On the JST of 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon

A COMMENTARY ON JOSEPH SMITH’S REVISION OF 2 TIMOTHY

Kevin Barney

1. 2 Timothy 2:5

And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he he is not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

    This revision was based on the italics. The italicized conjunction “yet” has the sense of “but at the same time,” but that nuance is already implicit in the sentence and does not need to be explicitly stated. The Anchor Bible has “And also, if anyone competes in an athletic contest he won’t be crowned unless he competes by the rules.” See Luke Timothy Johnson, The First and Second Letters to Timothy, A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (New York: Doubleday, 2001), 364. Although some older translations use “yet” based on KJV influence, modern translations generally do not use that word here.

    Paradigm Classification A-2 (Suspicion of Italicized Text)

2. 2 Timothy 2:8

Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my the gospel:

    Although “according to my gospel” is a literal rendering of the Greek text, it is ambiguous in English and can be misread as the gospel being about Paul, rather than the gospel about Jesus being preached by Paul. Something like “according to the good news I preach” (Anchor Bible) or “this is the good news that I tell people” (ERV) is necessary to avoid misunderstanding what Paul is saying. The JST accomplishes this simply by changing “my” to “the.” 

    Paradigm Classification A-1 (English Paraphrase of KJV Text)

3. 2 Timothy 2:11

It For this is a faithful saying: For if If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

    This revision was motivated by the italics. The initial italicized “It” is simply unclear as to its antecedent. The JST makes it clear that the “faithful saying” is the immediately following text, similar to NET “This saying is trustworthy: If we died with him, we will also live with him.” Many modern translations begin the verse with the word “this” (referring to what follows) as does the JST, such as AMP, CSB, CEB, EHV, EXB, GW, GNT, HCSB, ICB, ISV,JUB, MEV, NOG, NABRE, NCV, NET, NKJV, NLT, RGT and WEB.

    Paradigm Classification A-2 (Suspicion of Italicized Text)

4. 2 Timothy 3:13

But For evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

    The word rendered “but” is not alla (which specifically means “but”) but rather the conjunction de, which is much more ambiguous as to its nuance. Some translations simply omit the conjunction altogether; others render something like “while.” “For” as a transition from verse 12 to verse 13 is certainly a plausible reading.

    Paradigm Classification A-1 (English Paraphrase of KJV Text)

5. 2 Timothy 3:16

All And all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    This revision deletes the italicized “is.” While the impetus for the revision was the italics, the JST reflects an additional nuance. The JST provides that it is only scripture given by inspiration of God that is profitable, etc., but scripture (in the generic sense of “something written”) not given by inspiration of God is not profitable, etc.

    Paradigm Classifications A-1 and A-2 (English Paraphrase of KJV Text and Suspicion of Italicized Text)

6. 2 Timothy 4:1

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and in his kingdom;

    The KJV accurately reflects the Greek text, but the meaning of that text here is obscure. As the Anchor Bible puts it, “the precise function of this coordinated clause is difficult to grasp.” One possible approach is to add the preposition “in” before “kingdom,” as the JST does. ERV, GNV, JUB, NMB and RGT similarly add the preposition “in”: “in his kingdom.” 

    Paradigm Classification A-1 (English Paraphrase of KJV Text)

7. 2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word; be instant in season, those who are out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

    The KJV’s “be instant in season, out of season” is simply incomprehensible. The JST adds “those who are” to “out of season” to make “those who are out of season” the object of the following imperatives, “reprove, rebuke, exhort.” The expression “be instant” should be rendered something like “apply yourself [to the word].” The incredibly obscure expression “in season, out of season” would literally be translated “good season/without season,” meaning “in good times and in bad.” The JST is a reasonable attempt to make sense of a disastrous KJV rendering.

    Paradigm Classification A-1 (English Paraphrase of KJV Text)

8. 2 Timothy 4:15

Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

    In the preceding verse Paul tells of a difficult experience he had with Alexander the coppersmith. Here Paul warns Timothy to steer clear of Alexander. The word “also” means “just as I am doing,” but Paul didn’t actually say that in verse 14. Since this warning was not explicitly made in the prior verse, the word “also” seems out of place in verse 15 and so is deleted.

    Paradigm Classification A-1 (English Paraphrase of KJV Text)

9. 2 Timothy 4:22

The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace you, and grace be with you all. Amen.

    In Jacobean English th– forms of second person pronouns are singular and y– forms are plural. So the first sentence is directed specifically to Timothy and the second to the entire church where he is. But in some sense even Paul’s letters to individuals (such as Philemon) were meant for the entire community, and so ancient scribes often would pluralize these greetings, as the JST does here. Smith also prefers direct address to an individual in lieu of the circumlocution “thy spirit.”

    Paradigm Classification A-1 (English Paraphrase of KJV Text)

A COMMENTARY ON JOSEPH SMITH’S REVISION OF TITUS

Kevin Barney

1. Titus 1:15

Unto the pure let all things are be pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

    The JST changes this from a statement of fact to a petition to God.

    Paradigm Classification A-1 (English Paraphrase of KJV Text)

2. Titus 2:11

For the grace of God that which bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared to all men,

    This revision is meant to clarify that it is not God himself who has appeared to all men, but rather salvation.

    Paradigm Classification A-1 (English Paraphrase of KJV Text)

A COMMENTARY ON JOSEPH SMITH’S REVISION OF PHILEMON

Kevin Barney

1. Philemon 1:25

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit you. Amen.

As in 2 Timothy 4:22, Smith prefers direct address to an individual in lieu of the circumlocution “thy spirit.”

    Paradigm Classification A-1 (English Paraphrase of KJV Text)

Comments

  1. Mark Ashurst-McGee says:

    Loving this series. Can’t wait for your treatment of the significant revisions in Hebrews.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.