A Commentary on the JST of 1 Corinthians

26 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2018

Date Written: January 18, 2018


Over the decades in youth Sunday School classes, Seminary and Institute courses, adult Gospel Doctrine classes, BYU Religious Education courses, and in other venues, I have heard many hundreds of students make a comment in class based on Joseph Smith’s revision of the Bible, officially known in the Church as the “Joseph Smith Translation” (hereafter “JST”). And so far as I can recall, in 100% of those instances the person making the comment simply assumed that the JST emendation of the biblical text represented—in English—the original text of the passage. Such a simplistic understanding is perhaps understandable, as we never devote a lesson specifically to explaining the JST and what it represents, and so students are left to their own devices in trying to understand its significance.

Actual scholars of LDS scripture do not make this simplistic assumption, but somehow we have failed to communicate to our students the breadth of possibilities inherent in any particular JST emendation.

In this paper I propose to attempt a remedy to this situation, first by proposing a paradigm of 14 different categories into which JST emendations may fall, and second by illustrating the application of that paradigm based on a review of every single JST emendation in a book of scripture. The book I have selected for this purpose is 1 Corinthians. By my count, 63 verses of 1 Corinthians are emended by the JST. The 16 chapters of that book contain a total of 437 verses, and so the JST modifies about 14.4% of the verses in the text. By analyzing every JST emendation in the book, we can gain a better sense for the types of things going on in the JST project.

Keywords: Joseph Smith Translation, 1 Corinthians

JEL Classification: Z12

Suggested Citation

Barney, Kevin, A Commentary on the JST of 1 Corinthians (January 18, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3104772 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3104772

Kevin Barney (Contact Author)

Kutak Rock LLP ( email )

One South Wacker Drive
Suite 3910
Chicago, IL 60169
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics