For over 100 years, Mormon archaeologists have searched in vain for indisputable proof of Book of Mormon civilizations. As men focus their attention in other areas of research, bits of cultural and linguistic evidence come to the forefront as additional testimonies of the Book of Mormon. Within the pages of the Book of Mormon are many quotations of the Old Testament that closely follow the language of the King James Bible. There are however, many passages that differ from the King James Version. By comparing the differences with other versions of the Old Testament, we can see evidence that the Book of Mormon is an authentic record that adds to a correct understanding of all scripture.
Several ancient versions of the Old Testament are available today. Some of these are:
- The Masoretic Texts. The source of the Old Testament of the King James Version. The name is derived from the Masorah, Hebrew texts of the Old Testament compiled between the seventh and tenth centuries A.D., which standardized Hebrew grammar and punctuation. These manuscripts were preserved by Jews and provided the text for Old Testament translations made by Martin Luther and other Christians. This fact points out the truth of the Lord’s words in II Nephi 29:4-6 where we are reminded that the Bible would “proceed forth from the Jews, …And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? …Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?” For centuries, these scriptures were the oldest Hebrew manuscripts available.
- The Dead Sea Scrolls. The most ancient Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament, they were found in 1947 in Palestine and heightened scholars’ regard for Masoretic texts.
- The Septuagint. Translated about 285 B.C. for Greek speaking Jews in Alexandria, Egypt. Septuagint is Greek for seventy because of a tradition that 70 or 72 scholars translated it in 70 days. The Septuagint (abbreviated LXX) became widely accepted by Jews and was the version commonly used by the Apostles. All copies of the LXX are of Christian origin. Its widespread acceptance among early saints helped convince the Jews to return to Hebrew documents and announce that the canon was closed. Christians continued to use the Septuagint; and, it is still the official version of the Orthodox Church in Greece. Though the Septuagint is considered to be seriously flawed in many places, it has preserved some passages that have been lost in other manuscripts. For example, the Hebrew texts have lost several phrases from Deuteronomy 32:43. By comparing the Septuagint with the KJV it appears that these passages may have been deliberately excised.
Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, And let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; For he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people.
|King James Version
Rejoice O ye nations with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.
Two of those missing phrases were quoted by Paul in his epistles: “And let all the angels of God worship him,” (Hebrews 1:6.) and, “Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people” (Romans 1 5:10). The Dead Sea Scrolls also contain those missing passages. If there was a deliberate attempt to erase those phrases from Hebrew manuscripts, it occurred after the Dead Sea community had disappeared. Paul’s use of the passages is clearly Christian and was probably disconcerting to Jews unwilling to accept the Messiah. This particular passage would have been especially odious after 75 A.D. since the Jews had been purged from the land of Palestine, as the missing phrase indicates. The fulfillment of Messianic prophecies as found in the Septuagint1 must have been equally upsetting to Jews who rejected Christ. Compare the two accounts of Isaiah 50:6.
I gave my back to scourges, and my cheeks to blows; and I turned not away my face from the shame of spitting
|King James Version
I gave my back to the smiters and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting
Often, Old Testament passages cited in the New Testament are different in our Bibles because the authors were quoting the Septuagint and the KJV is based on the Hebrew manuscripts.2
The Book of Mormon also contains variant readings from these Old Testament sources. In instances where the Book of Mormon cites Isaiah differently than the KJV, these passages are not supported by the Dead Sea Scrolls.3 However, some Old Testament citations in the Book of Mormon do agree with the Septuagint. We can appeal to these similarities as evidence of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. We can’t very well appeal to similarities between the Book of Mormon and the King James Bible because it is very evident that Joseph Smith used the KJV in translating Old Testament passages. Sidney Sperry postulated that the Prophet used the KJV while translating Bible verses; and, when the translation substantially agreed with our Bible, the Prophet used the King James English.4 Dr. Sperry believed that if the record on the plates differed too greatly with the KJV, the prophet would dictate the change. Although there are many minor changes, the Prophet’s translation was heavily dependent upon the King James Bible.5 On occasion, several words of the KJV text are not present in Book of Mormon quotations. This may indicate that those words were lost to the Nephites. For example, when Abinadi was explaining the 10 commandments to the priests of Noah, there is a noticeable deletion. Abinadi said: “For in six days the Lord made the heaven and earth and the sea, and all that in them is; …. wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Mosiah 13:19) The phrase, “and rested the seventh day,” should follow “all that in them is.” It is missing from the Book of Mormon but occurs in both the KJV and the LXX. Though some phrases not found in the Book of Mormon may be unauthorized additions, it’s just as likely that they were lost through Nephite transmission.6 An example of this can be seen by comparing Isaiah 51:15 as it occurs in the different versions:
|LXX||For I am thy God that troubles the sea,|
|BoM||But I am the Lord thy God…|
|KJV||But I am the Lord thy God that divided the sea,|
|LXX||and causes the waves thereof to roar;|
|BoM||whose waves roared|
|KJV||whose waves roared|
The inclusion of a reference to the sea and its waves clarifies the odd phrase of the Book of Mormon. Other notable verses with missing passages from Isaiah follow below:
|Isaiah 2:10||when he shall arise to strike terribly the earth. (LXX only)|
|Isaiah 5:8||that lay field to field|
|Isaiah 7:18||the rivers of (Egypt)|
|Isaiah 9:4||as in the day of Midian.|
|Isaiah 13:8||they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth|
|Isaiah 48:3||and they came to pass|
|Isaiah 48:10||But not with silver|
|Isaiah 49:7||and the Holy one of Israel, and he shall choose thee.|
|Isaiah 51:1||ye that seek the Lord|
When there are differences between the Book of Mormon and the KJV, it is interesting that the Septuagint sometimes supports those differences. Changes of verb tense, pronoun use, even additions of words agree with the Septuagint.
One of the most consistent parallels between the Book of Mormon and the Septuagint is the citation of Isaiah 53 in Mosiah 14. Differences between the KJV and the Book of Mormon occur in verses 6,8, and 12. “the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all… for the transgressions of my people was he stricken… and he bore the sins of many.” Iniquities, transgressions, and sins are plural in each instance in the Book of Mormon and Septuagint, but appear as singular nouns in the KJV. Verse 9 in the KJV reads, “because he had done no violence,” while the Book of Mormon reads “because he had done no evil.” The Septuagint follows the Book of Mormon with a synonym of evil–anomia–generally translated as iniquity. The Book of Mormon makes four changes in this chapter, and the Septuagint supports each change.
Perhaps two of the most interesting variations are found in quotations of Isaiah 2:16 and 50:2. In these passages, some words have been lost from the Greek and others from the Hebrew. The Book of Mormon account retains the key words found in both records:7
|2 Ne. 12:16||And upon all the ships of the sea
and upon all the ships of Tarshish
|LXX||and upon every ship of the sea
and upon every display of fine ships
|KJV||and upon all the ships of Tarshish|
|2 Ne. 7:2||and their fish to stink because the waters are dried up|
|LXX||and their fish shall be dried up|
|Isaiah 50:2||their fish stinketh because there is no water|
Other passages in the Book of Mormon that differ with our Bible are examples of simple variations. Some of the changes which conform with the LXX are listed below.8
|2 Ne. 15:30||and if they look|
|LXX||and they shall look|
|Isaiah 5:30||and if one look|
|2 Ne. 17:14||and shall bear a son|
|LXX||and shall bring forth a son|
|Isaiah 7: 14||and bear a son|
|Ne. 19:7||there is no end|
|LXX||there is no end|
|Isaiah 9:7||there shall be no end|
|2 Ne. 20:23||in all the land|
|LXX||in all the world|
|Isaiah 10:23||in the midst of all the land|
|2 Ne. 24:3||in that day that the Lord|
|LXX||in that day that the Lord|
|Isaiah 14:3||in the day that the Lord|
|2 Ne. 27:2||with a great noise|
|LXX||and a loud noise|
|Isaiah 29:6||with great noise|
|2 Ne. 27:32||And they that make a man an offender|
|LXX||And they that cause men to sin|
|Isaiah 29:21||that make a man an offender|
|1 Ne. 20:11||for mine own sake will I do this|
|LXX||for mine own sake I will do this|
|Isaiah 48:11||for mine own sake will I do it.|
|1 Ne. 20:14||hath declared these things unto them|
|LXX||has told them these things|
|Isaiah 48:14||hath declared these things?|
|1 Ne. 20:14||and he will fulfill his word|
|LXX||I have fulfilled.|
|Isaiah 48: 14||he will do his pleasure|
|1 Ne. 21:7||nations|
|3 Nephi 24:5||the stranger and fear not me|
|LXX||the stranger and fear not me|
|Malachi 3:5||the stranger from his right and fear not me|
|2 Nephi 8:15||the Lord of Hosts is my name|
|LXX||the Lord of Hosts is my name|
|Isaiah 51:15||the Lord of Hosts is his name|
|3 Ne. 24:13||have we spoken against thee?|
|LXX||have we spoken against thee?|
|Malachi 3:13||have we spoken so much against thee?|
Although some of the differences listed appear to be insignificant when compared to the original languages, it is important to remember that Joseph Smith had no access to Hebrew or Greek manuscripts and no knowledge of those languages. When Joseph Smith used this instead of it or fulfilled instead of do and inserted shall in the text, it is impressive that an English translator of the Septuagint selected the same words in the same passages twenty years after publication of the Book of Mormon.
The similarities between the Book of Mormon and the Septuagint naturally lead to the question of whether Joseph Smith had access to an English copy of the Septuagint. Joseph Smith’s limited schooling, together with the circumstances of his home and the availability of the Septuagint to the general public make it unlikely that he was even aware of its existence.9
One other difference is worthy of note when comparing the three versions of the Old Testament for possible changes. By comparing the Septuagint and the Book of Mormon, we see that Isaiah 2 has changes related to Hebrew poetry. Hebrew authors repeated ideas in their writings as a form of poetry. The pattern created by regular repetition is called parallelism.10 A parallel structure is present in 2 Nephi 12, where Nephi quotes the second chapter of Isaiah. By diagramming the ideas from verses 10, 18-19 and 20-21 we can see the parallel nature intended in this chapter.
|Book of Mormon||King James Version||LXX|
|A O ye wicked ones.||A.||A.|
|B enter into the rock and hide thee in the dust||B Enter into the rocks and hide thee in the dust||B Enter into the rocks and hide yourselves in the earth|
|C For fear of the Lord and the glory of his Majesty||C For fear of the Lord and the glory of his majesty||C For fear of the Lord and the glory of his majesty|
|D Shall smite thee||D.||D.|
|E When he shall arise to strike terribly the earth|
|Book of Mormon||King James Version||LXX|
|A. And the idols||A. And the idols||A. And the idols|
|B. Shall go into the rocks||B. Shall go into the rocks||B. into caves and rocks|
|C. For fear of the Lord||C. For fear of the Lord||C. For fear of the Lord|
|D. Shall smite them||D.||D.|
|XXXX||E. When he ariseth to shake the earth.||E. When he shall arise to strike terribly the earth.|
|Book of Mormon||King James Version||LXX|
|A. Idols||A. Idols||A. Idols|
|B. Go into the rocks||B. Go into the rocks||B. Enter into the rocks|
|C. For fear of the Lord||C. For fear of the Lord||C. For fear of the Lord|
|D. Shall smite them||D.||D.|
|E. When he ariseth to shake the earth||E. When he ariseth to shake the earth||E. When he shall arise to shake earth|
The main elements of the parallelism can be listed in the order that they are mentioned: A. Idols; B. Shall go into the rocks and caves; C. For the fear of the Lord and the glory of his majesty; D. Shall smite them; E. When he shall arise to shake the earth. Each version has preserved only parts of the original passage. Only the Book of Mormon begins verse 10 with “O ye wicked ones.” This addition appears to be a preservation of the parallel mention of idols in verses 18 and 20. Both aw’-ven and o’-tseb are Hebrew words which can be translated as either wicked or idol.11 If Isaiah used one of those words, it may have been translated as wicked when his prophecies were inscribed onto the Brass Plates in Egyptian. After that time, translations would only preserve the reference to wicked. This phrase is particularly remarkable because its parallel nature would only be noticed in Hebrew. The original Hebrew words would not necessarily have to be repeated in later verses because the parallelism may be created with ideas rather than specific words.12 In the same manner, the passages about hiding in the rocks are all similar but not identical. Each verse presents the same idea but in different words. This could have been true of the original reference to idols in the passages.
Also important to the parallel structure is the threefold mention of smite. It occurs in each passage, as an addition, only in the Book of Mormon. Had the phrase been added only once or twice, it would not have been consistent with the parallel structure. Its presence, three times, in exactly the right place is evidence of the parallel nature of the passage and its authenticity. It may have figured in the original text and been lost to other manuscripts; or, it could be another addition by Nephi–consistent with the parallelism. Of equal importance is the Septuagint’s preservation of “when he shall arise to strike terribly the earth,” in verse 10. It occurs in its proper place only in the Septuagint. This reinforces the certainty of the parallel structure while disallowing Joseph Smith’s possible use of the Septuagint in producing the Book of Mormon. If we assume that the Prophet did not have the gold plates, and that Old Testament passages were written by comparing the KJV and LXX, we would also have to assume that he was aware of parallelism. If this were the case, he would certainly have noticed that the KJV had lost an important phrase from verse 10. The fact that Joseph Smith did not include the phrase in the Book of Mormon, while adding others consistent with parallelism, is important in demonstrating that he did not use the Septuagint.
There are other passages where the Book of Mormon text follows a course independent of either the KJV or LXX. Part of this is undoubtedly due to Joseph Smith’s particular word usage during translation. For example, Moses’ prophecy in Deuteronomy 18:15 is quoted in 1 Nephi 22:20 and 3 Nephi 20:23. It is different from both the KJV and LXX. Rather than the words, “shall be destroyed from among the people,” (also in Acts 3:23.) the Book of Mormon reads, “shall be cut off from among the people.” The phrase was unique to the Book of Mormon but now occurs in the New International Version of the New Testament–lending credibility to the Prophet’s skill as a translator.13
Unique passages are also due to intentional changes introduced by prophets of the Book of Mormon. It’s clear that Nephi and Jacob embellished upon the prophecies of Isaiah, adding personal comments and revelations concerning their posterity and the Book of Mormon. This appears to be the case in 1 Nephi, chapters 20 and 21, where Nephi quotes Isaiah 48 and 49. Except for minor differences, the 48th chapter coincides with both the KJV and LXX. However at the 22nd verse, it seems that Nephi added his own comment in an exclamatory note: “And notwithstanding he hath done all this, and greater also…” This coincides remarkably with Nephi’s speech and outlook. Never in the KJV of Isaiah does the English the word notwithstanding occur, yet it appears in this verse and in at least eleven others written by Nephi.
In chapter 21, (Isaiah 49) additions to the KJV text are more prevalent. The first verse has 49 additional words that apply particularly to the Nephites. Other additions call attention to “the house of Israel.” These additions to the text seem to have been made by Nephi who wanted to emphasize that he and his people were of the promised seed. Jacob explained their purpose in quoting Isaiah when he said:
And now, the words which I shall read are they which Isaiah spake concerning all the house of Israel; wherefore, they may be likened unto you, for ye are of the house of Israel. And there are many things which have been spoken by Isaiah which may be likened unto you, because ye are of the house of Israel. (2 Nephi 6:5.)
Jacob then proceeded to quote Isaiah differently than Nephi had, barely six chapters earlier. The time involved between the two citations doesn’t allow for unintentional variations and so it seems that the changes are Jacob’s:
1 Nephi 21:25 – and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered;
For thus saith the Lord: I will contend with them
—————————–I will contend with him
that contendeth with thee———————————
that contendeth with thee and I will save my children.
By introducing changes to Isaiah’s words, Nephi and Jacob seem to have exercised a prophetic prerogative that was not unique. When Moroni cited Malachi in Joseph Smith’s bedroom, he changed it as follows:
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse…
|Malachi by Moroni
Behold I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.
Our first impression could be that the passage from Malachi was flawed and Moroni simply corrected it. However, the Savior quoted Malachi 4:5-6 to the Nephites precisely as it appears in the Bible. The Joseph Smith Translation also left the passage without revision. This indicates that the passage is correct in our Bibles and Moroni wanted to revise the scripture to apply specifically to the sealing power of the priesthood and have special importance to the young Prophet. Joseph Smith also rendered scriptures differently on different occasions.14 Like Jacob, he also inserted phrases into passages of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon.15 The Prophet’s willingness to edit the Book of Mormon and revise the Bible may have been a product of his lessons from divine messengers who correctly understood the nature of scripture. In addition, it seems that some changes in the JST may not have been an attempt to correct the Bible to its autographic original. He may have wanted to make inspired changes to already correct scriptures as Moroni had done to Malachi’s words.16 This revolutionary concept of the malleable nature of scripture was evidently shared by Nephi, Jacob, Moroni and the Savior. It seems though, that rather than striving to maintain the “best text,” the Savior and the prophets (including Joseph Smith) sought to apply the scriptures to specific situations and to revise them as necessary. A good example of this is Nephi’s use of the 29th chapter of Isaiah. He doesn’t quote as much as he explains and expounds. His use of Isaiah’s words with his own commentary and prophecy foreshadows future events more clearly than the Bible account. With the aid of Nephi’s expository, Isaiah’s vision of the Book of Mormon is unmistakable.
Another example of changes made to an existing text is found in the Savior’s teachings to the Nephites. He quoted some verses from Isaiah precisely as Abinadi had quoted them to King Noah and his wicked priests. After some explanation, the Lord again cites those same verses, with modifications as demonstrated by the following comparison:
3 Nephi 16:19
3 Nephi 20:34
|for the Lord hath comforted his people, …
for the Lord hath comforted his people, …
for the Father hath comforted his people,
3 Nephi 16:20
3 Nephi 20:35
|The Lord hath made bare his holy arm ….
The Lord hath made bare his holy arm ….
The Father hath made bare his holy arm
3 Nephi 16:20
3 Nephi 20:35
|shall see the salvation of our God….
shall see the salvation of our God….
shall see the salvation of the Father.
Due to these intentional changes introduced by the Lord and his servants, we’ll probably never find manuscripts that coincide fully with Book of Mormon quotations, or be able to discern which passages represent the author’s original words. However, they are instructive as to how the Lord and His prophets view scriptures. This concept may also answer some of the questions concerning possible textual errors of the KJV that appear in the Book of Mormon. Textual critics concur that the doxology of the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:13 is an addition to the text found only in later manuscripts. Its inclusion in the Book of Mormon has caused some to wonder how it could have possibly been present on the gold plates. That passage, as well as others, may be considered in the light of other additions to the text allowed by the Prophet. Joseph’s treatment of the scriptures indicates that there is more than one right reading. He included it because it appeared in the Bible he was quoting. Much as the authors of the New Testament relied upon the LXX as a legitimate copy of the scriptures and quoted from its pages, Joseph Smith used the prevalent copy of his day. Corruptions to the text that taught incorrect principles were deleted but those that did no damage to the truth were retained. “For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever” is doctrinally true and is included in the Book of Mormon. Another late addition to N.T. manuscripts occurs in the 5th chapter of Matthew and does not appear in the text because it is wrong:
3 Nephi 12:22
|whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
whosoever is angry with his brother —————- shall be in danger of his judgment.
All of these factors combine to add credibility to the Book of Mormon. The comparison of these texts helps us to view scripture in a different light. We see that they may apply to different circumstances and emphasize different truths. These particular scriptures also testify of the ancient origins of the Book of Mormon and the mission of the prophet Joseph Smith.
1 Currently, two English translations are available: Charles Thomson published a translation in America in 1808 and Sir Lancelot C[harles] L[ee] Brenton published his version in London in 1851. quotations of the Septuagint in this article are from Brenton’s translation: The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing, 1982).
2 Luke 4: 18 quotes Isaiah 61:1 and includes the phrase “and recovering of sight to the blind.” The words are absent from Hebrew MSS but retained in the LXX. Of more than 300 direct Old Testament quotations in the New Testament, only about 50 disagree materially with the LXX.
3 Wayne Ham, A Textual Comparison f the Isaiah Passages m the St. Mark’s Isaiah Scroll of the Dead Sea Community (Masters Thesis 1961), 463-464. There are some parallels which are so insignificant that they do not merit consideration. They occur in Isaiah 3:9, 48:8, 13, 14 and 49:6.
4 Sidney B. Sperry, The Book of Mormon Testifies (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1952), 401.
5 Although this is considered plagiarism by critics of the Book of Mormon, a similar condition exists in the New Testament. The authors of the gospels and epistles quoted freely from the Septuagint. Not only did these inspired authors lift passages from the current Bible when quoting scripture, at least one angel quoted the Greek version while citing the Old Testament. (Cf. Revelation 2:27 and Psalms 2:9.) The widespread usage of the LXX by New Testament authors is explained in a current edition of the Septuagint:
The Septuagint version having been current for about three centuries before the time when the books of the New Testament were written, it is not surprising that the Apostles should have used it more often than not in making citations from the Old Testament. They used it as an honestly-made version in pretty general use at the time when they wrote. They did not on every occasion give an authoritative translation of each passage de nova, but they used what was already familiar to the ears of converted Hellenists, when it was sufficiently accurate to suit the matter in hand. (The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English, intro., iv.)
It seems entirely proper then, that Joseph Smith be allowed to follow the example of previous inspired writers by doing exactly the same thing.
6 It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Nephites were also capable of losing parts of the text. In order to safeguard the manuscript of the Book of Mormon, Oliver Cowdery copied it and provided the printer with the duplicate. While examining remaining pages of the dictated manuscript, scholars found that he had omitted a phrase from Alma 32:30. It was restored to the text of the Book of Mormon in the 1981 edition.
7 Some scholars scoff at the idea that this and other passages replace missing words. Textual critics take a dim view of conflations: many claim that additional words are always bogus. The example of Alma 32:30 in note 8 illustrates the error of that idea.
8 Both English translations of the Septuagint are from the Codex Vaticanus. Passages marked with an asterisk indicate that the two English versions differ and the Book of Mormon agrees only with Lancelot Brenton’s version. It would have been impossible for Joseph Smith to fake these passages since Brenton’s translation was published 21 years after the Book of Mormon. Some passages in the Book of Mormon agree with other Greek codices such as Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus. Some of those parallels are pointed out by Sperry, p. 403.
9 The Manchester, New York library has been proposed as a possible source of research for Joseph Smith. The list of holdings of that library does not include the Septuagint. See Robert Paul, “Joseph Smith and the Manchester (New York) Library,” BYU Studies, 22 (Summer 1982.)
10 John Forbes, The Symmetrical Structure of Scripture or the Principles of Scripture Parallelism Exemplified (Edinburgh: T.&T. Clark, 1854), 1. Notice that this was published 24 years after the Book of Mormon.
11 James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary (Nashville: Abingdon, 1980), 9, 90.
12 Forbes, 5, 6. The Reverend Forbes explained: “These were termed by Bishop Lowth synonymous, because he conceived that they expressed the same sense in different but equivalent terms.” He also wrote that synonymous parallelism often is gradational with each repetition becoming more pronounced, “as a sort of echo or repetition of the first, designed to deepen its impression by reiteration.” Compare the first, “O ye wicked ones” to the second, “the idols” and finally the third, “his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which he hath made for himself to worship.”
13 The Zondervan Parallel New Testament In Greek and English with the New International Version (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1981), 350.
14 Robert J. Matthews, A Plainer Translation: Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, A History and Commentary (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1980), xxx.
15 The phrases “or out of the waters of baptism” in 1 Nephi 20:1; and “and shalt not remember the reproach of thy youth” in 3 Nephi 22:4 were both added to the text of the Book of Mormon during the editing process by the Prophet Joseph Smith and did not appear in the 1830 edition.
16 On occasion, the Prophet Joseph Smith altered Bible passages to provide added insight and interpretation not found in written revisions. In public discourses he would change passages to apply to different circumstances. His written revision of Revelation 1:6 eliminated the concept of plurality of Gods; yet, he later referred to that verse as proof of the concept of plural Gods, stating that the translation was correct. (Teachings, 369) On another occasion he changed the word “rewarder” to “revealer” in Hebrews 11:6. The JST left it unchanged. Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, The Words of Joseph Smith (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, 1981), 41, 52.