Question: Was the Joseph Smith Translation intended to be a restoration of original Bible text?

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Question: Was the Joseph Smith Translation intended to be a restoration of original Bible text?

The JST is not intended primarily or solely as a restoration of lost Bible text

Two main points should be kept in mind with regards to the Joseph Smith "translation" of the Bible:

First, the JST is not intended primarily or solely as restoration of text. Unimpeachably orthodox LDS scholars who have focused on the JST (such as Robert J. Matthews and Kent Jackson) are unanimous in this regard. The assumption that it is intended primarily or solely as a restoration of text is what leads to expectations that the JST and Book of Mormon should match up in every case. At times the JST does not even match up with itself, such as when Joseph Smith translated the same passage multiple times in different ways. This does not undermine notions of revelation, but certainly challenges common assumptions about the nature and function of the JST and the Book of Mormon translation.

Second, one of the main tendencies of the JST is harmonization. You may be aware of differences in Jesus' sayings between different Gospels. For example, Jesus' statements about whether divorce is permitted and under what conditions differ significantly. Matthew offers an exception clause that Mark and Luke do not, and this has severely complicated the historical interpretation of Jesus' view of divorce.

The JST often makes changes that harmonize one gospel with another, which is what your example does. While one gospel says "judge not" (though this may not be as absolute as some make it out to be), John 7:24 has Jesus commanding to "judge righteous judgment." The JST change harmonizes the two gospels by making Matthew agree with John. If indeed there is a real difference between being commanded to "Judge righteously" and being commanded to "Judge not", then it is a problem inherently present in the differing accounts of the Gospels, which the JST resolves in a particular way.

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