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.

Rejoicing to the End: A Civil Example

Sarkis Tatigian was a 17-year-old immigrant when he enlisted in the Navy during World War II.

That was 75 years ago today. He still works for the Navy.

“Mr. T” has largely focused on getting federal monies to small businesses, the Mom and Pop shops of the United States. To date, he has overseen more than $100 billion dollars in contracts awarded to these small businesses.

While I haven’t worked directly with Mr. Tatigian, my contracts have been reviewed by him. There are days when he is on the same shuttle taking folks from work to the metro station. I often see his distinctive form in the halls.

It is common for scholars to denigrate the recollections of elderly people, suggesting that the lateness of their record on their lived experience renders the information unreliable. Surely, it is presumed, the ravages of old age have degraded these people’s understanding of what *actually* happened.

But to hear from those who interact directly with Mr. Tatigian, his mind is sharp and his recollection of the clauses and policies that promote small business is precise. Those who now lead recall their “education” by Mr. T in contracting, mind-illuminating encounters that occurred decades ago, when Mr. T had already been a public servant for over 50 years. Accolades streamed in from senators, admirals, and even the President and his wife.

Mr. T returned to work a mere 5 weeks after quadruple bypass surgery. When a sniper opened fire in the building where we worked in 2013, he spryly escaped through a back door.

Today’s celebration was not a retirement, but a demarcation of yet another anniversary in the service of an outstanding individual. Mr. T has already surpassed the recognized “longest career of a civil servant,” held by now-retired Hardy William Cash for his 63 year career. It’s possible Mr. T could surpass the record for “the longest time an individual has worked for the same company,” held by Thomas Stoddard for his 80 years working at Speakman Company.

For many of us, “enduring to the end” is seen as a white-knuckle enterprise, gritting one’s teeth. But though Mr. T has “endured” in his career, there is no sense that he is biding time or gritting it out. There is no sense that he anticipates a time when he can set down this work and “relax.”

Churchill once said, “Fortune’s favored children belong to the second class [those whose work and pleasure are one]. Their life is a natural harmony.”

To Mr. T, one of Fortune’s favored children. May we strive to find a useful life where work and pleasure can be one, in whatever sphere our effort may occur.