Problems with

The Joseph Smith Translation -

that more perfect version.

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Although it may seem an odd thing to do, in this article I do not intend to dwell on the fact that the text of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible is backed up by thousands of ancient manuscripts whereas the changes made to that text by Joseph Smith in his "Inspired Version" or "Joseph Smith Translation" are backed up by nothing except the word of Joseph Smith.


In McConkie's Mormon Doctrine on page 34, under the heading "ANGELS" McConkie refers to the Inspired Version (IV or JST) as: "... that more perfect version."

Mormon apostle, Bruce R. McConkie (now deceased), was a well respected writer within the Mormon church. On March 2 1982 he gave an address at Brigham Young University entitled: "Our Relationship with The Lord".

The 'thrust' of McConkie's address was that members of the Mormon Church should not strive for a personal and special relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ. This relationship is, of course, cherished by true Christians throughout the world.

During his discourse McConkie used biblical references on a number of occasions. Sometimes he used the KJV. and sometimes the IV. One wonders why he would use the 'inferior' KJV. rather than remain consistent and use 'that more perfect version' at all times.

Perhaps a closer look at his quotations will explain why.


Near the beginning of his diatribe McConkie says:
"...the devil would rather spread false doctrine about God and the Godhead, and induce false feelings ...."
How interesting! Since Christians do not relay upon feelings to test the truth of a doctrine, but rather, comply with the standard approved of in God's word (Acts 17:11). We can only assume McConkie was referring to Mormons since it is they who rely upon their own feelings.

The first "biblical" verse quoted by McConkie is from the IV.

"...shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. For unto such hath God promised his Spirit. And they who worship him, must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:25-26, JST

It suited McConkie to use "that more perfect translation" on this occasion since it removes from God's word the teaching that "God is Spirit". (John 4:24)

The next verse quoted is John 14:15 -

"If ye love me, keep my commandments."

Since that verse seems to fit nicely into Mormon thinking McConkie has reverted to using the KJV. Isn't it strange how the evil men who corrupted the Bible all those years before, have only altered the parts which do not fit into Mormonism?

Further on, under the heading "Christ is the revealer of the Father", McConkie quotes Luke 10:22 as follows:

Jesus said: "No man knoweth ... who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him." (Luke 10:22 KJV.)

Notice he is still using the inferior King James Version.

We have seen that where Mormon doctrine differs from Christian doctrine McConkie uses the JST in order to sustain those Mormon beliefs, as he did in John chapter 4, otherwise he is quite happy to use the inferior KJV.

It is surprising, therefore, that McConkie quotes Luke 10:22 from the KJV since Joseph Smith was inspired to change it.

In the JST this verse is recorded as verse 23 rather than verse 22. This is because Smith was inspired to insert a new verse as verse 13, thereby forcing all following verse numbers up by one. In the Inspired Version this verse, Luke 23, JST, reads:

"All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the son will reveal it."

What!!

"... the Son is the Father and the Father is the Son"?

Mormons don't believe that! Perhaps that's why McConkie chose not to quote from "that more perfect version" on this occasion. Smart move! ....... But not honest.

Finally, let us look at McConkie's quote under the heading: "Christ glorifies the Father and so must we."

"Glorify thy Son, that thy Son may also glorify thee.... I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." (John 17: 1, 4. KJV)

Notice the ellipsis signs (the little dots) to indicate text has been omitted.

What is there about that missing text McConkie wants to hide?

Right in the middle McConkie omitted verse 3 which reads:

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. John 17:3

THE ONLY TRUE GOD? That means the millions of gods which Mormons believe in are FALSE gods.

Why did McConkie not skip back to the Inspired Version in order to avoid this awkward teaching? Simple, it reads identically.

Joseph Smith recorded that his revision of the New Testament was finished: February 2 1833. And the Old Testament finished: July 2 1833. (History of the Church, Vol. 1 p. 324 and p. 368).

Jim Cowen
Good Tidings Ministry.