great article- the question on the translation process that has bothered me for 30 years is how did joseph handle the isaiah chapters- were they on the plates and he used a kjv to handle the translation once he realized they were there or did he translate as the Spirit moved him and it came out in kjv language?
Great article-i would like to know whether Joseph translated the Isaiah from the plates or go to the Bible when he recognized the words.
hope to hear from someone soon-it has bothered me a lot!
Responses to Vardell and Maness:
The word translation has several meanings. (1) the process of translating words or text from one language into another; (2) the conversion of something from one form or medium into another; or (3) To transfer (transmit) from one place or condition to another. In Greek, the word literally means to
In the beginning of Joseph's translation, specifically the lost manuscript, it was more transcription than translation.
The Lord was teaching Joseph how to translate. To read a dead language. By the time Oliver arrived Joseph had a greater understanding of the language and was prepared to translate in the literal sense of the word.
Because of the wisdom and insight gained by Joseph from the Lord the process was extremely rapid. When he was done with the Book of Mormon the gift of translation was still with him. The revelations and translations continued until we now have the Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants. We have many other works of Joseph which was also a result of his work of translation.
Oliver tried as we know to translate which proves the process was never transcription, but translation by definition from the Lord himself.
The Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith from the gift and power of God.
In a strict sense, Joseph Smith did not translate the Book of Mormon. Instead, he was inspired to know what was written on the plates.
Thank you! Thank you! Your articles give added life to my understanding of the scriptures. As a 75 yr old missionary, it is exciting to read and follow your footnotes. The added appreciation for the Prophet Joseph fills my soul with gratitude to him & you. May you continue to bless us with your faith and scholarship.
Thanks for your article and opinions. I disagree with your conclusion though that Joseph translated the Book of Mormon as we understand the word "translate". I think the evidence supports that the book was indeed revealed word for word to him.
Royal Skousen's studies (as well as eyewitnesses to the process) definitely support that the text was more a revelation than a translation. Brother Skousen has shown that the English of the B O M is consistent with 16th century usage, even containing phrases that were completely archaic by Josephs time. And there are NO words in the book that are more modern than 16th century. There are words in there that Joseph could not have known.
I believe Royal is right when he concludes that it was a tightly controlled revelation, word for word from the Lord.
I've always wondered has anyone done a comparison of Josephs vocabulary compared to the vocabulary of the B O M ?
B H Roberts wouldn't accept a tight control because of the bad grammar. But we know the Lord gives revelation in the weakness of our language. And as I recall Stephen Ricks only reason for doubting the tight control theory was Josephs willingness to change what may have been a word for word revelation. But that theory doesn't hold water. Joseph changed LOTS of revelations.
I'd appreciate your thoughts.
Thank you Brother Marsh for another excellent article. Please keep them coming ;)
So, Emma states Brother Joseph was not a writer. What a testimony to the work that he did. I know that for myself, when things are difficult, I tend to shrink back rather than roll up my sleeves and thrust in. Also, I am reading "Lectures on Faith," written by Joseph Smith and marvel at the beauty and simplicity of the writing. He was indeed a prophet and translator.
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