Moses

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This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Scope. The book of Moses (actually "Selections from the Book of Moses") is the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 1:1-6-13. This wiki page and its subpages are not intended, however, to address Genesis. They are intended only to address the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis. It is therefore suggested that readers consult the wiki pages that address Genesis 1:1-6:13 before reading the pages that address Moses. Contributors are likewise asked to respect this distinction. The idea is that a reader should be able to find content about an original passage from Genesis on the wiki page addressing that passage. The wiki pages addressing Moses should focus on added insights that come from the Joseph Smith Translation. See the article Joseph Smith Translation in The Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

Relationship to Genesis. The Joseph Smith Translation does not stop at Genesis 6:13, but the book of Moses contains only that beginning portion. Thus, while Genesis is a complete stand-alone work, Moses is only an excerpt or a "selection." Genesis is structured as a series of four "cycles" or collections of stories. Moses and Genesis 1:1-6:13 cover only the first half of the first cycle, or the Adam half of the Adam-Noah cycle. The relationship of the content in Moses to the Adam-Noah cycle as a whole is discussed at Genesis 1-11, and its relationship to the entire book is discussed at Genesis.

Relationship to Pearl of Great Price.

Story. Following the manner in which Genesis 1-11 is structured, the Book of Moses is consists of five major sections

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in the changes that the book of Moses makes to Genesis include:

  • Sameness of the gospel in all ages. The atonement and the same gospel preached by Christ were also taught anciently since the days of Adam and Enoch.
  • Council in heaven. Moses provides information about the council in heaven and explains that one of the key issues was free agency.
  • Desirability of the fall. Moses explains that the fall was an important step in God's plan for the world, not an unexpected detour.
  • The extremes of good and bad society. Moses explains Zion, the epitome of a righteous society, and secret combinations, the epitome of a wicked force within society.

Historical setting[edit]

This section should be brief and explain facts about the historical setting that will help a reader to understand the book. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

The book of Moses has two historical settings. It shares with Genesis an ancient setting discussed at Historical Overview of the Old Testament, and it shares with the Doctrine & Covenants a modern setting discussed at Historical Overview of the Restoration Scriptures.

Ancient setting: changes to account in Genesis[edit]

Joseph Smith's revisions to Genesis 1-24 were written on manuscript OT1. David Whitmer then copied this material to a second manuscript OT2, on which was written the remainder of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament, as well as further changes and corrections to Genesis 1-24. These changes are reflected in the text of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. But Joseph Smith also made additional changes on OT1 after it had been copied onto OT2, and these subsequent changes on OT1 did not make it into the text of Moses, though they do appear in the texts listed below by Wayment and Jackson.[1] All of the changes that Joseph Smith made on either OT1 or OT2 to the chronological information of Genesis 1-11 are noted below in bold:

  • 7. Enoch. Born in 719 when father age 162 (Gen 5:18). Ordained by Adam at age 25 in 744 (D&C 107:48). Adam-ondi-Ahman at age 278 in 997. Taken up with Zion at age 430 in 1149 (Moses 8:1).
  • 10. Noah. Born in 1184 when father age 182 (Gen 5:28-29). Ordained by Methuselah at age 10 in 1194 (D&C 107:52). Flood at age 600 in 1784 (Gen 7:6). Died at age 950 in 2134 (Gen 9:29).
  • 11. Shem. Born in 1676 when father age 492 (Moses 8:12). Flood at age 108 in 1784 (Gen 7:6). Died at age 610 in 2286 (Gen 11:11; Gen 11:10 JST).[2]
  • 12. Arphaxad. Born in 1786 two years after the flood when when father age 110 (Gen 11:10 JST).[3] Died at age 438 in 2224 (Gen 11:13).
  • The Joseph Smith Translation makes no further changes to the dates recorded in Genesis 1-11.

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • From 1878 to 1979, the only two portions of the entire Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible that were widely available and used by the Church membership were Moses (Genesis 1:1-6:13) and Joseph Smith-Matthew (Matthew 24). Even today, these are the only two portions of the Joseph Smith Translation to be formally canonized. This suggests that these two portions of the Joseph Smith Translation may be of particular importance. (Also see "Text transmission" below).

Joseph Smith Translation[edit]

This section needs editing and citations.

  • Joseph Smith began work on the Joseph Smith Translation in June 1830.[4] Through Genesis ___, Joseph's revisions were recorded on a 60 page manuscript known as OT1. By April 5, 1831 John Whitmer had copied all of OT1 onto a second manuscript known as OT2. Joseph's revisions to the rest of the Old Testament were thereafter made on OT2.[5] The text of OT2 provided the basis for subsequent publications of both portions and the complete book of Moses in 1831 in Evening and Morning Star, in 1852 in England in Pearl of Great Price, the PGP publication in 1878 in Salt Lake City that was canonized in October 1880, and the current text of Moses. CITES.
  • Joseph did not simply go once straight through the Joseph Smith Translation. He often went back to portions he had previously revised and made additional revisions. Many of those changes were made on OT2, but some were also made on OT1. The changes on OT1 did not make it into the published text.
  • The entire JST was published by the RLDS in ____. But it was viewed with caution by the LDS Church until better relations between the two churches resulted in access in connection with the 1979 LDS edition of the Bible, when most of the JST changes were included in the footnotes. In other words, most of the rest JST became easily accessible with the Church's stamp of approval in 1979.
  • Some of the changes that Joseph went back and made were recorded on OT1, and these did not get into the text. Like Moroni said, imperfections of man. And Royal Skousen has noted with regard to the Book of Mormon text that there is evidence of human error in copying, etc. In recent years, especially in connection with the Jsoeph Smith Papers, now have about as good access as can be had more than 150 years later. Can see the OT1 and OT2 manuscripts at ___. Or the two are transcribed at ____. Or Kent Jackson, a leading JST scholar at BYU, has published a composite text at ____.

Outline and page map[edit]

This section contains an outline for the entire book. Items in blue or purple text indicate hyperlinked pages that address specific portions of the book. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Because Moses contains the the Joseph Smith Translation only of Genesis 1:1-6:13, it is can be useful to consider the manner in which Genesis is structured before trying to understand how the excerpt contained in Moses is organized. Genesis is organized into a series of four "cycles" or collections of stories. Genesis 1:1-6:13 (Moses) covers only the first half of the first cycle, or the Adam half of the Adam-Noah cycle.

■ Preface: Moses's call (Moses 1) (new content)

• a. Moses's first vision of God (1:1-11)
• b. Moses is confronted by Satan (1:12-23)
• a. Moses's second vision of God (1:24-42)


I. Adam-Noah Cycle (Moses 2-8 ... / Genesis 1-11)

Book 1: "... in the beginning I [God] created the heaven and the earth ..." (2:1)
A. The creation (Moses 2 / Genesis 1)
• Day 1: sun (2:1-5)
• Day 2: firmament (2:6-8)
• Day 3: dry land and plant life (2:9-13)
• Day 4: lights in sky: sun, moon, and stars (2:14-19)
• Day 5: fish and birds (2:20-23)
• Day 6: land animals and mankind (2:24-31)
• Day 7: rest (3:1-3)
Book 2: "... these are the generations of the heaven and of the earth ..." (3:4)
B. The fall (Moses 3-4 / Genesis 2-3)
a. Adam placed in Garden, commanded not to eat tree of knowledge (3:4-17)
b. Lord says not good to be alone, Eve, unaware naked (3:18-25)
c. serpent induces Eve to transgress by eating fruit(4:1-11) (4:1-4 new content)
d. Adam & Eve eat and discover nakedness (4:12-13)
c. where art thou? Adam & Eve admit eating fruit (4:14-19)
b. Lord pronounces curses, ground cursed for man’s sake, coats (4:20-27)
a. Adam and Eve know good from evil, driven from Garden, prevented from eating of tree of life (4:28-32)
C. Non-birthright line: rejection of the gospel (Moses 5 / Genesis 4)
1. the atonement taught but rejected by many descendants (5:1-16a) (new content)
2. Cain and Abel born (5:16b-17)
3. Cain kills Abel and initiates secret combination (5:18-41)
a. Lord accepts Abel’s offering of sheep, but not Cain’s of produce (5:18-21)
c. Lord warns Cain not to sin (5:22-31) (5:24-31 new content)
d. Cain kills Abel (5:32-33)
c. where is Abel? Cain denies knowledge of his brother (5:34)
b. Cain cursed as a fugitive, ground cursed against him (5:35-37)
a. Cain driven from God and man, mark to prevent vengeance (5:38-41)
3. Lamech kills Irad to preserve secret combination (5:42-54)
• genealogical list of Lamech’s ancestors (5:42-43)
• genealogical list of Lamech’s descendants (5:44-46)
• Lamech kills and will be avenged even as Cain (5:47-54) (5:49-54 new content)
1. the atonement taught but rejected by most descendants (5:55-59) (new content)
2. Seth as a son in place of Abel, and Seth's son (6:1-4)
Book 3: "A book of remembrance was kept ... and this was the book of the generations of Adam ..." (6:5, 8b)
D. Birthright genealogy: Adam to Noah's three sons (Moses 6-8 / Genesis 5-6a)
book of remembrance with genealogical list for generations 1-7 (6:5-25)
Enoch (Chapter 6b-7) (new content)
• Enoch as prophet to the world (6:26-7:11)
called to preach repentance (6:26-39)
preaching: the reality of God (6:40-47)
preaching: repentance and the plan of salvation (6:48-68)
preaching: prophecy of Shum's destruction (7:1-11)
• Enoch as leader of the righteous (7:12-69)
leads the people of Zion in safety (7:12-19)
vision: Noah and the flood (7:20-41)
vision: Christ's mortal ministry (7:42-57)
vision: Christ's second coming (7:58-69)
genealogical list for generations 7-10 (8:1-12)
universal wickedness, plan for un-creation (8:13-27a)
Book 4: "These are the generations of Noah ..." (Genesis 6:9, but not Moses 8:27)
A-B. Re-creation through the flood (Moses 8:27b ... / Genesis 6b-9)
a. earth corrupt, Lord repents of creation and plans destruction (8:27b-30)
At this point the book of Moses ends, though both Genesis and the Joseph Smith Translation continue.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Translations and Lexicons for Genesis.

Related passages that interpret or shed light on Moses.

  • Moses 4:1-4 - D&C 29:36 - similar concept and wording repeated in two revelations received only a few months apart

References cited on this page.

Other resources.

  • OT Manuscript 1 (Old Testament Manuscript 1 of the Joseph Smith Translation). Joseph Smith Papers.
  • Institute Manual
  • JST Electronic Library
  • Joseph Smith Papers
  • Andrus, Hyrum L. Doctrinal Commentary on the Pearl of Great Price. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1972. (ISBN 0877470685).
  • Clark, James R. The Story of the Pearl of Great Price. Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1973. (ISBN ____).
  • Doxey, Roy W. Walk with the Lord: Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1973. (ISBN 0877475024).
  • Draper, Richard D., S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes. The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse by Verse Commentary. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2005. (ISBN 9781590381878) (ISBN 1590381878) BX8629.P53D73 2005. - A recent and excellent verse by verse resource.
  • Elieson, Marc S. Principles of the Pearl of Great Price: A Topical Commentary. Lubbock, Texas: Enterprise Books, 2001. (ISBN 0970516606).
  • Jackson, Kent P. The Book of Moses and the Joseph Smith Translation Manuscripts. Provo, Utah: BYU Religious Studies Center, 2005. (ISBN 0842525890). - The single best synthesis of the text from the two JST manuscripts by an expert in the field.
  • Johansen, Jerald R. A Commentary on the Pearl of Great Price: A Jewel Among the Scriptures, Bountiful, Utah: Horizon Publishers & Distributors, Inc., 1985. (ISBN 0882902695).
  • Millet, Robert L. and Kent P. Jackson. Studies in Scripture, Vol. 2: The Pearl of Great Price. Salt Lake City, Utah: Randall Book Co., 1985. (ISBN 0934126747). - Long out of print and expensive on the used market, but has some good articles.
  • Nibley, Hugh W. Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price. Provo, Utah: FARMS. - Transcripts of lectures to an Honors Pearl of Great Price class at BYU, winter semester 1986.
  • Peterson, H. Donl. The Pearl of Great Price: A History and Commentary. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1987. (ISBN 0875790968) (ISBN 0875796656) BX8629.P53P48 1987.
  • Wayment, Thomas A., ed. The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament, p. 1-47. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2009. (ISBN 1606411314) BX8630.A2 2009 - This transcription of the Joseph Smith Translation is complete, recent, academically respected, and easy to use.

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.

  1. Jackson, The Book of Moses and the Joseph Smith Translation Manuscripts, 2-12, 21-23.
  2. Wayment, The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament, p. 61.
  3. Wayment, The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament, p. 61.
  4. OT Manuscript 1, p. 1.
  5. OT Manuscript 1, p. 61.

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