Doctrine and Covenants
Week 15: Joseph’s “new translation” of the Bible
D&C 71, 73–75, 77, 86, 91, 113
28 January 2021
Additional reading and links
Kent P. Jackson, “New Discoveries in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible,” Religious Educator 6, no. 3 (2005): 149–60.
Kent P. Jackson and Peter M. Jasinski, “The Process of Inspired Translation: Two Passages Translated Twice in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible,” BYU Studies 42, no. 2 (2003): 35–64. This article demonstrates how Joseph Smith translated the same passage from the New Testament twice, and got different results each time. (This is evidence that the Joseph Smith Translation is not a restoration of a lost, ancient original text, at least in all of its parts.)
David Tayman, “The Joseph Smith Translation: Inspired Targum and Pseudepigrapha For Latter-day Saints,” ImprovementEra.com (via Archive.org), 24 March 2010. Tayman explains why he believes the JST is best understood as a modern, revealed expansion of the Bible, rather than a restoration of an ancient text.
Kent P. Jackson, “Joseph Smith’s Cooperstown Bible: The Historical Context of the Bible Used in the Joseph Smith Translation,” BYU Studies 40, no. 1 (2001): 41–70.
Some Latter-day Saints have interpreted D&C 77:6 to mean that the earth is only 6,000 years old. The scriptures, however, “do not say how old the earth is, and the Church has taken no official stand on this question.” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism 2:431) See also Morris S. Petersen, “I Have a Question: Do we know how the earth’s history as indicated from fossils fits with the earth’s history as the scriptures present it?,” Ensign, September 1987, 28–29.