On the JST of 1 Peter

A COMMENTARY ON JOSEPH SMITH’S REVISION OF 1 PETER

Kevin Barney

1. 1 Peter 1:9

Receiving the end object of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

    It is true that the basic meaning of the Greek word telos is “end” as it is rendered in the KJV. Most fundamentally, the word means “end” in the sense of termination or cessation, which would seem to make Peter suggesting that one’s faith would go out of existence entirely. But the word can also mean, as it is intended here, a goal towards which movement is directed, a desired outcome. JST “object” is a suitable rendering of telos that avoids the misunderstanding that comes from using a too literal “end.” The NET has “because you are attaining the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls.” Most modern translations avoid the word “end” and speak in term s of attaining the outcome or goal of one’s faith.

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

2. 1 Peter 1:10

Of Concerning which salvation the prophets have who prophesied of the grace bestowed upon you, enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

    “Of which” is more clearly expressed by the JST “concerning which.” The JST also moves the last clause forward in order to avoid the italicized string of words “that should come.”

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

3. 1 Peter 1:11

Searching what time, or and what manner of time the Spirit salvation the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that which should follow.

    The KJV begins this verse with “searching what or what manner of time,” which seems oddly duplicative (i.e., to what does the first “what” mean to refer?). The JST makes the first “what” “what time” and changes the second “what” from “what time” to “what manner of salvation.” Some modern translations do the same thing as the JST and make the first “what” refer to time, as in CSB “They inquired into what time or what circumstances. . . .” Others understand the first “what” to refer to the identity of the person who should bring salvation, as in DLNT “searching for what person or what manner of time. . . .” (Emphasis in original).

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

4-5. 1 Peter 2:7-8

Unto you therefore which who believe, he is precious: but unto them which be who are disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which who stumble at the word, being disobedient through disobedience:, whereunto also they were appointed, a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense. For the stone which the builders disallowed is become the head of the corner.

    The changes from “which” to “who” (used of a person) and “which be” to “who are” are modernizations. The JST does not intend to change the meaning of this passage, but reorganizes the material to avoid the italicized string of words “even to them.”

    Paradigm Classifications A-2 and A-3 (Suspicion of Italicized Text and Modernization)

6. 1 Peter 2:9

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

    The expression “an holy” is an archaism; in modern English when a following word begins with a pronounced h- (such as “holy” in this case) the indefinite article “a” is used as opposed to “an,” and “shew” is just a British spelling of “show.”

    Paradigm Classification A-3 (Modernization)

7. 1 Peter 2:12

Having your conversation conduct honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

    The Greek word rendered “conversation” in the KJV is anastrophe, which means “manner of life; conduct.”  An archaic meaning of the noun “conversation” used in the KJV is “conduct.” Smith was aware that “conversation” was archaic and so correctly replaced it with English “conduct.”

    Paradigm Classification A-3 (Modernization)

8. 1 Peter 3:1

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation conduct of the wives;

    (See comment on 1 Peter 2:12)

9. 1 Peter 3:2

While they behold your chaste conversation conduct coupled with fear.

    (See comment on 1 Peter 2:12)

10. 1 Peter 3:3

Whose Let your adorning let it not be not that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

    The beginning of the verse in the KJV “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning. . . .” is quite awkward in English. The JST simplifies the construction to “Let your adorning be not that outward adorning. . . .” AMPC does something similar: “Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning. . . .” JUB, LEB, NET, NKJV, TPT, RSV, TLV and WEB all also use the word “let” here in a similar way to the JST.

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

11. 1 Peter 3:5

For after this manner in the old time old times the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

    “In the old time” is a translation of pote, an enclitic particle that means something like “once, formerly, long ago.” I suspect the JST pluralizes the expression to make it clear this is a general reference to the past and not meant to identify any particular time period.

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

12. 1 Peter 3:15

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer with meekness and fear to every man that asketh of you a reason of for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

    Some translations put the final words of KJV 1 Peter 3:15 (“with meekness and fear”; better translated “with gentleness and respect”) at the beginning of the following verse. If those words are placed at the end of verse 15, as in the KJV, they seem nonsensically to modify “the hope that is in you,” whereas they are meant to modify the way one gives the “answer” (Greek apologia). Moving those words forward to immediately follow the word “answer” makes this clearer.

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

13. 1 Peter 3:16

Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation conduct in Christ.

    (See comment on 1 Peter 2:12)

14. 1 Peter 3:18

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, that he might bring us to God:

    Moving the result clause “that he might bring us to God” to the end of the verse suggests that being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit was a part of the atoning process and necessary to effect that result on our behalf.

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

15. 1 Peter 3:19

By For which cause also, he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

    The change from “by which” to “for which cause” correlates with the change made in verse 18. The KJV language “by which” is focused on process, whereas the JST language “for which cause” is focused on result.

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

16. 1 Peter 3:20

Which sometime Some of whom were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the long-suffering of God waited, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

    The word “sometime” is vague as to the time involved. The Greek participle means “after they were disobedient long ago [i.e., “in the days of Noah”].” God patiently waiting occurred long ago, and the JST clarifies that by explicitly putting this in the days of Noah. Only some of the people were disobedient, as this very verse refers to the eight people who were not and were saved, so JST “some of whom” is making that clear. 

Paradigm Classification A-1 (Secondary Source)

17-18. 1 Peter 4:1-2

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath For you who have suffered in the flesh hath ceased should cease from sin; That he that you no longer the rest of your time in the flesh, should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

    There is an ambiguity as to whether the entirety of this text refers to Jesus, or whether only the first part refers to Jesus and the balance to the believer. Smith resolves the ambiguity by shifting from third person address to second person (i.e., the readers of the letter) so as to make it clear Peter is not describing Christ here but rather addressing the believer. Many modern translations make this switch from third person (Christ) to second person (Peter’s readers) clearer, such as the Anchor Bible: “Therefore since Christ suffered in the flesh, you too arm yourselves with the same understanding, because whoever suffered with respect to the flesh has ceased from sinning.”

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

19. 1 Peter 4:3

For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we ye walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

    This continues the second person address established in verses 1-2. A number of modern translations frame this similarly in the second person, such as the NET.

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

20. 1 Peter 4:4

Wherein they think speak evil of you, thinking it strange that ye you run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

    The JST does not seem to intend any change of meaning, but foregrounds the people speaking evil (i.e., “blaspheming,” used here of speech against humans rather than speech against God) by moving that text from the end to the beginning of the verse.

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

21. 1 Peter 4:6

For for this cause was Because of this, is the gospel preached also to them that who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live in the spirit according to the will of God in the spirit.

    The initial repetition in “For for” is awkward, and so the JST paraphrases “For for this cause was” with “Because of this, is.” The expression “according to God” is ambiguous, so the JST clarifies with “according to the will of God.”

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

22. 1 Peter 4:7

But to you, the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

    The JST continues the second person address established in the previous verses, which also matches the nominative plural “ye” later in the verse.

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

23. 1 Peter 4:8

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the preventeth a multitude of sins.

    The Greek verb kalupto indeed means to cover or hide something, but the sense of “covering sins” leads to a very unfortunate misunderstanding in English, that the sins are only superficially hidden but still there. The JST intends to avoid this misreading.

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

24. 1 Peter 4:11

 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles an oracle of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

    The beginning of this verse is elliptical (which is why part of the first line is supplied in italics). The Anchor Bible (at page 758) renders “whoever speaks, [let that one do so] as [uttering] oracles of God.” Oracles (plural) are not a person but things a person says. KJV “let him speak as the oracles of God” doesn’t make sense, and so the JST singularizes “oracles” to “oracle,” meaning not the message itself but the one conveying the message.

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

Comments

  1. Comparing the different translations, really gets one to think about what the verse is trying to communicate. Thank you.

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