New Testament Revision 2
New Testament Revision 2, ca. 4 Apr. 1831–24 Mar. 1832 and 20–31 July 1832; handwriting of , , , and an unidentified scribe; 206 pages; CCLA.The Bible revision manuscripts remained in JS’s possession throughout his life—except during a brief period in 1838 and another in 1839. Upon the death of JS, the manuscript was in possession of his wife for over twenty years, until 1867 when she gave it to her son in order for the RLDS Church to publish The Holy Scriptures.Note: The transcript of New Testament Revision 2 presented here is used with generous permission of the Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center. It was published earlier, with some differences in style, in Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds., Joseph Smith's New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004), 229–581.
As noted in the introduction to Old Testament Revision 1, in June 1830, JS and began recording a revelation related to Moses and other prominent Old Testament figures. (See Visions of Moses, June 1830 [Moses 1].) Eventually this work expanded into what is now designated as the Book of Moses and a complete revelatory re-reading, reviewing, and revising of the Bible, an endeavor that came to be known as JS’s “New Translation,” or Bible revision. By March 1831, JS and his scribes created a sixty-one-page manuscript containing a narrative account of the visions of Moses and a revised version of the Old Testament book of Genesis, from the beginning to chapter 24, verse 41. (See Old Testament Revision 1.)JS set that work aside when instructed in a March 1831 revelation to instead begin work on the New Testament. (Revelation, ca. 7 Mar. 1831 [D&C 45:60–61].) He and began the new document on 8 March 1831, titling it “A Translation of the New Testament translated by the power of God.” It is currently designated as New Testament Revision 1. , who had been directed by revelation to “write & keep a regulal [regular] history & assist my servant Joseph in Transcribing all things which shall be given him,” (Revelation, ca. 8 Mar. 1831–B [D&C 47:1]) began in early April 1831 to copy New Testament Revision 1 through Matthew 26:1, stopping a little short of where JS and Sidney Rigdon left off before they traveled to in June 1831. (JS History, vol. A-1, 126.)When JS resumed the revision of the New Testament, he did so using ’s copy, currently designated New Testament Revision 2. He began with Matthew 26:1, though he had previously translated through Matthew 26:71 in New Testament Revision 1. Work continued on the rest of the New Testament through late July 1832. In addition to , JS was assisted by John Whitmer, , and .New Testament Revision 2, presented here, consists of 203 pages. Work on this manuscript was completed in and , Ohio. During the revision project, JS adopted an abbreviated format for annotating the changes to be made to the New Testament. Previously, JS dictated the entire Bible text to his scribe, revising verses as he read from the Bible. But beginning after John 5, JS marked his copy of the Bible as he read in it, indicating where a change should be made. In the manuscript, the scribes wrote the scripture reference and the specifics of the revisions. Thus, the Bible and manuscript together now constituted the text of the revision project.In total, JS made changes to about 2,100 New Testament verses (Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 5). He introduced a number of significant changes to the King James New Testament text in New Testament Revision 2. Among the more prominent clarifications and corrections were those in Matthew 24 and Mark 13 related to Jesus’s discourse on the Mount of Olives, as well as those in the beginning verses of the Gospel of John. (See, Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 234, 303, and 424–425.)