Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Bible - Joseph's translation

One of the absolute worst Bible translations out there today is the Joseph Smith Translation (JST), also known as the Inspired Version (IV).

Without any rigorous recourse to ancient texts in ancient languages, Joseph took to correcting the Bible and replacing the truths that had unfortunately (or by the cunning wiles of the Devil) been lost over the centuries. He remixed and deleted based on whatever (spiritual?) whim had taken him, but the real miracle of the project was how much Joseph added. He threw in entire chapters at times.

Some people have asked why we don't use this version of the Bible - myself among them. One would think that a scriptural project commanded by God to his prophet would qualify as canonical, right? God says "Hey, fix the Bible!," Joseph does it, and yet the LDS Church doesn't use it. Very weird.

Some say it's a copyright issue. The Community of Christ owns the copyright, so we can print it. Sucks, right? But just because the Community of Christ owns the copyright doesn't mean LDS Mormons can't buy it, does it? Why does the LDS Church have to own the copyright at all? This is about learning the true content of the Bible, not about which church is making money from scripture sales. Or at least it should be.

FAIR offers up another very interesting reason why we LDS saints can't adopt the JST: it "would be a stumbling block to converts." Too much newness for the new recruits. We wouldn't want to scare them off with the truth! I mean, we can believe Joseph's version is the most badass of the them all, but don't you dare tell any investigators or new converts about it until they're thoroughly convinced they're in The One True Church! It's not dishonest, it's practical.

"Holy shit, this book is awful!"

But isn't it silly that anyone should worry about this at all? The LDS version of the KJV has all sorts of JST footnotes and we even have some made up chapters published in their entirety in The Pearl of Great Price. That should be enough for any good saint. Why would anyone want the complete, unabridged version? People can be so greedy.

Anyway, what we really need is a modern translation of the JST! Something that fixes all the errors Joseph left in... But I doubt we'll get it.

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