Joseph Smith, Jr. was dissatisfied with several aspects of the Bible. He began modifying it in 1830 and continued this editing process for years. Most scholars are convinced it was completed.
The reworking of the book was not adopted by the LDS Church early on, but it was finally included and referenced by footnotes in the KJV of the LDS Bible in 1981. Originally named The Inspired Version, it has since become known as the Joseph Smith Translation (JST).
There have been many changes, deletions, and additions made to help fortify the religion Joseph Smith established.
LDS doctrine is clear about the inaccuracies of the same Bible which Christians claim is without fault:
“We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe the He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”
The Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City, UT: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2023 on-line edition), 8 and 9.
Mormons have never trusted the accuracy of the Bible, as can be easily noticed by the phrase “as far as it is translated correctly.” To the average Mormon this means ‘except for the errors.’ The early Mormon leaders even went so far as to say that there was a chance that nearly every verse in the Bible had been corrupted by man. This hardly gives a Mormon much hope for the divinity of the Bible, even though they regard it as one of their canonized volumes.
Just as quickly as the reliability of the Bible was qualified in the eighth Article of Faith, a seed of hope is planted in the ninth: God will reveal “many great and important things.” This subtly gave Joseph Smith carte blanche to justify his disclaimer of the Bible, and his right to alter it to reveal the “great and important things.”
Mormon leaders continue to claim the Bible is incomplete – that there are at least twenty books mentioned in it that were not included, making the incorrect assumption that these books belong in the Bible.
While Mormons claim these books were intentionally deleted, Christians maintain that they were never supposed to be there in the first place.
In contemplating Joseph Smith’s revamping of the Bible, one would think he could have included some of these twenty+ missing books by the power of God he claimed to possess. No additional books were included. In fact, one was intentionally deleted. Joseph Smith said, “The Songs of Solomon are not inspired writings” and removed this book from the Bible. Perhaps it hit too close to home with the evidence that surrounds Joseph Smith’s sexual appetite.
Joseph Smith’s translation of Genesis 50:24 is among the most egotistical and presumptuous changes made to the Bible. The average Christian would find the notion of editing the Bible to make it fit a religion to be blasphemous enough, but Joseph Smith took it to another level – he inserted eight hundred additional words into this verse, predicting the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and mentions himself by name as God’s instrument.
Seemingly comical, Mormons expect us to take this seriously. They claim this is a deleted prophecy from the Bible. It was then re-issued by Joseph Smith, calling himself by name and announcing his grand mission. The LDS Church believes Moses saw all of this in a vision, but for some reason it was deleted from the Old Testament.
The KJV of the Genesis 50:24 reads:
“And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”
The JST of the same verse reads:
“And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die, and go unto my fathers; and I go down to my grave with joy. The God of my father Jacob be with you, to deliver you out of affliction in the days of your bondage; for the Lord hath visited me, and I have obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of my loins, the Lord God will raise up a righteous branch out of my loins; and unto thee, whom my father Jacob hath named Israel, a prophet; (not the Messiah who is called Shilo) and this prophet shall deliver my people out of Egypt in the days of thy bondage. And it shall come to pass that they shall be scattered again; and a branch shall be broken off, and shall be carried into a far country; nevertheless they shall be remembered in the covenants of the Lord, when the Messiah cometh; for he shall be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the Spirit of power; and shall bring them out of darkness into light; out of hidden darkness, and out of captivity unto freedom. A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins. Thus saith the Lord God of my fathers unto me, A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins, and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren. And he shall bring them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers; and he shall do whatsoever work I shall command him. And I will make him great in mine eyes, for he shall do my work; and he shall be great like unto him whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel, out of the land of Egypt; for a seer will I raise up to deliver my people out of the land of Egypt; and he shall be called Moses. And by this name he shall know that he is of thy house; for he shall be nursed by the king’s daughter and shall be called her son. And again, a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins, and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins; and not to the bringing forth of my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them in the last days; Wherefore the fruit of thy loins shall write, and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together unto the confounding of false doctrines, and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to a knowledge of their fathers in the latter days; and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord. And out of weakness shall he be made strong, in that day when my work shall go forth among all my people, which shall restore them, who are of the house of Israel, in the last days. And that seer will I bless, and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise I give unto you; for I will remember you from generation to generation; and his name shall be called Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his father; and he shall be like unto you; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation. And the Lord sware unto Joseph that he would preserve his seed for ever, saying, I will raise up Moses, and a rod shall be in his hand, and he shall gather together my people, and he shall lead them as a flock, and he shall smite the waters of the Red Sea with his rod. And he shall have judgment, and shall write the word of the Lord. And he shall not speak many words, for I will write unto him my law by the finger of mine own hand. And I will make a spokesman for him, and his name shall be called Aaron. And it shall be done unto thee in the last days also even as I have sworn. Therefore, Joseph said unto his brethren, God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land, unto the land which he sware unto Abraham, and unto Isaac, and to Jacob.”
To think this volume of words (sandwiched within this verse) could have been dropped from the original Hebrew Old Testament manuscripts –without being detected– is impossible to fathom.
Mormons teach the words were deleted to “thwart the purpose of the Lord” with the “Spirit of Darkness.”
Not only was plagiarism of the Bible rampant in the Book of Mormon (see The Bible to Book of Mormon Comparative, at BOMsource.com), but Joseph Smith also stole words for his own version:
“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire” (KJV, Hebrews 11:33-34). Compare this to: “Now Melchizedek … wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire.”
(Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, Genesis 14:26).
Joseph Smith used his Inspired Version (JST) to perpetuate his hatred toward the black race. In Genesis 9:26 we read:
King James Version:
“And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”
“And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Sem, and Chanaan shall be his bond-servant.”
Joseph Smith Translation:
“And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant, and a veil of darkness shall cover him, that he shall be known among all men.”
For an in-depth look at Joseph’s modifications to the KJV, transcribed from the original documents, please review my detailed volume “The Bible: King James Version and Joseph Smith’s Revision” at BOMsource.com. The information is free, and the .pdf’s can be downloaded for your personal study use.