Monday, December 3, 2012

Amp Up Your Testimony With The 'Inspired Version'

There’s more than just the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price as proof that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living Church on the face of the Earth.
(All too many church members these days read ONLY the Book of Mormon over and over again and nothing else.)
There’s also, among other things, the “Inspired Version” of the Bible, that Joseph Smith produced.
Sometimes also  referred to as “The Joseph Smith Translation,” much of this work is footnoted in the LDS Church’s Standard Works.
However, you can amp up your own testimony of both Joseph Smith and the Church by studying this marvelous work on your own and cross referencing it with the King James Version of the Bible.
Although never completed by the Prophet Joseph Smith, I’ve compared his Inspired Translation word-for-word with the entire Bible and I came away with a greater testimony, as well as some enhanced Gospel knowledge.
Joseph Smith didn’t go through the Bible word-for-word, or even book-by-book in the Bible when he used direct revelation to produce his own Biblical version. He went through the Bible by subject and that work led to many other great revelations, such as D&C section 76.
The Lord did caution Joseph Smith to “hold thy peace” and “not teach them until ye have received them in full.” (D&C 42:57)
This is a direct reference to this “Inspired Translation” of the Bible and this injunction from the Lord is obviously why the Church does not use the “Inspired Translation” directly and rather the King James Version of the Bible.
However, for personal  use,  there’s likely nothing wrong with reading the Inspired Translation, as long as it is studied in conjunction with the Standard Works.
Note that the King James Bible still works best for all missionary work and related conversations.
It is also worth noting that the copyright to Joseph Smith’s Inspired Translation of the Bible is held by the Community of Christ, formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
So, does that outside copyright mean it is still accurate, as Joseph Smith penned it?
Yes, pretty much.
The late LDS Church Scholar Robert J. Matthews was able to study and compare the original Inspired Translation manuscript with the Community of Christ’s version (see Ensign Magazine, Dec. 1972, p. 63). He found only a few small changes made and on a whole concluded  the work "accurately represents" what Joseph Smith penned.
(The only change made in the Inspired Translation that I have a problem with is also one of the few Brother Matthew pointed out – Revelation 1:6. The word “and” was deleted from that verse, to better conform to a belief the Community of Christ has, that there is no plurality of Gods.)
Notwithstanding, as a whole, the Inspired Translation is simply incredible, majestic and powerful.

It reaffirms the Church’s 8th Article of Faith, that proclaims a belief in the Bible, “as far as it is translated correctly.” That’s because the Inspired Translation contains a large sampling of just how many errors have crept into the Bible.
And, the LDS Church does use a portion of the Inspired Translation in the Standard Works.
The Book of Moses is simply an extraction from the Book of Genesis from Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible (as stated in the “Introductory Note” at the beginning of the Pearl of Great Price). So also is “Joseph Smith – Matthew”  in the PGP an extraction from the Prophet’s own Inspired Translation of Matthew Chapter 24.
(Brigham Young had copies made of the above portions of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, before the Saints went westward and this became the Book of Moses and Joseph Smith – Matthew. Meanwhile, the entire Inspired Translation ended up in the hands of Emma Smith, who eventually gave it to the Reorganized Church.)
What are some key samples of Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible that aren’t well known, in contrast to the previously mentioned portions contained in the Pearl of Great Price?
I would give you four  samples, for your own comparison and study.
1. Inspired Version, Exodus 22:18, comparable to Exodus 22:18 in the King James Version: “Thou shalt not suffer a murderer to live.”
2. Inspired Version, Mark 9:20, comparable to Mark 9:23, in the King James Version:  “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt believe all things I shall say unto you, this is possible to him that believeth.”
3. Inspired Version, Luke 23:35, comparable to Luke 23:34 in the King James Version: “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Meaning the soldiers who crucified him.) And they parted his raiment and cast lots.”
4. Inspired Version, Matthew 12:14, comparable to Matthew 12:16, in the King James Version: "Behold, I will send your forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise servants, and as harmless as doves."

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