This book examines what the New Translation (also known as the Joseph Smith Translation) is, what it contains, what it teaches, and how Joseph Smith arrived at its text. The chapters in the book are not only informative but also readable, and the information is therefore accessible to both scholars and general audiences. Jackson is a believer in the prophetic mission of Joseph Smith and considers the New Translation and its story to be evidence of his divine calling. More important, however, is the message that is clear throughout the New Translation’s pages―Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world.
For the most part, we have enough evidence to reconstruct the mechanical process by which Joseph Smith created his Bible revision―that is, the way he dictated the text and the way his scribes recorded it. But how did Joseph come to the words that would become the New Translation? Did they come from his own experiences, from assumptions he made while reading the Bible, or from other sources? Or did some or all of the text come through revelation, as he and his followers believed? What were the instincts that guided his work, and how did he translate those instincts into words? This book cannot answer all the theological questions, but it can assess the evidence found in the primary documents in an effort to understand how the New Translation came to be.
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