Mistranslations

CES Letter Core Question

Shouldn't the same verses in the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible and the Book of Mormon match?

Sermon at Mount vs Sermon at Temple

I'm not sure why Jeremy chose these verses to make his case because these are sermons to two different groups of people. Jesus' Sermon on the Mount was given on a hill in Galilee. Jesus' sermon to the Nephites was given in ancient America after his resurrection. He generally gives the same sermon to the Nephites but there are a few differences. That's fine. It was a great sermon and the Nephites needed to hear it. Have you ever shared a talk or a message more than once? School teachers do it every year.

JST vs KJV

Even though this CES letter example isn't the best, let's not dismiss the claim outright. There are cases where the JST doesn't match the Book of Mormon, like _____ (Update coming).

 

The CES Letter improperly represents the Joseph Smith Translation in order create the appearance of a contradiction.

The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible is more of an inspired commentary to expand the text and enlighten the readers.

The Joseph Smith Translation does not purport to be a restoration to the original texts. The CES Letter creates a straw man argument by embracing an unjustified expectation. It expects the text to be restorative and then demonstrates that it is not. 

The reasons for similarity between several chapters in the Book of Mormon and the Bible are unknown, but could simply be because the material on the gold plates was similar or because God (through the seer stone) interjected that material into the translation.

No witnesses reported Joseph using a Bible in translating the Book of Mormon, but that he might have implemented similar texts would not be surprising.

It appears that The CES Letter’s expectations are unduly narrow and reflect a misunderstanding of the Joseph Smith Translation text and history.


Additional resources:

Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST) by Robert J. Matthews

The Message of the Joseph Smith Translation: A Walk in the Garden (PDF) (2008 FAIR Conference) by Jeffrey Bradshaw

Insights Available as We Approach the Original Text –  by Kerry Muhlestein

Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon –  by L. Ara Norwood

Joseph Smith and the Text of the Book of Mormon –  by Robert J. Matthews

Joseph Smith Translation (Bible Dictionary)

How Joseph Smith Translated the Book of Mormon: Evidence from the Original Manuscript –  by Royal Skousen