Relationship Between KJV and Gold Plates

CES Letter Core Question

What are 17th century italicized words doing in the Book of Mormon?

When King James translators were translating the KJV Bible between 1604 and 1611, they would occasionally put in their own words into the text to make the English more readable. We know exactly what these words are because they're italicized in the KJV Bible. What are these 17th century italicized words doing in the Book of Mormon? Word for word? What does this say about the Book of Mormon being an ancient record?

ISAIAH 9:1 (KJV)
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
2 NEPHI 19:1
Nevertheless, the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, and afterwards did more grievously afflict by the way of the Red Sea beyond Jordan in Galilee of the nations.

CES Letter, Page 9

We do not know the relationship between the King James Version text and the material recorded on the gold plates.

If the plates contained the same essential message as found in the King James Version of the Bible, utilizing that text would be a logical choice.

However, none of the accounts describe Joseph as using the Bible or even owning one at that time.

If the same Spirit that inspired the King James Bible translators also inspired Joseph Smith, a similarity in the texts would not be surprising.

The similarities apparently did not bother any of the scribes who wrote for the Prophet. If something deceptive was involved, they would undoubtedly have been suspicious and critical, especially after several of them left the Church.

Without additional information, this is unsolvable. Critics make negative assumptions, which result in invalid critiques.


See:

The King James Bible and the Book of Mormon by Daniel L. Belnap

Doesn’t the Book of Mormon Blatently Plagiarize the King James Bible” by Michael R. Ash

The Original Language of the Book of Mormon: Upstate New York Dialect, King James English, or Hebrew? –  by Royal Skousen

Was Joseph Smith Guilty of Plagiarism? –  by John A. Tvedtnes

Additional resources:

“Book of Mormon Translation” LDS.org Essay

The Spectacles, the Stone, the Hat, and the Book: A Twenty-first Century Believer’s View of the Book of Mormon Translation” byRoger Nicholson

The Divine Source of the Book of Mormon in the Face of Alternative Theories Advocated by The Gift and the Power: Translating the Book of Mormon” (2011 FAIR Conference) by Brant Gardner

Seerhood, Pure Language, and Sacred Translation” (2011 FAIR Conference) by Samuel Brown

“Joseph Smith as Revelator and Translator” JosephSmithPapers.org Essay

A Response: “What the Manuscripts and the Eyewitnesses Tell Us about the Translation of the Book of Mormon” –  by Daniel C. Peterson

“Book of Mormon–Transmission from Translator to Printed Text,” by George A. Horton, Jr.

Hebraisms and Other Ancient Peculiarities in the Book of Mormon by Donald W. Parry

Hebrew Idioms in the Book of Mormon –  by Sidney B. Sperry

Notes and Communications: Translation of the Book of Mormon: Interpreting the Evidence –  by Stephen D. Ricks

Text and Context –  by Daniel C. Peterson

Textual Consistency by John W. Welch

Textual Criticism of the Book of Mormon by Robert F. Smith

Part 1: The Nineteenth-Century Origin of the Book of Mormon byNoel B. Reynolds

Part Two: The Logical Structure of the Authorship by Noel B. Reynolds

The God-Inspired Language of the Book of Mormon: Structuring and Commentary –  byDonald W. Parry

The God-Inspired Language of the Book of Mormon: Structuring and Commentary –  byDavid P. Wright

The Original Language of the Book of Mormon: Upstate New York Dialect, King James English, or Hebrew? –  by Royal Skousen