First, this blog will be dedicated to analyzing Joseph Smith’s (JS) production of scripture by close comparisons of the scriptures he produced with the King James Bible (KJV). That is the primary reason for the blog. Second, the blog is not meant to have a specific agenda or purpose other than providing detailed, and sometimes informal, analyses of the influence of the KJV on the Book of Mormon (BM), Book of Moses, Doctrine and Covenants, and Book of Abraham. As can hopefully be seen in the previous post, I do not wish to take certain theological stances in this blog. I am not interested in debating belief, but rather in discussing and describing the way that JS’s scriptures utilize and alter the books found in the KJV. I am interested in what historical persons have believed, when they believed it, how they expressed that belief, and how historians today can reconstruct those beliefs. In the previous post I made specific arguments, but those are due to the overwhelming amount of data that connects the BM to the KJV.
The blog will hopefully show that it is possible to explain a lot more about the BM than has previously been thought. Also, that historians can and should utilize methods in historical and literary criticism in order to discover new insights about how important religious figures, in this context one of the most important American religious figures, utilized the traditions they inherited from their parents and their religious communities. This will be imperative for future studies specifically on JS and the BM, but can and should be applied to other figures as well. Even modern American folk artists and activists have been studied for their use of the bible, evidence that this is an important are of study in understanding people who have had a large impact on the world. Hopefully the analyses provided in the blog will show that this is a worthwhile approach, and that the methods can gain fruitful historical data for all areas of early Mormonism and other topics.