2. Joseph Smith Translation Bible

In August 1830, just after the translation of the Book of Mormon was finished and the Mormon Church had been organized, Joseph Smith began translating the King James Version of the Bible. This was not a translation of one language to another, but was actually revelation that Joseph Smith received concerning truths that had been lost or changed in the Bible. Joseph had learned from 1 Nephi 13:20-39 and Moses 1:40-41 that important pieces of the Bible manuscript had been removed long before it was available to anyone to translate.Moses 1:40-41 states, “And now, Moses, my son, I will speak unto thee concerning this earth upon which thou standest; and thou shalt write the things which I shall speak. And in a day when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught and take many of them from the book which thou shalt write, behold, I will raise up another like unto thee; and they shall be had again among the children of men—among as many as shall believe.”Bible and Book of MormonThis other person who would restore what had been lost in the Bible was also going to be a prophet, like Moses. Joseph Smith was this chosen prophet and he worked tirelessly to restore the truth of God’s word to the earth. In Doctrine and Covenants 26:1 Joseph was commanded by God to study the Bible: “Behold, I say unto you that you shall let your time be devoted to the studying of the scriptures.”1Joseph began studying Genesis and had many questions. He went to God in prayer with these questions and he learned many important things that had been lost from the Bibl about the gospel of Christ and the creation of the earth. Now this information is found in the book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price.The translation of the Bible took three years to complete, and Joseph Smith was still preparing it for printing when he was killed in 1844. Sidney Rigdon worked as Joseph’s scribe for most of the translation of the Bible, but Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer also occasionally fulfilled this role. Joseph learned much about things that had been lost from Christ’s Church. Some of the most significant information restored by Joseph’s translation of the Bible are: eight years old as the age of accountability and readiness for baptism, the history of the prophet Melchizedek and the Melchizedek Priesthood, the doctrine of fore-ordination and our lives before we were born on earth, the role of Christ and Satan in this pre-mortal existence, and information about Enoch and Zion. When Joseph died, his translation of the Bible included 477 pages of manuscript and a King James Bible with notations in it.Today, the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible is not the official Bible of the Mormon Church. English-speaking members use the King James Version, but the footnotes and an appendix include significant information and changes that were restored by Joseph Smith through revelation.

See the next article in the timeline series.

Other Links:

1 Section 26:1. Doctrine and Covenants.
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