CES Letter: “What are 1769 King James Version edition errors doing in the Book of Mormon? An ancient text? Errors which are unique to the 1769 edition that Joseph Smith owned?”
No, the King James Version bible does not contain unique errors which also appear in the Book of Mormon. The premise of this argument is false.
KJV does not take the word for “rock” and accidentally translate it is “lamp post.” Now, there are plenty of words that I would have translated a little differently if I were doing it, but this is all subjective. It is a matter of opinion which word is a better translation.
I would not have used the words “dragon” as the KJV bible does, but this is actually not a translation error, as the original Hebrew tannin means “serpent” and the Greek drakon means “serpent” as well. The word “satyr” in the bible is also not incorrect, as the original Hebrew described a goat-like demon, and the closest thing in our language is the mythical satyr.
Why Change The Universal Translation? – I think Joseph Smith was aware that the mythical creatures “dragon” and “satyr” are not real. So why keep these words if a lot of people are going to get the wrong idea from them? Well, Joseph Smith started a large project later in his life where he went through and made inspired corrections and commentary to the bible. But for the purpose of the Book of Mormon, why change quotes from a text that everybody was universally familiar with? Everybody used the KJV bible.
The real question is whether it was appropriate for Joseph Smith to use the 1769 language from his KJV bible when translating quotes that appeared in the Book of Mormon, considering how different our language is today. I think it was. But the point is actually moot, as scholars have recently found that Joseph Smith did not even uses KJV language. That’s right. He used 16th-17th century language that appeared in earlier bibles, such as John Wycliffe’s 1382 version, which were also the basis for the KJV bible.
“For example, To require, meaning “to request.” Enos 1:18 reads “and the Lord said unto me: thy fathers have also required of me this thing.” It may seem unusual that Enos’s ancestral fathers (Lehi, Nephi, and Jacob) required the Lord to preserve their records. Notice that the word also in verse 18 implies that Enos too is “requiring” the Lord to preserve these records, yet previously (in verses 15—17) Enos simply asks the Lord to do so. But the passage makes perfectly good sense when we observe that earlier in English the verb require had the meaning “to ask, request, or desire someone to do something.”
Another example is To cast arrows, meaning “to shoot arrows.” Alma 49:4 reads “the Lamanites could not cast their stones and their arrows at them.” Similarly, verse 19 reads “and thus were the Nephites prepared to destroy all such as should attempt to climb up to enter the fort by any other way by casting over stones and arrows at them.” For us today, it seems strange to cast arrows. Yet the Oxford English Dictionary gives the following comment for definition 2 under the verb cast: “Formerly said also of military engines, bows, and the like, which throw or shoot projectiles.” Oxford English Dictionary citations date from about 1300 to 1609, including the following biblical one in John Wycliffe’s 1382 translation of 2 Kings 13:17: “Helise seyde, kast an arowe; and he kest.” The King James Bible uses the verb shoot in translating this same passage: “Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot.” But there is one place in the King James Bible where the verb cast does occur with arrows: “As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death” (Proverbs 26:18).
In 2 Nephi 20:29 all the printed editions as well as the printer’s manuscript read Ramath instead of the Ramah found in Isaiah 10:29 (the original manuscript is not extant for this passage). A number of scholars have noted that Ramath would have been the earlier Hebrew form for Ramah and have therefore claimed that the Book of Mormon text here maintains the earlier Hebrew name for this place, thus supporting that the Book of Mormon text may have been translated from a more ancient version of Isaiah.”
He used early archaic words and phrases that sometimes got passed on to the KJV–and sometimes didn’t. Joseph Smith did not have access to these other versions, so how did he end up using their language? Coincidence?
Makes Translating Easier – I once sat down to translate a 15the century German book into English. Despite my fluency in German, I found this extremely challenging, and I was relieved when I realized parts of the book were quoting a book that had already been translated into English. With great relief, I grabbed that book and used it as a close reference for those parts.
Is this what Joseph Smith did with the KJV parts in the Book of Mormon? Probably. But it is very telling that he replaces some words with more archaeic English from earlier bible versions. Maybe the spirit of John Wycliffe had a role in it, who knows? In any case, anyone who is bilingual will tell you there is no reason why Joseph Smith should mire through difficult bible quotes when he could just grab a bible off the shelf for help.
KJV Is Not An “Edition” – This question suggests a multitude of falsehoods. One interesting lie is that the KJV is an “edition” of the bible, rather than a “version.” KJV stands for King James Version not King James Edition. This is a significant difference because edition means “one of a series of printings or of the same book… each issued at a different time and differing from another by alternations, additions.” This does not describe the KJV bible. There were no alterations or additions, just different translations from the same sources as other versions. By calling it an “edition”, CES Letter falsely implies that the content that appears in the Book of Mormon is different or unique from earlier bibles, and that the KJV is appropriate for 1769 and not today, which is false.
CES Letter Logical Fallacies
|Falsehood||The King James Version is a version, not edition, of the bible.|
|Burden Of Proof||CES Letter provides zero examples or evidence to back up their false claim that KJV translation errors appear in the Book of Mormon.|
|Argument From Ignorance||Early texts of the bible are in existence, and we have the Dead Sea Scrolls, but we do not have the original documents that the bible came from, so we can’t know for sure what is an “error” and what isn’t.|
|Anachronism||In Joseph Smith’s time, the KJV was the only bible in English, so obviously there is no other “edition” to compare his translations to.|
|Subjectivist Fallacy||The existence of modern translations lead some people to believe that things could have been better translated, but that is just a subjective opinion, not an “error.”|
|Argument From Repetition||CES Letter repeats this same argument on p. 81|
|Guilt by Association||This arguments incorrectly claims that the KJV “edition” of the bible has translation “errors,” and the Book of Mormon is in error for copying them.|
Current Year – Socialists are obsessed with what is known as the “current year.” All of their recycled ideas and philosophies stem from Marxism, Paganism, going back to Babylon, and before that. The same old ideas become repeatedly repackaged in a flashy modern frame.
Socialists find this a convenient way to pervert religious doctrine, as we see with modern translations of the bible that erase important truths and spin important pure doctrine. The KJV is the oldest universal English translation, and even if a couple words are a little hokey, so what? It is still the best version we have. Socialists exploit these few hokey translations as an excuse to revise a new “edition” of the bible that erases important doctrine. The atheists use it as a hammer to ridicule us for not being modern. This opening attack on the Book of Mormon sets a Satanic narrative that scripture needs to be framed in a modern package with modern language, or it is in “error.”
Innuendo Rather Than Logic – CES Letter drops a few (incorrect) bits of leading evidence, and the reader connects to dots in their mind to the inevitable conclusion. If errors which were introduced in 1769 appear in the Book of Mormon, obviously the Book of Mormon wasn’t produced before then. CES Letter does not give us this logic, but allows the reader’s mind to string it together. They do this because people are much more likely to believe a deduction if they figured it out on their own, subconsciously. They are also more likely to believe the evidences for that deduction, which in this case are falsehoods.