From the book: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith
by Michael R. Ash
Genesis 37 tells the story of Joseph and his brothers, who stripped him of his garment, dipped it in goat’s blood, and brought it to Jacob. They told the story that Joseph had been killed by wild beasts. While it never says that Joseph’s brothers tore his coat of many colors, Jacob thought that Joseph had been “rent to pieces” by a wild beast (v.33).
When we compare Moroni’s comments — about Joseph’s coat and Jacob’s vision of a surviving remnant of that coat –with other ancient non-biblical texts, we find some interesting parallels. In the Book of Jasher for example, we read that Joseph’s brothers took his coat, “tore it,” killed a goat, and dipped the coat “in the dust” before giving it back to Jacob (Jasher 43:13). Not only does the Book of Jasher mention that the coat was torn, but we also find that like the Nephites who threw their torn garments at Moroni’s feet to be trodden upon, Joseph’s brothers “trampled” the coat in the dirt as well.
According to the Book of Mormon –but not found in the Bible– a remnant of Joseph’s coat survived. What we find in Alma 46 about a remnant of Joseph’s coat, correctly matches what we find in ancient Near Eastern traditions, but not recorded in the Bible.
Michael R. Ash is the author of: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting The Prophet Joseph Smith. He is the owner and operator of MormonFortress.com and is on the management team for FairMormon. He has been published in Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, the Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and is the author of Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. He and his wife live in Ogden, Utah, and have three daughters.
Julianne Dehlin Hatton is a broadcast journalist living in Louisville, Kentucky. She has worked as a News Director at an NPR affiliate, Radio and Television Host, and Airborne Traffic Reporter. She graduated with an MSSc from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2008. Julianne and her husband Thomas are the parents of four children.
Music for Faith and Reason is provided by Arthur Hatton.