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Mormonism and the Bible/Joseph Smith Translation/Relationship to Book of Abraham
Relationship of the Joseph Smith Translation to the Book of Abraham
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- Question: When Joseph performed his inspired translation of the Bible, why didn't he rewrite the creation account in Genesis to read more like that in the Book of Abraham?
Question: When Joseph performed his inspired translation of the Bible, why didn't he rewrite the creation account in Genesis to read more like that in the Book of Abraham?
The Bible does support plurality of gods
When God gives new insight and revelation, he doesn't typically "rewrite" all scripture that has gone before: He simply adds to it.
The creation account in the Book of Abraham supports a plurality of gods. Critics claim that the Bible does not support this. However, there are two errors in the assumption that the Bible does not support a plurality of gods.
There are clearly multiple divine personages in Genesis
Error #1: It is debatable that the unedited King James Version of Genesis truly only includes "one God." There are clearly multiple divine personages in Genesis:
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.... (Genesis 3:22)
Only creeds or convictions that insist on a single divine being make us unable to notice.
The Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis, the Book of Moses, actually did clarify the role and existence of multiple divine personages
Error #2: The Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis actually did clarify the role and existence of multiple divine personages. The Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price (which is the simply the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis) has many examples of multiple divine personages:
I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth; but there is no God beside me, and all things are present with me, for I know them all (Moses 1:6).
Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy glory, that I should worship thee? (Moses 1:13)
for God said unto me: Thou art after the similitude of mine Only Begotten....Call upon God in the name of mine Only Begotten, and worship me. (Moses 1:16-17)
Moses lifted up his eyes unto heaven, being filled with the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son;" (Moses 1:24)
And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten. (Moses 1:33)
That's just the first chapter of the JST of Genesis. There are many, many more examples in Moses.
In chapter 2 of Moses, God prefaces his remarks by saying, "I am the Beginning and the End, the Almighty God; by mine Only Begotten I created these things; yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest" (Moses 2:1).
So, in each case when "I, God" did something in the creation, it should be understood that the Only Begotten is also involved, since it is by him that God created all. So, there are multiple divine personages in each mention in the verses that follow.