Wednesday, January 14, 2015
“Inspired Version” is the name given to the Holy Scriptures which were corrected by Joseph Smith, Jr., in the 1830's. Originally it was known as the “New Translation.” Some have called it the “Joseph Smith Bible,” “Joseph Smith Translation,” or simply the “JST.” This is the version that one RLDS member was looking for in a Christian bookstore years ago. He didn’t find any, so he asked if they had any Inspired Versions. The clerk asked, “Aren’t they all?”
This version of the Bible was produced by Joseph Smith and others, using a marked copy of a King James Version (actually a “Phinney Bible,” a slight variation from the “Authorized Version”) and handwritten manuscripts. They were preserved, as foretold by the Lord, during the turbulent years of movements from Ohio to Missouri to Illinois and the martyrdom of Joseph Smith. The colorful story of Emma Smith and others carrying the papers in pockets or bags worn under long skirts is part of the safekeeping for the manuscript.
The book was not published during the lifetime of Joseph Smith. But within a few years of the reorganization of the Church, with Joseph Smith III as president, a committee was authorized to accept the Inspired Version manuscript and proceed to publish it.
A committee from the RLDS Church received the manuscript in 1866, and the Holy Scriptures were published in Plano, Illinois, in 1867. It is the product of an editorial committee which worked diligently to discern the intent of the marks, changes, and corrections made by earlier scribes to the King James text.
The 1867 edition was reprinted several times by the RLDS Church. The 1936 printing was the first to contain the words “Inspired Version” on the title page. The first major revision of text was in 1944 when a “New Corrected Edition” was published; it contained a number of word changes. Other revisions were made in the 1974, 1991, and 2006 editions.