When examining the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) we can see notable discrepancies to the Bible (KJV). These differences in scripture could lead one to question the motivations and credibility of Joseph Smith and his modified version of the Bible. There are in fact, over 3400 verses that vary from the KJV. Changes that were implemented without any apparent reservation. Surprisingly, adherents of the Mormon church have affirmed their support for Joseph Smith’s revised interpretation of the King James Bible. They argue that his revisions restore the scripture back to its purest form. However, what they overlook is that there is an increasing wealth of historical evidence that substantiates the integrity of the King James Bible. The earliest available biblical manuscripts are virtually identical to the KJV, offering reassurance to readers about the accuracy of its translation. This translation is known for its faithful word-for-word rendering compared to other versions. Lastly, reviewing the alterations made to the KJV, we example like the following verse that was altered and changed…
Revelation 1:4 (KJV)
4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
Revelation 1:4 (Joseph Smith Translation)
4 Now this is the testimony of John to the seven servants who are over the seven churches in Asia. Grace unto you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, who hath sent forth his angel from before his throne to testify unto those who are the seven servants over the seven churches. Therefore I John, the faithful witness, bear record of the things which were delivered me of the angel.
There are several key differences between the King James Version (KJV) and the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) when studying this verse. In the KJV Bible, John addresses the seven churches in Asia. While in the JST, he is addressing the seven servants who are over the seven churches in Asia. Also, it is important to note that in the KJV, the “seven Spirits which are before his throne” are made mention, while the JST speaks of an angel that was sent from before His throne. Therefore, the JST attempts to include an additional description of John’s role as a faithful witness, and bearing record of what was delivered to him by the angel. However, this is not present in the KJV verse and therefore, not important to what to the verse. The JST verse provides more context and detail overall, but doing this in a way that it adds to and takes away from the true meaning of the verse.
This verse in Revelation is how it was written in the original and that is what we should trust. “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne.” (Revelation 1:4) Why Joseph Smith needed to elaborate on this verse is the question all Christians will ask when reading his supposed improved verses of the verse. My friends, is it ok to get more meaning from a verse in the Bible? Yes. And is it ok to write about the verse to help people understand it also? Yes. However, it is not ok to go into the Bible itself and change how the verse reads. This is what Joseph did and that is why God’s plagues are upon him. Currently, he is in hell awaiting judgment, where he will be found guilty and case into the lake of fire. See below for more details…
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18-19)
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:12-15)
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