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Did Joseph Smith utilize the Adam Clarke Bible Commentary while producing the Book of Mormon (BOM)? 

We know Joseph took the advice to heart when Clarke made it clear the words “without a cause” did not belong. The Bible verse reads, 

“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:22 (AKJV); emphasis added

The modified verse in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible reads, 

“But I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, or Rabcha, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hellfire.”

Matthew 5:24 (JST) 

First, it is important to note that Rabcha,

“[I]s not a real word. It is neither Aramaic nor Hebrew nor Greek, nor a word in any other language.” How accurate is the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible (accuracyofjst.weebly.com, 5 August 2015), 1. 

Second, Adam Clarke states that the very objectionable phrase, without a cause, is left out in the original, and that

“[i]t was probably a marginal gloss originally, which in process of time crept into the text.” Clarke’s Commentary – Volume V (New York: Daniel Hitt and Abraham Paul, 1817), 71. 

Compounding the issue is the fact that years earlier, while composing the BOM in 1829, Joseph Smith chose to eliminate “without a cause” from Jesus’ words, 

“But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 12:22

This verse is nearly identical to the passage in Matthew 5:22, except for the intentional elimination of “without a cause.” Thus, pointing to the likelihood of Joseph Smith using the Clarke Commentary during the BOM translation process.

Apparently, Joseph lacked the foresight to include the word Rabcha in the Book of Mormon, even though he claimed it was inspired in modifying the Bible many years later.