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Producing Ancient Scripture — Thomas Wayment on Joseph Smith’s Use of Adam Clarke in the JST

Thomas A. Wayment



About the Interview: For Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast’s fourth season, we will be highlighting chapters from the much-anticipated volume, Producing Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects in the Development of Mormon Christianity edited by Michael Hubbard MacKay, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Brian M. Hauglid.

In anticipation for our fourth-year launch on September 16, 2020, we will be rereleasing interviews with chapter authors. This week’s feature first aired as Episode 55.

In our discussion, Dr. Thomas A. Wayment covers his research for his chapter “A Recovered Resource: The Use of Adam Clarke’s Bible Commentary in Joseph Smith’s Bible Translation.”

Be sure to listen through the end credits to hear information about our new show feature “Comments and Questions from Readers,” which provides opportunities for listeners to submit content for future episodes as well as to receive gift cards and free books.

From episode 55: In this episode, Laura Harris Hales visits with Thomas Wayment, Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast’s guest on episode one, in part two of our special first anniversary double episode on the Joseph Smith Translation to discuss some impressive findings regarding Joseph Smith’s Bible translation process.

About Our Guest: Dr. Wayment is currently a professor of Greek at BYU. He earned his BA in Classics from the University of California at Riverside then completed a PhD in New Testament studies at Claremont Graduate University.

Known primarily as a New Testament scholar, Dr. Wayment has also written extensively on the Joseph Smith Translation. He became fascinated with the document early in his biblical studies and that interest has never really fizzled.

In his recent studies, Wayment found an interesting connection between the JST and a biblical commentary well-known in the 19th-century, especially in Methodist circles.

Adam Clarke, a British theologian, took almost 40 years to complete his comprehensive tome, published as The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The text carefully printed from the most correct copies of the present Authorized Version. Including the marginal readings and parallel texts. With a Commentary and Critical Notes. Clarke’s commentary became a primary theological resource for nearly two centuries.

New research by Michael Hubbard Mackay has uncovered a statement indicating that Joseph Smith had access to a copy of Clarke’s Bible commentary. When Wayment compared Joseph’s translation of the KJV Bible to Clarke’s commentary, he realized that Smith used it in the translation process because of the marked similarities he found between entries in the commentary and changes in Joseph’s KJV Bible.

Listen in as Dr. Wayment shares what he believes this indicates about how the Prophet viewed the translation process and what it could mean for how we approach the KJV Bible and the JST.


This podcast is cross-posted with the permission of LDS Perspectives Podcast.

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