Christ’s Eternal Gospel (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1976).

[35] Vernon W. Mattson, The Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Important Discoveries, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City: Buried Record Products, 1979), 10–36 and Appendix A.

[36] Einar Erickson has produced, or others have recorded, many talks he has given on the subject during the 1970s.

[37] Eugene Seaich, Mormonism, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Nag Hammadi Texts (Murray, UT: Sounds of Zion, 1974), and Ancient Texts and Mormonism (Sandy, UT: Mormon Miscellaneous, 1983).

[38] Ibid., ii.

[39] Brandt, 122–75.

[40] Richard L. Anderson, “The Fraudulent Archko Volume,” BYU Studies 17 (Autumn 1974): 43–64.

[41] Lewis M. Rogers, “The Dead Sea Scrolls—Qumran Calmly Revisited,” BYU Studies 2 (Spring–Summer 1960): 109–28; S. Kent Brown, “The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Mormon Perspective,” BYU Studies 23 (Winter 1983): 49–66.

[42] Quoted in Spencer J. Palmer, The Expanding Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1978). v.

[43] Carlos E. Asay, “God’s Love for Mankind,” in Spencer J. Palmer, ed., Mormons and Muslims (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, Religious Studies Center, 1983), 208. See also Gerald E. Jones, “Respect for Other People’s Beliefs,” Ensign, October 1977, 69 71.