Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jesus's three temptations: KJV versus JST

http://godtalkvermont.blogspot.com/2012/02/exploring-fires-of-temptation.
html#!/2012/02/exploring-fires-of-temptation.html

It is always interesting to examine the differences between the King James Version of the Bible and the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible.  We can learn some good things.  Today I decided to compare the account of Jesus’s three temptations in Matthew 4 with the JST of the same.  (I might have decided to only show the JST, but I wanted to see what things were removed as well as added, so it helps to have both for that.)

KJV:

1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.  (Matt 4:1-11)

KJV with JST added in:
1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be with God.
 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, and had communed with God, he was afterwards an hungered, and was left to be tempted of the devil.
 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
 5 Then Jesus was taken up into the holy city, and the Spirit setteth him on the pinnacle of the temple.
 6 Then the devil came unto him and said, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
 8 And again, Jesus was in the Spirit, and it taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
 9 And the devil came unto him again, and said, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and now Jesus knew that John was cast into prison, and he sent angels, and, behold, they came and ministered unto him (John).  (Matt 4:1-11)
What do we learn from the differences between the KJV and with the JST? 

First, we learn that Jesus went into the wilderness to be with God, not to be tempted.  Those three temptations were not set before him by the Spirit as some sort of spiritual obstacle course for him get through, as it seems in the KJV’s verse 1; rather, the devil was interloping,  crashing the party and trying to ruin Jesus’s spiritual experiences.  (This is also true for us today; the devil continues to try to ruin spiritual experiences for everyone, so we have to be on the alert and resist temptation.  I recall youth temple trips that would start out with several people having bad attitudes or feeling rushed and impatient..)

Second, we learn that it was the Holy Spirit leading Jesus from place to place, not the devil.  It is contradictory to Jesus’s holiness for Him to be led anyplace by the devil! 

Third, we also get the sense that there was some purpose for the Spirit to lead Jesus to the wilderness to fast for so long, then to the pinnacle of the temple, and to a high mountain to show him the kingdoms of the world.  I suspect that it had something to do with teaching Jesus about His great mission to redeem the world.  If that were the case, no doubt the devil would want to disrupt it as much as possible.

Fourth, we discover that rather than be ministered to by angels after His temptations, Jesus sent angels to John in prison to minister to him.  It is neat to see that even during His mortal ministry He had authority to dispatch angelic messengers.  I have to wonder if Jesus’s temptations thus far had taught Him according to the flesh how to succor others.  To me it is an additional example of how Jesus sends tender mercies to those in affliction and trial. 

For other posts on Jesus's temptations, you can read:
 Christ shared how He resisted temptation  (I show the JST, but don't discuss it in particular)
 

3 comments:

Unknown said...

I have been reading the old testament, and also for reference the JST of the old testament. While it seems that according to Joseph Smith, the old Testament is good, with a few changes, Genesis represents the most shocking. It seems that the translators decided to abbreviate rather badly a wonderful and marvelous work. Its true that the adversary is an interloper, just imagaine if Genesis was set up like the Book of Abraham and Moses in the Pearl of Great Price, then the world would probably have a whole new perspective on Heavenly Father. There is so much left out and its sad.
But Jesus said that "my sheep hear my voice", so I believe that even in its abbreviated state, we can "see and hear" the teachings in their complete state because of the Holy Spirit.

Bonnie said...

Interesting that you would be searching this just as I was searching last night for the mirror account of Moses' and Joseph's experiences with learning their mission and the attack of Satan. They all parallel is such a way to assure us that this is a pattern. I have often wondered if this is also undergirding the experience of Job, though that was not the part the poets who wrote his experience chose to emphasize. It seems an earthly pattern, and one that if we truly understood and prepared for would protect us when we feel led by the Lord into our own wildernesses to explore with him our mission. Thanks.

Michaela Stephens said...

Ramona, I agree that Genesis is quite shocking in its omissions, which represent God as ambivalent about bringing people to repentance before the flood. But the account in Moses does much to alleviate that.

Bonnie, you bring up very intriguing parallels--Joseph Smith, Moses, and Job. I'll be chewing on that for a while.