Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Twice-inspired scripture: The JST as the Bible 2.0

I am using some quotes from Blake Ostler this week. He is the Utah attorney/theologian/faithful Mormon who gave us at least 2 great ideas:

1. The Compassion Theory of the Atonement. JESUS suffers for us so that we have no excuse for not trusting Him and loving Him back. HE is not suffering to balance the cosmic books of mercy and justice. What JESUS is doing is buying us time to repent before the final judgment. 

Blake's theory is the best one I have read dealing with the central event in world history. Go to and read all about it, because my brief summary is sorely lacking.

2. The Modern Expansion theory of the Book of Mormon. This is the concept of Joseph Smith cooperating with GOD on the text of the book, and not just GOD revealing an English version of an ancient document to him word for word.

I take the following quote from Blake's article in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought page 114. The article is available for free on Ostler's awesome website.

Blake believes that the Book of Mormon was edited by Mormon, but then interpreted by Joseph Smith into a context that people of his day and our day would understand. The helps to account for the modern ideas in the text that people feel are anachronistic. It also accounts for the litany of non-modern ideas in the text.

Here is the quote:

"Such scripture is twice-inspired: once by the original prophet-author and again to the prophet who restores meaning and explains, or who gives new meaning and insight into the ancient records by reinterpreting them."

I take that idea, and I think Blake does too, to apply to Joseph Smith's work on the Bible.

I find it perfectly appropriate that the Community of Christ (formerly the RLDS) called Joseph's work The Inspired Version.

It is also telling that the so-called correct version of Mormonism in Utah never published Joseph's version of the Bible.

All of this leads to the following question.

Why would you want to read a Bible that is less inspired than the JST?