Saturday, May 31, 2008

Why Was 1st Century Reformed Egyptian Translated into 17th Century King James English in 19th Century America?

Why Was 1st Century Reformed Egyptian Translated into 17th Century King James English in 19th Century America?

Was it really necessary for the Book of Mormon to be translated into 17th Century King James English? It seems that there is a perception that for something to be scripture, it must be translated into late middle/early modern English, as if that is some kind of God given perfect language. Who knew?

Perhaps people during that time period would be more susceptible to believing that the Book of Mormon is holy writ if it was translated into 17th century King James English. It also attempts to incorporate the Book of Mormon as part of the Bible as advertised as the stick of Joseph as referenced in the Bible, and therefore should have the same language. However, this view demonstrates a naïveness to what the Bible is and where it came from.

Book of Mormon For Our Time

If we are to believe that the Book of Mormon was written for our time, it is more likely that it would have been translated into Modern English so that people that read it could have understood it. Modern English had existed at least 80 years before publication of the Book of Mormon. So why wasn't the Book of Mormon translated into Modern English? Why isn't the Book of Mormon now translated into Modern English? The Book of Mormon has been translated from 17th century English into hundreds of different languages, and it is still considered 'scripture' in those other languages. However, if you translate it from 17th century English into modern English it would no longer become 'scripture', it would just be a personal 'explanation' and could not be used to replace 'scripture'. Why is that? It seems that God is obsessed with 17th century English as if that is the only proper way for him to communicate to English speakers. If that is the case, why aren't other revelations and church declarations that we consider 'doctrine' also written in 17th century English?

17th Century English and the Bible

17th century English has nothing to do with the original writings of the Bible. The Old Testament was translated from Hebrew texts and the books in the New Testament were mostly translated from Greek. King James ordered the translation of the collection of books that we call the Bible into the language of the time so that people could best understand it. So why wasn't the Book of Mormon held to the same standard? Why can't we modernize the language of the Book of Mormon? Why does it have to be in antiquated text?

We Believe the (Church Leadership Approved) Bible To Be The Word of God

We say we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly, yet we use the King James version of the Bible, which is not the most correctly translated Bible by any stretch of the imagination. There are tons of translational errors in the King James version. There are many better and more accurate translations written in modern English that are much easier to understand, yet the church is insistent on keeping the King James version as the sole version to use in English. It seems that any other translation is 'heretical'. I guess our article of faith should read "we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is church approved".

Other English Translations of the Bible

The King James version of the Bible was not the first Bible to be translated into English. The Anglo-Saxons had very early translations of some of the books in the Bible in Old English as early as 600 A.D. English translations that occurred in the 14th century were translated into Middle English, as this is what people spoke at the time. There were several translations into Late Middle/Early modern English, including King James, and they were all written in Early Modern English because that is the language that people could best understand at the time. There have been many Biblical translations since King James, and the most modern versions are translated into Modern English because that can be best understood today. Yet for some reason some people are stuck with King James when he is just one of a long procession of English translations.

Disillusioned Mormon


Zelph the younger said...

And what about the Book of Abraham which was supposedly translated in a completely different way ("no need for seer stones this time folks, we're going to do it the 'old fashioned way': with the actual, physical documents, and alphabet in hand!")?

What about D&C? Even though God is talking to us in modern day, he has to use 200 year-old language to do so!?!

BTW, I've been "hanging around" for awhile...I like your blog.

-Zelph II

Mormon Heretic said...

Zelph, I hate the KJV version of the Bible. I can't disagree with anything you say on this one. There are much better translations out there.

Elder Joseph said...

The answer is obvious and we all know the answer.

Joseph Smith just wanted to make it sound authentic and credible and it helped when he plageurised verses from the bible as well.

Have you noticed also that Joseph Smith seemed to be good at translating anything Egyptian , (supposed gold plates,papyri etc) simply because it was not understood at the time and therefore could not be verified or compared with what was known.

This is why he never translated anything of Greek or Hebrew as these were well known and understood at the time.

He even had to attend classes to learn Hebrew.It seems the power of the Mormon God was limited only to Egyptian and he never got that right if we are to believe Joseph Smith's Book Of Abraham transaltion came from an Egyptian Papyrus.(A common funeral scroll in reality and nothing to do with Abraham).

Zelph said...

Hi, Zelph the younger! There is certainly room for several Zelphs on the internet. I am certainly not the first. There are different Almas and Nephis in the BoM. ;)

You are welcome to comment anytime.

Matt said...

Excellent points made in this post.

I admire your willingness to look at Mormonism critically and honestly. It takes great courage to break away from something that's been a part of your life for so long.

I arrived at your site through Jeff Lindsay's and I find a lot of the arguments for Mormonism by commentors there completely bogus. Thanks for this site.

Joshua said...

There is only one bible. There are different translations of the bible, but there is only one bible. What I mean is that there was only one author of the bible, God. This means there can only be one correct meaning of what the original authors meant.

The book of Mormon is not scripture because it is not in the bible. Joe Smith obviously copied large chunks of the bible and tried to pass it off as scripture. We all know that Joe Smith was a con man that married several teenage brides.

I am just warning you that the Mormon Jesus can't save you because he isn't the real Jesus, he is an idol. Only the real BIBLICAL Jesus can save you.

mormon heretic said...


You never answered my previous post about Songs of Solomon. Why did you ignore those scriptures I quoted, and questions I asked about the bible? What is your opinion of God's authorship of that book in particular? Did God write that too?

Joshua said...

I asked my pastor about that and he made a good point that one could view Songs of Solomon 7 as dirty if they have a dirty mind, but it is good to appreciate the beauty of all creations. Titus 1:15 "To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted." Solomon was simply expressing the way he saw his bride. What a beautiful thing.

mormon heretic said...

Well, I agree with your pastor to a point. That's fine for Solomon to think those thoughts about one of his 700 brides. But Solomon should have shared that with his wife in the bedroom. There's nothing wrong with his thoughts to his wife, but should it really be in the Bible? Do you publish your explicit love letters on the internet for the world to see? I think not. Songs of Solomon shouldn't be included in the Bible, as it has nothing to do with Christ, Jehovah, faith, salvation, or any other spiritual topic.

I notice you have a problem with Joseph Smith's polygamy, but Solomon puts Smith to shame--he had 300 concubines and 700 wives.... (It would take over 3 years to spend 1 night with each.) Oh, and what about David killing Uriah to get his wife? Was that a good thing too?

Did your pastor explain why it was ok for Noah to get drunk, and sleep with his daughter? Was it ok for Jacob to steal his twin brother's birthright, because he was "the chosen son." I thought "thou shalt not steal." Or is it ok to steal if one has a messianic complex, and then writes a story that gets included in the Bible?

Was it really righteous for Joshua to kill all the inhabitants of Jericho (except for the harlot Isabel)? If the US wiped Iraq off the map, it would be called genocide. Isn't what Joshua did to Jericho, the same thing as what Hitler did to the Jews (in reverse)?

And really, if someone attempted human sacrifice in today's world, he'd be tried for attempted murder, and probably be put in a mental institution. Yet Abraham is upheld as a beacon of righteousness.

I guess God wanted all that to happen, right? Should I try to kill my son and see if an angel stops me?

After all, aren't we supposed to emulate these righteous prophets? Do you still believe that every word in the Bible is from God, or are you just mimicking your pastor?

I dare you to respond to this post, or do we have to wait another week for you to ask your pastor what you should say....

petals said...

Get down with your bad Zelph.

Zelph said...

MH- Stop, you are killing me. LOL

petals- Funny :)

Zelph said...

Joshua, have you considered how many different English translations there are? Check out this list of English translations of the Bible since the time period of the King James translation:

1535 Coverdale’s Bible
1537 Matthew’s Bible
1539 Taverner’s Bible
1549 The Great Bible
1560 The Geneva Bible
1568 The Bishops’ Bible
1582 The Douay-Rheims Bible
1611 The King James Bible
1729 Daniel Mace Bible
1745. William Whiston Bible
1750. Richard Challoner Bible
1755. John Wesley Bible
1764. Anthony Purver Bible
1768. Edward Harwood Bible
1790. William Gilpin Bible
1791. Gilbert Wakefield Bible
1795. Thomas Haweis Bible
1796. William Newcome Bible
1798. Nathaniel Scarlett Bible
1808. Thomas Belsham Bible
1808. Charles Thomson Bible
1823. Abner Kneeland Bible
1826. Alexander Campbell Bible
1828. Alexander Greaves Bible
1828. John Gorham Palfrey Bible
1833. Noah Webster Bible
1833. Rodolphus Dickinson Bible
1836. Granville Penn Bible
1840. Samuel Sharpe Bible
1841. John T. Conquest Bible
1850. Spencer H. Cone and William H. Wyckoff Bible
1851. James Murdock Bible
1858. Leicester Ambrose Sawyer Bible
1863. Robert Young Bible
1863. Herman Heinfetter Bible
1864. Benjamin F. Wilson Bible
1867. John Nelson Darby Bible
1867. Joseph Smith, Jr. inspired Bible
1869. George R. Noyes Bible
1872. Joseph Bryant Rotherham Bible
1875. Samuel Davidson Bible
1876. Julia Evelina Smith Parker Bible
1881. The English Revised Version Bible
1901. American Standard Version Bible
1901. Frank Schell Ballentine Bible
1902. The Twentieth Century New Testament Bible
1902. Joseph Bryant Rotherham Bible
1902. William B. Godbey Bible
1903. Ferrar Fenton Bible
1903. Richard Francis Weymouth Bible
1904. Adolphus S. Worrell Bible
1912. The Holy Bible … An Improved Edition Bible
1913. James Moffatt Bible
1914. E. E. Cunnington Bible
1914. Ivan Panin Bible
1917. The Holy Scriptures, according to the Masoretic Text Bible
1918. Harry Tompkins Anderson Bible
1923. Edgar J. Goodspeed Bible
1923. William G. Ballantine Bible
1924. Helen Barrett Montgomery Bible
1926. James Moffatt Bible
1926. Adolph Ernst Knoch Bible
1927. J.M. Powis Smith Bible
1931. Edgar J. Goodspeed and J.M. Powis Smith Bible
1933. Charles Cutler Torrey Bible
1935. Cuthbert Lattey Bible
1937. Charles B. Williams Bible
1941. Edward P. Arbez Bible
1946. Revised Standard Version New Testament Bible
1947. George Swann Bible
1948. Thomas F. Ford and Ralph E. Ford Bible
1949. S. H. Hooke Bible
1950. New World Translation by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society Bible
1950. Angelo B. Traina Bible
1951. Olaf Morgan Norlie Bible
1952. Revised Standard Version Bible
1952. Charles Kingsley Williams Bible
1952. Emile Victor Rieu Bible
1954. James A. Kleist and Joseph L. Lilly
1955. Ronald A. Knox Bible
1955. Hugh J. Schonfield Bible
1957. George M. Lamsa Bible
1958. J. B. Phillips Bible
1959. Gerrit Verkuyl Bible
1961. The New English Bible
1961. The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York
1961. Fan S. Noli Bible
1961. Kenneth S. Wuest Bible
1962. Jay P. Green Bible
1963. New American Standard Bible
1963. William F. Beck Bible
1965. Frances E. Siewert Bible
1965. Frederick F. Bruce Bible
1966. Robert G. Bratcher Bible
1966. Alexander Jones Bible
1969. William Barclay Bible
1970. Louis F. Hartman and Myles M. Bourke Bible
1970. The New English Bible
1970. The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible
1971. New American Standard Bible
1971. Kenneth N. Taylor Bible
1972. Steven T. Byington Bible
1972. Don J. Klingensmith Bible
1973. New International Version Bible
1976. Robert G. Bratcher Bible
1976. William F. Beck Bible
1977. Jay E. Adams Bible
1978. New International Bible
1979. New King James Bible New Testament
1982. New King James Bible Old and New Testament
1982. David Bronstein Bible
1983. An Inclusive Language Lectionary
1985. Henry Wansbrough The New Jerusalem Bible
1985. Tanakh: A New Translation of The Holy Scriptures According to the Traditional Hebrew Text.
1985. The New Testament: Recovery Version.
1987. Ervin Bishop Bible
1988. Hugo McCord Bible
1988. Phillip B. Giessler Bible
1988. Bernardo Hurault Bible
1989. W. D. McHardy Bible
1989. Heinz W. Cassirer Bible
1989. David H. Stern Bible
1990. New Revised Standard Bible
1993. Eugene H. Peterson Bible
1993. Robert W. Funk Bible
1994. William D. Prindle Bible
1994. Craig R. Smith Bible
1995. Victor R. Gold Bible
1995. Eugene W. Bunkowske Bible
1995. William E. Paul Bible
1995. Barclay M. Newman Bible
1995. Everett Fox Bible
1996. NIV Inclusive Language Bible
1996. Richard A. Lattimore Bible
1996. New Living Translation Bible
2001. W. Hall Harris Bible
2001. J. I. Packer Bible
2002. Eugene H. Peterson Bible
2002. John H. Stek Bible
2004. Edwin Blum Bible
2004. John Henson Bible
2004. Robert Alter Bible
2004. Mark R. Norton Bible
2005. John H. Stek New International Bible

There is not just one Bible. Each translation can have a completely different meaning and interpretation.

Joshua said...

mormon heretic, it sounds like you don't have a very good understanding of the bible.

Bishop Rick said...


Your argument is extremely weak. You don't even understand where the Bible came from. Do you realize that depending on which Bible you choose, there are entire books inserted or deleted? This is irrespective of the translation differences. Is God the God of confusion? How do you know that the BofM is not the part of the Bible from the new world? I'm looking at a single set of scriptures right now that includes the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Book of Mormon along with other writings, in the same book. It would appear that in this case the BofM IS in the Bible.

Simply saying something is true or not true based on whether or not it is in the "Bible" is foolish.

tatabug said...

My first thought upon reading this post was about prayer. In the church, we are taught to pray in formal language, not in our everyday language, in order to show respect to the Lord. I can see how it would be appropriate to write or translate the books of scripture into formal English so that we not only feel reverence, but so we also learn how to speak in that manner when we pray.

I don't think choosing 17th century English was a matter of it being a "perfect" language. We know that the only "perfect" language is Adamic. But for those of us who speak English, 17th century English is as perfect as we can get, I suppose.

As for the choice of language for the Book of Mormon, I'm not sure it could be any easier to understand even if it were translated into modern English. But anyway, I think that it is only appropriate for the Book of Mormon to be written in the language of the KJV of the Bible, because that is what the majority of people used at the time the Book of Mormon was written (from what I understand), and even if it isn't as widely used today, I would say that most people are familiar with it.

Also, we don't use the KJV because it is a superior translation. We use it because it aids us in being able to relate to non-members. I'm sure you are aware of this Zelph, so I'm not sure why you're acting so confused.

Cr@ig said...

…but back to Zelph’s original theme…. Not only was the Book of Mormon written in Olde English…but as Tom Deforno illustrates so well in his article “Mormon Tories” this sacred ancient American scripture, captures the very themes, battle scenario’s, words and phrases of the American Revolution.

How fortunate Gorge Washington was to have access to the Book of Mormon’s inspired words from Captain Moroni during the late 18th century, as he drafted letters to his “little army” and informed the people of Canada that… "We have taken up Arms in defense of our Liberty, our Property; our Wives and our Children."

How marvelous God’s plan is, for if not for Moroni’s inspired words, General George Washington…might not have been able to inspire his army to victory over the evil English armies. Then there would not have been a United States which enabled God to Restore His One True Gospel.

See, the gospel is so simple and sweet, and fits together like a hand to a glove.

The only thing I can’t seem to figure out is how George Washington got his copy of the Book of Mormon some 50 years early? Lucky Guy! But with God, all things are possible. Oh isn’t it Wonderful…Isn’t it Marvelous…

tatabug said...


Are you aware there are some obvious mistakes in the Bible?

For example, Leviticus 11:20 speaks of "fowls that creep, going upon all four." Deuteronomy 14:7 and 18 lists a bat as a bird and a hare as a cud chewer.

There are also some numerical contradictions found in 1 Chron. 21:5 and 2 Samuel 24:9; 2 Samuel 10:8 and 1 Chron. 19:18; 2 Kings 24:8 and 2 Chron. 36:9; Ezra 2 and Nehemiah 7; and Chron. 22:2 and 2 Kings 8:26.

There is also an incident in Matthew 27:9-10 which attributes a quote from Zechariah to Jeremy (Jeremiah).

Then what about the contradiction between Mark 6:8, Luke 9:3, and Matthew 10:10, where the staff is forbidden in Matthew and Luke but permitted in Mark's account.

Also, there are three different Biblical accounts of Paul's vision on the road to Damascus. Look at the accounts:

Acts 9:7--
And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

Acts 22:9--
And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

Acts 26:14--
And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me...

Did the others hear the voice or not? Did they fall or remain standing? (Does it really matter?) There are also a number of other inconsistencies with Paul's story as well in these three chapters.

What about in Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27 when Jesus misquotes Deuteronomy 6:5?

Significantly, I think, it would seem that there were also some failed prophecies. For instance, Jonah prophesied that the people would be destroyed in 40 days--no conditions were offered. However, we know that when the people repented, God chose to spare them, much to the chagrin of Jonah who was "displeased...exceedingly" and "very angry."

Another problem can be found in 2 Samuel 7:4-17, where Nathan tells David that his royal house and kingdom will "be established forever." Once again, no conditions. The Babylonian invasion later overthrew the throne of David and that kingdom, and it is certainly not in place today.

From the prophet Ezekiel, in chapters 26, 27, and 28 we read that Tyre (a fortified island city) would be conquered, destroyed, and plundered by king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and the riches of Tyre would go to Babylon. Well, Nebuchadnezzar's army did lay siege to Tyre, and its inhabitants were inflicted, apparently so much that they shaved their heads bald, as prophesied. Tyre was eventually destroyed, but its complete destruction apparently did not occur during the Babylonian siege, and the Babylonian army did not get the riches of Tyre as prophesied. The prophecy stated that the place would "be a bare rockface for spreading nets and would never be rebuilt," but today it has become a fairly important maritime center. Here is a link to pictures of Tyre today:

I'm not giving all of this information to cast doubt on the Bible, but to show that the Bible, while it is inspired, and it is true, it is not perfect. It is important to realize that it is a product of inspired though imperfect men and prophets, and was not personally authored by God.

In addition, it has gone through numerous translations and none of the originals remain today. One could argue that it is incomplete as well, as different versions of the Bible contain different books and there is internal as well as external evidence that there are books that were not included in the KJV of the Bible.

I understand when you say there is only one meaning to what the original authors meant, but when you look at all of the issues, problems and errors that are present in the Bible, which I and others have pointed out, which admittedly aren't that serious and can be explained away, how can you be sure that there aren't more serious errors that we aren't even aware of? Errors which could lead men seriously astray and which have without doubt, led to the formation of thousands of different religions, with a wide range of beliefs, all based off of the Bible, supposedly authored by God himself, whom we know is not the author of confusion.

I am very curious to know suppose the "Mormon Jesus" is an idol and different from the Jesus that you worship.

Zelph said...

Tata- I appreciate your comments and see your point regarding the way we are taught to pray. However, I have found that formalizing scriptures just for the sake of formalizing them just makes it more difficult to read and understand. I have a 'heretical' English translation of the Bible, which is the New International Version.

Joshua- What about the Biblical references to unicorns?

Job 39: 9-10
Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?

Num. 23: 22
God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

Num. 24: 8
God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.

Deut. 33: 17
His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.

Ps. 22: 21
Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

Ps. 29: 6
He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

Ps. 92: 10
But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

Isa. 34: 7
And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.

Surely, you do not actually believe that the original authors were literally referring to unicorns, right? Maybe they were referring to another animal that has only one horn. However, the point is that it is a mis-translation among many mis-translations in the King James Version.

If you look at the New American Standard Bible version, it calls Unicorns wild ox:

"God brings them out of Egypt, He is for them like the horns of the wild ox."

Zelph said...

Cr@ig- thank you for the American Revolution link That is certainly interesting and compelling enough to investigate further.

I have heard that the wars in the Book of Mormon reference battles during the war of 1812. However, I don't know much on the subject and certainly not enough to write about it, but find it interesting and very plausible.

For me, I always like to go to the original source. This means reading the whole thing in context.

For example, I have read view of the Hebrews. After reading it, it is clear to me that the Book of Mormon was not an original idea or anything new at the time. The biggest parallels in my opinion is simply the style of literature by religious groups during this time period.

I will like to read "Tories of the American Revolution" and "Mercy Otis Warren's History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution" and the other references, but as I said, it is certainly compelling and it draws an excellent case.

tatabug said...


My whole point was that the scriptures were not formalized just for the sake of formalization. There was a purpose there and a very good one I believe, and I don't think formalizing the Book of Mormon made it hard to understand. But I think it may have been much easier to understand during the era in which it was translated. The problem comes because over time, language degrades/changes. You even see this happen in the Book of Mormon itself, and it was primarily because there wasn't the education and training necessary for the people to maintain their language. It was the Nephites, the ones who had the scriptural records available to them, as well as the understanding of the need to educate their people in the language, who were able to hang on to their original language.

But I do believe that you can see an erosion of the English language today, particularly with all the slang which has become part of the culture. But how could Joseph Smith have translated the Book of Mormon into modern language for us today? Perhaps the Saints of the early days of the Church might have had difficulty understanding it. What it comes down to is the need to be educated, and the more we read the scriptures, the more comfortable we are with the language.

BTW, I have no problem with other Bible translations, as far as they are translated correctly..;) I don't view the KJV as superior, and will readily admit that there are probably better translations out there. But I also have to say that there is no perfect translation available, so any way you go, it really doesn't make that much difference. However, I prefer the KJV because that is what I am familiar with, and I have also become rather attached to 17th century English, and it serves its purpose just fine. Any serious difficulties are, of course, corrected through the gift of modern-day revelation.

Zelph said...

Tata- I see your point and can understand where you are coming from. People during the time of Joseph Smith certainly felt comfortable with 17th century English.

You can see how much language in general can change over time, even within our own lifetime. However, I still don't see how we can't have a more modern translation of the Book of Mormon and still consider it "scripture".

tatabug said...

I suppose that there could be an updated translation of the Book of Mormon, but I don't really see why that would be necessary. The Book of Mormon is easy enough to understand as it is. Why do you care since you don't even believe it is true?

Zelph said...

Tata- Good question, why do I care? Why should I care? It is just an observation from my own personal experience. You can see how from a point of view that the BoM is fictional that it seems highly suspect that JS would translate it into King James English in the 19th century.

I think part of the reason I care is simply to try to get people to think about why we do things the way we do them. I suppose that is the whole point of the entire blog is as an outlet of my own questions, but also to encourage others that might be stuck in 'the box' to think freely and always ask questions.

That is one reason I enjoy our discourse Tata, because you don't have the typical "just read it and pray about it and you will know it is true" response.

As I have said, I am not in the position to try to get people to stop believing in Mormonism, or stop believing in the BoM. People can look at the exact same scripture or evidence and come to completely different conclusions, and that is fine. I just want to make sure that people have considered all the arguments, or the criticisms and have all the information available to make an honest decision.

I do not believe I am any smarter than anyone, I just think that I have a different way and method of approaching and determining what is 'truth'.

Shawn Guy said...

I just had a thought. I am a Mormon, but you could say that I am a pretty liberal Mormon. I certainly don't take everything literally. I certainly have unorthodox views.

As I was reading the Doctrine and Covenants, I realized that the revelations from the Lord are also in older English. Maybe these revelations in D&C are not direct word-for-word revelations from the Lord. Perhaps the revelations were more like impressions in Joseph's mind and he used the older English as a way that he best understood to communicate the message from God.

This explains why the revelations in the D&C were revised and the wording had been changed years after they were originally published in the original Book of Commandments.

Mormon Heretic said...

No fair, you guys get to check this blog more frequently than I.

Josh, nice comeback. I do find it ironic that I asked you about 7 Bible stories, and you didn't even address a single one of them.

Look, I was properly admonished by Zelph, and probably shouldn't have piled on in my previous post. I hope you've learned some critical thinking skills in this discussion.

My point is this: If you have a problem with Joseph Smith's 30 wives, you should also have a problem with Solomon's 1000 wives and concubines. If you don't, then it just shows you're not a deep thinker.

Now, to address a few other things. Excellent points Zelph, Tata, and Craig. Tata, I think the whole praying in 17th century english is mormon folklore. If we believe that God can understand any language, then whether we call him Allah, Jehovah, Elohim, Buddha, or Jesus, he's going to respond in French, Japanese, Arabic or any other language. Yes, we shouldn't address him as "Hey Big Guy", but all the "Thee, thou" is just a tongue twister. Certainly he will answer my 5 year old who addresses him as "you", not "thee."

One other thing--there are at least 2 plain english versions of the Book of Mormon on the market. Of course, they're not authorized by the church, but I bought one for my wife who didn't like tripping over the King's english.

Another thing: I'm not so sure that people in the 1830's were that familiar with the King's English. Mark Twain was a contemporary of Joseph Smith. Look at his review of the BoM at this website

Twain even makes fun of the witnesses who "hefted" the plates, which was not even part of the translation of the Book of Mormon. Did Abraham Lincoln or Steven Douglass talk this way? No they didn't. (Interestingly, Douglass was the judge who set Joseph free a few months before Smith was killed.)

Look, I'm not here to disparage the Bible or the Book of Mormon. I think both books are valuable, and can teach many spiritual truths. But I'm not going to stick my head in the sand and pretend these issues don't exist either.

Incidentally, I found a great website where you can look at about 14 versions of the bible, and compare different versions at

My personal favorites are NLT and NIV. I also like to compare it to the Catholic Bible, which contains AT LEAST 9 more books than protestant bibles. See this link:

Zelph said...

MH- Thank you for your comments. Your previous post on all the biblical references cracked me up, and you are fine with your posts.

Thank you for bringing up the modern English versions that are not recognized by the church. I have not read either, but am aware of them. I remember seeing in the preface a disclosure that these versions are not to replace scripture, but only used as a guide to help understand the Book of Mormon.

There is even controversy for those that are aware of the unauthorized modern English versions. The criticisms that I have heard is that some important doctrinal points are lost by the wording.

However, I think it is splitting hairs and feel it is more important for people to understand what is going on before they can understand the deeper layered meanings. Just my opinion.

It is also more difficult for people that are unfamiliar with King James English.

I have read Mark Twain's review of the BoM before and remember the famous "chloroform in print".

Bishop Rick said...

Lets not forget about the giants mentioned in the OT. Seems that dinosaur bones were mistaken for bones of giants and cyclops by the early writers of the Bible. Surely God would know the difference between an elephant skull and a cyclops skull or a dinosaur bone and a giant bone.

I know this tangent has run its course, but I wanted to chime in.

Bishop Rick said...


I love the way your comments are fresh. Most apologists make me laugh, but you make me think. Doesn't mean you have succeeded in swaying my opinion, but you definitely stand apart from the rest.

That said, I think Zelph's point here is that the BoM was likely translated into King's English to cover up the plagiarism. You cannot deny that there are portions of the BoM that are copied directly from the Bible...KJV no less. This has to raise an eyebrow, especially when errors that were in the KJV of the Bible made it into the BoM. This obviously was not the result of God-assisted translation.

Also, have you ever wondered why Nephi took the time to copy all that Isaiah stuff into the BoM? What was the purpose of that? He already had a copy on the Brass Plates and we already had a copy in the KJV of the Bible. What was the purpose, especially in light of the small plates having so little room to write.

There are some that believe that JS was justing filling in space as he tried to quickly get thru the portion of the BoM that mirrored the lost 116 pages. He covers up the lack of detail (compared to the rest of the BoM) by saying that the plates were small and didn't have as much room, but then a huge portion of them were wasted with scriptures that everybody already had...then and now.

Things that make you go hmmm.

Bishop Rick said...

One last point. EJ has repeatedly asked why none of the other prophets took it upon themselves to finish the work of JS and complete the translation of the Bible.

We use an LDS version of the KJV (cross-referenced with JST) but yet no one has ever tried to complete the work. Why is this?

Another thing that makes you go hmmm.

tatabug said...

Oh my gosh! I just spent a great deal of time responding to several of you only to have lost everything I wrote. Right now, I am so angry that I am not even going to try to rewrite it. Maybe later.

Joshua said...

Just as I though, Mormons usually revert to trying to punch holes in the bible, which is the perfect inerant word of God and can be trusted. If you can only open your heart to the biblical Jesus, he will save you, but you have to trust in his word, not the words of the pedophile Joe Smith who was a treasure seeker and known for his tall tales.

Cr@ig said...

Here's something from my own blog...kinda ties into this topic

If the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be…a translation of ancient golden plates holding the religious history of the forefathers of the American Indians… then it’s version of Christ’s sermons, found in 3 Nephi , should be the most pure, direct copies of Christ’s sermons in existence. For it would not have gone through all the alterations and human errors that were inherent in the reproduction process that produced our current Bible. In other words the Book of Mormon was not exposed to the errors of men and had the added advantage of coming to man directly through the gift and power of God Himself or so Momron claim.

Because of the pure process that gave us the Book of Mormon, one would not expect to find any of the mistakes found in our current Bible’s rendering of Christ’s sermon….because the Book of Mormon was not dependant on the same process that gave us the Bible …right?

Prior to the printing of the Book of Mormon, mankind relied on ancient Greek manuscripts from the second century, translated, transcribed, added to, deleted from through 1000’s of human hands and 1000’s of years to give us the words of Christ. A comparison of the earliest copies of these Greek manuscripts to copies that followed, has shown that there were hundreds of changes, errors and additions from those early manuscripts. Because each of these changes occurred after the second century AD and after the events Mormon’s claim took place in America…one would NOT expect to find the same mistakes, changes and additions found in the Bible... in the Book of Mormon’s versions of His sermons.

But does this claim stand up to scrutiny?

Is the Book of Mormon an actual translation of the abridged written words of an ancient American prophet named Mormon or the product of a talented but flawed mind? Did Mormon abridge plates that he had inherited giving a purer version of Jesus Christ’s sermon or did Joseph Smith merely plagiarize and then change a few words around to produce his version of Christ’s sermon in order to give it the appearance of a translation?

A close examination of the various versions of the Lord’s Prayer as found in Matthew 6 shows some surprising revelations.

We are all familiar with the widely used King James Version (KJV) of the Lord’s Prayer and the one found in the Book of Mormon.

Our current KJV - Matthew 6:9-13

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

And 3 Nephi 13:9-13

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

It’s interesting to note that these two versions differ in several key areas. The Book of Mormon fails to include 2 sentences found in the common KJV of the Lord’s Prayer.

01. Thy kingdom come.
02. Give us this day our daily bread.

Are missing...

So are we to conclude that Christ did not say these words to the Nephites…or had men merely added these words in the many years since Christ had supposedly uttered these words to the masses in Galilee and the Book of Mormon represents a more pure form of Christ’s sermon?

But wait…there is more…our current Lord’s Prayer found in today’s KJV…is NOT the same as the original 1611 A.D. first edition copy of the KJV.

The Lord’s Prayer as it was originally printed in the 1611 A.D. KJV

“Our father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. “

Note that in the original KJV Both of the sentences left out of the Book of Mormon version were included in the KJV…but the last sentence …” For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” is NOT found in the original first edition 1611 A.D. KJV.

It doesn’t take a Biblical scholar to see that this last line was added…in fact it started to show up in the versions of the KJV of the Bible in the 1700's and it is NOT present in ANY of the original Greek manuscripts.

A simple comparison of the 1611 AD KJV Bible and latter versions show that this line was added by “man” to the JKV of the Lord’s Prayer in the early 1700’s

But wait these is still more…

An exact translation of the Lord’s Prayer from our earliest Original Greek Manuscripts into English… reads…

" Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one'

Note how both sentences removed from the Book of Mormon ARE found in translations from our earliest Greek Manuscripts…yet DOES include a sentence that Biblical scholar's have shown was been added by man in the 1600’s

So is the Book of Mormon what it claims to be?

Cr@ig said...

If it IS a translation of ancient scripture…why does it include man-made additions from the 1700’s?

If it is a more pure rendering of Christ’s original sermon, why doesn’t it include the same words given in our earliest Greek formats?

If during the translation process, Joseph took a short cut when he saw Christ familiar sermon being given again to the Nephites,(as mormon apologists claim) why did he remove those 2 sentences from the original Greek if he was trying to give a more pure form of Christ’s sermon and then leave in the man-made parts?

Jeremy said...


Are you actually reading this blog? Because from that last response it really sounds like you have no clue what's going.

mormon heretic said...

Josh, please add something to the discussions. These "pedophile" comments are infantile. You have no clue what you're talking about, and resorting to ad hominem attacks is quite grating.

Please, go to seminary and learn something about the bible. You'll sound more intelligent, and be able to add something to the discussion. For the record, I highly recommend Covenant Theological Seminary. You can download podcasts for free via iTunes, and if you choose to pay tuition, you can actually get a theology degree and become a pastor. You will actually learn something about the bible, and you can ask yourself these tough questions, instead of having to ask your pastor.

Oh, yeah, and get a spell checker, to let us know what you "thought" instead of what you "though".

Bishop Rick said...


Please gather the patience to respond again. I understand how frustrating it is to lose hours (in some cases) of research and effort because of some stupid blogger error.

We all want to know what you think.

Zelph said...

Cr@ig- thank you for your insights. The King James translation errors that are also found in the Book of Mormon is problematic if we are to believe that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon independently. It certainly draws questions about the claim that it is the 'most correct book'.

Apologists have pointed out that Joseph Smith certainly used the King James Bible in the translation process to assist him. For me, this draws more questions than answers.

I have also brought up Matthew 6:13 in a Previous post

My issue was a little different, and that was when comparing the "Joseph Smith translation".

This is what I said on the subject:

"One example of these 're-translations'(JST) is found in Matthew 6:13, where the King James Version reads:

'And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil...'

The Joseph Smith translation reads:

'And suffer us not to be led into tempation...'

It is also footnoted in the LDS bible that the Syriac translation reads

'Do not let us enter into temptation.'

This is a very important doctrinal change, as explained by the JST contents that the Lord does not lead us into temptation and therefore the King James version had a translation error, (at least according to the JST).

Book of Mormon Equivalent

However, 3 Nephi 13:12 reads the same as the KJ version(not the corrected JST):
'And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil'"

So it is nice to "compare notes".

Zelph said...

Tata- I hate that when that happens


tatabug said...


My thoughts regarding Joshua exactly. Anyone who is actually reading AND comprehending what's going on here would know that the majority here are not big fans of the church or Joseph Smith. In fact, I am the only regular commenter here who is. Perhaps he should be addressing me. In any event, it's been good for a chuckle.

tatabug said...


Thanks for the emotional support in my time of crisis. Love the "emoticon." He looks like he has a handlebar mustache.

Fortunately, my original response to you was fairly easy to remember. It was simply, "Fair enough."

tatabug said...


You are just racking up the brownie points with me, I hope you know. That's two awesome compliments in a row.

Anyway, my original response to you was very long, so I am going to try to do the best I can to put it back together. I just hope I can remember what I wrote.

I was pretty sure I knew what Zelph's point was, as you stated, and as a result it bothered me that he was acting as though he was interested in changing the BOM, as though he would then be interested in reading it for his own personal enrichment. That is just a bit insulting for those of us who treasure the BOM--as it is. I'm not upset or anything, because I understand where he's coming from in defending his point of view, even if I disagree with it. That's just how it comes across to me.

As for so-called "mistakes" that were perpetuated from the Bible to the BOM, I haven't seen any that give any serious cause for alarm. None that I've seen seem very serious. That, of course, is my opinion.

But as you stated, it does seem that when Joseph came to areas of translation that quoted material also found in the Bible, he was content to copy word for word, so long as the original intent wasn't affected. There are many instances, however, where he felt the need to make changes to what was contained in the KJV.

Now, when he went through the re-translation process of the Bible, he was actually looking for errors to fix. In my experience, when you are looking to find fault, it seems that problems just jump out at you. And as you read the scriptures over, it seems that each time, something new that you never noticed before jumps out at you also. Not necessarily that you don't remember ever reading it, but it just strikes you in a different way. This may be an explanation for why changes were made to the KJV when they weren't made to the BOM version during translation.

But, if Joseph were a real con man, don't you think he would at least be smart enough to cover his tracks on this one? Surely he remembered what parts of the Bible, particularly the longer sections, and the Sermon on the Mount most especially, that he copied into the BOM. For him to be able to pull off a hoax to the level that he's been alleged to have done, don't you think he would've caught this obvious blunder? You could turn your observation right around, that this was not done on inspiration, and say that indeed, Joseph was an inspired man, or at the very least, he wasn't afraid.

Also of note, the JST does not claim to be a restoration of the original text, but in many cases may be viewed as an improved English rendering of the existing Greek or Hebrew. Or you could even go so far as to say that it was an improvement to something that may have been unclear or incompletely expressed in the original. So, given that the KJV was followed when it was "close enough" to convey the message of the original text, it is possible that the KJV could be clarified without invalidating the BOM translation.

Regarding the use of the King's English, I found an interesting article by Hugh Nibley, which somewhat suprisingly to me, outlined some of the same reasons I have previously mentioned, but then goes a little further in this exerpt:

The first thing to note is that the "contemporary language" of the country-people of New England 130 years ago was not so far from King James English. Even the New England writers of later generations, like Webster, Melville, and Emerson, lapse into its stately periods and "thees and thous" in their loftier passages. ...

One can think of lots of arguments for using King James English in the Book of Mormon, but the clearest comes out of very recent experience. In the past decade, as you know, certain ancient nonbiblical texts, discovered near the Dead Sea, have been translated by modern, up-to-date American readers. I open at random a contemporary Protestant scholar's modern translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and what do I read? "For thine is the battle, and by the strength of thy hand their corpses were scattered without burial. Goliath the Hittite, a mighty man of valor, thou didst deliver into the hand of thy servant David."

Obviously the man who wrote this knew the Bible, and we must not forget that ancient scribes were consciously archaic in their writing, so that most of the scriptures were probably in old-fashioned language the day they were written down. To efface that solemn antique style by the latest up-to-date usage is to translate falsely.

At any rate, Professor Burrows, in 1955 (not 1835!), falls naturally and without apology into the language of the King James Bible. Or take a modern Jewish scholar who purposely avoids archaisms in his translation of the Scrolls for modern American readers: "All things are inscribed before Thee in a recording script, for every moment of time, for the infinite cycles of years, in their several appointed times. No single thing is hidden, naught missing from Thy presence." Professor Gaster, too, falls under the spell of our religious idiom.

By frankly using that idiom, the Book of Mormon avoids the necessity of having to be redone into "modern English" every thirty or forty years. If the plates were being translated for the first time today, it would still be King James English!

So it would appear that even when translators attempt to modernize the scriptures, they sometimes can't help but revert back to archaisms. And I completely agree that there would have to be a retranslation of the BOM every 30 to 40 years to keep up with changes in the language. Just think of the burden and expense that would cause, not only to the leadership, but also to the members.

Here is another quote I found interesting:

To be sure, the Book of Mormon was translated into what we often call "King James" Language, though, in fact, the King James version (KJV) of the Bible retained some 80% of Tyndale's English translation and Tyndale was partly dependent on the even older version by Wycliffe. It's a long-standing tradition among Bible versions and only surprises people who are acquainted with modern translations prepared after Joseph Smith's time. I should also point out that several renowned Bible scholars have mimicked KJV style in their own translations of ancient texts. Most notable was Robert Henry Charles, whose two-volume work on the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament is still published by Oxford. Because he did his work around the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, he rendered the texts into KJV language because that was THE Bible par excellence in his day. So, too, with Joseph Smith. --John Tvedtnes

Here's another one from Hugh Nibley citing the use of the KJV language/quotes in the BOM:

"When Jesus and the Apostles and, for that matter, the Angel Gabriel quote the [Hebrew] scriptures in the New Testament, do they recite from some mysterious Urtext? Do they quote the prophets of old in the ultimate original? . . . No, they do not. They quote the Septuagint, a Greek version of the Old Testament prepared in the third century B.C. Why so? Because that happened to be the received standard version of the Bible accepted by the readers of the Greek New Testament."

So, you know what I think? I think that even if the BOM were translated into modern language, then the anti's and non-believers would again cry "foul" and say that the BOM sounds nothing like scripture. Either way, we lose, because when someone is looking to find fault, they are going to find it, no matter what.

I too have wondered why Nephi would take so much time and precious space on the plates in order to record the writings of Isaiah, which were already a part of the scriptures then and now. The only good explanation that I can come up with is that Nephi felt they were of such vital importance that they needed to be repeated. It appears that from what I've learned, it is a common semitic practice. I also understand that it is such a common practice, that if the BOM did not in some way reference the Jewish scriptures, one could rightly question its semtitic origins.

There is also evidence found in a Dead Sea Scrolls text called "The Words of Moses," in which parts of Deuteronomy are reviewed, quoted, and reworked. This evidence, combined with the hundreds of internal quotations in the Bible itself, reveal a plausible basis for the inclusion of Isaiah and other Biblical quotations in the BOM.

As for your concern over EJ's question, I really have no clue about that one. I think it would be great if someone did finish it, but then I would have to wonder what would be the practical purpose of that? It seems that Joseph already covered the major issues, and I think any serious renovations would not be received well by non-members and any serious shortcomings in the Bible have been covered with the BOM and modern-day revelation. So again, what practical purpose would it serve? I am confident that we have what we need for now.

Phew, that one's done. Sorry for the novel.

tatabug said...


I have no doubt that God answers our prayers no matter what language we choose, so long as we are sufficiently humble. That said, I don't believe that we should use scriptural language for Heavenly Father's sake, because he prefers the King's English. The reason for using language, other than what we use in our everyday, casual language, is not for God's benefit, but for ours, because of the change that it creates within us. Just as we wouldn't wear anything but spotless white for the temple ceremony, or our grubbies to sacrament meeting, so too, we change our language to one of greater dignity and reverence for our dear Father, to whom we owe so much. Again, not for His benefit but for ours. Just as our dress can affect our mindset and our actions, so too can language have similar effect.

Admittedly, "prayer language" is not easy at first, and feels awkward, but with practice, it becomes much easier and more natural. One is better off if they practice it during personal prayers instead of attempting it during sacrament meeting for the first time. That could be embarassing.

tatabug said...


You ask some very valid questions, and I've treated the issue you raise to a very small degree in my response to Bishop Rick. I will look at what you've said in more detail later and try to comment when I have more time. As it is, I've spent a great deal of time here this morning, and I need to get some things done today.

You may not care for my opinion, but as the only regular TBM commenter here, I just want you to know that I'm not ignoring you.

alex owen said...

tatabug- Very good insights and I think a lot of what you said makes perfect sense to me. It is just common sense. Joseph Smith probably used the King James Bible to help him with the translation process. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense that there would be scriptures in the Book of Mormon that are identical to the ones in the Bible. It was simply a way to help Joseph Smith learn how to translate the characters.

I believe he used the U&T at the beginning and probably used the head in the hat, but I believe that as he became more comfortable with the characters that were on the gold plates, he started using more academic means.

It would make perfect sense that as he used this academic means that he would use the Bible as a guide to help him translate the texts, why wouldn't he? There is a book written in English that has the same writings as the Book of Mormon tablets, so of course he is going to use it to assist him in the translation process. It is just common sense.

I think that Tatabug brings up a good point and maybe Joseph Smith's understanding of the Bible evolved over time as his own understanding grew. It is unfair and I think a bit naive to believe that Joseph Smith was given an unlimited amount of information when he prayed in the woods at 14.

I believe that Joseph Smith had to learn line upon line just like everyone else. When Joseph Smith was 14, he didn't know much, in fact it was his lack of knowledge that led him to pray to God. Even after his vision, Joseph Smith didn't know much about what he was to do, but he knew that God had something important for him.

Slowly, and over time, Joseph Smith came to realize that he was to translate and publish an ancient record. After publication, he established the church.

Even though Joseph Smith was a prophet, he still had to deal with physical limitations. The human mind can only learn and process so much.

And if there are mistakes from the King James version of the Bible in the Book of Mormon, I think we can cut Joseph Smith some slack for using the Bible as a guide to help facilitate the translation process. If I remember correctly, I believe it was the Pharasies that were so obsessed with the strict literal interpretation and letter of the law.

So Joseph Smith's re-translation of the Bible came later as his understanding improved over time. The church's statement on the JST even says that it is not necessarily a literal translation of what was originally penned, but more a spiritual translation of our doctrinal understanding.

Those are my thoughts for now.

Cr@ig said...


Ummm…so I get this picture of Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon with his rocks and hat trick…as he is looking into his rock…he recognizes passages on the plates (that are sitting in a tree truck in the woods mind you) and decides that instead of translating what he sees in his rocks…decides to plagiarize passages from the Bible for what? convenience?

So he comes to 3rd Nephi 13 and sees obvious passages that ARE in the Bible…that WERE inserted into the Lord’s Prayer in the 18th century…BUT are NOT on the gold plates…and instead of removing these erroneous man-made passages that COULD NOT have been seen in his rocks…he just goes ahead and includes them anyway??????????

But wait…after leaving in the man-made passage…he removes 2 passages that were part of the original Greek manuscripts?

1st question, why would he leave in the man-made parts if he was in fact inspired and comparing what was on his golden plates with his family bible…and 2nd then why did he remove those other 2 passages if he was merely trying to take a translation short cut and was not going by what was on the plates?.

Sorry but you can’t have it both ways.

He either took a short cut….and plagiarized the Bible to meet his printers deadline, or he translated what was on his gold plates sitting out in his hollowed out tree truck in the woods leaving out the 2 passages that were not on the plates BUT erroneously including passages that were clearly 18th century man-made insertions to the Lord’s Prayer.

And this is the most correct book on earth?????

I need to go out back and start pounding my head against the brick wall again…..

Bishop Rick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeremy said...

Alex said "In fact, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense that there would be scriptures in the Book of Mormon that are identical to the ones in the Bible. It was simply a way to help Joseph Smith learn how to translate the characters."

Are you serious? think about what you just said... I mean really, think about it.

tatabug said...


(Warning: the following should be read in a very calm, holier-than-thou-type disappointed attitue. Meant to be more funny than serious, but still a little serious;)



I'm very disappointed....

Here you had just made me so happy, and I had given you all those brownie points, and now... sadly, I have to take most of them away.

I was fine with your "modern" version of Nephi 1 at first, but then the vulgarity just got too thick for me and started to make me a little nauseous. In fact, I threw up, just a bit, in my mouth. I'm sorry, but the humor I saw in the beginning just drained into disappointment. Yes, it was very reflective of certain cultural elements in our society, but those elements turn my stomach too. So, that is why I am only reclaiming "most" of your brownie points, rather than all of them, because I know you were just trying to mimmick such depravity in order to demonstrate that we really don't want to bring the Book of Mormon down to that level (ahem...smack!). But I have to ask, for what purpose? Was it to uplift? Certainly no, because are we better off today than we were yesterday, before we read it? I say, nay. In fact, we may be a little worse off now. Could your little demonstration have reflected a little more dignity for sacred things, as well as concern for the delicate constitutions of your intended audience? Certainly yes.

I do hope you will take this little scolding to heart, and next time, please do better. You are free to start earning back your brownie points any time now.

And Zelph, please don't egg BR on or you will suffer, even as he.

tatabug said...


Umm, what's a tree truck? I could over look it once, but twice--just want to be sure.

(Jus givin ya a hard time)

Zelph said...

Tata- You are right, the purpose of this blog is to inform, not to offend and I have a duty to keep the comments consistent with this. I will try to keep it PG-13.

BR-I found it creative, but will have to remove it.

Zelph said...

BR- I don't want to completely censor people either. Feel free to post a link with a disclaimer.

Alex Owen said...

Tata- Try not to let it affect you too much. I just skip through things like that and laugh quietly to myself not because the content is funny, but because it bolsters my position and it just strengthens my testimony.

1 Corinthians 13:11
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

tatabug said...

In case anyone is confused, my reply to BR was meant to be on the humorous side. While I did not like the vulgarity, I was not offended or emotionally scarred by it in any way.

Bishop Rick said...

Ok, here is the latest revision. It is true that I made several edits, but they number less than 3,000 and are mostly gramitical.

I say that none of the original content has been be the judge.

1 Yo, nephi, havin’ been born o’ whack folks, ya know what I’m sayin? so I been did learn sum in all da learnin o’ da ol man; an’ havin’ seen some stuff in da course o’ mah days, yo, havin’ been set up in da lord in mah days; yo, havin’ waz havin’ a lotta learnin o’ da goodness an’ da mystery o’ god, so yo make a record o’ mah life – word.

2 yo, I been made a record in da words o’ da ol man, which iz o’ da learnin o’ da jews an’ da word o’ da freakin egyptians.

3 an’ I know dat da record which I make iz true; an’ I been made da thin wit my own freakin hands; ya know what I’m sayin? an’ I been made da thin according ta mah learnin.

4 fo’ da thin happen in da commencement o’ da first year o’ da reign o’ zedekiah, king o’ judah, (da ol man, lehi, havin’ hiz crib at jerusalem); an’ in dat same year dere came sum prophets, prophesyin unto da niggas that da niggas must repent, yo or da crib would be shanked.

5 so da thin happen dat da ol man, lehi, as da nigga goed forth prayed unto da lord, yo, even wit all hiz heart, fo’ hiz niggas.

6 an’ da thin happen as da nigga prayed unto da lord, sum fire nearly shanked hiz donkey an’ landed on a rock befoe hiz donkey; an’ da nigga saw an’ heard sum stuff; an’ because o’ da thin which da nigga saw an’ heard da nigga did shake n bake.

7 an’ da thin happen dat da nigga return ta hiz own crib at jerusalem; an’ da nigga thowed hiz self on hiz friggin bed, been overcome wit da spirit an’ stuff.

8 an’ been thus overcome wit da friggin spirit, da nigga waz carried away in a vision, even dat da nigga saw da heavens open, an’ da nigga thought da nigga saw god sitting on hiz throne, surrounded by a lotta angels an stuff in da attitude o’ singin an’ praisin da niggas’ god.

9 an’ da thin happen dat da nigga been saw one comin out o’ da midst o’ heaven, an’ da nigga saw dat hiz skin waz shiny an’ stuff.

10 an’ da nigga been saw twelve moe followin afta hiz donkey, an’ dem niggas’ waz shiny too.

11 an’ da niggas come down an’ goed forth upon da face o’ da earth; an’ da first come an’ stood befoe da ol man, an’ give him a book, an’ said yo nigga, read it.

12 an’ da thin happen dat as da nigga read, da nigga waz filled with da spirit an’ stuff.

13 an’ da nigga read, saying: yo, yo, ta jerusalem, fo’ I haz seen yo doins! an’ many thin did da ol man read yo—dat da hood would be shanked, an’ da peeps thereof; many be under, an’ many would be made beeoches in babylon.

14 an’ da thin happen dat when mah ol man had been read an’ seen many great an’ marvelous things, da nigga did exclaim a lotta stuff unto da lord; yo like: great an’ marvelous iz thy works an’ stuff! thy throne iz whack in da heavens, an’ thy martin luther jr. feelin’, an’ goodness, an’ mercy iz over all da peeps o’ da world; an’, cuz yo iz merciful, yo wilt no way suffer dose hoo come unto thee dat da niggas shall perish!

15 an’ after this manner waz da words o’ da ol man in da praisin o’ hiz god; fo’ hiz soul did dance and stuff, an’ hiz whole heart waz fill, cuz o’ da stuff which da nigga waz havin’ seen, yo, which da lord waz havin’ showed him.

16 an’ now I, nephi, do no way tell all my ol man’s stuff, fo’ da nigga been wrote many thins dat da nigga did saw in visions an’ stuff; an’ da nigga been wrote many thins dat da nigga prophesied an’ spake unto hiz chitlins, o’ which I shall no way tell all my stuff.

17 but I shall make an account o’ all my stuff. yo, I make an abridgment o’ da record o’ da ol man, upon plates dat I been made wit mah own friggin hands; so, when I haz abridged da record o’ da ol man den I will tell all my stuff.

18 so, listen up fool, when da lord waz havin’ shown so many marvelous thin to ol man lehi, yo, bout da shankin o’ hiz hood, da nigga goed forth among da other niggas, an’ began ta prophesy an’ ta declare unto dem bout da thin which da nigga waz havin’ been seen an’ heard.

19 an’ da thin happen dat da jews mocked hiz donkey cuz o’ da thin which da nigga been told em; fo’ da nigga truly testified o’ dere wickedness an’ dere abominations; an’ da nigga testified dat da thin dat da nigga saw an’ heard, an’ also da thin dat da nigga read in da book, manifested plainly o’ da comin o’ Jesus, an’ yo da redemption o’ da world.

20 an’ when da jews heard dis, da niggas donkey waz boiled; yo, like da old prophets, hoo da niggas waz havin’ thown out, an’ stuff; an’ da niggas wuz gonna shank hiz donkey, dat da niggas might take da thin away. but yo, I, nephi, will show ya’ll dat da tender mercy o’ da lord iz over all ya’ll niggas dat be chosen, cuz o’ da niggas’ faith, ta make dem mighty yo, like da martin luther jr. feelin’ o’ deliverance.

tatabug said...

Much better BR, but I don't think white people are supposed to use the word "nigga," you know pc and double standard and all. But then I'm just assuming you're a white guy. Maybe I'm wrong.

Cr@ig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tatabug said...


You're no fun. You turned a little friendly chiding into a personal attack and slapped me in the face with a four letter word. I don't like foul language, and "that" word I hate the most. You may have sincerely been playing with me, but it just didn't come across that way if you were.

Me and da boys (I'm a girl, BTW) go way back, to like last year, and we have some fun, I think. I hope you will try to as well, and not take things too personally. There's no need to be resentful towards all Mormons. I could turn the tables on you and your kind just as easily, because MANY of you can be very hateful and vicious.

Cr@ig said...

I've removed my earlier comments...and YES I was just playing you...You’re no fun…and NO I did not drop a four letter word...merely the suggestion of one...In fact my post was very pg-13 and YES I do take umbrage when Mormon's throw their arrogance around expecting everyone to cater to their so-called high moral standards …but that’s a topic for another thread.

Tagabug…I sincerely apologize if I offended you…I say that because I’m a decent guy NOT because you’ve scolded me (just want that on the record)

tatabug said...


So now, for the second time in a row, I'm arrogant? "So-called high moral standards?" None of that sounds like you are "just playing" with me. We're really getting off to a great start here.

I use to allow Mormon authorities to point out the errors of my ways annually.

Well, it looks like you picked up a few tricks of the trade yourself. Your comments here have been almost entirely critical and condescending towards the church, its leaders, its teachings, and me. You sound very bitter and angry. Instead of taking offense to some of your earlier comments, I took a different approach, which seemed innocent enough to me.

I tried to be welcoming in my playfulness with you, but I guess it would probably be best if I just avoid you altogether in the future.

Cr@ig said...

Arrrrgggg.... Tagabug,

I really stopped trying to win brownie points and "gold stars" pasted on my forehead when I left Jr. Sunday School. So frankly I could care less what you think of me or my posts.

I seriously don't seek your brownie points (which you both give and take away based on your supposed high moral views of the world) nor do I seek your approval.

What initially set me off was not your seemingly cute chiding of my typo's but your subtle motherly self righteousness and condescension sprinkled with a pugnacious superiority that you seem to impose on everyone in this blog like a protective moral overseer. When you told Bishop Rick that “the vulgarity [in his post] just got too thick for [you] and started to make [you] a little nauseous. In fact, [you] threw up, just a bit, in [your] mouth.”…and then you continued to impose your virtuous morality on BR again by reproaching his use of “nigga” in his brilliant Ebonics Nephi parody…. well sorry but your comments made me nauseous. And then you “chided” my typo…well I had had enough of your superciliousness.

Stop trying to impose your morality on everyone else. You can do that within the walls of your church all you want…but please don’t feel that this person is going to sit back and stomach it when you spew it out here.

Personally, I believe you are an asset to this blog and I appreciate your perspective. Many of your apologetic arguments have merit and you do offer an important alternative view, but you are not the moral authority of this sight.

I personally do not appreciate you telling those who have shared their thoughts that you find offence with their thoughts. Even if you are just one of “da boys”.

Go ahead and attack their arguments all you want with your alternative views…just don’t try to impose your self righteous moral superiority.

Ok I’ve gone off on a rant…but I’m sick and tired of Mormon TBM’s sitting on their Rameumptoms telling the rest of us what to say, write, think, dress, eat, drink or how not to ink and pierce our own bodies.

So bitter and angry? No not at all…I just won’t put up with any Mormon’s thinking they have a superior right to thrust their morality on everyone they encounter. Keep it to yourself.

Now having said that…Zelph has every right to say, edit, delete what he may…after all, this is his blog and I respect his right to do whatever he may with it.

Bishop Rick said...

I think we need to just step back and take a good look at where this is going. I personally respect both Craig and Tata as contributors and personalities.

Craig, I totally get where you are coming from. I have experienced what you describe on countless occasions and it bugs me as much as it does you. I also agree that unless one is posting on their own blog, they have no right to impose their brand of morality.

That said, when I look at Tata, I don't see a Mormon woman. I see a woman that happens to be Mormon. I think we need to ask ourselves if her comments to me would bring the same reaction if she were not a Mormon apologist. If the answer is no, then she has been treated unfairly. If the answer is yes, then I would have to accept that. Personally I don't know, but would hate to see anyone treated unfairly based solely on their belief system.


That goes both ways. Your comment to EJ (which you have already retracted) seemed to be based on his position regarding the LDS church. If he were a TBM and made that statement, would your initial reaction still be the same? EJ does get passionate about what he says, but I think most of us do at times. I know I do. But my take on EJ is that he is one of the most sincere people here. I think that he believes deeply in what he posts. You can disagree with him, but you can't fault him for stating what he honestly believes.

Regarding the ebonic Nephi, I was more worried about Zelph than Tata, mainly for the reason of keeping his blog free from profanity. I figured everyone else (tata included) would take the cursing how it was meant. I grew up in the south and people there use curse words as descriptors without a second thought. It is not meant in a demeaning or disrespectful way, and my portrayal wasn't either.

I'm just disappointed that no one mentioned how changing ass to donkey (two seemingly interchangeable words) totally changed the meaning of those affected verses. That was done on purpose to make a point that no one seemed to notice...oh well.

Bottom line, how bout we just start over now that we all know where each other stand.

Zelph said...

BR- Well said, I enjoy reading all different points of view.

tatabug said...


You really have made a lot of assumptions about me that I don't think are fair. My intentions were never about imposing some kind of morality on anyone. But I am one of the few opposing viewpoints here, and in fun, I kept up the part in my responses to BR, even though I made it clear that I was trying to be funny. But you've told me I am being arrogant. You don't even know me to be able to say that. And the big reason you've chosen to make these assumptions, as BR has astutely pointed out, is primarily because of the fact that I'm a Mormon. Well guess what? You used to be one too, and I'd bet you wouldn't appreciate being profiled like that.

So we're clear, I never offered you brownie points. In fact, BR is the only one who got any because he was so nice to me.

And I was not offended by BR's use of profanity in his "parody." No, I don't care for profanity, but I was not asking anyone to remove it. Like I tried to make clear the first time, I was only SLIGHTLY serious with that one. But, I WAS however, offended by your "suggestion" of the "F" word (which is in reality, the same thing as saying it. Only young children benefit when adults only make the suggestion of it.), directed at me. It's one thing just to say the words in the context BR used, but you made it personal.

"I personally do not appreciate you telling those who have shared their thoughts that you find offence with their thoughts." Are you not right now doing the very same thing? You've made it clear that you don't appreciate my comments, but here you are telling me that it bothers you when I say I don't appreciate the comments of others. That sounds like a double standard to me.

And I'm supposed to put up with your sarcasm, as you try to demonstrate how smart you are with your little digs at Joseph Smith. But I'm sure you were just being funny, right? But I'm not allowed to be funny, because when I do it, it's called moral superiority. Well I did put up with it there for a little while, but now it's out on the table. Let's recap shall we:

How fortunate Gorge Washington was to have access to the Book of Mormon’s inspired words from Captain Moroni during the late 18th century, as he drafted letters to his “little army” and informed the people of Canada that… "We have taken up Arms in defense of our Liberty, our Property; our Wives and our Children."

How marvelous God’s plan is, for if not for Moroni’s inspired words, General George Washington…might not have been able to inspire his army to victory over the evil English armies. Then there would not have been a United States which enabled God to Restore His One True Gospel.

See, the gospel is so simple and sweet, and fits together like a hand to a glove.

The only thing I can’t seem to figure out is how George Washington got his copy of the Book of Mormon some 50 years early? Lucky Guy! But with God, all things are possible. Oh isn’t it Wonderful…Isn’t it Marvelous…

Wow! That's not arrogant at all. In your own "sweet" words, you denigrated my beliefs, but that's okay, because I'M the one who is arrogant.


Thanks for your input.

I tend to lack tolerance when it comes to EJ. I love him, don't get me wrong, but he just has a way of testing my patience. While I generally don't doubt his sincerity, his comments can be sensational at times, as well as insensitive to my beliefs. They also tend to be unintelligent in terms of coversational value. For example, he will call Joseph Smith a pedophile, and so how do I respond to that? No, he's not? Those sorts of comments are just insensitive and pointless to try to respond to without going to incredible lengths to try to disprove. Hence, the frustration.

I'm not sure how you're "cuts both ways" example applies in this situation. A TBM saying that God told them that the BOM wasn't true. Is that a likely scenario?

As far as your ebonics, I did think it was creative. But just because I am from the south, doesn't mean that I appreciate that cuss words are just adjectives. My husband on the other hand, takes your point of view on the issue (and he's a TBM, Cr@ig, so how's that for a morally superior Mormon?). He can cuss with the best of them. Anyway, I used to cuss, and will occasionally let one fly in the heat of anger, but generally I don't, and I don't like to hear it either.

However, I did appreciate that you intended the language to reflect a cultural influence, which is why I really didn't have a problem with it. I guess I wasn't very clear with my disclaimer.

I did notice the donkey thing, but I knew what the intended meaning was, so I didn't see it as actually changing the meaning. If you were reading the word and applied it literally to, then yes it would make a difference.

I'll get back to you on the priesthood and restoration later. Right now, it's off to the ball field for concession duty. Ugggh.

Bishop Rick said...

I think TBM is applicable. This blog is full of former TBMs who did exactly that after questioning doctrine and searching for reaffirmation. But, perhaps TBI fits better? (True Believing Investigator)

Mormon Heretic said...

I can't help but think that there are many here who have "Shaken Faith Syndrome."


David said...

As someone who knows Hebrew and has read the tanach in the original Hebrew, I can say that the KJV is one of the worst translations I have seen. I mean Artscroll is lazy, but the KJV is just sloppy.

vballrh said...

To David if you ever see this,

What would you say is the best translation if KJV is the worst? Just curious because I would like to read it.

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