Bible Dictionary

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Joseph Smith Translation (JST)

A revision or translation of the King James Version of the Bible begun by the Prophet Joseph Smith in June 1830. He was divinely commissioned to make the translation and regarded it as “a branch of his calling” as a prophet. Although the major portion of the work was completed by July 1833, he continued to make modifications while preparing a manuscript for the press until his death in 1844, and it is possible that some additional modifications would have been made had he lived to publish the entire work. Some parts of the translation were published during his lifetime.

The translation process was a learning experience for the Prophet, and several sections of the Doctrine and Covenants (and also other revelations that are not published in the Doctrine and Covenants) were received in direct consequence of the work (D&C 76–77; 91). Also, specific instruction pertaining to the translation is given in D&C 37:1; 45:60–61; 76:15–18; 90:13; 94:10; 104:58; 124:89. The book of Moses and the 24th chapter of Matthew (JS—M), contained in the Pearl of Great Price, are actual excerpts from the JST. Many excerpts from the JST are also given in the appendix and footnotes in the edition of the KJV that accompanies this dictionary. The JST to some extent assists in restoring the plain and precious things that have been lost from the Bible (see 1 Ne. 13–14).

Although not the official Bible of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the JST offers many interesting insights and is an invaluable aid to biblical interpretation and understanding. It is a most fruitful source of useful information for the student of the scriptures. It is likewise a witness for the divine calling and ministry of the Prophet Joseph Smith.