LDS Perspectives #55: Joseph Smith’s Bible Translation: Part 2 with Thomas A. Wayment

Adam Clarke’s Influence on the JST
 with Dr. Thomas A. Wayment

In this second LDS Perspectives Podcast on Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible, Dr. Thomas Wayment talks about the influence of Adam Clarke’s biblical commentary on Joseph Smith.

Dr. Wayment is a professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University and publications director of the BYU Religious Studies Center. Dr. Wayment earned a BA in Classics from the University of California at Riverside, then earned a PhD in New Testament Studies at Claremont Graduate University. Unsurprisingly, Dr. Wayment’s research has focused primarily on the New Testament. But Dr. Wayment has also written extensively on the Joseph Smith Translation. He became fascinated with Joseph’s translation early in his biblical studies and he will soon have two book chapters published on new findings regarding Joseph’s Bible translation process.

In his recent studies, Wayment found an interesting connection between the JST and a biblical commentary well-known in the 19th-century, especially in Methodist circles.

Adam Clarke, a British theologian, took almost 40 years to complete his comprehensive tome, published as The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The text carefully printed from the most correct copies of the present Authorized Version. Including the marginal readings and parallel texts. With a Commentary and Critical Notes. Clarke’s commentary became a primary theological resource for nearly two centuries.

New research by Michael Hubbard Mackay has uncovered a statement indicating that Joseph Smith had access to a copy of Clarke’s Bible commentary. When Wayment compared Joseph’s translation of the KJV Bible to Clarke’s commentary, he realized that Joseph apparently used it in the translation process because of the marked similarities he found between entries in the commentary and changes in Joseph’s KJV Bible.

Dr. Wayment shares his view of what Joseph meant by “translation” and what it could mean for how we approach the KJV Bible and the JST.

LDS Perspectives #54: Joseph Smith’s Bible Translation: Part 1 with Dr. Ken Alford

The JST in the D&C
with Dr. Ken Alford

LDS Perspectives Podcast is now one year old!

To celebrate, LDS Perspectives is holding a special first anniversary double episode on Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible.

In this first anniversary episode, Dr. Kenneth (Ken) Alford reviews the historical background of the Joseph Smith’s Bible Translation and important ways we see the Bible translation influence the Doctrine and Covenants.

Ken Alford studied the Joseph’s Bible translation extensively as an undergraduate at BYU in the 1970s. Ken now teaches at BYU in the Department of Church History and Doctrine. But for the intervening decades, Ken was a member of the United States Army, including assignments as Strategic Leadership department chair at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., associate professor of computer science at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and serving on the Army Secretariat staff at the Pentagon. This varied background provides Ken context for the way Joseph’s evolving understanding of the Bible text matured.

Though the LDS Church did not retain Joseph’s Bible translation after the evacuation of Nauvoo, it is clear that the Bible translation was an active part of Joseph’s early theological development and instruction of Church members in what are now sections of the Doctrine and Covenants. New insights from recently discovered documents expand our appreciation of the interaction between the Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants. Ken cites Brigham Young’s 1844 comments, suggesting that had Joseph ever been able to publish the Bible translation, it would have evolved beyond what we have today.

Taunalyn Rutherford of LDS Perspectives not only interviews Dr Alford, but adds perspective from her experience with the Church in India.

Next week’s podcast will be the second anniversary episode, as Laura Harris Hales interviews Dr. Thomas Wayment about new research that sheds light on how Joseph went about translating the Bible.

LDS Perspectives #53: Tabernacle Camps with Daniel Smith

Tabernacle Camps
with Daniel Smith

Audio file: http://traffic.libsyn.com/ldsperspectives/LDSP_Daniel_Smith.mp3

Daniel Smith is creator of the YouTube channel “Messages of Christ.” Smith’s channel has been viewed over 1 million times.

Smith has a particular interest in ancient tabernacles and their artifacts, including building replicas of the tabernacles and making authentic tabernacle clothing.

Smith recounts how and why he creates tabernacle cloth (using a Lego machine) to create the tabernacle breastplate, what exactly happened in the tabernacle in biblical times, and why it’s important for members of the church to understand these things today.

Sometimes, Smith explains, the best way to understand something is to experience it.

Tabernacle camps are popping up — typically in Youth Conferences — in stakes all over the United States. There’s even one coming to BYU in the coming months, which will be used to teach students about the ancient biblical context of the tabernacles.

LDS Perspectives #52: The (Im)patient Job

The (Im)patient Job
with Michael Austin

Michael Austin overturns our Sunday School understanding of Job.

Job didn’t constantly praise God in the midst of his trials, and he certainly wasn’t always patient.

The satan mentioned in the story is not Lucifer but someone else entirely.

We may think it is evil to be impatient in the midst of trials. Yet when we consider with Austin the full text of Job, we find Job is much more than the often one-dimensional figure we make him out to be. And in learning that, we learn so many gospel truths that we otherwise miss.

Listen as Sarah Hatch of LDS Perspectives Podcast interviews Michael Austin about wisdom literature, a more complete understanding of the nature of Job and his relationship with God, and what we can learn from arguably the greatest ancient poem ever written.

LDS Perspectives #51: Joseph Smith’s Education in Sephardic Hebrew

Joseph’s Study of Hebrew and the Book of Abraham with Matthew J. Grey

In the winter of 1836, 100 church members enrolled in a seven-week, intensive Hebrew language course. Matthew Grey sees this study of Hebrew as a direct outgrowth of the larger translation project that Joseph had begun in the summer of 1835.

In July 1835, Joseph had purchased Egyptian scrolls and mummies from Michael Chandler. Shortly thereafter he translated what became known as Abraham 1 and Abraham 2 and began working on a “Grammer and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language” (GAEL). In the fall of 1835, Joseph started looking for a teacher of Hebrew for the Kirtland School. By January, the school committee had hired Joshua Seixas as a Hebrew teacher.

Joshua Seixas used his native Sephardic Hebrew in his transliterations, which varied substantially from the more common Ashkenazi Hebrew spellings. Because of the distinctive Hebrew transliterations in Seixas’s texts, we can trace Joseph’s use of his Hebrew training in succeeding years.

Traces of Sephardic Hebrew can be seen in revelations found in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Abraham, and recorded Nauvoo speeches. Joseph’s insights into Hebrew form a foundation for Nauvoo teachings regarding the nature of God, expansions on the plan of salvation, and verbiage in the temple ritual.

Laura Harris Hales talks with with Matthew Grey on the influence Joseph’s Hebrew study had on Joseph’s subsequent teachings and the role Sephardic Hebrew plays in unraveling the puzzle of the Book of Abraham translation puzzle.