Is Joseph Smith’s Translation Of The Bible Perfect?

Some critics of the LDS Church try to claim that Joseph Smith was wrong because his translation of the Bible doesn’t match ancient biblical documents. There are a few problems with this argument, but this article focus’s on the fact that according to the first two prophet leaders of the LDS Church, Mormon’s never thought the Bible translations were complete or perfect in the first place. This is based on statements from Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.

Joseph Smith,

“I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands.” -Joseph Smith, referring his translation of Malachi (Doctrine and Covenants 128:18)

Brigham Young,

“He should not be stumbled if the prophet should translate the bible forty thousand times over and yet it should be different in some places every time, because when God speake, he always speaks according to the capacity of the people.” -Council of Fifty, Joseph Smith Papers

Brigham Young,

“Should the Lord Almighty send an angel to re-write the Bible, it would in many places be very different from what it now is. And I will even venture to say that if the Book of Mormon were now to be re-written, in many instances it would materially differ from the present translation. According as people are willing to receive the things of God, so the heavens send forth their blessings.” -Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 9:311

It is clear that the prophet never claimed that their translations were perfect, but that it was enough to understand the doctrine better. From these quotes, we can see that some critics of the LDS Church are incorrect in their claim that Joseph Smith was wrong because his translation of the Bible wasn’t perfect. Joseph and otheres never claimed it was perfect from the start.

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