Precious Truths Restored: Joseph Smith Translation Changes Not Included in Our Bible

By Thomas E. Sherry and W. Jeffrey Marsh

Thomas E. Sherry and W. Jeffrey Marsh, “Precious Truths Restored: Joseph Smith Translation Changes Not Included in Our Bible,” Religious Educator 5, no. 2 (2004): 57–74.

Precious Truths R​estored: Joseph Smith Translation Changes Not Included in Our Bible

Thomas E. Sherry and W. Jeffrey Marsh

Thomas E. Sherry was institute director at the Corvallis Oregon Institute of Religion when this was published

W. Jeffrey Marsh was an associate professor of ancient scripture at BYU when this was published.

Two pages from the original Joseph Smith Translation (JST) manuscripts showing Joseph Smith's changes to important New Testament passages. Top: JST, John 8:11 explains that the woman taken in adultery and spared by Jesus "glorified God from that hour and believed on his name." In John 9:27, the blind man who was healed the Sabbath said to his accusers, "I have told you already, and ye did not believe; would you believe if I should tell you again? And would you be his disciples?" Bottom: The changes made to Mark 14:10 explain that Judas "turned away from" Jesus "and was offended by his words."

Images courtesy of Community of Christ Library-Archives

The more we are acquainted with the life and ministry of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the more evident it becomes that Elder John Taylor did not overstate reality when he said that “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it” (D&C 135:3). This passage goes on to specify that it was the abun­dance of revelation and scripture given Joseph Smith that particularly qualified him for such a lofty epithet.

Among the volumes of precious scripture that came to us through the Prophet is the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST). Of this work, Elder Bruce R. McConkie said: “It was [the Lord’s] design and purpose to bring forth the Book of Mormon as a new and added witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. . . . After this—as a crowning achieve­ment—he would begin the perfection of the Bible, a work destined to be greater and have more significance than any of us have yet realized.”[1] On another occasion, he added: “The Inspired Version is inspired. . . . The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible is holy scripture. In one sense of the word, it is the crowning part of the doctrinal restoration.”[2] As a “crowning achievement” and “crowning part” of the Restoration, the JST is one of the great evidences of the divine calling of Joseph Smith and a major dimension of the work of God in the restoration of all things.[3]

The complete JST was published by the Reorganized Church in 1867. One hundred twelve years later, in 1979, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published major portions of the JST in the footnotes and an appendix to its edition of the Bible. Why is it important to study the JST? How many verses did the Spirit inspire the Prophet Joseph Smith to change? How many of those inspired revi­sions are now found in our current edition? Were they all included? If not, why not? These and other related questions are the focus of this article.

Why Study the JST?

The Prophet Joseph Smith was commanded by God to undertake the translation of the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments. Joseph Smith testified that the work of translating the Bible was one “which the Lord had appointed” him to do (see D&C 76:15), and he considered the revision an integral “branch of his calling.”[4] The work of translation occupied much of the Prophet’s time from June 1830 to July 1833. During this time, the Prophet combed through the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The Prophet’s translation would, in part, restore lost meaning and material to the sacred record as well as correct errone­ous parts of the King James text. Though more could have been done, the Lord was pleased with Joseph Smith’s translation and directed the Prophet and other Church leaders to “publish the new translation of my holy word unto the inhabitants of the earth” (D&C 124:89; see also D&C 104:58–59). However, Joseph Smith’s life was tragically cut short before the typesetting and printing of the entire revision could be accomplished.[5]

Although all of the translation was not published during the Prophet’s lifetime, the JST is significant for several important reasons. The Savior declared that the JST contains the “fulness of my scrip­tures” (D&C 42:15; 104:58) and has been revealed for the “salvation of mine own elect” (D&C 35:20). Later, the Lord declared to Fred­erick G. Williams, then a member of the First Presidency, that Joseph Smith was called to “do a great work” and that the “work of translation [was] for the salvation of souls.”[6]

Studying the JST is one of the most rewarding scripture-study experiences that can be had because it deals with an inspired rendition of the King James Bible. The Savior pronounced these inspired verses to be “even as they are in mine own bosom” (D&C 35:20). Thus, more than a historical artifact, the JST is divine scripture to be used. As Elder McConkie testified, the JST is “a thousand times over the best Bible now existing on earth.”[7] He further noted that “the added truths [the Prophet Joseph] placed in the Bible and the corrections he made raise the resultant work to the same high status as the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants.”[8] Thus, when we read the Bible through the lens of the JST, we have, as it were, the Holy Spirit and the Prophet Joseph Smith at our side to guide our study and comprehension.

But many have yet to discover, much less appreciate, this work that was commanded to be taught “unto all men . . . to the salvation of [God’s] own elect” (D&C 42:58; 35:20). More than a reference work, the JST was given “for the purpose of building up my church and kingdom on the earth, and to prepare my people for the time when I shall dwell with them, which is nigh at hand” (D&C 104:59).

The JST also stands as one of the great evidences of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s role in the Restoration and of his divinely inspired ministry. Robert J. Matthews expressed the hope that the future also may bring forth evidences to corroborate the changes made in the JST: “But what of the future? This is a day of great discovery and expan­sion of knowledge of ancient things. The JST makes some very specific statements about Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, John the Baptist, and Jesus that are not known to be written in any other document. It may well be that these things in the future will testify in a different way to the divine calling of Joseph Smith. Archaeological discoveries that con­firm some of the unique historical aspects of the JST could introduce a new role for the book. It may be that apocryphal and archaeological sources will yet corroborate the details of the JST and therefore help testify of the Restoration to an unbelieving world.”[9] Although “the Inspired Version does not supplant the King James Version as the official church version of the Bible, . . . the explanations and changes made by the Prophet Joseph Smith provide enlightenment and useful commentary on many biblical passages.”[10]

Precious Truths Restored

Latter-day Saints hold the Bible in high esteem and believe it to be the recorded word of God, covering centuries of human history. We accept the Bible as divinely revealed scripture[11] and testify of its divine nature (see D&C 20:11), but we recognize that there are translation and transmission problems found in various versions of the Bible, including the King James Version. The ancient prophet Nephi foresaw that many plain and precious truths and also many covenants would be both “taken away” and “kept back” from the Bible during its transmis­sion from the original writers and its translation to the modern world (see 1 Nephi 13:26–29, 32, 34). The JST restores many of these pre­cious things that were taken away, corrects many parts that had been corrupted, and adds a flood of new material and insight for which we can all be deeply grateful.

Perhaps as you have studied the Bible you have also been struck with the realization that many things do not square with Restoration truths or simply with the witness of the Holy Ghost within you. You are not alone. There are times when the biblical record just does not feel right, especially where it portrays our Heavenly Father as a capricious God acting out of self-interest or anger and seemingly lacking a con­sistently divine plan to deal with and save the children of His creation. Often, the prophets seem to be without a real knowledge of the plan of salvation and Jesus Christ, around which the plan revolves. Such a portrayal is baffling at best and downright disheartening at worst, for the prophet Jacob plainly declared that “none of the prophets have writ­ten, nor prophesied, save they have spoken [of] this Christ” (Jacob 7:11).

Our appreciation for the inspired JST heightens as we study the Bible and discover for ourselves that because “plain and precious things were taken away . . . out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them” (1 Nephi 13:29).[12] Essential truth can be lost both physi­cally (deletion or alteration of text) and through revisions by those of uninspired understanding to the great detriment of honest seekers of truth. Jesus, for example, condemned certain lawyers (experts in Old Testament law) saying, “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge, the fulness of the scriptures” (JST, Luke 11:52; emphasis added). Whether they took away understanding through altering or deleting text or through wrongly interpreting it, the result was the same—a hindering of those who earnestly sought the kingdom of God. The JST often restores lost text as well as adds inspired context with which we can correctly understand the scriptures. It is one of the books Nephi was shown that our Heavenly Father would bring forward to “make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away” and to “make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved” (1 Nephi 13:39–40).

When the boy Joseph Smith was searching for truth, he was frustrated that “the teachers of religion of the different sects under­stood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible” (Joseph Smith—History 1:12). The JST changes often restore lost confidence from interpretations of questionable texts and restore “parts which are plain and most precious; and also [the] many covenants of the Lord” that were missing (1 Nephi 13:26).

The JST was not incidental to the Restoration; it was central to it. The revelations from heaven, given to Joseph Smith while he was working on the JST, were the primary fountain from which the great doctrinal restoration flowed to the Saints in these latter days. More than half—77 of the 138 revelations canonized in the Doctrine and Covenants and two of the five books in the Pearl of Great Price—came directly from Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible or were revealed during the time he was working on the JST.

How many verses in the Bible was the Prophet Joseph Smith inspired to change?

After examining the JST manuscript, Robert J. Matthews dis­covered that with the verses added as an introduction to the book of Genesis (now Moses chapter 1 in the Pearl of Great Price) plus 1,289 other verses changed in the Old Testament and 2,096 verses changed in the New Testament, the JST offers insights and clarification in 3,410 verses.[13] Many of these changes deal with the very passages that make the Bible confusing to read. Thus, when we read the JST, we receive inspired prophetic commentary to assist us with over three thousand verses, many of which are challenging, confusing, or misleading as they now stand.

How many of the JST changes are noted in the Latter-day Saint edition of the scriptures?

The question is sometimes asked, do Latter-day Saints have all the JST changes noted in their scriptures? Of the 3,410 verses changed in the JST, the LDS edition contains notes to about one-third of them.

For example, in the Sermon on the Mount, one of the greatest recorded sermons of the Savior in all holy writ, there are 111 verses in the King James Version. The JST changes noted in the LDS edition involve sixteen of those verses. But in the Joseph Smith Translation, the Prophet actually made changes to eighty-three of those verses. Because there are some JST footnotes in the scriptures, many people may naturally assume that all the JST changes are contained in the LDS edition, not realizing that there are many other passages the Prophet Joseph was inspired to change that are also worth studying.

It is important to note that there are significant reasons why we do not have all the JST changes included in our edition of the scriptures, and we will describe these in greater detail below. But first, let us look at what we do have. Gratefully, we do have most of the significant changes; in fact, almost all of the doctrinally significant changes in the JST can be found in our edition.

The Latter-day Saint edition of the scriptures contains approxi­mately eight hundred JST changes to verses noted in the footnotes and the JST appendix (the seventeen-page JST appendix found at the end of the New Testament). When those verses are added to the 356 verses found in the book of Moses (the JST of Genesis 1:1 to 6:13) and the 55 verses found in Joseph Smith—Matthew (JST Matthew 24), the total is approximately twelve hundred verses. Thus, as previously men­tioned, we actually have about one-third (1,200 of 3,410) of the verses Joseph was inspired to change noted in our edition of the scriptures.

Why were all the JST changes not included in our edition of the scriptures?

Since the inclusion of inspired JST text in footnotes and a lengthy appendix in the 1979 edition of the King James Version, many have come to treasure the expansive revelation contained therein. But not all of the inspired changes were included in our edition of the scriptures, and there are several important reasons.

Historical reasons. After the Prophet’s death, his wife, Emma, retained the manuscript pages and the Bible Joseph had marked while doing the translation. Emma did not feel disposed to give them up, “notwithstanding the fact that numerous requests for it were made from time to time. . . . She felt the grave responsibility of safely keeping it until such time as the Lord would permit or direct its publication.”[14] Many years later, writing to her son Joseph Smith III, to whom she had given the manuscript, Emma commented, “Now as it regards the [manuscripts] of the new translation if you wish to keep them you may do so, but if not I would like to have them. I have often thought the reason why our house did not burn down when it has been so often on fire was because of them, and I still feel there is a sacredness attached to them.”[15]

Willard Richards, Joseph Smith’s clerk, called on Emma, request­ing the manuscript, but she declined to give it up.[16] Years later, President John Taylor appointed Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith to call on Joseph Smith III at Plano, Illinois, in hopes of reviewing the original manuscript. Joseph Smith III was visiting in Iowa at the time, and they were not permitted to see it.[17] From the time of Joseph Smith’s death in 1844 until the 1960s, the only Latter-day Saint who was allowed to see, study, and copy portions of the JST manuscript was John Bernhisel, personal physician and friend of the Prophet’s family. With Emma’s permission, Bernhisel kept the manuscripts for a period of three months, during which time he copied the first eight chapters of Genesis, one verse from Matthew 23, and all of Matthew 24. He commented, “I did not copy all that was translated leaving some few additions and changes that were made in some of the books. But so far as I did copy, I did so as correctly as I could.”[18] Had he known his copy would be the only copy of the JST manuscript Latter-day Saints in Utah would have for over a hundred years, he probably would have exercised greater diligence to copy more.[19]

One reason, therefore, that the LDS Church did not print the entire JST is that the Church did not possess the JST manuscript. The RLDS Church (now known as the Community of Christ), which first published the JST in 1867, owned the JST manuscripts and the copy­right. When the LDS edition was being prepared for publication in the 1970s, we sought for and received permission from the RLDS Church to use portions of the JST in our scriptures. Though RLDS and LDS relations had been improving, there was concern that had we asked for permission to use all of the JST changes, we may not have gotten any of them. We are fortunate and blessed to have that portion of the JST we do have.[20]

Space limitations. Even if we would have been permitted to use all JST changes, there may not have been enough room to include them. When the LDS edition was being prepared, it contained all of the text of the King James Version of the Bible, plus over three hundred pages of Topical Guide references (which include, by the way, the largest selection of references about Jesus Christ ever published in any Bible), a 234-page LDS Bible Dictionary, new maps and gazetteer, and the seventeen-page JST appendix. The entire volume totals nearly twenty-five hundred pages. There was simply not enough room to include every JST change. The binding on the LDS edition of the Bible could not hold more pages without bursting at the seams.

In fact, to make it possible to include as many footnotes as we did, President Thomas S. Monson, a printer by trade, was instrumental in creating a new font for the LDS edition with shortened stems (on letters like d, h, p, and q) so that more lines of text would fit at the bottom of each page (see the footnotes on any page of the LDS edi­tion). The work done in Cambridge, England, on printing our Bible and its unique footnoting system earned the Church the top graphics arts award in 1980 for typesetting excellence in Bible printing.[21]

Instructions from the First Presidency. The First Presidency gave instructions to the Scriptures Publications Committee that if the essential doctrines contained in JST changes were already found in the scriptures, they did not necessarily need to be duplicated. That is why the very first JST change does not appear until the footnote to Genesis 6:18. One would assume that with Genesis chapters 1–6 covering the Creation, the Fall, and the Flood, there would be many changes in the JST. And there are! But none are noted in our Bible because the book of Moses (chapters 1–8) in the Pearl of Great Price is the inspired ver­sion of Genesis 1:1 through 6:13. Because we already had all of those changes elsewhere in our scriptures, there was no need to repeat them in the Bible. Similarly, since the Book of Mormon “sermon on the mount” contains the essential changes also present in the JST Bible versions, it was not necessary to repeat them all in the LDS edition of the KJV. The same is true for the inspired translation of Matthew 24. Joseph Smith—Matthew in the Pearl of Great Price is the JST of Matthew 24, so there are no JST footnotes found in Matthew 24.

Was the JST ever finished?

One of the most common assumptions about why we may be hesitant to use the JST is linked to the question of whether Joseph Smith ever completed his translation. From June 1830 until July 1833, the Prophet went through the entire Bible from cover to cover, from Genesis to Revelation. On July 2, 1833, Joseph Smith’s journal entry reads: “We are exceedingly fatigued, owing to a great press of business. We this day finished the translating of the Scriptures, for which we returned gratitude to our Heavenly Father.”[22]

Thus, it took the Prophet Joseph three years to accomplish the task of going through the Bible. But he did indicate that he had completed the task by 1833. Then, he spent the next eleven years trying to prepare the manuscript and raise the funds to print the JST. During that time, he also occasionally revisited portions of the JST manuscript and made a number of additional revisions, most of which are in the handwriting of Sidney Rigdon.

In one sense, the Prophet completed his task of translating the Bible. He moved from Genesis to Revelation, going through the entire Bible cover to cover. Joseph did not, however, make every change in the King James Version that could have been made. His sermons from 1833 to 1844 are filled with numerous interpretations about Bible verses not found in the JST. He made only a few additional changes in the JST after 1833. What he did not finish was getting the JST manu­script typeset and to the press. His wife, Emma, mentioned that Joseph wanted to go through the manuscript one more time and then have it printed.[23] Unfortunately, his life ended before he could do this. However, the Lord was apparently satisfied with the JST because He commanded the Saints to “print my words, the fulness of my scriptures” (D&C 104:58; see also 124:89).

Although the Prophet could have done more, he was divinely directed to publish the translation as it stood, thereby making the JST available to the Latter-day Saints and the world (see D&C 42:56–58). In fact, Joseph Smith had planned to print the Book of Mormon and the JST of the New Testament under the same cover,[24] ostensibly so that the world could have the two best testaments of Jesus Christ bound in one volume.

Although the JST was never published in its entirety during Joseph Smith’s lifetime, portions of it were printed in several different publica­tions (like the Times and Seasons); but the First Presidency’s pleadings to the Saints for the needed assistance to print the JST in full were not heeded, and the Prophet was murdered before the JST could be read­ied for the press.[25]

Elder McConkie offered this explanation to the question of whether the JST was ever finished:

In some minds there seems to be a nagging uncertainty about the so-called Inspired Version. After all, some say, the Prophet did not fin­ish his work, and how can we be sure what he did finish is correct?

May I be pardoned if I say that negative attitudes and feelings about the Joseph Smith Translation are simply part of the devil’s pro­gram to keep the word of truth from the children of men. True, the Joseph Smith Translation, though completed to the point that the early Brethren were going to publish it at one time, has not been completed in the full and true sense. But for that matter neither has the Book of Mormon. I am as anxious to read and study what is in the sealed por­tion of the Book of Mormon as I am to give the same attention to those parts of the Bible yet to be revealed.[26]

How does the Church view the JST?

Regarding official Church endorsement of the JST, Elder Dallin H. Oaks observed: “The Church’s most authoritative pronounce­ment on the standing of the Joseph Smith Translation is contained in actions, not words. After prolonged and prayerful deliberation, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve included over six hundred quotations from the Joseph Smith Translation in the Church’s monu­mental new edition of the King James Bible published in 1979 and in every printing since that time. . . . In addition . . . scores of JST excerpts too lengthy for inclusion in footnotes are included in their entire text following the Bible Dictionary [in the JST appendix].”[27] This official Church endorsement was mirrored by Elder McConkie when he addressed the worldwide Church Educational System with this forceful exhortation: “Of course we should use the Joseph Smith Translation in our study and teaching.” The declaration in D&C 42:12–16 includes the “command to teach the changes and additions now found in the so-called Inspired Version. . . . This, then, is what is expected of us as teachers.”[28]

As Elder Oaks has further reminded us, “There should be no doubt about the current status of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. It is a member of the royal family of scripture. [And] as a mem­ber of the royal family of scripture it should be noticed and honored on any occasion when it is present.”[29] When we consistently “notice and honor” the Prophet’s inspired revisions, we move with satisfaction in the direction of President Boyd K. Packer’s expression of hope on behalf of Church members: “With the passing of years, these scriptures will produce successive generations of faithful Christians who know the Lord Jesus Christ and are disposed to obey His will. The older generation has been raised without them, but there is another generation growing up. The revelations will be opened to them as to no other in the his­tory of the world. Into their hands now are placed the sticks of Joseph and of Judah. They will develop a gospel scholarship beyond that which their forebears could achieve. They will have the testimony that Jesus is the Christ and be competent to proclaim Him and to defend Him.”[30]

Conclusion

Like climbing to the top of a mountain, studying JST changes takes effort, but it also takes us to new heights of understanding about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and gives us improved views of the Savior’s life, ministry, and teachings. The insights it yields offer read­ers a unique doctrinal experience that cannot be had from reading any other source. Elder McConkie testified: “The Joseph Smith Transla­tion, or Inspired Version, is a thousand times over the best Bible now existing on earth. It contains all that the King James Version does, plus pages of additions and corrections and an occasional deletion. It was made by the spirit of revelation, and the changes and additions are the equivalent of the revealed word in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. . . . It is one of the great evidences of [Joseph Smith’s] prophetic call.”[31]

Finally, we close with the following invitation from Robert J. Mat­thews: “As teachers and students in the Church Educational System, we are not merely ‘invited’ to become acquainted with the JST, but I think we are expected to do so. . . . If you do not already have a testi­mony, by the Spirit, of the worth of the JST, then there is waiting for you one of the fruitful experiences in your career. . . . I have tasted of its spirit, and I know it is a great aid in teaching the gospel and in serv­ing as a tangible witness for the divine ministry of the Prophet Joseph Smith and for the mission of Jesus Christ.”[32]

The following chart contains a selection of JST changes that were made by the Prophet Joseph Smith but that, for the rea­sons explained above, were not included in the LDS edition of the King James Version.[33]

Additional JST Changes Not Found in the Latter-day Saint Edition of the King James Version

KJV

JST ​(changes in italics)

Genesis 11:9

Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth . . .

Genesis 11:6

. . . therefore, is the name of it called Babel, because the Lord was displeased with their works, and did there confound the language of all the earth . . .

Genesis 16:10

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly . . .

Genesis 16:11

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, The Lord will multiply thy seed exceed­ingly . . .

Genesis 18:20

And the Lord said . . .

Genesis 18:19

And the angel of the Lord said unto Abra­ham . . .

Genesis 18:33

And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham. . . .

Genesis 18:41

And as soon as he had left communing with the Lord, Abraham went his way.

Genesis 21:6

And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.

Genesis 21:5

And Sarah said, God has made me to rejoice; and also all that know me will rejoice with me.

Genesis 22:1

. . . God did tempt Abraham . . .

Genesis 22:1

. . . God did try Abraham . . .

KJV

JST (changes in i​talics)

Genesis 22:12

. . . thine only son from me.

Genesis 22:15

. . . thine only Isaac from me.

Genesis 48:10

. . . Israel . . . could not see.

Genesis 48:16

. . . Israel . . . could not see well.

Exodus 12:33

. . . for they said, We be all dead men.

Exodus 12:33

. . . for they said, We have found our first-born all dead.

Exodus 32:35

. . . they made the calf, which Aaron made.

Exodus 32:35

. . . they worshipped the calf, which Aaron made.

Leviticus 22:9

. . . if they profane it: I the Lord do sanc­tify them.

Leviticus 22:9

. . . if they profane not mine ordinances, I the Lord will sanctify them.

Deuteronomy 2:30

. . . for the Lord thy God hardened his spirit . . .

Deuteronomy 2:30

. . . for he hardened his spirit . . .

1 Samuel 15:35

. . . the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

1 Samuel 15:35

. . . the Lord rent the kingdom from Saul whom he had made king over Israel.

1 Samuel 19:9

And the evil spirit from the Lord . . .

1 Samuel 19:9

And the evil spirit which was not of the Lord . . .

2 Samuel 24:16

. . . the Lord repented . . .

2 Samuel 24:16

. . . the people repented . . .

1 Kings 3:14

And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

1 Kings 3:14

And if thou wilt walk in my ways to keep my statutes, and my commandments, then I will lengthen thy days, and thou shalt not walk in unrighteousness, as did thy father David.

1 Kings 14:8

And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments . . .

1 Kings 14:8

And rent the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it thee, because he kept not my commandments.

1 Kings 15:5

. . . save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

1 Kings 15:5

. . . save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite, wherein the Lord cursed him.

KJV​​

JST ​(changes in italics)

 

2 Chronicles 18:20

Then there came out a spirit . . .

2 Chronicles 18:20

Then there came out a lying spirit . . .

 

Psalm 22:12

Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan . . .

Psalm 22:12

Many armies have compassed me; strong armies of Bashan . . .

 

Psalm 36:1

The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

Psalm 36:1

The wicked, who live in transgression, saith in their hearts, There is no condem­nation; for there is no fear of God before their eyes.

 

Psalm 82:2

How long will ye judge unjustly . . .

Psalm 82:2

How long will ye suffer them to judge unjustly . . .

 

Isaiah 6:9

. . . Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

Isaiah 6:9

. . . Hear ye indeed, but they understood not; and see ye indeed, but they perceived not.

 

Isaiah 13:15

Every one that is found shall be thrust through;

Isaiah 13:15

Every one that is proud shall be thrust through;

 

Isaiah 14:19

. . . and as the raiment of those that are slain . . .

Isaiah 14:19

. . . and the remnant of those that are slain . . .

 

Isaiah 29:10

For the Lord . . . hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.

Isaiah 29:10

For, behold ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets, and your rulers; and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquities.

 

Isaiah 51:20

Thy sons have fainted . . .

Isaiah 51:20

Thy sons have fainted save these two . . .

 

Jeremiah 18:8

. . . I will repent of the evil . . .

Jeremiah 18:8

. . . I will withhold the evil . . .

 

Jeremiah 18:10

. . . I will repent of the good . . .

Jeremiah 18:10

. . . I will withhold the good . . .

 

Matthew 5:6

. . . for they shall be filled.

Matthew 5:8

. . . for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.

 

Matthew 5:13

Ye are the salt of the earth . . .

Matthew 5:15

I give unto you to be the salt of the earth . . .

 

KJV​

JST (chang​es in italics)

Matthew 5:14

Ye are the light of the world . . .

Matthew 5:16

. . . I give unto you to be the light of the world . . .

Matthew 8:10

When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed . . .

Matthew 8:9

And when they that followed him, heard this, they marvelled . . .

Matthew 10:16

. . . be ye therefore wise as serpents . . .

Matthew 10:14

. . . be ye therefore wise servants . . .

Matthew 13:5–6

. . . and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched . . .

Matthew 13:5

. . . and forthwith they sprung up; and when the sun was up, they were scorched, because they had no deepness of earth . . .

Matthew 13:44

. . . the which when a man hath found, he hideth . . .

Matthew 13:46

And when a man hath found a treasure which is hid, he secureth it . . .

Matthew 15:9

. . . teaching for doctrines the command­ments of men.

Matthew 15:8

. . . teaching the doctrines and the com­mandments of men.

Matthew 18:19

. . . as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them . . .

Matthew 18:19

. . . as touching any thing that they shall ask, that they may not ask amiss, it shall be done for them . . .

Matthew 25:12

. . . Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Matthew 25:11

. . . Verily I say unto you, Ye know me not.

Matthew 25:29

For unto every one that hath shall be given, . . . but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

Matthew 25:29–30

For unto every one who hath obtained other talents, shall be given. . . . But from him that hath not obtained other talents, shall be taken away even that which he hath received.

Mark 1:5

. . . and were all baptized of him . . .

Mark 1:4

. . . and many were baptized of him . . .

Mark 2:18

And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him . . .

Mark 2:16

And they came and said unto him, The dis­ciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast . . .

KJV

JST (changes in italics)

Mark 7:4

. . . except they wash, they eat not.

Mark 7:4

. . . except they wash their bodies, they eat not.

Mark 8:12

. . . There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

Mark 8:12

. . . There shall no sign be given unto this generation, save the sign of the prophet Jonah; . . .

Mark 8:29

. . . And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.

Mark 8:31

And Peter answered and said unto him, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Mark 15:36

And one ran and filled a spunge full of vin­egar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone . . .

Mark 15:41

And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed and gave him to drink; others spake, saying, Let him alone . . .

Luke 1:28

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Luke 1:28

And the angel came in unto her and said, Hail, thou virgin, who art highly favored of the Lord. The Lord is with thee, for thou art chosen and blessed among women.

Luke 8:18

. . . for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not . . .

Luke 8:18

. . . for whosoever receiveth, to him shall be given; and whosoever receiveth not . . .

Luke 10:32

. . . passed by on the other side.

Luke 10:33

. . . passed by on the other side of the way; for they desired in their hearts that it might not be known that they had seen him.

Luke 13:17

. . . all the people rejoiced . . .

Luke 13:17

. . . all his disciples rejoiced . . .

Luke 17:10

. . . we have done that which was our duty to do.

Luke 17:10

. . .We have done that which was no more than our duty to do.

Luke 21:17

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.

Luke 21:16

And ye shall be hated of all the world for my name’s sake.

Luke 22:31

. . . that he may sift you as wheat . . .

Luke 22:31

. . . that he may sift the children of the kingdom as wheat.

KJV​

JST (changes in italics)​

John 3:32

. . . and no man receiveth his testimony.

John 3:32

. . . and but few men receive his testi­mony.

John 5:31

If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

John 5:32

Therefore if I bear witness of myself, yet my witness is true.

John 6:27

. . . which the Son of man shall give unto you . . .

John 6:27

. . . which the Son of Man hath power to give unto you . . .

John 8:11

. . . Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

John 8:11

. . . Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. And the woman glorified God from that hour, and believed on his name.

John 9:27

. . . ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again?

John 9:27

. . . ye did not believe: wherefore would you believe if I should tell you again?

Romans 13:2

. . . shall receive to themselves damna­tion.

Romans 13:2

. . . shall receive to themselves punish­ment.

Romans 14:23

And he that doubteth is damned . . .

Romans 14:23

And he that doubteth is condemned . . .

1 Corinthians 12:31

But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

1 Corinthians 12:31

. . . for I have shown unto you a more excellent way, therefore covet earnestly the best gifts.

2 Corinthians 5:18

And all things are of God . . .

2 Corinthians 5:18

And receiveth all the things of God . . .

Hebrews 11:24

. . . when he was come to years . . .

Hebrews 11:24

. . . when he was come to years of discre­tion . . .

Hebrews 12:12

. . . lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

Hebrews 12:12

. . . lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees;

Notes


[1] Bruce R. McConkie, “The Doctrinal Restoration,” in The Joseph Smith Translation: The Restoration of Plain and Precious Things, ed. Monte S. Nyman and Robert L. Millet (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young Uni­versity, 1985), 10; emphasis added.

[2] Bruce R. McConkie, “The Doctrinal Restoration,” 21–22; emphasis added.

[3] See Bible Dictionary, “Joseph Smith Translation,” 717.

[4] Bible Dictionary, “Joseph Smith Translation,” 717.

[5] The Prophet Joseph Smith’s several efforts to publish the translation are reviewed by Robert J. Matthews in A Bible, A Bible! (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990), 133–43.

[6] Revelation to Frederick G. Williams, January 5, 1834, Joseph Smith Collec­tion, Letters 1834, Church Historian’s Office, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[7] Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrines of the Restoration: Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie, ed. Mark L. McConkie (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1989), 289.

[8] Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrines of the Restoration, 253.

[9] Robert J. Matthews, “ I Have a Question,” Ensign, September 1980, 64.

[10] Robert J. Matthews, “The ‘Inspired Version,’” Church News, December 7, 1974, 16.

[11] See Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1985), 390.

[12] The whole of chapter 13 gives the most authoritative commentary on the deterioration of original Bible text as well as the consequences and promise of restoration. For a more extensive examination of this issue, see Robert J. Mat­thews, “The Role of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible in the Restoration of Doctrine,” in The Disciple as Witness, ed. Stephen D. Ricks, Donald W. Parry, and Andrew H. Hedges (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2000), 327–41.

[13] See Robert J. Matthews, “A Plainer Translation”: Joseph Smith’s Trans­lation of the Bible, A History and Commentary (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1975), 424–25.

[14] Joseph Smith III, Joseph Smith III and the Restoration, ed. Mary Audentia Smith Anderson (Independence, MO: Herald House, 1952), 86.

[15] Emma Smith Bidamon to Joseph Smith III, correspondence, December 2, 1867, Emma Smith Papers, P4, f39, Community of Christ Archives.

[16] See Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B. H. Roberts, 2nd ed., rev. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1960), 7:260.

[17] For a more complete review of the circumstances and negative ramifica­tions that accrued from this unfortunate miscommunication, see Reed Durham, “A History of Joseph Smith’s Revision of the Bible” (PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1965), 251–54.

[18] Matthews, “A Plainer Translation,” 118.

[19] Later studies by Robert J. Matthews show that Bernhisel did not always make a verbatim copy. See Robert L. Millet, “Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible: A Historical Overview,” in The Joseph Smith Translation, 35–36.

[20] A detailed discussion on this matter can be found in Robert J. Matthews, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, June 1992, 29.

[21] See Wm. James Mortimer, “The Coming Forth of the LDS Editions of Scripture,” Ensign, August 1983, 35.

[22] See Smith, History of the Church, 1:368.

[23] For other reasons why the Prophet may not have made all possible revi­sions, see Robert L. Millet, “Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible: A Historical Overview,” in The Joseph Smith Translation, 33–35.

[24] See Smith, History of the Church, 1:341.

[25] To read more about the Prophet Joseph Smith’s efforts to publish the JST, see Robert J. Matthews, A Bible! A Bible! (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990), 133–43.

[26] McConkie, “The Doctrinal Restoration,” in The Joseph Smith Translation, 14–15; see also Bruce R. McConkie, “Come: Hear the Voice of the Lord,” Ensign, December 1985, 58.

[27] Dallin H. Oaks, “Scripture Reading, Revelation, and the JST,” in Plain and Precious Truths Restored: The Doctrinal and Historical Significance of the Joseph Smith Translation, ed. Robert L. Millet and Robert J. Matthews (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1995), 11.

[28] McConkie, “The Doctrinal Restoration,” 3, 14. To more fully understand why the LDS Church did not officially use all of the JST prior to 1979, see Thomas E. Sherry, “Changing Attitudes toward Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible,” in Plain and Precious Truths Restored, 187–226.

[29] Dallin H. Oaks, “Scripture Reading, Revelation, and the JST,” in Plain and Precious Truths Restored, 13. Also, see page 161 where Elder Neal A. Maxwell is cited in response to a question about frequency of JST citations in the Encyclo­pedia of Mormonism. There he states his view that the First Presidency and Twelve “would be disappointed if you did not use the JST extensively.”

[30] Boyd K. Packer, “Scriptures,” Ensign, November 1982, 53; emphasis added.

[31] Bruce R. McConkie, “The Bible a Sealed Book,” address given at the Eighth Annual Church Educational System New Testament Symposium, 1984, Brigham Young University, 5.

[32] Robert J. Matthews, “How the Joseph Smith Translation Will Help Us to Be Better Teachers,” in LDS Church Educational System Religious Educators’ Symposium on the Old Testament (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1979), 212.

[33] For more on this subject, see Matthews, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, June 1992, 29.