9 comments

  1. “What would happen if Brian J. was ever called to be an Authority?”

    I think a better question is, “What would have to happen in order for BrianJ to ever be called as an Authority?”

    😉

  2. I don’t think it will happen any time soon, as the very passage sited as an example of texts being inserted (that of John 7: 53 -8: 11) actually appears in the Joseph Smith Translation with corrections made to it. It would seem that Joseph Smith, through divine revelation, accepted this passage as being part of the original gospel.

    Just saying.

  3. If you think the JST must all be taken as “divine revelation,” or that all of Joseph’s emendations constitute restorations—two premises that by themselves have numerous problems.

  4. BRIAN

    If you don’t than what is the point in having the JST, and why would he have made it?

  5. One point of having the JST is that it offers invaluable insight into how Joseph was reading and thinking about the Bible—at the very least, it is a type of midrash.

    Why he made it—although perhaps never finished—is that he was commanded to. There’s a hint in D&C 76 that the Lord’s purpose was to get Joseph to study the Bible closely as that would serve to spark other questions that would in turn lead to great revelations. Thus, another way to view the JST is as an exercise meant mostly for Joseph.

    How he did it—well, you didn’t ask that question and Joseph doesn’t say. But it’s clear that for Joseph, “translate” meant something very different than the typical definition. For example, he translated much of the Book of Mormon while not even looking at the plates.

    I mentioned that there are problems in viewing the JST as divine revelation. See here for a very good example: http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2007/03/01/gd-nt-lesson-8-9-comparing-matthew-to-3-nephi/

    This is also interesting, including the comments: http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2006/02/the-jst/

    The JST is a lot of things—parts are undoubtedly restorations, others are probably straight up revelations but were never part of the original writings, some are likely just textual re-wordings to aid in understanding. Most of the JST is not canon and therefore should not be treated as such; the Book of Moses is a noteworthy example of canonized JST. I see no sound foundation for members of the Church to insist that we all view the JST as authoritative when the Church itself does not.

  6. So the JST is better used to understand Joseph Smith rather than actual doctrine?

    Now, I would argue that the church does believe, and in a way insists that the JST is authoritative. This is seem in the fact that, while it is not canonized, it is still printed (in part) with the standard works.
    In fact, I have heard more than one of the general authorities say that the appendices and footnotes of the LDS scriptures are to be taken as scripture that is just as binding as the actual standard works. As the JST is part of this I would say it is included.

    It has not been canonized, and neither has the Bible Dictionary, the Topical Guide, or any of the footnotes that appear in the standard works (or the chapter headings) but all are just as much scripture and just as much a part of the standard works.
    If the JST was not authoritative is would not be printed with the standard works.

    As to the idea of adding text to the Bible that was not originally there, this is the same accusation that Joseph Smith himself made against ancient translators. To say that his translation consists even in part of this is to say he is a hypocrite and thus you destroy his priesthood and put him equal to the pharisees.
    I don’t really care was Mr. Matthews says, or what any other scholar says. This is the end result when you declare that this is what Joseph Smith did. If it was not a restoration of the original text than he is a false prophet. If he is a true prophet than it is a restoration of the original text.

  7. shematwater: When you say, “I don’t really care was Mr. Matthews says, or what any other scholar says,” what I hear is:

    I’m not interested in having to deal with careful, researched, and thoughtful analyses that challenge my undocumented presuppositions. I prefer to make assumptions, then dismiss anyone who challenges them without even considering their arguments—and the easiest way for me to dismiss them is to question their faith or faithfulness.

    Seeing that you “don’t care” for careful analysis, why should I bother any more to respond to your questions or point out where I see errors in your judgment, understanding, and analysis?

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