As it is Translated Correctly

This is copyrighted material.  However, copies may be made but only in its entirety with no changes made.
Kevin Kraut

As It Is
Translated Correctly
Table of Contents
Pioneer Publishing
1067 E Cumorah Dr
Genola, UT  84655

First Printing 1987



1             INTRODUCTION–
TEXTUAL CRITICISM   . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
2             HISTORY OF BIBLICAL MANUSCRIPTS  . . . . . . . . . 12
3             TRANSLATING AND REVISING SCRIPTURE . . . . . . . . 20
4             DIFFERENT BIBLES AND TRANSLATIONS  . . . . . . . . 42
5             LOST BOOKS OF THE BIBLE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
6             THE SONG OF SOLOMON
AND THE BOOK OF JASHER  . . . . . . . . . . . 60
7             THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
8             APOCRYPHA AND THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE . . . . . . . 94
9             BIBLICAL ERRORS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106
10          JOSEPH’S INSPIRED TRANSLATION  . . . . . . . . . .146
11          CONCLUSION–
A MARVELOUS WORK AND A WONDER   . . . . . . .174

* * * * *


The Bible has been perhaps the most influential, powerful, and consistently read book ever printed. It has been the source of inspiration and spiritual guidance for millions of people for thousands of years. The evidence of faith, courage and strength of those who have read it could never be fully told. Men have willingly faced untold agonies, torture and prison; they have crossed deserts and the Arctic, flown through space, gone beneath the sea, and struggled through every phase of life because of the inspiration they received from the Bible. The words of God, as they flowed from the pen of prophets, apostles and patriarchs, have done more for mankind than all the armies and navies that ever conquered nations.

Yet our Bible is not complete with all of the words of God to man, nor is it infallibly correct in its present translations. Many mistakes have been made by translators and scribes. Many portions were never included, while some places were not clearly understood or interpreted correctly. But worst of all, because of these misinterpretations or assumptions, Catholics have tortured and burned their Protestant brothers, and in return Protestants have religiously and enthusiastically made war upon Catholics. Rivers of blood have flowed throughout history, as Christians battled with other Christians. Through the misinterpretation of the Bible, thousands of innocent women and children have been murdered during the centuries of the Dark Ages and the Inquisition. Because of the misunderstanding of one word, many innocent women have been burned or killed as “witches”. For nearly two thousand years, history has recorded some of the worst atrocities of man against man because they misunderstood the words of Jesus.

Today we have over a thousand different “Christian” religions, all claiming to be right as they denounce all the others as being wrong. All are preaching different doctrines, yet they hold the same Bible in their hands. Unbelievable as it may seem, they still contend and make war upon each other.

Why so much confusion? There may possibly be several reasons for such a labyrinth of discord and contention: (1) the Bible is being misinterpreted or discarded; (2) it is not written clearly enough for universal understanding; (3) the translators and scribes made errors; (4) many plain and precious truths have been left out; (5) and possibly, it is a combination of all of the above. It is certainly evident that something is wrong. All this contention, confusion, and warring among the Christians, indicate that man has misinterpreted, mistranslated and misunderstood the words of God.

[7]                               Chapter 1


Textual Criticism

“We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; . . .” So wrote Joseph Smith in the 8th Article of Faith. But this has annoyed the modern “Christians” because they generally believe that the Bible has no errors and that it represents the complete “infallible” words of God. This was expressed by the anti-Mormon Floyd C. McElveen who wrote:

In spite of the overwhelming evidence as to the accuracy and harmony of the Bible, the Mormons profess to believe the Bible, “insofar as it is translated correctly.” (The Mormon Illusion, p. 41)

Most of today’s “Christians” would have us believe that there is “overwhelming evidence” to prove that the Bible is an “accurate” translation. But we should investigate the Bible just to see how accurately it has been translated and to observe just how much harmony there actually is among its books in history, names, and teachings. This is not only interesting, but an essential and important research. Every Bible believer should be aware of its literally thousands of errors and inconsistencies, not to mention hundreds of different published versions of the Bible.

[8]           To properly study the inaccuracies of Bible translations, we must apply the science of “textual criticism”. This is not disputing, condemning or questioning the Bible as being the word of God, but rather it is the study of errors in the text made by human scribes and translators. If this book is to be used as a guide in each Christian’s life, is it not vitally important then that these inaccuracies are discovered and exposed?

Textual criticism, commonly known in the past as “lower” criticism in contrast to the so-called “higher” (historical and literary) criticism, is the science that compares all known manuscripts of a given work in an effort to trace the history of variations within the text so as to discover its original form. (Biblical Criticism, Gordon Fee, Zondervan Publishing House, p. 127)

Protestant scholars have contributed an immense amount of excellent study in this field, but many of its ministers have taken the biased attitude that several Catholics have, namely–that the Bible contains no errors!

Catholic doctrine maintains that, because the books of the Bible have God as Author, they are free from error. Any theory that detracts from Biblical inerrancy is reprobated. * * * The clearest statement of Catholic doctrine on Biblical inerrancy is found in Providentissimus Deus. Leo XIII states that inerrancy is an inescapable corollary of divine inspiration. “For all the books … are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Spirit; and so far is it from being possible that any error can coexist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true” (Denz 3292). The Pontiff adds that those who maintain that error is possible in any [9] genuine passage of the sacred writings must either pervert the Catholic notion of inspiration or must make God the author of such error (Ench Bibl 126). (New Catholic Encyclopedia 2:514)

Some Catholics, as well as a few Protestants, accept the Bible as literally the “word of God”, thus being God’s “revelation” to man. However, they still acknowledge the errors and textual faults of translators and copyists. They conclude that–

The popes have emphasized, however, that the original texts, only, were inspired and free from error and that copies and translations are inerrant insofar as they conform to the original texts. But no original texts are extant, and copies and translations contain additions, omissions, and other textual faults. It is the task of textual criticism to correct these mistakes. Pius XII wrote of textual criticism: “Its very purpose is to insure that the sacred text be restored as perfectly as possible, be purified from the corruptions due to the carelessness of copyists and be freed, as far as may be done, from glosses and omissions, from the interchange and repetition of words and from all other kinds of mistakes…. (New Catholic Encyclopedia 2:514)

Both Protestants and Catholics have admitted that:

One of the most important problems about the Bible is that of establishing an accurate text. Before the invention of printing, copies of the Bible had to be made by scribes who laboriously transcribed the text from other copies. Because of the mistakes which were made in this process, the different manuscripts of the Bible showed numerous minor disagreements. Textual scholars attempt to reconstruct the original text [10] of the Bible by comparing the different manuscripts, and especially the earliest ones. (Enc. of World Methodism, 1:264)

Most authors correct their own writings after the first edition is published. Perhaps years or centuries later, another person may also make revisions and corrections. Corrective criticism is not an evil, but often a valuable service. All criticism is not condemnation. It is usually a method of correcting human error or clarifying some meaning.

Many religious fanatics and anti-Mormon zealots convey the idea that because Mormons believe the Bible needs some correction in its translation, that they do not believe the Bible. The fact that thousands of Protestant scholars have been making hundreds of Bible revisions should be evidence to them that it must contain errors. An American citizen may say that our government has laws, regulations and codes that are unclear, incorrect and need revision–but that does not make them un-American, nor indicate that they think the whole government is wrong.

Neither can it be said of the Book of Mormon that because it contains some errors, it cannot be from God. Human wisdom and human error manifest themselves in anything that man does, and God depends on man for the translating and publishing of His word. The only text that God ever wrote Himself was the Ten Commandments (with His finger on stone), but we do not have that “original text” either. Just because a translator made an error, doesn’t mean that the original author blundered or that the whole text should be discarded.

Textual criticism is a necessary science, comparing all known manuscripts and tracing variations within the text to discover its original form. This is important for interpreters because (1) it helps to reveal what the original author actually said; (2) it helps to discover the original meaning of what was written; (3) it helps to reveal the errors, opinions, interpolations and additions inserted by other scribes.

[11]         In reality, then, textual criticism asks, “What does it say?” before it asks “What does it mean?”. An accurate translator, or textual critic, is the person who is in quest of what the original author had in mind.

Over many centuries, translators and scribes have unintentionally or even purposely, added errors, opinions and various church interpretations into their Bible revisions, thus changing the meaning of the original author’s intent and purpose. For instance, one edition of the Bible became known as the “Wicked Bible” because it left the word “not” out of the seventh commandment, making it read “Thou shalt commit adultery.” The possibility of human error has always existed in the writing and printing of every kind of book–even the Bible.

Contained in this publication is a study into the many problems confronting Bible translators. It gives a closer look at many problems of translation–not as a criticism of the Bible itself nor of the original manuscripts, but as an explanation of the human factors involved. It briefly explains the difficulties translators have faced in trying to explain the original author’s intent.

A diligent and objective research into these ancient texts will prove that Joseph Smith knew and understood more of Biblical translations and revisions than all the thousands of ministers who condemned him as a false prophet. The deeper we investigate the history and content of this great book, the more we will conclude the Bible indeed contains the word of God, “as far as it is translated correctly.”

[12]                              Chapter 2


Did God write the Bible? Did prophets or apostles write every word of the Bible? Is every word in the Bible inspired of God? The answer to all of these questions is, of course, no. Some of it contains the words of God; some parts are the words of men; sometimes it quotes the devil; and in once place a jackass spoke. Hence, the Bible is a compilation of records from various sources, containing the words of God, men, and the devil.

The expression “inspired of God” pertains to certain parts of the Bible–not to all of it. Much of it is merely history without any particular reference to God, similar to any other written history.

We have an account of “God’s finger” writing the Ten Commandments, which may be considered as the only portion of the Bible that was recorded by the direct action of God. (See. Ex. 31:18) The prophets and apostles were acting more like secretaries as they received dictation from God. They were given the responsibility to write these divine messages for others to read. (2 Sam. 23:2 and Rev. 1:19)

At certain times God chose to have His messages delivered to man by way of His angels. (See Ex. 34:27; Isaiah 56:1; Jer. 11:1)

In every case men who were “inspired” in one way or another, were free to write in the particular style or expression of their own choice. Some were more learned than others and therefore their style of expression was different. There was only one Author but many writers.

[13]         The Bible (or biblia, meaning books) is in reality a small collection of religious histories and writings. The Old Testament consists of 17 books of history from Genesis to Esther, five poetic books from Job to Song of Solomon, and 17 prophetic books from Isaiah to Malachi. The New Testament is classified into five historical books (the four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles), 21 letters of the apostles, and one book of revelation.

The Bible was originally written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew with some sections in Aramaic; the New Testament was mostly recorded in Greek. The Old Testament is the whole framework of the Gospel and the New Testament is the finishing.

The factual history of the Bible is much different from what most Christians suppose. The Bible did not just happen, nor was it all written by Moses or the apostles. Neither did it come to us through the ages as a complete compilation of books. And today it is neither complete nor perfect.

The Bible was formulated gradually. Histories, psalms, prose, law, genealogies, sermons, revelations, songs, proverbs, philosophy and other writings were collected over several years by many different men in many different cultures. We cannot point to a particular time or place and say this is where the Bible originated.

It can safely be said that most of the writings and revelations from God to man are not even found in the Bible. We have never found an original fragment of writing from Adam, Enoch, Noah, Methuselah, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Shem, or Seth, to name a few. In fact, we do not have any of the original written manuscripts of the Bible. No one knows how many generations of copies were made before we received the manuscripts that we have today. [14] The oldest manuscript of the New Testament dates back to about the 4th century A.D.; the Old Testament goes back to only about 900 A.D. Herein lies the problem of getting an accurate translation from an original copy.

Anciently many materials were used for writing, such as animal skins, leather, papyrus, stone, clay tablets, wooden tablets, metal, and of course much more recently, paper. The Old Testament was written mostly on leather or skins; the New Testament was usually penned on papyrus. During the fourth century period, vellum replaced papyrus, and then by the middle of the eighth century, paper was being used.

Since most of these materials were subject to deterioration, we do not have any original Bible manuscripts–only copies of copies.

There is no original written record of the language that the patriarchs used before the tower of Babel. Every language today represents hundreds of different man-made expressions which constantly change in both words and meaning. Thus we do not have God’s words in the pure language of God, but rather the inaccurate, unclear descriptions of men in their ever-changing styles of expression.

Many ancient manuscripts–now worn, faded, and unclear–provided the basis for our present Bible. A few of these Old and New Testament manuscripts are considered here:

1.  The Vatican Manuscript: This fourth century manuscript is usually acknowledged as the most important text of the New Testament. It is located in the Vatican Library at Rome, and the date of a catalog in which it is listed was 481 A.D. It still remains the most complete and accurate of all Biblical manuscripts.

[15]         2. The Sinaitic Manuscript: Konstantin yon Tisehendorf was a student of the University of Leipzig and began his work on revisions of the Bible through study of original or near source materials. In 1844 he went to the Middle East and began work in the library of the Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai Peninsula. While there, he discovered portions of old parchment which he determined to be among some of the oldest Biblical manuscripts ever found. In 1853 he made another trip to Sinai with the hope of recovering other leaves that he had seen on his first trip, but to no avail. In 1859 with the support of the Russian government, he made a third trip to the Sinai Monastery. Just as he was about to give up all hope of finding the manuscripts, a steward of the monastery showed him the manuscripts that he was looking for–and some others, too. After some negotiations, he purchased them for about $7,000. Tischendorf purchased for Czar Alexander II the Codex Sinaititus. In 1933 the British Government purchased them for one-half million dollars for the British Museum. This manuscript dates back to approximately the latter half of the 4th century, also.

  1. The Alexandrian Manuscript: This 5th century manuscript derives its name from Alexandria, where it was found. It was once offered as a gift to King James I of England, but James died before the gift could be received. So it was again given as a gift in 1627 to his successor Charles I. Later it was placed in the British Museum. It created a great deal of excitement when it was presented to England, much the same as the Dead Sea Scrolls in our day. It contains both Testaments, but there are portions of the Old Testament missing; also parts of Matthew, John, and II Corinthians are absent from the New Testament.
  1. The Ephraem Codex: This manuscript has two layers of writing on it. The top layer is a twelfth-century copy of the writings of Ephraem of Syria, which is why it has his name. But the earlier writing underneath is of much more importance, for it is a fifth-century copy of the scriptures. Large portions of the Old Testament are [16] missing, but in the New Testament the only portions missing are from II Thessalonians and II John. It is now located in the National Library of Paris. The first full edition of this manuscript was not published until 1845.
  1. The Codex Bezae: This manuscript was presented to the University of Cambridge in 1581, where it still remains. It was written in both Greek and Latin–each text faces each other, the Greek on the left side and the Latin on the right. It is quite small–8 x 10 inches with one column of writing on each page. However, it contains only the Gospels and Acts, with a few verses of Paul’s writings. This manuscript has the distinction of being the most puzzling of all the early manuscripts because of its additions and omissions. Some have looked upon it with suspicion and question, but in recent years it has been receiving more respect as a valid New Testament document.
  1. The Sinaitic Syriac Manuscript: This manuscript was also found at St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai. In 1892 two sisters, Mrs. Agnes Lewis and Mrs. Margaret Gibson were searching for rare Biblical manuscripts at Sinai when they found this double written document. The bottom layer of writing was identified as being a Syriac copy of the gospels. It is the fact that this Syriac translation goes back to the 4th or 5th century that makes it so interesting and valuable.
  1. The Washington Manuscript: This manuscript came into the hands of Charles Freer of Detroit in 1906. It contains a copy of the four Gospels dating from the 4th or 5th century, and consists of several lines in Mark’s Gospel which are not found in any other manuscript.
  1. The Koridethi Gospels: This manuscript was discovered in 1913. It was written about the 9th century and has substantiating information regarding the text of the Bible.

[17]         9. Chester Beatty Papyri: These papyri are said to have come from jars taken out of an Egyptian graveyard and were collected by Chester Beatty. Portions of these are of the Old Testament in Greek, with some portions of the New Testament. It has been considered valuable because it possibly dates to the beginning of the third century, thus placing it closely to the Vatican and Sinaitic Codices.

Later Manuscripts: Many manuscripts dating from the 9th to the 15th century have been recovered. Most of these are written in a cursive, running hand. More than 2500 cursive manuscripts have been catalogued, but their age tends to limit their value. Many of these are made in elaborate and artistic decorations, often portraying a portrait of the authors of the Four Gospels. These artistic manuscripts usually identify their date, and their ornamental, multi-colored texts are elegant to look upon.

Other texts, besides Hebrew, have contributed missing parts of the Hebrew text and otherwise help to support those manuscripts, such as:

  1. Samaritan Pentateuch: The Samaritan Pentateuch is not a translation, but is a form of the Hebrew text itself. Its beginning is to be traced back to about 400 B.C. when the Samaritans separated themselves from the Jews and built their sanctuary on Mt. Gerizim, near Shechem. As a result the Samaritans adopted their own form of the Hebrew Scriptures and counted as authoritative only the five books of Moses. In one sense the Samaritan Pentateuch presents a problem, for it bears some 6,000 variants from the Massoretic text. * * *
  1. Septuagint: The word “Septuagint” is derived from the Latin Septuaginta, meaning “Seventy,” and is the common name given to the [18] Greek translation of the Old Testament. According to an unfounded tradition, about seventy men took part in the translation of the Pentateuch. *** It is believed that the version was completed at Alexandria, but probably by Alexandrian rather than Palestinian Jews. The time of the Egyptian king, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, is also probably right, making the origin of the Septuagint approximately 250 B.C. * * * Whatever mysteries may surround it, the Septuagint translation will always hold interest among Christians. For a while it was the only Bible for the earth church. It was the text most often quoted by the apostles and inspired writers of the New Testament. Yet beyond these prevailing attachments, the Septuagint version is an extremely valuable authority on the Old Testament text. It is true that it has its deficiencies; it has its mistakes of translation and its differences from the Massoretic text;. . .
    (How We Got the Bible,
    Neil Lightfoot, p. 73)

There are three sources from which we gather information pertaining to the Bible: (1) the manuscripts; (2) the versions of translations; and (3) quotations from early Christian church writers. Most of the early Christian Fathers were writers who lived near the end of the first century and later. The most important of those who quoted the New Testament were Justin Martyr, Tatian, Irenaeus, and Clement of Alexandria–all of whom lived in the second century. In the fourth century we have important writings of Eusebius of Caesarea as well as Jerome. From these men and the many who followed, we have obtained thousands of valuable Biblical manuscripts. However, they were all different because scribes and translators made modifications–either by accident or on purpose –with the intent to help clarify or correct.

[19]         All manuscripts are not equal in value because they all differ; thus it requires a process of elimination of errors, verifying what has been principally agreed upon and attempting to interpret the meaning of what is written.

In 384 A.D. an “authorized” revision of the Gospels from Latin manuscripts was made by Jerome. It gradually took precedence and gained popularity, and was copied and carried to various parts of the West. But as it was copied by different scribes, they produced an astounding set of various translations.

Several attempts were made throughout the Middle Ages to purify Jerome’s text, but each of these recensions eventually resulted in further corruption. As a result, the over 8,000 extant Vul. Mss reflect an enormous cross-contamination of text-types. (Biblical Criticism: Historical, Literary and Textual, Gordon Fee, p. 140)

So the confusing and intricate history of the Bible unfolds.

The New Testament books have been handed down to us by means of thousands of copies. Although God inspired the New Testament writers, He did not miraculously guide the hands of the copyists. Textual or Lower Criticism seeks to counteract inevitable scribal errors and recover the true form of the text. Many mistakes in the manuscripts crept into the text unintentionally, and are not difficult to detect. Other textual modifications were made intentionally, usually by a well-meaning scribe, and these do not stand out so clearly. (How We Got the Bible, Neil Lightfoot, p. 50)

Here, then, is the basis from which we draw our conclusion that errors have indeed crept into Bible translations. Hence, the need for a clear and correct translation, which may actually be impossible to obtain.


[20]                              Chapter 3



Too often over-zealous and misinformed preachers of today profess to have a Bible without error. However, any honest Christian scholar will admit mistakes and inaccuracies in all Bible translations. Perhaps the erudite scholars of Bible history said it best when they declared:

The need for NT textual criticism results from a combination of three factors: (1) The originals, probably written on papyrus scrolls, have all perished. (2) For over 1,400 years the NT was copied by hand, and the copyists (scribes) made every conceivable error, as well as at time intentionally altering (probably with the idea of “correcting”) the text. Such errors and alterations survived in various ways, with a basic tendency to accumulate (scribes seldom left anything out, lest they omit something inspired). (3) There are now extant, in whole or in part, 5,338 Greek MSS, as well as hundreds of copies of ancient translations (not counting over 8,000 copies of the Latin Vulgate), plus the evidence from the citations of the NT in the writings of the early church fathers. Moreover, no two MSS anywhere in existence are exactly alike. (Biblical Criticism, Harrison, Waltke, Guthrie and Fee, p. 128)

This is not the “overwhelming evidence as to the accuracy and harmony of the Bible” which our modern divines proclaim; but rather the understanding of scholarly and qualified textual critics. The translators themselves are responsible for most of the errors in the Bible, so we must look to where and how they came about. There is a definite “need” for textual critics and for the exposure of errors they find.

[21]         The principle errors in translation can be classified into three main categories:

  1. Changes in words, numbers, and dates.
  2. Inconsistencies within its history.
  3. Contradictions in its teachings.

Summarized in this chapter are 41 of the main problems encountered in making a correct translation of the Bible from ancient manuscripts.

  1. Language Transmission.

To begin with, the translation of any ancient language into another, cannot be absolutely accurate regardless of how well versed the scribe may be. Scholars all agree that even “certain features of Greek syntax and vocabulary are difficult or impossible to convey in translation”–which is the language of the New Testament.

  1. Word Transmission.

Anyone familiar with foreign languages knows that many words in a language cannot be directly changed into words of another language with exactly the same meaning. Every language has its own word peculiarities, which are often very difficult, if not impossible, to change into another language.

  1. Homonym Errors.

In every language there are words that sound alike but mean different things. Some examples in English are words such as “beat” and “beet”; or a person could “saw” a log or he “saw” a parade; “hole” is written for “whole”; “it’s” for “its”; to get a “board” or to be “bored”; often the word “way” is written for “weigh”; and “to”, “too”, and “two” are mistakenly used interchangeably because of the similarity of sound. These and similar homonyms have been frequently found in Bible translations.

[22] 4.    Haplography Errors.

This means writing once what should have been written twice. This has occurred in the Bible with letters, words and portions of sentences.

  1. Dittography Errors.

This is a common transcriptional error–writing twice what should be written only once. This error has been noted in Ezekiel, Isaiah, Psalms and other early manuscripts, but many later translators have corrected the error when writing it in English.

  1. Metathesis.

This is the inadvertent exchange of the proper order of letters or words, and it can significantly change meaning. In Isaiah 32:19 it originally read, “the forest will fall”; instead it was incorrectly translated, “the city is leveled.” In Ezekiel 42:16, the original number was obviously wrong and had to be corrected by translators to read “five hundred” rather than “five cubits”.

  1. Fusion.

This is combining the last letter of the first word with the first letter of the following word. In Hebrew this can be and has been a serious error.

  1. Fission.

This is the improper separation of one word into two words. This has been found in verses such as Isaiah 61:1 with the last word in Isaiah 2:20, and also in other places.

[23] 9.    Misreading Handwriting.

In nearly all languages there are several letters which are similar in appearance and are easily mistaken. Anciently this was a problem because of poor writing materials and the variations of handwriting. Age of manuscripts would mar or obliterate important letters or words, making it difficult to know what was written. Misreading the handwriting in copying even the same language is easily done. In the Hebrew writing this is a particularly common problem.

  1. Homoeoteleuton.

This Greek word means “having the same ending”. Sometimes the loss of a text can result when the eye of the copyist passes over all the words preceding a final phrase which may be identical with one which closes the sentence preceding it or following after it. These have been found in Isaiah, Psalms, and elsewhere.

  1. Homoeoarkton.

This means “that which has a similar beginning”. This, too, involves losses of intervening words as the eye of the scribe jumps from one beginning to another. This is often a situation which has caused the loss of a substantial number of words in the translation.

  1. Omission of Words.

This is the occasional loss of a word because it was accidently missed, or because it was unreadable and purposely left blank. Such an example was I Samuel 13:1 which in the MSS said, “Saul was      years old when he began to reign.” This was filled in by scholars who used clues and calculations to provide the omitted information–whether correct or incorrect. In some instances, this is impossible to do accurately.

[24] 13.  Dead Language Words.

Some Hebrew words are not known in today’s language–even to Jewish scholars. For instance, the creature mentioned in Deut. 14:5-6, the diseases in Deut. 28:22, or the names of the stones in Exodus 28, are all part of a lost or dead language.


  1. Absence of Vowels.


The vowels and accents of Hebrew were not in the language of the Bible. Thus, it is easy to understand how a word could have been interpreted differently.


For example, in English, B R N might be read BaRN, BoRN, BuRN, BRiNy, BaRoNy, etc., and if there were no vowel marks to indicate the sound, we should have to be taught, like the Jews, which word the writer intended. . . . Here, for example, are two Hebrew words in Deuteronomy, BZR and PSGH, which in our Hebrew Bible read Bezer and Pisgah, but which the Septuagint translators render Bozor and Pasgah. (Old Documents and the New Bible, R. Etzenhouser, p. 7-8)


Vowels were not even used until about the 7th and 8th century. Syriac and Arabic writing had a similar delay for vowels in their writing.


Many Bible difficulties result from a minor error on the part of a copyist in the transmission of the text. In the Old Testament such transmissional errors may have resulted from a poor reading of the vowels; Hebrew was originally written in consonants only, and the vowel signs were not added until a thousand years after the completion of the Old Testament canon. But there are also some consonants that are easily confused because they look so much alike. Besides that, some words are preserved in a very [25] old spelling susceptible of misunderstanding by later Hebrew copyists. (Bible Difficulties, Gleason L. Archer, p. 16)


  1. Continuous Letters.


Another cause of error in translating ancient texts was the dividing of words that had been written that had been originally all run together in a continuous line. For example: comeseeamanwhichtoldmeallthingsthateveridid.


  1. Etzenhouser gives a simple explanation of this particular method of mistranslation:


Again, in ancient manuscripts, where there is often no division between the words, each line presenting a continuous row of letters, it might easily happen that one word would be wrongly divided into two, or two combined into one, as in the old story of the infidel who wrote over his bed, “God is nowhere,” which was read by his little boy as, “God is now here.” (Old Documents and the New Bible, pp. 20-21)


  1. Language Variants.


Aramaic is a kindred language to Hebrew, and about 500 B.C. it became the spoken language of the common man around Palestine. Since Aramaic was spoken by most Jews several centuries before Christ, it explains why some Old Testament portions were found written in the Aramaic language. Even the appearance of the Aramaic and Hebrew letters are almost identical, and yet they are two different languages.


The Aramaic language was used for many centuries and was the written and spoken language of Christ and His disciples. However, although Aramaic was spoken by Christ, the books of the New Testament were usually written in Greek, as the writers wanted to translate into [26] a more commonly used language. In the first century, Greek was the “universal” language, just as English today is fairly universal around the world.


Since the Bible was mostly written in these three languages, we have three variants of expression and interpretations.


  1. Word Meaning.


If all of the Greek, Latin, Hebrew and Syriac texts had been translated from one single text, there would still remain possible variations, due to the choice of words in translating. Every scribe has his own style of vocabulary and types of descriptions and expression.


Each translator tries to express the original meaning which he thinks was intended by the person who wrote the text. Hence, many scribes differed in their interpretation of the original text language. Even though they were translating the very same words, each had a slightly different understanding of the original meaning of the words written by the author.


Consider how confused a foreigner must be when he reads in a daily American newspaper: “The prospectors made a strike yesterday up in the mountains.” “The union went on strike this morning.” “Strike up with the Star Spangled Banner.” “The fisherman got a good strike in the middle of the lake.” Presumably each of these completely different uses of the same word go back to the same parent and have the same etymology. But complete confusion may result from misunderstanding how the speaker meant the word to be used. Bear in mind that inerrancy involves acceptance of and belief in whatever the Biblical author meant by the words he used. If he meant what he said in a literal way, it is wrong to take it figuratively, but if he meant [27] what he said in a figurative way, it is wrong to take it literally. So we must engage in careful exegesis in order to find out what he meant in the light of contemporary conditions and usage. (Bible Difficulties, Gleason L. Archer, p. 16)


  1. Limited Education.


Each translator has a different form and level of education, thereby limiting his translating ability. Words take on meanings that were learned through various types of schooling.


Just as the great variety of English Bibles reflects the philosophies and abilities of the translators, so also the variants in the ancient MSS reflect the philosophies and abilities of the scribes who produced them. (Biblical Criticism, Harrison, etc., p. 48)


This created variations in meaning among the Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Agnostics and Antagonists.


  1. Marginal Corrections.


Parchment was expensive and very scarce, so when scribes used this medium for writing, the lines were very close together. If a correction had to be made, it was usually made in the margin. However, they often made their own comments in the margin, as well. Thus, it later became difficult to distinguish a personal comment from a correction. Doctor Roberts says:


Mere glosses, doxologies, or liturgical formularies, written on the margin of manuscripts, were sometimes inadvertently introduced by transcribers into the text. Thus, an unwarranted explanation has been admitted at John 5:3,4; the omission of which in the Revised Version, on good grounds of evidence, relieves the passage of [28] an obvious difficulty. The doxology of the Lord’s prayer, Matthew 6:13, which seems to have been quite unknown to the early Fathers of the Church, probably crept into the text from the margin in like manner. (Companion to the Revised Version of the English New Testament, pp. 7-8)


  1. Meaning Differences by Classes.


Some of the Greek words of the New Testament period have uncertain meanings, the reason being that languages change and assume new meanings. There are also different language meanings by various classes of people living at the same time, as explained by Professor Goodspeed:


The New Testament was written not in classical Greek, nor in the “biblical” Greek of the Greek version of the Old Testament, nor even in the literary Greek of its own day, but in the common language of everyday life. . . . The writers of the New Testament had for the most part little use for literary art. (Preface to the Goodspeed N.T. Bible)


  1. Misinterpreting Definitions.


The Greek Testament contains nearly 900 words which are not found in the classical Greek. This represents about one-sixth of its vocabulary without definition.


To illustrate in modern English, a newspaper may report that a group of people were “gay”, which could be interpreted either to mean “happy” or “sexually perverted,” depending on the translator’s understanding. The writers of the New Testament wrote in the common language of their day which is not easily interpreted to our understanding.


[29] 22.  Language Changes.


Language changes also occurred as copies were made of copies.


It is not always easy to determine the original meaning of a text which is derived from one or more translations, the original of which had been copied an unknown number of times in a language that had passed through many changes. (The Inspired Version, A. B. Phillips, p. 6)


  1. Language Difficulties.


Hebrew was the written language for almost all 39 books of the Old Testament. But the Hebrew language had many disadvantages for English translators. It has a vocabulary unrelated to English words. It is also written “backwards” (from right to left), and has many sounds that are foreign to English forms and sounds. And, of course, the Hebrew alphabet is confusing to the eyes of its English readers because so many letters look alike.


  1. Missing Texts.


The two oldest and most valuable manuscripts of the Bible are the Vatican and the Sinai manuscripts, both written in Greek. They are believed to have been written in the fourth century. These documents are the principle source from which our Bible is taken.

However, the Sinaititus manuscript does not contain the doxology in Matthew 6:13; Mark 16:9-20; John 7:53 to 8:11; nor Ephesians 1:1. These texts are also missing in the Vatican manuscript. This might mean they should not even be included in the Bible.


The Vatican manuscript does not contain 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Revelations, nor the book of Hebrews. This is another problem of major proportion for translators.


[30] 25.  Inferior Texts.


It must be noted that the four most valuable manuscripts–the Vatican, the Sinaitic, the Alexandrian, and the Ephraem–were not even available in their original form to the King James translators. Hence, the basis for that Bible was translated from more inferior texts.


  1. Obsolete and Seldom Used Words.


The King James Version contains many archaic words which are either obscure or misleading. Some of the words are obsolete; others are intelligible but are cumbersome and distracting. For instance, “howbeit,” “holden,” “aforetime,” “thee,” “thou,” and “thine,” are not commonly used today but are understood. Other words used have a different meaning today than they did when first printed in the 17th century. “Allege” was used for “prove”; “suffer” for “allow”; “let” for “hinder”; and “conversation” for “conduct”; etc.


  1. Different Names.


Sometimes names were different but meant only one person. “Jeremiah” was also called “Jeremias” in Matt. 16:14 and “Jeremy” in Matt. 27:9. At first glance, one might suppose they were all different Old Testament prophets. Thus there are many interchangeable names and words that are not properly written for our use and understanding.


  1. Translator Bias.


Another problem has been the bias of the translators. The Vatican Manuscript, obviously was used as the basis of the Bible used by the Catholic Church. The Sinai manuscript is the basis for the Protestant Bible. In earlier years there was a broad difference in the two translations, but more recently they are closer in comparison to each other. However, there are still many notable differences, thus [31] showing either the inability or bias of translators to convey a correct interpretation from the original, depending on their own religious beliefs.


The Catholic and Protestant versions concur in most points of importance. If they took their origin in suspicions of opposing parties, and the notes showed this strongly, the text and translation were dealt with honestly. Each has been repeatedly revised, and the modern editions are much nearer each other than those of the sixteenth century. (Roman Catholic and Protestant Bibles Compared, p. 51)


  1. Divisions and Sub-Divisions.


The division of the Bible into chapters and verses also has a negative result in some instances.


The various divisions and sub-divisions of the sacred Scripture into chapters, verses and members of sentences, are of human authority and to be regarded as such. Anciently all the books of the sacred Scriptures were written in one continuous manner–without a break, a chapter or a verse. The division into chapters, that now universally obtains in Europe, derived its origin from Cardinal Cairo, who lived in the twelfth century. The subdivision into verses is of no older date than the middle of the sixteenth century, and was the invention of Robert Stevens. Whatever advantages these divisions may have been in the way of facilitating references, they have so dislocated and broken to pieces the connection, as not only to have given the Scriptures the appearance of a book of proverbs, but have thrown great difficulties in the way of any of them. The punctuation, too, being necessarily dependent on these divisions, is far from accurate; and taken altogether it affords a demonstra-[32]tion that there is no more divinity in the chapters, verses, commas, semi-colons, colons and periods of the inspired writings, than there is in the paper on which they are inscribed, or in the ink by which they are depicted to our view. (Christian Baptism, Alexander Campbell, p. 39)


  1. Uncorrectable Errors.


Unknown and uncorrectable errors can exist without having any way to correct them.


That there are historical and chronological errors in our present Bible no intelligent and candid person will deny. That some of these errors are the result of copying, is probably true; but that they all so resulted, and that the original autographs were absolutely free from error in all minor details is what no man on earth knows or can prove, as the manuscripts are not in existence. (Christian Evangelist, editor, 29:802)


  1. Theological Omission.


Omission of doctrine, principle or teachings has led to questioning the authenticity of certain books in the Bible.


Sometimes scholars suppose that if a NT author has omitted some aspect of theology, he could not have held it. For example, the absence from the Pauline Epistles of any idea of Christ as high priest is for them evidence that he could not have held this idea. Yet he may have had reason for not including it in any of the Epistles under his name in the NT. Arguments from silence are clearly less conclusive than contradictory evidence would be. It is reasonable to assume that an author would not knowingly [33] contradict himself. Yet it cannot be assumed that the totality of his doctrinal ideas is necessarily expressed in his extant writings. (Biblical Criticism, Harrison, etc., p. 114)


  1. Book Arrangements.


The arrangement of the books in the Bible has created certain problems because they are not all found in chronological order.


The one book of Prophecy, the book of Revelation or Apocalypse, perhaps was not the last book of the New Testament to be written, but it suitably appears at the end of the Bible since it summarizes in symbolic language the principles revealed in preceding books and at the same time gives a prophetic foretaste of things to come. (How We Got the Bible, Neil Lightfoot, p. 23)


The writing dates of many books in the Bible are not known. Yet we now know that the last book of the Bible was not the last one written. Still most Christians believe it was the “conclusion” and final inspired word from God to men. From this incorrect conclusion, they religiously believe that God was not going to send any more revelations or prophets to reveal them, as stated in Rev. 22:18-19.


  1. Too Many Manuscripts.


There have been only two alternatives for translators: (1) to select one manuscript and make it the standard text; or, (2) to consult the thousands of manuscripts and authorities and make a “comparative” translation by reconstructing them all. Since choosing one manuscript would surely result in an incomplete failure, the Bible has been composed from the latter method. This has not proved accurate, hence the many versions of the Bible today.


[34] 34.  Inadequate Texts.


The publication of the King James Version of the Bible in 1611 was a milestone in Bible history. It was itself a revision of other translations and revisions. For centuries it remained the dominant Bible for English speaking people. However, no translation can ever be final. Translators are human beings and there will always be room for improvements upon their work. The King Jams Version was made from inadequate manuscripts. This is not the fault of the translators because they did not have many of the manuscripts which we now possess. As other more ancient and correct manuscripts are found, they will tend to make new revisions of the Bible. In fact, hundreds more recent Bible translations have been published since the King James edition. (See Chapter 4, “Different Bibles and Translations”.)


  1. Numerous Variants.


There are so many manuscripts and pieces of manuscripts that it is difficult, if not impossible, to decide which ones are the most accurate.


The quantity of materials available on the Bible text–The number of textual documents, including manuscripts and versions, is so vast that it practically defies calculation–a conservative guess would be at least 20,000. Of these, as we have seen, some 4,500 alone are manuscripts of the New Testament. (How We Got the Bible, Neil Lightfoot, p. 120)


  1. Printer Errors.


Even after a manuscript is translated and given to a printer, there are still many errors that creep into the final printing.


[35]                         Yet problems arise and persist in the making of books. Today with modern printing methods it is not unusual to see glaring mistakes in published materials. Some of the greatest mistakes in the history of the Bible have occurred since the invention of printing. More than 300 errors in the first edition of the King James Bible were corrected in the second edition two years later. In our own time, despite all concentrated efforts to the contrary, the Revised Standard Version of 1946 and 1952 was not exempt from the plague of misprints.

If in modern times errors somehow appear in printed copies of the Bible, it is not difficult to see how mistakes slipped unnoticed into the New Testament manuscripts long ago. All ancient books had to be produced by hand, and no human hand is so exact or eye so sharp as to preclude the possibility of error. So errors were made; errors were copied; and errors were mixed in with the pure text. (How We Got the Bible, Neil Lightfoot, p. 46)


  1. Incomplete Texts.


There have been no “complete” manuscripts from which to translate the Bible; hence, certain manuscripts have been selected for use in publishing a complete New Testament or Bible as a whole.


The number of our New Testament manuscripts is vast, about 4,500 in all. All of these, however, are not complete New Testaments. In fact, only a few contain anything like what could be termed a complete New Testament. (How We Got the Bible, Neil Lightfoot, p. 28)


[36] 38.  Inclusion.


Other works were included in the manuscripts of the Bible, and for awhile were considered scripture. Thus, whole books of the Bible have been questioned later as to their validity as scripture.


At one time the Sinaitic Manuscript evidently contained the complete Old Testament, but much of it had been lost before its discovery by Tischendorf. Fortunately, the New Testament portion is intact, and includes also two other non-canonical books known as the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas. <These two manuscripts were not included in any standard Bible editions.> (How We Got the Bible, Neil Lightfoot, p. 35)


  1. Canonizing.


None of the books of the Bible was ever canonized as scripture by any religion council. This raises the question of what verses, chapters, or books of the Bible are scripture or which should be considered as non-scripture. And, if new manuscripts are found, who can determine or say with authority that they are or are not scripture?


Through the years, as further study of these old manuscripts is undertaken, more questions arise concerning the validity of some Bible stories and teachings. For instance, the authenticity of the story of the adulterous woman (John 7:53-8:11)) is questioned by nearly all translators as to actually being recorded by John. Why? Simply because it is not recorded in any of the earliest manuscripts. The only early manuscript containing the story is the Codex Bezal, which is known for many of its peculiar readings. Only manuscripts from the eighth century, and later, tell that story, and some of these manuscripts have marginal notes expressing doubts as to its validity. Some manuscripts place the story at the end of the Gospel of [37] John, while others insert it in the Gospel of Luke. The American Standard Version of the Bible encloses it in brackets, indicating doubt in the minds of the translators as to its origin. The Revised Standard Bible puts the story in a footnote. So, where did the story come from? No one really knows.


Other verses in question are those found at the end of Mark’s Gospel. Again in the American Standard Version, the verses are enclosed in brackets and the Revised Standard Version puts them in a footnote.


The evidence against Mark 16:9-20 is compounded because of its absence in the Vatican and Sinaitic Manuscripts, and these two manuscripts from the fourth century are the best and oldest that are available. Furthermore, those verses are not found in the Old Syriac manuscripts either.


All of this lends doubt to the authenticity of many Biblical verses and parables.


  1. New Text Discoveries.


As scholars probe deeper into newly found manuscripts and additional historical discoveries, and more deeply analyze existing research, they discover that some records are not based upon correct or previous assumptions. For instance,


Scholars are generally agreed that Paul did not write Hebrews, although it cannot be maintained that it was impossible for him to have done so because he did not elsewhere mention the high priestly theme. (Biblical Criticism, Harrison, etc., p. 114)


Therefore, since the authorship of Hebrews is questionable, can we still classify it as scripture?


[38]                         Revelation is another book that has been subjected to a variety of source theories. These range from the view that the book was originally a Jewish apocalypse modified and enlarged to present a Christian viewpoint, to the idea that its author drew his imagery from various Jewish apocalypses. (Biblical Criticism, Harrison, etc., p. 104)


The Book of Revelation is not included in the Vatican Manuscript, therefore adding to the question of its validity.


  1. Loss of Original Sources.


The vast majority of the errors in the NT MSS occurred during the period that is also the most difficult to reconstruct–the first four Christian centuries.


Much of the difficulty stems from the work of the earliest Christian copyists. In a time when the majority of people were illiterate and when Christianity periodically underwent severe persecution, there were probably few professionally trained scribes in the service of the church. Moreover, seldom were the scribes possessed by the spirit of the scribes of later times who worked according to the instructions of the Lord given in Deuteronomy 12:32: “Thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish therefrom.” In fact, the opposite seems to have been true of the scribes in the first two centuries. They introduced thousands of changes into the text. To be sure, the majority of their errors were unintentional and are easily discernible slips of the eye, ear, or mind. Hundreds of changes in the text were, however, made intentionally. Yet we should not think of these scribes as having acted from evil motives. If they often took many liberties in copying their texts, apparently they did so in [39] most cases in an attempt to “help out.” They were more interested in making the message of the sacred text clear than in transmitting errorless MSS.

Thus, early scribes (and sometimes later ones) often “smoothed out” the Greek of the biblical writer by adding conjunctions, changing tenses of verbs, and changing word order. They also tended to clarify ambiguous passages by adding nouns or pronouns, by substituting common synonyms for uncommon words, and sometimes even by rewriting difficult phrases. * * *

There are also some instances–and these are usually very important ones–where scribes have added (or less often, subtracted) whole sentences or narratives in the interest of doctrine or completeness. (Biblical Criticism, Harrison, etc., pp. 138-139)


Had original manuscripts been available, scribes would probably not have taken so many liberties in their translations.

* * *




Because there are so many manuscripts that disagree, so many different Bibles, and so many errors in them all, scholars have lost a certain confidence in any finished Bible. From the early Christian fathers to the modern intellectuals, they have voiced their extreme displeasure with the translators. For example:


* Augustine often had to attempt a justification of the many conflicting passages of the Bible.

* Origen wrote a large book trying to clarify many of the Bible’s discrepancies.

* Neander, an excellent scholar, never even attempted to justify all the contradictions after noting so many.

[40]         * Many of our most recent scholars of the Bible have written much concerning the “glaring inconsistencies”, “self-contradictions” and “manifest discrepancies” of the Bible.

* The learned scholar, Moses Stuart, said the scriptures have “discrepancies between different portions of them which no learning nor ingenuity can reconcile.”

* Dr. Charles Hodge declared, “It would require not a volume, but volumes, to discuss all the cases of alleged discrepancies.”


Orson Pratt referred to Bishop Usher’s discouragement with all the differences in manuscript texts:


In my hearing, Bishop Usher professed that whereas he had of many years before a desire to publish the New Testament in Greek, with various lections and annotations; and for that purpose had used great diligence and spent much money to furnish himself with manuscripts yet, in conclusion, he was forced to desist utterly, lest, if he should ingenuously have noted all the several differences of reading which himself had collected, the incredible multitude of them almost in every verse should rather have made men atheistical than satisfy them in the true reading of any particular passage. (Exomol. Ca. 8, nu. 3; as quoted by Orson Pratt, JD 7:28)


As far back as 1659 William Kilburne wrote about the “dangerous errors” that had already been published in the Bibles. He claimed to have discovered 20,000 errors in six editions of the King James versions alone. (See Cambridge History of the Bible, p. 363.)


If anyone wishes to see some of the additions that have been inserted into the Bible, just turn to any page and notice the words printed in italics. These are words and phrases that the translators have added to the original text to help clarify or to try to correct it. It is reported [41] that from the year 1611 to 1870 the number of italicized words increased from 43 to 583 in the book of Matthew alone. (See The Bible in America, P. Marion Sims, p. 97.)


Unfortunately, we have no original manuscripts from which to obtain an absolutely correct version of the Bible. There are no early manuscripts from Asia Minor or Palestine, from which the original sources would have come. The original Old Testament manuscripts were copied by hand for many generations on highly perishable papyrus and animal skins in the relatively damp, hostile climate of Palestine. Within only a few years these original manuscripts were consumed to oblivion.


As copies of copies were made, by both learned and unlearned copyists, minor and major changes began to appear. Many scribes unintentionally made minor errors; then some made intentional errors by trying to correct what they thought was an error. Variations accompanied almost every copy as “corrections” or “interpretations” began to appear. Later scholars have tried to sort and select which “variations” seemed most likely to agree with their own understanding of what the original writer intended. Hence, another reason for so many different Bible versions in existence today.



[42]                              Chapter 4




Our Bible is a collection of books written over a period of 1600 years. It gradually grew until its compilation consisted of 66 books, with the last one being written at the close of the first century A.D. The arrangement of the books has differed through the years, but not necessarily in chronological order.


The twentieth century has seen a surge of new translations of these ancient manuscripts. “All of them have their faults, of course, but some of them are especially good and can be of great help to the Bible reader.” (How We Got the Bible, Lightfoot, p. 116)


Even the most popular and respected King James Bible is not complete and needed revision.


No one translation is infallible. With the advance of time it was inevitable that revisions would have to be made of the classic King James Version: (1) its translation was based on manuscripts of late (instead of early) dates; (2) it contained obsolete expressions which were often misleading; and (3) it did not always represent an exact translation of the original tongues. (Ibid., p. 116)


So now we come to another phase of the Bible–the history of its translation into the English language. Many of the early manuscripts came into England during the fourth century, but these were written in Latin, the language of the learned. But the common people were deserving and desirous of having it in their own language.


[43]         An unlearned man by the name of Caedmon arranged stories of the Bible into the Anglo-Saxon language during the 7th century. In 709 a fellow by the name of Aldhelm made a translation including Psalms. Then in the last years of his life, a man named Bede in 735 made a translation of the book of John. At the close of the 9th century King Alfred encouraged a translation of several sections of the Bible into English. But it wasn’t until the 13th and 14th centuries that most of the Bible was translated into English.


In the 1300’s it was an Oxford scholar and teacher, John Wycliffe, that accomplished the great work of getting the whole Bible translated–the first Protestant English version. He translated it from the Latin Vulgate, and completed his work in 1382. Then a few years later, one of Wycliffe’s close friends and associates, John Purvey, corrected and revised Wycliffe’s edition. However, Wycliffe’s Bible was so well done that it became the basis for later versions–Tyndale, Coverdale, Matthew, Great, Geneva, Bishop’s and the Authorized versions.


One of the most famous Bibles was the Gutenberg Bible, named after the printer Johann Gutenberg. A copy of it rests in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., displayed in a specially built temperature and humidity controlled encasement. This Latin Bible was the first book printed with movable type and was published in the year 1456. It is a majestic piece of workmanship with 1,282 large double-columned pages.


Following is the caption accompanying a display on the Gutenberg Bible:


The first major work produced by printing–the Holy Bible printed by Gutenberg–is still considered by many connoisseurs today to be the world’s most beautiful book from the aesthetic point of view. The Mainz inventor printed 190 copies of this “42-line” Bible in the years from 1452 to 1455.


[44]         Even though this method of printing was a very progressive step, it was not well received by some:


Copyists protested that printing would destroy their means of livelihood; aristocrats opposed it as a mechanical vulgarization, and feared that it would lower the value of their manuscript libraries; statesmen and clergy distrusted it as a possible vehicle of subversive ideas. (The Story of Civilization, Will Durrant, 6:159)


[45]         Printing replaced esoteric manuscripts with inexpensive texts, more exact and legible with a uniformity that became the standard in reading. Scholars from all over began to publish and distribute their learning and their trades by means of the press. It became a cheap and accessible means of education. It made the Bible a common household possession, and many began to investigate into the field of Biblical criticism to correct and publish Bible manuscripts. This began the great explosion which caused the vast ocean of Bible versions.


The next Englishman to undertake a translation of the Bible into English was William Tyndale. Tyndale was an Oxford and Cambridge scholar who saw the need for a Bible translated directly from the Greek and Hebrew instead of the Latin–thus reducing the number of errors in translation. But more than this, he endeavored to have the Bible in the hands of every Englishman. “If God spare my life,” he once said to an opponent, “ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plow shall know more of the Scripture than thou doest.”


Tyndale received too much opposition in England to do the work of translating, so he went to Germany shortly after Luther had translated it into German. In 1525 his work was finished; but he, like Luther, received much opposition. The two were often identified with each other. He sought to have it published in Cologne, but had to flee to Worms, where his New Testament was completed. It was smuggled into England where it was both hailed and condemned. The Church spoke out against it and had it burned in a public ceremony.


By 1530 Tyndale had translated and published the Pentateuch; other portions of the Old Testament followed in the next few years. However, the Romanists were constantly condemning him, resulting in Tyndale’s betrayal and imprisonment in 1534. in 1536 he was strangled as he was crying, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!” He was then burned at the stake.


[46]         It was about this same time that one of Tyndale’s friends, Miles Coverdale, published his English translation of the Bible. It did not meet with the opposition that Tyndale’s did and was better received and distributed. Other Bible translations appeared soon after, such as the Matthew Bible, Taverner’s Bible, and the Great Bible.


By 1860 came the Geneva Bible, because it was printed in Geneva. It became the most popular Bible because it was produced in legible type with accompanying commentaries and illustrations. It became the family Bible. It was also the first Bible to print each verse as a paragraph and to put words in italics which were not in the original texts. It has often been called the “Breeches Bible” because it says that Adam and Eve “sewed fig tree leaves together, and made themselves breeches.” The Geneva Bible was the Bible of Shakespeare and also the Pilgrims who journeyed to America.


But the Geneva Bible was not popular with most church officials, who thought the commentaries were opinionated. The English clergy then published a Bible known as the “Bishop’s Bible”. However, the Catholic Church had grown weary of all the Bibles being circulated by the Protestants, so they issued their own to compete with them. It was complete by 1610 and was known as the Rheims-Douai translation–published by the college at Rheims and the college at Douai. It was the first Catholic Bible in English, but it was a translation from the Latin Vulgate version.


A continuous production of new and different versions of the Bible began to flood the country because (a) better scholars were obtaining use of the manuscripts and could see where corrections should be made; (b) older manuscripts were being found which gave a clear and more accurate understanding; (c) instead of revisions from the Latin manuscripts, scholars were using older Greek and Hebrew manuscripts; (d) translations without the opinionated bias of the translators were implemented.


[47]         At this time King James was pressured into establishing a version which would be better for all English-speaking people. One of the few decent things that King James did was to organize a group of Greek and Hebrew scholars to publish an unbiased translation of the Bible. He appointed six working groups of 48 men–two at Westminster, two at Oxford, and two at Cambridge. These were scholars from many different religious backgrounds, but all were subject to specific rules set down by the king; for example, there were to be no comments or bias. Each company was assigned particular portions of the Bible for translating and each finished work was to be reviewed by the other groups. The result of this massive effort was the “Authorized Version of the Bible,” published in 1611.


This King James translation was really more of a revision of the 1602 edition of the Bishop’s Bible rather than a direct translation from ancient manuscripts. Some of the oldest manuscripts had not yet been found. After two years and nine months, the final completed edition was ready for the printers. It was dedicated to the king, but was printed for the people.


A good impartial English Bible had long been needed, because others had so many errors and private interpretations. The country was being torn apart by religious factions, and every Bible had its own doctrinal inclinations. Thus, the King James translation helped solve many of the problems in the religious climate in England. After three and a half centuries, it is still the most popular Bible, and it has become the standard for both the English and American people.


But even the King James translation has undergone many changes since its first edition. As each year passed, new information, modifications, and corrections became necessary.


[48]                         The King James translation has passed through many editions and has been modernized considerably during the course of years. In 1613 a new edition was issued which contained more than 400 variations from the original printing. Countless other emendations have taken place in the more than three centuries of its existence, so many changes indeed that the King James reader of today would be startled by the appearance of a 1611 edition. <For example:>

“Therefore, britheren, Y biseche you bi the mercy of God, that ye gyve youre bodies a lyvynge sacrifice, hooli, plesynge to God, a lyvynge servyse reasonable.” –Romans 12:1. (How We Got the Bible, Lightfoot, p. 102)


Many new discoveries of older manuscripts have shown errors and have been a reason for revisions; for as the language changed, so must newer editions be printed. Some translations are good, and some are better. Improvements of translations ought to be welcomed and appreciated, but most important an individual should use the translation which he favors and can understand the best.


The most common Bible in recent centuries has been this King James translation. At the time it was printed, there were only a few works printed of the Greek Testament. There was Cardinal Ximenes’ 1514 edition; Erasmus’ edition printed in 1516; Stephens’ edition in 1546; and Beza’s edition in 1562. It should be remembered that the King James Bible was not translated from any one particular manuscript.


There is also a Standard English edition of the Bible, but it, too, had no standard Hebrew or Greek text for the master translation. In fact, nearly every major Bible publication is a hodge-podge edition, having many different manuscripts as its source. Some Bibles are compiled from only a few different manuscripts, while others are a compilation from many differing texts.


[49]         The English Revised version was the work of 52 English scholars. An American committee of 30 assisted shortly after it began in 1870. Since the Americans did not agree on the translation, they left to later publish their own American Standard Revision.


On many points they did not agree with the English revisers, of which some idea may be formed from the fact that in the book of Job alone they made 1,781 changes, while the English revisers made 1,004 changes, and that they disagreed concerning the renderings in 1,438 instances. (See Mead figures in Doctor Schaff’s work, p. 481.)


Other Bibles, worthy of note, include:


(1)           The Moffatt Bible (1913) came under criticism for numerous translation liberties. Moffatt re-arranged some of the verses and chapters, and stated that the “traditional or Massoretic text of the Old Testament . . . is often desperately corrupt.” Moffatt made corrections on “nearly every page”, yet his version received wide acclaim.


(2)           The Revised Standard version was prepared by 32 scholars. Upon its publication in 1946, it was said of this edition, “No version produced in our country has ever aroused so much antagonism, some justified and some unjustified.” (PTL Councillors Bible, p. 1224)


(3)           The Berkeley Version (1959) translated every word into modern English terms.


(4)           The New English Bible (1970) took 50 Bible scholars 24 years to complete.


(5)           The New American Bible (1970) is a Catholic version which took 26 years for 50 scholars to complete.



(6)           The New American Standard (1971) was translated by 54 Greek and Hebrew scholars and required 11 years to complete.


Human nature being what it is, the many versions of the Bible simply illustrate the differences of opinion among both individuals and groups. Through the centuries, the constant flow of Bibles has been perhaps more confusing than helpful. In addition to the versions already mentioned, are those listed below–only a small portion of the hundreds of different Bibles that have circulated around the world–yet they are all supposed to be the same Bible.


Murdock’s New Testament                                Twentieth Century N.T.

Noyes Version                                                      The Bible, American Trans.

Wescott-Hart                                                        Whitechurch

Crammer                                                                               Wymouth’s Version

Youngs                                                                  New Translation

Darby                                                                     Goodspeed Bible

Good News                                                                           The Complete Bible

Jerusalem                                                                              Phillips Bible

The Living Bible                                  American Standard Revised

Parallel Bible                                                        New World

Nave’s                                                                    The Devotional Bible

The Book                                                                              Interpreters Bible

American Bible Union                        Amplified Bible

Centenary                                                                             Holy Bible in Brief

Holy Scriptures                                    Readers Digest Bible


The records show that from the years 1777 to 1833 there were more than 500 separate editions of the Bible, or parts thereof, published in America alone. (See Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, Robert Matthews, p. 8)


In spite of the existence of so many Bible versions, the Protestants generally conclude:


[51]                         Although there is agreement about the accurate text of most of the Bible, discussion is likely to continue about a large number of disputed readings, the majority of which are of minor importance. It is therefore becoming ever more widely recognized that no particular translation of the Bible can be regarded as final and definitive. (Encyclopedia of World Methodism, 1:264)


An interesting announcement of another Bible version was made around the turn of the century, at a time when the Bible was suffering from many mistranslations, additions and deletions. Certain scholars decided to eliminate the most unbelievable stories and parables from the Bible. [52] They wanted to print a Bible that didn’t contain anything about the parting of the Red Sea, Joshua and his power over the sun and moon, three Hebrews in the fiery furnace, Daniel in the lions den, and Jonah and the whale, as well as many other unbelievable stories and miracles. However, by deleting all of the spiritual and miraculous events of the Bible, there wouldn’t be much left!


Nevertheless, most ministers today are more willing to accept the “unbelievable” stories than the actual doctrines. If the sectarians really believed the Bible as they say they do, Joseph Smith would have had no difficulty teaching the fullness of the Gospel of Christ to this dispensation.


Because there are so many different Bibles, it tends to create different religions. Consider the Protestants, using only the King James translation, and how they continually disagree with each other. How is it that so many different religions could result from just one translation of the Bible? Simply said–they all interpret it differently.


When the question was asked Joseph Smith, “Wherein do you differ from other sects?”, he replied, “In that we believe the Bible, and all other sects profess to believe their interpretations of the Bible and their creeds.” (D.H.C. 3:28)



[53]                              Chapter 5




Although we have 66 books in our Bible, there are many others that are missing, some of which are mentioned in the existing scriptures; but no one seems to know what happened to them or why they were not included as part of the Bible. Many of these lost books are reported to be the words of God to some of His faithful prophets and patriarchs, so we must conclude that they are of great worth and would qualify to be considered scripture. It can also be concluded that there are many other missing books, also inspired, not mentioned in the Bible.


It is obvious that wars, migrations, poor materials, persecution, and other pitfalls could have taken a great toll on many sacred and important texts of God’s revelations to man. As explained by one scholar:


The Jews having been at some times careless and negligent, and at other times profane, they suffered some of the sacred books to be lost through their carelessness, and have burnt and destroyed others. (St. Chrysostom, as quoted in Simon’s Critical History of the New Testament.)


The perils of “book burning” have not been confined to the Dark Ages of Christianity, but have apparently taken their toll since the beginning of mankind.


Below are listed some of the books and references showing that they could or should have been included in the Bible:


[54] The Prophecy of Enoch


And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophecied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His Saints to execute judgment upon all, etc. (Jude 1:14)


Scriptures before Abraham


The modern Christian world think that Moses was the first prophet to write scripture, or to write the law of the Gospel among men. However, Paul understood differently when he said:


And the scripture, forseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham. (Gal. 3:8)


From this it is evident that someone wrote scripture before Abraham’s time–when Abraham read them and believed that Gospel, he was convinced that God would justify the heathen through faith.


Samuel’s Own Book


Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the Lord. (I Sam. 10:25)


This is Samuel’s record of the kingdom, and it would have been a very interesting and revealing book.


Shemaiah the Prophet; Book of Iddo, the Seer


Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer, concerning genealogies? (II Chron. 12:15)


[55]         This book of Shemaiah is one of the books of a prophet. When were the writings of a prophet considered unworthy of being kept? Is not every revelation through one prophet just as important as another prophet? This book undoubtedly contained many important things pertaining to genealogy–a subject so confusing and troublesome to the Protestant ministers today.


The Book of Nathan; The Prophecy of Ahijah; The Visions of Iddo, the Seer


Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer, against Jeroboam, the son of Nebat? (II Chron. 9:29)


These books must show or explain many things recorded from “prophecy” and in “visions”. They were probably very important and sacred, perhaps more so than many of the other books in the Bible.


Book of Samuel, the Seer; Book of Nathan, the Prophet; Book of Gad, the Seer


Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer. (I Chron. 29:29)


3000 Proverbs of Solomon


And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. (I Kings 4:32)


Obviously we have only a small portion of the proverbs of Solomon. If some of them were worthy of becoming scripture, why not all of them? It is evident that they have been lost, even though they would have been a great complement to the rest of his proverbs.


[56] Another Epistle of Paul’s to the Corinthians


Paul wrote in his first epistle to the Corinthians, “I wrote you in an epistle not to company with fornicators.” (I Cor. 5:9) From this we know that his first epistle to them was actually his second letter. This epistle was undoubtedly just as important as the other two, but it has been lost.


An Epistle to the Laodiceans


And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. (Col. 4:16)


The Epistle of Colossians and the Epistle to the Laudiceans were both important since Paul wanted them both read to the congregation. We have only the letter to the Colossians. Therefore, the Epistle to Laodicea is one of the missing scriptures.


Second Epistle to the Ephesians


How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words whereby when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ). (Eph. 3:3)


Paul alludes to another Epistle to the Ephesians, in which he mentions a “revelation” that he had received from God. Would not that revelation be as important as other revelations that he had received–or as important as any revelation to the other apostles?


Another Epistle of Jude


Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 3)


[57]         Since we have only one Epistle of Jude, wouldn’t the other one concerning “the common salvation” be just as important as this one?




Another group of manuscripts, written between the years 200 BC and 100 AD, has been found in recent years. They consist of seven books covering a range of subjects from the creation to the Christian era. They have been published under the title of The Forgotten Books of Eden.


These manuscripts have been found in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic–some handed down, while others were found in archaeological excavations. Some copies have variations from other manuscripts, but their messages are similar. A few summary statements about each of these books is included here:


The Books of Adam and Eve:

The story begins after the expulsion from Paradise and involves a variety of legends and religious concepts; it gives a very positive emphasis on the resurrection and the final judgment.


The Book of Secrets of Enoch:

This is a collection of psalms, histories and quotations from Enoch.


The Odes of Solomon:

This is an early Christian compilation, first published in 1909, and is mostly a book of poetry with many beautiful expressions of reverence, love, etc.


The Letter of Aristeas:

This was written by a hellenized or Greek Jew living in Egypt, probably Alexandria. It gives some light on how the Septuagint manuscript of the Bible came to be written.


[58] The Fourth Book of Maccabees:

This covers the events of the Syrian persecution of the Jews and the Maccabean revolt. It concerns the ability to deal with and conquer the passions.


The Story of Ahikar:

This is probably the earliest manuscript of the collection. It was first found among some Aramaic papyri dating back to the fifth century B.C. on the island of Elephantine in the Nile. It has a collection of both Jewish and pagan lore and gives much credence to homage to honorable earthly rulers–a tenet objectionable to the Jewish community who insist that only homage to God will bear merit.


Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs:

This is of much interest because it contains early Christian attempts to rewrite Jewish tracts. Some of these pre-date Paul, but most interesting is the fact that some versions of this have appeared in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Similar to other manuscripts, they contain much about the struggle between good and evil, good works, compassion, etc.


Although these works have never been considered worthy of a place in the Bible, they do give us some insights into Jewish and early Christian thought.

* * *


There are also many historical events in the life of Christ of which we have no knowledge. John said, “Many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.” (John 20:30) Those events would be of tremendous importance and worth to us now, but they are lost.


John, the Apostle, gives further enlightenment on the loss of many teachings and important events in the life of Christ:


[59]                         And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. (John 21:25)


There is a vast array of reasons for information and manuscripts to be lost. During 6000 years, various texts and writings have been destroyed by every “storm” that man and the elements could bring upon them. It is fortunate that we have even the small portion of copies that we have.


However, in recent times the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith another reason why this generation does not have some of these prophetic records. The Lord said:


Verily, verily, I say unto you, that there are records which contain much of my gospel, which have been kept back because of the wickedness of the people. (D. & C. 6:26)


Today’s Christian believes that he has all the scripture that was ever given to man. He believes that the Bible is complete–that God has given all that He intends to give. The modern Christian couldn’t receive any more scripture because his creeds forbid it. Thus, ignorance and shallow thinking have prevented multitudes of people from enjoying more enlightening and important scripture for these latter days.



[60]                              Chapter 6





The Song of Solomon


I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots. (Song of Solomon 1:9)


It is very apparent that not every chapter or verse in the Bible is worthy of being called “scripture”. Bible students usually consider scripture to be inspirational, prophetic, moral, or the law of God. On this basis, there is one book in the Bible that is certainly questionable–the Song of Solomon, which is found between Ecclesiastes and Isaiah. This is a song or poem about Solomon, possibly even written by him. This Biblical book contains nothing of a religious, spiritual or moral nature. Rather it depicts a dialogue between a man and woman, expressing their thoughts in a carnal love affair.


Since there is nothing uplifting or religious in this book, we can only wonder why it was included with the other manuscripts. Indeed, this book does not even mention God, heaven, or righteous principles.


From a commentary in the “PTL Television Network Bible”, it is written:


As to its literary genre, the Song of Solomon is obviously a poem of love. The difficulty is how to interpret it. (p. 616)


[61]         But there seems to be no “interpretation” about it; nothing indicates that it was written for an interpretation, but rather it is a literal story of a Shulamite girl whom Solomon takes to the palace, and despite his advances, she remains faithful to her beau, or husband. For eight whole chapters this man and woman talk about their romantic affections for each other.


The contents of this book appear strange, if not even humorous, to the people of our modern society. For example, the first chapter contains a verse of erotic jargon saying, “He shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.” The meaning of this is quite clear. Their description of each other is something else. In this same chapter, Solomon tries to portray her character, but it is difficult to determine whether it is by flattery or sarcasm. He says to her:


Thy hair is as a flock of goats.

Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep.

Thy temples are like a piece of pomegranate.

Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armory.

Thy two breasts are like two young roes which feed among the lilies.


A girl of today may not consider these as compliments. Solomon’s lady friend responds in a similar fashion, or in retaliation, by saying:


His eyes are the eyes of doves…washed with milk.

His cheeks are as a bed of spices.

His belly is as bright ivory, overlaid with saphires.

My beloved put his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.


Solomon continues with another series of lush narratives:


[62]         Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor.

Thy belly is like a heap of wheat.

Thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.

Thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.


Then Solomon makes his final passionate bid–


Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear; and the pomegranates bud forth; there will I give thee my love. (Song of Solomon 7:12)


With words like that, he may have thought no girl could refuse. Whatever the outcome, it makes one realize that the English language is certainly an improvement over ancient Hebrew.


It is interesting to note Reverend Jim Baker’s commentary on the Song of Solomon: “Nowhere in all of literature is there a more beautiful expression of human love.” This certainly reveals the lack of reading material in his library.

The Jewish Rabbis say this book might possibly be interpreted to be a relationship between God and His chosen people. The Christian ministers today think it may represent a relationship between Christ and His church. If these are the interpretations we get from the clergy, we should certainly question their explanations of the rest of the Bible.


On the other hand, when the Prophet Joseph Smith read this book, he quickly concluded there was nothing in it that should be considered “scripture”. Therefore, he properly and wisely omitted the entire Song of Solomon from his Inspired Translation of the Bible.


[63]         When we contemplate how our modern ministers accept such works as the “Song of Solomon” as scripture, then it is no wonder God sent a prophet such as Joseph Smith to help the people out of such dilemmas.


The Book of Jasher


Many books named in the Old Testament have been classed as “missing” or lost amid the many revolutions, wars and migrations occurring in Judea’s history. These books are not included in the canon of Jewish and Christian scripture because they have never been seen or heard of since the time of their writing. The book of Deuteronomy was lost for a long time but eventually found its way back among the sacred manuscripts.


The book of Jasher is mentioned twice in the scriptures:


And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? (Joshua 10:13)


Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher. (2 Sam. 1:18)


Some of the Hebrew scholars believed that it contained the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and some of the other patriarchs. Dr. Lightfoot thought it was the Book of the Wars of God. The scholar Grotius thought it was a poetic book. Josephus wrote:


That by this book are to be understood certain records kept in some safe place on purpose, giving an account of what happened among the Hebrews from year to year, and called Jasher, or the upright, on account of the fidelity of the annals. (Antiquities of the Jews, by Flavius Josephus)


[64]         Several books have turned up over the past few centuries which were thought to have been the book of Jasher, but many of them were eventually proved to be forgeries or fabrications.


One particular manuscript, however, has been discovered which perhaps has much more authentic value than any of the others. The scholar Dr. Horne made reference to a book called Jasher, written in Rabbinical Hebrew which was said to have been discovered in Jerusalem at its capture under the Roman general, Titus. (A.D. 69) It was first printed in Venice, Italy, in the year 1613. It has since been published in English and copies are available from the Bible Corporation of America in Philadelphia, copyrighted in 1954. The Preface of this edition states:


Long prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews had established themselves in various parts of Spain and Italy; they traded to the bay of Gibraltar, as historians affirm, in the earliest periods of history; and Basnage mentions that in Sagunto, a town in Spain, a tombstone was discovered, bearing the following inscription in the Hebrew language: “This is the tomb of Adoniram, an officer of King Solomon, who came to collect the tribute, and died the ______ day.” There can be no doubt that Spain, probably France and Italy, were tributary to Solomon. It is, however, certain, that the Jews carried with them into Spain, on their dispersion, an immense number of manuscripts and sacred rolls, where they remained many years, and were, in the eleventh century, placed in their great college at Cordova, and from thence were conveyed to Venice on the first discovery of printing. The printer’s Hebrew preface to Jasher shows that it was a painful transcript from a very old and almost illegible Hebrew record, and printed by and with the consent of the great Consistory of Rabbis at [65] Venice, who alone had the power of publishing such works from the Hebrew records as they deemed authentic. (Preface, pp. v-vi)


The publisher explains that “whatever may have been written and published by commentators, relative to the fabrications of Jasher, I am persuaded they had no reference to this work.”


The contents of this edition of Jasher are comparable to other writings of the Old Testament. The history, story and ethics corroborate those of the ancient writers and thus correspond with what has been written in the books of Joshua and 2 Samuel. It also records the history of the beginning of mankind and then elaborates in more detail some of the other history as written in the books of Moses.


The reasons for Cain’s rebellion against his brother were made more clear, and information is given about Cain’s wife accompanying him into the land of Nod. From Jasher, the definition of the word Nod has been given–“to move or wander about.” It also mentions Cain’s family.


This book also declares that the art of writing was known and that some things were written on stone.


There is a more detailed account of the flood and of Noah’s conduct. When Noah had finished preaching to the wicked, God caused “the whole earth to shake and the sun darkened …. and the thunder roared,” and “God did this mighty act in order to terrify the sons of men that there might be no more evil upon earth. And still the sons of men would not return from their evil ways.” About 700,000 men and women came to the ark, and as the waters prevailed over the earth they said to Noah:


We are ready to return to the Lord; only open for us that we may live and not die. And Noah answered them saying, behold now that you [66] see the trouble of your souls, you wish to return to the Lord; why did you not return during these hundred and twenty years, which the Lord granted you as the determined period? But now you come and tell me this on account of the troubles of your souls, now also the Lord will not listen to you, neither will he give ear to you on this day, so that you will not now succeed in your wishes. (Book of Jasher 6:21-23)


They came to the ark again prepared to destroy it, but the wild animals stood around the ark and began to overpower them and drove them off.


There is also more detail into the genealogy of the descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth.


More is related on the life and character of Enoch and the separation of both families and the earth in the days of Peleg. There are 40 verses pertaining to Enoch and his city. A description is included of the Lord’s anger when mankind mixed races and animal species–an abomination before the Lord. It described men who desired no responsibility for children and had their wives “drink a draught that would render them barren.” This was a “trespass against God, and to transgress the commandments which He had commanded to Adam, to be fruitful and multiply.”


The story of Abraham destroying the idol gods of his father and his explanation of why he did it is a classic piece of religious history.


But perhaps nothing written about Abraham compares to the piety, dignity and human affection of this father to his son, and the willing obedience of Isaac to his father. The story of Abraham’s and Isaac’s sacrifice is “so exquisitely described, that the heart of him who can peruse the narrative without being deeply affected, must be callous indeed.” One can only imagine what Abraham felt [67] as he “approached to build the altar in that place, and Abraham was weeping.” After explaining to Isaac the reason for the sacrifice, that faithful young man replied, “O my father, as the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth, there is nothing in my heart to cause me to deviate either to the right or to the left from the word that He has spoken to thee.” Yet, when “Abraham heard the words of Isaac, he wept and Abraham’s tears gushed down upon Isaac his son, and Isaac wept bitterly, and he said to his father, hasten thou, O my father, and do with me the will of the Lord our God as He has commanded thee. And the hearts of Abraham and Isaac rejoiced at this thing which the Lord had commanded them; but the eye wept bitterly whilst the heart rejoiced.” (Book of Jasher 23:63-64)


Jasher gives more details in the life of Joseph who was sold into Egypt and his affairs with Potiphar’s wife, Zelicah. He adds much about the years he spent in prison and his triumph in Egypt, which are not contained in the Biblical account. There is also more recorded about the history of the children of Israel under Moses.


Certain passages in the book of Samuel were obscure, but Jasher clears these up, thus increasing the credulity of the book.


Also included in this book are many parables and fanciful tales “to effect moral and religious purposes,” yet everything that is written in Jasher is similarly found in the Bible, but Jasher’s descriptions are more descriptive and detailed.


A few scholars have examined the manuscript and have made these comments:


[68]                                                                                                                         University of New York

April 10, 1840

I have compared a large portion of the translation of the “Book of Jasher” with the original Hebrew, and find it faithfully and elegantly rendered into English. The Hebrew itself is of a very pure character.

Isaac Nordhiemer,

Prof. of Oriental Literature

* * *


April 14, 1840

Kingston, Jamaica

I am acquainted with the “Book of Jasher”, having read a considerable part of it while in the hands of the translator in England. The Hebrew is very purely written, and the translator is an eminent scholar and has done it ample justice. It is full of interest throughout, and breathes a pure spirit of piety and religion, and I am satisfied that this is the first English translation ever made of that work, the Royal Asiatic Society at Calcutta never having completed the translation of their copy as anticipated.

  1. V. Nathan,

Minister of the English and German Synagogue


(Taken from the Preface to Book of Jasher, by J. H. Parry & Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1887)


The book of Jasher, like all other ancient writings, has suffered from liberties taken by scribes and translators who sought to change or “improve” the manuscript for the benefit of its readers. There is also reason to believe that many apocraphal additions were made, as well. These inserted elaborations were traditional and characteristic of the Jewish people, as they loved to embellish their favorite stories. However, the merit or fault can easily be [69] accepted or glossed over without harm to the facts of its history. It is clearly shown to be a record of antiquity, containing much valuable information.

* * *


The Prophet Joseph Smith purposely neglected to put the Song of Solomon in his Inspired Translation of the Bible, while on the other hand he spoke favorably of the Book of Jasher. At least on one occasion, he quoted from it as a valid historical document. He also published a statement about its publication in New York. (Times and Seasons 1:127) The Prophet once stated that “the book of Jasher, which has not been disproved as a bad author,” must have merit as an historical work. (TPJS, p. 260)


How great the difference between the Song of Solomon and the Book of Jasher! The former is without history; it lacks inspiration or moral instruction; and it fails to even mention God or His laws and commandments. The Book of Jasher, on the other hand, coincides with the Bible, beginning with the creation of the earth and continuing up to the children of Israel being led out of Egypt. It is a continuous history of God’s dealings with man; it contains God’s commandments and His laws; it corroborates the stories as recorded in the Bible; and it reveals further information and spiritual incidents in the lives of the great patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament.


How ironic that the Song of Solomon, which certainly lacks inspiration, is included in the Bible and the Book of Jasher, which is edifying and historically valuable, has been omitted. Is this another evidence of the failings and faults of the Biblical scribes and compilers as they handled the words of God?



[70]                              Chapter 7




For over a decade, nations suffered through the blood and devastation of World War II; then finally the announcement of peace gave relief to the whole earth. But the thunder and smoke had hardly settled when another worldwide, revolutionary proclamation was made. This was the announcement of one of the greatest discoveries ever made in the field of Biblical archaeology. In 1947, a cave near the Dead Sea offered up a treasure of ancient manuscripts–portions of the Old Testament–predating any others by about 1,000 years. But this was just the beginning of the discovery of hidden caves and ancient manuscripts in that area.


(picture of area around Dead Sea)

Location of the Qumran Caves near the Dead Sea, where over 400 manuscripts have been found.


[71]         Several vague and uncertain stories have been told of how the first of these scrolls were discovered. One story is of a Bedouin accidently wandering into the cave; and another is of a poor peasant searching for sabakh, a soft soil used for fertilizer; and then there’s an interesting account of some smugglers who were trying to find a place to hide.


Perhaps the most reliable story, however, is told about the young boy, Muhammad Adh-Dhib, who had been tending his animals. He had lost a goat and was climbing up the limestone cliffs searching for it. He became tired and hot so he rested in the shade of an overhanging crag, when suddenly his eye caught a strange hole in the face of the cliff. It was less than two feet around; and not particularly wanting to explore it at the time, he picked up a stone and threw it through the hole.


Instead of the expected sound of rock hitting rock, he heard the crashing of earthern jars. As he pulled himself up to the hole and peered in, he saw a startling sight. There on the floor of the cave were several large cylindrical jars with broken pieces all around. It looked like hidden treasure! He dropped back down to the ground and dashed to tell his discovery to a friend.


The next day they returned and entered the cave where they found jars lined in rows on each side. Some jars were empty and others contained bundles of rags. Pulling away some of the wrapping, they uncovered rolls of smooth brown leather with inscriptions on them. The young boys were disappointed because they were searching for a treasure like gold or silver. However, what they had found was more precious than gold or silver–but at the time they didn’t realize that.


[72]                              (picture)

Cave No. 1 (1Q), of the Wade Qumran, in which the young shepherd boy founds jars containing inscriptions written on pieces of leather.


[73]         Stories abound of how some of the leather scrolls were cut up and used for sandal straps, fuel for fires, and even for wrapping fish. Some were just thrown away as worthless scraps of old leather.


The Bedouins eventually brought three scrolls into Bethlehem when they came to sell their milk and cheese. Here they met a local antique dealer by the name of Kando, who bought them for a small price, not considering them worth much more. The writing was meaningless to him, but he thought that it might have worth to someone in Jerusalem. So he took the scrolls to the larger city and presented them to the Syrian Convent of St. Mark for an evaluation.


From here the story becomes a little difficult to unravel, mainly because all archaeological material is supposed to belong to the government, and under the laws any private excavations were illegal. Also secrecy and fear created problems, and perhaps damage, to many of these kinds of archaeological findings.


At first, many scholars examined the scrolls; some declared they were forgeries, while others were puzzled and curious. Finally they were photographed and the pictures sent to Dr. William F. Albright of the John Hopkins University in Baltimore. After studying them carefully, he wrote the now famous and startling announcement:


My heartiest congratulations on the greatest manuscript discovery of modern times! There is no doubt in my mind that the script is more archaic than that of the Nash Papyrus. . . . I should prefer a date around 100 B.C. . . . What an absolutely incredible find! And there can happily not be the slightest doubt in the world about the genuineness of the manuscript. (Imp. Era 60:912)


[74]         By the time the real value of the scrolls had been realized, the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 made it impossible for this first cave (1Q) to be scientifically explored. However, later in 1949 this was done, and other caves were also searched resulting in the discovery of many manuscripts and portions of manuscripts.


[75]         In March of 1952 a cave was discovered containing scores of leather fragments, over 30 storage jars, two jugs, a lamp and two copper scrolls. These copper scrolls were taken to the Palestine Archaeological Museum, where they rested for three years awaiting some solution to the problem of how to unwrap the scrolls without damaging the inscriptions. It was finally decided to cut them in strips, which resulted in only a 5% loss to the inscriptions. After cutting and studying the 23 strips of the eight-foot document, it was discovered to be a treasure map showing locations of over 200 tons of gold, silver, vessels and artifacts.


[76]         John Allegro, who worked on these scrolls, said:


In my opinion there is no doubt of its genuineness nor of the source of this vast wealth. Listed along with gold and silver bullion, are sacred vessels of a kind known to have been used in the Temple worship, leaving little doubt that this is the long-lost treasure of the Jerusalem Sanctuary, destroyed by Titus in A.D. 70. Previous to the final siege, apparently, the Jews in the city had wisely taken the precaution of salting away this vast wealth in predetermined hiding-places in and around the city itself, and in the deserts to the northeast and east. (Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Allegro, p. 194)


The map recorded on these scrolls mentioned about 60 different sites all over Palestine where treasures were hidden. For example, under the plaster floor of a room in the Qumran Monastery was found a hoard of 558 Tyrian tetradrachmae coins. The weight of these coins was about 20 pounds; their present value would be about a million dollars. Some scholars believe these to be only part of the treasures mentioned in the copper scrolls.


The location of these gold coins was described on the copper scrolls. So far, no one has mentioned finding any other treasures that were mentioned on these scrolls.


[77]         The value of these Dead Sea manuscripts has been astounding. Four scrolls of the original discovery were sold for $250,000; another for $90,000; and others were valued and sold for various amounts. Because of these prices, speculators, archaeologists and treasure hunters have been attracted to the area from all over the world. Since this first discovery, there have been hundreds of caves explored revealing over 400 manuscripts, and tens of thousands of manuscript fragments. In over a hundred of the manuscripts are found quotations from nearly every book in the Bible.


The greatest find of manuscripts was located in the Wadi Qumran Cave No. 4. This proved to be the remains of a library belonging to a Jewish community existing from 170 B.C. to 70 A.D. About eleven caves in this area yielded up a vast amount of records–clarifying many textual and historical problems, but creating many unanswered questions as well.


Discoveries of more caves and manuscripts continue, and Bedouin tribesmen will probably continue to trade, bargain and sell pieces and even complete scrolls for years to come.


Since the discovery of the first Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, a phenomenal amount of publications have been put out on this fascinating subject. Einar Erickson says:


If one were to read one book or publication a week, it would take fourteen years to read all that has appeared on the Dead Sea Scrolls. It would require the same intensity of reading for two years to read what has appeared in English alone. More than 800 books and articles have appeared since 1947. (Do You Know What the Dead Sea Scrolls Are?, Erickson, pp. 1-2)


[78]         There are many types of literature contained on the Scrolls; however, much of the information is Biblical in nature. They consist of psalms, sermons, hymns, thanksgivings, and historical or doctrinal expositions–most of which are unfamiliar to historians and theologians. Some of the titles that have been determined are:


The Sayings of Moses                        Testimonia

The War Scroll                                                     Book of Mysteries

Patriarchal Blessings                           Wisdom

The Coming Doom                                             Psalm D

Book of Lamech                                                 Jubilees

Testament of Levi                                               The New Covenant

Gospel of Truth                                    Gospel to the Egyptians

Secret Book of James                         Apocalypse of Paul

Letter of the Law                                 The Wonderous Child

Epochs of Time                                                   The Last Words of Amram

Apocalypse of Peter                                            Letter of Peter to Phillip

Gospel of Mary


Many others have been found which included the Apocrapha, but most of them have yet to be translated and made available to the public.


Some of the more interesting manuscripts are prophetic, and scholars have speculated that they were meant to be discovered in the “latter days”. As Hugh Schonfield wrote:


It would appear that in the caves of the Khirbet Qumran area we have stumbled upon books designed for the faithful in the last great struggle with evil, books for the skilled to understand and not meant to be accessible before the time. (Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Schonfield, p. 159)


[79]         The Khirbet Qumran, meaning the ruins of Qumran, has provided archaeologists with astounding discoveries that have excited public interest throughout the world.


[80]         Archaeologists have uncovered portions of the foundations of the Qumran Community and have reconstructed realistic maps and models:


Map of the Qumran monastery foundation as it may have appeared about the time of Jesus.


[81]         Scholars of the Qumran texts are trying to find similarities to the Massoretic Text, which is the closest resemblance to the modern Bible translation. But even with the Dead Sea Scrolls, we find translation errors:


Yet, even at Qumran, it can hardly be doubted that the MT <Massoretic Text> was gaining ground by its intrinsic merit, and it is certainly well represented among the biblical fragments from the Fourth Cave as well as the Isaiah scrolls from the First. It was never inviolate, however. Changes from its prototype have certainly been introduced over the centuries of its transmission, whether from slips of the pen or deliberate alterations to smooth over inherited difficulties in the reading, or even to introduce readings more in conformity with the theological standpoint of the time. Sometimes in Qumran fragments we have a variant reading of a difficult passage which offers nothing in clarification over MT but at least shows that both texts found the same difficulty and tackled it in different ways. All this demonstrates that, although the standard text of our Bible is certainly very old and very reliable, it has not been without some scribal errors and “adjustment” which will not allow for it any false claims of “originality”. (The Dead Sea Scrolls, John Allegro, pp. 79-80)


John also gives an explanation for changes made by both ancient and modern translators when he said:


The public, one presumes, is more interested in having a translation which is as near as possible what the prophet spoke or wrote than an accurate rendering of a particular Hebrew manuscript. (The Dead Sea Scrolls, Allegro, p. 82)


Many of the teachings of the Qumran Community are so closely identified with Christianity that it has caused [82] great enthusiasm among Christian scholars. Yet, so many texts are filled with the law of Moses that it is a puzzle as to their real identity.


However, the teachings of both Old and New Testament are in agreement with the doctrines of Mormonism. Einar Erickson has studied these comparisons and wrote:


These documents contain many interesting doctrinal parallels found only in L.D.S. literature. (Do You Know What the Dead Sea Scrolls Are?, Erickson, p. 10)


It is not necessary here to make an intensive doctrinal study comparing the Dead Sea Scrolls with Mormon doctrine. However, religious teachings from the Scrolls are of great interest and a few of them are outlined on the following pages, as explained by noted scholars.


Led by a Prophet


According to the qumran exegetes, the prophets knew by revelation what God was going to do at the end-time, but they did not know when the end-time would come. This additional revelation was given by God to the Teacher of Righteousness, who communicated it to his disciples. They had accordingly an insight into the meaning of the prophetical oracles which was denied to other Jews, and they were conscious of the favour which God had bestowed on them by initiating them into the mysteries of his purpose and the time and manner of its fulfillment. (Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Tyndale House Publishers, 1:373)


[83] A Great Prophet at the Second Coming of Christ


From the Scrolls we learn that the people were waiting for three particular figures, as foretold in the Old Testament: (1) a prophet like Moses; (2) a Davidic Messiah, and (3) a great priest of Aaron’s line. The latter would be the head of state in the new age. This David-Messiah would be a warrior-prince who would lead the hosts of Israel in victory over the “sons of darkness”. And describing the third figure–


The prophet <like Moses> would communicate the will of God to his people at the end of the age, as Moses had done at the beginning of their history. * * * But until that time of restoration the community constituted of a living temple, the general membership being the holy place and the inner council the holy of holies, with praising lips and obedient lives as acceptable sacrifices. (Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Tyndale House Publishers, 1:372)


Secret Doctrine of God’s Identity


One tradition attributed to him <Valentine> the poetic, evocative “Gospel of Truth” that was discovered at Nag Hammadi. Valentinus claims that besides receiving the Christian tradition that all believers hold in common, he has received from Theudas, a disciple of Paul’s initiation into a secret doctrine of God. Paul himself taught this secret wisdom, he says, not to everyone, and not publicly, but only to a select few whom he considered to be spiritually mature. Valentinus offers, in turn, to initiate “those who are mature” into his wisdom, since not everyone is able to comprehend it. (The Gnostic Gospel, Elaine Pagels, p. 43)


[84] The Trinity


“The Apocryphon of John relates how John went out after the crucifixion with `great grief’ and had a mystical vision of the Trinity.” He “saw in the light . . . a likeness with multiple forms . . . and the likeness had three forms.” * * *

This gnostic description of God <or the Godhead>–as Father, Mother and Son–may startle us at first, but on reflection, we can recognize it as another version of the Trinity. (The Gnostic Gospels, Pagels, p. 61)


Jesus Was Married


The title of the “Gospel of Mary” suggests that its revelation came from a direct, intimate communication with the Savior. The hint of an erotic relationship between him and Mary Magdalene may indicate claims to mystical communion; . . . (The Gnostic Gospels, Pagels, p. 21)


Marriage and Children in Heaven


In this regard one of the worst things that could befall a member of the community was to go so far astray from the covenant that they would be prohibited from having children in the hereafter. (1QS iv 14 and 1QS v 13) (Do You Know what the Dead Sea Scrolls Are?, Einar Erickson, p. 13)


A Divine Mother in Heaven


From the “Secret Book” comes an account of our immortal mother… (She is) . . . the image of the invisible, virginal, perfect spirit… She became the Mother of everything, for she existed before them all, . . . (The Gnostic Gospels, Pagels, p. 62)


[85]                         Members of this group prayed to both the divine Father and Mother: “From Thee, Father, and through Thee, Mother, the two immortal names, Parents of the divine being, and thou, dweller in heaven, humanity, of the mighty name. . . .” (Gospel of Phillip) Other texts indicate that their authors had wondered to whom a single, masculine God proposed, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen. 1:26). Since the Genesis account goes on to say that humanity was created “male and female”, some concluded that the God in whose image we are made must also be both masculine and feminine–both Father and Mother. (The Gnostic Gospels, Pagels, p. 59)


NOTE: The Jewish, Christian, and Islam religions indicate that God the Father is masculine. If there is a masculine Father, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume a feminine mother? The Catholics regard Mary as the “mother of God”, yet they deny her divine claim as “God the Mother”; but the Dead Sea Scrolls indicate a family relationship in the councils of the Gods as a Father, Mother and Son.


The Melchizedek Priesthood


Indeed, in one of our texts the future Messianic king is identified with Melchizedek, king of Shalem, mentioned in Genesis 14:18-20 …. (Dead Sea Scriptures, Theodor H. Gaster, p. 26)


As for the priesthood, they shall be a seat for the holy of holies, inasmuch as all of them will have knowledge of the Covenant of justice and all of them be qualified to offer what will be indeed “a pleasant savor” to the Lord. (Dead Sea Scriptures, Gaster, p. 61)


They are to extend forgiveness to all among the priesthood that have freely enlisted in the [86] cause of holiness, and to all among the laity that have done so in the cause of truth, and likewise to all that have associated themselves with them. (Dead Sea Scriptures, Gaster, p. 52)


The Twelve Apostles


There are twelve “men of holiness” who act as general guides of the community–a remarkable correspondence with the Twelve Apostles. These men have three superiors, answering to the designation of John, Peter and James as the three pillars of the Church. (Dead Sea Scriptures, Gaster, p. 39)


For administrative purpose, there is also a kind of presbytery, consisting of three priests and twelve especially qualified laymen. . . .These “presbyters” are known as “the men of holiness”, . . . (The Dead Sea Scriptures, Gaster, p. 11)


As in the New Testament; where the twelve apostles are the next tribal chiefs and the Letter of James is addressed to the twelve tribes of the dispersion, so among the Community the tribal system corresponded to an ideal. Thus, the Supreme Council in the pre-Messianic age appears to have been formed by twelve laymen and three Priests, . . . (The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, G. Vermes, pp. 17-18)


The executive head of the Party seems to have been a special Council of twelve men and three priests, ideally representing the twelve tribes of Israel and the three priestly families descended through the three sons of Levi. (The Dead Sea Scrolls, Allegro, p. 112)


[87] Bishops, Priests, and Deacons


It has, as we have seen, been suggested also that the office of “Bishop” in the Church has its origin in the Qumran “Overseer”. (The Dead Sea Scrolls, Allegro, p. 163)


So today one man is bishop and tomorrow another; the person who is a deacon today, tomorrow is a reader; the one who is a priest today is a layman tomorrow; for even on the laity they impose the functions of priesthood! (The Gnostic Gospels, Pagels, p. 51)


The priests alone are to have authority in all judicial and economic matters, and it is by their vote that the ranks of the various members of the community are to be determined. (The Dead Sea Scriptures, Gaster, p. 63)


Literal Descendants of Aaron as Bishops


It is interesting to note that only the sons of Aaron were entitled to be the bishops of the community, and that there was a presiding bishop over all of the bishops. (CD and 1QS) (Do You Know What the Dead Sea Scrolls Are?, Erickson, p. 13)




Furthermore, if any member of the Council transgressed the Law of Moses, either deliberately or through negligence, he was expelled forthwith and none of his former brethren were permitted to have any contact with him. (The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, Vermes, pp. 27-28)


[88] Revelation from God


In the “Book of Hymns”, the faithful frequently declare that they stand in the eternal congregation of God, hold direct converse with Him, and “share the lot of the holy beings”. (The Dead Sea Scriptures, Gaster, p. 14)


No Priestcraft


At one time they put novices in office; at another, persons bound by secular employment. (The Gnostic Gospels, Pagels, pp. 50-51)


Rewards for the Righteous


In the “Manual of Discipline”, it is said that, if the community abide by the prescribed rules, it will be a veritable “temple of God, a true holy of holies”. (p. 15)

The members of the community style themselves “the elect” or “the elect of God.” (The Dead Sea Scriptures, Gaster, p. 14)


The “Manual of Discipline” says that the faithful will receive a crown of glory. Peter and James <and John> , it is true, use a similar image; but in Mandaean thought the “lustrous crown” plays an extremely important role and is frequently mentioned in the hymns of the sect. (The Dead Sea Scriptures, Gaster, pp. 21-22)


United Order


All goods and wages are placed in a common pool, administered by an “overseer” or “superintendent”. A similar officer presided over the allocation of communal tasks and duties.

[89]                         Members of the community dine together, the food being first blessed by the priest. Everyone sits in order or rank or class, . . . They also meet together regular for prayer and study,…. (The Dead Sea Scriptures, Gaster, pp. 11-12)




When they set the table for a meal or prepare wine to drink, the priest is first to put forth his hand to invoke a blessing on the first portion of the bread or wine. * * *

The priests are to occupy the first place. The elders are to come second; and the rest of the people are to take their places according to their respective ranks. (The Dead Sea Scriptures, Gaster, pp. 54-55)




All that is and ever was comes from a God of knowledge. Before things came into existence, He determined the plan of them; and when they fill their appointed roles, it is in accordance with His glorious design that they discharge their functions. * * *

Now, this God created man to rule the world, and appointed for him two spirits after whose direction he was to walk until the final Inquisition. * * *

It is God that created these spirits of light and darkness and made them the basis of every act, the (instigators) of every deed and the directors of every thought. The one He loves to all eternity, and is ever pleased with its deeds; but any association with the other He abhors, and He hates all its ways to the end of time. (The Dead Sea Scriptures, Gaster, pp. 48-49)


[90] Degrees of Glory in Heaven


A few of the texts described the multiple heavens, with magic passwords for each one,… (The Gnostic Gospel, Pagels, “Introduction”, p. xxxv)

* * *


Dr. Sidney B. Sperry, professor of Old Testament Languages and Literature at Brigham Young University, was not too enthusiastic about the contents of the Dead Sea Scrolls. His first disappointment in them was the lack of similarity to those texts which are used in our standard versions of the Bible. Said he:


Despite the supposed antiquity of the ,scroll, its text is inferior to the conventional Hebrew text that has come down to us. (Imp. Era 61:33)


He also was disappointed that it was inferior to the conventional Hebrew texts of Isaiah quoted in the Book of Mormon.


Many Christian scholars think that the “Teacher of Righteousness” referred to in the scrolls was Christ, and that John the Baptist was in Qumran for a period of time. Dr. Sperry feels that “the importance of the scrolls has been highly overrated” and “their practical importance to Latter-day Saints is relatively small.” (Imp. Era 61:49) However, as more information and translations of these texts are being made available, the similarities that support the Gospel as the Mormons know and teach it, is remarkable.


Scholars and students around the world have been disappointed that more work has not been done towards making information from the scrolls available to the public. Dr. Theodore Gaster expressed the same feelings when he said, “Only a fraction of the material recovered [91] from Qumran has yet been published,” and “after nearly twenty years, so relatively little has been made generally available.” (The Dead Sea Scriptures, “Preface”, p. xv) Most all of the research has been confined to a “Scroll Team” who is very restrictive on what material is made available.


John Allegro also expressed his dismay at what has happened to the Scrolls:


What is perhaps even more disturbing than this “partial boycott” of the Scrolls on the part of Christian scholars is the cloak of secrecy that has hung over the acquisition and disposal of these vital and often most controversial documents since 1956. Scrolls have been secretly unearthed by the Bedouin, fleetingly glimpsed by specialists, and then allowed to “disappear” off the face of the earth. Even when others from the same cache have early on been rescued by the prompt action of the Jordanian Department of Antiquities, they have lain hidden away in the vaults of a foreign-controlled museum for several years, and only the vaguest information on their contents has been allowed to reach the outside world. When publication is eventually allowed by the trustees, it is on the extraordinary basis of “selling” those rights for vast sums of money to foreign institutions. Mean, while attempts are made to dissuade visiting archaeologists from joining expeditions to search systematically for more Scroll caves, and the curator of the museum comes to Britain to tell television audiences that such searches are best left to the illicit excavations of the Bedouin who, presumably, can be relied upon to channel their discoveries through the museum for rich rewards. (The Dead Sea Scrolls–A Reappraisal, Allegro, p. 14)


[92]         The Catholics had a practice of suppressing the manuscript of the Bible from the common people, and now we see signs of the same thing happening regarding the Dead Sea Scrolls. It displays the folly of man through the ages–always arranging anything and everything for money, covering up truth to support false tradition and superstitions, and above all to protect his status. Jesus was aware of this only too well, when the “chief priests” met in council to do away with Him because He might “take away both our place and nation”. (John 11:48)


It is little wonder that the Lord has not given us more of these ancient records, old manuscripts, and new revelations. It is difficult to put new wine in old bottles.


John Allegro seems to be one of the few honest historians that had the courage to speak the truth as he knew it:


The fact is that we know very little about the man Jesus or His background. The sayings attributed to Him in the New Testament are mostly in translation, out of context, and full of allusions to a lost world of Jewish sectarianism of which even now we are hardly aware. Here and there the scrolls have enabled us to pick up a word or phrase which for the first time can be given its original import, but we have to acknowledge that a great deal has been lost in translation or early misunderstanding, perhaps irrevocably. (Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls Revealed, Allegro, p. 175)


Any genuine scholar, with a correct understanding of history and the scriptures, would probably say about the same. It stands to reason that if Christians today are to learn the true mission and teachings of Christ, they will have to depend on more records accompanied by the principle of divine revelation.


[93] The portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls that have been exposed to the public have proved to be very informative and interesting. But to the Mormons, it is only another confirmation of their faith–the added warmth of a familiar hearth. To them the restoration of ancient records is only the fulfillment of God’s promise that they shall “speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.” (Isa. 29:4) Such things are not surprising to the Mormons; they are expecting even more!



[94]                              Chapter 8





Question: Is not the canon of Scriptures full?

Answer (by Joseph Smith): If it is, there is a great defect in the book, or else it would have said so. (D.H.C. 3:30)


The collection of books, letters, and histories compiled within the Bible is called scripture. All those writings that have been selected and accepted as valid are called “The Canon of Scripture”. But different churches accept different books as scripture, resulting in varying canons of the scriptures.


Many of the letters and gospels of the New Testament were read in churches and congregations for nearly two centuries before they were considered as canon scripture. In fact, many other works were also read and accepted as important scriptural material. The term “Closed Canon of Scripture” is a more recent Catholic and Protestant determination, as they consider that the canon is full and complete with nothing more to be added.


Joseph Smith explained the difference between Mormons and those of other denominations:


I stated that the most prominent difference in sentiment between the Latter-day Saints and sectarians was, that the latter were all circumscribed by some peculiar creed, which deprived [95] its members the privilege of believing anything not contained therein; whereas the Latter-day Saints have no creed, but are ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time. (D.H.C. 5:215)


It is necessary to emphasize that “no church through its councils made Scripture”, nor can they. A church may accept or reject something that might be considered scripture, but it has no special corner on truth. No church can, by its own decrees, give validation to God’s word. It will stand by itself–and usually does. Truth is not confined to a church, a group, or an individual. Something may be accepted as a creed, article of faith, or a canon of scripture, but that has nothing to do with its validity. Scriptural truth was not issued from a church but is inherent in the writings of the prophets themselves. As a child identifies its mother, so a church should identify certain books and writings as scripture.


As previously mentioned, all manuscripts collected throughout the centuries have not been included within the Bible. Those which were rejected were called apocryphal, which in the Greek means “hidden” or “lost”, and it has also referred to that which is “doubtful or unknown”. Eventually the word “Apocrypha” was applied to 15 books written between 200 B.C. and 100 A.D.


There has been disagreement about the actual contents of the Old Testament canon. Protestants have confined the Old Testament to the books contained in the Hebrew Bible, but the Roman Catholics have also included the books known as the Apocrypha, which are part of the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, but are absent from the Hebrew canon. Although many early Christians made a distinction between the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, this distinction was largely forgotten in the medieval Church, and in 1546 the Roman [96] Catholic Council of Trent officially decreed that the apocryphal writings should be regarded as part of the Old Testament canon. The leaders of the Protestant Reformation did not regard the Apocrypha as scriptural, and they varied in their treatment of it. The Church of England included portions of it in the lectionary and in the Book of Common Prayer, although refusing to regard it as authoritative in doctrinal matters. The majority of Protestants, however, including the Methodists, have paid little attention to the Apocrypha, and it is frequently not contained in the editions of the Bible which they use. It is interesting to note, however, that excerpts from the Apocrypha are included in the official burial service of British Methodism. (Encyclopedia of World Methodism, 1:264)


The Apocrapha consists of the following books:


  1. The First Book of Esdras (also known as Third Esdras)
  2. The Second Book of Esdras (also known as Fourth Esdras)
  3. Tobit
  4. Judith
  5. The Additions to the Book of Esther
  6. The Wisdom of Solomon
  7. Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Siraeh
  8. Baruch
  9. The Letter of Jeremiah (This letter is sometimes incorporated as the last chapter of Baruch. When this is done, the number of books is 14 instead of 15.)
  10. The Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Young Men
  11. Susanna
  12. Bel and the Dragon
  13. The Prayer of Manasseh
  14. The First Book of Maccabees
  15. The Second Book of Maccabees


[97]         The books included in the Apocrypha represent several different types of literature:


  1. Historical–I Esdras, I and II Maccabees.
  2. Legendary–Tobit, Judith, Additions to Esther,

Additions to Daniel (Prayer of Azariah and

Song of the Three Young Men, Susanna, and

Bel and the Dragon).

  1. Prophetic–Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, Prayer of

Manasseh, II Esdras.

  1. Ethical–Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom of Solomon.


The Apocrypha has posed a serious problem for both Catholics and Protestants. It took the Catholics 1500 years to accept these books as scripture, but if they were decreed “scripture” in 1546, what were they before that? How did they suddenly become aware that they were valid scripture? Did they get a revelation, or did it just take that long to determine what was and was not scripture?


The Protestants became as divided over the Apocrypha as they were among themselves, and it was over a period of many years that they gradually came to any conclusion as to their status.


Most religionists today take a middle of the road attitude regarding the apocryphal books. They sometimes compromise their stand and use them to substantiate or clarify the scriptures.


The Church of England gives to the Apocrypha a semi-canonical status: they may be read in public worship “for example of life and instruction of manners” but not in order “to establish any doctrine.” This position assumes that the Apocrypha at times may add to or conflict with the established teachings of the canonical Scriptures. If this is true, then the Apocrypha should not be read in public worship, for what is read regularly in public worship tends [98] to be authoritative for the congregation. To allow the Apocrypha to be read in public worship is a strange way to show their inferior rank. (How We Got the Bible, Lightfoot, p. 93)


Scholars inform us that most of the Old Testament Scriptures were destroyed by the Assyrians nearly 600 years before Christ. In the Apocrypha we are informed that Esdras was inspired to rewrite all that he could so that the Jews would again have these sacred writings.


But how are the people of this generation to know if Esdras was a prophet, or if he really was inspired to restore the scriptures? How interesting to note that the learned theologians of our day consider Esdras’ own books apocryphal and doubtful, yet the accepted scriptures may only be copies that originally came from the hands of Esdras! Who knows what other strange handling or mishandling may have occurred over thousands of years!


Many inspirational writings were used by the early Christians and many, important doctrines were taught in those writings; yet, the sectarian ministers of today decry both those writings and their message.


For instance, in the Book of Baruch it says that God hears the prayers of the dead. (3:4) The Protestants think this is a contradiction of the scriptures. But according to Paul, he said Jesus preached to the dead who were disobedient in the days of Noah. Thus the statement in Baruch is more in agreement with the scriptures than modern Protestant interpretations. Even the Catholics believe in a similar place to Paradise called Purgatory where the dead are visited.


When the Prophet Joseph Smith read the Apocrypha, he inquired of the Lord concerning its authenticity and value. The Lord’s answer was:


[99]                         Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning the Apocrypha–There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly; There are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men. Verily, I say unto you, that it is not needful that the Apocrypha should be translated. Therefore, whoso readeth it, let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth; And whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom; And whoso receiveth not by the Spirit, cannot be benefitted. Therefore it is not needful that it should be translated. (D. & C. 91:1-6)


In this revelation the Lord makes the “canon of scripture” a feature that can be open to the mind as truth and the spirit of truth motivates it. Man is free to choose and to grow by adding “precept upon precept; line upon line, here a little and there a little.” (Isa. 28:10)


Brigham Young perhaps said it best when speaking of truth:


All truth is worthy and worth possessing. *** Be willing to receive the truth, let it come from whom it may; no difference, not a particle. (JD 19:39; 14:136)

All truth is for the salvation of the children of men–for their benefit and learning–for their furtherance in the principles of divine knowledge; and divine knowledge is any matter of fact–truth; and all truth pertains to divinity. (JD 7:284)


From the Apocrypha come many inspirational themes that should have equal status with many portions of the Bible. In Ecclesiasticus alone, consider the truths contained in the following verses:



If thou desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord shall give her unto thee.


For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and instruction: and faith and meekness are his delight.


Look at the generations of old, and see; did ever any trust in the Lord, and was confounded? Or did any abide in his fear, and was forsaken? Or whom did he ever despise that called upon him?


The fear of the Lord is honour, and glory, and gladness, and a crown of rejoicing. The fear of the Lord maketh a merry heart, and giveth joy, and gladness, and a long life. Whoso feareth the Lord, it shall go well with him at the last, and he shall find favour in the day of his death.


Many are in high places and of renown: but mysteries are revealed unto the meek. For the power of the Lord is great, and he is honoured of the lowly.


Reject not the supplication of the afflicted; neither turn away thy face from a poor man.


Be not at variance with a rich man, lest he overweigh thee: for gold hath destroyed many, and perverted the hearts of kings.


Blessed is he whose conscience hath not condemned him, and who is not fallen from his hope in the Lord.


My son, if thou come to serve the Lord, prepare thy soul for temptation. Set thy heart aright, and constantly endure, and make not haste in time of trouble. Cleave unto Him, and depart not away, that thou mayest be increased [101] at thy last end. Whatsoever is brought upon thee take cheerfully, and be patient when thou art changed to a low estate. For gold is tried in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity.


It does not take much discernment to see more inspiration from this book than from the book of the Song of Solomon in the Bible.


There are also some apocryphal books written during and shortly after New Testament times. Some of them refer to the life of Christ, including a portion of his childhood life, and quote words he said. There are Gospels, Acts, Epistles and Apocalypses similar to those books of the New Testament. Some of them have been written under the assumed names of the Apostles; others were written later during the second century.


Some of the Apocryphal books were the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, from 80 AD to 180 AD, and have not been considered worthy of being classified as scripture. Although speculative, many translators have used these texts to substantiate and clarify the scriptures. Most of these manuscripts are letters of edification, encouragement and philosophical wisdom. Sometimes they have been included with the “apocryphal” books. Many of these books have been called “The Lost Books of the Bible”; however, this is a misleading title since they never were a part of the Bible. It is only on the guesswork of most scholars as to the portions that are or could be classed as scriptural material.


When the Jews in Egypt translated the Old Testament in Greek (the Septuagint), they added the books of the Apocrypha. Finally, about 400 A.D., the Pope of Rome made a decision as to the scriptural status of manuscripts. He established a “Council of Carthage” to determine which books were to be considered their canon of scripture. [102] Many manuscripts were discarded. We don’t know if they were or were not scriptural because they didn’t keep them. We do know that there were many texts that were lost to future generations because of the decisions of this “contending” council in the Catholic Church.


Then later, April 8, 1546, the Catholic Church again met in council to discuss the status of the Old Testament Apocrypha. The Fourth Session of the Council of Trent pronounced the Apocrypha as acceptable scripture for the Church. However, this council discarded First and Second Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh as unqualified to be canonical scripture. Their Bible became known as the Douay version.


Some Protestant Bibles, including Luther’s, kept the Apocrypha, but added them at the end of the Old Testament. The King James Bible also included them in 1611, but later they were dropped.


But who really has the authority to decide what is scripture and what is not? Is it decided by human wisdom, or by a revelation from God?


The first time that the Protestants made a separation of these Apocryphal books from those of the Old Testament was at the decision of Myles Coverdale (1485-1568). He never claimed any revelation for making that separation, yet millions have followed his judgment and selection.


So the Vatican Bible contains a group of 15 Old Testament books which are not in most Protestant Bibles. Thus the Catholics have many more books of scripture than the Protestants, because Coverdale rejected them. Are the Catholics right in accepting them as scripture, or are the Protestants right for rejecting them? In the last chapter of the last book in the Bible it says:



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. (Rev. 22:18-19)


From the interpretation most Protestants and Catholics read into this verse, someone is under a curse. Either the Catholics are cursed for adding to the Word of God, or else the Protestants are cursed for taking them out of the Bible.


For the first 400 years A.D. the early church fathers, Melitus and Naziansen, contended that the book of Esther was not qualified as scripture and should not be included in the Bible. Also the renown scholar Origen had reason to believe that the book of Hebrews should not be called scripture. He also said that II Peter and II John should not have a place among the scriptures.


Both St. Cyprian and Nazianzen left the book of Revelations out of the canon of scripture because of its speculative origin and content. Eusebius also doubted its veracity. Hence, we have many recognized Christian fathers and scholars who have doubted the value of some of the books in the Bible.


One of the more daring feats of later translators was to leave a couple of manuscripts out of their final selection. In the Sinaitic codex were included the manuscript called “The Epistle of Barnabas” and another as “The Shepherd of Hermas.” Dr. Tischendorf, who discovered the Sinai manuscript, declared that these two sections were regarded as part of the New Testament scriptures before the middle of the fourth century. These two books once held a sacred part of the Christian religious community, [104] but today’s Christians do not accept them. The Catholic Church was the first to discontinue their use, but did they have the authority to disregard them? Or, who had the authority to add them to the rest of the scriptures in those first centuries of Christianity?


There was a time when lists of the Old and New Testament books were written down, and then centuries later they were found. An example of one of these lists is the Muratorian Fragment. It was named for L.A. Muratori who first discovered the list and published it during the eighteenth century. The book of Hebrews, James, I and II Peter and I John were not included in this list. But it did mention the book of the “Shepherd of Hermas” and said that it was read in the congregations during the first and second centuries.


Now then are both Catholics and Protestants under the curse of “the plagues that are written in this book” of Revelations because they have “taken away” these two early books (Barnabas and Hermas)?


It is interesting to note that a similar passage of scripture to that found in Revelations, is also recorded in Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Old Testament:


Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you …. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. (Deut. 4:1-2)


It is apparent, therefore, that these instructions–not to add to nor take away from–referred to a particular set of commandments or a certain book of the Bible, not to the whole Bible as a complete canon of scripture.


[105] The Greek manuscripts of the Old Testament were never established by the Lord as a fixed, final and conclusive set of books. In fact, no set of manuscripts ever had been. This collection of manuscripts was gradually collected, and there never was a revelation from the Lord saying that it was a complete collection or a finished Bible.


The canon of scripture should always be open for more of the word of God. Every person should “believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,” and furthermore “believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” (9th Article of Faith)



[106]                             Chapter 9




It is obvious to non-Mormons that there are very few members of the Latter-day Saint Church who can point out errors in the Bible, nor do they know these inconsistencies even exist. As one anti-Mormon publication stated:


Ask the Mormons to show you exactly where the errors (in the Bible) exist. (Mormonism, by “Saints Alive”, p. 2)


The purpose of this chapter, then, is to show that there definitely are Biblical errors and inconsistencies, how they occurred, and what some of them are.

* * *


Ancient prophets usually dwelled among wicked people, as the masses didn’t believe in revelation from God, in visions, or angels. Thus, the common fate of most prophets was excessive persecution and cruelty. Unbelievers sought to destroy the writings of the prophets and if possible tried to kill the prophets themselves. (Our generation has been no different.)


Too often the manuscripts of the prophets were, of necessity, hastily handed down to other believers, few in number and usually uneducated. Many times they had to make copies under dire circumstances and in most unfavorable conditions. Thus, the information on the copies became sporatic and erroneous. Copies of copies had to be made because of the temporary life of the materials upon which original translations had been written. It is easy to [107] understand, therefore, why after a few hundred years, the copies became dissimilar in many ways to the original writings of the prophets.


So, the uninspired ministers of Christianity today have a serious problem with the Bible. They declare to the world that their Bible is “infallible”, “complete”, and “inerrant”; yet, without much scrutiny they could easily find errors, mistranslations, incomplete texts, contradictions, and, most embarrassing, the blunders of former translators.


Not wanting to admit these errors, they continue to publish new “corrected” or “improved” translations. However, instead of creating a better or “perfected” translation, they just provide fuel for others to make more “new” translations. It is anyone’s guess as to how many hundreds of Bibles have been published–all different from each other. One estimate has been 1152, but the numbers continue to grow. The contradictory variations in these Bibles are almost as numerous and as differing as are their Christian churches.


Although there are many apparent discrepancies in the Bible, it does not necessarily mean that it cannot be considered true or that it is not of God. One has to understand that many men have handled, copied, translated and even added to the original writings. Because of these inadvertent “errors”, many people are confused or have lost faith in the Bible. However, they should understand that the original revelations from God were pure and true, and it is the man-handled translations that have suffered because of human “wisdom”.


We can probably assume that most of the seemingly contradictory statements in the Bible were not in the original writings. Many Bible enthusiasts in their blind faith and lack of understanding will whitewash these [108] contradictions, using every tactic of a defense attorney in a court room. The author is aware of over 50 books published with the purpose of resolving or glossing over those errors. However, it is no disgrace or serious offense to the Bible to admit or examine these contradictions or errors. On the contrary, it helps us to search deeper for the correct version of what was actually said or written.


As early as 1625 John Sharp published a book attempting to explain over 700 discrepancies he found in the Bible. By 1662 Joanes Thaddaes and Thomas Man published a work in London that attempted to give reasons for over 3,000 Biblical contradictions. The list continues to grow.


In spite of new Bible versions attempting to correct errors and inconsistencies, they still seem to exist–some of which are even humorous:


A number of editions of the Bible have been published which are known by peculiar names derived either from errors in printing or in unusual translations of words or phrases. The “Bug Bible” (1551) renders Psalms 91:5, “So that thou shalt not need be afraid of any bugges by night,” instead of “… any terrors by night.” The so-called “Printer’s Bible” has Psalms 119:161 read “Printers have persecuted me without a cause” instead of “Princes have persecuted me without a cause.” One printing of the Geneva Bible (1560), known as the “Breeches Bible,” renders Gen. 3:7 “… they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves breeches,” instead of “… and made themselves aprons.” The Bishops’ Bible, which was published in 1568, contains a translation of Jeremiah 8:22 which has caused it to be known also as the “Treacle Bible”; “Is there no treacle in Gilead?” instead of “Is there no balm in Gilead?” The King James Version of [109] the Bible (1604-11) appeared in two different printings which are called the “He” and “She” editions of the King James translation, because they differed in the rendering of the last pronoun in Ruth 3:15. One edition reads “… and he went into the city” while the other reads “. . . and she went into the city.” One printing of the Douay Bible (1609-10), known as the “Rosin Bible” renders Jeremiah 8:22, “Is there no rosin in Gilead?” In the “Wicked Bible” (1631) the seventh commandment (Ex. 20:14) appears as “Thou shalt commit adultery.” In a Bible published in 1653, I Cor. 6:9 reads “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God?” The so-called “Vinegar Bible” which was published in 1717 has the confusing title, “Parable of the Vinegar” printed over the 20th chapter of the Gospel according to Luke instead of the usual heading “Parable of the Vineyard.” The “Rebekah-Camels Bible” (1823) has Gen. 24:61 read “… and Rebekah arose and her camels” instead of “and her damsels.” (American Peoples Encyclopedia, 3:118)


These may or may not be considered “errors” in the Bible. However, many critics of the Book of Mormon point out similar errors in it, and thus conclude that it could not be of God. By the same ill logic, they should criticize and condemn the Bible.


A very common error has been obvious in the use of Biblical names. Dr. Davidson in his “Introduction to Old Testament” 2:108-112, gives a list taken from the first eleven chapters of Chronicles showing 114 names which differ from corresponding names in other parts of Scripture. These variations he attributes to the errors of the translators. An excellent example of the errors in transcribing and translating names was explained by John W. Hale in his book Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible:



  1. CONCERNING PERSONS –Names, etc.


We have elsewhere called attention to the close resemblance of a considerable number of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and to the consequent liability of confounding them with each other. These simple facts furnish a reasonable explanation of many “discrepancies” with reference to names. The following examples will illustrate the point. In 2 Sam. xxiii. 27, we find the name “Mebunnai”; in 1 Chron. xi. 29, the name “Sibbecai”; both referring to the same person. Now compare these names in the Hebrew, ____ and ____, and there is not the least doubt that the variation or “discrepancy” arose through a copyist’s blunder. So “Hemdan,” Gen. xxxvi. 26; and “Amram,” 1 Chr. i. 41, stand in the Hebrew thus; ____ and ____. Also “Zabdi,” Josh. vii. 1, and “Zimri,” 1 Chron. ii. 6. are written thus: ____ and ____. No reasonable man can look at cases like these–which may be multiplied to an indefinite extent,–and wonder that we find variations among the proper names occurring in the Bible. (p. 312)


Many names in the Old Testament are, for some strange reason, written differently in the New Testament. Most of these errors are made by misreading a word or letter, such as:


Old Testament                                                     New Testament


Isaiah                                                                     Esaias

Ezekiel                                                                   Ezekias

Uriah                                                                      Urias

Boaz                                                                                      Booz

Hosea                                                                    Osee

Asher                                                                      Aser

Elisha                                                                     Eliseus

Elijah                                                                     Elias

Noah                                                                                      Noe

Hagar                                                                     Agar

Hezekiah                                                                               Ezekias


Jehoshaphat                                                         Josaphat

Rehoboam                                                                            Roboam

Korah                                                                    Core

Joshua                                                                   Jesus


It is interesting to compare the many different versions of a particular Biblical passage; for example, Rev. 14:6-7:


King James

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.


The New English

Then I saw an angel flying in mid-heaven with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those on earth, to every nation, and tribe and language and people.


Standard Revised Version

Then I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation, and tribe and tongue and people….


  1. B. Phillips Bible

Then I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, holding THE everlasting gospel to proclaim to the inhabitants of the earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people….


The Moffatt Translation

Then I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven with an eternal gospel for the inhabitants of the earth, for every nation and tribe and tongue and people….



New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (By Jehovah’s Witnesses)

And I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven and he had everlasting good news to declare as glad tidings to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people.


Knox Catholic Bible

I saw too, another angel flying in mid-heaven carrying with him a final gospel to preach to all those who dwell on the earth, to every race, and tribe and language and people.


The Douay Version of the Catholic Bible by Arendzen.

And I saw another angel flying through the midst of heaven having THE everlasting gospel to preach unto them that sit upon the earth, and over every nation and tribe and tongue and people….


The Complete Bible, An American Translation by J.M.P. Smith, et al.

Then I saw another angel flying in midair with eternal good news to announce to the inhabitants of the earth, to every nation, tribe, language and people.


The Roman Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version (1965)

Then I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and tongue and people.

* * *


[113] In Romans 10:8-10 of the King James version, we read:


The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:8-10)


However, from The Living Bible version, the same verse reads much differently:


God’s message of Salvation is near you, on your lip and in your heart, not in good works, dietary laws, baptism, church membership and temple rituals. That is the message of faith that we preach. If you declare with your lips, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For we believe in our hearts and are put right with God. We declare with our lips and are saved.


There are scriptures in the Bible that apparently were incorrectly quoted by original writers; for instance, Matthew said:


Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value. (Matt. 27:9)


Matthew said this was spoken by Jeremiah, but it is a quotation from the book of the prophet Zechariah. (Zech. 11:12)


[114] Other misquoted scriptures are–


Original Quote                                                                                                      Misquote


Behold, I will send my messenger,                   Behold, I send my messenger before

and he shall prepare the way                                            thy face, which shall prepare

before me. (Mal. 3:1)                                                          thy way before thee. (Mark 1:2)


Sacrifice and offering thou didst                      Wherefore, when he cometh into

not desire; mine ears hast thou                         the world, he saith, Sacrifice and

opened: burnt-offering and sin-                        offering thou wouldest not, but

offering hast thou not required                         a body hast thou prepared me: In

(Ps. 40:6)                                                                                               burnt-offerings and sacrifices

for sin thou hast had no pleasure.                                                                                                                    (Heb. 10:5,6)


Say ye of him, whom the Father                      When Jesus came into the coasts of

hath sanctified, and sent into                            Caesarea Philippi, he asked his

the world, Thou blasphemest;                                           disciples saying, Whom do men say

because I said, I am the Son of                        that I the Son of man am?

God? (John 10:36)                                                                              (Matt. 16:13)


In his days Judah shall be saved,                     In those days shall Judah be saved,

and Israel shall dwell safely; and                     and Jerusalem shall dwell safely:

this is his name whereby he shall                      and this is the name wherewith she

be called The Lord our                                                       shall be called. The Lord our

Righteousness. (Jer. 23:6)                                  Righteousness. (Jer. 33:16)


A similar situation existed when all four of the Gospel writers gave a different report on what was written on Jesus’ cross:

(1) This is Jesus the King of the Jews. (Mat. 27:37)

(2) The King of the Jews. (Mark 15:26)

(3) This is the King of the Jews. (Luke 23:38)

(4) Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. (John 19:19)


Furthermore, there are two different genealogies of Jesus given to us by Matthew and by Luke. (Compare Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38.)


Among the many different types of errors that have crept into the Bible are those passages which seem to contradict each other. The transmission of words do not always express the same idea and they often seem to be saying just the opposite. The following examples are just some of the contradictory problems found throughout the Bible.


[115]                             ABOUT GOD


Omnipotence (All powerful)


Weary or Rests


The everlasting God, the Lord, the                   In six days the Lord made heaven and

Creator of the ends of the earth,                      earth, and on the seventh day he

fainteth not, neither is weary.                            rested, and was refreshed. (Ex. 31:17)

(Isa. 40:28)


Possible or Not


But Jesus beheld them, and said                      It was impossible for God to lie.

unto them, With men this is                                               (Heb. 6:18)

impossible, but with God all

things are possible.

(Matt. 19:26)


Present or Afar Off


God is our refuge and strength,                         Why standest thou afar off, O Lord?

a very present help in trouble.                           Why hidest thou thyself in times

(Ps. 46:1)                                                                                               of trouble? (Ps. 10:1)


Finding Him


Those that seek me early shall                          They shall seek me early, but they

find me. (Prov. 8:17)                                                           shall not find me. (Prov. 1:28)


Draw nigh to God and he will                                            Verily thou art a God that hidest

draw nigh to you. (Jas. 4:8)                                               thyself, O God of Israel, the

Saviour, (Isa. 45:15)


Omniscience (All knowing)


Knows Hearts or Tries Them


I the Lord search the heart,                                               The Lord thy God led thee these

I try the reins. (Jer. 17:10)                                  forty years in the wilderness,

to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thy heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. (Deut. 8:2)



Thou Lord, which knowest the                                         Thou shalt not hearken unto the words

hearts of all men. (Acts 1:24)                            of that prophet, or that dreamer of

dreams; for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul. (Deut. 13:3)




Yea, they may forget, yet will I                        And God remembered Noah. (Gen. 8:1)

not forget thee. (Isa. 49:15)                                               <meaning he must have temporarily forgot him.>


Omnipresence (Everywhere present)


Everywhere or not


If I ascend up into heaven, thou                      Adam and his wife hid themselves from

art there: if I make my bed in                           the presence of the Lord God amongst

hell, behold, thou art there. If                            the trees of the garden. (Gen. 3:8)

I take the wings of the morning,

and dwell in the uttermost parts                       And Cain went out from the presence

of the sea; even there shall thy                         of the Lord. (Gen. 4:16)

hand lead me, and thy right hand

shall hold me. (Ps. 139:7-10)



Am I a God at hand saith the Lord,                 And the Lord came down to see the city

and not a God afar off? Can any hide           and the tower, which the children of

himself in secret places that I shall  men builded. (Gen. 11:5)

not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I

fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.              Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish

(Jer. 23:23, 24)                                                                     from the presence of the Lord. (Jonah 1:3)


Before the mountains were brought                                And the Lord said, Because the cry of

forth, or ever thou hadst formed                      Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and

the earth and the world, even from                  because their sin is very grievous;

everlasting to everlasting thou art    I will go down now, and see whether

God. (Ps. 90:2)                                                                     they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which has come unto me; and if not I will know. (Gen. 18:20,21)


God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. (Hab. 3:8)


The Nature of God


Can or Cannot Be Seen


The similitude of the Lord shall                        And the Lord spake unto you out of

he behold. (Num. 12:8)                                                      midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude. (Deut. 4:12)



No man hath seen God at any time.                                And the Lord appeared to Solomon the

(John 1:18)                                                                                           second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon. (I Kings 9:2)


The King eternal, immortal,                                              Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab,

invisible. (I Tim. 1:17)                                                        and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: and they saw the God of Israel. (Ex. 24:9, 10)


And he said thou canst not see                         And (Stephen) said, Behold, I see

my face; for there shall no man                       the heavens opened, and the Son of

see me, and live. (Ex. 33:20)                                             man standing on the right hand of God. (Acts. 7:56)


Whom no man hath seen nor can see.                            And Jacob called the name of the place

(1 Tim. 6:16)                                                                                        Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. (Gen. 32:30)


And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. (Ex. 33:11)


And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. (Judg. 13:22)


In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. (Isa. 6:1)


A Spirit or a Body


A spirit hath not flesh and bones.                     Tables of stone, written with the

(Luke 24:39)                                                                                        finger of God. (Ex. 31:18)


God is a Spirit. (John 4:24)                                                And the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him (God). (Gen. 32:25)


Like Man or Not


And God said, Let us make man in                 To whom then will ye liken me, or

our image, after our likeness.                            shall I be equal? saith the Holy

(Gen. 1:26)                                                                                            one. (lsa. 40:25)


[118] One God or More


I am the Lord, and there is none                      And God said, Let us make man in our

else, there is no God besides me.                       image after our likeness. (Gen. 1:26)

(Isa. 14:5)


Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God                    And the Lord God said, Behold, the

is one Lord. (Deut. 6:4)                                                       man is become as one of us, to know good and evil. (Gen. 3:22)


But to us there is but one God, the   For there are three that bear record

Father, of whom are all things, and in heaven, the Father, the Word

we in him. (1 Cor. 8:6)                                                        and the Holy Ghost. (I John 5:7)


I and my Father are one. (John 10:30)           I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. (John 16:28)


Respect of Persons


There is no iniquity with the Lord                     And the Lord had respect unto Abel and

our God, nor respect of persons,                       to his offering. But unto Cain and to

nor taking of gifts. (2 Chron. 19:7)  his offering he had not respect.

(Gen. 4:4, 5)


Then Peter opened his mouth, and                  And God looked upon the children of

said, Of a truth I perceive that                          Israel, and God had respect unto

God is no respecter of persons.                         them. (Ex. 2:25)

(Acts. 10:34)


For there is no respect of                                    For I will have respect unto you, and

persons with God. (Rom. 2:11)                                         make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. (Lev. 31:9)


Your Master also is in heaven:                         And the Lord was gracious unto them,

neither is there respect of                                   and had compassion on them, and had

persons with him. (Eph. 6:9)                                              respect unto them. (2 Kings 13:23)


The Father, who without respect                      Though the Lord be high, yet hath he

of persons judgeth according to                       respect unto the lowly; but the

every man’s work. (1 Pet. 1:17)                        proud he knoweth afar off. (Ps. 138:6)


Finding God


He that seeketh findeth, and to                        Ye shall seek me, and shall not find

him that knocketh it shall be                                             me; and where I am, thither ye

opened. (Matt. 7:8)                                                                             cannot come. (John 7:34)


I am sought of them that asked                       Strive to enter in at the straight

not for me; I am found of them                       gate; for many, I say unto you, will

that sought me not. (Isa. 65:1)                         seek to enter in, and shall not be able. (Luke 13:24)


[119] Attributes Revealed or Unsearchable


The heavens declare the glory of                     His greatness is unsearchable.

God; and the firmament sheweth                    (Ps. 145:3)

his handy work. (Ps. 19:1)


For the invisible things of him from There is no searching of his

the creation of the world are                                             understanding. (Isa. 40:28)

clearly seen, being understood

by the things that are made; even                    O the depth of the riches both of

his eternal power and Godhead; so                  the wisdom and knowledge of God! how

that they are without excuse.                                            unsearchable are his judgments, and

(Rom. 1:20)                                                                                          his ways past finding out. (Rom. 11:33)


Kind to All or Some


The Lord is good to all. (Ps. 145:9)  Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau. (Mal 1:2,3)


Fearful in His Hands or Merciful


It is a fearful thing to fall into                           And David said unto Gad, I am in a

the hands of the living God.                                              great strait: let us fall now into

(Heb. 10:31)                                                                                         the hand of the Lord: for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. (2 Sam. 24:14)


God and Repentance


I the Lord have spoken it: it                                              And God saw their works, that they

shall come to pass, and I will                            turned from their evil way; And God

do it; I will not go back, neither                        repented of the evil that he had said

will I spare, neither will repent.                          that he would do unto them; and

(Ezek. 24:14)                                                                                        he did it not. (Jonah 3:10)


For I am the Lord, I change not.                      Thou hast forsaken me, saith the

(Mal. 3:6)                                                                                              Lord, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting. (Jer. 25:6)


Anger–Brief or Lasting


For his anger endureth but a                                              And the Lord’s anger was kindled

moment. (Ps. 30:5)                                                                              against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the Lord, was consumed. (Num. 32:13)


[120] Denounces or Promotes Deception


Cursed be the deceiver, which                                           O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and

hath in his flock a male, and                                             was deceived: thou art stronger than

voweth and sacrificeth unto the                       I and hast prevailed. (Jer. 20:7)

Lord a corrupt thing. (Mal. 1:14)

And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet. and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. (Ezek. 14:9)




The Strength of Israel will not                           Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath

lie. (1 Sam. 25:29)                                                                               put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee. (1 Kings 22:23)


Peaceful or Warlike


Now the God of peace be with you                  The Lord is a man of war: the

all. (Rom. 15:33)                                                                 Lord is his name. (Ex. 15:3)


Who Hardened Pharaoh’s Heart?


And the Lord hardened the heart of                                But when Pharaoh saw that there was

Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto                              respite, he hardened his heart, and

them. (Ex. 9:12)                                                                   hearkened not unto them …. And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go. (Ex. 8:15, 32)


And the Lord said unto Moses,                                         And when Pharaoh saw that the rain

Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have                        and the hail and the thunders were

hardened his heart, and the heart                     ceased, he sinned yet more, and

of his servants, that I might shew                     hardened his heart, he and

these my signs before him. (Ex. 10:1)             his servants. (Ex. 9:34)


And Moses and Aaron did all these

wonders before Pharaoh: and the

Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart,

so that he would not let the

children of Israel go out of

his land. (Ex. 11:10)


God’s Attributes


It is of the Lord’s mercies that                           And thou shalt consume all the people

we are not consumed, because his                   which the Lord thy God shall deliver

compassions fail not. (Lam. 3:22)                   thee: thine eye shall have no pity upon them. (Deut. 7:16)



The Lord is very pitiful and of                          And I will dash them one against

tender mercy. (Jas. 5:11)                                    another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the Lord: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them. (Jer. 13:14)


The Lord is good to all; and                                              Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I

his tender mercies are over all                           remember that which Amalek did to

his works. (Ps. 145:9)                                                          Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not: but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. (1 Sam. 15:2,3)


O give thanks unto the Lord;                                            And he smote the men of Bethshemesh,

for he is good; for his mercy                                              because they had looked into the ark

endureth forever. (1 Chron. 16:34)                  of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and three score and ten men. (I Sam. 6:19)


God is love. (1 John 4:16)                                  For our God is a consuming fire. (Heb. 12:29)


Habitation of God


In or Out of Temples


I have heard thy prayer, and have                  Howbeit, the Most High dwelleth not

chosen this place to myself for an                   in temples made with hands.

house of sacrifice. For now have I                   (Acts. 7:48)

chosen and sanctified this house,

that my name may be there forever;

and mine eyes and mine heart shall

be there perpetually.

(2 Chrn. 7:12, 16)


In Light or Darkness


Who only hath immortality, dwelling              Then spake Solomon, The Lord said that

in the light which no man can                                           he would dwell in the thick

approach unto. (1 Tim. 6:16)                                            darkness. (1 Kings 8:12)



I beheld till the thrones were cast     He made darkness his secret place; his

down, and the Ancient of days did                  pavilion round about him were dark

sit, whose garment was white as                       waters and thick clouds of the

snow, and the hair of his head                          skies. (Ps. 18:11)

like the pure wool: his throne

was like the fiery flame, and his                       Clouds and darkness are round about

wheels as burning fire. (Dan. 7:9)                     him. (Ps. 97:2)


[122] With Man or Not


For thus saith the high and lofty                       And I will dwell among the children

One that inhabiteth eternity,                                             of Israel, and will be their God.

whose name is Holy. (Isa. 57:15)                     (Ex. 29:45)


In Heaven or Zion


Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O                        Sing praises to the Lord, which

thou that dwellest in the heavens.                    dwelleth in Zion. (Ps. 9:11)

(Ps. 123:1)

In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion. (Ps. 76:2)


The Justice of God


Equal or Unequal


Hear now, O house of Israel: Is                        It was said unto her, The elder shall

not my way equal? are not your                      serve the younger. As it is written,

ways unequal? (Ezek. 18:25)                                            Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (Rom. 9:12-13)


Spares or Slays Righteous


When the son hath done that which                                This is one thing, therefore I said

is lawful and right, and hath kept                     it, He destroyeth the perfect and

all my statutes, and hath done                         the wicked. (Job 9:22)

them, he shall surely live.

(Ezek. 18:9, 19)


But if the wicked turn from his                         Seeing then that I will cut off from

wickedness, and do that which is                     thee the righteous and the wicked,

lawful and right, he shall live                             therefore shall my sword go forth

thereby. (Ezek. 33:19)                                                        out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north. (Ezek. 21:4)


Hears All or Not


If any of you lack wisdom, let                          Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but

him ask of God, that giveth to                          he will not hear them: he will even

all men liberally, and upbraideth                      hide his face from them at that

not: and it shall be given him.                           time, as they have behaved

(Jas. 1:5)                                                                                                themselves ill in their doings. (Micah 3:4)


For every one that asketh                                  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye

receiveth; and he that seeketh                          ask amiss, that ye may consume it

findeth; and to him that knocketh                   upon your lusts. (Jas. 4:3)

it shall be opened. (Luke 11:10)


[123] Abhors


And my soul shall abhor you.                                           I will not cast them away, neither

(Lev. 26:30)                                                                                          will I abhor them. (Lev. 26:44)




For jealousy is the rage of a man:                    I the Lord thy God am a jealous

therefore he will not spare in the                       God. (Ex. 20:5)

day of vengeance. (Prov. 6:34)




Let no man say when he is tempted,                               And it came to pass after these

I am tempted of God: for God cannot            things, that God did tempt

be tempted with evil, neither                                             Abraham. (Gen. 22:1)

tempteth he any man. (Jas. 1:13)


God cannot be tempted with evil.                    Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God,

(Jas. 1:13)                                                                                             as ye tempted him in Massah. (Deut. 6:16)


They that tempt God are even delivered. (Mal. 3:15)




Fury is hot in me. (lsa. 27:4)                              The Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. (Nah. 1:2)




A God ready to pardon, gracious and             The fierce anger of the Lord is not

merciful, slow to anger, and of                         turned back from us. (Jer. 4:8)

great kindness. (Neh. 9:17)


The Lord God, merciful and gracious,             God is angry with the wicked

longsuffering, and abundant in                        every day. (Ps. 7:11)

goodness and truth, keeping mercy

for thousands. (Ex. 34:6, 7)


The son shall not bear the iniquity   Visiting the iniquity of the fathers

of the father, neither shall the                           upon the children unto the third and

father bear the inquiry of the son;   fourth generation of them that hate

the righteousness of the righteous                    me. (Ex. 20:5)

shall be upon him, and the

wickedness of the wicked shall be

upon him. (Ezek. 18:20)


[124] Liberty


So speak ye, and so do, as they                        These are the two covenants; the one

that shall be judged by the law                         from the mount Sinai, which

of liberty. (Jas. 2:12)                                                           gendereth to bondage. (Gal. 4:24)


Law of Life or Death


Ye shall therefore keep my statutes Wherefore I gave them also statutes

and my judgments: which if a man do,          that were not good, and judgments

he shall live in them: I am the Lord.                whereby they should not live.

(Lev. 18:5)                                                                                            (Ezek. 20:25)


For Moses describeth the                                                   And the commandment, which was

righteousness which is of the law,                     ordained to life, I found to be

That the man which doeth these                      unto death. (Rom. 7:10)

things shall live by them.

(Rom. 10:5)


Author of Evil


Shall there be evil in a city, and                        For I know the thoughts that I think

the Lord hath not done it? (Amos 3:6)            toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil. (Jer. 29:11)


I form the light, and create                                                For thou art not a God that hath

darkness: I make peace, and create                                pleasure in wickedness; neither

evil: I the Lord do all these things.   shall evil dwell with thee. (Ps. 5:4)

(Isa. 45:7)


Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame              A God of truth and without iniquity,

evil against you, and devise a device              just and right is he. (Deut. 32:4)

against you. (Jer. 18:11)




God saw every thing that he had made,         And it repented the Lord that he had

and, behold it was very good.                                           made man on the earth, and it grieved

(Gen. 1:31)                                                                                            him at his heart. (Gen. 6:6)


[125]                            ABOUT CHRIST




All Power or Not


And Jesus came and spake unto them,           And he could there do no mighty work,

saying, All power is given unto me                   save that he laid his hand upon a few

in heaven and in earth. (Matt. 28:18)             sick folk, and healed them. (Mark 6:5)


The Father loveth the Son, and hath               To sit on my right hand, and on my

given all things into his hand.                            left, is not mine to give, but it

(John 3:35)                                                                                           shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. (Matt. 20:23)


Equal or Unequal with the Father


Christ Jesus: who, being in the form                If ye loved me, ye would rejoice,

of God, thought it not robbery to be                because I said, I go unto the Father:

equal with God. (Philip. 2:5, 6)                          for my Father is greater than I. (John 14:28)




All Knowing or Not


And he said unto him, Lord, thou                    And seeing a fig tree afar off having

knowest all things; thou knowest                     leaves, he came, if haply he might

that I love thee. (John 21:17)                            find anything thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. (Mark 11:13)


But Jesus did not commit himself                    Wherefore in all things it behooved

unto them, because he knew all                       him to be made like unto his

men, and needed not that any                                          brethren. (Heb. 2:17)

should testify of man: for he

knew what was in man.

(John 2:24, 25)


Now are we sure that thou knowest                 And said, Where have ye laid him?

all things, and needest not that                         They said unto him, Lord, come

any man should ask thee.                                                  and see. (John 11:34)

(John 16:30)


Christ, in whom are hid all the                          But of that day and that hour knoweth

treasures of wisdom and knowledge.                               no man, no, not the angels which are

(Col. 2:3)                                                                                               in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. (Mark 13:32)


[126] Omnipresence


Always with Man or Not


Lo, I am with you always, even unto              For ye have the poor always with you;

the end of the world. (Matt. 28:20)  but me ye have not always. (Matt. 26:11)


For where two or three are gathered And I am glad for your sakes that I

together in my name, there am I in                  was not there, to the intent ye may

the midst of them. (Matt. 28:20)                      believe; nevertheless, let us go unto him. (John 11:15)


Characteristics of Christ


God or Man


In the beginning was the Word, and                                But now ye seek to kill me, a man that

the Word was with God, and the Word           hath told you the truth, which I

was God. And the Word was made flesh,       have heard of God. (John 8:40)

and dwelt among us. (John 1:1, 14)


For a good work we stone thee not,                 One mediator between God and men, the

but for blasphemy; and because that             man Christ Jesus. (1 Tim. 2:5)

thou, being a man, makest thyself

God. (John 10:33)


And Philip said, If thou believest                      For the Son of man is come to seek and

with all thine heart, thou mayest.                     to save that which was lost. (Luke

And he answered and said, I believe               19:10)

that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

(Acts 8:37)


Of Peace or War


The Prince of Peace. Of the increase               Think not that I am come to send peace

of his government and peace there                  on earth; I came not to send peace,

shall be no end. (Isa. 9:6,7)                                               but a sword. (Matt. 10:34)


But I say unto you, That ye resist                    And when he had made a scourge of

not evil: but whosoever shall smite  small cords, he drove them all out of

thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the temple, and the sheep, and the

the other also. (Matt. 5:39)                                                oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables. (John 2:15)


Then said Jesus unto him, Put up                     Then said he unto them, But now, he

again thy sword into his place:                         that hath a purse, let him take it,

for all they that take the sword                         and likewise his scrip: and he that

shall perish with the sword.                                                hath no sword, let him sell his

(Matt. 26:52)                                                                                        garment, and buy one. (Luke 22:36)



Peace I leave with you, my peace                    For I am come to set a man at variance

I give unto you. (John 14:27)                                            against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. (Matt. 10:35-36)


Foundation of Jesus or Man


For other foundation can no man                    And are built upon the foundation

lay than that is laid, which is                             of the apostles and prophets, Jesus

Jesus Christ. (Cor. 3:11)                                     Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. (Eph. 2:20)


Miracles, a Proof


Rabbi, we know that thou art a                        And he doeth great wonders, so that

teacher come from God: for no                                        he maketh fire come down from heaven

man can do these miracles that                        on the earth in the sight of men, and

thou doest, except God be with                        deceiveth them that dwell on the

him. (John 3:2)                                                                     earth by the means of those miracles. (Rev. 13:13, 14)


God also bearing them witness,                        For there shall arise false Christs

both with signs and wonders, and                    and false prophets, and shall shew

with divers miracles, and gifts                           great signs and wonders; insomuch

of the Holy Ghost, according to                       that, if it were possible, they shall

his own will. (Heb. 2:4)                                                       deceive the very elect. (Matt. 24:24)


The works which the Father hath                     Even him, whose coming is after the

given me to finish, the same works                  working of Satan, with all power and

that I do, bear witness of me, that   signs and lying wonders. (2 Thes. 2:9)

the Father hath sent me. (John 5:36)


The blind receive their sight, and                      And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils,

the lame walk, the lepers are                                             by whom do your sons cast them out?

cleansed, and the deaf hear, the                       therefore shall they be your judges.

dead are raised up. (Matt. 11:3-5)                   (Luke 11:19)


Secrets or Not


All things that I have heard of my                   I have yet many things to say unto

Father I have made known unto you.                             you; but ye cannot bear them now.

(John 15:15)                                                                                         (John 16:12)


For nothing is secret, that shall                          And Jesus saith unto him, See thou

not be made manifest; neither any                  tell no man; but go thy way, shew

thing hid, that shall not be known                    thyself to the priest, and offer

and come abroad. (Luke 8:17)                                         the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. (Matt. 8:4)


[128] Teachings of Christ


Faith or Works


Therefore by the deeds of the law,                   For not the hearers of the law are

there shall no flesh be justified                         just before God, but the doers of the

in his sight…. We conclude, that                        law shall be justified. (Rom. 2:13)

a man is justified by faith without

the deeds of the law. (Rom. 3:20, 28)


Knowing that a man is not justified                What doth it profit, my brethren,

by the works of the law, but by the  though a man say he hath faith, and

faith of Jesus Christ. (Gal. 2:16)                       have not works? can faith save him? … Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (Jas. 2:14, 17)


But that no man is justified by the  Was not Abraham our father justified

law in the sight of God, it is                                by works, when he had offered Isaac

evident: for, The just shall live                          his son upon the altar? Seest thou

by faith. And the law is not of                          how faith wrought with his works, and

faith: but, The man that doeth                         works was faith made perfect? …

them shall live in them.                                                      Ye see then how that by works a

(Gal. 3:11, 12)                                                                      man is justified, and not by faith only …. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (Jas. 2:21, 22, 24, 26)


For therein is the righteousness                         And I saw the dead, small and great,

of God revealed from faith to                                           stand before God; and the books were

faith; as it is written, The                                    opened: and another book was opened,

just shall live by faith.                                        which is the book of life: and the

(Rom. 1:16)                                                                                          dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Rev. 20:12)


All Saved or Not


And so all Israel shall be saved:                       But the children of the kingdom shall

as it is written, There shall come                       be cast out into outer darkness: there

out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall  shall be weeping and gnashing of

turn away ungodliness from Jacob.                 teeth. (Matt. 8:12)

(Rom. 11:26)


For as in Adam all die, even so in                     All the proud, yea, and all that do

Christ shall all be made alive.                           wickedly, shall be stubble; and the

(I Cor. 15:22)                                                                                       day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts. (Mal. 4:1)


God our Saviour. Who will have all                 The Son of man shall send forth his

men to be saved, and to come unto                                angels, and they shall gather out of

the knowledge of the truth.                                                his kingdom all things that offend,

(I Tim. 2:3,4)                                                                                        and them, which do iniquity. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire. (Matt. 13:41, 42)



The living God, who is the Saviour                   Salvation is far from the wicked.

of all men, specially of those that    (Ps. 119:155)

believe. (I Tim. 4:10)


For the grace of God that bringeth                   But the fearful, and unbelieving, and

salvation hath appeared to all men.                the abominable, and murderers, and

(Titus 2:11)                                                                                           whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Rev. 21:8)


Unending Hell or Terminated


Whose fan is in his hand, and he                      I have sworn by myself, the word is

will thoroughly purge his floor,                          gone out of my mouth in righteousness,

and gather his wheat into the garner;              and shall not return, That unto me

but he will burn up the chaff with                    every knee shall bow, every tongue

unquenchable fire. (Matt. 3:12)                       shall swear. (Isa. 14:23)


And these shall go away into                                            And thou be cast into prison. Verily

everlasting punishment: but the                       I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no

righteous into life eternal.                                   means come out thence, till thou

(Matt. 25:46)                                                                                        hast paid the uttermost farthing. (Matt. 5:25, 26)


But he that shall blaspheme against                That at the name of Jesus every knee

the Holy Ghost hath never                                                should bow,… and that every tongue

forgiveness, but is in danger of                         should confess that Jesus Christ

eternal damnation. (Mark 3:29)                       is Lord. (Phil. 2:10, 11)


He that believeth not the Son,

shall not see life; but the wrath

of God abideth on him. (John 3:36)


Repentance Available or Not


He found no place of repentance,                   God . . . commandeth all men

though he sought it carefully with                    everywhere to repent. (Acts 17:30)

tears. (Heb. 12:17)


Baptism Needed or Not


Go ye therefore and teach all                                            I thank God that I baptized none of

nations, baptizing them in the                           you, but Crispus and Gaius…. For

name of the Father, and of the                         Christ sent me not to baptize, but

Son, and of the Holy Ghost.                                              to preach the gospel. (I Cor. 1:14,

(Matt. 28:19)                                                                                        17)




So run, that ye may obtain.                                               So then, it is not of him that

(I Cor. 9:24)                                                                                          willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. (Rom. 9:16)



Kindness or Vengeance?


Therefore, if thine enemy hunger,                    For in so doing thou shalt heap coals

feed him; if he thirst, give him                          of fire on his head. (Rom. 12:20)

drink. (Rom. 12:20)




Let your women keep silence in the                 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife

churches; for it is not permitted                        of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at

unto them to speak; but they are                     that time. (Judges 4:4)

commanded to be under obedience,

as also saith the law. And if they                      Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam and

will learn anything, let them ask                       Achbor and Shaphan and Asahiah, went

their husbands at home: for it is                       unto Huldah the prophetess…. And

a shame for women to speak in the                 she said unto them, thus saith the

church. (1 Cor. 14:34, 35)                                  Lord God of Israel (2 Kings 22:14, 15)


Let the woman learn in silence with And on my servants and on my

all subjection. But I suffer not a                       handmaidens I will pour out in those

woman to teach, nor to usurp                                           days of my Spirit: and they shall

authority over the man, but to be                    prophesy. (Acts 2:18)

in silence. (1 Tim. 2:11, 12)

Help those women which labored with me in the gospel. (Phil. 4:3)




And no man hath ascended up to                    Elijah went up by a whirlwind into

heaven, but he that came down from                             heaven. (2 Kings 2:11)

heaven, even the Son of man which

is in heaven. (John 3:13)


The publicans and the harlots go                     Neither fornicators, nor idolaters,

into the kingdom of God before you.              nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor

(Matt. 21:31)                                                                                        abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9, 10)


Flesh and blood cannot inherit the                   Enoch was translated that he should

kingdom of God; neither doth                                          not see death. (Heb. 11:5)

corruption inherit incorruption.

(1 Cor. 15:50)


Bearing Weapons


Put up again thy sword into his                         But now, he that hath a purse, let him

place: for all they that take the                        take it, and likewise his scrip: and

sword, shall perish with the sword.   he that hath no sword, let him sell

(Matt. 26:52)                                                                                        his garment, and buy one. (Luke 22:36)


[131] Pleasing of Men


Let every one of us please his                           For do I now persuade men, or God?

neighbor for his good to                                                     or do I seek to please men? for if

edification. (Rom. 15:2)                                                     be the servant of Christ. (Gal. 1:10)


Even as I please all men in all                           Even so we speak; not as pleasing men,

things, not seeking mine own                                            but God, which trieth our hearts.

profit, but the profit of many,                           (I Thes. 2:4)

that they may be saved.

(1 Cor. 10:33)


Good Works Seen


Let your light so shine before men,  Take heed that ye do not your alms

that they may see your good works,                                before men, to be seen of them:

and glorify your Father which is                       otherwise ye have no reward of your

in heaven. (Matt. 5:16)                                                      Father which is in heaven. (Matt. 6:1)




Judge not, and ye shall not be                           Judge not according to the appearance,

judged: condemn not, and ye shall                  but judge righteous judgment.

not be condemned. (Luke 6:37)                                       (John 7:24)


And Jesus said, For judgment I am                  And if any man hear my words, and

come into this world: that they                         believe not, I judge him not: for I

which see not might see, and that                    came not to judge the world, but to

they which see, might be made blind.              save the world. (John 12:47)

(John 9:39)


For we must all appear before the                    Ye judge after the flesh; I judge

judgment-seat of Christ. (2 Cor. 5:10)            no man. (John 8:15)


By God:

God the Judge of all. (Heb. 12:23)

And I saw the dead, small and great,

stand before God: and the books were

opened. (Rev. 20:12)


By Christ:

When the Son of man shall come in

his glory, and all the holy angels

with him, then shall he sit upon the

throne of his glory: and before him

shall be gathered all nations: and

he shall separate them one from

another, as a shepherd divideth his

sheep from the goats. (Matt. 25:31, 32)


By Men:

Do ye not know that the saints shall

judge the world? and if the world

shall be judged by you, are ye

unworthy to judge the smallest

matters? Know ye not that we shall

judge angels? (1 Cor. 6:2, 3)


[132] Love and Hate


If any man come to me, and hate                   He that loveth not his brother

not his father, and mother, and                        abideth in death. Whosoever hateth

wife, and children, and brethren,                      his brother, is a murderer.

and sisters, yea, and his own life                      (I John 3:14, 15)

also, he cannot be my disciple.

(Luke 14:26)


Rebuke Privately or Publicly


Moreover if thy brother shall                                            Against an elder receive not an

trespass against thee, go and tell                      accusation, but before two or three

him his fault between thee and him                 witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before

alone: if he shall hear thee, thou                      all, that others also may fear.

hast gained thy brother.                                                     (Tim. 5:19, 20)

(Matt. 18:15)


Sanctification by Truth or Spirit


Sanctify them through thy truth.                      Elect according to the fore-

(John 17:17)                                                                                         knowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit. (I Peter 1:2)


Blessed to See or Not


Blessed are the eyes which see the                   Blessed are they that have not seen,

things that ye see. (Luke 10:23)                       and yet have believed. (John 20:29)


Perfect Law


But whoso looketh into the perfect                  For the law made nothing perfect, but

law of liberty. (Jas. 1:25)                                    the bringing in of a better hope did. (Heb. 7:19)


Mourn or Rejoice


Blessed are they that mourn: for                      Rejoice in the Lord always: and again

they shall be comforted. (Matt. 5:4)                I say, Rejoice. (Phil. 4:4)


Temptation Good or Bad


My brethren, count it all joy when                   Lead us not into temptation.

ye fall into divers temptations.                         (Matt. 6:13)

(Jas. 1:2)


Own Burdens or Others


Bear ye one another’s burdens, and                 For every man shall bear his own

so fulfil the law of Christ.                                   burden. (Gal. 6:5)

(Gal. 6:2)


[133] Men to Die or Not


So death passed upon all men, for                   If a man keep my saying, he shall

that all have sinned. (Rom. 5:12)                     never see death. (John 8:51)


And as it is appointed unto men                       And whosoever liveth and believeth

once to die. (Heb. 9:27)                                                      in me shall never die. (John 11:26)




Among the contradictions and discrepancies in the Bible, are those errors in reporting history–in requoting events, years, and numbers. Sometimes a writer in the New Testament would relate an incident different from the way it was recorded in the Old Testament. And on several occasions a writer of the New Testament reported an event different from even a contemporary disciple. And going further, in some instances, a Bible author would contradict what he himself had already written. Consider the following examples:


(1) Adam was told not to eat of the tree or he would die:


But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Gen. 2:17)


But then he ate of the tree and it was recorded:


And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. (Gen. 5:5)


(2) In relating the account of the flood, Moses wrote about the number of animals that were to be taken into the ark:



Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. (Gen. 6:20)


But in the very next chapter, he said:


Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. (Gen. 7:2-3)


(3) It was written that after {he flood all the nations were divided according to their own language:


By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. (Gen. 10:5)


And yet in the following chapter:


And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. (Gen. 11:1)


(4) Moses wrote the Ten Commandments of God in Exodus 20:2-17, but they are recorded differently in Deuteronomy 5:6-21.


(5) John 3:22 records that Jesus “did baptizing”; then a few verses later it says, “Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples.”


(6) Matthew said that the “centurion” himself came to Jesus and asked Him to cure his sick manservant; but Luke said the centurion sent “the elders of the Jews” to ask Jesus to cure his servant. (Compare Mat. 8:5 and Luke 7:3.)


[135] (7) Matthew said that the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons and asked that these two sons come into His kingdom; but Mark said that the two sons, James and John, made the request themselves. (Compare Mat. 20:20-21 and Mark 10:35-37.)


(8) Mark and Luke report the healing of one blind man. (Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43) But Matthew said there were two. (Mat. 20:29-34) Furthermore, Matthew and Mark say it was done when Jesus was “going out” of Jericho; Luke said that it occurred when Jesus was “getting near” Jericho.


(9) The Beatitudes were written differently by Matthew and Luke; for example:


Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mat. 5:3)


Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. (Luke 6:20)


(10) Matthew 21:2 said two donkeys were used for Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem. Mark 11:2 and Luke 19:30 says only one.


(11) Jesus said to Peter, “Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.” (Mat. 26:34) But Mark wrote that, “Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.” (Mark 14:30)


(12) Mark wrote, “when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he <Jesus> so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.” (Mark 15:39) However, Luke recorded, “Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.” (Luke 23:47)


[136] (13) Matthew described the death of Judas in this way:


And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. (Mat. 27:5)


But Luke reported it another way:


Now this man <Judas> purchased a field with the reward of iniquity <30 pieces of silver>; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. (Acts 1:18)


(14) There is a disagreement in the accounts of John and Luke as to whether or not the Holy Ghost was here before Pentecost. John 7:38-39 states, “for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” On the other hand, Luke records that Simeon, a man in Jerusalem, had received a special promise: “And the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” (Luke 2:25-25)


(15) Paul also made a contradictory statement referring to years:


And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. (Acts 19:10)


Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acts. 20:31)

* * *


[137] Many more historical inconsistencies are evident in the Bible; so to make sure the reader has no question about this fact, a few more samples are included here, divided into two sections: (1) Old Testament and (2) New Testament.


Old Testament


Noah was a just man and perfect in                                For there is not a just man upon

his generations, and Noah walked                   earth, that doeth good, and sinneth

with God. (Gen. 6:9)                                                            not. (Eccl. 7:20)


Beersheba named by Abraham.                                      Named later by Isaac. (Gen. 26:33)

(Gen. 21:31)


Abraham’s only son Isaac.                                                Had several sons. (Gen. 25:6)

(Gen. 22:2; Heb. 11:17)


Jacob purchased the birthright.                         Obtained it by deception. (Gen.

(Gen. 25:31-33)                                                                   27:1-29)


Jacob’s sons,–eleven born in                                             Within seven years.

thirteen years. (Gen. 29:20,21;                         (Gen. 29:30, 31; 30:25)



Jacob’s age at his flight, forty                            Seventy-seven years.

years. (Gen. 26:34; 28:5)                                   (Gen. 41:46, 53; 45:6)


Israelites bondage 400 years.                                            Apparently a less time.

(Gen. 15:13)                                                                                         (Gen. 12:4; 21:5; 25:26; 47:9)


Exodus occurred in fourth generation.            In the sixth generation.

(Gen. 15:13, 16)                                                                   (1 Chron. 1:34; 2:1, 3-9)


“Moses” a Hebrew name. (Ex. 2:10)                               An Egyptian name. (Ex. 2:10)


Moses commissioned in Midian.                                      Received commission in Egypt. (Ex.

(Ex. 3:10; 4:19)                                                                   6:10-13)


Waters of Egypt turned to blood.                     Some not changed. (Ex. 7:22, 24)

(Ex. 7:20, 21)


Judges appointed by Moses.                                             Appointed by the people. (Deut.

(Ex. 28:25; Deut. 1:15)                                                      1:9-18)


Wandering of Israelites forty years. Somewhat less time.

(Num. 14:33)                                                                                        (Num. 33:3; Josh. 4:19)


Aaron died upon Mount Hor.                                           Died at Mosera. (Deut. 10:6)

(Num. 20:27, 28; 33:38)



And God came unto Balaam at night,                            And Balsam rose up in the morning,

and said unto him if the men come                 and saddled his ass, and went with

to call thee, rise up, and go with                        the princes of Moab. And God’s anger

them; but yet the word which I shall               was kindled because he went.

say unto thee, that shalt thou do.                     (Num. 22:21, 22)

(Num. 22:20)


Poor not found in Israel. (Deut. 15:4)              Poor always found. (Deut. 15:11)


Joshua conquered all Canaan.                                         Conquered only a part.

(Josh. 11:16, 17, 23; 12:7, 8; 21:43)               (Josh. 13:1-6; Judg. 2:28)


Eli corrected his sons.                                                          Did not correct them. (1 Sam. 3:13)

(1 Sam. 2:23, 24)


Saul unacquainted with David.                                        Knew him very well. (1 Sam. 16:21-23)

(1 Sam. 17:55-58)


Saul’s death,–one manner.                                                A different manner. (2 Sam. 1:6-10)

(1 Sam. 31:3-5)


Saul’s family died with him.                                              Some of the family survived.

(1 Chron. 10:6)                                                                    (2 Sam. 2:8)


The anger of the Lord was kindled                  And Satan stood up against Israel,

against Israel, and he moved David                                and provoked David to number Israel.

against them to say, Go, number                     (1 Chron. 21:1)

Israel and Judah. (2 Sam. 24:1)


David’s sons priests. (2 Sam. 8:18)   No priests except house of Aaron. (Num 3:10; 16:40)


David forbidden to build temple,–                   A different reason. (1 Chron. 28:3)

one reason. (1 Chron. 17:4-6, 12)


Solomon reduced Hebrews to bondage.         Did not enslave them. (1 Kings 9:22)

(1 Kings 5:13, 15; 11:4)


Absalom had three sons. (2 Sam. 14:27)        He had no sons. (2 Sam. 18:18)


Alhanan slew Goliath. (2 Sam. 21:19)            Slew Lahmi. (1 Chron. 20:5)


Ephraim’s land east of Jordan.                         West of Jordan. (Josh. 17:15-18)

(2 Sam. 18:6)


Ahab died in 19th year of                                  In his 17th year. (1 Kings 22:51)

Jehoshaphat. (1 Kings 15:10;

16:29; 22:41)


Zedekiah carried to Babylon.                                           Did not see Babylon.

(Jer. 34:3)                                                                                              (2 Kings 25:7; Ezek. 12:13)


Jehoiakim had no successor.                                             Succeeded by his son Jehoiachin.

(Jer. 36:30)                                                                                            (2 Kings 24:6)



New Testament


Elizabeth, of tribe of Aaron.                                              Of tribe of Judah. (Luke 1:27, 36)

(Luke 1:5)


John identical with Elias.                                    He was not Elias. (John 1:21)

(Mat. 17:12, 13; Mark 9:13)


Though I <Jesus> bear record of                      If I <Jesus> bear witness of myself

myself, yet my record is true:                            my witness is not true. (John 5:31)

for I know whence I came and

whither I go. (John 8:14)


Samaritans received not Jesus.                         Treated him hospitably.

(Luke 9:52, 53)                                                                    (John 4:39, 40)


Christ’s miracles were concealed.                     Were promulgated. (Mark 5:19; Luke

(Mat. 9:30; Mark 5:43)                                                      7:22)


Rulers knew Christ. (Mat. 21:38)                     They knew him not. (John 16:3; Acts 3:17; 1 Cor. 2:8)


We have a law, and by our law he                   It is not lawful for us to put any man

ought to die. (John 19:7)                                    to death. (John 18:31)


Lord’s supper instituted at Passover.                Upon the preceding day.

(Mat. 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26;                     (John 13:1, 2; 18:28)

Luke 22:1, 13-20)


They gave him <Christ> vinegar                      And they gave him to drink, wine

to drink, mingled with gall: and                        mingled with myrrh: but he received

when he had tasted thereof, he                         it not. (Mark 15:23)

would not drink. (Mat. 27:34)


Christ crucified at the third hour.      About the sixth hour. (John 19:14-18)

(Mark 15:25)


One woman at sepulchre. (John 20:1)             Three women. (Mark 16:1)

Two women. (Mat. 28:1)                                                   Five or more women. (Luke 24:10)


Angels seen, one seated.                                                     Two standing. (Luke 24:4)

(Mat. 28:2, 5; Mark 16:5)                                 Two seated. (John 20:12)


Christ ascended at Bethany.                                             At the mount called Olivet.

(Luke 24:50, 51)                                                                  (Acts 1:9, 12)




Probably more crucial than historical contradictions, are those pertaining to instructions for daily living. When these scriptures aren’t clear, it becomes very confusing for the individual who is trying to live a good Christian life. This series of inconsistencies will be divided into three sections: (1) Old Testament, (2) New Testament, and disagreements between (3) The Old and New Testaments.


Old Testament




Remember the sabbath-day to keep                               The new-moons and sabbaths, the

it holy. (Ex. 20:8)                                                                 calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Isa. 1:13)




And the woman took the two men,                 Lying lips are abomination to the

and hid them, and said thus,                                             Lord. (Prov. 12:22)

There came men unto me, but I

wist not whence they were.

(Josh. 2:4)


Image Making


And the Lord said unto Moses, Make                             Thou shalt not make unto thee any

thee a fiery serpent, and set it                           graven image, or any likeness of

upon a pole. (Numb. 21:8)                                                any things…. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. (Ex. 20:4, 5)


How to Serve


Serve the Lord with fear, and                                            Serve the Lord with gladness. (Ps.

rejoice with trembling. (Ps. 2:11)                      100:2)




Blessed is he that considereth the                     Neither shalt thou countenance a

poor. (Ps. 41:1)                                                                     poor man in his cause. (Ex. 23:3)


[141] Strong Drink


Wine is a mocker, strong drink is                      Give strong drink unto him that is

raging; and whosoever is deceived                   ready to perish, and wine to those

thereby is not wise. (Prov. 20:1)                        that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink. and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. (Prov. 31:6, 7)




Genesis 5:4 tells us that Adam                          And if a man shall take his sister,

“begat sons and daughters,” and                      his father’s daughter or his mother’s

eventually they married each other.                daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people; he hath uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity. (Lev. 20:17)




And he that stealeth a man, and                      Both thy bond-men, and thy bond-maids,

selleth him, or if he be found                             which thou shalt have, shall be of

in his hand, he shall surely be                            the heathen that are round about

put to death. (Ex. 21:16)                                    you; of them shall ye buy bond-men and bond-maids. (Lev. 25:44)


Value of Wisdom


For in much wisdom is much grief:                  Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,

and he that increaseth knowledge                    and the man that getteth understanding

increaseth sorrow. (Eccl. 1:18)                          . . . . She is more precious than rubies. (Prov. 3:13, 15)




Be ye angry, and sin not: let not                       Make no friendship with an angry man:

the sun go down upon your wrath.                   and with a furious man thou shalt

(Eph. 4:26)                                                                                            not go. (Prov. 22:24)




A time to every purpose under the                   Sorrow is better than laughter: for

heaven. . . . A time to laugh.                              by the sadness of the countenance

(Eccl. 3:1, 4)                                                                                         the heart is made better. (Eccl. 7:3, 4)


Answering a Fool


Answer not a fool according to his                   Answer a fool according to his folly,

folly, lest thou also be like unto                        lest he be wise in his own conceit.

him. (Prov. 26:4)                                                                  (Prov. 26:5)


[142] Animals for Eating


And every creeping thing that flieth These may ye eat, of every flying

is unclean unto you: they shall not  creeping thing that goeth upon all

be eaten. (Deut. 14:19)                                                       four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth. But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you. (Lev. 11:21, 23)


Every moving thing that liveth                         Nevertheless these ye shall not eat,

shall be meat for you. (Gen. 9:3)                      of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof. . . . They are unclean unto you. (Deut. 14:7)




Blessed is he whose transgression                     He that covereth his sins shall not

is forgiven, whose sin is covered,                      prosper. (Prov. 28:13)



Committing Sin


If we say that we have no sin, we                    Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not;

deceive ourselves, and the truth                       … Whosoever is born of God doth

is not in us. (1 John 1:8)                                     not commit sin.




Thou shalt not kill. (Ex. 20:13)                         Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, . . . slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor. (Ex. 32:26, 27)


Thou shalt not kill. (Deut. 5:17)                        The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him. (Num. 25:19)


Capital Punishment & Blood Atonement


Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man                           A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou

shall his blood be shed. (Gen. 9:6)    be in the earth. And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear. (Gen. 4:12, 13)



New Testament


Preaching the Gospel


Gospel to be preached everywhere.                 Not to be preached in Asia. (Acts

(Mat. 28:19)                                                                                         16:6)


I will also give thee for a light                            Go not into the way of the Gentiles,

to the Gentiles, that thou mayest                     and into any city of the Samaritans

be my salvation unto the end of                      enter ye not. But go rather to the

the earth. (Isa. 49:6)                                                           lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Mat. 10:5, 6)


Law of God or Man


Submit yourselves to every ordinance            We ought to obey God rather than

of man for the Lord’s sake: whether                man. (Acts. 5:29)

it be to the king, as supreme; or

unto governors, as unto them that

are sent by him for the punishment

of evil-doers, and for the praise

of them that do well.

(1 Pet. 2:13, 14)




Heaven prepared for eternity.                                           Not till after Christ’s ascension.

(Matt. 25:34; Heb. 4:3; 11:16)                         (John 14:2, 3)


NOTE: More references on New Testament inconsistencies were listed earlier in this chapter under the heading “About Christ”.


[144] Old and New Testaments


Riches and Treasures


Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust,                Lay not up for yourselves treasures

and the gold of Ophir as the stones  upon earth…. For where your

of the brooks. (Job 22:23, 24)                           treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Mat. 6:19, 21)


In the house of the righteous is                         Blessed be ye poor; for yours in

much treasure. (Prov. 15:6)                                               the kingdom of God…. But wo unto you that are rich! (Luke 6:20, 24)


The rich man’s wealth is his strong   Hath not God chosen the poor of this

city: the destruction of the poor                       world, rich in faith, and heirs of

is their poverty. (Prov. 10:15)                            the kingdom. (Jas. 2:5)


Worldly Goods


A good man leaveth an inheritance                 Take therefore no thought for the

to his children’s children.                                    morrow: for the morrow shall take

(Prov. 13:22)                                                                                        thought for the things of itself. (Mat. 6:34)


Swearing and Oaths


And Abraham said, I will swear.                       Thou shalt not forswear thyself,

(Gen. 21:24)                                                                                         but shalt perform unto the Lord

thine oaths; but I say unto you,

And Jacob sware by the Fear of his                 Swear not at all; neither by heaven;

father Isaac. (Gen. 31:53)                                 for it is God’s throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool. (Matt. 5:33-35)




This is my covenant, which ye shall                Is any called in uncircumcision?

keep, between me and you, and thy                                Let him not be circumcised.

seed after thee: Every man-child                     (1 Cor. 7:18)

among you shall be circumcised.

(Gen. 17:10)



And the Lord God said, It is not                       But he that is married, careth for the

good that the man should be alone:                                things that are of the world, how he

I will make him a help meet for him.               may please his wife…. He that giveth

(Gen. 2:18)                                                                                            her not in marriage doeth better. (1 Cor. 7:33, 38)


[145] Divorce


When a man hath taken a wife, and                               Whosoever putteth away his wife, and

married her, and it came to pass                      marrieth another, committeth adultery;

that she find no favor in his eyes,    and whosoever marrieth her that is

because he hath found some                                            put away from her husband, committeth

uncleanness in her; then let him                       adultery. (Luke 16:18)

write her a bill of divorcement,

and give it in her hand, and send

her out of his house. And when she

is departed out of his house, she may

go and be another man’s wife.

(Deut. 24:1, 2)


Good Name


A good name is rather to be chosen                 Wo unto you, when all men shall speak

than great riches. (Prov. 22:1)                           well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. (Luke 6:26)




When a man’s ways please the Lord,                              All that will live godly in Christ

he maketh even his enemies to be                   Jesus shall suffer persecution.

at peace with him. (Prov. 16:7)                         (2 Tim. 3:12)


Blood Sacrifice


One kid of the goats for a sin-                           For it is not possible that the blood

offering, to make an atonement                      of bulls and of goats should take

for you. (Num. 29:5)                                                           away sins…. The same sacrifices which can never take away sins. (Heb. 10:4, 11)


Destiny of the Earth


The earth abideth for ever.                                                Heaven and earth shall pass away.

(Eccl. 1:4)                                                                                              (Luke 21:33)



[146]                             Chapter 10




I resumed the translation of the Scriptures, and continued to labor in this branch of my calling…. (D.H.C. 1:238)


For many centuries uninspired men have fractured Christianity into a thousand different, contending sects; and, from out of all these have come many different versions of the Bible. Because of this confusion, the Lord saw the necessity of bringing more enlightenment among men to clarify this atrocious mess.


Since the problems had not been solved by the scholarship of men, it became necessary for the Lord to send a prophet. So He did–the Prophet Joseph Smith. One of Joseph’s first works was that of a more inspired translation of the Bible.


Most scholars and translators realize the problems of trying to get an authentic copy of the Bible from the manuscripts that were available for translation. A statement from those who worked on the English Revised Version admitted:


We recognized from the first, the responsibility of the undertaking; and through our manifold experience of its abounding difficulties, we have felt more and more, as we went onward, that such a work can never be accomplished by organized efforts of scholarship and criticism, unless assisted by divine help. (Preface to English Revised Version, p. 22)


[147] It is evident that some Bible translators received more divine help or inspiration than others. And it should be no great surprise that the Prophet Joseph Smith should receive more than all the others.


When the Prophet Joseph was only 20 years old, he understood the adverse effects mortal men had had on Bible translations. From the Book of Mormon, he read about the incompleteness and the inaccuracies of the Bible, and why these conditions had occurred;


For behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb, many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have been taken away; and all this have they done, that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord; that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men: wherefore, thou seest that after the book had gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God; and after these plain and precious things were taken away, it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles. (I Nephi 3:168-172)


It was clear to the Prophet what had happened to those ancient manuscripts and he commented:


From sundry revelations which had been received, it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled. (D.H.C. 1:244)


Because so many uninspired translators had made errors in their work of copying or translating, the Bible had lost some of its original scriptures and books. The Prophet clearly indicated that it was the work of men, not the original prophets, who had made the blunders. Said he:



I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors. (TPJS, p. 327)


To correct many of these past errors, the Prophet was told to begin the work of correction and restoration of much of what had been lost. The Lord revealed to Joseph and Oliver:


Verily, verily, I say unto you, that there are records which contain much of my gospel, which have been kept back because of the wickedness of the people; and now I command you, that if you have good desires–a desire to lay up treasures for yourself in heaven–then shall you assist in bringing to light, with your gift, those parts of my scriptures which have been hidden because of iniquity. (D. & C. 6:26-27)


Not only did Joseph learn that the Bible had undergone some inadequate translations and that certain books and passages of scripture had been completely lost, but he was instructed that much of it would be restored.


. . . the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly, because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb–I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day, insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb. (I Nephi 13:34)


And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant [149] of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true.

And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them…. (I Nephi 13:39-40)


In a revelation from the Lord to Oliver Cowdery, the Lord gave a startling bit of information concerning ancient records:


. . . behold, other records have I, that I will give unto you power that you may assist to translate. (D. & C. 9:2)


In 1830 some of the “visions of Moses” were revealed to young Prophet Joseph. These were classed among those in the status of “new scripture”. But more interesting was the passage in the book of Moses that promised additional new scripture to be given.


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. (Moses 1:40-41)


So the Lord required Joseph to restore not only the Book of Mormon, but also other scripture and to make some revisions in the Bible. His work on the Holy Scriptures was often called the “Inspired Translation” or the “Inspired Revision”.


[150] Regarding Joseph’s work with Bible scriptures, the term “translation” is probably is misnomer–for his work was closer to a “revision”. Notations were made in a large edition of the King James Bible, rather than actually translating from ancient manuscripts. Yet it was a work assisted by inspiration and revelation. The Lord once said:


Thou shalt ask, and my scriptures shall be given as I have appointed . . . until ye have received them in full. (D. & C. 42:56-57)


Robert Matthews commented on the above scripture:


The phrases “thou shalt ask”, “shall be given”, and “until ye have received”, are informative and suggest the manner in which the Prophet was to proceed with the task.

Apparently the Prophet did not always know beforehand what changes were needed, nor what to expect, for on occasion he expressed surprise at what was “given” him. (A Look at Joseph Smith’s Translation, Matthews, p. 5)


There was a difference between Joseph Smith’s work on the Bible and that of other translators. Joseph had been directed by the Lord to do it–and was also given the inspiration and revelation to make that revision. Joseph once wrote, “while we were doing the work of translation, which the Lord had appointed unto us, . . .” (D. & C. 76:15) Joseph gave more veracity to that work than the hundreds of scholars who had approached it with only their own learning. The Apostle Orson Pratt also acknowledged, “The Lord commanded Joseph Smith to make a new translation of the Old and New Testaments.” (J.D. 15:247)


Joseph’s Bible revision did not start at the beginning of the Bible and continue through to the end, as many suppose. The work did start with the beginning of the Old Testament, but it was a mammoth project and much of the material was long and tedious. So the Lord instructed Joseph to start on the New Testament:



And now, behold, I say unto you, it shall not be given unto you to know any further concerning this chapter, until the New Testament be translated, and in it all these things shall be made known; Wherefore, I give unto you that ye may now translate it, that ye may be prepared for the things to come. (D. & C. 45:60-61)


As work on the New Testament was progressing and Joseph and Sidney were translating the book of John, they were given a vision.


For while we were doing the work of translation, which the Lord had appointed unto us, we came to the twenty-ninth verse of the fifth chapter of John…. (D. & C. 76:15)


They inquired about the resurrection of the dead, and the Lord gave one of the greatest revelations ever given to man concerning life after death. (See D. & C. Section 76.) This demonstrates the clarification of the scriptures by the Lord as Joseph worked on this revision. No other translators even claimed such inspired help with all their various Bibles!


The books of Genesis, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and the first portion of John were written out by hand because so much information was given in them. For Joseph to write out all of the rest of the Bible was not necessary and was too time consuming. The book of Esther, Ecclesiastes, and the first and second Epistle of John had little or no change in them. The book of the Song of Solomon was discarded completely and declared to be uninspired.


Robert Matthews said that, “The Prophet made thousands of changes in the text of the Bible. There are at least 128 verses added to the New Testament and 1475 verses changed. Also there are thousands of changed and added verses in the Old Testament.” (A Look at Joseph Smith’s Inspired Translation, p. 5)


[152] Joseph merely made a revision of the Bible; but the changes and additions were so numerous, that it could be considered a “new translation”. It contains thousands of variations from any other Bible, thus presenting much more information than previously offered.


Young Joseph was always interested in the scholarship of other translations and said:


I have an old edition of the New Testament in the Latin, Hebrew, German and Greek languages. I have been reading the German, and find it to be the most correct translation, and to correspond nearest to the revelations which God has given to me for the last fourteen years. (T.P.J..S., p. 349)


The spirit and power of “the revelations which God” had given him were greater than most people can comprehend.


There is no doubt that the Prophet Joseph saw and understood much more in the Bible than he ever revealed. Use of the Urim and Thummim enabled him to absorb great amounts of information in a few moments. This he was able to do with the Bible. Lorenzo Brown gives this testimony of what Joseph told him:


After I got through translating the Book of Mormon, I took up the Bible to read with the Urim and Thummim. I read the first chapter of Genesis and I saw the things as they were done. I turned over the next and the next, and the whole passed before me like a grand panorama; and so on chapter after chapter until I read the whole of it. I saw it all! . . . (This was spoken at the house of Benj. Brown, N.Y., 1832, Sidney Rigdon being along.) <Related by Lorenzo Brown in 1880, “Sayings of Joseph, by Those Who Heard Him at Different Times,” Joseph Smith, Jr., Papers, Salt Lake City, Utah: Church Historical Library, Manuscript Section.>


[153] The Prophet was able to enlarge his understanding of many mysteries of the heavens and earth by means of this instrument. On one occasion Joseph obtained a copy of John Fox’s Book of Martyrs. It was a huge exhaustive record of all the Christians who fell in death or were persecuted for their faith. Joseph did not have the time to read this huge volume so he recorded:


I have, by the aid of the Urim and Thummim, seen those martyrs and they were honest, devoted followers of Christ according to the light they possessed; they will be saved. (Reminiscences of the Prophet Joseph, Stevenson, p. 5)


Although Joseph could review the lives and history of former prophets and saints by use of the Urim and Thummim, it was not by that means that he revised the Bible. Robert Matthews explains:


The translation was not a simple, mechanical recording of divine dictum, but rather a study-and-thought process accompanied and prompted by revelation from the Lord. That it was a revelatory process is evident from statements by the Prophet and others who were personally acquainted with the work. Several of these statements have been cited already with reference to the visions of Moses, the prophecy of Enoch, and the vision of the degrees of glory. (D. & C. 76) <Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, Matthews, p. 39>


Although Joseph Smith’s work on the Bible was considerably different, others looked upon it with varying reactions. Many ministers would have nothing to do with it, while a few scholars realized by the force of logic that Joseph had made proper re-adjustments in the texts. Some translators and revisionists later made those same changes in their work. So sure was Joseph of his understanding of the Bible that he once stated:



If any man will prove to me, by one passage of Holy Writ, one item I believe to be false, I will renounce and disclaim it as far as I promulgated it. (T.P.J.S., p. 327)


Joseph and Sidney Rigdon began translating in the book of Genesis, but as previously mentioned, they were told by the Lord on March 7, 1831, to work on the New Testament. That was finished on February 2, 1833, after which they returned to the Old Testament, which was completed on July 2, 1833.


The Mormon printing press at Independence, Missouri, was destroyed three weeks after the completion of this Bible Revision. On January 11, 1834, Joseph and five others offered a prayer in which they asked that “the Lord would protect our printing press from the hands of evil men, and give us means to send forth His record, even His gospel, that the ears of all may hear it; and also that we may print His Scriptures.” (D.H.C. 2:3)


Later a group of the Saints were organized to accomplish the publication of these Scriptures, but this, too, was prevented. In January of 1841 William Law was urged to promote the publication of this new translation, as he had been told by the Lord: “… hearken to the counsel of my servant Joseph, and… publish the new translation of my holy word unto the inhabitants of the earth.” (D. & C. 107:28) However, he failed in that mission.


Yet, as clear and understandable as Joseph’s version was, it was not without its share of critics–even from within the LDS Church. As recent as 1974, the “Church Section” of the Deseret News printed a short article entitled “The Inspired Version”. It was written without an author’s name, but was undoubtedly instigated or written by Elder Mark E. Petersen. Among other things, it said:


The Presiding Brethren urge the use of the King James version of the Bible, which is the [155] official Bible of the Church, since the Prophet did not complete his work on the revision. (Des. News, Nov. 16, 1974)


However, it is evident that this information is not correct. On February 2, 1833, Joseph wrote, “I completed the translation and review of the New Testament . . . and sealed it up, no more to be opened till it arrives in Zion.” (Times and Seasons 5:723) Then on July 2, 1833, Sidney Rigdon and Joseph wrote, “We this day finished the translating of the scriptures… having finished the translation of the Bible, a few hours since ….” (Times and Seasons 6:802; D.H.C. 1:368) This meant that work on both the New and Old Testaments had been finished. Thus, not only was the translation completed, but the printing had also been contemplated, and efforts made to get it published.


Furthermore, it was evident that Joseph had “finished” with his work or revision of the scriptures because he was warned that he could “not teach them until ye have received them in full”. Later he did teach them. In fact, when Joseph added Genesis to the Pearl of Great Price, it indicated that the Old Testament was finished. Then, when Matthew was published, it was proof that the New Testament had also been completed. Both Joseph and the Saints were teaching from his Old and New Testament revisions because they considered that work “finished”–at least as much as was required by the Lord.


There were occasions when Joseph would continue to make minor changes or insertions, as new avenues of information were available or in order to help clarify certain verses. As long as he lived, he seemed to enjoy adding new knowledge and scholarly helps to this work. It may be noted that he also made minor changes and alterations to the Book of Mormon, even after its publication. This was done for the same reason he made changes in his Inspired Revision after he had finished it.


[156] There were a great many changes in the Bible that the young Prophet could have made but chose not to at that time. In fact, George Q. Cannon said:


We have heard President Brigham Young state that the Prophet, before his death, had spoken to him about going through the translation of the Scriptures again and perfecting it upon points of doctrine which the Lord had restrained him from giving in plainness and fullness at the time of which we write. (Life of Joseph Smith, quoting George Q. Cannon, p. 142)


In 1844 when Joseph was killed, the manuscript still remained unpublished, and it fell into the hands of Emma, his wife. On Monday, August 19, 1844:


Elder Willard Richards called on Emma Smith, widow of the Prophet, for the new translation of the Bible; she said she did not feel disposed to give it up at present. (D.H.C. 7:260)


Emma not only refused to give up that manuscript, she refused to have anything to do with the Church. Years later she allowed the Reorganized Church to have access to it, at which time (in 1867) they proceeded to have it published under the title of “Holy Scriptures”. It has been published by them ever since.


After his completion of the Bible revision, the Prophet seemed apprehensive about the manuscript:


As a precaution against evil coming to the manuscript, the Prophet had Dr. John M. Bernhisel make a complete copy of this revision…. The copy, however, was preserved and carried across the plains and is now in the archives of the Church. It is from this manuscript that the Book of Moses, in the Pearl of Great Price, is obtained. (T.P.J.S., footnote p. 10)


[157] It is also interesting to note that in 1979 the Mormon Church published its own edition of the Bible, this being the first Bible the Church has ever published. It contains many cross references to the other standard works, a Topical Guide listing passages from the four standard works, a Bible Dictionary, and also many excerpts from the Inspired Translation.


Critics from outside the Church complain that Joseph’s work, both in his revision and quotations in the Book of Mormon, were based upon the King James Translation. There were many reasons he chose that edition:


  1. Considering the vast work involved in writing the Bible, the King James translators had already done the most satisfactory job of translation.


  1. It was sufficiently good enough; the work and the spirit of it were satisfactory for people to gain the knowledge and understanding needed for their salvation.


  1. It was the most popular and common Bible publication at the time, being the most familiar to people. A completely different form of words of the same text would be more confusing and objectionable. This is easily noticed between the Protestant and the Catholic versions by their two variations of the same text.
  2. Joseph had little time to work on his revision, and for the sake of getting the task done, he made only the necessary changes in that version of the Bible. If he would have rewritten each word of the Bible, his work would never have been finished.


  1. The Bible was never intended to be a closed book. Each book was a scripture by itself and other information, visions, and revelations would or could be added.


  1. Too many additions to the “standard” version of the King James would be unacceptable to the modern Christian. Adding much more of the dreams, visions and revelations that were given to those ancient prophets would only arouse the wrath of the “Christian ministers”, more than it already had.


  1. The effort to make a completely different rendition was not vital to this work.


  1. Generally speaking, neither Mormons nor non-Mormons have really used or appreciated the Prophet Joseph’s work. So it would have been in vain for him to labor much more extensively than he did.


The work of this revision has proved to be a choice addition to the study of the Bible. However, many other portions of scriptural material were also given to Joseph Smith, including:


The Book of Mormon                        The Prophecy of Enoch

The Book of Abraham                       The Revelation to John

The Book of Moses                            The Book of Joseph


Our modern Christian ministers have rejected all of them, which only confirms what the Lord has said–that because of the wickedness and darkness among men, many of these ancient records are being withheld and not revealed. Not only has the Christian world as a body failed to realize the value of Joseph Smith’s contributions, but so have many of the Mormon people. It is a mistake not to make better use of this inspired work on the Bible.


A sampling of seven topics has been selected to illustrate the inspiration and insight manifested by the Prophet Joseph in his revision of the Bible:


[159] 1. The Lord Repents of Evil.


When Israel made a golden calf to worship, the Lord said He would destroy Israel. But according to most versions, Moses tells God to repent of evil; and the Lord repented. From the King James version:


Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.

And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. (Ex. 32:12, 14)


But in the Inspired Version the story is corrected to become very clear:


Turn from thy fierce wrath. Thy people will repent of this evil; therefore come thou not out against them.

And the Lord said unto Moses, if they will repent of the evil which they have done, I will spare them, and turn away my fierce wrath; but, behold, thou shalt execute judgment upon all that will not repent of this evil this day. Therefore, see thou do this thing that I have commanded thee, or I will execute all that which I had thought to do unto my people. (Ex. 32:12, 14)


Instead of God repenting of evil, it was the Israelites who needed to repent. And instead of Moses chastising the Lord, he was pleading for Israel, which places both God and Moses in a more proper and correct position.


And again the Prophet once commented on Genesis 1:6, “It repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth.” But it ought to read, “It repented Noah that God made man.” (T.P.J.S., p. 327)


[160] 2. No Man Hath Seen God.


Many ancient prophets testified of seeing God, yet from the Bible we read these strange statements:


No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18)


No man hath seen God at any time. (I John 4:12)


Exodus 33:20 says, “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” And yet in the same chapter it is recorded, “The Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (v. 11)


These verses were all clarified by the Prophet as follows:


And no man hath seen God at any time, except he hath borne record of the Son; for except it is through him no man can be saved. (John 1:18)


No man hath seen God at any time, except them who believe. (I John 4:12)


And he said unto Moses, Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger be kindled against thee also, and I destroy thee, and thy people; for there shall no man among them see me at this time, and live, for they are exceeding sinful. And no sinful man hath at any time, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time, that shall see my face and live. (Ex. 33:20)


Each of these passages becomes more clear when it is understood that no sinful man can see God.


[161] 3. The Righteousness of Lot.


From the King James version we read that Lot gave his daughters to wicked men of Sodom to do whatever they wanted with them.


Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye unto them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. (Gen. 19:8)


However, Lot was a righteous man and did not actually give his daughters to them, according to the Inspired Version:


Wherefore they said unto the man <Lot>, we will have the men, and thy daughters also; and we will do with them as seemeth us good.

Now this was after the wickedness of Sodom.

And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes;

For God will not justify his servant in this thing; . . . (Gen. 19:11-14)


  1. Paul’s Vision.


One of the most noticeable contradictions of the Bible is Paul’s vision while he was traveling on the road to Damascus. In Acts 9:7 it says:


And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.


[162] But Paul’s version, as recorded in Acts 22:9, differs:


And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spoke to me.


The Prophet corrected the Acts 9 version to agree with Paul, stating that the men “saw the light,” which is more plausible since the verbal message was for Paul, while the light would cause the men to stand “speechless” and know that some Divine manifestation was transpiring.


  1. Angels at the Tomb.


Both Luke (24:4-6) and John (20:11-13) say that there were two angels present at the tomb of Jesus. However, Matthew (28:1-7) and Mark (16:5-6) describe only one angel at the tomb. These are direct contradictions, and no one but a prophet would know how many angels were actually there. Joseph Smith in the Inspired Version gives an account of “two angels” appearing on the morning of the resurrection.


  1. The Death of Judas Iscariot.


The King James Bible records two different accounts of how Judas died. Matthew says that Judas “went and hanged himself.” (Matt. 27:5), but Peter said that he was “falling headlong, burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.” (Acts 1:18)


However, the Prophet Joseph’s Inspired Version brought the two accounts together by explaining that, “He went, and hanged himself on a tree. And straightway he fell down, and hit, bowels gushed out, and he died.” (Matt. 27:6)


[163] 7. Mary Speared to Death.


According to the King James Bible, Mary was pierced through with a sword. But according to the Inspired Version it was not so. Luke records Simeon saying, “Yea, a sword shall pierce through thine own soul also,” but the Prophet Joseph rendered it, “Yea, a spear shall pierce through him to the wounding of thine own soul also.” (Luke 2:35, Insp. Ver.) The spear did pierce Jesus, but it brought much grief to Mary’s soul, as well.

* * *


One of the main objections to Joseph Smith’s Inspired Translation was the extended information added to certain verses. But this is not a factor against but rather in favor of his inspiration. When all other translators made such word for word literal renditions, Joseph could add or extend the length to enable a better understanding of the scripture.


A prophet can understand, by inspiration, what the original writers of the scriptures intended, rather than just guess by human wisdom as other translators have done. By comparing Joseph’s revision to the transcription of others, it is very easy to determine the inspiration of a prophet against the wisdom of men:


King James Version

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Matt. 16:24)


Inspired Translation

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

And now for a man to take up his cross, is to deny himself all ungodliness, and every worldly lust, and keep my commandments.

[164]      Break not my commandments for to save your lives. (Matt. 16:25-27)


And pertaining to a very important event in the history of Israel–the Lord’s giving the Ten Commandments:


King James Version

And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first; and I will write upon these tables the words that were on the first tables, which thou breakest. And be ready in the morning…. (Ex. 34:1-2)


Inspired Translation

And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two other tables of stone like the first, and I will write upon them also, the words of the law, according as they were written at the first on the tables which thou brakest; but it shall not be according to the first, for I will take away the priesthood out of their midst; therefore my holy order, and the ordinances thereof, shall not go before them; for my presence shall not go up in their midst, lest I destroy them.

But I will give unto them the law as at the first, but it shall be after the law of a carnal commandment; for I have sworn in my wrath, that they shall not enter into my presence, into my rest, in the days of their pilgrimage. Therefore do as I have commanded thee, and be ready in the morning, . . .(Ex. 34:1-2)


So God issued a law on the second set of tablets, but not the same law, ordinances or priesthood. This clarifies Apostle Paul’s statement where he said that law “was added because of transgression”. (Gal. 3:19) This was clarified again in Deut. 10:2 of the Inspired Translation.


Jesus accused some of the Jewish lawyers and theologians of taking away the “key of knowledge”. (Luke [165] 11:53) In the Inspired Translation, Joseph explained that this “key” was the “fullness of the scriptures”. In other words, they were changing, altering and deleting some of the words of God.


Another example of an insertion is found between verses 33 and 34 of Luke 14. One of the “keys” someone lost may have been this verse:


Then certain of them came to him, saying, good Master, we have Moses and the prophets, and whosoever shall live by them, shall he not have life? And Jesus answered, saying, Ye know not Moses, neither the prophets; for if ye had known them, ye would have believed on me; for to this intent they were written. For I am sent that ye might have life. (Luke 14:35-36)


And again–


King James Version

For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him. (Matt. 21:32)


Inspired Translation

For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and bear record of me, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him; and ye, afterward, when ye had seen me, repented not, that ye might believe him.

For he that believed not John concerning me, cannot believe me, except he first repent.

And except ye repent, the preaching of John shall condemn you in the day of judgment. (Matt. 21:32-34)


[166] Robert Matthews gives an excellent clarification of texts from the Inspired Translation in regard to the status of little children:


That little children are innocent before God is clearly established by the Inspired Translation.

In explanation of the covenant of circumcision, the Lord said to Abraham that its purpose was “that thou mayest know forever that children are not accountable before me until they are eight years old. (Gen. 17:11) This interesting and valuable point is not made in the King James Version.

Other passages in the Inspired Translation also discuss the innocence of little children. While in Galilee, Jesus said that “the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost.” (Matt. 18:11) The corresponding verse in the Inspired Translation adds these important words: “and to call sinners to repentance; but these little ones have no need of repentance, and I will save them.”

At a later time, when Jesus had gone from Galilee into Judea, people brought little children unto him, “that he might put his hands on them and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.” (Matt. 19:13) Evidently the disciples felt that these Judeans had not heard their Lord’s teachings concerning little children. The Inspired Translation gives the reason why the disciples sought to prevent those who came with their little ones. Explained the disciples: “There is not need, for Jesus hath said, Such shall be saved.”

These additions supplied by the Prophet not only attest to the sinless state of childhood, but give an otherwise <un>attainable insight into the reasons why the disciples did not care to have the people come with their little children. Remembering what Jesus had said in Galilee about little children needing no repentance, the [167] disciples proceeded to inform the Judeans that there was no real need to have Jesus bless them. (A Look at Joseph Smith’s Translation, Matthews, p. 10)


Another informative bit of scripture pertained to that empty period of information about Jesus from ages 12 to 30. From the Inspired Translation comes:


And it came to pass that Jesus grew up with his brethren, and waxed strong, and waited upon the Lord for the time of his ministry to come. And he served under his father, and he spake not as other men, neither could he be taught; for he needed not that any man should teach him. And after many years, the hour of his ministry drew nigh. (Matt. 3:22-25) Another interesting insert by the Prophet is found in Chapter 4 of Matthew, verse 11:


And now Jesus knew that John was cast into prison, and he sent angels, and behold, they came and ministered unto him.


This verse is not found in the King James Version, but it shows the love and compassion Jesus had for John and also the power He had over angels that He could call them into His service.


The King James Version says that Jesus went into the wilderness “to be tempted of the devil,” but the Inspired Translation said it was “to commune” and “to be with God.” (Matt. 4:1-2) The King James Version indicates that Jesus was tempted in the wilderness for forty days by the devil, but the Inspired Version says “after” forty days he was tempted. King James Version says that the “… devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple;” but the Inspired Version says that “Jesus was taken up into the holy city, and the Spirit setteth him on the pinnacle of the temple.” (Matt. 4:5)


[168] The King James Version quotes Paul who talks about Melchizedek and then says:


Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. (Heb. 7:3)


But the Inspired Translation renders a clear meaning to what he was saying:


For this Melchizedek was ordained a priest after the order of the Son of God, which order was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life. And all those who are ordained unto this priesthood are made like unto the Son of God, abiding a priest continually.


The thousands of changes, insertions and additions in the Inspired Translation are too numerous to include, but a few of them are quoted here to show the improvement made by Joseph Smith in his work on the Bible:


King James Version

. . . for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. (I Cor. 14:35)


Inspired Translation

. . . for it is a shame for women to rule in the church. (I Cor. 14:35)

* * *


King James Version

But Jesus beheld them, and said: (Matt. 19:26)


Inspired Translation

But Jesus beheld their thoughts, and said to them…. (Matt. 19:26)

* * *


[169] King James Version

But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. (I Sam. 16:14)


Inspired Translation

But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit which was not of the Lord troubled him. (I Sam. 16:14)

* * *


King James Version

And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and he entered into a house, and would have no man know it; but he could not be hid. (Mark 7:24-25)


Inspired Translation

And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into a house, and would that no man should come unto him. But he could not deny them; for he had compassion upon all men. (Mark 7:22-23)

* * *


King James Version

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (Luke 15:4)


Inspired Translation

What man of you having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine, and go into the wilderness after that which is lost, until he find it? (Luke 15:4)

* * *


[170] King James Version

Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth. (I Cor. 10:24)


Inspired Translation

Let not man seek therefore his own, but every man another’s good. (I Cor. 10:24)

* * *


King James Version

And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel (Ex. 7:3-4)


Inspired Translation

And Pharaoh will harden his heart, as I said unto thee and thou shalt multiply my signs, and my wonders, in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh will not hearken unto you, therefore I will lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, my people, the children of Israel. (Ex. 7:3-4)

* * *


King James Version

And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. (Acts 13:48)


Inspired Translation

And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as believed were ordained unto eternal life. (Acts 13:48)

* * *


[171] King James Version

For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matt. 26:28)


Inspired Translation

For this is in remembrance of my blood of the new testament, which is shed for as many as shall believe on my name, for the remission of their sins. (Matt. 26:24)

* * *


It is interesting to note that the verse below caused many women to suffer death at the hands of superstitious and misinformed people:


Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (Ex. 22:18)


However, when Joseph Smith properly translated it, the verse read:


Thou shalt not suffer a murderer to live. (Ex. 22:18)


Mark Twain had considerable trouble with this verse from the Bible:


Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. (Ex. 23:3)


After considerable time and effort in researching many of the ancient manuscripts, he discovered that the word “wicked” had been left out by some of the translators. It is interesting to note that the Prophet Joseph Smith, without having to go to these ancient manuscripts, also rendered it:


Neither shalt thou countenance a wicked man in his cause. (Ex. 23:3)


[172] The apostate Robert McKay, who joined forces with the anti-Mormons, is a constant writer for some of their rancid yellow journalism. In a recent anti-Mormon newspaper, Robert wrote:


The Joseph Smith Translation or Inspired Version of the Bible was prepared by Joseph Smith to correct the supposed errors in the King James Version. Rather than adding any of the “lost books” of the Bible, Joseph actually removed one–the Song of Solomon. The additions and “corrections” to the remaining 65 books are greatly inferior in quality to the original King James text. (Utah Evangel, Aug-Sept 1985)


It is obvious that the bias and prejudice of most of these critics have blotted out their common sense and reason, since they are unable to see the vast improvement in Joseph Smith’s work over the King James translation. Little wonder that the Lord says He has contempt for so many of these men who have merchandized Christianity.


Robert J. Matthews, quoted often in this chapter, should probably be considered the foremost authority on the Inspired Translation of the Bible. He concluded that this version of Joseph Smith’s “contains thousands of variations from any other Bible known to be in existence.” The text also contains much more information, greater clarifications and new texts to make it a more complete and extended Bible than any other. Said Matthews:


Thus the text of the Inspired Translation gives a wider range of subject matter to the writings of the prophets than is evident from the King James Version. It also speaks well of John the Baptist’s knowledge of the future mission of Christ.

The impact of the Inspired Translation is to be a more complete and convincing witness to [173] the perfect character of Jesus Christ, and of his divine appointment to minister among men. In addition the text strongly upholds the prophets in their work of bearing testimony of the Savior, and shows strong attachments between Jesus and the prophets. Of particular interest is Jesus’ high regard for John the Baptist.

Much of the contribution made by the Inspired Translation on these matters consists in the emphasis given to principles already in the Bible, although some things entirely new are also presented. (A Look at Joseph Smith’s Translation, p. 24)


The more serious student of the Inspired Translation should obtain a copy of Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, published by the Herald Publishing House, Independence, Missouri. This volume goes through the Bible showing a detailed comparison between the King James and Inspired versions.


The work of Joseph Smith on the revision of the Bible is really one of his minor works, yet it stands as a masterpiece by comparison to all the other revisions and translations of the Bible. If Joseph Smith had never translated the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, or revealed the books of Moses and John, nor given the numerous revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants, and left us only his revision of the Bible, we would still know that he was more inspired than all the clergy and translators since those ancient manuscripts were first written.



[174]                             Chapter 11



A Marvelous Work and a Wonder


Old and New Revelation


No one can deny the inspiration and spiritual help the Bible has been to the nations of the earth. Children sitting upon their mothers’ knees have listened with awe and adoration to the marvelous dealings of God with man; Sunday School teachers have enthralled and persuaded men to a better course through life. In the depths of sorrow and difficult trials, good men continue to turn with hope and faith to the Bible. It has been a fortress against trouble, a comfort in sorrow, and a compass through the darkness of life. The Bible has remained the most important and widely read document of spiritual teaching throughout the history of man.


No one should deny the veracity and divine purity of the revelations originally given to those ancient prophets. Their inspiration, and the prophecies of those scriptures, are beyond the capacity of any man to create. But no serious advocate of the Bible should be so vain or blind in his faith to say that the Bible is “inerrant”, “perfect”, or “without error”. Through centuries of man-handling, the copyists and translators have had to use the wisdom and weakness of man to transmit and publish those scriptures, resulting in inconsistencies and defects within its pages.


[175] However, when the Prophet Joseph Smith admitted that the Bible was the word of God “as far as it is translated correctly,” he aroused the hostility of priests and ministers everywhere. They called it “blasphemy” and an impious “attack” against the Bible–and they still do.


Thus, it is necessary to properly evaluate the Bible as “the word of God,” or at least determine which portion is genuine. Brigham Young once said:


And I have heard ministers of the gospel declare that they believed every word in the Bible was the word of God. I have said to them “you believe more than I do.” I believe the words of God are there; I believe the words of the devil are there; I believe that the words of men and the words of angels are there; and that is not all–I believe that the words of a dumb brute are there. I recollect one of the prophets riding, and prophesying against Israel, and the animal he rode rebuked his madness.

Do you believe all this is the word of God? If you do, you certainly believe more than I do. The words of the Lord are the words of the Lord, and the revelations God has given concerning himself are true. (JD 14:280)


A quick analyzation of the contents of the Bible reveals that it is a composition of many things:


  1. Histories
  2. Biographies
  3. Laws, statutes, and ordinances
  4. Principles, doctrines and counsel
  5. Psalms, poetry, and songs
  6. Genealogies
  7. Blessings and cursings
  8. The words of men
  9. The words of God
  10. The words of the Devil and evil spirits


[176] The Bible grew through centuries as wise men and prophets preserved valuable information in written form. However, it was with great difficulty and sacrifice that each prophet tried to bring God’s word to his particular generation. Because of tremendous ridicule and persecution, these prophets were often killed–the greatest opposition usually coming from those who professed to know the most about God. Acting as religious leaders, they led the mobs that killed the prophets.


Such was the case even with the Savior Himself–his worst enemies being the clergy. He described them as the blind leaders of the blind. They would accept no new revelation, no new doctrines, no new scriptures. Does that have a familiar ring?


The reason that the clergy in all ages have been afraid of new revelation or scripture is because such may endanger their craft. We have seen men who make a business out of selling religion, and they become so dedicated to the money-making ministry, that some even say that they must raise so many millions of dollars or they will die. They are devoted to dollars instead of doctrine. New revelation and scripture are feared because they cannot be controlled by these men, and such direction might disturb their priestcraft business.


It is the professional clergy of today that totally condemn everything that Joseph Smith has written or spoken. They see nothing inspirational, truthful or worthy of their endorsement. Yet, with that same bias and rash judgment, they accept every word in the Bible as the word of God, including the Song of Solomon.


Ministers versus Scholars


Consider a few quotes from the rantings and ravings of contemporary sectarian ministers compared to some of their own Protestant and Catholic textual scholars:


[177] The writings of the church fathers, some of them contemporary with the apostle John, contain the text of practically the entire New Testament. These writings match accurately with the New Testament manuscripts we use. * * * This is further corroboration that we have the word of God as it was originally given. (The Mormon Illusion, Floyd McElveen, p. 39)




Daniel Rops says that, due to the errors of copyists and intentional changes, the New Testament texts have been subjected to “numerous outrages” and quotes Origen (185-243 A.D.): “Today the fact is evident, that there are many differences in the manuscripts, either through the negligence of certain copyists, or the perverse audacity of some in correcting the text.” The oldest copies of the New Testament do not in all details read alike. (Apostasy from the Divine Church, James L. Barker, p. 14)

* * *


The last area that the Mormon Church uses to attack the apostolic authority of the Bible is that of supposed contradictions. Mormons are taught almost from infancy that the Bible is full of contradictions and is therefore not a perfect revelation from God. * * * In my opinion, there is not one genuine contradiction in the Bible: Although they have been taught that the Bible is full of contradictions, they usually can’t produce even one example if pressed. (The Maze of Mormonism, Walter Martin, p. 288)




Professor Norton estimated there were as many as 60,000 manuscript copies of the Gospels by the end of the second century, which contained “fifty thousand various readings”. (Genuiness of the Gospels 1:50, as quoted in Scrivener’s Criticism of the New Testament, p. 8)


[178] And–


The Old Testament, like all the other books of antiquity, has been propagated by transcription. And thus it has happened, even in spite of the great care with which the Jews, who were filled with unbounded reverence for the holy scriptures, watched over their preservation and transmission without injury, that they could not escape the common lot of all ancient books. In the course of repeated copying, many small errors crept into the text, and various readings came into existence, which lie before us in the text as it is attested in the records belonging to the various centuries. . . . The copyists have committed these errors by seeing or hearing wrongly, by faithlessness of memory, and by other misunderstandings; yet not arbitrarily or intentionally. (Introduction to the Old Testament, Keil, 2:365)

* * *


A devout Christian and a linguist who was conversant with 26 languages, Robert Dick Wilson claimed that he doubted that even one word in a thousand had been changed or carried any different meaning from the original God gave. (The Mormon Illusion, Floyd McElveen, p. 40)




In the Hebrew manuscripts that have been examined, some eight hundred thousand various readings actually occur, as to the Hebrew consonants. How many as to the vowel-points and accents, no man knows. And the like to this is true of the New Testament. (History of Old Testament Canon, Moses Stuart, p. 192)

* * *


[179] On the other hand we have thousands of manuscripts and portions of manuscripts from widely differing places concerning Jesus Christ and His Word. This means that no scribe, even if God had allowed it, could have changed something in the translation without its being caught by another biblical scholar. For these manuscripts have been compared assiduously again and again by both the enemies and friends of Jesus Christ. (Mormon Illusion, Floyd McElveen, p. 41)




It would require not a volume, but volumes, to discuss all the cases of alleged discrepancies. (Theology, Dr. Charles Hodge, 1:169)

* * *


Mr. Anderson compares here the power, the prestige, the historic authenticity and infallibility of the Bible with the official books of Mormonism. (The Inside of Mormonism, Lewis T. Talbot, back cover)




Even the earliest and best manuscripts that we possess are not totally free of transmissional errors. Numbers are occasionally miscopied, the spelling of proper names is occasionally garbled, and there are examples of the same types of scribal error that appear in other ancient documents as well. (Bible Difficulties, Gleason Archer, p. 27)

* * *


[180] Over 5,000 manuscripts, and bits and pieces of manuscripts, of the Word of God have been found virtually all over Europe and Asia. So, we do not have to depend on just one translation from one manuscript. The harmony and accuracy of these manuscripts are amazing. (The Mormon Illusion, Floyd McElveen, p. 39)




It is a fact that the New Testament text has been transmitted to us through the hands of copyists. It is also a fact that since these hands were human, they were susceptible to the slips and faults of all human hands. * * * We do not wish to leave the impression that all textual variants can be lightly dismissed. Some variations involve not only a word or two, but a whole verse or even several verses. Certainly variations of this kind are more than trivial. (How We Got the Bible, Neil Lightfoot, pp. 53 & 55)




When a person hears it stated that, in the collation of the manuscripts for Griesbach’s edition of the New Testament, as many as one hundred and fifty thousand various readings were discovered, he is ready to suppose that everything must be in a state of uncertainty. (Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, John Haley, p. 49)

* * *


Sadly, those caught in the web of Mormon deceit have been taught that the Bible cannot give them assurance of God and His acts. Instead, they are taught that the Bible has been corrupted through the centuries (despite the completely contrary evidence of the precise science of textual criticism), and that its words today cannot be trusted. Why this unreasonable position by a sect which claims to “restore the gospel”? (The Maze of Mormonism, Walter Martin, p. 45-46)


[181] Compare:


Often a scribe with a copy before him mistakes one word for another, and so by chance copies down the wrong word. * * * Errors of omission and addition are common in all the manuscripts. Words sometimes are omitted by a copyist for no apparent reason, simply an unintentional omission. * * * What presents a more serious problem to the textual critic are the variant readings which have been purposefully inserted by the scribe. We are not to think that these insertions were made by some dishonest scribe who simply wanted to tamper with the text. Almost always the intention of the scribe is good and he only wants to “correct” what appears to be an error in the text. (How We Got the Bible, Neil Lightfoot <professor of Bible at Abilene with degrees from Baylor and Duke>, pp. 47 & 48)




That no candid and intelligent student of the Bible will deny that it contains numerous “discrepancies”, that its statements, taken prima facie, not infrequently conflict with or contradict one another, may safely be presumed. This fact has been more or less recognized by Christian scholars in all ages. (Discrepancies of the Bible, John Haley, p. 2)

* * *


Therefore, when young Joseph Smith confessed that the Bible was the word of God as far as it was translated correctly, he was in agreement with the best Biblical scholars, but disagreed with the priestcraft sectarians. If these ministers of modern Christendom couldn’t see any errors in the Bible, but this young man could, it is obvious he is worth listening to.


[182] Veracity of the Bible–Anti-Mormons vs. Mormons


It is important that we should also consider and respond to some statements by anti-Mormons regarding the Latter-day Saint belief in the Bible. For example:


For 150 years Mormonism has butchered the Bible, declaring it inadequate, reflecting on its translators and transcribers, accusing the priests of corrupting it.

Its missionaries multiplied thousands strong have traveled the width and breadth of the land, belittling the Bible, attempting to persuade their hearers that it is totally inadequate and unworthy of their trust.

Mormonism has never been a friend of the Bible. Its proponents often sound like the writings of Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersoll! (The Utah Evangel, December 1983, p. 6)


How ridiculous and absolutely false are these rantings! As mentioned previously, the 8th LDS Article of Faith states the Mormon belief in the Bible. The missionaries carry the Bible with them along with the Book of Mormon and other scriptures, and use it to defend and support their doctrines and their church. They even point out Biblical prophecies that foretell of the restoration of the Gospel in this dispensation. A few of these passages are quoted and explained below:


  1. Joseph–a Fruitful Bough


Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall. * * * The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my <Jacob’s> progenitors, unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren. (Gen. 49:22 & 26)


[183] Orson Pratt explains these verses–


From this prediction it will be preceived that Jacob prevailed with God, and obtained a greater blessing in behalf of the tribe of Joseph than what Abraham and Isaac, his progenitors, had obtained. While the blessing of Jacob’s progenitors was limited to the land of Palestine, Joseph had confirmed upon him a blessing, or country, above, or far greater than Palestine–a country at a distance, represented by “the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills.” Some of the “branches” of the “fruitful bough” of Joseph were to spread far abroad from the parent tree–they were to “run over the wall” of the mighty ocean–they were to “become a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth.” There, among the “everlasting hills”, they were to be “made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” * * * The Book of Mormon testifies that America is “the land of Joseph,” given to them by promise. * * * According to the Book of Mormon, all of the great western continent, with all the valleys, hills and mountains, riches and resources pertaining thereunto, was given to the remnant of Joseph, as their “land of promise.” (Orson Pratt’s Works, pp. 20-21)


  1. The Two Sticks of Judah and Joseph


Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions; then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another unto one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. (Ezekiel 37:16-17)


[184] Continuing with Orson Pratt’s explanation–


Ezekiel was commanded to write upon two sticks, one for Judah and the other for Joseph; after which he was commanded to join them together into one. And when the children of Israel should make inquiry what these two united writings of Judah and Joseph meant, he was to say unto them, that the Lord God would join the writings of Joseph with those of Judah; immediately after which He would take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they were gone, and would gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: and that He would make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and that one king should be king to them all; and that they should no more be two nations or kingdoms. Ezekiel testifies that the writings of Joseph should be joined with the writings of Judah. Mr. Smith presents this generation with a book, consisting of several hundred pages, professing to be the sacred writings of the inspired prophets of the tribe of Joseph, who anciently inhabited the great western hemisphere. Ezekiel testifies that Israel should be gathered, never again to be scattered, immediately after the union of these two records. The professed record of Joseph, brought to light by Mr. Smith, testifies in the most positive language, that this is the age in which Israel shall be gathered through the instrumentality of the word and power of God, contained in the two records. Ezekiel uttered the prediction. Mr. Smith presents a professed fulfillment. (Orson Pratt’s Works, pp. 11-12)


[185] 3. Record to Come Out of the Ground


And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. (Isaiah 29:4)


Orson Pratt again elaborates–


Mr. Smith testifies that the plates from which that book was translated were taken out of the ground, from where they were originally deposited by the prophet Moroni; that the box containing them was composed of stone, so constructed as to exclude, in a great degree, the moisture of the soil. * * *

Isaiah, as if to impress it upon the minds of those who should live in future generations, gives no less than four repetitions of the same prediction in the same passage, informing us, in the most definite language, that after Israel should be brought down, they should speak in a very familiar manner “out of the ground,” and “whisper low out of the dust.” Mr. Smith has been an instrument in the hands of God of fulfilling this prediction to the very letter. He has taken “out of the ground” the ancient history of one half of our globe–the sacred records of a great nation of Israel–the writings of a remnant of the tribe of Joseph, who once flourished as a great and powerful nation on the western hemisphere. The mouldering ruins of their ancient forts, and towers, and cities, proclaim their former greatness, in mournful contrast with their present sad condition. They have been brought down like all the rest of Israel; but the words of their ancient prophets “speak out of the ground,” and “whisper out of the dust” to the ears of the [186] present generation, revealing in a very “familiar” manner the history of ancient America, which before was entirely unknown to the nations. Isaiah says, that Israel should “speak out of the ground.” Mr. Smith says that he obtained the writings of Joseph from “out of the ground.” (Orson Pratt’s Works, pp. 14-15)


  1. The Book Delivered to the Learned and Unlearned


And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. (Isaiah 29:11-12)


And again from Orson Pratt–


Soon after obtaining the plates, a number of the characters were correctly transcribed, and sent to some of the most learned individuals in the United States, to see if they could translate them. Among the rest, they were presented to Professor Anthon, of New York City. But no man was found able to read them by his own learning or wisdom. Mr. Smith, though an unlearned man, testifies that he was commanded to translate them, through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, by the aid of the Urim and Thummim, and that the Book of Mormon is that translation. * * * All this was fulfilled before Mr. Smith was aware that it had been so clearly predicted by Isaiah. He sent the “words of a book” which he found, as before stated, to Professor Anthon. But it was a sealed writing to the learned professor–the aboriginal language of ancient America could not be deciphered by him. He was as much puzzled as the wise men of Babylon were to interpret the [187] unknown writing upon the wall. Human wisdom and learning, in this case, were altogether insufficient. It required another Daniel, who was found in the person of Mr. Smith. (Orson Pratt’s Works, pp. 15-16)


  1. A Marvelous Work and a Wonder


Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. (Isaiah 29:14)


And Orson Pratt concludes–


What a marvellous work! What a wonder! How the wisdom of the wise and learned was made to perish by the gift of interpretation given to the unlearned: If the Book of Mormon is what it professes to be–a sacred record–then it must be the very book mentioned in Isaiah’s prediction. (Orson Pratt’s Works, p. 16)


  1. Another Angel with the Everlasting Gospel


And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. (Rev. 14:6)


Orson Pratt also commented on this New Testament passage:


Now how does this testimony of Joseph Smith agree with the book of John’s prophecy given on the Isle of Patmos? John testifies that when the dispensation of the gospel is again committed to [188] the nations, it shall be through the medium of an angel from heaven. Joseph Smith testifies that a dispensation of the gospel for all nations has been committed to him by an angel (Moroni). The one uttered the prediction; the other testifies to its fulfillment. Though Mr. Smith had taught a perfect doctrine, yet if he had testified that his doctrine was not restored by an angel, all would at once have known him to be an impostor. How came Mr. Smith, if an impostor, to not only discover a perfect doctrine, but also to discover the precise medium through which that doctrine should be restored to the earth? * * * John testifies that when the everlasting gospel is restored to the earth, it shall be by an angel. Mr. Smith testifies that it was restored by an angel, and in no other way. This is another presumptive evidence that he was sent of God. (Orson Pratt’s Works, pp. 6 & 7)

* * * * *


The Bible as a Guide


The question has been asked many times, Is the Bible a sufficient guide for our age? Morally it is–and for understanding only the saving principles of the gospel it may be considered a sufficient guide. However, many of today’s religionists believe that the Bible is sufficient in ALL instances. For example, the Jehovah Witnesses have stated:


But, you may ask, what about the loyal angels? Perhaps they communicate with humans today. It is true that God used angels to communicate with humans in earlier times. Today, however, we have the completed Bible as God’s direct, adequate communication to us humans. (Awake magazine, Aug. 22, 1986, p. 9)


[189] The Bible is filled with GENERAL instructions and principles, but it does not guide us in PARTICULAR circumstances or conditions of today. The GENERAL laws and principles of the gospel apply to all ages and all people; but PARTICULAR revelations are needed to guide men on certain occasions. The PARTICULAR instructions given 3,000 years ago do not necessarily apply to us today. For example, by revelation Noah was told to build an ark, but that does not mean that each man must build an ark. Moses was told to cross the Red Sea, but we don’t have to do that now.


But where are the PARTICULAR revelations and instructions to guide us in our dispensation? They are certainly not contained in a book revealed approximately 2,000 years ago. Thus, the Lord has given us the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants (and many other records still to come forth)–to act as a guide for our age to help us through the unique and PARTICULAR crises of our time. Today we face calamities worse than any other age in man’s history. We certainly need God’s revelation and guidance now just as they did anciently.


Learning from History


As mentioned, each age has had its own difficulty in accepting new revelation, but without it, confusion and division have resulted. After the death of Christ, his own followers began to disagree and division crept in. Factions arose opposing other factions, until the persecuted became the persecutors. Apostasy was rampant and priestcraft took on new forms of vain authority until a different spirit ruled over Christianity.


Protestantism, or to protest against Catholic powers, began shortly after Catholicism gained its power in 160 A.D. It never reached a significant group force until the time of the Waldenses in 1170. From then to the present both have [190] maintained a religious and political force among the nations. Some of the Baptists have never been willing to accept the designation Protestant because the Lutherans who made the protest at the Diet of Speyer acquiesced in the death penalty for the Anabaptists, spiritual forebearers of the Baptists. (American Peoples Encyclopedia 15:296)


The Protestants were saying the Catholics apostatized, and the Catholics were saying the Protestants were wrong because they had apostatized from them. From out of all this dissention came hundreds more rebellious and protesting factions.


Because of these various divisions and contentions, holy and unholy wars arose; and for over 1500 years the Catholics and Protestants made war upon each other–and still do. The Barbaric Romans threw Christians to the lions or slaughtered them by the sword, but it took the apostate Christians to devise slow excruciating tortures upon each other. (See Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.)


In one war lasting 30 years, the Protestants and Catholics killed each other with gusto and enthusiasm. This became known as the “30-Year War”, beginning in 1618 and lasting until 1648. Europe suffered greatly from this “Holy” war among professing Christians.


Most of Europe was soon involved: in the Low Countries, France and the United Netherlands fought Spain; in northern Europe, Sweden fought Denmark; and in Germany, France assumed command of the Protestant armies. The war was also carried into the Iberian Peninsula, where Portugal, with the aid of France, gained its independence from Spain; France, Sweden and their allies were generally victorious. etc., etc. (American Peoples Encyclopedia 18:117)


[191] Many laws were passed by the Christian Protestants when they came to power. For example, in England the performance of the Mass was a felony for a foreigner and high treason for a subject. In both England and Ireland, Roman Catholics could not own land. From 1673 for over a hundred years, no Catholic could hold a public office. Test oaths, denying any temporal power of the Pope, were given to Catholics in England. The Irish Rebellion of 1798 was caused because of the enforcement of these laws. In 1829 the Roman Catholic Relief Bill was passed which allowed Catholics to hold office, and since then most of the other restrictions have been removed as well. But the “war” continues.


Restoration of the Gospel


When this country of America became dedicated to freedom from all these biased laws of Europe, the Lord saw reason to once again establish his Gospel among men. Ancient Biblical prophets saw this event and wrote about it. However, some of these prophecies were slightly altered–either to make them sound more reasonable, or because the scribes didn’t believe in its literal translation. A few translators, however, such as some of those in Germany, gave a more honest translation. The Prophet Joseph noted this, and on one occasion spoke of it by giving a literal translation of Matthew 24:14 (literally being as originally written):


I shall read the 24th chapter of Matthew, and give it a literal rendering and reading; and when it is rightly understood, it will be edifying.

I thought the very oddity of its rendering would be edifying anyhow–“And it will be preached, the gospel of the kingdom, in the whole world, to a witness over all people; and then will the end come.” I will now read it in German (which he did, and many Germans who were present said he translated it correctly).



The Savior said when these tribulations should take place, it should be committed to a man who should be a witness over the whole world: the keys of knowledge, power and revelations should be revealed to a witness who should hold the testimony to the world. It has always been my province to dig up hidden mysteries–new things–for my hearers. Just at the time when some men think that I have no right to the keys of the Priesthood–just at that time I have the greatest right. The Germans are an exalted people. The old German translators are the most nearly correct–most honest of any of the translators; and therefore I get testimony to bear me out in the revelations that I have preached for the last fourteen years. The old German, Latin, Greek and Hebrew translations all say it is true; they cannot be impeached, and therefore I am in good company.

All the testimony is that the Lord in the last days would commit the keys of the Priesthood to a witness over all people. Has the Gospel of the kingdom commenced in the last days? And will God take it from the man until He takes him Himself? I have read it precisely as the words flowed from the lips of Jesus Christ. John the Revelator saw an angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth.

The scripture is ready to be fulfilled when great wars, famines, pestilence, great distress, judgments, etc., are ready to be poured out on the inhabitants of the earth. John saw an angel having the holy Priesthood, who should preach the everlasting Gospel to all nations. God had an angel–a special messenger–ordained and prepared for that purpose in the last days. Woe, woe be to that man or set of men who lift up their hands against God and His witness in these last days; for they shall deceive almost the very chosen ones!



My enemies say that I have been a true prophet. Why, I had rather be a fallen true prophet than a false prophet. When a man goes about prophesying, and commands men to obey his teachings, he must either be a true or false prophet. False prophets always arise to oppose the true prophets and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones.

The doctrine of eternal judgments belongs to the first principles of the Gospel, in the last days. In relation to the kingdom of God, the devil always sets up his kingdom at the very same time in opposition to God. Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was. I suppose I was ordained to this very office in that Grand Council. It is the testimony that I want that I am God’s servant, and this people His people. The ancient prophets declared that in the last days the God of heaven should set up a kingdom which should never be destroyed, nor left to other people; and the very time that was calculated on, this people were struggling to bring it out. * * *

I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the kingdom of Daniel by the word of the Lord, and I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world. (TPJS, pp. 364-365)


This literal translation was not put into Joseph’s Inspired Version of the Bible, nor were many additional truths that were purposely omitted. And why? Because too much had already been rejected by the people.


The restoration of the Gospel is as difficult for this generation to accept as any revelations by the ancient prophets were in their generation. Orson Pratt makes the following comments in defense of Joseph Smith:



Can any one show any cause why Joseph Smith should not receive the ministering of an angel? Why he should not be ordained an apostle, or prophet, or receive revelations and commandments from God? If the gospel is to be restored by angel, it must be restored at the first to some person. Why not that person be Mr. Smith? If the records of two different tribes are to be joined in one, why not the Book of Mormon and the Bible be the two records? and why not Mr. Smith be the instrument in the hands of God in fulfilling this prophecy? If these things are not the fulfillment of those ancient predictions, will the generations that live when they do come to pass be any more believing than they are at present in this work? Will they be any more ready to receive new revelations, visions, angels, or ancient sacred records than they are now? When God sets up His kingdom, will mankind be any more willing to receive the apostles, prophets, and inspired officers of that kingdom, than they are now? One thing is certain; if the angel has not come–if the gospel is not restored–if the records of Joseph are not revealed–then there is no kingdom of God on the earth, no authority to preach or administer the ordinances among men; all is gross darkness–all is uncertainty–and our only alternative is to wait till the voice of the angel is heard, till the great work of the last dispensation is ushered in. But will we then receive it? Will not our prejudices be as great then as they are now against Mr. Smith? (Orson Pratt’s Works, p. 13)


These new scriptures brought to light by Joseph Smith were only a test to see how the people would accept them. Moroni looked ahead to our day and said, “I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words” (Ether 12:25), but the Lord revealed that “he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed; for unto them will I show no greater things.” (Ether 4:8)


[195] Other Records Still to Come Forth


In addition to all the scriptures that Joseph Smith did bring forth, the Lord has plenty more to offer and promised that someday they would be restored:


Verily, verily, I say unto you, that there are records which contain much of my gospel, which have been kept back because of the wickedness of the people. (D & C 6:26)


However, God will not be permanently silenced by the sectarians and rebellious who say He will not reveal anything else. He has promised to restore the rest of the Book of Mormon, but not in these days of such folly and wickedness. Nephi explained:


And behold the book shall be sealed; and in the book shall be a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof.

Wherefore, because of the things which are sealed up, the things which are sealed shall not be delivered in the day of the wickedness and abominations of the people. Wherefore the book shall be kept from them. * * *

But the words which are sealed he shall not deliver, neither shall he deliver the book. For the book shall be sealed by the power of God, and the revelation which was sealed shall be kept in the book unto the own due time of the Lord, that they may come forth; for behold they reveal all things from the foundation of the word unto the end thereof.

And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the housetops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ; and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be even unto the end of the earth. (2 Nephi 27:7,8,10,11)


[196] Even the Book of Enoch shall be restored:


And Adam stood up in the midst of the congregation; and notwithstanding he was bowed down with age, being full of the Holy Ghost, predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation.

These things were all written in the book of Enoch, and are to be testified of in due time. (D & C 107:56-57)


And many other revelations and records will come forth:


And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times. (D & C 128:18)


The Prophet Joseph Smith and others were witnesses of many of these records yet to be made known. As described by Brigham Young:


I lived right in the country where the plates were found from which the Book of Mormon was translated, and I know a great many things pertaining to that country. * * * Oliver Cowdery went with the Prophet Joseph when he deposited these plates. Joseph did not translate all of the plates; there was a portion of them sealed, which you can learn from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did. Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. * * * They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table [197] that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls. The first time they went there the sword of Laban hung upon the wall; but when they went again it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed, and on it was written these words: “This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and His Christ.” (JD 19:38)


These are only a portion of the many records which have been promised. The Lord said:


And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. (Ether 4:16; see also 1 Nephi 14:18-28)


The records of the brother of Jared were also written and preserved; and “there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared.” (Ether 4:4) Moroni said that these things written by the brother of Jared “were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them”. (Ether 12:24)


One can only speculate as to the contents of those awesome and unrevealed records! What a privilege it would be to read them!


The question naturally follows–When will these marvelous events occur that have been prophesied? Those who were very familiar with the Prophet Joseph Smith and his revelations, were given a little information about the fulfillment of these special events. In a special interview shortly before his death, David Whitmer was asked:



Question:               When will the Temple be built in Independence?

Answer: Right after the great tribulation is over.

Question:               What do you mean by that?

Answer: A civil war more bloody and cruel than the rebellion. It will be a smashing up of this nation, about which time the second great work has to be done, a work like Joseph did, and the translation of the sealed plates, and peace all over. (Deseret News, Aug. 16, 1878)


What a tragedy that our professing Christians will not accept any new revelation or scripture! For God has many rich treasures of knowledge to bestow, but they will not receive the gift. For as the Lord has said, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Matt. 15:8) This is still true today!

Our generation is no different from those that have passed. In spite of repeated warnings, the wicked and rebellious refuse to repent and accept the true instruments and prophets of the Lord.


Final Message


If there is any message to be gained from reading that sacred Bible, it is that God is always eager to guide, inspire and reveal His will to men in every age of the world. He will bestow His gospel to them if they will only accept it.


So why doesn’t He reveal more today? Simply because too many have been influenced by the ministers of priestcraft who say, “A Bible: a Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.” (2 Nephi 29:3) But the Lord has an answer for them when He says:



Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews? Know ye not that there are more nations that one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men. . . . Wherefore murmur ye, because that he shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever…. (2 Nephi 29:6-9)


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